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The definitive host: October 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, October 24, 2009

Blood, Sweat and Journalism

This has been an exhausting week.

Let me set the stage.

I was one of the people assigned to the Multimedia Team this week, for my course about online journalism. We decided that our over-arching theme would be about the 80th anniversary of the Person's case.

For those who do not remember (such as me,until my partner informed me), in 1929, a case was presented for making women formally recognized as 'persons.' This was spearheaded by five elderly women from Alberta, known as the 'Famous Five'.

My role, along with my partner, was to create an interactive timeline of events that occurred to Canadian women.

It was a lot of work.

My partner, Sage, was great. We divided and conquered.

I took care of all the audio elements and interviews, and she took care of all the visuals.

I won't get into all the trouble we had finding sources and obtaining copyright, but it was very difficult.

On Thursday, we all met at 11:30 am to put it all together. And, other than some hiccups at the beginning, all was well.

That was, until the online application we were using decided to not cooperate. It was supposed to be able to handle multiple audio clips. But, every time you added more than one, the previous one disappeared.

So, at 6:30pm, seven hours after beginning, the decision was made to scrap the ENTIRE thing and start over using Flash.

Suffice to say, that sucked. Seven hours of work ... poof! Gone.

Credit must go to the Technical Instructor, who almost pulled an all-nighter to put it all together, as well as helped everyone else in the program with their separate multimedia elements.

The link to the multimedia elements, entitle "Tough Cookies," will be located under A Selection of my Most Recently Published Articles on the right of your screen.

Please look at the other multimedia elements by Laura and Meg, as well as all the other articles located on the capitalnews.ca website.

Ohh, and my job for the next issue? Podcast interviewer. While I haven't picked a topic yet, guess what the theme will be based around? You guess it: Science!

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Sunday, October 18, 2009


Perplexed by this blog's title? Go ahead, read it again. I can wait.

Still confused? Well, let me enlighten you.

I am almost sick, not quite, but getting there. So, I have christened myself "kinda sick." Hence the name of the blog.

What does it mean? Well, it means that I wake up with a sore throat and a massive headache, but drugs keep them at bay. I get nauseated, but carbonated soft drinks quells it. And my work has suffered.

See, I wrote a to-do list this weekend with seven things on it. How much have I crossed off completely?


But, two others are ALMOST done (just waiting for another source to contact me, and someone to proof read the second). So, I was moderately productive which, given my current state, is some what a miracle.

Other than that, nothing much is new on my end. This week is going to be a very busy one, especially tomorrow, where I have two interviews, one TA meeting and a night class. Sounds like a barrel of monkeys, right?

And now, in my kina drug-induced delirium, here is a list of my five favourite TV shows.

Top Five Shows to Watch:
5) Grey's Anatomy - It's a drama that everyone can get into. Plus, hot doctors!
4) House M.D. - House is the guy you love to hate, simple as that
3) How I Met Your Mother - Three letters sum it up: NPH
2) Castle - Nathan Fillion is amazing and Stana Katic is Canadian!
1) The Big Bang Theory - Fun, smart, hilarious and filled to the brim with science

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Flash in the Pan

Already another post? Is David actually sticking to his commitment to blogging more?

That's right folks!

Life is still moving onwards at a fever pace, and I'm just trying to survive the ride.

Just a short post today, as I have a new article to unveil :)

I'll put the link to the right of this post under "A selection of my most recently published articles." It is from my summer at NSERC regarding a new method to create paper that disinfects and purifies water of harmful bacteria.

It is entitled, "NSERC Article - BioActive Paper"

Check it out!!

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Return of the King (and new The Black chapter!)

Howdy folks!

Sorry for the long departure from my Blog, but as I have been so fond of saying as of late, "school is slowly eroding my life."

To be honest, it is not that bad, just fairly busy. And this week was a doozy.

That said, I will never go almost a month without blogging again!

So, here's a quick catch-up.

- School is progressing, but I don't get to see all the J-school friends as much, as we are all taking different classes
- I'm taking one class which is so boring, but the people (most 4th year Bachelor of Journalism students) have piqued my interest
- Night classes suck
- Have a new article up under My Most Recently Published Articles (I was the producer of a piece for a school online newspaper about election preparedness.) It went fairly well, and feel free to check out all the other stuff on the site.
- The next chapter of "The Black," entitled, "The Path," is JUST BELOW THIS!

Sorry for the long while in posting this, but I hit some writer's block. Then, I finished it and I just kept getting distracted and did not put it up. But, here it is! I hope you all enjoy it, and the next chapter will be up soon.

Chapter 5 - The Path

My life went onwards from that point pretty much as it always did. The only thing different were the occasional headaches, but I figured that everyone got those every now and again, so why worry, right?

As for what happened with Jen in the lab, I tried not to think about it. And eventually, like all things pushed to the back of your mind, it stopped coming up. That was, until eight days later.

I was in the lab, testing the memory retention of the experimental rats with a quite complex maze. The rats were rewarded with cheese once the maze was solved, and then had to repeat the maze over and over again until there were no mistakes. Then, every few days, we would test them again. If there were no errors, the mice were rewarded. If there were errors, then they repeated it again and again until there were none.

“Rat number six, placing into the maze. Starting clock,” I said into my portable voice recorder, as I picked up the rat with a number ‘6’ painted on its back.

“3….2…..1… release,” and I dropped the rat at the beginning on the maze.

“Number six is progressing nicely, as it has not required any re-training since the initial maze run. It has now reached the half-way mark, and … wait, number six has stopped moving. Come on buddy, move. Get your stupid cheese.”

“Hmmm, ok, well, I’m going to poke its back with my gloved finger, to get him moving …. No reaction. I’ll try it again, but slightly harder… No reaction.”

“Skin seems oddly soft,” I continued into my recorder. “Almost like poking oatmeal. I think something may be wrong with number six. End testing.”

As I turned off the recorder, I turned and yelled “Hey Jen! Get in here!!!! I think something may be wrong with number six!”

While I heard Jen walking towards me from the adjoining room, I leaned closer to number six, picked him up and examined him closely. His eyes were not the normal red of the test rats, they were darker. The eye was almost completely black, like something coloured it in with a marker. But the pupils, the pupils were dashing back and forth like it was still moving around the maze, instead of being stationary in my hand.

“Its eyes,” I whispered to myself. “It’s eyes. They’re black. Black. Black like I saw a week ago. The black … it’s back … the black … the black.”

As if that was some sort of trigger, my peripheral vision began to fade to black.

NO! NO! Not again! I shouted, but all that came out was the faintest of whispers. And then the pain began.

I tried to fight it, but the pain increased so fast and so strongly, that my body could not fight it. My mind, in order to protect itself, lurched into unconsciousness.

And just like before, there was darkness.

Black shadows.

White. Bright.


Where am I?

Wait, I know this place, I was camping here a month or so ago, with Rachel. This is where it ended. It was a campground just a few hours away. We went because it was going to be converted into cottages the following week.

I guess it was fitting that my heart was to be broken on a campground that was going to be torn down. Rachel always had a thing for symbolism.

And then, I heard something, so I naturally went forth to investigate. And I saw our tent; we were still sleeping beside one another. A squirrel had just dropped a nut close-by.

This must be out last day, before she broke it off.

Without warning, the green began to fade from the trees and the sunlight began to dim. All light and colour was being replaced with blackness. Within seconds, I was surrounded by darkness once again. Except this time, there were stars above my head, little pin-pricks of light.

A house came into view, with a pumpkin sitting out front, carved into the shape of a vampire. Around the house was nothingness, as if I was staring at it through a telescope. Kids dressed in colourful costumes would materialize through the darkness, walk across what I could see, and then disappear on the other side.

Then, a man approached the house dressed in a trench-coat and walking with a cane. At his mouth was a meerschaum pipe, and atop his head was a deerstalker cap.

I recognized him. He was Sherlock Holmes, or, as the case was, it was I, dressed as Holmes. This must be the night, the night I met Rachel …

I kept whispering that final word, Rachel, as I opened my eyes and realized that I lay face-down on the lab floor covered in sweat.

As I heard Jen come into the room and yell for help, my mind was still reeling from what I just saw.

Were they visions? Or just vivid memories?

Was the drug causing the same thing in me as number six?

Only one thing was certain: I was experiencing notable events of my life, in reverse order.

But if they continue, what would happen when there are no more memories left to remember?

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