- Calgary-based Wildrose candidate attributes his electoral edge to being Caucasian
“A day after an Edmonton-based Wildrose candidate came under fire for controversial religious views, a Calgary-based candidate with the party found himself in the headlines for on-air comments suggesting his chances of victory were better than his non-white rivals. “I think as a Caucasian I have an advantage,” Ron Leech told a radio station on the weekend. “When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslim leader speak, they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a Caucasian, I believe that I can speak to all the community.””
It’s just one thing after another with this election.
- A simple question, a blizzard of emails, and a peek inside how Canada’s bureaucracy works
“The Citizen asked the National Research Council a simple question back in March: What’s this joint study that you and NASA are doing on falling snow? The federal department never agreed to an interview. It sent an email instead, with technical details on equipment but without much information on the nature of the project. It never even explained the study’s topic. Before sending even that modest response, however, it took a small army of staffers — 11 of them by our count — to decide how to answer, and dozens of emails back and forth to circulate the Citizen’s request, discuss its motivation, develop their response, and “massage” its text.”
- North Korea says it will abandon deal with U.S.
“North Korea said on Tuesday that it was abandoning an agreement it made in February with the United States, in which it promised to suspend uranium enrichment, nuclear tests and long-range missile tests. The North Korean Foreign Ministry said that it “resolutely and totally” rejected the United Nations Security Council’s condemnation of its failed rocket launching last week, and that it would continue to launch rockets to try to place satellites into orbit.”
- Norway shooter deends his slaughter in open court: ‘I would have done it again’
“Reading a prepared statement in court, the anti-Muslim extremist lashed out at Norwegian and European governments for embracing immigration and multiculturalism. He claimed to be speaking as a commander of an anti-Islam militant group he called the Knights Templar — a group that prosecutors say does not exist. Maintaining he acted out of ‘goodness, not evil’ to prevent a wider civil war, Breivik vowed, ‘I would have done it again.'”
What goes through some peoples’ minds I will never understand.
- U.S. Secret Service hooker scandal deepens
“The sex and prostitution scandal engulfing the U.S. Secret Service deepened Tuesday, with reports that more than 20 women were brought to a hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, and that agents blurted their identities to hookers at a local brothel. The new revelations added to concerns about a culture of recklessness at the agency, which has suspended 11 officers for alleged conduct ahead of last week’s Summit of the Americas meeting. Separately, ABC News reported that Secret Service agents boasted that “we work for Obama” and “we’re here to protect him” as they earlier downed expensive whiskey and engaged prostitutes at the Pley Club in Cartagena.”
- Being an optimist ‘may protect against heart problems’
“Happy, optimistic people have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, a Harvard School of Public Health review of more than 200 studies – reported in Psychological Bulletin – suggests.”
Another plus to trying to look on the bright side! ;)
- Human Kindness Genes Withstand Threats and Fear
“What makes people behave kindly? As with so many human tendencies, displays of kindness are likely to be influenced by both environment and genes. People who have genes that predispose them to empathy and kindness, for example, are steadfast in their charitable behavior, regardless of their current environment, a new study finds. But people with genes that are linked to a weaker inclination toward altruism tend to reduce their charitable behavior and commitment to civic responsibilities, such as political action or jury duty, when they have heightened feelings of fear or being threatened. those who are genetically predisposed to be kind may be less socially deterred by threat, but those for whom socializing itself can produce anxiety may tend to become even more withdrawn than to reach out in times of fear. And that’s frightening in a country where the overall sense of threat and lack of trust has hit historic highs.”
What genes do you think you have?
- ‘Pregnancy begins two weeks before conception’ now the law in Arizona
“In Arizona, women are now legally pregnant two weeks before conception, according to a new law, the Orwellianly-named, “Women’s Health and Safety Act,” signed yesterday by Republican Governor Jan Brewer. The scientifically, medically, ethically, and intellectually dishonest legislation is designed to reduce the amount of time a woman is allowed to have a legal abortion, and is one of the most draconian bills to become law in America.”
- Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder, Says Internet Freedom Facing Greatest Threat Ever
“The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the Internet’s creation are facing their greatest-ever threat, the co-founder of Google Sergey Brin said in an interview published by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Monday. Brin said the threat to freedom of the Internet came from a combination of factors, including increasing efforts by governments to control access and communication by their citizens. Brin said attempts by the entertainment industry to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms, were also leading to greater restrictions on the Internet.”
- Canadian teens beware: more than 50% of parents admit to snooping on Facebook
“More than 50 per cent of the Canadian parents surveyed for a study on online safety admitted they secretly access their teenager’s Facebook account. According to a survey conducted in 11 countries by security company AVG, the global average of snooping parents was 44 per cent. Still, Canadian parents were less likely to spy on their teens than those in the U.S. and Spain, where 61 per cent admitted to monitoring Facebook covertly.”
- Greenpeace gives Apple, Amazon, low marks for ‘dirty’ clouds
“A Tuesday Greenpeace report that studied the environmental impact of the cloud criticized firms like Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon for lagging behind their Web counterparts. The firms, however, took issue with that characterization. Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft “are all rapidly expanding without adequate regard to source of electricity, and rely heavily on dirty energy to power their clouds,” Greenpeace said in its report, dubbed “How Clean Is Your Cloud?” Facebook, which has tangled with Greenpeace in the past, earned high praise from the group for committing to renewable energy, particular with its new data center in Sweden. Greenpeace also lauded Google and Yahoo for “prioritizing access to renewable energy in their cloud expansion, and [becoming] more active in supporting policies to drive greater renewable energy investment.” Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon, however, did not earn gold stars.”
Step it up a notch, companies. :)
- Household debt is ‘biggest domestic risk:’ Bank of Canada
“Canadians’ household debt levels are already at near-record levels. The Bank of Canada thinks they will swell even higher. “Household spending is expected to remain high relative to GDP as households add to their debt burden, which remains the biggest domestic risk,” the central bank said Tuesday as it boosted its economic growth forecast and indicated higher interest rates are on the way. The central bank has issued repeated – and urgent – warnings about household debt levels in recent months.”
We all need to handle our money just a wee bit better.
- Rogers bails on video store business
“Rogers has officially bailed on the video store business. In December, the company announced it was shuttering 40 per cent of its video shops as it continued to move away from selling and renting physical copies of DVDs, Blu-rays and video games. On Tuesday, Rogers confirmed its more than 90 remaining video stores stopped renting movies and games late last week and are now in liquidation mode.”
I remember when visiting the video store was a weekly activity for my brothers and I.
- Vietnam bloggers charged with ‘anti-government’ articles
“Three Vietnamese bloggers have been charged in a case of using their blogs to spread “anti-government propaganda.” The claims have alleged evidence of over 400 posted articles. The three bloggers are now awaiting trial, and if found guilty could face up to 20 years in prison. All three bloggers are part of a group known as the Free Journalists Club, an organization that Nyugen Van Hai and Phan Thanh Hai founded, which is outlawed in Vietnam as all newspapers are state-run.”
Ah, communism… this is very sad.
- Is humanity quietly abandoning a future in space?
“As astronaut Leroy Chiao watches the space shuttles he crewed make their final journeys to become museum pieces, he worries humankind is unthinkingly ditching space exploration and a future beyond Earth… With Russia’s commitment to human spaceflight also seen wavering and some observers questioning whether even emerging powerhouse China will stick to its brashly self-confident plans, some begin to suspect the world is simply giving up.”
That would be sad.
- Putting a value on endangered species to save them
“Habitat credits–which pay the owners of the places where threatened species live–might make landowners work harder to protect the animals on their property.”
We should be doing our best to save these species – after all it’s our fault they’re threatened.
- Marvel’s Kevin Feige explains how the studio will avoid a post-Avengers letdown
“Producer and head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige is like Uatu the Watcher when it comes to Marvel’s movie properties — he sees everything that’s going on. But now that The Avengers, the biggest movie in Marvel’s arsenal is about to launch, what’s next? How do you top that? How do you shake off sequel-itis? And what’s next for Thor 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America 2 and Hulk 3? We asked, Feige answered.”
I will go see every movie produced by Marvel. It’s always a good time!
Weird News, Other News & Fluff
- Raw video: Dangerous Victoria motorcycle ride hits 299 km/h
“A shocking YouTube video of a motorcycle rider weaving in and out of traffic on the Trans Canada highway, reaching a speed of almost 300 kilometres per hour, has Saanich police looking for the dangerous driver. The video, shot from a camera mounted on the front of the blue Yamaha bike, shows the driver speeding down the centre lane narrowly missing vehicles on either side. At one point, he revs up quickly and his speedometer reaches 299 km/h. Drivers on the road don’t even have time to change lanes to get out of his way.”
Wow. Unbelievably dangerous.
- A photo essay on America’s forgotten drive-in theatres
“It’s not easy for a drive-in these days, what with rising property values, the shift away from film to digital, and the moviegoing experience commonly reduced to the size of a handheld device viewed on someone’s morning commute. In the late 1950s, over 4,000 giant white screens dotted our country’s landscape coast to coast, but now fewer than 500 remain. Connecticut photographer Carl Weese has launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish his decade-long project photographing the grandeur, however fading, of these former giants of cinema’s golden age.”
A dying breed, I’ve always wanted to go to a real one! I’ve been to a set-up-for-the-night one in a parking lot a couple summers ago. :)
- NAIT’s unsolved mystery: Who took Ook?
“They have put his mug shot on milk cartons and Wanted posters and have made desperate pleas, but officials at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology are still stumped about the whereabouts of their beloved moppet mascot, Ook. A gift in 1964 from the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources, the furry, brown sealskin doll went missing five years ago from the school’s alumni relations office. Attempts to recover the aboriginal icon have failed, so administrators are stepping up efforts in hope of securing its return for NAIT’s 50th anniversary celebrations in the fall. On Monday, the college announced a reward in exchange for Ook’s safe return — a five-course dinner for six prepared by culinary arts students.”
Haha pretty funny.
- Vancouver’s budget-busting bratwurst wins Guinness record for priciest hotdog
“A gourmet Vancouver hotdog infused with century-old cognac now has a Guinness to go along with it — a Guinness world record. The foremost authority on record-breaking achievement has officially declared the Dragon Dog, created by DougieDog Hot Dogs in downtown Vancouver, as the most expensive hotdog on the planet. With a $100 price tag, the footlong Dragon Dog leaves its nearest challenger, the $69 Haute Dog from Serendipity in New York, simmering in the pot.”
I could never justify paying $100 for a hot dog!
- 33 animals with stuffed animals of themselves
“Here are some animals hanging out with stuffed animal versions of themselves, which is clearly a thing that animals should be doing a lot more often.”
Utterly adorable. :)
No big deal Thor’s just putting her front weight on Loki’s body, lol.