Now, that's an IDEA

Apparently there's a poll in Ontario about banning smoking in apartments that are part of multi-unit complexes. I would love to see this in New Brunswick. My downstairs neighbors are heavy smokers, and the fumes waft up the stairs, and under our door, and make our apartment positively reek. (They even set off the smoke alarms once in a while, though I think their alarm may be wired into ours). Seriously, smoking is a nuisance and a health hazard, and the majority of the population is bothered by it. I understand you really can't tell people they can't smoke in their own homes - but an apartment isn't theirs - it belongs to the landlord, and will be someone else's home after they move out - and smoke smell is devilishly hard to remove from an apartment. Especially for multi-unit buildings - one smoker can make the whole building smell, just as one person with a loud stereo can keep everyone else awake - the noise pollution is banned, why not the air pollution? Anyway, my two cents.


Themes for Google Personalized Hompage

The Google Personalized Hompage (GPH) has implemented some themes - they just change the title areas of it, but are pretty neat anyway - they're even dynamic by time of day, season, and local weather. You can see screenshots here. I keep a GPH as my personal homepage, and the themes really add to it (I personally use the Sweet Dreams theme). I only have two requests for Google now - First, they should extend the theme to all their personalized Google services - my News page, GMail, and Calendar just don't look as good anymore by comparison (some more themes would be good too - some of the 3-D stuff they have is a little tacky IMHO), and secondly, they should implement the themes on national pages as well (if I go to my homepage on Google.ca, I can still access all the feeds and widgets, but the theme isn't there). Still, I think they have a winner.


She's Crazy

Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green party has announced her intention to run in the riding of Central Nova next election - if the name sounds familiar, its because its Peter Mackay's riding. If she's trying to be the first Green elected to Parliament, going up against the deputy leader of the Conservative Party is a strange way to do it. Picking off a backbencher somewhere would be much easier, though still challenging enough. I have no idea what their party strategists are thinking. (Incidentally, May had 26% of the vote in her riding in the last election - the Green candidate in Central Nova had 2%)


Interesting post on the Dilbert blog

Scott Adams has an interesting post about evolutionary theory on his blog - its not one of the views you hear often, and worth a read. (He doesn't agree with me, but I agree with most of the stuff he says here.) He may just be pulling people's chains to get comments (and links), but its still worth seeing. I'm not going to explain what he said, I'll just leave it to him, the far superior blogger, and tell all you folks to follow this link here.


Cool UNB reasearch

A friend of mine found this on Slashdot - its something cool happening at my school - and majorly useful I expect - more portability for hydrogen is good:

“The challenge is to find a safer, more efficient and economical way to store hydrogen so that it can be released on demand,” explained chemist Sean McGrady, the lead researcher on the project. “The way to do this is to turn hydrogen into a compound — a solid — so you can use it when you want, safely, in the amount you want.”

Hydrogen gas is typically stored under pressure in large metal cylinders, approximately four feet high. These cylinders are heavy and expensive to transport. Since they are under pressure, they also pose a safety hazard.

“We’ve reached a milestone with our ability to condense hydrogen into a usable solid,” said Dr. McGrady. “The next step is to produce a safe, compact storage system for the compound that is both lightweight and affordable.”

The full release is worth reading, but the gist of it is here.

Are we ready for the New Liberal Party?

I've been hearing rumblings and rumors (In Maclean's, as well as this article) in the news about a rather intriguing subject - talk of a merger and/or alliance between the federal NDP and Liberals. Now, most of the sources of these rumblings are NDP MP's, not Liberal, but its still interesting. Apparently, now that the right is united, the NDP is feeling the heat, because their voters are more likely to go Liberal to fight the unified Conservative threat. Apparently the NDP is in bad shape, and considering drastic options - I wonder if they'll go the way of the provincial NDP? Anyway, worth keeping an eye on.


Now that's some legalese!

Well, just because I have no life, I was reading through the terms of use and privacy policy on Dvorak Uncensored. It has some pretty fine, funny legalese in it. An excerpt:

This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific commercial, financial, investment, accounting, tax, or legal advice. It is provided to you solely for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may link to and refer to this website freely. You must, when linking to this website, thrust your fist into the air and yell "death to tyrants." This site is not responsible for any deaths to tyrants or any other negative activity except for the yelling which we do not condone except in this context.

Now that's some fine legalese - I've had it in mind for a while now to start a student club focused on board games like Risk and Axis & Allies at school - I only hope I could do as well on the club charter as that - I can't decide whether or not to include a clause forbidding those with actual legal training from working on the charter or not.


An interesting idea

Here's an idea I like - some European automakers are suggesting an emissions credit system for automakers. So a high emitter, say Ferrari, would have to buy credits from a low emitter, say Honda, to pay for the higher emissions of its cars. This would make higher emitting cars more expensive, and, what they didn't mention in the IHT article I heard about it in, would slightly subsidize more practical transportation. I like the idea - seems good, though the fact that emissions credits for nations didn't seem like such a good idea.


Unexpected Fruit

There's been an ad on TV recently that's been bugging me - its for fruit juice and jello or applesauce or something. Anyway, it ends with pictures of kids drinking juice, and the slogan "an unexpected burst of real fruit" Unexpected. Since when is real fruit unexpected in fruit juice? What has food come to? I should expect to find fruit in fruit juice ... Its really rather sad.


Great ....

Well, I managed to escape the great Sony battery scare last year, because my battery was a Sanyo. I felt relieved. Now, this ... they better come up with a replacement for Lithium-ion batteries soon ... that's all I can say ...