Monday

Feeling Down? Want Some Inspirational Words?

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

What do you think of Rogers email?

Totally not impressed with all the ads that take up the screen now in Rogers webmail.

And when you send in feedback to them they say it's just like gmail and msn. They miss the point that gmail and msn don't charge for their email.

and to add salt to the wound...

I have the below as my settings and yet Rogers in their infinite wisdom has decided to over rule this setting to take me to the home tab and get a chance to show me even more unwanted ads.

When I first visit Mail:
Show me the Home tab
Show me my Inbox

Wednesday

Top 10 reasons that a coalition would be bad for Canada

  1. A coalition government between the NDP and Liberals, supported by the Bloc Quebecois would undermine democracy because Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe and Michael Ignatieff would govern without the consent of the Canadian voter.

  2. Michael Ignatieff has walked into the leadership of the Liberal party without one vote from the Liberal grassroots. The coalition government would be led by Ignatieff as Prime Minister without earning one vote from Canadians.

  3. Mandates are earned not taken. Canadians ought to express their will through the ballot box, not have it tossed aside through backroom deals.

  4. The Bloc Quebecois should never dictate the terms of our government. Theirs is a party founded on the principle of ripping up Canada and now they want a hand in influencing its governance?

  5. 74% of Canadians voted against a Liberal government. Now, that's a majority!

  6. In a time of economic crisis, we don't need a political crisis. In the UK, PM Gord Brown and opposition leader David Cameron have put aside petty partisanship to make government work. Why did Bob Rae say he'll vote to defeat this government even without looking at its budget?

  7. Coalition talk is decreasing international confidence in our political and economic stability. On the first day of trading after the coalition plan was unveiled, the Toronto Stock Exchange plunged 864.41 points (9.3%). This is the biggest drop since Black Monday in 1987.

  8. We just had an election! Just a few weeks ago!! The Canadian people gave this current government a mandate. Now let them govern.

  9. The economy is the number one priority of Canadians. Most Canadians don't care about the usual day-to-day bickering in Ottawa. Canadians care about their families and their jobs. Political brinksmanship reflects how out-of-touch Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe really are with real Canadians.

  10. Why would the Liberals team up with the NDP anyway? The Liberals themselves have called the NDP "economy damaging". We have an economist as Prime Minister. When you have a toothache you go to the dentist. When your car breaks down you go to a mechanic. Who better than an economist to deal with the economy?
There are many more reasons why the NDP-Liberal coalition would be harmful to our country. Please email this to your network. If you want to stay in the loop on latest developments, sign up:

http://www.rallyforcanada.ca/nocoalition.php

Friday

Want a Free USB Drive?

No strings attached.

Free stuff with company logos on them for advertising purposes:
How cool is that?

Wicked Obstacle Course for Car (complete with drifting and 360s)

This is wicked. I gotta try this.

I think the guy on the SegWay must have a lot of faith in the skills of Ken Block, the driver.

Definition of Gymkhana - "An automotive sport... where drivers skillfully manoeuvre their cars around... obstacles using extreme acceleration, braking and drifting."

Tuesday

John Williams is a talented musician. So is this guy.

John Williams was the composer for the Star Wars music, Indiana Jones, Superman and Close Encounters, to name a few.

This guy's taken a few of his compositions and produced them a capella style. Pretty neat.

Thursday

What is the largest room in the world?

The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.

I read this line in a weekly newsletter from User Interface Engineering, Failure Is Not an Option -- It's a Requirement.

Their articles are usually specific to usability testing, but this one has a broad message that's good for any organization and even for anyone personally.

It says that a company that embraces mistakes or failure is in the best position to learn and grow from them.

The article also has a list of common mistakes and provides you a chance to learn from others mistakes (novel concept).

A couple other good quotes:

"Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgments."

"Experience is the name everyone gives their mistakes."

Wednesday

Highlights of Greece and Turkey

Here's a highlight video of our photos.

video

Update: This video was created with Microsoft Photo Story. It's really easy to use.

Tuesday

SegWays Are So Easy Even a Chimp Could Ride One

This is so funny, but you almost feel sorry for the little guy. He was getting the hang of it near the end though.

Friday

Digital TV Conversion Explained

If you're like most, the upcoming switch from analog to digital TV may have you wondering how it will affect you and what you need to do.

This helpful PSA explains it in easy language that even your 90-year old grandma can understand.



OK, even simpler language, basically unless you're still living in the 70s and have rabbit ears on your TV or an antenna on your roof, you should be good to go.

I'm back

It's been awhile since my last post, not that I publish that frequently anyway. However...

Just got back from a trip of a lifetime tour of Greece.


Thursday

Usability Studies help Cars as well as Websites

Whether the steering wheel is on the right or the left, there are still some common elements to all cars that allow anyone that knows how to drive to jump in anything from a Chevy to a Lamborghini and take off.

(Though it may take a minute to figure out how to turn on the windshield wipers. The good thing is you only need to know that when it's raining.)

OObject has an online collection of 17 classic car user interfaces aka dashboards.

To check out more dashboards of classic cars, check out the book, Dashboards, by David Holland.

Wednesday

The Clone Wars

What can I say...

Anakin's new Padawan learner is an annoying know-it-all with an attitude.

Even though all the characters look like the actor who portrayed them in the first three episodes, the producers didn't get all the same actors to do the voices, so there's a bit of a disjoint there.

Also, Jabba the Hutt's uncle looks like a girl.

Other than that it was a good movie advancing the whole Star Wars story.

En gard and may the force be with you

Gizmodo ran a Photoshop contest asking for Ways to Ruin the Olympics Using Technology.

This was the cool, second place winner submitted by Jim Festante.

Monday

Superman: Birthright

Another take on the Superman story, Superman: Birthright includes some aspects from Lois and Clark and from Smallville.

One difference is that rather than the "S" insignia representing the house of El, it represents Krypton as a whole being the flag of Krypton.

This change delves into our own (Earth's) tribal differences (Navajo, Scottish kilts, etc.) and rather than Superman wearing the S to represent his family he is using it to represent an entire people and really portrays him as "The Last Son of Krypton."

Superman: Birthright, originally a twelve-issue, limited-series comic book published by DC Comics in 2003 and 2004, was written by Mark Waid and drawn by Leinil Francis Yu. (Source: Wikipedia.)

However, I think that this is best experienced in the collected version in hardcover or softcover.

Like a DVD set, a collected set in a graphic novel usually includes extras, such as author or artist commentary and extra concept art.

And this doesn't disappoint with a collection of all the cover art as well as the original plot outlines by Mark Waid that discuss his thoughts on the Superman mythology in all its various forms as well as his take as represented in Birthright.

If you're a Superman fan, this is a great book to add to your collection.

Thursday

Telemegaphone Dale

This begs the question, if you call a mountain top and and no one is around to hear it, did you really make a sound?

Touted as a telephonic art installation this megaphone will be installed on a hilltop in Dale, Norway. Anyone can use the loudspeakers by dialing a special phone number.

I hope for the sake of the residents of Dale that they can't hear it because I don't think they'll have the ability to hang up when a telemarketer calls during dinner time. (I'm sure they will be pretty quick to add the number to every do not call list in the world.)

Monday

Mamma Mia

Mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go-
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me-

Oh sorry, wrong song.

Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I've missed you

First, I just want to say that Pierce Brosnan singing is just wrong on so many levels. I will admit he got a little better, but his first song was just really wrong.

I don't know who thought he would be good in a musical. I think they were just trying to find some middle aged guy who would appeal to the middle aged women who are the biggest demographic for this.

Yes, I will admit I did go see it in the theatre. But I want to quickly add that it was with my wife. I have to give in every once in awhile in hopes that she'll see the more action-packed movies with me. (Doesn't work too often, but I can keep hoping.)

As chick flicks go it did have some pretty funny moments. And I must say that Merryl Streep looks pretty good at 59. (Amanda Seyfried isn't half bad either :)

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight definitely lives up to the hype. I won't write too much about it because I don't want to give too much away if you're one of the few who still haven't seen it.

I think all the talk of it being too violent for kids is a bit overrated, but then again I don't have kids, so what do I know. I did however see this with a friend and his nine-year-old who seemed to fair pretty well through it.

It continues to break records reaching for and possibly surpassing the infamous $600M mark held by Titanic.

Though a really great movie, most of the hype and record-breaking is being attributed to Heath Ledgers' passing, so whether all this attention can sustain a future movie is up in the air.

It's pretty certain that the Joker won't appear in any movies for a very long time as Heath Ledger's portrayal and subsequent demise pretty much ruin the chances of any other actor successfully pulling it off.

Batman Beats the Bad Guys and Beats the Records

Though not sure the record-breaking weekend can all be attributed to Batman; I think he had some unlikely help from his arch-nemesis, The Joker, or rather the late Heath Ledger.

With an opening weekend bringing in $155.3M, Batman definitely tore up Spider-man 3's web, and predictions are that the numbers aren't going to slow anytime soon.

The Fairy tale that is Hellboy 2

I haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth, but from the previews for it I immediately recognized Guillermo Del Toro's work in Hellboy 2.

Very much a fairy tale story with fantastical creatures, good fighting evil, and even a bit of beauty and the beast thrown in.

Of course there is still the usual big guns, fist fights and witty comments that are Hellboy.

And not to ruin the ending, but of course good triumphs over evil and they all (or most) go off in to the sunset to live happily-ever-after (so you're lead to believe).

Friday

Terminator Salvation trailer

Another fantastic movie for next year. Don't think Arnie will be back for this one though.

Watchemen trailer

Holy freakin-fantastic.

The movie is an adaptation of the graphic novel. "Set in 1985, in an alternative history United States where costumed adventurers are real and the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union." (Source: Wikipedia.)

The movie will be out next year. Check out the official site for more info.

Can't wait to go see The Dark Knight and now can't wait even more to see this trailer up on the big screen.

Antartcitc Ice Shelf Melting on a Hot Summer's Day

The Wilkins Ice Shelf in the Antarctic is hanging by a thread. First predictions were that it only had 30 years left, but now researcher David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) says, "it is going more quickly than we had guessed."

Not sure, but can't we just hook up a big snow making machine and refreeze the cracks???

Monday

Dramatic Shots of Wildfires in Southern California



This is a pretty dramatic shot with the smoke and fire retardant mingling in the sky.

It's hard to imagine that this is a result of such devastation.

Wednesday

The Dark Knight trailer

Here's an exclusive, extended trailer from Dominos Pizza.

Quantum of Solace Trailer

New trailer for the next Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. This is the first Bond movie to continue from a previous film.

This one takes place just a few days later from where Casino Royale left off.

Tuesday

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Sure we no longer have to fill our brains with a dearth of useful trivia, but when has a mind full of useless facts helped anyone other than on Jeopardy.

We now have Sudoku to keep our minds active now that encyclopedias aren't around for us read and memorize cover to cover.

So, no, I don't believe as Carr and others would have us believe that those who acquire search engine skills will cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? found in The Atlantic, written by Nicholas Carr

Thursday

Firefox 3 available Tuesday, June 17

The official date has been announced.

Next Tuesday Firefox is launching version 3 and hoping to break a world record with the most downloads in a day.

So, mark your calendars and download Firefox 3 on Tuesday.

Monday

Takes a licking and keeps on ticking

Bulova Watches may want to adopt this saying for their watches after one was found in Gibraltar Harbor.

Teddy Beacon lost it in the Harbor in 1941 while serving on the HMS Repulse.

It was found recently when the Harbor was dredged and returned to him... and it's still ticking after being wet for all those years.

Friday

We are the aliens

There was a post on Gizmodo.com yesterday about a press conference today that will show supposed video evidence of an extraterrestrial.

However, a story on CBC.ca today talks about 'uncontacted' tribes in the Amazon.

It's hard to believe that there are still isolated people in this world who still hunt and live off the land for their entire existence.

They depend entirely on the few people in their tribe for survival and their entire world is no bigger than a few miles circumference around their village.

Their existence is threatened by illegal logging. To them, we are the extraterrestrials. Could you imagine a logging bulldozer plowing through the trees into their village.

A construction worker in hard hat and sunglasses would appear to them as an alien with big head and saucer eyes would to us.

Thursday

Firefox 3: On your mark... get set... wait for it...

Much anticipated and going for a world record download day, "with more than 14,000 improvements, Firefox 3 is faster, safer and smarter than before."

Though the date has not been set yet it will be sometime next month, so watch for it and get set to go.

Not yet using Firefox, download version 2 now and upgrade to 3 on download day.

Tuesday

Is Shia LaBeouf the next Indy?

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull is a good popcorn flick, but as Indy movies go I was expecting more.

There were a lot of "old man" cliches in reference to Indy and now that the secrets out that his real name is Henry Jones, Jr., there's no stopping the mentions of it.

In the past movies no one knew his real name was "Junior" and now everyone refers to him as Henry Jones, Jr.

Not to reveal anything, but the whole losing his hat and finding it again hasn't grown old. In the final scene the hat blows around and lands at Mutt's (Shia LaBeouf's) feet and he picks it up. He decides to try it on and at the last moment Indy (aka Henry Jones, Jr.) grabs it.

Is this foreshadowing things to come? George Lucas has stated that he's not actively searching for a new artifact to be the object of Indy's next adventure. With Harrison Ford getting up there in years perhaps Shia will be Indy, Jr. when the next artifact is found to be the basis of a new adventure.

As an aside, and a bit of a history lesson, there is such a thing as crystal skulls. There are 12 known to be in existence - one in each of Paris and London museums, one at the Smithsonian, and nine others in private hands.

Monday

Cold Fusion a Reality!?!

If you've watched The Saint with Val Kilmer you'll be familiar with cold fusion and it's role in thwarting the Russian Mafia boss, Ivan Tretiak, and his plans to profit from an oil crisis.

Thought to be like the plague, the study of cold fusion has been relegated to the closet in main scientific channels; however, it has recently been taken out of the closet to air out recently with perhaps promising results.

If this isn't a hoax, this discovery of cold fusion could revolutionize the world's energy production; it's the holy grail of energy production as said by Gizmodo in their post.

Thursday

Prince Caspian: Chronicles of Narnia

If you like swords, and magic and the like this is a great movie.

The fight between Peter and King Miraz is great with lots of cool moves.

Though it seems a bit fantastical at times it does have a classic story line to follow keeping in line with the original chronicles.

The end seems a bit sad, but provides a bit of foreshadowing of what to expect in the next chapter, so to say.

On My Way for $25!!

I just received an e-mail from Air Canada promoting their new On My Way service. They're calling it "The new name for peace of mind."

This service offers, for a fee, stuff like:
  • Access to specialized agents who are available around the clock to address your needs
  • Priority rebooking on the first flight out (with Air Canada or another airline)
  • The option of a complimentary rental car, train ticket or bus ticket
  • Food vouchers and a hotel room if needed
This is all stuff that I would expect for free and in fact was actually free at one time. And now they're marketing it as something special that distinguishes them from everyone else... IF you pay them an extra $25.

Sure I realize that air lines are getting hit pretty hard by the high cost of gas, but I think they could be a bit more open in their marketing.

Do they really think we're that stupid that we can't see through this?!?

Wednesday

Nine Inch Nails free advance release

Free Music!

You can download Nine Inch Nails latest album, The Slip, for free. They're releasing it free online now in advance of the release of the CD and vinyl in July.

Monday

The Dark Knight - new trailer

Not to leave out the other big comic producer, DC comics is also hoping for a summer blockbuster with Batman: The Dark Knight.

If not for a memorial, Heath Ledger definitely could be up for an award as one of the greatest villains as The Joker.

Although he hasn't made an appearance in the trailers yet, it appears that Two Face (aka Harvey Dent) will also be appearing this summer.

Neither villains to be confused with Jack Nicholson's rendition as The Joker or Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face in previous Batman movies.

Iron Man's blockbuster performance brings on announcement of more to come

Iron Man's opening weekend grossed over $100 million prompting Marvel to announce that Iron Man 2 will be out in April 30, 2010 along with more Marvel heroes, including:
  • Thor on June 4, 2010;
  • Captain America the following year, May 6, 2011; and
  • The Avengers on July 2011.

Monday

Behind the scenes of Iron Man

A recent article in USA Today includes some behind-the-scene shots on the set of Iron Man.


Apparently Jeff Bridges is quite the creative guy and doesn't leave home without his Widelux panoramic camera documenting his life and his work, including photos from the set of his most recent role as Obadiah Stane in Iron Man.

Tuesday

Fetch boy, Fetch

So much for getting exercise if you have a dog. This is a riot though.



The dogs going to have a heart attack.
It seems to have endless energy like the Energizer Bunny.

Monday

The Grid: The Future is Here

  • 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection
  • Capable of downloading entire feature films in seconds
  • Able to transmit holographic images
  • Allow instant online games with hundreds of thousands of players
  • High-definition video telephony for the price of a local call

CERN, the particle physics center based in Geneva that created the web, has built The Grid, capable of the above and probably more.

Though it will be awhile (possibly a long while) before you would ever see this in your home, just imagine the possibilities.

"It has already been used to help design new drugs against malaria by analyzing 140m compounds, an undertaking that would have taken 420 years on a standard internet-linked PC."

Cool stuff.

How observant are you?

Take the test.

Thursday

Here, hear (?) to watching your spelling

Well said.

How cool are these? I want one


... or two or all of them. If they were bigger they would make great garden ornaments.

This is Gyro (19 inches tall).
When Gyro properly understands his assignment he is a wide-eyed and indefatigable worker. One time, though, Gyro wasn't listening closely enough and the next thing you know every lug nut from every vehicle in the Yankee Stadium parking lot had been removed and melted down.

Check them all out at Guy Robot.

Wednesday

10,000 B.C.

Great movie as far as special effects, but I think the story tries too much.

Rather than trying to portray itself as a movie of human history I think it should have picked a title such as "Spear tooth" or something else relevant to the movie.

I'm not sure where in Africa De'lays Rastafarian tribe would have actually lived.

I think the suspension of disbelief is easily achieved for most of the story; you can even stretch the imagination to think that ya maybe woolly mammoths did help to build the pyramids, but I think the final scene went too far.

Not to give away the ending, but throughout the story the most mystical it got was prophecy, but to then have the magic of old mother go across the mountains, through the rainforest and across the desert is a bit much.

Check out where and when this movie is playing in London at Entertainment London.

Tuesday

Traffic shockwaves are cause of traffic jams

I'm sure everyone has experienced this:

You're travelling along at a nice pace on the highway when all of the sudden everything grinds to a halt. You get a couple miles down the road and everything is moving again, but there was no apparent cause of the slow down; no accident; no busy on/off ramp; no construction; nothing that would have caused it.

The theory of "traffic shockwaves" has actually been demonstrated on a test track in Japan.



And it's all attributed to human error. As one researcher comments: "If they had set up an experiment with robots driving in a perfect circle, flow breakdown would not have occurred."

Friday

New Iron Man trailer

Computer: "Sir, the upgrade is complete" (talking about the new armor)
Tony Stark: "Tell you what. Put a little hot rod red in there."

'nough said.

Can't wait for this movie.

Monday

Rich Dad financial education

Have you heard of Robery Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad?

It's a great book and Robert has many great ideas on improving the financial education kids receive in school and also changing your own ideas on escaping the rat race.

For a RISK FREE offer to hear from some of the very best "Rich Dad" advisors Canada has to offer, check out Fast Track to Cashflow and find:
  • Little-Known Investment Strategies
  • Business Tips from the Pro’s
  • Key Real Estate Investment Concepts
  • Sales, Marketing and Personal Productivity Ideas

Thursday

So... we're safe from the next asteroid impact...

????

This is the news coverage from the Pentagon on the defunct spy satellite and the U.S. attempt to control it's reentry and ensure burn up.

Looks impressive, but the general doesn't instill much confidence in his speech.

Tuesday

Math mimicking art mimicking math

OK, so my nerd is showing, but this is cool stuff.

You don't normally find math and art mingling together, but the pieces in these exhibits are all generated by math modeling and formulas.

They generate some pretty neat stuff.

The white line above forms a single loop, dividing the page into two regions. Looked at from afar, the image forms a Celtic knot.
-Robert Bosch


Friday

A Bunny Valentine

I live downtown, but there are still a few trees in the neighbourhood. Enough that a few of our neighbours include the four-legged variety, including skunks and rabbits amongst the obligatory squirrels.

So, I am used to seeing tracks in the snow around our yard, but yesterday, on Valentine's Day no less, I looked out into the snow and saw this amazing site. (Click image to enlarge.)

Bunny footprints leave heart in the snow.

Monday

Don't forget to profreed your work

Someone forwarded me this YouTube video, How NOT to use PowerPoint, and after checking it out I found this one on the importance of proofreading.

It really drives home the point.

Long live beuracracy

I think this speaks for itself and there's no need to comment further on the stupidity of the US patent office.

I mean, really, this company must think they won the jackpot by actually getting a patent on a technology already in frequent use by all mobile phone manufacturers.

If this case goes through and the patent doesn't get rescinded then we might as well just shoot ourselves now.

Gerry McGovern

I've mentioned Gerry McGovern in a couple posts before, but just wanted to reiterate what great ideas he has for web design.

His philosophy is to focus on the client (not the organizational structure) when designing a website. And he's a big proponent of continuous web improvement, not a total site redesign every couple of years.

Sign up for his free weekly e-mail from his website, www.gerrymcgovern.com.

Want to know what movies are playing in London, Ontario

Here's a list of sites that you can go to next time you want to catch a movie:

Thursday

Friday