Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why I Hate Leonard Cohen and the CBC

It is no secret that I like radios and often sleep with a pair of headphones.

While I have never taken the time (it would be too embarrassing) to count how many radios I have, they must number in the dozens, ranging from hand built crystal sets, a '27 Rogers batterlyless, a Revox bruiser and my latest acquisition a Wi Fi set.

Who else can you name who owns three Tivolis? But I digress.

One of the great things you can do with radios is listen to them.

However, the quality of programming that we have from our national broadcaster is becoming increasingly repulsive.

Case in point: the CBC just spent 30 minutes waxing in an almost orgiastic state about how great the Leonard Cohen's last concert in New York City was. I nearly threw up on my desk.

Why do I continue to listen to the CBC? Well, for one thing there are no commercials which for me counts for a lot. And for another, like the gambler that continued to play craps at a rigged game even though he knew it was rigged because it was the only game in town, I still listen to the CBC, because, well, it is our public broadcaster and used to be good.

Today, however, I might as well just hit my head with a two by four with a rusty nail hanging on it for all the pleasure I derive from it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From November, Also Courtesy of KPC

First Job Created as a Result of the Stimulus Package


As I calculate it, the bill spends around US$733 mil per page!

The Goode Olde Dayes of Banking

(5 & 6 Will. & Mar. c. 20)
An Act for granting to their Majesties several Rates and Duties upon Tunnage of Ships and
Vessels, and upon Beer, Ale, and other Liquors, for securing certain Recompences and
Advantages in the said Act mentioned, to such Persons as shall voluntarily advance the Sum
of Fifteen hundred thousand Pounds towards carrying on the War against France.
Sections 1 to 15 and section 17 repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1867. Sections 16 and 18 repealed by the
Statute Law Revision Act 1966.
19 Their Majesties may appoint Rules for transferring: and may make the Subscribers
a corporation, subject to Redemption
And … that it shall and may be lawful to and for their Majesties, by Letters Patents under the
Great Seal of England, to limit, direct, and appoint how and in what Manner and
Proportions and under what Rules and Directions, the said Sum of Twelve hundred thousand
Pounds, Part of the said Sum of Fifteen hundred thousand Pounds, and the said yearly Sum
of One hundred thousand Pounds, Part of the said yearly Sum of One hundred and forty
thousand Pounds, and every, or any Part or Proportion thereof, may be assignable or
transferable, assigned or transferred, to such Person or Persons only as shall freely and
voluntarily accept of the same, and not otherwise; and to incorporate all and every such
Subscribers and Contributors, their … Successors, or Assigns, to be one Body Corporate and
Politick, by the name of The Governor and Company of the Bank of England, and by the
same Name of The Governor and Company of the Bank of England to have perpetual
Succession, and a Common Seal, and that they and their Successors, by the Name aforesaid,
shall be able and capable in Law to have, purchase, receive, possess, enjoy, and retain to
them and their Successors, Lands, Rents, Tenements and Hereditaments, of what Kind,
Nature, or Quality soever; and also to sell, grant, demise, alien, or dispose of the same; and
by the same Name to sue and implead, and be sued and impleaded, answer and be answered
in Courts of Record, or any other Place whatsover, and to do and execute all and singular
other Matters and Things by the Name aforesaid, that to them shall or may appertain to do;
subject nevertheless to the Proviso and Condition of Redemption herein after mentioned.
First words omitted repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1888, and second words omitted repealed by Statute Law
Revision Act 1948.
Section 20 repealed by the Bank of England Act 1708 and the Statute Law Revision Act 1867. Section 21 repealed by the
Bank Act 1892. Sections 22 to 24 repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1867 and section 25 repealed by the Bank of
England Act 1946.
26 Corporation not to trade – Punishment
And to the Intent that their Majesties Subjects may not be oppressed by the said
Corporation, by their monopolizing or ingrossing any Sort of Goods, Wares, or
Merchandizes, the said Corporation to be made and created by this Act shall not at any
6 Bank of England Act 1694
Time, during the Continuance thereof, deal or trade, or permit or suffer any Person or
Persons whatsoever, either in Trust or for the Benefit of the same, to deal or trade with any
of the Stock Moneys, or Effects of, or any Ways belonging to the said Corporation, in the
buying or selling of any Goods, Wares, or Merchandizes whatsoever; and every Person or
Persons who shall so deal or trade, or by whose Order or Directions such Dealings or
Trading shall be made, prosecuted or managed, shall forfeit for every such Dealing or
Trading, and every such Order and Directions, treble the Value of the Goods and
Merchandize so traded for, to such Person or Persons who shall sue for the same by Action
[in the High Court].
Section 26 amended by the Common Informers Act 1951 and words in square brackets substituted by the Supreme Court
of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925.
27 In what things they may nevertheless deal
Provided that nothing herein contained shall any Ways be construed to hinder the said
Corporation from dealing in Bills of Exchange, or in buying or selling Bullion, Gold or Silver,
or in selling any Goods, Wares or Merchandize whatsoever, which shall really and bona fide
by left or deposited with the said Corporation for Money lent and advanced thereon, and
which shall not be redeemed at the Time agreed on, or within Three Months after, or from
selling such Goods as shall or may be the Produce of Lands purchased by the said
Section 28 repealed by the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1976. Sections 29 to 31 repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act
1948. Sections 32 and 34 repealed by the Bank Act 1892. Sections 33 and 35 to 48 repealed by the Statute Law
Revision Act 1867. The Act, as reproduced here, is taken from ‘Acts relating to the Bank’ Vol 1 published in 1694.
Bank of England Act 1694 7

Nuclear Subs Collide

Nuclear Subs Collide

Two nuclear submarines, one French and one British, collided in the Atlantic earlier this month, raising safety concerns. What do you think?

Brody Nett,
Submarine Captain
"Luckily, I heard the collision from a few feet away, which saved my nuclear sub from becoming part of a nasty pileup situation."

Lee Muller,
Systems Analyst
"I can see how it happened. That space in the Atlantic between North and South America and Europe and Africa is so tight that underwater vessels can just barely squeak past each other."
Young Man

Stuckey Relyea,
Billing Coordinator
"I've said it before and I'll say it again: No one can top Russia when it comes to tragic submarine accidents."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Safir-2 rocket. Iran launched the Omid satellite

Kinda makes you want to speak Farsi doesn't it?

Prepare to Gag on Ignatieff

Mr. Wieseltier added: “When I would see Michael [Ignatieff], he and I would stroll arm in arm around Covent Garden singing — poorly, of course — some of the great quintet in the first act of ‘Così Fan Tutte.’ There was in him a hunger for intellectual authority and for a certain degree of social recognition, but it was never about power."

From the NYT

Monday, February 2, 2009

Now if we had a Mayor Like Boris

Write snow, wrong quantity!

Story here.

Tell Me This is Not Straight Out of Borat

1. Tuesday, February 3, 4 - 7 pm
Central Asia Program Film Screening
The Orator (Voiz) (Uzbekistan, 1998, 83 min) -- Writer and producer Yusup (Jusuf) S. Razykov (b. 1957) -- tells a witty and poetic story of Iskander, a poor cart man, who can't give up his three-woman harem and therefore happens to find himself at the centre of events that impact his marital life, family relations and his position in the society. The Orator takes place in the 1920s, at the dawn of Soviet power in Uzbekistan. The Orator is crucially concerned with gender, specifically the early-Soviet reform of Uzbek women's rights and marriage policies. Razykov said in an interview: “My favorite costume is the veil. It's much more interesting to peek under that shroud, which expresses nothing but conceals a great deal.” The Orator is a landmark not only, or even primarily, in the director's own career, but in Uzbek film generally. The film made the international festival rounds to great acclaim.
Discussion will follow the film.
Room 108, North Building, Munk Centre for International Studies (1 Devonshire Place)
Sponsored by the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

Sunday, February 1, 2009