Boy it's been chilly in Vancouver. Maybe I've grown accustomed to the nice warm summers we've been having but I thought I sensed a bit of Winter's nip in the air today. It's particularly disheartening when it's wet, cold and still dark out but it's already 8 am.

Yet all is well when I get my early morning cup of hot cocoa! I've weened myself off of coffee. In fact, I get far too jittery to concentrate when I'm cranked up on adrenaline, chronic cortisol and caffeine to top it all off. Right now I'm sipping a large mug of thick cocoa from Soma generously sprinkled with cinnamon. It also takes some of the stress away probably because it's so very comforting.

Lets backtrack for a moment back to the first day of school at UBC--Imagine Day. I bumped into my bioinformatics prof this year, Joanne. She's part of a the Terry Project and was telling everyone about K'Naan coming to the Chan to do a talk/spoken poetry. I went and to my surprise he was extremely humble and so honest that it was really funny. He even did a couple of songs for us. I'd like to quote/paraphrase what he said as he reached behind for his Starbucks, "Now I apologize. I feel like this is the 'justice crowd'," as he raises the cup, "Sometimes you're stuck between your ideals and shit that tastes good."

Watch K'Naan at Terry UBC here.

By the way, Dr. Allen Sens in the video is an amazing instructor and is much more engaging in class. I highly suggest taking ASIC 200. It changed my approach and perception of every socio-economic-scientific issue since then. It forces me to see the bigger picture at all times.


Weekend Birding

As part of my ornithology class, we have to survey the bird population of 2 to 3 areas. While setting up our area at Pacific Spirit Park, we were lucky enough to spot a male Pilated Woodpecker.

*Apparently quite a few people we encountered at that particular park has seen it at one point or another. A few people have even tipped us off about the bird songs they hear that we haven't yet identified--like the Northern Flicker. If you see three girls standing around in a park with binoculars, please come and say hi.


Back in Action

Gee, where did the time go? I swear I had been meaning to blog (and there was so much to blog about!) but I had been so busy. Believe me, I have a million post ideas written down and floating through my mind and it's frustrating not being able to put it all down. So expect a post where it's just photos with short captions.

I wanted to start blogging again with something witty, something catchy and something to set the tone for a new (school) year but that would have taken so much effort. And it's not because I don't have a lot to say, on the contrary, I have too much to say.

"The Unicorn"
-would love to credit the artist but I lost their name so if you know who it is please let me know

Yet instead I felt compelled to post this before it totally slips mind:

Six Easy (Rainbow Colored) Pieces: Essentials Of Unicorn Physics Explained
by Richard Feynman

Publisher's Note------------------vii
Introduction by Charles T. Unicorn----ix
Moonbow Preface-----------------xix
Feynman's Preface----------------xxv
ONE: Unicorns In Motion (red)
Unicorns: how do they work?
Anatomy of a sparkle
Magic and happiness reactions

TWO: Basic Unicorns (orange)
Unicorns before the internet
Horn particles
The subatomic unicorn

THREE: Unicorns As They Relate To Other Species (yellow)
The lesser ungulates
The horned ungulates
Narwhals: a special relationsip
The pega-corn question

FOUR: Conservation Of Magical Animals (green)
Kinetic and potential unicorns
Unicorn states: full-on double rainbows and more
What happens to prismatic dung

FIVE: Unicorn Theory (blue)
Hoof motion and flight
Jewel's Law
Horn spirals as The Mandelbrot Set
The tapestry experiments
Rainbow Brite: the confusions

SIX: Unicorn Behavior (indigo/violet)
Mane mechanics
An experiment with giggling
An experiment with soft focus
An experiment with manga
First principles of total fucking awesomeness

Epilogue: They'll actually eat corn from your hand!

^ THIS being a comment for a blog post by Dave Ng who is beyond awesomeness. SOMEONE WRITE THIS BOOK!

Dave was my prof for ASIC 200 and it changed my whole university experience. Dave also blogs for the Science Creative Quarterly and has a wicked Twitter account(s). To top it all off, he's part of the Terry Project.

Appeal to your inner nerdiness and indulge in all these links -- I promise it'll be worth your time and you'll feel more intelligent, more socially conscious and wittier after reading.