Finally, A Quiz I Can Ace!

As you may have heard from the people screaming about it online, Ontario’s new PC Government has announced they will be immediately repealing the 2015 Sex-Ed Curriculum, and “temporarily” replacing it with the 1998 curriculum. Which begs the question: What the fuck? But also: could you pass the 1998 sex-ed final exam? Take this quiz to find out!

It was tough (though admittedly not as tough as it’s going to be for anyone who is at all different to function in our province’s Progressive Conservative reality), but I got every single question right. Now it’s your turn. Fire up the dial-up and give it a go. Quiz: Can you pass the 1998 Sex-Ed Curriculum final exam?

Let’s Do A Grammar Quiz

The Globe and Mail has put out a grammar quiz. Apparently it’s the third annual, but this is the first time I can recall having seen it.

I did ok. I scored 12 out of 16 which according to them is a well done, but I’m going to go ahead and be mad at myself anyway because it should have been a little higher. There were a couple that straight up caught me, but at least once I hit the button and immediately yelled “dammit!” I can’t be too disappointed though, because at least it means that our country’s best known national newspaper doesn’t consider me a complete idiot.

You can try your hand at it here, and then make fun of me because you scored better than I did even though I’m the one with the website and god I suck below.

Welcome to the third annual Globe and Mail grammar quiz. This list of 16 questions includes spelling, usage and grammatical errors published in The Globe and Mail and noted by our clever readers. It’s a sampling of both common and not-so-common mistakes.
The test is multiple choice. If you score 12 to 14, well done. Higher than that makes you a charter member of The Globe’s good-grammar fan club. Good luck!

Pick Of The Litter: A Fun Little Movie About Guide Dogs

I’ve been meaning to write about this movie, but I wanted to see it first. Now I have, so here I go. It’s a documentary about GDB, the school that trained Trix and Tansy, and it’s called Pick of the Litter.

It’s the story of five guide dog puppies, and the process they move through as GDB figures out if they will become guide dogs. Basically, it answers pretty much every single question I get asked by the public about the process of training guide dog puppies. It’s available in theatres in select cities in the states, and I know it was shown in Toronto back in May but I don’t know where else it’s getting shown in Canada. But now, it’s available for rent from places like iTunes and Hulu. The great thing about watching it through iTunes is getting the audio description is as simple as making sure it’s on in your media settings under accessibility. If you watch it in the theatre, you have to download this app called “Actiview and do this kind of cumbersome thing where it needs to hear the movie so it can sync the descriptions. I’ve never done it, I’m sure it’s awesome, but this felt a little easier, even if I could find some random theatre near me where I could watch it.

It’s definitely very cute and has some sad moments in it, but it makes it clear how many people are involved in raising a guide dog puppy, and how nothing is a guarantee.

Then, after you’ve watched the movie, you can take the Pick of the Litter quiz and see which puppy in the litter is most like your pup. I was sure they would say Tansy was like Phil, but apparently the quiz thinks she’s like Patriot. Hmmm. Not sure I agree, but hmmm. It thinks Trix was like Primrose. Hmmm. I would have put her as Poppet. I’m not doing well at this.

So if you like puppies, are interested in how guide dogs get to be guide dogs, or both, check it out. It seems pretty well-done.

Fake News! Or Is It?

Randy Cassingham, A.K.A. the This is True guy, has a game for us to play. Can you tell real news stories from ones that are totally made up? I have no idea why this might be important.

I got three out of five, but it should have been four. One I got wrong because it sounded too true to be specifically true and I thought he might be trying to throw me off with details, as silly as that might sound. As for the other, I just flat messed that one up.

By the way, you don’t have to subscribe to the newsletter to get your results. I highly recommend that you do, but there is a skip this step button if you don’t want to or already have.

The Donald Trump Insult Match Game!

Let’s play a game.

Remember back in January which feels like years ago because everything that didn’t happen within the last five or ten minutes feels like years ago when Donald Trump called a bunch of countries shitholes? That, obviously, was not the first or last time he’s gone out of his way to insult an entire nation. In this quiz, there are 12 examples of other times he’s done it. Your mission is to match the dickheaded remark to the country it was aimed at.

For each question, four choices are given. Once you make your choice, look up at all the answers again because a brief rundown of what he said will appear under the right one.

I got eight of them. I should have had nine, but it’s early, I haven’t had my tea yet and I gave a reasonable yet obviously wrong answer to question four.

Have fun, assholes!

Get To Know Your Friends…A Little Too Well

Let me try and explain the soundtrack. Years ago, my parents got their computers full of nasty viruses and malware, and they were receiving tons of spam. I was trying to figure out how things got so bad, and mom said that one day a pop-up came up asking her to click on the flying ducks to win a prize. That pop-up probably wasn’t good news, but mom thought it was a harmless little game. Now, there are potentially identity-stealing Facebook quizzes. I think they are the new duck. I don’t want this new duck, but whenever I say “the new duck”, this song appears in my head.

“Please be aware of some of the posts you comment on,” the Sutton Police Department in Massachusetts wrote in a cautionary message. “The posts that ask what was your first grade teacher, who was your childhood best friend, your first car, the place you [were] born, your favorite place, your first pet, where did you go on your first flight … Those are the same questions asked when setting up accounts as security questions. You are giving out the answers to your security questions without realizing it.”

When I think of how many people fill out those quizzes, it scares me. I know they’re not all bad, but they sure do like to ask a lot of security questions, so even if they’re not actually hoovering up the information, they’re causing you to splatter it all over people’s feeds, leaving it open for other people to hoover up.

I’m so glad my folks don’t do Facebook.

Oh, and by the way, this is a pretty great commercial about identity theft. Now, I can’t not call hockey “skatey punchy”.

Would You Rather…?

We’re going to do this Gill thing a little differently today. She sent in a bunch of odd scenarios under the subject “Which would you rather?”, so I’m going to try to decide. Let’s see how this goes.

Would you rather be eaten by a shark, or forced to watch the movie Jaws every day for the rest of your life?

This is interesting, because it depends on the circumstances. If I only have to watch it once per day every day for the rest of my life, I’d do it, painful as it would be. Yes it would cost me two hours and four minutes of my life each day which adds up to a lot of wasted time, but it still leaves plenty of room for me to go about the rest of my life as I please. But if the deal is that I have to spend the rest of my life doing nothing but watching Jaws, I’m feeding myself to that fucking shark. it’ll suck for a while, but at least it’ll be over comparatively quickly.

Would you rather be strong in a world full of brittle boned people, or the only brittle boned person in a world full of strong people?

I’m the strong one, without question. I can’t guarantee that I would never shatter some crumbly motherfucker for getting on my nerves, but I absolutely trust one of me to use that power more wisely than I trust 7 billion beasts to all be nice to me forever.

Would you rather never eat your favorite food again, or only eat your most hated foods for the rest of your life?

This might sound strange, but I don’t know what my favourite food is. Beyond a few things I’m really not that picky, and there’s a lot of stuff I love. But when I hate something I reeeeeeeeealy hate it, so if never having another slice of let’s say apple pie saves me from a lifetime of pineapples on pizza and tomatoes on hamburgers, it’s been a good run, apple pie.

Would you rather be super rich and live in isolation from the rest of the world, or would you rather be extremely poor and live in a house with all nations?

I had to think hard about this one because although I am a very friendly, outgoing person who does well in social situations even with strangers, I really don’t like being around or having to talk to people all that much. So giving me a bunch of money and saying Steve, not only will you never have to want for anything material ever again but you also get to be alone a lot is pretty tempting. But being by yourself a lot is quite different from being a hermit, and I know that eventually I’d start missing certain family and friends, so I guess I’m poor and surrounded by humanity, goddammit!

Would you rather be the only survivor of a train wreck but have no memory, or sacrifice yourself to save four hundred people?

This one’s easy. I’m dead. Not only did I just save 400 people, but I also don’t have to live the rest of my life being haunted by questions about something that everyone but me knows I was a part of.

Would you rather wake up naked in a dumpster every morning or dress in garbage every day?

I’m all about that dumpster. Once I get out and clean up, maybe there’s a good story about how I got there. And even if there isn’t, I still get to walk around wearing something that’s not garbage until I ultimately screw up and we start over again.

Would you rather be extremely in shape but have a person shaped tumor growing out of your side, or weigh 600 lbs and not be able to do much?

I submit that this question is based on a faulty premise, that being that anyone with a tumour the size of even the smallest possible human could be considered to be in shape or would be able to do much of anything, but I’ll work with what I’m given.

Being 600 pounds, while certainly coming with its share of complications and limitations, would absolutely be preferable to having the equivalent of a conjoined twin growing in me. Hell, maybe I became 600 pounds because I got to indulge in all of my favourite foods while watching Jaws every day, which might have even been kind of fun for a while.

The tumour…there’s literally no upside to that. Even the surgery that might fix it is far more likely to kill me than the one that might help me not be 600 pounds anymore.

So yes, I shall be fat.

Which one of you assholes said “er”?

Would you rather be stoned to death, or deal out the stoning on some random stranger?

Neither. But since I must choose…gaaaah…this isn’t easy. Even though I wouldn’t have acted alone, I know me and I know I’d be guilty all the time about not stopping it, so I guess I’m dead.

Would you rather have your internet history broadcasted to the entire world each day, or never use the internet again?

My internet history is probably tame compared to a lot of you, an opinion I would hold even if this didn’t exist to back it up. But purely on principle, there would be no internet in Steve’s life without even the most pathetic attempt at an illusion of privacy. I spent the first 20 years of my life without regular access to it, and as much as it’s helped me in the almost 20 since, I’d figure out how to go without again.

Would you rather live each day in the excruciating pain my friend Jeff lives in, or be the one who gets to inflict similar pain?

Even without knowing all of the specifics, I don’t hesitate long before saying that I’d rather live the pain, because I have little desire to inflict physical pain on others or to deal with the mental pain that would come with having to do so.

Would you rather only see the world in sepia tones but never have close friends, or would you rather never see again and befriend whomever you meet?

Just gonna throw this out there, even though it might make me look stupid. I had to Google what sepia tones are. They’re basically a slightly friendlier version of black and white, in case you’re as uneducated as I.

As for the question itself, there’s nothing for me to think about. I don’t see at all now and I make friends easily, so we’ll just go ahead and keep things as they are.

Would you rather perform backbreaking tasks but live a long life, or tell others to do backbreaking tasks and die with in a month?

I’m dead, and will lie comfortably in my casket, back unbroken.

Would you rather never talk again or talk in quotes?

“I’ll take the quotes, though I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with the frequent urge to punch myself in the face.”
–Me, just now.

Would you rather have infinite knowledge but be selfish, or would you rather be selfless and learn as you go?

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think truly selfless people exist. There are people who do heroic things without much regard for their well being and people with a tendency to quietly put others before themselves on the regular, but nobody spends 100 percent of his time not looking out for himself. So again, let’s just keep things as they are.

Would you rather know all the languages in the world, or be fluent in an obscure dialect?

Were I selfless I might decide that it would be nice to preserve and pass on the obscure dialect, but I am not, so give me all of the languages. It’ll be nice to be able to say “what have you got on tap today” and “which way is the bathroom, I don’t think that weird thing that I just ate is agreeing with me” no matter where I am.

Would you rather have the constant itch of poison ivy every day for the rest of your life, or be able to give your enemies similar itch and discomfort?

I’m dishing that shit out. Next.

Would you rather learn the ways of the jedi but lose your friends and family, or keep your friends and family but have horrible headaches every time you see Star Wars?

I already get headaches and I’m pretty good at avoiding Star Wars, so let’s keep things as they are.

Would you rather be insensitive to your own pain but feel everyone else’s, or feel your own pain but give one person pain insensitivity?

Would I be giving that person true pain insensitivity or the kind I would get? The way the question is worded I can’t tell. Either way, I’ll keep my own pain. The only thing I have to decide now is if I’ll give the insensitivity to someone I like or someone I hope has a miserable time.

Would you rather have full sight and be depressed, or have none but be happy?

Let’s keep things as they are.

Would you rather be King or Queen of the world, or serve the king or queen of the world?

I think monarchies are bullshit, so I’ll become the king and then do as little as possible with my newfound clout. I’m sure I’d toss out a few proclamations here and there, but not often and only to fix things that aren’t already functioning properly.

Would you rather be able to read in five different languages but be a poor conversationalist, or barely be able to read but be able to hold your own in a conversation?

There’s a place for both, but I think when push comes to shove it’s better to be people smart than book smart, so I’ll read a little slower if I have to.

Would you rather be burned alive or encased in ice?

Pretty sure the end result either way is that I’m dead, but since I must choose, I think I’ll take the ice. Yes it would take longer and yes I hate the cold, but in my mind both of those factors seem much more pleasant than being on fire even for a couple of minutes.

Would you rather be kind and generous but hideous looking, or beautiful and selfish?

Let’s keep things as they are.

Would you rather predict your own death or that of your neighbor?

Oh man, it’s neighbour all the way here.

Knowing when you’re going to die puts a lot of pressure on you. You have to cram a bunch of shit you’ve always wanted to do into an unnatural amount of time and somehow still enjoy it, you have to hunt people down so you can make peace with them, you have to make time you don’t really have to savour a bunch of stuff you’ve taken for granted like sunrises and cake…it’s a ton of work and I’ve got stuff to put off.

But calling when other people are going to bite it? That’s easy street right there. You nail that Jim and Stan are done for next Thursday and Sunday a couple of times and nobody’s ever messing with you again. Ok, so maybe the police department is going to have some questions at first, but after that, you’re golden. And even if people start coming to you for advice about every stupid problem they have, all you’d need to do is answer their questions by muttering Friday the 24th to yourself a few times and they’ll never bother you again.

Would you rather be bitten by a snake or forced to eat tarantulas for every meal for a year?

It says bitten by, but not specifically that I’m going to be killed, so assuming that I have a chance of making it through alive and well enough to enjoy other meals, I’ll take my chances with the snake.

Stay In And Play This Maclean’s Trivia Game Because It Beats Being Outside Where It’s Windy And Grey

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and when I do I like to post them so that everyone can play along and show how much smarter than me they are. So have at this Maclean’s quiz.

Their resident genius, Peter Dyakowski, got himself a more than respectable 80% on the 30 questions. I, no one’s resident genius, scored me a 60%, which I’m totally fine with considering how many times I changed an answer before moving on, something I generally hate doing.

If you play and feel like sharing, let me know how you did. But even if you don’t share you should play anyway, because quizzes are fun.

Can You Tell Your Lossless Audio Ass From A Low Bitrate Hole In The Ground?

I listen to a lot of music and at various points in my life have spent time in recording studios and on the radio, so I have at least a decent sense of the differences between quality and garbage audio. I’ve also read and heard a small but vocal number of people bitching about how horrible MP3s and streaming services sound. Maybe to those folks they do, but to be honest it’s never been one of those things I’ve been horribly picky about unless something sounds objectively awful, like back when storage space was far more limited than it is now and everyone ripped their music in such poor quality that it sounded like it was being performed under water. that drove me nuts. But no matter what anyone says or what anyone tries to market their streaming or download service as being, for general everyday use, a middle of the road to highish bitrate MP3 sounds just fine. In fact, I doubt most people can even tell the difference between compressed and uncompressed music, within reason. If you think you can, why not head over here and get humbled by this quiz.

For each song, listen to all three samples and choose the one that you think is the highest-quality audio.

Doing it through my external computer speakers, I got one out of six absolutely correct. But I only completely screwed up once, choosing the lowest quality on an acapella version of Tom’s Diner. Every other time I struggled with two of the three choices and ended up picking the 320 K MP3 over the uncompressed WAV. I’m not alone, as it looks like 80.6 percent of those who answered all of the questions failed right along with me.

Overall, the majority of users failed this quiz. 29.7 percent of users got two right, while 25.8 percent got three right. Only 1.6 percent of users correctly identified all six WAV files, and only 4.5 percent got five correct.

So what does this all mean? It is hard to make too many conclusions — this wasn’t the most scientific of tests — but it seems clear enough that most listeners have trouble discerning between lossless audio and a high-quality mp3. Regarding Tidal’s HiFi option or Neil Young’s PonoPlayer, our quiz results suggest that most people would not be able to hear the difference in the higher quality audio they offer.

So to summarize, anyone who bitches about the sound of your playlist is either lying, a pain in the ass you should perhaps reconsider hanging out with or Neil Young.

If you feel so inclined, do let me know how you did and how much I suck and don’t truly appreciate music because I’m lame and deaf or some shit.

The Last Name Game

I haven’t posted in forever, and I need to fix that. So why don’t I start off by posting a silly little game that I stole from someone’s Facebook page?

Every answer must start with the first letter of your last name!

Last Name : Headrick
An animal: horse
A boys name: Henry
A girls name: Hope
An occupation: hairdresser
A color: Hazel? Hot pink?
Something you wear: hat
A drink: hot chocolate
A type of food: hamburger
Something found in the bathroom: hair spray
A place: Hamilton
A reason to be late: held up in traffic
Something you shout out: “Hey!”

And that’s mine. I wonder how much fun Steve will have.