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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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The most annoying sound on radio

Tweet Why do jewellery commercials have to be so tasteless and annoying? I single out jewellery commericals, since they are more annoying even then furniture commercials, their main competitor for the gold standard of tastelessness. But no. We have sharpers like Russell Oliver, and others who will go on TV and radio and in the most garish […] […]

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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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In Memoriam, 2016

Tweet What a year. A lot of really well-liked musicians and entertainers have shuffled off this mortal coil. Indeed, it was a depressing year for celebrity deaths, and increased global warming and Trump winning the election didn’t help things. We witness the cosmically interconnected deaths of multiple people within the same sitcom; both Carrie Fisher (Princess […] […]

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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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The Chances of Winning the Lotto

Tweet Winning the lottery is how many people believe they will become financially secure in their lives. In fact, about one person in 4 believe  this. The chances of winning a lottery like the Massachusetts Megabucks lotto or the Ontario Lotto 6-49 are based in the idea that, out of 49 numbers available, you choose 6 numbers […] […]

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Homage to species that barely existed

Tweet It has come to my attention in recent years that we are the stupid ones. Homo sapiens, as we so arrogantly call ourselves, might be the least intelligent of the surviving genii of hominids. Our species won out over Homo neanderthalensis because we were more competitive and selfish than they. Neandethals have larger brains than […] […]

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So what if happiness is a mental illness?

Tweet It is rather amazing that through all I have experienced, that these truths were the deepest and most enduring. They are also the most comforting. Simply keeping a balanced life, and looking on the positive side of things. What could possibly be wrong with that? Perhaps happiness and satisfaction with one’s life, however humble is a […] […]

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[Media Monday] The Difficult Listening Moment in Two Words

Tweet MacArthur Park. I didn’t need to say anything else, didn’t I? MacArthur Park is that unlistenable 1968 hit whose only strength lay in the instrumental piece. How often does Jimmy Webb need to remind us that someone left his bloody cake out in the rain, then strech the metaphor until it loses all focus and meaning? […] […]

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Music of the 80s

Tweet The 1980s also had some great stuff, but I admit what I liked mostly was the obscure college radio stuff. Having been a former college radio DJ, I had the chance to sample through literally hundreds of songs in search for that “diamond in the rough”. In its day, finding The Jesus and Mary Chain’s […] […]

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Why it doesn’t suck: Music from the Seventies V

Tweet You Should Be Dancing was the first serious disco hit for the Bee Gees in 1976, a year before Saturday Night Fever. The song later made it on the soundtrack as well, although it was not played on the film. Neither was Jive Talking.  It used the signature falsetto that was found in many of […] […]

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Why it doesn’t suck: Music from the seventies IV

Tweet The blog that has inspired this series said that the late Minnie Riperton (1947-1979) screamed the lyrics to “Loving You”. We need to distinguish between screaming (something the lead singer of a group like Journey would do), and seriously hitting the high notes. God blessed Riperton with divine vocal cords, with a range of five […] […]

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Why it doesn’t suck: Music from the seventies III

Tweet It was 1972, and while commercialism of the music industry was on the rise, there was still enough genuine and original songs to call 1972 a high water mark in popular music. Things got even better in ’73, but then a long, slow decline happened that persists to this day. In my opinion, 1972 was also the […] […]

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[Audio] The Difficult Listening Moment: Doing Dylan worse than Dylan II

Tweet I have heard comments that hearing Dylan’s voice is “worse than cancer”. I believe such comments are un-necessarily harsh. Remember “Lay Lady Lay”? Didn’t that border on melodic? OK, I rest my case. He was terrible most of the time, not all of the time. On the other hand, Willliam Shatner has no business deviating his […] […]

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Tweet 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 the like. I am used to fortune cookies containing old […] […]

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What is old is new: RPN on the HP 35s Scientific Calculator

Tweet I saw the 35s for the first time in a Staples store just this year, though the calculator has been around in University bookstores since 2007. I bought mine on sale, being listed at $99.00 full price. When it came out in 2007, I heard that it came with a zippered pouch to store the […] […]

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Microphones

Tweet I had decided to do my little contribution to society, and join LibriVox.org, and record a free audio file for them. My biggest problem so far has been microphones. I have an Optimus mike that was purchased 5 years ago, and had hardly been used. I had decided to use it for LibriVox, but my […] […]

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The Theme of the Journal has Changed

Tweet Times are changing at Strider’s Journal, and the time has come to retire the Crappy Album Cover series. After 329 posts and some 700 album covers, I think the time has come to put the topic to rest and move on. That doesn’t mean that anyone coming here will no longer find the occasional article dealing […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #326 — That’s a switch

Tweet 80s new-wave reggae/dance superstars The Police released this 1978 single, about suicide, called “Can’t Stand Losing You” (from their debut album Outlandos D’Amour) and featured the well-known lineup of Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland, who all formed respectable music careers in their own right. As you would have guessed, the cover created some controversy, and […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #325 — Christmas Messages you probably don’t want to hear

Tweet One knows that Yoko must have been going though a creative slump back in 1991 when Ryko released this EP. It’s hard to fathom who would spend their Christmas putting this one in their CD player. … Unless, of course, this 2006 Billy Idol album was their only alternative. He should have released this under his […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #324 — The Horror, the horror …

Tweet Some covers are ugly for a reason. This one’s ugly because it’s a bootleg of a live concert in Philadelphia by the Danish heavy metallers Mercyful Fate. Bootlegs normally have substandard covers done by someone who did not understand the fine line between scary and ugly. You can listen to this bootleg for free here. […] […]

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