Archive for May 2013
As the tornadoes run rampant again in Oklahoma this evening safety ideas come to mind. That is if you own a house and you are in the house. Tonight the casualties were on the highways. Below is a shelter concept.
If there are marital problems, and there are no tornadoes happening, a guy could grab a little TV and some refreshments and head down into one of these and wait until peace terms are offered.
Among Canadian provinces, smoking rates vary from a low of 15.8 per cent in B.C. to 23.8 per cent in Saskatchewan, according to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey for 2011. As the map above shows, the numbers for Canada’s North are significantly higher.
Smoking rates have been falling for the last quarter-century, but since 2009 the rate of decline has levelled off. In 2011, 5.8 million Canadians 12 years and older smoked, a rate of 19.9 per cent.
Worldwide, there are about 1.1 billion smokers, about 22 per cent of the adult population. About 80 per cent live in low- or middle-income countries.
Our graph showing the total percentage of smokers in Canada by year goes back to 2003, when the rate was 23 per cent, but smoking rates have declined considerably from nearly a half-century ago. In 1966, 41 per cent of Canadians 15 years and older were smoking.
Significantly more men than women smoke in all age groups, 22.3 per cent compared to 17.5 per cent. However, in the youngest age group, the male and female rates are almost the same.
According to U.S. data, about 80 per cent of high school students who smoke will smoke into adulthood.
The smoking rate in Canada is highest in the 20-24 year age group, for both men and women.
Worldwide, the number of male smokers is about four times the number of female smokers.
The tobacco market
Total cigarette sales in Canada numbered 31.1 billion in 2011. That’s down from the 31.7 billion cigarettes sold the year before but higher that the 30.2 billion sold in 2006.
Unlike Canada, worldwide cigarette consumption has been increasing. “Smokers consumed nearly 5.9 trillion cigarettes in 2009, representing a 13 per cent increase in cigarette consumption in the past decade,” according to the Tobacco Atlas, by the World Lung Foundation .
In Canada, three manufacturers control 99.5 per cent of the Canadian tobacco market:
- Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. (51.2 per cent market share).
- Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (33.5 per cent).
- JTI-Macdonald (14.8 per cent).
The big three are all owned by multinational corporations. And those three multinationals are highly profitable. For example, British American Tobacco, which owns Imperial Tobacco, had profits totalling $8.3 billion US in 2012.
No wonder this guy has no hair!
The Catholic Church’s top exorcist, who claims to have sent 160,000 demons back to hell, says he wants Pope Francis to allow all priests to start performing the ritual to deal with a rising demand for exorcisms from the faithful.
Father Gabriele Amorth, 88, who also heads the International Association of Exorcists, told The Sunday Times that he will ask Pope Francis to allow all priests the right to do exorcisms without the church’s approval. According to the report, priests currently need special approval from their bishop to perform the rite and it is rarely granted.
“I will ask the pope to give all priests the power to carry out exorcisms, and to ensure priests are properly trained for these starting with the seminary. There’s a huge demand for them,” said Father Amorth.
He explained that he was inspired to make the request after watching Pope Francis perform what he insists was an exorcism on a man “possessed by four demons” in St. Peter’s Square.
“The pope is also the Bishop of Rome, and like any bishop he is also an exorcist,” Amorth reportedly told La Repubblica newspaper. “It was a real exorcism. If the Vatican has denied this, it shows that they understand nothing.”
“There was now, more than ever, a need for exorcists to combat people possessed by ‘sorcerers’ and ‘Satanists,'” he noted in that report.
An 84-page update of exorcism rites compiled in 1614 and drawn up in 1998 stipulates how Catholic priests trained as exorcists should operate. According to the guidelines established by the church, they have to follow a ritual known as “De exorcismis et supplicationibus quibusdam,” or “Of exorcisms and certain supplications.”
Amorth explained that Pope Francis’ exorcism on May 19 helped to balance the growing atheism in the world where people don’t believe in the Devil anymore.
“We live in an age in which God has been forgotten. And wherever God is not present, the Devil rules,” said Amorth.
“Today, unfortunately, bishops don’t appoint sufficient exorcists. We need many more. I hope that Rome will send out directives to bishops around the world calling on them to appoint more exorcists.”
Amorth is also an outspoken critic of yoga and Harry Potter books and dismissed them as ungodly hobbies.
“Practicing yoga brings evil as does reading Harry Potter. They may both seem innocuous but they both deal with magic and that leads to evil,” he said.
In addressing Harry Potter, he said: “People think it is an innocuous book for children but it’s about magic and that leads to evil. In Harry Potter the Devil is at work in a cunning and crafty way, he is using his extraordinary powers of magic and evil.”
“Satan is always hidden and the thing he desires more than anything is for people to believe he does not exist,” he noted. “He studies each and every one of us and our tendencies towards good and evil and then he tempts us.”
Controversial Toronto mayor Rob Ford may be in hot water as it is alleged that there is a video of him smoking crack cocaine. And this soap opera is all over Canadian, and to an extent, international news. The media are milking this baby for all it’s worth.
But whatever this fiasco turns into, one thing is apparent, Rob works in a really cool city hall. Toronto has to have one of the most interesting city halls in North America. The complex was ahead of its time architecturally when it was built-in 1965. And even today, the thing is a bloody marvel.
The City Hall of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the home of the city’s municipal government and one of its most distinctive landmarks. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell (with Heikki Castrén, Bengt Lundsten, Seppo Valjus) and landscape architect Richard Strong, and engineered by Hannskarl Bandel, the building opened in 1965. It was built to replace Old City Hall, which was built in 1899.
While the building’s base is rectangular, its two towers are curved in cross-section and rise to differing heights. The east tower is 27 storeys (99.5 metres (326 ft)) tall and the west tower is 20 storeys (79.4 metres (260 ft)). Between the towers is the saucer-like council chamber, and the overall arrangement is somewhat like two hands cradling the chamber.
I think Rob got hold of the cocaine video.
Avoiding the pitfalls of texting and walking
By Anna Lacey Producer, BBC Health Check
Walking and texting is leading to a spate of collision-related injuries. Could a new app be the answer?
We’ve all done it. You’re walking down the street and the familiar beep of an incoming text becomes too tempting to resist. As you start to fire off a quick reply – bam! You clash shoulders with a fellow pedestrian doing exactly the same.
Alex Stoker is a Clinical Fellow in Emergency Medicine at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey. “If it’s a tall object like a wall or a lamp-post that someone walks into, then one might expect facial injuries such as a broken nose or fractured cheekbone,” he told the BBC.
“If on the other hand the collision results in falling over, then they’re much more liable to things like hand injuries and broken wrists. There’s a complete spectrum but it is possible to sustain a really serious injury.”
Man hole avoidance
A new app called CrashAlert aims to help save people from themselves. It involves using a distance-sensing camera to scan the path ahead and alert users to approaching obstacles.
The camera acts like a second pair of eyes – looking forward while the user is looking down.
CrashAlert is at prototype stage
Just as a Nintendo Wii or Xbox can detect where and how a player is moving, CrashAlert’s camera can interpret the location of objects on the street.
When it senses something approaching, it flashes up a red square in a bar on top of the phone or tablet. The position of the square shows the direction of the obstacle – giving the user a chance to dodge out of the way.
“What we observed in our experiments is that in 60% of cases, people avoided obstacles in a safer way. That’s up from 20% [without CrashAlert],” says CrashAlert’s inventor Dr Juan David Hincapié-Ramos from the University of Manitoba.
What’s more, the device doesn’t distract the user from what they’re doing. Hincapié-Ramos’s tests showed it can be used alongside gaming or texting without any cost to performance.
Despite designing CrashAlert, Hincapié-Ramos accepts that the best solution of all is for people to stop checking their phones in the first place.
“We should encourage people to text less while they’re walking because it isolates them from their environment. However people are doing it and there are situations where you have to do it. It’s for situations like this that CrashAlert can have a positive impact.”
But Dr Joe Marshall, a specialist in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Nottingham, says that it’s not necessarily people who are to blame – but the phones themselves.
“The problem with mobile technology is that it’s not designed to be used while you’re actually mobile. It involves you stopping, looking at a screen and tapping away.”
Dr Marshall believes that if we want to stop people being distracted by their phones, then designers need to completely rethink how we interact with them. But so far, there is no completely satisfactory alternative.
“Google glass solves the problem of looking down by allowing you to look ahead. But you still have to pay attention to a visual display,” he told the BBC.
So for now at least, it seems vigilance is the key to avoiding lamp-posts and unexpected manholes.
But as mobile technology continues to dominate everyday life, it might not be too ludicrous to expect to rely on smart cameras to steer us in the right direction.
What I don’t understand is what is the urgency to look at a text while walking? Just stop for 15 seconds.
Massive size of the Pacific Ocean.
Sydney Harbour without any water.
Above and below.
Even cats like the ocean.
Twelve Apostles Stacks off south coast of Australia.