Friday, October 28, 2016

Air time

Here's one of the most gorgeous drone videos I've ever seen.

It's shot in 4K, so make sure to watch it full screen for maximum impact.

What a beautiful world we live in.

I told you to get shampoo AND conditioner

Earth temperature

If anyone ever says to you, "the climate has changed before", show them this timeline.

Mom not happy

Things I learned lately - 28 October

  • When it's completed on 2017, Canada's 150th birthday, The Great Trail will span 14,828 miles (23,863 km).
  • The Vatican has decreed that ashes of cremated Catholics can no longer be kept at home, scattered, or divided among family members. Ashes must instead be kept in "sacred places" such as cemeteries. The Vatican isn't keen on cremation at all. Also, no scattering the ashes in the air, on land, at sea, or in some other way, nor preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry, or other objects.
  • If you drop an alkaline battery, the more it bounces, the less charge it has left. A fresh battery should not bounce at all.
  • Google's studies on successful teams concluded that the 2 biggest factors that led to team success, regardless of team makeup, were conversational turn-taking equality and ostentatious listening.
  • On 21 October 2016, a massive DDoS attack on the internet's DNS service, causing Twitter and Spotify outages in America, was caused by hacked and hijacked webcams.
  • There are enough opioid medications prescribed in America every year for every adult to have at least one bottle of opioids.
  • Every second the sun fuses 700,000,000 tons of hydrogen into 695,000,000 tons of helium.
  • It took 51 years for hard drives to reach 1TB capacity. It took 2 years to double it.
  • Many species of crow use sticks as tools to get at food.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Biggest export destination country, by state


"It's kind of fun at my age to go back and talk to business school people. I tell them, 'I can summarize everything you need to know to lead a major corporation. Are you prepared to write this down?' And then they get all ready. I tell them I can summarize how I succeed as a leader: Listen to your employees, listen to your customers, shut the f--- up, and do what they tell you."

~John Legere (T-Mobile US CEO)

Biggest import source country, by state

It's happening

On 20 October 2016, Tesla founder Elon Musk shared a video showcasing the latest in their autonomous driving system, which is destined for not only the upcoming Model 3, but all Tesla production vehicles.

The video shows a Tesla car driving itself, both on highways and urban streets fully autonomously. Someone sits in the driver's seat, but does nothing but watch as the car drives them from (presumably) a home to a Tesla office. The car arrives, drops the person off at the entrance, then goes on to find a parking spot and parallel park.

This is a glimpse of our future folks. And it's not the distant future either. This is quite possibly no more than 14 months from now. In fact Elon said that he expects a Tesla will drive, in fully autonomous mode, from LA to New York City by the end of 2017.

Things I learned lately - 21 October

  • SanDisk just made a 1 TB (terabyte) SD card.
  • California governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill giving concerned citizens permission to break into a hot car, if the pooch inside appears to be in danger.
  • In 2017, Germany will launch the world's first hydrogen powered train.
  • You can now buy marijuana-infused wine in California. It's expensive.
  • Today roughly a third of the planet's food goes to waste.
  • If you rest the corner of a new polymer 5 pound note in a vinyl record groove, it will play the record. You'll hear sound. Not very loud, but you'll hear it.
  • The very first commercial radio jingle was for Wheaties cereal, in 1926.
  • Michigan's Upper Peninsula has always felt culturally distinct from the rest of the state and has always wanted to separate and form the state of Superior.
  • Carmela 'Mama' Sbarro used her knowledge of Italian meats and cheeses to open her own Italian grocery store that sold fresh prosciutto, cured meats, and smoked mozzarella in the Bensonhurst neighbourhood of Brooklyn in 1956. Eventually, the deli and hot foods section of the store took over and Sbarro added pizza to their menu.
  • In April 1991, a tornado carried a cancelled personal check from Stockton, Kansas to Winnetoon, Nebraska, a total of 223 miles.
  • Downtown Los Angeles got a whopping 0.3 inches of snow in January 1949.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Shomi nothing!

So, now that Shomi is shutting down operations in Canada by the end of November, how are Canadians going to get access to all of the shows that were exclusive to that service?

How will viewers get access to seasons of shows like Mr Robot, Transparent, It's always sunny in Philadelphia, etc.?

Do the licenses Shomi bought prevent anyone else from adopting those shows? Since the only streaming services available to Canadians are CraveTV and Netflix, we can't get access to the shows on Amazon, or Hulu, or HBO Go.

So now what? CRTC, are you listening? Do you see how protectionism affects consumers?

Dog jobs

Songs that are 50 years old this year (2016)

The Association - Cherish
The Mamas & the Papas - Monday, Monday /
California dreamin'
Nancy Sinatra - These boots are made for walkin'
Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the night
The Beatles - We can work it out / Yellow submarine
The Rolling Stones - Paint it black
The Beach Boys - Good vibrations / Barbara Ann
The Hollies - Bus stop
Simon & Garfunkel - I am a rock / The sound of silence
Cher - Bang bang (My baby shot me down)
Neil Diamond - Cherry cherry

Now THIS is how you punk someone's voicemail...

Things I learned lately - 15 October

  • The Montreal Metro just turned 50 years old.
  • Safeway made about $2.5 billion just from placement and display fees. New entrants into the food industry have to pay anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 or more to get a new product into shelves. That doesn't include fees to keep them there and prevent them from being moved to shelf space fewer people can easily see.
  • One new billionaire pops up in Asia every 3 days. China accounts for 71% of Asia's new billionaires.
  • Germany hopes to ban vehicles with gas and diesel engines by 2030
  • Samsung is sending fire-resistant packaging to customers who bought the Galaxy Note 7 online and want to return it.
  • Apparently Amazon is planning to open physical grocery stores in the US. The stores will be small, stocked only with fresh items such as produce, milk, and meats. Only Amazon Fresh subscribers will initially be able to shop at them. Customers will be able to order items that have longer shelf lives, such as cereal and peanut butter, through a mobile app or from touch screens around the stores. There will also be drive-in locations, where customers can pick up groceries that they ordered online. Employees will bring the groceries to cars using technology that can read license plates.
  • In 1948 the president of Costa Rica abolished its military. The nation's military budget was redirected toward healthcare, education and environmental protection. When visiting dignitaries arrive in San Jose, they are met by schoolchildren wearing the visitor's national colours.
  • A steamroller won't crush a golf ball. It retains its shape and doesn't burst.

Friday, October 07, 2016


Thoughts are like balloons - you can let them go

I took a mindfulness course the other day and something the teacher said really struck a chord.

"Imagine that a thought is like a helium filled balloon floating up in front of you. You can grab it and hold it for a long time, and with very little effort, or you can let it go and it will float away.

Balloons keep coming and that's fine. Mindfulness doesn't tell you to pretend they're not there, they do exist, they are going to keep coming, all kinds of them, all day long. But mindfulness helps us choose which ones do we really want to hold and which ones, instead, should we simply notice without reaching for them, acknowledge without grabbing and evaluating them, and let them float on by. Because that's what balloons do if we just relax and let them do it. Don't hold bad ones, grab better ones. Hold when it helps you, let go when it doesn't.

Here's another comparison. Imagine you're listening to music at a concert and a song comes up that you don't like. You wouldn't rush up on stage and yell 'stop this song!', and you certainly wouldn't record the song you hate, then leave the concert immediately so you can play the hated song over and over, and keep dwelling on how much you hate it. But sometimes, that's exactly what we do with our own unwelcome thoughts and feelings. We record them and replay them over and over. Don't resist them. Don't replay them. Better songs are coming."

Taxi Vader

Music trivia (Montreal)

I suddenly paid attention to the lyrics of a favourite song, which inspired this music trivia question for my readers:

Name the American classic rock group and song from 1976 that mentions Montreal by name.

Things I learned lately - 7 October

  • Coke just introduced Coke Life in Canada! I saw them on promotion in my local grocery store.
  • Pluto was only discovered in 1930.
  • In 1966, PepsiCo merged with Frito Lay. Then in 1976, they purchased Pizza Hut. In 1978, they bought Taco Bell, and finally they acquired KFC and 7-Up in 1986. Pepsi also owns Tropicana, Dole, Quaker Oats, and Gatorade.
  • When Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale was introduced in the 1920s in the United States, the 18th Amendment prohibiting alcohol was being enforced. Canada Dry became popular in speakeasies because it made illegal Canadian whiskey much smoother and easier to drink.Hires root beer is the oldest soft drink brand that is still sold today.
  • Red Bull was inspired by a tonic with a lot of caffeine and taurine, brewed in Thailand, hailed as a cure for jet lag.
  • Tennessee bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman developed Mountain Dew in the 1940s as a mixer.
  • The top 10 'happiest' countries, in order from 10 to 1 are: Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Canada, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Denmark.