Don’t Cry for Venice

Well you can cry for Venice if you are a citizen of that fine city and it is completely submerged in a few years. But I, as a mere tourist with nothing of import in Venice, will not cry. Because Venice is just the first of many sinking cities.

No I don’t mean sinking like New Orleans or Venice. I mean cities that just stay at the same level while global warming makes the sea water rise. Basically almost any port city in the world will do.

Imagine taking a nice, calming gondola ride in Manhattan instead of those horribly obnoxious, always honking cabs. What a nice break between high stress meetings in that city.

Or you could take a gondola ride in Boston, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Liverpool, Washington, Rome, Cairo, Seattle, Rio de Janeiro, Miami, Sydney, Melbourne, really almost any coastal city because with global warming sea levels will probably rise by quite a large degree. There are going to be thousands of ‘Venices’. Maybe one will be on your closest sea coast.

We, as tourists, might not have to pay the fortune that gets to a particular area of Europe. Perhaps a few hundred miles away, no matter how landlocked you begin, there might be a ‘Venice’ within bussing distance.

This flooding of the market with ‘Venice’ after ‘Venice’ will of course make a Venice trip really inexpensive. As a tourist I think that is as it should be. Why can’t all the prime destinations have this much competition. I’m told that the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben are really inexpensive as far as landmarks go. Perhaps all of Europe could compete with knockoffs in each continent.

But I don’t intend to go to Las Vegas with their stunted Eiffel tower. They must be appealing to the cheapest of the cheap market. Let’s hope that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Regardless of the other knockoffs, at the present ignorance around global warming, there will be a thousand ‘Venices’ in the not so distant future.

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The Knights of the Square Tables

I see what you were doing there, King Arthur. Putting your knights at a round table so there is no special or more important position. What a political lesson that was, making all your knights feel equal.

But I have news for you, King Arthur. There is another way to make the knights feel equal. Just gather yourself and three other knights and put them at a square table. Tadah! There is no special seat and you and all your knights are apparently equal.

So to deal with a larger amount of knights it is best to have many square tables. And you must number your knights in multiples of four.

You see, a knight fresh from the battle and spying an empty seat at the square table is likely to put his dirty metal boots on the edge of a spare chair and this will break the elegance of the square tables. This knight is special and gets one chair for his butt and another for his feet. It will be hard to restore order after such an obvious faux pas. The only solution is to make sure your knights number in multiples of four.

So if only one of your knights has succumbed in a battle, it might be necessary to exclude three other knights from the square tables. Or, if the battles are ongoing, it might be a better idea to promote someone to the vacant knight spot. It all might be very awkward this promoting and demoting but at least you are doing it in the name of equality.

Then there is the awkwardness of who is speaking. Let’s say you put the king’s table in the centre of the square tables. Since he probably talks more this is a worthwhile idea. Everyone can best hear him when he is at the centre.

In fact let’s put the three other most important talkers at this middle table. This ensures that the knights can all hear the most important speakers.

But you cannot see all the knights in a square table array from the centre. So perhaps those favoured by the king should be placed so the king can see them most easily. The other three stations at the important table could do the same. But there has to be some sort of ranking.

The king of course gets his choice of knights. The second most important knight at the important centre table gets his choice also unless it conflicts with the king’s choice. We proceed similarly to the third and fourth most important knight at the centre table, the fourth knight getting the worst picks.

And that’s how you have equality, in multiples of four, with knights at an array of square tables.

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Embracing My Inner T-Rex

Over the last week I’ve tried to embrace my inner T-Rex. Try as I might, I just could not imagine that mighty tail properly. If humanity even had a slight tail I might have had some success. So my only hope is to logic out what a massive tail might do. The other physical trait that is very T-Rex was the tiny arms. To properly work this out I held my elbows to my body. I had some success.

I started dancing to see just what a puny armed T-Rex could do. I could hold my arms to the side just like any unimaginative dancer who only feels the beat with their lower body.

Then I tried the swim but could only eke out a dog paddle. I could only hold my nose shut if I kept my head down and forget extending your arm along the vertical – above your head.

I could kind of do that Indian dance where they screw in the light bulb. But realistically I knew I could never screw in a light bulb that was above my head. Just medium level lamps, thank you very much.

I was really thinking about arm movements so I looked at that sport that uses the arms as weapons – boxing. It was then that I realized I couldn’t punch my opponent in the head. Just the chest and the stomach. There would be no knockout punches from me. Maybe I could punch real fast in the chest and stomach and thus win a match on points. But if I couldn’t attack my opponent’s head, I couldn’t guard my own. Let’s just hope my opponent can’t give me a concussion.

Maybe somehow I could communicate with my hands. Flag signaling is out because I don’t have the reach as a T-Rex. But maybe those puny arms have capable hands that can make the signals of sign language. Maybe T-Rex could communicate with its pack that way and somehow down some prey.

Then the aha moments came. I actually should have gotten this from the dance segment of my mental journey. T-Rex is lousy at almost all arm movements except the bunny hop. Maybe that way it would be a fearsome predator. Humour me for a moment.

With its hands in the bunny hop position, T-Rex could settle its legs and powerful tail really low. Then it could spring from that position into a mighty hop. Now you know dinosaurs are called Thunder Lizards because of the imagination of their loud steps. What would we call the noise made from these powerful jumps of T-Rex? I suggest that T-Rex now be called king of the sonic booms.

Imagine a pack of T-Rexes making sonic booms with every leap they make in pursuit of some poor beast. There would be two ways to make the kill. The T-Rexes could jump close enough to the prey to bite it mortally. It’s puny arms couldn’t help in this because they are too puny. The other way would be to land on the prey, thus crushing it. This is a more easily imagined telling of T-Rex’s mastery over the other dinosaurs than exists in most science books. And with that thought I have finished embracing my inner T-Rex.

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I Have the Wishy Washiest Cat in the World

My cat, Bast, goes “Meow,” then “Mow,” then “Mrow,” then “Purr,” to cement the title of the wishy washiest cat in the world. Just kidding. It’s a little more involved than that.

I have just started studying Desmond Morris’ “Catwatching”, in which he tries to give a little insight into the character of a cat from its actions. Of import to me and my claims was his bit on why a cat twitches it’s tail back and forth.

It all seems to stem from balancing. As a cat balances on a slim rail or what have you, its tail twitches back and forth in an effort to help balance the cat. Leaning to one side makes the tail twitch to a first side and leaning another way the tail twitches to the other side. The twitching occurs as the cat makes a decision on which way to lean. Each twitch represents a different side.

So in non balancing times one twitch of the tail represents one side of a decision and the other twitch represents the other side of a decision. So, as this explanation goes, a cat twitching its tail back and forth is trying to make a decision.

For those of you who don’t know about my cat, Bast, she twitches her tail back and forth all day long. I’ve even blogged about it for she seems to keep the beat of certain songs with her twitching tail.

Anyways if waving a cat’s tail back and forth represents indecisiveness, my cat would win in any test of wishy washiness. The only possibility for any other cat to be in the running for wishy washiest cat in the world, would be if another cat also waved their tail back and forth all day long. Then it would come down to the beat. So any contenders out there had better wave their tail back and forth at a rate that is faster than the beat to The Scientist by Coldplay. That beat is the first one I noticed my Bast waving her tail to the beat so I figure that is closest to her natural rhythmic speed.

In all other outcomes I have the wishy washiest cat in the world. Thank you Desmond Morris for making me realize this.

But I wonder what she is deciding. Sometimes I imagine what her little brain is being wish washy about. “To. Fro. Goodbye. Hello. Fast. Slow. Stop. Go. High. Low.” Is she writing a Beatles song?

Sometimes my imagination of her wishy washiness gets darker. “I love my owner, today,” Might be fighting with, “Just wait until he falls asleep. I’ll rip his throat out then. The nerve of him giving me 2 treats today when yesterday I got 4.” I may never know what my cat is thinking. But who cares? She’s so wishy washy that I don’t want to know.

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Family Feud Super Families

It just occurred to me that perhaps the ultimate Family Feud battle could involve the Sharp family. Indeed I would probably bet on this name of family until either they lost or they ended up in a duel with the Smart family.

Then reason took hold and I realized that Family Feud is not a test of the intelligence of a family but rather a test of the averageness of the family.

So indeed I would be better off betting on the Mode family (as long as they were mean, anyways) and I would follow them, betting on them all the while until perhaps they encountered the Median family. If the Medians were mean it would be a push on how I should bet. But if anyone of the Medians or Modes had someone named Norm, it would be that family that I would bet on.

And if I lost in all my betting, it would just go to show you that the world we are living in is simply ironic.

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Attention Pokemon Go Players

Lift your eyes from your smart phone long enough to read this. I have invented a temporary tattoo designed to go on top of your eyelid that looks exactly like your eye. So your eyebrow will look like the upper eyelashes and your true upper and lower eyelashes will simply look like your lower eyelashes. Of course this works best if you have a low brow. I call them eye stamp tattoos.

eyestamptattoosI have gone through fifteen prototypes and a couple prototype testers but now these really work and look like your real eyes from all directions. Choose from blue, green, dark brown and light brown. I know there are other eye colours but I have only so much money from my kickstarter.

It even comes with official answers if you are questioned. Choose from “The light was green when I entered the intersection,” or “I thought you beckoned me onto your private property,” or “Blinking is for wimps,” or “Yes, I saw him murder her,” (which is guaranteed to get you out of any court case unless of course a male really did murder a female.)

They are only $15.99 and I suggest you don’t apply both eyes at the same time. If you manage to tattoo your eye, rather than face responsibility, this company will shut down immediately. Admit it, those are the type of odds you are willing to take. Or maybe it’s the possibility of seeing a less bright friend in a comical situation that makes you purchase our product. Buy our Eye Stamp Tattoos now!

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Watch Those Ultimate Words

The Globe and Mail likes to think of itself as the intellectual national newspaper of Canada. I could get on board with that. Too bad it’s simply not true.

Here is an article where I am quite sure their science reporter screwed up. About the Canadian-led discovery of a dwarf planet a ways past Pluto, the reporter felt he should go with the use of a ultimate word like ever. He calls the discovery “the largest celestial object ever discovered by a Canadian-led team”.

I have some aptitude in astronomy and have been to the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto. Their largest telescope is 74 inches in diameter and when it was built it was the second largest telescope in the world. How does this relate?

Wherever this Canadian telescope looked that the largest telescope didn’t look it was seeing dimmer stars and galaxies and even supernovae in other galaxies, that couldn’t be seen before.

Now I hate to burst Ivan Semeniuk’s bubble but stars, galaxies and supernovae are all much bigger than a mere dwarf planet. The only way I see for Canadian-led teams in the thirties and onward not having discovered something bigger than this new dwarf planet, was if David Dunlap observatory were always run by a non Canadian national.

The problem with ultimate words is that you have to think of everything to make sure you are using them correctly. Think before using ultimate words or you too could become a casualty of a debate.

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Tom Cochrane in Inappropriate Places

There is a country music festival (the CMT Music Fest) in my city this evening. Tom Cochrane with longtime band mates Red Rider appear as what could only be described as a Sesame Street bit along the lines of One of These Things is Not Like the Others. Tom Cochrane has always been a rock act. The only hint of something else was the instrumentation on one song, Boy Inside the Man, but that song is clearly rock music, too.

This isn’t the first time that Tom has been out of place. On the video of Wavin’ Flag by Young Artists for Haiti a few years ago, this aging rock star had only Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo as a peer. All the other talent were young Canadian acts and they were helping introduce Justin Beiber. Why these two had to make the artist’s name ironic, I just don’t know.

So where is Tom likely to show up next? I would say he might show up in a soul review but I bet he’s already been there. I bet he’s messed up the national anthem for more than one country. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on an interview with the radio station Q107, because the last few times I listened to this station, Tom Cochrane was all the Canadian content (with more help from Red Rider).

I’m expecting Tom Cochrane and Red Rider will soon put a “y” in their last name in order to claim relevance to young Canadians and pretend Serena Ryder is somehow the band’s daughter. But I guess it is the band’s and Tom’s right to play wherever they might possibly be wanted.

Still, Tom Cochrane, if Life is a Highway I believe you’ve been on the wrong road a few times.

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Forcing Justin Trudeau to Keep Power

Justin Trudeau is such a newbie to politics that he is trying his best to give his power away. His government has already signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (the TPP). How does this give his power away? Why it makes it legal for corporations to sue the government for just about anything.

Has the government banned your pesticide? Why the honourable corporation just sues. Has the government regulated you so much that you could make a nickel under other circumstances? Why sue the government. Are you a meat processor and don’t like giving your power of life and death to your customers by being inspected? Sue the government.

The corporate and business side of the economy is way bigger than the government. The government doesn’t stand a chance. It can only hire so many good lawyers. It is going to rely on parts of the country to survive on their own, all unregulated.

We’ve added regulations to the economy in the name of fairness and a piece of the pie for all. The head of the government would switch to being corporations, and they have only one mission: to create value for the shareholder.

I prefer Justin as our prime minister as opposed to those corporations. But Justin you have to help us help you. Don’t ratify the TPP. It could be your last act with power.

I know some people are shaking their heads and saying Justin of course will be given a cushy job at one of those corporations. But I say no.

What corporation would give even the slightest bit of power to someone who just gave all their power away? The corporations will not have Justin after he has sold his country out. He might do the same to the corporation.

I’ve been writing about Justin over at Nooz Spun Right. I didn’t have a comedic slant to those articles so they remain at noozspunright.wordpress.com . There is at least one more serious Justin post coming, over there.

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I Come From a Long Line of Sons

When Quebec was being settled along the beautiful St. Lawrence River it was thought to be a shame to deny settlers the serenity of the might river. So the farms that were built were long farms, all with a small footing along the river.

What an egalitarian society! Everybody had a nice view. But as time wore on the families that went to more sons faced a problem. It was thought that every son must have a farm. So the retiring parents would split up the farm into however many smaller farms demanded by their sons.

But the old egalitarian society still threw its might shadow along the St. Lawrence River. The farms became skinnier and more numerous than having been originally planned. Still if a farmer only had to split his giant farm into three for his sons, that still left three viable farms.

A few generations in, it became a problem. Families that were cursed with too many sons, were now forced to divide the farm into farms that were only capable of providing part time work and money to the sons. Some of these sons fled to the towns and only worked their farms on weekends.

Too many sons may have been a curse but some of the sons had fun with it. One son extolled the virtues of his farm because it was extremely efficient. His farm was the width of a tractor implement. The one long farm eliminated the need for turns and with one pass the planting and the harvesting could be done. The barn was of course placed at one end of the long skinny farm.

Did the sons curse their luck? No, they were eager to show you their skinny tract of land and summed it all up with the line, “I come from a long line of sons.”

When weed whackers began to make their debut, some unlucky son from the St. Lawrence River, souped his up to ‘harvest’ the whacked, behind the weed whacker. His farm was so thin, that’s all it took. He briefly made money by selling the footage to a weed whacking company.

Today some St. Lawrence River farms have become even thinner. Max Lecoutier (the family liked the irony of his name) inherited a two inch strip of a farm. Basketball line markings are about this thick, so now Max says proudly, “I come from a long line.”

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