[ 8 Feb 2016 ]
How correlated is the USD:CAD exchange rate to the price of oil?

Within the course of my PhD I have seen the dollar go from just above to parity 1.0297 on September 14, 2012 to a low of 0.6865 USD per CAD on January 19th, 2016 – a 67% decline in value. I’m not sure if it says more about the state of the Canadian economy or just how long I’ve been doing this PhD gig. This got me thinking: How correlated has the loonie been with the price of oil? Has this relationship changed since the commodity supercycle began?

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Featured, Life Lessons »

[28 Jul 2012 ]
Are low interest balance transfers with fees worth it?

In 2008 I began to receive low interest balance transfer cheques from my credit card companies. At the time I had student debt at a high interest rate, so using them was a no-brainer. The offer was simple too: I would transfer a balance onto my credit card, and for 6 months I would have a low interest loan. No balance transfer fees, no limits, no gimmicks. In hindsight, the timing of these balance transfers were strategic. From 2007-2008 capital markets were experiencing the credit crunch, and …

Nucleotides »

[1 May 2012 ]
I haven’t stopped dreaming

A couple of weeks ago a friend posted an interested video on Facebook. It’s narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, speaking about how the US feared the rise of the USSR and created NASA to engage in the Space Race. NASA was able to land on the Moon within 10 years, but as the Soviets fell behind, NASA began to lose its glory. Tyson believes that the US is losing its status on the world stage, and without NASA pushing the boundaries of space we could lose a generation of inspired scientists and engineers. Then it struck me. At 4:03 a video clip of Carl Sagan appears talking to school children. It was at this moment that I realized that my life had been touched by Carl Sagan in a profound way.

Numbers »

[30 Jan 2012 ]
Introduction to the El Nino and La Nina Climate Phenomena

Growing up I remember the days when we would get +30 cm of snow overnight in Toronto, as well as the mild winters and its miserable rain. Some memorable winters include December 1999 when I remember waking up to 40 cm of snow, December 2006 when my cousin from the Azores visited during Christmas to witness one of the most mild winters I had seen, and the 2007-2008 winter when Toronto received record snowfall. It may seem like Mother Nature has a way of flipping a coin between winters …

Reviews, Thoughts »

[18 Nov 2011 ]
The Ultimate Christmas Music Playlist

I love Christmas music. There I said it. I know my enthusiasm for Christmas music isn’t matched by the general public, but that’s okay. I am who I am… I have compiled a list of my favourite Christmas songs…

Featured, Numbers »

[5 Oct 2011 ]
Inkjet vs Laser Printer Costs for University Students

Now that I am a student again I have a compulsive need to print things. A professor sends out class notes in pdf? I need to print it. Solutions to assignments? I need to print it. An email sent out saying this week’s class is cancelled? I need to print it. My lack of a printer led me to do some analysis to see if it was worth the money to buy an inkjet or laser printer.