Sunday, June 26, 2011

Now I'm a star!

Hey all,

Here's a link to my YouTube channel, there's not much there but I'm going to start posting more vids as I make them. There's no real theme so the videos will be pretty darn random, but always homemade.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Efficiency in different parts of the World...

Can someone explain to me why it is that in 3 months, Japan managed to clear about 90% of all of the rubble caused by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami while in one year Haiti has cleared only about 5% of the rubble from its devastating earthquake?

Of course, Haiti is much closer to a Third World country than Japan, but aid and resources have been pouring in from multiple countries since the very beginning. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised and sent over there, where has all that money gone?

It was said that the lack of a strong government was hampering the aid and reconstruction efforts, fine, but the elections have come and gone and there's still no progress. The Haitian government clearly can't handle the situation, so why doesn't the UN take over the management of the reconstruction effort and let the government do whatever else they're good at? Right now it's the Haitian people who are suffering while nothing is being done to help them. The Haitian people are a strong and hard working people, but they need direction to focus their efforts. This is what is sorely lacking and why nothing is moving forwards over there.

I do hope that all of the money Haiti has received is merely lying dormant in a bank account, waiting for the people to light a fire under their government's collective asses and not in the pockets of a few unscrupulous folks...

Friday, June 17, 2011

People are dumb...

Most of you probably heard about the Vancouver riots which started because of a freaking hockey game...

Well, police and Vancouverites are trying to identify the looters and rioters, so if you live in that area please help identify some of these idiots.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I bloody won?!? part deux...

A few days ago, I mentioned that I won tickets to the Indiana Jones exposition in Montreal (only place in America to get the expo by the way).

Well I went yesterday and here's my feedback:

Since this was a contest, we were treated to a conference by a real archaeologist before our visit. He took us through 4 of his digs on the ancient silk road. It was very interesting, however the conference was geared towards the layman and thus didn't go into as much detail as I would have liked. You could tell that the guy was really into his work though. It was fun, but had we not seen it, we wouldn't have missed much. He will appear in a National Geographic movie documenting his latest research in November, in which we'll see whether or not he found Ghenghis Kahn's tomb... should be interesting :)

And now for the expo itself, it is split into 4 sections, one for each movie, that contains multiple props, videos, concept art and other things. In each section there's a room with real artifacts related to the location of the movie. Each attendee has a little pocket computer like device with a touch screen and headphones that you use to punch in codes related to the exhibits. Sometimes you get a short behind the scenes video but mostly it is just audio.

Throughout the expo there are stations where you swipe your device over a panel and a game appears which allows you to accumulate puzzle pieces, which by the end form an ancient artifact (fun for the kids).

The setup of the expo is very nice, although a bit cramped when there are a lot of people. The pieces exposed are really beautiful and the descriptive text that goes with it is very informative.

If you are planning on going with small children, be warned that the expo is quite long if you take the time to listen to all of the audio and videos. My girlfriend and I were there for 2h30 and we mostly skipped the Crystal Skull section because the expo was closing (they close at 10pm). There are benches where you can sit down and relax, but that would lengthen your stay considerably.

All in all, I really enjoyed it, however at 20-25$ a head, it's on the pricey side. Had I not won tickets, I probably would have went anyways, but I'm a huge Indiana Jones fan and archaeology enthusiast. I wish that I would have been allowed to take pictures.. oh well.

Hoom-boom Shiva! Hoom-boom Shiva!


Friday, June 10, 2011

I bloody won?!?

No, I'm not referring to what most NDP candidates where saying when they woke up the day after the last Canadian elections.

I actually won something thanks to the La Presse newspaper: 2 tickets to the Indiana Jones Exhibition at the Centre des Sciences de Montréal for next Wednesday! The soirée includes a conference by archaeologist Friedrik Hiebert of the National Geographic Society, a visit of the exposition and... free parking! W00t!

I'll be bringing the camera in the hopes that I'm allowed to take some pictures, in any event, I'll be reporting back next Thursday!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

If only it didn't take a tsunami...

In the wake of the devastating tsunami that rocked Japan's coasts, one company has stepped up to rebuild. That, in and of itself is nothing terribly spectacular, however, the interesting part is that this company is not pledging to merely reconstruct, but rather re-invent with the future of the planet in mind.
Via CEPro
Panasonic and 8 other partners will build a sustainable smart town which is an eco-conscious urban development. Each and every dwelling will feature a roof entirely covered in solar panels which will provide electricity to the occupants; any excess produced will be stored for gloomier days and the nights. The devices that use electricity in each house will also be the greenest and most efficient models available. All this will be built and move in by March 2014. How's that for Japanese efficiency?

The goal of the project is to show off Panasonic's solutions which allows sustainable, safe and secure housing, but also to show off where the future lies.
Via CEPro
Here in Quebec, we don't have a need to rebuild new cities, however we do need more and more housing. Currently, a promoter buys perfectly good farmland from a down on his luck farmer, converts to residential zoning, moves the cows out of the way and builds the cheapest houses possible that look (keyword here) well built and pretty (they often fail at the latter though, I must admit). These houses use shoddy materials and lousy insulation which make heating a very power hungry affair; but that's not a big deal because we have plenty of renewable energy here!

We need to start thinking more of the future World that our children will inherit and less of profits. Laws should be enacted to force promoters to provide a certain "green" rating. Let's talk cash since that's what seems to connect the most with people:

- Retrofitting an existing dwelling for green energy and efficiency is extremely expensive, whereas building that way from the beginning is far more cost effective.
- The cost of materials for such a project is prohibitive, however, if contractors were forced to use them, more would be sold and thus mass fabrication would make them less expensive to manufacture.

Getting the wheel going is the hard part, but if we want to protect our environment it is a pill we must swallow.

Good on you Panasonic, hopefully others will follow in your steps... and hopefully it won't require another disaster to get started.