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In Memoriam 2015

January 1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82). 1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82). 2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up ...

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The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his ...

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Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let's not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With ...

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Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map … barely

Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map ... barely

I've written about obscure Saskatchewan communities before. Here is another community far to the north of Unity. My ancestors from France settled here. Many of my ancestors were pioneers that broke new farming ground nearest to a community called Eldred, Saskatchewan. Eldred was about 10 km ...

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Zero

Once upon a time, around the year 525 during the reign of Pope John I, a monk named Dionysius invented the idea of Anno Domini by producing a calendar which marked the time since the birth of Christ. The numbering of the years was adopted ...

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

You know, I was minding my own business in this classy Chinese restaurant, engorging myself on their copious buffet, had my fill, and was handed the bill with an accompanying fortune cookie. This fortune cookie (the one to the left) really existed, and I never saw ...

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Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Maple is a robust math environment which can graph, solve equations, and solve for the unknown with the aid of its computer algebra solver (CAS), which is capable of computing exact roots of cubic functions, for example. I wanted to demonstrate for myself that Maple could ...

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Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Recently, I've been hit (my website that is) by someone possibly checking his plethora of links from his/her website, and when I back-traced it, I find this cool blog which acts as a convincing historical shrine to the late great 1050 CHUM Radio in Toronto. ...

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The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

This is more like a meta-review. I have gone to Canada Computes where nearly the entire Behringer line is sold, and was impressed by the specs. But does it do what I want, the way I want it? I face a number of obstacles, being a ...

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Catherine McKenna taking things personally

Tweet Federal environment minister Catherine McKenna entered a heated exchange yesterday with a right-wing nobody from a far right-wing website which nobody reads that I can’t bother to look up the name of. This happened in Vancouver in front of a small scrum of journalists which included more recognizable outlets such as the CBC, CTV, and […] […]

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A list of state slogans

Tweet From the responses to Chris Cillizza’s request on Twitter (@CillizzaCNN) that people submit their own state motto. Fair use, since none of these were authored by Chris Cillizza, but submitted by the general public. Alabama: first in football, but last in everything else. Alaska: Worst deal in history. Give it back to Russia! Arizona: Sunny, With Sucky […] […]

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The Government is telling me who I am: The voting Survey: a lesson in sampling bias part III

Tweet As a response for participating in the survey, I finally know who I am, because the government told me so. Apparently I am a pragmatist. In an earlier one of these online surveys, I was someone on the loony left. These labels are, on some level, amusing. It’s kind of like reading a Horoscope characterization […] […]

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The voting Survey: a lesson in sampling bias part II

Tweet So far, in the last post, I had revealed an example of sampling bias as being the fact that the questions only hint at particular alternative voting systems without coming out and suggesting one and how it has been implemented elsewhere, so that a more intelligent response to the questionnaire could be made possible. A […] […]

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The voting survey: a lesson in sampling bias

Tweet Our feds came up with a survey that had some useful questions in it, but also had some questions that gave the overall impression of how they wanted the questions answered. They are asking me to agree or disagree with statements that have not been discussed a whole lot in the media, and really require […] […]

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Hillary Pilloried

Tweet We should see more headlines like this. This past day’s election should have been Hillary’s to lose, not Trump’s to win. But this is what it has become. In the media, it was always about Donald. Donald says something outrageous, then the media and the world react, like a Greek chorus. Hillary, singing alto, would be […] […]

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Famous Teetotalers 012: Right-wingers

Tweet Ted Nugent or “The Nuge” is a hard rock/psychedelic guitarist whose musical career dates back to 1963. He has made his stance against drug and alcohol abuse part of his right-wing activism. He is an ardent Republican supporter, and is strongly in favour of gun rights. It is said that his stance against substance abuse […] […]

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From coronation to Elbowgate: the extremes of Trudeau coverage

Tweet By world standards, the Parliamentary melee that happened this past week is pretty tame, but what has now become known as Elbowgate brings down our insanely high expectations of Justin Trudeau, fuelled by the media. The melee was nothing, Trudeau apologized, and sensible people are moving on. But in essensce it is a shock that it […] […]

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Famous Teetotalers 04: Politicians staying on the wagon

Tweet There was never any indication that Donald Trump over-indulged in alcohol, but any indulging he ever did came to a halt in 1981 when his brother died of complications from alcholism. From then on, the billionaire politician eventually put an end to all bad habits: no alcohol, cigarettes, or recreational drugs. In all the brouhaha […] […]

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Recognizable OOC Recipients 01: Richard Gwyn

Tweet This is the first article in a series on Order of Canada (OOC) recipients that carry some cachet in Canadian popular culture. I first heard of Richard Gwyn a few decades ago when I was in high school, and I bought a book by him called The Northern Magus, a bio of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I […] […]

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I am a Trudeau fan, but …

Tweet I am a little worried about the fawning admiration the press is giving to our new Fearless leader, Justin Trudeau. It has crossed the border of “good news” reporting to the land of hero worship. Indeed, there is a lot to feel good about: his balance of cabinet among men and women, the bringing back […] […]

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According to CBC, I am on the loony left of all political parties this election

Tweet I am somewhat opinionated on political matters, and over the years of my life have cultivated a sufficient literacy that I can discern attempts on news media to persuade rather than inform. Having done a university course on rhetoric helped greatly when I was young. I am not sure how I should react to these “surveys”. […] […]

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Thank God for the secret Canadian AAEVPC Party!

Tweet The political party with the instantly forgettable name of “Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada” and the equally forgettable acronym “AAEVP” have a lot of flaky positions on many issues and thank God they remain a secret party that no one has ever heard of outside of small gatherings here and there. There are a […] […]

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The bad optics of playing the “bully” card for Margaret Trudeau

Tweet Yes, I know the context. Margaret said what she said in the grander context of negative politics, using her son as an example. The CBC article online today grabbed my attention: “Attacks on Justin Trudeau ‘straight out bullying,’ says mom Margaret“. That, and the illustration just conveyed the worst possible image of a mother doting on […] […]

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In memoriam 2009 (what the heck)

Tweet I had something else in mind when I compiled this list of people who passed away back in 2009. For the heck of it, I am posting some “interesting” people who died that year (not in any particular order): Les Paul – Guitarist and maker of guitars. Inventor of the electric guitar. Rock wouldn’t have […] […]

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Critique of the “Mindblowing Fact” video on income inequality

Tweet The video in question  is quite “mind-blowing” as promised, indeed, at over 13 million hits, it can even be called “viral”, but there are problems in how it presents and handles facts and references. While I don’t have a problem with the facts, and I am quite certain they are based on serious numbers, the […] […]

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Rob Ford and His Continued Support

Tweet Etobicoke. People in hard times. Yeah, there are good parts of this Toronto borough, but huge parts of it are run-down and filling up with down-and-outers looking to make a buck any way they can. People in hard times, closed shops and factories, low rates of literacy, and not much money to spend. After decades of […] […]

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Rob Ford and his Enablers

Tweet An “Etobicoke resident”, who went by the name of Joy Green, was interviewed twice by the CBC, once for CBC Newsworld, and one more time for As It Happens on CBC Radio One. Etobicoke, a Toronto bourough which is known for shuttered factories and high crime, is known to some (like me) as “the Automotive […] […]

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Rob Ford: A comedy Review

Tweet The Saturday Night Live (SNL) parody of the Toronto Crack-Smoking-Mayor-in-name-only Rob Ford has been roundly declared, from many sources in radio and blogs, and me, to be not funny. A post-mortem is in order as to why SNL, the foremost bastion of coolness-and-funny, dropped the ball bigtime on this one with last Saturday’s show opener […] […]

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Nobody wins

Tweet This is a story about Nobody getting arrested. Nobody getting a brutal police beating. Nobody spending three days in hospital. Nobody being jailed, and Nobody being let go, because the charges didn’t stick. While hearing reports about Adam Nobody seems humourous, with reporters having to, as they always do for people they are discussing, referring to […] […]

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