Puns are truly the highest form of humour

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Shortly after my little sister moved to Montréal, she was asking about how to use the word “celui” in French.

Alain gave her an example. “You can say, ‘celui-là,’ which means ‘that one there,'” he told her.

Caitlin asked, “Can you use ‘celui’ anywhere else?”

To which I replied, “You can put celui in … a sawad.”

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2013-3347,
    title = {Puns are truly the highest form of humour},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2013-03-8,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/03/08/puns-are-truly-the-highest-form-of-humour/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Puns are truly the highest form of humour" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 08 Mar 2013. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/03/08/puns-are-truly-the-highest-form-of-humour/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2013, Mar 08). Puns are truly the highest form of humour [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/03/08/puns-are-truly-the-highest-form-of-humour/


Super creepy Ananas

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Creepy Ananas

Creepy Ananas

Since my sister’s move to Montréal, she watched a lot of Téléfrançais. In an effort to keep up with her level of French, I have been watching it as well. Téléfrançais is an educational TV show designed to teach French to elementary school students. It stars a talking pineapple named “Ananas.”

Inspired by Téléfrançais, I have been working on a digitally remastered version of Ananas in Blender. Tonight I did a little camera tracking test and put Ananas on the kitchen table with my sister and boyfriend. It turned out okay. Click the thumbnail of the image attached to this post to see an animated GIF of Ananas waving at you creepily.

I feel like this creepiness is definitely in keeping with the spirit of Téléfrançais. Next up, time to do some writing. I’m not planning a feature-length film, but perhaps a (series of) short film(s)?

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2013-3245,
    title = {Super creepy Ananas},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2013-02-17,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/02/17/super-creepy-ananas/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Super creepy Ananas" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 17 Feb 2013. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/02/17/super-creepy-ananas/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2013, Feb 17). Super creepy Ananas [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/02/17/super-creepy-ananas/


Ask a Québécois(e)!

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Foosball

Foosball

Next time you have the chance, ask a Québécois(e) to tell you the name of the popular game pictured to the left in this post.

In English, we call it “foosball.”

In French it’s called “baby-foot.” I’m not saying that a literal translation of the French term for “foosball” would be “baby-foot”—the French don’t call it “pied de bébé.” The French say the English words “baby-foot” as their word for “foosball.”

I’m not sure why I expected the French word for “foosball” to make sense. The English word is confusing to me as well.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-2564,
    title = {Ask a Québécois(e)!},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-12-19,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/12/19/ask-a-quebecois/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Ask a Québécois(e)!" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 19 Dec 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/12/19/ask-a-quebecois/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Dec 19). Ask a Québécois(e)! [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/12/19/ask-a-quebecois/


Answering my readers’ questions

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Everyone gather ’round. It’s that time again! It’s time for me to answer my readers’ questions!

And by that, I mean, it’s time for me to see what strings of words people have typed into Google that brought them to my blog. Then I look through the search keywords that are (more-or-less) well-formed questions and answer them as best I can. It’s the least I could do, since they took the time to visit my site with these questions on their mind.

“Why can’t the space shuttle leave conventionally from an airport?” (July 26)

Mostly because it’s not an airplane. Those booster rockets that the space shuttle normally uses for take-off are not decorative.

“Is a direct entry master of nursing an okay option?” (Aug 12, 14, 15)

That depends on your career goals.

“If I fired a laser beam at my hand would it come out the other side?” (Aug 4)

Yes.

“How to castle in chess with friends?” (July 31, Aug 7, 14, 17)

Begin a chess game with a friend, castle normally.

“How do you move your king and castle at the same time?” (July 26)

You probably meant “How do you move your king and your rook at the same time?”

“Rook” is the name for the pieces that start at the corners of the board.

In chess, “castle” is a verb. It’s the verb that means to move your rook and king at the same time, two spaces toward each other, provided that the intervening spaces are not occupied and that neither the king nor rook has been moved before in the match (and that you’re not trying to castle out of check).

“Cheat on MCAT tips?” (Aug 1) / “How to cheat the MCAT?” (July 30)

Are you really asking me to help you to cheat on the MCAT? Get out.

“Has anyone ever cheated on MCAT before?” (July 28)

No. No one in the history of mankind. No one whose motives were so pure as to aspire to medical school has ever even considered cheating to attain such a goal.

“Grammar is one of the greatest joys in life, don’t you find?” (Aug 8)

Actually, now that you mention it, grammar is the greatest joy in life.

“How do you pronounce ‘couche tard’?” (Aug 18)

“Couch” (like the synonym for sofa)

“Tard” (like the second syllable of “retard”)

“How to avoid getting your bike stolen [in] Montréal?” (Aug 25)

Sell bike, and buy Bixi pass with the proceeds.

“How to get your thesis bound at McGill” (July 27)

You gotta do it yourself, I’m afraid. You can get Acco-Press binders at the bookstore.

“How to take someones fortune?” (Aug 21)

Twitter-stalking.

“I bought wrong grammar?” (Aug 10)

You sure did.

“I might have strep throat I don’t got insurance?” (Aug 7)

That’s quite the predicament! Are you a Canadian citizen?

“Is there a Montréal métro pass for mature students?” (Aug 19)

Nope. No such thing. Once you’re 25, you pay full price, whether you’re a full-time student or not.

“What happens after you accept a TA-ship offer?” (Aug 4)

Heh … Do you really want to know?

“What is giving you the most problems with Microsoft Word?” (July 26)

Thank you for asking! Mostly crashing, interface glitches and the fact that there’s no separation between content, formatting, comments and meta-data.

“Where can i get hasperat?” (July 28)

Bajor, if you want it authentic.

But if you would make the brine for a really strong hasperat—I mean eye watering, tongue searing strong—you’d make an old man very happy.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-2084,
    title = {Answering my readers’ questions},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-08-26,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/26/answering-my-readers-questions/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Answering my readers’ questions" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Aug 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/26/answering-my-readers-questions/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Aug 26). Answering my readers’ questions [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/26/answering-my-readers-questions/


Thesis abstracts in both English and French

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Well what do you know? I have to write a French version of my abstract for my thesis.

This means it’s time to go out and buy some Newcastle beers. I have a friend who’s a translator who enjoys Newcastle beer, and if I’m going to exploit my relationship with her for my personal gain, I might as well make it worth her while.

There’s no way I’m going to risk writing my own thesis abstract in French. In French, I’m most confident in my ability to discuss whether pineapples can talk:

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1872,
    title = {Thesis abstracts in both English and French},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-06-3,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/03/thesis-abstracts-in-both-english-and-french/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Thesis abstracts in both English and French" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 03 Jun 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/03/thesis-abstracts-in-both-english-and-french/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Jun 03). Thesis abstracts in both English and French [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/03/thesis-abstracts-in-both-english-and-french/


The Bonhomme Theme Song

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Bonhomme Bonhomme, qu'est-ce que tu fais?

Bonhomme Bonhomme, qu'est-ce que tu fais?

Do you remember learning about the Carnaval de Québec in French class?

There’s a particular song that they used to teach us during the unit on the Carnaval. It’s Bonhomme’s theme song, I guess. When I went to Québec this winter, there was a marching band that followed Bonhomme around playing it.

I used to think that the lyrics were, “Bonhomme Bonhomme qu’est-ce que tu fais? Bonhomme Bonhomme qu’est-ce que tu fais? Je vais jouer au violon! Je vais jouer au violon! …”

Translated to English, this means, “Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing? Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing? I’m gonna play the violin. I’m gonna play the violin.”

Turns out, according to a native French-speaker, that is not only incorrect, but also very creepy.

That it was creepy was not at all surprising. I mean, look at him. And I suppose, given the state of French instruction in Ontario, it shouldn’t be too surprising that I got it wrong.

Makes sense to me though. “Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing? Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing?”

In related news, my cellphone ringtone is now the theme song to Téléfrançais.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1792,
    title = {The Bonhomme Theme Song},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-05-20,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/20/the-bonhomme-theme-song/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "The Bonhomme Theme Song" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 20 May 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/20/the-bonhomme-theme-song/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, May 20). The Bonhomme Theme Song [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/20/the-bonhomme-theme-song/


Chez Ben in Granby, QC

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Poutine Burger

Poutine Burger

Québec is full of wonderful poutine restaurants. Chez Ben is a restaurant in Granby that sells pretty good poutine, and really small hamburgers.

I was very strongly tempted to order the “poutine burger.” And yes, a “poutine burger” is exactly what it appears in the photograph to be: A big aluminium foil pie-plate full of poutine, with a hamburger patty on it.

I love Québec.

The slogan for the restaurant is, “On s’bourre la bedaine,” meaning roughly, “We stuff our bellies.”

Here’s a fun bit of French vocabulary. If you wanted to say that someone is “shirtless,” you’d say he is “en bedaine.”

In the attached video, please note that the big giant figure of “Ben” moves, demonstrating that he is stuffing his “bedaine” in front of the restaurant.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1317,
    title = {Chez Ben in Granby, QC},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-02-21,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/21/chez-ben-in-granby-qc/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Chez Ben in Granby, QC" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 21 Feb 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/21/chez-ben-in-granby-qc/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Feb 21). Chez Ben in Granby, QC [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/21/chez-ben-in-granby-qc/


Bowling and the fur trade

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It turns out that the fur trade is still alive and well here in some parts of rural Québec.

I went bowling last night in Granby at Royaume des Quilles and while bowling, a man would, from time to time, call out a number corresponding to the tickets that had been given out for a draw for door prizes. (Regrettably, he did not use “trois-trente” in place of “quatre-vingt-dix,” as I have previously written that I think would be a pretty good idea.)

By some luck, my number was called, and I was handed an envelope, inside of which was a piece of paper that says, “Bon d’une valeur de $100.00 (Cent dollars),” which means “good for $100” at Denis Hivon Fourrures. I’m going to assume that “fourrures” means “fur-trader” in French. Or, something close enough.

Pickles says that I should get a “pimp coat.” I want to go and see if there’s anything with an animal’s face or head on it. I’ve looked at their site, and there are some really disturbing things, and some things that I just couldn’t imagine myself wearing. That said, I haven’t been this excited since I discovered this in the U-Haul store.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1324,
    title = {Bowling and the fur trade},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-02-20,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/20/bowling-and-the-fur-trade/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Bowling and the fur trade" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 20 Feb 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/20/bowling-and-the-fur-trade/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Feb 20). Bowling and the fur trade [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/20/bowling-and-the-fur-trade/


Smelly candles that don’t stink when you blow them out

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I’ve always got a bunch of great ideas. Seriously. This is even better (and probably more profitable) than my idea for replacing “quatre-vingt-dix” in French with “trois-trente.” (“Trois-trente huit, trois-trente neuf, cent—prêt pas prêt j’y vais!” Anyone who has studied French as a second language will agree that this is a very reasonable first step toward reforming the French language.)

By the way, if you take my idea and make a million dollars off it, by reading this sentence, you agree, in a legally-binding sense, to give me the trifling cut of only 40% of the profits. I’m pretty sure that’s how this works. I saw it on the internet once.

Here’s my idea. I have some candles in my apartment. Smelly candles. Some are supposed to smell like fruits, some like gingerbread. When the candles are burning, they smell wonderful. This is good.

The problem comes when I blow the candles out. Every smelly candle does this: When you blow it out, it smells like smoke and something burning, and all the benefit of having lit a smelly candle in the first place is gone forever. This is bad.

Here is my proposed solution. Someone should invent a smelly candle that doesn’t stink when you blow it out. You could do this through the use of … umm … chemistry. Or maybe some sort of apparatus that contains the smoke and releases it slowly over several hours, so that I don’t notice it until it’s already over. At least there wouldn’t be the swift and dramatic difference between everything smelling good, and then all of a sudden, smoke and burning things. Maybe I just need to get an airtight jar made of a strong kind of glass whose top I can close when I want to extinguish the candle. I imagine that there would be complications because the air would all be burned up inside the glass, but we can let the engineers solve that one.

Any thoughts?

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1284,
    title = {Smelly candles that don’t stink when you blow them out},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-02-17,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/17/smelly-candles-that-dont-stink-when-you-blow-them-out/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Smelly candles that don’t stink when you blow them out" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 17 Feb 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/17/smelly-candles-that-dont-stink-when-you-blow-them-out/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Feb 17). Smelly candles that don’t stink when you blow them out [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/17/smelly-candles-that-dont-stink-when-you-blow-them-out/


Other stuff I saw in Québec City

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A church in downtown Québec

A church in downtown Québec

While I mainly went to see the Carnaval, I also went for a walk around the Old Québec a bit while I was in town. It’s a very beautiful city.

There are all sorts of wonderful old buildings, churches and historical-type things going on.

Not only that, but they have excellent lighting at night, so it makes for some good photos!

You just have to be willing to wait for an opportune moment, when there isn’t a car going past, who will leave streaks of light all through your exposure. Thank goodness for digital cameras.

Celtic cross at night

Celtic cross at night

I think I must have spent about fifteen minutes trying to get this photo of the celtic-looking cross. I’ve got a whole bunch of photos of it with streaks across it, thanks to cars.

After three or four tries, I was almost prepared to set the self-timer and go stand in the middle of the road, just out of the frame of the camera, so that I would prevent any cars from passing through it. I only wanted a twenty-second exposure, and there was only one car every minute or so.

Oh well.

I like the details on the cross, and I think it was worth the wait.

An angel with a globe

An angel with a globe

Next is an angel with a globe. I’m not sure what his deal is. I guess he’s like a busker, except that he doesn’t really perform a musical instrument.

Not a bad job, I guess.

Unless you don’t like the cold. It wasn’t too bad while I was there, anyway. It was consistently around -1ºC or -2ºC, and in the sunlight, during the day, that’s not too bad.

He seems happy, anyway.

I have also posted a video of a crazy dance rave at an ice castle in front of the Québec parliament, and a videoscreen waterfall at night in the Old Québec.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1200,
    title = {Other stuff I saw in Québec City},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-02-9,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/09/other-stuff-i-saw-in-quebec-city/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Other stuff I saw in Québec City" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 09 Feb 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/09/other-stuff-i-saw-in-quebec-city/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Feb 09). Other stuff I saw in Québec City [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/09/other-stuff-i-saw-in-quebec-city/


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