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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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Famous teetotalers #2: Humanitarians

mandelaNelson Mandela – An anti-Apartheid activist who paid for it with decades of imprisonment. He led an austere life where he never drank or smoked, and was gracious to people in all walks of life. He became recognized as the father of South African democracy, and has received many awards, among them the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

mahatma-gandhiMohandas K. Ghandi – The person who taught us passive resistance, overthrew British rule of India without a shot being fired, and was the inspiration for human rights groups around the world. In India, his birthday on October 2 has been declared a national holiday. He saw India gain its independence in 1947, but died in New Delhi a year later at the hands of an assassin named Nathuran Godse. He and co-conspirator Narayan Apte were sentenced to death by execution in 1949. It is ironic that the manner of justice brought before Ghandi’s assassins would have been something Ghandi himself would have strongly opposed. Back to the topic, Ghandi was definitely a teetotaler, and his reasons appeared to have been moral reasons. He was a supporter of prohibition, and in Ghandi’s memory, many Indian states have passed prohibition laws. But after our bout with prohibition in North America, we know you can’t legislate morality, since organized crime would push back even more, and deaths linked to distilling one’s own “home brew” will be on the rise, as is still being felt in many Indian states where the law is still in effect. The moral of this tale is that teetotaling, like morality, is as much of a personal choice as it ever was, rather than being something that needs to be imposed on people. I would rather say that “I can have all the booze I like: I just choose not to drink any”, and would feel better that teetotaling is an act of will. Passing laws takes away from the dignity of what ought to be a free choice.

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