Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Canadian Music

Looking for music which is quintessentially Canadian, but still good quality and won't annoy the younger generation?

Alanis Morissette, Canadian singer-songwriter. If you haven't heard of her already you must be living in a cave.

Ashley MacIsaac, a professional fiddler from Cape Breton Island. Best known for "Sleepy Maggie", with vocals in Scottish Gaelic by Mary Jane Lamond.

Avril Lavigne, Canadian singer-songwriter. Best known for "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending" and "Girlfriend".

Barenaked Ladies or BNL, a Canadian alternative rock band with multiple hits, including the theme song from 'Big Bang Theory'.

Chantal Kreviazuk, a Canadian pianist / singer-songwriter of adult contemporary. Examples: "God Made Me", "Believer" and "Wayne".

Choclair, Canadian rapper. Best known for "Let's Ride".

Great Big Sea, a Canadian folk-rock band from Newfoundland and Labrador, best known for performing energetic rock interpretations of traditional Newfoundland folk songs + original material. ie. "Its the End of the World as we Know It"

k.d. lang, a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter, with multiple hits including "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine".

Moxy Früvous, a socially conscious and politically satirical folk-pop band. My favourite is their rendition of "Green Eggs with Ham".

Nelly Furtado, Canadian singer-songwriter. Best known for "I'm Like a Bird", "Promiscuous", "Maneater", "All Good Things (Come to an End)" and "Say It Right".

Our Lady Peace, an alternative rock band. Best known for "Starseed" and "Somewhere Out There".

Priestess, Canadian heavy metal / stoner rock band. Best known for "Blood" and "I Am the Night, Colour Me Black".

Sarah Harmer, Canadian singer-songwriter and activist, former lead singer of Weeping Tile. Notables include "Chicken", and "You Were Here".

Sarah McLachlan, Canadian musician, singer and songwriter. If you haven't heard of her already you must be living in a cave.

The Tea Party, a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences. Best known for "Heaven Coming Down".

Tom Cochrane, Canadian musician and humanitarian, best known for his hit songs "Life Is a Highway", "Lunatic Fringe" and "I Wish You Well".



Enjoy!

Book Stores in Toronto

The following is a list of my favourite book stores in Toronto, in order of which is best.

#1. Eliot's Bookshop - 584 Yonge Street, 416-925-0268

#2. BMV Books - 10 Edward Street, 416-977-3087

#3. Toronto Women's Book Store - 73 Harbord Street, 416-922-8744

#4. World's Biggest Bookstore - 20 Edward Street, 416-977-7009

#5. Any of the Indigo stores. Bay and Bloor, the Eaton's Centre, Yorkdale, etc.

NOTE: Nothing however beats the good ol' library. ie. The Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street).

Baileys = Yuck

No offense to the people who make Baileys (or drinkers who enjoy it), but its just not my cup of tea. Or alcohol in this case.

Same goes with Kahlua. Yuck.

Give me brandy, cognac, whiskey, vodka any day. Or if you like Asian drinks, baekseju, soju and sake.

But Baileys and Kahlua. Sorry, its just not that good. Its too sweet, and when you mix it the flavour is ruined.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Boxing Equipment from CSN

ENTERTAINMENT/HEALTH - Awhile back I got into a fight with a crazed crackhead in downtown Toronto (see Fisticuffs in Kensington Toronto) and I revealed my interest in traditional boxing as a martial art.

Or as I like to call it, Good Ol' Fisticuffs.

Since then I was contacted by CSN stores and asked to write a review of their boxing products. They sent me the following items by courier:

* "The Champ" Boxing Focus Mitts
* Double Mouthpiece
* "The Champ" Velcro Boxing Gloves
* MMA Quick Wraps

However they made a mistake sending the quick wraps. They accidentally sent me TWO right handed hand wraps, and neglected to send a left-handed one. I am planning to contact them and hopefully they will send me the left one to complete the set.


Since receiving them the items which I've used the most are the boxing gloves themselves and the boxing pads, both made by Amber Sports. I've even shown taken them with me around Toronto to show friends and get their opinion on the products.

(That and it helps to have someone else holding the boxing pads and taking turns at it.)

I even brought the boxing gloves and pads to a Christmas get-together with some relatives and my cousin's children got to play with them. That was amusing all by itself and I wish I had taken photos of them.

So far I can give the following review:

Durability - 5 Stars (No rips, they're still in perfect condition despite regular usage.)

Fit/Ease of Use - 5 Stars (Very easy to use.)

Eco-Friendliness - 4 Stars (They're made from plastic polymers, like a tougher version of nylon. No animals or plants were harmed in the making of these products from what I can tell. Some of the bits look like faux leather. Note: Polymers are made using either oil or recycled plastic. I didn't say any any label that said "Made from Recycled Materials" so I am going to guess they're made from oil, so they lost 1 star for that.)

Seriously, the only complaint I have is that they messed up the order with respect to the left-handed quick wraps. Hopefully they will remedy that soon enough and I can post an update that they were quick to send the left hand wrap too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Toshiba Notebooks, Canon Cameras and Windows7

TECHNOLOGY - I bought a Toshiba Notebook computer yesterday. According to the numbers on the box it is a NB250. It looks exactly like the photos shown below.

Now while I have used laptops and notebook computers before for work and play, I have never actually owned one of my own before.

I was tempted to buy one when I was living in South Korea (they were relatively cheap there and comparable to desktop prices) and I regret not going the laptop route because it would have saved me luggage space when I eventually brought the computer back to Canada.

But now that I finally have a notebook computer (and its just the right size too, small and super easy to fit inside a bag, but not so small that I am typing with my thumbs or something silly like that) it means I will finally be able to take a computer with me when I go traveling.

Technically I bought it for my website design business and I will be claiming it as a business expense on my income taxes. The idea is to have a nice portable computer which I can have with me when I meet clients.

And the price did not break my budget. $285 + tax. I also bought a wireless optical mouse to go with it because I prefer to work with a mouse. That is going on my business expenses too.

However I am kind of kicking myself today because I could have entered a contest (and possibly won) a Toshiba Notebook anyway. Its a Lenzr photography contest sponsored by a designer swimwear company, ERP software, and a beauty school. Not that it really matters who sponsors it, I just thought it was interesting that I could have entered the photography contest and assuming I won I could have got the Toshiba Notebook for free.

Or at very least got some interesting photography out of the competition process.




Canon Cameras

I am a big fan of Canon cameras. I have 4 of them now. I have 5 cameras total, the 5th is a Polaroid (which I cannot find film for any more). I have been very happy with the quality of Canon.

My first Canon camera was a simple point and click. I give it 4 stars.

The second was a digital camera, a PowerShot A20 (which is so old its considered obsolete but still works amazingly well). I bought it in 2001 and later took it with me to South Korea in 2003-04 and again in 2005. I did not replace it until 2010. 5 stars.

My third I bought in South Korea, a manual Canon Rebel SLR. I even bought an extra lens to go with it. The quality of the shots I got off that camera was amazing. (Also, while I am at it, I recommend the Kodak Photo Shops in South Korea for developing. The quality over there is amazing.) 5 stars.

And my new digital camera is a Canon PowerShot A480, purchased in 2010 for a fraction of what I paid for its grandfather in 2001. And unlike its grandfather it can also shoot video and has a lot more options, more pixels, etc. 5 stars.

Which brings me back to the Toshiba Notebook NB250. It comes with a webcam on it. I have never owned a webcam before. I am struggling to figure out what to do with it. Maybe do live podcasts or videos of myself for YouTube. Dunno yet.

Windows7 Starter

One thing is bothering me however... how do I change the desktop background image on it? Normally that is an easy thing to do, but Windows7 Starter does not seem to allow it. It makes me tempted to download and install the Google Chrome OS when it becomes available for notebook computers because the inability to customize some of the settings on Windows7 Starter is super annoying.

The rest of the computer is fine. I was playing games on it and watching movies on it last night to test it out. Works great for everything else. Its just those freaking Windows7 Starter jerk computer programmers who said 'Hey, lets be even bigger jerks by not letting people customize their own computers and then they will download Google Chrome OS when it comes out?!'

Morons. They are just shooting themselves in the foot. I can't wait to try out the Google Chrome OS.

Otherwise I am sure there is a program out there that I can download and which will allow me to customize my desktop somehow. I will find it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All Day Breakfasts in Toronto

Looking for a good place in Toronto for an all day breakfast?

Well I was. I normally like going to The Sunset Grill (Yonge and Richmond, 5 stars), but today I decided on a change.

So instead we went to:

Future Bakery & Cafe (Annex, SW corner of Bloor and Brunswick, just west of Spadina)
483 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M5S 1Y2, Canada
416-922-5875

I had the blueberry pancakes and they were excellent. My vegetarian date had a spinach omelette. Both were excellent.

The place was very busy however, a sign that the food is very good, but it felt rather cramped. The place triples as cafe, bar and all day breakfast place, so it was understandably busy when you consider its prime location on Bloor street.

The food was great, but there is no waiters. You have to go up and make your order at the bar and then they call your name when it is ready. I give the
Future Bakery & Cafe 4 stars out of 5.

Another good breakfast place, if you're in North York, is The Blueberry Hill at York University. Good music, nice seats, great decor, and lots of university students. Blueberry Hill is inside the York Lanes Mall near the middle of the campus. Parking however is tricky. 4 Stars out of 5.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Indigo Books Vs eReader Kobo

If you've been into any of the big box bookstores recently you've probably seen Indigo's new eReader "Kobo" which they are trying to jam down people's throats without making it any cheaper.

Now I've tried the Kobo out in the store and its ridiculous slow. You press the buttons and then you wait.

And you wait and you wait and you wait...

And eventually the next page loads.

Its ridiculously freaking slow and the price tag is way too expensive when you consider how slow and annoying the thing is. $149 for the piece of junk.

Now some people might say "Hey, I could have all my books on there and I wouldn't need all the space." But once you try the Kobo and realize how slow it is you should really think twice about that idea. Sure, you could have lots of books stored on it, but what would be the point when its so ridiculously slow?

#2. Of course you still have to BUY the digital books just to put on Kobo. Expect to pay at least $50 to get enough books to keep you busy for a year or two.

#3. Also there is the issue of what happens in two years when better and more quality products have made the Kobo obsolete? You've just wasted $200+ on a product you will never use again.

So the end result is a slooooooow product which will soon be obsolete and you've just wasted $200.

Plus there is competition. Amazon.com has the Kindle eReader and its only $139 (and also a hunk of junk from what I hear). But neither of them will be worthwhile. First a company needs to make one that actually works properly and quickly, and then they need to get the price down to the magic number of $99 (because then it will just fly off the shelves).

Meanwhile Indigo is really pushing itself in the toy and gift business. I admit I bought quite a few xmas gifts at Indigo this year. But they have a long way to go if they want to start selling digital books on eReaders.

Especially when you can usually download popular books online these days for free and stick them on any laptop or tablet device. Or even your SmartPhone. Sure, its a pirated copy, but you can't beat the price.

Just don't bother trying to give pirated e-books as a gift. It won't work. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Canadian Flags - Made in Taiwan

Call it the shame of Canada - but we don't really have much of a textile industry here.

Fur yes, but very few people buy fur any more.

Thus it was with little surprise that I noticed the label on my Canadian flag (currently stored on a shelf, neatly folded) saying it was Made in Taiwan.

I bought that flag years ago. Not even sure when or where. Never noticed the label at all until now.

I will say this however, judging by the quality of the stitching those Taiwanese really know how to sew properly. It is made really well and the fabric is high quality.

Which maybe explains something. Maybe Canada just sucks at sewing?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Extreme Fitness in Toronto

I have been (on and off) a member of Extreme Fitness here in Toronto for the past 2 and a half years roughly.

Initially they gave me one month free.

And then in 2009 they gave me three months free, but I had to sign up for a whole year on a contract. (They lost 1 star right there.)

Plus there was the price. About $60 per month, pricey when you consider some other gyms in Toronto only charge $40 and don't hassle you with a contract or fees. (They lost another star because of the price.)

Seriously, for that price I could have been buying $60 worth of gym and exercise equipment every month and be able to work out in the comfort of my own home.

I might have been willing to forgive them the price, except for the lousy service. The one time I lost my water bottle, asked about the Lost & Found and discovered they didn't even have one. Apparently they just throw things out. That was not the only issue with poor service either.

They kept moving the gym equipment around every 3-4 months. You'd come to the gym some days and you couldn't find the piece of equipment you were looking for. ie. Today I went there and they had moved the punching bag and apparently put it in storage, thus totally negating me bringing my boxing gloves with me today. (This was the straw that broke the camel's back.)

I am utterly appalled by the low quality of their yoga studio and their instructors. Perhaps that is because I've gone to traditional yoga studios like Buddha Body Yoga (four stars) on Church Street or Urban Edge Yoga near Bloor and Spadina (five stars + vegan food).

Oh and one time I went there to discuss getting a personal trainer so I work on my boxing and learned that personal trainers cost about $75 per hour. Holy ****! What a fundamental waste of money. (Apparently $75/hour is pretty normal for personal trainers, but wow... I am in the wrong business!)

Oh oh oh!

And when I decided to cancel my membership I tried to talk someone in sales. Apparently they aren't allowed to cancel memberships, only the manager can do that. And the manager (Sam) is normally only there between 9 AM and 5 PM. Otherwise you have to make an appointment.

Well today Sam was in and I managed to catch him in his office, but there was a lineup of people. One of the staff asked what I was waiting for and I said I wanted to cancel my membership. So she gave me his card and told me to do it via email. Seriously. Canceling it via email. So I did so.

And to top this all off the Toronto Star recently ran a series of articles about Toronto gyms and how they are ripping people off and treating them like ****. Basically everyone is getting ripped off with fees, even if they cancel their gym membership and the gym conveniently "forgets" and keeps charging their credit card anyway. Or worse, charges cancellation fees on top of that.

So what are we down to...?

ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE.

And what did Extreme Fitness actually do to earn that one star? Well they have weightlifting equipment, a fair amount of it. Just like every other gym in Toronto. They also have the TVs on the treadmills, computers in the lobby/waiting area and saunas (which I never bothered to use). Just like every other hum drum gym.

Extreme Fitness also tries really hard to sell you "sex" although they don't actually come out and say it. They try really hard to be sexy, playing dance music (all the freaking time its the same songs by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga!) and they even have singles events (which I thought "Wow, what kind of loser goes to those?")

Thus Extreme Fitness is nothing special. Same crappy service, same equipment, and so forth.

They didn't even have a pool!

FYI! I am looking for a new gym so if any local businesses want to offer me a couple months (or a whole year) free please let me know and I will come review your gym. :)

Levis Jeans

I have always loved Levis jeans.

Probably just because when I was a kid and a teenager it was all about the brand.

When I got older I branched out and started buying jeans from different companies. Some of them were cheaper / less quality - because I was on a budget during university.

But having graduated 10 years and rethought my position, I have determined its better to pay for quality - because Levis jeans simply last longer - fewer rips in the knees / etc.

And to be fair it doesn't cost much more to get Levis. Especially if you remember to look for sales.

Looks great on you or your girlfriend. Which sadly means sometimes you have to make certain they don't go missing on you.

Just a hunch, but I bet many a teenage couple has fought over Levis after someone borrowed them without permission.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Internet Explorer 9 beta

TECHNOLOGY - Okay, I know it is only the beta version, but it is complete crap. It keeps freezing the page, I have to restart it constantly, when I click on certain buttons it has lots of lag time...

And in order to make this blog post I had to use Firefox instead.

I've been using Internet Explorer 7 for the past 8 months roughly, and when I decided to update the software I was given two options... Internet Explorer 8... or I could try Internet Explorer 9 beta... But because IE9b is so crappy I am going to have to install IE8 anyway and see if that one at least works properly.

So yeah, if anyone out there is thinking about trying out the beta version of IE9, DON'T EVEN BOTHER!

Zero stars out of five!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wanted: Cinnamon Tea

I am looking for a good quality cinnamon tea. Any suggestions?

In related news I recommend "Fireball Cinnamon Whisky". Its 20% alcohol, goes well with Coca-Cola, is super fiery and cinnamon-y (if that is a word) and I really like the bottle it came in...

So much so that I've decided to keep the bottle and use it for storing cinnamon tea in, so I can stick it in my pocket and take it with me outside. Yummy.

Its made in New Orleans USA, but I can forgive them for not being Canadian.

I bought the 'Fireball' a couple weeks ago when I buying Mill Street Tankhouse Ale (which is brewed in Toronto). I give their ale 4 stars. I drink it when I relax after a long day, usually while watching a movie or TV show. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green Hoodie Wanted

FASHION - Now that I have my red socks (don't ask why), I am now hunting for a green hoodie. I want a nice warm green hoodie, with a zipper up the front, and no logos on it. Pockets would be nice, but not mandatory.

Plain green, not army green or puke green.





UPDATE!

I did eventually find a green hoodie. I got one from American Apparel. It has no logo, a zipper up the front and its super soft and warm on the inside. It is now one of my favourite hoodies. (My very favourite is a black KNITTED hoodie with an extra big hood.)

Red Socks, Red Socks, Finally!

I have been looking for a pair of good quality red socks for several months now to keep my feet warm. Red socks have a psychosomatic effect of feeling warmer than they really are. (The same works with red sweaters, red scarves, etc.)

Anywho... I found them at the Bay across from the Eatons Centre in downtown Toronto. They are Ralph Lauren POLO, cost $16 CDN + tax. I would have preferred a lesser price, but seeing as these will be keeping my tootsies warm for this winter (and likely more winters to come) I gave in and paid what I consider a high price for mere socks.

They were made in South Korea, but I am okay with stuff made in SK because I lived there twice and (you might think this sounds weird) the quality of things made in South Korea is actually very good. I have a number of shirts from South Korea and they are by far the best quality shirts I've ever owned.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Canada is Best in International Survey

As a brand, Canada is the best brand in the world according to a survey conducted by New York-based consulting firm "FutureBrand". Canada beat the USA (which came in #2) on the basis of Canada's quality of life, healthcare, stable economy, low crime rate and low level of violence and political upheaval.

America has apparently been slipping in recent years. Last year the United States was #4, beaten by Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Canada's tourism appeal, quality of life and value systems were the big deciding factors in the survey. Some argue however that its not what Canada has, but what Canada DOES NOT have that helps Canada's image on the international stage.

Namely crime, violence and warmongering leaders (although Stephen Harper is pretty damn close to that).

The USA's unstable economy and high crime rates are big reasons why the USA lost the #1 spot this year.

But it may be difficult to unseat Canada from the top spot in the future. We're so damn nice and polite that it appeals to foreigners. We're not arrogant and pushy like Americans.

Branding Canada is not an easy feat, according to Jeanette Hanna, founder of Trajectory Brands in Toronto. “It’s a difficult thing to do without resorting to clichés. The key is not to think of the Canadian brand in traditional, two-dimensional terms. It’s much more complex,” she says.

Michele McKenzie, CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission, believes the Winter Olympics in Vancouver helped lift Canada’s image on the world stage.

4 years ago Canada was ranked 12th but has been climbing steadily.

The worst performing country brands are Zimbabwe, Iran and Pakistan.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Almuric

FIVE STARS OUT OF FIVE

ENTERTAINMENT - Almuric is a rather unusual book by Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan the Barbarian). The main character Esau Cairn is transported to a harsh, barbaric world and must survive against the strange creatures and races he meets there.

The initial premise is far-fetched (although seriously, its a fantasy book about an alien world, what do you expect?), but once you get past that there are many reasons why this book deserves 5 stars.

1. It is phenomenally well written. This book deserves awards for that reason alone.

2. The plot is engrossing. By the end of the book you are frantic to finish it so you can see how it ends. I ended up sitting in a restaurant in Chinatown reading the last chapter, eating Korean Bulgogi and drinking Corona just so I could have a good place to sit and read.

3. Who doesn't like the classic muscular hero who rescues the damsel in distress using brains and brawn? In Esau Cairn's case he is a bad ass boxer who killed a man and fled to another world using science. (Howard himself was an amateur boxer.)

4. The damsel in distress gives an interesting insight as to why Robert E. Howard committed suicide in 1936, along with being an unusual character in her own right.

5. The monsters and races of Almuric are exceptionally well thought out and very creative.

There is a variety of book covers that have come out over the years. I've decided to show the best ones here.

See Also: Conan the Berserker




















Search Amazon.com for Almuric

Monday, October 18, 2010

Looking for homes in Georgetown

Lately I've been thinking of buying a home in Georgetown Ontario and then commuting to work in Toronto via the Go Train. (Georgetown is so close to Brampton, but the prices are dramatically different. A home in Brampton or Mississauga costs about $500,000+, but the Weavers Mill townhomes in Georgetown are $289,990. That is a huge savings!)

[Right: A rendering of one of the townhomes from Weavers Mill in Georgetown.]

The reasoning is because homes in Georgetown are super cheap in comparison to homes in Toronto (like half the price!), but the real issue is a matter of convenience but I don't want to be driving in gridlock every day for 2 hours to get back and forth to Toronto.

Thus having the Go Train in Georgetown makes it super convenient and cheap. Plus Georgetown has that small town feel that is so much nicer.

When it comes to buying a home in Georgetown however I've discovered its cheaper to go for a new housing development, which is why I've been looking at Weavers Mill - Georgetown Homes. The Weavers Mill location is a new development in downtown Georgetown, so I will be walking distance from the Go Station and also walking distance from local shops, restaurants, etc. Super convenient.

A couple months ago I helped my friend Greg and his wife Karen move into a house in Brampton and I ended up staying the night in a guest bedroom. Monday morning we went to work on the Go train (from the Brampton station) and it occurred to me how convenient it was and how much easier it was than people driving to work every day. (I apologize if this sounds more like a review of the Go train!) Nevertheless that idea stuck with me. I see it as a major selling point for when I would buy a home in Georgetown.

Georgetown isn't the only place I am shopping for a home. I would still like to get a home in downtown Toronto, but the prices are just outrageous. Check out my other blog: My Search for a Home.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home Improvements for the Winter

Looking to save money on heating costs this winter?

I recommend the following renovations and products to improve your home's performance.

#1. A metal roof. Why a metal roof? Because shingles fall off too easily in the winter, are damaged by the cold and the ice and end up leaking lots of heat. You save more money by buying metal roofing (you can get faux shingles if that is the look you want) which doesn't fall off.

#2. Insulated concrete. Now what the heck is insulate concrete you might ask? Well, concrete is what you use to make the basement of your home. Its the very foundation of your home. Some buildings also use it for the walls and ceilings, pretty much everything because its better than old fashioned wood and pink insulation. Less likely to burn too, lasts longer and way more energy efficient.

#3. PVC Trim. Now I admit when I hear the letters PVC, I think sexy goth chicks. On a house trimmings is all about mouldings and details which makes your home look good. In the olden days it was made out of wood, but these days you can buy it made out of PVC. It doesn't rot like wood does, its durable, attractive to the touch, environmentally friendly and maintenance free (ie. no need to stain or paint it all the time like wood).

And while we're at it, don't forget the damage the cold wind can do to your skin. So for the ladies out there remember to use natural skincare products, like those from the Soya Boutique.

Last but not least, if you're getting old chances are likely you have a sore back. Thus doing your own snow removal will be the kind of chore you will begin to dread and could eventually kill you. You could hire a teenager from down the street, or you could get it professionally done by The Snowmen. Your choice.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Einstein Wrote Back

Upcoming review of "Einstein Wrote Back" by John W. Moffat... I've been asked to write a review of John W. Moffat's book. I still have yet to receive a copy of it, but when I do it should make for some interesting reading.

What is really weird to me is how much John W. Moffat resembles my father and my uncle... I blame the Moffat genes. Apparently all Moffats look the same.

Synopsis:

"John W. Moffat was a poor student of math and science. That is, until he read Einstein's famous paper on general relativity. Realizing instantly that he had an unusual and unexplained aptitude for understanding the complex physics described in the paper, Moffat wrote a letter to Einstein that would change the course of his life.

Einstein replied to Moffat and they exchanged a series of letters in which they discussed the theory of general relativity and Einstein's current work on unified field theory. Moffat met with Einstein's longtime colleague, the legendary Niels Bohr, at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. Astonished by the young man's self-taught knowledge of theoretical physics, Bohr directed Moffat to Britain, where, after interviews with influential physicists including Erwin Schrödinger, he was enrolled in the graduate physics program at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1958, Moffat was the first student in the College's more than 400-year history to earn a physics PhD without a prior undergraduate degree.

Moffat and Einstein did not continue their correspondence, as the great man died shortly after Moffat began his studies. However, Moffat continued, over the next fifty years, to modify and expand on Einstein's theory of gravity.


[The photo of Einstein on a bicycle is courtesy of the Bicycle Mechanic.]

Einstein Wrote Back tells the story of Moffat's unusual entry into the world of academia and documents his career at the frontlines of twentieth-century physics as he worked and associated with some of the greatest minds in scientific history, including Niels Bohr, Fred Hoyle, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, Erwin Schrödinger, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Abdus Salam, among others.

Taking readers inside the classrooms and minds of these "giants" of modern science, Moffat affectionately exposes the foibles and eccentricities of these great men, as they worked on the revolutionary ideas that, today, are the very foundation of modern physics and cosmology."

UPDATE: I give the book a solid 4.5 stars. The book was a very good read. I shan't ruin it for you, but I will say my favourite parts were in the first half of the book.

The book also features correspondence with other big physicists of the day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pizza companies in Canada suck

Honestly... Canadian pizzas are horrible. I have yet to find a good quality pizza maker in Canada (or the USA).

Sure there is Pizza Pizza, Pizza Hut, Dominos and a host of other fast food pizza places in Canada, but they all SUCK.

And its not just fast food / delivery pizza either. Restaurants with waiters... their pizza pretty much sucks too.

The best pizza I've EVER had was from a local pizza shop in Suyudong in Seoul, South Korea. The Korean pizza chef made the pizza right in front of you, using all fresh ingredients and roasted it in front of you too. And the price was reasonable and the service was fantastic

Delicious.

So why can't someone copy what I saw in South Korea and just do it here? Do it properly and you won't even need to advertise. People will just start bringing their friends to the place because it will be that good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming Review of CSN Boxing Products

We will be doing a review of CSN Boxing Products in the near future. The products we will be reviewing are:

Amber Sporting Goods "The Champ" Boxing Focus Mitts - $21.95
Amber Sporting Goods Double Mouthpiece - $5.95. in clear / white.
Amber Sporting Goods "The Champ" Velcro Boxing Gloves - $23.95
Amber Sporting Goods MMA Quick Wraps - $7.95
TKO Sports Boxing Wrist Wrap - $4.99

Total value is $64.79.

CSN Stores online sell a variety of products, including kitchen/bedroom/bath supplies store allmodern.com, exercise/fitness equipment store FitnessEquipmentAndMore.com, cooking supplies store Cookware.com, and dining room table store DiningRoomsDirect.com.

I picked boxing equipment because of my personal interest in classic boxing. I was tempted to try yoga equipment instead, but I thought boxing would be a fun activity to try with a boxing buddy.

Maybe in the future we will do a review of yoga equipment too.

Payless Shoe Source

I've been buying business shoes from the same place for 5 years now: Payless ShoeSource

Available locations in Toronto

673 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z9
(416) 920-8377

237 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1N8
(416) 362-6415

1000 Gerrard Street East
Toronto, ON M4M 3G6
(416) 465-5709

1200 St Clair Avenue West
Toronto, ON M6E 1B4
(416) 652-2111

Lawrence Square
North York, ON M6A 3B4
(416) 789-9609

Their website is payless.com.

If you don't live in Toronto, I recommend doing a Google map search for in your local city to find the nearest location.

FYI: I really only recommend Payless ShoeSource for business shoes. If you're looking for steel-toed boots I recommend Marks Work Warehouse or Canadian Tire.

:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Looking for glasses in Toronto

Are you looking for glasses in Toronto?

I recommend the following location:

Sherbourne Optical
600 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, ON M4X 1W4
(416) 925-7186

I`ve been there twice now, their service is always the BEST, their selection is the same as any other glasses store, and they don`t charge an arm and a leg for an eye exam (the last time I was there he gave me a discount, a mere $50 for an eye exam).

Services and Food Reviews

I've decided to expand the things I review on this blog... namely I will also be reviewing various services and even restaurants, but they will usually be based in Toronto since that is where I live.

I give FIVE STARS to the following restaurants:

Papaya Restaurant
545 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Y5
(416) 944-9731

Regency Restaurant
Quality Indian Restaurant
1423 Gerrard St E (Little India)
Toronto, ON M4L1Z7
(416) 778-7366

Rol San
323 Spadina Ave (Chinatown)
Toronto, ON M5T2E9
(416) 977-1128
(Note: The Rol San may look like a dive, but the food and service is very good.)

Sunset Grill
1 Richmond St W
Toronto, ON M5H 3W4
(416) 861-0514

If you love burgers I also give 4 stars to the Hero Burger locations.

I don't recommend the following restaurants:

Fresh (anywhere)
McDonalds (anywhere)
Forget About It, King Street West (seriously, that place has the absolute worst service I`ve ever seen and the food was served cold).

Product Reviews of Canadian Products: Beer

Do you love Canada?

Do you support buying things Made In Canada?

Me too.

That is why I have created this blog, to promote products which are made in Canada, sold in Canada and bought by Canadians.

Quality products, for the most part. And to be fair I won't be pulling punches. If I think a product is crappy I will tell you its crappy.

And now without further adieu...

Molson Canadian is crappy. Seriously, its just a cheap crappy beer. Like Budweiser or Miller. I know, we all love the "I am Canadian" TV commercials that Molson did, but that doesn't excuse the fact that their beer is horrible.

If you want to buy a good Canadian beer I recommend the following companies:

Sleemans
Steam Whistle
Alexander Keith's


Want to avoid the really bad beers? Do not drink the following crappy beers:

Steelback
Moosehead
Molson
Labatt
Kokanee
Coors
Buzz
Brava

If Canadian beers aren't your thing I recommend the following beers:

Guinness
Heineken
Corona
Marca Bavaria
Cafri

Happy drinking! But seriously, why go for the imported beers when you get beer made in Canada which is just as good.

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