Wednesday 30 April 2014

Working in Montréal today --Я Blogger

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today and tomorrow.

In Soviet Russia, Internet Watches YOU!

That was the best that I could do while using a Yakov Smirnoff voice in my head.  That's right kids, it's the Russia segment of today's Pulp!  That fun loving Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign into law new Internet Blogger regulations that will require said Bloggers to register and follow strict gov't rules.

This is no surprise if you ask me, censorship of media and peoples is pretty much standard fare when gov'ts set about to whatever the hell they want, but lack the character to withstand scrutiny and criticism.

I am usually loathe to refer to my self as a 'Blogger' and instead refer to these missives as Pulps, since while yes, I do often comment on current events, I am equally likely to explore how much g-force may be required to compress a monkey into a shallow disk of gel.  ( Ew.  BUT, since I am here and nothing else inspired me this morning..

Moscow in Crisis!

Now that's a headline.  And if I were a Blogger, I might lead in with that.  Over the last few weeks I have heard friends and colleagues question whether the current Western World strategy of economic sanctions will have much if any effect on Russia and their illegal occupation of the Ukraine.  

I will attempt to put into perspective.    The Russian economy is about the size of Canada's.  The Ukraine is about the same land mass as France and about the same population of South Korea. How long do you suppose Canada could hold out in a military occupation campaign of South Korea while the rest of the Western World stopped buying our Potash, Wheat, Oil and Poutine?

Just askin'.

So if you ask me, Putin is starting to feel pressures from within as the economic sanctions come into effect and thinks that by shutting up some Internet gossip his life will be better.

It won't.

So today, Я Blogger.

Thursday 24 April 2014

Working in Montréal today --Extreme sports and ham sandwiches

It will be working in Montréal today.

This morning I read the headline of the British Columbia woman facing U.S. hospital bills in the range of $500,000 for injuries suffered in an Arizona skydiving accident, that had landed safely at Vancouver airport Tuesday night.


I am glad that she landed safely.  There several thousand other travelers that also landed safely and that was not news either.

But!  The comments posted against the article were a bit off in my view.  They all centered around the activities of the woman's family and friends that were trying to raise funds to help her with her 1/2 million in U.S. medical bills.  The posters seemed to all believe that because she engaged in this risk sport, she should carry the burden of the medical bills herself.

Well.  Okay.  First of all she doesn't have the 1/2 million so go keep your nonsense to yourself.  Secondly, I wondered exactly how dangerous skydiving is statistically.

First I compared to driving.  Now these are real rough unverifiable numbers.  I quickly search the web for what statistics I could find during the Air Canada pre-flight baggage toss competition.

In Canada and the US there occurs about 8 deaths for each 1,000,000,000 km driven.  There are .008 deaths per 10,000 skydives.  Do the quick math, figure most jumps are from 10,000 feet..

.008 deaths per 10,000 jump or 8 deaths per 10,000,000 jumps, x 10,000 feet / 5280 (feet in mile) x 1.6 (km in mile) = 8 deaths per 30,000,000 km fallen.

Divide the km driven by the km fallen, and it put forth that falling with a parachute is 33 times more dangerous than driving.  

Huh, how about that?

Still some more time, how about comparing skydiving and driving to eating a ham sandwich?

We about 28 kg per person of pork per year in Canada.  Again, a non-verified web statistic.  Further, an average pig yields 135 lbs of meat, 24 lbs of which are (is?) ham.  So the ham to generic pork ratio is about .177 to 1.

So..  28 kg x .177 is 4.248 kg of ham per person per year, I think there are about 35 million of us, so that would be 148,680,000 kg of ham eaten in Canada per year. Or 327,096,000 lbs.

I wasn't sure how much ham is used for sandwiched vs all other uses, but from my own experience, I figure 1/2 is a good number to use. So 163,548,000 lbs of sandwich meat.  About 1/4 lbs per sandwich yields 40,887,000 ham sandwiches in Canada per year.

[ Sorry folks, that was clearly a logic error as the flight attendant was pouring me a cup of coffee, I should have multiplied the lbs by 4 instead of dividing. -- The correct count of sandwiches is 654,192,000 ]

I know, that is merely 1.16 [ corrected:  18.69 ] ham sandwiches per Canadian per year, but hey, that's what the numbers say.

Now then, how many deaths from ham sandwiches?

Folks, I am sorry that I took you all of the way here, but I just could not find any numbers on sandwich deaths, let alone ham sandwich deaths. In fact the only death from a ham sandwich that I am ever vaguely aware of in the last 40 years is Cass Elliot, that's right, Mama Cass, Ellen Naomi Cohen.  From the Mamas & Papas fame.

Mama Cass died July 29 1974 reportedly from choking on a ham sandwich.

What have we learned?

That eating a ham sandwich is probably 128,000 [ still probably a real high number ] times safer that falling out of an airplane. Or maybe I forgot to carry a 1. Huh.

Have a great day, wear your seatbelt, chew before swallowing.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Working in Ottawa today --Don't argue naked

I will be working in Ottawa today.

I'd like to start out the Pulp by addressing the episode with the clown in the club change room later night after I played racquetball.  What's that?  No, not a real clown, that would be weird.

I had returned to my locker after a shower, opened my locker and tossed my clothes on a low change table when the aforementioned clown walked up to his locker and starts sh:t about, "you guys walk into an area like you own it and just take over".  Now I must explain, if you have not spent time in a locker room you may be unaware that a lot of talk in' smack goes on, but it is not serious.

I have often walked into the locker room and inquired, "What the hell is that smell?  Oh, hi Ricky".  So when this guy starts spouting off I thought to myself that perhaps he was attempting some form of humour.  So I inquired, "Are you serious?!"

Then it was on.

He stands up straight and says something about me crowding him out away from his locker and moving his gym bag.  Now I had played for two hours or so and had played probably six straight games so was walking tall and feeling rather invincible so was not about to let some dude get all in up my face -bullsh:t I tell you what, it will not happen.

And I had not touched his gym bag.

So nose to nose we were and I was barking words like a German drill sergeant and it was about the time that he slithered away (yeah, I know. Clowns don't slither.  Just a screwed up metaphor) that I turned my head and realized that in the large mirror on the wall I could see out the change room door and see the women walking back from their Yoga class.

Oh yes, and I was standing there naked.  Buck naked.  Yeah.. mirrors work both ways.

While on the subject of naked men in Interesting poses.. Finland seems to be working their own solution to slow postage stamp sales.  PORN.

Yes, Finland is honoring illustrator Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland and printing many of his works on their stamps.  Now these are not Robert Bateman (Robert of Canada) like nature paintings.  No. Not nature.   Oh wait, yes nature.

These are black and white homoerotic images of masculine men with exaggerated parts wearing extremely tight uniforms or perhaps no uniforms at all.  Now I find nothing wrong with any erotic images as long as all subjects are consenting adults, and these images are certainly of adult males.

What is particularly humorous is that in the images the uniforms could be misinterpreted as.. Postal Service uniforms.  This would then lead a holder of such a stamp, if they were unfamiliar with the works of Tom of Finland, that these we images of Finland's postal workers :)

The postman always rings twice and wears tights?

Have a great day, don't argue naked.

Monday 7 April 2014

Working in Ottawa today -If in Quebec, vote early and vote often!

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today and while I usually don't write a Pulp on Mondays, I figured I would write a a short one.

Today is Election Day in Québec and I encourage all to get out and vote early and vote often!

A very quick recap for you on the election running parties..

Pauline Marois and her PQ are running on the question of if the electorate would like a referendum on separatism and if the electorate would like public employed ppl to leave their religious artifacts at home or face firing.  Philippe Couillard and the Liberals thought they would lose right up until the referendum issue ended up on the platform and now can't believe their dumb luck.  For a bit they thought a majority was in store for them, but then Quebeckers started thinking about corruption and the Charbonneau Commission and what past evil doing by the Liberal in may reveal, and finally François Legault's Coalition Avenir Québec, the CAQ also known as the neither right nor left party is posed nicely to come in a solid third, maybe even second behind the Liberals if Legault's message of working for a stronger economy took root.  I appreciate that there are 16 other parties I only had a few minutes to type.

That's it for the recap, have a great day.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Working in Ottawa today --Fear the cherry blossom

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

I was going to write this morning about the re-animation of not-quite-necrotic tissue through the use of high sodium stimuli of the also not-quite-necrotic nerves.  Essentially as long as a dead body's (I was thinking a small squid or cuttlefish not your neighbour) muscles have a supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) -that is, the power supply transporter, and the nerves intact, a strong dose of sodium salt, perhaps in some soy sauce, can cause an electrical charge imbalance and send a signal to the muscles causing contraction and release.  Cool.  Dancing squid on your plate.

But no, I will not write about that and no one can make me.

Instead, a brief primer on Lamarckian evolution and why my friend John's offspring are doomed.

According to Lamarckian evolution individuals lose characteristics that they do not use and develop those that they do.  These characteristics are then passed on to offspring.  This differs from Darwinian evolution where individuals with characteristics beneficial to the survival of a species are more likely to survive and thrive and procreate, passing these characteristics to offspring.

For the last half century I have dismissed Lamarckian evolution in favour of Darwinian simply because I understood my (and yours too) genetic makeup was already set and no amount of attempting to fly by flapping my arms would result in my offspring having any inherited ability.

BUT..  I may be wrong.

This morning I read about a study in the research journal Nature Neuroscience that was published Dec 2013 that has found evidence that learned experiences can be transferred through genetic structures.  That is, the genes themselves are not changed but rather tagged or marked by other molecules serving as a signal to future generations.  These markings are called epigenetic changes and it seems that they may play a very important role in biological inheritance.

The study used mice that had been taught to fear the smell of cherry blossoms.  I hate to think how they did this, a few particularly heinous methods come to mind on how I could make someone like Don fear the smell of cherry blossoms.  One method involves a source of very high voltage and a release of cherry blossom scent into his office about 3 seconds before electrifying his chair. 


In the study the off spring of those tortured, I mean conditioned, mice also feared the smell of cherry blossoms.

What does this have to do with my friend John?

Last night I while playing racquetball, Brian and I were challenging John and Alun (previous Pulp, took a shot to the eye, Ocular Blunt Trauma and I fired a long shot - off the front wall to the back wall (and a quick rebound back towards the front) causing John to need to run forward in hopes of catching up for his return shot.

Inexplicably, John ran full tilt into the front wall-side wall where they meet.  Yes.  Into the corner.  Now I mean full tilt, full speed, pedal to the floor, levers all the way forward, throttle on go.  Into the wall.    Now there is no doubt that this looked painful, and by all accounts from John, yes - was painful.  He explained his eye was on the ball and not the wall, and if we were any kind of friends we would have warned him of his impending doom.

Next week Brian will bring a sign that reads, "Run" and I will bring a sign that reads, "Stop".

But Uncle Daniel, why are John's offspring doomed?

Because John procreated prior to running into the wall and severely marking his genes :)

Have a great day, watch out for the walls.