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Friday miscellany…

… climate change, robo-calls, dingoes and Oscars edition…


Sugar bushes in Ontario and Quebec have tapped their trees weeks early this year due to the non-winter that we have been experiencing in this part of the world. Tapping in February hasn’t happened in decades. The sugar bush owners are pretty happy about this, yet I cannot help but wonder about the longer term impacts on our ecosystems.


The family and I made it onto the Rideau Canal twice this winter. Only 38 days of the longest skating rink in the world this year. I wonder if we won’t see a year sometime soon when the Canal won’t open to skating at all!


So the EU countries stopped short of condemning tar sand oil as “dirtier” than petroleum from other sources. I don’t know about this decision. A “dirty” label really would have been only symbolic and wouldn’t impact policies as Canada exports very little of its crude to the EU..

BRUSSELS — Years of lobbying over European Union rules that would label fuel from tar sands as more polluting than fuels from other sources reached a stalemate Thursday when a committee of technical experts failed to agree on the draft.

The European Commission, the Union’s executive branch, and many environmentalists say the “dirty” label is necessary to help fuel buyers choose the least carbon-intensive energy forms and help to curb global warming.

Canada, home to vast crude reserves most of which are in the form known as tar sands or oil sands, has challenged the E.U. law, saying it is discriminatory and could damage trade ties.

The vote Thursday at a meeting of technical experts, which was held behind closed doors, failed to reach a qualified majority under the Union’s voting system, which weights voting to reflect the populations of E.U. member states. The European climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, claimed victory in averting a “no” vote. “Now our proposal will go to ministers, and I hope governments will realize that unconventional fuels of course need to account for their considerably higher emissions through separate values,” she said in a statement.


Robo-call-gate. Will it stick? J’en doute.

This is the Teflon government, don’t forget. And also the government that thinks it is A-OK to get tough on crime. Unless said crime is election fraud. Then it’s soft-as-a-kitten on crime.


Yeah, yeah, I know that nothing has been proven yet re: a direct connection to the CPC, but c’mon! How many dots does it take to make a line? Senior staff were likely blissfully unaware of what was happening, but you can bet your patootie that someone in a position of decision-making within the party did know the scoop. And approved it!


No! Not the dingoes again!

CANBERRA — An inquest started hearing new evidence on Friday into the 1980 death of baby Azaria Chamberlain. It’s a case that has haunted Australia for decades, drawing international attention after her parents said she had been killed by a dingo, or wild dog.

The inquest into baby Azaria’s death in the Australian outback of baby Azaria, the fourth such inquest since the infant disappeared, began in Darwin Magistrates Court in the Northern Territory in response to new information provided by the baby’s parents.

The evidence concerns several dingo attacks on infants and young children since Azaria’s death. Her parents expect the court to declare officially that Azaria was killed by a dingo, rather than by her mother, a lawyer representing parents Lindy and Michael Chamberlain said.

No word on whether Meryl Streep will be asked to do a sequel.


And it looks like dingoes of the two-legged variety are squaring off big-time Downunder. The prize? The office of President! When it comes to political infighting, we Canucks have nothing to match this battle royale!


Oscars? Meh. You know what I think about award shows. I saw Moneyball. Good flick.


The Noravirus has been making its rounds in O-Town. I think that is what my eldest had the other day. Brutal little bug.  Ottawa Public Health recommends the following:

At this time of year, increased cases of Noravirus circulate in the community and can affect schools, hospitals, day care centres and long term care facilities, and anywhere groups of people gather. To avoid infection with Norovirus, we recommend the following:

If you think you have Norovirus, the following will help you and help prevent others from getting sick with Norovirus:

Good advice.


Duh-o! Winter is coming!



This arrived in my inbox today….

… through one of those “save-save-save!” sites…

What the frick would Aussies know about winter boots? I picture Australian winter boots as sandals with closed toes!


Can we be annexed by Australia?


Because their PM has balls (figuratively).

More balls than our guys…


Of course, Steve probably curtsied. And Peter shurely did!

The queen should be shown the same degree of respect as anyone her age. No more and no less. She is no different from any one of us except for the luck of birth.

Vive la republique canadienne!




Maybe Stevo can drum up enough votes for a majority by signing up conservatives in a place far, far way?


Please, alien overlords, come to Earth and smite all of those weak-kneed liberal stupid-heads. And bring some more sweater-vests too!


What would Stephen Harper say if he had a chance to send a message to the stars?

I am by no means a science geek or someone who stares into the night sky looking for E.T.  (though as a kid I did… grew out of it I guess… too bad in a way). But I did run across this neat site that the Aussie Government has set up. A site dedicated to leaving a message for a planet far, far away…

Here’s how they describe the project

At COSMOS magazine, we thought it would be a cool way to celebrate National Science Week in Australia – and the International Year of Astronomy – by sending a message to a potentially habitable planet outside the Solar System.

Thanks to the support of Australia’s Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the CSIRO and NASA, and a bunch of other really helpful people, the text messages collected on this site will be transmitted to the closest Earth-like planet that might harbour life: Gliese 581d.

At the end of Science Week, NASA will transmit the messages to Gliese 581d using the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex in Tidbinbilla.

Here are some of the messages – mostly from down-under – that will be sent to Mssrs Orn and Turng of Gliese 581d:

You are cordially invited to an Interplanetary BBQ. 6.00pm, 4th October, 2452 at my place BYO Meat and Beer. RSVP: Year 2100 Cheers
Daniel Edmonds
Melbourne, Australia

How is it that you understand English? That’s very convenient!
Sydney, Australia
Hello from planet Earth. Please tell us how you don’t get dizzy in your spinning UFO’s – I get sick looking at Merry-Go-Rounds. Are you Aliens good looking ?
Portland Victoria, Australia
Hi. I need some new friends. Anyone out there interested ? Preferably quirky and a little left of centre. cheers !
Canberra, Australia
Damn Aussies are so funny!

And my message

By the time you read this, I’m sure the Toronto Maple Leafs will have won the Cup a hundred times and Canada’s conservatives will have never won a majority.