Another Canadian First… Copper Wire?

Posted on April 5, 2011 by

Received from a Facebook Friend…

***

COPPER WIRE

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.

Not to be out done by the Brit’s, in the weeks that followed, an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story published in the New York Times: “American archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the British”.

One week later, Canadian Dept. of Mines and Resources in Northern Canada reported the following: “After digging as deep as 30 feet in Northern Canada in the Northern Ontario region of Thunder Bay, a self-taught archaeologist, reported he found absolutely f— all. Jack has therefore concluded that 250 years ago, Canada had already gone wireless.”

Just makes you bloody proud to be Canadian, don’t it! 🙂

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Hobo with a Shotgun – Movie Review

Posted on March 28, 2011 by

Because it was filmed in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and Produced by local Rothesay boy (Jason Eisener), we decided to go and see ‘Hobo with a Shotgun‘ tonight.

The movie was hilarious, I haven’t laughed that hard out loud in a LONG time!

It was filmed in a very noir setting, even using old film techniques. And be prepared for lots of silliness that includes a distinct blast from the past. From K Cars to Bricklins, old Canadian money to street violence, topless women beating on a man hanging as a pinata to George Stromboulopolous getting killed by a skate blade… Every cheesy line and every cheesy cliche you have ever seen in a splatter film was used, abused, re-used, re-abused, spewed out as part of another cliche, then recycled into yet another cliche.

It was like watching ‘Warriors’, ‘Escape from New York’, and ‘Mad Max’ meets ‘Dawn of the Dead’, and ‘Texas Chainsaw’ during a viewing of ‘Halloween’ at an intersection while they duke it out with crude, makeshift weapons in an attempt to see who can depict the most gore, pretend human organs, and gallons of fake blood. Classic ‘B’ cult flick stuff. It must have taken the Dartmouth Fire Department months to get the red stains off the streets!!! 😉

However, Melissa was less impressed. She basically had these three statements:

(1) “I think my IQ dropped while I was in there”,
(2) “Whoever thought of this sh*t must have been stoned”, and
(3) “I can’t believe this is the kind of sh*t the government gives them money to make”.

I guess everyone’s a critic. She’s must be leaning toward voting Conservative… 🙂

Anyway, after Melissa’s vivid critiques, I knew I would be forced to absolve her of any responsibility for all the chick flicks she has made me watch to date, and likely quite a few for some time to come… It was worth it though, we can laugh about this one for years! 😉

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FOLLOW UP: Bose Quiet Comfort QC 15 Headphones (with Mobile Communications Kit)

Posted on March 7, 2011 by

This is a follow-up to my review of the Bose QC15 active noise reduction headphones, titled Bose Quiet Comfort QC15 Headphones (with Mobile Communications Kit)

A reader named Mark contacted me and asked for some more details, including sound quality of the Mobile Communications Kit in varying, less than ideal conditions. So, I decided to go for a short walk and get some outside background noise, and then also grab an equivalent memo indoors. It was very windy outside, so it was a great opportunity to test the microphone’s abilities in the wind. In both cases, the in-ear audio remained superb (I listened to music). As for microphone quality? Listen and make up your own mind.

Here is a sample of an iPhone voice memo, recorded Indoors, with very little ambient noise.

Here is a sample of an iPhone voice memo, recorded Outside, with significant ambient wind noise.

Hope these help give you a better understanding of call quality during ambient and windy conditions!
Chris

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An epitaph for humanity

Posted on January 26, 2011 by

Just read a great article entitled “Voyager and the Will to Explore” about the two Voyager missions that are still going strong, lasting far longer than anyone ever imagined they would, and they are sending back information that we would have no other method of obtaining.

But the future of space exploration is in serious jeopardy, and a lot of the problem is the latest recession and subsequent Wall Street bailouts, which emptied government coffers as they bailed out criminal bankers.

When (it isn’t if, it really is when) we get hit by the next asteroid, or if global climate change makes things unbearable and we perish because of that first, our epitaph should read:

“Despite a demonstrated potential for greatness, this species, when it had an opportunity to push forward and explore ways to ensure its long-term survival, gave up power to a few who then gorged at the trough and undermined all by convincing them space exploration was too expensive.”

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The Philosopher’s Song

Posted on January 11, 2011 by

The Philosopher’s Song
(from Monty Python’s Flying Circus)
Oh….Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable


Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table


David Hume could out-consume
Willhelm Freidrich Hegel


And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel


There’s nothing Nietzche couldn’t teach ya
‘Bout the raising of the wrist
Socrates himself was permanently pissed


John Stuart Mill of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill


Plato they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whisky every day


Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram


And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart
“I drink, therefore I am.”


Yes Socrates himself is particularly missed…
A lovely little thinker
But a bugger when he’s pissed.
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Time for Southern New Brunswick to build one central airport #nbpoli

Posted on January 7, 2011 by

WestJet just announced it is cancelling its summer service to Saint John, NB because it was not profitable. This should be a wake up call to everyone that the time has come for one large, centralized international airport for the province, and I suggest Sussex.

It will be a hard sell. There are too many egos involved and not enough cooperation, particularly within the municipalities, but it is a necessary step. Our entire province barely qualifies as a mid-sized metropolitan city elsewhere. We don’t need an airport in every hamlet. Southern NB only has about 500,000 people between the 3 major cities and surrounding areas, yet we have three competing airports??? That’s absurd.

Sussex is accessible from all three major Southern NB metro area in less than an hour, which is more than reasonable for access to a decent-sized airport with international travel capabilities. Most of us already drive to Halifax or Bangor to take advantage of cheap flights because the Saint John airport is less than useful in many cases. Why would a 45 minute jaunt to Sussex bother us?

Take a look at the outlying areas of Toronto. Most of them are larger than the entire Southern NB area, but they don’t each have their own airports. They travel, sometimes several hours, to Pearson Airport in Toronto without question.

Building one large airport in the Sussex area would build business opportunities in the Sussex area, as well as foster spin-off enterprises such as shuttle and parking services elsewhere, not to mention the added incentive of larger companies having better access to the area. New Brunswick must begin to acknowledge we are a very small fish in a very big pond, and to survive we must streamline how we do business and change the way we think or we will die off fast in the modern, global economy.

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Twain classics to drop racial slur is purely #censorship

Posted on January 5, 2011 by

According to this article, “NewSouth Books in Alabama is to publish a combined volume of the books in February that will make the alteration.”

According to their blog post

“In a bold move compassionately advocated by Twain scholar Dr. Alan Gribben and embraced by NewSouth, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn also replaces two hurtful epithets that appear hundreds of times in the texts with less offensive words, this intended to counter the “preemptive censorship” that Dr. Gribben observes has caused these important works of literature to fall off curriculum lists nationwide.”

“Bold move”??? Hogwash. Censorship by any other name remains the same. While I understand the desire to "not offend", Twain’s writings are more than just works of literary genius, they are a representation of a period in time. During his time, this was how the people spoke and wrote. We should not try to hide this, we should educate people so that it never happens again! To change his work is to attempt to change history. Stalin was a master of this practice. I don’t suggest anyone follow him as a role model…

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Fair Trade

Posted on December 31, 2010 by

fairtrade.pngFair trade is a huge business these days. How huge? Well, this 2007 article in the NY Times titled “Fair Trade in Bloom” puts the world-wide coffee industry at about $2.2 billion for 2006, while this article, Fair Trade Popularity Grows in 2009, puts the world-wide sales of fair trade products at €3.4 billion (about $4.5 billion).

As great as these figures may look on the outside, I am not necessarily a proponent of fair trade any more than I am a proponent of “Certified Organic” in their current forms. I am a huge supporter of the ideology behind what fair trade represents – “concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers” and does “not maximize profit at their expense.” However, they have become a commodity to be pandered and marketed, instead of an ideal.

My reasons? I do not agree with the “best price wins/big dog-eat-little dog/WalMartization of life” model that currently exists in our capitalist economy. Currently, multinational corporations control most of the economic activity, and they lobby for a completely “free market” economy without government intervention and regulation, whine about paying local taxes, and race toward the bottom of the price and quality barrel.

Currently, “capitalism” tends to be controlled more and more by less and less very prosperous people, many of whom spend millions trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Worse, too many of them did nothing to earn what they own and were simply born into a wealthy family, joining the royals and other undeserving elites in the “Lucky Sperm Club.”

Also, we are not currently paying the true cost of what we buy these days. The true costs would include transportation costs (currently cheap because of subsidized oil and gas) and environmental costs (we currently do not pay anywhere near enough to cover environmental costs associated with production and recycling, and much of the junk we buy ends up untreated in a landfill). This isn’t right, and there will be a day of reckoning.

In my Utopian brain, I see properly implemented capitalism as an incentive to move along one boulevard that is only one road to travel in our journey through life that leads toward more overall prosperity and happiness for everyone. Call me a dreamer.

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Mandatory census change will hurt survey #nbpoli #canpoli

Posted on December 30, 2010 by

telegraphjournal.com – Census change will hurt survey | New Brunswick, Canada.

“The information collected by this form is playing a critical role in mobilizing citizens and organizations to tackle issues in their local communities – bringing philanthropic, voluntary and corporate resources to the table to address some of our communities’ most pressing problems,” the letter said.
Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have ideas that seem to pander to their core supporters they would like to implement. Unfortunately, these ideas are based on ideology that is not backed up by statistics (i.e. increase in prisons while overall crime rate is actually dropping). By removing the mandatory census, it allows them to cast doubt on the statistics they already don’t (can’t?) read…
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Awesome XMas present for coffee lovers!

Posted on December 29, 2010 by

I received a Cuisinart Conical Burr Grinder as a gift this year, and boy, does it work well!

The removable hopper on the top holds up to 1/2 pound of coffee beans. From that, you can set the number of cups you want to make and the device only grinds as much as you set it finish for your needs (anywhere from 1 to 14 cups). It will grind your beans any way you like, from ultra-fine for espresso to extra-coarse for French press. Add to that a neat little pull-out holder so that the grinder doesn’t need to be moved often, and this is one sweet gift for enjoying my Red Whale Coffee!

All the parts that get dirty are easily removed and clean by hand-washing. I recommend this grinder for true coffee lovers!

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