Blog Posts

What's the point of education?

Last week The Globe and Mail ran an opinion piece calling for coding to become a mandatory subject in Canadian schools. I’m sympathetic to the idea, for I agree that computer literacy and an awareness of how the algorithms and programs that increasingly influence our lives is crucial to…

Entrelac is my new favourite thing

I knit entrelac now. Entrelac is cool. You can read the linked Wikipedia article for all the details, but entrelac is basically a knitting technique that involves working a series of rectangles (and triangles) to create a patchwork effect. Instead of knitting across all the stitches on a row, you…

When they speak

I had an excellent class this morning. Previously I blogged about how, in this combined ENG3C/NBE3C Grade 11 English course, we looked at various texts to help students article their identity. We’ve now moved on to looking at the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We have watched three…

Exploring Self and Identity Through Short Stories

I have two book reviews I really should be writing instead, and some planning to finish, because I’m off tomorrow afternoon to Sudbury (of all places) for a two-day workshop. So of course I’m blogging instead! In the previous session (March to April) at the adult education centre, I taught…

Surprisingly good television these days

Should I be posting a knitting update? Probably. But I wanted to tweet some thoughts about The Magicians, and Orphan Black, and Supergirl, until I realized I should really just expand them into a summary of my thoughts about television shows! So this is a round up…

Algorithms are not the answer

Oh, look! It’s another article about discovery vs rote math! Here we go again…. I thought I had solved this back in 2011 (twice!), but apparently a couple of people in the world didn’t listen, so now here I am, back at it again. It seems like every five…

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

The Illusion (Animorphs, #33) cover image

Damn but the cuts keep coming.

This is probably one of my favourite books of the series. The Illusion is Tobias’ moment. Although early books in the series address the challenges Tobias faces living as a hawk, this book drives home the incompatibility of his life with human lives. Red-tailed hawks don’t live as long as humans. Tobias can only assume human form for two hour intervals, assuming he doesn’t want to lose his morphing ability. And as his friends age in their human forms, his human morph…

Decoded

Jay-Z

Decoded cover image

A friend lent Decoded me after I expressed a desire to “get into hip hop”. This is not a whim on my part but a recognition of a gap in my otherwise wide musical listening. Although I would say that my “favourite” music tends towards a fairly narrow swath of sound, and my tastes are decidedly more pop than hard rock in later years, I appreciate a lot of different sounds, albeit perhaps not equally. I rock out to classical music cranked loud with my windows down; I dance around my kitchen to Florence…

Unaccountable: Truth and Lies on Parliament Hill cover image

I didn’t intend to read two non-fiction books, two books about economics, consecutively. That’s just how it happened. However, Unaccountable: Truth and Lies on Parliament Hill, is about as far away as you might get from Trekonomics . The latter is speculating on what might or could be; the former is a deeply personal tale about politics and events that actually happened. Kevin Page, who shares a hometown of Thunder Bay with me, recounts his time as the inaugural Parliamentary Budget Officer…

Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek cover image

Money is one of humanity’s most clever and enduring technologies. It is a brilliant way of transferring value across vast distances and decentralizing our economy. Barter makes sense on a hyperlocal, neighbourly scale, but you can’t run a vast industrial economy on it. As Niall Ferguson chronicles in his excellent The Ascent of Money , increases in numismatic sophistication were vital in increasing the range of trade and our abilities to innovate and provide services to citizens. So it seems…

Conjuror: Orion Chronicles cover image

I signed up for NetGalley last week (as of the time I’m writing this review). I’ve been aware of NetGalley for a while but never gave it much thought because I have enough books to read as it is. Lately, though, I’ve been getting excited about more and more new releases and thought this was a good opportunity to try to snag ARCs for some of them before they come out. In this case, Conjuror has been out for a little bit now, but I still got an ARC! However, as I began reading, I genuinely started…

Extracted (The Lost Imperials Series Book 1) cover image

Extracted was originally published a few years ago, but this edition is apparently “expanded” and contains “bonus material”. I don’t know about that, but I do know that I had never heard of this series until now, and that makes me sad. I’m glad that I got a copy of this to review through NetGalley, because Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler Jolley have written some fun and original time travel here.

The setup is easy to explain and quite exciting: the two protagonists belong to two competing factions of…