What?

Jun. 30th, 2008 12:49 am
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Swedish school cites discrimination in seizing birthday party invitations
Published: Sunday, June 29, 2008 | 3:43 PM ET
Canadian Press: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Officials at a school in Sweden have confiscated birthday invitations handed out in class by an eight-year-old boy.

The reason: they see it as a matter of discrimination.

A Swedish newspaper says the school in Lund, southern Sweden, seized the invitations because the boy failed to invited two boys because they were not his friends.

The newspaper Sydsvenskan quotes officials as saying they had a duty to prevent discrimination.

The newspaper did not identify the boy or his family, but says his father has filed a complaint with the parliamentary ombudsman.

The father told the newspaper that the two classmates were not invited because one had bullied his son and the other had not invited him to his birthday party.

"My son has taken it very hard," the father told Sydsvenskan of the school's decision. "It's like taking someone's mail."

The parliamentary ombudsman has asked the school board to decide on the issue before Sept. 8.

A thought

Jun. 12th, 2008 04:54 pm
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How is it not humane for an animal to die from one of it's natural predators?

Scary

Apr. 6th, 2008 09:37 am
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This is not justice:

One juror said the verdict was a political statement.

"Basically, all of us decided that we all wanted to send a message to the world that countries don't mess around with U.S. citizens," said Thomas Crews, one of six jurors.


How is that justice? How can anyone expect it when you see jusdgements like that? Political statement? Revenge?
singularity75: (Default)
We all know oil companies are over charging us for oil/gas/etc. Then they keep making record profits. The latest by Exxon setting a record for biggest profit ever by a company, $40.6 billion last year (eclipsing their own record from the year before of $39.5 billion). What is truly annoying is how they treat their employees. In each of the last few years they keep telling their employees that they are losing money and can't increase their pay or benefits and that they can't increase safety/replace aging equipment/reduce gas emissions/etc at refineries because they are losing money. Riiiiight.

Um, what?

Jan. 30th, 2008 07:15 am
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Use of 'Canadian' as possible racial slur may be part of Texas probe
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | 11:27 AM ET
CBC News

A Texas prosecutor who was accused of using the word "Canadian" as a racial slur in an e-mail could be part of the focus of an ongoing probe into the actions of another district attorney.

The e-mail, sent out in 2003 by Harris County assistant district attorney Mike Trent, has recently come to light as part of an investigation of Harris County Texas District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, who is accused of sending racist and sexist e-mails.

In 2003, Trent sent a staff-wide e-mail congratulating his colleague Robert Freyer for winning a conviction.

In the e-mail, Trent wrote: "He overcame a subversively good defense by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing."

In fact, there were no Canadians on the jury, but there were some African-Americans.

The e-mail drew criticism from some who said the word "Canadian" is a racial slur against African-Americans, and questioned Trent whether he was using it in that context.

Trent denied the charge, saying he had been speaking with Freyer earlier and that Freyer had used the word Canadian in a conversation about the case.
'Do you guys think I'm crazy?'

From that conversation, Trent said he believed there were actual Canadians who had sat on the jury. When Trent asked Freyer what he meant by Canadians, Trent said Freyer told him he had used "Canadians" to describe "liberals" on the jury, the Texas Lawyer reported.

"Do you guys think I'm crazy?" Trent wrote recently in a blog post. "Am I insanely stupid enough to send a racial slur to 250 lawyers? Litigious, complaint-ready lawyers, some of whom are African-American? That is just absurd."

Trent has suggested it was reasonable to believe Canadians may have been on the jury because all that is needed to be a juror is to have a valid U.S. driver's licence.

But the Harris County District Clerk's Office told the Texas Lawyer that Canadians could only sit on a jury if they also have U.S. citizenship or they slipped through the system designed to eliminate non-U.S. citizens as prospective jurors.

"In retrospect, I realize I should have questioned this more," Trent wrote.

Trent has apologized to those who were offended by what he wrote. He has also noted that in 2006 he received an award from the Anti-Defamation League for prosecuting a hate crime.
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People are talking about how there will be longer line ups at the US-Canada border crossing due to the new changes coming into effect at the end of the month for the required documents. Thing is, the new documents needed? I thought they had always been required. I had no idea you could get away with so little. So I guess for me, it means no change in how I cross the border.
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'Meanest mom on planet' sells son's car after finding booze under seat
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 | 1:31 AM ET
Canadian Press: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DES MOINES, Iowa - Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the "meanest mom on the planet."

After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone - by placing an ad in the local newspaper. The ad reads: "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."

Hambleton has heard from people besides interested buyers since recently placing the ad in the Des Moines Register newspaper.

The 48-year-old from Fort Dodge said she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counsellors and even a Georgia man who wanted to congratulate her.

"The ad cost a fortune but you know what? I'm telling people what happened here," Hambleton said.

"I'm not just gonna put the car for resale when there's nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision."

"It's overwhelming the number of calls I've gotten from people saying: 'Thank you, it's nice to see a responsible parent.' So far there are no calls from anyone saying: 'You're really strict. You're real overboard, lady."'

The only critic is her son, who Hambleton said is "very, very unhappy" with the ad and claims the alcohol was left by a passenger.

Hambleton believes her son but has decided mercy isn't the best policy in this case. She said she set two rules when she bought the car at Thanksgiving: no booze and always keep it locked.

The car has been sold but Hambleton said she will continue the ad for another week - just for the feedback.

Ugh

Jan. 5th, 2008 12:04 am
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1) Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

2) There ARE ways to charge a young offender as an adult.

That is all.
singularity75: (Default)
So I'm reading a story about New Brunswick possibly getting a new high tech nuclear reactor where they plan to sell most, if not all of the produced energy to the US. Sounds interesting for sure. Then I read what some of the opponents/environmentalists say and I'm reminded of how silly they can sometimes be. This part in particular:

Coon says renewable technologies are coming on fast and will be desirable alternatives much sooner than most politicians are willing to admit.

Solar, wind, wood pellets and hydrogen fuel cells, he says, are opening the door to much smaller centres of power production, rather than large, traditional power plants.

"People are far ahead of politicians on this," he says.


This was taken from here.

I heard those same arguments about 10 years ago when I was still in university. People were all excited because of it. Um, it didn't happen. We are still nowhere near the technology needed to make this happen on a large viable scale. It is improving? Yes. Should we be pursuing it? Yes. Should we abandon nuclear energy for this? Hell no. I don't know about you? The idea of brownouts or blackouts is not something I want to entertain. We don't have the tech to make this work yet. This is why only a small percentage of power is 'green power'. That percentage is increasing of course as the tech improves. But to abandon nuclear energy for this is just plain stupid. IF, big IF, there was a sudden technological leap, then yeah, you'll see that happen. But to gamble on a giant IF is silly and dangerous. You have to go on assuming you only have what you have.

If you want to play the wait and hope game, I'd rather nuclear fusion happen. They are testing it, improving it, trying to find ways to make it viable. It'll probably be another 40 or 50 years though. Once we have it, our energy crisis will pretty much be at the end with no real waste problems or dangers of meltdowns and such. Thing is, if we wait, we'll have all sorts of power issues between now and when this technology comes online. Not worth waiting. Plan with what we have and hope the other stuff comes.
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For the past few weeks there was a lot of talk about nuclear reactors providing medical isotopes. The one we have here in Canada was offline for a prolonged period of time due to a mistake....the required safety upgrades were not there when they should have been so they had to do them making the one week down time into weeks. These safety upgrades are to stop nuclear accidents from happening because in this case, it was to help protect against earthquakes. They do have some protection already and we don't get much in the way of earthquakes here so this was to make protection better.

You may think that the nuclear authority (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) was being over zealous. Thing is, they know their history. They know the history of nuclear accidents in this world, they have not forgotten those facts. The general public has no idea that Canada is one of three countries that have had nuclear meltdowns. Everyone can usually name the US and Russia but few people recall Canada who had the first accident. Back then the other countries thought we were nuts to have so many safety precautions and that it was a waste of money. When the meltdown started, the precautions that others had? Would have failed and a full meltdown would have happened. Instead, our extra safety prevailed. To this day, all other countries use multiple safeties to avoid such issues thanks to what we did.

Fast forward a few decades and now people want them to not have as many safeties in place anymore. Are you nuts? An accident can occur, those safeties are there to help either avoid the accident or to contain it so nothing happens to the public. If we start ignoring safety as many would want, we open ourselves to trouble.

Whenever the government brings in 'scientists or advisors' I'm always skeptical. When they said there was no need for the safety upgrades and we should simple restart the reactor right away I wasn't surprised. That the government would do that, I'm not surprised. That the opposition parties would allow the government to force the governing body for nuclear reactors to restart the reactor by suspending their powers? Disgusting and a bad precedent. This allows for them to do it again if someone doesn't like their decisions. They are there to protect us and make sure we are safe...they don't forget history. Governments, are not here to protect us, make us safe and they definitely don't remember history...they are here to get themselves reelected and gain popularity.

If an accident now happens...then what?
singularity75: (Default)
Saw this quiz on the CBC website and thought it was a different one. It's about Stephen King and his stories. I managed a score of 9 out of 10.
singularity75: (Default)

StupidTester.com says I'm 2% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!


I did cheat on one question....because I was curious if I knew the answer or not. But there are definitely some trick questions on it that you have to be careful about when answering.
singularity75: (Default)
It took less time than I imagined it would. After stealing over $1 billion of Canadian companies money, the US government is back launching new lawsuits over softwood lumber. Well done US government, you managed to get below my lowest expectations. To the Conservatives: as many said, Conservatives, you sold out the Canadian industry to Bush. Job well done.
singularity75: (Default)
Yeah I know I haven't posted as I promised but it's been fairly busy around here. Just wanted to make an observation about how the Harry Potter book was delivered so no spoilers since I haven't read squat heh. I got the book back on Tues morning. It was in a fairly large box for the size of the book. They did a special package for the book and all with a note saying the reason the box is large is because there's a minimum size required for Saturday delivery. Good thing I wasn't obsessed with getting it since I got it on Tuesday. Nice job guys, you're only 3 days late on delivery and wasted cardboard!
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I'm not a fan of football, never have been. I find it rather boring but that's just me and I'm sure most of you don't like what I like and that's fine. But the violence by football fans certainly leaves black marks against the fans. You constantly hear of it. Football and violence seem to go hand in hand far too much.

But this situation with Chile was one of the first incidents I've read some stories on. Usually I just hear of a situation and then move on without reading it. But this is idiotic. I have serious doubts about the Chile team after reading reports of what happened immediately after the game and then of observers who saw the incident with the team while boarding their bus. Those facts completely contradict what the Chile players are saying and I don't mean slight differences in stories but wide differences. Media in Chile are basically only talking to the team players who are lying about the incident. Reports like this from a player:

"They gave me electric shocks. I fainted, and when I regained consciousness I saw that 10 police officers were hitting me and throwing acid in my face," said Isaias Perralta

Anyone seriously think the police did that? The police did them a favour by not charging them with anything. Clearly, the police were too nice and should have nailed the bunch of them. Violence at football games might be acceptable in many places but it needs serious consequences.

PS: Links to news about this: First. Second. Third.
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Mystery revealed: Canada's harmless poppy quarter led to U.S. spy warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) - The surprise explanation behind the U.S. government's sensational but false warnings about mysterious Canadian spy coins is the harmless poppy quarter, the world's first colourized coin.

The were so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. army contractors travelling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them.

The worried contractors described the coins as "anomalous" and "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology," said once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails.

The 25-cent piece features the red image of a poppy inlaid over a maple leaf. The quarter is identical to the coins pictured and described as suspicious in the contractors' accounts.

The supposed nano-technology actually was a conventional protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the poppy's red colour from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 commemorating Canada's 117,000 war dead.

"It did not appear to be electronic (analog) in nature or have a power source," wrote one U.S. contractor, who discovered the coin in the cup holder of a rental car.

We're spying on you!........maybe )
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I was interested in what this article had to say about technology education since I have my own views on things.

It made a good point that it's simply not feasible to keep up to date with all types of technology that comes out since that changes so quickly and it's very expensive. This is good. I really, really don't think we should be teaching students all the latest technology gadgets since it usually results in the dumbing down of society. It creates people who use things and have zero understanding of what it's doing. Yes, we have lots of things that do that already and yes, most people don't have a clue how those things work and I think that's a shame. People need a good basic understanding of things and constantly taking shortcuts with technology doesn't normally help that. I see it all the time with the students. Thing is, they barely understand how things work, let alone what they really do.

A good example of why technology can be bad. Back in the late 80's there was a big push to put computers in schools because they were going to revolutionize how teaching was done and result in students who were superior to old ones. ROFL. That really didn't work out. Instead, they cost a fortune to maintain and deal with upkeep and results in students using them as per a script and then not having a clue what they really did. Now, schools are spending LOTS of money to keep these things running and up to date instead of spending the money in more important areas since that's what parents want done. For instance, we never used to have to worry about paper. Now, we have budgets and limits to how much and types of paper due to lack of money. Or, we can't keep science labs in as good a condition as we could since we have to spend money on the computers when we could be doing more cool things in the lab, etc.

You should learn the basics of how things work...that's what school is for. This also means that people should be taking more science in schools which leads to something interesting at the end of the article. There's always a mention of how so few people go into technology or science, particularly women. Well, in countries that require science every year you are in school graduate people who go into technology and sciences more often, especially women.

One of the reasons people do is quoted:

"They can't drop sciences," Evered said, adding that in Canada, "students are encouraged to drop subjects at schools," and math, science and technology courses are among the first ones most of them cast off.

"We need to look at making sciences mandatory" throughout secondary school, she said.


This is true of many students, as soon as they have their minimum science credits done, they never touch it again. Mandatory science may help with the gender divide in sciences and technology and would have the side benefit of graduating people from high school with a better idea of how things in the world really work which is a vital skill to have in today's society considering just how much technology we have.

I figure doing the opposite of more tech in schools will graduate people who know more than they do now. Feel free to disagree with me of course.
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I immediately thought of a couple of people on my friends list when I saw this article:

U of Nebraska women's basketball coach attends game hours after giving birth
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | 11:09 AM ET
Canadian Press

Rest of article )

Excessive?

Feb. 27th, 2007 07:05 am
singularity75: (Default)
Firstly, what this guy did was disgusting, inexcusable and deserves punishment. But 200 years? That's insane. If it was for making it then sure. But simple posession? That's odd. Even stranger when you compare it to other crimes that are far worse and get more lenient sentences. Should he go away for a long time? Yes. 200 years? No. I certainly hope there's more to this story that explains why it's so extreme.



200-year sentence for teacher in child-porn case stands
Last Updated: Monday, February 26, 2007 | 2:01 PM ET
The Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider the case of a former Arizona high school teacher sentenced to 200 years in prison for possessing child pornography.

Lawyers for Morton Berger of Phoenix had argued that his sentence was grossly disproportionate to his crime, amounting to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The high court declined to consider the constitutional challenge without additional commentary.

A judge in 2004 sentenced the former Cortez High School teacher to consecutive 10-year prison terms on each of 20 convictions for sexual exploitation of a minor. Each of the 20 counts was for possessing computer and printed images of child pornography, and 10 years was the minimum sentence for each count.

Arizona law requires that the sentences be served consecutively and that they be served without the possibility of probation, early release or pardon.

Asking the Supreme Court not to take the case, the Arizona attorney general's office said law enforcement officers who went to Berger's home seized two computers and 250 disks containing thousands of pornographic images of children, organized by age, sexual activity and sexual partners.
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I really dislike our present elected government and this only adds to it. I've spent some time at school recently correcting people's points of view regarding the Conservatives since they fell for the PR crap they put out.

Mercury pollution rising as Canada, U.S. opt to keep talking
Published: Friday, February 9, 2007 | 8:42 PM ET
Canadian Press: SUE BAILEY

Ottawa (CP) - Canada's refusal to support a legally binding global pact to cut highly toxic mercury pollution is another Kyoto-style evasion that allies Ottawa with Washington, critics say.

Canada sided with the U.S. and India during international talks in Nairobi this week. The trio was among a minority of countries that blocked immediate progress of an enforceable system to curb mercury use, including a glut of noxious exports to the developing world.

Rest of article back here )
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