2020 Project Tour

21 October 2020: This post is structurally different from previous posts; at its core it’s a YouTube video, KenFromOttawa’s 2020 Project Tour, available on my channel Ken FromOttawa. The text part of the post is about the creation of that video.

Digression: I have always liked the idea of creating standalone videos, but for some reason the energy in that desire was never enough to overcome the inertia of the status quo. Until now!

Continue reading 2020 Project Tour

A Tale of Two Chilis

16 Oct 2020: I don’t know a lot about cooking. Sure I know a few of the basics but no one is going to call me in the middle of a kitchen catastrophe asking for advice. But I do have some arrows in my culinary quiver (there’s that metaphor again πŸ™‚ ): an awards-winning chili (see Awesomely Good Chili!), great cinnamon rolls (with subspecialties of pull-aparts and roly-polies), biscotti, and even rouladen. There’s enough diversity that I can make something that will be welcomed at most pot-luck dinners. For completeness I should probably learn how to make a salad but I find this counter-argument compelling: link.

Continue reading A Tale of Two Chilis

Support Transactions!

6 October 2020: The other day I came across a tweet that I might have written (link) . . . if I had been triggered by reading about particularly egregious spending of the current government πŸ™‚ .

TL;DR: It’s a rant by Frank McVeety about how he worked hard for what he has and he resents the government giving money away to people who didn’t work as hard.

Most of the commenters agreed with his basic sentiment but a substantial minority did not. Here’s a representative comment from that minority:

“The other mistake is believing one’s success is achieved by only his efforts! No one succeeds without the help others, rich people get rich on the backs of others, I’ve seen this my entire life! Owners make more by paying less too often! No one succeeds alone! We don’t live alone”.

Continue reading Support Transactions!

Backyard Temperatures

21 September 2020: For years I have used the Environment Canada airport website (link) to check the local temperature and each time I feel a twinge of skepticism; the airport is eleven kilometers away and it’s not obvious to me that it’s a good proxy for my neighbourhood’s temperature. My general sense has always been that my neighbourhood is warmer than the airport, but that feeling was unsupported by any evidence.

Until now!

Continue reading Backyard Temperatures

The Covid-19 Pandemic: A testing artefact?

14 September 2020: I noticed something odd in France’s Covid-19 statistics the other day (Worldometers – France). The number of cases has skyrocketed to over 10,000 per day (!) with no signs of abating but the number of deaths per day has remained constant at about fifteen per day (!) for the last four months.

Continue reading The Covid-19 Pandemic: A testing artefact?

Strike Two!

11 September 2020: I recently came across a CBC article in my Google newsfeed “Amazon accused of price gouging on essential items in early days of pandemic“. It caught my attention because it didn’t ring true; while I find it easy to believe that a small fly-by-night company would gouge customers and then disappear, I find it much harder to believe that a large company like Amazon would risk its long-term reputation for a short-term benefit. YMMV.

Continue reading Strike Two!

Covid Apples and Covid Oranges

01 September 2020: I came across the OurWorldinData website a couple of weeks ago. It has gigabytes of data about Covid-19 and a front-end that allow amateurs to slice and dice that data six ways from Sunday. The slice that interested me was a country-to-county comparison of Covid-19 deaths per million people (link). The following graphic shows the type of analysis that the website allows. Continue reading Covid Apples and Covid Oranges

Back to the Attic!

24 August 2020: Back on June 27, I posted an article about the temperatures in my attic (How Hot was it?) where I noted that “the attic temperature reached 48 degrees Celsius! To put that into perspective, the government of Canada recommends that the output temperature of a residential water heater be set to 49 degrees!“. Unfortunately I may have made an apples to oranges comparison. After all, one is a gas with low thermal capacity while the other is a liquid which doesn’t increase in temperature so easily. It isn’t obvious that a liter of water in the attic would reach those same temperatures in such a dynamic environment. Continue reading Back to the Attic!

White Privilege?

12 August 2020: I have noticed the phrase ‘white privilege‘ in the MainStream Media over the last couple of years, and aside from an instinctive dislike of the phrase I didn’t really have an opinion on it. But last Saturday I had family over for dinner and the younger generation asserted that it was a real thing and something that white people should address. Since I didn’t know what it meant, I couldn’t contribute a lot to the conversation 😦 (aside from my usual pithy observations on the human condition πŸ™‚ ) so I thought that I would look into it. Continue reading White Privilege?

Excess Deaths and the CBC

31 July 2020: In my previous blog post (Wuhan Coronavirus: Excess Deaths), I analyzed Statistics Canada’s data about excess deaths in Canada (link), and reasonably concluded that the measures put in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 also significantly reduced the spread and mortality of the seasonal flu, at least in Quebec. It seems that I was following in the footsteps of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) because more than a month before my post, on June 19th, they had published a news article (link) based on that same data. I thought it would be interesting to review that article; after all, it is a subject in which I recently acquired some expertise πŸ™‚ . Continue reading Excess Deaths and the CBC