ss_blog_claim=8dcabb3175f064b32823a45ed345083b Majik's Thoughts: 2007

12/31/2007

Bad Credit, Need Help?

Are you suffering from bad credit? Do you need some help getting back on your feet after filing for bankruptcy? Or is you credit score far to low for your liking? If you are in need of bad credit loans, well here is a website for you.

The website is called Bad Credit Offers and they offer a chance to compare bad credit loans and credit cards. Do you need a credit card to help repair your credit score, you should stop by their website and compare credit cards. Applying for online loans is easy; Bad Credit Offers has a three step process that will take you to a page to apply for the offer of your choice.

First you browse through the four categories of loans; credit cards, home loans, auto loans and personal loans. Step two is to compare the features and details of offers side by side. And finally step three is to apply for the offer of your choice. An easy 1, 2, 3 step process to get you on your way to repairing your credit.


Image source: Sarasota Bankruptcy

12/30/2007

Gas Prices Going Up!

What do you think of current gas prices? Are they too high for you? Well they certainly are too high for me. The current unfolding story of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is helping to force the price of oil higher. Oil prices for a February contract gained almost a dollar. As if our society needs higher prices.

We all can't do much to reduce the cost of oil, but there are lots of people who can affect change. Here in Canada, we can get a tax deduction for using public transportation, making your old bus passes diamonds in the rough. I'm even reconsidering the commute to work. But with new technologies and alternative fuels on the horizon, it is imperative for all of us to invest what we can into renewable fuels. Bio diesel is made from dirty oil previously used in deep fryers, ethanol can be produced from corn, with all the farmland we have it is possible we can create a sustainable renewable fuel industry.

Our economy is facing a challenge because of current events affecting the prices of goods. The poor are being stamped out by rising costs, not just on oil but everything. Pretty soon bottled water could cost upwards of $5 for a small bottle, that just tells me that our society is so obsessed with making a buck that we have forgotten how to live off the land. Our industrialization of the world has created many problems for us to solve, global warming is only one of them. Rising prices on oil really haven't done a lot to encourage alternative fuels, but it is time to start! What's your opinion?


New Story: Oil prices higher on tighter U.S. supply, Bhutto death

Image: 19 ways to improve MPG - www.fourwheeler.com

12/29/2007

Still More Breaking News

Another update on the unfolding story of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Apparently Bhutto has a book that is slated to premier in February 2008. The book is called 'Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West' and is co-written by Mark Seigel. This past Thursday, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a gunman/suicide bomber. Just how will her death will affect sales of the book? In most cases, books that have been written by people who have died recently or in this case, murdered usually sell better than others. However, an assassination is by far, not considered to be a publicity stunt, its more of a coincidence that such books sell better. Also people's curiousity compells them to purchase said books.

What will be in this book? Will the book give us any insight as to why Bhutto was assassinated? Only time will tell. What's your opinion, will the book do well?

Image: Anjum Naveed/Associated Press
News Story: Bhutto book to be published in February: reports

12/28/2007

I Read It In the News Today

I first heard of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination at work today. One of my coworkers had asked me if I had heard anything on the radio about it. At the time I had no idea, nor had I heard about it. So when I got home, I opened my email from Reuters Alert net and found a story on it, which was more about world leaders urging Pakistan to stay democratic, then about the assassination of their former Prime Minister. I also took a look on my favourite website for news, the C.B.C., and found a story blaming the Taliban and al-Qaeda for the assassination. My first thoughts were, its been a long time since I've heard anything about al-Qaeda. I know that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto may not make a lot of front pages, but the death of Pakistan's first female Prime Minister is tragic. It can be viewed as an attack on democracy.

I understand that this event can be seen as an attack on democracy, but what does the assassination mean for the Pakistani people? The only person I know from Pakistan didn't comment, so I am left to guess on this one. My opinion is that the assassination of an opposition leader almost two weeks before an election will certainly impact the upcoming elections. Most definitely the party will have to choose another leader, unless the party has a deputy leader. But as for the long term affects of the assassination, I'm left guessing. I don't know a lot about Pakistan, I know it is a Muslim country, and I know that it used to be part of India. The coming days will show the world just how much impact this assassination will have on Pakistan's future.

I'm not going to claim to know a lot about Pakistan, or even that I've read a lot, but from what I have read the people of Pakistan are willing to stand up for themselves. Whether or not the people of Pakistan are willing to stand up for democracy may well be an unfolding story in the coming weeks. But if they elect a woman for Prime Minister and she serves two terms, then I am led to believe that democracy is something that Pakistan is willing to fight for. What do you think?

News Stories: World leaders urge Pakistan to stay democratic course and Taliban, al-Qaeda behind Bhutto assassination: Pakistan government

Image: P.B.S. Wide angle

12/26/2007

Personalize Your Blanket

Are you into personalized stuff? Do you have a camera? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then Picture Blankets might just be in your future. They don't just offer blankets with your pictures on them, you can get a pillow with a picture of your favourite niece, or a dog bed with your dog's picture on it. I can't forget about their offer for 'photo bedding,' your bed spread could show off the pictures that you hold dear.

How many times have you run out of picture frames to show off your favourite family photos, why not get them placed on a pillow for your couch? With your favourite pictures on your couch, there's no need for more picture frames to show off you family photos, your couch becomes your canvas. And your not just limited to one picture, you can have up to 16 photos on a blanket. They're great gift ideas, stop by Vision Bedding and see for yourself.

12/25/2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everybody! I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has stopped by, even if you didn't leave a comment. To everybody on Blog catalogue, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. Its still early in the morning here, but the days events will be starting soon. This year I get to cook the Turkey Dinner!

And just in case I forget, have a Happy New Year as well!

12/24/2007

International Year of Astronomy

Have you done any planning for 2008? The start of a new year is close, only a few days away. How much thought have you put into the new year, do you make any New Years Resolutions? Personally I don't make any New Years Resolutions, but I do look forward to the start of a new year. Although I haven't put a thought into 2009, an article I found on C.B.C.s website made me think about it.

The United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy. This is good, for the space program, mostly for the boost in general interest in space. Telescopes may be on your wish list for next Christmas. But how is the U.N. going to bolster support? Just proclaiming the year 2009 International Year of Astronomy doesn't really peak a lot of peoples interest. But the fact that its the 400 years ago Galileo was the first to make discoveries using a telescope might peak a few peoples interest. How about you, would you buy a telescope just because the U.N. appoints 2009 as International Year of Astronomy?



News Story: 2009 to be International Year of Astronomy, UN declares
Image Source: KrazyKyote

12/19/2007

Climate Change Conference Fallout

I was reading an interesting article on the B.B.C.s website today. Even though the article wasn't exactly about idling cars, it was about a European Union proposal to fine car manufacturers for producing cars that emit more CO2 then a set average limit. Some green enthusiasts are not thrilled about the proposal and some Car manufacturers are up in arms over it. But the E.U. is committed to being a world leader in cutting CO2 emissions.

Germany's BMW and France's Peugeot are calling it an unprecedented move. They don't see the benefits of a reduction in CO2 emissions, at least that's my point of view. The move was to show the world that the E.U. is committed to reducing greenhouse gases, which sounds like a move that is coming on the heels of the recent U.N. Climate Conference in Bali, Indonesia. One of the major contributors to the increase in greenhouse gases is the automobile industry.

Lets think about it for a second. How many cars can you find on the average road at any given time? What happens when the volume of those vehicles increase to the point where highways and motorways are nothing more than parking lots? How much idling is each individual car doing during a 45 km commute when traffic is moving at a rate of 0 to 50km/h? I know that taking public transit is less convenient than driving to and from work, I've had to do it on more than one occassion. The solution to averting the more drastic affects of climate change is out there, we just have to look for it.

I think the E.U.s proposal for setting fines for cars that produce more than a set limit of CO2 per kilometre is a step in the right direction. From what I've seen, most proposals for reducing greenhouse gases are anti-economical, but what is more devastating, increasing the temperature of our planet to the point where it's not habitable or having to spend money to avert killing our planet? We all have the power to find a solution to the current crisis our environment is facing, but all these baracades that business' are puting up in the name of profit have to be removed. If not for us, then for our children and our children's children. What do you think?

Image source: Canada-News
News Story: German ire at EU fine on car CO2

12/18/2007

Need A Payday Loan?

The other night I was just surfing few a couple of different sites and I stumbled over a website for payday loans. It happened to be a website to find different payday loan websites. I've only taken a payday loan once, and after that I did everything in my power to avoid doing that again. However there are people out there that do need these types of advances.

This Website offers a review of other payday loan websites. The reviews are quite brief, but there right to the point. If you want to avoid bouncing a cheque that's due before your next pay cheque there is a definite advantage to applying for a cash advance online. Most online lenders offer these payday loans to people with poor credit, no credit or bankruptcies. If you are trying to gain a good credit rating after a bankruptcy and are currently working, this would definitely be a good way to go.

Most of the cash advances from these payday loan websites vary from $100 to $1500. Of course these websites are going to ask for some personal information, typically from a secure page. Unfortunately, these offers are only available to U.S. citizens, considering I hail from Canada and was redirected when I went to visit one of the recommended websites. If you're strapped for cash and your car payment is about to bounce because your just a little short before payday, I'm sure one of these recommended sites can help you out.

Image source: Ekko Realty

12/17/2007

Another Thought of the Day: Bloggers Unite!

About a month ago, I joined the group 'Bloggers Unite' on Blog Catalog. The main reason I joined was because I had heard the amazing results from the previous 'Bloggers Unite' day. This one is for an act of kindness. Now for me, doing something kind for some one, is an everyday occurrence. Whether it be the simple act of opening a door for someone coming out or going into a coffee shop, or something more notable.

Today, was a little different then most. This morning when I went into the coffee shop to get my morning coffee, there was hardly any body there and not very many people to open a door for. I thought that was a little odd, but understandable considering the large amount of snow the heavens dumped on us. So I thought maybe there might be something nice I could do for one of my co-workers, not much I could do there either, because it seemed like everyone was working against me on this one act of kindness. And then, after I had managed to pull my car into my driveway, I noticed that my neighbour was stuck in the snow. I offered to give him a push to get out of the snow, but he politely refused my help.

No what this day has taught me, is that, an act of kindness should be spontaneous and not forced. Granted that on one day, thousands of people doing something kind for their fellow member of the species on paper is definitely a spectacle deserving air time on the big news networks. But when you have to force yourself to be kind, I think that says something about our society. What is it about being kind that so many of us find so hard to do? Are we just to busy to notice that some one could use just a little help?

In today's on demand world, we end up walking around with blinders on. We only see what we have in front of us, no one has time to stop and smell the flowers any more. Opportunities to commit simple acts of kindness, which can have many benefits, fall in the gutter as we putter around worrying about number one. You don't lose that much time by helping another, or do you? Personally it is worrying that going into the Holiday season, so many people who deserve the small acts of kindness that make so much of a difference will end up getting stepped on.

In conclusion, it is far better to take an extra second or two to open the door for a stranger than to force oneself to commit an act of kindness. Just one act of kindness is good, but think about what we could accomplish if everyone took that extra minute or two they find in the day to help some one out. If we have to force our self to be kind for a day just to have a topic to blog about what kind of race have we become? Even though its the survival of the fittest, we are now living in much different times than we were even twenty years ago. We are all supposed to be civilized, but at times we all fail to show our civility to our fellow man. Its not just supposed to be one day to make a difference when you talk about being kind, its more of an on going process that we all must work towards. We can accomplish great things if we all just get along! So the next time you have an opportunity to be kind, don't miss it because you're wrapped up in the every hustle and bustle of life, take it because you just might make a difference.

12/16/2007

Winter Storm a Brewin'

The photos from this post were taken from my camera phone this morning. I remember hearing the news of a Winter Storm watch from some of my co-workers on Friday, I also got to hear about it from the Weather Network. I went outside this morning with my first coffee of the day, and was a little shocked to see so much snow already. I pulled out my cell phone and snapped off a couple of photos from my front porch. They're actually pretty good considering they came from a cell phone.

The view from my porch reminded me of the last big snow storm that hit my area last year. Snow Storms can be crippling if you have to commute back and forth from work, highways can be closed or nothing more than a parking lot. I remember I was one of the people who decided that it would be safe enough for me to drive to work, bad idea on my part. I ended up getting stuck about 30 to 40 times just trying to get from the main street to my driveway.

This year, the winter storm came early! We are not even officially at the start of winter and we're already buried in snow. I wish I had cleared my driveway a little earlier in the day, because the picture I took of the mountain of snow that is now running up the side of my driveway did not turn out as good as I had hoped. Maybe I'll take another one next time it snows, I'm sure if it snows again the mountain of snow will grow from four feet to six or even seven feet. I've already thought of a name for my newly created mountain of snow, 'Majik Mountain!' I know it seems kind of vain to name a mountain after yourself, but I built it, hence the name.

I'm sure that this winter is going to be much colder than the previous six, considering that we only received about a quarter inch of snow before Christmas. I think that this year we will have a white Christmas! The thought of a white Christmas has me thinking of putting up my Christmas tree now, I usually leave it till the last weekend before Christmas, maybe I'll have my tree up by tomorrow!

12/15/2007

Not Your Typical Nude Beach!

This certainly isn't your typical Nude Beach! I found this story on http://www.cbc.ca/ it was really quite interesting. Actor and director Mary Walsh is looking to get more of these types of photos. Mary Walsh is using these bare back and bottom shots for part of her sign off for a new TV show she calls Nudity, Sexuality, Violence and Coarse Language.

Apparently the most recent picture was taken in -11 degree temperatures. Thats just a little too cold for me. She also says her next stop to take the next picture of this sort is in Calgary, Alberta. 50 people showed up for the first shoot, but in Calgary, it's much colder than eastern Canada. She compared this photos shoot to being in the Garden of Eden, probably much colder than the Garden would be.

If you had a chance to be in one of these photos, would you?


News Article: Nude St. John's waterfront TV shoot attracts 50

12/13/2007

Ashop Brings You and E-commerce Together

I found some interesting shopping cart software last night while I was searching for news stories to comment on. I didn't really stay on the page for very long, but long enough to read a few of the offers they have. Now this software is mostly for small business' looking to find online customers. If I had my own business and I was looking for some e-commerce software, I would definitely be taking a closer look.

I'm sure your asking why you would use this software, well setting up your own online store is easy and it only takes 10 minutes. They also offer web promotion, design services, domain registration, and have tips to optimize your page to get noticed by search engines. Just getting noticed by search engines is a big deal. I don't know how many times I've visited peoples blogs whose niche is Search Engine Optimization.

When I finally am able to start my own business, if I need any e-commerce solutions, I will definitely go back to their page and sign up. From what I've seen, they have a very competitive price, and from some of the testimonials I read while I was on their website, I'm pretty much sold. How about you? Would you be interested in giving their software the 10 day trial they're offering?

12/12/2007

Yo Ho Ho Matey!

The Pirates of the Atlantic have been rubbed out for years now, but a new group of pirates is surfacing off the coast of Somalia. I was reading an article I found on Reuters Alert net about pirates seizing a Japanese ship carrying Benzene that was originally bound for Israel. Apparently the hijackers (pirates) struck a deal with the shipping company for the safe release of the crew.

I'm sure if had this been back in the 1600's or 1700's or maybe even the 1800's the pirates would have been a little more malicious then the report states. The times have certainly changed, but they must change, life would stagnate without change. Anyway, the article reports that the hijackers and the owners had struck a deal for the safe release of the crew. One of the pirates came forward with a ransom sum, $500,000. Now half a million is quite a bit of money, but if they had hijacked a different ship, they probably could have plundered more than half a million dollars worth of goods.

The U.S. Navy was even called in, they open fired on runner ships leaving the seized vessel. Apparently there has been several ships hijacked in the same area this year. I'm sure the U.S. Navy will be around to try and prevent further hijackings, but that's not to say there won't be anymore. Hm, modern day pirates, not something you hear about every day is it?

Image source: Wiki media Commons
News Article: Somali pirates leave Japan-owned ship, crew safe

12/11/2007

Climate Change and Penguins!

Are you worried about Antarctic Penguins? If you're worried about Global Warming, then you should be worried about them. One of the hot topics at the U.N. Climate Change conference in Bali, Indonesia is the penguins. Climate change doesn't just affect our population but animal populations as well. The Antarctic peninsula is disappearing at an alarming rate, which affects four species of penguins, the Emperor Penguin, the Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie. There was a report on Antarctic Penguins and Climate Change, inside the report were some numbers, apparently there is 40% less sea ice coverage than there was 26 years ago.

Clearly Global Warming is not just a myth, our planet is warming and we are the only ones that can slow the effects. Do we have to see these Antarctic icons disappear before we begin to do slow the process of Global Warming? Granted an individuals efforts may seem to be in vain, but more of the worlds populace is taking note. The purpose of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia is to draft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which will hopefully encompass more than the 36 industrialized nations included in the Kyoto Protocol.

Will the new accord be adopted by all the nations? Only time will tell, reports from the Bali conference are still coming in. I'm hoping that this new Protocol will get adopted by all nations, considering some major nations have rejected the Kyoto Protocol on the premise that it doesn't encompass newer emerging industrialized nations. Lets all keep our fingers crossed for the sake of our planet!

Sources:
News article: Reuters Alert net - Antarctica's penguins threatened by global warming
Image Source: PBS - Penguins Wallpaper

12/08/2007

Time is Money, Make the Most of It!

Blog Advertising - Get Paid to BlogHave you ever wanted to do something with your time on the Internet? Want to cash in on some of these rags to riches stories that saturate the Internet? Do you have your own weblog'? Well why not get paid to blog? An opportunity could be waiting for you to make some money from 'blogging' in your spare time. I happened on this website http://www.smorty.com/ and I thought I would give it a try. So far I've had a couple of opportunities, granted the opportunities are emailed to you, but that just leaves more time to write a quality post!

What blogger out there wouldn't want to get paid for blogging? If you had an opportunity to make some money paid to your pay pal account weekly, why wouldn't you want to take that opportunity? Sometimes it can be hard to write new content everyday, I know I've struggled with the mighty demon also referred to as 'writers block,' joining Smorty will help you to write something. Having a topic to post about certainly helps you to break out of the blank page and fill it with your opinion.

Sure there are rules, but there are also more benefits than just having something to write about. I certainly would like to go on about this form of blog advertising, but I think you would not want to check it out for yourself. I'm sure that when your first post gets approved, you will be thankful that you didn't miss an opportunity!

12/06/2007

Sensors Smensors

Today was supposed to be the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, but thanks to some bad readings from sensors in the shuttle's liquid oxygen tank, the launch was scrubbed. C.N.N. reported that N.A.S.A. has scrubbed the launch today, officials say they will attempt a launch tomorrow.

On board the shuttle Atlantis is the European Space Agencies contribution to the International Space Station, the Columbus lab. The lab ensures Europe's bid for low orbit research. The E.S.A. has been waiting for this for a long time. Their module has been in the U.S. waiting for its scheduled flight to add it to the station for far too long. The delay in the scheduled launch turned out to be a good thing for the E.S.A. as they were able to upgrade some of the on-board electronics before launch.

Hopefully the members of the E.S.A. that flew into watch their project finally begin the trip to the station won't leave the launch pad disappointed. N.A.S.A. has said that these sensors have given them troubles in the past. Lets all hope the shuttle manages to leave the launch pad on Friday in all its usually glory, with out incident!

The Story that inspired this post: NASA scrubs Atlantis launch
Image Source: Wiki media Commons

12/05/2007

Care to Gamble?

I don't normally review websites here, but today I feel like breaking out of the norm. Recently I came across an interesting website, almost by accident. The website was called 'PRO360.com' and their niche is reviewing online casino websites. I stopped and took a look.

They have reviews for many sites, with descriptions and screen shots of the gaming rooms. I thought I'd take a look at one of the reviews for Texas Hold 'em Poker while I was there. They rate every site, and it appears that gamers on the website vote for their favourites. The website review I was reading was for the Cameo Casino, the editor of the review gave them an "editor's opinion" of 85. You can also find ratings on graphics, speed, fair play and the most important to the online gambler, the speed you can withdraw funds at. The editor also gave the website a rating of 83 for customer support, also very important.

All in all, I found the website very informative, maybe you should stop by and see if there are any online gambling websites you'd like to join.

Image source: http://www.about.com/

12/04/2007

Canadian Company Goes Global

I was sitting at the Chiropractor's office today just waiting for my appointment, and I picked up a copy of today's 'National Post.' I found a rather interesting article about a company called 'Agrium.' Now in this article, it describes the strength of the agricultural sector right now and how Agrium has recently been acquiring a few other companies and have effectively placed themselves in the global marketplace. Not bad for a Canadian based company.

I think the strength of the Canadian dollar against the 'greenback' has contributed the recent acquisitions of Agrium. A stronger dollar will give you more buying power. This has been some of the best financial news I've heard since the dollar began its rise to par. As I write this article the little 'widget' I have on my side bar is telling me that the Canadian dollar has slipped a little to just under par, but its still close to the greenback. Back to Agrium, the latest release was the acquisition of U.A.P. Holding Corporation for a very large sum, I believe the article states the sum as $2.65 billion U.S.D.. Agrium gains $1 billion in equity as well as their stocks trading higher on stock exchanges.

Is this just the first of more possible purchases between Canadian companies and American? Well since Canadians have been outraged about higher prices here in Canada compared to prices in the U.S., people have be doing some cross border shopping to get the most out of their dollar. I can't really blame them, but now we have new sales praising the dollars recent rise, whether or not that will discourage cross border shopping remains to be seen. With a stronger Canadian dollar, retailers are forced to lower prices to prevent cross border shopping, but the dollar has been on the rise for more than year, we should have seen a decrease before having to go to the media or cross the border for shopping just to get retailers to listen to us.


Sources:AGRIUM-UAP DEAL LAUDED
Image:deltafarmland.ca

12/02/2007

Another step forward for the International Space Station

Recently I received an email from Reuters Alert net. I subscribe to this email because I like to stay on top of breaking news. I came across an interesting story about the International Space Station, the article was called Space Station lab will boost Europe's status in space. Inside the article were a few details on the next shuttle launch slated for this week. The European contribution to the International Space Station, the Columbus science lab, is ready to become apart of the station. This is good news for those who have been waiting to see the completed station in orbit.

I've been following the construction story of the International Space Station (I.S.S.) since Expedition 2. I paid the most attention when Canada's own Chris Hadfield left the airlock on the shuttle to install the Canada Arm 2. Unfortunately, terrorist activities halted the construction of the station for a few years. You can't always be prepared for the unexpected and the tragic events of 9/11 caught almost the entire world by surprise. But now that construction is going ahead, mankind is one step closer to leaving low earth orbit.

The I.S.S. is a good testing ground for new technologies that we will need if we are to go back to the Moon and then on to Mars. We still have to implement a shielding system to keep the cosmic radiation out side of the space craft. Not to mention that the space craft that goes to Mars will have to be assembled in space. The I.S.S. is the stepping stone or gateway to other worlds in the sense that the knowledge we acquire from constructing the station will be applied and improved upon during construction of interplanetary space craft. How important do you think it is to finish construction of the International Space Station?

Image Source National Space Science Data Center

12/01/2007

My Thought of the Day!

Well, December is here. And so is the cold of winter, at least the beginning of the cold winter. As for what December brings, for me its a lot of work, long commute times in bad weather, and a family dinner on Christmas day. What I'm really looking forward to, is the time away from work during the last two weeks of this month. Fortunately, I get a little more time off this year than last year, which is a good thing. Must be because I'm in a different job.

As for whats to come for my blog, time will tell. Inspiration could hit at anytime, hopefully I won't be striken with writers block this month. In the past couple of months, I've been struggling with it. I've had to do a lot of stumbling through different websites just to find a topic or story that inspires me. I just hope that this month brings more visitors to this site. Last month, traffic could have been better, hopefully my daily average visitors increases to 20. Thats my goal, 20 visitors a day! Any suggestions to help me achieve that goal, please leave a comment. Anyway, that's all for this post, till next time, Peace!!

11/29/2007

Help, My Record is Skipping!

Some times I fell like my record is skipping, going over the same old groove over and over. But I can't help it. I love stumbling through the C.B.C.s website, mostly because I find stories like No exceptions for major polluters in Bali, says Baird. What an interesting piece.


International leaders attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference are hoping to draught an updated version of the Kyoto Protocol to include all polluters. Which as a matter of fact, coincides with the stance that P.M. Stephen Harper took at the recent Commonwealth summit. A lot of people criticized Harper for not wanting to be bound to the Kyoto protocol which only encompasses 36 industrialized nations. As many of you know, there are more than 36 industrialized nations that are contributing to Global Warming. Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing every year and it is time for us to do something about it!

This new 'Protocol' that International leaders are hoping to draught will encompass every industrialized nation. Far too long have smaller industrialized nations, out side of the Kyoto Protocol have been polluting with out limits. Granted that placing limits on Greenhouse gas production only slows the problem, but slowing the problem while we search for a solution is absolutely necessary. I'm sure people who have time to read through this post will agree, breathing is good, especially if its clean air we're breathing. But its not just for us that we have to create a solution for, its for the children.

How many people can remember having summers with out smog warnings? Is it possible to get rid of this health hazard? Is it really so hard to walk to the store instead of driving? Oil prices will never be the same as they were a decade ago, and the less dependant we are on cars, the better. Before the modern automobile was invented, we used to get around by steam powered trains, horses or just what God gave us, our own two feet. Economically, walking 20 to 30 minutes to get to the store is more logical than burning approximately $1-$3 worth of gasoline each trip. Not to mention the healthy side effects of walking. Are you willing to sacrifice some extra minutes for not only your health, but the health of our environment.

11/27/2007

Canada to the Rescue

Here's an interesting story for you, Canadian fighter jets temporarily fill in for U.S. air defences, I found this one the C.B.C.s website. Apparently Russian bombers had resumed flying high Arctic long range patrols, which forces fighters to scramble to meet them. Not since the cold war ended have the Russians flown so close to our continent. It never fails to amaze me when I hear some Americans saying that Canada doesn't need a military force just because we share the same continent. Shouldn't both of our countries work together in defence of our continent? I'm sure this incident should turn a few heads, even if it doesn't make the news on C.N.N..


Image source: Wikimedia Commons

11/25/2007

The Deadliest Weapon

Everybody has one, if you don't have one you want one. This weapon has been mass produced for close to 100 years, but its not classed as weaponry. Most of these do not resemble in any shape or form the classic weapons, but do not fool yourself, it most certainly is one. This weapon has been studied for years, its been redesigned for safety, but it still is a weapon. Its sleek, sexy, its been revered and collected. A lot of people purchase one based on its sex appeal. Have you guessed what weapon I'm talking about? Its none other than the common automobile.

In its early years of production, the car was the most deadliest form of transportation. With the wrong person behind the wheel, it still is. When the car was first mass produced, the consumer just accepted the risks. Now there are people employed to design safety devices to prevent deaths in car accidents. Compared to the original car the rolled off the production line in early years, our cars are far more safe, for example; airbags, seat belts, collapsible steering columns and crumple zones keep the modern driver safe. Granted all these devices are not fool proof, people still die in car accidents, but thanks to these devices the number of deaths from car accidents has declined. But all of these safety devices would not have been installed prior to the first motor safety laws that were passed in 1967.

Some would argue that a car is one of the safest modes of transport in today's society. I can agree with that, at least when every body behind the wheel is fully aware of their surroundings. When they're not, the car or truck transforms into a 2500-65000lbs projectile, this is why cars and trucks are the most deadliest weapon on today's market. Most drivers are competent enough to pay attention to others around their vehicle, but this isn't always the case. How many deaths per year are attributed to motor vehicle accidents?

The safest types of cars are not production vehicles. Racing vehicles are designed to be crashed, the forces that act on these vehicles are extreem and the car has to be designed to prevent the death of the driver. Granted that some race car drivers do die during races, but their deaths are not in vain, new safety devices are introduced to prevent more deaths from similar crashes. Also the drivers are wearing far more protective gear than the average civillian driver, they usually wear a fire suit, helmut, fire resistant gloves and boots, as well as a five point harness instead of the three point safety belt that all current production vehicles are equipped with.

Since the inception of the automobile, thousands of people have died from driver error. In my corner of the world we have a graduated licensing system which encourages more and more young people to take drivers education courses. The incentive is that you are allowed to take your first of two road tests four months earlier than with out a defensive driving course. All this is a good system that will help prevent some accidents, its not fool proof, but its a step in the right direction. In my opinion, the volume of drivers out on today's roads is increasing, which is increasing the chances of being involved in a car accident.

Next time you get behind the wheel of an automobile, please remember that you are behind the controls of a weapon and be responsible with it!

11/24/2007

Is the Kyoto Protocol Bias?

Once again I find inspiration from the C.B.C.s website. This time is the article Harper alone on climate change at Commonwealth summit. Apparently Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the only head of a nation that doesn't want to agree to binding targets for greenhouse gases. There has been a few stories about Harper not wanting anything to do with the Kyoto Protocol, this time his only supporter, the Prime Minister of Australia, is busy with up coming elections. Granted here in Canada, warmer winters could be a good thing, considering it can get really cold, even in the most southern parts of the country.

The reason why I don't support Harper on this issue is that, even though I'm not the perfect example for green living, I do care about our environment. I can understand that some green policies can be bad for business, but really, we all live on the same planet and are facing the same global issues. The Internet has opened up many channels of communication and given us more access to information than we would have had twenty years ago, when the 'Commodore 64' was still popular. It's amazing just how much our world has changed since a large populous gained access to the military invention.

Back to the article, the British Prime Minister has said that he would persuade Harper into following the crowd on this issue. Whether or not the British P.M. will be successful remains to be seen. The Conservative minority government here in Canada has pushed the Kyoto Protocol to the back burner. I'm curious to see what effect the recent U.N. Climate Conference will have on pressuring environment ministers into creating an updated version of the Kyoto Protocol. The up coming U.N. Sponsored Climate Change summit in Bali, Indonesia is where we could see an updated version of the Kyoto Protocol.

I have also found an article on C.T.V.s website called All countries must agree to GHG cuts: Harper, which gives us some insight into P.M. Stephen Harper's logic on blocking this agreement. Its interesting to see a different spin on the same topic, and when the topic is climate change, things are definitely getting heated. Harper is taking the position that the Kyoto Protocol is biased.

The Kyoto Protocol was designed to give 36 industrialized nations incentive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to set targets. I think the system is failing. Smaller nations not included in the Kyoto Protocol are catching up to the 36 nations included in the Kyoto Protocol, as a result, more nations are veering away from targets set by the Kyoto Protocol. Next months Climate Change summit in Bali should be a breeding ground for a new and up to date version of the Kyoto Protocol. I realize that all these summits on Climate Change will not produce a solution for Global Warming, but more ideas on reducing the speed at which our planet warms up will definitely be exchanged.

One thing that I can see eye to eye with Harper on is that the Kyoto Protocol is biased. If we are actually going to do something about Global Warming, it will have to be everyone on the planet. Most cities are becoming overwhelmed with smog, which chokes us and creates numerous health problems. All of this could have been prevented years ago, but now that we are faced with increased pollutants, we all must do something about it, not just the major industrialized nations of the world. How long will we take a step back instead of moving forward with cleaning up our environment?

My final thought is: unless all nations make efforts to slow global warming, our wonderful blue planet and its inhabitants should be placed on the endangered species list. Sooner or later the environmental crimes of the past will overwhelm our future. We shouldn't be looking to space for an answer when its right in front of us!

11/21/2007

Big Brother Is Watching!

I recently ran across and interesting article on the 'C.B.C.s' website. In the article, U.S. tightens screening of Canadians with visas, the author describes an new fingerprint scanning procedure that the U.S. department of homeland security is introducing. Recently at work, management had a thumbprint scanner installed to get rid of the current system of swiping a card. Every day I see or hear about new technology that have a distinctly Orwellian look or feel to them.

It has been years since I have read George Orwell's '1984' but I still vividly recall the moral behind the novel. Granted that '2 + 2 = 5' in the novel, in reality it seems as though we are getting closer and closer to having two way screens in our living room that some unknown and unseen agent can check up on us. Is Orwell's grim fictional tale of the future becoming fact in our society?

With the introduction of the European Union, one of my first thoughts was a quote from Orwell's 1984, "Big Brother is watching you!" I've read articles that a similar system is to be introduced here on the North American continent, the North American Union (N.A.U.). Shades of these two unions were foretold in Orwell's book. It's amazing that a book written in 1948 could have so much impact on todays world. Just try to remember, "Big Brother is watching."

11/19/2007

Tag, Your It!

Recently I've been tagged to do a meme. I'm not entirely sure what a 'meme' is, but since it was MeghnaK who tagged me, I will try. The topic is '50 things things to do before I die,' which means I have to do some thinking.

Well here goes:

50 Things to do before I die

1. Climb Everest
2. Go sky diving
3. Visit Japan
4. Learn to speak fluently 5 more languages
5. Visit Russia
6. Spend a week in Paris, France
7. Go to Hawaii
8. Write a novel
9. Have dinner with Gordon Ramsay
10. Stick my foot in the Pacific ocean
11. See what Australia looks like, up close and personal
12. Spend a week with my cousins in Britain
13. Meet some of my friends who have commented on my posts
14. Stay in Peru for a month
15. Take a picture of the Great Wall of China
16. Go to chef's school so I can learn a few things about cooking
17. Cook for a big dinner party
18. Challenge Iron Chef Bobby Flay
19. Go camping on Madagascar Island
20. Take an extended vacation in the Bahamas
21. Have my picture taken standing in the centre of 'Stone Henge'
22. Stand in front of the Sphinx
23. Get paid for blogging
24. Fly an airplane
25. Visit the International Space Station
26. Control the Canada arm2 and wave at Canada while flying over
27. Land on Mars
29. Buy a Canadian Flag for my front porch
30. See for my own eyes what the Rocky mountains look like
31. Spend some time in Rome, Italy
32. Visit India
33. Go to Disney Land
34. Join the 'Mile High' club
35. Get a high paying desk job
36. Write some freelance articles
37. Clean up our environment
38. Inspire some one to do something great!
39. Play guitar in a stadium full of people
40. Play drums in a stadium full of people
41. Meet Rachael Ray and Giada DeLaurentis
42. Get a guest judge spot on 'Iron Chef America'
43. Party with one of my favourite bands
44. See a Metallica concert
45. Play a song with Metallica
46. Cook with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay
47. Spend some money in a Las Vegas Casino
48. Drive a Formula 1 race car
49. Start a business
50. Fly a helicopter

Okay, that wasn't easy! Now onto the last part, tagging some other bloggers to do a 'meme,' but who to choose?


BadKitty0126: Things that Make you go WTF
TonyLewis: Global News Blogger
AntiBarbie: antibarbie.net - Madness, Monsters and Motherhood
Libdrone: The Thin Red Line
Globalgirl: Globally Minded Works


If you've been tagged, its because I enjoy reading your blog. Hopefully you'll have a meme up soon.

Can you imagine?

A couple days ago, I created a discussion in Blog Catalog, I was bored and wanted to see what happened when people were given the opportunity to take a sentence and run with it. I guess maybe I didn't give the discussion a good title or maybe even it was the sentence I started with. I was hoping to get some really wacky story out of it, or at least some ideas to write about. This post is what I'm getting out of a fizzled out discussion.

Maybe people have lost some of their imagination, or maybe no body has time for a little creative writing, I don't know. But what I do know, is that the next time I decide to create a discussion, I will definitely have to come up with a better title to draw people in. Life is all about learning for me, everyday you need to learn something, it helps to keep your mind sharp. But my thanks to those who've left a sentence, I got a laugh out of it.

In the future, creative writing may be a thing of the past, as imaginations are slowly pushed aside as dead lines at work become tighter. I know that good writing requires three things; ideas, time and a plentiful imagination. Maybe I lost my imagination along the way, coming up with ideas seems to get increasingly harder. I have to source out news stories mostly to write my posts. How many people who stop to read this, wish that they could be paid to use their imagination? How many of you feel like all of your creativity has vanished into the pages of the past?

11/18/2007

Are Gas Prices Going Even Higher?

While surfing today I happened upon this article 'OPEC to study effect of weak U.S. dollar on oil prices' on the C.B.C.s website. I found it interesting because right now, OPEC is blaming the faltering U.S. Dollar for increase in the cost of their crude oil. Apparently, the cost of a barrel of oil is priced in U.S. Dollars and OPEC is concerned about having less reserve dollars because of the weakened greenback. Once again, people are being greedy!

Now here in Canada, where I live, the average cost per litre is hovering around $1 which is too high if you ask me. Unfortunately I have to commute to work every day and my expenses for gasoline is growing. In the article, OPEC is looking into the affect that a weakening greenback has on the cost of a barrel of oil. It doesn't take a bunch of economist to get together to see that in the end they are losing money and have to raise prices to stay in their mansions! But that's what capitalism seems to be, rip off the poor so they stay poor and keep the rich lining their pockets with gold.

Is it not time to level the playing field? Are we not all entitled to have food and shelter? The higher the rich want the prices, the greater the divide between the classes will be, soon their will not be a middle class if the few rich aristocrats get what they want. It is appalling to see prices going up, granted there really is only two things in life that are certain, taxes and death, but what kind of society are we creating by forcing more and more people below the poverty line?

In my experience, the harder you work to get ahead, the deeper in debt you get. The system of working for a living works, but only if you get paid large sums of money to come up with ideas. Labour intensive jobs are cut almost every day just to increase profit margins, once again to keep the poor on the brinks of bankruptcy and continue lining rich pockets with gold. The longer this practise continues, the larger the homeless population becomes.

By raising costs of oil, more an more people are going to be forced below the poverty line. With more people below the poverty line, retailers would have no choice but to bring down the price, but it won't be until a large number of people have been forced into that situation. My final thought is, oil prices are high, and if we do not put our collective heads together and start integrating a renewable fuel for our vehicles, more and more people are going to feel the pinch at the pumps! Lets all work together and get the necessary infrastructure for renewable fuels so we all can afford to have food and shelter!

11/17/2007

United Nations Climate Talks.

Now climate change is a very hot topic in today's global society. I have been taking small steps to reduce my footprints, such as seeking the most energy efficient appliances for my home, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and making an effort to walk instead of driving to where I want to go. This all may not be enough, but even a small change when practiced by thousands will make a difference. Recently I learned that the U.N. has agreed on a blueprint for averting major disasters that are linked to climate change. In the article I found on Reuters Alert net, the U.N.s climate conference held in Valencia Spain, have agreed on a blueprint for reducing climate change.

Now I didn't want to limit my research on this topic, because of the popularity of 'Green' movements I'm sure that other websites would have something on the topic of the recent U.N. conference. So I have checked both the C.B.C.s and C.N.N.s websites for some more information. There was an interesting article on the C.B.C.s website written from a Canadians point of view on the topic, and I found a video news file on C.N.N.s website. Both provided a little more information on the U.N.s Climate Conference.

The U.N.s Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, hopes that the coming conference in Bali will agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Now the Kyoto Protocol was introduced to set a limit on greenhouse gases produced by 36 industrialized nations. The recent agreement by the climate council is said to put more pressure on governments to reduce greenhouse gases and slow the rise of global temperatures. We are already beginning to see the effects of global warming, more and more forest fires rage every year. Sea levels are slowly rising as the glaciers melt at both north and south poles.

Right now our planet's fate is in our hands. A few small changes by the masses will slow the process. Although change is going to be slow, mostly because environmental friendly policies are currently costly and non-profitable. At least that is the views that I have seen on the subject. What can you do to make governments realize that climate change will change the bottom line, and ultimately affect profit lines? The only thing I can suggest is to make small changes and encourage companies to go 'Green.'

Links to articles in this post:
U.N. climate talks agree blueprint for action
And,
Evidence of climate change 'unequivocal': UN report
Also a video,
Climate Warning

11/16/2007

Refuge Appeals Denied by Canada's Top Courts

Recently I learned that the C.B.C.s website referred a couple readers to this blog, so I thought that it would be good to continue posting interesting articles from their website. Recently I read the article Top court refuses to hear cases of U.S. deserters and decided that I would take a look around the Internet to see what others were saying. So far I have found two other articles on the topic. I found an article on both International Herald Tribune and Reuters.com.

All three articles are definitely interesting and have some suggestions for those deserters of the Iraq war to think about. I can understand why Canada is refusing to grant refuge status to the deserters in these three articles. In the cases mentioned, the applicants are facing court martial, dishonourable discharge and up to 5 years in jail. Those circumstances are hardly enough to grant political refuge, in my opinion. I can understand if they were facing the death penalty, I'm sure they would get refuge status here in Canada if that was the consequences of deserting their posts.

The recent denial by Canada's high courts has encouraged refuges of the Vietnam war to come forward with their stories. Back in the 1960's and 1970's Canada granted refuge status to deserters and draft dodgers from the Vietnam war, but now in 2007, the world is facing different challenges. Not only is there a war in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan. Canada has troops in Afghanistan helping to rebuild and fend off any Taliban extremists. Now I'm not an expert in the challenges that face Afghanistan, but I am standing behind our troops that we have deployed there.

As for the recent deserters, if you didn't want to fight in Iraq, then why did you enlist? I know that it was possible to predict a war with Iraq before it happened, there were signs everywhere. Saddam Hussein was unyielding to Americas demand for United Nations inspectors to look for the illusive weapons of mass destruction, which did not turn up after Hussein's regime had been crushed.

To conclude this post, there are other options than applying for refuge status. Canada consists of many immigrants, not only refuges, but people from very far off places who are looking to build a better life here. There is a possibility of permanent residency for those trying to escape a tour in Iraq, at least this path hasn't been looked into yet. I'm sure that the Canadian economy would benefit from allowing U.S. citizens to apply for permanent residency. Not only would the economy benefit from U.S. ex-patriots, but also the Canadian society. Canada as a whole needs to grow, certain industries here in Canada would benefit exponentially but a surge in population. Well those are my thoughts, what are yours?

The other articles I found are:
Sanctuary closed to deserters
Runaway GIs find a changed Canada

and
U.S. deserters lose bid for Canada refugee status

11/15/2007

Really, is that so?

I just read an article from Reuters website on China and their claims of reduced pollution. In the article, China says key pollution levels nudge down, the China Daily reported a 1.81% drop in sulphur dioxide emissions and a 0.28% drop in chemical oxygen demand (a measure of water pollution). All this is good to hear, but considering that China is a communist nation, how much can we here in the west believe?

The pollution levels of many Chinese cities has been under scrutiny by the United Nations Environment Programme mostly over concerns about athletes health for the 2008 Olympic Games. Most cities are reported to be blanketed with smog, this can't be good for anyone, never mind the world's elite athletes. All this pollution can't stay in China, just like all the pollution we have here in the Americas can't stay here, winds will blow air borne pollutants around the globe.

As China emerges and its economy grows, so do the levels of pollution. I don't know about anybody else, but I'm sure we all can agree on this one, I like breathing. Our planet is definitely warming up because of air borne pollutants, and our generation has to take responsibility to start the process of cleaning up our environment. I just hope that we all still can breathe clean air 10 to 20 years from now!

11/13/2007

We're Going On A Tangent!

What happens when you open your minds eye? Do you get a flood of uncontrollable silliness or just a wisp of dust? I started this blog to keep my brain thinking, believe it or not, that is a hard task when you have a very mundane repetitive job. Not that I'm complaining about being employed, just being unchallenged. Your brain is like a muscle, you have to use it to keep it in shape, otherwise it will suffer from fatigue and eventually become nothing more than a grey sponge locked in your skull.

The worst part I have found about being creative, is actually being creative. How many times have you looked at blank page and wanted to fill it up with words and had absolutely no clue what write? I hate writers block! It is annoying and so far the best thing I have found to cure it is to just ask a question and run with it. That's all this post is, me running with the original question.

All in all, it is fun to go out on a tangent once in a while, but how do you find your way back. You could leave a trail of bread crumbs like Hansel and Gretel did. But what happens when the birds come along and eat your trail? Anyway, this has been a wonderful tangent to be on, but I must get back to reality!

11/11/2007

Hmm...Interesting...

Today I was on the C.B.C.s website and found an article about a temple archeologists have found in Peru. The article entitled Archeologist's unearth 4,000-year-old temple in Peru
describes the temple as pre-Incan. It is one of the oldest discoveries as of late on the American continent. It was quite informative, that is if you like history!

11/08/2007

Oh, Great, More ads!

As much as I like seeing adds on websites (sometimes, but usually ads that I find use full, like 'Google Ads'), Facebook just unveiled a new social advertising strategy. I found the article on CNN.com and I was intrigued. The article was called Facebook unveils targeted 'social ads' and it describes that they will be placing target ads sent to you by the friends you have on their social network.

I can't speak for everybody out there in the world wide web, but I can tolerate a small amount of ads on websites. Pop up ads are just plain annoying and I am glad that I have a good pop up blocker installed on my PC. Every time I'm surfing the net, some new pop up tries to make it through, my web browser usually asks me if I want to see the pop up and I get so many of them that I don't even look at the notice. I do use the facebook social network, but not very frequently, its overrun with applications to add to your profile.

Apparently the article states that you (the facebook user) have to agree to seeing these 'social ads.' I certainly do not want to see anymore, I have put the amount of ads I can tolerate on this site (two 'Google AdSense' boxes). Anymore than that and even I wouldn't want to look at it. How many of you out there in the world wide web have seen enough?

11/06/2007

I.S.S. Hits Milestone, but Still Incomplete

Recently I found a site with an update on the International Space Station entitled The International Space Station So Far: Five Years of Service, But Incomplete by Tarig Malik a staff writer at Space.com. It was quite interesting. The slated retirement of the shuttle fleet could cause problems with completing the massive construction as NASA plans to retire their fleet of shuttles in 2010. The completion of the international project requires quite a few more shuttle missions.

Canada's major contribution is the 'Canada arm2,' and is currently flying with the International Space Station. However, there is still one component left to go up, hopefully it will fly soon, no details on when it is scheduled to fly as of yet. But the Canada arm2 is a major work horse for assembling the station, it has been flying since April 19, 2001, and has been used for installing the stations 'Quest' airlock.

Currently the International Space Station is awaiting the delivery of the 'Columbus' module, which is the European Space Agencies contribution to the Station. Also the Japanese 'Kibo' Lab is still awaiting launch. The most recent addition to the station was the U.S. 'Harmony Node 2,' which is necessary for installing the 'Columbus' module and the Japanese 'Kibo' module.

Hopefully there will be more news on the assembly of the International Space Station, as it is imperative to future endeavors into space. We will need a place to stage flights to the moon and Mars. I'm sure that NASAs homepage will have more. When I find more, I will post more, till then, Peace!

11/04/2007

Prices Fall, Finally

As of late, the C.B.C.s website has been a major source for inspiration for my posts. This time, its an update about parity pricing. In the article, Prices fall though retailers warn deep cuts won't arrive until 2008 retailers are willing to finally bring some prices down. Also, they are willing to give discounts on most magazine and book prices. This has been one of the biggest concerns that Canadian consumers have been voicing their opinions on. This is definitely a good step forward.

As long as the Canadian dollar continues its rise or at least remains at a similar trading price with the U.S. Greenback, Canadians will eventually see some lower costs. But the recent high, described in Loonie closes above $1.07 US on strong job growth predicts an all time high of $1.10, which is definitely good for Canada's economy. However, our dollar has seen an increase against the U.S. Dollar, but really has not seen an increase versus other currencies. As a Canadian I am concerned about this. A lot of our goods for sale in the market are imported, and if we import from other countries, the exchange rate on those goods could be a great deal higher than the exchange rate between Canada and the U.S.. Right now, the U.S. Dollar is stronger against the Euro than the Canadian Dollar.

Another piece of good news, I have recently heard commercials telling consumers that prices are going down. It will take some time for prices to come down, but if its being advertised by retailers, it will happen. Thankfully the Canadian Media has been keeping up with the story and Canadian retailers are taking note. Nobody really wants to see consumers cross the border just for lower prices, but with reports of job growth on the rise, lower prices is more of a reality than a fantasy.

Granted that the job growth here in Canada is on the rise, we also have to look at producing more Canadian made goods at lower costs in order to sustain our economy. With an increase in competition in Canadian markets this can be achieved. I have studied economics, but I am no expert by any means, but increasing the supply of a good will help to bring down the price in the marketplace. Also there are many barriers to entry in the Canadian marketplace, if we want to sustain the current growth of our economy, more competition needs to be introduced. These barriers to entry should be reduced to encourage more competition into our markets.

Even though Canada has a smaller demographic in terms of population compared to the U.S., it is definitely possible to create more competition in today's marketplace. There are ways to gain entry into today's marketplace. The Canadian Government does have a program to aid entrepreneurs to start their own business, I still have to do some more research on this, but our government recognizes that we need to see more growth in our economy.

This is just my opinion and I do believe that Canada does have a roll to play in the global market place. Some of my suggestions could change the country for the good, but I am definitely not willing to run for political office. In the coming days and weeks, I will look at the larger picture of the Canadian economy, hopefully to gain a greater appreciation of the current competition and to look for little details that could improve our economy.

11/02/2007

How Many Stars Can You Count?

Today I was taking a look at another page on the C.B.C.s website. This has been a source of inspiration for my posts as of late. I found an article on Light Pollution, which was quite interesting. I have a lot of interests and one of them is preserving our planet, and one thing that has been bothering me about the current urban environment is light pollution.

Years ago, when I was a child, I could look up at the night sky and see many stars. Over the years, the stars have been blocked out by light pollution. After groups like the International Dark Sky Association called attention to the phenomenon of light pollution, some Governments started asking cities to reduce their light pollution. Street lights were were changed so they would reduce the amount of light pollution, some cities even passed by-laws that prohibit the use of light fixtures that spill excess light into the night sky.

One of the main reasons why light pollution irks me, is that I used to draw inspiration from the stars. I also remember going on many camping trips and seeing the stars at night after a great campfire always gave me a warm feeling. Now when I look up at the sky from the backyard of my house in one of Canada's cities, I can almost count all the stars in the sky! I know that there are an extremely large number of stars in the sky, but most of them get blocked out by light pollution. In fact a few nights ago I went outside for some fresh air, and looked up at the night sky. I could count the number of stars on one hand! Granted the full moon that night may have blocked some of the stars out, but come on, how can we be inspired to go to space if we can't even see the stars that we want to reach?

11/01/2007

November, my thought of the day!

Well its November now. Where does the time go. This year has been flying by, but its not over yet. We are now a lot closer to Christmas now, and the end of the year. Last month I joined a couple of blog directories, and had a lot of comments on my posts, thanks to all who commented. Hopefully I am slowly gaining readership, I'm not entirely sure who all is reading my posts, but thanks to everyone who stops by and reads through some of my posts.

I'm hoping that November will bring more people here to read my posts, I've been working on different ways to increase the flow of people to this site. This month I do have an agenda, I have to post more on the North American Union, just as soon as I can find more information on it. The Canadian dollar is still high, and so are prices here in Canada. Also, I am actually going to try and do some Christmas shopping before December 24Th. I'm sure that I'll have something to say about the crowded malls. And maybe I'll sneak in a post or two about my favourite failing hockey team.

Well this is my first post of November! There will be more, don't worry, and I'm sure that I will find more interesting topics to post about. Stay tuned!

10/31/2007

Parity Prices?

There has been a lot of complaints by consumers in Canada recently. C.B.C aired a special on Canadian consumers demanding a lower price. The special was called "Dollar for Dollar" and it included opinions from Canadian consumers. This is a good thing, because Canadians are finally starting to realize that the consumer can affect the price. Even the Retail Council of Canada has taken note. The Retail Council of Canada has issued a letter to Canadian suppliers to reduce prices.

Now of course there are other factors to consider when looking at the price of goods, it's not just the retailers that set prices. Manufacturers also set prices for their products. Also, Canadian manufacturers have higher operating costs than their counterparts in the U.S. which will affect the price of Canadian made products. Another thing to consider when looking at high prices, is competition.

Granted that the Canadian market is smaller than the U.S. market, but there are fewer and fewer competing companies. In addition to that, there are many barriers preventing more competition in the Canadian market. As well here in Canada, we have higher safety standards than some other countries and have to pay to make sure that a product is safe for sale on the Canadian market. Along with higher taxes, all these factors will be included in the price of a product on the Canadian market.

It isn't likely that we will see parity pricing here in Canada, but if more and more consumers start to stand up for themselves, we can effectively drive the price down. Canadian retailers do not want to see business go south of the border and are working to reduce prices. The Retail Council of Canada have a link on their website to a petition of sorts that will allow you to let the suppliers know that you want lower prices. This is a good thing and will help the Canadian consumer stand up for themselves and demand lower prices!

10/29/2007

Can you run that by me one more time?

Okay, I was surfing the C.B.C.s website and I came across a show that is supposed to be airing next march. The show is called Canada's Next Great Prime Minister. Apparently its the second season of the show. I just have to say, "Can you run that by me one more time?"

The show is about young peoples ideas to make Canada a more prosperous nation. The prize they are giving out is $50,000. They don't really say very much about the show, I don't know why. There is an age limit set for those who want to apply, 18 to 25. You have to get people to vote for you in order to win, just like politics. I've never heard of this show before, has anybody else?

I can't think of any reason why this show was developed, except to get Canada's youth interested in politics. I'm sure all the young people of voting age are paying attention to politics, especially if they are in school. I remember teachers talking about people who don't vote let everybody else speak for them. Along with the latest commercials they came out with before this past election for Ontario's provincial government. Those commercials were quite funny, actually having someone else speak for you in different situations like a job interview. Do you go out and vote or do you let others speak for you?

But back to the show, what exactly is this show trying to accomplish? I had to do a double take when I saw the name of the show, really! Canada is moving into a better position on the global stage, and it is important for the youth of Canada to make an impact on our economy. I have a few ideas on what could make this country more prosperous, but what do I know, I'm just a blogger lost in the World Wide Web.

10/27/2007

A note to Canadian consumers

I was taking a look at www.cbc.ca and found some interesting articles. The first one of note Canada will become one of the most powerful nations: Tony Blair, an article about a speech that former prime minister of Britain, Tony Blair made in Calgary, Alberta this past Friday. And the second one, Loonie briefly nudges $1.04US. Both articles show that Canada is getting more notoriety on the international stage. But even with these news worthy articles, Canadian consumers are still paying high prices for everything they purchase.

It is appauling that Canadian consumers have so much trouble sticking up for themselves. The worst part is that the consumer is supposed to control the market, not the retailer. You are the one with purchasing power, regardless of how much money you have, you still are the one who should be deciding how much you pay for an item. Recently I have stopped buying fruits and vegatables from my local grocery chain, instead, I go to a produce market, which is a specialty store. Sometimes in order to find better prices you have to shop around to find them. Now I wouldn't consider shopping around for the cheapest price being cheap, more like thrifty.

As a home owner, I have had to learn how to be thrifty. Especially when you are only supporting yourself on one income, when the majority of home owners are two income families, you have to learn how to be thrifty. Personally, I have a set amount that I would be willing to spend for an item. If the item is a necessity, then I would purchase it at the best price I can find, but if not and I can wait, I will look for a much better price and then purchase the item at the lowest price possible. I think a lot of Canadians have been too concerned with being called cheap while in school, it is during that time while you are growing up that you need to learn basic shopping skills. Sometimes you can be blinded by brand names or trends, but the bottom line is you have to look for the lowest price out there, that is why we have stores competing against each other.

Another reason for high prices is that certain markets are being dominated by franchises, and the old mom and pop shops are being reduced to a thing of the past. It is these mom and pop shops that help bring prices down, they encourage healthy competition in markets that are saturated with corporations trying to get you to spend every cent of your disposable income in their chain. If you want to see prices come down, look for the best price and support the little stores/restaurants that have to compete with brand name franchises.

10/26/2007

The Quest for Space

I recently read an article on the CNN website mentioning that China has successfully launched a lunar probe. Now there has been speculation about Americas landing on the moon, but is it possible that a new space race is evolving? In the article Chinese Rocket blasts off to moon the associated press mentions that India may be joining the quest for the moon as well. Japan already has a probe orbiting the moon right now.

Also in the article, it mentions that China has interest in joining the International Space Station program. Currently, the Americans have denied China from joining the program, mostly because of the form of government China has. They have a communist dictatorship, and anyone who has heard of the cold war can understand why America would be uneasy about allowing a communist dictatorship to join the International Space Station program.

Speaking of the International Space Station (I.S.S.), has anybody heard any new developments on the story? I know that the I.S.S. was breaking news before the attacks on the World Trade Center, has that program been put on the back burner? Canada has been developing robotic systems to be added to the space station and I have heard very little on that as well. The last I have heard about the Space Station is that every shuttle crew that goes up will visit the station, mostly to check for any damage incurred during launch. Shouldn't the I.S.S. be used as a stepping stone for our quest for a space fairing civilization?

10/24/2007

Hmm...An Obscure Ramble

What do you do when you can't think of anything to write? Well maybe a stream of thought might help open up the flood gates of creativity, but of course you need to start some where. Hmm...or maybe you could just ramble on aimlessly hoping for a shred of continuity to string everything together, or maybe you might do some thing a little more constructive. Do you remember tying a piece of string in between to empty cups with one of your friends and trying to use those as a primitive telephone. Did that ever work or did the bottom of the cup fall out when you pulled the string tight enough to carry the sound of your voice?

I remember going down to the nearest creek as a child and trying to catch some small fish, just to pass the time. Now that I'm an adult, I find different ways to occupy my time, just rambling on with a seemingly endless stream of thought is helping me pass the time right now. At least its a change from searching for content to blog about. You really can't take blogging too seriously, all you're really doing is sharing your thoughts on topics with the digital world and not everybody is going to visit your blog anyway. I know my blog usually experiences dead traffic. Why else would I be posting something obscure like this?

I only started this so I could flood the Internet with obscurity and hopefully get at least one laugh. You can't be serious all the time, you need some levity, sometimes watching a comic on television will help lighten your mood.

Okay, I've rambled long enough, what kind of things do you come up when you decide to ramble on to try and get an idea?

10/23/2007

Price Gouging

Price Gouging, if I remember correctly, there are some laws that are supposed to protect us against price gouging. So if these laws do exist, then why are Canadians suffering from price gouging? I know as the owner of a car that we are being gouged at the pumps every time we put gasoline in our fuel tanks, but with inflation on the rise, and our dollar on the rise, how are we going to compete with the American dollar?

I found an article on the CBC website entitled Hotter inflation report sends Canadian dollar to 33-year high above $1.03 US that mentions that the soaring dollar should force prices down as most of our goods are imports from the United States. In this article it mentions that it was inflation that pushed our dollar to a 33 year high, but how are we actually going to compete while we our prices are way too high? If Canada wishes to continue enjoying having our dollar at or near par with the American dollar, prices are going to have to deflate a little.

If you reduce the cost of an item, the consumer is going to have more disposable income afterwards, which in turn can be spent on other goods and services. Even a small change like bringing our cost per litre of gasoline down by say ten cents per litre, on average, you will have anywhere between 2 and 10 dollars extra after you fill up your gas tank. What would you do with that little bit of savings? I know that making the cost of a product more affordable, consumers are more likely to purchase the item as well as purchase more items. I'm not an economist, or a financial wizard, but I am tired of seeing inflation on the rise as our dollar becomes more and more competitive in today's markets.

In closing, if you are a Canadian that's just as fed up as I am about high prices, speak out, don't stay quite like a good little Canadian. Every body needs to hear you stand up for yourself, stop corporations from taking advantage of the cash in your wallet, after all, didn't you work hard for that money?

Addition: After a comment on this post I felt the need to mention that a lot of companies have blamed inflation on the cost of oil. Since Canada imports a large portion of oil from the U.S., with a stronger dollar, shouldn't us consumers see the same benefits the refineries are seeing?

10/22/2007

A Brave New North America

Welcome to the twenty first century. Now to go along with the E.U. the N.A.U. is gradually being formed. It starts with the Security and Prosperity Partnership (S.P.P) agreement formed between, President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Paul Martin, and President Vincente Fox. The S.P.P. is just a stepping stone towards a much larger agreement, conceived in secrecy and will ultimately be demanded by the people.

Do you want to know what people will cry out for? It is the North American Union (N.A.U.). It is an alliance much like the European Union (E.U.) and is only the second of two more similar forms of government breaching the shadows on the horizon. The story is just now breaking news, well at least to me, I have been unaware of it until now. I don't have enough information to fully draw a conclusion as to whether or not this North American Union will be for all the citizens of our continent a good move. I have been actively searching the website setup for the purpose of informing citizens on the S.P.P. as well as looking for more information on how it affects Canadians on the Canadian site for the S.P.P. I will undoubtedly report more of my findings as time goes on.

What I have learned from these websites is that, the S.P.P. is not a step towards a larger governing body such as the North American Union. Although there is an awful lot of conspiracy theories that are pointing towards the formation of a North American Union. New technologies are being developed for the implementation of the Union as well as pictures posted of the Amero. All of this is based on reports in the media.

I am still doing more research on the topic and will continue to post more on the subject of the North American Union. I am very interested in the affect the Union would have on the Canadian economy, as well as the growth potential the S.P.P. has towards our economy. As a Canadian, I will endeavor to research the affects of the S.P.P. on our economy and will report more details as I find them.

To be Continued...

10/21/2007

More Than Meets the Eye!

I don't usually post any kind of review, but I have just finished watching Transformers, the recent movie. I must say it was by far the best movie I've seen in a long time. The graphics were awesome, and my favourite part of any action movie, the explosions were awesome! I highly recommend that you go out and get a dvd copy from your nearest store! Its worth watching over and over!

10/20/2007

A Soaring Canadian Dollar Part 3!

In my previous installment of this title, I mentioned the N.A.U. (North American Union) and the "amero." Well I've done some more searching. I have found another article about just how little the average Canadian knows about this N.A.U.. In Canadians Completely Unaware of Looming North American Union Keven Parkinson (the author of the article) explains just how little Canadians know about the N.A.U. which disturbs me.

The N.A.U. has been conceived in secrecy and will affect everyone on the North American Continent. Unfortunately, the only nation that will benefit from it right now is the United States. Mostly because their once strong dollar has been failing, allowing doubts to surface about the stability of their economy. Canada will suffer if the debut of the N.A.U. happens within the next three years. Apparently the slated debut of the N.A.U. is in 2010. I'm learning more and more every time I search for more information on this Union.

As a Canadian, I am concerned because the dollar value of goods and services is higher in our country compared to the United States. Not only is the cost of goods and services higher here, the price goes up as you move west in our country. Another thing I am concerned about is what will happen to our health care. Canada is a world leader in providing health care for its citizens, what will the N.A.U. do to that system? Are we going to have to deal with the U.S. system of privatized health care that financially ruins many Americans? Granted our taxes are higher here, but that is for the most part to fund our health care system. Lets not take for granted our access to doctors and lower costs on prescription medications.

If this Union does debut in the next few years, are we going to be forced into the union or are we going to demand it? As of now, with the limited information I have on the subject, I am opposed to it, what about you whats you opinion on the North American Union?