Saturday, February 5, 2011


  • "What do you want me do do if I can not walk to work if it's raining? Can you pick me up?"
  • "So, how much do they pay you for doing these interviews?"
  • "What is your company's policy on Monday absences?"
  • "When you do background checks on candidates, do things like public drunkenness arrest come up?"
  • "I was fired from my last job because they were forcing me to attend anger management classes."
  • "I'm really not a big learner.  I'd much rather work at a place where the job is pretty stagnant and doesn't change a lot."
  • "My parents told me that I need to get a job, so that is why I'm here."
  • "I saw the job posted on Twiter and thought, Why not?"
  • "What is two weeks' notice? I've never quit a job before--I've always been fired."
  • "If this doesn't work out, can I call you to go out sometime?"

Friday, February 4, 2011


"Copyright: Bronnian Comics. Reproduced with permission - Torstar Syndication Services

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Canada's National Horse

Mountainview Jackson Xavier 2010 Canadian colt

Now isn't that a really gorgeous body?  The young colt above is from 'Mountainview Canadians', one of two breeding farms in Cranbrook, BC., the other is 'Fisherview Canadian's.  There are oodles of wonderful pictures on their website.

 My knowledge of this breed is sorely lacking so I went on the hunt to find out what I could and have been well rewarded.

This horse with the long mane and a tail often touching the ground is in the official records as the Canadian and is a result of many European breeds and known by trainers, breeders and owners as the Little Iron Horse.
France's King Louis XlV was responsible for providing the breeding stock that eventually became the Canadian.  Between 1665 and 1671, he donated 81 horses to officers and settlers in New France (primarily present-day Quebec).
The gift horses were both hardy and elegant and in the isolation of their new home, they adapted quickly.  Within a few decades the strong little horse became common in the settlements.
Eventually, Belgians, Clydesdales and Percherons made their appearance in New France as well.  When these 'heavy' horses were teamed with the Canadians, the Little Iron Horses outworked them.  With their high-performance abilities they proved invaluable to the settlers in these new primitive circumstances.  They cleared land, pulled plows and stone sleds; (called stone boats on the prairies), used for freight wagons, sleighs and every form of transportation of the time including the family carriage.  They skidded out logs from the forests in the winter and being calm and easy to train they were used as riding horses.
For all their value and versatility they got few handouts.  Their year-round feed trough was the forest, and they were often expected to forage for themselves.
To this day, Canadians prefer being in the rough to pasture.  Ontario breeder Brenda Pantling recalls the time when her husband cut down a substantial poplar on their property.  By the next morning their 11 Canadians had stripped off and eaten every bit of bark!
By the early 20th century the breed was disappearing.  Since then the survival of the breed has been due largely to a few private breeders who maintained a horse registry that had begun in 1886,  One, the Lalonde family, began raising Canadians in eastern Ontario in 1904; today, the Lalondes are still in the business.  By the 1970's numbers dwindled to fewer than 400 and by hard work Quebec and Ontario breeders began to rebuild the numbers and find new markets so that by 2009 the population had climbed to nearly 6,000. 
In 1999 Quebec declared the horse it's official heritage horse and an Act of Parliament later declared the Canadian to be our National Horse.  Canada Post in recognition issued a commemorative stamp on May 15th, 2009 and later issued a 54-cent stamp honoring the Canadian.

General Montcalm's personal mount during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham was a Canadian.

Canadians were used by the North West Mounted Police as riding and pack horses during their westward trek.

Several thousand Little Iron Horses accompanied our troops to South Africa during the Boer War.

Canadians served as cavalry mounts and supply and artillery haulers for our troops during World War l.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Odd Headline But a Good Article

Trained Labrador Can Sniff Out Colon Cancer, Researchers Say

MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- With powers of smell far superior to those of humans, dogs can sniff out buried earthquake victims. They can unearth hidden bombs or drugs. They can also apparently detect colorectal cancer, Japanese researchers suggest.
Researchers from Kyushu University and colleagues report that a specially trained 8-year-old female Labrador retriever named Marine is able to detect colorectal cancer among patients with up to 98 percent accuracy.
A graduate of the St. Sugar Cancer-Sniffing Dog Training Center in Chiba, Japan, the dog was initially trained for water rescue and could already detect 12 types of cancer in patients' breath samples before she joined the colorectal cancer study, the researchers said.
The goal of the study was to find out whether odor can become an effective tool in colorectal cancer screening, according to lead researcher Dr. Hideto Sonoda, from the department of surgery at the Postgraduate School of Medicine at Kyushu University in Fukuoka.
The report is published in the Jan. 31 online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Gut.
For the study, Sonoda's group collected samples of stool and exhaled breath from 40 patients with colorectal cancer and also from 320 healthy people. "The tests were conducted from November to June, because the dog's concentration tends to decrease during the hot summer season," Sonoda noted.
The dog was able to distinguish cancerous samples from noncancerous samples in 33 of 36 breath tests and in 37 of 38 stool tests, the researchers found. "Moreover, canine scent judgment even appeared to be highly accurate for early-stage colorectal cancer," Sonoda said.
In contrast, fecal occult blood screening -- a simple, non-invasive test for colon cancer -- picks up early-stage disease in only one out of 10 cases, the study noted.
Based on their findings, the researchers say the canine's evaluation of breath samples was accurate 95 percent of the time and her stool sample evaluation was accurate 98 percent of the time, compared with colonoscopy, which is the "gold standard" for identifying colon cancer.
In fact, the dog was able to identify cancers even when smokers and people with other stomach problems were included in the test, the researchers said.

Monday, January 31, 2011

How To Keep Money Clean

Butterfly-inspired invention could stump counterfeiters - CTV News

Here's another example of man imitating nature and I would not hesitate to say that every invention that man takes credit for is only a pale imitation of what already exists.

A Canadian invention that was inspired by butterflies could help clip the wings of clever counterfeiters.
Clint Landrock, an inventor and scientist working in the field of nano-technology, has come up with a method that uses tiny "nano-scopic" perforations to protect bank notes and other documents from forgers.
The tiny holes, each one 1,500 times smaller than a human hair, reflect and refract light, and unlike a hologram, can't be duplicated or photocopied.
"Because they're so small and because of that scale it's very difficult to produce a master stamp that you would use to create the feature on something like a banknote," Landrock recently told Canada AM.
"So it's extremely difficult and the machinery that is required to develop that type of technology is very expensive."
It was during a trip to Costa Rica several years ago that Landrock first developed the idea for the invention. He was inspired by the blue morpho -- a butterfly that uses tiny perforations in its wings to reflect and refract light in a brilliant, flashing display.
Then, a few years later as a grad student at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University, Landrock found himself studying solar technology and searching for ways to better enhance sunlight.
He remembered the butterfly and its ability to manipulate light, and began trying to find ways to incorporate nature's technology into his work.
When another project came along, this time focusing on anti-counterfeit technology, Landrock realized it was another opportunity to mimic the insect.
Using the tiny perforations he devised a way to create patterns that appear to glow like an LED when held up to a light, much like the blue morpho.
"We thought, these things, they luminesce so brightly on their own, and we can code them, these would be a great candidate to use on a bank note or a passport," Landrock said.
Landrock and his colleagues at Nanotech Security Corp. have been pitching their product to "a number of world banks" including the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve and are working on bringing the technology to market.
"Bank notes are just the beginning for us," he said.
"Any security documents requiring high security all the way down to brand identification, media, DVD software, running shoes, that kind of thing. We're looking at hopefully expanding into those areas as we progress."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The 41 Minute Hour

When you sit down to watch an hour of televison did you know that you are now getting only 41 minutes of actual programming?
The television industry is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.  They are self destructing. 
First of all there is the absence of intellectual television programs anymore if indeed there ever were any. It’s becoming a vast wasteland punctuated by rude, irritating, frenetic, and crass intrusions.  Anytime I turn the television on there is always a commercial running, it never fails.  Not only that but there is an understanding among the networks to run them all at the same time on all networks so that no matter which channel you turn to there is a commercial on. Who would come up with such a dunder-headed idea?  Do they really think that I or anyone else will turn from one commercial just to tune into another commercial and another ad nauseum??  That line of reasoning doesn’t work at my house.  Like more and more people are doing, I’m turning on the computer to get my news quietly.
  I turn on the laptop in the mornings to get my quiet news fix SANS the latest noisy ads for vacuum cleaners, futuristic cars, magical anti-aging potions and every techno geeks dream gadget of the month.  Lastly I do not miss the often violent and always loud promos for whatever programming there might be left.  It’s becoming a waste of my money every month.
In a recent column in the Regina Leader Post of January 27th, 2011 an acclaimed producer is concerned about the present state of network drama and he should know.  He has created legal dramas such as Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal, and now Harry’s Law. 
David E. Kelley warned several years ago at a Television Critics Association gathering for Boston Legal that the constant pressure on TV writers and producers to accommodate longer commercial breaks, and more of them, was eroding his ability to tell a coherent story honestly and truthfully, within the constraints of a 42-minute hour.  “I think there are a lot of smart dramas on the networks, but I do remain frustrated, though, by the lack of time we get to tell our story. Historically, if you look at my shows, they start slowly and build.  Where once we were at 48 minutes, we’re now down to 41.  Broken into six acts it is more difficult to tell the slower, emotionally building stories.  It’s more incumbent on us to be noisy.  The commercials we compete with are noisy,” Kelley said.
My eyes popped when I saw that number.  Advertising has taken over to such a degree that this vehicle which we once turned to for entertainment and diversion has become a virtual store-front window for advertisement.  At one time when you watched a program it was occasionally interrupted by advertising.  Now you watch advertising which is occasionally interrupted by programming!  It’s gone so far that dilution of content presented is to the point of non-substance or perhaps that is what is meant by the law of diminishing returns.  It’s the death knell for the cable industry as we know it.