Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Globe and Mail Needs a Lesson in Manners

Globe and Mail
Last week, for Torontoist, I put together a story about the Canadian news organizations that use iCopyright, a Seattle-based licensing service that allows news sites to license their content to their users. To find out why they're using iCopyright, I talked to the Toronto Star, CBC.ca, and the Globe and Mail. Both the Star and the CBC returned my interview requests and answered my questions (though the CBC’s media relations department took their sweet time about it), while the Globe decided to sidestep my inquires.

I asked the Globe’s licensing and syndication department if they viewed their licensing system primarily as a revenue stream or an anti-piracy tool, and they told me to go talk to iCopyright. Again, I stated that I was more interested in learning why the Globe chose to use this particular licensing system, and I was told, rather rudely, to go visit iCopyright’s website to get a better idea of what they do. After that, they just stopped responding to my emails.

In retrospect, I think I let the Globe off too easily. I should have included a sentence in my article along the lines of: "We asked the Globe and Mail why they used iCopyright, but their licensing and syndication department refused to give us a straight answer." Next time, I guess.

Photo by smallestbones.

> Continue Reading: The Globe and Mail Needs a Lesson in Manners

Time-Lapse Video of Moss Park



A neat time-lapse video shot from sunrise to sunset of Moss Park. I like how the smoke coming off the tops of the buildings looks like it's dancing to the beat.

Video by Phil Connor.

> Continue Reading: Time-Lapse Video of Moss Park

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fifty Equal States

50 Equal StatesAlaska and Hawaii are part of the states of Olympia and Coronado, respectively.

Several days ago, I saw a map created by Neil Freeman on Andrew Sullivan's blog that redivided the U.S. into fifty equal states (each with a population of approximately 5.6 million).

Based on data from the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, I thought it might be interesting to see how a re-division like this would affect the electoral map.

Since all the states are equal, I've given them each one electoral vote. With fifty states, it now takes twenty-six electoral votes to win.

50 Equal States Electoral MapElectoral map.

Here are some conclusions:
  1. Since this re-division creates an even number of electoral votes, a lot more Presidential elections would probably be decided by Congress.

  2. Freeman's proposed re-division almost perfectly mirrors the popular vote. In 2008, Barack Obama (D) won 53% of the vote and John McCain (R) won 46%. Under a re-division, the Democrats would have picked up 26 electoral votes (52%), while the Republicans would have picked up 24 (48%).

  3. The Democrats seem to be the losers here, as solid Democratic areas like the Pacific and the Northeast are now splashed with red, while traditional Republican areas have mostly stayed the same. The Democrats only pickups are in south Texas, thanks to Latino voters, and in Utah (now part of the state of Great Basin), which is tempered by Democratic voters from Nevada and Colorado. Though both of these new states would probably be better classified as toss ups.
Of course, any re-division on this scale would greatly change the political climate, moderating some areas of the country while sharpening partisan divisions in the other.

On the state level, I suspect that regional special interests would have a lot more power, as there would be fewer competing interests, while on the federal level, their influence would probably be weaker.

Here are the state by state voting results:

Northeast
  1. North New England – Democratic (Strong)
  2. South New England – Democratic (Strong)
  3. Boston – Democratic (Strong)
  4. Long Island – Democratic (Strong)
  5. New York – Democratic (Strong)
  6. Susquehanna – Republican (Barely)
  7. Jersey – Democratic (Strong)
  8. Philadelphia – Democratic (Strong)
  9. Erie – Republican (Strong)
  10. Potomac – Democratic (Strong)
  11. Allegheny – Republican (Strong)
Democratic: 8 Electoral Votes
Republican: 3 Electoral Votes


Midwest
  1. Michiana – Democratic (Leaning)
  2. Detroit – Democratic (Strong)
  3. North Coast – Democratic (Strong)
  4. South Ohio – Republican (Leaning)
  5. Wabash – Republican (Leaning)
  6. Lincoln – Democratic (Leaning)
  7. Chicago – Democratic (Strong)
  8. Green Bay – Democratic (Strong)
  9. St. Croix – Democratic (Leaning)
Democratic: 7 Electoral Votes
Republican: 2 Electoral Votes


West
  1. High Plains – Republican (Strong)
  2. Bitterroot – Republican (Strong)
  3. Great Basin – Democratic (Barely)
  4. Llano Estacado – Republican (Strong)
  5. Brownia – Republican (Strong)
  6. Missouri – Republican (Leaning)
  7. Rio Grande – Republican (Barely)
  8. Pecos – Democratic (Barely)
  9. Houston – Republican (Strong)
  10. Dallas – Republican (Strong)
Democratic: 2 Electoral Votes
Republican: 8 Electoral Votes


Pacific
  1. Olympia – Democratic (Leaning)
  2. Willamette – Republican (Strong)
  3. Sao Jaoquin – Democratic (Leaning)
  4. S.F. Bay – Democratic (Strong)
  5. Mojave – Republican (Strong)
  6. Los Angeles – Democratic (Strong)
  7. Orange – Republican (Strong)
  8. Coronado – Democratic (Strong)
Democratic: 5 Electoral Votes
Republican: 3 Electoral Votes


South
  1. Chesapeake – Democratic (Leaning)
  2. Cumberland – Republican (Strong)
  3. The Delta – Republican (Strong)
  4. Great Smokey – Republican (Strong)
  5. Pamlico – Democratic (Barely)
  6. Savannah – Republican (Strong)
  7. Atlanta – Republican (Strong)
  8. Tombigbee – Republican (Strong)
  9. Sabine – Republican (Strong)
  10. Okfenokee – Republican (Strong)
  11. Ocala – Democratic (Leaning)
  12. Everglades – Democratic (Strong)
Democratic: 4 Electoral Votes
Republican: 8 Electoral Votes


Final Totals
Democratic: 26 Electoral Votes
Republican: 24 Electoral Votes



Original map by Neil Freeman.

> Continue Reading: Fifty Equal States

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keynes Vs. Hayek: Economic Rap Off



The creators libertarian biases are pretty apparent, but I can forgive that.

> Continue Reading: Keynes Vs. Hayek: Economic Rap Off

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

GameSpy Plagiarizes the Angry Video Game Nerd

Superman NESA scene from the intro to Superman on the NES.

Back when I cared about video games—I still care about some games, just not as much anymore—I used to read gaming review sites fairly regularly. One of the sites I liked to frequent was GameSpy, which during its heyday in the early 2000s was a sort-of quirkier Gamespot. In 2004, GameSpy began its descent into mediocrity when it was acquired by IGN. A year ago, the site switched over to a blog-style format (likely to save money) and the quality of the site's articles and reviews dropped even more.

Take, for example, this list article (the only kind of article that gaming sites seem capable of producing these days) on eight badass characters that were turned into video game whimps. If you're familiar with the work of James Rolfe, the Angry Video Game Nerd, you'll notice that six of the eight entries are rip-offs of his internet series. If GameSpy had at least credited Rolfe for their inspiration, this might be okay, but there's no mention of his name anywhere in the article.

Sadly, gaming journalism is in a rut right now, where plagiarism is just one of a dozen problems. The whole industry seems bereft of fresh ideas, and just keeps recycling the same old tired lists and countdowns.

> Continue Reading: GameSpy Plagiarizes the Angry Video Game Nerd

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Little Wheel, Big Robo-World

Little Wheel
10,000 years ago, a once bustling city of ubber-cute robots shutdown after a freak accident at the city's power station. Now, it's up to you, and the last surviving robot, to bring the city back to life.

That's the premise of OneClickDog's Little Wheel, a short, but stylish, flash-based, point-and-click puzzle game. Unfortunately, the game's puzzles are way too easy, and the game can be finished in under five minutes. But it wouldn't be hard for a sequel to expand on the atmosphere and flesh out the tasks a little.

The game would also make a great iPhone app.

Screenshot from Little Wheel.

> Continue Reading: Little Wheel, Big Robo-World

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obama's Reponse to Scott Brown's Election Win

Barack Obama Oval Office
A partial excerpt from George Stephanopoulos's interview with the President.

President Obama:
Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country. The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry, and they're frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years.

Here's one thing I know and I just want to make sure that this is off the table. The Senate certainly shouldn't try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated. The people of Massachusetts spoke. He's got to be part of that process.
Wow. Even if it started raining fire and brimstone, this guy would still be cool as a cucumber.

Photo by Pete Souza.

> Continue Reading: Obama's Reponse to Scott Brown's Election Win

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

That High-Speed Whirring Noise is Ted Kennedy Spinning in His Grave

Roger Ebert Scott Brown Mass WinRoger Ebert on Scott Brown's win tonight.

Well, there goes the Democrats 60th vote in the Senate.

Bottom line: the optics of this loss are really bad for the Democrats, and now that the GOP knows obstructionism is the key winning elections, it's going to be impossible for Obama and the Dems to get anything done, let alone health care.

Another consequence of this race is that right leaning Democrats running in tough districts in 2010 are likely turn away from everything that has Obama's fingerprints on it.

> Continue Reading: That High-Speed Whirring Noise is Ted Kennedy Spinning in His Grave

The TTC's Design for Vaughan Corporate Centre Station

Vaughan Corporate Centre Station TTCThe TTC's exterior rendering of Vaughan Corporate Centre station is a little disingenuous, as the area around Vaughan Corporate Centre is mostly made up of big box stores and fields; this render makes it look like a bustling metropolis. It may look like this someday, but not in four years.

Yesterday, for Torontoist, I took a look at the TTC’s plans for Finch West station, a new station being built along the Spadina subway extension. Since I have nothing but free time on my hands these days, I figured I might as well examine the design specs for another overlooked station, Vaughan Corporate Centre [PDF]—the station with the name that just rolls off the tongue.

At the moment, the name of the station is still up for debate, and Tim Simmonds, the director of economic development for the City of Vaughan, has formally requested something a little more concise: Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station, to match the city’s new name for the area. Why can’t it be simple, like Vaughan or Vaughan Centre? Is that too much to ask?

Vaughan Corporate Centre Station TTCThe street-level plan for the station.

Vaughan Corporate Centre is final station along the proposed new Spadina line, and the only station to be built entirely inside the borders of Vaughan. (Half of Steeles West station, which cuts diagonally across Steeles Avenue—Toronto’s northern border—will be built in Vaughan, the other half will be built in Toronto.)

Like most of the other stations under consideration, Vaughan Corporate Centre will feature public artwork; bright, open spaces; high ceilings; a sustainable design that meets Toronto’s Green Standard; and knockout panels for any future expansions. The plan also incorporates a bus terminal for York Region Transit (YRT) and a platform along Highway 7 for Viva Bus Transit.

Vaughan Corporate Centre Station TTCWhat Vaughan Corporate Centre looks like right now. Flashy! (Google Maps)

The TTC budgeted $128 million for the station, but the current estimated price, due to escalating construction costs, is $177 million. (So far, all of the proposed stations along the Spadina extension are over budget.) The commission’s report also suggests that the station’s domed entrance may lead to greater than expected maintenance costs, unless addressed by "engineering solutions."

Construction of the station is slated to begin in 2011, and the TTC expects to complete the project by 2014.

> Continue Reading: The TTC's Design for Vaughan Corporate Centre Station

Monday, January 18, 2010

The TTC's Design for Finch West Station

TTC Finch West StationFinch West Station in all it's black and white glory. The TTC would have done the station up in colour, but that costs more money.

TTC Finch West StationHow many of the TTC's parking lots are on hydro corridors anyway?

Today for Torontoist, I wrote up an article on the TTC's designs for Finch West station, one of the new stations for the planned Spadina line extension.

The station is being constructed at Keele Street and Finch Avenue West. I rarely have to go north of Bloor Street, and it's even rarer that I have to use the northern part of the Spadina line, so I doubt I'll ever use this station. The station is also being designed so it can hook up to the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT, another one of the TTC's large capital plans that I doubt I'll ever use.

More information can be found in my article or the TTC's design document [PDF].

> Continue Reading: The TTC's Design for Finch West Station

If Martha Coakley Loses Obama is Probably Toast

Martha Coakley's latest campaign ad.

If Martha Coakley loses the US Senate special election in Massachusetts tomorrow, the Democrats will take a beating in 2010, Barack Obama will probably lose in 2012 (barring some sort of Bill Clinton-style comeback), and nihilism, bickering, and hate mongering will reign throughout the land.

Coakley sounds like an awful candidate; she’s crass, uninformed, and a symbol of the deeply corrupt and arrogant Democratic establishment that controls Massachusetts, but if she loses, health care reform will die on the table and anyone who was a part of it will be severely punished by the electorate.

Americans don’t like the current health care reform bill working through congress, but do you know what they hate even more? Do-nothing losers. If health care reform doesn’t pass, the Republicans will use both the ideas in the bill and the fact that the Democrats couldn’t get anything done to beat them over the head.

A few analysts, like Jonathan Chiat, are suggesting that the Democrats could still work with Olympia Snow to get the 60th senate vote to pass health care. Not a chance. All of Snow’s demands, except for more debate time (apparently a year wasn’t long enough), have been met by the current bill. If she didn’t already vote for it, why the hell would she vote for it after it’s been tied to the defeat of what was supposed to be the safest Democratic Senate seat in the country?

If Scott Brown, Martha Coakley’s GOP opponent, wins on Tuesday, Republicans everywhere are going to double-down on their anti-government rhetoric and insane promises to lower taxes and reduce deficits (regardless of how intellectually dishonest those claims are), and they’re going to ride a wave of hatred and misery all the way to the White House.

> Continue Reading: If Martha Coakley Loses Obama is Probably Toast

Friday, January 15, 2010

Analytics For the Fun of It

The Intrepid StatisticsMonthly traffic. January will probably be the site's best month yet.

It's been eighteen months since I decided to reboot this blog, so out of interest, and partially boredom, I thought it might be useful to take a look at how far this site has come. Bring on the analytics!

Statistics
  • Unique Visitors: 57,798 (Statcounter)
  • Page Views: 77,547 (Statcounter)
  • Top Traffic Source: Google (Google Analytics)
  • Average Time on Site: 1 minute and 22 seconds (Google Analytics)
  • Bounce Rate: 78.92% (Google Analytics)
  • Most Visitors (by country): United States (Google Analytics)
  • Most Visitors (by city): Toronto (Google Analytics)
  • Feed Subscribers: 40 (FeedBurner)
Top Five Articles
  1. TTC Fantasy Maps - 5,840 page views (Google Analytics)
  2. The Obama Show - 4,967 page views (Google Analytics)
  3. The CN Tower is a Big Frakkin' Toaster - 3,121 page views (Google Analytics)
  4. Toronto Then and Now - 2,821 page views (Google Analytics)
  5. TTC Dream Map - 2,734 page views (Google Analytics)
Together, The Intrepid's top five articles account for approximately 25% of its traffic; looks like the site's back-end is doing its job. I'm a little disappointed that three of the top five articles are just repurposed content, but at least my TTC dream map and Now and Then photos—two projects I put a lot of time into—are doing well.

> Continue Reading: Analytics For the Fun of It

Lux Touch Addiction

Lux Touch iPhone Game
Since I got my iPod Touch for Christmas, I've been addicted to Lux Touch, a simple, but elegant, knock-off of the board game Risk. The game isn't quite perfect, but it's easily one of the top five apps I've downloaded.

The game plays like a standard game of Risk, except rolling is handled by the computer and the card system has been simplified. You play as the blue army, and you're goal—just like in regular Risk—is to conquer the world. Each turn you receive new armies (the number of armies depends on the number territories and continents you've conquered), and after each turn, if you've captured a new territory, you get a card, which you can later turn in for more armies (once you have at least three of a kind).

Lux Touch is fast-paced, and if you're good, most games can be completed in under ten minutes. While commuting on the TTC, I've gotten into the habit of trying to see how quickly I can win. So far my record is four stops: High Park to Royal York stations. According to the TTC's old travel time chart [PDF], that works out to about six minutes.

My biggest complaint is that the game is just too easy; I can't even remember the last time I've lost. Sillysoft, the game's developer, has released an upgraded version, with tougher AI opponents, more maps, and multiplayer, but unfortunately it costs $5 and the interface is plagued by stuttering issues.

If it comes down in price, I might spring for the new version. But for now, I'll stick with the free app (until I get sick of it).

Photo from the iTunes App Store.

> Continue Reading: Lux Touch Addiction

Late Night Talk Show Wars

Jimmy Kimmel rips into Jay Leno on Leno's 10 at 10 segment.

With the exceptions of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I've never really cared for late night talk shows. I've seen the occasional clips of Leno, Conan, and Letterman before, but until this week, I don't think I've ever gone out of my way to actually watch them. Ah, conflict between television personalities; it's almost like watching some kind of reality show.

I think Conan's the best of the bunch, though Leno, as bad as he usually is, has actually managed to lob a few funny zingers back at Conan. Letterman however, as much as he tries, continues to be bland and annoying.

Once Leno goes back to 11:35 p.m. and Conan moves on—which I'm sure he will—this whole thing will die down. But now that the networks have seen how much viewership conflict can generate, I'm sure they're going to start manufacturing a lot more of it.

> Continue Reading: Late Night Talk Show Wars

Bad Times

Canadian Five and Ten Dollar Bills
This is what I received in an unmarked envelope as the final installment for a contract I worked on. I won't say who my employer was, but it's a little worrisome to be paid in five and ten dollar bills—I guess things are still a little bleak on the economic front.

Several years ago, I used to work as an office assistant at a local church. Occasionally, when I took care of office work during non-Sunday services, I was paid out of the collection plate. This kind of reminds me of that, only this time I wasn't paid in change.

Photo by Stephen M.

> Continue Reading: Bad Times

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wooden Readers

Matthias Wandel's first wooden marble machine.

Torontoist's readers are a mystery to me. They constantly demand original reporting, and attack writers for posting pieces on fun, but trivial, matters like pantless TTC riders or poorly photoshopped magazine ads. But when unique material, like the article that I published today on Matthias Wandel's wooden machines, is posted, they tend not to care. Having a lot of recommendations or retweets isn't that important to me, but it's nice to get some kind of feedback so I know that people are actually reading what I'm writing.

That said, this isn't my best work. Matthias's videos are fantastic. My write up is merely okay.

Now, I think I'll go find some cheese and crackers to go with my whine...

You can find more of Matthias Wandel's wooden machines on his website.

> Continue Reading: Wooden Readers

Monday, January 11, 2010

Torontoist Article Update: Streetcar Warriors and Pantless TTC Riders


Streetcar Warrior
For this article I interviewed to Simon Pulsifer, the former Wikipedia King, about his eight hour and 104 kilometre trip along all of the TTC streetcar lines (minus the parts of the St. Clair and Roncesvalles lines that are still under construction and the Kingston Road Tripper, which doesn't run on weekends). According to Pulsifer's calculations,which he took during his trip, the average streetcar runs at about 15 km/h.

Here's Pulsifer's full results:
St. Clair - 15.3 km/h
Queen - 15.2 km/h
College - 15.9 km/h
Dundas - 15.8 km/h
Spadina - 14.7 km/h
King - 15.7 km/h
Harbourfront - 12.0 km/h
Bathurst - 15.8 km/h
No Pants, No Problem on the TTC
For the second year in a row, I covered Improv in Toronto's annual No Pants Subway Ride for Torontoist. This year, I had the always excellent Nick Kozak taking photos for me, which made doing things a lot easier. Last year, I'd had to take notes, interview participants and commuters, and dash from car to car taking photos—not a lot of fun. Since I had more time to sit back and eavesdrop make notes, my commuter comments were much better.

Here are a few more great quotes that didn't make it into my Torontoist post.
"Oh la la, I like what’s going on here," exclaimed one guy who got on the train and was met by a group of leggy female participants.

"We should have tanned before, and maybe shaved our legs," said one participant to her friend at Eglinton Station.

"I think I’m in heaven," said one gentleman to his friend.

"I don’t know what’s going on, but everyone is looking at me like I’m the odd one here, and I’m actually wearing pants," quipped a commuter at Rosedale Station to his companions.
Photo by Nick Kozak.

> Continue Reading: Torontoist Article Update: Streetcar Warriors and Pantless TTC Riders

Friday, January 08, 2010

Future Shop Diversity Fail

From Futureshop.ca.

Nothing says diversity like ten white people. (Although the second girl might be Hispanic, and they could all be blind or in wheelchairs for all I know.)

Update: January 8, 2010 - 4:50 p.m.

Hi Future Shop
Looks like my tweet caught the attention of someone at Best Buy Canada's headquarters in Burnaby, British Columbia. (In case you were unaware, Best Buy owns Future Shop.) Perhaps if Future Shop (and Best Buy) spent more time improving customer service and store selection, and less time tracking down random tweets, sites like futureshopsucks.com wouldn't exist.

> Continue Reading: Future Shop Diversity Fail

TTC Fantasy Map (Circa 1969)

TTC 1969 Transit PlansThe TTC's proposed network expansions. (1969) Click to enlarge.

TTC Transit City
The TTC's proposed network expansions. (2009) Image posted by rokkitz. Click to enlarge.

I almost want to add these maps to my Now and Then collection just to demonstrate how little the TTC has accomplished over the last forty years.

The black and white map above comes from a 1969 Globe and Mail article [PDF] on the TTC's plans to extend streetcar and subways lines throughout the city. As you can see, the proposed routes (the dotted lines) look pretty similar to the TTC's current plans for Transit City and the DRL (Downtown Relief Line).

I guess late is better than never, but imagine what this city would be like today if we had both an Eglinton and Queen subway taking pressure off the Bloor-Danforth line and light transit lines covering the city's fringes. On the other hand, the Scarborough RT—the only part of the 1969 map that was ever finished—has been a disaster.

So, if Transit City actually gets completed, let's just hope that the TTC gets it right—then we can move on to fantasy and dream maps.

The black and white map above and the Globe and Mail article were discovered by transit guru Steve Munro.

> Continue Reading: TTC Fantasy Map (Circa 1969)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Trailer: The Avon Barksdale Story



In March, The Avon Barksdale Story: Legends Of The Unwired, a documentary on Nathan Avon "Bodie" Barksdale, the real life Baltimore drug kingpin that David Simon based The Wire's Avon Barksdale on, is being released straight to DVD. The interviews with Avon look interesting, but "action" scenes in the trailer look like something out of a cheap "B" movie.

Via Nah Right.

> Continue Reading: Trailer: The Avon Barksdale Story

If Air Travel Worked The Same Way As The US Health Care System



I dunno, I've made travel arrangements that felt just as complicated. Perhaps the airline industry wasn't the best business to compare health care to.

From Jeffrey Goldberg.

> Continue Reading: If Air Travel Worked The Same Way As The US Health Care System

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Back to Pennies

Canadian US Pennies
A few weeks ago—Christmas Eve to be exact—I reported that I was now earning about $0.69 a day from Adsense ads. Well, the bean counters at Google must have read my post and determined that that was way too much for a measly Blogger blog, and in the spirit of Christmas dropped me back down to $0.01 or $0.02 a day.

The Intrepid's traffic (I really need to change the name of this site) did drop from about 2,000 weekly visitors to 1,500 over the holidays, but a 25% drop in traffic shouldn't equal a 93% drop in ad revenue (unless my early-to-mid December earnings were just an aberration).

I was hoping to earn my first $100 by April, so I could shut down this experiment, but that seems pretty unlikely now.

Photo by MossyOwls.

> Continue Reading: Back to Pennies

Smooth Sailing Ahead


An interesting chart, but I'd like to know what the numbers on the y-axis mean and what the data source is before drawing any conclusions.

From Infectious Greed. Via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish.

> Continue Reading: Smooth Sailing Ahead

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Christopher Hitchens on the US Health Care Reform

Christopher Hitchens
I have a love/hate relationship with Christopher Hitchens. He's an undeniably bright individual, but I feel his arrogance often clouds his judgment.

On US health care reform he's bang on though.
On the health care debate, wake me when it's over...

There seems to be something about the United States that really doesn't want health care. Even people that could most benefit from it in this country don't want it. I almost think it's phycological sometimes; they'd rather live dangerously and not live in a country where they are taken care of.

I hope this doesn't sound flippant, but I don't ever expect there to be socialized medicine in the United States. Not even if everyone did want it, which I think they don't.
Excerpt taken from from Reddit.com's interview with Christopher Hitchens.

> Continue Reading: Christopher Hitchens on the US Health Care Reform

Monday, January 04, 2010

Grocery Prices in Nunavut



Note to self: do not move to Nunavut.

Via Reddit.

> Continue Reading: Grocery Prices in Nunavut

Sunday, January 03, 2010

16% of the World's Adults Would Migrate If They Could

Move to Another Country
Desired Destination
According to a Gallup poll conducted in early November 2009, more than 700 million people would permanently move to another country if they could.

Adult residents in sub-Saharan Africa were the most interested in moving to another country. If given the opportunity, 36% (approximately 165 million people) said they would.

Adults in East Asia were the least interested in moving; only 10% (approximately 250 million people) would permanently migrate. Considering the levels of poverty in Asia, I'm surprised that such a large percentage of people are content with their country of origin.

The most desired location was the United States, with 24% of respondents (which translates to about 165 million people) wanting to permanently move to the US.

net migration
If everyone who wanted to relocate was given the opportunity, some countries, like Canada, would more than double in size, while others like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, would lose more than half of their population.

From Gallup.com

> Continue Reading: 16% of the World's Adults Would Migrate If They Could

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Lost Decade For The US Economy

Lost Decade of Job Growth Chart
Between 1999 and 2009, there was zero net job growth in the United States. Zero. Congressional Democrats up for re-election in 2010 are going to catch hell for this statistic.

From The Washington Post. (Full article.)

> Continue Reading: A Lost Decade For The US Economy