Nature isn’t playing along.

CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is now over 400 PPM:

For the first time in human history, the concentration of climate-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has passed the milestone level of 400 parts per million (ppm). The last time so much greenhouse gas was in the air was several million years ago, when the Arctic was ice-free, savannah spread across the Sahara desert and sea level was up to 40 metres higher than today.

Apparently the concentration has risen from just over 300 PPM to 400 PPM in about 60 years. Of course drastic temperature increases are again predicted:

Professor Bob Watson, former IPCC chair and UK government chief scientific adviser, said: “Passing 400ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is indeed a landmark and the rate of increase is faster than ever and shows no sign of abating due to a lack of political committment to address the urgent issue of climate change – the world is now most likely committed to an increase in surface temperature of 3C-5C compared to pre-industrial times.”

But here’s a quote from a January 15, 2013 paper by James Hansen:

Global Warming Standstill. The 5-year running mean of global temperature has been flat for the past decade. It should be noted that the “standstill” temperature is at a much higher level than existed at any year in the prior decade except for the single year 1998, which had the strongest El Nino of the century. However, the standstill has led to a widespread assertion that “global warming hasstopped”. Examination of this matter requires consideration of the principal climate forcing mechanisms that can drive climate change and the effects of stochastic (unforced) climate variability.

CO2 concentration has risen. Catastrophic temperature increases have been predicted. We are warned that only drastic measures costing trillions of dollars affecting world economies and billions of people can save us.

Unfortunately, nature doesn’t seem to be playing along.

Boston goes Google.

The city of Boston, Massachusetts has some bad news for Microsoft; they’re going Google all over. And they aren’t the only ones:

Boston is not alone in making the change. The US Department of the Interior, the state of Colorado, and Princeton University have, too. (The New York Times, owner of the Boston Globe, is also planning to move to Google software from Microsoft Exchange.) Google said that some 5 million businesses around the world are now using its cloud applications.

It used to be that you couldn’t get fired for buying IBM or Microsoft, but times have changed it seems.

Drink responsibly.

Unless there might be a strike. Then you should load up as fast as you can:

“In advance of the first long weekend of the summer, customers are encouraged to shop early for the best product selections,” Bob Clevely, LCBO’s senior vice-president, retail operations, said in a statement released Friday.

I remember the last threatened strike a couple of years ago. People lined up from the front of the store to the back and waited in long lines to buy alcohol. Shelves were cleared. Sales were no doubt spectacular for the LCBO.

And then no strike. Fooled us, didn’t they?

I think I’ll stay home this time.

I was home in Westford, MA for a few days. The store I buy my wine is Harrington Wine and Liquors in Chelmsford, MA. They generally have a wine selection rivalling the LCBO, including California Zinfandels the LCBO doesn’t carry. They are knowledgeable about wine. They check the id not only of the purchaser, but everyone the purchaser is with. And they don’t go on strike.

But we can’t have private liquor stores. Unless you are in an area that doesn’t warrant an LCBO store that is.

There are just some things I’ll never understand I suppose.


Telling the whole story. Part 2.

The story headline (on the website):

Waterloo cuts nine jobs in effort to streamline


Wait, you say. You told us about that nine days ago, It’s old news.

No, it’s a brand new article repeating the same thing, and you could be forgiven if you thought to yourself, “I already read that”.

Except that it’s a lie. Or to be more polite, it’s not the whole story. Yes, nine people lost their jobs. But that isn’t all:

Consulting firm KPMG, which conducted the study, concluded the city can’t afford to hire many more staff so must realign its structure to work within its means.

Seven city departments have been consolidated into three, nine people lost their jobs, 20 jobs were redefined, 15 new positions and one new division were created.

So in point of fact, they didn’t cut nine jobs in an effort to streamline. Though the city couldn’t afford to hire many more staff according to the consultant, they actually added six jobs in that effort to streamline. So the headline should say:

Waterloo adds six jobs in effort to streamline


That would be true. And it would send an entirely different message, now wouldn’t it?

This is water.

This is an excerpt from a 2005 commencement address by David Foster Wallace. If you decide to take 9 minutes and 23 seconds out of your day to do anything today, you should use it up watching this. It will change your day.

Your life. Captured for posterity.

Could you imagine capturing your entire life in pictures?

Memoto can.

Memoto makes a tiny clip on camera that takes a photo every 30 seconds, marking the location and time. You then connect the camera to your computer and upload the photos to the Memoto cloud which organizes and stores your life. They call this the Memoto Lifelogging Experience.

Can you imagine having that kind of record of your life, in 30 second increments, with the ability to look back at that one moment in time. The birth of your child, or that terrible accident, or that perfect sunset. That first kiss – or maybe that first *good* kiss.

Will this eventually become the norm? Will we all have complete records of our lives?

The one problem I see here is all of the missing context. The picture we see is merely one part. Our other senses capture the smells, the sounds, and all of other things that go into that perfect memory.

A picture by itself is nice, but it really doesn’t do justice to the truly memorable moments in our lives.

Please turn off all electronic devices.

You’re on your flight, about to take off. Do you turn off your electronic devices?

Apparently 30% of you don’t:

In a study released on Thursday by two industry groups, the Airline Passenger Experience Association and the Consumer Electronics Association, as many as 30 percent of all passengers said they had accidentally left a device on during takeoff or landing. About 67 percent said they had never done this, always ensuring that their electronics were turned off. Four percent were unsure.

Yes the planes still manage to take off.

While I can the see the potential for interference with the radios in mobile phones, I find it a bit hard to believe that my tablet or Kindle is going to interfere with the proper operation of the aircraft. And I’m not alone:

Late last year, Senator McCaskill also sent a letter to Michael P. Huerta, acting administrator of the F.A.A., that said airline customers were “growing increasingly skeptical of prohibitions on the use of many electronic devices during the full duration of a flight.”

I’m fairly certain that the F.A.A. does not have specific information as to how specific devices could interfere with the aircraft. If they did they would certainly have produced it. I think they see this as a passenger control issue. They are finally planning to do a study, though I’m sure that the results won’t come quickly.

I am really dying to know what the truth is though.

Where in the world?

I woke up I’m Boston. I trimmed the bushes in the front yard and cleaned up.

I spent the afternoon in Washington, DC.

And now I’m in Toronto, in a limo on the way to Waterloo. Unfortunately I am currently in rush hour traffic.

I’m sorry this isn’t a more thoughtful, poignant post, but I think I’ve already had a full day.

Tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.