- Slave Lake rebuilds and remembers
“Residents of Slave Lake are marking a milestone. Today marks the first year anniversary since the devastating wildfire that destroyed nearly one third of the town. Last year’s fire destroyed 330 single detached homes and almost 170 apartments, and left thousands of residents evacuated from the town for weeks. Over the past year the rebuilding process has begun for many residents.”
My thoughts are with those in Slave Lake today. I just can’t imagine the year they’ve been through. Also if you didn’t watch it on Sunday:
- Wildfire: Heroes of Slave Lake
Check out the half-hour special CTV Edmonton did as a tribute to the heroes of Slave Lake.
- Travis Vader makes initial court appearance on murder charges
“More than three weeks after RCMP officially charged him in connection to the disappearance of Lyle and Marie McCann – Travis Vader made his first scheduled court appearance in Edson on the charges. On April 23, RCMP laid two counts of first-degree murder charges against Vader, 40, for his alleged involvement in the disappearance of the elderly couple from St. Albert in July 2010. RCMP arrested Vader at the Edmonton Remand Centre, where he had been held on unrelated charges. Police said new evidence led them to lay charges against the man who had been publicly connected to the case since the early days of the investigation, but never charged.”
And the trial begins…
- Schizophrenia group supports more freedom for Li
“The head of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada says the public has nothing to worry about if the man who beheaded another man on a Greyhound bus four years ago is granted supervised visits away from a Manitoba mental health centre. Chris Summerville, the group’s CEO, says he has met with Vince Li several times and has found him to be a gentle person who has responded very well to treatment at the hospital. “The reality is that Mr. Li is not deficient, Mr Li is not a criminal; he is a patient. And patients get better. And he is getting better,” Summerville told CTV’s Canada AM.”
- Software piracy in Canada exceeded $1.1B in 2011
“The value of computer software piracy in Canada totalled just more than $1.1 billion last year with 40 per cent of computer users admitting they acquired software illegally, according to a study released Tuesday. The Business Software Alliance study found that nearly one in three copies of software was unlicensed in Canada in 2011.”
- Top court to decide if data on work computer is private
“How much privacy Canadians can expect when they use work computers for personal use will be under a microscope when the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments this week in a case that could have wide implications for many employees. The nation’s highest court will have to determine how much privacy workers are entitled to for the personal data they store on computer devices they don’t own. It’s expected to be an important ruling in an era when many Canadians use work-provided computers and mobile devices for everything from personal email, to shopping, to storing family photos.”
Very interesting. I’ll be following this one!
- Campaign readies B.C. for Zombie apocalypse
“Justice Minister Shirley Bond signed off on the Zombie Awareness Week campaign, with some hesitation. Never having watched a zombie movie, she said Monday it took three meetings to convince her that the unusual media campaign would reach a segment of the population that tends to tune out public service announcements. Starting on Monday morning, Emergency Info B.C. began tweeting links to a post-zombie attack survival blog, with a small disclaimer noting that actually, there is no need to panic because the zombies haven’t really attacked yet.”
Lol this is awesome. And very important information to know.
- WWF report calls on Canada to ease demands on its resources, protect the planet
“Canadians are living far beyond the planet’s means, according to a report from an international conservation group. So far in fact, that if all the world’s residents lived like a typical Canadian, about three and a half planets like Earth would be needed to support their demands on natural resources. That’s the statistic found in a report released by the World Wildlife Fund Tuesday.”
- Greece to hold new elections after talks to form government fail
“Greece will hold a new election after politicians failed to form a government on Tuesday, nine days following an inconclusive vote, prolonging a political crisis that pushes it closer to bankruptcy and exit from the euro. After a third day of failed talks with political leaders, a spokesman for President Karolos Papoulias said the process of seeking a compromise had been declared a failure and a new vote must be held.”
- Mom kills her children, herself at Florida home
“A Florida mother shot her four children early Tuesday morning before turning the gun on herself at her home in Port St. John, police said… No suicide note was found in the home, but Goodyear said a witness told police he received a text from Thomas at about 3 a.m. that said she wanted to be cremated with the children.”
- US sets 2025 goal to tame Alzheimer’s
“The US says it will seek an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s by 2025, as it faces an ageing population and spiralling health costs. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the goal as part of the first National Alzheimer’s Plan. An additional $50m will be added to research funding during 2012.”
- Gene therapy may extend life: study
“Researchers in Spain may have discovered the secret to a longer life, a new study says. Scientists at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid have successfully and safely extended the lifespan of mice by an average of 24% with a single gene therapy treatment. The remedy had a “rejuvenating” effect on one- and two-year-old mice, the authors say in the study published Tuesday in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine. On average, the treated younger mice lived longer by 24%, while the older mice lived 13% longer.”
I just have never liked the idea of scientists trying to ensure we live forever. #itsnotnatural
- Needles hurt less when you look away, new study shows
“The next time a nurse is ready to plunge a needle into your arm, look away. There’s new scientific evidence that it will hurt less. In an uncomfortable-sounding experiment, German study participants received “painful or non-painful electrical stimuli” to one of their hands while watching a video of a hand with either a needle touching it, a Q-tip touching it, or a hand alone. They were led to believe the video image was of their own hand. Participants who watched the needle video reported more intense and unpleasant pain than both those who watched the Q-tip video or the hand alone. The takeaway: Look at the arm or hand that is not about to be pricked.”
I always look away! Hooray!
- Social media offers sex-like brain reward, says study
“‘Self-disclosure’ through mediums like social media offers a sex-like brain reward, says a new study. New research from Harvard University says that talking about oneself produces a brain response similar to the release of dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure. The study found that around 40 percent of daily speech is about telling others how we feel or what we think about things. That number jumped to 80 percent on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. “Self-disclosure is extra rewarding,” said lead author Diana Tamir, a Harvard neuroscientist, according to the Wall Street Journal.”
Would explain why we like using social media so much!!
- YouTube’s video views are falling
“At YouTube, the “view” is out and “engagement” is in. After investing $100 million to create content channels, YouTube’s focus has shifted from directing viewers to videos of skateboarding dogs to enticing them into longer, more engaging videos—the kind that are, not incidentally, more appealing to advertisers. On March 15, YouTube altered its recommendation system to make the time spent with a video or channel a stronger indicator than a click in determining which videos to surface to a user.”
Right way to go? I personally don’t spend too much time on online videos. Video A.D.D of sorts, lol.
- Facebook fatigue: Half of Americans say Facebook is a passing fad, IPO shares overpriced
“Half of Americans think Facebook is a passing fad, according to the results of a new Associated Press-CNBC poll. And, in the run-up to the social network’s initial public offering of stock, half of Americans also say the social network’s expected asking price is too high.”
Say what they will, everyone’s still using it…
- This is the golden age of Facebook privacy
“After Facebook’s IPO, the only way the company can boost revenues is by sharing more and more of your data. So enjoy what little privacy you have left before it’s gone. Facebook is planning to offer shares to the public starting this Friday at $34 to $38 a pop. Get yours while they’re hot. What does this mean for Facebook and your data? Everything. But what it mostly means is that Facebook will be under enormous pressure to post ever increasing revenue numbers every three months. And there is only one source of revenue for Facebook, ultimately: Your data.”
- How Yahoo killed Flickr and lost the Internet
“This is the story of a wonderful idea. Something that had never been done before, a moment of change that shaped the Internet we know today. This is the story of Flickr. And how Yahoo bought it and murdered it and screwed itself out of relevance along the way. Do you remember Flickr’s tag line? It reads “almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.” It was an epic humble brag, a momentously tongue in cheek understatement. Because until three years ago, of course Flickr was the best photo sharing service in the world. Nothing else could touch it. If you cared about digital photography, or wanted to share photos with friends, you were on Flickr. Yet today, that tagline simply sounds like delusional posturing. The photo service that was once poised to take on the the world has now become an afterthought. Want to share photos on the Web? That’s what Facebook is for. Want to look at the pictures your friends are snapping on the go? Fire up Instagram… The site that once had the best social tools, the most vibrant userbase, and toppest-notch storage is rapidly passing into the irrelevance of abandonment.”
Interesting (albiet long, I get distracted easily) read.
- 3D-printed glove makes your hand a mobile phone
“Bryan Cera decided that carrying around a mobile phone is handy and all, but sometimes leaves people tied up when trying to handle multiple things. Instead of creating a slimmer or smaller phone, he decided to use the entire hand and make it a phone itself for people to use. The designer and 3D printing maker then created the Glove One, a 3D printed design that can be worn on either hand, reports Crave and CNET. Made up of plastic pieces which are articulated, each finger can be used to dial numbers and even text message. In order to take a call, the person wearing the Glove One simply has to do the “Call me” hand gesture. And since the design was 3D printed, others who have access to a 3D printing machine can take the design and print out their own Glove One.”
A bit odd looking but perhaps it will catch on.
- `Mobile wallet’ deal the tip of the iceberg, analysts say
“A joint venture between Rogers Communications Inc. and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to turn smartphones into wallets capable of making day-to-day transactions with the swipe of a device represents the tip of the iceberg in a burgeoning mobile-payments market, executives from both companies say. The country’s fifth-largest bank and its biggest wireless carrier said Tuesday each is looking to partner with additional players in the nascent space.”
- Why milk processors want to spy on your breakfast Twitter chatter
“From behind a row of computer monitors in a Chicago office, social media detectives track milk-related breakfast posts from 8 a.m. to noon every weekday. They keep tabs on sentiment, engage milk drinkers, broadcast testimonials from celebrities like Maggie Gyllenhaal (see photo), and offer recipes and health tips. Their purpose? To humanize and promote the national “Got Milk?” campaign. The installation is called a social media “listening and engagement center,” and it’s the creation of the public relations firm Weber Shandwick.”
See, people do care about what you’re eating/drinking, lol.
- Tim Hortons to join other businesses and starts accepting Visa cards
“Don’t have any spare change? No worries. Tim Hortons is now accepting Visa cards. The country’s largest fast-food restaurant chain announced Tuesday it has added the leading credit card network to its list of payment options.”
I always assumed Tim Hortons accepted VISA cards. It’s weird to me that they hadn’t before and that them doing it now is huge news, lol.
- Judge comes down hard on publishers, Apple in e-book case
“In a strongly worded opinion, US District Judge Denise Cote rejected requests by Apple and five book publishers to throw out a class action suit that accuses them of price-fixing. Citing ongoing state, federal and international antitrust investigations, Cote turned down arguments that Apple and the publishers had acted independently when they changed the pricing model for e-books.”
Again, shame on them publishers… (even though I love Apple).
- AdWeek forces you to share articles on Facebook in order to read them
“When I landed on the article I was able to read the first graph or two before being asked to share the article on Facebook in order to continue reading. Flummoxed, I refreshed the page — thinking I’d encountered some sort of glitch or something — but met the same result. So, naturally, I left the page (Seriously, who the hell shares an article they haven’t read? Asking readers to do this is exceedingly dumb, not to mention just plain disgusting.) but thought maybe this was just something the publication was doing on big features like the one I clicked through to read since a quick Google search didn’t return any write-ups about AdWeek’s strategy to get people to share their articles. But then this morning Gawker Media’s Scott Kidder highlighted the same bizarre issue on his Tumblr, illustrating that mine was not an isolated incident.”
I don’t think this method is going to find much success.
- Should allowances be tied to chores?
“What’s the best way to teach children the value of money? That’s a question that has troubled parents for years. Most use a regular allowance as the vehicle for imparting lessons about how to manage, spend and save money wisely. But there’s a split among parents—and family-finance experts—over the question: Should a child’s allowance be tied to doing chores?”
Ah, I remember when getting $2 for a “chore” was a big deal!
- Hawaii the first US state to ban plastic bags
“The option to choose paper or plastic is officially coming to an end in sunny Hawaii, the first U.S. state to ban plastic bags. A bill was approved in December 2011 to ban the use of plastic bags on the Big Island. Now the whole state is following through with this ecological ban. People will need to take reusable bags when shopping for their groceries in every city and unincorporated area in the Hawaiian islands.”
- New study: Rogue planet may be lurking beyond Neptune — Nibiru?
“A Brazilian astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Rodney Gomes, has announced that there may be an undiscovered rogue planet lurking in the shadow of Neptune. Planet Nibiru watchers say the planet is Nibiru… According to National Geographic, Gomes came to the conclusion that a rogue planet may be lying beyond Neptune after he analyzed orbits of 92 kuiper belt objects and compared the result to computer simulations of how the bodies should be orbiting if there were no additional planet. Gomes said that in simulation models in which there was no distant rogue planet, no elongated orbits for six of the kuiper objects was observed.”
Other News, Weird News & Fluff
- Tokyo Disney allows same-sex fairytale weddings
“Mickey Mouse has given his blessings to same-sex couples wanting a fairytale wedding at Tokyo Disney. When Koyuki Higashi, 27, called to ask about getting married to her female partner at the Tokyo Disney Resort, a member of the staff reportedly said there would be no problem, as long as they dressed “like a man and a woman,” explaining that having two brides in wedding dresses or two grooms in tuxedoes would create “repercussions” among the visitors who would be watching, reported AFP… A week later, Higashi was contacted by resort officials who said that same-sex couples could hold wedding ceremonies in the park wearing the same outfits. An official from the resort said, “Even though same-sex marriages are not legally permitted, we reached the decision that wedding ceremonies can take place,” according to Mainichi.”
- 10 best time travel movies of all timelines
“Some day, people from the distant future will travel back to our era and inform us that science has conclusively identified the best movies about time travel. Until then, though, we’re forced to make our own judgements. Luckily, there are a few time-travel movies that have rocked our space/time continuums more than any others.”
I love time travel movies!! This list will become a weekend marathon sometime in the future. :)
- Columbia U janitor graduates, will keep cleaning
“For years, Gac Filipaj mopped floors, cleaned toilets and took out trash at Columbia University. A refugee from war-torn Yugoslavia, he eked out a living working for the Ivy League school. But Sunday was payback time: The 52-year-old janitor donned a cap and gown to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in classics. As a Columbia employee, he didn’t have to pay for the classes he took… For Filipaj, the degree comes after years of studying late into the night in his Bronx apartment, where he’d open his books after a 2:30-11 p.m. shift as a “heavy cleaner” — his job title. Before exam time or to finish a paper, he’d pull all-nighters, then go to class in the morning and then to work.”
What a feel good story.
- [Video]: Graduation marriage proposal
“Immediately after receiving her diploma, Sarah Cooper’s boyfriend was there to ask her if she will marry him. Congratulations guys… but I kind of feel bad for the guy that has to get his diploma after Sarah Cooper.”
- [Photos]: 21 cat hats
“Looking for the hottest spring fashion trend? Well look no further, because cat hats are THE hot ticket right now. Well, at least they would be if it was up to us. Honestly, what could be better than an adorable cat hat? They’re warm, furry and love sitting on things. Truly a match made in hat heaven.”
- [Video]: Cat pees like a man
Lol, had me laughing!
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