Saturday, March 31, 2007

Earth Hour

It's just hours away (in this part of the world) but from our friends down-under comes an opportunity to participate in an activity to draw attention to our use of resources and how it relates to Global Warming. Earth Hour was organized by the WWF in Sydney. From 7:30 to 8:30pm on Saturday, March 31, Sydneysiders were encouraged to turn off their lights, appliances and other electric what-have-yous. As the hour has actually come in Sydney you can see images of the skyline before and after. This, like any effort, is part of a larger goal of sustainably and consistently lowering our use of resources and, therefore, the strain we put on the planet that keeps us alive. Don't expect to see major cities beyond Sydney darken noticeably on the appointed hour, but don't discount the importance of wide public interest and participation. This just might be the start of something big.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Silly Canadians

You'd think we were cave-bound in an arctic wasteland for the last few months. Our surprisingly short winter seems to be giving way to the warmth of spring and the people 'round here can't seem to wait any longer. The park was full of people on my way home. Lying down, reading, playing guitar, football, baseball... Now it's one thing when there's a remarkable 18 degree day. Today though, was 7 degrees. Clearly it doesn't take much to get our imaginations working on our summer hopes and plans. Not wanting to get a late start, we seem to give anything that barely resembles summer the full treatment. I just hope that as the warm weather becomes the norm, we keep giving it the treatment and attention it deserves. Wait, maybe it's giving ourselves the treatment and attention we deserve.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Considering the amount of time I waste with it, this is probably a good time to talk about Facebook. For those of you who aren't keeping track, Facebook is a social networking site designed so that existing social networks could stay connected virtually. It started with colleges/universities and has, in the past little while, expanded to whoever wants to have a go. Case in point: my dad has an account. ;)

I've been a little wary of virtual social networks in the past. Friendster, Myspace, and the like bothered me because it felt like they were trying to take the place of true social interactions. I guess it's really all in how you use them. The same could be said of Facebook. I though, am finding Facebook quite interesting because all sorts of people who I've known in my life but haven't been in touch with in a while are popping-up. It's quite a trip to be seeing what people have been up to over the past.... Oh, TWELVE Years! Lots of weddings, a number of kids, all kinds of different jobs and a few dogs. Sure, these might be fleeting contacts but it's better than no contact at all. On top of the benefit of just plain and simple contact, I'm finding out all about the various connections that exist in this small, small world. So besides entertainment I get some "how the crap do you know so-and-so?!" moments. I find those much better than the "what are you doing going through my stuff?!" moments.

Monday, March 26, 2007


I just finished my last post with mention of how tired I am. That hasn't changed but I needed to make note of more pressing matters before drifting off. I watched Man of the Year this evening. Robin Williams as a political comedian is elected as the President of the United States. It spoke to discontent with the status quo (and was good for a few laughs too). I promise I'm getting to something more "pressing". Today is election day in Quebec. It appears that discontent with the status quo (both the leading party and the traditional opposition) has brought about something entirely new. Quebec is looking like it will have its first minority government in almost 130 years! European parliaments handle minority governments awfully well. I can only hope that the province down the road can see this opportunity for change as a positive challenge.

Technology Redux

I've been thinking about it more. I'll buy that if it gets too much I can either walk away or turn it into a career. It seems though that technology becomes increasingly challenging the more you try to leverage it to work for you. You want to check e-mail? Meh, no big deal. You want to filter your messages into specific folders? That's a little more work. What about making your e-mail talk to other programs? Now you're making it interesting. Still, we have to believe that the initial investment of time and energy is, in the end, more than balanced by the savings.

At the moment, all that can save me is sleep. I wonder if technology can help me with that. Is a pillow considered technology?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Technology - Making Life Easier or Not?

I am a nerd. I spent much of today trying to get various pieces of technology to play nicely. It was a better use of time than being in front of the tv and the weather was largely rainy but it was a big investment of time that was only partially successful. Technology has been seen as a panacea by many. A means of increasing our productivity, of saving time for relaxation. So why am I spending my relaxation time working on my technology? I have spent lots of time getting my entire music collection onto my computer and organized. It has borne fruit already, but will I ever get enough enjoyment out of the work I've done to justify the time invested? I guess it's a good thing I'm a little bit compulsive. I felt it important to get things just so. I also get a certain level of enjoyment and sense of accomplishment having just done the work (regardless of whether I make "adequate" use of it).

In theory, as more technology comes down the pipe (like the new AppleTV), I will be able to make full use of my 6000+ songs with album covers and lyrics. 'Til then, it is largely trapped at my desk. Maybe it's all self-perpetuating: I spend all this time at my desk improving things that are largely at my desk, leading me to spend more time at my desk appreciating them. Enough desks for ya?

Is technology giving you time or taking it from you?

Time for me to take time away from the computer.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I promise to stop being so damn effusive but I just have to acknowledge that Richard Takata is pretty awesome. I already marvelled at the fact that he sent me an e-mail but this week I even received a postcard written following his final marathon in Cyprus. I have never met him but I am definitely impressed.

While his fundraising journey may be over the fundraising itself isn't, so consider donating through his site.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring has Sprung

I think the arrival of Spring (as well as the Persian New Year) is post-worthy. I'm not going to say much about either but Happy New Year to any of you who celebrate Norouz and to those of you who don't this may be a bit like the start of a new year anyway. At least that's how the arrival of spring feels to me. People, plants and just about everything come out of their winter slumber and the whole world grows anew. Maybe there should be Persian New Year Resolutions because at the change of the seasons people may be more likely to take on those new challenges. That, or maybe just enjoy the warmth. Either way, fine by me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Equations UPDATED

I wasn't sure whether this would get any curious readers wondering. Probably not.

Believe it or not, these equations are said to calculate how attractive women's and men's behinds are.

(S+C) x (B+F)/T - V

The calculation above is supposed to be for women. It represents: shape, circularity of buttocks, "bounce factor," firmness, texture of skin, and vertical ratio. The below calculation is for men representing: shape, muscularity, leanness, firmness, texture of skin, and overall symmetry.

(S+M) x (L+F)/T - O

Science is crazy. Can attraction be calculated? Some scientists, including David Holmes who developed these calculations, would imply it can. I've also heard that the symmetry of people's faces correlates with their "attractiveness". Hmmm, I say. Hmmm. I don't want to be anti-science but, c'mon... Then again, I haven't tried the equations. Maybe I should find out more.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cheering Success

Blogs are great soap-boxes. You can rail against injustice, go on uncontrolled tirades or you can draw attention to issues that are important to you (maybe hoping that those reading will agree, or at least consider your points). Over the past while I've been touching-in to Richard Takata's efforts. They are something that I thought deserved whatever attention I could turn their way. Again today, you see me standing on my soapbox, drawing attention to the herculean efforts of a young boy. Dakota Russ, a boy of just 9, who has taken on his town and he has won. A truly inspiring moment for all of us. Take a look at what his local paper had to say.

Thanks go to Rob, for drawing my attention to such and inspirational story.

We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can.

--Will Rogers

St. Paddy's +1

Directly following the day that everyone tries to be green and Irish is the day the everyone tries NOT to be green and Irish but often only succeeds with not being Irish. Oh what a festive time!

Now if only people would get equally excited about Nooruz which follows a few days later. Just imagine it. Everyone pretends to be Persian in honour of the Persian New Year. Granted, it might not be a big night at the bars but who can argue with a holiday that coincides with the time that those of us in the Northern Hemsiphere consider to be the start of Spring? That feels like it's worth a celebration.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Top o' the afternoon!

It is here. The day that people in nooks and crannies all over the world forget their cultural background and consider themselves Irish.

The ubiquitous Irish Pubs throughout the world have a chance to empty their dusty Guinness kegs and shifty guys get to pull out their "Kiss me, I'm Irish" shirts in one last-ditch hope that it will work. The lilt of "top o' the mornin' to ya!" will be heard from in the streets of some otherwise lilt-free city or town. Why, I wonder, is it always the mornin'? No afternoons? No evenings? Time of day aside, it's a chance to get a group together for a good time and I can't argue with that.

So, in honour of one of the most popular Saints around (second to Nicholas, I imagine), I'm going to work on my Gaelic.

Lá 'le Phádraig faoi mhaise duit!

If you got the last line and you're my type then this is for you: Póg mé! Is sort Éireannach mé!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sero sed serio

Whenever I miss deadlines (which is never), I figure it must have to do with my family heritage. No, my family are not shiftless layabouts that don't get things done. Rather, we are Kerrs. The family motto is the title of this post. For those who haven't been keeping on top of your latin, it means: "late, but in earnest". Which brings us to the next paragraph (which is a day late but still "in earnest".

Happy Pi Day! No, not pie. Mmmm, pie. Pi day celebrates Albert Einstein's Birthday. Why pi? For the non-mathematically-inclined of you, pi is equal to approximately 3.14. March 14th is represented as 3/14 in North America. See the tenuous connection? The 14th is not the only time that people celebrate this. Be prepared for a geek-stravaganza when you delve into the link and find out all the associated possibilities. That, or have a piece of pie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


It took me a while, but I saw it. I expected to cringe as I sometimes find myself doing that when people get into uncomfortable situations (of which there are plenty in Borat). So imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing all the way through. Maybe I'd been desensitized by all the coverage of it when it came out. Maybe it was just SO over-the-top that I couldn't help but laugh. Either way: a well-spent, if not necessarily a constructive, evening. People should have more of those.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Congratulations go out to the only World Record Holder who has ever sent me an e-mail.

Richard Takata finished his plethora of marathons by competing in the Cyprus Marathon. In all he ran 379.755 kms (give or take). He had already set the World Record when he completed the "Fin del Mundo" Marathon in Ushuaia, Argentina a few days ago but probably figured one more couldn't hurt. What's 42.195 kms here or there anyway?

While this effort is certainly worthy of congratulations, I feel like this is a small part of his larger goal. I don't think he'd have done all of this purely to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Cancer and it's eradication seems to me to have driven this super-human effort. The battle against it will continue. Richard has done a great thing in raising both awareness and funds for Cancer research. I wish him well with all his future endeavours. To get more on his journey or to donate to Cancer research, visit

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lament for a Sunday

You started late (at least for me) but you made up for it by sharing your sunny demeanor with all of us. Your warmth brought us out of our caves like cheese brings the proverbial mouse. Unlike our rodent friends, we were trapped only by the sun and the lingering thoughts of spring.

We knew it was inevitable but your end is near. Your light is being traded for the ink of night, though mercifully late. Your greatness is emphasized by that which follows... Sigh. Monday.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thank you media!

The media taught me about myself today. CBC taught me that I have a clock in my head and it's set to 3 minutes. Before any of you filthy folk start thinking, I don't know... Something filthy, you should know that they are talking about our willingness to stand in lines.

BBC taught me that I have high levels of testosterone because my ring finger is longer than my index finger. I didn't see that one coming. I mean, I'm a hairy dude but I very seldom go into uncontrolable rages, throwing parts of my Royal Doulton china figurine collection at passers-by or knocking holes in my textured walls with the power of my mind (which, coincidentally, controls my fists). By the way, in case there was any question, in this case "very seldom" = "china figurines?! You have GOT to be kidding!"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Who me, bitter?

Here I find myself sitting in my apartment, if you must know. In a broader sense I find myself in a beautiful city with a job that has me interacting with the world in one way or another every day. Okay, we all interact with the world, but I mean the World. I'm lucky enough to see people from around the world each day. I've been lucky enough to see a few parts of it too. Still, I come back to being right here while my brother is in Amsterdam and my dad and step-mom are just arriving at the airport for their flight to Rome! I've got friends heading to Spain in the coming days too. And here I sit.

Sure, I'm not really bitter. I'm thrilled for them actually. What I need to do is get myself back into travel mode and actually do it, rather than lament that other people are and I'm not. So, to the travellers: Goede reis! Buono viaggio! ¡Buen viaje!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I was listening to an interview last night with the creator of Monocle, a new "monthly magazine delivering the most original coverage in global affairs, business, culture and design." At least that's what they say.

They issued a "no celebrities" edict, meaning that their magazine will not be reporting on Robbie Williams getting out of rehab or Britney Spears going in and out. They referred to the recent, and admittedly untimely, death of Anna Nicole Smith. Without targeting her, he questioned whether her death should've warranted a Breaking News moment on BBC. I think that's a fair question.

I'll cop to the fact that many people can't think about the state of the world every moment of every day but is the media stretching our escapism by serving up such a smorgasboard of star sillyness? I would like to able to blame the media but a recent check of showed me that both their most read and most e-mailed story was not about Darfur, the West Bank or Iran. Instead it was about how supermodel Naomi Campbell will be spending her court-ordered community service time for throwing a phone at her housekeeper.

We are all a bunch of fickle puddin'-heads.

By the way, Ms. Campbell will be cleaning floors (though I'm sure you don't care). ;)

Monday, March 05, 2007


I recently blogged about an amazing effort. Richard Takata, from beautiful Northern Ontario, has been taking on a huge challenge. It began as an attempt to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 weeks to raise money for the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. "Stunning!" you say. "Yes!" I agree with gusto. "A world record?" you question. "Yes!" I return.

It turns out that that sort of record wasn't quite Richard's style. His new goal: 9 marathons on 7 continents (sorry, no new continents were added to the planet since my original post) with the 7 continents being covered in 31 days! "Blimey!" you blurt. "Ditto." says I. Remarkable. More so to know that there are only 2 marathons left of the 9 (with one just hours from now).

Visit to be truly amazed by this stunning undertaking.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Today is a beautiful day. Sometimes the outwardly bad has a silver lining. A Saskatchewan referee got clocked by an irate player but when he was checked-out at the hospital, doctors found a brain tumour that may have otherwise gone undetected. In this case, it is much less serious and at least somewhat less life-affirming. The crap-condition of the dryer in my building sent me out in search of a more suitable means of drying my clothes. After deciding against a wood-fire (nobody needs smokey sheets) and the hand dryer in the men's room at work (no clean clothes should ever be exposed to that), I settled on the dryer at the local laundromat (seems like a terribly easy choice in hindsight). I always feel like the grinch or some traditional cat-burglar when I go over to the laundromat. The full-to-bursting laundry bag on my shoulder could be the Grinch's distended gift-taking bag after slipping into a who-ville home. I always wonder what folks must be thinking as I sneak by. But I digress. It was the necessity of visiting the laundromat that brought to my attention the beauty of the day. It doesn't just seem like a particularly nice day. It seemed almost like a chink in winter's armour. I know, we've had a reasonably gentle and short winter and there's still probably plenty to come, but today is pregnant with the pent-up energy of spring and all that comes with it. I find it hard not to smile on a day like that.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious.

- Brendan Gill

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy International Polar Year

Most of you (who, like me, haven't had the luck of visiting the planet's polar regions) may wonder about the importance of the International Polar Year. Well, these regions are likely the "canaries in the mineshaft" when it comes to Climate Change and this planet. Many major changes have been witnessed in the make-up of these regions. What better time to focus some of our energy there? It all makes sense to me, save for one thing: Why does the year start in March and actually go for 2 years (it ends in March 2009)?