Author Archive

Malcolm Gladwell Pays Tribute to Former Elmira High School English Teacher

Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of books like “The Tipping Point”, “Blink”, and his latest “David and Goliath” has been making making the rounds in Ontario, presumably promoting his new book and renewing old ties. He went to high school for a few years in Elmira, just down the road from Conestogo. One of those old

Steve Jobs Childhood Home gets Historical Designation

The home in Los Altos, California (Silicon Valley) where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built some of their first computers has been designated a historically significant location. It is currently owned by Patricia Jobs, the late Steve Jobs’ sister. Image credit – Getty Images Related Posts:No Related Posts

BBM network has untapped value

At last there is some good news out of Blackberry. After the Waterloo company finally got the cross-platform version of BBM pumping out to iPhone and Android users, they claim to have had upwards of 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours. Personally, being a BB10 guy, I hadn’t made much use of BBM

Collection Agency Fined $500,000

The Toronto Star reports today that the large collection agency iQor Canada Ltd. has been fined $500,000 for making unsolicited robo calls to people saying they owed money, without identifying themselves. Companies like this get away with unethical and illegal behaviour like this all the time, so it is good seeing the laws actually enforced.

Sceptics Dawkins and Krauss on The Morning Show

Often Youtube interviews or debates with Richard Dawkins or Lawrence Krauss are long and (I suppose) tedious for most people. Dawkins is a world famous biologist and Krauss a well-known physicist. Both are outspoken non-believers in religion (they are not sure about the term “atheist”). And both are often accused of ridiculing believers. In this

Random Selection of Senators Worth Considering

With the current expenses scandal of Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, and no doubt others, reform of the Canadian Senate is once again on the minds of many Canadians. This has been an on-again-off-again topic for decades. Back in the day. a younger Stephen Harper was committed to a “Triple-E” Senate – one of the Reform Party’s

Malcolm Gladwell’s Return to Faith

I read an interview where Malcolm Gladwell talks about his new book “David and Goliath”. The interview suggests that he seems to have had a return to “faith”. I have not read his book yet, and may not after reading this interview, because it struck me that this talk about “faith” is pretty misleading. Gladwell

Duffy-Wallin affair – What did you expect?

The current senate-expense “scandal” has the media all worked up. I don’t have much original or insightful to say about this matter. Like most Canadians I have no way of knowing where the truth lies. Nevertheless, here are some of my observations… Related Posts:No Related Posts

Woody Allen’s Moose Sketch

Here’s a classic Woody Allen performance from 1965. Woody is at his quirky best. The famous “moose sketch” is in the last half… Related Posts:No Related Posts

Fighting in Hockey is Stupid

Yesterday Montreal Canadien’s tough guy, George Parros fell on the ice and was knocked out cold during a fight. As Kelly MacParland of the National Post said in commenting on the incident, “It’s a bit like a Canadian version of sumo wrestling, but with much more padding. Everything is staged and negotiated in advance; the

Atheism Has a Bad Name

One of the more interesting suggestions made by one of the “new atheists” over the last 5 years or so, is that the term “atheist” should be jettisoned from the sceptic’s lexicon. Sam Harris’ contention is that “atheism” and “atheist” have received such a bad press – especially in the U.S. that non-believing people who

Blackberry Management Looks Like They’ve Thrown in the Towel

This has been a disastrous week for Blackberry supporters, loyalists, shareholders and employees. The most recent screw ups stink to high heaven – premature announcements of being up for sale, discouraging news of major losses and sweeping layoffs, a badly bungled launch of BBM, and now a disheartening offer to buy the company at well

There’s No Substitute for Practice When it Comes to Learning the Guitar

The other day I saw a promotion for a new mobile phone app, supposedly created to help you master the guitar. I left a comment in which I said that an app won’t do you any good unless you put in your time, work at it, and practice on a regular basis. That comment immediately

Online Guitar Lessons – Part 1

There are hundreds of free guitar lessons and demonstrations on Youtube. Many of them link to websites where you can find more free lessons, and, more frequently, packages of instructional videos you have to pay to access or download. How effective are free guitar lessons like this? Can they be as good as traditional lessons

Moncton a surfing destination

On our way back from PEI this summer we drove through Moncton, N.B. In Ontario we’re used to thinking of “down east” places like Charlottetown and St. Johns as somewhat quaint backwaters that have tourist potential. New Brunswick? Well, there’s call centres and the Magnetic Hill, but that’s about it. These stereotypes are obviously outdated.

Religion in Ontario schools

In a recent opinion piece in the Waterloo Region Record, Luisa d’Amato suggests petty infighting among separate school board trustees is more evidence we don’t need these trustees at all. Many citizens would take this a big step further, and argue it shows why we don’t need a separate school system in Ontario. I’m well

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo a welcome addition

A few years ago CBC started broadcasting to the K-W area at 89.1 FM because the Toronto frequency (99.1) had problems in this area. Then, several months ago 89.1 was elevated to a full regional station with local K-W news and events coverage and a local staff. I’ve been listening to CBC Toronto since I

Blackberry’s App Problem

Where are all the apps. OK, let’s admit it. Blackberry is in serious trouble. The more bad news we hear about layoffs and bad sales numbers, the more the company’s propsects for recovery are hurt. Even diehard BB lovers like the guys at Crackberry.com are starting to question recent moves the company has made. Unquestionably,

Anti-atheist discrimination in the US Post Office

Shoes from Germany for atheists. Apparently not appreciated by some US Postal workers. I recently read a report of a delivery test done by the company that produces “Atheist” brand shoes. Yes, I know, why exactly anyone would name their shoes “atheist” is an interesting question which I will deal with in another post. But

South Korea’s impressive economy

Samsung makes lots of phones. The news this week that Samsung was unveiling its newest smartphone, got me thinking about Korea. In spite of the instability involved in being in a technical state of war with their cousins to the north, South Korea is doing amazingly well in the world. Korea was divided after WWII.