The Future Belongs to the Curious!


I stumbled onto this interesting and inspiring video today, and after watching it, I had to look up what SkillShare was all about. The catchphrase at the end of the video is: “The future belongs to the curious”. Well, I am certainly curious, so I googled it. Turns out that SkillShare is a sort of online learning hub. Their slogan is “Learn Anything From Anyone”. Basically, anyone can register to give a course in anything, and then people can sign up for it! Sounds pretty awesome right!?!? It’s not available yet in Vancouver, but you can go to their website here and vote for it to become ‘unlocked’ (I think that means available?) in Vancouver.

Do it!!!!!

Advertisements

More Vancouver Posters!

I found more rad posters/ prints starring Vancouver. I love them!

Drawn map of the city. The artist who made this also makes maps that look similar but are paper cuts. Amazing! Available here on Etsy.

Another cool map. I sort of love maps. From here.

A fun city skyline decal.

   

And my personal faves! They would look so cool together hanging on a wall! From this great little Etsy shop.

Any of these posters would make a great gift for Vancouverites living away from their hometown =) I would have loved to have one when we were in Singapore.  Oh, and they are all available for sale on Etsy. If you have not yet discovered the magic and joy that is Etsy, you should probably go there right now. Ahhhhh handmade bliss……

Upcoming Books!

I get very excited about new books!!! Brett and I are both big readers, our house is chock-a-block with book shelves! So here are a few books I am stoked about getting into soon:

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami- To be honest, I don’t really know what this is about, other than that the title is a play on words of 1984. But I L-O-V-E all his other books that I’ve read and heard good reviews about this one. Plus, it has a wicked cover design. I’m a sucker for that….

    

Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins- The last two books in the Hunger Games Trilogy, I’m really excited to read these as the first one was so good and I couldn’t put it down. Erm….it seems that 5 days into the new year is too late for me to do a ‘books I’m looking forward to’ post because I may have already read some of the books. I read ’em both already! Stayed up late to finish them (which if you know me, is VERY uncharacteristic!). They were both great, although the first book of the trilogy is still the best, in my opinion.

Habibi by Craig Thompson- Brett came home with this graphic novel one day and it is OH SO BEAUTIFUL that I must read it. It’s a story of two refugee child slaves who fall in love. The story is set in a fictional middle eastern country and, quoting from the book’s website, it is “sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter”. Nice!

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick- Again, I’m not totally sure what this story is about, but having read Selznick’s previous tome, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I am sure I will also heart this one. Hugo Cabret was part novel, part graphic novel, so I’m assuming this one is the same style. As a side note, we recently saw the movie version of Hugo and it was fantastic! You should all go see it. But please! Read the book first.

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan- This won the Booker Prize for 2011 and got rave reviews from both professional critics and Brett (my own live in literary critic- so handy!). The main characters are black jazz musicians living in Nazi occupied Europe during the Holocaust. Sounds intense. Newsflash! I have just been informed by my live in literary critic that in fact this book won the Giller Prize, not the Booker. My bad.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt- Ok, I’ll be honest here. I decided that I wanted to read this book based PURELY on the cover. But then I found out that it was a Booker Prize Shortlister. And then I actually did find out what it’s about, which is something western-y (Who needs details? I don’t want to ruin it, yo). I imagine it to be like a Coen Brothers movie starring Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Jeff Bridges.

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde- I actually got this book for my sister Julia for Christmas. I hope she lets me borrow it……HINT…….(after she reads it, obviously). Anywho, Fforde wrote a series of books starring a character named Thursday Next, who works for Jurisfiction, an agency that polices fiction books. The basic premise is that the characters in fiction books are actually alive and that they can come in and out of the books and cause trouble, change the story line, etc. The books in the series are sort of like kid’s books where you completely suspend your disbelief in an alternate view of reality (like Harry Potter’s wizarding world living amongst our own), except that they are written for grown ups. Awesomes. Oh, but the point is that Shades of Grey is written by the same author as those books, but I don’t really know what it’s about, but I’m sure it’s good. Yeah.

Y The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn- This is a graphic novel series that Brett has and loves. There are 10 books in the series (but remember it’s graphic so you can read each one in about 2.45 hours) and I’ve actually already read the first one and it was great. The main character is Yorick Brown, the last man on earth after all the other men were wiped out by some mysterious virus. He is trying to meet up with his mother, his girlfriend and a geneticist who is going to try to clone his genes. It’s the sort of scenario that has the potential for extreme cheese but it’s written very well so it’s not cheesy at all.

So! That’s that! I hope I’ve inspired some of you to read some great new books. Happy reading!

Books from 2011

Here’s another end of the year retrospective…about books I read this year that I fell in love with…in no particular order:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett– I avoided reading this for a while because I didn’t think it would be good. There was so much hype, it made me lose interest, sort of like ‘Oprah’s Booklist Syndrome’ (This is a syndrome which possibly only afflicts me, whereby as soon as a book gets labelled as one of Oprah’s choices, I immediately do not want to read it anymore. It doesn’t matter how much I wanted to read it before.) Anyhoo, someone gave it to me as a gift and so I read it and it was actually excellent! I’m so glad it was given to me!

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin– This book was recommended to me and Brett since we are sort of going through a time of transition in our lives, trying to decide what we really want and what will really make us happy. The author has everything you would think would make her totally happy but feels that she could be living a better life. She embarks on a one year project to see if she can make herself happier. It’s an interesting read and some of the things she finds out are a little surprising- things you might not expect to make a person happier.

The Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle– This book, as the other graphic novels I’ve read of his, is AWESOME! The author and his family move to Burma when his wife, who works for Doctors Without Borders, is transferred there. His other books, Pyongyang and Shenzhen, are equally awesome and based on his time spent living in those places. He has a real eye for picking out the idiosyncrasies of a place.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins– Yes, I know, this is technically a kid’s book. But it’s really engaging and a great story. It’s set in a post apocalyptic future where the characters live in a part of North America controlled by ‘The Capital’. Laws are strict, food is scarce and punishments are severe. Each year, 24 children between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to participate in The Hunger Games, a televised ‘sporting’ event where the children are put into an arena and only one comes out alive. It sounds shocking and horrible, and it is, but it’s a great story of good triumphing over evil.

Now, I know I must have read more good books this year but…..I can’t think of anything. So we’ll leave it at that.

What books did you guys read that you would recommend? I would love to hear!!!

Next up: Books I’m excited to read in the upcoming year!

Laura Knows Best!

My husband Brett has just launched a new webcomic blog, where he will be publishing a comic strip he’s been working on. It’s starring MOI! It’s very funny and I hope you all check it out! Here’s the address:

http://lauraknowsbest.wordpress.com/

Enjoy!

Winter Adventure!

One of the gifts I got for Brett this year was a mystery ‘Winter Adventure’. Basically, it was an evening on Grouse Mountain, either snowshoeing or skating and then dinner at the fancy restaurant on the mountain, The Observatory. I had to book it ahead of time to make the dinner reservations and so wasn’t sure what the weather would be like on the chosen date. The weather turned out to be: DOOM AND GLOOM. Lame. But still fun!

We went night snowshoeing, which I have never done before. We used our new snowshoes that we got for Christmas (Thanks Mom and Dad!!)

It was raining….a lot…..can you tell??

Still happy! After snowshoeing, we went for possibly the fanciest dinner I have ever had, which I wanted to take photos of but was too chicken to try. I think they frown on that kind of thing in posh restaurants? I had venison and Brett had lamb. Delish!

So, one more thing to tick off the life list: night snowshoeing!

Vancouver Posters

Hope you are all having a wonderbar holiday season! I want to share some Vancouver love with you today. Part of the reason I started this blog in the first place was as a place to highlight all the awesomeness that is Vancity. So. Check out these rad posters:

Numero Uno:

From Ork Posters

Numero Dos:

From Darryl Albert  *** My awesome sister Leesa gave me this poster for Christmas!***

Numero Tres:

From Lake Jane. This one is my personal fave, but is sadly not available anymore…

Anyone seen any other sweet Vancouver posters?? I’d love to see them!