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Archive for June, 2011

Comfort is coming.  Airbus has released a video of what airplanes will offer and what they will look like in the year 2050.  

Would you like a clear cabin so you can have panoramic view of the clouds and/or blue sky?  Watch: the video.

The greatest commencement speech ever?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

To all grads: 

“Today, you have achieved something special, something only 92 per cent of Americans your age will ever know: a college diploma. That’s right, with your college diploma you now have a crushing advantage over 8 per cent of the workforce.”

This is but an excerpt of what is being called the ‘greatest commencement speech ever’ from ‘the undisputed champion of the commencement speech.’

Conan O’Brien is the recipient of such honor, as he spoke to the Dartmouth College grad class this past weekend.

Behold: Conan’s speech.

Do you find yourself with a different song stuck in your head every day? 

Yesterday a song I haven’t heard since before the turn of the millenium popped into my head so I wandered to youtube to watch the video from yester-year.   At the :09 mark I said outloud, “Is that Angelina Jolie?” 

I had no idea Angelina was in the video.  See for yourself.

Have you ever had to SWIM to school?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

You have walked to school, perhaps ridden a bike to school, hopped on a bus or maybe hitchhiked a ride from your parents.  Have you ever swam to school?

This is amazing.  Poor kids in the Philippines have been swimming to school.  And it’s not just about doing a breast-stroke and showing up sopping wet.  Like any other student, they have books to bring with them which means they have to swim with one arm while holding their books above the water.

This sounds like a story your grandpa would have told – swimming to school, in the snow, uphill both ways.

Luckily these kids won’t have to now.  And here’s why: the full story.

I could be lazy about this list and simply say the 5 reasons are:

1. Ryan Kesler

2. Kevin Bieksa

3. Alex Burrows

4. Roberto Luongo

5. Toni Tanti 

Scrap that.  Let’s look at it more in depth.

It’s been a long drought; not since ’93 has the cup been won by a Canadian team.  That’s why in 2004 the Calgary Flames became the Canada Flames as the entire country (some wildly and others mildly) embraced Calgary’s quest for Lord Stanley’s cup.  The Flames failed but in 2006 we had another shot when the Canada Oilers made a run to game 7 of the finals.  The next year it was Ottawa’s turn.  Enthusiam waned and losing in 4 straight didn’t help. 

Since then, Canada has been absent from the finals until last week when Vancouver clinched a berth vs. the Sharks yet something is missing – support from coast to coast.  East of the Rockies, it’s tough to visibly or even audibly find support for the Canada Canucks.  

At the very least there are 5 reasons why Canada isn’t cheering for Vancouver:

Vancouver ranked #1.  What did the ’04 Flames and ’06 Oilers have in common aside from their province of residence?  They were underdogs; 8th seeds that overachieved.  They slayed giants.  This year, Vancouver is the giant having won the President’s trophy for most points in the regular season.  

Time Zone.  Nobody – litterally, no body – in the east was awake to see the Canucks show off their magic throughout the season.  The bulk of the country resides in the eastern time zone meaning the start time for Vancouver games are 10pm.  Not too many people are able to get involved in a 2+hour sporting event that late at night.

Recent Canadian Success.  Suddenly the country isn’t unified in getting the cup to Canada no matter what team pulls it off.  Having watched 3 teams already attempt and fail leaves fans of those teams not wanting another Canadian club to succeed where their fave team failed.  We saw that in ’06 where Canada may have supported the Oilers, but Calgary didn’t.  No Flames fan wanted to hear about how the Oilers did what the Flames couldn’t do.  Now it’s every Canadian team for themselves.

No Canadian Superstars.  Last year a lot of Canadians cheered on Chicago to a cup win and that can be attributed to their team captain, Jonathan Toews, who has been a Canadian hero at the World Junior level and at the 2010 games where he was tournament MVP.  The Flames had Iginla and the Oilers had Ryan Smyth; Vancouver doesn’t have that Canadian hero.  The Sedins are from Sweden.  Plus, their magic is harnessed in their passing and ability to cycle the puck which the average hockey fan doesn’t find overly dazzling.  Even if fans tuned in for round 1 to witness the Sedin magic, the twins were a let-down for the 1st two rounds giving us another reason to be unimpressed with the Canucks.  Ryan Kelser has been a great story but he’s American.  I love the guy but most people find his confident/cocky swagger far from endearing.  He’s an agitator which makes him a player you hate unless he’s on your team.  The only true Canadian superstar on Vancouver is goalie Roberto Luongo and even though he was great in replacing a deteriorating Martin Brodeur at the Olympic Games and earning Canada a gold medal, fans seem to focus on the 1 or 2 saves he doesn’t make rather than the 40 or 50 in a game he does.

We’re all Vancouvered out.  The 2010 Olympics were amazing but have we grown tired at hearing about Vancouver?  It was impossible to avoid the media blitz of the Olympics and we were happy to have such a successful games.  But does that mean we also want them to have the cup?  Haven’t they had enough awesomeness for one decade?  All of us love to see our neighbors succeed but, let’s be honest, we don’t want them to succeed too much.  Don’t be ashamed; it’s human nature.  We want our friends to achieve; it gives us reason to celebrate.  But when they start to over-achieve we feel left out, left behind, and possibly cheated. 

In conclusion, cheering against Vancouver may seem anti-Canadian but it’s not anti-human.  Therefore, I will not demand that you get out of my country. Go Canucks Go.  (Even though I’m an Oilers fan)