Wednesday, August 14, 2013
On August 14, 2003, a cascade failure of the power grid along the northeastern seaboard of America plunged many US and Canadian cities into darkness and complete chaos. Our household was among the 55 million people affected by the power outage.
I remember driving my family to Gatineau across the Ottawa River looking for food because Hydro Quebec was not affected by the power outage. After supper, while crossing the Champlain Bridge, I was suddenly struck by the darkness that was once the City of Ottawa. There were no street lights. Whole neighbourhood was submerged in darkness. I had difficulties finding my own street as all the familiar landmarks disappeared. Except the occasional flickering of flashlight through some windows, every house looked almost the same and I had no idea where home was.
Eventually we managed to find our way back to where we live and spent the night under the faint glow of some candles I had found in the basement. Within the next few days, electricity in the national capital region was mostly restored and we were back to an electricity-dependent civilization.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia ".... Ottawa-Gatineau is a special case in that it is divided by a provincial boundary and the Ontario and Quebec grids are not synchronously connected. Gatineau had power. One may have seen the drastic cutoff of areas still having power when they were crossing the Portage Bridge between Gatineau and Ottawa – the cutoff was at the provincial line. Street lights on the bridge were still lit on the Quebec side of the structure ...."
Related Link: The 2013 Big Blackout in Northeast America
Sunday, August 11, 2013
20130810: I took this photo at the transition zone of the ITU World Duathlon Championships event that was hosted by Canada this year.
All athletes were quick in changing their shoes in the 10K run/40K bike/5K run race except this one gentleman who couldn't find his bike!!! He must have spent abt a minute cursing, swearing and sweating as the clock ticked away !!!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Photo Credit: Wikipedia / African Rock Python
The killing of two boys in Campbellton, New Brunswick by an escaped African Rock Python has ignited a debate on the regulations, or lack thereof, governing the keeping of banned exotic animals in Canada. Recently, media have also raised some questions on the roles of Environment (EC) in this tragic case. Here are some of my thoughts from a non-legal perspective.
It is my understanding that EC's Canadian Wildlife Services (CWS) have been involved because the animal in question is listed in federal acts/regulations established under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
However, what remains unclear in this tragic case are the roles played by CWS, the New Brunswick Natural Resources Department, the municipalities, the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and the zoo owner 11 years ago. In a bureaucratic world, a government official would not have just brought a banned animal from one place to another without a chain-of-custody paper trail or some sort of documentations. It is therefore important to find out what exactly took place more than a decade ago, and what the contributing factors were during that period and on the night of the killings that, when they all added up, led to the deadly end results.
It is a real tragedy that the two boys were killed. Let's hope that people in this country will think twice before acquiring wild animals that in most cases should not be allowed in an urban environment. And definitely, I do not support the trading of exotic animals at all !!
UPDATES: Ottawa Citizen
* 20130810: CAMPBELLTON, N.B. - A funeral service will be held today in Campbellton, N.B., for two young boys who were killed by a python while they slept in an apartment above an exotic pet store.
* 20130809: Questions arise over how banned python ended up at New Brunswick pet store
Related information from National Post:
Harper vows to review Ottawa’s regulation of exotic animals after African rock python kills N.B. boys
Related info: Wikipeida 非洲岩蟒
Thursday, August 08, 2013
2013 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Duathlon World Championships in Ottawa August 8-10: Team Canada
I took this video on Sparks Street, Ottawa during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2013 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Duathlon World Championships that is being hosted by Canada August 8-10. The video showed Team Canada members marching in the Parade of Nations on August 8, 2013.
I will be running the "Sens Shuffle" part of the event !!!
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/e3_XnNozM-E
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
20130806: I watched the movie "The Wolverine 狼人：武士激戰" in 3D and here is a quick review:
* The 2013 film has a really interesting east-meets-west storyline, with our American mutant hero Wolverine 狼人 battling Japanese Yakuza 黑道, ninjas 忍者, Viper 毒蛇. and Silver Samurai 銀武士.
* While the Wolverine dreamed of Jean Grey-Summers (aka Marvel Girl, Phoenix, and Dark Phoenix) throughout the whole movie, the latter actually never had the same strong feeling in return.
* To this end, Hugh Jackman did a good job of depicting a ronin 浪人 roaming his own emotional wasteland void of love and relationships.
All in all, I quite enjoyed the movie !!!
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Wolverine 2013 film
(Top to bottom) Wolverine, Japanses Yakuza, Dark Phoenix
Sunday, August 04, 2013
I watched WORLD WAR Z this evening and here is a quick review.
Brad Pitt's character as a loving father and husband might not come across as deeply as the one in The Tree of Life, but who could afford to soulfully ponder over the origin of the universe and the meaning of life when zombies were running amok and the very existence of uninfected humanity was at stake !!!
The film never says explicitly where the zombie virus originated from. One version of the story pointed the finger to the PRC, but according to Wikipedia (see below) Chinese censors disliked that notion and as a result release of the film in PRC remains uncertain.
I could have told the Paramount executives that they would hit the Great Wall by using sensitive words such as virus, infected, contaminated, etc, let alone pointing a finger to the east.
Talking abt walls. The failure of the wall protecting Jerusalem from zombies in this movie, along with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989/1990, and the breaching of the Great Wall of China several thousand years ago all seem to prove once again that an immovable object and an insurmountable force cannot simultaneously co-exist.
All in all, I find World War Z quite entertaining and is definitely worth the $6 I paid for the ticket. I might even be hooked for a sequel !!
And the quotable quote from this movie: "Mother Nature is a serial killer."
She will be back !!!!
According to Wikipedia / World War Z (film):
"..... In March 2013, it was reported that Paramount changed a scene in the film in which the characters speculate that the zombie outbreak originated in mainland China in hopes of landing a distribution deal in the country. However, an executive familiar with upcoming releases in China later told The Wrap in June 2013 that a cut of the film was rejected by Chinese censors. A Paramount executive contended that he was "unaware of any rejection", explaining, "We have submitted one version and have yet to receive a response." ....
《地球末日戰》（英語：World War Z）是一部2013年上映的後世界末日的恐怖片，由馬克·福士導演，馬修·邁克爾·卡納漢編劇。它是基於馬克斯·布魯克斯的同名小說。畢·彼特飾演一名前聯合國工作人員，他負責在全球尋找相關資訊，阻止殭屍毀滅全球所有國家。.....