ss_blog_claim=8dcabb3175f064b32823a45ed345083b Majik's Thoughts: July 2008


Dreams of Space Tourism Just Got Closer to Reality

For those select few wealthy who have dreams of going to space, their dreams just got a little closer to reality. The roll out of "The White Knight 2" a twin fuselage heavy lift plane designed to carry the vehicle to take space tourist into sub-orbit marks an achievement in aerospace fuel efficiency and design. The craft is made entirely out of carbon composites and will carry "Spaceship 2" to its 50,000 ft launch zone.

Apparently the spaceship that is to take tourists into orbit is about 70% complete. Virgin Galatic's president Will Whitehorn said that the first flights will happen in either late 2009 or early 2010. This is good news for those that can afford the $200,000 ticket they have to pay to reserve their seat in the spaceship. A deposit for your ticket will cost you $20,000 which is not entirely affordable. But the company has up to seven of the launch vehicle and five of the spaceships on order which may reduce the price after they become fully operational.

If I could afford the price tag I would certainly already have purchased my ticket. As for Canadians, the wealthy among us may want to take a flight but the whole space tourism ideal is becoming a reality. How about you, would you want to cough up $200,000 to go into space?

Image: Wiki Media Commons
Source: Virgin Galactic unveils spaceship launch aircraft


Honored and Humbled

Chilly from On the Bricks has honored me twice by first awarding my blog with the "Arte y Pico" award and now the "Brilliante Weblog Award." Both awards are what one refers to as a meme and I share the same view as William from about these awards. I will not be passing on these awards. I am grateful for Chilly thinking that my blog is deserving of these awards, but I am too humble to accept them.

To me blogging itself is rewarding and no award can compare to how you feel after you finish another post that satisfies your creative genius. In fact each time some one takes the time to comment on your post it can be received as an award for catching the interest of another soul. Thanks for all of the comments everybody has been leaving lately and I hope that you will keep coming back even if I don't pass on these awards.

And Chilly, thank you for considering my blog worthy of both of these awards!


Majik's Photography Corner # 2

Years ago I was really into racing and took a few laps around the track in this picture. Go Karting was a lot of fun and if I could find the time to take a few laps around the track I would. Maybe on my next day off from work.


How About a Nice New Pair of "Specs"

I have been looking for a new pair of eyeglasses lately. I still have to go and get a new prescription but that has not stopped me from looking around. I found an interesting website while I was looking for a new pair of "specs." I had no idea that I could order my new pair of glasses online. I heard about Zenni Optical with the help of the Clark Howard Show a nationally syndicated consumer advocate.

I do not normally shop online, not to say that I haven't just that I don't normally; but with the amount of choices available on the Zenni Optical home page, one word: Wow. The prices of the eyeglasses are absolutely the best I have seen yet! Who wouldn't want to get a pair of glasses for $8? I did some reading on the website and they can offer such a low price because they manufacture the eye wear and sell it directly to you the consumer. No middlemen keeping the cost to you down.

Another option they have is to get some stylish clip on polarized sun shades. An extra $4 is worth it. You could just clip on your sun glasses before you drive and not have to deal with any glare.

The multitude of selections for different frames seems to be never ending. I spent a good 45 minutes just looking through their selections. I am going to have to tell my Mom and Sister-in-law about this website (of course after I've got my new pair of glasses). I am sure that they would love the prices and selection Zenni Optical has. Do you know anyone who could benefit from stopping here to pick up a pair of eyeglasses?


Good Ol' Barack Takes a Tour

I certainly am no authority on American politics, but as a Canadian seeing Barack Obama visiting Afghanistan; I can think of a few questions. Now I read from one of my favorite news sources that Barack Obama would be meeting with the Prime Minister of Afghanistan as well as the Prime Minister of Iraq. Both Canada and the US have troops stationed in Afghanistan so I read on. Here's the part where I raised an eyebrow. Obama wants to redeploy some troops that are stationed in Iraq to Afghanistan. What does this mean for the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan?

Well more troops to support the efforts in Afghanistan would be in Canada's interest. I remember not that long ago that we Canada were calling for some support from the nations allied in this war on terrorism. What is Obama doing? Now unfortunately all Canadians lost a soldier recently and as our thoughts are also with the fallen soldiers family I can't help but wonder why Obama would want to redeploy to Afghanistan. Is there a chance that Canada may be pulling out of Afghanistan? I don't know about that one but what do Canadians think about it?

My guess about whether or not Obama gets elected into office and is able to redeploy troops to Afghanistan is that it could happen. Shifting the spotlight from Iraq to Afghanistan is definitely a good political move so this just might be a good move for his campaign. There was a big buzz about his foreign trip coming so long after his opposition Senator McCain. Senator McCain made his way over to the same areas but I do not remember much being covered on that. Everything is up in the air and the mudslinging and finally the Democratic Primaries have been wrapped up. Can Obama be the next president?

This little snapshot of his foreign policy can give us some insight into where he plans on taking the US. Clearly there has been much unrest about the war in Iraq and while the economic state of the US slowly dwindles it is possible that great change is coming. Now as for what Obama's visit to Afghanistan means to the average Canadian, well its just more campaigning except this time we don't hear about the Clintons. I remember some of the commercials running during our last elections, I posted a couple of videos of commercials that ran during our last election not that long ago, I'm wondering if anything similar will be running up until November 4th? Anyway as for the US election, chose wisely America one vote can make a difference even if you don't think its possible.

What do you think of Barack's Tour to Afghanistan and Iraq?

Image: Wiki Media Commons


Advantage In Worldwide Rental Cars

There are quite a few places I would like to travel to and one of the most important aspects of traveling for me is finding a good car rental. Now if I am going to visit family on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean I would not have to worry about it; but if I was to say go visit a friend in another country I would want to rent a car. I was looking to travel to Europe a little while ago and did a little searching to see if I could book a rental for a vacation and I found "Advantage Rent a Car" recently and thought the company deserved a little attention.

I spent some time on their website just checking to see how easy it was to navigate through; it was easy enough for me to find what I was looking for quickly. I checked out their featured specials as well. They have some good deals on right now, if you are looking to travel through the US; hop on over to their website and take a look at their rates. I also wanted to check out their extra coverage options for those situations that you cannot plan for. Their insurance coverage is up to par with other competitors. The rates for Supplemental Insurance are competitive.

There are quite a few good points that I could go into more detail with; but as I was only planning to do a quick review I'll have to let you decide for yourself. I do think that their rates are very competitive; they have good quality specials and great coverage for those unexpected perils of the road. Over all I would give this car rental company a good rating; I'm even going to choose them over one of their competitors. Would you be willing to give them a chance to earn your business?


Majik's Photography Corner

Last Week I went to a beach on Lake Huron and snapped off a few photographs.

I went there with my brother and his growing family. My niece had more fun throwing sand on me than she did in the water. This last picture was taken by my sister in-law after I came out from washing all the sand that my niece threw on me. I didn't think she was going to snap off a picture of me coming out of the water though.


I Finally Signed up

I finally did it, good bye Google PR and hello payperpost. I've been thinking about joining payperpost for months now, not to make a fortune from blogging but just for the fact that coming up with interesting topics can sometimes be difficult. I do like the idea of a sponsored post; I doubt I'll get rich from it but using the blogging medium to help spread the word about worthy products and get paid as a bonus. Two thumbs up!

I have not spent much time on the website yet, but from a quick look through; there are plenty of different opportunities for a blogger. The possibilities seem endless. There are many different ways to earn some cash and the opportunity to make more per post increase as you qualify for more offers. Now the thought of earning cash for posting was not what attracted me to payperpost in the first place. It was the opportunity to network with other bloggers.

So far I haven't met any new blogger friends from payperpost but that is mostly because I have stayed away from the website in the past. As of today I have only spent about two hours on the website, and will be spending more on the site every day. Now I am looking forward to meeting a few different bloggers and explore the possibilities on the payperpost website. I am sure that I can find a way to gain more traffic and make some new friends on payperpost. Not to mention they have their own page ranking system, which I am still waiting to see what mine will be; but only time will tell.


Are Fuel Efficient Jets Possible?

According to Bombardier, a Canadian company the produces trains and plains it is possible. The regional C series jet is designed to be more fuel efficient. They claim that it will use 20% less fuel than any other aircraft in its class. A remarkable claim; it is also said that the jet is quieter then most which is another benefit to this new aircraft.

Bombardier has been a manufacturer of planes and trains for years and this new jet will open about 2500 new manufacturing jobs in Canada. The majority of the assembly will be done in Mirabel Quebec which is good for the Canadian economy. Bombardier has up to five potential customers seeking a total of 200 of these aircraft.

This is very good for Canadians, now we don't have to head west for better paying jobs, some of those better paying jobs will be closer than they were before. The rivalry between central Canada and western Canada will continue, but at least it will bolster support for our economy to keep our dollar strong on foreign exchange markets. Now if only our government would consider replacing our aging F-18's. Preferably with a Canadian build fighter. Hmm....

Image Source: Wiki Media Commons
News Source: Bombardier announces new fuel-efficient regional jet


Attention: Looking for Guest Bloggers Anyone Interested?

Yes that's right I have decided that I want to have a Guest Blogger. As for how often, I'm thinking at the bare minimum, once a month. Any guest spot here on Majik's Thoughts will have to keep a Canadian perspective in mind. As my blog is about bringing a Canadian View to the masses, a Canadian blogger would be preferred but any nationality will be accepted. If you are interested in writing a guest post about anything that can reflect a Canadian view or a current event that affects Canada as a whole please leave a comment with your Entrecard User Link or your Blog Catalog user link so I can reach you with more information.

Examples of User ID's I'm looking for to get in touch with anyone interesting in being a guest blogger here: - Entrecard User ID - Blog Catalog User ID


Wordless Wednesday: Pictures From the Passengers Side of the Car

I took another trip out to my brother's place yesturday, and this was one of the views I got to drive through. Although it was taken on my last trip out this way, it was taken from the passenger seat as you can tell but the glare from the dash on the windshield is a good example of why that is not the best place to make a picture from. At least from the passenger side of the car. The last one I've already included in a previous post, just wanted to share it with all of you again.


Another Update: A Visit to My Brother In Another City

I just wanted to leave a short note that I will be away for a day. I am going to visit my brother in a city that is about a three hour drive from my house. But before I go, I took part in a discussion on Blog Catalog about a 4th of July post. My post really was not all that American, Of course its not going to be American, I am Canadian but I did not bash any Americans, just curious about what they do while enjoying national holidays.

I was asked about a couple commercials that were running during our last election here in Canada and I wanted to share them with you here because the message is important. I found both commercials on YouTube and if they don't work I will leave a a direct link to the videos for you. The first one is a clip of a young man not speaking while he has the chance. In the up coming Presidential elections for the US it is important to keep some of these in mind while you decide if you are going to vote or not.

Elections Canada: Vote

The second video is was aired before movies at the Cineplex. Both are important because of the message: "You have a chance to make your voice heard on the national stage by casting a vote. Don't miss your chance to speak." I hope you all enjoy both videos and seriously consider who you want to be your next president on November 4th, 2008.

Apathy is Boring Go Vote PSA


What Does July 4th Mean to Me?

As a Canadian I don't generally celebrate Independence Day with my neighbors to the south. In past years the 4th has fallen on a Thursday and most people in the US will get a four day long weekend which has made a lot of Canadians that I have spoken with envious. When one of our Statutory Holidays land on any day during the work week other than a Monday or a Friday we either end up with an odd work schedule or off on the Monday or Friday and working the day of the holiday at straight time.

Every nation has the right to set their own National Holidays and I do wish all of my American readers and friends a Happy 4th of July weekend. I hope you all celebrate your Independence Day responsibly and remember your forefathers who forged your nation. This has been a week of National Birthdays, Canada celebrated our birthday on Tuesday the 1st of July and now today the United States will celebrating their Independence Day.

To me July 4th is just another day. I am interested in some of the activities that Americans take part in on their Nations birthday. I already know that you'll be watching many different fireworks displays across your nation. Its the smaller details I don't know about. How important is it to be with family on a national holiday in the US? I don't know that's why I ask. In years gone by I've heard about people will be having a BBQ to celebrate, drinking of course usually takes place. But up here in Canada, it is just another day.

In closing, I wish all Americans a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend. Enjoy yourselves this weekend and we will no doubt catch a glimpse of your fireworks via Television feeds from the US. Peace out!

Image Source: Bill Hicks via Wiki Media Commons


My Trip Out: Wordless Wednesday

I took a trip out to the beach today and discovered a few interesting views that I wanted to share with you

I found some Canadian geese while I was down there, they were one of the best views I got to see.

And no trip to the beach is complete with out seeing a flock of seagulls. Thanks for stopping by and taking a brief look at my trip to the beach.


The Birth of A Nation

One hundred and forty one years ago today a new nation was born. That new nation has grown over the years, fought in two world wars and has made a name for itself over the course of those one hundred and forty one years. That nation is of course Canada. We have come a long way since our forefathers forged this nation of ours.

Now our neighbours to the south will be celebrating their "Independence Day" this coming Friday. One thing will be common between both nations, fire works. We all seem to love watching fire works. But I digress, the reason why it is important for us to remember the birth of our nation is not to get a day off from work, but to remember how the nation was forged. Back in 1867 Canada became a sovereign nation after trying to break away from the British rule. Unfortunately our rebellion was short lived because of poor planning and fear of the crown. But with diplomacy we earned our sovereignty.

But that was just the beginning of our nation. When our Nation was first formed I believe Toronto was still going by the name of York. Some time during that period I'm not sure of the exact dates York became Toronto. In any case Colonial America was now split into two separate Sovereign nations; the United States of America and Canada. Here in Canada we still are subjects of Queen Elizabeth II but we are a nation that is governed by ourselves. We elect our government differently than the Americans but every democratic system differs from country to country.

We have had many differences from other nations and we currently have one of the strongest dollars on the Foreign exchange markets. We all don't know how long that will last, but we will enjoy it while it does. Our nation's military have been laughed at by both our citizens and our neighbours. At one time back in the late 1950's we had the most advanced interceptor in the world, unfortunately politicians railroaded that program. Our current government has been bolstering support for our well trained troops, some of our pilots are considered the best in the world. In one hundred and forty one years we have come a long way.

Our beer is still considered one of the best in the world. Of course not all Canadians are drinkers but for those who are; try telling them that our beer sucks. Our favourite past time is hockey. If we're not playing hockey we are watching it, and a lot of us Toronto Maple Leaf fans are wondering when management will finally put together a Stanley Cup Team. Speaking of the Stanley Cup, many years ago when Lord Stanley was Governor General for Canada, he donated the Cup to the then small National Hockey League. For all of you Ottawa Senators fans out there who laugh at the 41 year drought of the Maple Leafs, the last time Ottawa won the cup was well over Eighty years ago.

Canada is becoming a well respected nation throughout the world. Not only is our National Hockey team feared on the national circuits, as well as THE team to beat. We have been working hard to better the name of our nation on the world stage. Our troops are helping to rebuild Afghanistan and unfortunately we lose a few soldiers now and then. Thankfully we haven't heard of any loses lately but we are doing our part on the national stage. We also made history when our troops were successful at capturing Vimy Ridge. Not that long ago at the anniversary of the turning point in the war, the Queen gave speech exonerating those who perished during the battle at the memorial that was erected for those valiant soldiers who lost their lives in the battle. The capture of Vimy Ridge was considered the turning point in the war because other allied troops had made attempts to capture it, but the Canadians came in and captured it in six days. We also lost over 6000 troops but we were successful and had gained international recognition.

The recent rise of our dollar has seen many manufacturing plants move back down to the states, with our dollar trading at par or better with the US greenback it is more expensive for US corporations to manufacture goods in Canada. Of course this means that Canadians now have to step up and rebuild the manufacturing sectors but this nation was forged on the backs of hard working citizens. We have seen many different governments throughout the years as well as a province attempt to separate. In my opinion it's because the make themselves so hard to please. But we will move forward. Our National Space Agency is in the middle of a recruitment drive to help our Nation stay at the forefront of robotics in the endeavours of space exploration.

In short we do things a lot better than some nations and a lot worse than other nations. We have our faults just like every other nation but the coming months I would hope to hear more about Canada on the world stage, not just as a Nation of peace keepers but as a technologically advanced Nation. Together we stand and divided we fall. Tonight we will be out watching fireworks to celebrate the birth of our Nation. To me it will have a new meaning after learning so much about our heritage as a Nation this year. I have learned more this past year about Canada this year than I did during history classes in High School. If you are Canadian and you have made it this far into my post, please post your thoughts on why Canada is such a great nation in the comments section. Let's all stand up and tell the world that Canada is here to stay! Oh yeah, and please enjoy the fireworks safely, they are dangerous and spectacular at the same time. Happy Canada Day Everyone!

Image 1: Canadian Flag - Wiki Media Commons
Image 2: Writing Prompt #3 - Morgue File