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Archive for May, 2008

In Light of Bernier’s Resignation – Does Harper Love Canada?

In light of the resignation of the Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, I can’t help but begin to question whether or not the leader of my country actually loves his country.  Given all the stuff that has happened since Harper has come into power, questions about his loyalty are hard to ignore. 

I don’t usually call into questions the loyalty and allegiance of Conservatives in Canada.  In fact I think it is totally unfair to even bring something like that up.  But the way Harper acts and the way he thinks, I can’t help but question whether this Prime Minister really has the best interests of Canada in mind or whether he wants to take Canada to a path that falls along more with the ideologies (albeit failed ideologies) of the Neo Cons to the south. 

One of the Liberal Leadership Candidates, Gerard Kennedy, came to the University last year.  There, when he was speaking to us, narrated a story about how an elderly woman called his office one day and began to speak to him.  She told Kennedy that ever since she was voting, she had been voting Conservative.  During the bi-elections last year, she told Kennedy that she had voted Liberal for the first time in her life.  Kennedy asked her why that was.  The elderly woman replied in a tone of concern that she doesn’t think that Harper loves Canada.

I’ve always kept that story in the back of my mind.  And I think slowly its starting to precipitate.  The way Harper governs, the policies, especially those in the realm of foreign affairs, and his very American-like ideology, the way he dismisses important issues with the wave of a hand, its all very hard to convince myself that Harper has the best interests of Canada at hand. 

Julie Couillard When it was revealed that Bernier’s girlfriend, ex-girlfriend now, had ties to the Hells Angels, Bob Ray stood in the House of Commons and asked a very simple question:  Are there any security concerns that the country should be worried about vis a vis Bernier and his relationship with Couillard?  The Conservatives then dismissed it as an absurd and inappropriate question.  Now it turns out that Bob Ray’s concerns are totally appropriate given the potential breach of national security.  Stephen Harper admitted himself just a few hours ago that this mistake and thus had no choice but to accept the resignation of Bernier. 

It is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out in the coming days and in the coming weeks.  But it will also be interesting to see if my feelings regarding the loyalty of Stephen Harder will be founded.  I truly hope I am wrong. 

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Some Good Advice For The LSAT

So last night I was studying for the LSAT and came home feeling bombed and depleted.  One of my biggest weaknesses is the Analytical Reasoning section. It’s the section where you are given a puzzle or a game to solve and you have to use diagrams.  I just can’t do them for whatever reason at this point in time.  So I came home early from studying and just randomly looked on youtube for some people posting advice for the LSAT exam.  I found this one girl who got a 173 or 172 on the exam…which is like amazing.  Just to put that in perspective, the guy who taught my LSAT prep course got no higher than 172.  She posts various videos regarding the LSAT and Law school and out of all the videos I viewed last night, she had the best.  She didn’t address a specific strategy for tackling the puzzles other than to just practice a lot, which makes sense.  So I am going to post two videos up for you and hopefully you will get some benefit out of them. 

Good luck and enjoy!

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Commercial

The new iPod+iTunes commercial.  This is the perfect night time commercial.  What do I mean by `night time commercial?’  A night time commercial is one of those commercials that you can only appreciate at night.  Its one of those commercials that contributes and adds to the mood set by the night. 

Ive been seeing so many times this weekend that I think I am hooked to it.  Whether you love or hate Apple, you have to admit, they have one amazing marketing campaign going.

Break

So I decided to take a break today from the LSAT.  Its my first break in a week, week and a half if I am not wrong.  I’ve seemed to lost count.  And I honestly have no track of what day it is.  One day is litereally the same as before.  I think I burnt myself this week.  The worst part of all of this is that I am going to have to increase the intensity of my studying starting this week.  Thus is my life.

Right now Im going to watch this movie.  There are a bunch of guys on an ice rink that are shooting each other.  Seems interesting.

French Food At Home

Laura Calder

So my latest tv obsession has been focused on the food network.  French Food At Home, hosted by Laura Calder focuses on, well…french food.  The show, which is in its second season, focuses on food from France and French Canada as well as tid bits of french culture from both France and Canada.

Lets talk about the host first.  Not only does she have this passion for French food, but she is amazingly educated.  She has 2 BAs from two universities in Canada, and Masters degree from the London School of Economics.  Moreover, she studied cooking at The Dubrulle Culinary Institute in Vancouver, Canada and at L’Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne in Burgundy, France where she studied for 7 years. 

With that said, she has written for a number of magazines: Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Gourmet magazine, Gastronomica, Salon.com, the Times of London, the Los Angeles Times, the Wine Journal, and Flare magazine.  She has written her own cookbook as well which was published back in 2003, the title the same as the tv show.

The first season of the show was done quite well actually.  There’s nothing on the Food Network about french food.  So it was good in the sense that it was different.  On top of that, I loved the set and the lighting as well as the camera angels, camera work and the type of camera that they used (they didn’t use the typical camera that one would use to film a tv show; rather they used what seemed like a high quality dvd type of camera).  But the best thing I loved about the show last season was that it was simple; something that I have always loved about Canadian television as a whole. 

The second season is just as good, if not better.  Although they have begun using a different camera and the set is a bit different as well, the second season is more casual and open.  Laura has begun to display more of her personality via her hair, her clothes and her makeup.  She is more relaxed and is beginning to tell jokes in between kneading and mixing.  I can’t say anything about the food since I am not at all familiar with french good.  But judging by Laura’s passionate explanations, I am sure its quite good. 

One thing, however, that I would change is the lighting.  The lighting this season isn’t as good as it was last season.  The way they have it this time around is that the show is trying to go for that ‘natural light look without any evidence of any light bulbs’ type of thing.  It can work, and it does work to make Laura’s dresses and makeup pop but it kind of makes the rest of the set look a bit dark.  If the set had bright colours instead of warm colours than perhaps they could pull it off.  But as of right now, I don’t think the lighting is as good as it can be. 

So if you like food, its a nice little half hour escape into the realm of wonderful french cuisine.

LSAT Ho!

Well, the period of time I was dreading is fully under way.  For the next month, I will be entrenched with analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, reading comprehension and writing samples.  The LSAT that I will be writing is going to be smack-dab in the middle of June.  So I literally have one month to study and prepare for what might arguably be the biggest exam of my life. 

After my finals were complete, I took about a week off and did absolutely nothing.  My parents were bugging me about finding a job and stuff but I don’t know if I can work and dedicate enough time for preparing for the exam.  I kind of feel bad for not working but I figured, whats another month.  So yea, I relaxed and then about the second week or so, I began to study for it.  It was a slow start at first but eventually I got into it. 

So this is my regime that has naturally worked its way into my life.  I get to school at around 10ish or so at night.  My study buddy and I (who is also taking the exam) study with the odd break here and there all the way until around 4.30am.  I get home at around 5am, more or less, and go to sleep at around 6.30am, ending off my day with BBC News.  The natual question is why am I following an odd schedule?

The simple fact is that I am most alert late at night.  When I was studying for my finals, I would frequently begin studying in the mid afternoon and end at around 1 or two.  I could never keep myself alert until the sun went down.  I don’t know what it is but when I begin to study during the day, I get sleepy and tired.  So I figured its useless to make and effort and fool myself into thinking I can make my days productive.  Instead I make my nights productive, which is proving to be successful. 

I’ll be honest with you guys though, its not a walk in the park.  I am using the word success loosely.  I am learning how to tackle the exam literally step by step.  I am starting to get used to the questions, starting to get used to the structure used and so on.  Its the little nuances that I am picking up on.  I just wish that I would pick up on more nuances more quickly.  But progress is progress. 

So yea, that’s pretty much what my life will look like for the next month.  Hopefully it proves successful.  If I have time, I’ll try and keep you guys updated.  I know some of you will be writing in June as well.