Apr 24, 2009

Mind Over Matter

Mind over matter, aka using your very own brainwaves to manipulate physical objects, is no longer science fiction. Two toys that employ this concept will hit the market in time for Christmas.

The future is here and it's gonna be awesome.

An article about this (with a cool video embedded) appears here:


Apr 22, 2009

Past, Present & Future

If you're interested in ideas and in the future, this video is guaranteed to make your eyes go wide.

Juan Enriquez is an impressive - and humorous - speaker. He delivers grim news about the current state of the US economy, but also suggests a mind-blowing future that won't be like anything we've seen before. Really.

One of the best uses of 20 minutes I can think of.

If you have trouble playing this video, try it here: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/463

Visit TED.com to hear lots more smart, insightful people.


Apr 19, 2009

Places To Be, Babies To Kiss...

Feral poultry is commonplace in Hawaii. One sees hens, roosters and chicks stepping gingerly through downtown parking lots and pecking apart garbage alongside highways.

On Kauai, one of the islands, loud and aggressive roosters have become so numerous they're considered a public nuisance. Our guidebook recommends bringing along earplugs if visiting this island, since the cock-a-doodle-doo-ing is not confined to daylight hours.

Watch a Wall Street Journal newsreel about this here.

Click the photo for a larger view. Wallpaper-sized versions may be downloaded here:


Apr 17, 2009

Freshly Baked

Crusty on the outside, silken on the inside. I took this shot last weekend at Toronto's St. Lawrence Market.

Download wallpaper versions of this image here:

Apr 14, 2009

Good Girl, Bad Girl

The United Nations can point to many decent, heroic achievements over the years, but its crusade against climate change has now turned scary.

The only people in this world who are not entitled to ask questions are slaves (of their masters) and worshippers (of their prophets, priests and gods). One cannot be considered free if one is prohibited from asking questions - of any sort, but particularly regarding a topic that is rarely absent from the daily news.

Yet according to a spokeswoman for the United Nations, its experts have not only declared the global warming debate to be over before all sides agree that it is, they've also decided that our right to ask questions is a mere triviality. They're in a hurry to save the planet, you see, so they don't have time for silly little things like free speech.

Gro Harlem Brundtland used to be the first female Prime Minister of Norway. Today she's the United Nations' Special Envoy on Climate Change. She reports directly to the UN's Secretary General.

And what does she whisper into that gentleman's ear? We have no way of knowing, but what she says in public speeches to rooms full of people is no secret.

On the 17th of March, just a few weeks ago, Ms. Brundtland addressed the United Nations' Forestry Committee. Her full comments are posted on a UN web site. The third paragraph on page 2 is of particular interest:

"It is irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral to question the seriousness of the situation we are in," she says.

Pardon me, but I don't accept anyone's word as gospel. I make up my own mind, thanks very much - and I'll ask whatever questions I please, for as long as I please.

When the United Nations starts declaring mere questions irresponsible and immoral, Houston we've got a problem.

visit NOconsensus.org for more on the global warming debate

Apr 12, 2009

Happy Easter

"The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring" - Bern Williams

Download wallpaper versions of this image here:


Apr 7, 2009

Earth Hour Hysteria

Earth Hour 2009 finally pushed me over the edge. Anyone who hasn't been living in a cave knows about global warming and how we should all do our part to avert impending disaster.

I've been skeptical of the hype for some time, but life is short and until now I've felt I had other battles to attend.

But matters have gotten out of hand. Earth Hour started out as an entirely voluntary, highly symbolic expression of environmental concern. In astonishingly short order, however, it has morphed into something approaching a civic duty.

My hydro bill arrived two days after Earth Hour. But printed below my "daily usage" graph is the following:

Participate in Earth Hour by turning off all your lights on March 28 between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. To learn more, visit www.earthhourcanada.org/

That web address belongs to the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF describes itself as "one of the country's leading conservation organizations, enjoying the active support of more than 150,000 Canadians."

33 million people live in Canada. The WWF is, let's admit it, merely one among hundreds of groups devoted to good causes. So why is my public utility - the Toronto Hydro Electric System - promoting the activities of this particular lobby group?

The most recent issue of NOW, a free Toronto entertainment weekly, has a full-page ad inside its front cover promoting a free Earth Hour music concert. The ad was paid for, apparently, by the WWF and the City of Toronto. "Switch off & sign up at EarthHourCanada.org" it reads.

Given the enormous media coverage, why would additional government funds be spent on the promotion of such activities? The Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper, didn't write an article or two, it published an Earth Hour section.

At the top of the online version there's an ad for, you guessed it, the WWF. The page contains prominent links to dozens of stories published by The Star during the weeks leading up to Earth Hour. Then there's an additional 17 articles by columnists and guest writers ranging from Margaret Atwood (novelist) to Robert Bateman (painter) to Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel laureate).

The headlines on these articles leave no room for doubt or debate. They refer to the "moral aspect of climate change," the "apocalypse" of urban sprawl, and warn that we have mere hours to "prevent climate disaster."

One guest essay, titled "On a Leap of Faith," bears this as its subtitle:
If we stop flying and shipping, take bicycles to work and slash electricity use, would we sidestep the predicted environmental catastrophe? We don't know...But it would be immoral not to try.
I'm very sorry, but all of this amounts to hysteria. It really is time that sensible people started speaking up and pushing back.