Happy New Year’s. Pretend this isn’t a commercial.

December 31, 2008

(Via Metachat.)

Rihanna, what are you wearing?

December 31, 2008

This made me laugh really hard.

My favourite things of 2008, in no particular order:

December 31, 2008

Barack Obama
The Interweb
Getting my own place; the pleasure of this cannot be overstated
Tina Fey
Taking on new responsibilities at work- more multicam directing, more writing, supervising edit & audio shifts. Awesome and rewarding.
Food: Rosebud at Queen & Spadina, the Citizen at Queen & Broadview. The Tulip steak house on Queen East. Joon’s Korean at Bloor & Manning for the giant cheese mess. McNugget emergencies and the resurgence of McDonald’s Blueberry Pies, and so many more delicious, delicious meals
A gorgeous, perfect week in BC with hilarious friends
“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell
Doing a buttload of public speaking and noticing a continual improvement in my skillz
Slumdog Millionaire
Learning more about screenplay writing- both the fact that I said I wanted to & actually did, and the actual process of doing it.
The mostly-even keel of my moods
Meow Meow
Scooter making me laugh my face off
Writing- this past year was undoubtedly the most prolific writing year of my life, and I hope to say that every year hereafter
My endlessly-delightful friends
Barack Obama

A Class Divided

December 28, 2008


A Class Divided is a documentary about an exercise invented in 1968 by Jane Elliott, a third-grade teacher in Riceville, Iowa. The night Martin Luther King was assassinated, Elliott decided to teach her eight-year-old students a more concrete lesson about discrimination; so she divided the class by eye colour and began to treat the blues differently from the browns. This video documents the whole thing- from the exercise itself to the children’s reactions the next day and a decade later- and even follows Elliott into a prison to perform the same exercise on adult prison guards.

The exercise is harsh and at times heartbreaking. Mrs. Elliott teaches and enforces the discrimination with a rapid-fire sharpness that reminds me of Stephen Colbert, and the camera catches moments of cruelty and vulnerability from the subjects. Being a member of the “bad” group has a profound effect on the confidence of children and adults alike, and it even has a negative impact on the participants’ scores in academic tests.

It’s also worth considering how ethical it is to treat children like this- and if the fact that society already does treat some children like this makes it acceptable to do the exercise with other kids.

This is a fantastic and thought-provoking documentary. Five-part link will play continuously, for a total running time of about an hour, at this link.

How to hide your sickly unkemptitude from the Internet

December 28, 2008

On Xmas day I came down with the most despicable case of influenza I’ve ever had. Temperature up to 103′, burning lung pain, aching bones, racked with coughs that sounded like the birth of a monster. I also had a new webcam and I reeeally wanted to talk to my friends! But there was no WAY I was ever gonna let anyone on the internet see how uggers I am when I’m sick.

I will never let my public see me like this.

I will never let my public see me like this.

There has to be a way, I thought groggily, to have a videochat without compromising the air of ladylike dignity I’m so widely known for.

Then I had a thought. Perhaps, I thought, I could cover the lens of the webcam with something removeable and translucent!

Having just wrapped a metric buttload of presents, I immediately knew just what to use.


But it was too opaque.


Maybe this would be ok if I was in the witness protection program.

But I’m not.

Stupid tape.


Back to the drawing board. Maybe a less-frosted piece of translucent material would do the trick.

I’ve been taking my temperature (orally, thanks for asking) every half-hour or so, and my thermometer has a little clear plastic case…


Perhaps if I just…


No. This is stupid, and it makes a weird reflection of the webcam light. That’s dumb.
Too I see dead people.

Think, Stamp, think.

Ugh, mouthbreathing is making my lips so dry.




(Actually, I kind of reeka too, but let’s try to stay on track here.)

Just a leetle dab…. and….




Wait, did I just smear lip balm on a brand new webcam? Uh… careful… steady…


The technology is reversible! I am a genius!

Aw yeah.

And the best part was, nobody on the internet ever saw how sickly and slovenly I was! My secret is safe.


Evil Xmas Carols

December 24, 2008

Alls it takes is a slight shift into a minor key and suddenly, Santa turns into a creepy dude standing out back by the shed.

Snow prints.

December 22, 2008

Shove your face into fresh powder snow on the hood of a car. So awesome.

These dudes are super-white.

These dudes are super-white.

Me too, me too!

December 22, 2008

This guy is a total hipster with his keffiyah scarf and his manicured facial hair. Just simmer down, dude. And aren’t you late for your ironic indie band practice or something?

Whatevs.  I totally used to shop at American Apparel too.  You ain't all dat.

Whatevs. I totally used to shop at American Apparel too. You ain't all dat.

Film Checklist

December 22, 2008

Here’s a site that lets you check off how many of the 250 greatest films of all time you’ve seen. You can try it here. I think finishing this list would be a decent 2009 resolution.

Richard Dawkins interviews Derrin Brown

December 16, 2008
This was a big day for me.

This was a big day for me.

Richard Dawkins, my very mostest favouritest evolutionary biologist (who’s better known these days, but less personally compelling to me, as a spokesman for atheism), interviews mentalist Derren Brown.

The complete interview video is here. I found this on Metafilter, and the first comment it received there made me larf rather loudly. I haven’t actually watched this yet but Alison liked it, so here you go.