While the Nonagenarian was with the doctor yesterday, I watched the arrival of the Giant Pandas in Toronto. There were other folk in the waiting room watching the broadcast. We had questions that the journalists failed to answer to our satisfaction. We dismissed the panda diplomacy…too outlandish to be taken seriously. We shared our embarrassment that the Prime Minister of our country would stand on a windy tarmac to welcome the beasts. We shared our hope that FedEx paid for the transportation. After all, their president got to speak to a phalanx of reporters and the PM inserted a plug for the courier service in his speech.
The conversation continued when the coverage ended. The thirst for knowledge had to be quenched, so I opened up my ‘droid and googled panda. We learned the average size and weight of giant pandas. We learned about their diet – 99% bamboo, 25 species of bamboo! A fact that is burned in our memory is scatalogical – giant pandas defecate up to 40 times a day. There is a lot of roughage in their diet.
This unladylike conversation came back to me this morning, as I tip-toed around the goose droppings – euphemisms for excrement abound, and range from the childish to the impolite. Spring has sprung in my neighbourhood. The geese are back and so is the mess they make.
My friend The Nutritionist wrote an article about the beauty of poop. Sharing it with you seemed as natural as…well…eliminating waste.
Cell phone providers that offer me 2,000 minutes a month in my local calling area frustrate me. My local calling area is the entire darn planet. My social network is global: Taiwan, Ireland, Nova Scotia, Vancouver, the USA, Australia, the UK. I’m the consumer that hates roaming charges and paying long distance fees.
I mention this so you understand why I find the stated mission of Facebook – to connect the world – laughable, even fraudulent. Facebook redefines openness, so much that it seems to be a synonym for closed.
- You must declare your “area” when you join – restricting you until you can prove that you have reason to stray outside the boundaries [Linked in is equally restrictive.]
- You must be at least 13 years of age to participate.
- You cannot connect to China – a Chinese regulation not a Facebook limitation.
- You cannot erase your participation – only put it in stasis.
- You cannot undo a like, the action that keeps on giving long after its usefulness
- You cannot push a button to express a dislike.
- 800 billion people don’t belong to Facebook, as promoted by Facebook – because members can register more than one persona. The numbers are inflated.
- When 800 billion people register – you can no longer call the network closed – especially when users can use their ID to log in to a multitude of other sites.
Nope – Facebook is neither closed nor open – it is an aggregator of personal data.
The turkey is ordered. I collect it from Longo’s on Friday. If you haven’t tried one of Longo’s “special” fresh turkeys, you haven’t lived! Wonderfully packaged including instructions for roasting and stuffing. And delicious, absolutely out of this world. I tried my first one at Thanksgiving. Couldn’t resist for this year’s holiday meal.
The only jobs left to do before the holiday begins – polishing the silver and cleaning – well – everything. I don’t mind the silver polishing. Cleaning, however, is the bane of my existence. Yes Santa, I really would like a maid for Christmas.
The “what-is-it” stocking stuffers have arrived. My sister’s contribution came with an envelope – sealed and labeled – do not open until you’ve really tried hard to identify the “what-is-it” stocking stuffer. Competitive? My sister? Duh, yes. Admittedly I sent 2 this year…
I’m trying to remember how many years ago I landed in Shanghai on Christmas Eve? I had fled Canada to escape the holidays. China seemed as good a place as any. Surprise, Surprise! The arrival hall of Shanghai airport was decked with Santas and Tinsel.
I spent New Year‘s Eve as a guest of the state – no not in jail – but a huge dinner put on by a tourism department. Our arrival we were greeted by young girls waving flags and a band! A much better band than the cover band I saw in Atlantic City, that New Year’s Eve I flew to the gambling capital just for the evening. Wouldn’t do it again.
I’m repeating last New Year’s Eve. And I’m looking forward to it, ’cause Jackie Richardson will be singing her heart and the old year out.
The world’s first land cover map of Antarctica has been produced by Chinese scientists. The map is drawn to a scale of 1:100,000. The announcement was made at the China Symposium on Polar Science 2010.
- Chinese Icebreaker – Xuelong
Let’s recap. There are five circumpolar countries – Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Denmark. With three additional countries – Sweden, Iceland and Finland – they comprise the Arctic Council. Later this month, the circumpolar countries will meet in Quebec to discuss the Arctic – minus the other three AC members, and representatives of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic.
China won’t be at the Chelsea Summit. China has no Arctic shoreline. However, Chinese diplomats are lobbying for permanent observer status with the Arctic Council, according to a report by Randy Boswell in the Calgary Herald.
China’s commitment to polar research includes investing in the world’s largest icebreaker. The one depicted in the photograph is the sum total of their polar-class icebreaker fleet. Her name translates to Snow Dragon. She transports researchers and supplies to The Great Wall, China’s Antarctic research base.
The irony of this news has not escaped anyone with familiar with polar history. The search for the Northwest Passage
was an attempt to find the northern trade route to – that’s right – China. Now that the Passage – and the Arctic Ocean – may be free of ice in our lifetime – the Chinese are seeking the northern trade route to – Europe!