Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Kutcher discovered combat training Krav Maga last year as he prepared to tone up for his role in Killers and now he's obsessed with running, Bikram yoga and Muay Thai fighting with the French national champion - and he insists he's committed to his extreme workouts, so he can dominate in desperate times.
Guns still work in desperate times. Brains still work in desperate times. You can keep fit all you want, but in the end, you can still be shot 4 times before you close on someone to use all that fancy hand to hand stuff. And really? You try that stuff on wildlife and you're more likely to become bearfood.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
He looks at the flow of particles from the Sun, and how they interact with the upper atmosphere, especially air currents such as the jet stream, and he looks at how the Moon and other factors influence those streaming particles.
He takes a snapshot of what the Sun is doing at any given moment, and then he looks back at the record to see when it last did something similar. Then he checks what the weather was like on Earth at the time – and he makes a prophecy.
I have not a clue whether his methods are sound or not. But when so many of his forecasts seem to come true, and when he seems to be so consistently ahead of the Met Office, I feel I want to know more. Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Some of my friends may know how I feel about this time of year. I love getting together with friends and family, I love getting up with my kids christmas morning, I love the anticipation of what's under the tree and of course everyone loves getting presents. I even like the idea of brotherly love with all men and women and spreading of joy and kindness to all. Despite all the annoying songs, movies and other trappings that come with the christmas season my biggest pet peeve with this time of years actually has nothing to do with the commercialism of christmas. My biggest pet peeve, the thing that annoys me the most this time of year...are christians.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The idea behind WikiLeaks is that life should be an open book, that everything that is said and done should be immediately revealed to everybody, that there should be no secret agreements, deeds, or conversations. In the fanatically puritanical view of WikiLeaks, no one and no organization should have anything to hide. It is scarcely worth arguing against such a childish view of life.
The actual effect of WikiLeaks is likely to be profound and precisely the opposite of what it supposedly sets out to achieve. Far from making for a more open world, it could make for a much more closed one. Secrecy, or rather the possibility of secrecy, is not the enemy but the precondition of frankness. WikiLeaks will sow distrust and fear, indeed paranoia; people will be increasingly unwilling to express themselves openly in case what they say is taken down by their interlocutor and used in evidence against them, not necessarily by the interlocutor himself. This could happen not in the official sphere alone, but also in the private sphere, which it works to destroy. An Iron Curtain could descend, not just on Eastern Europe, but over the whole world. A reign of assumed virtue would be imposed, in which people would say only what they do not think and think only what they do not say.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Here's a money quote. According to Wikileaks:
Read it all.
Cuba banned Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a “mythically” favourable picture of Cuba’s healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a “popular backlash”, according to US diplomats in Havana.
The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.
But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so “disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room”.
Castro’s government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it “knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.”
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I wonder how much Mexico is paid for their security forces for hosting this conference?
Oh, that's right, it doesn't matter because when Canada hosted an event with protesters, it was about us not being prominent on the world stage and being too small to host such a costly event.
or is it more Canada's education system needs to do some work?
I can only say thanks to Matt Gurney for setting the record straight on the article that Mssrs Craig and Marc Kielburger wrote in the Toronto Star.
From the Kielburgers:
Maybe that’s a little harsh. Nonetheless, Canada’s prominence on the international stage started back in 1956 when Lester B. Pearson launched the world’s first peacekeeping mission during the Suez Crisis.
Today, Canada’s failure to gain a seat on the Security Council is just the latest in a series of gaffes that make Suez seem like ancient history. The government and the opposition need to look beyond finger-pointing for solutions to restore our reputation. The last 12 months of foreign policy haven’t exactly reflected our past. When it comes to dealing with other nations, there is a well-known list of blunders.
I, of course, disagree with the Kielburgers in that Canada's failure to receive a seat on the UN Security Council has more to do with the ideology of the current US President and less to do with our contributions on the world stage. That having been said, it's arguable that our reputation on the world stage hasn't been taking a hit for some time as Canada has "progressively" drawn back from participating in most of the exercises which might have gained us some prominence. It has scaled back its military to the point where we can't even sustain a 3000 person force in a war zone indefinitely. It now comes to a war zone wholly under equipped to do the job at hand. Canada has turned into, arguably, the little brother that tags along and impedes the grown ups from getting the job done by siphoning off their supplies and directing their attention where it isn't needed.
Now, that isn't to say that Canada doesn't do heavy lifting, and I'm proud of our men and women in uniform for doing the job that they do despite the impediments to their effort. What I AM saying is that Canada won't "gain prominence" on the world stage by promising to unilaterally destroy our economy to save a few fractions of a percentage of global emissions. It won't gain prominence by throwing the population of a Toronto High School into a war zone, regardless of if we lead a larger international force. Canada doesn't gain prominence for these things.
Canada gains prominence by standing up for what it believes in. Canada gains prominence by providing the world with a safe, secure and ethical source of energy resources. Canada gains prominence by fielding a military that can sustain a military engagement over decades at a size of greater than a division. Canada gains prominence, in short, by being a help, not a hindrance on the world stage. It's not the environmentalists and the peaceniks that need to view Canada in a positive light, it's the rest of the world.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
- God exists. Imagine how boss the right wing would be without the religion stuff making them bug-nutty. Without God, even Glenn Beck isn’t all that crazy.
- Most people are evil. One has to look long and hard for a truly bad person. Imagine how groovy the left wing would be if they just trusted most people to take care of themselves and each other. Without cynicism, even Michael Moore isn’t all that…oh, never mind.
- Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. Your country doesn’t owe you jack shit. It’s not supposed to take care of you or stop you from being unhappy or offended. Government should do nothing beyond protecting individual rights—and “rights” doesn’t mean “anything that would be nice to have.” The second half of that quote is the problem. It should read: “Ask not what you can do for your country.” You don’t need to do anything for your country—you do everything for yourself, your family, and other people.
As for #3, I would point out that if you are doing everything you can to ensure that yourself, your family, and other people are successful, then you don't NEED to do anything for your country - it's receiving benefits via the trickle down effect. Every citizen has certain responsibilities to ensure that democracy works, but as long as those responsibilities are being carried out then you should have no problems.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Donna says it rather eloquently. People have been concerned about "climate change" and its predecessor concepts "Global warming" and "Global cooling" since the late 80s, but as she points out:
One scientist who, as scientists are wont, felt “very certain” his theories were correct. That’s all the evidence Wirth needed. And the rest, as they say, is history. Hansen’s testimony was a turning point - after which the mainstream media, the environmental lobby, and much of the known world became critically concerned about climate change.
Which brings us to the crux of the matter: If Hansen’s scientific arguments were so convincing, if his evidence was so cut-and-dried, so “beyond debate,” why did Wirth stoop to political theatre, to “stagecraft” – as a television journalist charitably terms it?
In other words, why attempt to dramatize the concept? Why not present the evidence in clear, concise, scientific terms and lay out the evidence such that it supports your conclusions? Why not allow opposing viewpoints to view (review?) and work with the evidence to allow for a conclusion to be reached by all? Why begin the process in the political arena first rather than the research arena?
There are all questions which have yet to be answered by proponents of anthropogenic climate change, and I believe that the tide is turning such that nothing further will be started until those questions have been answered.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I've looked on the internet and I've found lots of sites that talk about the side effects of steroids, they all sound like they know what they're talking about and they all claim to have studies backing up their claims and many of them contradict each other.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Provincial NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter argues this highlights the inadequacies in the government's essential services law.
"If you are a right wing government that believes there should be essential services, how do you pick and choose who it will apply to?" he asked Thursday.
So let's see if I have this right...
The NDP doesn't like the essential services legislation. They and their buddies fought tooth and nail against it, both before it was passed and after it got royal ascent. We get it. They think that it's bad for their side, and they're right. But to now argue that MORE people should be covered by what they feel is a bad piece of legislation seems, I don't know, ironic at least and hypocritical at most. I hate to point this out to the NDP and the unions, but if you don't like a piece of legislation, you use the doctors' withdrawal of services to prove why the legislation SHOULDN'T BE THERE AT ALL, not to complain that the piece of legislation they don't like should apply to MORE people. It's using an exception to prove their own rule, and while it makes sense that they would complain that someone else has it better and to want that too, they are going about it the wrong way.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
So let's see if I get this right...
CTV and Global both pay taxes to the government, some of which are siphoned to the CBC in order to allow CBC to operate, compete for viewers, programming and advertising dollars. In return, the taxpayer (in this case, CTV and Global, along with Corus, Rawlco, etc) are blocked from getting ANY details as to how its money is spent? Not only that, the CBC is attempting to force their parent companies (Bell and Shaw) to carry ALL of their local channels on Satellite?
Sorry. Don't buy it. CBC can have their next budget allocation when their funders (we the taxpayer) are told how they spend their money, and when CBC justifies why it is necessary to have more than 5 affiliates (one for each time zone) carried. For that matter, why does the CBC have more than 5 affiliates PERIOD? I think it's high time that the CBC started tightening their belts along with the rest of the federal and provincial governments. It's high time that the CBC was forced to reveal information about their operations. Its shareholders have a right to know.
Monday, December 6, 2010
"In the end, I think what is going to happen again, is that common sense will prevail, and that in fact, we'll end up with a bridge that is sympathetic to what currently is there. But we'll have to wait and see," Atchison said.
James Winkel with the city's Heritage Advisory Committee is part of the group hoping the bridge isn't torn down. He realizes things are at the eleventh hour- but hopes to potentially sway the vote.
"This is a bridge that's too important to be taken apart piece by piece and replaced. I think it's something that should be designated. There are a number of reasons why it should be, most importantly, it's historical significance," Wilkie said.
With all due respect to Mr. Winkel, historical significance should not impede relevance or common sense.
When I visit Saskatoon, I rarely if ever used the traffic bridge. I always used the Sid Buckwold, the Broadway, the College bridge or the Circle drive bridge. The traffic bridge was always to far out of my way or too cramped when I did use it. It isn't an efficient people mover.
To be quite frank, if the city, provincial and federal governments are going to put money into this project, it had better be an improvement over the old bridge. A new bridge built to look like the old bridge will cost somewhere between $27 and $34 million. A new bridge will have walkways for pedestrians and wider driving lanes for traffic and dare I hope, a second driving lane each way. In short, a new bridge will be a significant improvement over the old bridge at a lower price.
Now I'm not against keeping heritage sites as keepsakes or shrines, but if the refurbishment of the existing bridge will cost more, then chances are there will be little if not any trace of the original bridge other than the shape and design. All of the metal would be replaced with more modern metals. The roadway would be replaced, not to mention the road bed. The pillars would also be replaced or refurbished to a newer condition. In short, all of that work, for more than the price to just do a wholesale replacement (that looks like the original except that it's wider and more functional), which is what will pretty much be done anyways.
As I said. I'm all for designating heritage sites, buildings and structures where something historically significant occurs, but if the only reason to impede the replacement of an old bridge which is past its useful life and outgrown its original design is simply because it is old, then I'm sorry, that just doesn't cut it. Tell me that a battle of the NW Rebellion (yes, it was a rebellion against the lawful government of Canada, but that's another post for another day) happened on it, and I'm good to go. Tell me that a treaty was signed in the middle of it and we're good too. Explain to me that on that bridge, the settlements on each side of the river met and agreed to amalgamate, and I'd be good to go too. But just to tell me that it should be kept in current form because it's old, you've got some work to do to explain to me why I would pay more to refurbish than to replace.
Update: On other thing to note after reading the information from the City of Saskatoon website:
Refurbishing the existing bridge come with an annual price tag of $150,000 to maintain the newly refurbished bridge over its lifetime. That's $12 million over 80 years added to the price tag of the bridge. Compare this to the $1.2 to $1.6 million price tag for maintenance over the lifetime of the Steel Truss replacement bridge, and you have one more reason to choose replacement over refurbishment.
Relax, we’ll replace oil when we need to. American ingenuity will kick in and the next great fortune will be made. It’s not pretty, but it is historically accurate. We need to run out of oil first. That’s why I drive an SUV: so we run out of it more quickly. I consider myself at the vanguard of the environmental movement and I think the individuals who insist on driving hybrids are just prolonging our dilemma and I think that’s just selfish. Come on, don’t you care about our Mother Earth? Don’tcha?
Not much more to say, is there?
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Now, I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I can reason out the pros and cons of a debate, so for this debate, here it goes:
Pro (emphasis mine):
Rob Sampson, president of N-Viro, the company taking the sludge from the city's sewage treatment plants and processing it into usable compost, said he wishes people would tone down the rhetoric and examine the facts.
"You've got to consider that this isn't coming right out of the toilet and into the field. It's being treated at the sewage plant and our plant," he said of their operation in an industrial park near the Halifax airport.
The company uses alkaline waste products from coal-fired power plants and the cement and lime industries to stabilize organic waste through pasteurization and disinfection.
"We need to make decisions based on science and not hysteria," said Sampson, referring to the local buzz Page generated when she visited a site where city crews had applied biosolids this past summer.
"It's probably the most regulated and the most watched land application of any material including commercial fertilizer."
Sampson said even some of the more complex materials that may get into the sewage deteriorate over time and don't get into the plants.
He argued that N-Viro's process creates a product that is safe because it must follow stricter regulations than animal manure.
and the Con (again, emphasis mine):
Page, a Halifax native and environmental activist, came under some criticism after she came out strongly against the use of biosolids.See the problem with Ms. Page's argument, other than the fact that she's not a scientist, is that it doesn't matter how long they take to treat the solid waste, she won't believe that it's safe. Period. She won't listen to governmental regulators (whom I assume she wants to ensure that the process is safe), she won`t listen to those people that know what they are talking about. That`s it. She knows, and she won`t change her mind that it could be made safe.
"I'm always getting that, 'Oh, look at the young actress. She's not a scientist, blah, blah, blah!'" Page said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
"Of course I'm not a scientist but I'm allowed to have common sense and care about the planet," she said, adding that Halifax is still her primary residence.
Page, who was nominated for an Oscar Award, says she has no desire to create drama or make anyone look bad but she does have concerns about sewage sludge — even after it is treated.
"It's taking all the waste of our current society with its sickness and toxicity. That's what they're treating in a very short amount of time and what they are saying is safe and, quite frankly, I don't believe it."
Now, I too can be accused of the same thing at times, but I usually listen to the scientists and investigate the evidence before I start spouting off. What this comes down to is that the city of Halifax, like so many other cities in Canada, is returning to the same model as served our pioneering fore-bearers who gladly took the contents of their outhouses and returned the nutrients to the land in order to help with the next year's crops. In this case, it's being done with 150 extra years of science and stricter regulations to waylay Ms. Page's concerns.
"What do they want in the end? Do they want us to go back and let it run into the harbour? There's only so many options, unless people stop going to the washroom," he said.I suggest Ms. Page follow his Mr. Streatch's advice and stop excreting until such a time as her waste can be disposed of safely.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
The other morning in the work truck we were listening to the radio. Now, I already hate the station we were listening to because its a country music channel but on this particular morning I got quite agitated my the rhetoric being spewed as though it were truth. The people were talking about facebook and they were saying that it is a pick up site and that they can't believe how open people are on there. I know that some people will agree with this, some people keep their shit to themselves, not me (as you may have noticed).
I think people are more afraid of the internet and information than they really should be. First off you can block the people you don't like so you don't have to have contact with the stranger who commented on your post inappropriately. Second you can set your privacy levels so that no one can see what you say, so that only your friends can see what you say, so that friends of friends can see what you say or so that the whole world can see what you say, you can also do this with photos, comments, wall posts and almost everything else you do or are in on facebook. The only people who can access your stuff are the people you want to or maybe someone who is overly interested and capable of hacking your account(which is, I would argue, considerably rare). Third, what is it you're hiding, why do yoy need so much privacy anyway, what exactly are you afraid of, I'm proud of who I am and who I want to be and what I think and what I have to say. If you have an opinion the why would you hide it? Or maybe its not fear, its shame perhaps you're doing something you are ashamed of and don't want anyone to know. Personally I have nothing to hide and am not worried about what people might find out about me.
These are just my thoughts about how ridiculous it is to worry about being open on facebook because even if you are afraid or ashamed of what you might say or put on facebook, YOU CONTROL WHO SEES IT. Just check out your privacy settings..
And that doesn't even touch the idea that facebook is a pick up site. Here's a thought, people who aren't commited to their partner and are interested in cheating or finding someone new will do just that with or without facebook. In fact there are hundreds of chat rooms and websites dedicated to the business of cheating, there are always adds on other sites talking about them and many of them guarantee that you will get laid tonight if that's what you want, no facebook required. That's not even counting regular dating sites on which people can lie and find someone to date that isn't their partner. There are thousands of singles sites and if one were so inclined one would have no trouble finding someone that could be picked up. Don't blame facebook for the behavior of its users. People who want to cheat will find a way to cheat.
So stop being afraid of facebook, if you are a good person who can trust your partner then you have nothing to worry about. Be open and opinionated and spread your thoughtful point of view amongst your friends or maybe even the public if you are confident enough
Friday, December 3, 2010
It's lazy because, as a very smart friend of mine said, "it is literally the least you can do", if you want to donate your time or money into finding real solutions to these issues then you have my full support in doing so. If you want to go out and help coucil the people dealing with these issues then you not only have my support I will drive you wherever you have to go to help out and while I'm there I might even lend a hand. But if you want me to wear red or change my facebook picture or grow a moustache (when I don't intend to) then you my friend are going to be disappointed.
It's insulting, because I know about these issues, I am a savvy person who pays attention to the world around him and I'm sure most of your friends and family are the same. We all live in the world and are aware of the problems in it. There is no one that is not touched by most if not all of these issues so the idea that we are unaware is quite insulting.
Lastly the things you want me to do have very little or nothing to do with the problem associated with it, oh I know all about assigning pink to breast cancer and blue to prosate cancer and whatever to whatever but what I'm saying is that these colors were arbitrarily picked and have nothing to do with finding a cure for cancer. And as for growing a moustache this too has nothing to do with prostate cancer, if you want to grow something that has relevance to the issue grow your hair long and donate it for wigs for cancer patients, that is at least doing something. Then of course there is this new one, change your profile pic to a cartoon from your childhood to raise awareness of child abuse. I really don't think this is right on any level, can you honestly say that this makes sense, if anything I think it makes light of child abuse and completely misses the boat on "awareness raising".