Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Free Cup of Coffee from Starbucks

Fill out this pledge form and get a free cup of coffee from Starbucks. Basically Starbucks wants you to pledge to doing something to help the environment and they will give you a free cup of coffee. All it will cost you is your email address.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Coffee Combats Alzheimer's

Recent research has show that coffee may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. However it looks like to get the benefits you'd need to ingest 500 mg of caffeine which is the amount in about 5 cups of coffee.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Book Review: Two From Simon Winchester

Thanks to Susan for introducing me to the writing of Simon Winchester. So far I've been able to read two of his books. The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary and The Map That Changed The World. Both books shed light on areas of history that are not well illuminated.

The Meaning of Everything details the long slog totaling 68 years it took to create the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. While The Map That Changed The World follows the life of William Smith who is basically the father of modern Geology. His findings were instrumental in a number of areas including the determination that the Earth is much older than 4000 years. Unfortunately, William Smith was not high born so he was continually snubbed by English society. The story of his accomplishments was very interesting.

I'm rating both books a borrow as they are interesting reads but not necessarily required for your library at home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Starbucks Cup Competition Results

As previously reported Starbucks was running a contest to get ideas from customers on how to reduce their dependence on paper cups. Well the results are now in and the winner of the contest wasn't a cup that uses less materials, rather it was an idea. Specifically, bring your own cup to Starbucks. The Karma Cup idea rewards every 10th person who brings their own cup into Starbucks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Book Catchup

It's been awhile since I've done a book review so I figured I'd do one blog post to catch up on what I've been reading lately.

Business Books


Graphic Novels


  • Mysterius the Unfathomable is a fantastic book by Jeff Parker and Ottawa's own Tom Fowler. Mysterius is a real magician who everyone assumes is a scam artist. When an seance goes wrong hilarity ensues. This book is a must buy and not to be missed.


  • I recently re-read Grant Morrison's run on Batman including Batman and Son, Batman: The Black Glove and Batman R.I.P. I must say that it holds together much better when you read it all together as it is much easier to pick up on all the threads that Morrison is laying down. God help you if you were trying to keep it all straight on a monthly basis. I have to rate this series as a borrow. It is some good comics but not Morrisons best work.

  • Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality is the most meta piece of fiction I've read from Brian Azzarello. The basic conceit is that we follow Doctor 13 who runs around the world debunking supernatural and alien phenomenon. Which is nutty considering he lives in the DC Universe where this stuff really does exist. Humour abounds as Doctor 13 is continually confronted with real examples of supernatural phenomenon that he hilariously tries to debunk. The book is quite funny and you should borrow it if you can.

  • Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 1 is one of the most ambitious books I've read in awhile. It is a re-imagining of a story line from Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy updated for our century. And I really have to say that artist Naoki Urasawa and writer Takashi Nagasaki really pull it off. Even though I've read the original story in Astro Boy I'm constantly surprised by the story and art of this book. I certainly is a worth predecessor of the Astro Boy legacy. Go ahead and buy it.


Science Fiction


  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest was awesome. Told from alternating point of view of two characters, a mother and her headstrong son, we get an alternate history steam punk story about life in Seattle during the civil war. This book gets a buy rating from me and is available in audio book format read by Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading. Which means I may just have to buy it again!

  • I was pretty psyched up about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
    by Seth Grahame-Smith but ended up being a bit disappointed. The concept of a young Abraham Lincoln becoming a vampire hunter seems to write itself but I was a bit disappointed by the execution. This book is a borrow.


Young Adult


  • The Kane Chronicles, The, Book One: Red Pyramid is Rick Riordan's latest young adult series. In this book we are introduced to Egyptian mythologies. It is a worthy successor to the Percy Jackson series of Greece mythologies. I like how Riordan is teaching kids about various cultures and mythologies while entertaining them. This a good read for your 10 year old or older child. Buy it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mood Mugs

These mood mugs that I gleaned from Foolish Gadgets are a great way to announce your current state of mind to the world while sipping your morning brew. I have a feeling the sleepy mug would get a lot of use in my case.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free WiFi is Coming to Starbucks

Starbucks has announced that free wifi service is coming to all stores starting July 1st. Of course this is in the USA only. No word as to if or when this will be available in Canada.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Anathem on Sale for $5

The hard cover version of Neal Stephenson's amazing novel Anathem is currently on sale at Chapters for $5. This is an incredible deal, about 85% off the regular price, of an amazing book. At 937 pages you are paying about half a cent per page. This book, as well as all of Stephenson's books get a must buy rating from me.

Music Monday: Adam War Rock

Adam War Rock is a professional geek emcee. He's done some great songs of them my favourite has to be the Scott Pilgrim recap song called I Gotta Believe! Adam War Rock, aka Eugene Ahn, is currently hard at work on his first studio album. Last week he release the first song off the album, Starving Artist, for digital download.

Now you can download it for free but it is also setup so that you can pay Euge for his hard work. Stop by and purchase the song for $1. You won't be disappointed. Plus you'll be helping out a talented artist who is just on his way to super stardom. In 5 years when he's entering the Betty Ford Clinic for substance abuse you'll be able to say I knew him when and I enabled his rock star lifestyle just a little bit.

Euge is also the co-host and producer of the War Rocket Ajax podcast with Chris Sims of Comics Alliance and the Invincible Super Blog. This nominally about comics podcast is always a great listen so you should check that out when you have time too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ice Cap Sale

Tim Hortons has reduced the price of their small ice cap to $0.99 for the summer. This is down from a regular price of $1.40. Personally, I've never been a fan of the ice cap but there you go...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Caffeine Addicts Really Need that Morning Cup of Joe

Apparently caffeine addicts really need that morning coffee just to get back to their base level of alertness. Coffee addicts still feel more awake after their morning coffee but it's just a reversal of the effects of caffeine withdrawal. People who are mere mild abusers of the bean, philistines, get a jolt of awakeness from their morning brew.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Design Cup, Win $10,000

Starbucks is sponsoring a contest in which you design the next generation of disposable coffee cups. The grand prize is $10,000 and the top 5 runner ups will split $10,000 among themselves. The interesting thing about the contest is that you get to keep your intellectual property. Your cup design stays yours.