Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Plue, Grink, Pinkle, and Blorange: All the Colours of the Prainbow.

In Advice, Beauty, Life on July 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm
Dear Ally,
How come light red is called pink, but light any other colour is just called light and whatever that colour is called (like light blue)?
Joanna, Botswana
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Dear Joanna,

Your question is both logical and intriguing. It is also several years old. However, I have not been idle. Oh no. I have spent those years working towards a new taxonomy of colour which does away with arbitrary adjective-based taxa. The rules are simple enough, and will be published in my forthcoming, easy-to-read book (1426 pages, Cambridge Scholars Press, due out in 2031), entitled Plue, Grink, Pinkle, and Blorange: Towards an Intimate (De)construction of the Taxonomy of Colour (for our American readers the book will be published under the title Them Colors Sure is Purdy, by Scholastic Books Ltd.)

Gone are the intricate colour systems of old...

However, I now feel that I am at the stage where I can summarise the rules for my beloved and loyal readers in a few short paragraphs. At least, the major rules.

The system works on a principle of prefixes and suffixes which will be derived from each shade’s pre-designated hexidecimal code multiplied by the square root of its hue in degrees (see the relevant chart here). Each shade will be assigned a different suffix or prefix dependant upon its light value (measured in steps). For example, the colour previously designated “Light Yellow” is assigned hex codes of  #FFFFE0, #FFFFE2, #FFFFE4, and #FFFFE5. Using a simple alpha-numeric substitution system, we can therefore assign values of 666650, 666652, 666654, and 666655, to be multiplied by the square root of its hue, in this instance the square root of 60, which is 7.75 approximately. This equates to values of 5166537.5, 5166553, 5166568.7, and 5166576.25, respectively. Read the rest of this entry »


“Our Canada. Our Values.”

In Life, People, Social Commentary on May 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Sometimes at 4 in the morning I wake up with the inexplicable conviction that society has been swept away by the zombie apocalypse, leaving me in a desolate world with no company besides walking corpses that wait to break down my door at any minute. I lay still, too scared to move even as the full bladder that woke me becomes an ever more pressing concern, while beneath the fear there’s a surreality born out of the uncertain knowledge that this isn’t really happening. A train passes or a toilet flushes or my neighbours start having unnecessarily loud sex; the world turns right-side-up again, and I avail myself of the loo and go back to sleep.

This Tuesday at 4am, I was fully awake and huddled around my laptop. I had that same feeling, but it wasn’t zombie related. As the CBC called a Conservative majority, a healthy measure of blinding rage made its way into my gut to mingle with the the fear, the disbelief and the 3 Hobnobs that had been there since about 3:30. But that faith that at any minute something would come along to shake me out of my bizarre hallucination never waned. At least, not until I went to bed. Read the rest of this entry »

For the Bible Tells Me So…

In Advice, Life, People, question, Relationships on April 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

In a shocking twist, I now return you to your regularly scheduled “advice” column (try to contain your surprise, a gaping mouth is not becoming in members of polite society).

Jarett, from Nova Scotia, asks, “Why doesn’t baby Jesus love me?”

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Dear Jarett,

While your lack of toadying displeases me, your question is an intriguing one. The answer is, in fact, surprisingly simple. If I were at all interested in your immortal soul, I might take this opportunity to terrify you into believing that baby Jesus does not love you because you wear garments with blended fibres, or don’t give enough to charity, or shave, or touch yourself at night (AND in the toilet at work – he sees you). Fortunately for you, I really don’t care about your immortal soul, so I shall leave you on your path to eternal damnation.

No, see, Baby Jesus doesn’t love you because he is incapable of doing so. Even the Son of God was, during what we might term his “larval stage”, an infant, and if you’ve had any experience with infants I’m sure you will have noticed that they embody potentially the most self-absorbed stage of human development (with the exception of pre- and early-stage adolescence). I believe that babies lack the mental development to truly distinguish individuals and designate them “to be loved”, “to be feared”, “to be vomited upon”, or  classify them under any other category on the infantile emotional spectrum.  Read the rest of this entry »

Movie Night with AskAlly: 2012

In Animals, Dog, Film, Life, People, Travel on March 13, 2011 at 3:03 am

For the last two days I, like most people, spent most of the day with BBC News live running pretty much non-stop in the corner of my laptop while I worked on the next chapter of my thesis. Actually, that’s probably not what most people did the last two days at all, but I am sure that most people, like me, were transfixed by the horrific images of the devastation in Japan. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

Maybe at first we hoped that a pretty serious bullet had been dodged. A bazooka bullet. Do bazookas have bullets? The point stands: for the first few hours, despite a number of YouTube videos featuring Tokyo getting mad shook up, the predicted death toll was low for a magnitude 8.9 quake. Good on you, Japanese building engineers.

But then there was the tsunami, and we found out what had happened to Sendai, Minamisanriku, and the rest of the Miyagi Prefecture. The footage of a wave of water, debris, and debris on fire obliterating everything in its path didn’t seem real. Neither did the tsunami warnings issued for the rest of the Pacific Basin, nor the reports of nuclear emergencies at power stations. It was like something out of an apocalyptic disaster film; or, more specifically, something from Roland Emmerich’s 2012.

I had never seen this film, but thanks to the magic of Twitter I was made well aware of the parallels (and here you probably thought it was all Bieberphiles and bad grammar and misogynistic hashtag trends). Still, I needed to see for myself if the Japanese earthquake really was a sign of the end of days. So I decided to watch it while working on my chapter, giving myself a break from the news reports. However, I very quickly found myself abandoning any pretence of work and getting 100% invested in the sheer insanity of this film.

I haven’t seen a film this full-on crazy since the 1966 Adam West gem Batman: The Movie. And in that movie, Adam West made a shark blow up by spraying it with a bat-brand shark repellent while dangling upside down from a helicopter within the first 3 minutes of the film. What follows is my scene-by-scene (well, important scene by important scene) reaction to the film. Hopefully you will be inspired to waste 2 hours of your life watching it, too. Read the rest of this entry »