ss_blog_claim=8dcabb3175f064b32823a45ed345083b Majik's Thoughts: March 2008


Need A Break

Friends, I have decided that I need to take a brief break. I will not be able to return any dropped cards until this weekend. My shift at work has been changed and I will need the rest of the week to adjust. Sometimes you need to take a break to sort everything out and right now my job is very stressful and need some time to unwind before I start posting again.

I hope you will take some time to explore my archives while I am on this brief hiatus. I also hope that you can understand that every once and a while you need to take a break, a brief vacation if you will. I will be around to answer emails and such but I will not be spending very much time in the blogging world until this coming Saturday. I hope you all can understand and I hope that you will keep visiting in my absence.

Peace out!


Open Skies = Greater Competition

Just today there was an interesting article about opening up the skies. As of Sunday airline companies based in the European Union can now fly from the Americas to a country other than the country of their origin. This will probably bring more volume and quite possibly cheaper tickets. Usually the case is when supply increases fares go down.

In the same article there was also a recommendation for Canadian airlines. Canada's Competition Bureau has pressed Ottawa to be a little more lax in the ownership restrictions on Canadian airline companies. This would encourage more competition in the market and benefit all Canadians.

As for what this means for Canadians; well we could be seeing some cheaper airfare to Europe. We could also see more competition for flights within Canada. With more competitive markets we could start to see lower airfares making travel more affordable. Well that was just my opinion; what's yours?

News Story: Open Skies agreement to spur 'new era' in transatlantic flight
Image Source: Wiki Media Commons


One Hour For the Planet

Did you know that this Saturday March 29, 2008 households and businesses will be turning their lights off for a full hour? I have seen different blogs with posts about "Earth Hour" and I finally have seen an article about it one my favourite News Network's website. Apparently Canadians are jumping on the band wagon for this event. You know if enough people participate and turn off all of their electrical devices for 1 hour, it could actually make a difference.

I have been thinking about what kind of a decrease in carbon emissions we would see from turning all the lights out for one hour. It probably will not be a large amount; but we will not truly know for sure until after the event. I'm sure that there will be a decrease but just how noticeable will it be? Should this one hour for the planet going to be worth it?

There is one thing I am positive about; 240000 people refusing to use electricity across a continent for one hour will make a small difference. Although just one hour out of 366 days this year may not be enough to make an impact. Let's take a look at what the fraction would look like; it looks like this 1/8784 and the decimal equivalent is so small that I will not bother showing you. Here's another thing to ponder; is too hard to go with out electricity for one hour a day? Or even at the very least one hour a month? If we really want to make a relevant effort to reduce emissions, one hour every month by the same number of people would certainly make a difference. I'm going to leave you with one last thought; there once was a time when we all went without electricity, is it that much of an issue that we all cannot go one hour a day without electricity?

News Story:Canadians jump on Earth Hour bandwagon


Google Is Making News Again

What will the think tanks at Google come up with next? I was reading an interesting article today about a letter to the Federal Communications Commission from none other than Google. Apparently Google wants to use the currently unused television frequencies to provide wireless Internet service. I know this sounds a little odd, Google becoming an Internet service provider, at least to me it sounds a little odd. I am quite used to Google being one of the most popular search engines; not an Internet service provider. I can see how the white space is underused considering that most people have either cable or satellite; all of the channels that were previously used by television broadcasters is full of white noise.

Now on the other hand, opening up the unused channels for wireless broadband use could introduce greater competition into the Internet Service market. With a greater supply usually brings lower prices; at least in cases other than crude oil. Would you like to get your Internet service for less? I certainly would like to pay less for my Internet service. This is not the first time Google has tried to convince the F.C.C. to open up television white space.

As I read on in the article I learned that Google is developing some mobile phone software. Can you imagine dealing with Google for your cellular service? I don't know how far away the software is from being released or even if it will be limited to new releases of Blackberry type handsets. Apparently the new software (known as android) will boost their grip on the online advertising market. Another reason Google maybe after opening up television white space is to encourage other businesses to develop new technologies to utilize the white space. I could be way of the mark on that one; but Google as of yet does not have a business model for the white space.

As for how this impacts Canadians; well I certainly will have more to talk about around the water cooler at work. But on a larger scale; I think it would eventually bring more choice into our economy. I know it will not be introduced in Canada as fast as it would in the U.S. considering that some companies treat Canadians as second class American citizens. But what do I know? I'm just a blogger trying to give you something to think about. Anyway, that was my opinion; what's yours?

News Story: Google wants to turn unused TV airwaves into wireless Internet
Image: My Camera Phone


Global Protests for Tibet

I was browsing through a few different news network websites today and read an interesting article. Apparently the peaceful protests of Tibetan monks that turned into riots on the fourteenth of March has caught the attention of protesters around the globe. I first saw a segment on television one day while I was off sick from work, I thought about writing a post about it then but ended up getting distracted. From what I have read and seen on TV is that the protests are over human rights. In Toronto 1000 people showed up to urge the Federal government to put more pressure on China to improve their poor human rights record.

China now has stopped the riots and protests in Tibet; but nothing seems to be stopping other protesters. From what I understand China has used its military muscle to cull the protests in Lhasa. The Chinese report that over 600 people were injured in the destruction and fires that broke out during the protests. To contrast the Chinese reports of 22 people deceased; exile groups are claiming that 99 people died in the riot. This just goes to show you that the communist Chinese government is in the business of disinformation.

Now what does this have to do with Canadians? Well there are a few things that would impact Canadians. The protests could impact the Olympic games in Beijing which could impact participation in the games. Our Government could introduce sanctions that would affect our imports and exports to China. There are many things that could happen. These are just my opinions, what are yours?

Image Source: Wiki Media Commons
News Story: Canadians protest against violence in Tibet


Need to Find A Good Web Hosting Company?

As I was surfing around the net today I stumbled across an interesting blog. I do not have a blog on Wordpress but I decided to take a look around and see if there was more to the blog than just Wordpress templates. And I'm glad I did; I found not only Blogger templates but more importantly, an interesting post about web hosting. Now I have been looking around to find some good web hosting companies and after reading a post on Kaushal Sheth my list of web hosting companies has been slimmed down.

After reading the post and looking through the list of "Best Web Hosting Companies" my list of choices has been narrowed down to a handful. The short list of hosting companies has everything I've been looking for. A part from a well written post; I learned about some good companies offering web hosting. Before today, I did not even know that Yahoo! offered web hosting to small businesses. As for when I actually sign up and get my own domain with a web hosting package, I am not sure; I do know that it will be later this year.

You really should stop by Kaushal Sheth and take a look at the list. It maybe a short list of web hosting companies, but I believe you will find what you are looking for. In conclusion; the list Kaushal Sheth provides shows that this blogger has done their homework and found the best web hosting for affordable prices.


Drop Your Card, See If I Follow

I know the title of this post sounds a little pretentious; but you should read all of this post to understand why I have chosen that title. Now the majority of my traffic of late has been from Entrecard, for all of you who drop your card on me "Thank you!" But this is not why I have chosen to write a post about Entrecard. The reason I am writing this post is to let all of you who stop in to drop you card know that I will attempt to reciprocate your drop. If I have missed a drop on you on any given day, the most likely reason is that I have received a large number of drops before I first sign in. Unfortunately you can only see the last 98 drops in your "Drop Inbox."

Some of you may notice that I have changed templates as well. I hope this makes reading a little easier. Now that I'm on a tangent I will come back to where I was headed. I also wanted to mention the Top 5 'Droppers' on my widget and give you some link love. Here are my top 5 'Droppers' on my Entrecard widget.

#1 Chalk is Cheap
#2 Money, Love, and Change
#3 Look 4 Dream Girls
#4 Mobile eBook Etc
#5 CK Marketing

I think I will write another post like this next month. Maybe you will be in my top 5 next month. Keep dropping and we will soon see.

Image Source: Entrecard


Advancing Robotics: Canadian Style

Last week I had heard something on the radio about the space shuttle "Endeavour" and was surprised to hear about another shuttle mission. I did not get all the details of the mission or even hear about what was going up to the International Space Station. Today I was looking through one of my favourite sources for news and read about the current shuttle mission. This time the shuttle Endeavour is carrying not only another contribution from Canada; but also Japan's first contribution, Kibo lab. Japan's Kibo lab requires two components to complete the lab; the first is to be installed during the current 16 day mission.

Early reports suggest that 'Dextre' is broken, but a comment on the news story told me other wise. Apparently the current electrical problem the robot is encountering is limited to the temporary platform that is used in transporting the component into space. Currently Dextre is not drawing power from the International Space Station. N.A.S.A. has planned on 5 space walks to fully assemble the robot; two of the five have been completed.

This is an excellent accomplishment for Canadian robotics. I am glad to hear that we are still in the foreground of space robotics. The current Conservative Government in Canada does not see space ventures in the same way the rest of Canada does. We should be proud to be creating a niche in the field of space robotics. Now all of us Canadians have a little more to boast about, it's about time that we are making some headlines.

Image source: Canadian Space Agency: Image Gallery
News Story: Astronauts start 2nd spacewalk to assemble Canadian-made robot


A Review: Online Casino Links

I think I'm going to take some more time to review another website. This time the website is called "online casino links" and it is exactly that. The webmasters at this website certainly have done their research. I took a look at a couple of their reviews; they contain everything from reasons to play to extras on the website. I found the page to be really interesting.

When I first loaded the page, I found the layout to be well organized. The black and white picture for the background added class to the page. I took a look at some of the pages that are linked to from the side bar; they are filled with use full information. One of the pages I found most useful was their page for gambling tips. The page gives you some very interesting information about online gambling sites.

If I had to rate this website, I would certainly give a good rating as there are lots of good reviews contained on the website. Another good page I am going to mention before ending this review is the FAQ page. Many important questions are answered on their FAQ page. In conclusion, I am going to stop by again and see if there might be an online casino for me. You should stop by and see what they have to offer, you just might find what you've been looking for.

Image source: Wiki Media Commons

We Need Alternative Fuels Now!

Have you heard about the price of oil recently? I read an article today that states that the troubled greenback is driving the price of oil even higher. The cost of a barrel of oil rose to $110.33 today. This is insane. We all need fuel for our vehicles so we can keep the capitalist machine working; but how are we going to do that while we are being ripped off at the gas pump?

Now certainly is the time for alternative fuels to dominate the market place. Granted that with a better rate of exchange with the American greenback the price of gas should see a slight drop; but we are seeing the exact opposite. When are we going to show the oil barons that we can live with out them? I hope that day is sooner than later. The longer we are willing to pay high prices to fill our tanks the longer the oil barons win. And driving those SUVs certainly doesn't make matters any better.

I know that bio-diesel is a good alternative, much cleaner than regular diesel fuel, but the demand is still low. With gas prices unaffected by demand we have to do something just to keep food on the table. We cannot just sit back and let people empty our pockets for us.

As for how this affects Canadians, well we've been paying a higher price for gas than Americans for years and that is not going to change. Unfortunately the troubled American dollar is forcing the cost of oil up. Having a better exchange rate with the greenback just gives the oil barons more of a reason to gouge us; it's really quite ignorant. I'm sure we will hear more and more excuses as to why the cost of gas is going up, but those alternative fuels that are in the future should really be in the present. Maybe when we use more alternative fuels for our cars and trucks; the price of gas will come down. But until that day, we must aspire to bring alternative fuels to the market place.

Well that's my opinion, what's yours?

Image Source: Wiki Media Commons
News Story: Oil rises to new highs as U.S. dollar weakens


Online Casinos; Take another Look

Where do you go for a good online casino? I happened on this rather interesting list of online casinos and I just had to mention it in one of my posts. The website has a title suited for its purpose "Online Casino List" and there are a lot of different online casinos.

Each of the websites linking in has been reviewed by both the editor of the website and players. Websites get rated on a scale of 1 to 100 and the highest rating I saw on the page was a 99. There is one rating I haven't seen on some other lists; these sites have a payout percentage. I took a look at the member voting page and noticed that the lowest payout percent was 90% on that page. These are some really high payouts.

If you're looking for some online casino fun, I am sure you will find a good one from this list. I hope you will take a minute to view a few of their pages, you will find the online casino that is perfect for you. All of the websites the Online Casino List links to have pretty good bonuses for sign ups and your deposits. I think it's a good review website, check it out and see what I am talking about.

Image Source: Wiki Media Commons


Post #100

As this is my one hundredth post here I felt a little like celebrating this milestone. But after reading some interesting emails I ran across a news story in an email that was sent to me. The story was about Cuba and the diplomatic sanctions that have been placed on the country. As most of the world knows by now, Fidel Castro has retired and left his brother, Raul Castro in place as the countries president which creates a new political arena in Cuba. Fidel's retirement really was not much of a surprise considering the man is 81 years old; but a few pieces of the article I read surprised me.

In the article, the European Union's top development aid visited Cuba and made some interesting observations. The E.U. aid commissioner, Louis Michel, purposely visited Cuba to get a closer look at the political climate following the retirement of Fidel Castro. What he found was promising. Some of the diplomatic sanctions include a freeze on high level diplomatic visits by top ranking officials, as well as the U.S. embargo which halted trade and investments with Cuba. Some of these sanctions may be archaic and are becoming obstacles in the path of Cuba's future.

Another interesting bit from the article is that economic, political changes and advances in human rights are on the docket for Cuba. How much truth in the matter remains to be seen, but it certainly is a step forward in opening talks with Cuba. Now from a Canadian perspective, I find this development to be intriguing. Just how will it affect the political climate of Cuba, I don't really know, but seeing as a trip to Cuba is more affordable then some other islands in the area; the economic changes will most certainly up the cost. As for how it will affect Canadians, I think that if Cuba goes through and makes some advances in human rights they would certainly make the vacation hot spot a little safer for travellers. This news is making me consider trips to Cuba, even though I would much rather travel to Bermuda or Jamaica, but Cuba is a little higher on my list of places to see now.

Well that's my opinion, what's yours?

Image Source: Wiki Media Commons
News Story: EU commissioner wants Cuba sanctions abolished


Daylight Savings Time

As some of you know, Southern Ontario has been hit with another winter storm. I had to dig my car out again. March seems to be coming in like a lion. I hope this means that spring is on its way. Also we had to turn the clocks ahead an hour last night so lost an hour of sleep.

Last year I heard that when we change the clocks the number of car accidents increase over the following couple of days. This is not really good news, but afterwards the insurance companies may see a rise in the number of claims. But it's not all bad news; we get to see more daylight now. Not only that but spring is not far away, the days are getting longer and sun is getting warmer.

After yesterday's snow fall, I had to shovel my car out of the driveway, even though I knew that the clocks had been changed ahead an hour; it still felt like it was an hour earlier. So the mountain of snow in the picture on this post is now sitting outside of my house. I had to take the picture with my camera phone, but I think it turned out pretty good. Anyway, now that every thing has been set an hour ahead, I'm finally ready to actually lose an hour's sleep before I go back into work on Monday, I just hope they've changed the clocks so the day doesn't seem any longer than the usual Monday.


Bail Out Your Own Boat

I read something today that I found interesting. The Harper government has stated that it will not bail out a sinking business. This just means that it really is sink or swim. I'm not surprised that the Canadian government is not in the business of keeping a company a float; shouldn't a good business be able to keep its own head above water for it to be a good business? I have worked for some good companies and some bad companies before and the good companies have an uncanny ability to make a decent profit to keep the business running. Isn't that the nature of business?

I may not be a business man, but I have seen what good companies can do to increase their profit margin. If you need a government grant to stay in business, you must be doing something wrong. Most companies can be competitive and create their own niche, these companies will be successful. With business' that don't need financial help from governments, the amount of money injected into the economy is minimal and allows for government funds to be funnelled into something else.

I remember hearing about Ford getting a needed cash injection from the government not to long ago and the Oakville Ford plant was able to stay open because of it. Now of course that saved a lot of jobs, but it really only helped the community in Oakville Ontario; surrounding cities are struggling to keep jobs local and more people are commuting to work. Steel workers rule some cities, but the problem is that other jobs in those cities are mostly retail and usually are not enough to help the city grow. When your city only has two types of jobs available like steel work and retail work, if you want a good job you're going to have to commute to find one.

The Canadian economy is going to slow eventually but more jobs need to be created before the economy slows. The sooner these jobs get created the less likely an economic slow down will occur. Out in the west of Canada, jobs are plentiful and usually pay better than some jobs here in central Canada. Granted the cost of living is higher in the west, the rest of Canada is slowly catching up. More and more houses are going for higher prices and the market doesn't look to be slowing down. In general, what I've seen indicates that Canada's economic boom is not over yet, sure the dollar is trading better against other currencies but it will not last forever. Canadians need to support Canadian business instead of the burden falling on the shoulders of the government. I personally agree with Harper's government when they state that they will not bail out any business. I think Canada would be better if the government forces companies to sink or swim. That's my opinion, what's yours?

Image Source: Wiki Media Commons
News Story: Ottawa won't be in bailout business this year: PM


Invest In Your Future

Are you worried about the current state of the American greenback? Or have you wondered, what is the best investment to make? Well today I took a look at Monex Deposit Company offering gold coins. The precious metals market has seen a lot of growth over the years and still is considered one of the most stable markets. I remember some years ago gold bullion was trading for just over $300 per ounce, today it's over three times that. With volatile markets wouldn't you want a secure investment?

The Monex Deposit Company (M.D.C.) offers more than just gold coins; they also offer silver, platinum and palladium. They have different coins for each precious metal. Right now the demand for silver is high; a purchase of any U.S. silver coin is an excellent investment. As the market price of precious metals rise, so does the value of your investment. Monex has many different products and each product will have more than just a monetary value; their products also have a patriotic value which in some cases unequivocal. In today's world you can trust the value and quality offered by M.D.C. and their various precious metal products. Stop by the Monex website and give them a call to make an investment in your future.

Image source: Wiki Media Commons

Fill the Cup

With all the talk about elections I thought I would write about a different topic. I read an article today about Drew Barrymore and a very charitable donation. She announced on Oprah Winfrey's show that she was donating 1 million dollars to the World Food Programme's "Fill the Cup" campaign. What interested me was that she was donating her own money towards the cause. Barrymore used her announcement to kick start the campaign and is one of the World Food Programmes ambassadors against hunger.

What's most interesting is that just a simple cup of porridge can make a large difference in a hungry child's life. It will give them energy and essential nutrients to help them learn in school. The "Fill the Cup" campaign is aiming to feed 59 million hungry school children in developing countries. The executive director of the World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran said that just $50 will fill a child's cup for a year, that's pretty impressive if you ask me.

There are a lot of hungry children out there in developing countries, not just in our own backyards. A lot of children will go hungry today and reputable charities are trying to help them. Are you willing to donate a little cash to a worthy cause? I'm sure the World Food Programme will accept smaller donations than 1 million dollars; you can find a link to contribute on their website. You can find more information on the W.F.P. on their website, check it out and give it some thought.

News Story: Drew Barrymore donates $1 mln to feed Kenyan kids


Domain Registration

Today I was searching for more information on domain registration and came across an interesting website. I've been considering getting my own domain for some time now, and this one caught my eyes. It's easy to find the domain you're looking for on this page, and the prices are competitive. I have done some research into domain registration; I probably will go with "payless" when I register my own unique domain name.

For those who are looking for web hosting, this website has four different packages. I would have to have a web hosting package; it's the only way to go for me. The four web hosting packages are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum; all four are priced competitively. I'm not sure which one I would choose; but each package has well thought out features to give you the best value for your money.

I have yet to decide on a web hosting package to go with my own unique domain name, but after looking through Payless domains' offerings I certainly have a clear idea. The support they offer is 24 hours a day 365 days a year so it looks like you will be able to get what ever technical support you need. I will definitely consider Payless domains for registering my own domain name, how about you?


"March"ing Forward

Well it's the beginning of March and last month was a good step forward. Lots of people came visit my humble blog. Although I didn't update my blog as often as I have been doing in previous months, mostly because I was working on my other blog Majik's World which needed my attention. Also long hours at work left me mentally drained. But this is a new month and I will try and find more time to update this blog.

As for what March will bring to this blog as of now I am not sure. Last night while I was out with some friends the topic of a recent spike in the price of gas came up, so I may have some more on that topic. I've also been switching between Starbucks and Tim Horton's for my morning coffee, so I may have another comparison to write, the words still haven't come to me yet. Plus I am moving my home office into the basement this month so I will inevitably be busy this month.

Recently I've been making an attempt to reciprocate your card drops. Some days it is hard, usually those days when I get over 100 drops in a day, and I have Entrecard on my other blog as well so you may only get one of my two Entrecards a day, but it does double up the amount of drops I make in a day. I hope you will keep coming back to see what I'm up to and drop you card along the way. Until the next start of the month post, Peace and Thanks for visiting!