Archive for April, 2008

Ottawa–Above Average!

MoneySense magazine has recently published their annual best places to live in Canada issue.  Ottawa ended up being number 1 this year from judging on house prices, environment, and other categories.  I found the Ottawa Citizen article on the survey entertaining.  I particularly like the quote:  “It was to some degree a triumph of mediocrity, but it was consistent mediocrity,” said Ian McGugan, editor of MoneySense magazine.

Good ole Ottawa, nothing too exciting going on, but a nice place to live.  Hopefully some new businesses (non-Government, perhaps non-Nortel high tech?) can inject some life into this place.


Plastic Bottles continued.

I have done further research on plastic bottles and the recycling symbols. Here is a brief synopsis:

Recycling number Comments


1 Used in pop/water/juice bottles. Good for one use but not recommended beyond that.

2 Unsure

3 Unsure

4 Unsure

5 Safe for use and reuse (as far as we know)

6 Not Safe (can leak chemicals)

7 Not Safe (contains BPA)

That’s what I know right now. I’ll try to update as I know more.

Big Company

David Manners has an interesting blog entry about big companies. I have seen some of this occur, and to make matters worse the company I worked for was mid-size at best. When the company is small, and yet loses the advantages of being small, it is doomed to failure.

Big Company Disease

Interesting Electronics Blog

While doing research for my day job, I found this interesting blog. I find David Manners writing style refreshing, and he puts a social political spin on the electronics world. I’m adding him to my blog roll.

Here it is.

Baby Bottle Plastics

Canada is thinking of banning any plastic bottle that contains BPA.  BPA is an acronym for Bisphenal-A, a compound found incertain plastics, specifically the hard “Nalgene” type bottles.  I have done some research on the web and found out a quick way to tell if the bottle contains BPA is look at the recycling number on the bottom of the container.  If it has a 7, then it probably contains BPA.  A good rule for deciding what baby or water bottles to use.

A greater issue is that BPA is found in the liner of most canned food.   Food producers are saying that a BPA ban on can linings, could

Election Spending Rules

I have watched the news and have heard a bit about the Tory advertising scandal. I will probably research this more, but in the mean-time I do have some strong feelings on the election process.

In a true democratic society, the election rules have to be followed precisely. In Canada that means that there is a limit on the dollars that can be spent during an election. I know all parties will attempt to circumvent or massage this rule to their favour–I’m glad that the RCMP is getting involved in this. Election corruption can occur in all different forms, including improper vote tabulation, voter intimidation, and bribery. All these forms of corruption are prevalent in what we would call “corrupt” governments. But I would say that a breach of election spending laws, in an attempt to influence the voting public over and above the other parties, is also a form of election corruption.

A corruption-free election is the ultimate statement of democracy. Eternal vigilance of the election process is the price we must pay to ensure that we keep our democracy intact.

Article about Engineering and Politics

I consider myself an engineer with quite a large interest in politics. I have thought about running for office in the past, but time commitments, and my negative impression of the party-style politics has kept me out of it.

But maybe it is time I start to take a very serious look at giving it a go. In North America, it seems that the lawyers are the most successful politicians. I can’t remember the last Canadian Prime Minister that was not a lawyer in their previous life. Looking at this article, it seems that the rest of the world does not look at things that way. Good or bad, engineering graduates are given a chance to really speak out about the future of the nation.

Definitely something to think about.