Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Fun With Screen Shots

Why does Windows even try to predict how much time is left on your laptop battery? It always fails miserably at it. One minute it will tell you that you have 1 hour of battery life left and 30 seconds later it will tell you have 3 mins. Then it’s 2 hrs and 45 mins. It’s just completely useless.

Case in point, on my recent flight from Edmonton to Vancouver, on my way back from Yellowknife, I was working on my laptop and, because Air Canada sucks as bad as Windows’ ability to predict how much time is left on your laptop battery, the outlet at my so-called Executive Class seat didn’t actually supply any power, so I was working on battery. I get a warning that my battery is low and so I put my cursor over the little battery icon to see how much battery I have left and it shows me this:

Wow! With only 7% of my battery remaining, I can still work for 2 hrs and 58 minutes! Wicked! Best. Battery. Ever.

I also found this amusing:

BlogDesk’s spell check doesn’t recognize “blog” as a word. Awesome.

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P.M.#8: The one you can thank when you do your income taxes this month

What could be more Canadian than watching a hockey game while you write a blog post about the Prime Minister who led Canada through the First World War?

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Name Sir Robert Laird Borden
Born: June 26, 1854 in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia
Died: June 10, 1937
Party: Conservative, Unionist
Held Office: October 10, 1911 – July 10, 1920
Best known for: – led Canada through WWI, and introduced the War Measures Act1 in 1914-introduced Income Tax as a “temporary measure”2-believing that Canada had earned its stripes as a nation on the battlefields of WWI, he demanded (and got) a seat for Canada at the Paris Peace Conference, the right to sign the Treaty of Versailles and membership in the League of Nations

-his face is on the Canadian $100 bill

Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M. -he was the last Canadian P.M. born before Confederation-he was the last Canadian P.M. to be knighted-he was a Freemason

-for the election of 1917, he create the “Unionist” party, which was essentially some Conservatives and some Liberals who supported conscription (i.e., a military draft)

-between 1914 & 1917, 8500+ Eastern Europeans were interned in concentration camps in Canada. So not cool.

-the National Research Council of Canada was created during his first term3


If you are just dying to read more about the last of the Sirs, check out these links:

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Image credits: From from the Library and Archives Canada, copyright is expired.

1I remember learning about the War Measures Act in high school history class when we learned about the October Crisis.
2I joke about Income Tax but, honestly, I’m perfectly happy to pay it. In exchange, I get health care, education, and all sorts of other nifty things.
3As a researcher, I’m partial to this kind of thing.
4The Office of the Prime Minister site has very little information on each P.M. Also, I hate going to that site because I have to look at the ugly mug of the current P.M.

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The other day I Twittered “Why is no one emailing me when I’m desperately wanting a distraction from this work I’m doing?” Well, my friend Dan rose to the challenge, emailing me no fewer than FIVE distractions (thanks Dan!  I knew I could count on you)!  One of the said distractions was this article: “What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2008? (Nov, 1968),” through which I learned that the author, writing in 1968, was able to accurately predict:

  • laptops
  • web conferencing
  • touch screens
  • prefab houses
  • the US population (predicted: 350 million)
  • online shopping

But was a wee bit off the mark on predicting:

  • cars that travel 250 mph on cushions of air and are controlled by a “traffic computer,” a system that has eliminated all traffic accidents
  • rocket travel between continents
  • robots that do the housework
  • despite predicting that computers will control pretty much everything, the author felt that, in 2008:”Not every family has its private computer. Many families reserve time on a city or regional computer to serve their needs.”
  • work-life balance: “The average work day is about four hours”
  • vacations in undersea resorts or on satellites (yes, satellites)
  • “steak-like” meals made from seaweed
  • “Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet” – as cardiovascular disease is still the number 1 killer in North America, he really couldn’t be more wrong on this one
  • an “intelligence” pill given to “slow learners” and forgetful
  • and women’s rights:

The housewife simply determines in advance her menus for the week, then slips prepackaged meals into the freezer and lets the automatic food utility do the rest.

Apparently it did not occur to the author that women might have JOBS in 2008. I mean, what with the robots doing all the housework and all. Of course, since the men are only working 4 hours a day, I guess there just isn’t much work to be done.

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Earth Hour

Today at 8 p.m. local time, turn off your lights.

The World Wildlife Fund is encouraging everyone to turn off their lights for one hour on March 29 at 8 p.m. local time as a statement about climate change. They call it Earth Hour and you can join up here to let them know you’ll be taking part. I’m totally down with it and will be turning off my lights. But I have two things I want to say about it.

1. This is just a start. This is one hour and having millions of people turn off their lights for an hour will have a measurable impact on energy usage. But it’s only one hour. We live 87601 hours every year on this planet, and Earth Hour is just one of those. When you join up with Earth Hour this year, make a commitment to make changes in those other 8759 hours. Drive less. Refuse paper cups and plastic shopping bags in favour of travel mugs and reusable tote bags. Wash your clothes in cold water using eco-friendly detergents2. We only have one planet and turning your lights out for 1 hour a year just isn’t going to be enough.

2. I have a bone to pick with BC Hydro on this whole Earth Hour thing. I noticed something they say in their radio ad promoting Earth Hour and I’ve just checked and it’s on their website too. Here’s a screen shot:

Notice anything off in the text? Take a closer look:

Unnecessary lights? Are you kidding me? The idea behind Earth Hour isn’t that you just turn off lights in rooms where you aren’t. It’s to turn off all your lights. You should always turn off unnecessary lights, every single hour of every single day! Turning off unnecessary lights is not making a statement! And they have this text on their website directly under the Earth Hour & WWF logos, making you really think this is representing the WWF‘s Earth Hour. That’s lame BC Hydro… big time lame!

</rant>

OK, so turn off your lights at 8 p.m. today for one whole hour… I’m sure you can find something fun to do by candlelight during that time, no?   And make it the first of many many more eco-friendly hours, the whole year through!

1Or, in this case of leap years like this year, 8784 hours.
2Looking for ideas? Check out the blog Green is Sexy for daily tips on living a greener life.3
3Although I do take issue with their willingness to post giant pictures of spiders4
4This post is NSFA (not safe for arachnophobes).

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Welcome Gabriela Luongo

Word on the street is that Roberto Luongo and his wife Gina have had a baby girl, who they have named Gabriella. So congrats to them.

And thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that we will no longer have to hear the jackasses on the sports radio and TV shows saying: “Will Luongo miss a critical game to be with his wife when she gives birth?” and “Should Luongo miss a critical game to be with his wife when she gives birth?” and “Why didn’t they plan to have their kid in the off season so that it wouldn’t interfere with the playoff run?” and, my personal fav, “This is the most important birth since Jesus.”

Update (5:35 p.m.): Apparently young Gabby weighs 7 lbs, 6 oz.  Which just so happens to be what *I* weighed when I was born.  So, clearly, she is destined for greatest.

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Home From Yellowknife!

Home from Yellowknife. Too tired to blog much, beyond saying that Air Canada *sucks* and Canadian North rocks my world!

Here, look at this pretty picture of an Inukshuk, I will tell you more about my trip to Yellowknife tomorrow.

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Things You’ll Never Hear in Vancouver

  • “So, down south in Yellowknife…”
  • “… and no one asked him why he stole the skidoo.”
  • “I have an ice fishing sunburn.”

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Yes, it really was.

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I have bad hair dryer karma

I’m not making this up. I turned on the hair dryer in my hotel room and was thinking “Hotel hair dryers *always* break when I use them.” And then the hair dryer stopped working. Seriously.

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Telus, Why Do You Have to Suck So Bad?

At 11:30 p.m. last night, I got ALL the text messages that were sent to me during the day yesterday. Apparently those texts couldn’t get through to me when I was sitting around Vancouver airport… or Edmonton airport. Or for the first 2.5 hrs I was in Yellowknife. Despite the fact that I was sending texts all that time and they went through just fine.

I hate you Telus.

Hate.

You.