driving with a cellphone
Ontario to ban cellphone usage while driving

From yesterday's Globe and Mail:

Transport Canada's 2008 report on driver and phone use rates states that 37 per cent of drivers reported using a cellphone while driving and those people had “the most commonly seen unsafe driving behaviours,” such as tailgating or speeding.

Also, the Ontario Medical Association has concluded that driving and talking on a cellphone creates the same risk for the driver as being at the legal limit for alcohol consumption. OMA research, conducted in September, found that talking on cellphones impaired drivers' visual concentration, the speed at which they process information and their reaction time. Some drivers also abandoned checking their mirrors entirely while on the phone.

If one needed proof that banning cellphones is a good idea, one need look no further than Alberta (AKA the Texas of Canada):

Manitoba and Prince Edward Island are also considering a ban, but in Alberta, Premier Ed Stelmach spoke out against a private member's bill introduced in the legislature to ban drivers from using cellphones.


Pooping on Chirchill
Bad luck for the Conservatives?

I was crossing Nathan Phillips Square during lunch today when I caught sight of this: a sea gull had seemingly just deposited a fresh poop on grumbly old Winston Churchill's head!

Let's hope it is a portent of the Conservatives' fate in today's federal election. But, then again, having a bird poop on you is supposed to be good luck, so I don't know what to think.

Was this a sign just for me? And if so, does the "call-back" joke to the puffin incident really exist, or is it just in my mind? Troubling thoughts...


List of battle ground ridings to watch

From the Globe and Mail:

Difference from 2006 election
LIBERAL 31% -8
NDP 10% +5
GREEN 24% +5

The 20 in Ontario are:

Parry Sound-Muskoka, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, St. Catharines, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Brant, Thunder Bay-Superior North, Oakville, Thunder Bay-Rainy River, Huron-Bruce, London-Fanshaw, Ottawa-Orléans, Simcoe North, London West, Barrie, Kitchener- Conestoga, Halton, Peterborough, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, Burlington, Mississauga South.

Difference from 2006 election
LIBERAL 20% -3
NDP 13% +5
GREEN 6% +2

The 15 in Quebec are:

Louis-Hébert, Ahuntsic, Beauport-Limoilou, Brossard-La Prairie, Papineau, Charlesbourg-Haut-Saint-Charles, Hull-Aylmer, Honoré-Mercier, Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, Pontiac, Jeanne-Le Ber, Laval-Les Îles, Gatineau, Chicoutimi-Le Fjord, Brome-Missisquoi.

Difference from 2006 election
LIBERAL 30% -3
NDP 24% -3
GREEN 14% +9

The 10 in British Columbia are:

Vancouver Quadra, Vancouver Island North, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, Fleetwood-Port Kells, Newton-North Delta, Burnaby-Douglas, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Richmond,

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission, North Vancouver.



Davenport all-candidates meeting

Last night, a final all-candidates meeting was held for Davenport, the riding I live in. 5 of 7 candidates showed up, but, disappointingly, the two communists (M-L and CPC) were the no-shows.

I was counting on the communists to provide some entertainment ever since Roy MacGregor recounted in last Saturday's Globe and Mail how the Commmunist candidate at an all-candidates`meeting he attended in Kitchener was the entertainment highlight.

Luckily, enough other kooks were here to keep things lively.

This is my superficial impression of the candidates, listed in the order that they were introduced:

Peter Ferreira (NDP)– seems an agreeable enough fellow, reminds me strongly of my dentist, who is also quite likeable. Fun fact: Peter received over 40% of the vote in the last provincial election, and still lost.

Wendy Forrest (Ind) – one of the aforementioned kooks, Wendy is a real-estate agent and economic conspiracy theorist. Fun fact: running in the 2006 federal election for the Canadian Action Party, Wendy marshalled a total of 122 votes.

Wayne Scott (Green) – A 40-something or perhaps even 50-something (who can tell with these health freaks?) skinhead, Wayne Scott has been a bike courier for 25 years. Fun fact: Wayne has never owned a car, nor ridden in an aeroplane.

Theresa Rodrigues (CPC) – an unrepentant old skool Conservative with a strong Azorean accent. Fun fact: in the course of the questions segment of the meeting, Theresa was the only candidate to state opposition to the concept of "affordable housing".

Mario Silva (Lib) – the man with a plan. Well spoken, youthful. Kind of reminds me of Dimitar Berbatov, but shorter. Fun fact: Mario is a tiny person, maybe 5 foot 4 inches tall, and that is stretching it.

Simon Luisi (Animal Alliance) – not as entertaining a kook as the real-estate lady, Simon was nervous (or maybe the word is intense). He reminds me of David Byrne, circa Stop Making Sense, in both his persona and his dressing style.

My impressions on the question period segment later.

Peace out!


Jack Layton's Debate Zingers

By all accounts (ie. according to the Dipper Chick), J-Lay was the big winner, zinger-wise, in last Thursday's english-language leadership debate.

To Harper:
"Either you don't care or you're incompetent. Which one is it?"
"Where's your platform, under the sweater?"

To Dion:
"If you can't do your job as leader of the opposition, I don't know what you are doing running for Prime Minister"

The Dipper Chick's posting also has an embedded video clip showing (I assume) some hot Layton on Dion action. Unfortunately you will have to visit her page to see it because the firewall I spend my days behind (now that I am once again "employed") blocks all external video.

I can't verify it, so I won't embed it. This is just another example of how P. in the T. does it.


Tuesday Morning Links

Plug in a mic and join the Karaoke Party!

Recruiting site for the Dharma Initiative

Gallery of images from the Hubble telescope

Urban Dead- A Massively Multi-Player Web-Based Zombie Apocalypse, free.


Foreign Affairs Mag parody
Foreign Affairs parody- I ran across it at boing boing.

The Canada joke is very weak, but otherwise this is a funny parody IMHO.

Jump! You Fuckers!, courtesy of Lenin's Tomb.