Saturday, October 19, 2019

Things I learned lately 18 Oct

  • Some bars in Italy are using pasta straws to reduce waste.
  • In a video posted online, an eight-year-old girl clambers up a replica of the border wall that U.S. President Donald Trump has called "virtually impenetrable."
  • French businessman Bernard Arnault just made $5.1 billion within 48 hours after a surge in share prices of his conglomerate, LVMH.
  • Contrary to what some Canadians think, immigrants coming from North Africa and the Middle east do not make up 64% of all entries, but in fact only 12%.
  • Only 15% of Canadian immigrants are refugees.

New word: peppier

Would you like to upgrade for a small fortune?

Westjet is the latest airline to jump on the 'plusgrade' bandwagon.

The deal is that after you buy your flight, but about a week before you fly, they offer you a chance to bid on an upgrade to the front of the plane (only 4 seats per row, no middle passenger).

But you can't bid what you want. You have to choose from a sliding range of bids. For a flight to San Diego from Calgary, they want at least $275CAD extra, per person, each way. The 'better' bid is $425CAD per person, extra, each way. On top of what you already paid! They're nuts.

If you just paid for a premium seat up front, you'd only pay ~$450. Period.

Waterfront property

Small things 18 Oct

  • I believe it says more that people in Alberta were willing to counter-protest and talk smack about Greta Thunberg than just ignore her.
  • If my life were a TV series, I've been renewed for a 6th season and I haven't yet jumped the shark.
  • New car feature idea: If you don't use your turn signal, you can't actually turn.
  • Cauliflower. Also known as ghost broccoli.
  • When you use the web cam on your computer or laptop, do you clean up the visible area behind you?
  • If plan 'A' doesn't work, there's still 25 more letters.
  • "The aim of argument or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." ~Joseph Joubert

Friday, October 11, 2019

Things I learned lately 11 Oct

  • A dog’s nose is equipped with a complex maze of 300 million scent receptors, compared to our measly 5 million.
  • Google One sells 200GB cloud storage space for CAD$28 per year.
  • You can eat impossible meat raw. It's perfectly safe.
  • The greeting 'hello' only came into common use with the telephone. It was a suggested way to answer the phone by Thomas Edison. It was also suggested in the first phone books' tips on how to use the phone. Although we usually say goodbye at the end of a call, the first suggested call ending phrase was 'that is all'.
  • The old Shell app does not find any Shell gas stations. [slow clap]

The soup of the day is uhhh..... curried cashier?

Robin Zander can still sing

Cheap Trick and Daryl Hall rocking it out live from Daryl's House.

I checked

Small things 11 Oct

  • Don't worry if you drop ice cubes and they roll under your refrigerator. After a while, it's just water under the fridge.
  • Bread is like the sun. It rises in the yeast and sets in the waist.
  • Dental X-rays. Or as some might call them - tooth pics.
  • Q. Why won't the flight attendants allow me to change seats to get away from screaming kids?A. Because you're their father.
  • If you give a 'get better soon' card to someone who isn't even sick, they might not take it too well.
  • Who is more easily entertained? The dog chasing its tail or the person watching?
  • There's no reason to tailgate someone in the slow lane, especially when I'm going 35 over the limit. And those flashing lights on top of your car look ridiculous...
  • Why would you lick a battery to test it? Do you know where that things been? Also, that's sexual assault on a battery.... Also, it only works with 9V batteries. Just sayin'...
  • For most people, when you "lose your khakis", you've lost your pants. In Boston, if you "lose your khakis", you can't start your car.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Isle of dogs sequel?

When can you start?


Got the spider!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Stop making fun of Uranus

My ancestry story

At some point a couple of years ago, Darlene and I talked about getting a DNA test through one of the genealogy services. I went with the Canadian Ancestry site as I had heard mostly good things about it. Well, let's rewind this story a bit first.

My sister had already gotten her DNA tested through Ancestry. She had always been curious (as was I for that matter) where our father had come from. As far as we knew, he had been adopted by our Oma and Opa (now deceased). But you know how it is with adoptions in the early 20th century - shrouded in secrecy. So my sister figured that the best and pretty much only way to determine where he came from was to get her DNA analyzed. The results pointed to a particular family in eastern Quebec. To respect their privacy, they shall remain nameless.

My sister also figured that since sometimes the data are a little off, especially when only dealing with one data point, a good way to lend validity to the results would be if I got my DNA checked too. Well, wouldn't you know it, same results.

Now for me, it was enough to know that we finally got to the bottom of the mystery. We now knew our blood heritage (Quebecois, not German or Slovenian) and family lineage. But my sister wanted to know more. So she began researching through Ancestry and met some cousins online. Then she went to visit the family graves and arranged a meet with living family members. They were surprised, but happy to be meeting some of the newly discovered family. I believe some of them got the test too and confirmed the link. My sister and her husband were surprised to discover that one cousin looked and had mannerisms shockingly similar to mine. We face timed while she was visiting them and they all agreed that I looked a lot like their male family members, especially the older generation.

There's a chance I will get to meet them the next time I go home to Quebec.

Meanwhile, Darlene finally decided to get her DNA analyzed as well. There were some questions about possible family connections that were never proven and lo and behold, the tests proved them once and for all.

She has been spending a lot of time researching her lineage and has traced it a long way back. She has found a lot of confirmed cousins who are now friends.

Ummmmm.... isn't that just ice?

Small things 5 Oct

  • I actually witnessed the ice cream truck music being completely ignored by the local kids because they had no idea what it was.
  • I am convinced that the official food of kids today is chicken fingers / nuggets and fries.
  • Camouflage leg cast. You can hide but you can't run.....
  • When a teen comes to your door this Halloween, the proper greeting is not "Aren't you a bit old for this?", it's "Make sure you share this with your parents...."
  • A knife resting on the edge of the sink is the international symbol for "Maybe I'll make two sandwiches, I'm not sure yet."
  • Never judge a book by its movie.
  • You can't trade shoes with a barefoot monkey.
  • Our society is more offended by swear words and rude gestures than it is by war, famine, and the destruction of the environment.
  • Canadians: There's a grocery chain in the US called Trader Joe's. Just so you know, they do not let you pay with furs or Bay blankets or rum or live birds. Talk about false advertising.
  • "Askhole": Someone who always asks for advice but does the opposite every time.

Deep dog thoughts

Friday, September 20, 2019

How do you like them beans?

When I suspected that the cleaners who work at night in my building were helping themselves to my jelly beans, I wish I had known about Bean Boozled jelly beans. They're basically a container of jelly beans where some of them taste good and some of them look almost identical but taste really bad.

How bad? How about flavours like Dirty Dishwasher, Stink Bug, Rotten Egg, Barf, Canned Dog Food, Stinky Socks, Moldy Cheese, Spoiled Milk, Dead Fish and Booger.

Yeah, I would have totally mixed some of those in.


Small things 20 Sep

  • Is it just a matter of time before someone caters their wedding reception with 'Skip the Dishes'?
  • My face lights up every time I open the fridge at night.
  • A joke doesn't become a dad joke until it's full groan.
  • If a cow doesn't produce milk, is it a milk dud, or an udder failure?
  • There's no point calling the tinnitus help line. It just keeps ringing.
  • Some puns make me numb, but math puns make me number.
  • My friend David had his ID stolen. Now he's just Dav.
  • I shot a man with a paintball gun just to watch him dye.
  • The word queue is just the letter 'q' followed by 4 silent letters.
  • Are mashed potatoes just Irish guacamole?
  • Can we please stop calling coffee peddlers 'baristas'? Barista is Italian for 'bartender'.
  • When a problem comes along, you must whip it.
  • Isn't it odd that a lot of people who say they don't like too much drama in their lives excel at creating it?
  • Fashion savvy people probably look at my clothing outfits the same way I look at someone who opens their browser and has the Yahoo! toolbar installed.
  • The people in the car beside me are listening to some great music. Whether they want to or not.
  • 9 out of 10 forest fires are caused by humans? So, there's a bear out there that knows how to use matches? 
  • "More duck lips!" ~Said no photographer ever
  • The pirate encyclopedia only had one volume. 'R'...

Deep Field: The impossible magnitude of our universe

I completely stumbled across this astounding video by accident. I made it 60 seconds in before I called my granddaughter (who is a space nut) to come watch it with me.

If you can, don't let YouTube decide what resolution to show this at - go for the highest (4K). It's necessary. Trust me. 30 minutes that will boggle your mind.

Now, they did take some artistic liberties with the imagery of the deep field images from Hubble, but the effect is mesmerizing.

Captain Canada

Things I learned lately 20 Sep

  • A one dollar investment in solar power will yield six to seven times as much useful energy as a one dollar investment in oil, over the course of the investment’s lifetime.
  • The "diesel-gate" controversy seems to have motivated Volkswagen to accelerate their electric vehicle transformation plans. VW aims to launch almost 70 new electric models in the next decade, and hopes to build 22 million electric cars over this same period. 
  • "'i' before 'e', except after 'c'." One of the biggest myths propagated by English schools in my time.
  • The top 4 banks in the world, based on Tier 1 capital, are Chinese.
  • At dozens of American KFC locations, they're serving fried chicken sandwiched between two glazed doughnuts. 'Merica!
  • I wonder how the first person to heat corn in hot oil reacted when those kernels exploded.
  • The biggest factor contributing to US Army recruiting success this year was the student loan crisis.
  • The 40 prisoners left in Guantanamo Bay prison cost the US half a billion dollars per year.
  • There are around 100,000 fully electric vehicles in Canada in autumn 2019.
  • The beginnings of Switzerland’s famous neutrality dates all the way back to a peace treaty the nation signed with France on November 12, 1516.
  • The Harlem Globetrotters are not actually from Harlem, but from Chicago; they didn’t actually play a game in Harlem until 40 years after the team was formed.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Come and discuss the common obstacles to getting stuff done at work

"I'm not a scientist, but......"

Small things 7 Sep

  • How much does a hipster weigh? An instagram... 
  • People who don't get sarcasm are very, very, very lucky.
  • We'll believe anything that's prefaced with "A new study shows..."
  • Money doesn't buy happiness, but it does pay for my internet, so.... close enough.
  • Give 100%. Unless you're giving blood. Or money.
  • When I was a boy, all I got for an allowance was a quarter. So I'd go to the store and get two chocolate bars, a bag of chips and a Coke. Can't do that now. Too many security cameras.
  • Irony: Drawing trees on a piece of paper.
  • Anarchy in the UK: Q: Would you like some tea? A: NO!

It's tough to find room for a starship

Houses from plastic bottles?

A new home in rural Nova Scotia was built from 612,000 recycled plastic bottles, shredded and melted and injected with gas to become a new type of foam panel 6 inches thick.

JD Composites is the startup that built the prototype house. The recycled-plastic panels provide more insulation than typical walls, so homeowners can save energy in heating and cooling.

This type of panel being used to build a house isn't new, but they chose to use a fully recycled material to tackle the problem of plastic pollution. JD Composites partnered with Armacell, a Belgian company that uses bottles rejected by the recycling industry to build a foam core from 100% recycled plastic. The material is trimmed and laminated to create the panels.

The walls are lightweight and engineered to be strong. In testing, the wall withstood 326 mph wind speeds, twice as strong as a Category 5 hurricane. The testing facility had never loaded a panel in the test chamber that they couldn’t break, ever.

The main structure was built in two days. It eliminates the need for framing, separate insulation, siding, shingles on the roof, and nails; the panels are chemically bonded together, helping make the whole structure stronger. The cost for the prototype home was comparable to conventional construction and would save money long term because of the energy efficiency.