It’s Smartifying – The 2011 Canadian Election

*Smartifying: Where I demonstrate how ignorant I am on a particular topic (making you feel like a mental GIANT), and then google or wiki the subject at hand to prove/disprove what I thought I knew.

I am deeply ashamed to admit this, and I realize that I am going to get a lot of backlash for saying it, but I don’t plan to vote in the upcoming election – partly because I haven’t done my taxes in 4 years and I don’t want the government to find out my new address, hunt me down and throw me in the slammer for tax evasion, but mostly because I hate politics and the whole thing bores me. If it was convenient (ie – the polls were in my house), I would consider going but my vote would be uninformed and based solely on the fact that the NDP is the only party on the far left I can think of to vote for without throwing my ballot away.

Anyway, my complete lack of knowledge about the election (Is it a national election? When is it? Who are the candidates? What are they promising us this time?), and my deep shame and obvious ignorance, makes this a fantastic Smartifying entry. Yay!

Here’s what I think I know about the 2011  election:

  • It’s national.
  • A vote for the liberals is a vote for Michael Ignatif (Ignatif?). Thanks, televised slander ads!
  • Jack Layton is kind of sexy in a weird “I have a crush on my friend’s pervy looking uncle” way.
  • It takes place at the end of April or the beginning of May.
  • Candidates include Harper (PC), that Ignatif dude (Liberal), and Layton (NDP).
  • Parties include PC, Liberal, NDP, Independent and Green.

I wish I could speculate on their platforms, but I have no idea. I suspect Harper doesn’t like the gays, but that’s all I got. Healthcare what? National debt what? Old people what? No clue.

I’m going to research the crap out of this and, hopefully, have an entry breaking it all down posted by end of day tomorrow.

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It’s Smartifying: What is a CC of Blood?

It’s a Smartifying entry, in video form! Thanks for the suggestion, Jeremy!

*Smartifying: Where I demonstrate how ignorant I am on a particular topic (making you feel like a mental GIANT), and then google or wiki the subject at hand to prove/disprove what I thought I knew.


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Linzovision (Described Video for the YouTubularly Impaired):

Even Whitney, who has been going to bed around midnight for the past few days, falls asleep during this video because she’s so bored. I am too tired for an interesting (or even accurate – I refer to a cubic centimetre of blood as a “millimetre” of blood. God! Millilitre millilitre!!) vlog. Will make up for it tomorrow (maybe).

It’s Smartifying – That Che Guevara Dude (Part 2)

Ummm… Clearly I am an idiot. Seriously. Poor Che. He is such an inspirational figure and before this entry, all I thought about him was “he looks like someone I would date” (hilariously, his Wiki article says that his nic name as a kid was “pig” because he didn’t bathe and wore the same shirt every day of the week. TOTALLY my type).

He was a doctor! I had no idea. By all accounts,  he was a very smart and passionate man. I don’t know if I agree with the violence and the executions, but he was definitely a sexy bitch.

Here’s  what I found out:

His last name was Rivara.

WRONG. It’s  Ernesto “Che” Guevara, aka El Che. Apparently he got the nic name “Che’ because he used to say it so often (che being Argentinian slang in the same way that “eh” is Canadian slang).

Che was a Mexican.

Embarrassingly WRONG!! He was born in Argentina, BUT he did live in Mexico for awhile so I wasn’t completely off base. At least I knew he spoke Spanish?

Che was a revolutionist.

CORRECT! He was a Marxist Revolutionary who was so bummed by the poverty he saw around him that he sought to overthrow capitalist society (using force) and transform the world. He was a key figure in the Cuban Revolution.

Che was in prison at least once in his life.

WRONG! Whoops!

Che is dead (he probably died in prison).

WRONG (again). The Bolivians executed him and then chopped off his hands (kind of gross).

Che rode a motorcycle in a cute little hat – kind of like an arty Mexican James Dean.

I thought I made this detail up, but not only did Che ride a motorcycle, he wrote a book about his bike trip called The Motorcycle Diaries! Cha-ching! Not exactly the Mexican James Dean, but he did wear a cute little beret (which I assume was part of his military uniform).

Stoners love Che.

According to the Wiki, Che is a symbol of “youthful rebellion”.

It’s Smartifying – That Che Rivera Dude

I have no idea why I was thinking about him this morning, but it suddenly occurred to me that I have no idea who Che is. I don’t even know his last name. It’s something like Rivera or Guivara or something that rhymes with air-ah. I thought it would make a great Smartifying* entry, so here we go.

Here’s what I THINK I know:

  • Che was a Mexican.
  • Che was a revolutionist.
  • Che was in prison at least once in his life.
  • Che is dead (he probably died in prison).
  • Che rode a motorcycle in a cute little hat – kind of like an arty Mexican James Dean.
  • Stoners love Che.


*Smartifying: Where I demonstrate how ignorant I am on a particular topic (making you feel like a mental GIANT), and then google or wiki the subject at hand to prove/disprove what I thought I knew.

It’s Smartifying: The Rorshach Test Part II

I received the following email from my friend who’s in school to be a psychologist (the same friend who posted the Rorshach article to begin with), regarding my last post. Not only am I extremely grateful to her for shedding some light on this topic, but I am over the moon that she gave me permission to post her letter (and not just because it saves me from having to research and word this all on my own!).

Mir,

I read your blog post, and felt like I should give you a better reply. Yes, the Rorshach is kept secret so that lay people are not influenced when giving their answers (in my scientific opinion, this test is horseshit, so keep that in mind). It is exactly what you said, there is a complex scoring system, so if the crazies knew how to answer so as not to seem crazy (sidenote, I am the worst psychologist ever calling them “crazies”), that would defeat the purpose. However, research shows that the Rorshach test only identifies those with schizophrenia, and really, do you need an inkblot test to tell you if someone thinks that aliens are broadcasting signals into their brain? C’mon, that kind of disorder is pretty obvious.

Another similar situation that comes to mind is with some personality tests. We’re trying to screen out people who “fake good” or answer in a socially desirable way. I think this is mostly used with the extreme social deviants, or forensic type stuff. It’s helpful to identify individuals who are trying to be seen in an extreme positive light, as this can be indicative of some kind of problem worth investigating further. Conversely, there are other scales with really bizarre items that can identify people who are trying to “fake bad”. This is useful to identify someone who may be pretending to be nuts in order to get out of a crime.

There are sometimes questions in scales that aim to identify this issue as well. If you ever fill out a questionnaire that asks you things like “Do you ever feel jealous?” or “Do you research all candidates before voting?” you have filled out a very common social desirability measure. They want you to say no to the first one and yes to the second in order to say that you’re a liar, basically.

In order to gain access to the “secret” stuff, a psychologist needs a minimum of an MA usually, and will have to undergo specific training for that assessment tool. Once the training is done, you are expected not to share that info. There’s no contract or anything, but it’s more of a professional respect thing. There is a section in our ethics code specifiying that we do not share this type of info. However, there is also a section saying that we shouldn’t sleep with clients, and who really listens to that?

It’s Smartifying: The Rorschach Test

Clearly, I need to research more before spouting off about topics I know very little about. I do it all the time, and it’s always a smartifying experience when I’m made aware of my ignorance. Tonight, for example, I learned that some things in psychology are hidden from the general public. Okay, to be honest, I have no idea if there are “some” top secret items on the shrinky agenda. . . yet – I just know of one in particular: the Rorschach ink blots.

My friend uploaded a link to this news story about a bunch of professionals getting their knickers in a knot because the original Rorschach tests were posted on Wikipedia (complete with common answers given when people are asked what they see in the pictures). In addition to not really caring WHAT information is on the internet (the more, the better is my motto), I failed to see why anyone would care that a few nonsense images were posted online (they weren’t even dirty!). I was all like “What’s the big deal?! I could go to the library and look up that exact same information in a psychology book. IDIOTS!!”.

But then my friend pointed out that you CAN’T find that information in the library – not the original ink blots, anyway. Apparently, the psychologists keep them under wraps. Which, I guess makes sense if you don’t want to influence what people see in the images, or if you don’t want psychos to trick you into thinking they see a butterfly on the plate when really they see their dad skull-fucking a corpse or something. If I was nuts, I’d totally lie and tell people I saw a vase of flowers rather than something violent or obscene.

See? I’m spouting my mouth off again. I don’t know how the mentally ill think and I don’t know the complicated scoring system (or whatever it is) that’s used to analyze patients with these tests. I’m just saying . . .

Anyway, I am really shocked that this kind of information is kept from us lay people. I mean, I expect the doctors who are hired by pharmaceutical companies to cover up the cure for AIDS because that entire system is corrupt, but I never expected the mental health community to keep something as seemingly trivial (to me) as ink blots from the public.

It raised a bunch of questions for me. Like, who has access to the original Rorschach plates? Do you have to promise not to show anyone? And, most importantly, what else are the psychologists keeping from us?! I MUST KNOW!!

It’s Smartifying – How Russell Brand Piqued My Interest in Stalin Cont.

How Russell Brand Piqued My Interest in Stalin – Part 1 is here


Image Taken from the Wikimedia CommonsOh my goodness, what did I get myself into?! That wiki is HUGE and filled with a bunch of historical references my little brain can’t even begin to fathom learning about (mostly due to an overwhelming sense of boredom). That being said, there were a few interesting nuggets in the Stalin Wiki (or the Joe File, as I like to think of it).

I giggled sheepishly for a full minute when I found out that Stalin WAS THE LEADER OF THE FRIGGIN SOVIET UNION FOR A ZILLION (30-ish) YEARS, and not, as I had originally suspected, the leader of a mini-Nazi party in Germany. As soon as I read it, I had one of those “Oh yeah!!” moments where you feel like a complete dork; In the back of my mind somewhere, I knew that Ol’ Joe was the leader of the Soviet Union – somewhere dark and dank and buried beneath piles of empty, useless information like what Britney Spears was wearing when she attacked that pap with an umbrella, and the complete mission statement from my old workplace at The Call Centre… It rang a bell, is what I’m saying.

Here’s What I Know About Stalin

  • He might have been a Nazi.

    He was not a Nazi. He did, however, have a non-aggression pact with Hitler in the early years of WWII, but then Hitler betrayed him and broke the pact by invading some Soviet held territories and the Soviet Union. After that, he decided that he didn’t much like Adolf, and fought against the Nazis.

  • He was German.

    He was born in Gori, Georgia in 1878.

  • He possibly invented communism (you know, with Marx and all that. I kind of hope not considering I majored in Sociology and my ignorance will be doubly appalling if I don’t know the names of all of Karl’s friends).

    Stalin did not invent communism, but he was a Lenin Supporter and a Marxist Revolutionary. It seems like he put his own spin on Marxist-Leninism, though, and historians apparently debate whether he was true to those ideals.

  • He was definitely a communist. Or a fascist. Maybe he was a fascist? Probably a fascist.

    Joe was definitely a communist. In fact, he was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee.

  • He is most likely – probably definitely – dead.

    Stalin is as dead as a doornail. Ol’ Joe officially died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1953, but many people now think that he was poisoned by some dude named Beria.

  • His first name is Joseph (I learned that from the YouTube comments).

    He was born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvil, but everyone knows him as Joseph.

  • He was a meanie.

    Stalin is definitely someone you did NOT want to mess with. He exiled people, sent them to labour camps called gulags (aka Soviet concentration camps), single-handedly enforced government policies that created a famine that killed a ton of people, committed genocide, and generally murdered anyone who opposed him. Historical accounts paint him as harsh and rude, and he was so mean to his own son, Yakov, that Yakov attempted suicide. The kid shot himself, but survived, and Stalin is quoted as saying something like “he can’t even do that right”.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to google some free Stalin documentaries that I can stream to my computer.