Sunday, February 28, 2010

The west gets served

So, a new leg of Calgary's C-Train LRT system is about to begin construction over the next 2-3 years (much to the chagrin of people commuting from western Calgary, who will be affected by enormous construction delays).

They put up a site about the new line, including a great animation showing a train travelling the line to its terminus. I didn't realize so much of the line would be elevated (between downtown and Crowchild Trail) The line will introduce Calgary's first underground LRT station.

So that's what Russian pout looks like

I couldn't help but put some speech bubbles on this photo of Russian curlers.

It's.... beautiful

If you have even a glimmer of artistic bent, you're going to love this flash animation. Because it's interactive.

Just go with it. It takes a little while to load, so be patient...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Don't be shocked by the tone of my voice..."

Out with the old, in with the new. In this week's playlist - something a little more radical. Mr. remix extraordinaire, otherwise known as Fatboy Slim otherwise known as Norman Cook.

You might find this stuff a little on the annoying side if you haven't been to a club in 20 years, but some of it's good shit. I tried to put the known stuff off the top. If you're totally new to Fatboy, you might want to check out the video for Weapon of Choice, which enlightened a whole young generation to the fact that Christopher Walken can dance.

The playlist I refer to is that Grooveshark thingy over on the right side of this blog page

Fax options

Every once in a while Darlene and I need to send a fax, because of folks who refuse to integrate into 21st century technology. Considering Darlene's desire to acquire a physical fax machine [shudder], I decided to investigate what other options exist besides buying a physical facsimile device ($40 for an el-cheapo model [Oh!]..... plus $53 for replacement cartridges [a-ha!]).

There exists something called internet fax service, where the service provider basically acts as the fax machine (you still get a fax number - it's just not physically located at your home - the provider takes care of sending and receiving the actual 'fax'). You interface for sending and receiving using regular e-mail. This has the advantage of not needing a second line, not needing to find a place for yet another device in your office / computer area, no cartridge costs, plus the added benefit of being able to both send and receive faxes from anywhere (through a computer), as long as you have an internet connection. Your computer doesn't even need to be on to receive a fax. Sounds pretty decent.

So I checked and my telephone provider (Telus) offers such a service. Awesome! Simply fork over $15 per month [choke] and $0.12 per page (the first 100 sent and 200 received faxes are free). That means after my 200th page, junk faxes are going to cost me money..... PASS! $180 per year plus page costs. That doesn't seem too affordable to me for casual fax usage. Consumers should be able to get such a service for less than $5 per month, or better yet, offer the service for free (maybe ad supported) to subscribers who average less than 20 faxed sheets per month. You should also be able to forward junk faxes to the provider so that they are not counted toward your total number of pages.

What exactly are they doing in Vancouver?

Or perhaps I should ask - who exactly are they doing? An emergency shipment of condoms is making its way across Canada to the Vancouver Olympics.

Health officials have already provided 100,000 free condoms to the roughly 7,000 ahtletes and officials at the Olympic Games. Those supplies started running dangerously low on Wednesday.

Insert your own joke here......

Not to rub it in your face, but....

I'm sorry, but I just can't get enough of these shots of the Canadian girls celebrating after their gold medal win. They worked their asses off for this and I for one am happy for them.

Go Canada!

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Lead us not into elimination...."

At the risk of offending those puritans who are easily offended (sorry), this was the Facebook status of a friend of mine today:

"Our Father whom art in Vancouver, Luongo be thy name.
Thy will be done, the gold will be won, on ice as well as in the stands.
Give us this day, our hockey sticks, and forgive us our penalties as we forgive those who cross check against us.
Lead us not into elimination but deliver us to victory.
In the name of the Canadian hockey team..... AMEN"


(I did make one minor edit, switching 'hockey' for Luongo')

"What's a teller?"

Darlene and I were reminiscing tonight about the days before ATM machines. She commented that on some Fridays, she'd wait in line at the bank for 90 minutes waiting to pay a bill.

I wonder how the youth of today would deal with that. Would there be a lot of delinquent utility accounts?

"... and everything just kinda went... bloop!"

Jessie Brown of TVO fame does a great job taking this piss out of the situation all geeks are familiar with - people depending on you to rescue them from their computer ignorance.

Slow news day?

A minor controversy brewed this morning as people scurried to criticize the Canadian Women's Olympic hockey team for letting their dressing room celebration spill out onto centre ice (after the fans had left). At issue was the fact that a few of the players are not quite of legal drinking age.

Puh-lease......

Oh look! One of them's on the zamboni! DUI! D.U.I.!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What to do when baby is Houdini?

Here's an article from Darlene:

It started when I heard that my grand daughter was taking off her pj’s and diaper every morning just after she woke up – you know, in that fine window of opportunity before she decides to finally call out for mom or dad to get her breakfast? You can just imagine how much trouble a child can get into with time on their hands and no diaper on.

I googled to find out what every other parent who had to deal with this was saying. Google: “What do I do when my baby keeps taking off her diaper’. I didn’t even get past the “What do you do when my baby keeps taking…. And the rest was filled in by Google. This gave me the idea that this was a very common problem – even though every single person I asked if this happened to them with their children said ‘Nope”.

Duct tape their diaper some suggested. Put their sleepers on backwards. Buy a $200 video baby monitor so you can watch them like a hawk. Buy zip up sleepers or pj’s. The only part we didn’t try was putting her pj’s on backwards. The neckline is so high in the back compared to the front on the average toddler’s pyjamas that we could envision her choking on her sleepers. No way! There were a lot of suggestions to use the good old “Safety’ safety pin that we used back in my day (the late 1970’s) to hold the zip up pj’s in place (of course it takes little Houdini one second to figure out how to unsnap the little piece of material that they have to baby-proof the zipper on front zip pj’s). These were an extra large stainless steel safety pin with a hard plastic sleeve on the end that you snapped down over the closed pin thereby inhibiting the opening of the pin. We used those to pin cloth diapers onto our kids (no - Pampers did exist but you needed to be able to afford them back then), or to pin their soother to their shirt – there was a myriad of ways to put them to use. But when that was suggested to my daughter, I think everyone involved got the idea that if little Houdini could get out of a duct taped diaper then she could also figure out the mere schematics of a “Safety” safety pin and after getting it open would then carve a hole in the stomach of her teddy bear, scratch “Olivia was here’ into the wall beside the crib, give herself a tattoo, poke her eye out – and then use it to crawl down out of her crib like Lara Croft - every mother’s nightmare!

So much for the safety pin. But I digress – she figured out that the little flap with the two measly snaps covering the top of her zipper popped off in seconds and down came the zipper and off came the pj’s etc. "This is so much fun. What will my parents try next. I am not going to wake them up for two hours now because I cant wait to see what I can play with next."

So I did what any concerned grandma would do. I wrote an ad on kijiji and to all my friends in my contact list that have kids. I asked "What do I do when my baby keeps taking of her diaper”. I had an enormous response. Duct tape, pj’s on backwards, video cam baby monitors, zip up sleepers but nothing I hadn’t already read on the internet or tried. So in the meantime I took all of her snap button sleepers and sewed them shut by hand – just leaving enough unstitched to slide her in and out of the pj’s (so up to the top two buttons). Very inconvenient to put on and off but she was trapped!

Then I received an email from a lovely lady in Calgary via Kijiji who wrote “Try Escapeeejays. You would probably have to call their 800 number to ship to Canada... hope this helps!" She also told me to try to put her pj's on backwards (apparently works better in a size larger that she would normally wear) or using a baby safety pin to attach the end of the zipper to the jammies themselves. I started to laugh so hard about the other ideas but that website sure looked promising.

Well it was. A stroke of genius! I purchased four pairs of their back zip escapeejays and they arrived yesterday. They come in a variety of sizes and beautiful colors, they are extremely well made, I had them delivered to me within a week and…. they work!!! If you have this problem – please check the website out and buy them. We went through the diaper problem for over two months with no end in sight and now we can relax knowing that when my daughter and her hubby get up to get the baby she will still have her jammies and diaper on.

Lyric love

"Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzi?
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?"
-Cake

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This was my Dilbert calendar today


[snort] Dilbert is fu-u-nny.

Abyssal Zone? Ha... you're not even half way there yet...

An incredible, to scale depiction of just how deep the deepest parts of our oceans are. It's hard to fathom. Keep scrolling.....

Opened my eyes about a few things. One word people - dark.

57 varieties of what?

I have always wondered what the 57 varieties are that Heinz refers to.

Now I know.

They had me at variety number one.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weighing in on 'Own the Podium'

Own the Podium has been getting a lot of flack in the media for creating an unsportsmanlike environment for athletes and for creating an unattainable goal for Canadian athletes in the Winter Olympics. I think Canada made two mistakes with this initiative. The name and the goal.

First, they never should have called it 'Own the Podium'. The overt goal of this program was always for Canadian athletes to get a better showing in the medal standings, but the covert goal was to acquire something Canadian sport had been severely lacking for decades - proper funding. The program saw an increase in funding of $118 million. The good thing to come out of this is that athletes finally got some of the resources they deserve to help them be included among the world's best athletes.

The bad thing to come out of this program was the setting of an egotistical, immodest goal regarding the number of medals that must be achieved in order for the program to be qualified as a success. We even saw examples of the effect of these expectations, where athletes devolved into a sobbing puddle of low self-esteem after only placing 4th or 5th in an event. Come on! Placing 4th may not win you a medal, but it still beats the crap out of the dozens of competitors you competed against and that counts for a lot.

In the end, 'Own the Podium' did increase the calibre and results of our best athletes, but because of how it was implemented, all it did was put a bitter taste in the mouths of a great many people and worse, made it look like increased funding was a waste of money - which it was not. I hope the funding continues to increase and our athletes are given the support they deserve, because they are world class. We used to be a modest nation that took pride in the achievements we could muster. I want that back.

No

Here's a funny cartoon that emulates what most people go through with the Windows system tray, but told in the context of a kitchen toaster.

Message to stores that charge 5 cents for plastic bags

You're not actually helping. All you're doing is assuaging your own guilt for using plastic bags while making more money from hapless consumers by charging money for an environmentally damaging item. People will still pay the nickel for the bag (thanks to our inherent laziness) and the bag will still end up polluting the landscape sooner or later.

If you really wanted to do the environment a favour, just stop using plastic bags altogether. Make everyone bring their own bag. Or use biodegradable bags.

Got that.... Zeller's?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Why does the IOC have to be such a dork?

Copyright abuse example number 75,109 (estimated). The poem tells the tale (written by the offended company no less):

Blonde Who Uses Our Stuff Wins Downhill (Last Name Rhymes With "Bonn")

There once was a lawyer from the IOC,
who called us to protect "intellectual property."

"During the Olympics", she said with a sneer
"your site can't use an Olympian's name even if they use your gear."

"No pictures, no video, no blog posts can be used..."
Even if they are old? "No!", she enthused.

While Olympians chase gold the IOC pursues green.
Cough up millions, or your logo cannot be seen . . .

School spied on kids through webcam at home

I read about this and I become enraged. I hope the family sues the school and wins a metric ass-load of money for this blatant abuse of technology and intrusion on personal privacy.

Are they Canadian?

Nice little quiz to test your knowledge of celebrities who may or may not be Canucks.

To the Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey team.......

I saw what you did there. You convinced our goalie to give the puck away at the beginning of the game so as to let the Americans score first, thus giving them the lead and a false sense of security. That was very clever. I didn't see that one coming.

Then you stayed in the game just enough and pelted the American goalie with enough shots to make it look like we weren't actually giving the game away to the Americans. That would have looked too suspicious. A spirited, but ineffective rally in the dying minutes of the game also added to the illusion. Well done. Bravo. They'll never suspect anything.

So, now that we have the Americans thinking that they actually have a shot at a medal, we're gonna blast through the Germans and let somebody cream the Americans so we can meet Russia in the finals. Right?

Right?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Do you like science experiments?

If you answered 'yes', then you need to go here. The 100 coolest science experiments on YouTube.

See you later....

(By the way, #82 is by far my favourite so far. Who knew there was so much to discover in a pot of boiling water....)

Made with real fruit - translation: candy

Here is a great article about the dangers of believing everything you read on a food label.

Words / phrases like fibre, free range, 0 trans fat, made with real fruit, omega-3 and so on can mean absolutely nothing. They often don't mean what you thought they meant. Be aware and be armed to make smart food decisions.

Food versus cancer! Yay food!

It's my understanding that the following foods are natural (and better) antiangiogenesis sources. In other words, they fight cancer.

green tea; strawberries; blackberries; raspberries; blueberries; oranges; lemons; grapefruit; apples; pineapple; cherries; red grapes; red wine; bok choy; kale; soy beans; ginseng; maitake mushrooms; licorice; turmeric; nutmeg; artichokes; lavender; pumpkin; sea cucumber; tuna; parsley; garlic; tomato; olive oil; grape seed oil; dark chocolate.

I regularly eat / drink 13 of those, so I'm feelin' good. I especially likes that last one there.......

Saturday, February 20, 2010

200 million people cross our border every year

Tom Brokaw explains Canada to Americans just before the Olympics got under way. Nicely done.

My birth date features prominently in the video too. I did not know that JFK spoke to our parliament that day.....

Facebook posts are free speech and they're considered private?

First the Canadian privacy commission suggested that companies cannot use what they see on a person's Facebook page to discriminate against them for employment. I don't know how you prove that one way or another by the way. Now a US magistrate rules that a high school student suspended for creating a Facebook page dissing her teacher should receive constitutional protection under the First Amendment.

See, here's the thing. The internet community needs to understand a basic truth. Being online is like having a billboard that the whole world can see if they care to look. So all of the consumer rights and protection in the world isn't going to stop soemone from seeing something about you online that might colour their opinion of you. The worst part - you won't even know it happened.

This is the new reality.

It's 9am. Do you know where your crooks are?

Are the things you post on Facebook, Twitter and Buzz potentially giving crooks a heads-up when you're not home? Better yet, are the geo-location services you subscribe to telling them exactly where you are?

Bet you didn't even think of that.......

Some are.

Update: The site has been taken down, but the point is that the concept became a reality making use of existing data, available in real time on the internet.

Give me salt or give me...... 25% less salt

Maybe it's just the grocery stores where I shop, but I never seem to be able to find goo old regular Campbell's cream of mushroom soup anymore. All they seem to stock now is the 25% less salt variety. I know they still make the regular stuff.

It's an anti-sodium conspiracy I tells ya!

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Aww, someone give me a rinse!"

Nothing says awesome like lollipop cartoons.

"And no message could have been any clearer"

So I finally got around to seeing 'This Is It' - you know - that documentary made about the Michael Jackson tour that was being prepared before he passed away?

So, there was absolutely no chance I was ever going to get to see MJ in concert even while he was still with us. So it was nice to get a glimpse of the guy rehearsing for the big concert he was planning for London. It was also nice to see the performance where only crew and dancers were cheering him on as opposed to the thousands of delirious, screaming fans that would have drowned out the subtle sounds of the music and singing. For me, it was basically MJ intimate and interactive. And that was nice.

The world has lost a great artist, never mind the quirks and intricacies of his personal life. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to get a look at his work up close.

Shoot first, ask questions never

Have I given you enough examples of what's wrong with copyright today? What's wrong with the much touted American DMCA, the model the world is supposed to follow to protect the music industry? OK, then here's yet another example. Snippet:

"Last week, several high-profile, much-loved music blogs disappeared from Google's Blogspot service, after they were targeted by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI -- the international version of the RIAA). IFPI didn't target pirate websites here. Among the sites it took down was I Rock Cleveland, a site whose author painstakingly sought and received explicit permission to post every single track and excerpt he put up (though in many cases, he could have relied on fair use rather than going to the effort). By using the law to annihilate labours of love like I Rock Cleveland, sites that obeyed all the rules and sought permission from the copyright holders at every turn, IFPI's message is simple: "Don't bother getting permission. Just take stuff. You're wasting your time trying to obey the law. It all comes out the same in the end -- we don't care whether you obey our rules or not."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No.... not the talking muffin

More fun with Google autocomplete.

The perfect wedding cake for sci-fi loving newlyweds

His and hers l'il chest bursters from the movie Aliens.

More gadgets from Google

While playing around with Google Maps today, I noticed a few morsels of goodness that I never saw before.

At the top of the Google Maps window, there's a new Google Maps Labs link (just left of the Help link. There are some features (at time of writing - they change at Google's whim) that are quite useful. I present a few of them below. Each of these options have to be enabled to use them and they'll only stay enabled if you're signed into Google.

Drag 'n Zoom: Zooming in on a specific part of the map is now faster and easier than ever. Simply click the Drag 'n' Zoom button (it's below the zoom slider on the left), draw a box on the map, and presto zoomo!

Aerial Imagery: Add Aerial imagery to the map! Aerial imagery gives you rotatable, high-resolution overhead imagery presented in a new perspective. Currently imagery is only available in certain areas, but more is being added with time. Current selection is quite limited.

LatLng Tool tip: Displays a tool tip next to the mouse cursor showing the latitude and longitude directly underneath. This is very useful for those times when you need to navigate with your handy GPS device to a location that can only be represented as lat/long.

What's Around Here?: Adds a second search button that searches for "*", returning the top results in the current view. A great way to browse the map. Going to an area you've never been before? Need to know what's nearby? Drag 'n' Zoom, then What's Around Here and you'll be mere clicks away from discovering what points of interest await you at your destination.

Where in the World Game: Test your knowledge of world geography! Guess the name of the country from satellite imagery, and try to beat your top score!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Insert drama here

I'll just let the button do the talking if that's alright...

Sometimes, I just have too much time on my hands. And way too much fun.

Need to make a dramatic impact (whilst also having an internet connection)?

Drama button to the rescue.....

"We can't leave the news to amateurs!"

Using sarcasm to praise the glory that is newspaper.

Bravo Jessie Brown... bra-freaking-vo.

Olympic report card

Time for Karl to weigh in on the 2010 Winter Olympics broadcast discussion.

As far back as I can remember, of the major networks in Canada, CBC has historically owned the Olympics to broadcast to Canadian viewers most of the time. This time around however, CTV won the rights to broadcast these Games. I will state right up front that I have always been biased in favour of CBC over CTV. I have my reasons, the least of which is that CTV rides on the coat-tails of American programming (good on them, but I'm just saying) while CBC does create more home grown content. I also feel that the CBC network has consistently produced better sports programming over the years and I felt they would (in theory) do a better job of showcasing the Olympics.

SO, how have CTV fared? Well, the best thing that happened to the CTV network in preparation for these games was that famed Canadian sportscaster Brian Williams switched sides from CBC to CTV and was handed the reins as the primary anchor. CTV also benefits from their partnership with TSN (Canada's biggest and oldest Sports Network), which brings a cadre of experienced professional sportscasters into the fray. I was concerned that regular CTV buffoonpersonality Ben Mulroney would make appearances, thereby adding to the embarrassment factor. So far, he has managed to stay away from the camera.

But the sense I get from the broadcasts so far is that the whole thing has turned into a circus. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just get the feeling that the network is crowing just a bit too loudly regarding their scoring this event to themselves. I guess you could say I detect a lack of modesty. CTV is doing an OK job, but I see little glimpses of amateurism from time to time. When you're commentating on a live race for example, it's generally not a good idea to speak as if the race is won when a large portion of the track is still in front of the competitors. I lost count of the number of times the commentators christened a Canadian athlete as the sure-fire winner half way or three quarters through a race, only for that individual to be passed in the last few seconds of the race.

So in summary - not a bad job, but not a great one either.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

She calls me 'Pa'

Olivia (our grand-daughter) is starting to build a vocabulary of actual words now. Words like hi, bye, nighty-night, ball, cool, cold, nose, OK, wow, yes, no... you know the drill. But she absolutely made my life when she came up to me, with a joyful smile on her face and for the first time said, "Hi Pa." (Her names for Darlene and I are Nan & Pa).

I don't know if this is significant, but she exhibits two traits that we find fascinating. She can act like a veteran, switching into the saddest face, then smiling instantly as if to say "a-ha!" She also exhibits very organizational behaviour. She is very smart that little girl.

Interview with Alice Nelson

It's time for yet another interview with a Loose Moose member. In this episode, I chat with Alice Nelson, a fearless creator who has put some truly eclectic and thought-provoking works together. Please enjoy the interview.

You may notice the quality of the sound is a little crisper, thanks to my new interviewing device. I just need to work out the kinks regarding placement and we'll be all set.

The fax of life

Dear Technology Gods,

It seems you have allowed a veritable dinosaur to survive and roam the halls - for no logical reason. I speak of course of the ancient fax machine.

Can we please retire this archaic piece of technology once and for all? Yes, I realize it's the only legal way to send documents with signatures (or so a lawyer told me), but we simply need to get rid of it. Too many times I have been asked to fax something that could just as easily been emailed, but that option was not only denied, it was downright poo-pooed. Why?

Listen folks, anything that can be altered in a scan or a picture or an electronic document is just as tamper-able in a faxed document. Also, fax machines tend to (in my experience - apologies if yours are different) print with less quality, be finicky, require replacement ink more often, are subject to receiving junk faxes and many more examples of lameness. Wanna look the exact opposite of cool? Pick up that handy phone handset on the side of a fax machine and place a call. I dare you to make sure human witnesses are present. You'll.never.live.it.down.

Sorry Sir, I have no fax machine, I have no fax number. I've managed to integrate myself with 21st century technology, thank you very much. When you learn how to save an attachment, let me know.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How to assuage truck guilt - throw in a car!

How are truck sales doing these days?

Well, if the sales climate here is any indication - not too great. A dealership here in Calgary (CMP) currently has a deal - buy one of 18 models of diesel truck, get a free Pontiac Aveo car. That's right, buy a truck, get a whole new car for free.

MMmmm... pi

OMG! I so need to skin my Macbook with this pi symbol.

More Macbook skins here.

Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

I grew up to one of the better FM radio stations in Canada. At least, it was pretty good while I was growing up and still living at home, before it succumbed like most other radio stations, to the format chain gang. I station I speak of is CHOM-FM, 97.7. Only after I left Montreal to join the military did I realize how good of a station CHOM was and how crappy and uninspiring were the other stations I would be exposed to. Especially Kingston. Oh man, their radio selection was le suck. Luckily, where I was in eastern Canada, we were able to benefit from being close to many radio markets, and on a good day, we had some decent music wafting across the border from New York state. But on a bad day, it was brutal.

Thankfully, I made a friend in David Devlin, who brought me into his world in Toronto, where although most of radio had also joined the format chain gang, there was one shining beacon of hope and originality in an upstart little station at the frequency 102.1, with the call letters CFNY. This station's motto? The Spirit of Radio.

Now that phrase may sound familiar to you if you're a fan of the band Rush, and it should. Rush wrote a song named The Spirit of Radio, and it was an homage to CFNY:

"Fans started referring to it as the Spirit of Radio, which was used as their catch phrase for some time and also inspired the Rush song "The Spirit of Radio". Unable to mention CFNY directly on the Permanent Waves album containing the track for fear of alienating airplay on other stations, the band instead ensured the catalogue number of the album was 1021 - a nod to the station's 102.1 FM frequency." (from the Wikipedia article)

I wish we still had stations like that....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cigarettea

Kind of a clever tea bag ...errr.

Oh! I know.... let's call it a tea fag (Brits call smokes 'fags').

Karl’s wish list

You know how they say you have to put stuff out there to the universe....? Put... Put... Put...
  • Tesla Roadster (or similar electric sports car) (You can come for rides – I promise)
  • Single story modern courtyard house with view of the Rockies and lots of green technology (You can visit – I promise)
  • Part ownership of a west coast beach-front B&B in Oregon (Ditto)
  • Good health, financial and emotional stability for the whole family
  • Early retirement for Darlene (I know this would make her very happy)
  • A job that focuses on improvisation (Can you imagine? I know I can)
  • World peace (Hey! I can dream.....)
Let’s see how many of these I can manifest before I’m 65.

Need some more periodic table fun?

OK, how about the periodic table of smellements (elemental smells)?

After reviewing the table, I have concluded that there is a major smell missing. I'm not saying what it is, but it belongs in the 'funky' category. I'm just sayin'......

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A meme I can (and will) get behind

For once, I have come across a Facebook trend that I think is splendid. The challenge is to put a picture of you and your mate up as your profile picture tomorrow on Facebook (for Valentine's Day) and fill your status text with statistics about your relationship (together / married for how long, etc.).

Batman not happy

ISP 1, Hollywood 0

So, the entertainment industry took an ISP in Australia to court and tried to convince a judge that the ISP was responsible for the fact that some of its customers use the internet connection to download copyrighted material. Needless to say, this attracted the attention of a lot of people around the world.

Well, score one for the ISPs of the world, because the judge said not a chance.

This has been an Ernest contribution.

Hooligans!

You think it's tough where you live? Pshaw! You don't know from tough...

In Queens (New York City), a 12-year-old girl was removed from school in handcuffs for doodling her name on her desk in green erasable marker. She wrote: "I love my friends Abby and Faith" and "Lex was here. 2/1/10" plus she drew a smiley face.

She was detained for several hours.

City Education officials said, "Based on what we've seen so far, this shouldn't have happened."

Alexa is the latest in a string of city students who have been cuffed for minor infractions. In 2007, 13-year-old Chelsea Fraser was placed under arrest for writing "okay" on her desk at Intermediate School 201. And in 2008, 5-year-old Dennis Rivera was cuffed and sent to a psych ward after throwing a fit in his kindergarten.