Saturday, August 04, 2007
But the ludicrousness of bottled water is finally coming under scrutiny. Ignoring the sky-high markup and the pollution created by production and distribution, the bottles themselves are single-use recyclable (meaning they can only be used for food products once, and are then converted into non-recyclable materials like carpet or synthetic fabrics), and an estimated 88 percent are never recycled anyway. I won’t even get into the allegations about the toxins that leach into the water from the plastic.
Recent studies have shown that most of bottled water’s hyperbolic claims of superiority to tap water is complete bunk: much of it comes from the same place as the stuff in your toilet bowl, and in spite of fears of contamination created by the Walkerton E. coli tragedy, tap water is arguably safer than the bottled stuff. Toronto's water is provided with 650 bacterial tests each month, while the testing practices of bottled water companies are self-regulating and fairly unknown.
As for Toronto, in spite of the water and sewer system allegedly being on the verge of collapse, our tap water is not only safe but tastes good too!
Dogs belonging to Ving Rhames attacked and killed a live-in caretaker at the actor's Los Angeles home.The caretaker was found dead on the front lawn of Rhames' gated home in an expensive Brentwood neighborhood, covered in dog bites.
Several large dogs were running loose on the property when police responded to the scene shortly and animal control officers took three huge bull mastiffs and an English bulldog into custody.
"It appeared that the person suffered a number of injuries as a result of the dog mauling," Sgt. Lee Sands said. "There were numerous dog bites all over his body."Sands said four dogs, the largest weighing nearly 200 pounds, were being quarantined as part of an investigation into the attack.
He said it was not yet clear how many of the dogs had taken part in the mauling or why they had turned on the caretaker. The victim, who worked for Rhames for two years and lived on the property, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Representatives for Rhames, who is out of the country shooting a film, had no immediate comment.
EDIT: Police are now saying that the victim of the dog attack at Ving Rhames' home could have had a heart attack, since none of the wounds -- on his arms and legs only -- appear to have been life threatening. They speculate that he was possibly running for his life after a confrontation with the dogs.
Friday, August 03, 2007
The illegal parts trade is growing in the province, and thieves will go to great lengths to get their hands on air bags. The culprits can sell the stolen parts to crooked repair shops for hundreds of dollars, while the shops can charge their customers as much as $1,000.
The province is considering tracking auto parts so mechanics will have to prove their parts are not coming from thieves. The stolen airbags trade only began within the last couple of years.
The above screenshot came from the extended forecast on the CityNews website this morning. On August 9th they are calling for rain and snow with a high temperature 29C (85F). I just want to know how much snow are they expecting because I may need to get my snowblower out of storage.
I'm not a science major but won't snow melt in this heat?
City has since corrected their graphics. We are just looking at possible thunderstorms.
According to the report, his sweaty legs came into contact with the computer's wiring, which might have caused a short circuit. The computer's internal voltage is as high as 380 volts, enough to give a deadly shock.
An initial investigation by police officers and medical staff found he had been electrocuted. They found bruises on his legs as well as blood from his nostrils.
Police broke down Mercedes Velarde's door on Tuesday and found the putrefied body of her husband Edmundo on the floor of her bedroom.Authorities said on Wednesday they were investigating Velarde's claim her husband died of natural causes. They believe the man, in his early 60s, had mental problems that may have been linked to his death.
The family is being examined by a psychiatrist. After an autopsy, the family could face criminal charges or be sent to a psychiatric hospital.
Authorities said hiding a dead person, even a family member, is a crime.
There is a lesson to be learned here. If you intend on keeping a family member at home after they have expired, make sure you have plenty of ice. Neighbours will not tolerate the smell.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Will fewer choices speed up the line? I remain unconvinced.
According to reports the unidentified undercover officer was investigating a theft on a residential street near Birchmount and Steeles in Markham when a vehicle struck him and then took off at about 5am Thursday. It's alleged the policeman was deliberately run down.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
It makes your life more complicated
A phone is just another thing that checks email, holds information and schedules events, and which has to be carefully kept in sync with all the other crud in your life that checks email, holds information and schedules events. The difference? This one likely has a 240 pixel-wide screen and a shabby interface spawned from the hellish loins of Windows CE.
It's horribly expensive
Total Cost of Ownership. Apply that idea to everything, not just cars and mortgages. The fact is that most cellphones will cost you thousands over the life of the contract. Short of paying-as-you-go with a Wal-Mart crapdybar, you're in it for a good $1,000, and about $2,000 or so with a smartphone.
It enslaves you to a one-sided contract
This is the magic that allows the previous item to happen, but is sufficiently vile to warrant an entry of its own. Everyone is at it, but the most iconic example of how times have changed is AT&T: Ma Bell has reglued itself together with almost Marxian inevitability, but now has the advantage of having countless customers under astonishingly abusive contract terms. Take that, deregulation.
It makes you perpetually available
If it's on, they can get you. If it's off, they wonder why they can't get you. It's a lose-lose situation for your Zen.
It is boring
The hype tsunami surrounding Apple's iPhone reveals that even something minimally inventive can completely wire public interest in what is otherwise a completely hidebound and risk-averse industry. Are we in the future yet?
It must constantly be recharged
Unless you want to hoik around a brick, the chances are you're recharging it daily. Screw fuel-cells: with WiFi, BlueTooth, WWAN and whatever else, we need AAA-size disposable fission reactors to keep these buggers awake.
It knows where you are
GPS is in every box, but you can't use it for much. The government loves to watch them without warrants or probable cause: if it's in your pocket, you are Robocop and The Man is Dick Jones.
It encourages stupid people to become a public menace
Forget about whether talking on cellphones while driving should be illegal: the fact remains that it is stupid. I know that you are perfectly capable of the mental gymnastics required for all this — you are a hypercephalic Gadget Lab reader — but it's best that you stop now, so as not to encourage lesser minds to attempt similar feats. Some are now being caught texting while driving. Just pull the car over, for heaven's sake!
Ubiquitous pleather accessory shops
Mallbound Cellphone crap shacks are an offense to nature. On the bright side, they support the whitewashed pegboard industry.
It turns you into a public annoyance
Hell is other people's ringtones.
However not everyone agrees with the controversial program. A group of Canadian public health professionals says there remain a number of unanswered questions about the HPV vaccine and that a universal vaccination program in Canada "is premature and could have unintended negative consequences."
Whale hunting in Utah is illegal.
Hand walking across the street is illegal in Hartford.
Fishing in your pajamas is of course illegal in Chicago.
Check the rest out here.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The man, from the Netherlands, was reported to police after a farmer caught him having sex with a sheep. But the case was thrown out of court as the sheep couldn't take to the stand to testify it didn't want to have sex and had suffered emotional stress.
Under Dutch law, bestiality is not a crime unless it can be proved the animal didn't want to have sex.
Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin has said he plans to change the law to make bestiality a criminal offence.
Mom and Dad have gradually grown accustomed to a complex system of recycling, which we can barely keep straight, let alone explain to the uninitiated. I'm glad you've both got a university degree because this requires your kind of detailed mind. Do I have your full attention?
There are 14 receptacles, each holding distinct types of garbage.
Depending on its nature, garbage may be picked up weekly, biweekly, by request, or not at all. In the latter category, you can take it to a drop-off depot miles from the house at exactly 7 a.m. on alternate Wednesdays, or to a neighbourhood school once a year.
Collection day on our street is Thursdays, but will change to Wednesdays just for fun at some point while we are away. Lucky you!
The unfortunately named beige box under the kitchen sink is actually step one of the "green bin" composting system. The green bin, not to be confused with the green "box," has a lid, a metal latch and two racoonproof buckles. It is for mainly food waste.
The green "box" has no lid and is for yard waste, although the "bin" can also take plants and soil, which means they're not mutually exclusive.
The "bin," which lets out a poisonous odour when opened, goes out every week, the "box" every second week. And no, I haven't forgotten about the beige box. It should be lined with a plastic bag --Loblaws or Longos bags are a good size -- and filled with all food waste including meat and bones, animal waste, used tissues and even diapers, in case you're planning to have a baby while we're away.
When the beige box is full, transfer the bag and its contents directly to the green "bin." Make sure to latch and buckle the lid or you will be cleaning racoon leftovers off the walkway.
Now that we're warmed up. Let's move on to the "grey box," which, wouldn't you know it, also includes a 'blue box.' Don't ask! Here's my suggestion: Put newspapers, flattened cardboard things and all paper scraps into the grey box.
Use the blue one for plastic and glass containers, milk cartons and empty tins with lids inside. These two boxes are collected biweekly but not the same biweekly as the green box.
Have I mentioned the regular garbage? You'll like this! The tall white bin under the kitchen window that's lined with a dark green bag ...is for used, plastic wrap.
When the green bag is full, tie it up and take it outside to the light brown garbage can with wheels. I've always wondered why it needs wheels when plastic wrap weighs so little. But as for collection, it is of course biweekly.
Finally, we come to 'miscellaneous.' Liquor bottles go in the blue bag with the green recycle symbol on the front; Styrofoam trays go into the big white plastic bag for later disposal at the faraway site; sanitary products go in the little white bin in the bathroom then transferred to outside "green bin"; used batteries go in the ceramic pot on the kitchen window.
The collection schedule? I've decided to make this extremely simple for you. Go out to the sidewalk at around 8 o'clock on Wednesday nights, look up and down the street, and follow the "when in Rome" method of what to put out.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Back in May, there was an ongoing competition to determine the “Worst Canadian.” Early contenders for the honor included pop singers like Celine Dion and Shania Twain, and the former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Looking back over the last year or so, that's all we are seeing out of this government. Their policies are tissue paper thin.
On July 27 the government announced it would hire 200 new OPP officers to fight guns and gangs. No strategy, just throwing a little cash at a huge problem.
On June 12 they announced that a recycling program for computers, printers and televisions so they do not end up in landfill sites. Meanwhile no solution on what to do with Toronto's garbage which is currently being shipped to Michigan because the local sites are full.
On April 18 they announced that the sale of incandescent light bulbs would be banned effective 2012. Of course, the government has no strategy on meeting our electricity needs going forward and had to postponed eliminating dirty coal burning plants.
In August 2005 the government banned pit bulls in the province. Hardly a menace worthy of the attention of government.
The Liberal's previous election platform included democratic renewal. So after the Premier's own citizens' assembly proposes a new model to be put to a referendum, the Premier refuses to endorse it and sets 60% as the threshold on the yes side of the referendum. Ok at least here you can see they stand for the status quo.
I could go on and on.
But how do we know that anyone on the team threw any punches at all? Easy. The Star is reporting that the players are freely admitting it.
Team Chile is still saying it just wanted to shmooze with their fans while the police are saying that shmoozing involved loud and potentially violent arguments with said "fans", at which point officers intervened. Police spokesman claim they were on the receiving end of some considerably aggressive behaviour, and their job in those circumstances is to stop that behaviour.
Where is Tie Domi when you need him?
A woman was killed after being shot in the head. The SIU is investigating, and police won't say who fired the shot (yet).
Police also shot and killed two pit bulls in an apartment after the dogs were ordered by their owners to attack entering officers.
A 25-year old was gunned down execution style in his car.
A highway police chase resulted in the suspects shooting back at police and the QEW shut down for the ensuing investigation. Watch out for a 2002 burgundy Cadillac Escalade with plates AKRZ 595.
UofT will be shutting down their popular 88-year old shooting range, and its 400 members aren't happy.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The studio dumped the film on the theatres without previewing it in front of critics. I wonder why? If this exploitation role is where is career is at, then her career also needs some rehab.
Producers are set to announce they have cast Hilton in Repo! The Genetic Opera, a rock opera/horror film that begins a six-week shoot in Toronto on Sept. 10.
The movie, based on a successful theatrical production by Terrance Zdunich and Darren Smith, is about an organ failure epidemic in 2056 that forces people to purchase genetically perfect body parts from Geneco, a biotech company committed to collecting regular payments. Paris will sing and dance in the musical which also stars Paul Sorvino and Alexa Vega.