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H5N1 bird flu

Clicks of the Day, Current Events, Lists

Clicks of the Day: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 Edition!

Welcome to Wednesday, May 2 2012’s Clicks of the Day!


  • Report on MLA compensation recommends scrapping transition allowances
  • “Alberta’s provincial politicians should be paid $134,000 a year, plus up to $67,000 more when they take on extra responsibilities, says an independent salary review released Wednesday… Major also advised the government to scrap the gold-plated transition allowances that cost taxpayers more than $15 million this year, and said the province should discontinue the roughly $11,000 in RRSP money MLAs are given each year.”

    So much money…

  • Anti-idling bylaw to curb exhaust outside local schools, hospitals
  • “A five-year fight for cleaner air finally ended Wednesday when city council passed Edmonton’s first anti-idling bylaw. The new rule only bans drivers from running engines excessively outside schools and hospitals, not across the city, but Coun. Don Iveson said it will give kids a way to push adults to change their behaviour.”

    Good move.

  • Poll suggests dead heat for NDP, Tories on anniversary of election
  • “A new poll suggests the Conservatives and NDP are in a statistical tie for voter support one year after the federal election.”

    Lol. Though we know how wrong polls can be.

  • Leaders’ anniversary speeches highlight their contrasting styles
  • “Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair, the Leader of the New Democrats, addressed their caucuses on Wednesday morning with speeches crafted to chart the path forward. Mr. Harper was marking the first year of his majority government and Mr. Mulcair was saluting his party’s elevation to the offices of the Official Opposition.”

    Oh, politics.

  • Parliament gives up on hunt for Toews’ ‘Anonymous’ tormentor
  • “Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ right as a parliamentarian to do his job free from intimidation and threats was violated by a series of online videos, a Commons committee has concluded, but it won’t be Parliament that seeks the identity of the minister’s antagonist. Instead, the RCMP will continue to digitally track the person or people behind the videos, posted by the online hacker community known as Anonymous in the wake of the government’s tabling of its controversial online surveillance bill.”


  • Bank of Canada unveils new $20 bill
  • “Counterfeiters beware: the Bank of Canada has unveiled a new version of the $20 bill that it says is almost impossible to copy… The new paperless, plasticized bills are part of a total currency redesign announced by the country’s central bank in 2011. The new $20 bills will begin circulating in November, joining polymer versions of the redesigned $100 and $50 bills already in use. New versions of the $10 and $5 will follow by the end of 2013.”


  • Election will resolve tuition-fee conflict: Quebec minister, opposition
  • “Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand and Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois, who rarely agree on anything, both proposed on Wednesday that a new election is the only way to resolve Quebec’s tuition strike, now entering its fourth month.”

    This strike needs to end, four months wow.


  • UN sanctions three North Korea firms over rocket launch
  • “The UN has imposed sanctions on three North Korean state-owned companies in response to Pyongyang’s failed rocket launch last month. The decision to freeze the assets of the firms and ban them from global trade was approved by the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee.”

    Hope it helps deter WWIII.


  • Nature publishes details of bird flu strain that could spread among people
  • “Controversial research on a hybrid strain of bird flu that could potentially spread between humans was published on Wednesday in Nature after security restrictions on the work were lifted. Scientists created the virus by merging a mutated strain of bird flu with the “swine flu” virus that sparked a human pandemic in 2009. The hybrid strain spread easily between ferrets – the best proxy that flu researchers have for people – but was not lethal and could be controlled with antiviral drugs and bird flu vaccines.”

    We will be responsible for our species demise… lol. Not to be depressing or anything.

  • Have scientists found a potential cure for aging in space?
  • “Researchers have found the enzyme responsible for killing-off their cells including their immune system, which could also be inhibited here on Earth to help slow the aging process.”

    Cool for use in space, I would question whether or not we should be trying to slow our own aging on Earth. Humans aren’t meant to live forever!

  • The costs of obesity
  • “Although the epidemic of obesity is well-known, the costs are not — and in many cases are significantly greater than estimated even a few years ago. Some examples of obesity’s economic impact: $190 billion in annual medical costs due to obesity, double earlier estimates. $1,850 more per year in medical costs for an overweight person than for someone of healthy weight, among employees at the Mayo Clinic and their adult dependents. $5 billion annually for additional jet fuel needed to fly heavier Americans, compared to fuel needed at 1960 weights.”


  • Sleep can turn off obesity genes, study says
  • “Research linking weight gain and obesity finds that getting more sleep each night may help limit genetic influences on weight. The study raises the tantalizing possibility that people may be able to use sleep to change a genetic predisposition to weight gain. ‘The longer you sleep, the less important genetics become in determining what you weigh,’ explained Dr. Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the University of Washington Sleep Disorders Center. “Does this mean you can sleep yourself thin?’ Watson asked. ‘Probably not. But you can sleep yourself to a point where environmental factors, like diet and activity, are more important in determining your body weight than genetics.'”

    Interesting. (I sleep a lot!)

  • Preterm births on the rise: report
  • “The rates of preterm births globally are on the rise, a new Canadian-led study has found… ‘Of the 65 countries with reliable trend data for preterm birth rates, all but three countries have shown increases in the last 20 years,’ Dr. Joy Lawn, co-editor of the report, said in a release Wednesday. ‘Preterm births account for almost half of all newborn deaths worldwide and are now the second leading cause of death in children under five, after pneumonia, and six times more than child deaths due to AIDS'”

    Why the increase?

  • We can prevent PDS… with Tetris
  • “In recent years, the military’s top brass have funded some truly bizarre approaches — from neck injections to Reiki — in an effort to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress afflicting today’s soldiers. Turns out, they could’ve just equipped troops with Game Boys. At least according to one research team out of Oxford University, who claim that Tetris — yes, the ubiquitous, tile-stacking videogame of your youth — can actually prevent PTSD-related flashbacks.”

    Video games soothes the soul.

    Technology/Social Media

  • Why Mac users should care about Windows malware
  • “A Sophos researcher stirred up the Mac masses this week when he reported that 20 percent of Mac computers carry Windows malware. The good news is that even though Macs are capable of harboring Windows-targeting viruses and Trojans, those machines can’t be harmed by the malware in all but exceptional cases. The bad news, though, is that Mac users can still spread that malware to Windows machines in a number of ways.”

    Well at least our Macs can’t be harmed, lol. #whocaresaboutWindows

  • Who Googled you? This website knows
  • “After a date, a pitch or a job interview, there’s a good chance you’re going to get Googled. Online reputation manager BrandYourself now helps you figure out who is searching for your name. The startup, which helps individuals control Google results for names through SEO, launched a new feature on Tuesday that shows users where visitors to their BrandYourself profiles work and where they’re located.”

    Ego booster?

  • Amazon gets involved in original content with Amazon Studios
  • “Amazon today announced that Amazon Studios, the company’s original content arm, will expand its focus from films to original television series. Starting today, anyone is invited to head over to the new Amazon Studios page dedicated to original TV content and submit scripts for children’s and comedy shows to Amazon.”

    I didn’t even realize there was an Amazon Studios!


  • Digital assets, pet care among ‘new frontier’ of estate planning
  • “Your iTunes collection really is a matter of life and death, according to a new report on estate planning by BMO Retirement Institute. Digital assets, alongside caretaking provisions for parents and pets, are named among the top “new frontiers” often overlooked by Canadians when formalizing their final wishes. The report, published Monday, cites the migration of our personal, professional and financial affairs online, the elevated place of pets in families, and longer life expectancy as reasons for the growing importance of these areas.”

    How can you overlook your pets?!?!

  • Fewer Canadian workers online than in ‘developing countries’
  • “Canadian workers are less likely to have access to the Internet at work or have a smartphone — either their own or one provided by their employer — than workers in so-called “developing countries” such as China and India, according to survey results released Wednesday. Surveys done by international staffing firm Randstad found 76 per cent of Canadian workers polled had access to the Internet at work. While that accounts for the vast majority, it was far less than in China and India, which were both at 93 per cent.”


  • CNN ratings decline stirs worries
  • “‘Maybe CNN is just like an emergency room.’ That is what a longtime CNN employee theorized last year, during one of the channel’s predictable defeats in the Nielsen ratings. When elections and explosions happen, people tune in to CNN, the same way they hurry to a hospital when they think they are having a heart attack. But people tend not to linger in either place — a reality that was reaffirmed for CNN this week when Nielsen ratings showed that April was the channel’s lowest-rated month in 10 years.”

    Despite low ratings, CNN is set to make $600 million in operating profits this year.


  • Dinosaurs were drained of blood by gigantic horror fleas
  • “As if impending extinction wasn’t enough, dinosaurs were also plagued by giant mega-fleas that impaled their soft underbellies and feasted on their blood. The super-fleas, which were around ten times the size of the fleas that bother dogs nowadays had an extra-painful bite because of their huge suckers.”


  • Polar bears are great swimmers
  • “Polar bears are capable of swimming vast distances, a potential survival skill needed in an Arctic environment where summer sea ice is vanishing, a study led by the U.S. Geological Survey showed on Tuesday.”

    They’ll need it :'( Because we’re destroying their homes. :'(

    Weird News, Other News & Fluff

  • Mom of the year makes her son’s lunch look like awesome art
  • “To say the lunches she makes are just ‘fun’ is an understatement, they’re inspired edible greatness that use popular children’s characters and a wicked imagination to make healthy vegetables and crustless bread awesome.”

    Amazing!! So fun.

  • Canadian web phenomenon Dear Photograph brings heartfelt words, images to print
  • “The instructions are simple: Hold up an old photo in front of the place where it was originally shot, take a picture of the picture, then write a dedication about what the photo means to you. Since the launch of last year, an idea sparked by a snapshot in Kitchener, Ont., has ignited a global phenomenon, setting off a flurry of camera shutters and unleashing a flood of memories among thousands who’ve embraced the nostalgic concept.”

    Such an interesting project.

  • [Video]: Stressed out kitty gets relaxing massage
  • LOL oh my. Great gift idea for my kitties, haha.

  • [Video]: Mouse snuggles with kitten
  • So strange!! Can’t really say that it’s cute because it’s a mouse, lol. Icky.

Thor & Loki Photo of the Day:

Back from vacation, home to my kitties!

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


Clicks of the Day, Current Events, Lists

Clicks of the Day: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Edition!

Welcome to Wednesday, April 18 2012’s Clicks of the Day!


  • Strategic voting could tip the scales
  • “As the provincial election battle intensifies between the two parties on the political right, people who might have been considering voting for one of the left-leaning parties could resort to strategic voting. “Strategic voting is all about preventing your least favourite candidate from winning,” explains Grant MacEwan University political scientist Chaldeans Mensah. It’s a trend that’s becoming more prominent as April 23rd nears. Numerous signs and websites have been popping up around the province encouraging people to vote strategically, given how close the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties have been polling.”

    Will you be voting for someone you believe in or voting to prevent your least favourite candidate from winning?

  • Wildrose candidates’ gaffes raise ire of mayors
  • “The mayors of Alberta’s two major cities have waded into the provincial election campaign, saying the remarks of some candidates hurt the image of their cities. In particular, they focused on Allan Hunsperger and Ron Leech, two pastors running for the Wildrose in Edmonton and Calgary, respectively. Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi (who has repeatedly said he hasn’t endorsed a party) said Mr. Leech’s post-gaffe explanation – that he meant to say he wasn’t at a disadvantage because he’s white – didn’t address whether he believes, as he originally implied, that non-white candidates only represent non-white voters. Mr. Nenshi happens to live in the riding. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel publicly questioned why Ms. Smith didn’t refute Mr. Hunsperger, saying homophobia isn’t welcome in his city. “We’re accepting and open and welcome everybody. We don’t want people to think that this is a place that people are not welcome,” Mr. Mandel told a local radio station.”

    When the mayors get involved you know it’s quite the election.


  • U.S. condemns photos of soldiers posing with body parts
  • “A new revelation of young American soldiers caught on camera while defiling insurgents’ remains in Afghanistan has intensified questions within the military community about whether fundamental discipline is breaking down given the nature and length of the war. The photographs, published by The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, show more than a dozen soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division’s Fourth Brigade Combat Team, along with some Afghan security forces, posing with the severed hands and legs of Taliban attackers in Zabul Province in 2010. ”


  • Popocatépetl spews ash, Mexico prepares for possible evacuation
  • “Currently, the local alert level remains at a Yellow Level 3 alert. International Business Times reported this means “they expect explosive activity of an intermediate to high scale.” The next stage of alert would be a red alert, which would likely prompt evacuations.”

    Hope everyone is okay.

  • The 100 most influential people in the world
  • “They are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world. Meet the breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons who make up this year’s TIME 100.”

    Including ‘Rihanna,’ ‘Kristin Wiig,’ ‘Anonymous,’ ‘Peter Cashmore,’ ‘Stephen Colbert’ and more! Congratulations to them.


  • New technology offers breakthrough in cerebral palsy treatment
  • “American scientists say a new nanotechnology-based technique that can target hard-to-reach parts of the brain could be used to treat cerebral palsy. The treatment helped rabbits born with the condition regain mobility, marking a breakthrough in cerebral palsy research and providing patients with a hope that treatment may be available after birth.”

    Cool. Also cool – the rabbits were born with the condition and scientists didn’t just make them have it for the sake of research.

  • Breast cancer classification promises better therapies
  • “Researchers have found a way to classify breast cancer tumors into 10 distinct categories ranging from very treatable to extremely aggressive, a major step on the way to the long-sought goal of precisely targeting therapies for patients. The new categories, described in a study released Wednesday, should help scientists devise fresh approaches to treat some of the cancers and could spare many women the risks and pain of unnecessarily toxic treatments, oncologists said.”

    Great news.

  • Ottawa woman celebrates 21st birthday with new lungs
  • “Helene Campbell celebrated her 21st birthday at Toronto General Hospital on Wednesday, less than two weeks after she and her family had conceded to themselves that reaching such a milestone was extremely unlikely.”

    Happy birthday Helene!

  • Avian flu researcher plans to defy dutch ban on publishing paper
  • “One of the researchers involved in the controversy over whether to publish research on mutant versions of H5N1 bird flu, has said he plans to submit his paper to Science without applying for an export control license as demanded by the Dutch government.”

    Why does he want to get this published…

  • Drinking water improves exam grades, research suggests
  • “Students who take water into the examination hall may improve their grades, a study of 447 people found. Controlling for ability from previous coursework results, researchers found those with water scored an average of 5% higher than those without.”

    When something’s good for you, it’s really good for you! ;)

    Technology/Social Media

  • Facebook CEO Zuckerberg made US$1 billion Instagram purchase on his own
  • “Facebook shocked the tech community with its $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, but perhaps more shocking is the price the photo-sharing app’s CEO originally wanted for his company: US$2 billion. During three days of quiet negotiations, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg halved Kevin Systrom’s asking price–all without involving bankers or his own board of directors, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.”

    Intense. I didn’t think those kinds of huge company decisions could really be made without discussing with a board lol.

  • 15-year-old arrested for hacking 259 companies
  • “Austrian police have arrested a 15-year-old student suspected of hacking into 259 companies across the span of three months. Authorities allege the suspect scanned the Internet for vulnerabilities and bugs in websites and databases that he could then exploit. As soon as he was questioned, the young boy confessed to the attacks, according to Austria’s Federal Criminal Police Office. The boy allegedly stole data and published it publicly after breaching the security infrastructures of 259 firms. He also defaced many company websites and boasted about his accomplishments on Twitter, where he also posted links to his data dumps.”

    If he can do this at the young age of 15… bet you he’s going to be recruited by some government agency for future work (once he is out of jail).

  • Next iPhone said to ditch glass for Liquidmetal, arrive in June
  • “After a brief hiatus, the long-standing rumor that Apple will employ more metal in the iPhone, has made a return — and even taken a new twist.
    Citing unnamed industry sources, Korean news site ETnews says Apple will use Liquidmetal technology for the next iPhone, which the outlet boldly claims will be unveiled at Apple’s annual worldwide developers conference.”

    It will look slick I’m sure.


  • To pay off loans, grads put off marriage, children
  • “They can’t buy a house, visit their families in Ohio as often as they would like or spend money on dates. Plans to marry or have children are on hold… High school’s Class of 2012 is getting ready for college, with students in their late teens and early 20s facing one of the biggest financial decisions they will ever make. Total U.S. student-loan debt outstanding topped $1 trillion last year, according to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and it continues to rise as current students borrow more and past students fall behind on payments. Moody’s Investors Service says borrowers with private student loans are defaulting or falling behind on payments at twice prerecession rates.”

    Rough times.


  • ‘Egg laying led to dinosaur doom’
  • “The fact that land-bound dinosaurs laid eggs is what sealed their fate of mass extinction millions of years ago while mammals giving live births went on to thrive, scientists said on Wednesday. In a new explanation for mammals’ evolutionary victory over dinosaurs, researchers said a mathematical model has shown that infant size was the clincher. Given physical limitations to egg size, dinosaurs had comparatively small young. Some came out of the egg weighing as little as two to 10kg, yet had to bulk up to a hefty 30 or 50 tonnes.”

    Really interesting.

  • Jellyfish population on the rise, perhaps due to global warming and pollution
  • “Global warming, pollution and human activity in marine habitats are not generally regarded as good things — unless you’re a jellyfish. Then — according to a study of the jellyfish population by University of B.C. researchers — they have an upside. Jellyfish, which give many swimmers the creeps, are increasing in the majority of the world’s coastal ecosystems, UBC researchers have found in what is being billed as the first global study of the abundance of jellyfish.”

    Perhaps they’ll take over the world.


  • Iconic TV host Dick Clark dead at 82
  • “Perennial New Year’s Eve master of ceremonies and American Bandstand host Dick Clark, whose long-running television dance show helped rock ‘n’ roll win acceptance in mainstream America, died on Wednesday at age 82. Clark, one of America’s best-known TV personalities and the longtime host of ABC’s annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcast from Times Square in Manhattan, suffered a heart attack and died at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, publicist Paul Shefrin said.”

    May he rest in peace.

  • Netflix gets it: Arrested Development’s 10 new episodes to premiere at the same time
  • “Netflix first won fans over back in November when it announced it was producing 10 new Arrested Development episodes for its streaming video service. Ultimately, it was a smart move for the streaming video company; the show, which ran for three seasons before prematurely getting yanked by the suits at Fox, has a strong cult following. Today, Netflix has confirmed the entire 10-episode fourth season will premiere on the same day, at the same time.”

    Pretty sweet! Arrested Development is on my list of shows to watch.

    Weird News, Other News & Fluff

  • Burger King Japan’s bacon special: man creates whopper with 1,050 strips
  • “Burger King Japan is offering a promotion in which you can add 15 strips of bacon on your burger for a mere 110 Yen, or $1.24. Fifteen bacon strips are chump change for some porkophiles, though. In the video below, a dude attempts to chow down on a Whopper with 1,050 BACON STRIPS, or 70 15-strip upgrades.”

    Oh my.

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

Comfiest cats.

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