Canada's students slipping in math and science, OECD finds.
21,000 Canadian from 900 schools were tested.
Shanghai, China reseived the highest score.
Johnson, Minister of Education in Alberta to take
special care of low math grades.
Alberta scored espesially low.
Quebec out preforms other pronvinces.
Anna Stokke, Associate professor of mathematics says its
not a suprise with the new corriculums. And that math teachers
should reinforce the basics.
Johnson says that there is some good though...
1. Canadians are still performing well.
2. Equity among results are still very high.
Nelson Mandela Dies:
The Lincoln Of Africa And Just As Complete
- For the majority of South Africans, the decades from 1960 to the 1990s represent what's been called "the heroic age."
- Nelson Mandela's election in 1994 as the modern country's first black president.
- Mandela, in the mid-1990s, when he was probably the most famous figure on Earth.
- Mandela had been a promising boxer as a young man
- neither Mandela nor the African National Congress he symbolized during his 27 years in apartheid's prisons broke under the oppression.
- From 1919-2013, he died at the age of 95
So much praise has been heaped on Nelson Mandela that it may be useful to pick out his defining virtues from all the dazzling emotional clutter.
Just seeing him as a wonderfully humane and even saintly leader misses the complex core of a master statesman.
He was, of course, both humane and probably even saintly, but like another giant of history, he was also a shrewd and smoothly manipulative politician with a keen strategic grasp of pragmatic possibilities.
Not for nothing has he been called the "Lincoln of Africa" and likened to the most revered president in U.S. history.
But we shouldn't overlook the fact that both leaders combined exceptional generosity of spirit with gritty political skills.
Nelson Mandela headlines from around the world
The Mandela tributes pour in
They were able to summon forth the better angels of human nature without ever losing sight of the flawed and power-obsessed character of so many of those they had to convince and lead through desperate times.
Abraham Lincoln had to end a civil war that often seemed unwinnable; in turning the page on apartheid, Mandela had to prevent one that looked unavoidable.
In an earlier century, the U.S. president had to find a formula to end slavery in a way his supporters could accept; Mandela had to reconcile former blood enemies around a vision that both could embrace.
Sparing the world
As time passes we must never lose sight of how much horror Mandela's mastery spared the world.
It's difficult to imagine now, but back in the 1970s and '80s, the prospect of a peaceful end to South Africa's racist apartheid system seemed like pure fantasy.
The white minority that oppressed the 80 per cent of those people of colour who made up the rest of the country were both unyielding and militarily highly capable.
A member of the Internal Stability Unit points a machine gun at ANC supporters outside Durban in April 1994, less than two weeks before the election that month that brought Mandela and the ANC to power. (Reuters)
White Afrikaners in particular, descendants of Dutch settlers who had farmed the land for over 340 years, weren't about to leave or go soft — even as consumer boycotts and other sanctions were directed at them in much of the Western world.
Rock-hard followers of exceptionally tough leaders, they felt a duty to defend what they saw as their sacred homeland with an intensity that was often compared to Israelis for the Holy Land.
Far more likely than peace was a black-versus-white conflagration that would wreck South Africa and inflame the whole continent (perhaps literally, for South Africa then had nuclear weapons, which have since been scrapped).
That's why the two great surprises of my reporting life were the fall of Communism and the peaceful end of apartheid in South Africa, largely under Mandela's guidance.
The 'heroic age'
For the majority of South Africans, the decades from 1960 to the 1990s represent what's been called "the heroic age."
After the early resistance was launched, morphing from mass protest to armed struggle in the '60s, neither Mandela nor the African National Congress he symbolized during his 27 years in apartheid's prisons broke under the oppression.
Mandela shows then U.S. president Bill Clinton the view from the cell on Robben Island in which Mandela spent 17 of his 27 years incarcerated by the former South African government. (Reuters)
Nor did it endlessly pursue the kind of bloody rebellion that refuses compromise, as is so common elsewhere in the world today.
Four years before his release from prison in February 1990, Mandela began negotiations with the white government of the almost tyrannical P.W. Botha (the saint and the crocodile, as the pair was once described).
Putting whatever personal anger he felt aside, Mandela used his enormous skills to draw the regime step by step into profound electoral and other reforms that culminated in a bloodless end to oppression, and to his election in 1994 as the modern country's first black president.
Bolstered by one of the world's more advanced constitutions, South Africa, despite its many problems and inequities, still enjoys a rule of law, free elections and strong human rights codes that the once oppressed and their former oppressors forged together.
... together a fiercely divided nation — by making former enemies feel like they are all winners, responsible for a new beginning — is one of the rarest feats of leadership.
As author John Carlin, one of the most perceptive writers on Mandela, notes, this kind of achievement is so rare because it is so contradictory to normal politics.
"What ordinary politicians have always done is seek power by highlighting differences and fuelling antagonism. Mandela sought it by appealing to people's common humanity."
One of the examples Carlin cites is the modern South African national anthem, which splices together — at Mandela's insistence and over the objections of many of his ANC colleagues — a special song from black protest rallies with an old hymn of the white settlers.
Only an exceptionally self-disciplined person could have overcome the kind of resentments Mandela must have struggled with through years of abuse, insults and imprisonment to reach that special plane where that kind of reconciliation was possible.
It surely wasn't easy. In prison he meditated every day while seeking signs of common humanity even among white guards — some of whom later became close friends.
He discovered, in the power of his ample charm, a willingness to respect all and an ability to make even old foes feel better about themselves. At the same time he made it clear his core values were unshakable.
"Mandela was the quintessential political animal; he did everything with a clear political purpose," Carlin writes, "The reason why he stands head and shoulders above every leader of his generation is that he showed it is possible to be a great politician and a great human being at the same time — the seamless convergence of magnanimity and power."
One wishes that Mandela's example would elevate not only our own political discourse but also the thinking of so many modern insurgents who enlist extreme violence as the only way to seize what they want.
For the world needs to remember another lesson that Mandela's struggle provides.
South African President F.W. de Klerk and then-African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela hold up their medals and certificates after they were jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for ending apartheid. (Scanfoto Scanfoto / Reuters)
He was able to draw even the toughest Afrikaner politicians into his orbit because of the absence of innocent blood on his hands.
As a liberation movement, the ANC leadership rejected brutal mass attacks on innocent civilians in favour of acts of sabotage on government installations and, futilely, the occasional direct confrontation with security forces.
It sought and ultimately achieved support across the races and from the wider world. And in the end, it dealt with past crimes through its truth and reconciliation commission (headed by the indomitable Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu), not summary executions.
On a personal note, I only met Mandela once, in the mid-1990s, when he was probably the most famous figure on Earth.
Before our CBC interview I was tense, wondering how I'd fill in the inevitable apologetic small talk as the technicians set up — always a torturous moment when a world leader is sitting across from you.
I knew Mandela had been a promising boxer as a young man, so I threw in a comment about our mutual interest in the sport and to my immense relief he slipped effortlessly into a chat about old ring heroes we both admired, men known not only for their skill but that strange aura of serenity that great fighters had.
He could not have been more considerate or more natural.
Like everyone who met him, I was put at ease and came away feeling rather better about myself and, well, everything in general.
Years later I had trouble adequately explaining to people the extraordinary magnetism of his deep serenity.
Then I read that one of the toughest white government officials, who had been secretly negotiating with Mandela while he was still in prison, was once moved to tears as he later described the man he'd faced as "the incarnation of the great Roman virtues, gravitas, honestas, dignitas"
Yes, that says it better, for the serenity had a bedrock foundation of unshakable virtue, which may be what we most need to take from the legacy he left.
Nice job on capturing only the most important parts in your notes. You could have included more information, but managed to encapsulate the 4 or 5 keys points. Well done Luke.
Cyberbullying bill won’t stop online taunts, critics say (story):
Justice Minister Peter MacKay has called Bill C-13, the anti-cyberbullying legislation he introduced last week, a key tool in "ensuring that our children are safe from online predators and from online exploitation.”
Although child psychologists and youth activists support increased attention to this issue, they say C-13 is unlikely to stop cyberbullying.
They feel the bill follows a narrow definition of cyberbullying and doesn’t address the underlying misogyny and homophobia that inspires so much online teasing.
“I would hate for the public to be misled into thinking that this is what will deal with cyberbullying, because I think it’s [only] a partial approach,” says Jane Bailey, a law professor at the University of Ottawa.
Bill C-13, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, is largely seen as a legislative response to the deaths of Canadian teens such as Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd, who endured years of torment online.
Under C-13, anyone who posts or distributes an “intimate image” of another person without their consent would face up to five years in prison.
According to the wording of the bill, an "intimate image" is one that "depicts a person engaged in explicit sexual activity or that depicts a sexual organ, anal region or breast."
Shifting definitions of cyberbullying
The legislation would give police enhanced powers to investigate incidents, including the ability to seize — with a court order — computers, phones and other devices used in an alleged offence.
The bill would also give law enforcement easier access to metadata, the coded information contained in every phone call or email, which has raised concerns among civil liberties groups that C-13 is giving police greater surveillance powers.
New cyberbullying law has ‘larger agenda,’ expands police powers
Andrea Slane, a law professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, says these new measures will help police investigate “reports of a person extorting a young person for sexual images or threatening to expose them.”
The perpetrators of these sorts of offences usually do so anonymously, but Slane says this type of behaviour doesn’t really describecyberbullying, which is more about taunting than coercion, and is very much in the open online.
“When it comes to the social fallout that Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons suffered from their peers, most of the time, they knew who those people were,” says Slane.
'Environment of vulnerability'
Bailey says C-13 would be more effective if the government had sought greater input from youngsters themselves.
She says that in its fact-gathering stage, the standing Senate committee on human rights “actually brought in kids to talk to them about what they thought was needed to protect them [online].”
The death of Halifax teen Rehtaeh Parsons, seen here with her mother, Leah, was one of the things that prompted the government to table anti-cyberbullying legislation.
The bottom line, Bailey says, is that the people most affected by the problem of cyberbullying need to inform the solution.
“We really need to consult the kids more often,” she says.
According to the Department of Justice, the measures in Bill C-13 were based on the findings of the Cybercrime Working Group. The ministry has not specified what individuals or organizations make up this group.
The legislation was also partially informed by a Senate standing committee report on human rights released late last year.
Entitled Cyberbullying Hurts: Respect for Rights on the Digital Age, the report called on Canada to meet its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which means taking steps to protect young people from all forms of physical and mental violence.
The problem with the bill, says Bailey, is that it focuses on criminal and punitive measures instead of the attitudes and actions of cyberbullies themselves.
“We need to have proactive strategies that get at the underlying prejudices that contribute to an environment of vulnerability” to bullying, says Bailey.
Shaheen Shariff, a law professor at McGill University and director of the cyberbullying research project Define the Line, says that legislators also need to have a better understanding of how people, and especially teenagers, view and use social media sites such as Facebook.
As well, she says that not all sexually suggestive images are posted without consent or with malicious intent. Shariff says there also needs to be an acknowledgement that sexually provocative language that can seem derogatory and hurtful is often used affectionately between friends, or in hopes of gaining admiration from peers.
“A lot of time [young people] are just going to be part of a peer group and entertain each other and test the soc
social boundaries and their sexuality,” says Shariff.
Legislators need to have “a better understanding of how young people are thinking these days,” says Shariff. “This has become simply part of their communication, especially when they’re teenagers.”
Cyberbullying bill won’t stop online taunts, critics say (notes):
-Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduced Bill C-13, which is an anti-cyberbullying legislation
Bill C-13 is also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
-Under BillC-13,if anyone posts an ’”intimate image”’ of someone without their permission, they will spend five years in prison
-Child psychologists do not think that this will stop cyberbullying because it does not look at the reasons for it
- This bill gives police officers permission to ‘investigate incidents’ and take phones, computers and other ‘devices used in an alleged offence’
-This law also gives the police ‘easier access’ to emails, phone calls, and text messages
-Adrea Slane, a law professor at the University of Ontario, said that these new powers for the police will make it easier for them to help cyberbullying victims
-Jane Bailey, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, said that the new law would be more helpful to victims of cyberbullying if the government had gotten input from teens
-Bailey said that the targets of this form of bullying should have a word in how it is resolved
-Bill C-13 looks at the ‘criminal and punitive measures’ of cyberbullying instead of the reasons behind it, like homophobia and name calling, etc.
(When I submitted the story and my notes some of it got cut off. I don't know how it happened. Sorry!)
Very topical subject matter Vanessa. The bill may not address all the issues of cyberbullying, but it is at least a step in the right direction towards dealing with this disturbing issue.
Tim Hortons 'wage theft' claim prompts call for police probe
- B.C Federation of labour wants police to investigate owner of Tims after two workers accused him of cheating them out of O.T
- Owner of Tims would hire Filipinos and make them work long hours and not pay enough money
- CBC news has interviewed many Filipinos and have heard the same story (that they work long hours and don't get enough money) but the Filipinos don't want to be identified for they might be fired and sent back to the Philippines
- More and more Filipinos are filing complaints to the Tims owner
- the owner is due in court in February of 2014
Heidi Kibanoff and her boyfriend, Richard Pepito, say Pierre Pelletier hired them and other Filipinos under Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program to work at the Tim Hortons in the small town, where they often put in long hours.
The pair allege that Pelletier often made sure that the overtime that was paid came back to him — in cash — even driving employees to the bank and waiting while they cashed their paycheques.
CBC News has interviewed nearly half a dozen employees with a similar story at the Tim Hortons in Fernie, but cannot identify them, because they fear losing their jobs and being sent back to the Philippines.
Filipinos in Canada under the Temporary Worker Program say that they were forced to kick back overtime pay they had earned to the owner of the Tim Hortons in Fernie, B.C. (CBC)
Jim Sinclair, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour, is now calling on the RCMP to investigate the case.
"This could clearly be a case, from what we've been told from those workers, of wage theft," said Sinclair.
"And we've asked the RCMP to investigate before and they have. And we'll be approaching the RCMP in this case to investigate, and if they find a case of theft, order the company to pay or charge them."
Sinclair believes the entire Temporary Foreign Worker Program is un-policed by the federal government or province.
"We as Canadians are letting this happen. They're coming to Canada under our program and if employers are abusing them, the least we can do is say you can stay, you can work here.
"We obviously need you. You're good enough to work here, you should be good enough to live here. Then you should be allowed to stay."
Documents obtained by CBC News show an internal investigation into Pelletier is already underway at the head office of Tim Hortons.
Pelletier is also accused of charging employees the processing fees for renewing their temporary work permits. According to regulations, the employer is responsible for paying those fees.
Pelletier has not returned CBC's calls for an interview. However, Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano said Pelletier is well known in the community.
Richard Pepito has filed a complaint with B.C.'s Employment Standards Branch against his former boss. (CBC)
"Whenever there's any events and he's asked, they're the first ones to deliver food to all of the events, so the community knows them as very generous, giving people," Giuliano told CBC News.
Kibanoff left her job at Tim Hortons in June, but said she's still haunted by the painful memories. Pepito also quit and filed a complaint with the B.C. Employment Standards Branch.
A hearing date has been set for February. The couple are also preparing to file a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Good choice of stories Hanna. Well done.
New solar lamp offers villagers alternative to toxic kerosene
-50% of African population off the grid
-Most rely on toxic kerosene gas for lighting
Problems with Kerosene:
-Burns skin and homes
-Poisonous if ingested (children)
-Damaged vision from bad lighting
-Indoor air pollution
-Little heat provided
-Can't power or charge electrical devices
Solution: Solar Lamps:
+Provide more light
+Can charge electrical devices
KARIBU (Canadian Organization) Spearheaded by Camenzuli and Gulamani, Canadian citizens
Developed a solution: Modular solar lamps
+Rent-to-own Business Plan -> Rent Lamp and Battery -> Pay to receive newly charged battery-> Small investment w/each battery charge to owning modular solar panel -> Can charge batteries with newly owned solar panel -> No longer pays rent on lamp or battery charging (solar independent)
Begins in Tanzania
Hoping to expand to Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and beyond
Funded by donors, sponsors and soon an online campaign
On a continent where more than half the population lives off-the-grid, many African villagers can neither afford nor acquire simple solar lamps. Instead, they have to rely on dangerous kerosene products to light their homes. Five young men behind a new social enterprise hope their modular solar lamp can offer this remote clientele an affordable and healthy alternative.
"When I talk to people about solar, when I show people solar lamps, they get so excited that it's unreal," says 25-year-old Adam Camenzuli, an Ontarian and one of five behind KARIBU Solar Power. "I can really see the amount of impact that we can have by giving people the choice ... the opportunity to choose between kerosene and solar, because right now that choice doesn't exist in an affordable way."
Is solar energy commercially viable in Canada?
Cheap, spray-on solar cells developed by Canadian researchers
About 590 million Africans live without an electrical connection, according to the International Energy Agency's most recent numbers.
The problem with kerosene
The majority of these people rely on kerosene lamps to light their homes or businesses.
Karibu Solar Power
A crowd gathers on the outskirts of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to watch Sameer Gulamani demonstrate how a solar-powered lamp works. (Karibu Solar Power)
Most Tanzanians, Kenyans and Ghanians own kerosene lamps, according to a 2011 study on off-grid lighting in sub-Saharan Africa by Lighting Africa, a program run by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation to improve access to energy.
A Tanzanian villager will walk to a store and buy a small amount of kerosene to run their lamp that day, explains Sameer Gulamani, another Ontarian and a director of KARIBU. The next day, when their kerosene supply runs out, they will return and buy more.
It's a simple model, but with major problems for consumers. Kerosene lamps hardly provide enough light to fill a space, and often this means that some activities, like children doing their homework, are limited after darkness sets in.
Health and safety are two additional major concerns. The use of kerosene, according to Lighting Africa, can result in:
Child poisoning, if accidentally consumed.
Poor visual health, because lamps provide low lighting.
Indoor air pollution.
"It's bad quality of life. They can't charge their phone with it. It hurts their eyes. It causes fires, smoke inhalation — all these negative effects, including the environmental factors," says Camenzuli.
'Can't afford' $20 solar lamps
Recently, an upsurge in businesses peddling solar lamps in Africa has provided an alternative for buyers. But, it's an alternative many can't afford.
"People just can't afford a $20 solar lamp," explains Camenzuli, who now lives in Tanzania and has tested the affordability of solar lamps for villagers there.
Off-grid living around the world
Around the world, 1.6 billion people live without access to electricity. Of these:
1.265 million live in developing countries.
More than 95 per cent live in developing countries in Asia or sub-Saharan Africa.
More than eight out of 10 live in rural areas.
— Lighting Africa, International Energy Agency
He recalls walking to dinner one night and stopping at a stand where women were selling peanuts, gum, cigarettes and other knicknacks. The solar lantern he carried intrigued them, so he offered to sell it — first for $20, then $15 and finally $10.
"There was no way they were going to spend the money for it," he remembers.
Camenzuli's experience is supported by Lighting Africa's research, which found that most consumers are concerned with affordability. Their low incomes usually make it impossible to pay a high price up front.
Their study found that about 40 per ce
Their study found that about 40 per cent of African households contain four or five people, which generally include between one and three children. From the five countries studied — Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia — each household's average monthly income ranges from $90 US to $154 US.
"So people that really need these products aren't the ones using them," says Camenzuli. "That's a problem."
A modular lamp
But the recent university graduates behind KARIBU think they have found the solution to these problems with their company's new modular solar lamp.
The lamp breaks down into three components:
Rechargeable battery and mobile phone charger.
To make the lamp affordable, KARIBU plans to use a "franchised business model of rent-to-own solar solutions," says Gulamani, mimicking how villagers currently purchase kerosene but eliminating the need for the toxic substance.
Karibu Solar Power
The Karibu modular solar power lamp is divided into three components, allowing buyers to eventually purchase the lamp's solar panel in a rent-to-own scheme. (Karibu Solar/Youtube)
"If you could spend that dollar instead on a nice, clean LED light, you'd readily do that," Gulamani explains.
Small shop owners will purchase whole lamps. They will rent out the rechargeable batteries and lights to local villagers for a daily fee.
"They take it home. Their kids study at night. They can charge their mobile phone. They have a light in their house. It's great," Camenzuli says, adding the solar lamp is about five times brighter and lasts slightly longer than the kerosene alternative.
Renters will return to the shopkeepers once their battery is out of power to recharge using the store's solar panel.
Every time a villager purchases a recharged battery, they will be making an investment towards the solar panel. Once they have paid enough into the system, the shopkeeper will give them the panel, and the household will become "solar independent."
'My way of giving back'
It is a working business model because the men don't expect to profit from this business venture. As a social enterprise, any profits would be funnelled back into the business to purchase more stock, pay staff a living wage, and expand their market.
The five have already contributed a lot of their own money to the project, says Camenzuli. He quit a high-paying commercial banking job in Toronto to move to Tanzania and commit to KARIBU full-time.
"We want to see that the solution reaches millions of people in Africa," says Gulamani.
Gulamani, now a first-year law student at York University, has family roots in Tanzania, a country his parents left behind to come to Canada.
"They didn't have all of the privileges that I've been able, fortunate enough to have in my life," he recalls. "This project in particular [is] my way of giving back."
Crowdsourcing funding for pilot
KARIBU has already received a lot of recognition for its innovative prototype and socially responsible thinking. The United Nations Environment Programme recently lauded KARIBU with a 2013 SEED award, which celebrates "social and environmental start-up enterprises [tackling] key sustainable development challenges."
'There's great ambition to expand this way beyond the borders of Tanzania'
- Sameer Gulamani, KARIBU Solar Power director
With its prototype designed and business plan ready, KARIBU has managed to secure some funding from investors. A so-called angel investor that has been supportive of the team from the start gave KARIBU $25,000.
Next month, Camenzuli and Gulamani will launch an online funding campaign, hoping to raise an additional $50,000. The company will use the money to run a pilot project of the rent-to-own system in northern Tanzania.
If it is successful and they generate more investor interest, they hope to expand beyond Tanzania's north.
"Geographically, you have to start somewhere, and that place happens to be Tanzania for us," says Gulamani. "[But] there's great ambition to expand this way beyond the borders of Tanzania."
Link to official project video:
I love the story and its focus on safety and access for the world's poorest nations. Excellent notes Gerd.
Story from www.cbc.ca
RCMP step up video surveillance of Parliament Hill
Mounties post signs notifying people of the surveillance after tussle with privacy commissioner
It's the time when tourists usually begin posing for family photos with the newly strung holiday lights on Parliament Hill.
This year the festive visits will almost certainly be captured by RCMP lenses, too.
The Mounties have recently added new video cameras near pedestrian entrances and a vehicle screening facility along Wellington Street, the boulevard in front of the Parliament Buildings.
The RCMP and its Hill security partners have also bowed to the wishes of the federal privacy commissioner by posting signs on bollards that read: 24 hour video surveillance for security of the grounds.
The notices mark the end of a behind-the-scenes tussle between the commissioner's office and the RCMP about whether people visiting Parliament Hill should be advised of the unblinking electronic eyes that expand video coverage of the precinct.
"This is a positive outcome stemming from our work to achieve this with the RCMP and others involved in managing Parliament Hill, including Public Works and the National Capital Commission," said Scott Hutchinson, a spokesman for the privacy commissioner.
Video coverage increased to 100 per cent
The commissioner has been concerned for some time about the plans to add 134 cameras to the existing 50 on the Hill to monitor exterior perimeters of all buildings, pedestrian doors and assembly areas — particularly given that the Hill's sprawling lawn is a traditional venue for protests and rallies.
Some cameras have the ability to record panoramic views and closeup images, and the RCMP will monitor the video stream round-the-clock, with simultaneous feeds to House of Commons and Senate security personnel, the commissioner says.
Internal RCMP notes released under the Access to Information Act say the plan is to increase video coverage of the parliamentary precinct to 100 per cent from 35 per cent.
The Mounties say the system is intended to guard against a possible attack by detecting abandoned packages, suspicious activity and disturbances.
Initially, there was a deliberate plan not to post signs notifying people of the enhanced video surveillance.
That prompted the privacy commissioner's office to press the matter with the RCMP, referring the police force to the commissioner's guidelines for video surveillance of public places by law enforcement, which say signs should be posted.
The commissioner's staff received an onsite briefing in June last year.
-RCMP put up video surveillance on Parliament hill and signs that say "24 hour surveillance on the grounds for security".
-Commissioner becomes concerned about putting up 134 cameras with the other 50 ones.
-Some are hidden in lamp posts.
-The system is intended to guard against a possible attack by detecting abandoned packages, suspicious activity and disturbances
-Downside of all the new cameras is the cost of electricity.
-Cameras will monitor exterior perimeters of all buildings, pedestrian doors and assembly areas.
-Some cameras will be able to do close-up images.
Seems like overkill to me...we do live in Canada after all. The most egregious offenders I saw outside the parliament buildings when I was in Ottawa were Woodchucks. Well done on the notes Brad.
story from www.cbc.ca
Despite overnight work from road crews, travel around the city is stillchallenging, say city officials.
The blizzard warning for the city has been lifted, but snow is still falling and the city could see at least another two centimetres, according to Environment Canada. All blizzard warnings for southern Alberta were lifted at 12:30 p.m. MT, including a notice for Lethbridge.
Most Calgary schools are open, but there is no school bus service, forcing parents to find alternate transportation in an already challenging commuting environment.
Travel in and out of the city has also been crippled, with at least 50 WestJet and Air Canada flights cancelled Tuesday at Calgary International Airport.
Roads in Calgary residential areas in particular are troublesome, as many have not seen a plow come through since the storm hit Monday,said Jessica Bell of Calgary`s transportation department.
For those who need to travel, Calgary police suggest using major thoroughfares only.
"We`re focused on those Priority 1s according to our seven-day snow plan. We work on those until the snow has stopped," said Bell, referring to main roads versus neighbourhood roads.
"We`ll get to the Priority 2s after those have been cleared up, about 24 hours after the snow stops."
The city issued a snow route parking ban advisory Tuesday. The parking ban will begin at 9 a.m. MT Wednesday.
Under the policy, parking is restricted on designated routes for 72 hours, or until the city announces the ban has been lifted. Snow routes include major roadways, collector roads and most bus routes, and are marked by blue signs with a white snowflake icon.
Calgarians can check the city`s website to find out if their street has been designated a snow route.
Over 200 crashes reported
Calgary police said, as of noon Tuesday, that since the storm started, they had responded to 219 crashes, 25 that involved injuries.
"Our units were responding all night to people that were stranded, as well as helping them out when they ended up having accidents,” said Duty Insp. Guy Baker.
Police are recommending people stay off the roads.
-Calgrians are having dangerous commutes this fall.
-Blizzards continue to hammer the city.
-School buses are not in service, forcing parents to find other means of transportation for their kids.
-Travel by plane has been affected with over 50 flights cancelled.
-Police are advising people to use main roads.
-Snow routes are posted by a blue sign with a white snowflake icon.
-Buses are getting stuck and behind schedule.
-Trains are not affected by the storms.
-Highway 1 was shut down from Calgary to brooks.
-Many people were stuck on the highway.
Snow, snow and more snow! Great if you're a snowman, not so great if you're a driver on the prairies. Well done Travis.
CBC Summary: Alice Munroe
Alice Munroe won the Nobel Prize for literature with her short stories. Munroe was ranked above even Ernest Hemmingway, John Stienback, and other great writers. Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy had this to say about her win;
“The remarkable thing with this prize, and it stands out, is the popularity," he told The Canadian Press in a recent interview from Stockholm.
"But it's obviously about Alice Munro and her writing — it's, in many ways, impeccable. From my 10 years of experience of handing out the Nobel Prize here in Stockholm, I've never seen a prize so popular."
After she won the prize in October sales of her books spiked in Canada by a whopping 4024%, Ireland by 2625%, and in Spain by nearly 2000%. Her daughter accepted the award for her in Stockholm, Sweden due to health reasons. In 82 years she has won many other awards besides the Nobel Prize, including:
Governor General's Literary Award for English language fiction (1968, 1978, 1986)
Canadian Booksellers Award for Lives of Girls and Women (1971)
Shortlisted for the annual (UK) Booker Prize for Fiction (now the Man Booker Prize) (1980) for The Beggar Maid
Marian Engel Award (1986)
Trillium Book Award for Friend of My Youth (1991), The Love of a Good Woman (1999) and Dear Life (2013)
Her writings include: Lives of Girls and Women, Who Do You Think You Are? and a 2012 collection of stories, Dear Life.
This is how Munro feels about her writings;
"I want my stories to move people. I don't care if they are men or women or children. I want my stories to be something about life that causes people to say — not "Oh, isn't that the truth," — but to feel some kind of reward from the writing. And that doesn't mean that it has to be a happy ending or anything, but just that everything the story tells moves the reader in such a way that you feel you are a different person when you finish."
Excellent choice of stories Liam, but where is the original, so that we can see your notes?
A Calgary driving instructor says many winter drivers make two common mistakes that lead to accidents.
“Speed and space would be the two main things,” said Ron Wilson with the Alberta Motor Association.
“Driving too fast for conditions and not giving yourself enough space.”
Wilson said it can take up to 12 times longer to stop in winter conditions so drivers need to make sure there's extra room between vehicles.
“So by backing off the speed a little bit, you're getting better traction,” he said.
Rear-end collisions are the most common crashes all year round, he said.
People need to slow down in winter, or instead of sitting in front of the fireplace they’ll be sitting in front of the smoldering, mangled wreckage that used to be their car. Another tip: What if the weather is so bad you’d have to be going frustratingly slow? You might not have the proper winter tires, and your destination is close by? Just run! It’s beneficial to your health, safer, and you’ll save fuel!
Well done Joel...it seems common sense still eludes even the most experienced winter drivers.
Caffeine may ease or reverse Alzheimer's:
Study mice with disease perform much better on memory tests if given caffeine
Increased consumption of caffeine may mitigate or even reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
They came to that conclusion after completing a study that tested the effects of caffeine on mice that had Alzheimer's disease.
The study, published Sunday in the online version of Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, tested 55 mice that had been genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers conducted behavioral tests on the mice when they were about 18 to 19 months old — about 70 years in human age. That's when the mice began showing symptoms of Alzheimer's, notably memory loss.
Half of the mice were given caffeine in their water while the other half — the control group — drank unadulterated water. The caffeine dose is equivalent to a human consuming around 500 milligrams, or five eight-ounce cups of coffee.
All the mice were tested two months later. Those that were given the caffeine performed much better on memory and thinking tests than the control group. The memories of those caffeinated mice were comparable to mice without dementia, the researchers said.
The researchers found that the caffeinated mice also had an almost 50 per cent reduction of beta amyloid, a destructive protein that is found in clumps in the brains of those afflicted with Alzheimer's.
Caffeine may suppress changes in the brain that lead to an overproduction of beta amyloid, the researchers said.
"The new findings provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease, and not simply a protective strategy," said lead author Gary Arendash, neuroscientist with the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
"That's important, because caffeine is a safe drug for most people, it easily enters the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process," Arendash said in a release. But he cautioned that pregnant women or those with high blood pressure should limit their caffeine intake.
The study also found that mice without symptoms of Alzheimer's didn't perform any better on memory or thinking tests when given caffeine.
"This suggests that caffeine will not increase memory performance above normal levels," said Arendash. "Rather, it appears to benefit those destined to develop Alzheimer's disease."
The researchers say more research needs to be conducted on Alzheimer's patients to determine how effective caffeine is on human sufferers
-Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
-Caffeine may help with Alzheimer’s disease
-Completed study on mice with the disease testing the caffeine
-study tested 55 mice with Alzheimer’s disease
-Researchers conducted behavioral tests on mice 18-19 months = 70 human years
-Half of mice got caffeine other half got plain water
-two months later all mice were tested, the mice who got caffeine did better by fifty percent
-caffeine may suppress changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s disease
-caffeine is safe way to help heal Alzheimer’s disease
Story : Leno shared that he'd lost his mother the first year he became Tonight host, his dad the second and then his brother.
"And after that I was pretty much out of family. And the folks here became my family," he said of the crew and staff of Tonight.
'I don't like goodbyes. NBC does,' Leno quips
It was a tender finish to a farewell show that was mostly aiming for laughs, with traditional monologue jokes, clips from old shows and a wild assortment of celebrities helping to see Leno off.
Host Jay Leno, right, chats with actor Billy Crystal, left, during his taping of the last episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in California on Thursday. Crystal was Leno's first guest 22 years ago. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
Leno first departure came in 2009, when he was briefly replaced by Conan O'Brien but reclaimed the show after a messy transition and O'Brien's lacklustre ratings. In '09, he was moving to a prime-time show on NBC. This time he's out the door, and has said he'll focus on comedy clubs and his beloved car collection.
Looking sharp in a black suit and bright blue tie, Leno was greeted by an ovation from the VIP audience. The typically self-contained comic betrayed a bit of nervousness, stumbling over a few lines in his monologue. He didn't trip over his opening line, though — a final dig at his employer.
"You're very kind," he told the audience. "I don't like goodbyes. NBC does."
Leno brought his show full circle with Billy Crystal, who was his first guest in May 1992 and his last guest Thursday. Crystal played ringmaster at one point, calling on Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Carol Burnett and others for a musical tribute to Jay with a Sound of Music song parody.
"So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye. If Fallon tanks you'll be back here next year," sang Jack Black.
The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parson's contribution: "We've watched you when we're weary. Your great success is called the big chin theory."
In a videotaped segment, celebrities offered career advice to Leno.
"Why would I give a (expletive) about what he does. He's a grown man," said Mark Walberg.
U.S. President Barack Obama, like other politicians a favourite target of Leno's, struck back in his clip.
"Jay, you've made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years, but don't worry, I'm not upset," Obama said, adding that he was making Leno the U.S. ambassador to Antarctica. "Hope you have a warm coat, funnyman."
Crystal sang Leno's praises during the show, saying the late-night host made America feel a little better at bedtime and invoking his predecessor, Johnny Carson. Leno's Tonight tenure was second in length only to Carson's 30 years.
"You were handed the baton by one of the all-time greats. But once it was in your grasp, you ran the race," Crystal said. He and Leno, longtime friends, reminisced about the old days, with Leno recalling how Crystal and other comedians visiting his town, Boston, stayed in Leno's apartment.
"You're calling it an apartment. I'm calling it a bomb site," Crystal joked.
Leno told how he was poised to make his network debut on Dean Martin's show in 1974 when news came that then president Richard Nixon had resigned in the Watergate scandal. Leno's appearance didn't happen.
"Making me the last guy screwed by Nixon," Leno said.
Garth Brooks performed his touching song The Dance before Leno's farewell remarks. "Now that I brought the room down," Leno joked, he asked Brooks to lighten it up.
Another Brooks' song, Friends in Low Places, closed out the show.
"It's going to be difficult to not come in and do a show every day for our audience who has been so great to Jay," lamented Debbie Vickers, Leno's executive producer. "And also hard for this group of people (the staff) who have all been together for 22 years," said Vickers, who worked on Johnny Carson's Tonight before taking the top job with Leno.
Leno, 63, said he plans to continue playing comedy clubs, indulging his passion for cars and doing such TV work as comes his way — other than hosting on late-night.
"It's been a wonderful job. This is the right time to leave," he said last week, and make way for the next generation.
Fallon, 39, starts his Tonight gig Feb. 17, with NBC hoping he rides the promotional wave of its Winter Olympics coverage the next two weeks.
Closing his final show on Thursday, Leno gave a final shoutout. It was to his wife of more than 30 years, Mavis: "I'm coming home, honey!"
- Jay went through a lot while doing the talk show
- he doesn't like goodbyes but nbc does
- he seemed to be very loved
- Leno plans to continue playing comedy clubs, indulging his passion for cars and doing such TV work as comes his way — other than hosting on late-night.
- first departure was in '09
- briefly replaced with Conan
- sound of music parody was performed
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.