Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quote of the day: the person of tomorrow morning

From a grad poem by a friend of a friend of mine:
Just remember, you will not be childlike forever,
so try to look at the world with wonder.
When things are grey and dark and blurry,
in times of utter shit and worry,
take a look at the colour and composition,
the smell and sound and sight of the brain you live in.
Take one wide look, one heavy breath,
let the air flow over your face - look at where you are then.
It is such a beautiful place.
And I can't say that if you're not okay
that you'll be all right,
but there are still places that you have not seen
and there is a person that you haven't been.
That is the person of tomorrow morning,
who you will become without any real warning.
- N. Pacey

Googling Myself

I made an astonishing discovery today: I am in the first image returned by a Google Image search for my name: Stephen McCarthy!

Unfortunately, I'm not in the top 50 Stephen McCarthys on the Google Web search, but I am all over Stephen McCarthy UBC and I hit the top page on Stephen McCarthy Korea! In an odd, self-centred way, I'm satisfied.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Korean War, 1950 - 1953

Paper spinners adorn a wall to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. Photo Ja Mez.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My month in review: part 2/2

I will continue to make up for my lack of blogging this month in this post, about my last two weekends.

Cheering for Korea in their World Cup game. They were eliminated by Uruguay.

What Steve is reading

Long-form articles that have crossed my path recently:

New York Times, Online Bullies Pull Schools into the Fray. I am so glad right now that Facebook and cellphones didn't really arrive for me until University.

Wired, Sergey Brin's Search for a Parkinson's Cure. Touches close to home, and interesting from a computer science point of view.

Rolling Stone, The Runaway General. The article that brought down the U.S. General commanding all forces in Afghanistan.

Wired, The Secret of AA. Fascinating read - and for me, a first in-depth introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous.


I've recently found a website which aggregates long-form journalism: As so much of what I read is bite-size, it's nice to have a quiet and reflective read now and then. Check it out!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My month in review: part 1/2

Forgive me readership, for I have committed the sin of omission - specifically, omitting to post much of anything recently. Here's a whirlwind tour of my month.
Above: I didn't know that the world cup was played by giants!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Still upset about the Canucks...

...but with a whole bunch of new respect for Brent Sopel and the Hawks. Good on you, Chicago.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pimp My Lexicon!

I discovered something on the New York Times website today. I have known for a while that the website has a feature which allows users to double-click on a word to get a definition. What I didn't know until today is that they publish a list of the top 50 clicked words. You can see it here (pdf).

That gave me an idea: I would see how many of the words I could define, with no context or help. I offer the same challenge to you - read on to see the words, and how I did.

Meanwhoil in the Gulf...

Bonus hilarious Dilbert comic after the jump!

Word of the Week

For the last month or so I have been saving up priceless words that my kids say or write on my white board (in the office, not the classroom) as the "Word of the Week". Here's a selection.

The inaugural WOTW: tranch. Original use: a grade 2 writing prompt about the amusement park, in the sentence "Then we bought ice cream and tranch." Meaning: I have no clue.

The next one is pure Konglish. I asked my grade 3 debate class which they liked better, pizza or ramen, and why. The first couple kids answer "I like pizza better because it is cheesy," and things like this. I get to one student: "I like remon better because you can make remonade."

This week's WOTW: shelf-confidence. Original use: typo. New definition: The kind of confidence that you get from a shelf. You know, from a bottle on the shelf.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Korea: urban paradise?

I suppose my guarded enthusiasm about the urban landscape in Korea should have been more guarded: note the difference between Canadians' and Koreans' satisfaction with the local area in which they live.

Then again, Canada has so much more local area to work with.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My 23rd birthday

Last Saturday was my 23rd birthday! So of course, I stayed in and didn't do much.

This was because the real party was happening Sunday. First, I got up early (8:45) and went to play volleyball for four hours. My adopted team was playing a friendly inter-squad match, so this was grueling but tons of fun. A reminder: unlike in international 6-on-6 volleyball, in East Asian 9-on-9 volleyball the teams don't rotate players. This means I was up at the net running hits and blocking the entire games. So much fun - but so tiring.