Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between Grandmothers and
Grandfathers is? Well here it is:

A friend, who worked away from home all week, always made a special effort with
his family on the weekends. Every Sunday morning he would take his 7-year old
granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some bonding time -- just him and his
granddaughter.

One particular Sunday however, he had a bad cold and really didn't feel like being up
at all. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their
granddaughter out.

When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her Grandfather.

'Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?'

'Oh yes, Pop Pop ' the girl replied, 'and do you know what? We didn't see a
single ass hole, dumb bastard, dip shit, or horse's ass anywhere we went today!'

Almost brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Taxes Taxes And More Taxes



At first I thought this was funny....Then I realized the awful truth of it.

Be sure to read all the way to the end!

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts
Anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
It's time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Airline surcharge tax
Airline Fuel Tax
Airport Maintenance Tax
Building Permit Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Death Tax
Dog License Tax
Driving Permit Tax
Environmental Tax (Fee)
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment (UI)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Gasoline Tax (too much per litre)
Gross Receipts Tax
Health Tax
Hunting License Tax
Hydro Tax
Inheritance Tax
Interest Tax
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Mortgage Tax
Personal Income Tax
Property Tax
Poverty Tax
Prescription Drug Tax
Provincial Income and sales tax
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Retail Sales Tax
Service Charge Tax
School Tax
Telephone Federal Tax
Telephone Federal, Provincial and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Water Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
--- and in 2010 the HST

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had a large middle class, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in "Hell" happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

Voted Best Scottish Short Joke

Voted Best Scottish Short Joke


A bloke walks into a Glasgow library and says to the prim librarian,


'Excuse me Miss, dey ye hiv ony
how-to books on suicide?'

To which she stops doing her tasks, looks at him over the top of her glasses and says,


'Fook off, ye'll no bring it back!'

The Ant and The Grasshopper

CLASSIC VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering

heat all summer long, building his

house and laying up supplies for the

winter. The grasshopper thinks

he's a fool, and laughs and dances

and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.



THE CANADIAN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering

heat all summer long, building his

house and laying up supplies for the

winter. The grasshopper thinks

he's a fool, and laughs and dances and

plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

So far, so good, eh?


The shivering grasshopper calls a press

conference and demands to know why

the ant should be allowed to be warm

and well fed while others less fortunate,

like him, are cold and starving..


The CBC shows up to provide live

coverage of the shivering grasshopper,

with cuts to a video of the ant in his

comfortable warm home with a

table laden with food. Canadians are stunned

that in a country of such wealth, this poor

grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while

others have plenty.


The NDP, the CAW and the Coalition

Against Poverty demonstrate in front

of the ant's house. The CBC,

interrupting an Inuit cultural festival

special from Nunavut with breaking

news, broadcasts them singing "We Shall Overcome."


Jack Layton grants in an interview with

Mike Duffy that the ant has gotten rich off the

backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax

hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share".


In response to polls, the Liberal

Government drafts the Economic

Equity and Grasshopper

Anti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer.


The ant's taxes are reassessed, and he

is also fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as helpers.

Without enough money to pay both the

fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, his home

is confiscated by the government. The ant moves to the

US and starts a successful agribiz company.


The CBC later shows the now fat grasshopper finishing

up the last of the ant's food, though spring is still months

away, while the government house he is in, which just

happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him

because he hasn't bothered to maintain it. Inadequate

government funding is blamed, Bob Rae is appointed to

head a commission of enquiry that will cost $10,000,000.


The grasshopper is soon dead of a drug overdose, the Toronto

Star blames it on the obvious failure of government to address

the root causes of despair arising from social inequity.


The abandoned house is taken over by a gang of immigrant spiders,

praised by the government for enriching Canada 's multicultural

diversity, who promptly set up a marijuana grow op and

terrorize the community.

THE END

Friday, February 26, 2010

Canadians defend women's hockey team By QMI Agency

They may have cracked that cold one in the wrong place according to Olympic rules, but Canadians are leaping to the defence of their Olympic hockey champions.

The International Olympic Committee announced that they were launching an investigation into the on-ice celebrations of Canada's women's hockey Olympic team following their gold medal win on Thursday night. But the rest of Canada quickly condemned the action, filling online forums and Twittering their congratulations to their women's hockey team one more time.

"I wish I was there with them," wrote el baz on ottawasun.com.

'Canadian Women' was a trending topic on Twitter on Friday morning ­ meaning it was one of the most discussed topics on the social network forum.

The women's hockey returned to the ice with cigars, beer and champagne about 30 minutes after the gold medal ceremony on Thursday night. Photos of the celebration appeared online shortly thereafter.

But while the IOC's investigation is ongoing, some online commenters are curious that if it is so concerned about the image of its athletes' celebrations, it seemed strangely silent when Canadian skeleton winner Jon Montgomery drank from a pitcher of beer on live television following his gold medal win.

"I didn't have a problem when Jon Montgomery celebrated and I don't have a problem with the women's hockey team celebrating," wrote another poster.

"These athletes work hard to get where they are and they deserver to enjoy their moment as they see fit."

Following Montgomery's gold medal win, he was filmed walking away from his event when someone from the crowd handed him a pitcher of beer, which he drank from liberally.

This isn't the only time that post-medal celebrations have come under scrutiny at the Vancouver Games.

After snowboarder Scotty Lago of the United States posed for photos with his medal at a party, with several women in biting his medal in risque poses, he offered to go home before the U.S. Olympic Committee had a chance to ask him to leave.

"He made that call, and it was the right decision," U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst said at the time.

Hockey Canada has apologized for the actions of the women's team.

"In the excitement of the moment, the celebration left the confines of our dressing room and shouldn't," they said in a statement. "The team regrets that its gold-medal celebrations may have caused the IOC or COC any embarrassment."

That apology isn't sitting well with many online posters, either.

"These people need to lighten up. The women did their job, (and very well I might add). A celebration at centre ice in an empty arena with a little alcohol, was neither inappropriate, nor should it be a reflection of any kind on the Olympic committee," wrote Jay on the ottawasun.com. "I'm sure the girls wanted to live in the moment a little longer, since it's one of the greatest milestones of their lives."

Canada brings home Olympic gold in women's hockey



VANCOUVER — Shannon Szabados made Melody Davidson look awfully smart Thursday and now hockey coaches across the country just might take their sweet time picking their starting goalie every game.

Davidson, the Canadian coach with a penchant for keeping quiet about who is minding the net for her each game, wouldn’t come clean publicly about Szabados getting the call against the archrival Americans in the Olympic gold-medal affair until game time.

It seemed to work as the Edmonton native was absurdly good, making 28 saves in leading Canada to a 2-0 win — and its third straight Olympic gold — before a crowd in excess of 16,000 at Canada Hockey Place.

“My teammates were unbelievable today,” said the 23-year-old stopper. “We played a great game and this is an incredible moment.”

Szabados’ best save may have come at 18:48 of the second period, when she flung her glove hand around behind her and knocked away at a Kelli Stack chance.

“It was unbelievable,” said forward Jayne Hefford. “I don’t know if it’s hit us yet. This year and the Olympics has been incredible.”

Szabados, the youngest of Canada’s three netminders, didn’t get a single minute of ice time at the IIHF world championship in April, as Davidson opted to go with veterans Kim St-Pierre and Charline Labonte. Canada lost the final there 4-1, although Labonte was named the tournament’s top goalie.

Davidson’s game plan gave Canada its eighth gold medal of these Games.

“It’s so special, I don’t know if it has sunk in yet,” said veteran Hayley Wickenheiser. “You grow up in Canada, you know the expectations.

“Just to win on home ice, the crowd, the family. . .”

Szabados wasn’t the only youngster shining for the home side Thursday.

Forward Marie-Philip Poulin, 18, had both goals for the winners.

There was talk heading in that — given the improvement in both the Canadians’ and Americans’ games — this could be the greatest women’s match ever. It was far from a how-to video technique wise, but it was an example of grit.

Canada killed off all five American power plays, including a lengthy pair of five-on-three advantages. The U.S. had come into the game with a man-advantage unit working at 59 per cent (13-of-22) in the tournament.

Jessie Vetter, who had backstopped the Americans to wins in the last two world championships, made 26 saves for the U.S.

“It’s unbelievable in front of fans, family and friends to win,” said defenceman Carla MacLeod. “We wanted this really bad.”

Canada got on the board at 13:55 of the first, just moments after killing off back-to-back penalties. Jennifer Botterill took the puck along the side boards and into the corner and found Poulin wide open in the slot for a one-timer. She beat Vetter high to the glove side.

They went up 2-0 at 16:50 of the first as Poulin jumped on a loose puck in front after winning a faceoff on a four-on-four situation.

The Canadians had a couple of chances to take a 3-0 lead, but Jayna Hefford missed an empty net at 7:16 of the third period and Vetter stoned Cherie Piper on a backhand in front of the net seven minutes later.

The Americans had a glorious chance to get on the board midway through the first frame, when penalties to Gina Kingsbury and Catherine Ward gave the U.S. a 40-second five-on-three advantage. The Canadians foiled it thanks in large part to a Hayley Wickenheiser blocked shot on a Lisa Chesson blast from the point, and a glove grab by Szabados on Caitlin Cahow.

They had their second lengthy, five-on-three advantage in the second period when Hefford, at 2:35, and Becky Kellar, at 2:58, took back-to-back delay of game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass. The Americans were stopped again, this time with help on shot blocks by Piper and Sarah Vaillancourt.

The Canadians looked disjointed and nervous early on. They had trouble getting open for passes, and, when they did manage to find some free space, pucks were fired into feet. They had two early power plays and mustered very little.

But all they really needed on this night was the play of Szabados.

“She stood tall for them and they did what they had to do,” said U.S. blue-liner Kerry Weiland. “All the credit to Canada.”

SeaWorld suspends orca show after attack

SeaWorld suspends orca show after attack

February 26, 2010

Mike Schneider

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Chuck Tompkins corporate curator Zoological Operations at all SeaWorld Parks, talks to the media Feb. 25, 2010, a day after Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld whale trainer died.

Red Huber/MCT

ORLANDO, FLA.–Despite calls to free or destroy the animal, SeaWorld says it will keep the killer whale that killed its trainer, but will suspend all orca shows while it decides whether to change the way handlers work with the behemoths.

Also, VIP visitors who occasionally were invited to pet the orcas will no longer be allowed to do so.

"We're going to make any changes we have to, to make sure this doesn't happen again," Chuck Tompkins, chief of animal training at SeaWorld parks, said Thursday, a day after a 12,000-pound killer whale named Tilikum dragged a trainer into its pool and thrashed the woman to death as audience members watched in horror.

Tilikum had been involved in two previous deaths, including a Canadian trainer dragged underwater by him and two other whales in 1991.

Talk-radio callers, bloggers and animal activists said Tilikum should be released into the ocean or put to death like a dangerous dog.

Tompkins said Tilikum would not survive in the wild because it has been captive for so long, and that destroying the animal is not an option either, because it is an important part of the breeding program at SeaWorld and a companion to the seven other whales there.

Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year-old veteran trainer who adored whales, was rubbing Tilikum from a poolside platform when the seven-metre creature grabbed the woman's ponytail in its jaws and pulled her in. Witnesses said the whale played with Brancheau like a toy.

"He kept pushing her and poking her with his nose," said Paula Gillespie of Delaware, who saw the attack from an underwater observation point. "It looked like she was just totally caught off guard and looked like she was struggling."

She added: "I just felt horrible because she's someone's daughter, mother. I couldn't stop crying."

The killer whale shows have been put on hold at SeaWorld's three parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego. Tompkins said they will not resume until trainers understand what happened to Brancheau. He also said trainers will review safety procedures and change them as needed.

He would not give details on what might be changed, but he said he does not expect visitors to the park to see much difference in the killer whale shows, in which trainers swim with the animals, ride on their backs and jump off of them.

There is virtually no contact between visitors and the orcas at SeaWorld shows, said Fred Jacobs, a spokesman for the SeaWorld parks. But in the past, VIP guests occasionally were allowed to come down to the edge of the pool and touch the whales. That will no longer be permitted, Jacobs said.

Because of Tilikum's size and history of aggressive behaviour, visitors were not allowed to get close to the whale, and trainers were not permitted to climb into the water with the animal. They were only allowed to work with him from a partially submerged deck.

Brancheau's older sister, Diane Gross, said the trainer would not have wanted anything done to the whale.

"She loved the whales like her children. She loved all of them."

In a profile in the Orlando Sentinel in 2006, Brancheau acknowledged the dangers, saying: "You can't put yourself in the water unless you trust them and they trust you."

Tilikum was one of three orcas blamed for killing a trainer in 1991 after the woman lost her balance and fell into a pool at a Sealand theme park near Victoria.

In 1999, the body of a naked man was found draped over Tilikum at SeaWorld in Orlando. Officials said the man had stayed in the park after closing and apparently fell into the whale tank.

An autopsy said he died of hypothermia. Officials also said it appeared Tilikum bit the man.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reputed Mafia boss wants police allegations barred from hearing

Reputed Mafia boss wants police allegations barred from hearing

Adrian Humphreys,

Vincenzo "Jimmy" DeMaria, right, is led to a police cruiser after being arrested at his Toronto financial services office yesterday. He is accused of being in violation of his lifetime parole for second-degree murder after a 1981 shooting death. Peter J. Thompson, National Post

A reputed Mafia boss and convicted killer is mounting a constitutional challenge against the use of police allegations by Canada's prison and parole systems, a move that, if successful, would allow inmates to get out of prison earlier and with greater ease.

The challenge comes as Vincenzo DeMaria, known as Jimmy, fights to keep an alarming police report alleging significant underworld activity from reaching the National Parole Board before his parole hearing to decide if he should be re-released from prison.

Likely standing in the way of his liberty is a daunting report from a senior RCMP officer accusing DeMaria of sitting on the Calabrian Mafia's board of control; being an accomplice to the unsolved murder of a Toronto gangster; engaging in drug trafficking; helping a cousin flee justice; and conspiring to hurt an underworld figure.

DeMaria, 55, has given notice to the attorneys general in every province and to the federal government of his constitutional challenge as well as filed twin lawsuits in the Federal Court of Canada against the Correctional Service of Canada and the parole board seeking to suppress the police claims.

Lawyers for DeMaria say using the report is a violation of his Charter right guaranteeing the "right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

His lawyers characterize the report as "unsubstantiated or unproven allegations concerning criminal activity."

"None of these allegations has as yet been made the subject of a criminal charge against me," DeMaria said in a sworn statement filed in court. "I would welcome the opportunity to defend myself should such charge or charges be laid. I would plead not guilty and resist all such allegations to the fullest extent of the law."

While his court challenge raises important issues of inmate treatment within the prison and parole systems, the report itself sheds light on police theories on significant developments in Ontario's recent underworld history.

The report confirms that police investigators have "confidential information which they believe to be reliable" that a Mafia "Board of Control" exists in Canada.

Often called by its Italian name - Camera di Controllo - the board allegedly resolves disputes and organizes the competing enterprises of the various clans of the 'Ndrangheta, which is the name of the Mafia that formed in Italy's Calabria region, similar to the better-known Cosa Nostra from Sicily.

"Mr. DeMaria is a member of the 'Ndrangheta and a family leader. [He] holds a position on the 'Ndrangheta Board of Control," says the report, dated June 23, 2009, authored by Superintendent Mark Fleming, commanding officer of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, an anti-organized crime unit in the Greater Toronto Area.

The report further alleges that DeMaria "was an accomplice to the 2000 murder of Gaetano Panepinto."

Panepinto was an important emissary in Ontario for Vito Rizzuto, the boss of the Sicilian Mafia in Montreal. He ran a discount coffin store in Toronto and imported cocaine until he lashed out at two Calabrian mafiosi hiding in Canada from Italian authorities. Police believe he killed them in a dispute over gambling without permission from his boss.

On Oct. 3, 2000, the hulking Panepinto was shot dead in an ambush as he drove his Cadillac from his west-Toronto home. Police believe he was killed on behalf of aggrieved Calabrian gangsters. Losing Panepinto was seen as a significant stumbling block as Montreal mobsters tried to consolidate their hold on Canada's underworld by spreading east.

No charges have been laid in the murder.

In an interview, Supt. Fleming said he stood by the report but declined to discuss its allegations.

"Our mandate is to investigate organized crime. That letter is self-explanatory and it now falls into the jurisdiction of the parole board," he said. He has previously written reports for prison and parole purposes on other inmates, he said.

Information in such reports is typically viewed with concern by the parole board when deciding if it is safe to release an inmate into the community.

DeMaria is asking the courts to intervene to prevent the prison and parole systems from using the allegations to limit his liberty.

He has already suffered its ill effect, he said. The report led to him being removed from a minimum-security placement at Beaver Creek prison to a segregated cell at the medium-security Fenbrook prison where he remained for 18 days.

His case is urgent, his lawyers argued, because DeMaria has a pending parole hearing after he was re-arrested on April 20, 2009, for allegedly violating his parole. He is serving a life sentence for a 1981 murder.

DeMaria suspects the parole board will be unimpressed by the report.

"I fear that the illegal use of allegations rather than fact will influence and bias the National Parole Board," he says in a statement. "It is possible if not probable that my parole will be revoked."

John Hill, one of three lawyers working on the case on behalf of DeMaria, declined to discuss the case because it was set to go before a judge as an emergency matter on October 1.

A lawyer representing the government in the case could not be reached for comment.

DeMaria was arrested in 1981 after he confronted Vincenzo Figliomeni, a 37-year-old father of four, at a Toronto fruit store over a debt of $2,000. He told the jury he acted in self-defence but forensic evidence showed the man had been shot seven times in the back.

He was found guilty of second-degree murder and handed a life sentence. He was released on full parole on Feb. 3, 1992, and has operated a financial services business since.

When he was behind bars the first time he achieved a judicial victory regarding his treatment.

As the chairman of the inmate committee, he was transferred to a maximum-security institution after he telephoned the office of a Liberal MP to complain about conditions in the prison after an inmate riot. He took the prison to court and won a ruling reversing the transfer and drawing a judicial rebuke against the warden.

DeMaria is not alone in having to face police reports containing allegations or information, beyond what was proven in court, when pleading for parole.

The Corrections and Conditional Release Act allows all information used by the prison in dealing with an inmate to be sent to the parole board for its use when considering an inmate's release. The board is typically allowed to weigh the evidence when making a decision, even though it would likely not be admissible in a court of law.

If this procedure was found to be unconstitutional, the parole board could be making decisions on releasing inmates without knowing that police suspect them of continuing criminal activity or associations.

National Post

Heres The Scope Today

Leo- Thursday, February 25, 2010

There is a way to stabilize a precarious situation that is wobbling dangerously out of control. The wheels of progress need a bit of oiling and as the say the squeaky wheel get the oil. Feel free to do some squeaking. You certainly have the right to do so in view of what you’ve been through. Many of the fears that taken up too much of your time will soon start to abate as you make it clear that enough is enough.

Cancer- Thursday, February 25, 2010

You’re not happy about everything that’s happening in your life. One moment there is a positive sense that you are firmly on track to accomplishing an important objective, then the next, the mood turns dark and ominous. Despite all that seems intense and demanding you will get yourself out of a financially compromising situation. You are being led, slowly but surely, to the successful conclusion of an exasperating time in your life.

Scorpio- Thursday, February 25, 2010

If you would rather escape an unnecessarily unpleasant situation which is fraught with pressure, tension and strain, the stars advise you to distance yourself from a certain person or certain people you find unpleasant. Allow a little time to pass so that emotions cool. What seems so ridiculously asinine and stupid to you now, won’t seem half as important after the arrival of some good news, which is about to emerge.

Pisces- Thursday, February 25, 2010

You are entering a most fortunate interlude in an important area of your life after a dismal and depressing long stretch. If you don’t believe it, you risk prolonging your agony through an unconscious wish fulfilment. Let go of the past. Bid it farewell. The last thing you want to do now is to delay the arrival of this most auspicious transition.

http://boothstars.com

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The scope of things this weekend


Leo- Friday, February 19, 2010

There is a time when enough becomes enough. And now as concerns a certain drama, that moment has arrived. A small point of conflict which should have been nothing more than a trivial incident has blown right out of proportion. Parsing it any further won’t heal the damage. The real problem lies at a deeper level. Give things a chance to settle down and you’ll start feeling a lot better about it. You even start laughing about how ridiculous it’s all become.

Cancer- Weekend of Saturday, February 20, 2010

When it doubt, it doesn’t hurt to stop and think about things. No problem there. Think about everything your heart desires. But if the wisdom of a current plan is being brought into question, don’t worry yourself unduly. Just be careful, you don’t get stuck thinking there is only one way to proceed. Your plan is a good one, in fact it’s considerably better than you realize. If one door shuts, don’t think it’s the only door. There are many more you can knock on. So keep knocking!

Scorpio- Weekend of Saturday, February 20, 2010

It feels as if you’ve been at sea for a long, long time and have not been able to catch the right current or auspicious trade wind to bring you back home. But now you have home port in your sights. It’s been so long, you cannot really believe it’s true. It may be a mirage. But no, it is there. Soon you will set foot again on terra firma again. Your nervousness now is only due to the inevitable fear of moving into a new chapter in your life. So, put aside your doubts and allow yourself the luxury of feeling happy about what is to come.

Pisces- Weekend of Saturday, February 20, 2010

When progress is constantly blocked and impediments appear at every turn, it is only natural to develop a cynical self-deprecating attitude that leads to the anticipation of failure as the fruits of your labour. If that’s how you feel now, be at peace. Put aside your doubts. The scene is set for some very successful developments. Feel free to raise your expectations. This lunar month will be a good one for you as Jupiter encourages you to think outside the box. Be ready to take advantage of all the good things that come your way!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Power of mind makes light work of CN Tower



Jedi mind tricks are a complex business. They won't work on Jabba the Hutt, but they will work on the CN Tower.

At least for the Olympics.

At the Ontario pavilion in Vancouver, a Toronto-based firm is using brain wave technology to let people manipulate the lighting on some of Ontario's most famous tourist attractions: the CN Tower, Niagara Falls and Parliament Hill.

The exhibit opens daily at 10 a.m. but goes live at 3 p.m. in Vancouver, when the sky is dark in Toronto.

People wait up to two hours to sit in a comfortable chair and unleash their thoughts on beloved tourist attractions.

The lighting is controlled by two types of brain wave. Alpha waves – achieved by relaxation – bring the lights on the CN Tower closer to the observation deck, and beta waves – achieved by concentration – cause the lights to spread out and flicker so they appear to be spinning quickly around the tower.

Electrodes on the forehead monitor the brain waves and transmit the data to the tower in milliseconds.

"To relax and clear the mind, closing the eyes is a quick way to get an alpha spike," said Trevor Coleman, chief operating officer of InteraXon. "For beta, you need to focus your vision on something and try to push something with your mind, or look at every single detail on it."

And when there is a break in the mind tricks, the tower relaxes in gold lighting.

Yes, the CN Tower is using its downtime to celebrate the Olympics with the colour Canadian athletes dream of.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A famous French shipbuilder ship company and one of Monaco joined hands together to build this yacht with enormous dimensions: The WHY 58x38.

Designed by luxury fashion company Hermes and ship-builder Wally, the $142 million WHY 58x38 is more floating mansion than yacht. Those figures stand for its peculiar 58 by 38 meter dimensions, which is unlike any other vessel in the world. It features solar panels that will save 200 tons of diesel fuel per year, as well as 3,229 square feet of windows designed to bathe its interior with natural light.

A famous French shipbuilder ship company and one of Monaco joined hands together to build this yacht with enormous dimensions: the WHY 58x38. (58meter long and 38 meter wide) After the first pictures of this project.

The yacht, an area of 3400 m2 with seating for 12 passengers and 20 crew.

Wally et Herm├Ęs use green energy to 20 to 30% fuel savings and 40 to 50% electricity consumption on board. Therefore there are 900 m2 equipped with solar panels, producing a daily output of 500 kW.

According to Luca Bassini, founder of Wally, "I think the best part of this boat is the stern. It's not like the usual stern of a boat, it's more like the real beach of an island; a beach which is protected from the wind and the waves, where you can really relax."

Three decks, a 25 meter pool, a spa helicopterpad a 100m2 with hammam, sauna, gym and massage room, a promenade of 130 meter, a music room, a dining room, a cinema, sun decks, suites, terraces, a lounge, a bibi . The luxury is at the rendez-vous.

The decks are connected by stairs but there is also an elevator.

And only for $148 million!











Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Ambassador Bridge Owners Fight Canada


DETROIT–The Moroun family seldom steps out of the shadows to show itself to the world. They may be billionaires. They may own the most important bridge Canada has ever known. But they are just shy that way.

Yet when the local media takes to calling you "crabgrass," when Forbes magazine slams you as "the troll under the bridge," when you are on the verge of all-out war with Ottawa, exceptions must be made.

So here we are, inside the American family's astonishingly private corporate headquarters in suburban Detroit, with Matthew Moroun sitting across the table like the proverbial deer in the headlights.

To call the conversation exclusive doesn't quite do it justice. At 37, the younger Moroun is in the process of taking over the company reins from his rags-to-riches father, 83-year-old Manuel "Matty" Moroun. The heir apparent has never given an interview. Until now.

"If I get slaughtered in your article, I'm going to regret this. All I ask is you treat us fairly," Moroun says.

After years of bruising lower-level skirmishes with the Canadian government, he has a "big ask," as they say in diplomatic parlance.

The Morouns know they are a bee in Stephen Harper's bonnet. Famously, during one of the Three Amigos summits, the Prime Minister pleaded for then-president George W. Bush's help in getting rid of the billionaire owners of the Ambassador Bridge – the aging link between Windsor and Detroit that accounts for a quarter of all trade between Canada and the U.S.

"Here's the thing. We have never had what I would call a real conversation with the Canadian government," says Moroun.

"All the talk so far has been at a lower level, and it starts with the Canadians saying, 'No matter what, we're going to build a new bridge and kill you. Now what did you want to talk about?' It's a pretty tough way to start off. It puts us in a position of saying, 'No matter what, we're going to stop you.' "

The Morouns say it's time to start anew. At the highest level.

If they can win an invitation to Ottawa, if the doors of the Prime Minister's Office will open, they are ready "to agree to what Canada needs to be able to sleep better at night. We can allay their concerns. We can be Canada's best friends."

Before weighing the sincerity of the Morouns' message, some necessary background. First, it may come as a shock to many Canadians that we do not own this crucial economic artery. Ottawa, after all, holds title to all but one of the other 25 major crossing points on the border. (The only other exception is a minor rail bridge at Fort Frances.)

But that is just the way history's cookie crumbled. Back in the 1920s, a group of U.S. businessmen bankrolled and built the majestic Ambassador in two years flat. When they cut the ribbon, it was the world's longest suspension bridge. Two weeks later the Great Depression hit, forcing the fledgling bridge company into bankruptcy.

Over the years, both Washington and Ottawa missed numerous opportunities to acquire the bridge. Then, in the late '70s, Matty Moroun – owner of a fledgling Detroit trucking firm – outsmarted everyone, including Warren Buffett, to gain outright control.

His timing was perfect. The age of free trade was about to dawn. The Big Three automakers were ramping up cross-border integration, with millions of truck crossings to come. Moroun shrewdly saw the future and it made him a billionaire.

And an aggressive monopolist, in the eyes of many.

The family's critics – and they are legion – accuse the Morouns of behaving like old-school robber barons. Using its chokehold on the bridge as leverage, critics say, the family has built a trucking empire with 5,000 employees on both sides of the border. And an insurance division that operates in 42 states.

Their private empire is now so great it dwarfs the bridge, which at an estimated $60 million a year in toll earnings is mere penny ante.

But the main issue today is this: the Ambassador Bridge is dying. For all its brilliance as the pinnacle of 20th century infrastructure, by 21st century standards it sucks.

Even the Morouns acknowledge this. They liken their piecemeal repairs to "trying to get a mechanic to fix your car while you are going 70 miles an hour on the 401."

Which is why they have quietly amassed land on both sides of the river and already begun work on a second span – without many of the required permissions. Weird concrete ramps to nowhere, described by one Detroit shipper as "Dukes of Hazzard launch pads," appear to be part of a larger strategy involving a substantial investment in lobbyists and litigation.

The company says it is ready to do whatever it takes to twin its aging bridge with a new six-lane "cable-stayed" crossing. With the ramps already built, the Morouns say they can finish the job with less than $400 million of their own cash. And remain the gatekeepers. Forever.

Canada has another solution. For 10 years, Ottawa has worked with Washington and with the Ontario and Michigan governments on the DRIC (Detroit River International Crossing), a far more expensive bridge that would rise 3 kilometres downriver from the Ambassador.

Unlike the Morouns, the governments have gone about the job crossing every "t" and dotting every "i". Most of the money is already committed for next-century customs plazas and new highway links to the 401 and U.S. interstates. The lone remaining wild card is the Michigan legislature, which has yet to sign off on its $200 million stake.

What Canada and the U.S. backers fear is that the Morouns will employ wolverine business acumen to buy every vote needed in the legislature to stop the public project.

The Moroun firm, already well known for its litigious ways, may simply jam courtrooms with so much paper that nothing can happen until a new and friendlier crop of Michigan politicians takes power to kill the DRIC altogether.

A well-placed Canadian diplomatic source told the Star the recession is the complicating political factor. Hard times (and nowhere are things harder than in burnt-out Detroit) have some people in Michigan looking doubtfully across the border at "Ugly Canadians" – aggressive socialists looking to engineer a government takeover of a successful private operation.

"In Detroit, Moroun supporters have had some success in portraying the Canadians as bullies," the source told the Star. "The irony is that the Canadian government is forbidden from hiring lobbyists, so we can't fight back the way the Morouns can.

"It's like being in the Stanley Cup finals, except Canada's playing without skates or sticks."

However, if you ask in Detroit about the Morouns, the family appears to have no shortage of American enemies as well. Many point to the Gateway Project quagmire – a $300-million collaboration between the Morouns and various U.S. governments to streamline truck flow on the U.S. side of the Ambassador Bridge – as evidence of a company that promises one thing and does another, almost always to its own advantage.

A U.S. court delivered a major blow last week to the Morouns, ordering the family to tear down chunks of the profitable duty-free and filling stations it built improperly under the terms of the Gateway project. But it is just one in a flurry of court cases still underway.

"I feel like I'm living in an episode of the Sopranos. But this latest ruling against the Morouns shows that bullies don't always win," said Rashida Tlaib, an elected Michigan state representative who has challenged the Morouns on every front.

"We are dying for jobs right now but the Morouns are crushing everything that hinders their monopoly. And when they realized they can't buy me, suddenly I was faced with three recall petitions trying to kick me out of office," said Tlaib.

"I know the Morouns are desperate to change their public perception. I once met Matty and told him, `You have a whole generation of people in southwest Detroit who see you as the Big Bad Bridge Company, and that's what your son will inherit.' He got so angry.

"But the problem can't be managed away with lobbyists and lawyers. The answer is to actually be a good corporate citizen: get the permits, abide by the terms, be transparent."

The Morouns have answers to all this – but they hardly help their cause by what seems an almost obsessive desire to stay completely beneath the public radar.

Billionaire American dynasties tend to want their names in lights with great public endowments – think the Carnegies, the Rockefellers, the Guggenheims. While the Morouns contribute generously to charitable causes, the efforts are invisible. Amazingly, even the family's corporate headquarters bears no sign to announce what it is.

We ask why, and Matt Moroun struggles to answer. They are simply a down-to-earth family, he says, who don't put vanity foremost.

"It is disappointing and painful to see the characterizations of my family in the media," Moroun says.

"But my father is a low-key guy. He would rather not have his name on things. I don't want to bang a cheap drum, but grade us on our performance at the bridge. That's what counts."

The Morouns will refer you to the aftermath of 9/11, when cross-border trade all but collapsed, threatening tens of thousands of jobs in both countries. Within hours, the family established a "war room" to keep people working.

Dan Stamper, the Morouns' right-hand man, said he felt the weight of the Canadian economy on his shoulders that day. And for the next six months.

"Within an hour of the attacks, there were trucks backed up for miles. We called GM, Ford and Chrysler and said, `Your factories are about to close. Tell us which trucks you need to keep things going,'" said Stamper.

Once the key trucks were identified, the company quickly escorted them across the border, he said.

"We acted so quickly, so proactively. With no hesitation we started adding extra inspection booths on our own land, just to short-circuit the seven-year time frame the U.S. government takes to go from idea to ribbon-cutting."

Stamper said they went from six commercial inspection booths to 10 in two months and are at 13 now.

"That is the kind of effort that should be on our scorecard. Was this not in Canada's best interests?"

Ironically, 9/11 has come back to haunt the Morouns. One of Ottawa's arguments against twinning the Ambassador is that locating the two spans side by side could invite a terror attack on key infrastructure clustered close together.

Canada also objects to the location. What made sense 80 years ago doesn't any more, Ottawa argues, because the Ambassador Bridge lands in the heart of Windsor, 9 kilometres from Highway 401. The the DRIC bridge would link directly to the 401, bypassing the traffic lights that infuriate truckers and Windsor residents alike.

Ottawa likes to remind you that when you drive from Toronto to Texas or Florida – the so-called "NAFTA superhighway" – the only traffic lights are found on that stretch through Windsor.

The Morouns' we-do-it-well argument has some traction, even among those who favour building the DRIC. Sarah Hubbard, spokesman for the regional business council, which takes in Detroit, said the family's performance in bridge management should make it a prime candidate to operate the proposed DRIC.

"Love 'em or hate 'em, the Morouns have a history of getting things across. ... Don't forget the DRIC is presented as a public-private partnership. It will be owned by the governments but with a private operator. So why not have the Morouns involved in that?"

For now, at least, the Morouns dislike the taste of that option. Why? They say Ottawa and other backers of the DRIC bridge are wildly overestimating traffic projections.

Despite an uptick in traffic in recent months, the Ambassador is likely to see only 7 million crossings this year – a far cry from 12 million in 1999, prior to 9/11 and the collapse of the Detroit automakers.

Another bridge, the Morouns argue, won't simply be one too many: it will saddle both governments with long-term costs, not just for construction but for the staffing of massive customs operations.

Customs brokerage sources the Star spoke with challenged this argument. While auto sector truck flow remains flat, a range of other industries from information technology to green energy systems are showing new signs of life, with increased truck activity both ways.

"Trade is coming back," one customs broker told the Star. "Granted, it has a long way to go. But you need great crossings to grow it. The real tragedy is if nothing gets done. Build one, build both – but the main thing is to build ... .

"Think back to the foresight of those people that built the Ambassador Bridge 80 years ago. And now look at the mess today."

Steve Tobocman, a former Michigan legislator well versed in the Great Bridge Debate, agrees.

"Where is the foresight today? Eighty years ago, during the Great Depression, there were people saying the Ambassador Bridge was a huge waste of money," he said. "Yet it went on to become an economic driver for the wealthiest manufacturing region in the world."

Tobocman, who often locked horns with the Morouns during his two terms in office, is not ready to predict a winner. The DRIC project may look strong at the moment. But that could prove fleeting.

"It is like watching a game of seven-card stud. The cards are being turned, the odds seem to be going up for Canada and down for the Ambassador Bridge. ... But anyone who gives you a firm answer is misinformed or pushing an agenda.

"I would never count out the Morouns. Never."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chatroulette the latest gonzo fixation to sweep the Web

The first thing to know about Chatroulette – the latest gonzo fixation to sweep the Web – is that it's not safe for work. It's not safe for children; it's not safe for the squeamish; it's not safe for any purpose. It contains people.

Chatroulette is a website that does one thing: It connects users to live video chats with complete strangers. There's no browsing for partners, no picking and choosing, no filtering out the rude, the nude and the outright bizarre, of which there are plenty. Chatroulette simply picks another anonymous soul who's using the site, and bam: There you are, looking bemusedly at each other across the ether.

This thing is as popular as it is astonishing. University kids gush about it. People drag their housemates on to the site. People sit in coffee shops chatting up random people online instead of the random people next to them.

It seems, at first blush, as nihilistic and void as interactions come. What could possibly be appealing here?

To use Chatroulette is essentially to channel-surf, but with humans. When you stop talking to one person, it automatically connects you to another. It happens so quickly that it takes a moment to realize that you’re actually looking at another person in real time, and that he’s looking back. You look at him, he looks at you, and then, almost invariably …

Click.

One of you changes the channel, and moves on to another partner without saying a word.

Click. The people of Earth start scrolling by. There’s a roomful of emo teenagers. “Where u from,” one types. “Canada,” I type. They flip away. A young man, his face glowing with laptop glare. Click. Another. Click. Naked guy. Click. Some teens in Boston, who accuse me of looking like a teacher then curse me roundly when I refuse to help them with a school paper. Click. Frat boys. “Hey big dawg. What’s upppp?” they type. Click. Click. Click click click. It’s so easy to get discouraged.

A man in a plush tiger suit appears; he looks at me and flips away in disgust.

Live video sites have been around for a while, but most of them have followed a more structured approach, letting users pick and choose who to chat with. I found that experience almost universally hellish; it was like being stuck in an elevator with a series of malignant non-entities, mumbling nothings instead of staying anything. Chatroulette’s innovation is to couple anonymity with an environment in which everybody’s holding a rip cord. Don’t like it? Bail.

The upshot is that Chatroulette users go belting through pairings at such a pace that, almost out of necessity, some kind of interaction emerges out of the murk.

There appears a young man who’s waving a wad of brightly coloured bills. He does this little fan dance for a moment. I pull out a $20 bill and hold it to the camera. His eyes bulge. “YEAH!” he screams. Click.

Naked guy. Naked guy. A woman appears, smiles, flashes me and vanishes. Then two more young women in a dark room in Philadelphia, so all I can see is one’s hat and another’s glasses. They are blasting Michael Jackson. I notice they type in complete sentences; one, it turns out, is a copy editor, and soon we’re talking – about M.J., about snow, about naked people on the Internet and about the feeling of attendant doom that comes from working with words in 2010. This goes on for half an hour. The folks from Philly and I agree that humanity has been redeemed for the night.

It’s familiar. Sometimes, on the street corner, I’ll hear people talking to each other very much like I talk to my friends – with the same idioms, the same tone, the same drawl – and I realize that it was just happenstance that I befriended who I did in this world. Had I shown up at a different place and time, these strangers might have been my closest friends.

On some level, we’re all interchangeable. We have our tribes. You know yours and I know mine.

The next night, I do it all again on Chatroulette. Click, click, click, through the whack jobs and the dullards, the peep shows and the dozens of blank squares. Hilarity, then discouragement, then finally as I’m about to give up, a black square says hello.

Her webcam isn’t working, so there is nothing where her face would be, just a dark box.

“Very mysterious,” I say.

“Slightly,” she says.

The black square says she’s from California, and is a she. I tell her I’ll choose to believe that.

“Most people skip past me because of the whole black box thing,” she says.

We talk of IKEA, and hockey, and what makes a good conversation (specifically, not talking about pets), and pets.

Life is the process of filtering out the people who don’t click, and glomming on to the people that do. What a rush when we find our own! So much of what we’ve tried online in the past decade, from the escapism of virtual worlds to the labours of Facebook, has been an extension of this simple project.

Now we come to the simplest implement of all: whirling through people for that thrill of connection. Chatroulette is life sped up: bewilderment, alienation, drudgery, distraction and redemption – when you find something that clicks.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Might Be A Taliban If...


"YOU MAY BE A TALIBAN IF..."

1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor.

2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

3. You have more wives than teeth.

4. You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon "unclean."

5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

6. You can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.

7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

9. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.

10. You've always had a crush on your neighbor's goat.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

JW's Running Out Of Bible Time- They Change Interpetation of "Generation "Yet Again

Holy Spirit’s Role in the Outworking of Jehovah’s Purpose

13 Third, holy spirit is at work in bringing Bible truths to light. (Prov. 4:18) This magazine has long been used by “the faithful and discreet slave” as the primary channel for dispensing increased light. (Matt. 24:45) For example, consider our understanding of those who make up “this generation” mentioned by Jesus. (Read Matthew 24:32- 34.) To what generation did Jesus refer? The article “Christ’s Presence—What Does It Mean to You?” explained that Jesus was referring, not to the wicked, but to his disciples, who were soon to be anointed with holy spirit. Jesus’ anointed followers, both in the first century and in our day, would be the ones who would not only see the sign but also discern its meaning—that Jesus “is near at the doors.”

14 What does this explanation mean to us? Although we cannot measure the exact length of “this generation,” we do well to keep in mind several things about the word “generation”: It usually refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period; it is not excessively long; and it has an end. (Ex. 1:6) How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ words about “this generation”? He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed who were on hand when the sign began to become evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation. That generation had a beginning, and it surely will have an end. The fulfillment of the various features of the sign clearly indicate that the tribulation must be near. By maintaining your sense of urgency and keeping on the watch, you show that you are keeping up with advancing light and following the leadings of holy spirit.—Mark 13:37.

(italics ours)

Well, this change should buy out another 60 years or so before Armageddon may come! Such brilliant leaders of the Watchtower.

Below is a chart of the various changes over the years courtesy of an anonymous writer.



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sex on the menu: I'll have what she's having ... Mildred's Temple Kitchen invites diners to visit its unisex stalls for a little Valentine's Day lovin


Mildred's Temple Kitchen is inviting customers to have sex in its bathrooms.

The Valentine's weekend promotion takes uncomfortable but electrifying sex from the close confines of an airplane and transfers it to the unisex stalls of the Hanna Ave. restaurant.

The Liberty Village restaurant proposes its modern bathrooms become one of the "101 places to have sex before you die."

Mildred's has always elicited a certain response. One customer, who didn't want to be named, remembers going to a wedding at the eatery's old location and seeing a copy of the Kama Sutra in the bathroom.

"They invite it," said the customer.

This time, the invitation is explicit. On its website, Mildred's asks: "Have you given any thought to moving beyond the bedroom?

"Check out Mildred's Sexy Bathrooms throughout the weekend of Big Love. You get the picture."

Actually, the picture is clouded by practicalities. Is the restaurant supplying condoms? What about the health risks of body fluids? And who's cleaning up?

"We've always had little trysts in our bathrooms," says chef/co-owner Donna Dooher, pointing to lingering weekday lunches as a popular time. "We're taking it to the next level on Valentine's weekend."

The restaurant's four bathrooms light up outside when occupied. Staff have learned to watch the light flicker twice when two customers enter the same bathroom, usually a few minutes apart.

Toronto Public Health says as long as there's no sex in the kitchen and the restaurant keeps its washrooms clean and sanitized, it's not fussed. "As far as bodily fluids, it's pretty much similar to the other human functions going on in there," says Jim Chan, manager of the food safety program.

Dooher says customers must bring their own condoms but she's hiring a maid to tidy the washrooms that weekend. "She'll be there with her feather duster and cleaning supplies."

At least diners aren't encouraged to use furry handcuffs, part of a $55 "naughty love hamper," while at Mildred's. "Best to savour and enjoy (those) long after you leave the restaurant," the restaurant says.

Switch On More The 4 Hours?


I'm sure that you have seen pharmaceutical advertising in doctor's offices on everything from tissues to note pads.
Well, in my book, this one should get the prize....

I e-mailed it to my my Chinese doctor friend..
He e-mailed back: "If the light stays on for more than 4 hours, call your erectrician."

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