Friday, September 30, 2011

Icy wind of night be gone

On the plus side, this will make it easier to attach a giant oil pipeline to the rock.

Researchers say ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic are breaking up and changing at an unexpectedly fast rate.

They say the region lost almost half its ice shelf extent in the last six years. This summer alone saw the Serson ice shelf almost completely disappear and the Ward Hunt shelf split in half. The ice loss equals about three billion tonnes, or about 500 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Is it warm in here, or is it just me?

It's a good thing Dear Leader says that climate change is a myth.  Otherwise, this might worry me.

Climate change could cost Canada billions a year as early as 2020, depending on how severe it is and how well the country adapts.

[T]he cost of climate change for Canada could start at roughly $5 billion per year in 2020 and increase to between $21 billion and $43 billion per year by 2050.

I really shouldn't worry though - those pesky scientists will end up in our new mega jails, I'm sure.  That'll teach them to open their big mouths.

There was a king who ruled the land

He's not king yet, but the ever-arrogant John Baird clearly has his eye on the corner office.

The Conservative foreign affairs minister demanded — and got — gold embossing on his business cards shortly after being shuffled into the portfolio last May, contrary to government rules.  Baird then ordered the word "Canada" dropped from the standard design, also against federal policy.  And he insisted that "Lester B. Pearson Building" be removed from the standard street address for Foreign Affairs' headquarters in Ottawa, thereby erasing the name of a former Liberal prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner.  A gold-embossed Canadian coat of arms now glistens from his unilingual English business cards, which lack the wordmark "Canada," a federal branding design that features a small Canadian flag above the last letter.  With the disappearance of the large "Canada," the biggest type on the card now is "The Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P."

No word on whether or not he took a government jet or search and rescue helicopter to the business card unveiling ceremony.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Definition, please

I zipped out at lunch today to get my hair cut.  There were three of us getting our hair cut at the same time.  Two of us asked for a "faux hawk".  I was not one of them.

What is a "faux hawk", and why would two out of three people want one?  Ok, admittedly small sample size, but you get the idea.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I need to use the euphemism

expired

Oh, it’s “expired” all right.  A more accurate message would be “taking a dirt nap”.

All that you buy, beg, borrow or steal

Tim Hudak borrows Stephen Harper's strategy of flat-out lying and making shit up.

There are 13 statistical graphs in the Changebook. Every single one reveals significant errors in labelling, citation, scaling, and proportion. In a few cases, the illustrated data is actually false. In almost all, axes and scaling have been skewed and manipulated, without proper labelling, to exaggerate political points. In some cases, it appears the graphs were simply hand-drawn.

One more layer of aspiring government that fervently hopes people really are stupid.

The monkey in the corner wrote the figures in his book

One thing is for sure, Cashbox Tony doesn't let all those pesky rules for responsibly spending taxpayer dollars get in his way.

When Doughty was advised in June 2010 that cheques from Ottawa were being held up because an official was reviewing the expense claims and payments could be delayed six to eight weeks, he wrote to Clement.

"This is totally unacceptable. I am sure you agree," he said. Clement wrote back: "I agree. I'm working on it," he said.

followed by:

"Tony we nailed that one! We ARE a team! Through my darkest hours you were there for me. A great day for Huntsville."  -- Claude Doughty, Mayor of Huntsville

Yup, those border-security dollars were well spent, on the flashy new Olympic-sized skating rink.

So long, CBC

I'm going to miss the CBC.

Two Conservative MPs, Rob Anders and Ed Holder, are ... asking their constituents in surveys whether the government should keep funding the CBC.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now playing

Music to code quickly by...

New car, caviar, four-star daydream

An interesting tidbit from Dear Leader yesterday.

"Without key countries taking systemically appropriate and co-ordinated economic measures, without resistance to protectionism and acceptance of more flexible exchange rates, without fiscal consolidation [and] without a commitment by governments to cut rising deficits and reduce what are, in some cases, dangerous levels of national indebtedness - without things such as these, we will not avoid a recession"

This makes me feel a lot better.  We should expect the exact opposite.  After all, this is what the "trained economist" and his finance minister were saying before the last recession:

September 15, 2008: "My own belief is if we were going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now." - Prime Minister Stephen Harper

October 7, 2008: "I think there are probably some great buying opportunities emerging in the stock market as a consequence of all this panic."

October 8, 2008: "We're sure not going to run a deficit... We will maintain a surplus in Canada and we will continue to pay down debt. We are a relative rock of stability." - Jim Flaherty

October 19, 2008: "We're on track for a modest surplus in this fiscal year" - Jim Flaherty

Asked whether he would unequivocally rule out a deficit under his government: "Yes.  Yesterday I think I was asked one question about whether we would run a deficit and I said, 'No.'  That's my answer."

Oct. 11: "The fact of the matter is independent analysts, including the International Monetary Fund, say that Canada is not going to go into recession with the current world environment and its current set of domestic policies. We're the one country that’s going to continue to show some growth."

So, the question becomes, are they lying to us, or just incompetent?  Or maybe both…

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psychopath or Ignoramus?

[Disclaimer: I have no idea who the head cheese is at SuperMegaCorp these days, or whether or not he/she is a psychopath or an ignoramus, or neither.]

Here's a neat study.

One in 25 bosses may be psychopaths — a rate that's four times greater than in the general population — according to research by psychologist and executive coach Paul Babiak.

Personally, I'd have guessed way higher.

Who would you rather have at the top of the food chain, a psychopath or an ignoramus?  I've had both in my career.  The ignoramuses I've seen in the wild rarely last long.  They can climb the ladder by dumb luck, but you have to be skilled to stay there.

So I think I'd vote for the psychopath.  At least you know what you're getting.  When you have an ignoramus, you're never really sure if they're lying to you, or if they just don't have a clue.

I can deal with being lied to.  In fact, I expect it.  When someone tells me something like "I'm surprised that people aren't taking advantage of the overtime incentive," I have to hope they're lying.

Get a good job with more pay and you're ok

During the last federal election we were told that it would be a piece of cake to cut four billion dollars from government spending.

Apparently, it's done by spending $90,000 a day.

Rest assured, they've got their model of fiscal restraint, Tony Clement, on the job.  Watch for a nice shiny $90,000 gazebo coming to Parry Sound any day now.

Hollow laughter in marble halls

Lots of news this week.  Let's see...

The "tough on crime" clowns introduced a new crime bill.

A crime bill that interestingly, though not surprisingly, is not based on fact.

"We're not governing on the basis of the latest statistics," Nicholson said at a news conference.

Statistics, like all science, is the enemy.

If these bozos were really interested in being tough on crime, Tony Clement would be in jail and election fraud penalties would be enforced.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I found the magic setting

Eclipse has a little-known, but very effective, option.

eclipse

Now playing

Now playing: Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien op45.

I want to go horseback riding.  With accompanying cannons.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Conversation of the day

Co-op student: This application has a lot of potential!

Me: Oh yeah, if it's one thing we're full of, it's potential.

One sound, one single sound

Today’s task: figure out why an audio clip doesn’t play properly in Chrome.

First of all, let’s see how it plays in the other browsers.  Here’s the QuickTime plugin in Firefox (good):

good

and in Internet Explorer (bad, but thank you for that informative error message):

bad

and finally in Safari (ugly):

ugly

I really, really, really need to bring my hip flask to work.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just add water

It's getting to be that time of year again.  The leaves are turning.  Labour Day has come and gone.  School has started.  Camping season is almost over.

The sand looks pretty cold....

ice

Monday, September 12, 2011