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Fans of The Amazing Race Canada will recognise Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson. They did a hockey shooting challenge at the Winnipeg arena, just down the block, extremely close to me. They did amazingly badly, even though they are gold medal-winning players, known for their scoring.

Should ballet dancers be given a score?


I pondered what it would be like to have people play Oak Games-style games in a higher-end coffee shop for one day; a typical Steve fantasy. People win prizes when they win games against strangers. I would not have brought this to your attention except for the social effect. Instead of people being isolated or focused on their phones, you could show up, likely with a friend or two, and there would be face to face playing - and/or coffee drinking. There would be an incentive to deal with strangers.

This would not be structured, not a tournament, and games would not always merit prizes. You don't have to know the game rules before you arrive. These games have simple rules.

Royal Game of Ur - non-standard sweets

Loonie - collectable coins

Stand By Me - symmetrical

Yote - exotic non-alcoholic drinks

Fanorona - puzzles


Natural History





Language and Culture


If a swear is part of an acronym, is it still a swear?

Stein - is it pronounced steen or stine?

New York Times longwinded. It's a German stine, as in bier stein. Sometimes it's an American-influenced steen.

What does "yeah no" mean?




Food and Drink



Baikal, a cola from Russia, "tastes like a forest". Let's start with the wikipedia entry.

Lake Baikal, important to Russians, is pronounced the way it is spelled, with three vowel sounds.

It's not the most attractive taste at first. It has a way of exciting curiosity, epsecially if you know the ingredients. I just bought two new bottles.

Russian food direct

Dave's Cupboard

weird soda review


music, film, television


For the past few years I've just been listening to the same old same old good songs. Just recently I got into Mad Men era non-rock instrumentals. There was also Chicago rock from the 1960s and bubblegum music. When you think of late '60s music, what comes to mind? In the late '60s bubblegum music ruled the charts.