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Only in Canada


1. Only in Canada……can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
2. Only in Canada……are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.
3. Only in Canada……do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
4. Only in Canada…..do people order doublecheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke.
5. Only in Canada……do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
6. Only in Canada……do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
7. Only in Canada……do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we don’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
8. Only in Canada……do we buy hot dogs in packages of twelve and buns in packages of eight.
9. Only in Canada…..do we use the word ‘politics’ to describe the process so well: ‘Poli’ in Latin meaning ‘many’ and ‘tics’ meaning bloodsucking creatures’.
10. Only in Canada……do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

Canadian traveling in Europe


Three men were traveling in Europe and happened to meet at a bar in London. One man was from England, one from France and one from Canada.

They got acquainted and started talking about their problems with their wives.

The guy from England began by saying: “I told my wife in no uncertain terms that from now on she would have to do the cooking. Well the first day after I told her, I saw nothing. The second day I saw nothing. But on the third day when I came home from work, the table was set, a wonderful dinner was prepared with wine and even dessert.”

Then the man from France spoke up: “I sat my wife down and told her, that from now on she would have to do all the shopping, and also do the cleaning. The first day I saw nothing. The second day I saw nothing. But on the third day when I came home, the whole house was spotless, and in the pantry the shelves were filled with groceries.

The fellow from Canada was married to an enlightened woman from the prairies… He sat up straight on the bar stool, pushed out his chest and said: “I gave my wife a stern look and told her, that from now on she would have to do the cooking, shopping and housecleaning.  Well the first day I saw nothing. The second day I still saw nothing. But on the third day I could see a little bit out of my left eye …”

You have two cows – Freakonomics


TRADITIONAL ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies and the economy grows.
You retire on the income.

INDIAN ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You worship them.

PAKISTANI ECONOMICS

You don’t have any cows.
You claim that the Indian cows belong to you.
You ask the US for financial aid, China for military aid,  British for Warplanes, Italy for machines, Germany for technology,
French for submarines, Switzerland for loans, Russia for drugs and Japan for equipment.
You buy the cows with all this and claim exploitation by the world.

AMERICAN ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You sell one and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
You profess surprise when the cow drops dead.
You put the blame on some nation with cows & naturally that nation will be a danger to mankind.
You wage a war to save the world and grab the cows.

FRENCH ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.

GERMAN ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You reengineer them so that they live for 100 years, eat once a month and milk themselves.

BRITISH ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
They are both mad cows.

ITALIAN ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You don’t know where they are.
You break for lunch.

SWISS ECONOMICS

You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you.
You charge others for storing them.

JAPANESE ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You redesign them so that they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create cute cartoon cow images called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.

RUSSIAN ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 17 cows.
You give up counting and open another bottle of vodka.

CHINESE ECONOMICS

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim full employment, high bovine productivity and arrest anyone reporting the actual numbers.

Choose Fair Trade Bananas


WFTO Fair Trade Organization Mark

WFTO Fair Trade Organization Mark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are bananas, and there are bananas. The banana market is controlled by five large corporations – Chiquita (25%), Dole (25%), Del Monte (15%), Noboa (11%) and Fyffes (8%).  When you shop at the supermarket, how often do you think about where the food you eat comes from or how it was grown? Supermarkets today contain food from all over the world. But how does a banana get to our table?

Most bananas sold in Canada today, have been sprayed with chemical pesticides. Only 0.5 percent* of the purchased bananas have been raised without these kinds of toxins.

The bulk of Canadian organic banana imports is supplied by the United States, with products from, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Honduras. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says Canada imported about 1,800 tonnes of organic bananas in 1998.

In Canada, Transfair Canada – http://www.transfair.ca/ has certified fair trade bananas, imported by Equicosta and Pro Organics Marketing.

If every tenth banana sold in Canada were a certified fair trade banana, this would mean that almost 20 metric tons of chemical biocides would not have to be spread on the banana plantations.

More than one thousand banana workers could work in plantations where they are not being exposed to extremely poisonous biocides. The birds, tortoises, dugongs, butterflies, insects, fish, frogs, and all other animals in the areas around these plantations, would not have the risk of being harmed and poisoned by the chemicals.

This is why you, as a Canadian, should choose fair trade organic-labeled bananas.

Would you like to know the truth about ordinary bananas?

Rivers and seas are not well
Despite the efforts, it has been difficult to come to terms with the immense use of biocides. Chemicals are still leaking out into small streams and rivers, and end up in the ocean and the coral reefs. The fish and other animals in the rivers and alongside the coast are being poisoned and risk dying, at worst.

Criticism has resulted in some improvement
As a consequence of the criticism, some banana companies have made certain improvements to their bananas. The plastic bags impregnated with pesticides are picked up after the harvest instead of being left in the fields. The workers are not in the plantations during the aerial sprayings, and the use of the dangerous weed killer Paraquat, has been heavily reduced. However, this is not enough – and it is possible to grow bananas without massive amounts of chemical biocides.

Harmful to the Workers
There is no safe way to use chemical biocides. All-covering protective clothing is difficult to use in tropical heat. Accidents are common. Daily exposure to the plastic bags impregnated with pesticides cause neurological damage, and when packing the bananas, the workers risk contracting skin problems. The chemicals spread on the plantations are also in the workers’ homes (there are even trace amounts of chemicals in their mattresses), as well as in other buildings close to the plantations, such as the children’s schools.

The Banana Consumption in Canada

Bananas are many people\’s favorite fruit. Canadians consume plenty; the bananas we normally eat in Canada originate from countries like Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador. Almost all of the organic bananas, come from the Dominican Republic. About one tenth of the organic bananas were also labeled with Fair Trade. In Canada, all bananas labeled Fair Trade are also ecologically grown.

Fair Trade Bananas

Choose Fair Trade labeled bananas instead – and help improving both the environment and people\’s lives.

Fair Trade is a guarantee that the growers always are paid more than the world-market price and never less than the cost of production. The labeling is also based on a number of social criteria. Furthermore, there are some minimum demands regarding the environmental effect. The labeling is guaranteed and controlled is carried out by Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (http://www.fairtrade.net/ ), where Fair Trade is a member.

Organic bananas account for just 0.5 percent of total banana consumption, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in the study entitled “The market for ‘organic’ and ‘fair-trade’ bananas.” – http://www.foodnavigator.com/news/ng.asp?id=42487-organic-bananas-gain

-ecological growing accepts the use of soaps, organic based extracts, oils, and fungi and bacteria that have not been genetically manipulated. In certain fruit-growing, limited amounts of copper and sulfur may be used.

Canadians wish to rid themselves of debt, stress and in-laws


If Canadians had a magic button and could press it to deduct one bothersome thing from their lives, credit card debt and mortgage payments would be the first to go. According to a new Angus Reid Strategies survey sponsored by Intuit Canada, makers of QuickTax, debt is at the top of Canadians’ deduction wish list, with stress and weight gain following close behind.

Debt is the first to go

The Angus Reid/Intuit study, which polled 1,045 people across Canada, revealed there\’s some interesting dreaming going on:

  • More than one-quarter (26 per cent) of respondents would strike credit card debt from their everyday life if they had the chance, followed by mortgage debt (22 per cent) and winter\’s extra pounds (15 per cent).
  • Atlantic Canadians were the biggest credit card debt dreamers, with 32 per cent claiming they would strike it before anything else compared to only 22 per cent in Alberta. Atlantic Canadians tied with Quebeckers for deducting school debt (14 per cent each).
  • Not surprisingly, mortgage debt elimination was highest in Ontario where housing prices continue to skyrocket.
  • Ten per cent of Canadians are eager to get rid of school debt while another 10 per cent would deduct work stress and seven per cent would choose snow.
  • Annoying partners/spouses and in-laws appear manageable, each accounting for just one per cent of deduction button wishes. Those living in Manitoba and Saskatchewan feel otherwise, with five per cent wishing to eliminate annoying partners/spouses. Three per cent of Albertans would ditch the in-laws if they had the chance.
  • While it’s unclear who’s actually fatter or more stressed, women ranked higher than men in wishing their extra pounds away (17 per cent vs. 13 per cent) while men ranked slightly higher than women in wishing their stress away (10 per cent vs. 9 per cent). But when it came to credit card debt, a whopping 30 per cent of women wanted to dream it away compared to 21 per cent of men.
  • The largest group that wished their credit card debt to disappear were between 35 and 54 years old (33 per cent), followed by those over 55 (23 per cent).

There are some made-up words that really should be in the dictionary


There are some made-up words that really should be in the dictionary.

destinesia (noun) : a disease in which one enters another room/area and forgets what they came for. Although he marched angrily and purposefully into the room, the moment he stepped in from underneath the door, he had destinesia and forgot for what he had come.

Garage Mahal (noun) : an extremely large house , similar to other houses in it’s area, with the primary distinguishing characteristic being an oversized 3 or
4 (or more) car garage to house the SUV’s, RV’s, and other family vehicles.
The Jones’ just moved into a Garage Mahal, so I guess we’re going to have to move, too.

thinko (noun) : A thinking mistake. Like a typo in mindwaves. A slip of the mind.
All my mistakes are just thinkos!

flatuglance (noun) : The glance given by someone who recognizes that someone in his or her’s presence has farted. While on the elevator, he recognized someone’s flatuglance as he tried to determine who had passed gas.

conquire (verb) : to answer a question with a question “Why do you always answer a question with a question?” “Do I?” he conquired.

fakeuccino (noun) : Gas station or convenient store, machine made cappuccinos and lattes. fake-a-chino The popular coffee shop was too expensive, so we settled for a fakeuccino.

gesundtime (interjection) : The time between the moment you realize you are going to sneeze and the actual sneeze.

flexitarian (noun) : A vegetarian who infrequently eats things that are not standard vegetarian fare (i.e. steak, chicken, fish, etc.) She\’s really more of a flexitarian than a vegetarian because she truly enjoys the occasional piece of fried chicken.

winternment (noun) : the state of being forced inside due to inclement winter weather (I made it up because I live in Buffalo!) “The storm caused the schools to close; this winternment is unending!”

Bangalored (verb) : To have one’s job sent overseas Nick was sad when his job was bangalored

Flutterby (noun) : What Butterfies should have been called! Why butter anyway??
dehydrophobic (noun) : One who is unreasonably afraid of dehydration or being thirsty. She’s always carrying water around, she must be a dehydrophobic.

counterstink (noun) : an odor used to mask another odor
The counterstink was more annoying than the odor it was intended to mask.

ignoy (verb) : to annoy by ignoring Stop ignoying me!

derogonym (noun) : An alternative name given to a thing, usually a company or product, which is derived from the actual name and derogatory in nature.
Don’t you think the coffee tastes burnt at Charbuck’s?

phonesia (noun) : The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you were calling just as they answer. I was going to dial my friend, but at the last minute I got phonesia.

Choose organic, choose local, choose fair trade


Try to incorporate as much organic food as possible in your holiday meal. Organic food is GE-free and grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. There are number of third party certifiers in Canada who certify products as organic. Look for certified organic food at the grocery story, at your local co-op and at farmer’s markets. There are also increasing numbers of organic home delivery services.

While organic food is almost always the best choice, you should also consider where and by whom it was produced. Locally grown food is easier to trace to small, responsible producers. And, since it doesn’t need to be transported as far, it cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions.

One great option for fresh food year round is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) which allows you to pre-buy – in essence invest – in a farmer’s annual crop. The dividends: farm fresh food, as soon as it’s ripe. To find a local CSA, search the Internet or ask at your local food co-op.

For fun, try to prepare a holiday meal out of ingredients from within a hundred miles of your home. For tips, visit www.100milediet.org.

For information on where to buy organic food, visit the Canadian Organic Growers or check out the Eat Well Guide.

Whenever possible, opt for fair trade certified food products. Commonly certified products include coffee, tea and chocolate. For more information on agricultural workers in Canada, visit http://www.justicia4migrantworkers.org.

The many uses of Vodka


*14 things you can do with Vodka besides drink it.

  1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves adhesive. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.

  2. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.

  3. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfect the blade and prevents rusting.

  4. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry.

  5. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

  6. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.

  7. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.

  8. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, refreshable ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.

  9. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed  lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days.

  10. To relieve a fever, use a dishcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.

  11. To cure foot odour, wash your feet with vodka.

  12. Vodka will disinfect and ease a jellyfish sting.

  13. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.

  14. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

And silly me. I’ve only been drinking the stuff!!

4 simple tips to save money at home and help the environment


Here are 4 tips to save money and reduce climate changes. These are simple changes for your home to save money and live environmental friendly:

Avoid standby-mode, can save up to 70 dollar/year.

A TV, Computer or other electronics with standby mode, can consume 50% of power consumption. To switch off the TV completely, you save money and the environment. It cost you about 10 dollar a year to have the TV in standby mode and it is also a fire hazard. Approximately all standby-energy in an average household cost between 70-80 dollar a year.

Change your showerhead to a low, can save up to 180 dollar/year

About 15 to 25 percent of all energy consumed in a house, goes to heat up the water. A family of 4 people that shower 5 minutes per person per day, consume 87,6 cubic meter (One cubic meter = 1,000 litres = 220 gallons) of water a year.

With an economic shower head the consumption are reduced to 58,4 cubic meter a year. The water bill is lower and energy consumption is reduced. In total a family of 4 people could save 180 dollar a year by changing showerhead and other taps.

Seal your windows and doors. Can save up to 150 dollar/year

By reducing the emission of heat from you house, you can reduce your energy consumption. If you close the curtains or blinds at night, the heat is staying longer. Seal your doors and windows can save up to 150 dollar/year in a average size house.

Reduce the heat in your house. Can save you up to 200 dollar/year

If you reduce the temperature inside your hose with one degree you reduce energy consumption with 5 percent. For you that live in an average size this can be a saving up to 200 dollar/year if you reduce from 22 degree to 20 degrees indoors.

Other savings you can are:

  • Do not use your dishwasher, wash all your dishes by hand in cold water.
  • Change your regular light bulbs to fluorescent light bulbs
  • Shave with a razor and not an electrical razor.
  • If you have a towel heater or dryer on compared to when it is off

Friday on the Subway


I got up this morning feeling very joyful, it was Friday, casual day at work, so this is the day of the week I like to stand out by going in my business clothes. On the subway down to my office, I looked around the subway car and I noticed that the majority of the passengers all were dressed for casual day. My mind started going, thinking about how we conform ourselves to seemingly arbitrary standards that are set for us when joining a company, the further my thoughts took me, I realized that all of us follow the same rules, as if we lived in a Big Brother state.

Before reaching my subway stop, George Orwell’s book 1984 came to my mind and I was asking myself if are we heading there. http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

  • “In the book the character Winston Smith lives in London which is part of the country Oceania. Oceania is a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, who censors everybody’s behavior, even their thoughts. Winston is disgusted with his oppressed life and secretly longs to join the fabled Brotherhood, a supposed group of underground rebels intent on overthrowing the government.
  • Winston meets Julia and they secretly fall in love and have an affair, something which is considered a crime.  One day, while walking home, Winston encounters O’Brien, an inner party member, who gives Winston his address. Winston had exchanged glances with O’Brien before and had dreams about him giving him the impression that O’Brien was a member of the Brotherhood. Since Julia hated the party as much as Winston did, they went to O’Brien’s house together where they were introduced into the Brotherhood.
  • O’Brien is actually a faithful member of the Inner-Party and this is actually a trap for Winston, a trap that O’Brien has been cleverly setting for seven years. Winston and Julia are sent to the Ministry of Love, which is a sort of rehabilitation center for criminals accused of thought crime. There, Winston was separated from Julia, and tortured until his beliefs coincided with those of the Party. Winston denounces everything he believed him, even his love for Julia, and was released back into the public where he wastes his days at the Chestnut Tree drinking gin.”

We are controlled by rules, we need a license to drive a car, having a car we need to have an insurance and obey traffic rules, to travel we need a passport, we need an ID to get our money from the bank, whether we earn money or not, we need to file our taxes, it goes on and on. We are completely in the mercy of process and laws.  More and more, business sectors introduce processes and certify the individuals that are working in these sectors, project managers, accountants, real estate agents, insurance brokers, financial planners, the list is endless. So how did we get to this, one word –lawyers.

Behind almost all the industry associations there is a lawyer that has championed the cause of a profession and the creation of a process to certify individuals working in it. There are more lawyers today than there ever have been and we are a society at the mercy of lawyers that control our businesses, governments and our cities.

What will happen if we elect the wrong government and they decide to create new laws to control all the industry associations?

If that happens we are close to a totalitarian society and in my view, it seems we are heading in that direction. Currently what is going on is that we are creating a new class of professionals, who slot in between middle and the rich class. This class is all about process and control, a set way of doing things. I do not think we are exactly in the position Winston Smith in the book 1984, living in a society in which they cannot fall in love, but we have our taboos too, the biggest one being that we cannot be poor.

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