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The definitive host: June 2009

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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some Light Comedy

Before the videos, check out these two other blogs. They have some fascinating insights ;)

How to meet and woo nerdy guys

5 tips on proper geek male maintenance

And now, what you have all bee waiting for! Here are some video's for all the geeks and nerds out there. Courtesy of YouTube and a few others:

Robot Chicken Super-villain carpool

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dr. Tweetlove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Twitter

Do you get the title reference? Of course you do!

So, yes, I finally relented on Friday and joined Twitter.

Why you ask? Well, I was bored at work (as per usual), and I know that most of my J-school friends are on it, and I never really gave it a chance. So, I decided I would check it out.

It's interesting, and I have a better feeling of why so many people are so addicted to it. And, it's good to see what all my great J-school friends are up to (since we don't have regular school contact until September).

If you are on Twitter, feel free to follow me. My name on Twitter is VERY tricky. Are you ready? It's: davidmanly

Now, for what I promised on Twitter, and have told some people about.

Because I am so bored at work, I have decided to start writing a bit of a novel. Yes, a novel. I haven't been working on it for long, and I just have the first two chapters done along with a rough plot outline.

However, I decided to put the Prelude on my blog, and see what people think. Feel free to post your comments, or email me what you think. It is by no means finished, as it is only a rough draft, and feedback is appreciated.



“It was a dark and stormy night …” laid typed on the laptop.

Wow, how unoriginal, the man at the keyboard thought in a small hotel room.

The room was your standard cheap hotel room just off the highway. Nothing fancy, besides a desk with a lamp that seemingly resembled a tortoise shell, a bed with a beige comforter and a small desk and chair.

Seriously man, he thought. A thousand monkeys typing at a hundred typewriters can write Hamlet … and you cannot even write a decent opening line!

Fed up with himself, the man deleted the sentence with a quick flick of his wrist.

Another productive night of doing nothing. An excellent waste of time of just waiting for that singular moment which will define you. That which will show everyone who you really are.

Angrily, the man stood up and walked to the window next to his desk. Without any hesitation, he flew open the yellow time-tinted blinds.

A full moon emerged from behind the dark clouds, and as the moonlight swept over him, he felt oddly nervous. Well, not nervous. More anxious. Anxious for what was to come tomorrow.

It's finally time, he thought.

All those years, all the meticulous planning. Our plan will finally come to fruition. My brother and sister will be pleased.

Now, what you must know about this man, is that he is not evil. Not by any sense of the word. He simply takes the path of least resistance, which often takes him into dark and dangerous situations that others would simply run away from in fear.

He was not one of those men.

In fact, you would be hard pressed to find someone who was less human than this man.

Whilst staring at the moon, the man began to look forward to tomorrow. Because tomorrow … tomorrow, would be his beginning. And yet, for many others, it would be their end.

And then, he smiled.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

DOH ... RAY .... EGON!

So, here's the thing. I was going to blog about everything that is wrong with my job, the people I work with, how BAD I am at ironing (I have two burns on the same arm to prove it) and the like.

That was, until, I remembered what month it is: June, 2009.

In this month, 25 years ago, something extraordinary happened. No, it's not my birthday (that's in July).

Do you want a hint?

June 8, 1984.

That's right ... GHOSTBUSTERS was released.

While I did not see it when it was out in the theatres, when I did ... it was one fo the few movies that defined by childhood. It joined the ranks of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, the Land Before Time (as a kid, who DIDN'T love that movie?) and, of course, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The movie, in case you had a deprived childhood, is about a group of paranormal scientists who decide to hunt and capture ghosts for a living, when the dead begin to rise in New York City.

I could talk about how good the movie is, my favourite characters, that my Mom made my brother and I homemade Ghosbusters outfits for Halloween when I was a young kid ... but I won't.

I will say one thing. When someone is drunk with their also drunk buddies and peeing at the side of the road ... I will bet you, someone will say, "Don't cross the stream!"

It is impossible to pick an all-time favourite quote, as there are so many. But, here are some of the best ... but, in all honesty, just go watch it. It is a classic.

Dana Barrett: Are you the Keymaster?

Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Winston Zeddemore: Ray. If someone asks if you are a god, you say, 'YES!'

And, I leave you with this. Who can forget ... the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Maybe Blanche Was Right

It’s been a very odd, yet boring week. Let me explain.

Work is … going. But, I actually got my first thing published on the web site! The link is posted at the top right of my blog. Exciting, eh?

Sadly, that is all I have noticeably added to my clippings in just over a month.

Before any of you ask, I know that it does not say my name in the article posted to your top right. It's sad, I know. But, that's how they roll, and, "the dude abides." I've been waiting to use that in a blog post!!!!

And before I forget ... a shout out to my bro! HI DANIEL!
(Told you I'd mention you in the next one ;)

Anyway, I have decided to focus on something interesting that happened recently.

Actually, interesting is not the right word … I saw something extraordinary yesterday on the bus.

On my way home from work, a very attractive blond-haired woman in a blue dress (hereby abbreviated as WiBD) walked on about two stops after me. Behind her was a woman with two children (one in a stroller, the other looked to be about six), both of which were very fussy. In her haste to get onto the bus and sit down, she ignored the cries of the six year-old to get a transfer to hold onto. When they finally sat down, the six year-old began crying very loudly for a transfer. The WiBD then, got up from her seat (which was subsequently taken by a very ungrateful person), walked over to the mother, smiled, and gave the kid her transfer. This is the conversation that followed:

WiBD – There you go, honey.
*Gave the kid the transfer*
Child – *crying stops*
YAY! Mommy!!
Look what the pretty lady gave me!!!
Mother – I saw, and I cannot thank you enough.
WiBD – It was my pleasure
Mother – But what about you? Won’t you need to pay again for the next bus without a transfer?
WiBD – It doesn’t matter, really.
It’s only three dollars.
Who cares when you get to see a child smile like that at something we take for granted?
*Kid looks up at Mother, and smiles a goofy little kid smile*

When WiBD came back and noticed that her seat was taken, I stood up and gave her mine. She initially didn’t want it, but due to my charm and persistence (or that she was tired … what do I know?), she eventually took it, and we had a little conversation.

A few minutes later, a seat opened up near the front of the bus, and she went up to take it after thanking me once again.
The, the very next stop, a woman in a wheelchair got on and WiBD immediately got to her seat (which was part of the lift-up wheelchair seat), and lifted up the seats to make room for the wheelchair.

Then, she walked right by me, and gave me a very subtle wink and a smile, before getting off at the next stop.

Some people, eh?

It is amazing what some people do just altruistically. Altruism is doing something for the good of someone else with no gain, or a significant drawback for yourself.

Here are some examples (found in animals … of course). Thanks to Wikipedia and various other internet sites/books for some of the information.

- Dogs will often adopt other animals as their own (such as cats, squirrels ducks, and in one case, a tiger!)
- Dolphins will support sick or injured animals by actually pushing them to the surface so they can breathe … sometimes for hours
- Chimpanzees will help others similar to itself (even humans) without any reward
- Vampire bats have a “buddy system” according to Gerald Wilkinson, where if a bat had a successful night of feeding, it will regurgitate blood for its less fortunate companion
- Vervet monkeys will give calls to warn fellow monkeys of a predator, even though in doing so, they attract attention to themselves and increase their own chance of being attacked (same with prairie dogs and meerkats)
- Walruses will adopt orphans
- Some ants will sacrifice themselves for the good of the hive

That is all I have for now, but you all know, that no matter how monotonous my life gets ... there's always something interesting on the horizon for me.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Time For ...

I watched a lot of TV as a kid. Some crap, of course, but also a bunch of educational shows. And there were some which I started to watch as a kid cause they were funny, and continued to watch for the education presented in a unique way.

Those who know me know that Beakman's World was my favourite show as a kid, but, that's another post :)

This is devoted to a show even my Dad enjoyed .... Animaniacs (produced by Steven Spielberg).

Here are two perfect examples of how I learned US state capitals AND the nations of the world. Keep in mind, they were done in the late 80's early 90's and some, like the nations of the world song, have many errors. See if you can name the ones he DOESN'T mention.

But, just sit back, crank up the volume, and enjoy! Who knows, you might even learn something ;)

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