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[6 Aug 2017 | No Comment | ]

Over the 2016 Christmas break I visited Japan for the first time with my girlfriend. There are many places to visit in Japan, since it is an old civilization with rich history, but there was one place I wanted to visit above all to learn more about an important event in world history. Hiroshima. Growing up in Canada I vaguely recall making paper cranes for Hiroshima in elementary school and discussing atomic weapon’s in Mr. Venier’s Grade 10 history class. Other than these two moments in my life, …

Featured, Headline, Numbers »

[8 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]

Within the course of my PhD I have seen the dollar go from just above parity at 1.0297 on September 14, 2012 to a low of 0.6865 USD per CAD on January 19th, 2016 – a 33% 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.
The faltering loonie rate has a lot of implications for different Canadians:

The grocery shopper sees higher prices for imported fruits and vegetables – most notably expensive cauliflower.

Featured, Headline, Life Lessons, Reviews »

[17 Jan 2013 | No Comment | ]

It’s a typical November rainy day in Vancouver. But it doesn’t feel like it. Something feels out of place. Actually, everything feels out of place. I approach my apartment building near Metrotown and notice there is a (1) grizzly bear passed out next to the apartment entrance. His thick fur is soaked from the rain. I can see that he tried to claw his way into my building to seek shelter from the rain. He probably gave up as he grew tired. I sneak my way into …

Life Lessons, Numbers »

[28 Jul 2012 | No Comment | ]

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 | No Comment | ]

A couple of weeks ago a friend posted an interesting 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 …

Numbers »

[30 Jan 2012 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Featured, Headline, Numbers »

[21 Jan 2012 | No Comment | ]

When I was living in BC I remember getting an email from Whistler-Blackcomb promoting their EDGE card before the ski season had even begun. It’s almost expected they would send an email to me, as I went the year before, but the unexpected thing about this email was they referenced the La Nina phenomena as reason to expect more-than-average snow fall for the season. I always thought the El Nino/La Nina climate phenomena was unknown to most people, but here was a ski resort trying to profit off …

Featured, Headline, Thoughts »

[7 Jan 2012 | No Comment | ]

Sometimes I get tempted for an afternoon snack and find myself struggling to choose ONE chocolate bar in a convenience store. I want them all. Mars bar, Caramilk, Wunderbar, Coffee Crisp. Choosing a chocolate bar is usually the most difficult decision I face everyday.
I decided to buy a slew of chocolates and analyse them to eliminate the anguish I get when buying chocolate bars. Here is what I think…
The Analysis

Bounty is a sweet full …

Reviews, Thoughts »

[18 Nov 2011 | No Comment | ]

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. Over the last couple of years I have come to realize that people fall into different camps when it comes to their affinity to Christmas music….
The Christmas Aficionados

These are the people that listen to Christmas songs year round and aren’t afraid to show it. They make up a small fraction of the population and are known to keep Christmas lights up …

Featured, Headline, Thoughts »

[24 Oct 2011 | No Comment | ]

Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev was the first to observe major reoccurring supercycles in Western capitalism. The main idea behind his theory is that every 50-60 years the economy goes through a series of phases in a certain technology: prosperity, recession, depression, and finally improvement. The lasting output from the supercycle is often companies and the infrastructure we use in our everyday lives. Think of railways. The railways we use are essentially from a hundred years ago. There are no ambitious plans to expand the current railway network in …