All posts tagged: education

Not a Sweet Tooth – a Chocolate Tooth

I started my Not Fueled by Chocolate Diet and Exercise program in April of this year. Six months into the project – I’ve come to the realization that it is going to take a lot longer than six months to achieve my goal! That means I still can’t have a stash of dark chocolate in the house. Why?  I am  1/3 a Chocoholic. That is to say, on the few occasions I have had access to a dark chocolate bar,  I am Chocoholic Signal 1 – not particularly good at limiting my intake to, lets say, a square a day. Fortunately,  I am not Chocoholic Signal 2 – having intense cravings and Chocoholic Signal 3 – eating it despite the consequences! No, I am not inclined to nibble a mere 70 calorie chunk and be content. It takes a full 200 chocolate calories (or more) to satisfy my palate.  I’d have to add another 3 miles of walking a day to make that calorie neutral. That isn’t going to happen, which brings me back to …

Where is Your Codex Vitae?

Is Codex Vitae a technical term for a part of your body or does it sound like a disease?  To answer that, I’m going to start you with Twitter, drag you through YouTube, and deposit you in a Book. Twitter – What do you Seek? Twitter receives a lot of criticism, but like everything else on the internet, the value is there if you take the time to look around. Think of Twitter as an almost endless series of doors. You open one door and if you don’t find anything of value, you can close it – but you might find another door there that is of more value to you.   It is through this exploration of doors that I have found a growing movement of people who don’t identify with ‘tribes’. They are open to listening to others they may not agree with. They have discussions and share ideas. Many of these people can be found at the Intellectual Dark Web Site. It’s the great agony and the ecstasy of the Internet today. …

The Race is On – Fall Harvest

Alberta has 21 million hectares (52 million acres) of agriculture land that is used for farming and ranching. Wheat, barley, canola, oats, rye, dry peas, lentils, flax, dry beans and potatoes are the primary crops. An Alberta Harvest – past and present. Irricana’s Pioneer Acres hosts an annual Farm Days which features working demonstrations of  the farm equipment that would have been used by our grandfathers and great grandfathers. This photo shows a wagon, a stationary thresher machine (which separates the grain from the straw and chaff) and a grain truck. The thresher is powered by a tractor (not shown). Today, harvesting is done by self propelled Combines that cut the crop and threshes it. The combine doesn’t even have to stop moving to transfer the grain to trucks. This is one of three combines that harvested the quarter section behind our place yesterday afternoon. It was a dusty day for everyone within a mile of the action (but probably not for the driver!) Farming has always been a risky business and that is no …

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.) If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone. I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the …

Not Fueled by Chocolate

As I slide towards another birthday, I am reminded that increasing age diminishes my ability to shed those extra pounds that cluster around the part of my body that makes me look like a pear. An unfortunate side effect of getting older is that it is getting harder to maintain anything remotely resembling an hour glass figure. A brisk thirty minute walk in the morning and forty-five minutes at the gym after lunch just isn’t enough exercise to make my clothes feel ‘less snug’. I’ve been forced to cut calories too, starting with the ultimate sacrifice – no dark chocolate snacks until the pudginess is brought into submission again. For some indefinite amount of time, my blog writing will ‘Not Be Fueled by Chocolate.’ There are any number of articles and advertisements that suggest how to lose weight (many are for bogus diets or are designed to drain your bank account), but it is only in the last few years that researchers have identified how our body fat makes us fat. With the rise in …

The Quippery

Increase Your Chances of Being Right

In “post-fact culture”, where rationality seems to vanish in the storms of lies and conspiracy theories, beliefs about the future are crucial. – Gapminder Data System – Are you smarter than a chimp? Watch this funny, entertaining and encouraging video to see how your knowledge compares to the chimps at the zoo. How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant. – TED Talk by the Gapminder Founders – What facts surprised you or made you think more positively about the future of the world?

Well of Lost Thoughts – 2017

When I find ideas that speak to me, but I’m not ready to blog about them,  I save them on my Fueled by Chocolate ‘Well of Lost Thoughts’ Facebook Page. Here are just a few of the ones I have ‘rescued’ from there to share with you. How Cold was our Christmas this Year? “On Boxing Day, extreme cold warnings were issued for a section of Canada stretching from the Alberta/B.C. border all the way to the St. Lawrence River. That’s a swath of Canada roughly 3,500 km wide.” from the National Post: Mars and the North Pole are warmer than Winnipeg It was -30C (-22F) here at the Red House on Boxing Day (December 26). It takes a lot of fuel to heat our country in the winter – renewable resources are not going to be able to provide that much energy in the near term. In the meantime, we depend on fossil fuels. This video by Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans, (filmed near Devon, Alberta on May 30, 2004) is a favourite …

The Quippery

Local Libraries, Books and the Guerrilla Librarian

In ‘The Alphabet and Good Intentions’ I explained the rather unique book filing system that our local librarians use. On occasion, this drives me to distraction – so last week I kind of refiled all the John Grisham’s. Now his books are in two locations instead of four. I suppose I could ask to be a volunteer at this library, but I’ve met a few of the other volunteers, and they are not a very flexible group of women, (either in the way they run the library, or in their ability to reach to the top and bottom shelves – they are quite a bit older than me…).  I have decided I am much more suited to being a guerrilla librarian. I found other references to just this kind of activity: “…Maxwell had also found a vocation of sorts, unpaid but satisfying, even addicting. He moved library books.” Though the author of this story isn’t stated, the blog post with the rest of the story is here, and it is quite fun:  Swiss Army Librarian. …

thinking hat

More Puns – What These Words Can Also Mean!

Can you look deep inside a word and find another meaning? ABASEMENT: Where the furnace is located. ABDICATE: to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach. AFTERMATH: Relaxation after algebra class. ALARMS: What an octopus is. ARBITRATOR: A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonalds AVOIDABLE: What the bullfighter tried to do. BALDERDASH: A rapidly receding hairline. BARIUM: What the undertaker usually does. BAROQUE: When I spend more than I make. BERNADETTE: The act of torching a mortgage. BUCCANEER: The price of a cob of corn. BURGLARIZE: What a crook sees with. CANTALOUPE: When you can’t run off and get married. CARNATION: Place where every citizen owns an automobile. CATALOGS: Material used to build cow fences. CAUTERIZE: Made eye contact with a woman. COFFEE: The person you coughed on. COLANDER: Someone who arrives on the same plane as you did. COUNTERFEITERS: Workers who put together kitchen countertops. CYTOLOGY: The study of real estate. DIPLOMA: Da’ man who fixes da’ pipes DOCKYARD: A physician’s garden. ECLIPSE: What a barber does. FLATULENCE: Emergency …

grinning

From Rags to Riches – the Spam Way

I opened a few Gmail accounts a while back – I am migrating from Hotmail to Gmail, though for the life of me I can’t remember what prompted me to do that. Regardless of the reason, I have never checked the Spam box of my Gmail account until today. Imagine my surprise when I discovered all the ways I could be a wealthy woman if I simply follow the instructions in these emails: 1. If I can just help out Mrs.Fatoumata Zongo, the wife to the deceased former Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa, I will get 30% of  US $7 million. Her husband was the linkman between the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country. He died from cardiac arrest, though she doesn’t say whether that might have been just after a bullet or an arrow pierced his heart. I suggest this because it appears like Mr. Zongo was a bit of a shady character. He seems to have skimmed the …

Pronunciation Test: Escape or Es-ca-pay?

There is a hill behind the cabin and at the very top is a huge pasture. We often see horses up there, yet we never see them down in our valley. I don’t really understand why they don’t escape from their confines – the fence is down in many places. I suppose, to the horses, the grass is simply not greener on the other side of the fence. They do not want to ‘es-ca-pay’! Dory: [Reading a sign on a door] Hey, look. “Es-ca-pay”! Hey, it’s spelled just like escape. – Dory the Blue Tang fish in the movie ‘Finding Nemo’ – I always thought that Ford Motors should have used Dory’s mispronunciation of ‘Escape’ to promote their Ford Escape.  ‘Es-ca-pay’ sounds so much more daring than plain old ‘escape’. When we were living in the Middle East, I drove a bright red Jeep Cherokee. One day a British women approached me (and my Jeep) and said, “Oh, I just love your Chur-o-key!” It took me a few seconds to realize that she was referring …

computer desk paper

Cna Yuo Raed Tihs? (A Spam Story)

How often have you received this email, or one like it? Can you raed this? Olny 55 people out of 100 can. If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends with ‘yes’ in the subject line. Only great minds can read this. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. How often have you read the email and then sent it off to your friends to show them that you are one of those 55 folks with a great mind? I’ve received this email more times than I can count, and each time it is embellished a bit more. The one in my inbox this morning told me that …

Digital Afterlife – Death and an Exit Strategy

The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife — a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it’s being held. – Woody Allen – I’ve been thinking about Death lately. Not mine, specifically. Others. We’re spending part of the winter in Arizona, and most of our closest neighbours are considerably older than us. I fully expect to see a decline in the number of occupants at any time. Emergency Services/The Fire Department have been on our street twice so far, but one time was to remove a rattlesnake from a garage and the other was to put a new key in the lock box just outside our front door. The Fire Department seems to only have one daily driver – a big shiny fire truck – so when the truck, and two or three burly young firemen arrive in our tiny cul-de-sac, it is quite the production. I’ve also …

How to Insert Bold Quotation Marks

There are three ways, at least, for adding quotation marks to a Blockquote. The first is the easiest – you just type them where you want them to go. The second and third ways are achieved by writing CSS rules for Styling a Blockquote. If you have a WordPress.com theme, you will have to purchase the CSS upgrade before you can make these changes permanent. This option gives you many style upgrades, even if you never touch the CSS Stylesheet Editor. You write the CSS in the Stylesheet Editor. Go to your Dashboard and click on Appearance – Customize – CSS. Technique 1: Using the before selector to automatically add quotation marks to a blockquote. The theme used a before selector that contained content: ‘\0201C’; I added the CSS  (in italics below) to do three things: I added the border with the blockquote { selector. I moved the blockquote right and changed the background color with the .site-content .entry-content blockquote { selector. I moved the existing blockquotes built into the theme to the left with …

wordle fat synonyms

The 1 Weird Old Tip Scam

Nothing irritates me more than a certain ad on webpages. You know the one – a belly that inflates and deflates. “Cut down a bit of your belly everyday by following this 1 weird old tip.” I have ignored the ad until today. Today I wanted to find out just how weird this tip could be. Would it be as simple as My Strawberry Diet (which was not really so much a diet as a matter of eating a bunch of strawberries and working hard all week.) So I clicked the picture. This led me into the world of those who would like me to believe that the answer to the obesity epidemic is the African Mango Diet. If you had clicked the ad, you would likely have been led to a different weird old tip because the same ad is linked to any number of other small diet-product sellers. (If you are interested in how these diet scams work and what the Federal Trade Commission is doing about it, there are a few stories …

Hands – Both Human and Card

The Older Teacher: You have 14 points showing. What do you want to do? The Younger Student: Go Fish? Card games, or any game really, are wonderful tools for teaching children how to do something and how to lose.  Where else can a person learn how to push the envelope without being fearful of the consequences? How else can a child learn that winning isn’t what life is all about – being in the game is what is really important! One of the world’s most popular entertainments is a deck of cards, which contains thirteen each of four suits, highlighted by kings, queens and jacks, who are possibly the queen’s younger, more attractive boyfriends. – Lemony Snicket – The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the chip was a genius. -Julius “Big Julie” Weintraub – One of the world’s most tiresome questions is what object one would bring to a desert island, because people always answer “a deck of cards” or “Anna Karenina” when the obvious answer is ‘a well …

The Quippery

Punctuation – Exclamation Marks Aren’t All Bad!

I happen to like the Exclamation Mark. Most writers say it denotes strong feelings or even high volume (shouting), but to me it is just my preferred alternative to the lackluster presence of a period. As an example, here is one of my recent comment replies.  I could have written it this way: It will be unfortunate if all your flowers get frozen. But I wrote it this way: It will be unfortunate if all your flowers get frozen! I’m sure you understand that I wasn’t shouting when I used the exclamation mark. Did I have real strong feelings? Not really. I just thought that frozen flowers deserved more than a quiet period. I am, of course, woefully mistaken in my use of the Exclamation Mark. Real writers have horrible things to say about people like me. Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. – F. Scott Fitzgerald – And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants …

Origami – The Math of Fortune Telling

“Pick a colour!” “Red.” Schoop, schoop, schoop. (This is the best I can do at describing the sound made when a Paper Fortune Teller is manipulated.) “Pick a number!” “Six.” Schoop, schoop, schoop, schoop, schoop, schoop. “Pick another Number, and I’ll reveal your fortune!” “Two.” The flap with the number two is unfolded and the fortune is read: “You may be small but your ideas will be BIG!” If I had received this fortune when I was a kid, would I have thought it was hokey? Or would I have thought ‘When I grow up I’m going to share all my BIG thoughts on a blog, which will be read by very few people, but I won’t care because…’  Of course, when I was a kid there was no internet and therefore no blogs, and I certainly didn’t think I was going to remain small, so I would have thought it was a dumb fortune. But this was the fortune I got when I downloaded, and made a Paper Fortune Teller plan posted by the …

The Stop Online Piracy Act

I’m a day late getting to the SOPA/PIPA Protest. I spent Blackout Day trying to find a comfortable position. My back and shoulders suddenly decided to go on strike against the rest of my body, and the picket lines they erected made life for the whole gang pretty uncomfortable. I alternated between lying down, sitting up, wandering around, ice packs, pain killers, and the odd dose of dark chocolate. Things have settled down a bit today, so I can spend some time thinking about my position on the Stop Online Piracy Act. The goal of the United States House of Representatives seems worthy enough. In the briefest terms, the intent of it is: “… H.R. 3261 allows the Attorney General to seek injunctions against foreign websites that steal and sell American innovations and products.” The devil is in the details and the enforcing of this legislation could possibly restrict the rights and freedoms of  everyone, not just the pirates. In the end, the pirates will find other ways to keep doing business, leaving those who …

The Alphabet has 26 Useful Letters, But Some are More Popular

I’ve came to the conclusion that while the English language contains 26 Useful Letters, certain letters receive disproportional attention. Generally they are the ones at the beginning of the alphabet. When I was in school, teachers used children’s last names, in alphabetical order, to assign tasks. These included going up to the blackboard to do a tricky bit of arithmetic, or running an important errand. Often the teacher started at the beginning of the alphabet with each new day. My last name came near the end of the alphabet, which was a mixed blessing. Sometimes the bell rang before it was my turn to go to the board. But sometimes it meant I never got picked to do delivery jobs that got me out of class. The dictionary plays up the fact that some letters are more special than others. My copy of Webster’s has lovely incised tabs, and it allots one whole tab to each of the first three letters – A, B and C. Only one other letter receives the same attention – …