Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Staff Posts | 0 comments

So it’s that time of the year. University replies are coming back, people are figuring out where they are going – excitement is in the air! I know at about this time a few years ago, I was just getting geared up and excited to trek off to UBC. Buuut I really didn’t know what to expect. I had some weird views of what college (and living in residence) would be like, and it wasn’t until I got here that I started to figure things out.

So, I thought I would share some of my thoughts (3 misconceptions and then 3 things that actually turned out to be true) about the transition to university and living on campus and away from home!


Three major misconceptions I had about university and living in res:

1) People would party ALL the time. While yeah, there is a lot of partying that happens the first few weeks, things actually do calm down once midterm season hits and people realize they actually do need to study. Unless you’re really unlucky, it’s quite manageable!

2) Everyone on campus will look great, and I will too! So very wrong. While there are those who make an effort to keep up their appearance and go to full efforts every day, it doesn’t take long for people to quickly fall out of that habit. When you’re spending so much time on campus and seeing everyone as much as you do, it just doesn’t seem important to make sure your hair is done up perfectly every single day.

3) The food would be unbearable. Yes, sometimes it starts to taste the same, or you get tired of the options, or you just really want a home cooked meal. But overall, the food (at least for me at UBC) wasn’t terrible. There are a lot of options, and if you get creative you definitely have some choices.

Three things that really can happen when you live in residence:

1) People really do play frisbee. Everywhere – okay, maybe this is just a west coast thing but it’s definitely commonplace to see people tossing around a disc. There are recreational leagues, leagues in residence, and competitive teams! Who knew this stereotype could be so true?

2) Fire alarms. This one is a bit of a hit and a miss. But I’ve heard horror stories and lived a few myself. When you live in res (while it depends on the group of people you live with), there always seems to be a higher risk of fire alarms going off, whether they’re being pulled as an April Fool’s prank, or people are just burning popcorn in the microwave!

3) The “college experience” really is kind of attainable. So yes, there are a lot of stereotypes. But is completely possible to grab yourself a little piece of the cheesiness, get involved and make friends you wouldn’t anywhere else.

Happy transitioning!

The Frying Pan vs. The Flames

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

Hey guys! Happy Spring Breeeeeeaaaaak!

It’s kind of crazy when you think about it: for some people – myself included – it may be the last spring break we get to have as high school students. Considering the fact that it’s already April now it really isn’t nothing more than another hoop – albeit the last of its particular kind – to jump through on your way to the finish line. That being said, I’ll admit, I’ve been spending the last couple of days both avoiding and embracing my ever-approaching escape from the shackles of high school (which may just be out of the frying pan and into the fire. I’ll keep you updated) as best as the rest of us. It’s daunting – university is a pretty big change and who knows what’ll happen next or where you’ll end up from then on out? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to be done with high school, but that doesn’t quite do enough to diminish the great thrill and fear that comes with stepping towards a vast unknown.

Or maybe I’m just lame that way. Oh well.

Anyways, I’ve actually been trying my best not to procrastinate like I always do, but it just seems to happen anyways. And somehow, yet again I’ve got a pretty solid list of videos that made me smile, laugh, dance, or ponder this week. You may know ‘em, you may love ‘em, or you may hate ‘em with a fiery passion but that’s ok, that’s the beauty Internet’s like that and it’s just cool that you’ve seen ‘em anyways.

  • Courtesy of the only broadway show I’ve seen to date:
  • Coffee Shop Surprises:
  • An Interesting mini-documentary that I personally found quite interesting:
  • Ah yes, the dorky-awesomeness of sisterly love:
  • A fun song:
  • Raining Men! Sort of!:





Anyways, I hope you all have an awesome-sauce spring break and those of you who don’t have one, good luck on exams! I hope even one of these made your day even momentarily brighter!

Captain America 3 vs. Man of Steel 2 : Playing Chicken with Release Dates

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

May 6th, 2016. The day that the Titans of the superhero movie face off. Marvel against DC. Captain America against Superman. We probably have never seen a weekend so full of blockbusters in the history of cinema. And fortunately, we probably never will.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. Both Marvel and DC are talking the talk. They don’t wanna back down off that release date. At least not yet. And to a casual fan, why would they? It would be the perfect opportunity to see which studio can produce the better movie. A showdown to show who is the king of the summer blockbuster. This sounds like a dream come true to the fans, but in reality, the studios think very differently. Let me share why.

Lets travel back to the genesis of the superhero movie. The 1978 “Superman: The Movie” is the first truly modern superhero blockbuster. They next new superhero franchise on the big screen was “Batman”, in 1989. DC pioneered the superhero movie, brought it to the public eye. Without DC, we wouldn’t be having a Captain America 3 on May 6th, 2016.

Lets travel back to the rebirth of the superhero movie. After the unholy disaster that was “Batman and Robin” in 1997 (BAT CREDIT CARD), it was a few years before the superhero movie would be redeemed. “XMEN” released in 2000, breathed new life into the superhero genre. After than, Marvel kept going. Spiderman, Blade, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Daredevil, all these movies were Marvel properties that came out rapid fire. The floodgates were open. And Marvel was the reason superheroes were cool again. Without Marvel, we wouldn’t be having a Man of Steel 2 on May 6th, 2016.

While DC and Marvel are in competition with each other, they understand how one studios successes feed into their own. They have both bet a lot of money on the superhero genre being successful for the next while, and they will support anything that strengthens the possibility. A head to head match-up between two of the biggest blockbusters of the summer? Both DC and Marvel know that ends poorly. One of them will move. They may not admit why, and instead say “production delays” were the cause, but we know what actually happened. That studio lost at chicken.

Procrastination, a Love-Hate Relationship.

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

Whether it’s a term paper, a lab report, a presentation, or a simple chore, we all put things off. Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m procrastinating I find myself doing the same things over and over.

6. Honourable mention: 2048

This new game is ridiculously addictive. All you do is hit squares together to raise the numbers of your squares. So two squares with 2s inside of them make one 4 square, two 4s make an 8. It’s all exponents with a base of two. To win *all* have to do is make a square of 2048 and good god is that hard to pull off without losing first. This gets honourable mention because while I don’t know if I’ll be playing it for a supper long period, I’ve been playing for hours this weekend while putting off some labs. So if you’re still interested in the game, here’s the link:


5. Facebook

I’ve always got a Facebook tab open. Talking to friends about not working on what I should be happens fairly often…


4. Wikipedia

My time on Wikipedia goes something like this: 
*click* oooh, interesting. *click* hmmm *click* *click* huh. *click* *click* *click* *click* 
And then suddenly it’s midnight and I have a history paper to write before 6 am. It’s funny how Wikipedia articles can range from totally relevant to kind of relevant to not at all relevant to what I should be doing, and yet I can justify going to every page.


3. YouTube

I wonder what this guy put out today. And this channel. And this channel. And this channel. My voyages onto YouTube tend to be like this. I mean, who can’t resist watching 40 minutes of 5 second clips when a bio lab sits waiting minimized…


2. Netflix

Binge watching shows is probably the worst thing I can do when procrastinating. I’ve spent entire weekends not doing major assignments. But really, who wants to work on a paper when House of Cards or Doctor Who can be watched for 18 hours straight?


1. Reddit

And here it is, the number one procrastination device in my life. I swear, if you were to take a random point in my life in the past year, chances are I had reddit open in a tab somewhere at that moment.

7 Simple Ways To Start Your Day

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

It’s still dark as your alarm bell goes off. You pull up the curtains and the cold winter is waiting for you outside of the window.

As you stumble out of bed and into the shower a new day begins.

So how can you make it more likely that it will be a good or even great day?

Well, in my experience, what you do early in the morning often sets the tone for the rest of the day.

So let me share 7 simple tips that have helped me to create both better mornings and days.

1. Plan the night before.

Put down just 1-3 of the most important things you want to get done on a to-do list.

By keeping the list very limited it becomes easier to actually get the most important thing(s) done. And to not start procrastinating by doing a few of the less important and often easier tasks that I know I always used to add to a longer to-do list.

2. Prepare the night before.

Reduce the stress during your morning by getting the simple details out of the way the night before. Pack your bag. Prepare and pack your lunch. Put your keys, wallet etc. in their “home” if they are not already there so you can quickly find and grab them before heading out the door.

3. Keep a simple reminder on your bedside table.

What you see during your first minutes after you have woken up can in my experience have quite the effect on the morning and as an extension of that the whole day.

So try putting a small note with a reminder on your bedside table.

4. Go slow.

When I start my day slowly and keep doing things at a slow pace then it becomes easier to keep the stress away. It becomes easier to focus on what I am doing and keep my priorities in mind.

When I go slow I stay in the present moment more of the time and so less negative feelings come my way and I appreciate the everyday things in life more because my attention is focused outward and not aimlessly inward towards what happened in the past or may happen in the future.

When I start my day slowly I sometimes get worried that this slow pace will mean that I get less done during my day. But at the end of the day I most often discover that I got more done. Because I did things well the first time and because when I go slow I tend to spend less energy on draining feelings and on having my attention bouncing around between many things.

And so I have more energy during the last few hours of my day to spend on things that matter to me.

5. Get some positive information into your mind over breakfast.

Start your day with something that does not depress you or makes you feel powerless to change your life or the world in some small or bigger way.

Add inspiration and optimism by for example:

  • Reading one or a couple of new posts from positive, funny or uplifting blogs or websites.
  • Listening to a podcast that boosts your motivation.
  • Reading a chapter from a book that inspires you.

6. Start your day with the most important task.

Find the most important task on the very limited to-do list you created. Do it first thing when your workday starts.

This task is in my experience often quite hard so it is easy to fall for the temptation to procrastinate. If you feel that urge, then just be still and do nothing. The most powerful part of the impulse to procrastinate by checking email or Facebook passes pretty quickly.

When the worst is over then go easy on yourself instead of trying to push yourself hard.

Tell yourself that you will only work for 1-3 minutes on this important task. Then you can stop if you like. But you may not want to do that once you have gotten started. This seems to be the case for me most of the time.

Because getting started is most often the hardest part.

7. Build a right thing string.

Doing what you deep down think is the right thing will make you feel good. It will boost your self esteem and put a spring in your step for an hour or more.

One way that I like to do that is by creating what I like to call a right thing string.

Here’s what you do:

Do something that you deep down think is the right thing. Do it right now.

Give a genuine compliment to someone at work or in your life. Help someone who seems lost with directions. Unclutter your work space for 2 minutes. Go and work out.

Then add another thing that you think is the right thing to do.

Have an apple instead of an unhealthy snack. When you feel like judging someone in your life or on TV or in the newspaper try to find a kinder and more understanding perspective. Smile and ask how someone’s day is going (and really listen to the reply).

Then add another thing. And another.

Build a small string of doing the right things during for example 10-30 minutes to boost your energy and the positive feelings you have about yourself and your life.

Continue the string during your day as best you can.

After you have added a right thing to your string – no matter how small it is – make sure to take a few seconds to pause and to appreciate the good thing you did.

This boosts the positive mood within and ups the motivation to add another thing to your string.

If you break the string, no worries. Don’t beat yourself up.

Take a deep breath and then start a new string instead.



Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

The 2014 Olympics are all wrapped up, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks it’s been a wild run (for Canada especially). However, the most interesting thing I found that went viral was the craze over a Canadian ski Coach Justin Wadsworth rushed to the aid of a Russian skier who had broken a ski. While the rest of the competition had long finished, this simple act, allowing the skier to at least finish the race went viral. People were touched to see that even at such high levels, people weren’t beyond helping out other athletes.

Having played sports and been caught up in them in the past, I can’t even imagine how heated and tense things must get when you get to an Olympic level. However, despite that people still find time to demonstrate real sportsmanship. So, I thought I would compile a list of a few of my favorite sportsmanship moments at the Olympics.


3) Meghan Vogel  – 2012

Okay, so this one isn’t actually at the Olympics. But I still love it. In a 3200m race Meghan Vogel stopped and helped a collapsed rival across the finish line. Not only that, but she actually makes sure her opponent crossed the finish line before her.


2) John Landy – 1956

Alright I lied. Once again, not the Olympics! (There were so many examples I loved both inside and out that I couldn’t limit myself…) John Landy was the second man to break in the four minute mile. At the Australian National Championships (before the Melbourne Olympic Games), Landy doubled back mid race to ensure a fallen competitor was okay. Despite giving up valuable seconds doing this, Landy still managed to gain the time back and finish first.


1)  Bjoernar Haakensmoen – 2006

I’ll hold true to my word at least once! This one happened at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Sara Renner was leading Team Canada in the cross country relay (an event that is often won by seconds) when her pole snapped. Sweden, Norway and Finland all passed her before a Norwegian coach came and offered her his pole.  Canada ended up making up enough time to come in second place, while Norway fell to fourth.

Not to sound too horribly cheesy, but it’s definitely things like these that gives me warm fuzzy feelings and reminds me what true meaning of sport really is.


Posted by on Feb 15, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

Apparently the new LEGO movie is spectacular and a definite must-see. If you’re like me, midterms are currently running your life. Thus making it rather difficult to actually go see a movie and enjoy yourself.

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time procrastinating on YouTube instead of actually writing the assignments you should be writing and studying  the subjects you should be studying.

Basically, what I’m about to share with you is a combination of me wanting to relive my childhood (it included a lot of LEGO building) and a little taste  of the music I enjoy.

The people who created these clips, or rather “recreated” these music videos are people I would like to meet! And also, people I currently envy for the amount of time they have on their hands.

Enjoy :)


 The Beatles – I Saw Her Standing There


The Beasties Boys- Sabotage
OK Go – Here It Goes Again

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Michael Jackson – Beat It

The Who-My Generation


Which one is your favourite?!



Posted by on Feb 11, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

Kids are always doing amazing things. Be it spewing truth, wisdom, and talent from their ears, or just experiencing the little things in life with the intense passion that we sometimes forget. I could probably list thousands of different things we’ve seen or heard kids do to better the world, make people smile, or just because they really want to and truly believe that they can (But I’ve only got 4). I think that it’s really important to acknowledge stuff like this, not necessarily because they’re young, but for reasons including (but not limited to) because they put in the work to do what they do, and because of how they react to the moments and sensations they experience in such a way – whether that be like an adult or like a child. On top of that, it definitely does a lot in the way of restoring a little faith in the future of mankind.

So, this week, I came across a variety of videos from across the web including that of adorable 15 month old Kayden experiencing rain for the first time that warmed my heart enough to boil an egg to perfection:

12-year-old Adora Svitak’s TED talk ‘What adults can learn from kids’:

A very inspiring, and very adorable message from none other than Kid President:

And finally, fifteen-year-old Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya’s gold-medal-winning routine at this year’s Winter Olympics:

They’re out there, and they’re amazing for doing the incredible things that they do no matter how big or small they may seem to some. It all makes me miss being a kid; but even more than that, it makes me really want to push myself to retain apart the essence of childhood as I grow older. I want growing up to be fun. I want to work past the stifling limitations that seem to develop with adulthood to do what I want and to retain the drive to do it well. I want to shake things up, and still be rockin’ it at 90 while embarrassing my grandchildren with my tech savvy and narcissistically looking back at all of my innovative contributions to the world; most of which would probably be largely attributed to my non-adult thinking (if I ever transcend stagnation and achieve that level).

It’s definitely a more pastoral way of looking at things (It’s a toddler screaming in the rain, how is that inspiring or thought-provoking?), but I think that it’s important for us to not write off people’s actions, insights, opinions and experiences because their teeth are still coming in or – on the other side of the spectrum  - falling out. I really don’t like hearing the dismissal in ‘you’ll understand it when you’re older’ or, ‘you’re just a kid’. Both things may be true, but that by no account means that the things I do, see, or feel, are of lesser (or more, for that matter) weight to the universe.

Sorry, rant over.

My point is: kids are doing incredible, remarkable things, and it should neither be discredited because they’re younger, nor hyperbolized because they’re younger. They simply do things, and we ought to acknowledge and celebrate these super cool things they do when they happen without ruining it for them or anybody else (which is hard for us, I know).

They are not currently suffering from a deficit of some unknown element that they develop as they age and mature. They are not wines that need to be stored in a barrel for 20-30 years.  They are the ones that can (probably, and hopefully) better humanity.

And even if they can’t prove that now, they will.

What Everyone is Really Watching the Superbowl For

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

Now, I am one of the millions of people that will tune into the Superbowl every year.  It is not that I care particularly for either team or have any real investment in the outcome – but it is a tradition. Missing the Superbowl would just feel wrong. Well, unfortunately for the viewing public a lot of things just felt wrong about the 2014 game. While the game was a huge disappointment for many hoping for a close battle and incredible display of skill, we all had one thing to look forward to: the hilarious commercials that normally accompany the biggest game of the year.  I wouldn’t say I have high expectations when it comes to these things but I tune in for the entertainment. This year, however, it seems like the entire telecast was a disappointment. The ads were a little lacklustre to me. In any case, there were a few gems that you should see if you haven’t already.

Puppy Love





Yes, the highlights featured animals of the adorable and terrifying variety. In case you want to catch some of the other noteworthy commercials, here are some runner-ups:


It’s Always Darkest before the Dawn

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Staff Posts | Comments Off

Hello Everyone,

Happy end of January! Despite the fact that December 21st is the shortest day of the year here in Canada, for me it always feels like the end of January is actually the coldest, most bitter, never ending part of the winter. I think it’s partly that in December there are holidays and the chance to be free from school for a while looming, and in January, once you pass New Year’s, the only holiday you have to look forward to is Valentine’s Day, and that is like a month away! (And to be honest I don’t count binge eating chocolates, and binge watching the new season of House of Cards on Netflix as a holiday.  Although I’m sure you all have much more exciting plans than me! J)

Anyways, I usually spend this part of the year cuddled up on my couch, and avoiding winter. However, this year my friends got me to go out skating again, and I actually really liked it! That got me thinking about all the winter stuff I used to do as a kid: Skiing, Snowman Building, Cross Country skiing, Snowshoeing, Dogsledding (okay, that one is made up!). So this year I have promised myself that I am going to get outside more this winter, and not spend all of February inside waiting for the spring thaw. Instead I’m going to go out and have fun this winter, snow pants and all.

So brave Albertans, I promise (Okay, I hope!) that winter will be over soon, but nothing we do will make it go any faster, so while we wait for Spring to return, get out there and enjoy the rest of this winter.

Helen <3