Punda Malidadi

Sunday, June 26, 2005

C.S.I., Third Season

Screw the third season. Seriously. What on earth have they done to Gil Grissom? He used to be a gray-haired socially awkward pale geek who liked to play with bugs, and that was majorly hot. But Hollywood has caught on to the fact that their muscular young C.S.I. Nick Stokes wasn't really the one who caught women's fancy, and then tried to capitalize on that.

How, you ask?

By giving Grissom some tight shirts, a fake tan, dyed black hair and a goatee, letting him say smooth lines, and making all the female characters fall in love with him.

I mean, fuck that. As far as I'm concerned, Gil Grissom dies at the end of Season 2.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Do You Know What Arrogance Is?

It's when you apologize for not having blogged for a few days. I mean, gee, all the pain that causes!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

To His Coy Mistress

...or, as I like to call it: Sleep with me *now*(you might be dead tomorrow)

by Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime,
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Should'st rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
A hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze,
Two hundred years to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest.
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near,
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Not in thy marble vault shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning glew
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like amourous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

"Who Says a Woman Can't Be Einstein?"

Well, I do, because Einstein was a man. And he's dead.

On a more serious note, this was the title of a rather interesting TIME article in March that I recently had the pleasure to remove from a Royal Alexandra Hospital waiting room. It was subtitled The Real Truth About Women's Brains and the Gender Gap in Science.

Apparently, Harvard University President Larry Summers recently held a speech claiming that he thinks the reasons for the gender gap in science are, in order of importance, and quoted from the article:

1) Women are just not so interested as men in making the sacrifices required by high-powered jobs

2) Men have more "intrinsic aptitude" for high level science

3) Women may be victims of old-fashioned discrimination

I'm especially liking the "may" in the 3rd reason, and its absence in the first two.

But apart from discovering that the president of Harvard is allowed to make blatantly sexist statements like that and still remain in office, the article talks about the newest discoveries that have been made in the last decade or so with and advancement of brain imaging methods.

Here are a few interesting tidbits, that I think everybody should reflect about a bit:

1. There are real differences between the male and the female brain- more than we thought there were a decade ago; after all, the brain *is* a sex organ.

2. These differences don't necessarily change our behaviour, as men and women perform equally on IQ tests. They might change how we go about solving the same problems, though.

3. There are some major differences in perceptive ability, for example in the retina: men have more cells that detect movement and spatial perception, and women have more cells responsible for determining the colour and the texture of an object. These different "feeds" cause real differences over time, as

4. Brains change constantly due to life style. This means that our social makeup reinforces differences and changes brain structure accordingly. For example, female students perform equally on Math tests in grade 4, but are left far behind by the time they leave High School.

5. Research also indicates that girls and boys develop regions of the brain in a different order, but in the end, there is not really an absoulute difference. However, since boys and girls are treated equally and are asked to perform equally at the same ages, girls start hating science and math and boys start hating language arts. These preferences contribute to identity formation and aren't challenged later on in life, giving the impression that they are permanent.
(On that note, when packing for my upcoming move yesterday, I found my old report cards. Math was always a tad worse than my other grades, but the first course here at University I aced with an A+)

6. The moral goes along the line that we should neither try to eradicate gender differences nor celebrate them, but create an environment in which differences don't become limiting and are not reinforced artificially.

I liked that article. That's why I sto...uh, removed it.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Apologies to Tim Schneider

He had legitimate and unforeseeable reasons for not being at council. I stand corrected and hereby remove him from blacklist.

Surprise- The Pope is a Catholic!

Alright, I admit I stole that line from somewhere when I read up on him.

A few days ago, the Pope spoke out and condemned not only gay marriage and abortion(which was to be expected), but also masturbation, premarital sex, and cohabiting before marriage.

Now I know most of them crazy fundamentalists in the American South aren't catholic, but masturbation and premarital sex are clearly condemned in the bible. Question is, why don't they put a law forward to ban premarital sex, making it illegal? And what about masturbation? Or cohabiting? That would be so easy to enforce! Every couple who wants to rent a place needs to provide documentation of marriage!

Oh, right, I know why. Because they don't like to have rights taken away from them, just like every fucking body else.

On that note, it is interesting to see that while the pope condemned all kinds of things, it is always the gay people that are picked on in headlines- read Dan Savage on this topic (It's the last column, but read all of them- they're quite interesting).

Oh, and Ratzinger- you are hereby a dead Kraut to me. Along with that nutcase Angela Merkel.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

We Didn't Make Quorum So We Couldn't Change Quorum.

That's just dandy. I mean, seriously, people, I have a paper due tomorrow that I have yet to start writing, but still, here I am, taking time out of my busy schedule to....uh....blog.

But, mind you, I was at council before that.



prox·y [próksee] (plural prox·ies) noun

1. function or power of substitute: the function, power, or capacity to act of a deputy authorized to substitute for another

2. somebody acting as substitute: somebody authorized to substitute for somebody else

3. authorization document for stand-in: a document authorizing somebody to act for another person

4. LAW, STOCK EXCHANGE document authorizing vote on another’s stock: a document authorizing somebody to vote on matters of corporate stock on behalf of somebody else

[15th century. From medieval Latin procuratia, alteration of Latin procuratio, "care, management," from procurare, "to take care of."]

Now on my black list:

  • Dane Bullerwell(but only kind of, because he's already a proxy and therefore can't get one)
  • Jamaal Montasser
  • Tim Schneider
  • everybody else who wasn't there, but especially the last two, because they should know better.

Redeem yourself, I say!

Monday, June 13, 2005

News From My Writing Teacher

So I ran into him in HUB mall today after running to hand in my paper on time, and generally having had a really crappy day that will turn into a crappy week. I mean, am I ever partying this Friday when all that silly paper writing and stuff is over! But I digress.

The following conversation ensued:

M.L(cheerfully): "Hey, Catrin, how are you? Enjoying your summer?"

C.B(wearily): "Yeah, kind of. I'm taking full time classes."

M.L.(half inquisitively, half jokingly): "So did you enjoy WRITE 298, or was it a pain to get through?"

C.B.(truthfully): "Yes, I enjoyed it. All of my other classes were more of a pain to get through than this one."

M.L.(condescendingly): "I mean, you did just fine, right? A B or something?"

C.B. (coldly): "It was a B+, and one of the worst grades of my University career."

M.L.(consolingly): "It's really hard to get a good mark in non-fiction writing. I handed in 50 grades this term and only one A-. Everything else was worse."

C.B. (sceptically): "Ok."

M.L.(small talkingly): "So, are you still doing some writing?"

C.B.(seeing her chance at revenge): "Actually, I did quite a bit of blogging about you during class. People loved it."

M.L.(raising eyebrows): "Oh, really? What kind of stuff did you write?"

C.B. (smiling): "Oh, mostly funny stuff, that is mainly the truth about what classes were like."

M.L. (looking to a side): "Oh. Anything else?"

C.B. (shrugging her shoulders): "I guess I'm taking playwriting and screenwriting next year, because there is only one section of WRITE 398."

M.L.: "Yes, I had actually asked the department to offer another section and I offered to teach it too, but they wouldn't."

C.B.: " Yeah, and I don't think I would like the teacher from what I've heard about her."

M.L.(with glee): "I didn't even realize she was back. She used to be on disability leave because she couldn't manage to teach any more."


M.L.(adding, with disgust): "Her classes are kind of like art projects, with lots of emotional sharing."

C.B. (shakes head disapprovingly): "Yeah, so I've heard. That is why I'm not enrolled in that class. I read it on ratemyprof.com. Have you ever been to the site? "

M.L.(shrugs): "No, I've heard about it, but I've been told it's a waste of time since it isn't moderated at all and anybody can post about anyone."

C.B. (encouragingly):"You really should go there- I've found it quite insightful at times. Also, there's lots of stuff about you..."

M.L.: "I should start a site up for you and then pose as all of your former professors. I even know what I'll write: 'Calls drunk at 1 am from the bar to get extensions. I will not put up with behaviour like hers ever again.' "

C.B.(angrily): "Hey, that's not true!"

M.L.(cheerfully, trying to make a point): "But who will know if I make a lot of posts under different pseudonyms?"

C.B.:"I think you're overestimating how much students care. We're busy enough without posting made-up stuff about professors on a site that doesn't lead to any consequences for them."

M.L.(seeing that I won the argument, changing topic): "So, you're doing a B.A. in Political Science?"

C.B.(annoyedly): "No. It's in International Development."

M.L. (thinking: 'same shit, different pile'): "Oh really? Are you planning to go to Grad school?"

C.B.: "Yes, probably something."

M.L. (out of the nothing): "You should go to an Ivy League school. Then you don't need to be good at things, and doors will open for you just because you went there."

C.B.: "I don't think so."

M.L.: "You should think about it. People who go to Ivy schools are recognized just for that alone."

C.B.: "First of all, my GPA isn't as good as it used to be, so I would never get in. Secondly, I dont care about being recognized- it's not one of the goals I have in life."

M.L. "Be selfish. Stop all that volunteer work, and get that GPA. Once you're in, you don't even need to work very hard, you just have to graduate."

C.B.: "I find most of my courses useless and most of the papers I write are a waste of time. I don't think you realize how uninspired teaching is at this university."

M.L.(pleadingly):"But think about it! Then you could be on the Yale Rowing Team."

C.B.(incredulously):"Yeah, I, uh, don't see my life going that way. I'll see you later."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I'm supposed to write a paper right now, but in my research, I've come across something that 's too good to keep it from you.

I am doing this media report for my sociology class, and I decided to do it on women's magazines(yes, I know it's lame and everybody is going to do that, but hey, at least I'll probably compare favourably, suggests my ego). One of the magazines I am analyzing for it is called bitch(It's a noun, it's a verb, it's a magazine- feminist response to pop culture).

When I first saw the title, I was mightily turned off, but as soon as I read the intelligent, funny, and sarcastic analysis, I was mightily turned on.

I mean, one of their articles is titled: "It's reigning men- sausage party politics and the rise of the dude".

Go buy one- Earth's General store has it, but I suspect you can even get it at Chapter's.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I wonder...

Do You Even Know Me At All?

Attack of the Nerds!

I look downright scary. My friend Cindy made us put these on at a party, and she had liquor to back her demands up with. After that, on our way to Scholar's, we were invited into some random drunk guys' backyard and played Frisbee with them, until they discovered about Steve and the legacy fund, and proceeded to sit him down in front of them on a plastic lawn chair(they were all standing) to explain himself.

Oh, fun and lots of wild gesturing was to be had, as well as blue coolers.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Yeah, How *do* men see me?

Men See You As Choosy

Men notice you light years before you notice them.
You take a selective approach to dating, and you can afford to be picky.
You aren't looking for a quick flirt - but a memorable encounter.
It may take men a while to ask you out, but it's worth the wait.

How Do Men See You?

Which Superheroine Are You?

'Cause I am Lara Croft.

My Element is Fire

My power color: red

My energy: hot

My season: spring

"Like a fire, you are full of power and light. A born leader, you easily draw people toward you.
You are full of courage and usually up for anything dangerous.
You have a huge ego and love to be the center of attention."

What Element Are You?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

MSN Pillow Talk

Catrin - Rat Inc. says:
Oh, and I see you kind of borrowed my line of reasoning on the webboard...
Steve Smith - Uterine Blitzkrieg says:
On statutory interpretation?
Catrin - Rat Inc. says:
Steve Smith - Uterine Blitzkrieg says:
I like to think that I came to the same conclusion independently, and that this just happened to occur after you gave me yours.
Catrin - Rat Inc. says:
I am saving this conversation for the record.
Steve Smith - Uterine Blitzkrieg says:
Catrin - Rat Inc. says:
Say something perverted.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Schultze Gets The Blues

...is the title of a German movie- supposedly a huge success at the German box office. It's about a geeky saltmine worker who loves to play the accordeon and travels to the US, where he falls in love with the Blues.
It's on every day at 9pm at the Princess. Will somebody come with me? I promise next time a movie about *your* ethnic background is playing, I'll come with you too!

Oh, and view the trailer here (Quicktime medium speed).

Monday, June 06, 2005

So I changed my format...

...but I'm not really sure if I'm liking it or not. I definitely wanted green, but this is somehow boring. Luckily enough, Chris Chan is coming over tonight for cooking and I will somehow bully him into personalizing it for me. So, stay tuned!

Oh, and I knew I had arrived in blog Valhalla when somebody found this site by googling "worst blog on the Internet".

Sunday, June 05, 2005

At my first GFC meeting...

...there was a little reception honouring outgoing University of Alberta President Rod Fraser. He walked around and talked to everybody, and after a little while got around to talking to me. After inquiring as to my major(International Development), he wanted to talk about the problem of Aids in Africa from his Health Care Economist perspective. I happily obliged, and he made some argument about scientists not being sure that the retroviral cocktails really help- it sounded like he was making excuses for pharmaceutical companies upholding their copy rights in the face of this epidemic.

We talked a bit more, and then I tried to redirect the discussion to a more general ground with the question: "So, how do you reconcile the fact that under our current profit-driven research system chronic geriatric diseases that affect rich white men in industrialized countries are top priority, while infections and parasites that kill millions of 20-year olds in developing countries are neglected, because there is no funding for it and no money to be made from it?"

His answer consisted of "But there are endowment funds that support research on malaria..." Sure there are, Rod. For temporary prevention when we Northerners want to go on a Safari to Tanzania. And even if not, they're minuscule and not backed by profit incentives.

From there, our discussion went on to undergraduate education, and I told him how I've been trying to go abroad, but that we only have one exchange with Africa, and that despite the high costs of it, it is not backed with a single scholarship(The exchange is with Durban, South Africa, and the costs of flying alone are prohibitive. God, did I want to go there badly). Of course, the exchange is neglected in favour of "Go to Europe, get 2 semesters for the price of 1!" promotions.

Rod answered that he would like to give *everybody* the opportunity to go abroad, but that there's simply no money for it, but that if he could make it magically appear somewhere, he would. So I said, "Haven't we just been promised a $ 3 billion endowment fund? Do you think there's some money for sending people abroad?"

That was pretty much the extent of our conversation. Just 15 minutes ago, I saw this .

Did he know this all along? Could have dropped a hint, you know.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Ooh, Ooh, German Politics!

So, thought Germany to itself, if Canadians can have a vote of confidence, so can we!

Actually, it was more chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of the left-of-centre SPD who invoked a vote of confidence against his own party, advising his own MPs to vote against him, so he can trigger an early election which he thinks he's more likely to win than the constitutionally mandated one in 2006. Unlike in Canada, elections cannot be called, and this loophole is the only way to get around the fixed date.

Also, for those of you who don't know about German parties:

German Parliament(Bundestag) has 601 seats total. A governing Coalition exists between the Green Party(Die Gruenen, 55 seats) and the Social Democrats(SPD, but they really aren't very social at all anymore, though still supposedly left of centre, 249 seats), and then essentially there is the opposition of the Christian Democratic Union(CDU, quite right of centre, 247 seats- and don't you just love how they have a Union in their name for good measure? Why, by that standard you might as well call a party the Progressive Conservatives!) and then the Liberals(47 seats) and three independents.

The CDU has also just made a woman their candidate for Chancellor(head of government; the president is merely the head of state and fulfills the usual purely representative funcion of one). Her name is Angela Merkel, she is from former East Germany, and mainly known for her eternal bad hair(which shows how sexist the media are).

Here's a little illustration of why I am panicking as of right now- and excerpt taken from an article in the Globe&Mail:

"She is everything that German politicians these days are not: a conservative, a former East German, an outspoken fan of George W. Bush, unmarried, unstylish, inflexible, female, boring...he[Schroeder] will be fighting an aggressive campaign led by Ms. Merkel to turn Germany's economy into a U.S.-style environment of low taxes and low benefits...Being both a woman and a Protestant makes her an oddity in Christian Democrat circles, which retain a traditionalist machismo that has disappeared from most other arenas of European politics. The fact that she is a divorcée and a figure who does not pretend to be charismatic -- she is famous in Germany for her odd soup-bowl haircuts -- lends her an air of authenticity that seems to have helped her cause. Recent opinion polls show that Germans trust her more than other politicians, though a poll late last year showed that people find her "boring."This summer's election will almost certainly be a showdown between her vision of lower unemployment and Mr. Schroeder's efforts to maintain Germany's social-safety net."

Somebody buy me a ticket to Germany! I need to go volunteer. For any of her opponents that will have me.

Now *that* I call a political protest.

And if you don't get it: read the post about German politics.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

And Thus, a New Tradition Was Born

...which is posting funny pictures of people, of course.

(Coming soon: Attack of the Nerds.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Lion King

I couldn't think of anything funny to write, and as many people have told me they visit my blog mainly for laughs, I decided to post a funny picture of myself. An old friend from Germany emailed it to me this morning, with an Re: line of "Hahahahahaha!"


Alright, I admit it's funny.