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The definitive host: December 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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

"The road goes ever on and on ..."

Well, another year is drawing to a close. And what a year!

But first, the past decade has been an interesting one filled with changes for me.

In 2000, I was in high school, and was ready to start an everlasting love-affair with biology. I was always a science nerd, but high school was one of the first times I thought 'Yeah, I could do this.'

Look how far we've come.

After high-school and getting my honours bachelor of science in biology/zoology, I decided to go into writing/journalism. JOURNALISM!

Looking back, I can understand why people got so confused. Also, I was recently reminded of something my OAC English teacher said to me after we received our essays back.

She said that I was a "wordsmith," and that I have a way of making everything that I am discussing, whether talking or writing, and making it sound like it is the most important thing to know or listen to at that particular moment. While some of my professor's in J-school may not always agree with bits of that, it was nice to be reminded of that.

As for good ol' departing 2009, there is only one way I can sum-up the year, and that is through my top five movies of the year!

#5) Watchmen

Yeah, it wasn't the greatest movie out there, but it was damn good fun (especially if you've read the graphic novel, which I suggest everyone do!) The book was the only graphic novel to be named one of TIME magazine's "All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels" list. And by the way, Rorschach is the best.

#4) Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince

Yeah, it's Harry Potter. But so what? Sure they glossed over many story points, and the reveal that (SPOILER ALERT) Snape was the Half-blood Prince really didn't have the emotional impact that it had in the book. But, it was an enjoyable movie that had action, adventure, drama and comedy, which is more than I can say for most movies released in 2009.

#3) Zombieland

What an unexpectedly good movie! It has copious amounts of violence, blood, gore, humour and Woody Harrelson having probably wayyyyy too much fun in his role. If you want just a great time, see this movie. And the cameo in the film, which I will not spoil here, is A-friggin-MAZING!

#2) The Hangover

This movie was a bit of an odd one. It didn't have any big stars, and the premise seemed a bit ridiculous, but somehow, it all worked. Not only did it work, but it worked amazingly well. And Zach Galifianakis as the brother-in-law was simply fantastic to watch, and hilarious throughout the entire movie. Just watch it, and if you don't like it, even just a little, I don't think we can be friends.

#1) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

You're probably thinking: WHAT? SERIOUSLY?


I went into this movie with low expectations, thinking that it was going to be another ok animated movie. But it was great. And it had so many science jokes, I was blown away! :)

And you could tell everyone was having a great time doing voices in that movie, from the sheer fun that Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and everyone else seem to be having. And honestly, who wouldn't love a movie that had Neil Patrick Harris as a monkey, giant food falling from the sky, a guy in a literal chicken suit, and a phone-call between a son and his father attempting to send an email, which had me rolling in my seat.

Go see this movie, but PLEASE eat first. I am not joking, you will be binging for food like nobody's buisness. Head my warning!


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter activities, Ferrets and the virtues of Twitter

Every day that passes by, is another step closer to my eventual return to Ottawa and journalism.

Recently, I've been taking it easy and relaxing with friends and family.

However, do not think I've shirked my many responsibilities that I have to do when I'm home. I have started reading a book which needs to be reviewed for science journalism at the beginning of January, as well as watching my MRP footage and taking notes about the shots I took.

The worst part is watching myself doing the stand-up's and video diaries which I made in South Dakota.

It's odd watching yourself on video, and since I was the only one there, I just kept the camera running as I did take after take.

So, there are many takes of me flubbing my lines, and since the camera was running and I was miked, you can hear me talking to myself in the badlands of South Dakota. It's very funny, but at the same time, slightly cringe-inducing.

Whatever shape my MRP takes, it will be interesting, that's for sure.

I also need to start thinking about how I can set up a website for it....

Anyway, I had an interesting experience with the last article that I had to hand in for 2009.

The article was about my experiences tagging along with a company that did crime scene and biological clean-up. I really needed an outside source to discuss how important safety is in that particular industry.

I tried calling police officers and the like, but no one was getting back to me promptly. That was, until I mentioned what I was writing about on Twitter.

One of the people who I follow, and have had Twitter conversations with on various occasions, mentioned to me that she is in the industry. Not only that, she also knows a lot about the various safety concerns that can crop up.

I got a source, for a school assignment, via TWITTER! Seriously, how amazing is that???

Thank you so much, Adrianna. You saved the day! :)

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter vacation!

These past few weeks have been a blur of activity (especially that last week .. WOW!).

But, I persevered and survived it! Even have something to show for it :)

Check out the link to the right, or hyper-linked here for my recent article that I wrote for Capital News Online entitled: Coming to terms with the Senate.

While it is about the threat of Canadian Senate reform, not the most exciting topic I admit, I like to think I did a pretty good job with it.

What do you think?

Also, here is a little challenge for you called "Where's David?" Below is the link to the Editor's Notebook, and can you find where I am?

HINT: I appear twice.

Editor's Notebook

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