- Premier Redford calls election
“Alberta political leaders on Monday morning fired the opening shots in what is expected to be a ferocious 28th general election, focusing on education, health care and red light districts. Premier Alison Redford visited Lt. Gov. Donald Ethell just before 10 a.m. Monday, where she delivered a writ asking him to dissolve the house and call an election for April 23.”
And it’s on! Please become informed on party/candidate’s platforms and remember to vote.
- The race is on: Ipsos poll shows PCs and Wildrose neck and neck
“An Ipsos poll taken in the days leading up to Monday’s election call in Alberta shows the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose party tied with the support of 38 per cent of decided voters.”
Interesting. Side note: my neighbourhood’s first political sign went up today – it was for the Wildrose Party.
- Correspondence with killer informs book on Twitchell case
“Exclusive interviews reveal ‘charismatic, charming’ side to murderer… Lillebuen’s book about the Mark Twitchell case, The Devil’s Cinema, is set for release Tuesday. Lillebuen has followed the Internet-luring case since the story broke in 2008, when he was a crime reporter at The Journal. Over roughly three years, Lillebuen worked to weave together interviews and research into the more than 300-page book, which includes exclusive interviews and correspondence with Twitchell.”
Even just the article about Lillebuen and Twitchell’s correspondence and the upcoming release of the book is fascinating, can’t imagine how fascinating the actual book will be.
- Alberta Judge wants bars to limit number of drinks a person can be served
“An Alberta judge says the provincial government needs to pass a law that would limit the number of drinks a person can be served in a bar. Proposed by provincial court Judge James Jacques, the recommendation is part of a report into the death of a man who died in Fort McMurray in 2007. 50 year old Ronald Macaulay died after drinking at least 20 ounces of hard liquor in less than three hours. The Alberta Gaming and liquor Commission says it isn’t sure a law is needed adding it isn’t feasible.”
Yeah I think that would be kind of hard to enforce…
- Afghan massacre suspect’s wife: ‘He did not do this’
“The wife of a U.S. soldier accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians believes her husband could not have carried out the crime. ‘I don’t think anything will really change my mind in believing that he did not do this,’ Kari Bales told TODAY’s Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview that aired Monday. ‘This is not what it appears to be.'”
- From coast to coast, protesters demand justice in Trayvon Martin case
“The saga of Trayvon Martin continued to energize thousands around the country Monday, spurring demonstrations across the United States and even turning what had been a regularly scheduled city commission meeting into a hot-ticket event. Exactly one month ago, the 17-year-old was shot dead in Sanford, Florida, while heading back from a convenience store, where he’d picked up a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. The teen’s admitted shooter, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, hasn’t been charged in the case, and his lawyer has said his client shot Martin in self-defense. Yet the young victim’s parents, as well as their supporters, have suggested that the shooter thought their son was “suspicious” because he was black, adding that they feel local police bungled the case in numerous ways — chief among them, by not arresting Zimmerman.”
A case many are following. I wonder what will happen.
- The “walking dead” phase of the Republican primary is upon us
“Rick Santorum lost his temper with the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny on Sunday when Zeleny, perhaps the most even-tempered reporter we know, pushed the former Pennsylvania Senator on his remark that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would be the “worst Republican” to nominate against President Obama… It’s the latest in a series of head-scratchers from Santorum.”
Quite the would-be leader.
- By the numbers: Hospital wait times (Canada)
“The wait list in Canada for a number of procedures and treatment is long and provinces are struggling in their efforts to lessen the backup, a lengthy report suggests… About eight in 10 Canadians are still able to access treatments within benchmarks – or set appropriate wait times – agreed upon by the provinces, which means that about 20 per cent are waiting longer than they should.”
Ridiculous wait times.
- New devices provide medical breakthroughs in diagnosing
“Canadian scientists are developing a new electronic chip that could detect cancer earlier and without invasive biopsies… Using blood samples, the scientists isolate circulating cells from the blood and look for specific markers using the chip. Urine samples or even swab samples from the cheek or the throat could be used in the process… If other illnesses are associated with molecular markers, the device could also help with diagnosing.”
Cool, though I’m never fond of the idea of electronic chips being inserted into humans.
- Scientists find gene that can make flu a killer
“In a study published in the journal Nature on Sunday, British and American researchers said they had found for the first time a human gene that influences how people respond to flu infections, making some people more susceptible than others. The finding helps explain why during the 2009/2010 pandemic of H1N1 or “swine flu”, the vast majority of people infected had only mild symptoms, while others – many of them healthy young adults – got seriously ill and died. In future, the genetic discovery could help doctors screen patients to identify those more likely to be brought down by flu, allowing them to be selected for priority vaccination or preventative treatment during outbreaks, the researchers said.”
It’s all in the genes.
- Popcorn has hidden health benefits
“Pass the popcorn. A new study confirms that the hull of popcorn has some good nutritional qualities — assuming it’s not smothered in butter, oil and salt.”
Lol. But I love oil and salt (and white cheddar) on my popcorn!
- Chocolate Eating Linked To Lower BMI
“Good news, chocolate fans. A new study suggests that people who eat the sweet stuff may more frequently have lower BMI. Given prior research suggesting chocolate consumption may be beneficial for metabolic function, linking it to reduced risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, the authors claim that the new study may point to something beyond a mere association. ‘Chocolate can be rich in antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative stress,” said Golomb. ‘That has the ability to ‘poison’ cell metabolism a little bit.'”
I still dislike chocolate ;)
- How Apple is changing kids’ brains
“Though Apple is actively marketing the iPad as a valuable learning tool for children and teens, many experts are wary about the effects on young, developing minds. They point to studies that show a strong relationship between increased media use and cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and worry that children’s real-life social skills will be permanently damaged. But in an increasingly technology-focused society and economy — jobs in science and technology fields are expected to grow twice as fast as jobs in other sectors over the next 10 years — others argue that exposure to technology, no matter how early, will only help children develop into the tech-savvy adults the country needs.”
- So DO red heads feel more pain? Scientists set out to discover truth of controversial theory
“A trial is investigating whether pale-skinned and red-haired people react differently to pain. And it could mean redheads need to be treated differently when receiving anaesthetics.”
Lol. Oh the studies that are conducted.
- One in three babies born this year will live to 100
“One in three babies born this year will live to the age of 100, official projections have concluded.”
That is unless the world ends, lol.
- New Japanese security camera scans 36 million faces per second
“If you thought Big Brother had already arrived, Hitachi Kokusai Electric has just kicked the gauge up several notches, in the form of millions of indexes. According to DigInfoTV, a Tokyo video news site, Hitachi Kokusai Electric’s new development can sift through data on 36 million faces in one second. The report states the technology can find a face matching against either surveillance footage or a photo.”
- The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
“Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks… Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”
Well. That’s unfortunate.
- Visual.Ly Launch Automatic Infographic Tool; Creates An Infograph In Just A Few Clicks
“Since its launch back in July, the data visualisation platform Visual.ly has allowed budding designers and users to create their own infographics with little effort, claiming to have created more than 11,000 infographics, 4,000 designers and have around two million visitors to the site per month. The only thing users needed before designing their infographic were facts and figures for whatever topic was being covered. Now that accessibility has opened up even further with their new tool Visual.ly Create, a service that allow anyone to create and share infographics with virtually no effort.”
Cool. I want to try. I just need data to actually plug into infographic form, lol.
- Japanese Court Tells Google to Stop Search Autocomplete
“A Japanese court has ordered Google to shut down its autocomplete feature in Japan after a man took a complaint to court that said autocomplete feature was casting him in a negative light. The mans’ name was not revealed, though the complaint said autocomplete coupled his named with over 10,000 negative words, and it is negatively affecting his career. As one might imagine, Google is choosing not to shut down the autocomplete feature, stating that the company is situated in the United States, and does not have to oblige Japanese law.”
- Customer Sues Apple for $1 Million After Apple Store Door Breaks Her Nose
“Though Apple’s all-glass fronted retail stores include warning stickers, as part of a safety measure introduced last year, one customer – 83-year-old Evelyn Paswall – recently broke her nose, after a transparent Apple Store glass door caught her out. Discontent with the practicalities of all-glass store fronts, Paswell and her family have decided to sue Apple for $1,000,000.”
People seem to sue for anything and everything these days.
- Angry Birds Space Tops 10M Downloads in Three Days
“Angry Birds Space developer Rovio just made a bold claim about its latest bird-tossing time-killer: 10 million downloads in three days.”
And the wild popular continues! I haven’t tried this one yet. My Angry Birds fever has slightly declined.
- Canadian job applicants need not worry about boss snooping around Facebook
“Labour laws in Canada offer strong protection from employers who ask jobseekers for personal information such as social media passwords, lawyers said. Rules in the U.S. are much more lax… Labour matters generally fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces, but federal laws are also in place to help protect personal information.”
- Music Industry Can See The Light After ‘Least Negative’ Sales Since 2004
“The music industry enjoyed its best sales performance for eight years in 2011, as CDs’ collapse decelerated, digital sales continued growing and new services were launched to capitalise on in-roads made in combating piracy. Global recorded music trade revenue fell by just three percent through the year. ‘2011 marked the least negative result in global recorded music sales since 2004, when revenues were flat.'”
That’s good news! :)
- Humor writer says he’s uncovered another serial plagiarist
“Steve Jeffrey, the publisher and editor of The Anchor Weekly in Chestermere, Alberta, has wantonly plagiarized from humor writers, writes George Waters, who describes how he discovered that Jeffrey apparently had reproduced his own work. Waters read every one of Jeffrey’s columns from the last year and found that in 42 of the 52 issues he looked at, his “Sittin’ in the Lighthouse” column contained material filched from other writers… My conversation with Jeffrey was surreal. When I relayed Waters’ allegations, Jeffrey responded, “I don’t know what to say.” When I asked if the columns that ran under his name weren’t his, he said, ‘I would say yes because I don’t like humor.'”
Awful. How can you even play dumb about that too?
- The Latest Trend in College Admissions: Parents Write Letters of Recommendation
“In an era of helicopter parenting, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that mom and dad may be penning letters of recommendation for Junior. Recently, the Associated Press reported on a handful of colleges… that welcome parents to write letters of recommendation for their children who are applying. Wisely, it turns out that those admissions officers who sanction the practice aren’t really seeking objectivity from parents; they’re seeking texture. And who better to offer that than the people who’ve been there from day one? Still, it does seem a little strange.”
- Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed
“The good news? The Hunger Games made $155 million at the box office its opening weekend, making it the third-best debut in North American box office history. The bad news, however, reflects a level of idiocy that we weren’t really expecting… The posts go on and on and on. It’s not just a coupe of tweets, it’s not just a coincidence. There’s an underlying rage, coming out as overt prejudice and plain old racism.”
Terrible. Absolutely awful. Come on, people.
Weird News, Other News & Fluff
- $26 hot dogs get their day at Rangers Ballpark
“Texas will debut its newest culinary creation — the Champion Dog — when the club plays the Chicago White Sox on April 6. The hot dog isn’t for those watching their waistlines, as the all-beef frank weighs in at a full pound — before the toppings. It’s also not for those watching their wallets, as the dog that measures nearly 2 feet in length will come with a sticker price of $26.”
Waste of money…
- [Video]: Cat streaker interrupts basketball game
“A stray cat got the scare of a lifetime after being chased off the court of an Israeli basketball game by the biggest dog he’s every seen.”