Tuesday, May 31, 2011

後花園鬱金香 / Tulips in the Backyard



*「兩週一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩】/ 【The Red Hair Girl】: Bi-weekly Potluck Series (submitted article under the theme " My Time Machine")

*「兩週一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩 (續集) 】 / 【The Red Hair Girl (End Game) 】: Bi-weekly Potluck Series (submitted article under the theme " My Time Machine") http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/10/red-hair-girl-end-game-bi-weekly.html

Photo Credit:
* I took all the photos in the backyard on May 24, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011年渥太華週末競跑:半馬拉松賽事完滿結束 / 2011 Ottawa Race Weekend - Finished Half Marathon !!!

Despite the lack of training, I made it to the finishing line!! I feel fine. There have been no cramps even tho I was speeding up quite a bit in the last kilometre or so.

The weather is warm, wet and humid. Along the way, there were exhausted and fallen runners who had to be rescued. Fortunately, I was not one of them.

Presently. I am all soaking wet from the rain and am drying myself inside City Hall.

What a run! What a day!

Sent from BlackBerry

2011年渥太華週末競跑:半馬拉松賽 (21.1 公里) / 2011 Ottawa Race Weekend - Half Marathon (21.1 km)

Here I am at the Ottawa City Hall starting line waiting for the half-marathon to start in abt 45 minutes. There is just a gap of 21.1 km separating me and a cup of Chai Latte !!!

GO GO GO !!!

Sent from BlackBerry

Photo Credit:
* The sky was overcast when I took the camera out at around 08h17 on May 29, 2011 outside the Ottawa City Hall. The photo was edited to reduce the weather effect.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

2011年渥太華週末競跑:半馬拉松比賽前一天的通知 / Ottawa Race Weekend 2011: A day's notice to run a Half Marathon

Because of my Mom's hospitalization and my busy schedule since mid-December 2010, I had not been training for any long-distance runs and intentionally missed the registration for any of the 2011 Ottawa Race Weekend events. On hearing that I would miss participating in the local race for the first time since May 2003, K told me to keep it cool and don't get all depressed.

Admittedly, I was moping and sulking.

So on Friday, when Christine told me her friend D had low iron deficiency and was looking for someone to take her spot to run the half-marathon on Sunday, I jumped at the opportunity. K was happy to hear the news and even offered to go do some cheering on the street !!

It is going to be a challenge to run a half-marathon with only abt a day's notice.



* The YouTube video shows the previous Ottawa marathon running course but contains clips from various past events of the Ottawa Race Weekends. (Note: The 2011 half and full marathon course will be different from those of previous years)


Updated 2011-05-29:

Space 寫來的打油詩 (續集)










Friday, May 27, 2011

一個亞洲男子的秘密自白:奧花雲費(奧普拉•温弗里) 之影響力 / Confession of a Secret Asian Man: The Oprah Winfrey Effect

Having been bombarded by all the media attention directed towards the Queen of Talk-show's last farewell, I almost feel guilty by whispering to you I am not one of the million who have been touched by the so-called Oprah effect. Despite the ample opportunity to be affected in the last 25 years, I don't recall secretly tuning in to watch her program on TV. Of all the US talk-show hosts, I am more inclined to watch Ellen and Letterman and even then I would readily skip the channels when there are something more exciting such as the UFC, Disorderly Conducts, or other manly shows on Spike TV.

Yet, I can be a touchy-feely type of a guy too. I mean I actually went to watch the movies "Something Borrowed" (definitely a chick-flick) and Water For Elephants (a sentimental love story abt a woman and her beasts). But listening to a woman telling me what she likes, and implicitly what I should read and buy too is just a bit too much for a secret Asian man like myself. You know the type :O

But then there are many, and not just american women, who swear that their lives have been touched and even changed by Oprah. They feel she has given them hope, compassion, and the will to overcome adversity. To them, Oprah is inspirational, motivational and a people-oriented, kind-hearted celebrity. To me, I am just glad she is not a cult leader who would wildly predict the end of the world or make followers drink cool-aid.

In the context of main-stream American culture, I do secretly have a lot of respect for Oprah. There is no doubt she is an iconic trail-blazer in the white male dominated talk-show industry and American show-biz in general. She works hard and excels, not because of but rather in spite of her racial and social background. So, as much as I am not comfortable with the consumerism and blind acolytes that are associated with popular culture and celebrities, I do respect Oprah for showing black Americans and other sectors of our population what one can achieve despite the odds, the stereotyping, and systemic barriers of the mains-stream society.

Good-bye Oprah. Even tho I will not deliberately go visit your shop in Chicago and have no plan to join the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) any time soon, I do wish you luck and hope the Oprah Effect will bring positive changes and social equity to ppl in North America and perhaps around the world.

Sent from BlackBerry


Updated / Photo Credit: According to Wikipedia ....

(英語:Oprah Gail Winfrey,中國大陸譯作奧普拉•温弗里,台灣譯作歐普拉•溫芙蕾,1954年1月29日-),美國企業家和電視節目《奧花雲費秀》的主持人。

早年: 溫芙瑞生於密西西比州科修斯科,是女僕沃內塔•李(Vernita Lee)和一個士兵弗農•溫芙瑞(Vernon Winfrey)的孩子。由於母親不到20歲,未婚就懷了她,加上雙親的工作收入都相當微薄、奧花的童年過得相當清寒。她的出生證明上寫的是奧帕(Orpah),本來是取自《聖經•舊約全書•路得記》一卷裏面的其中一位摩阿布族女人的名字,但是鄰居們在讀寫她的名字時把其中的R和P調換了位置。最終奧花成了廣泛接受的名字。畢業於田納西州立大學(Tennessee State University)公演藝術及語音通訊學雙學士學位。

職業生涯:溫芙瑞19歲開始其廣播生涯。她是納什維爾(Nashville)WTVF-TV最年輕的新聞主播和第一個非裔女主播。其後轉到巴爾的摩(Baltimore)WJZ-TV成為「六點鐘」(新聞)的主播之一。然後又被招募至理查德•舍爾(Richard Sher)麾下成為WJZ的地方脫口秀節目(Talk Show)人們在說(People Are Talking)的主持人之一。

1985年溫芙瑞移居芝加哥取代別人成為WLS-TV的一個低收視率的半小時的晨間脫口秀AM芝加哥(AM Chicago)的主持人。節目在溫芙瑞的主持下在不到一年的時間裡就取得了很大的成功,並重新命名為奧花•溫芙瑞秀(The Oprah Winfrey Show),並擴充時長為一小時在全國首播。最初節目遵循傳統脫口秀形式。在1990年代中期,形式變得更加嚴肅,選題更加偏重溫芙瑞認為對女人至為重要併產生重要結果的問題。溫芙瑞也開始做了大量的慈善工作,她的節目對一些飽受貧窮折磨的人和意外事件的受害者做了特寫。溫芙瑞通常對媒體公開討論她生活的各方面,包括一些不那麼愉快的事情,例如受到性騷擾的童年及因而導致的毒品問題。1990年,她同母異父的妹妹Patricia Lee-Lloyd透露溫芙瑞曾於14歲懷孕併產下一個死嬰。溫芙瑞的體重波動使她成了減肥的精神領袖。在1990年代末,溫芙瑞把她的書友會介紹到了電視上,不管她推薦什麼,那本書立刻成為暢銷書,這已經成為她的影響力的明證。

在1996年4月16日與霍華德•萊曼(Howard Lyman)討論瘋牛病的節目中,溫芙瑞喊道:「這讓我在想再吃一個漢堡時冷靜下來!」1998年德克薩斯州的養牛人起訴了她的節目和萊曼「無端誹謗易腐食品」及「行業歧視」稱溫芙瑞的評論導致牛價下跌,造成牛肉生產者損失了1200萬美元。兩個月後的2月26日,座無虛席的德克薩斯畜牧業鄉間法庭宣判溫芙瑞言行並未惡意,因而無罪,無需為損失負責。事後溫芙瑞收到了來自Rosie O'Donnell的明信片:「祝賀妳,妳戰勝了牛肉!」2007年獲得霍華德大學榮譽博士學位。

事業版圖: 溫芙瑞創辦了天使網絡(The Angel Network),一個每年募集成百萬美元善款的組織. 她出版了自己的雜誌「O, 奧花雜誌」和「O居家」, 並與別人一起成立了女人有線電視網「氧氣」。她是「哈博出品」(Harpo,即反寫的奧花)的董事長, 出版包括托妮•莫里森(Toni Morrison)的小說「寵兒」(Beloved)改編的電視劇等。溫芙瑞也涉足演藝事業,最引人注目的是在電影《紫色》(The Color Purple,她因此獲得奧斯卡提名)和她自己出品的《寵兒》中的演出。她也是一個出版物作者, 2002年艾美獎第一屆鮑勃•霍普(Bob Hope)人道獎獲得者。溫芙瑞主要在伊利諾斯州的芝加哥活動但是在加利福尼亞的蒙特斯托也有一處住宅。據說她最近在毛伊島也置辦了產業。溫芙瑞最近簽約將把節目延伸到2010-2011年度。到那時她的節目已經播出25年了。她也計劃每年主持140場節目,到最後時再回到現有的數字上,130場。根據2004年的福布斯雜誌稱,奧花•溫芙瑞據信身家超過10億美金。奧花最近住在她的42英畝的加州蒙特斯托(Montecito)的住宅里。據說奧花出席前戶主的聚會時愛上了這個房子,結果花掉了她5000萬美元,雖然人家不是準備賣的。她在新澤西州的拉瓦萊特(Lavalette)也有房產。

評論: 奧花因其涉及「擁抱自由主義」遭到了保守派的批評。一個批評是,從1981到2002年擔任家庭類雜誌「女士居家通訊」(Ladies' Home Journal)的主編Myrna Blyth在其新書「紡紗姐妹」(Spin Sisters)中撰文:媒體女人怎樣推銷不幸——和自由主義——給美國女人,「媒體精英女人涉嫌向女人們推銷不幸及吹捧錯誤建議」。她也因為她的書友會及採訪風格收到了許多電視小品節目的嘲笑。

Thursday, May 26, 2011

國際貨幣基金組織 / International Monetary Fund IMF

Given that China is an emerging global economic power, what is PRC's view on the vacant Managing Director position of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?

To answer that question, I am posting below an article from AFP and a statement from China's Foreign Ministry.


IMF succession: China urges 'democratic' process
AFP May 26, 2011

BEIJING (AFP) — China said Thursday it hoped the choice of a new International Monetary Fund chief would be made based on "democratic consultation", as the battle to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn heats up.

China's foreign ministry said in a written statement faxed to AFP that it had "noted" the nomination of candidates for the post of IMF managing director, after the resignation of Strauss-Kahn, who is facing sexual assault charges, which he denies.

The statement did not comment directly on the candidacy of French finance minister Christine Lagarde, who officially launched her bid on Wednesday. A French government spokesman said Tuesday that Beijing would support her.

The Chinese foreign ministry reiterated that the decision should be based on "openness, transparency and merit, and better represent emerging markets and better reflect changes in the world economic structure".

"China has noted that relevant countries have nominated some candidates for the position of IMF managing director," the ministry said.

"China hopes that all parties would come to a decision through democratic consultation based on the above-mentioned principle."

On Tuesday, France's chief government spokesman Francois Baroin said China was "favourable to the candidacy of Christine Lagarde".

China's backing would give a significant boost to Lagarde's bid, which has been opposed by some emerging nations in protest at the tradition of a European always heading the global emergency lender.

But the IMF directors from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- the so-called BRICS emerging economies -- on Tuesday slammed Europe's push to lock up the IMF's top job, calling its stranglehold "obsolete".

The IMF has said it would like to make a choice by the end of June, based on consensus among the 24 executive board directors, or possibly by a vote.



China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on May 24, 2011

Q: The French Government said that China expressed support for French Finance Minister Lagarde as a candidate for IMF chief. Would you please confirm?

A: Head of the competent authority of China responded to the issue of candidacy for IMF chief last week. Please refer your specific follow-up questions to the competent authority.


Related links: An earlier article from The Times of India

Say no to backroom deals

May 26, 2011, 12.00am IST

Following Dominique Strauss-Kahn's exit, it's a race for IMF's top job. While Christine Lagarde's jumped into the ring, India and other developing nations are seeking to build consensus on an emerging market candidate. Disturbingly, Lagarde's appointment is being pitched as an eventual fait accompli. India's representative at IMF Arvind Virmani has been quoted as saying the post-filling process is being rushed even as emerging economies are exploring a possible coordinated stand. Surely, in a changed world order, economic powerhouses like India and China don't need to accept done deals on the leadership of global financial institutions.

Developed nations publicly say global decision-making must be democratised to reflect 21st century realities. Will they put their money where their mouth is? In 2009, G20 pledged "an open, transparent and merit-based selection process" to choose IMF and World Bank heads. With reason. For over 60 years, Europe's monopolised IMF's stewardship while the US sits entrenched atop the bank. This cosy arrangement was fine when the West's clout was unchallenged. That's no longer the case. More so, in the post-Lehman world where emerging economies have helped the West beat recession's blues by driving growth, providing markets and offering investment havens.

A stakeholder in the status quo, Germany argues IMF's top job must go to a European qualified to handle Eurozone's crisis. That is to assume non-Europeans - irrespective of expertise and competence - can't assess and tackle global challenges. By the same insular logic, developing nations can reject western prescriptions on domestic issues. Is nationality or race to power global economic management? BRICS has rightly criticised nationality-based leadership as eroding IMF's legitimacy. Emerging economies must now put up a meritorious candidate even if the battle is lost in the final bout. It'll serve as strong protest against bullying and opacity in global decision-making.



Wikipedia: 國際貨幣基金組織

"....國際貨幣基金組織(International Monetary Fund,IMF)於1945年12月27日成立,為世界兩大金融機構之一,職責是監察貨幣匯率和各國貿易情況、提供技術和資金協助,確保全球金融制度運作正常;其總部設在華盛頓。..."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

渥太華的意大利街 / Ottawa's Little Italy Corso Italia


Photo Credit:
* (Updated 20110525) Top photo: This is an edited version of Google Earth's street-view photo of Preston Street. On the left is Sala San Marco, and on the right is my favourite ice-cream shop, Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana !!!
* I took all the remaining photos using my BlackBerry on May 20, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

二十五個"事實"可以證明美國正被中國揍到捧著屁股走 / 25 "Facts" That Prove China Is Kicking Our (USA) Rear Ends

The following info are extracted from the website "endoftheamericandream.com" which has the stated purpose of " .... Waking People Up And Getting Them To Realize That The American Dream Is Quickly Becoming The American Nightmare"

The article I am referring to is entitled: "Trade With China?: 25 Facts That Prove That China Is Kicking Our Rear Ends" (Jan 18, 2011 11:56pm).

*** Disclaimer: Please note I do not necessarily agree with or endorse directly or otherwise the so-called "25 facts", as well as the positions and statements of the authour(s) and his/her affiliated organization. ***

Here is the article ....

Do you believe that trade with China is a good thing? Well, you might not be so sure after you read the 25 facts listed below. The truth is that China is kicking our rear ends all over the planet. When it comes to world trade, China is absolutely dominating the United States. Have you wondered why the U.S. economy cannot produce nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore? Have you wondered why so many thousands of factories have been closing down? Have you wondered why it seems like America is getting poorer? Well, the answers are below.

Of course both major political parties continue to insist that "globalism" is a good thing and that what we are experiencing now is just a period of "adjustment" as we are merged into the new global economic order. Our corrupt politicians will continue to sell you the same tired lies over and over and over as thousands more U.S. factories and millions more U.S. jobs continue to be shipped overseas. So will you keep buying the lies of our corrupt politicians or will you believe the facts that are right in front of your face?

The following are 25 facts that show just how badly China is whipping our butts in the arena of global trade right now....

#1 The U.S. trade deficit with China increased by 26 percent during 2010.

#2 Since China entered the WTO in 2001, the U.S. trade deficit with China has grown by an average of 18% per year.

#3 The United States has now had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976.

#4 The U.S. trade deficit with China during August was more than 4,600 times larger than the U.S. trade deficit with China was for the entire year of 1985.

#5 According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, between 2001 and 2008 lost 2.4 million jobs due to the growing trade deficit with China. Every single state in America experienced a net job loss due to our trade deficit with China during this time period.

#6 China is now the number one producer in the world of wind and solar power.

#7 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#8 China now possesses the fastest supercomputer on the entire globe.

#9 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China's share had soared to 20 percent.

#10 China now has the world's fastest train and the world's biggest high-speed rail network.

#11 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#12 The United States had been the leading consumer of energy on the globe for about 100 years, but this past summer China took over the number one spot.

#13 China has accumulated the largest stockpile of foreign currency reserves on the entire globe - $2.85 trillion.

#14 Stupid American companies keep handing Chinese companies our most advanced technology. Just consider the following example that was just reported in the New York Times: G.E., in the partnership with a state-owned Chinese company, will be sharing its most sophisticated airplane electronics, including some of the same technology used in Boeing’s new state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner.

#15 All of this new wealth has enabled China to dramatically upgrade and modernize their military forces. For example, China has actually developed a missile system that can destroy a U.S. aircraft carrier nearly 2,000 miles out to sea.

#16 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

#17 Since 2001, over 42,000 U.S. factories have closed down for good.

#18 Wealthy Chinese companies are now gobbling up U.S. businesses and U.S. infrastructure at a staggering pace.

#19 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time that less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#20 The United States has 10 percent fewer "middle class jobs" than it did just ten years ago.

#21 According to Stanford University economics professor Ed Lazear, if the U.S. economy and the Chinese economy continue to grow at current rates, the average Chinese citizen will be wealthier than the average American citizen in just 30 years.

#22 Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.

#23 According to one recent study, China could become the global leader in patent filings by next year.

#24 Today, China controls over 90 percent of the total global supply of rare earth elements.

#25 According to one shocking new poll, 47 percent of Americans believe that China is the number one economic power in the world. Only 31 percent of those responding to the survey indicated that they believe that the United States is still the number one economic power.

(Source: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/trade-with-china-25-facts-that-prove-the-china-is-kicking-our-rear-ends)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

世界末日: 一首美丽的歌 / The End of the World: A Beautiful Song

Video above:
".... At age 32, Skeeter Davis sings "The End of the World" live at the Star Route Show in 1963. This song has been a #2 country and pop hit, a #1 Adult Contemporary Easy Listening hit and #4 hit on Billboard's rhythm and blues (R&B) chart. Something nobody has ever achieved before! The lyrics were written by Syliva Dee and the music by Arthur Kent...." (Source: Wikipedia)

Video below: My commnts ...
I must say I like better Skeeter Davis' singing of the same song when she was in her 40's. Her voice was so much fuller and matured.

Why does the sun go on shining
Why does the sea rush to shore
Don't they know it's the end of the world
Cause you don't love me anymore

Why do the birds go on singing
Why do the stars glow above
Don't they know it's the end of the world
It ended when I lost your love

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything's the same as it was
I can't understand no I can't understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don't they know it's the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don't they know it's the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye



".... Mary Frances Penick (December 30, 1931 September 19, 2004), better known as Skeeter Davis, was an American country music singer best known for crossover pop music songs of the early 1960s. She started out as part of The Davis Sisters in the early 1950s. In the late '50s and early '60s, she became a solo star. Her best known hit was the song "The End of the World" in 1963.

One of the first women to achieve major stardom in the country music field as a solo vocalist, she was an acknowledged influence on Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton and has been hailed as an "extraordinary country/pop singer" by The New York Times music critic Robert Palmer.

Davis was the first of seven children born to William and Punzie Penick, born in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. Because her grandfather thought that she had a lot of energy for a young child, he nicknamed Mary Frances "Skeeter" (slang for mosquito). In 1947, the Penick family moved to Erlanger, Kentucky, where Skeeter met Betty Jack Davis at Dixie Heights High School, becoming instant friends. They sang together through much of high school. They formed a group known as The Davis Sisters (although they were unrelated), and started singing on Detroit radio station WJR's program Barnyard Frolics.

RCA Records producer Steve Sholes liked The Davis Sisters' harmonies and offered the duo a recording contract in 1953. Their most successful release was "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know," which spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the country charts in 1953, as well as making the top 20 on the pop charts. The record ranks No. 65 on the Top 100 Country Singles of All Time, according to Billboard historian Joel Whitburn.

While "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" was climbing the charts, The Davis Sisters were involved in a major car accident on August 1, 1953. The crash killed Betty Jack Davis and left Skeeter with severe injuries. After the accident, Skeeter and Betty Jack's sister Georgia continued as the Davis Sisters until 1956.

Davis decided to go back into country music as a solo star. She hooked up again with RCA Records in 1958, this time working with guitarist and record producer Chet Atkins. That year, Davis recorded "Lost to a Geisha Girl," which reached the Country Top 15 and became her first solo hit. Atkins worked with Davis as a guitarist on all of these sessions. Atkins also multi-tracked Davis' voice to resemble the sound of The Davis Sisters. This echo can be found on several of her early solo hits, such as "Lost to a Geisha Girl" and "Am I That Easy to Forget". "Lost to a Geisha Girl" was an "answer song" to Hank Locklin's hit "Geisha Girl".

Davis had a Top 5 country hit "Set Him Free" in 1959. That same year, she had another Top 20 hit called "Homebreaker." She also joined the Grand Ole Opry that year, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Set Him Free," becoming the first female Country singer to ever be nominated for a Grammy.

Davis was married three times, the first being to Kenneth Depew. She later married Ralph Emery in 1960 and divorced him in 1964. In 1985, Skeeter made a solid comeback with the album She Sings, They Play, with the band NRBQ. In 1987, she married NRBQ's bassist Joey Spampinato. Davis and Spampinato were divorced in 1996

Davis lived in Brentwood, Tennessee, from the early 1960s until the time of her death in 2004. Her autobiography, Bus Fare to Kentucky (named after a 1971 Davis hit), was published in 1993. In 1998 she wrote a children's book The Christmas Note (with Cathie Pelletier) based on her childhood that received praise from a number of authors including Lee Smith, Rebecca Wells, and Terry Kay.

Davis continued to perform frequently throughout much of the 1990s and into 2000. In 2001 she became incapacitated by the breast cancer that would claim her life. While Davis remained a member of the Grand Ole Opry until her death, she last appeared on the program in 2002. She died of breast cancer in a Nashville, Tennessee hospice, at the age of 72, on September 19, 2004...."

(Source: Above text by TheBacmaster posted on YouTube May 20, 2010)

Friday, May 20, 2011

世界末日: 最後一天大快活 / End of the World: Rental Go Mental on Judgment Day

Earlier today, I heard on CBC Radio a comment (in jest) that goes something like this: ".... If the end of the world is going to happen tomorrow May 21, 2011 at 6 pm, then one should rent/buy the most expensive and luxurious car or whatever indulgence on credit, and go nuts w/o fear of consequences ..."

Or, you can be like me, sitting now inside the Empire 7 cinema, waiting for The Bang Bang club to come onto the silver screen, and planning to (re)read the book tomorrow over a cup of coffee.

Or, you may find the latest "end of the world" prediction as another excuse for putting off your house chores till Sunday, if and when it comes around.

Sent from BlackBerry

Updated 2011-05-21 01h05 EST:

Some of the things ppl said they would do on Judgment Day ....
* Go fishing, go golfing, .....
* Forget abt diet, eat all the food I like, .....
* Kiss my dog, call my family, ......
* I don't believe it would happen, so nothing ...
* It can't happen, I have not sold my house yet ....
(Source: CBC News May 20, 2011)


* Wikipedia: Harold Camping 平羅德
"... Harold Egbert Camping (born July 19, 1921) is a Christian radio broadcaster and president of Family Radio, a California-based religious broadcasting network that spans more than 150 outlets in the United States as well as a website.

He has used Bible-based numerology to predict dates for the end of the world. His current end times prediction is that the Rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and that God will completely destroy the Earth and the universe five months later on October 21. He had previously predicted that the Rapture would occur in September 1994...."

* Wikipedia: Rapture 被提
"... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.1 Thess 4 ..."

There are many views among Christians regarding the timing of Christ's return (including whether it will occur in one event or two), and various views regarding the destination of the 1 Thessalonians 4 aerial gathering ..."

".... 被提將會在何時發生,是接受這一概念的教派及個人經常爭論的主題。一個流行的解釋是,被提將會發生在大災難(耶穌再臨之前為期7年的時期)前夕。另一種解釋認為被提將會發生在大災難中途,此後基督到地上建立他的王國,統治世界1000年。(見千禧年)..."

* Wikipedia: Judgment Day 最後的審判
".... The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the resurrection of the dead and the Second Coming of Christ ...."

Thursday, May 19, 2011



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

小家種男人? / Is he a cheap skate?

Photo Credit: Taken by Lotusandcedar May 14, 2011 inside a shop on Wellington Street, Ottawa
上图: 五光十色,令女仕目不暇接的燦爛手飾!!
下图: 一個坐在女性購物部,不知如何是好的男仕。


1. 大方回答說: 『妳真有我心,讓我替妳買下罷!』您同意: 女為悦己者容嘛!!!
2. 小家種地說: 『妳真有我心,為我費這么多錢!』但心想: 妳自己賺錢買花带囉!!!
3. 不願鼓勵她,又不想逆她意,莫不經意地說: 『這么多選擇,令人眼花撩亂,我真不知那件好、那件不好。』跟著提議: 『倒不如我們用這筆錢去渡假。』
4. 明知要做「水魚」,於是破財擋災,打蛇隨棍上說:『妳買完手飾之後,我会去Victoria Secret送妳一件來襯。』可正是: 光棍遇着無皮柴:O 

哈哈!! 我個人当然覺得做人是大方的好,大家開心見誠,不要斤斤計較,感情就會自然發展。不信的話,請看以下 kittyhk78 的經驗,小家種的男人有時真是可以做到很絕、很過份的!

"..... 係年頭透過交友網認識左一位4張既男士, 佢同媽咪相依為命, 開頭大家係信息度留下言, 傾傾下先去到電話咁, 前後2個月度啦! 大家一路未見過, 直到傾左半個月電話, 大家就出黎見面, 一見到都無咩特別, 只是無期望, 所以亦都無失望, 佢個子高但不俊, 之後大家都有feel, 出黎第3次就拍拖了, 開頭都好地地, 但係發覺佢真係小家到無人有, 連我d男性朋友都覺得佢影衰晒男人咁話.

例1~事原係咁, 佢時時提要大家付出, 講真~做女人亦唔需要餐餐佢比晒, 女既出豉油男既出雞咁啦, 已經唔港女! 佢想要做到6 4咁, 我都算, 有次食完餐飯, 之後搵公園坐傾計咁, 好自然搵7仔買野飲, 佢真係核突到將我個手袋隊落去八達通個位度, 我好識做自己拎銀包出黎仲大方, 佢既動機要我比錢我都ok, 無出聲.

例2~送我搭的士返屋企側側膀差唔多去到都坐係度, 當然我又自然比錢.

例3~我揸車出街同佢周圍去, 新界九龍咁, lunch去到food court叫我出去買野食, 全程我比晒, 到最後送佢返屋企, 佢同我食魚旦河囉!

例4~我住九龍,佢住香港, 有次諗緊去邊, 我話九龍啦! 佢竟然話, 我過黎九龍車錢來回都成20蚊, 飲野好過, 我個下真係 o嘴, 心想唔通我過黎唔駛車錢嗎? 唉~

例5~去半日踩單車, 夜晚打golf , 係個早餐錢咁大把佢出, 之後租單車, 買野飲, 之後打golf通通我比, 我完全無計唔出聲.

例6~我生日去深圳2日1夜全程我安排, 酒店住宿都係我訂既, 唔好諗住同我慶祝我唔駛出喎, 頭一日既駛費同埋酒店錢佢比, 另一日全程我比咁就叫慶祝, 當然唔駛諗生日禮物呢樣野. 係佢角度講心就ok, 物質呢d無謂野無必要就唔會買.

例7~行街見到想食既糖都係30蚊一包, 佢幫我係我個手袋度拎銀包出黎, 真係唔該晒, 我自己比錢, 之後同佢講點解包糖唔係你買既~佢就答, 我點解要買, 你食咪你買囉! @@ 難道知道女朋友喜歡食既糖都無必要去買嗎? 心淡

例8~有次同佢食"板長", 我都好就住叫野, 2個人都係食左2xx蚊, 咁好啦~無野, 半個月後無拉拉講返食壽司無乜點食都2xx蚊, 我心想~屎都痾埋啦! 仲講既. 之後佢帶我去"明將"食, 話你睇呢度平成半呀, 真係想死, 我依然啞忍, 佢就帶出話媽咪覺得百幾蚊2個人好貴喎, 可以食好多餐, 個下我真係火都黎, 我一開口就話叫佢媽咪去xx博物館, d思想幾千萬, 帶多d你媽咪出街啦! 家下就算係屋企煮都唔平啦!

例9~我想起一齊玩puzzle, 問佢好嗎? 佢好快答: 你買呀? 講真~用意我諗大家都知道想開心下一齊玩咁, 但係佢只會覺得呢d係多餘野無必要囉!

例10~我地行左2個月佢好趕時間就同我去婚前檢查, 之前問佢如果我有事唔能夠生bb咁點, 佢答如果愛對方知道對方要乜又達唔到要求咪自己離場, 我就話倒轉呢, 佢好識講, 個主動權係我度, 佢係被動, 通常女人都算, 真係太自私, 從未預過, 咁好啦~我地依時去body checking, 其實收費係每人550蚊, 佢開頭比晒, 我明知佢係咩人, 咪係完左body checking食飯比返佢, 當時我無零錢咪比600蚊佢, 點知二話不說即收仲要唔找囉, 之後我話你唔找既? 佢答呢餐當你請都得掛, 大家都會覺得請還請囉! 咁都有, 仲覺得自己岩晒, 係佢角度覺得行到呢個地步仲要找錢咁喎! 嬲死我, 因為咁呢個導火線就分手.

其實係開頭拍拖仲講明婚後要男6女4付出, 公平喎! 我講話男7女3咁啦! 佢就答到時先算, 真係唔知以為講數 ~.~ 到宜家佢同第d新識既女人都話我斤斤計較導致分手原因, 完全唔覺得自己有問題, 仲係岩晒添. 佢曾經講話入佢門唔係咁易, 真係唔知以為係豪門添. 呢個人太急要家庭要bb但係連拍拖都咁對人, 婚後點會有幸福呢~ ....."

資料來源: 【經典小家種男人, 唔知大家預過未?】發表於 2010-8-3

很明顯,kittyhk78 的前任男友就屬於這边加拿大形容為 cheap skate 那一類人,孤寒財主,事事斤斤計較,嘩!連女方「婚前檢查費」找錢$150都要袋入自己荷包。他視愛情如商業買賣,視女人為生育機器。老實說,我就不會相信他的「男6女4」婚姻方程式,這位數仙士的守財奴只会永遠帶上「利、害」的有色眼鏡來衡量男女之間的關係!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Canadian Democracy - Featuring the NDPers June 2, 2011

According to recent news reports, some Quebecois have now admitted that their collective support for the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidates during the May 2, 2011 election was driven by, among other things, a disillusion with le Bloc Quebecois (the separatists party at the federal govt level); the remaining bitter taste with the Liberal Party over the Sponsorship Scandal; and a distrust of the Harper-led Conservatives. Given the limited choices, and charmed by the charismatic NDP leader Jack Layton, many Quebecois basically voted for the names associated with the NDP. So, it came as a bit of an embarrassment for voters and the NDPers alike when the media reported that one of the elected MPs, Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau, had never set foot in the riding she was supposed to represent, had not done any campaigning (she was vacationing in Las Vegas during part of the election), and spoke little French (her riding was 3/4 Francophones). To top it off, she beats the next candidate by over 6000 votes and will receive a $157,000 annual salary for each of the next 4 yrs, plus parliamentarian benefits, travel allowances and an office budget of thousands of dollars.

After the federal election, the more "senior" NDPers have been hard at work shielding their rookie MPs (many are still in or just graduated from colleges/universities) from being interviewed by probing journalists. Unfortunately, it doesn't help improve the party's image when one senior NDP MP, Mr. Thomas MuClair made a conspiracy-theory type of gaffe by telling a CBC journalist that he did not believe the Osama bin Laden photos actually existed. Veteran NDP Foreign Affairs critic Mr. Paul Dewar had to quickly do some damage control by emphasizing his colleague was not disputing Prez Obama's claim. But the damage was already done.

As to the controversial MP, 27 yrs old Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau, she emerged on May 11 and pledged to move into her Berthier-Maskinonge riding (btwn Gatineau and Montreal) to serve her constituents. According to the May 12 Ottawa Sun, the NDP leader rose again to defend the newly minted MP. "Madame Brosseau won by 6000 votes. (The voters) have expressed confidence in her," said Layton. "People wanted changed in that riding and that is exactly what we are going to deliver."

If I were a corporate CEO, I would not have taken the risk of hiring someone with no proven track record and no intention of doing the job. But this is democracy Canadian style and voters have exercised their rights to choose their riding representatives based on whatever criteria they want.

So is the NDP well prepared to become, for the first time in Canadian history, the official Opposition Party? Notwithstanding the track-record of veteran NDP MPs such as Jack Layton and Paul Dewar, I have my doubts at this point. But then I respect Canada's democratic election process and will give the NDPers the benefit of the doubts, as will most of the voters who have given the NDP candidates 59 out of the 75 seats in Quebec.

In the harsh, tough political environment of Parliament Hill, I sure hope that, as new MPs of the official Opposition Party, the new NDPers will learn fast to serve the ridings they represent and the country they will help govern.

All eyes will be on the NDPers when the new session of Parliament starts on June 2, 2011. Conservative heavy-weight John Baird has already predicted (with a grin) that there will be some interesting debates ahead.

Did I hear a young voice from the Official Opposition side of the House shouting: "Bring it on !!" ??

Sent from BlackBerry

Friday, May 13, 2011

寶藏或垃圾 / Treasure or Junk

(Based on an Ottawa Sun news article dated May 12, 2011 ottawasun.com/junk)

When I pass by the neighbourhood charity store that recruits, reuses, recycles and resells used household items, I always wonder what kind of junk ppl pass onto them. The Ottawa Sun article confirms my suspicion that many are using the place to dump their garbage in the name of donations.

Of course, ppl will not put the heirloom silverware sets granny left behind into a garbage bag and leave it at the local Salvation Army store. But on the other hand, some of the "donations" received are so worthless that even Salvation Army doesn't want them.

According to the Ottawa Sun article, out of the $2 million worth of donated items received each year, it cost the charitable store Sally Ann $186,000 to sort out and get rid of trash donations. Other stores such as St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army also report spending resources to deal with junks dumped at their door steps.

Don't get me wrong. Charitable organizations still need your donations, just not junks. There is still a need to provide low-income families with merchandise that they can afford. But please don't donate your used 15-year old klunky refrigerator, computers or machines that cost more to repair than its present worth, soiled and dirty clothing, tattered rags that even a dog would not wear, etc.

But if you are serious abt donating your granny's silverware set, please don't just leave it at the front door of a charitable store. (My neighbourhood store has to lock their collection area at night because some adults are sending kids thru the chute/trap door into the storeroom to steal donated "goodies" left there overnight.) Bring the expensive items to the store manager. I am sure he/she will be happy to see some valuables in the store !!

Sent from BlackBerry


Reference: Please read the article "Sally Ann saddled with $1M junk bill" and the video posted on May 11, 2011 at OttawaSun.com


•Clothing, shoes, boots, swimwear, belts, sunglasses, purses, jewellery
•Bedding, towels, curtains, blankets
•Books, records, CDs, Blu-Rays, DVDs, DVD players, cameras, MP3s, TVs, computers, stereos, radios, VCRs, VHS tapes
•Games, toys, sports equipment, Halloween costumes
•Winter coats, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves
•Dishes, glassware, kitchen utensils, pots, pans, lamps, area rugs
•Art, pottery, stamps, collectibles, antiques, knickknacks
•Blenders, toasters, juicers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, musical instruments, tools, power tools
•Tables, chairs, sofas, desks, dressers, bookshelves, paintings
•Bed frames, clean mattresses & box springs, filing cabinets, mirrors (**Goodwill doesn’t accept these)


•Fridges, stoves, washers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, water heaters
•Dirty or stained items
•Items needing repair (broken zipper, missing table leg, etc.)
•Household garbage & recycling
•Recalled items
•Chemical products

Sally Ann garbage costs:

•2010 $186,820.96
•2009 $177,830.33
•2008 $201,365.40
•2007 $165,082.54
•2006 $185,211.93
•Total: $916,311.16

Money from the eight Thrift Stores are reinvested into various Salvation Army programs and services:

•Ottawa Booth Centre (homeless shelter)
•Transition House (18 bed transitional house)
•Addictions Rehabilitation
•Community & Family Services (assists families, children and individuals with items such as food, hydro and rent support, financial counseling, clothing)
•Emergency & Disaster Services
•Bethany Hope Centre (support for young parents and their children)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

為小人大動肝火? / Once a Jerk, Always a Jerk !

I posted the following comments on 啤酒花™_J's Mar 16, 2011 blog article "人还是在职场" ....

".... I have learnt to work with and deal with jerks at the office. They are not worth my worry, and definitely not worth wrecking my health over what they do or say. "

換句話說: 為小人大動肝火? 不值得啊!!!

Photo Credit:
* Wikipedia:
Once a Jerk, Always a Jerk

Friday, May 06, 2011

捉恐龍 / Gone Catching Dinosaurs

Last Friday, I had an appointment with S after work. Since I arrived early, I decided to go inside the building to take a look-see.

What a surprise !! As soon as I entered the doorway, there was the skeleton of a mammoth 長毛象 awaiting my arrival. It was by no means a gigantic one, but still the giant head, long curved tusks and the elephant-like frame just dwarfed me. There were display cases of various bird-eggs and samples of animals collected from Canada's sub-arctic north. Further down the hallway in the cafeteria was the skeleton of another long-extinct dinosaur, the name of which I could not even pronounce. What impressed me was the mane-like bones behind its neck.

For a moment, the place brought back memories of my visits with T and S to the Museum of Nature on Metcalfe Street. It also reminded me that I was still very much a science and technology guy at heart even with the diversifications of my career into policy, human resources and management.

So if my primary school teacher had asked me what I would like to be when I grew up ....



Photo Credit: I took both pictures with my BlackBerry on May 6, 2011 around 17h00. The top photo was tinted to give it a X-rayed feel.

* Wikipedia / 《侏羅紀公園》(Jurassic Park):

《侏羅紀公園》(Jurassic Park)是一部1993年的科幻冒險電影,由史提芬·史匹堡執導,改編自麥可克萊頓於1990年發表的同名原著小說。《侏羅紀公園》至2007年為止仍名列全球票房榜前十名之內,首集票房成功之後並發展成系列電影。1997年拍攝了續集《侏羅紀公園:迷失世界》(The Lost World: Jurassic Park)和2001年的第三集《侏羅紀公園3》(Jurassic Park III)。此電影目前是史提芬·史匹堡的執導生涯之中票房最高。如果計算與通貨膨脹,此電影乃是全球排名第五。

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

烏薩瑪·賓·拉登之死: 路邊社消息 / Death of Osama bin Laden: Heard it Through the Grapevine

路邊社消息? 還是路透社 (Reuters)消息?

I learnt the news abt Osama bin Laden's death from my friend Kempton in Calgary since I have a subscription of his blog via email. But back 10-15 years ago, I would have to get such news from CBC and other mainstream media outlets. For example: I still remember receiving a telephone call from someone alerting me of the live TV broadcast abt the 9/11 attack of the World Trade Centre in New York, NY.

Nowadays, ppl often get their info thru Face Book, Twitter and other social networks on their iphone, ipad, BlackBerry and other mobile devices. In fact, the first tweet message concerning the Osama bin Laden raid was sent by someone living close by who heard and saw the helicopters, and then the explosions. He had not known at the time that his tweet was of international significance !!!



By David Bauder, The Associated Press The Canadian Press – Tue, 3 May, 2011

Reports on Bin Laden's death shows how nature of news has changed since attack

..... "It just kind of spread like wildfire online," said Stephen Vujevich, a student at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. "It's amazing to see how social media played a part in it." Vujevica was at his girlfriend's house and both were on their laptops, when she said that many of her friends had updated their Facebook status to note bin Laden's death in Pakistan. He went to Google News to find out that President Barack Obama had scheduled an address to the nation. He searched other sites to get news and credited Twitter with giving him the most immediate information .....

A soldier who identified himself only as Carlos from Queens called New York sports radio station WFAN Monday to note that he and his buddies in Afghanistan learned the news not from commanding officers, but from Facebook.....

..... Abroad, the mediums of choice were much the same. Perhaps most prominently, one Twitter user told the story before the world knew what was happening — he lives near the compound in Pakistan where bin Laden was killed and became, in his words, "the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it."

Sohaib Athar, 33, is a computer programmer who was startled by a helicopter clattering in the early hours Monday. He tweeted about it, and soon the sole helicopter multiplied into several and gunfire and explosions rocked the air above the town. Athar's tweets quickly garnered tens of thousands of followers as he apparently became the first in the world to describe the U.S. operation to kill one of the world's most wanted terrorists......

..... Twitter said that it saw its highest sustained rate of tweets. There was an average of 3,440 tweets-per-second from 10:45 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. EST (0245 to 0430 GMT), according to the site. At 11 p.m. EST (0300 GMT), there were 5,106 tweets-per-second.

Internet traffic surged above normal Sunday night usage. Akamail Technologies Inc., which delivers about 20 per cent of the world's Internet traffic, said that global page views for the roughly 100 news portals for which it delivers content peaked at more than 4.1 million page views around 11 p.m. EDT. CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC had nearly 15 million viewers between 11 p.m. and midnight Sunday when Obama spoke, led by CNN's 7.8 million. That time on a typical Sunday, the three networks are pulling in 1.7 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

There was a rush for information on mainstream online news sites, and sometimes it caused problems; The New York Times website was inaccessible for about 30 minutes shortly after the news broke due to the volume of traffic. ABC News said its digital properties had their busiest hour in their history Sunday night. MSNBC said its site had delivered 1.73 million streams of Obama's speech on Sunday night.....
Photo Credit:
* (Reuters) US Prez and his staff in the Situation Room, White House monitoring the Bin Laden situation

Related link:

Heard it through the grapevine

Meaning: An indication that a piece of information was obtained via an informal contact.

The first practical public demonstration of the telegraph was given in 1844, when Samuel Morse sent a message from Washington to Baltimore. The invention was widely welcomed as a means of rapidly communicating news. It soon became clear though that close communities already had effective word-of-mouth communications. Soon after the telegraph was invented the term 'grapevine telegraph' was coined - first recorded in a US dictionary in 1852. This distinguished the new direct 'down-the-wire' telegraph from the earlier method, which was likened to the coiling tendrils of a vine. It's clear that the allusion was to interactions amongst people who could be expected to be found amongst grapevines, i.e. the rural poor.

In 1876, The Reno Evening Gazette ran an article about a bumper corn and grape crop. They commented on the fact that the people who were then called Indians and Negroes seemed to be already aware of it (hardly a surprise you might think as it would have been they who had harvested the crops):

"It would seem that the Indians have some mysterious means of conveying the news, like the famous grapevine telegraph of the negroes in the [American Civil] war. The Pioneer Press and Tribune says that, while the first telegraphic news of Custer's death reached them at midnight, the Indians loafing about town were inquiring about it at noon."

The term 'bush telegraph' originated in Australia, probably influenced by 'grapevine telegraph'. That referred to the informal network that passed information about police movements to convicts who were hiding in the bush. It was recorded in 1878 by an Australian author called Morris:

"The police are baffled by the number and activity of the bush telegraphs."

In the UK it was the 'jungle telegraph' - referring to communications in outposts of the British Empire around the same period.

Of course 'heard it through the grapevine' is best known to us as the Motown song, recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1967 and by Marvin Gaye in 1968. It's salutary that, whilst the telegraph is long gone, the person-to-person communication that preceded it is still going strong.
(Source of grapevine - http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/heard-it-through-the-grapevine.html )

Monday, May 02, 2011

加拿大2011年5月2日聯邦政府大選 / May 2, 2011 Federal Election in Canada




Photo credit:

I took this photo of the foyer inside the Centre Block of the Parliament Building on Mar 4, 2011 at around 3 pm.


UPDATE 2011-03-05 01h15 By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press The Canadian Press – 12 minutes ago

Harper finally wins Conservative majority, NDP makes huge gain

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper has sealed his place in the history books, winning a Conservative majority to ensure four uninterrupted years of power and a seat in the Tory pantheon.

Aided by an ascendant NDP that helped split the vote, Harper won his first majority after two successive minority governments that many pundits and pollsters wrongly believed marked a glass ceiling for the former Reform party founder.

In the process, Harper also delivered an historic defeat to Canada’s once “natural governing party,” as Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals tumbled to third place in the seat standings behind the NDP.

The New Democrats rode a mid-campaign surge of support to an orange revolution of sorts, becoming Canada’s official Opposition for the first time and almost tripling their representation to over 100 seats.

Harper joins Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and 1950s-era John Diefenbaker as just the third Conservative ever to win three consecutive elections.

What most public opinion polls had suggested would be a nail-biter of an election was over by the time it hit Ontario’s western border. The Conservatives were en route to winning 40 per cent of the popular vote, with the NDP at 31 per cent and the Liberals at 20.

The rise in NDP fortunes contributed to vote splits favouring the Tories, especially in Ontario where the Liberals were decimated in their last national stronghold.

Ignatieff appeared poised to lose his own Toronto seat in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, ensuring he won’t be around to lead the Liberals when Canadians next go to the polls October 2015 under Harper’s fixed election date law.

The redrawing of Canada’s electoral map didn’t end there.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe, whose own seat appeared in jeopardy, saw his party reduced to a small regional rump — the first time since 1993 that the separatist party hasn’t claimed at least half Quebec’s 75 seats.

Harper’s Conservatives were the undisputed winners.

The Conservative run started in Atlantic Canada, where the Tories overtook the Liberals in the popular vote and added three of the 12 additional seats needed to ensure solid control of Parliament.

The Liberals emerged from the Maritimes scarred but alive, having dropped two seats to the New Democrats and three to the Conservatives. The Tories picked up one seat by a razor-thin margin in Newfoundland and Labrador after being shut out in the last election.

A fractious campaign that began slowly in the last week of March turned into a ground-churning, two-horse race to the finish.

A buoyant Harper cast his ballot at an elementary-junior high school in his Calgary Southwest riding, with wife Laureen and their two children at his side.

Layton and his Liberal rival, Michael Ignatieff, both voted in their Toronto ridings earlier in the day, reflecting what is expected to be the most significant dynamic of the national ballot.

Ignatieff, the subject of more than a year of negative Conservative advertising going into the 36-day race, proved to be a game campaigner but his anti-Harper call for change appeared to benefit Layton.

The NDP surged to unprecedented levels in Quebec after the leaders’ debate and appeared to gain momentum across Canada in the last two weeks of the campaign.

Layton voted in his Toronto Danforth riding accompanied by his wife, incumbent New Democrat Olivia Chow, along with his mother-in-law, daughter and granddaughter.

Ignatieff shook hands as he arrived at a polling station in a junior high school in suburban Etobicoke, trailed by news media. He appeared a bit on edge and after slowly inserting his ballot in the box, he got on the bus and waved to the cameras.

Later, he and wife Zsuzsanna Zohar visited a nursing home. The Liberal leader said it “feels great” to vote after the rigorous campaign.

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe cast his ballot in the morning in the Montreal riding where he’s believed to be fighting for his own seat.

And in the British Columbia riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands, Green Leader Elizabeth May was looking to defeat Tory cabinet minister Gary Lunn.

May focused virtually her entire campaign on the riding in her attempt to gain a voice inside the House of Commons. Insiders suggest the race is too close to call.

Depending largely on those vote splits, the Conservatives appeared to be on the cusp of their first majority since Harper initially took power in January 2006.

Just 58.8 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2008 federal election, the lowest in Canadian history.

However, voters turned out in record numbers for early balloting on Easter weekend, leading some to speculate that an election derided as unnecessary by the governing Conservatives has generated amply public interest.


UPDATE CBC News Posted: May 2, 2011 6:25 PM ET Last Updated: May 3, 2011 12:55 AM ET

Prominent candidates: Duceppe, Ignatieff, Cannon defeated

Many prominent candidates including two party leaders have been defeated in a historic election night.

The following is a list of prominent incumbents we will be keeping close tabs on, from East to West and North.

Atlantic Canada

Siobhan Coady, Liberal, St. John's - Mt. Pearl, NL, in a tight three-way race. DEFEATED

Gail Shea, Conservative, minister of fisheries, Egmont, PEI, won by just 55 votes in 2008. ELECTED.

Peter Mackay, Conservative, minister of national defence, Central Nova. ELECTED.

Dominic LeBlanc, Liberal, possible leadership contender, Beausejour, N.B. ELECTED.


Maxime Bernier, former Conservative cabinet minister, Beauce. ELECTED.

Denis Coderre, Liberal, Bourassa ELECTED.

Pablo Rodriquez, Liberal, Honoré Mercier. DEFEATED.

Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Québécois leader, Laurier St. Marie. DEFEATED.

Irwin Cotler, Liberal, Mount Royal, Pierre Trudeau's old riding. ELECTED

Marlene Jennings, Liberal, Notre Dame de Grace. DEFEATED.

Thomas Mulcair, Outremont. ELECTED.

Justin Trudeau, Liberal, Papineau. ELECTED.

André Arthur, Independent, controversial former talk-show host, Portneuf - Jacques-Cartier. DEFEATED.

Stephane Dion, former Liberal leader, St. Laurent - Cartierville. ELECTED.

Marc Garneau, Liberal, former astronaut, Westmount - Ville-Marie. DEFEATED.

Lawrence Cannon, Conservative minister of foreign affairs. DEFEATED.


Mark Holland, Liberal public safety critic, Ajax-Pickering, facing a tough Conservative opponent in Chris Alexander, former ambassador to Afghanistan. Holland DEFEATED, Alexander ELECTED.

Ruby Dhalla, Liberal, Brampton-Springdale. DEFEATED

Mario Silva, Liberal, Davenport DEFEATED. Andrew Cash, NDP, ELECTED.

Bev Oda, Conservative minister of international co-operation, Durham. ELECTED

Joe Volpe, long-time Liberal MP in Eglinton-Lawrence. DEFEATED.

Ken Dryden, former NHL goalie and Liberal minister in York Centre. DEFEATED

Bob Rae, former Ontario premier and Liberal leadership contender, Toronto Centre. ELECTED.

Jack Layton, NDP leader, Toronto Danforth. ELECTED.

Olivia Chow, NDP, wife of Layton, Trinity Spadina. ELECTED.

Martha Hall Findlay, Liberal, Willowdale. DEFEATED.

Judy Sgro, LPC, York West. ELECTED.

Michael Ignatieff, Liberal leader, Etobicoke Lakeshore. DEFEATED

John McCallum, Liberal finance critic, Markham - Unionville. ELECTED.

Gerard Kennedy, former Liberal leadership contender, Parkdale - High Park. DEFEATED.

Julian Fantino, Conservative, former OPP commissioner, Vaughan. ELECTED.

Tony Clement, Conservative industry minister, Parry Sound - Muskoka. ELECTED.

John Baird, Conservative House leader, Ottawa - West Nepean. ELECTED.

Cheryl Gallant, Conservative, Renfrew - Nippissing - Pembroke. ELECTED.

Helena Guergis, Independent-Conservative, drummed from the Conservative party, running in long-time family stronghold, Simcoe - Grey. DEFEATED.


Anita Neville, Liberal, Winnipeg South Central. DEFEATED.

Stephen Harper, Conservative leader, Calgary Southwest. ELECTED.

Linda Duncan, surprise NDP winner in Edmonton Strathcona in 2008. ELECTED.

British Columbia

Mark Strahl, Conservative, Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon. ELECTED.

James Moore, Conservative, Port Moody Westwood. ELECTED.

Gary Lunn, Conservative minister of state, Saanich - Gulf Islands, was in a highly publicized battle against Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. May is ELECTED

Ujjal Dosanjh, Liberal, former premier, Vancouver South. DEFEATED.


Leona Algukkaq, Conservative health minister, Nunavut, challenged by Liberal Paul Okalik, a former territorial premier. ELECTED

Sunday, May 01, 2011

紀念在9 /11事件中喪生的加拿大人 / In Remembrance of the Canadians Lost During the 9/11 Attack

Whenever I visit the Beechwood National Cemetery, I always drop by to see the memorial site in remembrance of the Canadians who lost their lives during the attack of the New York Trade Centre on Sept. 11, 2001. My last visit was on Feb 22 earlier this year. I am posting the photos I took on that bright winter day when all was quiet under the gaze of the stone angels.


Osama bin Laden killed, Obama says
(CBC News Posted: May 1, 2011 10:58 PM ET Last Updated: May 2, 2011 2:42 AM ET)

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, is dead, ending a decade-long manhunt for the world's most-wanted terrorist, U.S. President Barack Obama announced Sunday night.

"I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Obama said during a statement televised live from the East Room of the White House late Sunday evening.

The president said that he had met repeatedly with his national security team since August and that they received information that bin Laden was hiding in a compound in Pakistan. Then last week it was determined that the U.S. had enough to take action, he said.

"Today at my direction," Obama said, the U.S. launched a targeted attack against that compound in Abbottabad, which is about 150 kilometres north of Islamabad, and that bin Laden was killed in a firefight. The U.S. has his body, he said.

"Justice has been done," the president said.

U.S. officials said four helicopters carrying CIA paramilitaries and a Navy SEAL team attacked bin Laden's compound; an Abbottabad resident said the raid took place at 1:30 a.m. local time.

Following the attack, Pakistani television broadcast pictures of flames shooting from the roof of bin Laden's two-storey house in the night sky.

The development comes just months before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York and Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The four airplane hijackings orchestrated by bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization killed more than 3,000 people.

The attacks set off a chain of events that led the U.S. into wars in Afghanistan and then Iraq, and America's entire intelligence apparatus was overhauled to counter the threat of more terror attacks at home.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said bin Laden's death will "bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones" on Sept. 11.

In New York City, celebrations broke out in Times Square and people began to gather at the site where the World Trade Center towers stood. The site is now a construction zone where a memorial and new tower are being built.

As news of bin Laden's death spread, crowds also began to gather outside the White House. After Obama confirmed the death, the crowd burst into chants of "U.S.A."

George W. Bush., who was president when al-Qaeda attacked the U.S., said the fight against terror continues "but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

In Abbotsford, B.C., Prime Minister Stephen Harper noted that 24 Canadians died in the Sept. 11 attack. He said the death of the bin Laden "secures a measure of justice for those Canadians and their families."

"Bin Laden's death does not end the threat of international terrorism," Harper said. "Sadly, others will take his place."

Al-Qaeda was also blamed for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 231 people and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors in Yemen, as well as countless other plots, some successful and some foiled.

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