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Ben Babcock

5 Articles in November 2006

  1. The debate over 'nations'

    Ah, Canada. The wonderful thing about Canadian politics is that it's been the same thing for the past 139 years. Quebec is still whining about becoming a nation.

    The problem comes down, as it usually does, to semantics. That's probably one of the ugliest words in the English language. Semantics. People debating over the definition of words. I don't think it's coincidence that it rhymes with pedantic. ;)

    For those asleep, let me wake you up. Our Great and Mighty Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested that Quebec be recognised as a nation within Canada. As you might expect, this did not go over well with the Bloc. It definitely threw the Liberals through a loop, however--they apparently did not see this one coming.

    Now I will admit that my first reaction was this: That's stupid! Quebec isn't a nation! Look, either you're nation or you're not, and Quebec isn't a nation.

    But some part of me knew I was wrong, or at least suspected it. So I trundled over to Wikipedia and looked up what a nation actually was, because believe it or not, but I didn't know--and I doubt many people do know the difference between…

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  2. Smoking v2.0

    Smoking is bad for you. This should not be news, since we know it has been bad for people for a very long time (even if we didn't want to admit it). Second-hand smoke is also bad.

    Now, the entire premise behind smoking is to ingest nicotine, no? (I realise that the tactile experience of smoking a cigarette may be important to some people, but let us set that aside for the moment.) Surely there must be better ways to get that nicotine fix.

    Why hasn't some sort of big evil corporation developed a sports drink or something similar which contains the quantities of nicotine needed by addicts? It would be way more convenient than cigarettes: one could drink it anywhere, whereas smoking is becoming increasingly prohibited. One still gets their nicotine fix, so they don't have to do those difficult things like, oh, say, quitting. And, of course, the tobacco companies can still make money, just on sports drinks instead of cigarettes. It's a win-win-win scenario.

    The debate over the morality of stuffing one's lungs with smoke will not go away anytime soon. I have no problem with someone smoking if they want to do it; that is their…

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  3. Stranger Than Fiction

    Tonight I went to see Stranger Than Fiction with Laura and Rhiannon. Now I am not a big fan of Will Ferrell, but this movie was not the typical Will Ferrell comedy, which is good.

    Let me begin with some observations about movie theatres and how capitalism has affected them. In getting my food and drink combo I received a candy of my choice: Reeses Peanut Butter Cups or a huge package of Nibs. I like the former more than the latter, but I knew that if I took the peanut butter cups then they would melt during the movie. There were n people behind me, however, so I had to make the decision quickly. I took the peanut butter cups and ate them while waiting for Laura and Rhiannon, who were battling the automatic ticket machine.

    The second observation that I would like to make concerns cell phones. It's all well and good that you have a cell phone. Yay. But please, turn it off when you are in the movie theatre! There is something called etiquette, and even a somewhat reclusive 17-year-old like myself, who often exclaims that he doesn't know all of these unwritten "rules" in life,…

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  4. American Gods

    American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, is one of the best stories I have ever encountered. I once read it, oh, must have been two to three years ago. Then I bought it from Chapters last week on a whim, even though I barely remembered the plot. When it arrived and I picked it up and started to read, I instantly felt better. Just being able to sink into the universe that Gaiman creates with his words.

    The tale is compelling, and it blows my mind. Very few books do that for me--I enjoy most of the books that I read. Some of them I find hard to put down (lately, for example, I have been reading some Jennifer Fallon. She is no Gaiman, but I still hurry to reach the end of her books). But my memory isn't that great, and they slowly slip away. Dune, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, American Gods ... these books resonate and impart something to me that transcends that. It's why books are so great.

    I'm going to try and read my entire novel in one sitting now. I finished the second draft a few days ago, and I have found…

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  5. Escapism is so attractive

    My Children of Dune DVD arrived today. The other two items have still not been shipped, let alone arrived, but that's all right. This one got here way faster than I expected, and of course, it is sweet. :D

    Stargate SG-1's 10th season premiered tonight. It was also awesome. It answered a lot of the questions raised in season 10, and I don't think I've seen a better premiere. Most premieres suffer from too much or too little action. I think that the show has finally gotten the best grasp of Cam and Vala too; they really mix well with the older cast now. I will certainly be watching with much interest as the season progresses.

About Me

I’m a 26-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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