Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lots of Rights, But No Common Sense

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says in Section 7, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

Now a Supreme Court Judge in British Columbia has declared that it is unconstitutional for the Federal government to close down a "safe drug injection site" because of Section 7. So I guess we now have the right to life, liberty and the safe injection of heroin.

Methinks it is now time to dispense with a dysfunctional constitution, or quite a few dysfunctional judges. Remember, under the current order, we have a legal system but not a justice system.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nothing says tacky like...

Nothing says tacky like a botox gift certificate for Mother's Day. Yes, I passed a sign today, left over from Mother's Day, offering just this. It's a subtle kind of message that says to Mom, "I love you enough to spend some major money on a present, but Mom, you're kind of ugly."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Excess Profits

Have you ever heard the term, "excess profits"? It's an interesting term. The political left uses it to imply that companies that are efficient, well run and who have positioned themselves to have a product that people both want and need, are somehow ripping off the public. Never mind that the public can invest in those companies. Never mind that the public has already invested in those companies through their pension plans, RRSP's, 401k, etc. What the political left really means is that someone else has something we want and it's OK to take it. The technical term for this is stealing, but the political left has reassured themselves that it is OK.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

No Guilt Cookies

Tonight Karen made chocolate chocolate-chip cookies. And they are no-guilt because they were made with whole wheat flour that she ground herself in her grain mill. That's right, they are made with whole wheat flour, which is good for you, which means no guilt, which means you can eat as many as you want because they are good for you. I love applying logic to cookies.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Long Weekend

Monday is Victoria Day, and I took Friday off as a vacation day as well. That means I am on Day 2 or a 4 day weekend, and it feels great. Some really excellent steaks on the barbecue last night. Some bricks that I can make into a planter in the back yard. A trip to the library. Yes, it's shaping up quite nicely.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Yesterday I stopped by a little shop that sells Belgian chocolates, and brought home a few pieces for Karen and myself. We started with chocolate covered cherries. And then a dark chocolate covered caramel and pecan treasure. And finally a dark chocolate truffle. Excellent. Really excellent. And not to be overlooked were some Cadbury double chocolate chunk cookies imported from the UK. Really, really good chocolate. Yes, an experience to be remembered.

The Fifth Discovery

There's always a danger in overemphasizing the importance of the new. Ask a group of teenagers for the top 10 songs of all time and they'll likely list 10 songs that have come from the last year or two. But that doesn't means that the new is always insignificant. The fifth most important discovery is not the computer (as ubiquitous and important as the computer is) but the computer network. And the reason, as Sun Microsystems has pointed out, is that the network is the computer.

Today computer networks are transforming society. Computers are useful, but networked computers are powerful. Networks facilitate information sharing, and information is gold. From social networking like Facebook to user participation sites like Wikipedia to the host of companies which now sell and advertise over the Internet, networks are huge. Frankly I can't tell you whether Facebook or Wikipedia or Amazon.com will still exist a couple of years from now, but computer networking will and it will transform our society on a level not seen since the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the printing press.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Rejected Choices for the Fifth Discovery

There are lots of competitors for the fifth most important discovery. Heavier than air flight (aka airplanes) have transformed the world. The discovery of electricity makes most of modern society possible. Computers have certainly changed the world. Television has changed the world, mostly for the worse. The internal combustion engine? The dynamo? The magnetron? What about the nuclear bomb? All important, but none of these are my fifth choice.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Fourth Discovery

With the invention of the harness, mankind was no longer limited to his own physical strength but could now use beasts of burden. With the invention of the steam engine, mankind was no longer limited to the physical strength of animals but could now use machines to do labour in places that didn't have running and falling water. The result was the Industrial Revolution. Yes, the Industrial Revolution had unpleasant social effects, but having worked our way through those our modern society is very much a product of the steam engine.