KTVU sued by Asiana for pilot names prank | Mail Online

18 07 2013

Oh come on!
You see “Ho Lee Fuk” on the teleprompter and think it’s a real name?! Have you never played Mad Gab?

KTVU sued by Asiana for pilot names prank | Mail Online.


Well I Never!

2 04 2013

I’ve driven in a few places in the States. Never in Florida though.

Turns out it was just as well! Until today, it was illegal to drive in Florida unless you had a driving license issued by one of the US States. Despite what some down there may think… that didn’t include our 10 provinces and 3 territories (one of the questions on the citizenship test, BTW.) Alternatively  you could get an International Driving Permit (which seems to magically make you a better driver).

Apparently the law was never meant to exclude the many Canadian snow birds who pour millions of dollars into Florida’s economy when it gets a bit chilly up North. Like the hardening of the border crossing to a maximum 90 days after 9/11 supposedly wasn’t intended to exclude them either.

Anyway, thanks in part to efforts by Canada’s Automobile Association, it was repealed today.

CAA Applauds Repeal of Florida IDP law.

Mind you… Canada is no better. It may have changed now, but in 2001 when we immigrated to Canada, BC required UK drivers to re-take their driving test in order to drive for more than 90 days. At the time it seemed to make sense. After all the UK drives on the left and the road rules are different here (turning right on red lights, it being perfectly OK to do 50kmh in “the fast lane” on highways while drinking your coffee, petting your maltipoo on your lap and smoking a joint, yada yada…).

But wait… if you emigrated from Japan you could just swap your license. They drive on the left too! Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Actually – Denmark I’m not so sure about. Austria and Switzerland though – they can drive for free. Weird. But, if we’d immigrated to Alberta, we could have swapped our UK license for a Canadian one there – no trouble. Moving between Provinces is a straight swap too. So hang on…

Moving directly to BC meant we took a test, but if we’d moved to Alberta then BC, we wouldn’t? How does this make me a better qualified driver?

It kind of reminds me of when I applied for my Brazilian visa a few years ago. I just checked – the anecdote is still true. A business visa for a Canadian citizen going to Brazil is $75. For American citizens it is free.


However… there’s a $200 administrative fee if you’re an American citizen! I’m sure this has nothing to do with the way Brazilian tourists were suddenly required to have their fingerprints taken when they entered the US after 9/11. Nothing at all…

A great day at Great Tower | Scouts

28 03 2013

Nice to see HRH Kate waving the flag as a volunteer Cub Scout leader in the UK. She’s recently attended the volunteer training course we ask every volunteer to attend – worldwide.

A great day at Great Tower | Scouts.

Here she’s cooking what in the UK is called “a twist” – simple flour/water/salt dough wrapped around a stick and preferably burned to a crisp before being blathered in jam and used to burn the roof off your mouth.

Bannock bread is the Canadian equivalent.

BBC News – Google gets ungoogleable off Sweden’s new word list

26 03 2013

Yegods! Google, it seems are not content with their brand entering the language as a verb (I googled it, I was googling local pubs, …) and inherently gaining for free all the various tenses and foibles of a verb. They are now dictating to Swedish people exactly under which circumstances they may utter the word: BBC News – Google gets ungoogleable off Sweden’s new word list.

Though it is OK by them “to google something” (despite perhaps using Bing – or even AltaVista if you’re old school – to actually do it), it seems they can’t countenance that ungoogleable could mean “something that cannot be found with any search engine”. To avoid a fight, the Swedes simply removed the word from their list of new words.

Er, sorry Google, but language isn’t like that! Particularly English (though this was a Swedish issue, to be strict, ogooglebar was the offending string of letters). Unless we live in Winston Smith‘s version of 1984 (or perhaps – France), the language is naturally morphing continuously. A living thing of the people. If it wasn’t, we’d still be using thee and thou. (OK – they do still use thee and thou in Yorkshire, but that’s another story.)

Just to prove the point, here are Google’s own counts of web pages using the word, as of a few minutes ago. Seems the people have spoken (or at least googled…) Ironically, it’s a lot more used in its Swedish form… kind of proving that it should have been on the list of new words after all!

Count of ogooglebar hits on 26th March 2013

Count of ogooglebar hits on 26th March 2013

Count of ungoogleable hits on 26th March 2013

Count of ungoogleable hits on 26th March 2013

The Tyee – Doug Christie: The Unauthorized Obituary

16 03 2013

It has been said that I am sometimes self-destructive in my honesty. (My boss recently advised me to remove a description of only a partial achievement of a goal from my annual review.) I do think honesty and transparency are important. However, I am quite sure I still harbour as many dark secrets as most.

That said, I do believe there is benefit in admitting when you’re wrong, or at least admitting you’re no longer quite so sure you’re right. Especially when you take a stance in a public forum such as Twitter or a blog. In a comment recently, I made reference to Doug Christie, a lawyer who recently died in BC. At the time, I’d only just recently heard of him (I’m still learning to be a proper Canadian), and my information was based solely on an interview he gave to the CBC that I’d heard shortly before his demise. In the interview he stated  “Free speech is the one thing you have to give to your worst enemy if you want to keep it for yourself.”

Source: The Tyee – Doug Christie (deceased)

This struck a chord, and my “support the under-dog” genes kicked in. I am often prepared to support a stance I don’t personally agree with merely to ensure a fair airing of all views and a level playing field for discussion. However, since then, I came across this article in The TyeeThe Tyee – Doug Christie: The Unauthorized Obituary. In it a case is made by Tom Hawthorn that Mr Christie was actually quite adept at suppressing free speech when it didn’t suit his own goals, and that perhaps his personal views were more aligned with the extremists he’d defended than he’d indicated in the CBC interview. The article basically says that many (self included obviously) had taken this “free speech” element from the CBC interview and spread it to the 4 internet winds… without knowing the background and alleged hypocrisy of Mr Christie.

So, not wishing to be seen to only share half a story, I offer you the above link to the Tyee to at least obtain another perspective. As I mentioned – I’d never heard of the guy prior to the CBC interview, so claim no information or personal agenda beyond those two data points. I merely meant to use the reference as an example of supporting a principle not always being personally beneficial, and that its ramifications could include supporting someone whose view you fervently do not support.

However, hypocrisy (though I’m quite sure I entertain it in myself) is never worthy of support. I leave it to you to make your own decisions regarding Mr Christie… and perhaps lend me some better examples of a principled stance in support of another person that is perhaps self-harming.

Love Locks Vancouver to be taken down | Vancity Buzz | Vancouver Blog

22 02 2013

The urban version of carving initials in a tree?

Love Locks Vancouver to be taken down | Vancity Buzz | Vancouver Blog.

Love Locks Vancouver to be taken down | Vancity Buzz | Vancouver Blog

No Pants Subway Ride 2013

14 01 2013

Regular visitors will recall me mentioning 2012′s “No pants” Flash Mob event. If not, it’s here.

The general premise is that at a pre-determined time, a group of people descend on a city’s transit (SkyTrain in Vancouver, but other cities had their own events) sans trousers. The time of year requires the wearing of winter coats, scarves, gloves etc, making the lack of pants unusual to the casual observer. The mob joins the train at a specified point and makes no sign that they in any way know each other.  It’s a bit of fun. It’s free. It does no harm.

All good, in my books…

(Though some did complain about hygiene… plainly not used to the unsavoury characters who used to share my daily commute when I used Transit regularly. It’s amazing how long you can hold your breath when assaulted by B.O.)

Here’s the National Post‘s coverage: No Pants Subway Ride hits Vancouver, Toronto.

I’d forgotten it was about due again until I saw it on the TV news this morning (first time I’d watched it in weeks). It was Global TV BC, and the most remarkable thing about the video coverage was that out of the many people boarding the SkyTrain, the cameraman focused almost entirely on the young lady with lovely black lacy knickers. Pure coincidence, I’m sure… :)

This was Vancouver’s 4th year and Translink are apparently OK with it happening.

Here’s Global’s coverage. Global BC | 4th annual ‘No Pants Day’ on the SkyTrain.

Global: 4th annual 'No Pants Day' on the SkyTrain  Read it on Global News: Global BC | 4th annual 'No Pants Day' on the SkyTrain

The Simpsons Called It: Three Eyed Fish Caught Outside a Nuclear Power Plant

8 01 2013

If it wasn’t so weird, it’d be funny.

At least they’re getting it checked rather than assuming it’s the power plant. And if you’re ever in Nakusp, BC… check out the weird two-headed pig in the museum. Though 400km by road, it’s only 100km from Radium Hot Springs as the crow flies. Just sayin’…

The Simpsons Called It: Three Eyed Fish Caught Outside a Nuclear Power Plant.

Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world | World news | The Observer

2 12 2012

I read about this ages ago, in my pre-blogging days. A timely reminder though – I came to it via the David Suzuki Foundation (@DavidSuzukiFDN). Ironically I was having a conversation just the other day about self-worth and Herzberg’s Hygiene Theory with respect to team managers and motivation. Bhutan is doing it on a national scale. Instead of measuring their success with GDP, they use “happiness”. Ken Dodd would be ticked pink.

Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world | World news | The Observer.

A free school under a bridge in India – PhotoBlog

28 11 2012

So cool!

The photos themselves are amazing. But way more importantly, here are educators bringing learning to where it’s needed… to people who want to learn! Slum kids living in New Delhi. The blackboards are black paint on the underpass.

Compare these expressions to those on kids who take education for granted in any number of schools you care to mention.

A free school under a bridge in India – PhotoBlog.


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