Friday, September 26, 2008

World's Fastest Cyclist Hits 82.3 MPH

That's 132.4 km/hr. On a human powered bicycle. On a flat road. No hill. It's not your normal bicycle of course, but still - that's fast.

The fastest that I've recorded myself on my bike is 73.5 km/hr, downhill. That was last Saturday. I can only imagine going another 60 km/hr faster. Crazy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Palin for VP and like such as

Watch this clip from an interview that was conducted yesterday by Katie Couric of CBS with Sarah Palin.

Wow! Uh, something about health care, taxation... let me look at my notes for some more talking points... what was the question???

What a trainwreck. It reminded me of a clip from this clip of a another former beauty queen...

Only one of them is running for VP. They seem equally qualified though.

I've been waiting for the right opportunity to write this post since the second I heard that she had been selected as McCain's running mate. I didn't think I'd get such a perfect opportunity so soon. Just imagine if they let her talk to the media more. I don't think the interwebosphere would be able to handle the explosion of viral video's that would result every time sat down with a reporter.

UPDATE: Jack Cafferty speaks his mind on the above interview. It's refreshing to see a journalist actually say it like it is.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

...worth repeating

We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself."

-- The 2008 Republican Party Platform, adopted earlier this month

While not understanding everything going on with the $700 billion bailout down in the US, I do have some opinions. First, in a country that puts capitalism higher than probably any other country in the world, this corporate welfare seems a bit off. When there are companies involved in this bailout that over the course of the last few years have given billions of dollars to executives in benefits, I have no sympathy for them. I would just as soon see them suffer the fate of their capitalist ways and fold. Go bankrupt.

Unfortunately, the impact of that is huge. It's so huge that it looks like they will get their handout, and carry on making their millions. Wall Street will continue to get rich at the expense of Main Street.

I would love to see the executives be required to hand back their bonuses and outrageous salaries before they get any tax payer funded bailouts. I would prefer to see their assets confiscated, and have them tried for fraud or some other corporate crime. But that won't ever happen.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mad Monday

Today is going to be a mad day in the stock markets, particularly in the states.

The hurricane of financial instability has been brewing for some time and it seems to be coming ashore.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I stated this week to Blondel that my life has many contrasts to it. The example I used was the following:
"I'm hopped up on Caffeine, listening to Dragon Force, writing a boring report for the MOE."
Speed arcade metal and caffeine. The Ministry of the Environment. These should not be mixed. Although, they do balance each other out well.
Another example is happening presently. I'm about to write about the environmental practice of a corporation, resulting in dead vegetation, while listening to the new Metallica album "Death Magnetic", which I have obtained through less than proper means a solid 9 days before it's official release. I think that goes further than contrast. It is hypocritical. I justify it by saying I'm previewing it. If I like it, I'll buy it when it's released. If not, I'll delete it and get on with my life.

Anyway, I just took these two pictures behind my office building:Not too long ago, as in a few days ago, the grass next to the tracks was a luscious green, like the stuff 3 feet from the tracks. Now it's brown and dead. There is no photoshopping going on here. It's real. Same goes for the weeds and grown across the road. It wasn't cut down. I looks like it was chemically burned down. Does CP do this everywhere? If so, what do they spray? Just curious.
Cuz, I'd like to get some of it, and write some messages in a field somewhere, which will be visible from space...

Update - I emailed CP, and asked them about it. This was their quick and thorough response:

Mr. [Fungineer]:

By way of this e-mail I am going to ask my colleague out of Montreal to respond to some of the specifics in your inquiry. She is more familiar with the treatment that was carried out in the Peterborough area and the herbicide(s) that were used.

To quickly answer some of your general questions / comments:

Yes, appropriate environmental precautions are taken during the herbicide application process. All of our weed spray trucks are equipped with shrouded booms to minimize the potential for drift and spraying in windy conditions is not permitted (see attached photos). As is clearly evident in your photos the weed treatment has been confined to a narrow band on and immediately adjacent to our tracks. Our contract applicators are all provincially certified and must adhere to provincial regulations governing industrial herbicide applications. All herbicides that we use are extensively tested before being federally approved for use by the PMRA division of Health Canada and have a low acute toxicity to mammals and aquatic organisms.

At CP we control vegetation / weeds growing in the track ballast (rock section underlying the track) for a variety of safety reasons. Most notably, excessive weed growth in the ballast section can impeded drainage which can lead to track instability issues such as mud pumping. We also have a variety of hi-tech instrumentation to inspect track geometry and other conditions that rely on a clear line of sight. Visual track inspections, by trained inspectors, are also required by Transport Canada at least once per week. Excessive weed growth can obscure track defects creating challenging conditions for the aforementioned automated and visual safety inspections. In areas where railcar inspection or switching is required, areas immediately adjacent to tracks also need to be kept weed free in order to reduce the potential for slipping and tripping hazards, particularly for nighttime operations.

D... S....
Manager, Vegetation Program
Safety & Environmental Services
Canadian Pacific
Office: (250) 612-0324