Archive for August, 2007

Renaissance redneck

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

The tendency towards a slight – shall we say – variance between the ideology/public exhortations of prominent liberal figures and their personal lifestyle choices has received some scrutiny. And so we have John Kerry and his fleet of SUVs (“They’re not mine – they’re the family’s!” was roughly his excuse), David Suzuki and his huge [...]

Subliminal emissions

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

“A zero-emission vehicle that heals the planet one kilometer [sic] at a time.” – Air Canada Aeroplan sales pitch As alert reader Marvin S. points out, the marketing blurb leaves out entirely the question of what emissions are required to generate electricity to charge the “iGO Electric Scooter”. It’s billed as a “fun, energy-saving mode of urban transportation” [...]

Cosh Caution

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

The late, lamented Alberta Report magazine – brash, iconoclastic, choose your own adjectives – was apparently more meaningful to many of its readers than it was necessarily pleasurable to work for. Despite the financial travails of the old mag, it did propel many young journalists to the highest level of their profession, much to the [...]

Swedish puff balls

Friday, August 24th, 2007

As someone who back in his mid-20s leaned heavily on Ikea to furnish his one-bedroom pad in Ottawa’s Glebe amid high hopes of successive fruitful results in a city where elegant women outnumber men by a considerable margin – a lair the then-future-Mrs. K. derided as my “short-lived love shack” – I have a soft [...]

Dumbing down our passports

Friday, August 24th, 2007

From the op-ed page of the Calgary Herald, Thursday, August 16, 2007: “Can I see your proof of citizenship, please?” The border guard seemed impressive in his midnight blue combat-style uniform, black boots and belted accoutrements. He swaggered over, thumbs hitched into his belt. But as I handed over the passports for my wife, Laurie, [...]

Shut up and chew

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

I think a fair bit, OK, quite a lot about food. I’ll drive miles out of my way to get just the right kind of bread and fret about whether it’s fresh enough, crusty but not too hard, interior firm but not heavy. Is the pasta done right? Has the cartilage and sinew been trimmed [...]

Full of beans

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

“Edamame Beans, Steamed and tossed with Himalayan sea salt” – Menu item at well-known Calgary watering hole   Shi-shi restaurants and exotic menu items go hand and glove, but sometimes the establishments push the exotic one-upmanship a little too far. Take this case, found by reader Phil E. A conscientious earth scientist, he wondered in [...]

From the pine beetle to investment returns

Monday, August 20th, 2007

From the August 2007 issue of Investment Executive: String theory posits that tiny actions in obscure places can have momentous effects in distant time and space – the proverbial butterfly alighting on a flower in the Amazon rainforest triggering events that eventually bring down an empire. Some say that’s rubbish – it probably is. But [...]

Polls Can Sometimes Reflect Reality

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

This recent SES Poll shows little difference between the Liberals and Conservatives in voter preference. It also shows that Liberal leader Stephane Dion is sneaking up on prime minister Stephen Harper’s lead as to who would make the best Prime Minister. What accounts for this trend? The conventional wisdom – i.e., the views of many [...]

Ballad of the easy life

Friday, August 17th, 2007

On very rare occasions, when you’re on holiday and the pay keeps rolling in despite the fact that you’re lounging about in an exotic locale, you get a flavour of what the life of the idle rich might be like. You kick back, giving minute attention to the creature comforts that are normally lost in [...]