The return of measles a threat to us all

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Here’s a scary fact: measles seems to be returning to the West. There has been a rise in the number of outbreaks in the last few years, including in Canada: Quebec and recently in London, Ontario. According to the Middlesex-London Health Unit, there have been recent outbreaks of both measles and mumps in many countries, including, “US states (including New York), United Kingdom, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Peru, Guatemala, Congo, Zambia, Bangladesh and India.” So … click below for more!

Why does yogurt aid digestion?

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I’ve always wondered why probiotic yogurt was good for you. Yes, it aids digestions, as many clinical studies have shown, but exactly why has never been explained to my satisfaction. Until recently, that is. According to a story reported in The Scientist last fall, “The bacteria found in some fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, may alter gene expression in human gut microbes…” One of the results of the study that surprised me was that eating yogurt did not significantly … click below for more!

Make it happen, crowd tells council about Admiral Collingwood

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Four hundred people, perhaps more, packed the Collingwood Legion, Sunday afternoon, to support the Admiral Collingwood development, at Hume and Hurontario Streets. It was arguably the most important public meeting of the last 18 months. The clear message, both from speakers at the rally and audience members, was “make it happen.” So many people packed the Legion hall that it was standing room only, with some forced to watch and listen from the alcove. The rally was called by a … click below for more!

Google Earth 6.2 gets somewhat better, but it still needs work

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It was big news this week that Google Earth 6.2 was released with a bunch of new pictures, and an improved satellite mesh that removed some of the previous patchwork of scans that made up some of its maps. The media are full of articles praising Google Earth’s new release. CNET noted, “The result is a more realistic and less distracting (though still optimistically cloudless) view of the planet. Update: It turns out that by turning on the weather layer, … click below for more!

Why is most TV so lame?

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I would expect from the names of TV channels like Discovery, The Learning Channel and History Channel that these would be educational, documentary, engaging, informative, deep, and rich with content. Silly me. I forgot that the mandate of most TV channels is to entertain the lowest common denominator, not to educate or engage. With shows like “Freaky Eaters” and “Extreme Couponing”, the “Learning” Channel is the bottom feeder in the TV IQ pond. Of the 30 bathetic shows in its … click below for more!

Slowly dies: another bad Internet meme

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I came across a fascinating poem, translated into English as “Slowly Dies.” There are numerous translations online, many by amateurs, but some very well crafted. It goes something like this (a portion from one translation): Dies slowly he who transforms himself in slave of habit, repeating every day the same itineraries, who does not change brand, does not risk to wear a new color and doesn’t talk to whom doesn’t know. Dies slowly he who makes of television his guru. … click below for more!

What’s wrong with SOPA and PIPA?

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h2dF-IsH0I]Ever wonder what the fuss was about the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and the “Protect IP Act” (PIPA)? This video really explains it well. Both acts basically make everyone online guilty of piracy because we have the potential to steal simply by owning a computer connected to the Internet. It will be up to the user (you) to prove he or she is not doing it. As the speaker in the video says, the big media companies want consumers; … click below for more!

Shooting someone is so much fun, as long as it’s just virtual

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It’s hard to explain to non-gamers why computer games – especially multiplayer games – are so much fun (and not simply a waste of time). It’s not just the amazingly detailled virtual worlds that offer rich, destructible, 3D environments to explore and move within. It’s not just the visceral experience of role playing or the adrenaline rush of combat/flight/racing against other players. It’s not just the sense of wellbeing from puzzle solving, accomplishing difficult tasks, or finishing challenging quests. It’s … click below for more!

Scientists reveal favourite theories

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One hundred and ninety two scientists contributed more than 128,000 words in answer to The Edge’s question, “What is your favourite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?” You have to admire that question. They didn’t ask, “What is your favourite theory?” or “What is your favourite scientific puzzle?” Neither did they confine it to any particular field. As noted in the Edge: “Scientists’ greatest pleasure comes from theories that derive the solution to some deep puzzle from a small set of … click below for more!

Annual Mayor’s Levee today

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The annual Mayor’s Levee will be held this afternoon, January 8, at Georgian Manor Resort, from 1-3 p.m. This is the annual event in which people who have contributed significantly to the greater good of the community get recognized with the “Order of Collingwood.” It’s also an opportunity for the public to socialize with their council This year the following people will get the Order of Collingwood: Ms. Catherine Campbell Ms. Penny Skelton Mrs. Jennifer Nichol Mrs. Barbara Fawcett Mr. … click below for more!

Musing on mixed heights in urban environments

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I recently spent some time looking online for images of cities where mixed building heights could show me how a varied skyline looks when buildings of significantly different heights are close together in an urban environment. This is, of course, because Collingwood council will soon consider allowing a six-storey building downtown, set amidst what are mostly two- and three-storey buildings. The mix of high and low in the core is common in cities, less so in smaller towns. That’s simple … click below for more!

Jesus and Grilled Cheese

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The Huff Post has a story on the most bizarre religious sightings from 2011, which I read on New Year’s Day. The Post story has people finding images of Jesus on everything from sandwiches to rock faces to dirty laundry and pizzas last year. No Photoshopping, honest… Amazingly, most of the images look more to me like Ashton Kutcher than the radical Jewish rabbi of biblical description. Maybe we won’t know the truth until images of Demi Moore start appearing … click below for more!

Politically Speaking: new book on media relations

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I am pleased and proud to announce that my first of two books for Municipal World has been published. Politically Speaking is a guide to media relations for municipal politicians and municipal staff. Of course the advice and strategies I suggest are applicable to other levels of government as well. My goal was to provide some basic guidelines on how to deal with the media, but also to encourage municipalities to create proper communications policies. There is a video interview about the … click below for more!

Finally working…

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Just got the new WP blog software set up and working properly. Had some problems a while back when the first installation was hacked, even before I could enter anything. Thought it was a problem with my system, but turned out to be an outside issue. Ah well, reinstalled and moving forward.

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