Monday, October 29, 2007

Our New Arrival

Bamboo. Hatched October 28th 2007

Kettle? Pot on Line 2.

Henry Kissinger once called Donald Rumsfeld the 'rottenest' person he knew in politics. Both are now war criminals abroad and unwelcome in the land of the cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys.

Already facing war crimes charges in Germany, Donald Rumsfeld—like Henry Kissinger before him—now runs into a spot of legal bother in France.

Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.


Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activist point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.

"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when US forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said. "He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn’t pay."

Full story here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

One of the Funniest Things I Have Ever Seen Posted on \.

"Lockheed Martin is planning on building a commercial spaceport in Nova Scotia Canada. The details are a bit shaky, but apparently the project is serious enough to attract 45 million dollars from the Federal government. The launch pad will specifically be built in Cape Breton, a mostly rural island characterized by low employment, thick colloquial accents, and kitchen fiddle parties. A PDF is available with pictures and a description of the planned orbital glider, the 'Silver Dart,' somewhat lacking the aesthetics of the X Prize winner."

More info here.

(The photo above requires some comment. Looking for a suitable image, I typed into Google's Image Search 'Space Lobster' and, along with the image, this is what I found:

The Invasion of the Space Lobsters’, a 7-minute animated film made by the Canadian Labour Congress and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) was the talk of the conference with participants from as far as Sweden and Australia. The film presents the need for clearer language through an amusing and creative scenario of giant lobsters landing on earth and having problems communicating with the earthlings. Positive feedback on the film was so overwhelming that the film was shown three times over the three-day conference. Jack Horwitz from the NFB was on hand to answer questions about working with a large labour organization on a creative project.

More information on this by all accounts spectacular film which was, as I understand it, shown 3 times over 3 days, can be found here.)

And yes, I am still super keen on NK's new tome.

RSS in Plain English Courtesy of JPK

There's great stuff being posted on blogs these days. Here. compliments of JPK, is how to read what you want quickly and efficiently.

RSS in Plain English Courtesy of JPK

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Naomi Klein's 'The Rise of Disaster Capitalism'

Out of sheer prejudice and a certain reluctance to purchase books at full whack, I had resisted buying a copy of Naomi Klein's new book The Rise of Disaster Capitalism until this week.

When I saw it for 30% off at Indigo, and remembered that I had my Indigo card on me, which gave myself a further 10% off, I took the hardback plunge.

I am now about a 1/3rd of the way through and am annoyed at myself for both not buying the book sooner and for, at least to myself, pre-judging it.

It is really -- and those who know me may be surprised at what I am about to write -- a very, very good and important work that will have much staying power. Not only is it a good story well told. It is also a story both horrifying and horrifyingly believable.

In a way it reminds me of Alasdair MacIntyre in that it shows what the effects of misguided Chicago policies are on the ground and does not simply build a case up in the clouds against the boys from Chicago. It is also why I am an Oakeshottian.

I will write more after I finish the book. But this is one book that is, for me at least, a must read.

Hats off Ms. Klein!!!

Who Says Toronto Doesn't Lead the Way; Halifax Will Also Lock Up Unlicensed Pussy Cats!

Seniors will get a discount!

Halifax approves bylaw to stop cats from roaming

Updated Wed. Oct. 24 2007 12:15 PM ET News Staff

Halifax regional councillors have approved a controversial animal bylaw aimed at preventing cats from roaming in public.

The bylaw, narrowly approved in an 11-9 vote on Tuesday night, means cat owners must register their pets by April.

If a cat is found outside its owner's property, it may be trapped and sent to a municipal shelter -- which is to be built and operated at an estimated cost of $3.3 million.

"The thing is we don't know what the total cost is going to be and nobody can tell us right yet," Spryfield-Herring Cove Coun. Steve Adams told


Snow did say she received one nasty email from a constituent who said they'll never vote for her again because of the decision.

Owners will have to pay $10 for an altered and inoculated pet and up to $30 for an unaltered one.

Seniors will be given a discount.

Hat Tip: Comrade Schroeder

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rogers is Quite Obviously Filtering Their Internet Traffic and Keeping Mum About It

The Other, Other Ted

It would be nice to see this here:

Comcast to face lawsuits over BitTorrent filtering
Posted by Chris Soghoian
October 23, 2007 5:37 AM PDT
Law, Security

The blogosphere is abuzz over an Associated Press investigative article this past Friday on the subject of Comcast's BitTorrent filtering. Briefly, there were a number of articles in early September which alleged that Comcast was using some fairly sneaky techniques to throttle BitTorrent traffic on its network. Comcast, of course, denied any such behavior. It took a month and a half, but both a mainstream media news organization as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have tested and confirmed the previously reported claims. It turns out that Comcast is not only throttling BitTorrent, but Gnutella and, strangely, Lotus Notes are also suffering.

Comcast's PR people gave me the following statement on Monday: "Comcast does not block access to any Web sites or online applications, including peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent...We have a responsibility to provide all of our customers with a good Internet experience and we use the latest technologies to manage our network so that they can continue to enjoy these applications." I was also able to interview a Comcast Internet executive who would only speak on background. He bobbed and weaved, sticking to his talking points, yet a few things were clear: he would not deny that the company was sending out TCP RST packets, but stated that if it were being done, it was at a "low level" where average users would not see it.

When your ISP receives a spam e-mail, and deletes it without delivering the message to your in-box, it is blocking access to your in-box. (This is a good thing.) When you install a firewall on your home computer and someone else tries to connect to you from another network, your firewall software "blocks access" to that other party. The packets attempting to initiate a connection to your machine will either be silently dropped onto the floor, or in some cases, a rejection message will be sent back to the session initiator telling them that their connection attempt was refused.

Comcast LolCat
(Credit: Comcast and LolCat Buildr)

If Comcast deployed networkwide firewall rules that would drop any BitTorrent packets that came in and out of its network, Comcast would be "blocking access." However, it is not doing this. Primarily, because if it did so, the BitTorrent downloads of its customers would fail, and thousands of users would complain. Instead, Comcast is attempting to only target the sharing or uploading portions of BitTorrent, which are not nearly so noticeable for end users. Comcast will still see a significant drop in network traffic by targeting uploads, but is far less likely to suffer the wrath of its users.

So what is Comcast doing? It is letting BitTorrent traffic flow across its network, and thus is not technically "blocking" anything. Instead, it is forging TCP reset packets that are misleadingingly labeled as being sent by one of the two ends of the BitTorrent connection. That is, Comcast is masquerading as its customers, and sending out data with false sender information. When the BitTorrent clients receive the false reset packets, they themselves terminate the connection, as they think the other host has told them to go away. Thus, through sneaky techniques and network-level false statements, Comcast is able to trick users' software into terminating their own transfers.

Interestingly enough, were Comcast applying this same technique to e-mail, and falsifying the header information of e-mail messages, it would soon find itself violating the Can-Spam Act. That law states that "Whoever...materially falsifies header information in multiple commercial electronic mail messages and intentionally initiates the transmission of such messages...shall be punished...with a fine...or imprisonment for not more than one year."

As for the idea that Comcast is using the "latest technologies" to manage its network--hogwash. The concept of forging TCP reset packets is at least 10 years old, if not older. Purdue professor Gene Spafford and a number of his graduate students developed a "synkill" system to defeat SYN flood attacks that used the very same technique, back in 1996.

Full Article Here

Monday, October 22, 2007

Build Your Own Sputnik; Just Leave out Laika

1. Tomy baby monitor - transmitter and aerial
2. Wireless router - backup transmitter and aerial
3. Mercury thermometer - temperature sensor
4. x4 large batteries - power supply
5. Balloon - pressure sensor (expands and pops if case punctured)
6. Power-pack - backup power supply
7. Domestic thermostat - activates fan and changes radio signal
8. Battery powered fan - moves heat to casing (once tin lid is on)
9. Biscuit tin with foil - houses components and reflects solar radiation

The BBC helpfully provides more information here.

Some Stuff You Can't Make Up

It's for real

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A selection from Ariel Online (the inhouse BBC paper) on the Job Cuts.

A selection from Ariel Online (the inhouse BBC paper) on the Job Cuts.

Make no mistake about it, but the BBC is part of a decentralized conspiracy (shades of Al-Qaeda) to subvert this country. When economic Marxism started to stagnate in the 1960s and collapse in the 80s, the left-wing elements of our society decided that the way forward was to take over our institutions...
contributor to the Telegraph
At least it is a cull but I would have preferred it to be genocide...
contributor to the Mail
And now, instead of having 100 biased BBC reporters bashing Israel, possibly we will have only five.....
contributor to the Telegraph
If anything tells you all you need to know about the BBC's impartiality then you need to do no more than type in the full name of their previous boss Gr*g D*ke to be told that your message contains offensive content that must be removed.
contributor to the BBC news website
[NB: we tried this, it's rubbish]
Is there really an argument that ‘Help I Smell of Fish’ or ‘Help Me Anthea - I'm Infested’ should really be funded by the undemocratic TV Tax?
contributor to the Mail
Let's look at this as a country. 2800 jobs to go at the BBC but 3000 strawberry pickers jobs created. A net increase of 500! Well done Gordon B.
contributor to the Mail
If Thompson winds up cutting BBC news and factual programming, he should quite simply be taken out, put against the wall, and shot. He will have been responsible for destroying one of the signal products of Western civilisation...
contributor to the Newsnight blog
There are simply too many BBC newshounds everywhere... From our Special Albanian Traffic Correspondent. Our Afghan Hound Correspondent. Our Brighton and Hove Alternative Therapy Correspondent, etc....
contributor to the Telegraph
I only watch the factual programmes on the BBC and never watch BBC3 or BBC4...
contributor to the Newsnight blog
Racist they will cry, but I do not expect to see an Iraqi reading the news in Sweden, and they are the best at accepting refugees, unfortunates. Also, nice as she is, please tone down Zainab Badowi(sic), she is over exposed to death...
contributor to the Telegraph
Please pull their licence fee and leave them to play with themselves without the rest of us having to care.
contributor to the Telegraph
No amount of tinkering will sort out the BBC. It is in cahoots with the government as was Pravda and Radio Moscow in Soviet times.
contributor to the Telegraph.

Hat Tip: Comrade Scarlett.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Same old, same old....

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Is it Possible to Wedge an Already Brown Nose any Deeper?

MP proposes Pierre Elliott Trudeau Day

Canadian Press

October 19, 2007 at 1:06 PM EDT

OTTAWA — A Liberal MP has tabled proposed legislation that would officially recognize the birthday of former prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau each Oct. 18.

Mario Silva says Mr. Trudeau had “vigour, innovation and daring” and symbolized Canada at its best.

Hat Tip to Comrade Schroeder

Making Waves

Undular Bore Waves. A first for me to.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So That's All Right Then

[ Johannesburg, 16 October 2007 ] - The National Defence Force is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday.

SA National Defence Force spokesman brigadier general Kwena Mangope says the cause of the malfunction is not yet known and will be determined by a Board of Inquiry. The police are conducting a separate investigation into the incident.

Media reports say the shooting exercise, using live ammunition, took place at the SA Army's Combat Training Centre, at Lohatlha, in the Northern Cape, as part of an annual force preparation endeavour.

Mangope told The Star that it “is assumed that there was a mechanical problem, which led to the accident. The gun, which was fully loaded, did not fire as it normally should have," he said. "It appears as though the gun, which is computerised, jammed before there was some sort of explosion, and then it opened fire uncontrollably, killing and injuring the soldiers."

Other reports have suggested a computer error might have been to blame. Defence pundit Helmoed-Römer Heitman told the Weekend Argus that if “the cause lay in computer error, the reason for the tragedy might never be found”.

Electronics engineer and defence company CEO Richard Young says he can't believe the incident was purely a mechanical fault. He says his company, C2I2, in the mid 1990s, was involved in two air defence artillery upgrade programmes, dubbed Projects Catchy and Dart.

Software details

During the shooting trials at Armscor's Alkantpan shooting range, “I personally saw a gun go out of control several times,” Young says. “They made a temporary rig consisting of two steel poles on each side of the weapon, with a rope in between to keep the weapon from swinging. The weapon eventually knocked the polls down.”

Young says he was also told at the time that the gun's original equipment manufacturer, Oerlikon, had warned that the GDF Mk V twin 35mm cannon system was not designed for fully automatic control. Yet the guns were automated. At the time, SA was still subject to an arms embargo and Oerlikon played no role in the upgrade.

“If I was an engineer on the Board of Inquiry, I would ask for all details about the software for the fire control system and gun drives,” Young says. “If it was not a mechanical or operating system error, you must find out which company developed the software and did the upgrade.”

Young says in the 1990s the defence force's acquisitions agency, Armscor, allocated project money on a year-by-year basis, meaning programmes were often rushed. “It would not surprise me if major shortcuts were taken in the qualification of the upgrades. A system like that should never fail to the dangerous mode [rather to the safe mode], except if it was a shoddy design or a shoddy modification.

“I think there have been multiple failures here; in software and the absence of interlocking safeguards.” He asks if the guns were given arcs of fire and whether these were enforced with electromechanical end stops. “On a firing range you don't want guns to fire through 360 degrees.”

Oerlikon's local agent, Intertechnic, did not respond to requests for comment. The SANDF said investigations were still under way.

The air defence artillery will, in the next two years, receive new missiles, radar and computer-based fire control equipment worth R3 billion as part of projects Guardian and Protector.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Surprise, Surprise: Diddly-doodly-done-diddly-doodly done-diddly-doodly Status Quo

The CBC is running as a leader the groundbreaking news that:

Canadians don't want another election right now': Dion

In other CBC news:
Violence on rise among residents in Ont. nursing homes

Monsieur Dion in Training for the Next Election

Too Good Not to Post; Obama on Cheney

"Every family has a black sheep," - Barack Obama's response to the news that he is distantly related to Dick Cheney.


Pool Alert: Will Stephano Bite?

Personally, I don't think the Machiavelli (not!) of Quebec will bite. I neither think his appetite is great enough nor do I believe the bait sufficiently enticing. He and his party are also in no position to play ball. Dion's political acumen, however, is so suspect that it is anyone's guess. That said, I am running a game (read the place you go for a swim without fear of sharks and your eyes go red from the chlorine) for the person who predicts most accurately when the writ is dropped. (A dropped writ seems the most definitive indicator that sign posts will soon be seen in front of a house near you.) Leave a comment below or drop an email to me of your prediction, and your best guess will be recorded, and a prize, if you win, begrudgingly, awarded. Look deep into the waters. Jeff

We'll always have Paris; Just Count 'Em, 16 Red Lights

This is one of the times I feel homesick for a place that never was my home.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feeling Distinctively Uncomfortable with Putin’s Visit to Iran

There seems very sinister about Putin, President of a newly resurgent Russia, visiting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of a newly resurgent Iran, in what once was called Persia, about their current Nuclear Arms programme.

(Sasha Baron Cohen famously quipped that Borat was unavailable for comment on receiving a prestigious award as he was at the Holocaust Denial Conference in Tehran. Cohen went on to say that he had tried to call the President of Kazakhstan to tell him the news but that both
lines were engaged.)

It's not perhaps surprising that they should meet, only unsettling that they are. Somehow I feel that the visit will be more than ceremonial.

Rumsfield's Credit Card Bounces

The credit card, a Fort Knox Executive Club Visa granted to the U.S. during the Clinton Administration, had an assigned $300 million credit line. When the country accrued a balance approaching the limit in 1995, the credit-card company awarded the U.S. additional credit. According to a Visa representative who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the company granted extensions 14 times since then, but as of Monday, the card had never been rejected outright.

Cut and paste if necessary or click on title.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Worth a Read; Censoring the Internet in China

You'll have to cut and paste the link.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Facebook Blast from the Past

John Tory next premier of Ontario
Student Groups - Political Groups

663 members
108 Fewer Members, 3 Board Topics, 41 Wall Posts

Profile updated about a month ago

Going back on a promise: bile

While I had intended to write up everything that I thought was wrong with this last election (like I would know anyway), I don't really think, much like the electors, I can be bothered. So like our new-old leader, I will break my promise. No post election bile forthcoming!

To add insult to injury though, after visiting nearly a dozen polling stations located between St. Clair and Eglinton and from Bathurst to Spadina, I found my front tyre was completely flat.

Dirty tricks by our sworn enemies in red? It would be fun to think so, but I doubt it. Most probably a random puncture from a random nail.

One thing I am grateful for: the referendum question was so poorly explained to the electorate and so poorly executed by those who ran the election, that it didn't stand a chance of passing. First Past the Post may not be the greatest system in the world, but it beats hands down proportional representation if Israel or Italy are any indication and I believe they are. There is, however, something unnervingly sinister to me about proposing to revise one of the most important foundations of the longest running democratic systems in the world.

Oakeshott, Burke, Hobbes and Locke must have all rolled in their graves. Perhaps not though. They more likely laughed at this made in Ontario foolishness. Am off now for a double-double at Timmy's.

How Convenient

The BBC reports that:

'Burmese Prime Minister Soe Win [aged 59!] has died in a military hospital after a long illness, state media said.'

I rather like this image

What it shows is how most internet and phone traffic no matter where it originates or where it terminates passes through the US. This was a great problem for the National Security Agency insofar as they were only 'allowed' to tap communications outside of the US. Happily, under the recently proposed Restore Act, the NSA will not have to pack their toothbrushes to listen in on the world.

A Google Spider Finally Found Me!

When I use the word Oakeshott on my Blog, Good Alerts lets me know. Weirdly, I feel this to be a milestone for this blog.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Post-Election Bile to Come

Alert: Blatant Theft From Leslie Marsh's Blog

Oz PM invokes Oakeshott

This must be a first for any politician to publicly invoke Oakeshott. Of course we all know that Thatcher invoked Hayek.

PM’s speech on indigenous recognition.

Their roots lie in a Burkean respect for custom and cultural tradition and the hidden chain of obligations that binds a community together. In the world of practical politics they owe much to the desire for national cohesion Disraeli spoke to in 19th Century Britain – another time of great economic and social change. And in a literary sense they find echoes in Michael Oakeshott’s conservatism and the sense of loss should precious things disappear.

It would seem to me that these words are as applicable to Canada as they are to Australia.

I used to take offense when critics of the war against Iraq claimed it was all about the oil. I hereby apologise.

From this week's London Review of Books:

It's the Oil

Jim Holt

Iraq is 'unwinnable', a 'quagmire', a 'fiasco': so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be 'stuck' precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no 'exit strategy'.

Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is more than five times the total in the United States. And, because of its long isolation, it is the least explored of the world's oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are a million. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to the mark, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world's oil resources. The value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would be of the order of $30 trillion at today's prices. For purposes of comparison, the projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion.

Who will get Iraq's oil? One of the Bush administration's 'benchmarks' for the Iraqi government is the passage of a law to distribute oil revenues. The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq's 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest – including all yet to be discovered oil – under foreign corporate control for 30 years.

Still, there is reason to be sceptical of the picture I have drawn: it implies that a secret and highly ambitious plan turned out just the way its devisers foresaw, and that almost never happens.

Hat tip AS.

Even the Colours are Right! That's John Tory in the Blue

Voting Accidentally

Friends of ours recently emigrated here from Ireland and are in the process of applying for Canadian citizenship. Somehow, they were under the mistaken impression that they were eligible to vote and brought down to their local polling station proof of their address and picture ID and were duly allowed to vote. Of course, they perhaps ought to have investigated more carefully their eligibility but had taken it on good authority that they were eligible. As such, they did not ask at the poll if they were eligible even though they are not yet Canadian citizens and as such they were not asked at the poll if they were Canadian or asked to produce documentation to that effect. I can see how they might have made the mistake as you are allowed to vote in European Parliament Elections as long as you live in Europe. Now, the couple are in a panic, worried that by voting they might jeopardize their application for Canadian citizenship. My considered advice is that they should keep their faux pas to themselves. But although you can see how it could happen under the present process, what I can't understand is how the present allows it to happen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Google Blows Through C$600, Be Afraid, Very Afraid

Shoulda Coulda, but didn't as I thought it was overpriced at issue.
Had the same (wrong) feeling about RIMM in it's early days. The greatest short going, they used to say. How could fly by night companies like Sony, Motorola, Palm, Ericson, and Nokia not do what RIMM did. Amazingly, they still aren't able to.

More Cents than Sense?

The [Canadian] mint is demanding the city pay $47,680 for using a picture of the “tails” side of a Canadian penny in its brochures, banners and advertisements for the campaign, aimed at persuading Ottawa to set aside one cent of every six collected under the goods and services tax (GST) for municipalities. The mint is also seeking compensation for the city’s use of the phrase “one cent” in the campaign.

Now that we are at par (or even above) with the US$, we can stake claim to the phrase 'one cent' and the tails image of the maple leaf? No longer a great fan of Miller, I humbly offer Abe and a real set of tails on the old and defunct lucky Irish penny. I can't imagine that either of these republics will mind...and now that we are at par with the US penny, it should be an easy sub.

Monday, October 8, 2007

If you're going to deep fry your turkey this thanksgiving, Don't say I didn't warn you.

For a more relevant discussion of Canadian Thanksgiving, see

In 1999, the last year figures were available, the National Fire Protection Association reported that 500 fires involving a deep-fat fryer took place around the nation, resulting in over $6.8 million dollars in damage.

But if you must, and if you are going to, I'd love to have a try of the bird, read on. From Underwriter's Laboratory:

Product Safety Tips:
Turkey Fryers

A longtime food favorite in the southern United States, the delicious deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity thanks to celebrity chefs such as Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse. While some people rave about this tasty creation, Underwriters Laboratories Inc.'s (UL) safety experts are concerned that backyard chefs may be sacrificing safety for good taste.

"We're worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use," says John Drengenberg, UL consumer affairs manager. "Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark."
Here's why using a deep-fryer can be dangerous:

* Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil within the cooking pot.
* If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
* Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too, may result in an extensive fire.
* With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
* The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

Collage of images from UL testing turkey fryers
If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, here are some tips for safer use:

* Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn.
* Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
* Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
* Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don't watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
* Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot, hours after use.
* To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
* Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
* Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don't mix, and water causes oil to spill over, causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
* The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator.
* Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Remember to use your best judgement when attempting to fight a fire. If the fire is manageable, use an all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 9-1-1 for help.
* Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. The oil inside the cooking pots remains dangerously hot, hours after use.

Rick Mercer Report : Celebrity Tips with Lord Conrad Black

A little Schadenfreude never hurt Canadian Thanksgiving. The question is, will CB and BA be cooking up a Turkey named Radler tonight or during the US Thanksgiving or just waiting for Guy Fawkes night?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

That Other Hayek and Friends

My good friend Leslie Marsh at is running a great series of posts about the great philosophers of our time, often with wonderful youtube clips. If this was the Michelin guide, I'd have to call it a must stop.

You have to admit, I did get your attention.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sputnik was a Lark

From the AP:

But 50 years later, it emerges that the momentous launch was far from being part of a well-planned strategy to demonstrate communist superiority over the West. Instead, the first artificial satellite in space was a spur-of-the-moment gamble driven by the dream of one scientist, whose team scrounged a rocket, slapped together a satellite and persuaded a dubious Kremlin to open the space age.

And that winking light that crowds around the globe gathered to watch in the night sky? Not Sputnik at all, as it turns out, but just the second stage of its booster rocket, according to Boris Chertok, one of the founders of the Soviet space program.

Reminiscent of Bush's reasons for entering Iraq?