Saturday, March 08, 2008

How much snow did we get?

Well you can hardly see the fire hydrant on my lawn and as you can see the snow is still coming down.
I remember this time last year my spring bulbs were coming up. I think it's going to be quite a while till I see them this year.

Larry David on Hillary Clinton

Here's an idea for an Obama ad: a montage of Clinton's Sybillish personalities that have surfaced during the campaign with a solemn voiceover at the end saying, "Does anyone want this nut answering the phone?"

How is it that she became the one who's perceived as more equipped to answer that 3 a.m. call than the unflappable Obama? He, with the ice in his veins, who doesn't panic when he's losing or get too giddy when he's winning, who's as comfortable in his own skin as she's uncomfortable in hers. There have been times in this campaign when she seemed so unhinged that I worried she'd actually kill herself if she lost. Every day, she reminds me more and more of Adele H., who also had an obsession that drove her insane.

A few weeks ago, I started to feel sorry for her. Oh Christ, let her win already...Who cares...It's not worth it. There's not that much difference between them. She can have it. Anything to avoid watching her descend into madness. So I switched. I started rooting for her. It wasn't that hard. Compromise comes easy to me. I was on board.

And then I saw the ad.

I watched, transfixed, as she took the 3 a.m. call...and I was afraid...very afraid. Suddenly, I realized the last thing this country needs is that woman anywhere near a phone. I don't care if it's 3 a.m. or 10 p.m. or any other time. I don't want her talking to Putin, I don't want her talking to Kim Jong Il, I don't want her talking to my nephew. She needs a long rest. She needs to put on a sarong and some sun block and get away from things for a while, a nice beach somewhere -- somewhere far away, where there phones.

Are you enjoying the snow?

Kate Hudson down in Miami demonstrating why she earns $8 million per film.

Micky Dolenz of the Monkees is 63 today

I see torture of prisoners is condoned in the Philippines

When political campaigns stray from the issues... get Samantha Power.

Banjo Players for Hillary

So if being married to the President qualifies you to run for President then....

Extended Daylight Savings Time

Extended daylight savings begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning March 9. Don't forget to set your clocks forward and enjoy that extra hour of light.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Snow is here...

...and looks like there is lots more to come. Where am I going to put it all?

Mugshot of the Week

Looks like that party girl ran out of gas and got busted.

Interesting Developments Regarding the Time Square Bomb

The FBI said letters sent to many Congressional members with a photograph of a man standing in front of the Times Square recruiting center and an anti-war manifesto were not linked to yesterday's bombing outside the center. They are calling the letters an "incredibly unbelievable coincidence." They arrived in many offices yesterday after several days of sorting which is normal in the "post-anthrax scare" world. There are likely more letters in the system.

An individual was questioned in Los Angeles about the letters to Congress and "there is no evidence linking the letters, which contained no threat, to the bombing."

Now investigators are looking at similarities the bombing has with the 2005 British Consulate bombing and the 2007 Mexican Consulate bombing on. All three bombs were thrown by a bicyclist and made with a similar powder. Also, all three incidents happened within a 30-minute span with yesterday's bomb going off around 3:43 a.m., the British Consulate bomb at 3:55 a.m., and the Mexican Consulate bomb at 3:40 a.m.

Citizens Threatened with Punishment if They Die

The mayor of a village in southwest France has threatened residents with severe punishment if they die, because there is no room left in the overcrowded cemetery to bury them.

In an ordinance posted in the council offices, Mayor Gerard Lalanne told the 260 residents of the village of Sarpourenx that "all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish."

It added: "Offenders will be severely punished."The mayor said he was forced to take drastic action after an administrative court in the nearby town of Pau ruled in January that the acquisition of adjoining private land to extend the cemetery would not be justified.

Lalanne, who celebrated his 70th birthday on Wednesday and is standing for election to a seventh term in this month's local elections, said he was sorry that there had not been a positive outcome to the dilemma. "It may be a laughing matter for some, but not for me," he said.

More Snow is Coming

...and looks like it wll be here soon.

When it's all over we might set a record for most snow in one winter. I would rather we set records like the most sunny days.

Here is what is expected this weekend:

Friday, 4pm-10pm: 3-5cm
Saturday, 4am-1pm: 3-7cm
Saturday, 1pm-11pm: 5-10cm

Also, the biggest snow fall for March 8 was 17.8 in 1980 according to Environment Canada.

On a light side, may be approprite to rewatch Rick Mercer's Special Report - Snow in Toronto.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Big boobs prove model's innocence

Japanese bikini model-turned-actress has been acquitted on trespass charges because a recreation of the alleged crime showed she couldn't possibly have fit through a hole because of her ample bust.

The model, who goes by her professional name of Serena Kozakura, had been sentenced to 14 months in prison for willful destruction of property after a Nov. 6 incident in which she allegedly kicked a hole the door and re-entered her boyfriend's apartment following an argument with another woman she had discovered there. The 38-year-old model had appealed the sentence to the Tokyo High Court.

But it appears that sometime, size DOES matter.

During the appeal hearing, the man and another witness both testified that Kozakura had kicked a hole in the door and then squeezed through to re-enter the apartment. But the hole in the door measured 28.3 inches by 8.7 inches - and that was way too small for Kozakura to fit her famous 40 inch bust through.

Below is a video of Serena demonstrating that there's no way her boobies could get through that hole (at about 3:30 into video).

Obama Girl's Dancing Ass Didn't Vote for Obama

Well it turns out that mini-celebrity Obama Girl (Amber Lee Ettinger) never got around to vote for Barack Obama in the New Jersy primary. He could have used her help since he didn't win Jersey but it seems she wasn't feeling well enough to vote.

Likely she had no idea that there was a primary in New Jersey. Well maybe she can get her dancing ass into the voting booth this November.

Congressman Calls for Stop to Clemens Inquiry

If you're one of those people that think the FBI has better things to do than investigate Roger Clemens, you aren't alone. Washington DC. Congressman Anthony Weiner voiced his opinion on the investigation into Clemens. Weiner sent a letter to the Attorney General questioning the benefit of continuing the investigation into Clemens’ testimony to Congress, saying "Whether or not Roger Clemens may have committed perjury should not compete with real national security threats for the FBI’s time, attention and resources.”

Weiner has said that , “Roger Clemens has been shamed. I think the public record is replete with examples of how he did not likely tell the truth. What is the public benefit of continuing with an FBI investigation?”

Weiner is right, the FBI has much better ways to spend their time than investigating Clemens, but at the same time, you should not be allowed to lie to Congress and get away with it. And that is the dilemma here. You can't let people off the hook in these circumstances.

Clemens should work a deal out with the FBI where he agrees to admit that he lied, but gets to stay out of jail. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Clemens, and his lawyers, have chosen this course and he will have to live with the consequences.

You May Be a Taliban If...


1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon "unclean."
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
7. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
8. You bathe at least monthly whether necessary or not.
9. You've ever had a crush on your neighbor's goat.

It's 3 a.m.

Device Explodes at NYC's Time Square

Around 3:45 a.m., a device exploded outside the military recruiting center in Times Square. No one was injured, but a glass entryway was shattered.

The streets around Times Square were shut down (now traffic can pass through) and subway service passed through the Times Square station without stopping (it's back to normal now), as authorities investigated the scene. WNBC reports police were searching for a "suspect seen on a bicycle fleeing the scene after the blast" - a witness saw a man wearing a grey jacket with a hood "pulled tight with a drawstring" heading south.
According to WABC, police say the device was an improvised explosive, a "green ammunition can" with a low level of explosive. A hotel guest at the Marriott Marquis nearby said, "I was up on the 44th floor and I could feel it. It was a big bang," while another said, "It shook the building. I thought it could have been thunder, but I looked down and there was a massive plume of smoke so I knew it was an explosion."

The recruiting center, in the heart of Times Square at West 43rd Street and Broadway, has been the site of many protests, from the Granny Brigade to 2004 Republican Convention events.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Grand Canyon Flooded

I guess the big environmental story in the news today is that the Grand Canyon was intentionally flooded. Scientist are hoping this will restore its ecosystem. More than 300,000 gallons of water per second were released from Lake Powell above the dam near the Arizona-Utah border.

The water was set loose from Glen Canyon Dam on the Arizona-Utah state line today and is expected to flow for three days. Officials say the canyon's ecosystem was permanently changed after the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963.

The Colorado River downstream used to be warm and muddy, but now it's cold and clear. The shift helped speed the extinction of four fish species and has pushed two others close the edge. Scientists hope the flooding will stir up sediment and redistribute it through the canyon.

The water level in the Grand Canyon rose 2 to 15 feet in some places. After the flood ends Friday, officials hope the water will leave behind sediment and restore sandbars as it goes back to normal levels. Officials have flooded the canyon twice before, in 1996 and 2004.

Park officials have been opposed to the move. They feel it could do more damage. Environmentalist feel that the move had more to do with enhancing the ability of the hydroelectric plant at the dam to generate electricity.

George W. Bush Library

The Chronicle of Higher Education asked readers to design a presidential library for George W. Bush. You can see larger stills of some designs at this website. Some are just incredibly evil!

Red Sox Scout Charged with Lewd Act in Public

From Extra Bases: Jesse Levis, a former big-league catcher who last year completed his first season as a pro scout for the Red Sox, faces two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior on persons under 16 after an incident Monday in a Port St. Lucie, Fla., hotel.

According to the police report, Levis, who turns 40 on April 14, was arrested after the night manager of a Port St. Lucie hotel reported that a guest filed a complaint. Police interviewed two female guests, both under the age of 16, who said they saw Levis standing naked at the window of his hotel room, which overlooked the pool, allegedly commiting the lewd and lascivious act. Two other female guests, both adults, told police they also witnessed Levis. According to Vega, the state's attorney plans to file two additional counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, both misdemeanors, because they involved persons over the age of 16. A Red Sox official said the club was gathering information and would have no comment.

I only have one question about this unfortunate incident. Are players who grab their crotch while on the field more likely to commit lewd acts like this when they retire? Someone should do a study.

Presidential Candidate Poll

I had conducted a poll asking which of the names listed were until recently a candidate for US President. The list contained 6 names and in fact 3 had run for President in the past year. Not very many people took the poll and the results were pretty bad.

Jim Gilmour (VA) - 38% said the former governor had been a candidate and they were correct
Ted Stevens (AK) - 46% said the senator had been a candidate and they were wrong
Lindsey Graham (SC) - 46% also the senator was a candidate and they were also wrong
Tom Tandcredo (CO) - 46% said the congressman had been a candidate and they were correct in this case
Mike Gravel (AK) - 61% selected the former senator as a candidate and they were right
Bob Ney (OH) - only 23% chose the former congressman but that would be impossible because he is serving a 30-month prison term for his part of the Abramoff lobbying scandal

Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie Still Together

I get a lot of hits regarding this couple so I'm report that teen idol Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie are still going strong. This is Hilary at last night's Islander-Ranger game. She went home happy because the Islanders won in a shootout. At one point during the game, the arena announcer acknowledged her publicly as “Comrie’s sweetheart”.
Yes she had rail seats. Coincidentally. I was at the Leaf-Devil game last night. I was also in the first the purples though.

Does Cold-fX Work?

It's cold virus season and everyone is looking for a way to fight off their latest virus. There are people who swear by Cold-fX including members of my own family. But there were also people who at one time swore by vitamin C and echinacea. In fact, a big proponent of vitamin C was Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling. I'm a sceptic so I decided to do some research. I didn't spend a lot of time on this and quite likely I missed things.

Cold-fX is a Canadian product developed and sold by CV Technologies Inc. Beginning in 2000, they conducted a series of clinical and laboratory trials to prove that the product reduces the incidence, severity and duration of a cold by stimulating the immune system. The ingredient that is supposed to help you is ginseng extract. Cold-fX uses North American ginseng which is different than Asian ginseng.

I understand that both clinical and laboratory studies were carried out. The lab studies supported that hypothesis that Cold-fX protected users while the clinical studies did not. The two groups were then combined and the company concluded that the product works. I should add that the results were accepted and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Health Canada also accepts the results of the studies. The manner in which the studies were conducted has split the scientific community so I remain sceptical. This looks a little like data mining to me. I understand the company is continuing to carry out studies to win over the sceptics.

Here are some of the study results:

The percentage of people who got colds during the four-month trial were: Placebo group 63.8%
and Cold-fX group 54.6%.
The length of time the cold lasted was: Placebo group 11.1 days and Cold-fX group 8.7 days.

When I look at the numbers it tells me that even if you take Cold-fX you still have over a 50% chance of getting a cold and it will on average still last almost 9 days. It's not a significant difference for me. So the best you can say about the product is that it has a marginal effect which is quite a different story than all the testimonials I hear from users.

Tobacco Companies Continue to Target Children

Nothing has changed with the Tobacco Industry as they continue to target their number one new customer base – children and teens.

They are exploiting loopholes in tobacco laws and marketing cigarillos to kids. Cigarillos are now sold as single units in fancy containers that resemble lip gloss. They cost less than a lip gloss too. MP Wasylycia-Leis (the NDP health critic) said a canvas of the NDP caucus recently found not a single one of her fellow MPs knew what the products were when she showed them. She said they thought they were markers or lip gloss.

Physicians For A Smoke Free Canada indicates that the data shows 31-percent of boys and girls, 15 to 19 in the prairie provinces have tried them.

And cigarillos are now flavoured - vanilla, strawberry, coconut, peach and even peanut butter and jelly. As well, tobacco companies are not required to put warnings on cigarillo packages while 50% of cigarette packages are plastered with a warning.

Let's face it, this is a starter product for nicotine addiction.

Tobacco companies are scum but then everybody already knows that. So why do we allow them to get away with this?

Current Delegate Count

John McCain secured the Republican nomination by winning Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont and Mike Huckabee finally conceded. Hillary Clinton stayed in the Democratic race by beating Barack Obama in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island. Obama only won in Vermont. It's seems the party strategists are little disappointed by the Clinton wins and would like to begin working on the national race. I think its inevitable because Clinton would need to win about 60% of the remaining delegates to take the nomination while Obama can get by with less than 50%.

Here are the delegate counts according the the Associated Press. They indicated that 170 delegates from Tuesday’s contests have yet to be assigned, many from the Texas caucuses.

Democrats (2,025 needed to win)
Obama 1477
Clinton 1391
Edwards 26

Republicans (1,191 needed to win)
Romney 253
Huckabee 261
McCain 1224
Paul 14

UPDATE - The caucus numbers are in and the Democrat delegate count now stands at:
Obama 1564
Clinton 1463

OK, I'm out of the weather forecasting business

I said the storm in the Eastern US would miss us. I was wrong. We got dumped on again. I think it may be the 7th storm this winter of at least 10 cm (about 4 inches). This one isn't over yet but underneath the snow, you will find ice because of freezing rain overnight.

The Toronto Star indicates that 162 cm of snow have fallen on Toronto this winter which does not include the current storm. The record snowfall is 207 cm back in 1938-39. Another storm is expected on Saturday so we are getting close to that record with each passing week.

Careful driving out there today. Even with the snow and ice, a good number of Torontonians will be driving to work today. Census data from 2006 shows that 71.1 per cent of Toronto commuters still use a car to get to work (either driving or as a passenger).

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Interesting Photo

Wouldn't you check out the manual before you took off?

Moses was Tripping on Mount Sinai

Professor Benny Shanon, professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has published an article in the philosophy journal Time and Mind suggesting that the Israelites used hallucinogens in the Sinai desert.

The religious ceremonies of the Israelites included the use of psychotropic materials that can found in the Negev and Sinai, he says. "I have no direct proof of this interpretation," and such proof cannot be expected, he says. However, "it seems logical that something was altered in people's consciousness."

Shanon said the Mount Sinai spectacle recalled a "trip" he experienced after drinking psychotropic drugs of a kind that can be found in some desert plants.

Umm, professor you better lay off that stuff. I'm pretty sure that's how the Church of Scientology got started.

Toronto Ice Storm Watch

Although the news has been issuing all day alerts regarding a big ice storm, I think it may mostly miss Toronto. The bottom radar map from 9:30 am shows a band of snow, ice and rain from the US Southeast to the bottom of the Great Lakes. The top map is taken at 4:00 pm and shows the storm has slowly moved east but barely moved north. I think Toronto will largely be spared unless it suddenly gets pushed up above Lake Ontario.

If I'm wrong - sue me!

Websites of Failed Presidential Candidates

Fred Thompson – Fred's site is blank. Like Fred’s flash-in-the-pan candidacy, his site is a big white page of nada. Only 1 word loads for me “Success”. And that’s warped unless you think getting crushed is a good thing.

Rudy Guiliani –Rudy’s site seems to have been stripped of all content – much like his failed candidacy. The front page has lots of blank spaces and so do much of the category pages. You can still give money though.

Chris Dodd – Currently asking for donations to help pay his campaign debts.

Joe Biden – You can see a video thank you speech from Joe and then scroll through his other campaign ideas.

John Edwards – A thank you note.

Bill Richardson – A thank you note.

Dennis Kucinich – There’s an article on his concession speech. But no real note of thanks from him. But Kucinich is in a tough fight for his Congressional seat so that site is up and kicking.

More Money than Brains

What do you do when your son is late to a tennis tuneup and team tryouts are two days away?

A Lake Villa (Illinois) man hopped in his Piper Clipper airplane Saturday, breezed above the congested roads and landed at a golf course across a highway from the tennis club, where skis on the underside of his four-seater glided across the snow-covered fairway. After all, the 45 minute drive would only take 10 to 15 minutes by plane.

Police received worried calls about a plane circling twice, then touching down at the Crane's Landing golf course at the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort. Officials thought they might have a crash, with victims to attend to.

Instead, they found Robert Kadera, 65, and his 14-year-old son trudging through the snow, Prince racket and a bag of tennis balls in hand. They had parked on the 7th fairway, just 20 feet south of the retaining wall for Illinois Highway 22. I guess he thought you can just land a plane anywhere. Like those considerate people who park their cars anywhere they feel like it.

Police are determining what they can charge him with. At the very least trespassing. The FAA may pull his flying licence. Police told Kadera he could not fly the plane home and had to hire a towing service to move it.

Obama on NAFTA

So Barack Obama come clean. You are just like any other politician. You will say anything to get people to vote for you.

In case you missed it, while campaigning in Ohio, Obama had harshly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement, which many Ohioans blame for an exodus of jobs. He agreed last week at a debate with Hillary Clinton that the United States should consider leaving the pact if it could not be renegotiated.

On Monday, a memo surfaced indicating that one of Obama’s senior economic policy adviser, met officials last month at the Canadian consulate in Chicago. According to the writer of the memo, Joseph De Mora, a political and economic affairs consular officer, Canadian officials were assured that Obama’s protectionist stand was “more reflective of political maneuvering than policy.”

In other words he didn't mean it. Or some people might describe it as lying. Of course Obama's campaign staff say the memo is inaccurate. Good New York Times article on it.

More on Citytv's Move to Dundas Square

More on Rogers moving Citytv to Dundas Square. Many people have been wondering if the new location at the Olympic Spirit building would contain visible streetfront studios similar to the Queen Street location.

Preliminary concept rendering by Rogers and Quadrangle Architects for the space, currently dubbed Rogers Television City, show multiple studios visible on the ground level and on the roof, with a ticker-style pixelboard banding the exterior. The current building is above and the mock up is below.

Toronto may get freezing rain tonight

For those keeping track of bad weather, might get some tonight. Right now snow, freezing rain and rain across Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Like man other storms this winter that stuff will miss us and stay south of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. More troubling is the rain farther south along the east coast. That stuff may hit us later tonight in the form of freezing rain. I'll get an update late this afternoon.

Happy Day?

Below is an actual letter to the editor published by the Toronto Star.

Family Day in Ontario

I think "Family Day" is a poor choice when naming our new holiday in Ontario. As I understand it, a new holiday was called for primarily because people need a break at this time of year, a period with the longest gap between holidays and a high rate of depression.
Although it first appears to be an inclusive name, "Family Day" invokes social conservatism and the diminishing nuclear family, and alienates many who have no close or living family. I think calling the new holiday "Happy Day" would promote individual fulfillment, as well as a sense of community.

Mike Evans, Toronto

Well I'm not too sure how much more inclusive "Happy Day" would be. As Mr. Evans points out there are a lot of people in society who suffer from depression and they may also feel alienated if they don't ever experience any happiness in their life. How about "Third Monday in February Day"? Who would be offended by that? Come to think of it people who don't follow the Julian calendar.

OK, we are accepting suggestions for the new holiday that would offend or alienate anyone in our community. Anyone got one?

TTC to Install 10,000 Cameras

Next time you're on a subway platform, make sure you're smiling and looking your best. Ontario's privacy commissioner has okayed the TTC's plans to install 10,000 additional cameras on buses, streetcars and subway cars for safety. The expansion will cost $21 million.

In line with Toronto police procedures, the TTC must delete videotape within a maximum of three days - 72 hours for subway data, 15 for footage from buses - unless it's needed for a criminal investigation. Current guidelines allow a seven-day maximum.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Glimpse Into the Sleezy World of the Hasidim

It's not to often that the rest of us gets a close up view of what goes on in the closed Hasidic community. The rabbis rule supreme and they don't always play nice. Recently an influential group of New York rabbis put the kibosh on a concert planned for a Manhattan theater.

Billed as The Big Event, the show was to be headlined by popular Hasidic pop singer Lipa Schmeltzer and raise money for an Israeli charity that finances weddings for orphans. But after an edict was issued against the event, Schmeltzer dropped out. Now Schmeltzer is no drugged up rapper or metal head. As you can see from his picture, he is one of them - a Hassidic Jew.

Still two Brooklyn community leaders, Asher Friedman and Rabbi Avraham Shor, mobilized opposition to the concert late last month, warning that the concert would promote “ribaldry and lightheadedness… strip the youth of every shred of fear of heaven.”

The bottom line is thaSchmelter is too popular and the rabbis are concerned his popularity might eclipse their authority.

Schmeltzer had agreed to sing only traditional Hasidic songs; gender segregated entrances and seating had also been arranged. But this was not enough for the 33 rabbis who signed the edict, and promoters estimate their losses at $700,000.

For an illuminating peek into the controversy surrounding Lipa Schmeltzer, take a scroll through the 350-plus comments on this Yeshiva World article. Here’s commenter #91: “We have now banned sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, the circus & malls among other things. Of course I don’t argue with the p’sak on these. But what in heavens name do we want people to do realistically for recreation?”

It sucks to be Hassidic.

One Hit Wonder

Big Country - In a Big Country (1983)

Man Arrested Trying to Steal the Stanley Cup

Police have arrested an agitated man who grabbed the Stanley Cup from the Hockey Hall of Fame this morning and began running down Front Street in Toronto yelling "we won! we won"! Officers in a passing police cruiser quickly caught up with him and ushered him into their vehicle. He is still in custody but the Cup has been returned to the Hall. Police have not revealed his identity but did comment that he was heard muttering "waive the no trade" and "give back the picks".

That Larry King Can Dance!

Pilot Trying to Land Plane in 150 MPH Crosswind

I think if I had survived this ordeal I would have gone one hell of a bender.

I couldn't possibly ignore Jessica Biel's 26th Birthday

How to get rid of annoying teenagers

Ultrasonic insect and rodent repellers have been on the market for years. I've tried but didn't find that they worked though others swear by them.

Now here is an interesting human twist. A sonic device designed in England to drive off troublesome youths is being tested in New York. It's called The Mosquito. As humans age, they naturally lose some of their hearing, beginning at the higher end of the audible spectrum detectable to man. I certainly have.

The concept is actually turning an idea used by teens to outsmart their teachers on its ear. Ringtones at high frequencies tend to be inaudible to adults and are used by students to evade attention when their cell phones rang. Now that disparity is being used to annoy younger people away from places where they normally congregate socially, like building lobbies and vestibules.

The New York Post tested out a version of the device in Washington Square Park and it seemed to have the intended effect. A few teens described the 85 decibel sound as being unbearable, while older park goers worried that they might be going deaf because they couldn't hear a thing.
The Post quoted a doctor who said that extended exposure to any frequency at 85 decibels could cause hearing damage.

Palestinian Extremists are Self Destructive

There is no logic to the Middle East conflict. The use of suicide bombers and civilian shields by Palestinian terrorists appears to me to be pointless and self-destructive.

If the goal is to gain autonomy by using a war of attrition to wear down the Israeli public, well that has largely been achieved. Israelis have had enough. If the goal is to turn world opinion against Israel by portraying them as oppressors to gain independence, well they've gotten that too. Acts of violence by terrorists don't get the attention that attacks by Israel do.

The terrorists' goal is to destroy Israel. This has remained unchanged for 40 years. But that is just not going to happen. They are destroying their economy, their society and their future. It's a tragedy.

There will be no peace agreement reached this year or ever. Extremists always have the upper hand. Those who reject violence are just held hostage in the ongoing "struggle".

Jeff Healey - March 25, 1966 - March 2, 2008

Bagel Prices Skyrocketing!

This may not be a big deal to many people but it is for me. Bagels have always been my favourite comfort food. I like the type that are boiled first and then back to produce a crunchy crust and chewy interior. Always best while still hot from the oven.

I went into my favourite establishment, Kiva's Bagel Bakery on Steeles Avenue, and found that the price of a bagel has jumped from 66 cents to 75 cents. I had to laugh the girl at the counter tried to blame George Bush in that it was some type of conspiracy. The real reason is the rising price of wheat that is pushing up the price of all baked goods not just bagels. The price of wheat flour is currently at a record $12 a bushel.

Toronto prices aren't as bad as New York prices. The price of a bagel in New York City is over $1 in many bakeries. My favourites places in Manhattan are Tal Bagels and H&H Bagels which are both selling bagels for $1.20 a piece.

I can tell you that pizza and beer are getting hit with big price increases as well. These are supposed to be recession-proof foods.

Grain prices have been stable for years but not any more. The main driver is new demand from China and India, where an emerging middle class is shifting to a higher-quality diet. Those two countries make up over a third of the world's population. On top of that, the rise of the biofuel industry is creating additional demand for corn and canola, used in the production of biodiesel. A third factor is a succession of droughts in the Ukraine, Australia and other major crop-growing regions that has put a crimp in global capacity.

Hillary Clinton on SNL

Last night I watched Hillary Clinton's appearance on Saturday Night Live. Saturday night the SNL troupe openned with a skit that mirrored last week's. As Clinton (Amy Poehler) faced off with Obama (Fred Armisen), it became less clear who SNL might be supporting; their Fauxbama is pretty lifeless.

It seems the show has become a mandatory stop for candidates and it was Hillary's turn. I'm guessing Obama may be on again real soon.

Fake ID Scanners in NYC Bars Being Used by Police

New York City bars have been using license ID scanners to keep out underage drinkers. The New York Post reports that the electronic scanners which help filter out fake IDs also supply cops with detailed records of every patron who entered a bar or club on any given evening.

Most recently, the NYPD used the turned-over records of nearly 200 club goers to identify Eric Lee, a Yonkers native arrested for a shooting death.

ID scanners outside of NYC clubs don't just check one's age for admittance. The devices record the names, addresses, and other identification information belonging to patrons. This information is stored and becomes available to police as needed or wanted.

I'm wondering if Canadian privacy laws would allow for a similar tactic?

Oscar Winner Questions 9/11 and Moon Landing

Before hitting the red carpet, French actress and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard made some remarks in a 2007 interview regarding 9/11, and some aren't as charmed by her words as they were by her Oscar speech. Nonetheless, Cotillard sides with the conspiracy theorists when it comes to 9/11...and the moon landing! Check out the BBC News interview.

She noted that, "I tend to believe in the conspiracy theory," and finds them "addictive." Her lawyer stated that the actress "never intended to contest nor question the attacks of September 11, 2001, and regrets the way old remarks have been taken out of context."

What a brainless boob!

It's That Time of the Year

Conservatives Not Winning the Hearts and Minds of Ontario

The federal Conservatives and Ontario Liberals continue to attack each other over equalization payments, budgets, taxation infrastructure. In other words, money!

The latest round had Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty sending Prime Minister Stephen Harper and strongly worded letter accusing the finance minister of purposely sabotaging Ontario by saying the province's tax level makes it the "last place" new businesses would want to invest.

There are no winners in this type of dispute although it certainly can't be in Harper's best interests to be continuing this feud. He would dearly love to go to the polls soon and return with a majority. Frankly the only thing that stands in his way is Ontario and more specifically Toronto. The Conservatives have struggled in Canada's largest city and taking on a popular provincial government is going to help their cause - at least not here. Lets' face it the recent provincial election has indicated that Ontarians are satisfied with the provincial government so I can't see how knocking it will be a vote winner. This is just another example how Harper does something good and then shoots himself in the foot.