Friday, April 30, 2010

Use Your iPhone to Pay at 1,000 Starbucks

From Mashable: The myStarbucks iPhone app can now be used to pay for your order at Starbucks locations embedded in Target all over the USA. No word yet on when this app will be available in Canada.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Most Awesome Thing Ever!

Thank you Nathalie for pointing this item out to me. I'm prepared to anoint this with the title of The Most Awesome Thing Ever! Well, at least until something more awesome comes along.

Without further ado allow me to introduce you to Caffeinated Maple-Bacon Lollipops. Seriously, these lollipops are made of maple syrup, bacon and caffeine. We all know that bacon is the candy of meats but this item takes it to the next level.

Who's hungry?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Book Heads Up: Guy Gavriel Kay in Town

No book review today. Just a heads up that prolific Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay will be in Ottawa this Sunday to promote his latest book Under Heaven. He'll be appearing at the Ottawa Writersfest in the Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St at 2:00PM. Don't forget to pre-purchase your tickets.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Web Comic Wednesday:Misery Loves Sherman

Misery Loves Sherman is a webcomic by Eisner award nominated Chris Eliopoulos. In it we follow the titular character Sherman as he makes his way through life. Which for poor Sherman is pretty tough as he is constantly being picked on by schoolmates, teachers, his parents and worst of all his little sister Fran.

The art reminds me a lot of Charles Schulz's Peanuts and when I think more on it the writing does as well. All of the characters in the strip seem to have a defining characteristic that separates them on the emotional scale.

Sherman = Misery
Zort = Ambition
Benny = Happiness
Fran = Agression
Dad = Disappointment
Mom = Love (if maybe a bit conditional at times)
Mort = Death

When I started thinking about the characters in their emotional roles the strip really took off for me. Which is not to say their isn't topical humour as evident by the strips on curling over the Olympics which are favourites of mine.

I recently had the chance to meet Mr. Eliopoulos at the Comic Geek Speak Super Show 2010. I took Anna to meet him as he also writes Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers which is a favourite comic of both of ours. He was really great to both of us.

I also purchased the first collection of the webcomic from Chris. The book contains the entire first year of strips and it reads really great in a collection.

The webcomic is still going strong and just recently reached it's 600th strip. As an added bonus this weeks storyline deals with coffee addiction which is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Book Review: Born to Run

Do we stop running because we get old or do we get old because we stop running? That is the central question of Christopher McDougall's Born to Run.

This is an entertaining book on a number of levels. Gluing the book together is a narrative about a fifty-mile race through the Mexico’s Copper Canyons pitting a native tribe of super runners against an odd collection of Americans.

Interspersed along the book are sections about the genesis of jogging and ultra-marathons; back ground on the athletic shoe industry and reasons why your $150 Nike's are probably bad for your feet; and the The Running Man theory of evolution.

Anthropologists have used The Running Man theory to describe why humans evolved into bipedal runners. Most mammals are the four legged variety which is much better suited towards speed running. Since most animals are faster than humans we evolved the physiology to maintain long, slow distance running. Getting up onto two legs allows us to get more oxygen in our lungs which in turn allows us to run for longer distances. We used this as a hunting strategy to, basically, run our prey to death.

I found Born to Run to be a fascinating and entertaining book. One which I would recommend you to buy. Since reading the book I've taken up jogging again. I don't expect to be doing any 50 mile ultra-marathons anytime soon though.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Canadians Gaga for Single Serve Coffee Makers

Apparently us Canadians seem to love single serve coffee makers. I'm still using my coffee brewer at home so I can't comment on the up-tick. Anyone out there using a single serve coffee maker?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Web Comic Wednesday: Athena Voltaire

Who is Athena Voltaire? Well the best way I can think to describe her is What if Indiana Jones was a hot stunt pilot? or you may prefer to go with the fictional aviatrix created by Steve Bryant and Paul Daly.

Regardless of how you want to describe her you can check out her World War II era adventures online. On this site you can read the first two adventures, The Terror in Tibet and The Wrath from the Tomb. These early adventures garnered an Eisner nomination (comics Oscar awards) for best webcomic.

The webcomic was followed up by a limited series The Flight of the Falcon. I was able to pick up a collection of both the webcomics and Flight of the Falcon at CGS Super Show back in 2008. I really fell in love with the character and I was hoping to see more Nazi fighting action.

Sadly it's been awhile since we've seen an new Athena Voltaire book but take heart it looks more possible than ever before. The artist, Steve Bryant, now has full creative control over the book. He's decided to raise some money in order to be able to produce the book himself. Steve needs to collect $7,000 to pull this off and currently he's just north of $6,000.

So go check out the webcomic and if you like it kick in a few bucks via the kick starter program so we can all enjoy more Athena Voltaire.