Clicks of the Day: Monday, July 9, 2012 Edition!

Welcome to Monday, July 9 2012’s Clicks of the Day!

Clicks of the Day is a daily round up of news posted Sunday through Thursday with quantity and quality of content differing depending on how busy Linda’s day is.

    Edmonton/Alberta/Canada

  • Rolling electricity blackouts strike Edmonton and across the province
  • “With the city and region in the midst of a major heat wave, rolling blackouts have hit Edmonton, knocking out power in neighbourhoods across the city. Epcor spokesman Tim LeRiche confirmed the outages and said they are temporarily shutting off power in rotating areas of the city in response to a directive from the province to reduce power use. LeRiche said the directive came from the Alberta Electric System Operator.”

    These rolling outages sure caused outrage on The Twitter~ I surprisingly was unaffected both in my own home and during my commute home – didn’t hit one affected traffic light! Woot woot.

  • Warrant issued for man in connection to south side apartment fire
  • “Edmonton police have issued a warrant for a man, who is wanted on a number of charges – after a fire tore through a southside apartment building over the weekend. Police are searching for Zachary Holland, 25, who is wanted on 13 charges, including attempted murder, and four counts of arson causing injury. The warrant was issued partially in connection to the fire that broke out in an apartment building in Old Strathcona Sunday.”

    I always wonder what drives people to (allegedly) commit these kinds of crimes…

  • South LRT station proposal shot down
  • “A proposal for a potential new station on Edmonton’s south LRT line was shot down by the city Monday. The idea for an additional station was brought up by Coun. Don Iveson and briefly debated in Monday’s Transportation Committee meeting. ‘I said earlier it was not at the conceptual stage but at the napkin stage,’ said Iveson, after a request for administration to look into station costs was shot down by the committee. ‘I think it’s fair to say the napkin’s been folded up and put into the pocket for later consideration.'”

    A stop there would probably be nice but yeah probably priority should go towards getting the LRT running to other areas of the city first.

  • Tighter mortgage rules now in effect, but do Canadians know?
  • “Tighter mortgage rules came into effect today, but if the results of a new poll are any indication, almost half of Canadians were not aware the system was changing. In a bid to rein in the market, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has introduced regulations that make it tougher for Canadians to take out a loan or purchase new homes. The changes whittle the maximum amortization period for government insured homes down to 25 years from the previous 30 years. As well, lenders have been limited to only issuing home equity loans up to a maximum of 80 per cent of a property’s value.”

    We’ll see how this affects us in a few years when we start looking for our “sturdy” home.

  • Buying lunch takes major bite out of Canadians’ income: survey
  • “A new survey finds that Canadians’ habit of eating out for lunch, rather than brown-bagging it, is taking a major bite out of their disposable income. The survey from Visa Canada finds that a whopping 61 per cent of Canadians choose to buy their lunch once a week or more, spending between $7 and $13 on average. Another 9 per cent appear to have richer tastes, spending between $14 and $25 on their lunchtime meal. ‘That can add up over the course of a year.'”

    I always bring my lunch!!!

  • Female Mountie launches second suit against force
  • “A B.C. Mountie has launched a second lawsuit against the RCMP. In her latest suit, Const. Karen Katz says the harassment and abuse from her co-workers — which included sexual comments, jokes about her weight and practical jokes — led to health problems, such as bulimia and post-traumatic stress disorder. In an interview with The Province newspaper on the weekend, Katz called the work environment “toxic.” She said the second lawsuit came after there was pressure for her to return to work. She has been on medical leave since Feb. 4, 2009.”

    Intense…

    World

  • Infant left in hot car dies, toddler suffers heat-related seizure
  • “This past weekend two children in Indiana were left in hot cars. One infant died and a toddler was rescued, but suffered a heat-related seizure and was in critical condition. The infant was 3-months-old and the toddler is 16-months old.”

    AWFUL. Why. Why. Why do people leave their children in their cars ? In this heat ? And while we’re on the topic – stop bringing your damn pet with you when you go run errands ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S THIS HOT OUT! I don’t understand why this concept is so hard for people to understand!

  • Annan, Assad reach framework aimed at ending violence
  • “International envoy Kofi Annan tried to breathe new life Monday into his moribund peace efforts in Syria, saying he has reached a new framework with President Bashar Assad and would discuss it soon with rebel leaders. Opposition activists raised the death toll in the conflict to more than 17,000.”

    We’ll see.

  • Cambodian mysterious illness could be form of ‘hand, foot and mouth disease’
  • “A deadly form of a common childhood illness called hand, foot and mouth disease is thought to be behind a mysterious spate of child deaths in Cambodia, health officials said Monday. Lab tests have confirmed that EV-71, one of several viruses known to cause the disease, is to blame for a good portion of the 59 cases that have been reviewed since April, according to a joint statement from the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry. Those illnesses have resulted in 52 deaths.”

    Scary.

    Health

  • Montana Supreme Court: Obesity may qualify as impairment
  • “The state Supreme Court says obesity qualifies as an impairment in some cases under the Montana Human Rights Act, potentially allowing obese people to seek greater protection against discrimination. The divided court handed down the ruling Friday in a case between Eric Feit and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, finding that if a person’s weight is outside the normal range and affects one or more body systems, it may constitute a physical or mental impairment — even if it’s not a symptom of some underlying disease or health condition.”

    Ummm.

  • Bicycle set-up may damage women’s genitals: Study
  • “How a woman rides her bike can affect her enjoyment of sex, a new study has found. The report, which appears in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, has found the position of the handlebars can affect genital sensation in female cyclists.”

    Who knew.

  • Laughing yoga cultivates merry mindfulness
  • “Can’t touch your toes? Laugh it off. Laughter yoga, unlike Pilates yoga, water yoga, aerial yoga and other offshoots of the ancient eastern practice of uniting body and breath, doesn’t aspire to sculpted arms and bendy backs. Laughter yoga just wants you to be happy.”

    Still waiting to hear about laughing yoga hit Edmonton! First heard about this a year ago. Would make for a very fun story. Think of all the laughing nats! ;)

    Technology/Social Media/Internet

  • [Infographic]: Where are your mobile manners?
  • “Online College collected data and created this infographic about mobile bad manners. We think you’ll blush at how relatable these stats can be. Among them, a Mashable favorite: 10% of people under 25 admit to texting during sex.”

    What the heck!!! Also “90% of cell phone users think they have excellent mobile manners” – ummm. Not. (Myself included, at least I can admit I reach for my phone too much!!)

  • Internet Doomsday virus fizzles
  • “Fears that a computer virus might cut Internet access around the world appeared to be overblown on Monday after U.S. authorities removed a safety net that had protected infected machines for months. Shortly after midnight EDT, the authorities cut off computer servers in New York City that had been put in place to direct traffic for infected computers, which would have been unable to access the Internet without their help. Some blogs and news reports had warned that the shutdown of the servers could trigger a potential “blackout” and described the malicious software as the “Internet Doomsday” virus. But that did not happen.”

    Lol. Overblown.

  • Amazon to take on iPhone: sources
  • “Amazon.com is developing a smartphone that would vie with Apple’s iPhone and handheld devices that run Google’s Android operating system, two people with knowledge of the matter said.”

    Don’t people know, nothing can go up against Apple? Lol.

    Business/Work/Economy/Media

  • Windows 8 to hit the mass market in October
  • “Computers running on the next version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will go on sale in October. Microsoft Corp. announced the time frame for Windows 8’s mass-market release Monday at a company conference in Toronto.”

    Woo…. don’t really care… but you may, lol.

    Environment/Space/Animals/Science

  • Chinese police save 3,600 endangered crocodiles from being eaten by humans
  • “In southern China, police intercepted three foreigners trying to sneak over the border with precious cargo — more than 3,600 crocodiles. By the time police arrested the smugglers, 42 of the Siamese crocs (an endangered species) had died of dehydration and overheating. But if the police hadn’t intervened, the rest would have met an equally gruesome fate, as dinner for the culinarily adventurous in Guangdong province.”

    Stupid smugglers. Leave the animals alone. Glad most of them were saved.

  • South Korea to allow killing of whales
  • “26 years after a global moratorium on commercial whaling was put in place, South Korea’s decision to resume hunting whales for scientific research has dismayed environmental campaigners and stunned other members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). South Korea made the shock announcement at a meeting of the IWC last week.”

    Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.

  • U.S. scientist: Ocean acidity major threat to reefs
  • “Oceans’ rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, acting as the “osteoporosis of the sea” and threatening everything from food security to tourism to livelihoods, the head of a U.S. scientific agency said Monday. The speed by which the oceans’ acid levels has risen caught scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be climate change’s “equally evil twin,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told The Associated Press.”

    :(

  • NASA’s ‘new form of life’ untrue, scientists say
  • “Two new scientific papers have disproved a controversial claim made by NASA-funded scientists in 2010 that a new form of bacterial life had been discovered that could thrive on arsenic… ‘I don’t know whether the authors are just bad scientists or whether they’re unscrupulously pushing NASA’s ‘There’s life in outer space!’ agenda.'”

    Interesting.

    Weird News, Other News & Fluff

  • [Video]: Australian video celebrating Good Samaritans goes viral
  • “A video produced by National Australia Bank celebrating Good samaritans has gone viral. Filmed using hidden cameras, the clip follows the antics of regular people who decide to return a pair of sunglasses that they find near the entrance of a shopping center. A fake lost-and-found booth is assembled in the mall and a pair of sunglasses are planted strategically on the ground. Several people are then shown picking up the sunglasses and handing them over to the person manning the lost-and-found counter. Instead of a simple thank you, the good deed is rewarded with unexpected recognition. As they walk through the shopping center, their names and faces begin appearing all around them. From advertising screens to the icing of a cake, their simple act of kindness is celebrated for everyone to see.”

    This is really cool!! :)

  • [Video]: Clam eats salt
  • Totally weird to see!


Thor (and/or Loki) Photo of the Day:

Thor and Loki are just sprawled out trying to beat the heat. (Loki not pictured as he is beating the heat by laying in another part of the home, lol).


Have your say on some of these Clicks of the Day’s! Leave a comment! Or tweet me!

Linda

Clicks of the Day: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 Edition!

Welcome to Wednesday, May 9 2012’s Clicks of the Day!

Clicks of the Day is a daily round up of news posted Sunday through Thursday.

    Edmonton/Alberta/Canada

  • Emotional day in court at McConnell’s sentencing
  • “The sentencing hearing for the mother convicted of manslaughter in the drowning deaths of her two sons last month began Wednesday morning in a Wetaskiwin courtroom. On Wednesday, the Crown Prosecutor asked for a sentence of 12 years for Allyson McConnell, the Millet woman who was found guilty of manslaughter in April.”

    Such a sad case.

  • Cancer deaths on the decline in Canada, but lung cancer still a top killer
  • “A new report says the most preventable cancer – lung cancer – continues to be the top cancer killer among men and women in Canada, but overall cancer death among Canadians has declined. That’s due in part to improved cancer survival through advancements in treatments, better screening and prevention measures.”

    Such a preventable cancer. Don’t smoke, guys!

  • Historic Mercer Warehouse transforming into entrepreneurial hub

    “A historic downtown building is being turned into an entrepreneurial hub. The latest addition to the hundred year old Mercer Building at the corner of 104 Avenue and 104 Street is Startup Edmonton, a non-profit organization that rents office space and gives guidance to local entrepreneurs.”

    104 Street is really going to be the place to be, hey?

  • Cross-country expedition to help victims of child exploitation begins
  • “A three month, cross-country expedition to raise money and awareness about child exploitation kicked off on Wednesday. Members of the Angel Express Society began their 4,000 km expedition on horseback, which will take them from Edmonton to Halifax. The two participants of the non-profit organization hope to raise $1 million to support young victims of sexual abuse.”

    Good cause and definitely a unique way of raising money and awareness.

  • New Edmonton suburbs will cost another $1.2B: report
  • “New neighbourhoods already approved by Edmonton city council will cost the city an additional $1.2 billion for fire halls, parks, police stations and libraries, says a new report that gives the numbers for the first time. “Oh my god, that’s not including the LRT,” said Coun. Linda Sloan, hearing the figures for the first time. “It just shows the city is not sustainable. We can’t continue to grow the way we are.” City councillors have approved development in 44 new neighbourhoods on the fringes of the city without knowing how much services for these neighbourhoods would cost. The growth co-ordination strategy, released in draft form this week, quantifies the cost for the first time.”

    Ruh roh.

  • Best Eateries 2012
  • “Best Vietnamese: Indie 3rd place: Pho Hoang.”

    My parent’s restaurant King Noodle House Pho Hoang was voted third best independent Vietnamese restaurant in Edmonton in Vue Weekly’s 2012 Best Eateries! What an honour. :) Please visit if you haven’t yet! Our soup is DELICIOUS! (I’m not biased ;))

  • Inmates to pay more for room and board in federal prisons
  • “Inmates in Canadian prisons will pay more for room and board, and some will see their so-called incentive pay slashed, under new rules introduced by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews Wednesday. Toews said the changes are expected to save taxpayers more than $10 million per year — money that can be put toward rehabilitation programs.”

    If it saves us money then woo hoo.

  • As prisons close, complaints of overcrowding rise
  • “nmates in Canada’s federal prisons have been sleeping in trailers, interview rooms, family visiting spaces and gymnasiums, while the percentage of prisoners sharing cells built for one has nearly doubled in under three years, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail. The documents, obtained from access to information requests, suggest a penal system stretched to capacity. Canada’s prison population has been rising since 2005 after years of steady decline, growing 7 per cent between March 31, 2011 and May 1, 2012.”

    Rough.

    World

  • Obama endorses gay marriage, says same-sex couples should have right to wed
  • “President Obama announced Wednesday that he believes same-sex couples should be granted the right to marry, becoming the first U.S. president in history to fully embrace that level of civil rights for gays. Obama’s announcement gave an immediate jolt to the decades-long movement for gay equality at a moment when a growing number of states are moving to ban — or legalize — same-sex unions and as polls show a majority of Americans support marriage rights.”

    Absolutely.

  • Bomb hits convoy carrying UN observers in Syria
  • “A roadside bomb hit a Syrian military truck Wednesday just seconds after the head of the UN observer team drove by in a convoy, demonstrating the fragility of the international plan to end the country’s bloodshed.”

    Will the violence never end?

    Health

  • Music benefits babies’ brains
  • “Babies who receive musical training smile more, communicate better and react more calmly to unfamiliar or unfavourable situations, according to new research out of Ontario’s McMaster University. The study involved one-year-olds and their parents who spent six months participating in one of two types of music-related activities. One group played with toys while music played in the background. The other group learned to play percussion instruments and sing lullabies, nursery rhymes and songs with actions.”

    Music is good for the soul. :)

  • Baby clothes go high-tech: Pyjamas to monitor heart beat, temperature, movement
  • “Rogers announced Tuesday that it has partnered with U.S.-based biomedical engineering company Exmovere Holdings Inc., for the launch of digital pyjamas, called Exmobaby, later this year. The machine-washable outfit has embedded sensors and a AAA-battery powered wireless transmitter that beams information to a computer, smartphone or tablet. The manufacturer claims the product can perform electrocardiogram tests to measure electrical activity in the heart, monitor skin temperature and movement, and detect mood changes.”

    Interesting.

  • Health watchdog warns ‘obese’ is derogatory term for overweight
  • “British health workers dealing with the rising epidemic of obesity have been warned that referring to overweight patients as obese can be construed as derogatory. Charged with tackling rising obesity levels, public health workers employed by councils have been issued with new guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) regarding the type of language they use when referring to obesity.”

    Society is so sensitive these days.

    Technology/Social Media

  • Phishing, other malicious websites soar in Canada
  • “In almost every way, the malicious Web page is indistinguishable from the bank account login screen on TD’s own site – complete with corporate logos and a password entry field. Except the site has nothing to do with the Canadian bank. Instead, a user who tries to log in will have unwittingly handed over their banking info to cyber criminals… The number of such phishing sites in Canada grew 170 per cent in the past year, making it the second most popular phishing-site host country in the world behind the U.S., according to a new study by Internet security firm Websense.”

    Awful.

  • [Infographic]: Wake up call: 59% of mobile apps don’t earn enough to break even
  • “With Instagram recently having been acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and OMGPOP, makers of Draw Something, cashing in for $200 million, developers are attacking the mobile app space with a renewed vigor. Before jumping head first into a new project aiming to be the next big acquisition target, developers might be wise to look over a white paper recently put together by App Promo. App Promo conducted a study last month in an effort to investigate how well mobile developers are performing in this crowded space. In its survey, the company found that a staggering 59% of mobile apps do not generate enough money to break even. Only 12% of developers earn $50,000 or more from their apps, and these developers were found to have big marketing budgets of $30,000 or more. They also spend about 14% of their time focusing on marketing on average.”

    That’s still more than half – and the ones who do make it big really, really make it big.

  • Twitter hack breaches thousands of accounts
  • “A Twitter hacker on Monday revealed thousands of user names and passwords for the microblogging site, but here’s the good news: Most of the compromised accounts appear to be spam. Word of the breach began spreading Tuesday after hacking news and activist hub Airdemon posted a dispatch saying 55,000 accounts had been compromised. It linked to Pastebin pages containing the allegedly compromised user names and passwords.”

    Always change your password!

  • Facebook announces its own app store
  • “In a move that should surprise no one but make many developers happy, Facebook today announced a marketplace for finding apps called the App Center. “The App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga,” writes Facebook engineer Aaron Brady on the company’s Developer Blog. The Center will also include a mobile version, which Brady says is designed to increase the number of mobile apps that use the social network. The new hub, which will open in the next few weeks, will organize apps by user ratings, an important change from the current “like” system which can favor apps with huge marketing budgets. App makers will also get a dashboard for tracking how people are rating their apps.”

    Fun!

    Business/Consumer/Media/Economy

  • Pentagon approves use of BlackBerry 7 models
  • “Research In Motion on Wednesday said the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) had approved six models of the company’s BlackBerry 7 for use on its networks, extending a long relationship with the smartphone known for its tight security. The approval will allow RIM’s single largest customer to upgrade to the Canadian smartphone maker’s latest phones as it waits for the launch of its next-generation BlackBerry 10 devices later this year.”

    I would have gone with iPhone, lol.

    Environment/Space/Animals/Science

  • Mars was covered in water just like the Earth
  • “Early Mars was covered in water just like the Earth today, scientists believe… They calculated that the speed the particles must have been moving to recreate the divot would have required an atmospheric pressure 20 times greater than that found today. This suggests Mars once had a thicker atmosphere, said prof Dufek.”

    Wonder if Earth is headed the way of Mars too?

  • Smallest mammoths found on Crete
  • “The smallest mammoth ever known to have existed roamed the island of Crete millions of years ago, researchers say. Adults were roughly the size of a modern baby elephant, standing over a metre tall at the shoulders. Remains were discovered more than a century ago, but scientists had debated whether the animal was a mammoth or an ancient elephant. A new analysis of the animal’s teeth suggests it falls closer to the mammoth lineage.”

    Neat.

  • Unidentified floating object: Mysterious blob filmed in the deep – and no-one can work out what it could be
  • “A mysterious ocean ‘blob’ has been recorded by a deep-sea remote-controlled underwater camera. The creature looks like nothing seen before, with speculators suggesting it is everything from a jellyfish to the remains of a whale placenta. While, at a quick glance, the description of a jellyfish makes sense, the creature has organs and appendages never spotted on a jellyfish before.”

    So interesting!!!!!! Deep sea creatures (and mysterious blobby things) fascinate me.

  • Jaguars preying on green sea turtles creates conservation headache in Costa Rica
  • “There is a plethora of wildlife in Costa Rica. They have a problem however, that you won’t find in any other nature reserve. Oryx, the international conservation journal has a significant report today by Diogo Verissimo. Tortuguero National Park is a bay for turtle conservation on the north-east coast of the country but nobody told the local wildlife. The local jaguars have taken a liking to their fellow conserved species the green turtle. This is one of the biggest green turtle rookeries in the world, so obviously the reptiles have to be conserved. However the big cats are also “flagship conservation species” because they are highly endangered throughout Costa Rica and the whole continent.”

    So sad. Endangered species make me so sad.

  • Big rise in North Pacific plastic waste
  • “The quantity of small plastic fragments floating in the north-east Pacific Ocean has increased a hundred fold over the past 40 years… All the plastic discarded into the ocean that does not sink will eventually break down. Sunlight and the action of the waves will degrade and shred the material over time into pieces the size of a fingernail, or smaller. An obvious concern is that this micro-material could be ingested by marine organisms, but the Scripps team has noted another, perhaps unexpected, consequence. The fragments make it easier for the marine insect Halobates sericeus to lay its eggs out over the ocean.”

    Hmm.

    Weird News, Other News & Fluff

  • Ignore LOLcats and you ignore humanity
  • “LOLCATS, those adorable anthropomorphised images whose captions defy conventional rules of spelling and grammar, may actually be making us smarter. At least according to one boffin who has written an entire dissertation on the matter. Graduate student Kate Miltner has been awarded the best masters degree ever from the London School of Economics for her paper on the appeal of LOLcats. Ms Miltner’s study found that LOLcats weren’t so much about cute little kitties that couldn’t spell, but an essential form of human communication.”

    Amazing!! Lol.

  • Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School misspells own name for nine years
  • “Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas, has made an embarrassing correction after nine years: the spelling of its name, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reports. According to the station, the school added “McMillan” to its name during the 2003-2004 school year to honor its first teacher Mary McMillan, but accidentally spelled it “McMillian.” School Principal Marion Mouton told KDFW-TV that the correction process is going to be tedious.”

    Lol. How does that even happen.

  • 14 photographs that shatter your image of famous people
  • “When you step out the door, you’re playing a role. Whether you’re a hippie, stock broker, police officer or biker, you dress the way the world expects you to dress, you act the way the world expects you to act. So you can imagine how much more intense this is for celebrities, whose very careers depend on managing a public image down to the molecule. But even they can’t keep the occasional image-shattering photo from leaking out to the public…”

    Really interesting photos!

  • Japanese apparel company unveils new product, an ‘ice bra’
  • “A company that produces underwear has just unveiled a new bra that is constructed to be energy-saving. It is created of frozen packs to keep women cool during the hot summer months.”

    Lol… seriously.


Thor & Loki Photo of the Day:

Thor and Loki love each other dearly. :)


Have your say on some of these Clicks of the Day’s! Leave a comment! Or tweet me!

Linda

Clicks of the Day: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 Edition!

Welcome to Tuesday, April 17 2012’s Clicks of the Day!

    Edmonton/Alberta/Canada

  • 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.”

    Very interesting.

    World

  • 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.”

    Oy…

  • 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.”

    Yikes.

    Health

  • 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.”

    Eep.

    Technology/Social Media

  • 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.”

    Uh oh.

  • 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.”

    Lol.

  • 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. :)

    Business/Consumer/Media/Economy

  • 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.

    Environment/Space/Animals

  • 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.

    Entertainment

  • 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. :)


Loki Photo of the Day:

No big deal Thor’s just putting her front weight on Loki’s body, lol.


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Linda