Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How much is a tomato worth?

In Uncategorized on 10/13/2007 at 1:00 pm

Recently a column appeared in my local Vancouver Sun newspaper about the trend of eating locally grown food. The author began by describing some municipal initiatives to encourage growing local food and then arrived at the thesis of his article: “The eat-locally, grow-your-own phenomenon isn’t about access to affordable food, it’s about smashing the capitalist system.”

At first, I thought it was some kind of joke. But the author went on to describe basic theories from Economics 101 like “comparative advantage” to show how nations that specialize in what they make most efficiently and then trade with other nations that also specialize in what they make most efficiently, end up with more stuff than if they each made those same things on their own.

His point relating to local food was that most of us don’t grow our own food because it’s cheaper (or maybe he means easier, since theoretically you could grow food for close to free) to buy it from someone who can do it more efficiently than you. Thus, he concludes, “Buy local campaigns are attempts to disrupt international trade.”

If this sounds nuts, that’s because it is. I’m sure the nice elderly lady down the street isn’t thinking, “Screw the Chinese!” as she harvests fresh, tasty snap peas from her community garden, there’s a bigger issue here: Our current economic system by and large completely ignores important facets of life that are worth a great deal, but have never been assigned a monetary value.

Consider this sentence from the column: “The tomato you grow yourself may seem to taste better than store-bought but it won’t be cheaper.” Note the word “seem”, as though the tomato doesn’t actually taste better, it only seems to – presumably because of the satisfaction you received from growing it. But even if that is the case, then you still enjoyed growing the tomato in the first place – and isn’t that worth something? Why is it okay to put a dollar value on our labour, but not our pleasure?

And this is the problem. Only things that you can actually buy have a monetary value. So the value of a tomato is only what someone will pay for it. Not in the satisfaction of watching it grow, or the feel of the earth between your fingers when you plant it, or the warmth of the juice from the summer-ripened fruit when you bite down on it. None of these things have value because you can’t buy them.

Another thing that isn’t valued in our economic system is nature. More specifically, natural services like cleaning our air and water and providing a stable climate. Things grown halfway around the world and flown to our doorsteps get a lot more expensive if you actually include the cost of the damage this does to our atmosphere. So we cannot know the real price of our food unless we do full-cost accounting, which considers all of these factors that traditional economics considers “externalities.” Even then, we still haven’t factored in the value of community, of spending time outdoors with friends and family, and so on, that you might get from growing your own food. What are these things worth?

Needless to say, the article had me pretty depressed. Is this how people think? But then an amazing thing happened. I picked up the newspaper a couple of days later and there they were – letters. A whole page of them, in fact, from people who thought the original column was off-base, too. Each of them pointed out various flaws, but all got at the same thing: our economy is a social construct that depends on the environment and our values, not the other way around.

Reading those letters gave me hope. People get it. And more and more of them are getting it every day. Obviously, we still have a long way to go as a society, but simplistic economics that devalue some of the most important things in life are finally going the way of the dinosaur. And that’s as it should be, because human life does not begin and end with a dollar sign.


In Uncategorized on 10/01/2007 at 4:09 am

And now, just when you thought life couldn’t get any better (yea right), here come news flash we’re all waiting for,

Imperfect Students Wanted
Word on the street is that it’s OK to stop pretending like you’re perfect. According to Jess Lord, dean of admission and financial aid at Haverford College (no not Harvard, and sadly nor McGill), “everybody’s imperfect. Since that’s true for all (students), those that portray that aspect of themselves are that much more authentic.”As colleges continue to search for unique applicants with distinguishing characteristics, some counselors say that coming across as “too perfect” only makes you sound robotic and insincere. Steven Roy Goodman, an independent college counselor, even goes as far as telling his students to make a deliberate mistake in their applications. “Sometimes it’s a typo,” he says. “It’s pretty easy to fall into that trap of trying to do everything perfectly and there’s no spark left.”

uhmm… rrrrright. why don’t you all try it and let me know how it turns out ;~)

run cody run…

In Uncategorized on 07/14/2007 at 1:38 pm

Oh boy, so really we do understand no one out there wants to see a little peewee jock in action, after all greater events are happening around the world (at least in theory) , and even here at amazing McGill, we have the kick ass McGill Redmen Football team, but.. ya need to check out this 8yr old prodigy in action. He shows talent, poise, and most of all mental maturity far beyond his years. Watch for the part near the end after a field long rush touchdown where Cody calmly hands the ball back to the ref and then taps his hips to signal teammate for the twist hip airbump 🙂 No histrionics, overblown celebrations, rubbing the goal in the opposing team’s faces. Ego ridden jocks should take note. Now if only his parents are as centered as the kid…

Cody’s runs

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Deascript: LOS ALAMITOS GRIFFINS, 15-0 NATIONAL CHAMPS, Cody Paul#5 highlight runs/TD’s/plays from the regional championship game vs. Valencia Park and 2 Championship games from the PEE-WEE Pop Warner Super Bowl in Orlando Florida 2006

thanks Commish:))

screw the metaphor…

In Uncategorized on 07/02/2007 at 3:20 pm

Stanislavski would approve…
Bale dines on bugs

‘Batman Begin’s star Christian Bale prepared to eat a bowl of live maggots in new movie ‘Rescue Dawn’ – by dining on bugs. The actor, who is famous for going to extremes for film roles, admits he taught himself to stomach maggots by feasting on cockroaches and grasshoppers.
“I bought exotic things like grasshoppers, cockroaches and all sorts of different bugs. I had bags of them, and I was eating them like potato chips. It wasn’t a huge leap to go on to maggots.” Now you see why we love him. This guy doesn’t just practice method acting, he turns it upside down and kicks it a mile down the road pretty much leaving Pitt,Clooney&Co. breathing dust.

defending the indefensible…

In Uncategorized on 07/01/2007 at 2:49 pm

By the time we reach a certain age, as in old enough to drink and enter the hallowed halls of higher learning we are supposed to know the difference between right and wrong, along with a basic conceptual understanding of what is really important in life and some reasonable empathy for owning up to our mistakes regardless of consequences.
In fact the unfortunate reality is that moral decay, unabashed greed, and blatant selfishness masquerading as an individual right is the order of the day in 2007. As a collective society it seems as if we no longer aspire to amount to Anything. All we are concerned with is the comfort of our bodily wants for the present, fuck the rest. The virtually unanimous vitriolic reaction to Ann Coulter’s admittedly provocative by design comments about the ‘greedy’ media hungry widows of 9/11 is a perfect example. If AC has one glaring fault, aside from incessant use of ‘umm’ during interviews(whats with that Ann), it’s picking on the hapless media hounds too eager to jump on the bash-Ann-Coulter bandwagon frenzy while she laughs all the way to the bank. Here’s a little piece of history, AC addressing the Johns Hopkins crowd with her typical take no prisoners attitude on racial profiling. Enough said.

parenting 101…

In Uncategorized on 06/13/2007 at 3:08 pm

just what the world needs…

In Uncategorized on 06/03/2007 at 3:58 pm

Hustler offers $1 million for sex smut on Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hustler magazine is looking for some scandalous sex in Washington again — and willing to pay for it.

“Have you had a sexual encounter with a current member of the United States Congress or a high-ranking government official?” read a full-page advertisement taken out by Larry Flynt’s pornographic magazine in Sunday’s Washington Post.

It offered $1 million for documented evidence of illicit intimate relations with a congressman, senator or other prominent officeholder. A toll-free number and e-mail address were provided. The last time Flynt made such an offer was in October 1998 during the drive to impeach President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

In the following months, the pornographic publishing mogul threatened to expose one or tow members of the Republican Congress pushing for the impeachment, according to media reports at the time. That long-awaited expose, published months after Clinton’s trial, dropped no bombshells, according to a 1999 article, but Flynt’s efforts played a role in the resignation of House-speaker designate Bob Livingston of Louisiana.

Flynt’s target this time, if he has one, was not immediately known. No word yet on exactly when Hustler plans to make the same offer directed at the McGill University Faculty… ;~)

dirty little secret…

In Uncategorized on 05/24/2007 at 3:43 pm

In a 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, epidemiologist John Ioannidis showed that among the 45 most highly cited clinical research findings of the past 15 years, 99 percent of molecular research had subsequently been refuted. Epidemiology findings had been contradicted in four-fifths of the cases he looked at, and the usually robust outcomes of clinical trials had a refutation rate of one in four.

The revelations struck a chord with the scientific community at large: A recent essay by Ioannidis simply entitled “Why most published research findings are false” has been downloaded more than 100,000 times; the Boston Globe called it “an instant cult classic.” Now in a Möbius-strip-like twist, there is a growing body of research that is investigating, analyzing, and suggesting causes and solutions for faulty research.

Two papers published this spring in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine by Benjamin Djulbegovic from the University of South Florida and Ramal Moonesinghe from the CDC have delved into the issues raised by Ioannidis and suggested possible ways to mitigate this apparent failure of scientific enterprise. One of the suggestions is to ensure that experimental results are independently replicable. “More often than not, genuine replication is not done, and what we end up with in the literature is corroboration or indirect supporting evidence,” says Moonesinghe.

The culprits appear to be the proverbial suspects: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Jonathan Sterne and George Smith, a statistician and an epidemiologist from the university of Bristol in the UK, point out in a study in British Medical Journal that “the widespread misunderstanding of statistical significance is a fundamental problem” in medical research. What’s more, the scientist’s bias may distort statistics. Pressure to publish can lead to “selective reporting;” the implication is that attention-seeking scientists are exaggerating their results far more often than the occasional, spectacular science fraud would suggest.

Cash-for-science practices between the nutrition and drug companies and the academics that conduct their research may also be playing a role. A survey of published results on beverages earlier this year found that research sponsored by industry is much more likely to report favorable findings than papers with other sources of funding. Although not a direct indication of bias, findings like these feed suspicion that the cherry-picking of data, hindrance of negative results, or adjustment of research is surreptitiously corrupting accuracy. In his essay, Ioannidis wrote, “The greater the financial and other interest and prejudices in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.”

Academic bias could also be to blame. As Ioannidis puts it, “Prestigious investigators may suppress via the peer-review process the appearance and dissemination of findings that refute their findings, thus condemning their field to perpetuate false dogma.” Advocates of prevailing paradigms have been observed to band together in opposition against alternative ideas with perhaps more antagonism than one might expect from objective scientific debate. And the opposition isn’t limited to publication of new science; jobs and grants are also more easily allocated to those affiliated with the scientific party in power.

Ioannidis is adamant that the problem is widespread. “I have heard from scientists from many different fields who think that the problems are the same in their fields as well,” he says. “This is a potentially severe crisis, unless we realize the issue and try to address it.”

With the debate over the causes and solutions of high rates of falsifiable research findings ongoing, how the problem is seen in the eyes of a skeptical public may be another issue altogether. Virginia Barbour, managing editor of PLoS Medicine, puts it simply: “In terms of perception, the point is that science doesn’t emerge from single new findings that become ‘breakthrough’ stories in the media, but rather from developments that mature over months or years, with different sources of experimental validation.”

by João Medeiros • Seed Magazine Posted May 21, 2007 05:14 PM

say it ain’t so Cate…

In Uncategorized on 05/08/2007 at 9:14 pm

Skeletal Cate Blanchett is looking a bit thin on glamour

OUch.. Now quick someone bring this chick a brainwashcafe burger she looks worse than Gollum. As anyone who has seen her on screen knows, Cate Blanchett has always been slender. But the 37-year-old actress’s gaunt appearance startled onlookers as she arrived at a benefit gala. With her collarbones protruding and looking painfully thin, the Lord Of The Rings star was barely recognisable as she walked down the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The stick-thin look was not helped by the Oscar-winner’s shock of scarlet make-up or her swept-up hair. An observer said: “Perhaps it was just an unfortunate trick of the light, but her shoulders and chest were all bony while her collarbones looked really prominent.

“More worryingly, her hair, which had been piled up into a bun, looked thin and wispy — often a sign of dramatic weight loss.” Other slender stars at the event celebrating the work of French designer Paul Poiret, who died in 1944, included Kate Moss, Lindsay Lohan and Renee Zellweger.

But the observer said: “Although Cate was apparently in good spirits, she was definitely one of the skinniest celebrities there.” The actress, once a size 12, is said to be a fan of celebrity diet guru Dr Nishi Joshu. Miss Blanchett rarely speaks about her diet and lifestyle, but she was relatively quick to lose her pregnancy weight after giving birth to her sons Dashiell John, five, and three-year-old Roman.


speaking of truth…

In Uncategorized on 05/04/2007 at 6:23 pm

Duke: 34 MBA students caught cheating

So go figure. It’s not that they were cheating or that they got caught that bothers us so much, its just… well, how blatantly stupid they were in going about the process. Seriously folks, couldn’t the bunch of finest minds at arguably one of the top schools in the country come up with something a little more refined? On a take home to boot. Sigh..

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business disciplined 34 first-year master of business administration students who were caught in the school’s largest cheating scandal.

Fuqua investigated 38 students, marketing professor Gavan J. Fitzsimmons, who oversees the school’s judicial panel, said. Four were cleared and 34 received disciplinary action ranging from expulsion to failing grades.

The allegations are the largest to hit a top US business school since 2005. Schools have been strengthening their ethics curriculums after scandals at Enron Corp. and WorldCom, which landed the firms in bankruptcy and their leaders in jail. Fuqua posts an honor code that covers cheating in every classroom.

In 2005, the Harvard Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and others rejected 150 applicants who tapped into an online database to see whether they had been accepted.

Nine students face expulsion, and 15 face a one-year suspension and a failing grade in the course. Ten others were found guilty of lesser offenses, nine of whom received a failing grade and one who flunked the assignment, Fitzsimmons said in the e-mail.

The problem came to light when a professor noticed similarities in answers by students on a take-home test.

thanks to bloomberg news

beauty or truth but not both :(

In Uncategorized on 04/22/2007 at 3:42 pm

“…For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her. But converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence — combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others — had something stimulating about it.”

…Sounds like a first-century version of the line “She’s no babe, but she does have a nice personality”.
So which average-looking lady was the Greek biographer Plutarch describing with these words? You may be surprised to learn that it was none other than the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Plutarch’s description seems a far cry from the beauty depicted in modern literature and Hollywood movies. So was Plutarch right? Or was Chaucer closer to the mark when he opined that she was “fair as is the rose in May”? Well, the recent discovery of a coin from the period may provide the definitive answer.

Antony and Cleopatra were not the handsome General and his beautiful queen Hollywood would have us believe, according to experts at Newcastle University, who have been studying the depiction of the one of history’s most tragic romantic couples found on a Roman coin.

The silver coin of Mark Antony and Cleopatra was discovered in a collection from the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, which was being researched as part of the preparations for the Great North Museum, currently under development on the site of the Hancock Museum.

Antony and Cleopatra are shown on either side of the small silver coin (pictured), which is about the size of a modern five pence piece. Cleopatra is depicted with a shallow forehead, long, pointed nose, narrow lips and a sharply pointed chin, while Mark Antony has bulging eyes, a large hooked nose and a thick neck.

Clare Pickersgill, Assistant Director of Archaeological Museums at Newcastle University, said: ‘The popular image we have of Cleopatra is that of a beautiful queen who was adored by Roman politicians and generals.

‘The relationship between Mark Antony and Cleopatra has long been romanticised by writers, artists and film-makers. Shakespeare wrote his tragedy ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ in 1608, while the Orientalist artists of the nineteenth century and the modern Hollywood depictions, such as that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1963 film have added to the idea that Cleopatra was a great beauty. Recent research would seem to disagree with this portrayal, however’, said Clare.

Lindsay Allason-Jones, Director of Archaeological Museums at Newcastle University, added: ‘The image on the coin is far from being that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton!

‘Roman writers tell us that Cleopatra was intelligent and charismatic, and that she had a seductive voice but, tellingly, they do not mention her beauty. The image of Cleopatra as a beautiful seductress is a more recent image’.

The coin is a silver denarius of Mark Antony and Cleopatra dated to 32 BC, which would have been issued by the mint of Mark Antony.

The coin itself is not enormously rare, but due to its depictions, it is very collectable. The collection has been owned by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne since the 1920s. Until now, it has been kept in a bank, but the development of the Great North Museum project (yes, that Great North project in umm…England) means that other ‘hidden gems’ like the Antony and Cleopatra coin, will be able to go on display to the public for the first time when the GNM opens in 2009

many thanks to University of Newcastle :))

power of the web…

In Uncategorized on 04/21/2007 at 6:02 pm

and we are not talking Spider Man here.

What REALLY happened at the Myspace party from hell
by NICK CRAVEN, Daily Mail
Last updated at 10:32am on 21st April 2007

Remember that advertisement for Yellow Pages from the 1990s in which a brutally hung-over young man wakes up on the sofa to recall the wild house party he threw the night before? All he had to do was let his fingers do the walking and call in a French polisher to put the damage right before his parents’ return.

But 17-year-old Rachael Bell was not so fortunate. She would have needed an army to even begin to tackle the £25,000 orgy of destruction visited upon her parents’ home in just a few hours.
An open invitation was placed on Rachael’s MySpace page for revellers to attend a ‘Skins Party’ (based on a riotous episode of the controversial C4 teen drama). The invitation was headed: “Let’s all trash the average, family-sized house disco party.”

And they did. More than 200 young people from as far afield as London and Liverpool, converged on the £230,000 detached house in a respectable culdesac in Houghton-le-Spring and destroyed it after seven hours of drink and drug-fuelled mayhem.
As Rachael’s mother Elaine, 48, so aptly put it: “The house has been raped. Every carpet’s burned where they’ve stomped out cigarettes. They’ve urinated in wardrobes, pulled my clothes out and stubbed cigarettes on them. The beds have burns, food has been smeared everywhere and messages scrawled all over the walls.”

Add to that the vomit-strewn clothing and condoms littering the bedrooms of Rachael’s three younger siblings, stolen money and jewellery and furniture damaged beyond repair. Now, primary school teacher Mrs Bell’s trust in her eldest daughter has been catastrophically shaken, as Rachael for the moment stays with a friend, too ashamed to return home. Rachael has been arrested and released on police bail as a criminal damage inquiry is under way.

Mrs Bell and her three other children are being put up in a hotel at her insurers’ expense. Worse, she fears that she may not be able to return to the house at all, following its violation. Though she is separated from her husband Alan, both parents are united in their condemnation of their daughter and the teenage hoodlums she allowed in to destroy the family home.

A-level student Rachael has insisted that – despite her mother’s strict instructions not to have anyone over while she looked after the house on Easter Monday – she invited only 40 or so friends. Then, she has told her mother, someone “hacked into” her MySpace page and suggested the ‘Skins’ theme with its invitation. From that moment on, Rachael was powerless to stop it.

Rachael, according to her account, hid in a bathroom having a “panic attack” as the uninvited mob swelled her house to breaking point.
All this would seem to exonerate Rachael as a hapless, if disobedient, victim of circumstance. But inquiries by the Mail suggest the truth may be more complex, and that Rachael’s story may amount to little more than the timeworn teenager’s excuse of “it wasn’t me”.

So what did happen before, during and after the party that so many of its attendees can barely remember, but which the residents of Chipchase Court will never forget?
Elaine Bell decided at short notice to capitalise on the glorious Bank Holiday weather by taking her three younger children to a caravan site about 15 miles away at Whitburn, a pretty coastal spot. Rachael, who ostensibly wanted to revise for her A-levels, didn’t join the family group.

“I left her with firm instructions not to have any friends round while I was away,” said Mrs Bell.

When and by whom the ‘Skins’ party invitation was added to Rachael’s MySpace entry, no one can say for sure. Her version is that an innocent announcement was sent to her friends, inviting them over that night, presumably within minutes of her mother’s car disappearing round the corner.
So, we are asked to believe that all of a sudden, someone else ‘hacked’ into her account and changed the nature of the invitation.

Just how likely is it that someone who knew Rachael had the wherewithal to obtain her password and change the entry in a matter of hours?
According to internet security sources consulted by the Mail, it’s virtually impossible.

“Hacking into an account without the password is very, very difficult and time-consuming, unless you’ve somehow found the password out,” said one expert who did not want to be named. “On the other hand, what we call ‘social hacking’ is far more likely, where the person has been careless with their password or has told a friend without thinking much of it.”

If that were the case, would someone Rachael trusted with her password betray her so completely? If so, the list of suspects can’t be very long. Mrs Bell, while still fuming at her daughter for having the party in the first place, believes her about the webspace tampering. She said: “Rachael has never done anything like this before, and there was nothing to suggest she would. She may have had the odd friend round, but that’s all.

“I’m 99.9per cent sure she’s telling the truth when she says that she was not responsible for what happened.
“No one knew I was going away until the Saturday, which was just two days before the party – Rachael wouldn’t have had time to arrange a party on such a big scale. Someone else is behind it.
“She only planned to have a few friends round, I’m sure of that.”
Naturally, Mrs Bell may want to believe her daughter, but the fact is that someone did organise the party in a short space of time. Another reason she chooses to believe her daughter is that Rachael removed all the knives in the kitchen drawer and took the television and china from the living room and put them away.
Curiously, she even taped over the clothes drawers to deter anyone from opening them. Mrs Bell draws a comforting conclusion from this: “To my mind those are not the actions of someone who was planning to let the house be smashed up.”

Sceptics might wonder why, if Rachael were only expecting her ‘good’ friends, did she feel the need to hide the kitchen knives and tape shut the drawers?
Whatever her reasons, with those last-minute preparations made, the young hostess was by all accounts delighted to see the first revellers begin arriving in fleets of cars, taxis and minibuses shortly after 9pm.

And they just kept coming. One 17-year-old guest – who knows Rachael and definitely was invited, told the Mail he got to the house around 10pm, by which time there were around 150 people spilling out into the road. “I could hardly get in the door for people, and I soon realised a lot of them didn’t know Rachael at all,” said the young man, who declined to be named. “I heard people asking whose party it was.
“I noticed people stubbing tabs [cigarettes] out on the living room walls, which I thought was really disrespecting the house.”
Intriguingly, despite the presence of so many unwanted guests, her friend spoke to Rachael soon after he arrived, and she was “really enjoying herself”, he said.

“I wouldn’t say she was off her face, but she was quite merry. I’d only been there about 20 minutes and another 20 or 30 people turned up and she didn’t seem bothered.
“It was only when the police arrived in force that she started to panic.”
Another party-goer, named ‘Lizzie’, who e-mailed a local newspaper, told a similar story (with apologies for her txtspk grammar and spelling). Her e-mail said: “we walked in threw the back door and rachael who no one knew or had met before welcomed us in and sed come in make yourselfs at home the partys already started.”

A solitary police car arrived at 10pm, after neighbours realised Mrs Bell was not at home and became concerned at the large numbers of young people milling inside and outside the house. The officers asked to see the householder and an unknown teenage girl claimed there was no problem and everyone there had been invited. The police left after about five minutes. By 11pm, the party was in full swing and dozens, if not hundreds, of youngsters were drinking in the street. Outraged residents called the police again, and this time seven vehicles, including a dog van, arrived.

Police again made checks to find out who had organised the party but, according to residents the officers said they couldn’t stay long. Within an hour all had gone, although one patrol car made regular passes.
Meanwhile, inside the house, partygoer ‘Nicky’ described the unfolding nightmare in her unique way. Her e-mail description read: “it was like a totall free for all. going threw every draw wardrobe in the house taking clothes from anywhere, a fish hook was found in the draw of rachaels brothers room and was used to carv names in the wall.

“wardrobe doors where pulled off and left on the landing for people to stamp on, door handles actully inscrewed off so people wouldnt interupt the ‘yobs’ having sex in everyroom in frount of all to see.
“lights in the ceiling were pulled out of the ceiling the wires snapped, the carpets were all light colours, they were black with in minuets. bed sheets where urinated on but still people slept on them, the bath was cracked off people kicking it, the toilet seemed to be dismantled, mirrors smashed, the walls were urinated on, drink was spilt up the walls on the carpets the curtains were pulled down and ripped. ‘at one point, in the sitting room 4 people walked in took the radiator off the wall walked out and when we finally left in the mornin seen it dumped at the side of the road 5 minets from rachaels house.”

Astonishingly, at 3am, partygoers were still arriving. Paradoxically, neighbours admitted the noise from the party itself wasn’t bad. Said one: “If it hadn’t been for the sheer volume of people in the street, I wouldn’t have known there was a party at all.”
By 8am, most revellers had left and about 20 of Rachael’s friends stayed to clear up, but stopped when told by a neighbour that Mrs Bell had heard and was on her way home; Rachael and her friends fled.
At 9am, Rachael’s mother arrived to find the house locked up and deserted. Opening the front door, she collapsed in tears at the state of the house she has lived in for six years, and which she had left ‘immaculate’ only 24 hours earlier.

This week, overseeing a massive clear-up operation by professionals, aided by a skip, she recalled the shock of that moment.
“It was devastating, just devastating,” she said. “I love my house and I love it tidy and clean. I’ve said to Rachael she needs to give the names of those who caused the damage to the house. These people just walk off and get away with it – it’s criminal.
“We’ll be out of the house for a month while the specialist cleaners are in, it will need new carpets throughout.”

But can the relationship with her daughter be similarly repaired? Long after the clean-up crews have done their work and departed, for Elaine Bell and her family, the emotional scars will remain.

when winning is losing…

In Uncategorized on 02/16/2007 at 3:32 pm

Apprentice winner explains why she quit after finding love and misery.

As the other contestants for The Apprentice filed into the room on the first day of filming, you could feel the tension. No one spoke and everyone looked straight ahead. I was thinking how tough some of them looked and wondering how I would cope. And then Syed entered. He literally strutted in. I just thought: ‘Hmmm.’

He was wearing a blue suit, blue shirt and brown leather shoes. Whereas everybody else had come in and stood still, Syed was pacing around, wandering over to the water fountain, back and forth. I remember thinking: ‘I’m not sure we’re going to get on.’

We were driven to the house where we would all be staying. It was on The Bishops Avenue in Hampstead, one of the richest streets in London, and was ultra-luxurious: two lounges, masses of bedrooms and a pool. We had a champagne reception to get to know each other. When it came to my turn to introduce myself, I said I was in telecoms offshoring, and several people wanted to know what that was.

I was about to explain when Syed jumped in and gave his version of what an offshore consultant was. I thought: ‘Who is this guy?’ I was really hacked off. When he’d finished, I said: ‘Are you done? Do you want to say anything else about what I do for a living? Because everything you’ve just said is wrong.’ It was a tricky start, but generally the atmosphere in the house was great – just like being part of a family. We tried to leave work at the door. We used to cook for each other, drinks lots of wine and enjoy ourselves.

Naturally, personalities came into play. I was the untidiest in the house by far, and I used to get in trouble with the other girls. I was always borrowing other people’s things, sometimes without asking. I’d have a bath, then wander downstairs in someone else’s dressing-gown and slippers. I guess I was quite annoying.

Ruth Badger – who became both my friend and my closest rival – was larger than life and popular from the start; while Paul, the cheeky headhunter from Yorkshire, was hilarious, although I later noticed he was skilled at winding people up. I got close to the bubbly, exuberant Jo – she had so much energy, she bounced around like Zebedee from The Magic Roundabout. But I never overcame my reservations about Karen, the former RAF officer. I felt she thought she was above me.

My initial impression of Syed hadn’t been very favourable. At first I thought he was arrogant. But as time went on, things changed. Unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t understand the intensity of being in a TV show like that. We were together 24 hours a day, having little contact with our friends and family. That meant much of my support network was gone, as I often ring my mates to ask what they think of this or that decision or problem in my life. I like to bounce opinions off people.

Syed started to fill that role for me. I saw a different side to him. Yes, there was the confident, arrogant exterior but I was discovering there was also a kind, caring person behind it. As the weeks progressed, the others would go to bed and Syed and I would stay up talking until two, three or four in the morning, even though we had to be up by six or seven. Despite being very different, we got along well. Every morning, he’d make me porridge for breakfast and hot water with lemon. The others in the house started teasing him about it, and he got shy, so he used to leave it in the kitchen where nobody would see. I thought it was the sweetest thing.

I started to bond with him. I’d miss him if we were off on our tasks and I’d really look forward to getting home and seeing him again. At the outset, it was more of an emotional attraction than a physical one, but there was a real connection between us. One of our tasks was working on the sales floor at Topshop; it was a battle to sell the most clothes. Syed was on the opposing team, but we decided to help each other out. If someone came in for a winter coat and I didn’t have any, I’d pass them to him, and if someone went to him for a spangly dress he’d pass them to me.

Syed was a great salesman and he was always very competitive. I have a hilarious memory of him challenging Ansell – who is built like an ox and used to play football for Millwall – to an arm-wrestling contest. He gave Ansell a real run for his money but in the end he lost. I’m a fighter, too, and I’m proud of the way I performed during the show. To start with, I spent a lot of time thinking the other people in the house were all better than me. But they weren’t. They just liked the sound of their own voices and banging on about how good they were.

It surprised lots of people when I won – not least my mum. After the result was announced, she was asked: ‘Did you always know that Michelle would do it?’

She looked bewildered and said: ‘No, no. I always thought it was going to be Ruth Badger.’ I nearly died. I thought: ‘Mum, you’re not supposed to say that.’ After we finished filming, I took a few weeks off. I needed to get away from everybody. It had been a weird, unreal time and I wanted to get my head straight before beginning my new job with Alan Sugar. My brief was to set up a company called Xenon Green, finding a way to recycle computers that would not only benefit the environment but make a profit.

It was a lot of pressure: I was aware that if it turned out to be a flop I would be publicly judged by the nation as a failure. Meanwhile, there had been developments in my personal life. Syed and I had met for coffee and it was just like it had been in the house. The bond was still there, even though the show was over. Because of the delay between the programme being filmed and shown on TV, we were initially able to go to restaurants, hold hands, and do all the things normal couples do. But as soon as the series hit the screens, we were famous. We couldn’t go out without attracting attention.

We knew that if we were spotted together it would be all over the papers. Whenever we saw each other, we stayed in, watched DVDs and ate takeaways. This was great at first but it then began to strain our relationship. Trying to sort out our feelings with the eyes of the country on us was hard. At the same time, people who were or had been close to me started selling stories about me. That really hurt. People thought they had the right, without asking me, to sell pictures of me and letters I had written. It was a valuable lesson in being careful whom you trust, but I learned it the hard way. I normally tell everyone everything and now realised how foolish I had been.

Around the time that the final was on air, speculation about me and my background was rife. I got a phone call from a Sunday newspaper telling me that my uncle had sold his story exposing my troubled family life. I decided that since it was about to become public, I wanted to have my say. I signed a deal with a national newspaper, but immediately had doubts. I should have considered the proposition more carefully. The headline on the piece was ‘My killer dad’. I was appalled.

My beloved sister, Fiona, had fallen to her death from her flat ten years before, in unexplained circumstances. Dad had made her leave home and subjected us to years of violence, but he wasn’t a killer. An ex-boyfriend, Lee, who had also been violent towards me, sold every detail about our relationship to another paper. The headline read ‘My sex apprentice’. Seeing episodes from my life in cold print was a real shock. On the work front, my instincts began to tell me that Xenon Green was not going to succeed. I presented my findings to Sir Alan, who accepted them.

Unfortunately, there were no similar opportunities to develop a new business within his organisation and the rest of my contract was going to be filled with internal projects. While I understood the rationale for this, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I couldn’t see how my career was going to develop.

Things became more complicated when I discovered I was pregnant with Syed’s baby. Because I suffer from endometriosis, where uterine tissue grows outside your womb, I’d always believed I couldn’t have children, so it came right out of the blue. One day I had incredible tooth pain, which was so bad that I went to the local hospital. It turned out to be an abscess. While I was there, I mentioned that I had been suffering from tummy pains. The doctors examined me and said I was expecting a baby.

I was in total shock. I was overwhelmed by the miracle of being pregnant when I didn’t think it was possible. But I also felt that my world was crashing down.

Since winning The Apprentice I had received thousands of e-mails from people saying I was their role model. Now I felt I’d let everyone down and did not have a clue what to do next.

I also had the most horrendous morning sickness. I remember throwing up all day at work, getting in the car to go home and having to stop about six times on the way.

It was horrible and my hormones were all over the place. The stress just built and built. I told my friends what had happened so I could have their support, but quickly realised it was a mistake as one of them sold the story to a tabloid newspaper, which increased the pressure tenfold.

I still don’t know who it was, but it destroyed me. I hadn’t come to terms with my pregnancy and hadn’t even passed the three-month safety zone, and now the whole nation knew about it and was judging me.

Syed then had to tell his family, who are practising Muslims and didn’t know he’d been having a relationship with me. Both he and I are responsible people, and both of us wanted to do the right thing. We had so many options, and it was an overwhelming, all-consuming blur.

If we wanted to make a go of things, there was pressure on me to convert to Islam. For the sake of my baby, I gave it some serious thought and started reading up on it. Meanwhile, there were all these rumours flying around me, including one that Sir Alan was furious about the baby and had put me on gardening leave. That simply wasn’t true. But there was no escaping the fact that I was public property.

One man approached me in the street and demanded: ‘Why aren’t you at work? You’ve been sacked!’ I asked him what business he thought it was of his, but he replied: ‘I think you’ll find, young lady, that it’s the nation’s business.’ Syed and I were so miserable and confused that we felt we had to consider terminating the pregnancy. Part of me didn’t want to: what if this was my only chance of pregnancy?

I was so unhappy that I booked an appointment at the abortion clinic but I was growing to love my baby. It felt so good knowing I had a child inside me – I’d always wanted my own family.
I was in turmoil. I cancelled the appointment, then rang up and booked another. Week after week, the pattern was repeated – I’d book myself in for a termination, then couldn’t bring myself to go through with it. The hospital staff were very kind and never complained.

I didn’t want to end the pregnancy, but I couldn’t see my way ahead. After much deliberation, Syed suggested that we should get married, with the expectation that I became a Muslim at some point in the future. Everything seemed so overwhelming. I wanted nothing more than to be married with children and I really cared about him. But we had already encountered commitment problems, and I couldn’t see beyond them. I could have stayed as I was and become a single mum, but I began to panic. Deep down, I wanted my baby more than anything, but I wanted it as part of a happy, united family. For the first time, I visited a counsellor at the hospital to discuss my feelings.

While I was there I suffered agonising tummy pains and I started to lose blood. I was kept in, and later that day lost my baby. I was devastated. I felt such a sense of loss, that my little one was gone. Doctors had told me once that I was unlikely to conceive because of the endometriosis, but I had. What if my only chance of having a family was now gone? It was a terrible, terrible time. I had to stay in hospital. Syed looked after me and was really good. After everything I had been through, I felt so pleased to see him but we were both distraught. When I went home, I went into a state of virtual collapse; I was severely depressed.

Friends encouraged me to get up and go out, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t face people looking at me and judging everything I did. I wouldn’t get up, wouldn’t shower, wouldn’t even answer the phone. Once again, just like after my sister’s death when I was 17, I felt as if I had lost control and was heading towards rock bottom at 100 miles per hour.

In such bleak times, you turn to your family and friends. I’d tried to isolate myself from everyone, but thankfully, they refused to listen. ‘Come home,’ one of my closest friends said. ‘Come back to Hull. We’ll look after you.’ So I went. It was a turning point. I was back to normality – there was no pressure, no religious quandary, no on-off boyfriend. I wasn’t Michelle from The Apprentice. I was just plain Michelle.

We had a Mexican dinner party, danced, drank tequila, and had a great, uncomplicated time. I laughed, and realised I hadn’t been like that for many months. Syed and I had been through some intense times together, and because I carried his child he’s always going to be special to me. We’ll have lasting memories. Ultimately, though, I recognised that he was not the right partner for me, and trying to maintain a relationship with him was going to be destructive.

Circumstances had brought us together and circumstances forced us apart. Returning to Hull for a few days helped me burst out of the bubble I had been trapped in. I’ve always been quite spiritual, and on the way back to London I went to see a fortune-teller. The visit really helped me. She said that she knew I was worried I wouldn’t have children again, but reassured me that I would. She also told me that my baby’s being looked after in heaven by my sister. That gave me great comfort.

By the time I returned to the capital I’d made some decisions. I told Sir Alan I wanted to leave his organisation and branch out on my own again. He understood and wished me well. We parted on good terms. All my friends thought I was silly walking away from my six-figure salary, but life isn’t always about living within the comfort zone. I set up my own consultancy company, Michelle Dewberry Ltd, and started mentoring people whose careers have become stuck in a rut.

Right now, I couldn’t be happier. I can honestly say that I am grateful for most of the experiences in my life because they have taught me so much about myself and made me a more rounded person. And whatever the future holds, I’m ready for the challenge



In Uncategorized on 02/07/2007 at 4:34 am

Locked in an eternal embrace

Their loving embrace has lasted an eternity – well 5000 years to be precise. It is the city where the exiled Romeo dreamed he died and Juliet’s kisses breathed life back into his body. Tragically, the lifeless bodies of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers would soon lie side by side.

Yesterday at Mantua, in an amazing echo of that heartrending story, archaeologists revealed the discovery of a couple locked in a tender embrace, one that has endured for more than 5,000 years. The find was unearthed by experts digging at a neolithic site at a less than romantic industrial estate. Scientists are to examine the skeletons to try to establish how old they were when they died and how long they have been buried.

One theory being examined is that the man was killed and the woman then sacrificed so that his soul would be accompanied in the after life. Elena Menotti, who is leading the dig at Valdaro near Mantua in northern Italy, said: ‘I am so excited about this discovery. “We have never found a man and a woman embraced before and this is a unique find.
“We have found plenty of women embracing children but never a couple. Much less a couple hugging — and they really are hugging. It’s possible that the man died first and then the woman was killed in sacrifice to accompany his soul. “From an initial examination they appear young as their teeth are not worn down but we have sent the remains to a laboratory to establish their age at the time of death. “They are face to face and their arms and legs are entwined and they are really hugging.

“I am so thrilled at this find. I have been involved in lots of digs all over Italy but nothing has excited me as much as this.” “I’ve been doing this job for 25 years. I’ve done digs at Pompeii, all the famous sites. “But I’ve never been so moved because this is the discovery of something special.” An initial examination of the couple – dubbed the Lovers of Valdaro – revealed that the man (on the left in the picture) has an arrow in his spinal column while the woman has an arrow head in her side. The area has already given up a spectacular Roman villa.

Five thousand years ago the area around Mantua was marshland and criss-crossed by rivers and the environment has helped preserve the skeletons in their near perfect state. The tribes of the area thrived through hunting and fishing and travelled along the waterways in boats but even then the simple hunter gatherer lifestyle was being replaced by livestock rearing, weaving and pottery. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is sent to Mantua for killing Tybalt Capulet in a swordfight.

Romeo subsequently leaves the city and returns to Verona when he hears his love, Juliet, has died.

Stanford Suicide or…?

In Uncategorized on 01/27/2007 at 5:59 pm

Honor Student found in Trunk of Car

Academic stress exacts its toll on many, that we know. God knows high expectations unrealized even here at McGill arguably is responsible for countless damaged lives, but to the extent of taking one’s own life? No stats are easily available and generalizing about suicide rates amongst 20-25 yr old can be easily misleading… but when examining the record of suicides on campuses a number of interesting patterns emerge: In the hallowed halls of pressure ridden Ivy League MIT, only one student, Michael P. Manley ’02, committed suicide in his first year at MIT since at least 1964, and women are far less likely to commit suicide as compared to men.

National statistics for U.S show that women are more likely to attempt suicide and men are more likely to succeed. Out of the 47 MIT students who committed suicide, only four were females. These reports takes into account the gradually increasing female population on campus over time which reveals that females at MIT commit suicide at a rate of 6.3 per 100,000 female student years. This compares to a rate of male student suicides at MIT of 16.6 per 100,000 male student years.

It has been hypothesized that the overall suicide rate has decreased precisely because women are less likely to commit suicide and their population has grown on campus. However, another area of comparison is between graduate and undergraduate suicide rates. Studies show while it may seem likely that graduate students are more likely to take their own lives because of increased workload stress over time, this is not consistent with MIT statistics. The graduate student suicide rate is 8.4 per 100,000 graduate student years while the undergraduate rate is 21.2 per 100,000 undergraduate student years.

Stanford doctoral student May Zhou was updating her résumé and on track to a brilliant career. So her grief-stricken family and friends say they are floored by the idea that she would take her own life. But one day after the body of the missing electrical engineering student was discovered in the trunk of her car, authorities were not backing away from their suggestion that Zhou, 23, may have committed suicide. A two-hour autopsy conducted Friday identified “no outward signs of foul play,” according to police in Santa Rosa, where Zhou’s car was found Thursday in a junior college parking lot.

Authorities offered no further details, saying it could take a month to complete lab tests and make a final ruling on whether Zhou’s death was suicide. And there was no explanation of how Zhou’s car ended up 90 miles north of Stanford.

The news baffled the woman’s father and classmates.

“No, no, no. No issues. She was strong,” said her father, Yitong Zhou, who planned to help her revise her résumé the weekend she disappeared. “If you’re thinking about your résumé, why would you be thinking about suicide? I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it.” Complaining that police seemed too quick to reach a conclusion about his daughter’s death, Zhou said he had only recently learned that she conducted some online banking transactions shortly before she left her apartment Saturday. The transactions were “unusual,” he said, because of the amount. He declined to elaborate.

Mengyao “May” Zhou was last seen by her roommate at Stanford on Saturday, before she left their graduate-student housing complex to run errands. The roommate, who has not made any public statements this week, reported Zhou missing to police after she had not come home by Sunday. Police said it appeared Zhou’s car had been sitting in a parking lot at Santa Rosa Junior College for several days before it was found. Yitong Zhou said he had been busy with work when his daughter called last week about modifying her résumé to apply for a summer internship, but they agreed to work on it over the weekend.

Zhou had been recruited to Stanford from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; In high school, her SAT scores had been perfect. And she had already cleared one big hurdle: passing her qualifying exams. She did well and reportedly had been approached by several researchers interested in having her join their team. Having secured three patents during her three summer internships at Qualcomm, “she was the kind of student who could work independently — progressing and then taking off,” he said.

Not to second guess, but to us it just seems too convoluted a method to take your own life, by locking yourself into the trunk of your own car. She left no suicide note and had every reason to expect a successful career. No longer. :((

full story here


time for anti-bacterial wallets…

In Uncategorized on 01/25/2007 at 3:49 pm

Germs fester on Paper Money

Yea great. Unless you were born yesterday, you knew of course that pretty much all available paper currency at least those circulating in North America has a dusting of cocaine on its surface, but public health officials now say you should be more concerned about germs and viruses that might be passed along with your change.

Most paper money carries traces of cocaine, recent studies show, but that says more about the potential for cash to spread disease than it does about the prevalence of drug use, officials say. On Jan. 10, researchers at City University in Dublin, Ireland, revealed that 100 per cent of the banknotes in their study carried trace amounts of cocaine. Last month, a study suggested 94 per cent of banknotes in Spain carried traces of the fine white powder. And dozens of studies in the past decade have shown that a majority of bills in various U.S. cities tested positive for traces of cocaine.

While minute amounts of cocaine might be harmless, bacteria, viruses and spores clinging to banknotes passed from hand to hand might not be. “Cocaine is not a living organism, while germs are, although most become inoffensive after a certain amount of time” on an inanimate object like a bank-note, said Blaise Lefebvre, a spokesperson for Montreal’s public health department. “You would also have to pick up a significant quantity (of bacterium or virus) for it to cause illness, although with the Norwalk virus, you only need a little and this is why gastroenteritis is so easily transmitted.” While he said transmission could “theoretically” occur through money-handling, the virus is much more easily transmitted by swallowing food or water that has been contaminated with stool from an infected person. Peter Ender, an infectious diseases expert who has studied the prevalence of germs on paper money, said the contamination of banknotes is a reflection of what is commonly present on human skin, particularly on hands.

In 2001, Ender and his team at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Centre, near Dayton, Ohio, obtained dollar bills from people waiting to buy food at a high school basketball game in Dayton. Seven per cent of the bills collected showed traces of harmful bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae, that can cause serious illness. Eighty six per cent carried less harmful germs, like streptococcus, enterobacter, pseudomonas and other bugs that rarely cause illness among healthy individuals but can be very dangerous to people whose immune systems are compromised.

Only seven per cent of the bills in that study were found to be germ-free.

“For a healthy individual, contact with most of these bacterial organisms is no big deal because we all have all kinds of bacteria on our hands,” Ender said recently in a telephone interview from his home in Bethlehem, Pa. “We were interested in whether resistant strains of bacteria could make it to patients in hospitals through their friends and relatives who had handled (dirty) money,” he explained. Ender said he doesn’t worry about handling money with his bare hands, because he washes his hands “dozens of times a day.” He advised the public that frequent handwashing with soap and water is still the best way to prevent infections and disease. So could dirty money be a vehicle for the current epidemic of viral gastroenteritis sweeping Montreal health-care centres?
“It’s certainly possible,” Ender said.
“However the Norwalk-type virus is highly contagious via multiple modes, be that hand to hand, surface contact or vomitous particles suspended in air.”

Lefebvre agreed that money could theoretically act as a conduit for all kinds of germs and viruses. But he noted bills are usually handled less than things that are grabbed with the whole hand, like shopping-cart handles, metro car grab bars, doorknobs – or that water glass in the bathroom. Nevertheless cash is a big culprit in spreading infections. Anything that is passed from hand to hand is likely to be contaminated with the germs and viruses we typically have on our skin, so money is an obvious culprit when it comes to spreading illness.

Here are some of the bacteria typically found on paper bills:

Staphylococcus aureus: A bacterium commonly found in the nose of a healthy person that can cause a range of symptoms, from minor skin infections and abscesses to potentially fatal illnesses like pneumonia, meningitis, endocartitis, toxic shock syndrome and septicemia.
Klebsiella pneumoniae: A bacterium commonly found on skin and in the mouth and intestines that can cause bacterial pneumonia. The most common transmission mode is fecal-oral. The bacterium can cause flu-like symptoms, the coughing up of blood-tinged sputum, broncho-pneumonia, bronchitis and urinary tract infection.
Streptococcus: A bacterium commonly found on skin and in the mouth, intestine and upper respiratory tract that can cause strep throat, meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, endocarditis, erysipelas and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating infection).
Enterobacter: A species of bacteria commonly found in the human intestinal tract that can cause opportunistic infections of the urinary tract as well as other parts of the body, and are sometimes associated with respiratory tract infections.
Pseudomonas: These bacteria can lead to urinary tract infections, sepsis, pneumonia, pharyngitis and other potentially fatal illnesses. They are rarely a cause of infection in healthy people, but can be very dangerous to those with compromised immune systems or individuals with catheters or on respirators.

What you can do: Health authorities stress the importance of washing hands thoroughly and often, especially before and after eating, after using the toilet, after handling paper money, before and after handling food, and before and after visiting hospitals.

Michelle Lalonde , The Gazette

not even a comma…

In Uncategorized on 01/09/2007 at 2:44 pm

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 09:11:41 -0500
From: nessie
i like this one
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Giorgio Torrieri
Date: 09-Jan-2007 08:02
Subject: Perspectives .(click pic to see pale blue dot)

“We succeeded in taking that picture from deep space [Voyager 1, 4
billion Km from earth, GT] , and, if you look
at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it,
everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out
their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of
confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter
and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of
civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love,
every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and
explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every
superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history
of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the
rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in
glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a
fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the
inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable
inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their
misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent
their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the
delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are
challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in
the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this
vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save
us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astromy is a
humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind,
there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits
than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our
responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another
and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve
ever known.”

Carl Sagan

GT thanx giorgio;)
Theoretical Physics Group, Physics Department, Frankfurt University
But perhaps the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that
is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it
as though it had an underlying truth.
Umberto Eco

Your Moment of Literary Zen #21

In Uncategorized on 01/05/2007 at 8:42 am

We were so poor I had to take the place of the bait in the mousetrap. All alone in the cellar, I could hear them pacing upstairs, tossing and turning in their beds. “These are dark and evil days,” the mouse told me as he nibbled my ear. Years passed. My mother wore a cat-fur collar which she stroked until its sparks lit up the cellar.

~Charles Simic, The World Doesn’t End

Photograph by Klavdij Sluban, Autour de la mer Noire-voyages d’hiver

Good News for Grammar-Nazis Everywhere

In Uncategorized on 01/01/2007 at 8:37 pm

Lake Superior State University released its 32nd annual “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.” A total of 16 words or phrases were selected by a university committee from more than 4,500 nominations. The list, which in previous years has included “show me the money,” “erectile dysfunction” and “holiday tree,” is closing in on its 1,000th banishment.

The list includes:

The media’s guilty pleasure of using combined celebrity names such as “TomKat” or “Brangelina.” One claims, “It’s so annoying, idiotic and so lame and pathetic that it’s “lamethetic.'”

Real estate listings were marked for overuse of “boast.” As in “master bedroom boasts his-and-her fireplaces – never ‘bathroom apologizes for cracked linoleum,'” wryly notes Morris Conklin of Portugal.

It wasn’t difficult to encounter the phrase “gone/went missing” in 2006. “It makes ‘missing’ sound like a place you can visit, such as the Poconos. Is the person missing, or not?” questioned Robin Dennis of Texas.

The hatred of the phrase “we’re pregnant” by women everywhere is perfectly echoed by Sharla Hulsey of Sac City, Iowa who said, “Were men feeling left out of the whole morning sickness/huge belly/labor experience? You may both be expecting, but only one of you is pregnant.”

“Undocumented alien.” Do we really need to be this polite? “If they haven’t followed the law to get here, they are by definition ‘illegal.’ It’s like saying a drug dealer is an ‘undocumented pharmacist.'” — John Varga, Westfield, New Jersey.

The university’s word watchers canned “truthiness,” the word popularized by Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert. It was selected in an online survey by dictionary publisher Merriam Webster as the word that best summed up 2006.

Whether you choose to join this cause or not is up to you. Just reflect on Oscar Wilde’s sagacious words when he said, “Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art. Whatever is popular is wrong.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our loyal readers…

In Uncategorized on 12/31/2006 at 9:57 pm

…from all of us crazy gals (and Yass) at brainwashcafe. wishing you the very best of all YEARS ahead !~)))

meaning of xmas…

In Uncategorized on 12/25/2006 at 12:30 pm

and a time for giving…

..except… most economists agree, however, that Christmas produces a deadweight loss under orthodox microeconomic theory, due to the surge in gift-giving. This loss is calculated as the difference between what the gift giver spent on the item and what the gift receiver would have paid for the item. It is estimated that in Christmas results in a $4 billion annual deadweight loss in the U.S. alone. Because of complicating factors, this analysis is sometimes used to discuss possible flaws in current microeconomic theory.

In economics, a deadweight loss (also known as excess burden) is a loss of economic efficiency that can occur when equilibrium for a good or service is not Pareto optimal. In other words, either people who would have more marginal benefit than marginal cost are not buying the good or service or people who would have more marginal cost than marginal benefit are buying the product.

Other deadweight losses include the effects of Christmas on the environment and the fact that material gifts are often perceived as white elephants, imposing cost for upkeep and storage and contributing to clutter. This is mitigated by white elephant gift exchanges in which participants make the best of their white elephants, and by alternative giving. Some people have taken to selling their unwanted gifts shortly after Christmas on online auction sites. So best load up on those ebay shares actually we have no clue why we’re talking about white elephants all we know is nobody better give us one this year!~)

thanx for pic vince 😉

Your Moment of Literary Zen #13

In Uncategorized on 12/20/2006 at 5:54 pm

We passed a little kid who was throwing stones at the cars in the road. “Think of it,” said Dean. “One day he’ll put a stone through a man’s windshield and the man will crash and die—all on account of that little kid. You see what I mean? God exists without qualms. As we roll along this way I am positive beyond a doubt that everything will be taken care of for us—that even you, as you drive, fearful of the wheel” (I hated to drive and drove carefully)—“the thing will go along of itself and you won’t go off the road and I can sleep. Furthermore we know America, we’re at home; I can go anywhere in America and get what I want because it’s the same in every corner, I know the people, I know what they do. We give and take and go in the incredibly complicated sweetness zigzagging every side.” There was nothing clear about the things he said, but what he meant to say was somehow made pure and clear. He used the word “pure” a great deal. I had never dreamed Dean would become a mystic. These were the first days of his mysticism, which would lead to the strange, ragged W.C. Fields saintliness of his later days.

~Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Photo: Toward Los Angeles by Dorthea Lange

slut-chic strikes again…

In Uncategorized on 12/19/2006 at 9:17 pm

or ‘How I saw the Leopard Change Spots Before My Very Own Eyes’…

Alright before all of youse go off the deep end, no we did NOT invent the words “slut-chic”, hell we didn’t even SAY it, particularly apropos our fav-gal of the moment Tara Conner who is as you all well know in spite of having your heads buried in killer final exams and xmas stress, the reigning Miss USA-who-almost-lost-it 2006.

“The term I use is ‘slut chic,’ ” says Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist at McLean Hospital at Harvard Medical School near Boston. “The sad thing about hearing about Miss USA is that she had a title with real power, and what happened to her happens to many girls and women growing up today. They get this message that, despite everything else that’s wonderful and uniquely ‘you,’ power … is still defined by raunchy behavior that’s disrespectful to yourself. And it’s a false sense of power.”

We have no problems with the Donald’s decision to give Conner a second chance, or to say with a straight face that he believes in “second chances,” or that he found Conner to be remorseful and willing to go into rehabilitation. “She left a small town in Kentucky, and she was telling me that she got caught up in the whirlwind of New York,” Trump said. “It’s a story that has happened many times before to many women and many men who came to the Big Apple. They wanted their slice of the Big Apple, and they found out it wasn’t so easy.”

What we do have a problem with, is the concept that theDonald is doing all this out of compassion, blissfully unaware of the biggest marketing opportunity since… well since Miss America 1983’s nude photos turned up. That little scandal stripped(oh stop it:) Vanessa William of her Miss America title and launched her career. You can’t buy publicity like this even if you could afford it, and let’s face it compared to Tara, the 27yr old runner up Tamiko Nash would play like an old soggy bowl of corn flakes.

No doubt about it this is a win-win ending for everyone with possible exception of poor Tamiko, the only loser in the potentially the greatest comeback kid story of the year, with zillions in tv profits for theDonald’s Miss Universe franchise.

But just in case you doubt his sincerity in all of this, here is more of theDonald on the NEW Tara Conner…

“I believe that she will be a great example for troubled people.”

HUH??? Oh Donald, say it ain’t so, you can’t be that naive, just look at her nail polish… This gal ain’t changing her spots anytime soon… Send all your bets, chocolates and get well cards for sick Yasser to c/o :)))

life in the fast lane: tales of true love…… #13

In Uncategorized on 12/18/2006 at 7:01 pm

Winnipeg’s Adam Anhang was a savvy businessman, but unlucky in love. His first marriage was brief. His second marriage lasted only a few months, and ended with his murder in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Anhang, 32, was stabbed more than a dozen times and suffered a skull fracture when a man attacked him on the narrow cobblestone streets of Old San Juan on Sept. 23, 2005. His estranged wife, 26-year-old Aurea Vasquez, suffered minor injuries in the attack. Earlier that night, the two met at the Pink Skirt –a restaurant and bar Mr. Anhang had purchased for his wife — allegedly to discuss the terms of their impending divorce. Mr. Anhang, a slight, awkward man with a distinctive laugh, was worth millions: He was an ambitious real estate developer and chief executive of a successful online gambling software company.

Police in San Juan soon arrested Jonathan Roman, a 23-year-old dishwasher at the Pink Skirt. Investigators initially speculated the suspect had an affair with Ms. Vasquez before the murder.

At a court hearing in Puerto Rico today, more than a year later, lawyers are expected to discuss the results of DNA tests on material found beneath Mr. Anhang’s fingernails and possibly set a date for the murder trial.
But Mr. Anhang’s parents in Winnipeg are convinced there is more to the story. In court documents filed in Puerto Rico disputing Ms. Vasquez’s claim to their son’s estate, they allege his wife “and others conspired to assassinate” their son.

The Anhangs have also filed a US$50-million lawsuit against Mr. Roman, Ms. Vasquez, her siblings and several unnamed defendants for their son’s wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges Ms. Vasquez has refused to co-operate with police investigating her husband’s murder, even after being served with three subpoenas. The Anhangs believe Ms. Vasquez fled to Italy after the murder. “You expect that if your husband or your wife gets killed, that you would be leading all the efforts to find out who killed your husband or your wife. “That would be the logical thing,” said Luis. G. Rullan, the lawyer representing Mr. Anhang’s parents. “What she did was exactly the opposite. She fled.” Their lawsuit also claims Mr. Anhang was “misled” about the terms of the couple’s prenuptial agreement. The document overestimated Mr. Anhang’s worth at close to US$25-million, said Mr. Rullan, who declined to provide further details about Mr. Anhang’s finances. The allegations against Ms. Vasquez have not been proven in court and she is not facing criminal charges. Luis R. Rivera, the lawyer representing Ms. Vasquez in her claim against the Anhangs, says she was not involved in her husband’s murder. “She almost got killed herself,” Mr. Rivera said. Mr. Anhang’s parents are trying to prevent her from inheriting a share of his estate. “It’s all about money, really.” The tourist district of Old San Juan is so closely monitored by police that it would not be a good place to stage a murde,Mr. Rivera added.

Mr. Anhang’s career took him around the world. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and went on an exotic scuba diving trip nearly every year. After graduating from the prestigious Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania, he worked for real estate firms in New York, then struck out on his own, acting as a consultant to turn around companies in trouble. “Adam was born to be a businessman. He brought a briefcase with him to kindergarten,” his younger sister, Becky Anhang Price, said during her eulogy. “He ran his own business selling greeting cards out of his university dorm room.” While living in New York in 1997, he married a classmate, but the union was short-lived because his first wife was unfaithful, said Roberto M. Cacho, the young entrepreneur’s friend and business partner in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Anhang moved to Puerto Rico in 2004 to be closer to his multimillion-dollar real estate dealings there. He met Ms. Vasquez while he was in a bar with Mr. Cacho. Ms. Vasquez had lived in San Juan’s projects and was once a contestant in the Miss Puerto Rico Petite competition. Mr. Cacho said Mr. Anhang “desperately wanted to be loved” and did not know what he was getting himself into. “She was definitely looking for someone like Adam to take over her problems, which were all financial in nature,” Mr. Cacho said. “He accepted that role from the very beginning.” The couple were married in front of a judge in March, 2005.

But according to court documents filed by Mr. Anhang’s family, their relationship soured within a month because he learned his wife had been unfaithful and that he had been misled about the prenuptial agreement. Indeed, Mr. Anhang did not reveal his marriage to some of his close friends, said Yoav Leeran, a Wharton classmate living in Tel Aviv. “I did not know that they were married until he was murdered. He kept it to himself, even though we spoke after he married her, apparently,” Mr. Leeran said. “My explanation is I guess he understood the mistake he made the minute he made it.” Mr. Anhang spent six months trying to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Ms. Vasquez demanded her husband purchase the US$1.3-million home they rented in an exclusive San Juan neighbourhood and give it to her, Mr. Anhang’s parents claim.

For her part, Ms. Vasquez alleges she is entitled to 50% of Mr. Anhang’s capital. She is also demanding US$3,500 a month in support payments, as well as US$3,000 a month for medical expenses. Ms. Vasquez claims she was so committed to her husband that she was studying Judaism in order to convert to his family’s religion. His parents, however, dispute that claim.

The victim’s friend, Mr. Leeran, says he hopes justice will prevail. “In a very unique way, he affected the lives of people who knew him,” Mr. Leeran said. “He was a pretty young guy who hung around powerful, talented, significant people, and still proved to the people around him that being humane and very professional could coexist.”

Maria Vallis is a reporter with the National Post in Canada.
Published Thursday, December 14, 2006
© National Post 2006

self defense plea for Murder..

In Uncategorized on 12/16/2006 at 9:07 pm

Death of shot clerk on video, killer pleads self-defence.

Court views shooting of convenience store clerk. In a move that cost him his life, a North End convenience store clerk attacked his killer with a bat before he was shot twice in the head. Edwin Yue’s graphic death was captured on a security video played in court yesterday at the trial of accused killer David Cote. Yue, 19, was killed last February during an armed hold-up at his parents’ Main Street convenience store, Magnus Food.

Cote has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is expected to argue he was acting in self- defence.

Yue’s horrified parents watched the killing on a security monitor in their upstairs apartment.
The video shows a man, his head concealed by a hood and scarf, entering the store just before 10 p.m. He immediately takes a gun out of his right pant pocket.
“All right, it’s a robbery, take all the money out, hurry up!” the thief tells Yue standing behind the checkout counter. As Yue removes money from the cash register with one hand, he uses the other to press a button that electronically locks both the front and rear exits.

Yue continues to remove money from the cash register, using his free hand to grip the end of a baseball bat under the counter.
When the thief grabs the money and turns his back to flee, Yue reaches over the counter to swing the bat at his head. The swing misses, connecting only with the back of the thief’s jacket.
The thief turns and shoots Yue once in the arm. Yue swings again, this time striking the robber in the back of the head. The thief fires one shot at Yue before ducking behind a display stand. He fires two more times and Yue slumps to the floor.
The thief tries to run out the front exit but can’t open the door. He fires once at the door glass but it does not shatter.
Frantic and screaming, he runs behind the counter and grabs the bat. He bashes the bat at the door glass. The glass doesn’t break but the bat does, in two pieces.
Yue can be heard on the video moaning as the thief runs screaming from one end of the store to another trying to escape. At the back of the store, the thief confronts Yue’s father as he tries to escape through a rear exit. In a sequence of events not shown in court, Yue’s father captures the thief and holds him until police arrive minutes later. In court yesterday, Cote watched the video intently but betrayed no visible change in emotion. Crown attorney Brian Bell said neither the security video nor stills from the video would be released to the media, a decision that is expected to be challenged by at least two city news outlets. The trial continues Friday.


Mathematics: Helping to Avoid Coyote Ugly Since 2005

In Uncategorized on 12/15/2006 at 4:31 pm

Is there anything alcohol can’t do? I’m convinced it causes me to dance better, increases my fearless flirting technique tenfold, and always manages to bring more good-looking fellows into the bar than what should be statistically possible. Sadly, the morning after brings me slowly to a reality I’d much rather not face: I never could dance—last night was no exception, I still have the natural sex appeal of a banana slug, and those lookers a couple hours ago were the same creepers usually encountered at sketchy university watering holes only enhanced through the wonder of “beer goggles.”

The phenomenon known as “beer goggles” is usually brought on by a good-amount of boozing which magically makes even the most unfortunate-looking person into quite the desirable piece of bum.

Researchers at Manchester University have created a mathematical approach to the warped physical appeal brought on by “beer goggles.” Alcohol isn’t the only factor to be looked at; other elements to be worked in include the level of light, the general smokiness, and the distance between the two people. The equation works on a scale from less than one, meaning no beer goggle effect, to more than 100, making even the most offensive person look like a “super model.”

Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester, claims, “Someone with normal vision, who has consumed five pints of beer and views a person 1.5 metres away in a fairly smoky and poorly lit room, will score 55, which means they would suffer from a moderate beer goggle effect.”

Seeing as a poll showed that 68% of people regretted giving their phone number to someone whom they later discovered they were not exactly attracted to, it may be worthwhile next time you decide to take a night out on the town to bring along a mathematically-inclined, sober friend.


In Uncategorized on 12/15/2006 at 2:41 pm
now is that magical time of the year….

click here to see magic

thanx hedonistica we will miss you…:)

A Happy Ending for the Life Aquatic

In Uncategorized on 12/14/2006 at 8:50 pm

Not only has Central Asia produced the tallest man in the world but he saves dolphins from life-threatening plastic to boot.

Bao Xishun, a 54-year-old Monogolian herdsman and also the tallest man in the world at 7 feet 9 inches, saved two dolphins at an aquarium in Fushun, Liaoning Province in China by using his 41-inch arms to reach inside and remove harmful pieces of plastic from their stomachs after medical instruments and short arms had failed.

This makes me happy about life, and Mongolians, and being tall.

Thanks Carla!

does that mean a skinnier voice…

In Uncategorized on 12/14/2006 at 12:52 am

Worth the weight: skinny Jann Arden

Not pressured into losing pounds — she just wanted to see her cheekbones. Singer-songwriter Jann Arden has recently dropped 60 pounds. That’s a big deal when you’re someone who trades in self-acceptance. Not everyone is thrilled with Jann Arden’s recent shedding of 60 pounds. While some cheer, others are bizarrely betrayed. This last set, I reckon, consider Jann to be something like the Bob Rae of the Rubenesque brigade. Much like that notable New Democrat-turned-Liberal, she’s accused of having switched allegiances, become a turncoat, broken the faith. Fat being, as it so often is, a matter of politics.

“Weight is an emotional issue,” she herself elaborates. “And some people are mad at me. ‘You sold out. You caved under pressure.’ “

The singer-songwriter gives the skinny in a new cover story in Chatelaine. The writer of the article, Katrina Onstad, shades in the rest: “Weight loss is complicated for an artist who trades in self-acceptance and has a huge female following for making no apologies about being large.” So, why and how? Characteristically cheeky, the awesome Arden zings, “I just looked in the mirror and thought, man, I haven’t seen a cheekbone in so long.”

Old-fashioned healthy eating and committed jogging did the trick, she says.
And so we have it — a photo in Chatelaine that has Jann Arden looking all sultry and smoky and even a bit, if you blink, like Britain’s Jemina Khan! So no, Jann, it’s true what they say about pleasing all of the people. And yes, we’re keen to hear your new album, out early next year.
Oh, and just one more thing: Our Calgarian chanteuse says that she for sure gets the fat gene from her dad’s part of the family. Mom’s side “are like sparrows,” and as she goes on to chuckle, “I look at my father and I curse his sperm!”

Shinan Govani is National Post’s resident snoop, town-crier and people-watcher. His column, Scene, is the in-the-know-must-turn-to place in the Post. Govani explains: “Writing a social/gossip column is pure fun, but it’s fun that I take very seriously. It involves working the late shift, covering the parties, tracking the buzz, and decoding the personalities that make Toronto and the country tick.” In addition to his regular column, this serial socializer also writes the both cheeky and useful Dinner Party Crash Course in the Saturday Post. In addition, he frequently appears on television, and his work has also appeared in such publications as Salon, George, Details, enRoute, Toronto Life and Flare

at what price a cure for heart break..?

In Uncategorized on 12/12/2006 at 2:43 pm

There was big news on the heart front last week. A hot new pharmaceutical with the tongue-twister name of torcetrapib failed miserably, despite the 15 years of research and $800 million that Pfizer devoted to it. The finding left in its wake stunned investigators and a passel of cardiologists scratching their heads over the loss of a dream drug, one they’ve been waiting for ever since it became clear there was such a thing as a good cholesterol. There’s no doubt that torcetrapib raises HDL, the good cholesterol, just as well-known statin drugs like Lipitor lower the bad LDL cholesterol. Using both agents together seemed to offer a promising new way to fight off heart attacks and strokes.

But the complexity of the human body dashed this grand hope when an independent monitoring group-the only individuals privy to the results-advised Pfizer to halt its major research trial involving 15,000 patients. Among patients taking torcetrapib plus Lipitor, there were 82 deaths; that’s compared with 51 in the group on Lipitor alone. And reportedly there was also an increase in nonfatal cardiac events including angina, heart failure, and the need for angioplasty. For the HDL-raising drug to show little added benefit is one thing. For it to increase heart problems is a real shocker.

After all, HDL acts like Drano on an artery clogged with atherosclerotic plaque. It infiltrates plaque, sucks up bad LDL, and carries it off to the liver for discard. A low HDL (less than 40 mg/dl) is a well-known cardiovascular risk factor, and each 1 mg/dl rise in HDL is estimated to reduce that risk by 2 percent. But anyone who has low HDL (mainly men) knows how hard it is to move that number. Exercise, a glass of wine, maybe a little fish oil, even the statins can bump it up a few points, but that’s about it. The B vitamin niacin raises good cholesterol by up to 25 percent, but it comes with the troublesome side effect of flushing of the head and neck. That’s why torcetrapib, which raises HDL by about 50 percent with few side effects except for a minor increase in blood pressure, was a long-awaited breakthrough.

By all accounts, torcetrapib seemed to be a sure bet. Its novel design inhibits a particular protein, called CTEP, that regulates cholesterol, with a net effect of making the good cholesterol rise and the bad fall. Research in animals with atherosclerosis found that plaque shrank considerably with the new drug. Indeed, the buzz at last month’s annual American Heart Association meeting in Chicago was that torcetrapib was mighty close to its victory lap. Pfizer even predicted approval by the Food and Drug Administration in 2007. There were no signs to the contrary. However, in the final analysis of its heart effects in humans, it missed the mark.

Quality matters. What may explain this, plain and simple, is that all HDL is not created equal. In fact, some forms are downright dysfunctional, unable to remove the bad cholesterol from the arteries, and worse, are so chemically altered that the HDL actually stimulates inflammation and blood clots. Those are the very factors that can make atherosclerotic plaque in an artery swell up, rupture, and clot, triggering a heart attack or a stroke. Bernadine.

Bernadine Healy M.D., is a health editor for U.S.News & World Report and writes the On Health column for the magazine. A Harvard- and Hopkins-trained physician, Healy is a past Director of the National Institutes of Health, where she started the Women’s Health Initiative. She is currently a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and is a leader in patient care research and education.

Let’s keep it PC, shall we?

In Uncategorized on 12/09/2006 at 7:53 pm

The 12 Politically Correct Days of Christmas. Because we here at brainwashcafe do not wish to offend or promote controversy in any way 😉 And for the traditional, albeit potentially offensive lyrics, click the link.

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to me:

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,
ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note),
TEN melanin-deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,
NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,
EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,
SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,
SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,
FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration, (NOTE: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further Animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)
FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,
THREE deconstructionist poets,
TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses, and
ONE Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah/Hanukkah. Good Kwanzaa. Blessed Yule. Oh, hell! Happy Holidays!!!! (unless otherwise prohibited by law)

Unless, of course, you are suffering from Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD). If this be the case, please substitute this gratuitous call for celebration with a suggestion that you have a thoroughly adequate day.

Received this in an email donkey’s years ago

winner of ‘Not My Job’ award

In Uncategorized on 12/08/2006 at 8:35 pm

…although we think an argument could well be made for “respect the nature” award…

Thanks misszoepearl 🙂

and just in time for the holidays…

In Uncategorized on 12/07/2006 at 1:09 am

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the leading causes of death in the United States are, in this order, heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and “accidental injury,” a broad category that includes a lot of stuff that just happens.

You are more likely to commit suicide or fall to your death than be killed by a tsunami or any natural disaster, the odds say.

…but you just might suffer a fatal car accident, have a heart attack or fall to your death (though probably not all at the same time), according to a recent study by National Geographic. The results of the study, rendered in an interesting series of concentric circles which we can only reproduce tiny-style here(click here for the full graphic), are both fascinating and at the same time not all that surprising. Learning that cancer was considerably more likely to do me in than a fireworks accident (hence, this blog’s title) wasn’t particularly jaw-dropping. But, being the trivia buff that I am, I couldn’t resist the picayune (and morbid) details. So let’s run the numbers!

In 2003, your lifetime odds of dying by
– falling out of bed were 1 in 4,473.
– being crushed by a nonvenomous reptile was, unsurprisingly, 0.
– a sudden change in air pressure were 1 in 374,804.
– having your pajamas catch on fire were 1 in 1,249,356.
– an accidental overdose of sleeping pills or other narcotics were 1 in 406. (A little too close to 1 for comfort, if you ask me.)
– cataclysmic storm were 1 in 49,974.

The big problem with this study? All the odds are for 2003. What if my odds of being crushed by a reptile are like 1 in 5 this year? (For some reason, thinking about my odds of dying a lot tends to put me on edge.)

thanks to Mental-Floss boys;)

be Adequite…

In Uncategorized on 12/01/2006 at 3:19 am

Lohan offers words of condolence to Altman’s family

There are those who have been moved to great eloquence and passion by the death of the eminent film director Robert Altman. And then there is Lindsay Lohan.

The 20-year-old actress, who scored a part in Altman’s last movie, A Prairie Home Companion, made the interesting decision to go public with a condolence letter she wrote to the Altman family in the wake of his death from cancer last week. The passion was certainly there – she, like many dozens of actors before her, clearly adored the experience of working in Altman’s characteristic freeform style – but the letter was also spectacular in its incoherence and disregard of basic grammar and spelling.

“I am lucky enough to of been able to work with Robert Altman amongst the other greats on a film that I can genuinely say created a turning point in my career,” she began, less than certainly. “He was the closest thing to my father and grandfather that I really do believe I’ve had in several years… He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do.” A little lower down, she fell into improv philosophy, apparently riffing on the notion that life is too short to waste: “Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourselves’ (12st book) – everytime there’s a triumph in the world a million souls hafta be trampled on. – altman Its true. But treasure each triumph as they come.” And she signed off, “Be adequite. Lindsay Lohan.”

The letter has become the talk of Hollywood since its release over the weekend. Was the actress on a misguided – and utterly botched – quest for publicity, exploiting the death of a revered director for her own purposes? Had she been on one of her legendary party benders? Or was this Exhibit A for the indictment of America’s education system?

Lohan fans sought to argue that the letter really was not that incoherent after all – the errors no worse than the average teenage e-mail exchange.

Patt Morrison, a columnist with the Los Angeles Times, begged to differ, calling the letter “alarmingly incoherent” and questioning what it was Lohan had learnt at the Long Island schools that gave her straight As.

“As for the brilliant Mr Altman himself,” Ms Morrison added, “I suspect he might find sardonic comedic potential in all of this.”

By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
Published: 29 November 2006

Computer Technology Both Amuses and Frightens Me

In Uncategorized on 11/30/2006 at 9:16 pm

There is not a more perfect time to introduce online procrastination material than when exam period begins to loom on the horizon. Now this feature has been available for some time, but I hope it brings joy to at least one person who’d rather be doing anything than real work. allows you to scan in a photo of yourself while it, through some magical technology of its own- okay, they call it an algorithm, will match you with celebrities who you most resemble, giving a percentage of how physically similar you are.
Originally the aim was to compare faces as a genealogical tool “through photos and meta-data contributed by yourself and other users” so that “the more photos added to the system, the more powerful it becomes.” This algorithm finds relatives of people in your photo owing to the “genetic-based facial similarities that exist between relatives.” You could therefore use this to formulate links between people whom you never even knew were related.
Whether you use it to explore your family tree, or you simply want a few chuckles, myheritage guarantees a good time. Hint: your matches will vary depending on the tilt of your head and the expression you are making so go ahead and scan a few photos for a variety of matches. You may be flattered (74% Gisele Bündchen- good thing they didn’t measure the size of my thighs), a little weirded-out (66% Tom Cruise- everyone loves a scientologist?), or doubting what it means to be a woman (54% Michael Moore- I think I’ll go kill myself now), but bottom-line, you’ll have wasted at least 30 minutes.

boys will be boys…

In Uncategorized on 11/28/2006 at 2:56 pm

Sadly there aren’t many things that throw us off composure but the recent rash of revelations as to how certain business moguls got their initial start to spark their astounding success (or is it the other way around) definitely got our attention. First there was our very own fav Jawed Karim (yes that Jawed) who got the inspiration for YouTube empire while trying to belatedly download Janet Jackson’s nipple slip, and now hot off the presses comes news that (sigh..the things we dig up for you people) Laurence Lewin (see photo right) talking about how Melanie Griffith didn’t look that great but…

“…I was watching the movie Working Girl, and there’s a scene where Melanie Griffith is vacuuming in her underwear. … Anyway, she’s wearing some sort of frilly underwear and she looks absolutely fabulous despite not having the best figure. That got me thinking about great underwear and how it could make women feel. At the time, lingerie was sold in department stores and, in my opinion, it was boring. The bras looked like a lineup of white and beige soldiers. I wanted to make it more fashionable, more fun.”

Hmm…right. Well that little company that Melanie ‘inspired’ became a little known Canadian retailer called La Senza which became awash in umm..a tiny bit of cash this past week to the tune of about $710 million dollars since its announcement this past week that it had been acquired in a friendly takeover by Limited Brands of USA which in turn just happens to own Victoria’s Secret. Of course we are always happy to see a Canadian success story but… is it only us that thinks Janet and Melanie should be entitled to a huge chunk of the respective ’empires’ that they inspired? Stay tuned…

life in the not so fast lane… #24

In Uncategorized on 11/26/2006 at 9:52 pm

sometimes talent alone just ain’t enough 😦

thanx nadia:)

life in the fast lane… #48

In Uncategorized on 11/24/2006 at 1:56 am

Overheard in Starbucks

I couldn’t quite believe my ears when the person in front of me in the queue at Starbucks ordered (in a dead-pan voice):

“A tall skinny Ethiopian, please”

I did my best to hold back the laughter, but I ended up sniggering. And then the barista (who knows me well) saw the look of my face and then started to crack up herself.

Meanwhile the person ordering the coffee had no idea what was going on or the hilarity of what she had just ordered.

thanks Ben 😉


In Uncategorized on 11/22/2006 at 10:46 pm

Never seen before: this remarkable image of an unborn elephant, taken approximately six months into the two-year gestation period, was captured using a combination of 3D ultrasound scans and tiny cameras inserted into the mother’s womb. They were taken for the National Geographic TV channel, to be shown next year.
© Channel 4

mother of all reviews…

In Uncategorized on 11/19/2006 at 7:42 pm

Listening to Evan expound on his true love is somewhat akin to passing by a train wreck. You know you shoudn’t stare but… (warning; it’s a little long !)


I never saw Goldfinger on the big screen. Perhaps if I had I would have something to reference my experience watching Casino Royale last night. As a James Bond fan seeing Goldfinger on opening night in 1964 is probably the only experience that might have come close. Only if I had been there could I say for sure what I now believe; Casino Royale is by far the best James Bond film ever made.

Let me give you a little bit of information about myself to qualify this opinion. Since The Living Daylights I have walked out the theatre after every new James Bond film with the feeling that I had just seen the best James Bond film, then after a few months and a few more viewings I have come down to earth and the movie slides down into its position in my list of favourite Bond films. This effect, I believe, is because of the excitement of seeing a new James Bond film gigantic, for the first time up on the big screen, just outweighs seeing the other films for the umpteenth time on the television. Hence, the virgin viewing of Tomorrow Never Dies trumps the seventy-fourth viewing of Goldfinger.

Casino Royale, however, is different. I’ve never left the theatre with this great of a feeling about a new Bond film. Never.

You see, Casino Royale is a complete experience. It not just a great Bond film. But also a great film. Casino Royale has achieved something the no other Bond film has achieved; it has three dimensions.

The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

I never saw The Creature From The Black Lagoon on the big screen in 3-D. But I did see a trailer for it when I went to see another lousy 3-D film. The Creature’s trailer in 3-D blew me away with the depth of the three dimensional effect. This was the same way that Casino Royale affected me, only Casino’s depth was of character and plot, and not of special cameras and glasses.

I’ll start with Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond. Craig made James Bond a real person rather than a character. Craig let me feel Bond’s emotions, amazingly even when he was suppressing them. Craig showed me how James Bond could truly fall in love. Craig made me feel the danger and the fear, and made me see how this man Bond could stand up to them.
Now I love Sean Connery’s James Bond, but the depth just isn’t there. Nor is it there for Lazenby or Moore. The depth Dalton added was a mere embossing. And Brosnan’s attempts to add depth to the character were less The Creature From The Black Lagoon and more Sharkboy and Lavagirl, a movie that would flash on the screen in big text, ‘Put your 3-D glasses on we’re going to add depth now’.

Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd was more than three dimensional. I don’t know how many of you have had higher maths, but I recall in some calculus class or another being taught about four dimensional objects moving through three dimensional spaces, and while the object would be of one solid shape in four dimensions, in three it would appear to be a fluid, changing object that could be only truly understood if viewed in four dimensions. Such was the character of Vesper, only at the end of the film, when we knew all of Vesper’s dimensions, did her character’s actions through the film truly take shape. Enigmatic is the word that has been used to describe Vesper, and Miss Green’s complex yet simple approach to Vesper plays perfectly to the word. You see Vesper is a character of… shall we say ‘burdens’ to keep this review spoiler free. Her burdens dictate how she interacts with Bond. And only when seen with that extra dimension is her character’s form fully understood. Until then its concept and its beauty is just a wonder to behold. Miss Green’s own beauty on the other hand is obvious through the whole film.
Mads Mikkelson turned one of Ian Fleming’s most ordinary villains into the James Bond series’s most fascinating. It has been pointed out that that Le Chiffre is not the megalomanic, ‘let’s start World War III’ type Bond villains, but Le Chiifre unlike all Bond main villains is not even the most evil person in the film. While he is not the greatest evil, he is the centre of evil. Mikkelson plays this near perfection. The fear, the fearlessness, the confidence, the desperation, the sadism, the creepiness (with some points going to the makeup department) each flow steadily from the villain.

Casino’s lesser players each are displayed in Glorious 3-D Characterisations too. Judi Dench’s M is surprising. Let’s get this straight right now, this is not the same M that gave orders to Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond. This time M is the relic of the Cold War and this time she really does ‘have the balls’.

Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis makes the best Bond ally ever. His character comes straight from the novel, yet his story improves on the novel.

Felix Leiter as played by Jeffery Wright manages to do as much with Felix as any of those who had taken the role before him, but with barely the screen time of John Terry.

Die Hard, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The French Connection, anything Jackie Chan.

Okay, now these films I saw on the big screen and action-wise, Casino Royale is in these films’ league. More French Connection in Casino’s grit and ability to weave the action into the artistry. More Die Hard and Lost Ark in adrenaline. And Jackie Chan because… well, I’m a big Jackie Chan fan precisely because with every stunt and every action set piece you truly believe that Jackie could get seriously hurt or maybe killed. Casino takes that a step further, while you may know that Jackie Chan might get hurt, you believe his character will survive just fine. (That makes the action greater, but downgrades the film). In Casino you believe that James Bond may not survive. Craig’s Bond may sustain more injuries in this film than a Jackie Chan blooper reel, and definitely more than the previous Bonds had combined.

Ian Fleming.

Never has Fleming’s writing been given this much respect. The movie actually felt like the novel. Now Msrs. Purvis, Wade, and Haggis may have updated every inch of the story contained in Ian Fleming’s first novel yet still managed to make the only Bond film that felt like the novel it was adapted from. Sure, From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are very true content of the novels. Casino Royale is true to much more. It is true to its novel’s spirit. It is true to its novel’s soul.

A few Bond fans and so-called Bond fans predicted this new film would have Ian Fleming making one of his famous turns in his grave that they seem to think he performs regularly; if true, this roll will be only because Fleming realised the changes that could have been made to improve his first novel. One twist added to a Fleming-sacred character was such an improvement to the story that if the late Mr Fleming’s casket were ever to stir, it surely would have been when that missed opportunity was penned on to the script.


I wasn’t born yet. But Casino Royale’s love story set against mystery, intrigue, and danger is near or on this level. Craig’s James Bond and Bogart’s Rick Blaine each in love with Green’s Vesper Lynd and Bergman’s Ilsa Lund respectfully. The parallels are there, only Casino is absent its Victor Laszlo, which surprisingly only makes its love triangle more compelling. And Bond’s final line about Vesper bites harder than ‘We’ll always have Paris’.

A Classic? I’m really comparing Casino Royale to a Classic? Yes, I am, and I am going to state right here and now that Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson have finally stepped out of the shadow of the James Bond series’ great patriarch, one Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, and in doing so have finally surpassed him. In doing so they have given us a new Classic.

Now, I must tell myself that after a few months and a few more viewings I may very well come down to earth and Casino Royale will slide down below Casablanca into its position in my list entitled Best Films Ever Made. It will, however, undoubtedly forever remain atop my list of Best James Bond Films. signed, Evan Willnow.

Casino Royale Rating: 5/5

thanks Evan 😉

life in the fast lane…

In Uncategorized on 11/13/2006 at 9:13 pm

So we admit whilst the mid-term elections were gripping the entire nation south of our border, war in Iraq raged on with daily death counts, Borat conquered Hollywood with penny ante budget mockumentary, we here at brainwashcafe were avidly tracking.. um..the amazing saga of Zahra Amir Ebrahimi. Yes indeed you may ask, Zahra who?? The short answer would be she is Iran’s most popular actress, at least until recently, when she suddenly began to be also referred to as the Iranian Paris Hilton.. except that unlike Paris’s inexplicable fame and fortune, Zahra is facing an extensive jail term, financial ruin, and a public flogging (yup you read that right, as in whipped) for engaging in pretty much exactly the same bedroom antics.

It turns out that in this hard core (oh pls;) islamic nation, releasing explicit sex tapes of one’s private amorous acrobatics can be hazardous to your health, even through no fault of one’s own. Zahra’s ex-boyfriend (i mean like who else right? when will we gals ever learn..) secretly started distributing a 20 minute bare-all tape on internet, and then surprise fled to more liberal neighboring Dubai to escape prosecution, where, we assume he’s also counting his profits. Bastard.

Amid rumors of attempted suicide and absence of hard facts, speculations are running rampant, as are rogue copies of the hot tapes being posted on YouTube. Not that we want to make light of all this, but this only goes to show that even in Iran, boys are boys and all they want is the SAME bleeping THING!! It seems mom was right all along ;( .. Sordid details right here.

H&K’s Guide to Everything Part I; Pedestrianism

In Uncategorized on 11/13/2006 at 5:11 pm

Although there are a few Montreal references, we like to think this Guide can be appreciated by most urbanites outside of our lovely city.

Sometimes I thank all that’s holy that I don’t drive. Montreal is full of crack-pot drivers who I’m convinced make it their lifelong goal to kill me. Even though this city couldn’t be designed better for the walkers here, I still find it a scary place in need of a guide for innocent pedestrians.
Road-Raging Power-Walkers are the worst type of pedestrians conceivable. For some reason unbeknownst to the rest of humanity, Power-Walkers have an impulse to move at breakneck speeds that regular people would be forced to jog at. I don’t understand why these people are walking so quickly all the time; they’re pretty much the epitome of all that is annoying, so I know for for a fact that they are not rushing to meet up with friends, or that they have a social life in any shape or form. While I have often been tempted to maneuver myself in front of them and gleefully watch while their (probably robotic) heads explode, I haven’t as of yet been able to build up the courage. Scary Power-Walkers, you rule the sidewalk for a reason.
The Multi-Tasker is a familiar phenomenon identifiable by their talent for doing nothing well but their knack for doing five things miserably half-assed. Usually running behind from their repetitive snooze-button pushing, Multi-Taskers are often seen half-dressed while eating breakfast with one hand and texting on their cells with the other. These walkers pose a 100% threat of pissing you the hell off. Their speed is often erratic and requires constant surveillance to avoid possible 8-people pile-ups.
The Socialite is an especially obnoxious breed to your average antisocial student walker. Socialites like to walk arm in arm with their fellow socialites on two-lane sidewalks, forcing all oncoming traffic into snow banks, walls, or parked cars. If you’re trapped behind them, expect a long wait; they form impenetrable walls and they’re aware of little else outside of their conversation of how they were “soooo drunk/stoned/etc. last night.” To these obstacles of pure annoyance, try speaking the language. I find a good smack with a knockoff Louis Vuitton bag does nicely, or getting all Naomi Campbell on their asses and hurling a Swarovski crystal-encrusted Blackberry at their heads.
Out-of-Towners can be easily recognized for their poor pedestrianism. Yes, I’m afraid, ironic as it is, globe-trotting tourists are failures when it actually comes to trotting. First of all, they are among the almost non-existent minority of people in Montreal who wait for the traffic lights to change in order to cross the street. Furthermore, not only will these pedestrians be moving slowly in order to capture the magical moments of Montreal on film, they actively disrupt the fine balance of the sidewalk-habitat by stopping other pedestrians in order to ask for directions. The nerve! Add on to this the way they integrate their own unique customs into their walking (something foreign and British like walking on the left) and you might as well stick them in a cab, pay their fare, and point them politely in the direction of the Bio-dome.
Now if this were the streets of California, things would take care of themselves: the Road-Raging Power Walker would get cut-off by the Multi-Tasker and out of a fit of blinding fury, pull out a .9 mm and pop a cap in their ass. Then, because they’ve nothing else to lose, they take out the infuriating Socialites and Out-of-Towners and subsequently lead the LAPD on a high-speed chase to the Mexican border. Fortunately or unfortunately, due to geographical location, our urban jungle is a wee bit different and a hell of a lot more frozen. There are numerous other obstacles on the sidewalk that should be handled with care. This category includes, but is not limited to ice, drunks, children, dogs, pigeons, strollers, people on crutches, homeless people, umbrellas, and stationary bus lines. Please be safe. And if you’re anybody on this list, save us all our sanity and use public transport.
Next time on H&K’s Guide to Everything: The Woes of Public Transport


In Uncategorized on 11/08/2006 at 6:04 pm

…or also known as botanophilic voyeurism.

dickheads redux…

In Uncategorized on 11/05/2006 at 2:19 am

So we think this is beautifully um..drawn and very funny, not to mention really educational for all the francophiles among us. Such an innovative way to learn foreign policy:)

thanks nadine 😉

an inside joke…

In Uncategorized on 11/04/2006 at 2:04 pm

sorry guys, but this will only make sense to Canadians…

merci Fabien 🙂

for gals only…69 sperm facts you thought you knew…

In Uncategorized on 10/30/2006 at 5:52 pm

Yes, it is just possible some gentle readers of this blog may be forgiven for falsely assuming that we seem to have an unusual ‘fixation’ with little spermatozoid creatures.. Please rest assured that all’s well in brainwashcafeland ; We merely reflect the inquisitive nature of our bright brillant loyal readers. What you see dear readers, is what we see…so without further ado and by popular ‘consensus’, here is everything you need to know about um..the lovely little creatures…
1. Sperm is produced at an average rate of 1,500 per second per testicle.
2. The sperm is the smallest cell in the body
3. The female egg is the largest,
4. It takes 175,000 sperm to weigh as much as one female egg
5. It takes about 100 days for sperm to form and mature.
6. The average ejaculation contains about a teaspoonful of semen which contains 200-500 million sperm.
7. There are about 3 million little sperm brats at the tip of a penis every time he get an erection, all waiting to break free.
8. The average sperm count fell from 113 million sperm/ml of semen in 1940 to 66 million/ml in 1990
9. A sperm’s tail, called flagellum, spins like a boat propeller to move the sperm forward. It is the human body’s only rotary ‘engine’.
10. 400 million sperm produced will all fit on the head of a pin.
11. Because sperm are so tiny, they account for only about 1/10 of the volume of semen. The rest is fluid from the seminal vesicles and prostate gland.
12. If an average ejaculation filled an Olympic sized swimming pool, each sperm cell would be smaller than a tiny goldfish.
13. Alkaline-based foods like meat and fish produce a semem
14. Acidic fruits cranberries, blueberries and plums produce a pleasant, sugary flavor. Fruits like kiwi, watermelon, celery, and pineapple will make semen taste lighter. Beer and coffee leaves a rather bitter taste in the mouth.
15. Distance sperm travels to fertilize an egg: 3 to 4 inches
16. Time it takes sperm to fertilize an egg: 2.5 seconds
17. The average time a sperm survives in the female reproductive tract: 3 days.
18. The average time a sperm survives in the man’s body: 6 months.
19. Sperm that aren’t ejaculated get broken down and reabsorbed or are washed away in urine.
20. Sadly, Men can’t run out of sperm.
21. Masturbation and sex doesn’t use up sperm.
22. The body keeps making sperm as long as a man has at least one testicle.
23. Sperm have a 6 inch swim to reach the woman’s egg. This is equal to 10- mile swim for a man.
24. At least 32 different chemicals have been found in semen. They include 20 amino acids, glucose, citric acid, fructose, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Potassium, Calcium and Copper.
25. Average number of times a man will ejaculate in his lifetime: 7,200
26. Average # of times he will ejaculate from masturbation: 2,000
27. Average total amount of lifetime ejaculate: 14 gallons
28. Average amount of water it takes to fill a bathtub: 35 gallons
29. Average speed of sperm travel; 45 km per hour
30. Average speed of a city bus: 40 km per hour
31. Average # of calories in a teaspoon of semen: 7
32. Average # of calories in a can of Dr. Pepper: 150
33. Average length of penis when not erect: 3.5 inches
34. Average length when erect: 5.1 inches
35. Average answer from guys when asked to measure their own: 6.0 inches
36. Smallest natural penis recorded: 5/8 of an inch
37. Largest natural penis recorded: 11 inches
38. Largest penis in the animal kingdom: 11 feet (blue whale)
39. Height from court floor to the rim of a basketball hoop: 10 feet
40. Most arousing time of day/season for a man: early morning/fall
41. Best ways to improve sexual function: start exercising.
42. Percent of men who say they masturbate: 60%
43. Percent of men who say they masturbate at least once a day: 54%
44. Percent of men who say they feel guilty masturbating that often: 41%
45. Amount of time needed for a man to regain erection: from 2 min to 2weeks
46. Average # of erections per day for a man: 11
47. Average # of erections during the night: 9
48. Often, semen has an odor that resembles chlorine
49. Sperm life: 2 1/2 months (from development to ejaculation)
50. Cost of a year’s supply of condoms used by average male: $100
51. Thickness of the average condom: .07 mm
52. Thickness of super-thin condoms: .05 mm
53. Average number of sperm cells in one ejaculate;between 40 million to 600 million
54. Average number of sperm cells needed to create a baby ; 1
55. Rabbit and Man produce same number of sperm in one ejaculate
56. Pig produces 30 times number of sperm than man in one ejaculate
57. Among mammals humans has the smallest sperm cells
58. Length of human sperm cell ; 40 microns
59. Length of rat sperm cell ; 170 microns
60. Duration of a man’s marathon orgasm ; 15 seconds
61. Time it takes an average male to complete a marathon: 4 hours
62. Time sperm can survive inside a mouth: 13 hours
63. Number of women who have tried artificial insemination procedures at some time in their life ; 865,000
64. The sperm’s only purpose in life is to get into the woman’s vagina and uterus, to impregnate an egg.
65. Repository for Germinal Choice of Escondido, Calif., famous for its Nobel Prize-winning donors, closed its doors in 1999. Fairfax Cryobank, offering ‘high’ IQ sperm from medical, law, Ph.D students and graduates, opened its doors in 1999.
66. Number of penile implants currently in use in the U.S. : About 22,500
67. Number of women who have breast implants in the U.S. : About 1.5 million
68. Percent of men who say that there has ever been a moment in their lives when they weren’t interested in sex: 13%
69. Percent of men who admit to lying about their answers on surveys: 22%

thanx nadia ;))

life in the college lane…

In Uncategorized on 10/24/2006 at 7:29 pm

we want to keep a straight face particularly considering the millions of potentially productive lives ‘washed’ down the drain, but sadly it was not to be… thanks ivy 🙂


In Uncategorized on 10/21/2006 at 5:11 am

now THAT’S what we call a real Superstar

Check out this stunning Hubble image of the Antennae galaxies, sharpest and clearest photograph yet of this colliding pair of galaxies. As the two galaxies smash together, billions of stars are born, mostly in groups and clusters of stars. Carl Sagan would have been proud. Hard to believe already 10 yrs have passed since his premature death. The genius who popularized the phrase “..billions and billions of stars out there.”, pioneered the field of Exobiology and taught ground breaking (standing room only) courses in CriticalThinking at Cornell would have been enraptured with Hubble’s images of what’s really out there. Like many other objects, Hubble has resolved the enigmatic Antenna Galaxy, which looked to Earthbound telescopes like a fuzzy insect, into reality: The Antennae are a pair of interacting galaxies, caught in each other’s gravitational pull, and tearing each other apart. The brightest and most compact of these are called Superstar clusters. The Antennae galaxies, 68 million light years from Earth, began to fuse 500 million years ago. (One light year is the distance light waves travel in one year, a mere 6 trillion miles). This image serves as a preview for our very own Milky Way’s likely collision with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy with obvious consequences for planet Earth, which would..ahem… be obliterated into microdust. We could talk about this calmly now of course since this will only occur about 6 billion years from now. Plenty of time to plan ahead 😉 (NASA, ESA/Hubble, and B. Whitmore – Space Telescope Science Institute/Handout/Reuters)

mcgill at 62nd ???

In Uncategorized on 10/17/2006 at 1:59 pm

and sadly, we are not talking 62nd Street… 😦

Ok it’s that time of the year and not for any other reason than to give us all a break from midterm tedium, we should talk numbers even if it means eating some humble pie. What follows will hurt, but only if you are at Stanford. That’s not only because as we all know no one remembers who came in third, but mainly because their hated rival Harvard not only came in ranked 1st in the World, but collected a cool 100 out of.. yes 100 possible points in the following critical categories; HiCi Score, SCI Score, N&S Score, Alumni Score, Award Score. and last but not least SIZE Score (size always matters it seems;). Now before you all go ballistic trying to figure out the acronyms, THIS IS NOT AN IQ TEST… just click here if you’re curious as to what they stand for (not Stanford that’s for sure:) But what you cannot help noticing will be that of the top ten placings, 8 are American universities, with only venerable Oxford and Cambridge making the cut. Ah yes, the critics might point out that well American colleges have more wealth at top but what about the top say.. twenty? or even thirty? The answer is clear: America Rules, at least in university education. 17 of top 20 are US colleges, and more tellingly, 35 of top 50 are American as well.
As to why, the Economist has a theory that America’s system of higher education is the best in the world because…there is no system.
“…IT IS all too easy to mock American academia. Every week produces a mind-boggling example of intolerance or wackiness. Consider the twin stories of Lawrence Summers, one of the world’s most distinguished economists, and Ward Churchill, an obscure professor of ethnic studies, which unfolded in parallel earlier this year. Mr Summers was almost forced to resign as president of Harvard University because he had dared to engage in intellectual speculation by arguing, in an informal seminar, that discrimination might not be the only reason why women are under-represented in the higher reaches of science and mathematics. Mr Churchill managed to keep his job at the University of Boulder, Colorado, despite a charge sheet including plagiarism, physical intimidation and lying about his ethnicity.With such colourful headlines, it is easy to lose sight of the real story: that America has the best system of higher education in the world…” click here for full article.

Oh by the way in case you are wondering, yes there was a 500 th place ‘awarded’ and now we have yet one more reason to NOT go to York university in Toronto. Sigh.. ah well at least we have Tim Hortons in Canada. And lest we forget, yes in the photo above that is Harvard’s arguably most attractive graduate, Natalie Portman receiving her Harvard degree in.. umm… Electromagnetic Fluid Dynamics??? 🙂

No Respect for the Dead…

In Uncategorized on 10/15/2006 at 9:21 pm

Notice anything special about this epitaph located in Montreal’s Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges? I’ll give you a clue: it was commissioned by the deceased’s ex-wife and mistress. Click on the link if you give up.

Thanks Helen!

Jawed who??

In Uncategorized on 10/13/2006 at 8:29 pm

so what does Janet get..

Ok so we gals are not easily impressed., and no disrespect to Chad and Stephen but Jawed Karim gets the brainwashcafe brain-of-the-week award for accomplishing the seemingly improbable task of being a Student and earning a Billion dollars u.s. at the same time (actually one third of two billion, give or take couple of hundred million). How? Oh just happens that he is the third founder behind You Tube, which, unless your head has been buried in sand for the past week, you know was purchased by Google for over $1.65 billion (just at 2billion canadian;).

The delicious part of the story is that the YouTube began as Jawed’s ‘little’ idea that he got while watching trying to belatedly download Janet Jackson’s nipple slip and thinking there must be a faster way to do this (sigh..boys). Discouraged by initial lack of success he left the team to return to Stanford (obviously second choice after being turned down at McGill;) to complete his degree in computer engineering ‘just in case’. Here’s the brillant part that we like..he left the team but kept the shares in the partnership. Lesson for all you budding entrepreneurs…never leave home without it!

P.S. we dug up Jawed’s resume right here for all you curious mcgill comp engineering majors enjoy.. 🙂

Sidenote to Volker; Dear vowe, we would not exactly call Chad and Steve clowns, but essentially..ahem…we agree one hundred per cent with your erudite assessment of the situation;))

Free Bubba!

In Uncategorized on 10/13/2006 at 5:12 am

I hope at one point in your life you are able to reflect and smile at a time when you genuinely tried to change the world for the better. I harbour a fondness for my youthful days of intense and rather obnoxious activism. Perhaps I hit my liberal peak a little young but hell, at least I hit it. One day in grade seven I decided meat was murder, I’d rather be naked than wear fur, and I’d pretentiously explain to all my classmates why I was not going to dissect the foetal pig in biology class. Although my mother more than once claimed my heart was bigger than my brain, she allowed me to enter the world of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); the largest animal rights organization in the world. My days of proud PETA membership would come to an end four years later with one dinner in Paris. Happily, my guilt for betraying the cause can now be assuaged as I have found the girl who will take up the torch where I left off.

Myranda Hutchinson, a 7-year-old girl from Cincinnati, Ohio, saved Bubba the 8-pound lobster from certain (albeit tasty) death when she won him in a supermarket raffle. With only liberation on her young mind, Myranda was continuously turned away from zoos and aquariums where none was interested in adding Bubba as one of their own. Emancipation came in the form of Mike Brittsan, curator for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Through his connections with Eddie Monat, an educational diver in Bar Harbor, Maine, the saucy crustacean would finally taste the sweetness of freedom. After the $280 Myranda’s parents forked over for Bubba’s plane ride, the one month ordeal of Operation Free Bubba came to an end last Saturday. Before the cynics among you claim the probability of his recapture and reappearance on some restaurant patron’s plate, keep in mind that a lobster the size of Bubba is illegal to catch in Maine. Stay in Maine, Bubba! Stay in Maine!

For all of you moved to join the Lobster Liberation team, start your journey here.

mind over matter…

In Uncategorized on 10/11/2006 at 5:51 am

hmm.. now this one looks kinda red..”

In one study, restaurant patrons were offered a free glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Those on one side of the room were told it was a California wine; those on the other side were told the wine was made in North Dakota. “California equals wine. North Dakota equals snow or buffalo,” Wansink observes in his book, Mindless Eating. Both were actually the same cheap bottle of Cabernet but with different labels. The diners drank nearly all of their wine, but those who believed they were drinking the California vintage gave it higher ratings. Those with the so-called California wine also spent longer eating (65 vs. 55 minutes) and ate more, an average of 45 more calories. “If we think we are going to like a food or drink, it has a halo effect on the other foods we eat.” (and relationships.. which would explain all the inebriated one nighters;)

brainfart #32

In Uncategorized on 10/10/2006 at 12:41 am

Called John Smith or Mary Macdonald 2.One in seven chance of dying before first birthday 3.Lived almost two to a room 4.Women married at 25 and men married at 27 5.One in three chance of being married in their 20s 6.Life expectancy at birth 40 for men and 44 for women

1.Called Lewis Brown or Emma Smith 2.One in 200 chance of dying before their first birthday 3.Two rooms to every person 4.Men married at 32 and women married at 29 5.One in seven chance of being married in their 20s 6.Life expectancy at birth 74 for men and 79 for women

damn those 12 letter words…

In Uncategorized on 10/09/2006 at 1:23 pm

overheard in college

Gal #1: They never said I had to take that class. They just said it was pre-something.
Gal #2: Prerequisite?
Gal #1: Yeah, whatever that means.

NYU, New York, NY
thanks nadia 🙂

No time for foreplay…

In Uncategorized on 10/08/2006 at 1:16 am

I’ve always been suspicious of a man who can unhook a bra with lightning efficiency. It makes me wonder just how many ladies he’s graced with those speedy, little hands, or how many hours he has spent practicing on his sister’s brassiere strapped to a chair. Now I’ll have to entertain a new possible reason for his talent: competitor for the Guinness Book of World Records for greatest number of bras unhooked in 60 seconds.

A local radio station held their competition in Manhattan last Friday in hopes of breaking the record held by a German who unsnapped 56 bras in one minute. A representative from the Guinness Book was sent to officiate but a new crowned champion was not to be. The winner of the event was (to little surprise) a woman who only unhooked 37.

In Uncategorized on 10/05/2006 at 3:32 pm

Oh, Those Filippina Mothers!!

Miniskirts were all the rage this summer on the streets of downtown Montreal; they were worn by just about everybody, including the girls with the figures you know don’t quite suit the oh-so-short mini. I’m normally not the type that feels comfortable in skimpy outfits but I liked the look of a short skirt enough to buy one of my own, convinced that I would wear it. Trying the skirt on again at home though, I was surprised by how much shorter the skirt looked in my bedroom mirror than it had in the store changing room. Naturally I freaked out and put the skirt back into the shopping bag. So I guess I really wasn’t comfortable wearing a skirt that played peak-a-boo every time I climbed a flight of stairs or bent over to pick something up, even though nowadays it really wouldn’t have been that scandalous.

I have always been too shy to wear revealing clothing; I would always opt for looser fitting numbers or something with more coverage. It also certainly doesn’t help having a mother whose ideas about women, sex and marriage date back to, you’d think, the Victorian era. When my conservative Filippina mother saw my new skirt the look on her face said it all. I knew she thought the skirt was too short, and like a good Filippina daughter I returned the skirt and got a longer one thinking that I would probably get more wear out of the latter anyway.

I’m really only half-Filippina and I’ve lived twenty of my twenty-two years in Montreal, one of, if not, the sexiest city in all of North America. I have friends who like to go out for drinks, who date, have sex, wear sexy outfits, and just about everything else in between. But no matter how large of an influence my surroundings and my friends may have on me, I still have to answer to my mother—a woman with her own set of ideals and hopes for her children. Every now and then I can feel old-school Philippines creeping up and manifesting itself in the form of my over-protective mother. With a father in the army, and nuns as teachers, my mother had a very conservative upbringing, and since marrying my white dad and moving to Canada, she has maintained many of the ideals she developed while living in the motherland.

She’s told us about the many “suitors” she had before meeting my father, but she makes it clear that whenever she went out on any date it was always of the tamest variety. There may be one good night kiss on the first date—if there’s any kissing at all—and especially no sex since this is banned before marriage. In her ideal date scenario, the boy would always pick her up at home and bring her back at the end of the night. It’s bad enough that she makes me feel guilty for staying out late with friends, but now whenever I go out on a date she’d like for me to be escorted to and from home. It’s a nice idea, but guys don’t do that anymore!

Needless to say, my mother’s ideas about dating and sex are outdated, and would probably be laughed at by most people. Every so often I disobey her by either staying out later than she’d like me to, drinking until I make myself sick, or by going camping with a boyfriend. And I can’t begin to imagine what she’d think if I told her about the sex-toy party I went to and how I bought myself a dolphin-shaped vibrator (yes, the Dolfinger!). I have one friend whose Filippina mother cried when she found out she was on the Pill, and my own mother would likely react the same way should she find out her eldest daughter was sexually active. She must know by now that most girls my age aren’t virgins anymore.

I know my mother is only looking out for me, making sure I don’t get into any trouble or ruin my future plans by getting pregnant at a young age. I also know that you don’t have to come from a Filippino family to understand the balancing act I perform between trying to please my mother and trying to do things my way. I have taken to heart a lot of what my mother has told me over the years, even if it wasn’t voluntary. Once in a while, I even stay in on a Friday night. You know…to save money. And if you don’t believe me, just look at my closet-full of knee-length skirts!

for sexy beasts and smokers only…

In Uncategorized on 10/03/2006 at 1:17 am

Ok, a WARNING; The list that follows is Very VERY LONG. Please prepare yourself, make a shitload of tea, breathe, do some yoga, relax, and read on ONLY WHEN READY…

So us gals love smoking. At least in film noir, and we admit bad boys and sultry gals can look very sexy doing it… and there’s something to be said about doing it after sex or at a chic swanky club with that intoxicating mix of cool vodka and seduction in the air… but let’s face it, the fun is long over, light one up and you are one step closer to Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (say it fast 5 times or just say gum disease), Muscle abnormalities, Angina (20 x risk), Neck pain, Back pain, Nystagmus (abnormal eye movements), Buerger’s Disease (severe circulatory disease), Ocular Histoplasmosis (fungal eye infection), Duodenal ulcer,Osteoporosis (in both sexes), Cataract (2 x risk), Osteoarthritis, Cataract, posterior subcapsular (3 x risk), Penis (Erectile dysfunction), Colon Polyps, Peripheral vascular disease, Crohn’s Disease (fancy name for chronic inflamed bowel), Pneumonia, Depression, Psoriasis (2 x risk), Diabetes (Type 2, non-insulin dependent), Skin wrinkling (2 x risk), Hearing loss, Stomach ulcer, Influenza, Rheumatoid arthritis (for heavy smokers), Impotence (2 x risk), Tendon injuries, Optic Neuropathy (loss of vision, 16 x risk), Tobacco Amblyopia (loss of vision), Ligament injuries, Tooth loss, Macular degeneration (eyes, 2 x risk), Tuberculosis and let’s not forget Bronchogenic Carcinoma (thats lung cancer to you and me)

After a failed legislative action a decade ago, and a highly publicized phantom $400 million dollar judgement in U.S.A against tobacco companies but long overturned on appeal, now movement is afoot in Canada to try to force tobacco lobby to submit reports on 44 “selected poisons” in tobacco smoke and require all ingredients to be listed on tobacco packaging. “There are 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, and people are entitled to know what they are.”said Tony Clement, Canada’s Health Minister in charge of legislation. Not to add fuel to fire, or sound ridiculous, but we were kinda curious on just how they would manage to fit 4000 ingredients on those tiny packages.

Well, we needn’t have worried. As it turns out, there are only 599 additives approved by the US Government for use in the manufacture of cigarettes, NOT 4000, thank God. Submitted by the five major American cigarette companies to the Dept. of Health and Human Services in April of 1994, this list of ingredients had long been kept a secret. Without further ado, courtesy of amazing Terry Martin here is the full list. Thanks Terry!~)

Tobacco companies reporting this information were:

American Tobacco Company
Brown and Williamson
Liggett Group, Inc.
Philip Morris Inc.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

While these ingredients are approved as additives for foods, they were not tested by burning them, and it is the burning of many of these substances which changes their properties, often for the worse. Over 4000 chemical compounds are created by burning a cigarette, many of which are toxic and/or carcinogenic. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia are all present in cigarette smoke. Forty-three known carcinogens are in mainstream smoke, sidestream smoke, or both. It’s chilling to think about not only how smokers poison themselves, but what others are exposed to by breathing in the secondhand smoke. The next time you’re missing your old buddy, the cigarette, take a good long look at this list and see them for what they are: a delivery system for toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Literally, a pathway to death’s doorstep.

Acetic Acid
2-Acetyl-3- Ethylpyrazine
Aconitic Acid
Alfalfa Extract
Allspice Extract,Oleoresin, and Oil
Allyl Hexanoate
Allyl Ionone
Almond Bitter Oil
Ambergris Tincture
Ammonium Bicarbonate
Ammonium Hydroxide
Ammonium Phosphate Dibasic
Ammonium Sulfide
Amyl Alcohol
Amyl Butyrate
Amyl Formate
Amyl Octanoate
Amyris Oil
Angelica Root Extract, Oil and Seed Oil
Anise Star, Extract and Oils
Anisyl Acetate
Anisyl Alcohol
Anisyl Formate
Anisyl Phenylacetate
Apple Juice Concentrate, Extract, and Skins
Apricot Extract and Juice Concentrate
Asafetida Fluid Extract And Oil
Ascorbic Acid
1-Asparagine Monohydrate
1-Aspartic Acid
Balsam Peru and Oil
Basil Oil
Bay Leaf, Oil and Sweet Oil
Beeswax White
Beet Juice Concentrate
Benzaldehyde Glyceryl Acetal
Benzoic Acid, Benzoin
Benzoin Resin
Benzyl Alcohol
Benzyl Benzoate
Benzyl Butyrate
Benzyl Cinnamate
Benzyl Propionate
Benzyl Salicylate
Bergamot Oil
Black Currant Buds Absolute
Bornyl Acetate
Buchu Leaf Oil
Butter, Butter Esters, and Butter Oil
Butyl Acetate
Butyl Butyrate
Butyl Butyryl Lactate
Butyl Isovalerate
Butyl Phenylacetate
Butyl Undecylenate
Butyric Acid]
Calcium Carbonate
Cananga Oil
Capsicum Oleoresin
Caramel Color
Caraway Oil
Carbon Dioxide
Cardamom Oleoresin, Extract, Seed Oil, and Powder
Carob Bean and Extract
Carrot Oil
beta-Caryophyllene Oxide
Cascarilla Oil and Bark Extract
Cassia Bark Oil
Cassie Absolute and Oil
Castoreum Extract, Tincture and Absolute
Cedar Leaf Oil
Cedarwood Oil Terpenes and Virginiana
Celery Seed Extract, Solid, Oil, And Oleoresin
Cellulose Fiber
Chamomile Flower Oil And Extract
Chicory Extract
Cinnamic Acid
Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Bark Oil, and Extract
Cinnamyl Acetate
Cinnamyl Alcohol
Cinnamyl Cinnamate
Cinnamyl Isovalerate
Cinnamyl Propionate
Citric Acid
Citronella Oil
Citronellyl Butyrate
itronellyl Isobutyrate
Civet Absolute
Clary Oil
Clover Tops, Red Solid Extract
Cocoa Shells, Extract, Distillate And Powder
Coconut Oil
Cognac White and Green Oil
Copaiba Oil
Coriander Extract and Oil
Corn Oil
Corn Silk
Costus Root Oil
Cubeb Oil
Dandelion Root Solid Extract
Davana Oil
2-trans, 4-trans-Decadienal
Decanoic Acid
Diethyl Malonate
Diethyl Sebacate
Dihydro Anethole
5,7-Dihydro-2-Methylthieno(3,4-D) Pyrimidine
Dill Seed Oil and Extract
Dimethyl Succinate
3,4-Dimethyl-1,2 Cyclopentanedione
3,5- Dimethyl-1,2-Cyclopentanedione
3,7-Dimethyl-6-Octenoic Acid
2,4 Dimethylacetophenone
alpha,para-Dimethylbenzyl Alcohol
alpha,alpha-Dimethylphenethyl Acetate
alpha,alpha Dimethylphenethyl Butyrate
Ethyl 10-Undecenoate
Ethyl 2-Methylbutyrate
Ethyl Acetate
Ethyl Acetoacetate
Ethyl Alcohol
Ethyl Benzoate
Ethyl Butyrate
Ethyl Cinnamate
Ethyl Decanoate
Ethyl Fenchol
Ethyl Furoate
Ethyl Heptanoate
Ethyl Hexanoate
Ethyl Isovalerate
Ethyl Lactate
Ethyl Laurate
Ethyl Levulinate
Ethyl Maltol
Ethyl Methyl Phenylglycidate
Ethyl Myristate
Ethyl Nonanoate
Ethyl Octadecanoate
Ethyl Octanoate
Ethyl Oleate
Ethyl Palmitate
Ethyl Phenylacetate
Ethyl Propionate
Ethyl Salicylate
Ethyl trans-2-Butenoate
Ethyl Valerate
Ethyl Vanillin
2-Ethyl (or Methyl)-(3,5 and 6)-Methoxypyrazine
2-Ethyl-1-Hexanol, 3-Ethyl -2 -Hydroxy-2-Cyclopenten-1-One
2-Ethyl-3, (5 or 6)-Dimethylpyrazine
Fennel Sweet Oil
Fenugreek, Extract, Resin, and Absolute
Fig Juice Concentrate
Food Starch Modified
Furfuryl Mercaptan
Galbanum Oil
Genet Absolute
Gentian Root Extract
Geranium Rose Oil
Geranyl Acetate
Geranyl Butyrate
Geranyl Formate
Geranyl Isovalerate
Geranyl Phenylacetate
Ginger Oil and Oleoresin
1-Glutamic Acid
Glycyrrhizin Ammoniated
Grape Juice Concentrate
Guaiac Wood Oil
Guar Gum
Heptanoic Acid
trans -2-Heptenal
Heptyl Acetate
Hexanoic Acid
cis-3-Hexen-1-Yl Acetate
3-Hexenoic Acid
trans-2-Hexenoic Acid
cis-3-Hexenyl Formate
Hexyl 2-Methylbutyrate
Hexyl Acetate
Hexyl Alcohol
Hexyl Phenylacetate
Hops Oil
Hydrolyzed Milk Solids
Hydrolyzed Plant Proteins
5-Hydroxy-2,4-Decadienoic Acid delta- Lactone
4-Hydroxy -3-Pentenoic Acid Lactone
4-Hydroxybutanoic Acid Lactone
Hyssop Oil
Immortelle Absolute and Extract
Isoamyl Acetate
Isoamyl Benzoate
Isoamyl Butyrate
Isoamyl Cinnamate
Isoamyl Formate, Isoamyl Hexanoate
Isoamyl Isovalerate
Isoamyl Octanoate
Isoamyl Phenylacetate
Isobornyl Acetate
Isobutyl Acetate
Isobutyl Alcohol
Isobutyl Cinnamate
Isobutyl Phenylacetate
Isobutyl Salicylate
alpha-Isobutylphenethyl Alcohol
Isobutyric Acid
Isovaleric Acid
Jasmine Absolute, Concrete and Oil
Kola Nut Extract
Labdanum Absolute and Oleoresin
Lactic Acid
Lauric Acid
Lauric Aldehyde
Lavandin Oil
Lavender Oil
Lemon Oil and Extract
Lemongrass Oil
Levulinic Acid
Licorice Root, Fluid, Extract and Powder
Lime Oil
Linalool Oxide
Linalyl Acetate
Linden Flowers
Lovage Oil And Extract
Mace Powder, Extract and Oil
Magnesium Carbonate
Malic Acid
Malt and Malt Extract
Maltyl Isobutyrate
Mandarin Oil
Maple Syrup and Concentrate
Mate Leaf, Absolute and Oil
Menthyl Acetate
Methyl 2-Furoate
Methyl 2-Octynoate
Methyl 2-Pyrrolyl Ketone
Methyl Anisate
Methyl Anthranilate
Methyl Benzoate
Methyl Cinnamate
Methyl Dihydrojasmonate
Methyl Ester of Rosin, Partially Hydrogenated
Methyl Isovalerate
Methyl Linoleate (48%)
Methyl Linolenate (52%) Mixture
Methyl Naphthyl Ketone
Methyl Nicotinate
Methyl Phenylacetate
Methyl Salicylate
Methyl Sulfide
2-Methyl-3-(para-Isopropylphenyl) Propionaldehyde
Methyl-trans-2-Butenoic Acid
alpha-Methylbenzyl Acetate
alpha-Methylbenzyl Alcohol
2-Methylbutyric Acid
2-Methylheptanoic Acid
2-Methylhexanoic Acid
3-Methylpentanoic Acid
4-Methylpentanoic Acid
(Methylthio)Methylpyrazine (Mixture Of Isomers)
Methyl 3-Methylthiopropionate
2-Methylvaleric Acid
Mimosa Absolute and Extract
Molasses Extract and Tincture
Mountain Maple Solid Extract
Mullein Flowers
Myristic Acid
Myrrh Oil
beta-Napthyl Ethyl Ether
Neroli Bigarde Oil
Nonanoic Acid
Nonyl Acetate
Nutmeg Powder and Oil
Oak Chips Extract and Oil
Oak Moss Absolute
9,12-Octadecadienoic Acid (48%) And 9,12,15-Octadecatrienoic Acid (52%)
Octanoic Acid
1-Octen-3-Yl Acetate
Octyl Isobutyrate
Oleic Acid
Olibanum Oil
Opoponax Oil And Gum
Orange Blossoms Water, Absolute, and Leaf Absolute
Orange Oil and Extract
Origanum Oil
Orris Concrete Oil and Root Extract
Palmarosa Oil
Palmitic Acid
Parsley Seed Oil
Patchouli Oil
4-Pentenoic Acid
Pepper Oil, Black And White
Peppermint Oil
Peruvian (Bois De Rose) Oil
Petitgrain Absolute, Mandarin Oil and Terpeneless Oil
2-Phenenthyl Acetate
Phenenthyl Alcohol
Phenethyl Butyrate
Phenethyl Cinnamate
Phenethyl Isobutyrate
Phenethyl Isovalerate
Phenethyl Phenylacetate
Phenethyl Salicylate
Phenylacetic Acid
3-Phenylpropionic Acid
3-Phenylpropyl Acetate
3-Phenylpropyl Cinnamate
Phosphoric Acid
Pimenta Leaf Oil
Pine Needle Oil, Pine Oil, Scotch
Pineapple Juice Concentrate
alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene
Pipsissewa Leaf Extract
Plum Juice
Potassium Sorbate
Propionic Acid
Propyl Acetate
Propyl para-Hydroxybenzoate
Propylene Glycol
Prune Juice and Concentrate
Pyroligneous Acid And Extract
Pyruvic Acid
Raisin Juice Concentrate
Rose Absolute and Oil
Rosemary Oil
Rum Ether
Rye Extract
Sage, Sage Oil, and Sage Oleoresin
Sandalwood Oil, Yellow
Smoke Flavor
Snakeroot Oil
Sodium Acetate
Sodium Benzoate
Sodium Bicarbonate
Sodium Carbonate
Sodium Chloride
Sodium Citrate
Sodium Hydroxide
Spearmint Oil
Styrax Extract, Gum and Oil
Sucrose Octaacetate
Sugar Alcohols
Tagetes Oil
Tannic Acid
Tartaric Acid
Tea Leaf and Absolute
Terpinyl Acetate
2,3,4,5, and 3,4,5,6-Tetramethylethyl-Cyclohexanone
Thiamine Hydrochloride
Thyme Oil, White and Red
Tobacco Extracts
Tochopherols (mixed)
Tolu Balsam Gum and Extract
para-Tolyl 3-Methylbutyrate
para-Tolyl Acetaldehyde
para-Tolyl Acetate
para-Tolyl Isobutyrate
para-Tolyl Phenylacetate
Triethyl Citrate
3,5,5-Trimethyl -1-Hexanol
para,alpha,alpha-Trimethylbenzyl Alcohol
2,6,6-Trimethylcyclohexa-1,3-Dienyl Methan
2-Undecanone, 1
Valerian Root Extract, Oil and Powder
Valeric Acid
Vanilla Extract And Oleoresin
Vetiver Oil
Violet Leaf Absolute
Walnut Hull Extract
Wheat Extract And Flour
Wild Cherry Bark Extract
Wine and Wine Sherry
Xanthan Gum


In Uncategorized on 09/30/2006 at 2:43 am

developing news… BladderGate kicks World Chess Championship in the…

In Uncategorized on 09/30/2006 at 2:29 am

and you thought chess was boring…


In Uncategorized on 09/30/2006 at 12:25 am


Lady: You’re making me wet… I SAID you’re making me wet.
Man: Yes, I tend to have that effect on the ladies.
Lady: With your umbrella.
Man: I’m flattered, but it’s not that big.

–1 train

Overheard by: Sloane

via Overheard in New York, Sep 29, 2006

29-Year-Old Virgin?

In Uncategorized on 09/27/2006 at 10:08 pm

A rant from my friend Helen. Hope you enjoy.

Attention “awesome dudes”: Jane, a women’s magazine-turned-pimp, needs you! The popular rag in a generous act of charity has recently picked up the plight of 29-year-old Sarah, a virgin determined to have sex before her 30th birthday. Thanks to the Jane website, men can now send in their applications to have a date (and if they’re lucky – mate) with the celibate. Also featured is a blog chronicling Sarah’s journey (“All Virgin, All the Time”), descriptions of would-be-wooers (including those who fall under the creepy category of men hand-picked by Sarah’s father – one goes as far as to claim he’s amazing in bed), and of course, an online polling station so any asshole with a computer can choose who Sarah should sleep with by picking who she will next date.
It’s not a novel concept to use the internet to solicit sex, but it must be the first time someone is choosing to use Jane magazine, a publication that boasts the writing talents of Pamela Anderson. Sarah insists that she has been holding out all these years for Mr. Right but unfortunately never found him. Now following in the wise footsteps of reality-television contestants and leaving her love-life in the hands of mass media, Sarah seems to genuinely be searching for more than just a one-night stand…at least until November 7th, her birthday, when she’ll say goodbye to 29, and her chastity belt.
Personally, I think it’s a publicity stunt. As a self-proclaimed stand-up comic, what could be better for Sarah’s career than a load of interviews, a feature in a magazine, and a bold re-enactment of 2005’s comedy, The 40 Year Old Virgin? Madonna (the singer – not that other Virgin) knew what she was talking about when she said, “I always thought of losing my virginity as a career move.”

Follow the virgin’s progress or assert your power-to-deflower via application at right here 🙂

life in the fastlane ….#29

In Uncategorized on 09/24/2006 at 12:45 pm

How to tell when it’s time to leave your job…

CBC boss dumps himself over odd remarksUPDATED: 2006-09-20 02:40:43 MST

OTTAWA — CanadianBroadcastingCorporation Chairman Guy Fournier has resigned his post after finding himself in deep “doo-doo” for making bizarre comments on bestiality and bowel movements.
Heritage Minister Bev Oda confirmed in the House of Commons yesterday that Fournier had resigned and will be replaced by someone who reflects the position’s importance.
Fournier incorrectly claimed in a magazine article that men in Lebanon are permitted to have sex with animals “as long as they are female. Doing the same thing with male beasts can result in the death penalty.” The erroneous suggestion sparked outrage in Montreal’s Lebanese community. During an interview aired on a popular Radio-Canada television show last Sunday, Fournier sang the praises of a good “poop.” He said the pleasure of a bowel movement is longer-lasting and more frequent than sex.
update; A little bird told us that fun loving Guy, already on the hot seat for his party soirees and gourmet meals at taxpayers’ expense, had in fact not resigned with ‘grace’ but had to be pushed out in a rather ugly confrontation. oh Guy Guy.. what were you thinking?

thanks kate 🙂

ps. In the interests of accuracy, here in fact are Guy’s exact words; “The most extraordinary thing is that, in the end, as you grow older, you continue to go poop once a day if you are in good health, while it is not easy to make love every day. So finally, the pleasure is longer lasting and more frequent than the other.” hmm.. Guy, maybe it was time to flush…

starbucks confessions #13

In Uncategorized on 09/23/2006 at 2:29 pm

“…at the last staff meeting, another new partner and I were going through the nutritional information brochure, trying to find the most calorie-laden drink at Sbux. It’s a Venti breve white chocolate mocha. Breve (pronounced “brev-ay”) means that it’s made with half-and-half cream. 900 calories, my friends, and if that wasn’t enough to stop your heart, you also get 51 grams of fat. That’s like half of some people’s daily diet! Ewwwwww… I haven’t had anyone order it yet, but have had a couple people order breve drinks, mainly tall breve lattes, and the smell of steamed half and half is gross enough. “

thanx colin 🙂

life in the fastlane… #23

In Uncategorized on 09/19/2006 at 8:11 am

All in a day’s work ; Maxim interviews two ladies named.. um.. Heaven and Diamond. (we swear. who could make this stuff up??)

Maxim: You’re onstage, dancing, grinding, taking your clothes off. What are you thinking about?
Heaven: Sometimes I think about cleaning my room. Or paying the car insurance. When you’re working naked, you tend to think about bills a lot.
M: Does it make a difference whether you’re stripping for a handsome guy or an ugly slob?
Diamond: Oh, big time. If he’s ugly and pathetic but very sweet, I’ll try to make it extra special for him. But if he’s good-looking, I enjoy it more.
M: What song do you hate stripping to?
D: “Y.M.C.A.” You just can’t be sexy to “Y.M.C.A.”
M: Any lap dancing moves in your arsenal guaranteed to make guys fork over money?
H: It’s not rocket science: I shake my ass in their face. But if you touch them, even a little, it drives them crazy. They whisper to their buddies, “She touched me! She touched me!” And out comes the money.
M: Ever get any weirdos at the club?
D: Some guys come in wearing bras or women’s panties.
M: Ever go home with a patron?
H: No, there’s a line you don’t cross. But I’d say 60 percent of the girls cross it. Some do it once for the money, but then they end up doing it again and again.
Can I buy you a drink?
H: You gotta be kidding me.

thankx nadia 🙂

real fall fashion…

In Uncategorized on 09/18/2006 at 5:09 am

GOING Once, GOING Twice, SHE’S GONE : Not that we have ever gone in for such blatant schadenfreude, and gods knows we gals take enough falls on our own. However there is no denying misery loves company and we simply want to point out that shoes have become treacherous for even top seasoned professionals, like this model at the Proenza Schouler runway show. The new wood block platforms and sky-high pumps have facilitated several stumbles during the Fashion Week unless of course this is a new form of fashion statement 😉

thanks nadia 🙂
(Brad Barket / Getty Images)

brainwashcafe french lesson…#39

In Uncategorized on 09/15/2006 at 9:08 pm

wisdom of jean claude vanDamme

La Coke :”La coke la coke y a pas plus merdique que la coke ok ? ça arrête la tête, ça te fout tout en l’air, hein, on sait pas ce qu’on dit, on sait pas ce qu’on fait, ok ? […] La coke faut pas toucher c’est de la merde. J’ai essayer moi de la battre. On peut pas la battre. Alors elle devient, quand on la connaît, elle devient un compagnon qu’on touche pas. Je suis allergique à la coke, c’est très simple, et c’est pour ça que je sais parler maintenant, je suis en forme, j’ai peur de personne, je suis fort dans les yeux, parce que j’ai pas de coke tu vois ? Bon je parle un peu vite. C’est pas un problème non si je suis rapide. Chuis un mec qu’est rapide, je suis speed, pourquoi ? Je mange que des légumes.”JC Van Damme.

and… the amazing google translation 😉

Coke: “Doesn’t coke coke have merdique there than coke ok? does that stop the head, that you fout all in the air, hein, one does not know what one says, one does not know what one makes, ok? […] Coke is not necessary to touch it is shit. I have to try me to beat it. One cannot beat it. Then it becomes, when it is known, it becomes a companion whom one does not touch. I am allergic to coke, it is very simple, and it is for that that I can speak now, I am in form, I am afraid of anybody, I am strong in the eyes, because I do not have coke you see? Good I speak a little quickly. It is not a problem not if I am fast. Chuis a guy who is fast, I am speed, why? I eat that vegetables.”

Extract from brainwashcafe‘s “Perfect French in 99 Lessons” coming soon to a bookseller near you..
merci Fabian;)

in memoriam…

In Uncategorized on 09/14/2006 at 5:55 am

Roll out the red carpet, I have arrived.

In Uncategorized on 09/10/2006 at 6:21 pm

Although I may lack the ability to be spontaneously creative, I do have quite the grasp of English and French grammar beaten into me by perfectionistic parental units and a sense of style cultivated through extensive multilingual perusal of literature. Or so my loving parents and loyal friends tell me. I’m Anna, and I’m here at the invitation of the Brainwash/Redlight team to review your posts, if that’s alright with you. Feel free to criticize my criticisms, to find fault with my suggestions, to tell me when I’m doing a fabulous or a terrible job. I’m here to work with you, and I very much respect the time and effort that goes into blogging and hope to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

most likely to succeed…

In Uncategorized on 09/09/2006 at 4:46 pm

thanks nadia 🙂


In Uncategorized on 09/08/2006 at 2:45 am

bw profile…bottomfeeders #24

In Uncategorized on 09/07/2006 at 6:06 am

Bottom Seeder ; Life in the not so fastlane.

Not everybody playing at the U.S. Open is a star. Some are just making gas money.
By Geoffrey Gray

(Photo: William Mebane)

Ryler DeHeart is the lowest-ranked men’s player at this year’s U.S. Open. He didn’t want to dig into his savings to pay for a hotel room in New York. It’s way too expensive. Not all players at the tournament are endorsement-bedecked brands like Agassi and Federer. Players like DeHeart hop around the country and use their meager winnings, if any, for gas money and fast food. The goal is to boost their rankings, pick up corporate sponsorship, survive. “How much cash is in my wallet right now, you wanna see?” he asks. “Zero, man. I got zero. But I got a couple credit cards.” He’s crashing on a pullout in the grungy hotel room a college pal splits with three other investment-bank trainees. “I’m ranked 700 right now, so obviously it’s not like one in a million for me, but it’s still—it’s like a lottery-ticket kind of thing.”
At 22, DeHeart feels like he’s won already. He was ranked as the nation’s top college player at one point last year while at the University of Illinois. He’s one of nine players who earned a wild-card birth in the Open. “There’s so many guys in worse shape than I am. I mean, you hear stories like Patrick Rafter sleeping in, like, a telephone booth. I think it makes you tougher. I don’t mind that some other guys are staying in nicer hotels and eating better dinners and stuff, ’cause, I mean, it doesn’t really matter that much. It just matters how you hit the ball.”
His journey here started after graduation this summer. He drives to tournaments in a ’93 Honda Accord that has no A/C. He’s slept on cement floors, dines on Egg McMuffins, and has pulled off some major upsets, like toppling the top singles and doubles seeds in an Illinois tournament this July.
“I got $1,200, I think, to win singles. You win here [at the U.S. Open] it’s, like, $1.2 million, so it’s a little different.” He needs to win three matches to qualify; lose once, he’s gone. “But even if I lose I get $3,000. That’s twice as much or more than anything I’ve made this whole summer, so—not bad.” He lost 6-2, 7-5, to Rainer Eitzinger, an Austrian ranked 193rd, in the first round.

no not our chef… :)

In Uncategorized on 09/07/2006 at 3:22 am

merci alain;)

conundrum redefined..

In Uncategorized on 09/06/2006 at 3:34 pm

which do YOU see..?

thanks nadia 🙂


In Uncategorized on 09/06/2006 at 3:27 pm

umm.. we’ll take the fourth from left, although they all look kinda..ripe to us 🙂

thanks nadia:)

so you think editors have it easy…

In Uncategorized on 08/31/2006 at 5:59 pm

…we dare you to be able to read this and count how many times the word ‘rumor’ appears. Warning! may be hazardous to your psychological health. don’t say we did not warn you!

people of note… #22

In Uncategorized on 08/31/2006 at 5:52 pm

really Worth 1,000 Words

Only in France (and of course at brainwashcafe 😉 are the nation’s leading intellectuals A-list celebrities. Take Florian Zeller, a 27-year-old lit “It” boy and a television personality. His extreme good looks are merely a foil for some serious writing chops. This fall, his new play, “Si Tu Mourais,” opens in Paris, and next year another script, “Le Manège,” travels to the London stage. His award-winning novel, “The Fascination of Evil” (Pushkin Press), arrives stateside in translation in January. “The book is a quest for sexuality in a repressed country,” says Zeller, who writes it from a Eurocentric view that results, he says, in “a caricature of Occidental violence.” Despite its headiness and thick plot, the book is a concise 153 pages. En garde, Bernard-Henri Lévy. CHARLOTTE DRUCKMAN

thanks Charlotte 😉

this is why…

In Uncategorized on 08/30/2006 at 5:52 am

… some people need image consultants.

thanks jen 😉

yin yang take your pick…

In Uncategorized on 08/30/2006 at 2:56 am

thanks jessica 🙂

now if only we can find the remote…

In Uncategorized on 08/27/2006 at 9:34 pm

evolutionary psychology in action…

In Uncategorized on 08/27/2006 at 9:17 pm

thanks jessica

no sex please we’re british..???

In Uncategorized on 08/17/2006 at 7:18 pm

Posted by Picasa

part of what makes America great..

In Uncategorized on 08/14/2006 at 9:11 pm

National Post

 Posted by Picasa

warning : NOT for the romantic at heart…

In Uncategorized on 08/10/2006 at 6:21 am

Some years ago, a satiric barbed article appeared in the venerable Washington Post poking gentle fun at the ‘curious’ phenomenon of Harvard Personals. Harvard, it seems, had more going for it than its justifiably infamous alum roster that includes several Presidents (yes that would be prez of the COUNTRY, both Roosevelts Franklin & Theodore, and JFKennedy), Philosophers(Thoreau, Emerson), and Theodore Kaczynski (aka THE UNABOMBER). Its popular Personals section appearing in Harvard Crimson was attracting an inordinate proportion of ‘women of substance’ seeking ideal ivy league dream mate of equal substance (we guess no one told them about the real men of mcgill;).
Well call us curious george… we decided to revisit the Harvard Personals to take a look for ourselves. And Yes Virginia, we do admit to feeling a smidgeon of dreaded schadenfreude (quelled quickly of course). But in the interests of pure research and our continuing contribution to the exciting field of psychological anthropology we bring you our own modest and gentle ‘critique’ of a typical Harvard ad we found…

First, here is the ad in its original entirety

Outgoing vivacious outdoor adventurous Gal. Hard working Professional Single, no children. Graceful, slim, natural athletic, mid 40’s but looks 39. Above average intelligence, Clean girl next door look, without scars or blemishes. Emotionally secure, self possessed and non-conforming feminist at heart Mischievous and genuine with whimsical sense of humor, free spirited open, playful, easily likeable. Seeking Friendship first but definitely open to idea of finding of a Soulmate. Embraces New Age lifestyle, with Old fashioned values. Very open minded and willing to explore new vista. Outgoing, Loves the challenge of the elements: whitewater canoeing, downhill skiing, camping, sailing, climbing, breathtaking views. Calm, free-spirited, warm-hearted with passion for ceramics, photography, Maine, the environment, poetry. Very creative but sadly no green thumb — buys plants and apologizes to them. Game, spunky, gracious. Contributes to community. Seeks down to earth, curious, sociable, competent man, 5’8″+, 44-56, mature yet young at heart. 617-***-1028, ****** {prefers email} “

… and below, with a little help from the talented Editors of our sister publication REDLIGHT (yes mcgill’s answer to harvard’s restrained angst;) we have attached… um..‘interpretative glossary’ of recurring words and what they really mean…

Outgoing…………………………. Loud and Talkative.
Adventurous…………………….. Slept with everyone.
Professional……………………. Bitch.
Athletic…………………………… No breasts.
40’s…………………………….. 49.
49 ………………………………. 52
Above Average………………… Barely passable.
Girl Next door looks………………… Compulsive liar.
Emotionally Secure…………… On prozac.
self possessed ………………. Stubborn as a mule
Non-conforming ……………. Confused
Feminist…………………………. looks dyke.
whimsical……………………. catatonic
Free spirit……………………….. former Junkie.
Easily likable ………………….. Emotional Prostitute
Friendship first………………….Former slut.
Wants Soul mate…………….. potential Stalker.
New-Age………………………… Body hair in the wrong places.
Old-fashioned………………….. No Blow Jobs.
Open-minded…………………… Desperate.
Outgoing …………………….. Slutty and Loose
Calm, free-spirited …………….. bi-polar

…Now here is the same ad translated using the above glossary:) ouch

Loud and Talkative vivacious outdoor Slept with everyone Gal. Hard working Bitch, Single, no children. Graceful, slim, natural No breasts, 49 but actually 52. Barely passable intelligence, Clean compulsive liar, without scars or blemishes. On Prozac, Stubborn as a mule and Confused dyke at heart Mischievous and genuine with catatonic sense of humor, former Junkie, open, playful, Emotional Prostitute. Former slut first but definitely open to idea of finding of a potential Stalker. Embraces Body hair in the wrong places, with No Blow Jobs. Very Desperate and willing to explore new vista. Slutty and Loose, Loves the challenge of the elements: whitewater canoeing, downhill skiing, camping, sailing, climbing, breathtaking views. Bi-polar, warm-hearted with passion for ceramics, photography, Maine, the environment, poetry. Very creative but sadly no green thumb — buys plants and apologizes to them. Game, spunky, gracious. Contributes to community. Seeks down to earth, curious, sociable, competent man, 5’8″+, 44-56, mature yet young at heart. 617-***-1028, ****** {prefers email} “

well it sure ain’t brain muffin…

In Uncategorized on 08/08/2006 at 1:58 am

Talk about deja vu. The world is only now, it seems, discovering what we here at brainwashcafe have known for the longest while, brainy is sexy. With the latest unveiling this past week of Einstein’s 3,500 pages of personal letters and diary, much focus has been on his preoccupation with women and self-professed numerous affairs and ‘liason amoureuses’. Typical was Fox news blasting away with a gratuitous headline “Einstein the Stud Muffin(,2933,203221,00.html) and tongue in cheek assertion that Al seemed to have been more interested in female ‘Physiques’ than theoretical ‘Physics’ 🙂 Well, none of this should be a surprise, just take a look at below at Al the Stud Muffin in his younger days, along with the brief description of his.. yes, virile physique..

Albert Einstein was..”heavily muscled,” with exotic dark drooping “bedroom eyes” and a “sensuous, full fleshy mouth.” A female aquaintance wrote in her diary, “He has the kind of male beauty and magnetic persona that creates a tremor which we cannot fathom nor control.” Another friend observed that his effect on women, “was magnetic and astonishing, given his preference for solitude and work.”

But the tangible connection between creative intelligence and sexual magnetism has long been observed, at least by the discerning amongst us:) Caltech professor and bestselling raconteur Richard Feynman was probably the only Nobel Prize winner to befriend porn stars, claim a foolproof manner for bedding women and do his calculations on napkins in strip clubs, even going so far as testifying before a court on behalf of the strip club owner to keep it open. And it wasn’t just the guys: Marie Curie was relentlessly hounded by the press for seducing away her late-husband’s former student from his wife and kids.

At the atomic bomb project in Los Alamos, the assembled brain trust was as hard-partying as a troop of college kids on spring break. Weekends with the physicists were “big and brassy,” replete with poker and booze. They played so hard that the program tried to quarantine the women’s dorms; as one boss euphemized, “The girls had been doing a flourishing business of requiting the needs of our young men.” So many babies resulted(!!) that Robert Oppenheimer (or his boss, nobody’s really sure), himself having tried to run off with the wife of Linus Pauling and bed the wife of another colleague, was told to halt the extracurricular activities. (Oppenheimer didn’t.)

In any case, lest you all think we are only partial to Sexy Physicists, we leave you with (apparently) the ultimate brainy sexiest Stud Muffin of them all, pictured here below.. at least according to a recent survey. He is VERY VERY SMART, extremely well read, has a VERY high IQ, is a master at chess, reads Stephen Hawking, etc. etc. His only problem seems to be that he is too polite to make other people feel stupid. Most excellent body, most excellent mind… (who would have thought??)

reference source; (

finally a functional brain metaphor we could all relate to…

In Uncategorized on 08/05/2006 at 10:18 pm

as you can imagine, we get literally hundreds of pics and suggestions sent to us (often unusable, blush blush) but this one really caught our attention can’t imagine why, kind of like a lingering freudian brainfart that refuses to go away… 🙂 (ouch we do apologise for the callous insensitive imagery)

view from outside…

and from inside…

(now now, no “..standing outside the outstanding outhouse” jokes. pls…)

thanks jessica

who needs brains when you can do… this?

In Uncategorized on 08/05/2006 at 3:47 am

thanks jessica !~)

our new Chef in residence…

In Uncategorized on 08/02/2006 at 11:15 pm

Anthony Bourdain, eat your heart out Jamie Oliver, put your clothes back on.. ’cause at brainwashcafe we have (drumroll please) the amazing lazychef !

Our fav cooker Yass was making his famous brainwash bROWNIES batter when out hatched a yawning HULK like creature from one of the omega-3 eggs he was about to crack. Stretching, the newborn proclaimed himself to be Brainwash’s new Chef and Yass told him he could cook whatever he wanted except for brownies (for those of you uninformed, they are one of Yasser’s two passions in life, other being female chess grandmasters).
So brainwash now has a new team member on board, the incredible and sexy lazychef (no he is not always in green), whose mantra is to ensure an inversely proportional relationship between cooking effort and intense deliciousness of food cooked ;). Lazychef fervently believes less energy spent cooking is more time available to enjoy food. Who could argue with that.
Of course all the scintillating lazyfood recipes inside Aaron‘s brain requires an extraordinary team to execute. Please welcome Andrew Le Sous-Chef sans-pareil who can whip up the meanest Aglio e Olio (sigh just saying it starts our stomach growling) pasta in town and lovely Mme. Perogie aka Mandy. Take a well deserved bow guys, and umm.. can we have some lazyfood now please, all this food talk is making us hungry..

mouth faster than a speeding bullet…

In Uncategorized on 07/31/2006 at 6:09 pm

That’s Bitch With A Capital B

Along with pet peeve regarding using the wrong kind of to (also wrong usage of their, they’re, there), I have a general hatred of poor grammar. So the other day I am trying on some clothes in the Ross dressing room (yes, I shop at Ross now. That’s all we have here at the beach. You learn to live with it.), and I can’t help but overhear some women in the stall next to me babbling on an on and shrugs and slacks. Apparently one of the women was on a fashion roll, because her friend said, “You did good today.”
Without even taking a moment to correct myself, without stopping the thought on its short flight from my brain to my mouth, I said,
“You did WELL today.”
Note to self: add Ross to list of places I must not go.

thanks Caroline

and the winner is… :))

In Uncategorized on 07/30/2006 at 9:39 pm
there is a reason why we have such a big grin, that’s because we have a WINNER to the photo id contest below, and may we say, none more deserving than our fav brit all the way over in liverpool, tony(applause, standing ovation, kisskiss, tears, xxx etc…)
(whose very in-your-face ubercool blog is reasonably titled Sushi is Not Cool.)
hey tony, we know that even as we speak you are on your way to our cafe to collect your unlimited all-the-bwburgers-you-can-eat prize. so see ya at our amazing montreal airport say… tuesday?? :)) oh we almost forgot, for all of us still puzzled, here is the answer, of course only if you wish to satisfy your curiosity, otherwise.. keep guessing !

click here for the answer 😉

no it’s not Barry Manilow…

In Uncategorized on 07/29/2006 at 10:59 pm

Do You Know This Person..?.. and why he has our attention..?

Ok dear readers please send in your answers in confidence to, or what the hell simply post your burps right here if you can id the amazing matinee idol (at least to all of us here) pictured relaxing above. Prizes?? hmm.. we are tempted to offer $1 million dollars but in due deference to acknowledged astuteness of brainwashcafe readers alas we are only able to offer unlimited helpings of our justifiably infamous bw burgers. And please no cheating by scanning pic into the Google Face Recognition Search 🙂 good luck!
p.s., one thing we do promise, the answer will astonish, astound and amaze you (!).

best of ‘overheard from…’ #34

In Uncategorized on 07/27/2006 at 7:44 pm

#1, Only One Big Cat; #2, No Reptiles; #3…

Girl #1: Well, you know I like to get kinky.
Girl #2: Oh, I know.
Girl #1: I’ve never had a threesome, but I would do it. I have ground rules, of course, but I’d totally be down for a menagerie.

Andover Park West
Tukwila, Washington

Overheard by: Cat

one more reason to blame your parents…

In Uncategorized on 07/25/2006 at 9:48 pm

Sexual Identity Revealed According to First Name

Ok people, we wanted to take just a little peek at what’s going on at ‘redlight’ the McGill Sex Mag and smack! just like that we got our first hard look(oh please:) and a preview article from the first issue… happy umm..reading!!

According to studies, the first letter of your first name reveals your sexual identity … How close are you?



A– You are not particularly romantic, but you are interested in action. You mean business. With you, what you see is what you get. You have no patience for flirting and can’t be bothered with someone who is trying to be coy, cute, demure, and subtly enticing. You are an up front person. When it comes to sex, it’s action that counts not obscure hints. Your mate’s physical attractiveness is important to you. You find the chase and challenge of the “hunt” invigorating. You are passionate and sexual as well as being much more adventurous than you appear; however, you do not go around advertising these qualities. Your physical needs are your primary concern.

B– You give off vibes of lazy sensuality. You enjoy being romanced, wined, and dined. You are very happy to receive gifts as an expression of the affection of your lover. You want to be pampered and know how to pamper your mate. You are private in your expression of endearments and particularly when it comes to lovemaking. You will hold off until everything meets with your approval. You can control your appetite and abstain from sex if need be. You require new sensations and experiences. You are willing to experiment.

C – You are a very social individual, and it is important to you to have a relationship. You require closeness and togetherness. You must be able to talk to your sex partner before, during, and after. You want the object of your affection to be socially acceptable and good looking. You see your lover as a friend and companion. You are very sexual and sensual, needing someone to appreciate and almost worship you. When this cannot be achieved, you have the ability to go for long periods without sexual activity. You are an expert at controlling your desires and doing without.

D – Once you get it into your head that you want someone, you move full steam ahead in pursuit. You do not give up your quest easily. You are nurturing and caring. If someone has a problem, this turns you on. You are highly sexual, passionate, loyal, and intense in your involvement, sometimes possessive and jealous. Sex to you is a pleasure to be enjoyed. You are stimulated by the eccentric and unusual, being and having a free and open relationship.

E – Your greatest need is to talk. If your date is not a good listener, you have trouble relating. A person must be intellectually stimulating or you are not interested sexually. You need a friend for a lover and a companion for a bedmate. You hate disharmony and disruption, but you do enjoy a good argument once in a while it seems to stir things up. You flirt a lot, for the challenge is more important than the sexual act for you, but once you give your heart away, you are uncompromisingly loyal. When you don’t have a good lover to fall asleep with, you will fall asleep with a good book. (Sometimes, in fact, you prefer a good look.)

F – You are idealistic and romantic, putting your lover on a pedestal. You look for the very best mate you can find. You are a flirt, yet once committed, you are very loyal. You are sensuous, sexual, and privately passionate. Publicly, you can be showy, extravagant, and gallant. You are born romantic. Dramatic love scenes are your favorite fantasy pastime. You can be a very generous lover.

G – You are crap in bed

H – You seek a mate who can enhance your reputation and earning ability. You will be very generous to your lover once you have attained a commitment. Your gifts are actually an investment in your partner. Before the commitment, though, you tend to be frugal in your spending and dating habits and equally cautious in your sexual involvement. You are a sensual and patient lover.

I – You have a great need to be love, appreciated…Even worshipped. You enjoy luxury, sensuality, and pleasures of the flesh. You look for lovers who know what they are doing. You are not interested in an amateur, unless that amateur wants a tutor. You are fussy and exacting about having your desires satisfied. You are willing to experiment and try new modes of sexual expression. You bore easily and thus require sexual adventure and change. You are more sensual than sexual, but you are sometimes downright lustful.

J – You are totally fucking marvelous! ..(but you knew that already didn’t you)

K – You can be very romantic, attached to the glamour of love. Having a partner is of paramount importance to you. You are free in your expression of love and are willing to take chances, try new sexual experiences and partners, provided it’s all in good taste. Brains turn you on. You must feel that your partner is intellectually stimulating, otherwise you will find it difficult to sustain the relationship. You require loving, cuddling, wining, and dining to know that you’re being appreciated.

L – You are very romantic, idealistic, and somehow you believe that to love means to suffer. You wind up serving your mate or attracting people who have unusual troubles. You see yourself as your lover’s savior. You are sincere, passionate, lustful, and dreamy. You can’t help falling in love. You really enjoy stimulating yourself, though you are fairly new to it. You fantasize and get turned on by movies and magazines. You do not tell others of this secret life, nor of your sexual fantasies.

M – You are emotional and intense. When involved in a relationship, you throw your entire being into it. Nothing stops you; there are no holds barred. You are all consuming and crave someone who is equally passionate and intense. You are willing to try anything and everything. Your supply of sexual energy is inexhaustible. You are very social and sensual; you enjoy flirting and also enjoy mothering your mate.

N – You need constant stimulation because you bore quickly. You can handle more than one relationship at a time with ease. You believe in total sexual freedom. You are willing to try anything and everything. Your supply of sexual energy is inexhaustible. You are a flirt, yet once committed, you are very loyal. You are sensuous, sexual, and privately passionate. Publicly,you can be showy, extravagant, and gallant. You are born romantic. Dramatic love scenes are your favorite fantasy pastime. You can be a very generous lover.

O – You are very interested in sexual activities yet secretive and shy about your desires. You can re-channel much of your sexual energy into making money and/or seeking power. You can easily have extended periods of celibacy. You are a passionate, compassionate, sexual lover, requiring the same qualities from your mate. Sex is serious business; thus you demand intensity and diversity, and are willing to try anything or anyone. Sometimes your passions turn to possessiveness, which must be kept in check.

P – You are very conscious of social proprieties. You wouldn’t think of doing anything that might harm your image or reputation. Appearances count, therefore, you require a good-looking partner. You also require an intelligent partner. Oddly enough, you may view your partner as your enemy; A good fight stimulates those sex vibes. You are relatively free of sexual hang-ups. You are willing to experiment and try new ways of doing things. You are very social and sensual; you enjoy flirting and need a good deal of physical gratification.

Q – You require constant activity and stimulation. You have tremendous physical energy. It is not easy for a partner to keep up with you, sexually or otherwise. You are an enthusiastic lover and tend to be attracted to people of other ethnic groups. You need romance, hearts and flowers, and lots of conversation to turn you on and keep you going.

R – You are a no-nonsense, action-oriented individual. You need someone who can keep pace with you and who is your intellectual equal the smarter the better. You are turned on more quickly by a great mind than by a great body. However, physical attractiveness is very important to you. You have to be proud of your partner. You are privately very sexy, but you do not brag, you are willing to serve as teacher. Sex is important; you can be a very demanding playmate.

<a onblur=”try {parent.deselecS – You are secretive, self-contained, and shy. You are very sexy, sensual, and passionate, but you do not let on to this. Only in intimate privacy will this part of your nature reveal itself. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, you are an expert. You know all the little tricks of the trade, can play any role or any game, and take your love life very seriously. You don’t fool around. You have the patience to wait for the right person to come along.

T – You are very sensitive, private, and sexually passive; you like a partner who takes the lead. Music, soft lights and romantic thoughts turn you on. You fantasize, but do not tend to fall in and out of love easily. When in love, you are romantic, idealistic, mushy, and extremely intense. You enjoy having your senses and your feelings stimulated, titillated, and teased. You are a great flirt. You can make your relationships fit your dreams, oftentimes all in your own head.

U – You are enthusiastic and idealistic when in love. When not in love, you are in love with love, always looking for someone to adore. You see romance as a challenge. You are a roamer and need adventure, excitement, and freedom. You deal in potential relationships. You enjoy giving gifts and enjoy seeing your mate looking good. Your sex drive is strong and you desire instant ratification. You are willing to put your partner’s pleasures above your own.

V – You are individualistic, and you need freedom, space, and excitement. You wait until you know someone well before committing yourself. Knowing someone means psyching him out. You feel a need to get into his head to see what makes him tick. You are attracted to eccentric types. Often there is an age difference between you and your lover. You respond to danger, thrills, and suspense. The gay scene turns you on, even though you yourself may not be a participant.

W – You are very proud, determined, and you refuse to take no for an answer when pursuing love. Your ego is at stake. You are romantic, idealistic, and often in love with love itself, not seeing your partner as he or she really is. You feel deeply and throw all of yourself into your relationships. Nothing is too good for your lover. You enjoy playing love games.

X – You need constant stimulation because you bore quickly. You can handle more than one relationship at a time with ease. You can’t shut off your mind. You talk while you make love. You can have the greatest love affairs, all by yourself, in your own head.

Y – You are stubborn, and very independent. If you can’t have it your way, you will forgot the whole thing. You want to control your relationships, which doesn’t always work out too well. You respond to physical stimulation, enjoy necking and spending hours just touching, feeling and exploring. However, if you can spend your time making money, you will give up the pleasures of the flesh for the moment. You need to prove to yourself and your partner what a great lover you are. You want feedback on your performance. You can be an open, stimulating, romantic bedmate with time & practice.

Z – For you, it is business before pleasure. If you are in any way bothered by career, business, or money concerns, you find it very hard to relax and get into the mood. You can be romantically idealistic to a fault and are capable of much sensuality. But you never lose control of your emotions. You are very careful and cautious before you give your heart away and your body, for that matter. Once you make the commitment, though, you stick like glue.

(courtesy redlight McGill)

yes but would the Pope try this…?

In Uncategorized on 07/24/2006 at 7:57 pm

first, a mystery…
This will absolutely boggle your mind and fool your brain… and don’t keep trying to practice, it will just make it worse (not to mention look strange to people watching. You are doing this in public are you not ). 1. Sit down, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. 2. Now, while doing this, draw the number “666” in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction.

and second, an explanation (we wouldn’t think of leaving you without one)… from a sexy professor at U. of Hull (not quite mcgill but hey close enough 🙂 merci Geoffrey…

” THIS effect is partly due to the normal difference in height between hand and foot. That difference, in conjunction with gravity and the earth’s rotation, is enough to affect the body’s highly sensitive limb rotation mechanisms.(huh?) If you eliminate this difference for instance, by lying down and holding your right leg and arm at about the same height, your right foot will be unaffected. However, if you reverse this height difference for instance, by positioning your right leg above your head and your right hand nearer the floor, the effect will be even more marked. This is probably because, with this posture, your head is in a silly position too.” (hey he said it not us but we bet you will not be able to resist trying this out at home right?;)

Geoff Lowe
University of Hull

nothing like progress… :)

In Uncategorized on 07/24/2006 at 6:29 am

answer to 60sec iQ test..#11

In Uncategorized on 07/21/2006 at 9:32 pm

Sick Anecdote #001: Why life takes turnS for the worse?

In Uncategorized on 07/21/2006 at 1:33 pm

So yesterday I called up my gyno for an appointment to renew my prescription.

“Hi, I’d Like a appointment with Dr K. please”

“She’s on maternity leave and won’t ever return!”

After whining for a few minutes about how she could possibly abandon me I hung up and called the hospital asking for docs that are taking new patients at this time.

“Well, do you prefer your doctor to be male or female.”

“Well, I prefer female and YOUNG actually.” And progressed to tell reception about all the crazy doctors I have seen. The list includes dudes who refuse to give me a sheet to cover myself, watch me undress before them, and the best of them all accuse me of lying! LYING about my reactions to the depo shot or my aches and pains. “You ladies… make such a story.” And they smile this evil Dr Phil smile. Finally I got a number of a young woman doctor and called her up.

“Hi, I was refered to Dr C. I am a new patient.”

“She is not taking any patients at this time. But if your fine with a gentleman I can give you Augs 30th with Dr Wiener.”

” Dr WHAT!”

Hanging up the phone, there must be some cruel gyno god looking down on me deciding I was in need of serious punishment. Lets just say I am not looking forward to Aug…

Your Anus…

In Uncategorized on 07/21/2006 at 12:48 am

Ehrm… I mean URanus has a rare blue ring. I swear, as old as I am, and the older I get, I never get tired of that joke. Beavis and Butthead must live in my brain.
My other favorite spacey image for the week is the bird’s eye view that the ISS astronauts had of the solar eclipse… talk about eerie.
(thanks Kirsten)

"yea but i only drank LIGHT Beer…"

In Uncategorized on 07/20/2006 at 2:18 pm


Status: true

only for the brave,… the 60 sec. iQ test…

In Uncategorized on 07/18/2006 at 8:58 pm

Some rules …

first, take test without pen or paper, only in your head
second, don’t worry if you get them wrong, only 2/11 people on our amazing brillant brainwashcafe team got all of them right. (no we won’t tell who, but let’s just say we ain’t called kickasschicks for nothin’!;)
third, yes we provide answers, but be careful this may hurt your ego…
fourth, this is called 60sec test for a reason… TAKE 60 SECONDS ONLY!
fifth, bonus points if you know who the smart looking kid on the right is…

Ok, give yourself 40 iQ points for each correct response. Here’s your chance to join Marilyn vos Savant at 200 iQ ;)) No cheating, No pencil or paper! OK? Ready? … GO!!!

QUESTION #1: You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?

QUESTION #2: If you overtake the last person, then you are…?

QUESTION #3 : Very tricky math! Note This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.

Take 1000 and add 40 to it.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 30.

Add another 1000.

Now add 20.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 10.

What is the total?

QUESTION #4 : Mary’s father has five daughters Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?

Bonus Question : who is the child genius in photo above

many thanks to Walt for posting test!!:)