Timbits from Canada

This week I gave a talk about the OpenHelix business model and strategies at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). It was a great meeting for me–since I wasn’t giving software training I got to attend the scientific sessions :) I learned about several new tools that I’ll talk more about after I’ve had a chance to explore them some more. I was especially pleased to see some of the new directions that BioMart will be taking.  But here are some quick things I gleaned in the north.  I call them Timbits because the funniest food name I ever heard was the Tim Horton’s donuts shops in Canada.  It is their equivalent of the donut-hole munchkin type things.  But I always wondered what bit of Tim they were supposed to be….alas…

  • The Canadian word for pick-up hockey is shinny.
  • Tim Bits is also the name for some kids hockey programs sponsored by Hortons.
  • This is the first scientific meeting I ever attended where the morning announcements of misplaced items included a hockey stick.
  • There is no apparent equivalent for the SBIR program in Canada for small business.  That’s too bad, it’s been a huge help for us and does stimulate the economy…. And there are Canadian entrepreneurs ready for this.
  • Food allergy labeling on buffets can be really effective and helpful.  The place I was at was great about potential allergens in the food. Unfortunately, the labeling of attendees was less helpful:veg_nuts