Monday, May 31, 2010

Dear Friends Who Might Think I'm Ignoring/Avoiding You.

I'm not ignoring, but I've never really known the kind of brain drain that I'm undergoing right now.

Both Statistics and Physiology are owning my ass, and I can't find a lot of spare time.

I am avoiding phone calls, since they are dangerous and can make time fly by. I can't let that happen these days. Quick little emails might be your best bet if you're hoping to contact me.

BUT: Holly deserves a mention because she recently successfully defended her PhD dissertation, and handed in the final copy today. It was a lot of work, and we're all so pleased and proud! Congratulations!

In the meantime, if anyone can tell me (in a way I can understand) how
P(A|B) can equal both P(A) and P(A and B)/P(B), but they are not the same bleedin' thing, that would be flippin' great.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Quick Note.

Of the six children born to people I know in the last c.2 months, all six have been girls.

Wanna know what makes me super excited?

Because of my Statistics class, I know how to figure out the chances of this!!!*

find: Probability (P) that next 6 children born to friends (or sisters) are girls.

P(next 6 are girls)

where P(girl)=.49 (i.e 49% of births are girls)

P(A1)(A2)(A3)...(An)=

P(girl1)(girl2)(girl3)(girl4)(girl5)(girl6)=

P(.49)(.49)(.49)(.49)(.49)(.49)=0.0138

Holy crap! The chances are almost %1.5!

Anyhow, welcome Svea, Tessa, Lily, Julia, and new this week, Ruby and Alexis. I will be making your mothers nervous in no time.

*aka factorial, factorial, factorial.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

I don't know why I'm surprised. When things get too big they have a hard time functioning. Look at poor Saint Bernards and Irish Wolfhounds. They're too big and die earlier than smaller, more efficient dogs.

Anyhow, U of T is the biggest uni. in the country. It has as many students as Charlottetown has residents.

It also has a truly embarrassing online student interface system. I am taking 2 classes with U of T, one, live, in person, in a real classroom with a sentient prof in front of me, and another on-line, through U of T's School of Continuing Studies.

I have 2 different passwords for the 2 separate student pages that look exactly the same, except there is ONE link on each page for ONE class. Why in the name of all that is holy wouldn't I have the same Portal with both my classes listed? I have to exit my entire web browser in order to log in to the other one.

If they're going to use the excuse that one of my classes is through the School of Continuing Studies, that's utter bullshit. It's humiliating that a school as big and as rich as U of T can't consolidate its student portal.

There, University of Toronto: you can suck it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

T.O. B&E.

I got back from running an errand Wednesday to find the side door of the house kicked in. We figure there was a 45 minute window of opportunity for someone to have done that. At about noon.

One laptop was taken, multiple hundreds in cash that my roommate was raising for the Canadian Cancer Society, and, inexplicably, a bottle of daiquiri mix. Losing the Cancer money stung the most. She had organized yard sales and collected most of that money in loonies and toonies.

We were pretty shaken. Knowing a stranger was in your home when you weren't there is eerie. We're fine now, but we're pretty on edge about noises and triple-checking if doors are locked.

The property management company came by later that day to fix the door. Well, the door expert was on vacation, so another minion came and barricaded our door in the same method I would employ if preparing for a zombie invasion.
I like it. It's a rustic arts-and-crafts pre-apocalyptic reckoning of a conventional door. It's all the rage in Brooklyn, too.

If anyone wants to help my roommate get that donation back up to its original status for her Relay for Life team, here's the link, and any donations over $20 are eligible for a tax receipt.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mercy.

Ok, so it's actually worse than I thought. The schoolwork is very time-consuming. Well, maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake.

I think the major problem is my Physiology class. Instead of 3 lectures a week, there are 4, so the first quiz, which is on Monday has 12 lectures on it, not 9. I am currently watching lecture 6. SO, I have 7 lectures to get through by Monday. Oh, and do all the CD-Rom labs, and do the mock quizzes, AND study! I hope I have time to see MacGruber!

Actually, the problem isn't the quantity of the lectures - it's the content. I thought we were going to be talking about muscles and bones 'n' shit, but it's really a chemistry class. I'm (meant to be) learning about net charges of cells and membrane potentials and polarization of this and that. It's much more micro than I thought it would be. I hope we get to the macro stuff soon and this first slog is a good foundation. I just hope I can retain it long enough to make it useful later on. Like on the exam.

Quick note: my best break/treat last weekend (besides visiting with my Confed girlies) was seeing The Trotsky. It was very good. I laughed a lot, and often long after everyone else was done laughing. Yeah, that's how I roll.
Back to the books...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Oh, Dear.

I'm a student again. This might be news to some of you. I've decided, though, that I would like to study Speech-Language Pathology, and this requires me to take some pre-requisite courses this summer and fall; to even qualify I need them. And I need to get high grades, too - it's really competitive to get in to SLP. For example, last year there were over 260 applicants to the U of T program, and there are only 45 seats.

So, this summer I'm studying full time. I'm taking 4 credits, 2 each in Statistics and Physiology. I was dreading stats but kinda looking forward to physiology. Well, I've just finished my first physiol. lecture, which is all on-line. I have a lot of catching up to do. I have the pre-recs to get into this course, but it was all a while ago.

My first stats lecture is on Tuesday night. Phew. Thank goodness B is leaving soon. It would be difficult to study as much as I need to if there was someone fun in the house. Oh! I should post about why he's here. That's next.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Rolling With The Times.

I have to hand it to the firm handling the advertising for Brita Water Filters. They are masters at re-marketing themselves.

Not long ago, I posted my bother at Brita telling us that drinking water straight from the tap was tantamount to lapping from the toilet.

Now, they've hitched their wagon to the "green" angle, saying that drinking water from a Brita will save untold thousands of plastic bottles from going to the landfill. Their reasoning is, you'll refill your glass from a Brita Water Filtration System (tm) instead to using the devil plastic!

This ignores the fact that Brita pitchers are made of plastic, the non-recyclable kind, and the filters are housed in disposable plastic.

It is also a bullshit afterthought that happens to work for them, but it was never - I guarantee never - an objective of theirs. It's like a company that makes stairwells marketing themselves as a weight loss tool.

There are some places in Canada that don't have drinkable tap water, but I wager there are very few that are along the southernmost 100 kilometers of the country. Like I've said before, drink your tap water. It's fine, and delicious, and virtually free, compared to its value. If it's chlorine-y, it's probably because older infrastructure makes your town's officials nervous about breaches. Someone loves you and doesn't want you to get an infection from faecal coliform! Aww!

Greenwashing has become a real thorn in my side. The last time I went to the Green Living Show, I was appalled. There were booths there touting products that had tenuous, at best, right to be there. It was BS like, hey! this lawn mower uses diesel instead of gasoline! Diesel is a cleaner-burning fossil fuel! Cleaner burning. Rad.