Brain Busters

Oh, hello!

Are you here for the answers to my Brain Busters? You’ve come to the right place! 🙂 Answers are below, along with clip of videos related to those events to hopefully bring back memories:


  • Team Canada wins a record-breaking 14 gold medals at the Vancouver Winter Olympics
    (Recap of the men’s gold medal final:
  • The controversial Harmonized Sales Tax is implemented in BC, only to be repealed in an historic referendum three years later
    (Then-Minister of Finance Colin Hansen attempting to dispel myths about the ill-fated sales tax:


  • Protests across the Arab-speaking world drastically alter the political landscape in that region, both for better and for worse
    (A recap from Britain’s Channel 4 of the main events that took place during the Arab Spring:
  • The Vancouver Canucks lose the Stanley Cup Final in seven games, setting off destructive riots in the downtown core
    (Instead of riot footage, here’s Alex Burrows scoring the game winner in Game 7 in Round 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks:



  • An unprecedented flood swamps southern Alberta, displacing thousands of residents and resulting in $1.7 billion in damage
    (CBC’s The National report on the floods:
  • Chris Hadfield becomes the first Canadian astronaut to be in command of the International Space Station
    (Here’s Hadfield’s revised cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, sung at the ISS:



  • Adele’s “25” sets unprecedented sales records, becoming the fastest-selling album ever in numerous territories
    (Here’s her iconic hit from that album, Hello. Bring out the Kleenex:
  • After a mere two-year venture in the country, Target shuts down its Canadian operations
    (A cover of Semisonic’s “Closing Time” by employees at a Target in Victoria on the last day of operations, filmed by a former OTR facilitator:


  • After a referendum intended to silence Eurosceptics in his party goes awry, David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    (Here’s him tendering his resignation in a speech delivered just outside 10 Downing Street:
  • After being snubbed for the Best Actor Oscar five times, Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins for his role in The Revenant
    (Leo’s acceptance speech:




  • Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” becomes the longest-ever #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, with an unprecedented 19 weeks on top
    (Here’s the song, either to your enjoyment or to your dismay:
  • The first-ever image of a black hole – 500 million trillion km away from Earth and nearly three million times the size of our planet – is released
    (A video from YouTuber David Muller aka Veritasium:

Brain Busters Answers

Oh, hello!

You likely might have been directed here out of curiosity from The Globe. Whether that is true or not, either way, here are the answers to my Brain Busters questions. Explanations for what the sequential connections are follow the table with answers.

What would you expect to come fourth in these following sequences?


(Flag of South Africa)


(Flag of Seychelles)


(Flag of Mauritius)


Answer: (Flag of Ireland, e.g.)

A3E E3I I5O Answer: O5U
Absorb Confound Engulf Answer: Grinch, e.g.
Deus Donne Hommes Answer: Pferd
Seven years in Ireland Six years in the Philippines Five years in France Answer: Four years in the USA, e.g.
Corn Pedal Ptytch Answer: Ruplets


First Row: The sequence is that each succeeding national flag has one less colour than the one preceding it. The answer would then be any national flag with three colours (e.g. Ireland, United Kingdom, France, United States, etc., THOUGH NOT CANADA!)

Second Row: The number indicates how many consonants are between the two surrounding vowels (i.e. B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U). As there are five consonants between O and U, the answer is O5U.

Third Row: You need to look at the first and last letter of each word to see the sequence. Each word begins and ends with succeeding letters of the alphabet; therefore, I need a word that begins with G and ends with H, e.g. grinch, grouch, graph, etc.

Fourth Row: The sequence comes from a quote attributed to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. He famously said “I speak to God in Latin, to women in Italian, French to men and German to my horse.” The sequence required that you identify that the words given are the words mentioned above in their corresponding languages. Pferd is German for “horse,” and hence the answer to this sequence.

Fifth Row: The sequence is that each succeeding country is a presidential republic with a term for its head of state that is one year shorter than the one preceding it. I therefore needed a country whose president serves a four year term (most obvious example is the US, but Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Iceland, Iraq are some other lesser known equivalents)

Sixth Row: Each of these words can be preceded by a numerical prefix, which increases in value by 1 as you go down the row. In this case, it would be unicorn, bipedal, triptych, quadruplet. However, any other example with “quad” as its prefix would be an acceptable answer (e.g. quadriplegic, quadriceps, etc.)

When in the Philippines, do as the Filipinos do.

IMG_2955I realize that I don’t maintain a written blog (as opposed to a photo blog, i.e. Instagram) as often as I should (which is a shame). Given that I ramble a lot in writing, I really should hone my love of verbosity here.

In case you haven’t already seen this photo on my Facebook and Instagram, this is the Saint Augustine Church – colloquially known as Paoay Church – a colonial-era Catholic cathedral built in the early 18th century, but took 90 years to complete. It’s named after the town it is located in, Paoay, in the southwestern part of the north-easternmost province of the country, Ilocos Norte. It was named a UNESCO site in 1993.

Not a lot of people head up to the northern part of the island of Luzon, usually choosing to either stay in Metro Manila and its outlying areas, or south to the beautiful blue waters and white beaches of the Visayan islands, or southwest to the island of Palawan and its mostly undiscovered territory. And it’s understandable: the roads going up to the north (particularly the Ilocos Region) aren’t all that great (picture two lane highways all throughout, with the occasional construction here and there), and it can take anywhere up to 15 hours to get up there.

But those who decide to venture up here (note: there are also flights leaving daily from Manila that aren’t expensive) will be rewarded with not only history and architecture, but the beautiful nature that the region is spoiled with.

Things I’m so over…

(begin mini-rant)

I’m quite over people who feel the need to get rid of food in their that contains gluten, GMOs, and MSG, without doing their due research.

One, removing gluten from your diet is good for you only if you have coeliac, because you could get violently ill if you don’t! Besides, most of the food that you remove from your diet that contains gluten is rather processed. So it ain’t gluten, but the crap you’re consuming that’s doing you harm.

Two, a lot of food we eat – think corn and banana – are GMOs. Would you like to eat the non-GMO version of these two delicious foodstuffs? Because if you do, there’s really not much to consume. Go have a Google at it. Go on, I dare you!

Three, the anecdotal stories about people suffering from adverse effects allegedly caused by eating MSG products are just that: anecdotes. There is not enough scientific evidence to assert that MSG is dangerous. Besides, it’s found naturally in a lot of umami-rich foods. Which is why I find it silly for Asian restaurants to proudly put a sticker on their restaurant door stating that their food is MSG-free.

(end mini-rant)

After a lecture…

After a lecture in my Canadian Healthcare class today, where we learned about the healthcare system in the United States, and how fatally flawed it is, I am more appalled and disgusted than ever before at how pathetic the most powerful nation in the world regards the health and welfare of its citizens. What stung […]

Jour 102. 0h21 HAE.

I can’t believe that I’ve been here over one hundred days, and I only have one full day left in Montreal. I’ve made so many memories, and so many new friends. I’ve learned so much about myself, such as things I didn’t know I could do, things I didn’t know I was capable of doing, things I didn’t know I would like, and my independence has been throughly tested, and I can confidently say that I’ve succeeded. 🙂

I’m ready to go home back to my lovely Vancouver, but I’m going to have a very hard time bidding farewell to all the people I have become so close to over the past three months. Montreal has definitely become a second home to me (as clichéd as it sounds), and I know I will be back very soon, (and I know it won’t be very long as well). 

Definitely not adieu, definitely not au revoir, but rather à tantôt, which is a uniquely Quebec French phrase which means “see you later.” I’ll see you later, Montreal. 🙂

Jour 91. 21h37 HAE.

(Note to the reader: I actually started writing this post eleven days ago as it’s actually Day 102, but again, because of busyness at work and then coming home feeling like a zombie, this never saw the light of day until now.)

And again, a huge gap in between posts. >.< I’m not good at this, as you can plainly see. But I did have an eventful past weekend: I decided upon an overnight stay in Ottawa!

I left Saturday morning to catch my train for 10:00. Even though it was possible to walk to the train station (through the RÉSO, of course; it was freezing that day, and definitely not a good idea to walk out in the cold); I got lazy and took the long route (i.e. Metro from McGill to Berri-UQAM, switch lines from Green to Orange, and travel to Bonaventure, and make a short walk to the Central Train Station, or Gare Centrale as they would say here).

It was actually my first time ever to take a train. It was a very unique experience. It was very similar to flying on a plane, but the staff was almost entirely male, and Internet and cell phones were more than permitted.


A bit of a blur here, but this is my train leaving the station in Montreal for the 2 1/2 hour trip to Ottawa.


This was taken just as I left the Island of Montreal.

It wasn’t a long train ride, but I got there a little after noon. It was still chilly, as the weather in Ottawa isn’t very different from Montreal. I took public transit to my overnight lodging (which was only a twenty minute bus ride, and the buses in Ottawa are quite good (although I didn’t realize until the next day that transit would have been much cheaper had I purchased discount tickets at certain vendors).

My host was very welcoming. Her house was in a quaint neighbourhood in the east side of the city, but only one bus ride away from Downtown (and it was only about a 20 minute ride). I really wished I stayed a little longer so I would get the chance to talk to her and get to know her a little more, but a jam-packed weekend is just not enough time. I do hope to stay there again. 🙂

I got settled in my room, and was intending to go explore a little later on in the evening. However, my lack of sleep that morning got to me, and I snoozed off until the sun set in the evening.

I visited the business district to “see the sights,” so to speak, but it was deader than a morgue. Absolutely quiet at 7:00pm on a Saturday night.

Hung with my friend and her Ottawa posse until 1 in the morning. Had to get home “earlier” than I would have liked, as my sightseeing day was the next day.

Day 92 (Jour 92):

Woke up bright and early (around 8:00 am) to get ready for my sightseeing day in Ottawa. 🙂 Took the bus and made my way to the landmark that everyone has to see when in this city: the Parliament of Canada.

IMG_0157 IMG_0158

Unfortunately, it was raining the whole day, so I was quite soaked when I got to Parliament Hill. Saw a lot of what is seen in the media, like the House of Commons, the Rotunda, the Senate, and the like. I also got to go up the Peace Tower to see the view, but alas, the rain made it very foggy to see really anything. So no good photos to share with you unfortunately. 😦 But here’s some of the interior of Centre Block:

IMG_0169 IMG_0166 IMG_0165 IMG_0163 IMG_0161Then I went to the ByWard Market to grab a bite to eat. In particular, I went to get the city’s famous Beaver Tails! I got the beaver tail with cinnamon and lemon wedges that I believe you were supposed to squeeze on top of your pastry. Absolutely delicious!



Then I proceeded to the Royal Mint, but their English tour was one hour from when I came there. So I quickly went next door to the National Gallery to see some art. Not quite my cup of tea, but I did see some interesting photos (though I wasn’t allowed to take pictures). I did take a picture of this giant metallic spider outside the building.

IMG_0196Then I went to the Royal Mint to see how they make the collector and investor coins. Unfortunately, cameras and photography were strictly forbidden, so no pictures here, malheureusement. After this, a quick shopping trip to Rideau Centre was mandated, and I  then went straight to my lodging to pack up, and return to the train station to make my way back to Montreal. After a slight delay of the train, I returned to the largest city in La Belle Province after 11:00pm. 🙂

Jour 71. 1h59 HAE.

I still don’t know how I managed to survive this long all by myself. But I’m glad I’m coming home really soon. I’ve always missed Vancouver (sometimes more than the usual), and I can’t wait to be back in my own room, with my familiar surroundings (that’s not to say that after two and a half months of living here in Montreal, I’m still unfamiliar with things, though).