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The definitive host: December 2007

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Monday, December 31, 2007

Those that change our lives

First of all, I'd like to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone out there! I hope everyone's 2008 will be full of wonderful memories, great people and fantastic memories. :)

In my last post, I skirted around an event that occurred to me and my family almost 2 weeks ago. It was, that my grandfather passed away, Abe Ziskin. He was a wonderful person, and he will be sorely missed. That's not to say he was perfect, anyone who knew him knew he was STUBBORN and always right (kinda like me!). He survived many things, and as was said of him by his doctor: "He was like a cat with nine lives, but, he had used eleven". But, enough sadness, it is time to move on to happier things.

As most of you know, an idea has been percolating in my head for the past few weeks regarding if I should pursue journalism as a potential career instead of going into research. And, I have made a decision, and I believe that this may be one of the few moments in a life where one decision significantly influences the future. I have decided, to apply for Journalism! I am extremely excited for this, and have been working in the application process for a few days now. As a precaution, I have also prepared myself for the chance of not getting in (hopefully I will, but a contingency plan is always good), and I will spend my time until the next enrollment period writing a LOT more and getting some sort of position at a newspaper or some sort of news service. SO, WISH ME LUCK!!!!

Some people have been shocked at my decision, but most have been very, very supportive. I would especially like to thank: Elisa, Abby, Inna, Irisz and my entire family. So, let me take this opportunity to THANK YOU ALL for your support and friendship, it will not be forgotten. But, most of all, I'd like to thank my sister, Sara. And it really wasn't anything she did, she just said that she would be proud of me whatever I do, but that she thinks that this might be exactly what I've been looking for.

On a different note, I saw the movie "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" and I really enjoyed it. The best part, is when he meets 'the Beatles' played by various actors with faux accents. And, something is said by Paul Rudd (the husband in "Knocked Up" and the guy with the box of 'erotica' in "40 Year Old Virgin") who plays John Lennon, and says "There is no limit to what you can ... imagine". It was a hilarious line which I keep quoting as much as possible, so here's the video.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

World Keeps On A Turnin'

It has been a very interesting week for me folks, and not in the fun way. Whenever something likes this happens, it becomes very difficult to resume your normal and mundane day-to-day activities. Everyone else is happy, cheerful and having a good time (more so during the holiday season) while you are carrying around a big burden with a large sense of loss. This feeling does go away, I promise you, and life will go on, because time and tide stop for no one.

This event has given me a long time to sit and reflect on the path that my life has taken. While not a smooth ride from the get-go, it certainly hasn't been dull. And therefore, a sort of plan has coalesced in my mind, which contain a series of "yes or no" situations that must occur FIRST. Then, and only then, will the plan will be fully formed and in action. I will not state the blueprints here, but it concerns me and my pursuit of journalism.

While my holidays were not filled with the usual joy, I did experience my very first Christmas party at my good friend Eric's house (by the way Eric, it costs a lot more for your last name to be included here), along with my sister, her husband and my brother. It was a very nice evening where I got to meet his family and have a good time. It wasn't a large shindig, but good company and conversation is what matters, right? And good times were had, so thank you Eric, Taylor and your entire family for making me feel right at home :)

New Years plans are still up in the air though.... any invites? lol

I would like to wish everyone a happy holidays and nothing but good fortune and happy times ahead in the new year.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fluidity of Thought

Sorry its been so long since my last post..... its been a very interesting week. However, I have still decided to put new posts up, to keep y'all updated on my thoughts.

Earlier today, I was thinking about the works of Mr. Salvador Dali. I am not a big art person, but I like stuff that makes you think or is slightly different every way you look at it. I have been a fan of Mr. Dali for many years, and even have a poster of a famous painting of his in my room, the persistence of memory. Take a look at the picture above: What do you see? What do the various images mean?

In my opinion, the melting clocks appear to represent the fluidity of time, as well as the unpredictability of its movement and effects. What do the flies on the pocket watch mean? Personally, I think this references the 'hive' mentality of society to follow the rigid structure known as 'time'. Lastly, to leave some things for other people's opinions, what does the white 'log' appear to resemble? A woman's face? A man? A dead seal?
Art is subjective, no one is right and nobody is wrong. If you can explain it, then you're opinion matters.

After my foray into the world of art, let's dip our toes into the written word. As most of you know, I am an AVID reader. I am always reading a new book, or one of my old favourites. I have read every genre imaginable, but my favourite lies with horror. I love Stephen King, I believe he is masterful; a true word smith. My favourite book penned by him is: The Stand. It deals with a large plague wiping out 98% of human life, and those that survive fall into 2 camps; those that champion the light, and those that embrace the dark. As of last year, I also enjoy books written by Dean Koontz. Especially the Odd Thomas trilogy, which deals with a fairly sarcastic protagonist who can see ghosts. As well, Michael Chrichton writes very nice medical fiction comprised of genuine science with fantastic characters. For those of you who are curious, my favourite book I've ever read is a two way tie:
Animal Farm by George Orwell (A satirical view of humans animalistic nature and tendencies)
Dracula by Bram Stoker (A classic horror story that improves with multiple readings)
I read both of these books at LEAST once or twice a year

In this post, I have discussed art and literature, and it is fitting that this leads to the last topic here: Music. I have been told I have a very eclectic taste. On my playlist, I have everything from:
Green Day to Timbaland, The Irish Rovers to Linkin Park, assorted Les Mis songs to South Park songs.... and the most shocking of them all: Journey to Cascada.
How's THAT for a varied selection, eh?

There you have it folks, a brief look into the bookshelf, playlist and wall hangings of yours truly. Take some time, leave a comment, and then, take some time to appreciate a nice piece of literature, a work of art, or even really listen to a piece of music. There just might be more to it than you first thought


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Life Is A Fad

So, today (while on break from studying for an exam), I was looking around on Facebook and followed a post which lead me to a man's blog. After I read a couple of entries, I observed that he mentioned that he knows a man called Will Wheaton, and that he himself has a blog. This name sounded amazingly familiar, so I clicked on the link, and lo and behold, it was Wesley Crusher, from Star Trek TNG!!!! He looks clearly like his character grown up, and is an accomplished writer with many books/essays already published. And, some of his posts, are very entertaining!

Anyway, after reading a post from Mr. Wheaton, I got this idea: That life as a kid, when looked back, is most easily identified as a series of fads.

Take a journey down memory lane with me, won't you?

When I was a kid, growing up in North York going to Dunlace Public School, the first thing (other than breaking my collar bone in Senior Kindergarten [another post later]) was getting the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES. My grandparents brought it up from Florida, and we were one of the first kids around to get one. As soon as it was booted up, and I held that controller or gun, I was hooked. I spent a long time shooting pixillated ducks and aiding an 8-bit Mario save the Mushroom Kingdom. This fad, still stays with me (but I've evolved to blasting Big Daddies in the lovely and serene Rapture).

Next, I remember the ORIGINAL Power Rangers. This thing was a monster, everybody loved it and everybody played it at recess. My greatest ambition at the time, was to be Billy, the Blue Ranger who commanded the Triceratops zord. And yes, he was the 'nerdy' ranger, what can I say? My parents knew even then I was a smart one.

Anyone remember POGS? I recall playing with them under the stairs at Dunlace when it was raining outside. Those didn't last too long, did they? But wow, didn't you just HAVE to get them? In the same vein, what about those pens that turned into other things as well? I believe I had one where the bottom and top halves could be separated and yanked apart to cause a "helicopter" to fly out.

All of these things were vitally important at the time (except for video games, those still kick ass), but now, they don't seem that important anymore do they?

This fad example from when I was a kid does have a point, there will always be fads and always people who buy into them. They exist even now (Tickle-me Elmo anyone? What about the legend of attempting to find a Cabbage Patch doll back in the 80's?). Just because someone else has something, doesn't mean that you must have it too.

What fads do you remember as a kid? What about your kids now, what must they have?

Feel free to leave a post/comment with you fond memories or even horror stories of past fads.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

The First Post or So THIS Is How It Begins

Well, howdy stranger!

Welcome all to my very first blog posting. This is gonna serve primarily as a test post to see how everything works on this site. So, let's give it a go.

A friend of mine, Elisa, sent me a link for a YouTube video entitled "The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See", and I was intrigued. It ends up, it is a video by a Physics/Chemistry teacher in the U.S. about Global Warming. If ANYONE you know debates with you about Global Warming and what should be done about it then show them this video. I don't care if its your friends, your parents, hell, even your toaster, show them this video. Or, better yet, show them the 'sequel prequel' video I have posted on my blog, called, "This Is How It Ends". What this guy did, was post a 9 minute video on YouTube, and got so many comments that he made 3 MORE videos to address all of the individuals who poked holes in his logic (videos are: Poking Holes 1 through 3).

THEN, he asked all the commenters and YouTube viewers to look at all 4 videos and comment about what should be kept/expanded/deleted to make an all-encompassing 10 minute video. And, if anyone has any specific critiques, then they can watch the MASSIVE number of appendices videos that he made. These are 12 series of videos (ranging from 1-7 videos each) that go IN DEPTH into various aspects of his argument. I have watched the vast majority of them, and you have to be impressed with this man's commitment to the message.

So, once you watch it, do with it what you will. But, you never know, you could help cause a world-wide change. And, who doesn't want to help save the world?

Here endeth the lesson.

How It All Ends

This is FANTASTIC.... watch ALL of his videos if you have the time.