Fine words have an ability to move you. They can pick you up, take you somewhere wonderful, or dump you down in a pit of despair. It could be an elegant combination of a few words, or a beautiful meandering passage that paints the perfect picture. When reading I've often come across such passages, in … Continue reading Passages of note
On Saturday, 1st April, there was an event which gave you a few more stories than most Saturday nights. It was the 22nd, and my 2nd, instalment of Dynamite fights, a series of boxing matches organised at the TNT Boxing Academy in Guelph, Ontario. Read a rather breathless summary of the last one here. … Continue reading Saturday night’s alright for fighting
It seems obvious that a country’s culture is reflected in its art. The two are essentially inseparable. Art depicts what matters most to the culture, and changes with the flow of this collective stream of ideas. You assume that if a culture is particularly obsessed with heroism, the natural world, or family, then the art … Continue reading An odd shaped mirror
Aziz Sancar delivering his Nobel Lecture for his prize in Chemistry 2015. He said yes.
My early morning wakeup on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 began as usual with a, though admittedly not healthy, quick Twitter check. My internet-induced squint widened when I saw that Aziz Sancar was trending. Dr. Sancar had just been named co-winner of the Nobel prize in chemistry for his work on DNA repair mechanisms. Not at all surprised by the recognition of his career achievements, I was, however, flabbergasted because I actually know Aziz Sancar and in no small way, my career is what it is because of his generosity and kindness.
Twenty years ago, I was an MSc candidate studying the physiological ecology of amphibians at Trent University. At the time I was working with Michael Berrill on replicating and testing the findings of a 1994 PNAS paper by Andrew Blaustein and company. This was…
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Time was, before social media, global warming or Donald Trump, that there were a lot more dangerous animals around squirrel camp. 10-foot beavers would chomp off campers’s heads, giant mosquitos would drink their blood with a single slurp, great ostrich-sized predatory grouse would ambush campers with a loud thud and peck out their large intestines, … Continue reading Coyote and Squirrel Camp
Squirrel camp today is not completely like the camp first built. The original lacked a place to store new vs old eggs, or a spot for each persons’ electrical wires, or a place for hare poo, or other essential things. The original did however have all the huts to sleep in arranged together in a … Continue reading Squirrel camp and the great storm
In the beginning there were three ecologists (one tall, one medium height, one short). In the boreal forest. Before that there were squirrels and lynx and bears and other such creatures, but as they cannot hold pens to write their stories down we can hardly start with them, so we will start with the three … Continue reading Squirrel camp and the northern lights
Online bear-awareness courses are a bit of a laugh. See a bear? Try to ascertain the species, whether it has seen you or not, and it if is behaving aggressively or defensively. Presumably while praying that you did leave your family pack of Snickers back home. And not in your ruck-sack. Oh dear… At least … Continue reading Woah, bear!
New country, new me. New sports, new food. New people, new office, similar routine. New bars, new beers, still get drunk, same old hangover. New job, same mission. Same blog, but from Canada. Having finished wandering through Morocco, Spain, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan and India, I am now becalmed in Southern Ontario, Canada. I have a new … Continue reading Keep moving, just to be still
Crash. Bang. Wallop. Hashim Amla smacks the ball over the boundary for a 6. The crowd roar. We jump and dance, throw confetti and wave signs. Cheerleaders gyrate around the ground. I’ve made some new friends and together we celebrate these batting heroics, this “rampage” as the bright video screens inform us. We settle … Continue reading One went to the cricket