How To Win At Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors

Want to Win at Rock-Paper-Scissors? Here’s How

Rock-paper-scissors SEEMS to be a completely random game . . . but an expert claims you can use strategies to help you win.

Graham Walker is a rock-paper-scissors veteran, and organized the last five World Championships of ‘RPS’ . . . that’s what ‘insiders’ call the game.

He says the key is to realize that, while the game may SEEM random, most humans aren’t, and act according to predictable patterns.

The first rule of RPS is “Rock is for Rookies.” Inexperienced players tend to lead off a game by throwing rock first. No one knows why, but it means you can lead off with paper and earn yourself a quick victory.

Next is the rule of threes: People don’t like to throw the same thing three times in a row. They think it makes them seem too predictable. That means that if someone has thrown rock twice, you can bet they won’t do it again. So if you throw scissors, you’ll either beat their paper, or settle for a tie.

This next tip seems kind of sketchy, but Graham says it works: People tend to mimic gestures they see other people making. So if you make a lot of hand motions holding out two fingers, you might be able to subconsciously influence your opponent to throw scissors. And you’ll be waiting with rock.

Finally, after losing, a person often leads off the next game by throwing what would have won last time. So if your paper covered his rock last time, he’ll probably throw the scissors that would have cut your paper. And you’ll be waiting with rock.

Bird House City in Picton, Ontario

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Just on the southern city limits of Picton, Ontario lies a community park filled with more than 100 birdhouses. Birdhouse City as it is known, was the hobby of Doug Harnes, a former superintendent with the Prince Edward Region Conservation Authority. The houses are scale models of some of the heritage buildings in the county including cottages, restaurants, churches and more.

The project started in 1978 with a re-creation of the historic Massassauga Park Hotel. The birdhouse is a massive 80-room structure measuring four feet by 54 inches, and supported by two poles. Over 3,000 miniature shingles were nailed on one by one on the roof, and the entire building was exact right down to the artistic scrolls on the roof top.

Soon other houses followed as community groups became involved in the project to help recreate famous buildings and structures and businesses in the area.

The one thing you’ll notice in Bird House City is the lack of actual birds. While some have nests, the high density housing never really caught on with the birds. The project is in need of some upgrading and maintenance, many of the poles are missing houses and it’s hoped that despite the lack of birding in the park, the architectural heritage angle will help it thrive as a destination for visitors.

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Birdhouse City is located at Macaulay Mountain Conservation, on County Road 8 (Union Street, on the eastern outskirts of Picton, Ontario.)

Buddha Dog

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Buddha Dog
172 Main Street West
Prince Edward, ON

If you need a great idea for a Calgary food truck, look no further than Picton, Ontario’s Buddha Dog. But this dog shop isn’t a truck, it’s an actual sexy little joint on Picton’s main drag.

Buddha Dog‘s philosophy is simple, find local ingredients and pair them on simple plates. You choose a sauce (sweet, savoury or spicy) and a cheese – they put it on a mini wiener and bun.

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The staff are relaxed in their service, much as if they were bound to drop into down dog to meditate between orders if the pace becomes too much to handle.

The menu is basic; dogs, salads and some soup. That’s it – which makes it perfect for a food truck. You should be able to crisp the buns, grill the dogs, squirt the eclectic sauces (smoked ketchup, chardonnay mustard, aioli) and slice the cheese (chevre, old cheddar, jalapeno jack) quickly to keep up with demand.

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The tiny 2oz dogs are quickly grilled on a panini press and feel more like hot dog sliders. Don’t be embarrassed to order a flight of 3, heck you would probably have room for 6 if you were mildly hungry.

I like the concept, but it expected more from a bricks and mortar location. The dogs are tiny, the philosophy of the restaurant is on a wall behind diners while an abstract mean nothing map of local growers, farmers and wineries faces you. The staff is loose, their effort slack and lunch left our group wanting more (yes, we did hit a drive thru on the way home).

The logo is cute, the idea is an interesting locavore gourmet twist, it just feels incomplete – unless it was on wheels.

3 dogs, 2 bottles of water $14.

187 Chelsea Rd, Kingston, Ontario


A few years back Arcade Fire had a great online video for We Used to Wait. It asked you for the address of your childhood home and it used some HTML 5 magic to instantly transport you to your childhood memory.

I’ve always remembered the address 187 Chelsea Rd. It’s the first home I remember. The place our family lived in the 70s before I turned 10. Typing that old address into the search bar for the Arcade Fire video was the first time I’d thought of using Google Maps to relive the first neighborhood I remember and today I did it for real.

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I’m in Picton for a wedding, so I took the day to visit Kingston, Ontario – just an hour away and the first house I can remember living in. I was born in Cornwall, Ontario, but lived in Kingston from 2-10 years old, so this is the furthest back I can recall.

Coming into town, I went east down Bath Rd and turned south on Days Rd. The gas station on the corner isn’t the same, but there is still one there with the price much higher than the 35c a litre I remember my parents filling up our big green van at. A half block down was Our Lady of Lourdes, the church where I had my communion and I was an altar boy.

Then, on the left, a big empty field. In the distance you can see a penitentiary that looks like Disneyland, in between there used to be a drive-in theatre where we would watch the films out the rear window as we drove down Days Rd coming home from family nights out.

We turned right on Hyde St and a block down I saw my dad’s old bus stop. Then a left turn onto Chelsea Rd. The road was more narrow than I remember. The road bends at the intersection with Hyde and my first memory is riding my bike down this block singing We Are The Champions on my way home from soccer practice.

187 Chelsea Rd is a dozen houses down. Wow. That was my house. I take a picture of the outside, then my wife takes a picture of me. The extra room on the right wasn’t always there, it used to be a carport where we kept our tent, where I hung a target for pitching practice.

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I decided to go around back, there was no fence. And then it comes, the yard I used to run in, a tree is missing, the view of our back neighbors, where the shed was – and then a man comes into the back and asks me what I’m doing.

I used to live here, I tell him. And he shrugs, “I figured.” I tell him all about my first house and then the back door opens. The new owner, who looks a lot like Greg Kinnear, pops his head out.

I lived here when I was 8, I beamed and asked to be let in.

There’s the basement door. The door I was afraid to open without a light on. There’s the kitchen, now renovated and missing a wall, but much smaller still than I remember. There’s the dining room, there’s the living room where my dad told me his mother had died. There’s the fireplace where I first laid out snacks for Santa.

Then upstairs. There’s the room I shared with my brother. The worn parkay floor and railing where I tossed a bag of used eye patches downstairs threatening to runaway. There was my first room on my own, now an office. There was my parents bedroom where I remember watching the results of the 1980 Quebec Referendum. There’s the ensuite where I watched my dad shave.

dearphotographThen to the basement. The door I was afraid to open, the panelling my dad put up. The corner where I would fall asleep sometime during the first period of Hockey Night in Canada. The wall I practiced my slap shots up against a camping mattress. The workshop where I, at the age of 9, asked my mother how she could vote for Flora MacDonald and betray Pierre Trudeau.

I told the Greg Kinnear lookalike all of it. He smiled, played along and asked questions about the colour of the wallpaper and the history of flooding in the basement.

I was beaming as I walked back to my car. I wanted to cry, I wanted to laugh.

There was the corner I first played “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” with the neighbor. There was the driveway across the street we used to skateboard because it was asphalt. There’s Ed’s house with a For Sale sign on it, the old neighbor who gave the entire 1974-75 hockey card set and used to take me bass fishing early in the morning.

Then we drove the 4 blocks I walked to my elementary school. The route I used to take with Stacey Connelly, my elementary school love. There’s the corner store where I first shoplifted gum. There was where Ms Majoros‘ portable used to be. There’s where I broke my arm, there’s where I got my tongue stuck licking an icy pole. Across the street, there’s where I used to play hockey.

And it went on and on and on. You don’t know how much you remember until you try to remember.

Go ahead, play with the Arcade Fire video. Type in the address of your childhood home into Google Maps and if you’re lucky the Street View cars will have visited and you can do that route to school.

View Larger Map

Better still – go there, ring the doorbell and step inside your memory.

How To Find The Locations Of Calgary Food Trucks

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There is a revolution happening on the streets of Calgary this summer, a food revolution.

One of the biggest trends for modern foodies is the food truck – a gourmet grease trough on wheels where spontaneous fusion is the focus. The wild creativity and personality of food trucks have given them their own hit tv show on the Food Network and once Calgary massages city by-laws to allow food vending in public places, we’ll have our fleet of food trucks too.

Since food trucks are mobile, their locations can change everyday. And that’s where the challenge lies in conquering your food truck cravings – finding them. Social media is what launched the food truck frenzy in Los Angeles. Using only social media, Kogi BBQ would announce their locations only to pull up to long lines of people already waiting for the awning to fly open. And that’s how it will work in Calgary.

Here’s how you can find the locations of Calgary Food Trucks:

Alley Burger Food Truck Calgary - 2Word of Mouth – When the trucks were “beta testing” the week before launch, finding out from friends was the best way to find a location. If you see a truck with their awning open, tell somebody. Their tastebuds will thank you for it. Since many food trucks don’t have huge storage facilities and can only serve a limited number of people they can, and do, sell out.

Twitter – Just as in LA, the revolution will work with social media. Each of Calgary’s food trucks has a twitter account and that’s the best way to find their locations and menu updates. @alleyburger, @perogyboyz, @jojosbbq, @fiascogelato, @chefmariomobile, @loscompadresmx, @fries_n_dolls, @thenoodlebus, @thenaacotruck

Facebook – If twitter isn’t your thing, they are also hammering down location updates on Facebook.

Aggregator in LA, many sites have popped up using mapping features to track the food truck movement to help you find them quickly. In Calgary, you can use and @yycfoodtrucks to track the trucks. Eat Street (the popular Food Network Show and smart phone app) promises a Calgary edition will be coming soon.

Eyes / Smell – seriously. Just open your eyes and look for the bright colours, long lines and then take a deep inhale of the vibrant scent. You’ll find them eventually.

Which of Calgary’s food trucks is your favorite?

Calgary Eats: Wurst is First

Wurst restaurant and beer hall

Wurst Restaurant and Beer Hall
2437 4th St SW, Calgary

Twitter: @wurstcalgary

Wurst is one of Calgary‘s newest restaurants and it’s easily one of the most stylishly designed boites in the city.

Wurst is a huge 2 level restaurant with a bright beer hall in the basement and huge trees lining the centre of the upstairs dining rooms.

While many high end steakhouses have lockers for the regulars to store their favorite booze, Wurst has stein lockers where the patrons can keep their radically odd beer mugs for safe keeping.

Wurst stein lockers

The menu is german fusion. Spatzel adorns many of the meaty mains while sausages populate the plates for sharing. Take as exhibit one the chicken wings:

Wurst wings

If buffalo had actual wings, this is what they would probably look like. They sat on the side of our table for a good 5 minutes while we picked at a tomato and cheese salad and Nurnberg sausage sliders – we were that intimidated. Once we braved a bite, they were delicious. HUGE sausages are stuffed inside the wings making for a bold and filling side. Don’t order these as something before your main meal, these are perfect AS the meat of your meal.

The servers at Wurst all wear cute barmaid styled tshirts that bridge the gap between Hooters and a traditional Bavarian Brau Haus – they’re sexy, but appropriate.

The whole joint is upscale with a side of tongue in cheek. Open your three-folded menu and you’ll see a gothic script reading “We’re Bringing Mustard Back.” Randomly throughout the night oom pa pa music came through the speakers and I can only dream what will happen in this basement during Oktoberfest.

I’ve already made my reservation.

2 500ml beers, salad, sliders, wings and black forest cake: $73, tip made it $85.

Calgary Daytrips: Columbia Icefields

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At about 3 1/2 hours non-stop from Calgary, few would call a visit to the Columbia Icefields a daytrip from Calgary, (and it wasn’t the intention for us, but when you bring the wrong tent poles, camping is out of the question).

Officially, the 308km drive from Calgary to the Columbia Icefields is listed at closer to 5 hours, and that adds up all the time you’ll want to take to stop along the way. The Icefields Parkway is filled with stunning scenery and features pullouts every few kilometres to give the driver a chance to stop and stare at what the passengers have been oohing and aahing about during the ride.

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Admission for a 90 minute snow truck tour of the glacier is $49.95 for adults, or $24.95 for kids. Explore Rockies has a great summer promo where you can promise to Unplug & Explore and score free tickets for the kids to take this or a number of other adventures in the mountains.

You can also book hikes up the glacier that start at the toe and take you to the headwall.

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The trek on the ice was really all about the truck for my son. For the past 30 years these beasts have been clawing their way on to the surface for people to explore and sip some of the purest water on the planet.

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If you don’t want to make it a daytrip, you can stay at The Glacier View Inn and the towns of Jasper and Lake Louise are just an hour or so drive north and south from the centre. You can also camp near the Columbia Icefields with Rampart, Wilcox Creek and Columbia Icefield campsites all close by. If you’re camping you’ll want to bundle up because you’ll be at nearly 7000 ft of elevation and the temps can hover near 0 even at the end of July.

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