Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Having found its way increasingly into everyday language, the verb "google" was added to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006.

google |ˈgoōgəl| (also Google)
informal [ intrans. ] use an Internet search engine, particularly : she spent the afternoon googling aimlessly.
• [ trans. ] search for the name of (someone) on the Internet to find out information about them : you meet someone, swap numbers, fix a date, then Google them through 1,346,966,000 Web pages.

If you haven’t guessed it already I want to take a second to think about Google, but not Google the website rather Google the company.

The other day I was stumbling across the Internet when I came across this video:

What did you think? Charming? Heart warming? Cute? Funny? Intelligent?

Lets take a second and think about the motive behind this “video”. I put the word video in quotations because I believe the message that it disseminates goes beyond “online video” and into the world of promotion or what we more commonly call a commercial.

Why does Google need a commercial? It is already the most popular search engine on the planet. It’s in the dictionary for heavens sake! I mean lets be honest, I searched for “yahoo” in the dictionary and do you know what I got?

Yahoo - Noun: a rude, noisy, or violent person.

Sir Francis Bacon says it best when he said, “knowledge is power” and Google sure does work as the keeper of knowledge. Don’t get me wrong. When I need help with finding information I am the first person to turn to Google for help finding the answer, but at the same time I can’t help but think about who controls the flow of knowledge.

Like any good debate there are always two sides to the story. I can’t help but think that Google will one day become no different than Fox news who is often critiqued for having a slanted agenda under the rule of Rupert Murdoch.

My thoughts behind the purpose of the commercial are that Google has begun their shift in “company focus”. They are creating an image to go public with. I would not be surprised to see Google dip into the hardware development and news dissemination sectors. In the Google future we no longer go to Google for information, Google just gives it to us on our GooglePads or GoogleBooks.

Go ahead and label me as the crazy guy. Believe me, I know a lot of this thought is far fetched, but think about it for yourself. Let it simmer and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crawl, Walk, Run... Stumble?

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not in tune with all the technology that exists. I’m still working through making MP3 CDs and someone told me the other day about MP4s and I nearly fell over.

I am starting to see a developing trend. I learn how to use a new piece of technology and than it evolves itself into something harder, better, faster, stronger. (Thanks, Kanye)

A teacher once told me that you can either “lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way”, but when it comes to technology I am at a loss. I am definitely not a leader. I will save the leading for the Computer Science Majors. I’ve been trying to be a follower, but trying to follow is a lot like trying to keep up with Usain Bolt in the 100m (Not ever going to happen). AND! We all know that I can’t afford to just abstain from technology.

Just when I thought all hope was lost I may have come across the solution to all my “technological lag”. Well, I stumbled across it.

Stumble is an online application designed to add onto your toolbar in your web browser. It appears as a button that you can simply press to begin the stumbling process. When you sign up to stumble you are asked to choose from a selection of interests. In my case I chose, sports, art, education, TECHNOLOGY, literature, philosophy, etc.

Alright, so you’ve signed up for stumble. What next? Simply begin by pressing the stumble button on your toolbar and the program takes care of the rest.

Based on the interests you chose when you signed up, Stumble will automatically surf the Internet and choose websites for you based on your choices. So, for the guy like me who is always falling behind on new technology, Stumble helps me find sites about the newest doo-dads in the tech-sphere.

My roommate keeps telling me that there is a great big world out there and I can only imagine that the world multiplies by ten when you think about how big the Internet is.

It begs the question: why crawl, walk, or run through the Internet when you can do the old stumble.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Almost, Somewhat, Maybe Independent

For the last 6 months I have been living in North Bay on my own. Well, not exactly on my own, but you know what it is like living away at school. You have an assortment of room mates who are all people you would have never imagined living with, but turn out to be the best friends you would have never met.

When I say alone I mean left to do things for yourself. When I left home 6 months ago I had little to no knowledge about how to cook, clean, do laundry, or any of the fun things being independent comes with.

Taking the big leap to attend a school that is not very close to home is a tough decision if people don’t feel comfortable with taking care of themselves.

If you are reading this right now thinking “oh man, this guy is right. I am really worried about living on my own” than heed my advice “You have nothing to worry about.” Think back to the time when you first learned how to swim. First you started with the water wings and you floated around knowing that you would never go under. Then one day someone decided that enough was enough and they were going to toss you into the water. I remember that moment as the scariest three seconds of my life. Until I burst out of the water and took that first breath of air and knew that swimming was no longer some unknown mystery, but a new skill I could use to move in water.

I realize that comparing living on your own to your first experience with swimming probably isn’t the best comparison due to the whole drowning possibility thing, but I am hoping you all see the point. If living North Bay is the pool than cooking, cleaning, and laundry is having the ability to swim.

The key is to remember that while you thought swimming was really scary once you dove in you realized it was really fun. It’s the same with moving North you just have to dive right in and embrace the possibility.

Like tonight for example. I will be officially checking the last major skill off my sheet of unknown knowledge. Tonight, I indulge in the art of ironing. Doesn’t that sound exciting? People have tried to show me before, but I think it is something that you just have to try for yourself. I am probably going to check youtube for an instructional video. Hopefully they include notes about how to keep yourself from burning a hole your favourite shirt.

Or perhaps I should just look into buying wrinkle free clothing?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Social Experiment

When I was in high school I was in a play titled “Faceless in the Crowd”. Cool name right… :S. Getting beyond the title, one of our underlying themes was the idea that we travel throughout our lives looking at people everyday and never taking in who they are and what they may be able to offer our lives.

It’s time to drop preconceived notions. REACH OUT YOUR HAND AND TOUCH SOMEBODY!!!

Alright, I get it. It’s not very cool go around touching people, but why not go around and talk to people? What’s the harm in that? Are we actually too busy to stop and talk to someone?

What if I said that everyone you meet has the potential to teach you something OR help you to see something in a way you had not thought about before? Would you consider stopping to talk? What’s five minutes? Think about it. We all have these all-encompassing tasks that need all our time and energy to complete, but we find time to do other things as well.

Talking with people is free and requires little to no time. “BUT IT’S SCARY!” you say? I would have to agree. You can’t just change yourself into a person who is comfortable with talking to people you have just met. For some, this task is something that might deconstruct their entire social existence. If you really don’t want to try you don’t have to. I am just some guy suggesting that University students liked to be talked to and like to talk about their subject of interest.

Keep in mind not everyone is buzzing with cool things to talk about and there will be times where your conversation doesn’t go beyond hello or that killer quiz you took.

Just remember: stranger danger doesn’t apply to the University populace.

“The Risk is Worth the Reward!”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Did You Know?

I was stumbling throughout the inter-web and came across a cool video that deals with statistics about the future and our advancing technological global economy.

If you have ever thought about population issues, advancing technology, or the idea that you may be just a number than this video is for you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You call it Cold. I call it Cool.

For 8 months I have been asked to make North Bay and Nipissing University my new home. Being a student in the Bachelor of Education program I have been put into a classroom of 40 or so other students who I have begun to view as my extended family. In my program I have a variety of classes and while the teachers change, the students do not. My classmates are the same everyday and in this environment we begin to learn about each other very quickly.

I can imagine that this may be a scary thought. People are going to get to know about me? I know some of you are thinking that you would resist and hold back from others. But, whether you like it or not this program is designed to have students open up about who they are and trust in one another to succeed as educators.

This is where our winter walk comes into play. While friends and family back home will often talk about how bad the weather must be and that they hope I am staying warm. I often find myself defending the cold weather and the plentiful amounts of snow. The other day I was introduced to how to integrate my surrounding area into education. My section, or my new family, went for this long walk along the maple trail and were asked to think about our senses as we walked through the snowy forest trail.

We all took the opportunity to take pictures, have snowball fights, and roll around in the snow. It was a day where we were technically at school, but we had to opportunity to play around and enjoy the snow. When we returned to class we were asked to write a poem about how we felt outside. The following in what I composed:

I heard the trees crackling,
Like lumber burning bright.

I felt the bitter cold,
Frigid as the Yukon night.

Sprinkles of snow fill up my nose,
As I envision my winter prose.

The taste of accomplishment within my grasp,
A cool winter breeze begins to rasp.

Visions of grandeur,
I had to gander.

For some, living in city with a lot of snow like North Bay may be too much to handle, but it is days like today that teach me to embrace your surroundings for what they are. Some call North Bay cold, but I call it cool...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Man with a Mission

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but the blog-verse has no better friend than the man with a cash prize incentive.

After a long time spent in hibernation I have awoken from my writing slumber to take on the special task of documenting my time at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.

Being from Brampton I am often asked by friends and family about what life is really like at Nipissing. I think everyone from Southern Ontario has the preconceived notion that Northern Ontario is two things: cold and snowy. What they don't realize is that the school is filled with a community of students that genuinely cares about one another and this feelings of acceptance and understanding carries over into the community as well.

I have only been at Nipissing for 5 months and I already call it home. The transition into the city and school has been seamless. I am already dreading the day when I will be asked to leave and return home to the realities of a "Professional Career."

Some people like to scrapbook to record memories. I am going to foster my creativity through this blog.

I hope you'll join me in this journey.