Saturday, May 02, 2015

Things I learned lately - 2 May

  • New York City intends to be 'zero waste' by 2030.
  • Ontario's coal power phase-out helped reduce particulate air pollution by 30% in 10 years. 53 smog advisory days in Toronto in 2005. 0 in 2014.
  • Canada just quietly caved to US pressure to extend copyright terms to 70 years from the world standard of 50 years. No discussion, no public input, and it was slipped in with the 2015 federal budget. This is, IMHO, step one of Canada's commitment in the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which drags us into stricter trade rules we won't even be able to opt out of later.
  • A large boat was built for the 1986 World's Fair in Vancouver to host a McDonald's restaurant. It was called the Friendship 500, but was lovingly referred to as the McBarge. It now sits rusting in Burrard Inlet.
  • Google is getting into the cell phone business. $20/mo gets you talk, text, international coverage in 120+ countries. That's right, no roaming. Then add $10 per GB of no roaming data that you want.
  • The f-word is used 265 times in the movie Pulp Fiction.
  • Norwegians pay half-tax in November so that everyone has more money for Christmas.
  • Lightning strikes the earth somewhere around 100 times per second.
  • McDonald's sold hot dogs in the Toronto Zoo and Rogers Centre (Skydome) locations until 1999. That was a first for McDonald's.
  • The structure of the clitoris extends much farther into a woman's body than previously thought. What amazes me about this the most is that we only found out about this in 2013.
  • The US has more people in prison per 100,000 population than any other country in the world. 716 per 100,000. Canada by contrast has 114 per 100,000. Much of the high prison population is due to mandatory minimum sentencing of drug offences. Which Canada's government wants to adopt.
  • A zoo in China tried to pass off a Tibetan mastiff (dog) as an African lion.

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