Saturday, June 07, 2008

Iranian Technology

Just as he had predicted, as soon as the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put on his special Anti-Zionist glasses, Israel disappeared.


How to survive high gas prices

Toronto gas prices hit an all-time this weekend of $1.35 per litre and prices appear to be no where near peaking. Driving less is not really an option for me though there will be not be any frivolous car rides anymore. But there are things that can be done to at least maximize your gas mileage by changing the way you drive.

To accomplish the latter, you can adopt a set of techniques collectively known as "hypermiling," or ecodriving. Hypermiling, a term coined by Wayne Gerdes of Illinois, refers to a set of practices aimed at meeting or exceeding a vehicle's official fuel-efficiency rating.

About three years ago, Gerdes founded the website - the home and birthplace of the mainstream hypermiling community - to help drivers to overcome rising fuel costs.Basic hypermiling practices include driving at or below the posted speed limit, anticipating stops by coasting to red lights and reducing acceleration on inclines.

Some drivers use a technique called drafting where you tailgate a large truck to reduce your wind resistance. I wouldn't recommend it.

Mug Shot of the Week

Graduation edition

Friday, June 06, 2008

It's hot out there so... - Watch more free videos

Is climate change a problem?...the insurance industry thinks so

There continues to be a lot of debate regarding whether climate change is a problem. However, the insurance appears to be convinced since they appear to be picking up a lot of the costs.

The May 2008 issue of Canadian Insurance has a cover story by the president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada which is a trade association for the insurance industry. It seems insurers have been feeling the impact of climate change for a long time. Insured losses stemming from natural disasters have doubled every 5 to 10 years since the middle of the last century. In the 1960s insured losses caused by natural disasters worldwide amounted to $8 billion. In the 6 year span between 2000 and 2006, natural disasters cost insurers $212 billion. And this is an apples-to-apples comparison as the figure given for the 1960s is in 2006 dollars.

According to a recently compiled list by Ernst & Young of the top 10 insurance company risks, climate changeis the greatest strategic threat facing the industry.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

2 Men Climb NY Times Building

Alain Robert, a French stuntman known for climbing tall buildings, scaled the north face of the New York Times building on Thursday, ascending 52 stories to the roof and clutching a bright green banner, before police officers arrested him around 12:22 p.m. Hours later, a second man (Renaldo Clarke), was arrested after climbing to the roof on another part of the building.

The police said Mr. Clarke was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center for an evaluation. Depending on the outcome, they said, he could face the same charges as Mr. Robert: reckless endangerment, making graffiti, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Gary Bettman streaks in Time Square

What a whore. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will do anything to bring attention to the NHL.

Canada's Olympic Hopefuls

Kirsten Sweetland

Canada can send three men and three women triathletes to this summer's Olympics. Kirsten Sweetland hopes to be one of them. Sweetland, a former world junior champion, made history last season when she became the youngest Canadian at 18 years, eight months, to ever win a triathlon World Cup. Her victory at Richards Bay, South Africa., came in just her fifth World Cup event.

Propelled by success, Sweetland attacked the rest of the season like a hungry dog after a bone, but paid the price physically and mentally. So far this season she's raced in one World Cup event, finishing fifth in Tongyeong, South Korea. Now she is anxious to race again in Vancouver at the World Championships. Sweetland needs a top-eight finish in the June 8 world championship race to punch her title to Beijing.

For Fathers Day: 2 Girls 1 Cup Cake

Mug Shot of the Week

Not sure what crime she commited by clearly the hair dye job should be a crime.

Most chaotic horse race ever

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Honda Civic is Now the Best Selling Vehicle in America

The era of the pickup truck is over. For the first time in 15 years, the Ford F-Series has lost its position as the nation's top selling vehicle. The new king is the Honda Civic, followed by three other economy models. That's right: the F-Series plummeted to fifth place in sales last month.

Ford says it plans to sell F-Series trucks "at employee-discount prices this month," according to Bloomberg, but that's too late to help Ford return to profitability this year.

Declining pickup sales contributed to Ford's announcement last month that it would abandon a target of returning to profit by next year. The company had combined losses of $15.3 billion in 2006 and 2007, mostly because of its North American unit.

The automaker is slashing North American production for the rest of 2008 in response to the lower truck sales.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said that it will close four truck plants, build more small cars, and may drop its Hummer brand of large sport-utility vehicles. The company's May sales fell 28 percent, including a 37 percent plunge for pickups, SUVs and vans.

Secret Service Shuts Down "Assassination of Obama and Clinton" Art Exhibit

In March, simultaneous installations in two Chelsea galleries – one called The Assassination of Barack Obama, the other The Assassination of Hillary Clinton – were canceled “due to extreme legal pressures.” This morning the artist, Yazmany Arboleda, again attempted to hang his work in an empty storefront across from the New York Times building and got as far as putting up the name of the exhibit in the window before the NYPD, Secret Service, and – who would have guessed – the major media rushed to the scene.

The Secret Service ordered the show's title in the window papered over to protect the politicians. And Arboleda was detained and finally released, albeit outraged at the crackdown:

Cubicle Rage

No it's not Steve Carrell.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One ball, no strikes and OUCH!

The Award for Biggest Hollywood Screw Up goes to...Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O'Neal, who has been a mess longer than most Hollywood messes, was recently arrested in New York City buying crack cocaine.

At first she told officers she was "doing research for a film role." Can't believe New York's finest didn't go for that that one. The cops didn't buy it. Like Tatum O'Neal has a film role. That's ridiculous.

Miss O'Neal then changed her tune. Her rock solid reason for procuring rock cocaine? The former child star and heroin addict saud her dog had died. Her Scottish Terrier had passed away and she was grieving. A little crack was just the pick-me-up she needed.

Now just after being released she has a new storyline. "I'm still sober!" she told the New York Post newspaper in a phone call shortly after being released from custody.

"Just when I was about to change that and wreck my life, the cops came and saved me! I was saved by the bell, by the guys in the Seventh Precinct."

Picking the Next President

At the start of the primaries are posted my thoughts on the primary campaigns. Interestingly enough, the two nominees (Obama and McCain) are not really the establishment candidates, at least not at the start of the presidential races. So I think my criteria are valid and I'm reposting below.

1. Think "outside the box"
Avoid the establishment's preferred candidates because that is voting for the status quo. I think everyone knows who these candidates are. The establishment candidate are low risk politicians who aren't likely to shake things up. Going "outside the box" has its risks and once in a while you are going to get burned (eg., Jimmy Carter). That also means giving incumbents a good hard look rather than automatically voting for the most familiar name.

2. Focus on leadership and vision
Most voters focus on candidate's position on specific issues and fail to see the big picture. Often there isn't even a big difference in the candidate's positions on issues outside of the more contentious wedge issues. Leadership isn't just a buzz word, it's paramount. It's about how decisions are made, how they inspire people, what motivates them, how do they deal with crises, and whether they have integrity. How candidates handle themselves while under the spotlight of a campaign will tell you a lot about what kind of leader they will make.

3. Avoid candidates that go negative
Don't get sucked in by negative political ads. Politicians use them because they work. And don't believe their campaigns aren't behind the ads (Bush's swift boat ads) despite their claim of innocence. A politician that uses negative advertisement will likely carry on this type of activity in office. Character assassination is not a very good mechanism to communicate to people. You want to a candidate that focuses on their own merits without tearing apart their opponents. A good candidate can conduct themselves in a civil manner while debating issues.

4. Check where the money comes from
Candidates raise a lot of money and you should be concerned where it comes from. Are they going to be beholding to those that donate heavily. Do you want to maintain big business and interest groups' stranglehold on government. Also candidates that raise and spend big money are more likely to be the establishment candidates (ie., the status quo).

5. Don't focus so much on party
Many voters have voted for only one party their entire life. This type of thinking perpetuates the partisan nature of government. You need to focus on the candidate and not on whether they are red or blue. There are candidates with crossover appeal if you have an open mind.

One Hit Wonder

Bobbie Gentry - Ode To Billy Joe (1968)

Pringles Inventor Buried in Pringles Can

Dr. Fredric J. Baur was so proud of having designed the container for Pringles potato crisps that he asked his family to bury him in one.

His children honored his request. Part of his remains was buried in a Pringles can - along with a regular urn containing the rest - in his grave at Arlington Memorial Gardens in Springfield Township.

Fredric J Baur, died on 4 May at the age of 89.

A dog's life can be humiliating

Monday, June 02, 2008

Liberals Continue to Keep Tories in Power

Despite a chorus of bad publicity over the Maxime Bernier affair, the Conservative government easily won a series of confidence votes today.

The New Democrats and the Bloc voted to send the Harper administration to voters for a new mandate or defeat. The Liberal Caucus allowed the Tories to continue governing.

Rows of Liberal benches remained vacant in a series of votes on controversial immigration reforms that are part of a larger budget-implementation bill.

So why did the Liberals again refuse to defeat the Conservatives? Well a Ipsos Reid poll, published in the Canwest group of newspapers, indicated that 36 percent of voters supported the Conservatives, up from 35 percent a month earlier. Support for the Liberals fell to 29 percent from 32 percent. So the Conservatives widened their lead against the opposition Liberals despite the recent resignation of the foreign minister after he left confidential documents at the home of an ex-girlfriend.

Rock pioneer Bo Diddley dies at age 79

Rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley whose signature beat influenced musicians from Buddy Holly to the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Bruce Springsteen, has died. Below is classic Bo Diddley with his famous square guitar.

Another Day in Hooterville


George Brownridge Pleased 15 Women