Converter Or Remote?

Do you know what a converter is? If I asked you to hand me the converter, would you know what to give me? I’m going to guess that most people don’t know what that is, and that’s understandable.

‘Converter’ is Canadian-speak for TV remote, though I also found this Reddit thread that believes that it’s mostly an Ontario thing.

And that just boggles my mind. How does one province manage to almost collectively just use and understand another name for such a random object? I know there’s gotta be some cultural or linguistic explanation that I’m too lazy to really look into, but it is interesting.

Especially because personally I use both “remote” and “converter” interchangeably. They both feel so natural coming out of my mouth, which is weird because I’ve been trying to think about which one I use more or in what context and even I can’t separate the two in my thoughts. I think my family and I do use remote more, though perhaps that’s because I’ve also shortened remote to “mote” as in “mote me” when I want to be passed the remote. It’s what all the cool kids are saying.

Andy Bernard saying  Andy Bernard explaining

I did wonder if “converter” has roots in Britain, as a lot of Canadian terms and phrases do come from across the pond, but apparently not. Not that I’m wildly surprised, as there are actually several more words used to reference the small channel changing device. Clicker, Zipper, Flipper, Channel-Changer… What do you call it?

And this isn’t the only example. Just the other day I saw a post on Tumblr asking people what the thing you use to push groceries around at the store is called. I call them “shopping carts” but one girl I follow on Tumblr called them “buggies”.

It’s really kind of fascinating. I mean, not fascinating enough to change my major to linguistics (I took an introduction course two years ago, and no thank you) but it’s the kind of thing that you think about on the bus with an intenseness. How many things in our world have multiple names in the same language? And why? How does it catch on? Can I just start calling socks “feetos” now? Like, “Mom, I’m missing a feeto. Have you seen it?” Or am I not popular enough to have “feeto” be a thing?

I guess it’s like slang and internet lingo. Slang has also fascinated me, because I find myself using it both ironically and unironically. Who comes up with it, and how does it work its way into our vocabularies? What is it about slang that is so functional?

man asking "do you understand the words that are coming outta my mouth?"

Anyway, I wish I had the time or desire to look these questions up for you, but I do not, so all you get is this post of rambles. That, and an invitation to contact all your foreign friends and ask them what they think words mean or what they call things. It’s fun.

That’s all for now!

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Country-Based TV Laws Are The Work Of The Devil

As a Canadian, I am lucky. I’m close enough to America to get American channels, and Canadian channels have deals to air American shows as well, so 98% of the time, I get TV shows at the same time the Americans do. I am so thankful every day for this.

But I do feel so bad for other people in the world. Some countries don’t air TV shows at the same time. Some countries don’t air shows for weeks or months afterwards (good luck avoiding spoilers). Some countries never get them. And I know that American TV may not be very popular in really foreign countries where English isn’t the first language, so having network deals may be a waste of time, but there are some fans who would watch if they could. I knew of people who would get up at 3am to livestream an American show that was airing 8pm our time. Their dedication is real, but there are limited options for them, and all of them are technically illegal.

American networks block things. They alienate fans who don’t live in America. And then they wonder why ratings aren’t going up…it’s because people take to watching things illegally online because it’s all they can do.

And what’s worse is that when episodes finally do air in far away places, like in the UK for example, the episodes are sometimes edited so swear words and more graphic scenes are either cut short or cut out altogether. People are paying for edited things and they can’t control it, as there are only a few providers with American channels, the biggest one being Sky.

Though I just explained how lucky I am as a Canadian, I’m not entirely free from these restrictions. The official websites for the American channels won’t let me watch any videos, and prices for shipping on any merchandise is sky high. Normally, I don’t care too much as I don’t frequent these sites, but sometimes I need to. Agents Of SHIELD used to post sneak peeks and BTS videos on the ABC site and on ABC’s YouTube channel and then tweet about it, and I wouldn’t be able to watch, though I and their other thousands of other foreign followers would see that videos do exist. We can get so close, just never close enough. I gave up angrily tweeting back a reply of “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE CANADA???!!!!???” a long time ago because it’s clear they just don’t care.

That being said, it’s not just American channels that limit. I’m really ragging on America here as they’re the biggest producer of the shows. But other countries block too. Not a single American I know has a clue what Mr. D is (though it’s not a hugely popular show…) and when the Brits air Sherlock and Doctor Who, I don’t think North America gets it on time either. It’s a shame.

Image result for why can't we all get along gif

And as a cherry on the cake, there’s all this talk about the TV industry dying and online platforms like Netflix taking over. Let me tell you, that’s somehow even worse for non-Americans because even these revolutionary platforms like Netflix are limited. Canadian Netflix is pretty bad, so I often have to go stream elsewhere.

I know it’s all business deals and contracts and money but I dream of a world where none of that exists and I can just watch TV in peace. Is that too much to ask?

P.S. If for some reason you’ve read this exact post before on the internet, I actually wrote it for a blogging course I took two years ago in university, so it’s all my own words, I’m just reposting it on my real blog!

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My Final Year Of University Bucket List

This week I began my final year of my undergrad at university. I know I’ve mentioned it upwards of a billion times on this blog and you’re probably sick of me mentioning it, but it’s a big deal to me. For my whole life, going to school has been all I know, and though it seemed unending, all of the sudden it’s really hitting me that this is the end. Not that I’m complaining.

Now, I’ve never been one for bucket lists. I don’t care for them, as I feel they just set you up for disappointment. But I thought it’d be fun to prepare for this final year by making a small bucket list of fairly realistic things. In the name of positivity and all that.

  1. Obviously, get good grades. My GPA so far has been great, so I’m aiming to keep that up.
  2. Drink more water. I don’t love the taste of water, but I know I should start drinking more of it. Maybe not eight glasses a day, but maybe two or three?
    Image result for chugging water gif
  3. Go to as many Quidditch practices as I can, even if it’s as cold as heck out there. This is my last year to play and I know I need the exercise. I definitely wussed out of a few last year because it was just a little too chilly for my tastes.
  4. Go to a bar with friends. Maybe a karaoke one? Who knows.
  5. Go downtown at least once, just for fun.
  6. Volunteer for something.
  7. Make a new friend.
    Image result for making friends gif
  8. Find a new singer/band to listen to. Lately I’m just listening to the same artists I’ve listened to for years. If you have suggestions, you know where the comment box is!
  9. Do my best to not procrastinate doing laundry, doing dishes, or cleaning my room. I do that a lot, and it just leads to messes.
  10. Go to at least one event (on either campus). Maybe a networking event, maybe a fun event…either way, it gets me out of my room.

Will I succeed? Only time will tell. Ten isn’t very much, but a few of things involve me applying effort, and I’m not in love with that concept. Either way, I’m going to do my best to make the most of this final year of school. People say I’ll miss it when it’s gone. I won’t miss writing essays, but maybe I’ll miss the structure.

Do you have any goals for this school year?

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: September 2017

Who allowed it to be September, because I sure didn’t? I am appalled that I am a few days away from being back at school. Where has my summer gone? I went swimming once. ONCE, you guys. But I guess if I have to accept this new month into my life, I should embrace all the goodness that comes with it. Here’s what’s looking good this September.

monthly look ahead logo

  • A fresh new schedule. Going back to school for the last time meaning I’m back in classes, back on my own, back to business. I do enjoy the first few weeks of school.
  • Back to Quidditch. I was very inactive this past summer, so I am looking forward to hitting the pitch again and getting even a little exercise, and especially now when it’s still kind of warm outside.
  • I’m getting Invisaligne braces put in. I don’t know how exciting this is, as it’s a lot more work on my part, but I’m hoping that it’ll fix up my teeth’s crowding and minimize the damage I apparently do to myself in my sleep. Have any of you had them?
  • This isn’t confirmed yet, but I am planning on volunteering at my local Wordcamp again. Last year I had a good time, so I figured, why not do it again?
  • The sequel to Kingsman called Kingsman: The Golden Circle is out on the 22nd. The first movie was great, so I think I’ll make a trip out to the movies to see this new one.
    kingsman 2 logo
  • Marvel’s newest cinematic endeavour, The Inhumans, is out this month. It’s a TV show, but the first two episodes are being shown in IMAX theaters before the rest of the show airs on TV on the 29th. I gotta say, this is the least excited I’ve been for a Marvel project in a while, so I may not be first in line to see this in theaters, but I will give the TV show a chance at the very least.
  • As for other brand new TV shows, there’s nothing too exciting coming this fall. I’m considering watching The Mayor and Ghosted but I am not overcome with anticipation, so we’ll see.
  • I’m more excited for returning TV shows. Returning to me in September are: The Good Place, Superstore, The Middle, Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, This Is Us, and Mr. D.
  • Shania Twain’s new album is out at the end of the month. I loved the first single and I’m just so happy she’s back making music.

So that’s how my September is looking. I’m guessing a lot of you are going back to school too. Are you excited? Or are you more excited for fall TV, like I am? Make your own MLA post and share the goodness! I’d love to read and I’d love to see more people spreading the positivity by participating in this blogging feature.

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7 Things Online That I Can’t Believe Are Free

Who likes free things? Everyone. But especially me, because I don’t like paying for things. Things are expensive. So that’s why I’m so grateful for free things. As for the internet, yes, we have to pay for the internet and a computer, but once you have that, there are so many amazing things online, and so many that cost zero dollars and zero cents. Maybe you’ve heard of some of these, maybe you haven’t. Maybe you use some of these. Either way, I’mma tell you about them and express my love for them and their availability. Oh, and the best part? These things are all 100% legal. Enjoy.

Ron Swanson saying

Canva

If you’re a blogger, you may have heard of this before, as it’s fairly popular in the blogosphere, and if you’re into graphic design, you may also know of it. Canva is a super easy and functional graphic design creator. No matter what you want to create (from resumes to Twitter headers to postcards and more) or what you have in mind, Canva can do it. And you have complete control over every aspect. While you do have to have an account to use it and there are premium versions, the free account is more than enough. I mean, I love Microsoft Paint, but Canva is a lot more useful and simpler than that. Don’t worry if you can’t afford or work Adobe InDesign, because Canva should be your new go-to. I made my current Twitter header and this blog’s header on Canva, among many things.

Hootsuite

Again, some bloggers may have heard of this. Hootsuite is a social media scheduler. I’m not one to schedule my blog posts on Twitter every hour and I’m online enough to post most things right away, so I admittedly don’t use this too often for myself, but I do use it for Popwrapped, and it’s great. It’s easy to use, can handle several social media platforms at once, and even has dashboard feeds for them. The best part is that right now, it’s allowing you to schedule basically unlimited messages. This feature was taken away for a little bit a few months ago and reduced to ten, but now it’s back (hopefully forever). I know a lot of businesses use Hootsuite because it’s really great and easy to use.

Spotify

I love music. I am always listening to music. Apparently so does everyone else because music streaming services are all the rage nowadays. But I’m not about to give Apple more money on a monthly basis so Apple Music is out of the question. That leaves me with Spotify, and luckily for me, Spotify has a free version and it’s great. Of course you need wifi to use it and every few songs there’s a short ad or two but that’s no different from YouTube. What makes Spotify 1000 times better than YouTube, though, is that all the songs are official top-quality. No fake sound-less videos, no off-key covers, no blocked-in-some-countries videos, no nonsense. And it’s all organized and available. I love being able to listen to full musical soundtracks or albums with Spotify.

Spongebob snapping his fingers as he listens to headphones

WordPress

So obviously you’ve heard of WordPress because you’re on it now. This blog is a WordPress blog, and I’m proud. Here’s why WordPress is great: for zero dollars, I am able to write as much as I want as often as I want, on a site that I basically made myself. Though there is paid options, I’m still able to thrive without that. I have followers! I have a platform! And it’s free! There are so many themes to choose from to make your site unique, and the community is like no other. Our Reader is great, it’s so easy to go through tags, and there are free Blogging U classes and Community Pools that are always a pleasure to be a part of. WordPress is great for more than just blogging, and I can’t believe it’s offered to so many for free!

Wikipedia

This may be obvious, but we are blessed to have Wikipedia in our lives. It’s so easy to find information now. No longer do we need heavy encyclopedias to look up dates or info, when Wikipedia is just right here, a few clicks away. And all its information is so organized, making it so easy to use. I know teachers and professors warn against fake information, but in all my years, I’ve never had an issue. I can’t believe that we have millions of Wikipedia pages available to us for free. Amazing.

Fanfiction

So while technically you can read fanfics on Fanfiction.net or Archiveofourown.org, the concept is the same, and both sites provide hours of entertainment. Can you believe that for zero dollars and zero cents you can read well-written and in-depth stories about your favourite characters from basically any show/movie/book? There are stories longer than novels and stories shorter than this blog post. I know fanfiction isn’t for everyone, but you can’t deny that whether you read or write it or not, the fact that it exists for free is amazing.

Yahoo Answers

No matter how dumb your question may be, you can probably get an answer on Yahoo Answers. This place is a treasure trove of information. And since most people don’t delete their questions, you can search their questions to find similar ones instead of asking your own. I have, in the past, asked a few questions on Yahoo Answers and had success with answers. This is a great example of people coming together to help one another in a mostly good-natured way, and a good example of the collaborative economy.

Aziz Ansari saying

We truly are privileged to live in a time where so many amazing things are available to us online for free. We don’t appreciate it enough. This post is my way of paying tribute to these seven services that make my life so much better. What are some free services/sites that you love that I didn’t mention? I’d love to know, so share the goodness!

That’s all for now!

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