- Jasper Avenue gets a makeover
“Construction is scheduled to start next month on a long-term plan to restore Jasper Avenue to its place of honour as Edmonton’s Main Street. A controversial makeover in the 1980s that included several blocks of concrete medians decorated with globes — described by one councillor as “bunkers with hand grenades at each end” — failed to stem Jasper’s deterioration. A new vision approved in 2009 aims to change all that. This scheme, arising from the need to fix the water-damaged Central LRT station roof, is intended to revitalize downtown and put more pedestrians on the street.”
Hopefully it works! ;)
- Oilpatch bomber Wiebo Ludwig, warrior to some, terrorist to others, dead at 70
“Eco-warrior to some, terrorist to others, Wiebo Ludwig was for decades a polarizing figure in the debate over northern Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Ludwig died Monday at the age of 70 after a battle with esophageal cancer.”
Rest in peace.
- Alberta missing out on oilsands revenue: Study
“The Alberta government received less than 20% of revenue generated by the oilsands since 1997 — short of its original target of 35% — a new report says. In the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute study, completed in mid-March, the Edmonton-based think-tank concluded the oil and gas industry has raked in $260-billion in pre-tax profits since 1986, while the public received less than $25-billion — less than 6% of the total value.”
- Canadian teens, G-G mark 95th anniversary of battle at Vimy Ridge
“Thousands of students armed with Canadian flags and banners paid silent tribute to nearly 3,600 fallen countrymen Monday as they embarked on a slow march to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. An estimated 5,000 students braved persistent, driving rains as they plodded solemnly from the towering limestone pylons of France’s Vimy Ridge Memorial to a pair of cemeteries where some of Canada’s First World War dead are buried.”
Thank you to those who fought and sacrified their lives at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
- Deaths leave Syria truce ‘in tatters’
“A military bombardment of a town in central Syria killed 35 people on Monday on the eve of a scheduled army withdrawal from urban areas, opposition activists said, while on the same day a cameraman for Al-Jadeed television channel was shot dead in the border region between Syria and Lebanon’s Wadi Khaled district, sources said. The military bombardment has dashed the prospects of a U.N.-brokered ceasefire taking hold.”
So much for that ceasefire.
- U.S. tells North Korea not to carry out nuclear test
“The United States urged North Korea on Monday not conduct a nuclear test or launch a satellite and called on China to exert its influence over its neighbor to try to ward off such ‘provocative actions.'”
Man this is scary.
- Florida shooter starts fund-raising website
“From hiding, George Zimmerman has created a website to raise money for his legal defense and living expenses while he awaits a special prosecutor’s decision whether to charge him in the shooting death of unarmed black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. One of Zimmerman’s lawyers, Craig Sonner, confirmed on Monday the site was legitimately Zimmerman’s.”
- Obese women more likely to have children with autism: study
“Women who are obese during their pregnancies are significantly more likely to have a child with autism than healthy-weight mothers, according to the latest research into the sobering risks of obesity in pregnancy. The new study of more than 1,000 children and their mothers provides evidence that obesity and diabetes during pregnancy may be risk factors for autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental problems in childhood — a finding the authors warn could have serious public-health implications given ever rising rates of obesity. In the U.S., nearly 60 per cent of women of child-bearing age (20 to 39) are overweight; one-third are obese.”
- Resistance spread ‘compromising’ fight against malaria
“Scientists have found new evidence that resistance to the front-line treatments for malaria is increasing. They have confirmed that resistant strains of the malaria parasite on the border between Thailand and Burma, 500 miles (800km) away from previous sites. Researchers say that the rise of resistance means the effort to eliminate malaria is ‘seriously compromised.'”
- Spider venom ‘may lead to breast cancer cure’, James Cook University professor hopes
“Aussie scientists are studying spider venom with the hope it could hold the key to curing breast cancer.”
Here’s hoping it works!
- Major life decisions may be influenced by life expectancy
“The major decisions we make in life – from getting married to having kids to getting a divorce — may be influenced by subconscious thoughts of how long we think we’ll live, new Canadian research suggests. The theory suggests that those who anticipate living longer delay milestones such as marriage and having babies, and instead invest more time in school. Those who believed their lives are shorter may be less likely to divorce since there’s limited time to find a new partner.”
I don’t really agree with that. I hope (intend) to live a very long and full life and that also includes getting married young. I also have no intention of getting a divorce (though who actually intends on getting a divorce going into a marriage?)
- Say What? Synthetic whale vomit could shake perfume industry
“Whale vomit, a key ingredient in perfume, could be left out at sea as researchers have isolated a tree compound that could replace the odd ingredient. The discovery made by researchers at the University of British Columbia identified a gene in balsam fir trees that could eliminate the need for ambergris — a strong perfume fixative created from a regurgitated mixture of seashells, fish bones and a sticky inner-stomach substance that turns into a rock-like object once it reacts with sea water.”
Ew I didn’t even know perfume contained whale vomit, lol.
- Night and day, the gym’s always open
“Sometimes Danielle Deveaux feels like she’s working out in her own private gym. She’s not, of course. But at 10 o’clock at night, when there’s no one else around at the Snap Fitness Centre where she exercises, it can seem that way. Deveaux is part of a growing number of night owls, insomniacs and shift workers taking advantage of gyms that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; especially no-frill franchises that are unstaffed after hours and can be accessed with the swipe of a security card or key fob. Even people who don’t work out late at night want the option.”
There’s definitely demand for it.
- No more waiting rooms: Montreal Walk-in Clinic will text you when the doctor is ready to see you
“A Montreal walk-in clinic is doing something pretty cool and hopefully the idea gets picked up by hospitals across the country. Sitting and waiting for hours to be diagnosed by a doctor can be a long haul, up to several hours, mainly caused by lack of funding and staff. Once you check in you then proceed to wait in a room with all the other sick people, just staring at each other. At the MDCM walk-in clinic on St. Jacques St. West has implemented a phone service where people can get notified via text or voicemail of when a doctor will see them – within a hour! Patients will have to pay $3 per visit, but this gives them the flexibility to leave the clinic without missing their spot in line.”
Kind of neat.
- Facebook buys Instagram for US$1-billion
“Ahead of its blockbuster initial public offering, Facebook Inc. bolstered its photo-sharing features Monday by acquiring photo-sharing mobile app Instagram in a US$1-billion cash and stock deal. By far the largest acquisition in the 8-year history of Palo Alto-based Facebook, the purchase comes just weeks in advance of when the world’s largest social network is expected to launch a US$5-billion IPO, which would be among the largest public stock offerings in the history of the United States. ”
Pretty good investment on Facebook’s part I’d say. But will it be good for users?
- Facebook-Instagram deal raises new privacy worries
“Facebook’s planned acquisition of Instagram is already raising privacy concerns, despite chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge this morning that he wouldn’t simply “integrate everything” into the larger social-networking site. One big — and unanswered — question is how tightly integrated the popular photo-sharing service will become with Facebook. All photos shared through Instagram are public by default. But users can go to a settings menu and enable a “Photos are private” option, meaning that future (but not existing) followers of that Instagram user will require approval. Few people appear to take that extra step.”
We’ll just have to wait and see now won’t we.
- Pinterest is third most-visited social site
“Think back six months. You probably never had heard of a little website called Pinterest. Now it’s the third most-visited social-networking site in the United States, according to a report released Thursday by Experian Marketing Services, a digital marketing firm. Pinterest, which lets its users “pin” photos and info from the Internet onto virtual boards, ranks behind only Facebook and Twitter in terms of total visitors, according to the analysis, titled ‘The 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report.'”
When things catch on they really do catch on.
- Sony to Eliminate 10,000 Jobs, 6% of Workforce, Nikkei Says
“Sony Corp. (6758), the Japanese electronics maker that has forecast a fourth straight annual loss, will slash about 10,000 jobs, or 6 percent of its workforce, the Nikkei newspaper reported on its website.”
That’s a lot of jobs…
- Yes, there is a revenue impact tied to customer experience
“Forrester found that the impact of customer experience on hotels and wireless service carriers was more than $1 billion for each industry. For hotels, the potential impact is $1.36 billion, while for carriers it is $1.3 billion. The main finding, as it has been for the past several years, is that companies with higher customer experience scores tend to demonstrate and drive higher customer loyalty. They are also more likely to win recommendations from those customers, which translates into incremental revenue, the report suggested.”
Give me good customer service and I will keep coming back… great example: AMAZON! Love Amazon so much.
- Unlimited Vacation Doesn’t Create Slackers–It Ensures Productivity
“By tossing the two-week standard in favor of an honor system with unlimited time off, some companies are seeing an exponential rise in productivity. Now, they just have to be mindful of staff burnout.”
Love the concept.
- Accused of plagiarism, Fast Company blogger says he meant to steal from someone else
“A cop walks around a corner and catches a man smoking a joint. “Really sorry, officer,” he says, stubbing it out, “but I swear I was just smoking it for a friend.” No, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, and it doesn’t mitigate the crime. But that’s basically the excuse offered by bestselling author Josh Linkner when he was recently busted for plagiarizing the opening paragraphs of a blog post by Chris Dixon.”
- Nasa scientist: climate change is a moral issue on a par with slavery
“Averting the worst consequences of human-induced climate change is a “great moral issue” on a par with slavery, according to the leading Nasa climate scientist Prof Jim Hansen. He argues that storing up expensive and destructive consequences for society in future is an “injustice of one generation to others”. Hansen, who will next Tuesday be awarded the prestigious Edinburgh Medal for his contribution to science, will also in his acceptance speech call for a worldwide tax on all carbon emissions.”
Weird News, Other News & Fluff
- LOLcats Descend On The World’s Most Famous Architecture
“You know Frank Gehry’s Dancing House in Prague? The one that looks like someone kicked the side in? Turns out, someone did kick the side in! And that someone is Kickboxing Kitty. There’s a lot more where that came from on Furrrocious Forms, a Tumblr of architecture-themed LOLcats started by a bunch of “stir crazy” students at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.”
- [Video]: Kitten noms a bottle
“This little guy goes bonkers for some catnip.”
LOL. Hope it doesn’t get addicted.