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Ben Babcock

9 Articles in May 2008

  1. Green is the new black

    What's with this sudden obsession about going green?

    I'm not talking about environmentalism either. I'm talking about the new trend to infuse green tea into every possible drink. The Lipton green iced tea I understand (and enjoy). But Canada Dry green tea ginger ale?! Quoi? :huh: And all those specialty brands, like that Arizona chilled green tea (which I think tastes horrible)... it just seems like someone's been planning this, as if there is some sort of invisible hand in the market determining the latest fads. :r

    I know green tea is cool--after all, I drink it. It contains antioxidants and whatnot, so even if it isn't a panacea like some claim, it is good for you. Yet now that it's the trendy new drink, the contrarian part of me can't help but feel bad for drinking green tea. I feel like I'm part of the bandwagon. No wait, that's not accurate. I feel like I was napping comfortably in the wagon until one day, when it was stolen from its parking spot, kidnapping me in the process.

  2. Home sweet home

    I'm back in Thunder Bay. :D And although I had an unqualified awesome time with Lauren in Ohio, I am very glad to be back home. In fact, here's a couple of reasons why:

    Driving and driving with my music. Until today, I hadn't driven in two weeks. It was nice to be chauffeured around everywhere, even as the Americans obsessed over gas prices that are fully a dollar less than they are up here (thank you, Toronto :dry: ). I actually got my G licence a couple of days before I went away, so this worked out well, because my new licence arrived in the mail. There is a new design now, one which I dislike compared to the old one. But what can you do?

    Yet I digress. I miss driving with my music. Lauren has good taste in music; I'm just used to plugging my iPod into the tape deck adapter thingy I have (yes, that's a technical term) and listening to all my different types of music on shuffle. We listened mostly to a local radio station with '80s and '90s music, along with a couple of her CDs--some Fallout Boy, to whom I don't…

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  3. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

    Two days ago, Lauren and I went to the Columbus Zoo. It was amazing, and a singular experience the likes of which I have not had since the last time I went to see African Lion Safari down in Southern Ontario. The "zoo" at Chippewa Park just can't rival the Columbus Zoo in scope or magnitude. We did indeed see lions, tigers, and bears, as well as many other animals. It's hard to describe concisely. I could list every animal we saw, but it'd get repetitive and boring. I'd much rather just put up a smattering of the 200 photos I took; that way you could see them too! I'm just too lazy to actually upload the photos yet--I'll get around to it. Suffice it to say, it was awesome.

    Today Lauren, Jessica, Michelle, and I went to the Book Loft in German Village. The Book Loft is a 32-room shop full of discounted books. When I say full, I mean overflowing with books. The corridors are narrow, and the walls are floor-to-ceiling shelves of books. The rooms have themes, different genres of books, with music playing in each room. And some of the prices are criminal. I ... I…

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  4. Today I saw dead bodies

    Lauren, her mom, her friend Briana, and I went to Cincinnati today to see BODIES... The Exhibition. It was fantastic. The human body is just so wonderfully complex and amazing. It's almost enough to make me believe in Intelligent Design.

    The exhibit went through each of the body's systems and structures. Since it used real preserved bodies, everything was realistic and amazingly detailed. I find the digestive system the most gross, the reproductive system the coolest, and the brain the most interesting. The digestive system reminds me of how we are, at some level, still just apes. We ingest meat and plants, turn them into paste, suck the nutrients out of them, and then eject them from our body. The process is disgusting at one level, although just like with everything else in the body, it is also amazing: so many complicated organs, tissues, and cells working together to make sure that we get the energy we need to survive. The reproductive system, with its dichotomous division of labour, is really cool. For women, the entire experience of carrying a life inside oneself must be astounding. For males, well ... every sperm is sacred!

    I find the brain…

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  5. A triumphant return to Narnia

    Today began with a party. Lauren's friend Becky's graduation/birthday party, specifically. I tagged along in order to once again step outside my comfort zone and ... well, interact with people. And it wasn't that bad. There was lots of tasty food that was bad for my teeth (the best kind), and I didn't feel too awkward.

    But going to see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian overshadows any of that. I've am somewhat ambivalent toward Disney. The company has the capacity to produce terrifyingly horrible movies (like what's up with this Beverly Hills Chihuahua thing? :ermm:) and some amazing movies, like the Narnia series. I love 'em, and I hate 'em. Such is the contradiction of corporate America.

    After emerging from the darkened theatre and another visit to Narnia, it is hard not to be impressed with the genius of the producers and C.S. Lewis. The story is romantic, but it also has enough adventure and fantasy to appeal to children and adults. At points I had to laugh--just a little--at the obvious Christian undertones, which I find simultaneously amusing and endearing. Maybe it's something to do with Liam Neeson being a big fluffy lion. He's just so adorable, :wub:…

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  6. Rhythm? What's that?

    I woke up today to Lauren knocking on my door, telling me that her mom wanted me to go see a doctor about my eye. -_- So against my will I acquiesced, although I'll admit it's probably for the best anyway. I went to see an optometrist, Dr. Henry, who was very nice. He gave me free samples of eye drops and an ointment and said that if I needed a follow-up visit next week, he wouldn't charge me for it. So I survived my foray into the American healthcare system. :P

    Later that evening, Lauren had some of her friends over for a games night. We played Taboo with Nisha and Jessica--I've never played that before, but I really enjoyed it. I got to listen to lots of fun stories from Jessica too. :D Michelle, whom I met yesterday, arrived about twenty minutes later. She joined us for a second game of Taboo, then we went downstairs to play DDR. Now, I'm exceptionally bad at DDR. I'm not great at much in life, and DDR--or any form of dancing, actually--ranks pretty high on this list. Part of it is a distinct lack of regular practice; if I actually…

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  7. To the market today

    Lauren and I were feeling better today. We went back to her dad's house, where we waited for her friend Michelle to show up. In the mean time, I started reading Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. Lauren absolutely loves this series and has been recommending it to me for some time; she's re-reading Eclipse right now. My friend Laura also shared her experience with it yesterday. Since my non-fiction book is kind of depressing, I decided I should read Twilight while I'm here.

    Once Michelle arrived, we left for the North Market, which is an indoor market. The wares are mostly food, with a couple of booths selling cooking utensils and whatnot. We had lunch there; Lauren and Michelle both had Indian food while I tamely bought two slices of pizza. After lunch, we meandered around the Short North area for a little (alternatively substituting the meandering for walking, pacing, sauntering, and what-have-you). It reminded me vaguely of downtown Thunder Bay, if downtown Thunder Bay had wider sidewalks, more traffic, more people, and buildings built on overpasses. :wacko: We found this neat little store called Loot, which was home to much eclectic merchandise. Lauren bugged Michelle with…

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  8. Playing catch-up

    I fully intended to blog every day while I'm in Ohio. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. On Saturday, Lauren and I went to a one-year-old's birthday party for a family for whom she babysits. The party took a lot out of me (because I'm not a very sociable person), although the children were absolutely adorable. Afterward, we went to see Made of Honor. It was your typical romantic comedy: cute, pretty well done, solid. It's hard to be original with those. I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling too well by then, and I was far too tired to blog.

    On Sunday, we went over to Lauren's mother's house for breakfast. We ended up just hanging out there all day, napping in front of the couch, which was fine with me, because I was tired and not feeling very well. I felt bad for coming down to visit Lauren and then getting sick. Ironically, our situations would be reversed two days later.

    Monday was fun. Lauren took me to Easton, which is this town centre shopping mall type area. It reminds me of Victoriaville if Victoriaville were still classy and not rundown. There's a large indoor…

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  9. Welcome to Ohio

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2126/2479891276_ff5186d3b9_m.jpg|Lauren and I|inline right}}I couldn't sleep. I was supposed to get up at 4:30, so I should have slept, but I was far too excited. The morning would bring several firsts--first time flying alone, first time flying to another country, first time taking a connecting flight, and of course, first time meeting someone I've known only online. I finally managed to get to sleep after around 3:30, but my dad promptly woke me up at 4:30. I rolled out of bed, got ready, packed the last of my stuff, and we were out the door.

    Boarding at Thunder Bay was pretty easy. It was early in the morning; everything seemed too bright but not very loud. It was cold outside. I also happened to be the only guy (the only 6'4" guy) standing around outside in the freezing morning air in a windbreaker, T-shirt, and shorts. I was going to need that gear when I got to Ohio, though.

    The flight to Minneapolis was on a small, somewhat cramped aircraft. I was over the right wing, in an aisle seat. I put my iPod on and sat back to read my airplane book: Shake Hands with the Devil: The

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About Me

I’m a 27-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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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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