Archive for April, 2008

A coupla CBC problems

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

There is unrest in a coupla regions of Zimbabwe”. – Andrea Hunt-Carr, CBC Radio One announcer If you’re old enough to remember CBC radio announcers from years gone by, you may recall the sonorous baritones that seemed like colonial transplants from the BBC. Well, that’s one more thing we don’t have to worry about. CBC [...]

Liddle biddy spots

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Most of our readers will have memorized all the Tasmanian Devil cartoons, so it shouldn’t be a reach to refer to one in the context of global climate. You’ll recall when Bugs impersonates a doctor and subjects the confused Devil to a physical. Placing a pair of specs with dotted lenses on the animal, Bugs [...]

Grumpy old folks

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

It’s almost 20 years now that we bought a modest bungalow in northwest Calgary. This was before we got married and I moved in first. Thanks to what I’ll call my father-in-law’s “aversion” to dogs – “Isn’t John lonely all by himself in the house?” – I inherited a dog in the bargain. I love [...]

Stelmach’s major dilemma

Monday, April 21st, 2008

From the April 2008 issue of Investment Executive newspaper: Note: After the article went to print the Alberta government announced royalty incentives for deep wells that will ease (but not eliminate) the new system’s fiscal bias against productive, high-rate new oil and natural gas wells.  The new royalty rate proposals are having unintended consequences for [...]

Business journalism by dummies

Monday, April 21st, 2008

“The inflation rate is now twice as high than before.” “That brought the cost of living to 3 percent.” – from two successive newscasts on Calgary radio stations the other day Perhaps we can’t expect grammatical, syntactical, linguistic or economic miracles from underpaid newsreaders on perennially cash-strapped private radio stations. Far scarier is the creeping [...]

One more discontinued product to stock up on

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Is there a purer expression of the irrationality of the post-modern mind than the stampede to yank polycarbonate bottles from store shelves? After several chains halted sales of the products, the process accelerated last week with announcements by Nalgene to stop making bottles containing Bisphenol-A (BPA), and by Canada’s “conservative” government to prohibit their sale. [...]

Of black robes and geographical determinism, Part I

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I experienced the unique pleasures of residing in Ottawa during one of the nastier phases of the lengthy conflict between West and East (Alberta and Quebec in particular). My approach towards those easterners meandered from ingratiating appeasement and promises of bridge-building, to stout defence of the West’s position and attempts to explain its underappreciated role [...]

A mixing of three

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

“…this would be a broadcasting menage et toi”. – Terry O’Reilly on CBC Radio One’s Age of Persuasion   Now we are venturing into new territory – asking whether brutalizing another language is a legitimate Stupidism or not. Let’s suspend questioning that for a moment given that the expression used is one that has essentially [...]

The wonderful world of ferns

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

The study of pollen may not be your first choice when choosing a lifelong vocation. So be it. But it may be relatively obscure areas of science that end up explaining Earth’s climate and the ultimate outcome of the current climate controversies. To paraphrase Mr. Clinton, it also means defining what “obscure” means. It’s been [...]

A Barge Too Far

Friday, April 11th, 2008

“Open Range” column from the the April 2008 issue of Alberta Venture magazine: The sad devolution of a visionary oilsands project The way Todd Newton pitched the Northern Lights project when I interviewed him last fall, it sure seemed the chief operating officer of Synenco Energy Inc. wanted to see it through. The multi-billion-dollar bitumen mine (an [...]