Medley #4

23 January 2021: I sometimes come across interesting items that don’t warrant separate blog posts. And that’s quite a statement considering that I have blogged about Supermarket Checkout Lines, Hallowe’en Strategies, and even The Perfect Parking Spot 🙂 . I sometimes combine those items into a single blog post. Like this one 🙂 . So let’s get caught up on green needles, brainstorms, hospital beds in Ottawa, and an errant email from the Attorney-General.

Continue reading Medley #4

Covid-19 in Ottawa

16 January 2021: I occasionally visit Ottawa Public Health’s Daily Covid-19 Dashboard because it offers an up-to-date view of the Covid-19 situation in Ottawa. Sure I could quibble about the format but it does contain a lot of useful data and it isn’t impossible to navigate (although I eventually had to call their information helpline – very helpful). But a couple of pieces of data have always struck me as odd:

Continue reading Covid-19 in Ottawa

Factfulness

03 January 2021: In May 2020 I purchased Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think and last week I finally finished it 🙂 . I bought it because it had received great reviews, it supported my view that the world was improving, and I had long admired the author Hans Rosling. In fact I had written a post (Life is Good…) in June 2018 about his work.

Continue reading Factfulness

Arghh! That’s what I should have said!

Admin Note: I accidentally advertised my previous post while it was password protected.  Sorry about that. It’s public now: Barb’s Coffee Cake Recipe.

24 December 2020: Have you ever been criticized unfairly but you couldn’t put your finger on exactly why it was unfair? But more importantly, you couldn’t think of a devastating riposte that put your accuser in her place and left you with that warm self-righteous feeling for the rest of the day? And it was made even worse when the perfect response popped into your head days later.

Continue reading Arghh! That’s what I should have said!

Barb’s Coffee Cake Recipe

19 Dec 2020: July 26th 2017 was the beginning of a long and arduous journey for me; because that was the day that I received an email from Barb with her coffee cake recipe. It is only now, after more than a dozen attempts, that I may have finally snatched the pebble from her hand and made that recipe with a well-defined layer of crumble in the middle of the cake.

Continue reading Barb’s Coffee Cake Recipe

Trust the Experts?

16 December 2020: Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve noticed a lot more exhortations from Google News to Trust the Experts! than I used to. Sometimes it’s couched as Believe the Science! but the general message remains the same: the world is a complicated place, there are experts who can help you safely navigate its dangers, and it only makes sense to listen to them. Like a lot of Main Stream Media content (e.g. Black Lives Matter, Defund the Police…), it’s a short pithy phrase that poorly summarizes a very complex issue.

Continue reading Trust the Experts?

Competence

08 December 2020: We live in a complicated world. And I sometimes wonder if there are enough competent people around to keep it running smoothly. And for how long. Because it’s getting more and more complex: sophisticated technologies require sophisticated understanding, increased population requires increased accommodation for others, unintended consequences become more far-reaching….

Continue reading Competence

Television Series

26 November 2020: I rarely watch a television series to the end. It’s a bad habit that I’ve developed over the last several years; in the last ten years I’ve only finished Breaking Bad, FarScape, and The Queen’s Gambit. I’ve abandoned easily ten times that number. Just off the top of my head: The Walking Dead, Dark Matter, Dexter, Titans, Sanctuary, Stranger Things, Hanna, Lucifer …. And it’s not that I just watch the first episode; I watched the first seven seasons of the Walking Dead before I called it quits!

Continue reading Television Series