Animals

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camel

Interesting facts about the bactrian camel:

The bactrian camel is the largest mammal in its native range and is the largest living camel.

The two humps on the back are composed of fat (not water as is sometimes thought).

They have a remarkable ability to go without water for months at a time, but when water is available they may drink up to 57 liters at once.

Speeds of up to 65 kilometres per hour (40 mph) have been recorded, but they rarely move this fast.

They are primarily herbivorous. They have tough mouths that can withstand sharp objects such as thorns. They are able to eat plants that are dry, prickly, salty or bitter, and can ingest virtually any kind of vegetation.

The first time food is swallowed, it is not fully chewed. The partly masticated food (called cud) goes into the stomach and later is brought back up for further chewing. Wow, I didn’t know camels could do that!

Notes:

All information gathered from Wikipedia entry.

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Activism, Photography, Politics, Sports

The forgotten story behind this photo from the 1968 Olympics

Black salute 1968 Olympics

I will admit that I never paid any attention to the third Caucasian sprinter in the above photo. He is Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who won the silver medal in the 200 meters sprint event at the 1968 Olympics. I never noticed that he wore a button promoting the Olympic Project for Human Rights campaign.

He paid a heavy price for wearing that button. According to published reports, Norman was left off Australia’s team in the 1972 Olympics in Munich despite running times that would have qualified him. He was also left out of any role in the 2000 Sydney Games.

In 2012, Australia formally apologized to Norman, with one MP telling Parliament that Norman’s gesture “was a moment of heroism and humility that advanced international awareness for racial inequality.”

All information for this post gathered from this article published by the Toronto Star.

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Music, Personal, Travel

Lemon

I was listening to Spotify and this song started to play. Its funny how one song brings back memories from a certain period in your life. I was teaching English in Taipei at the time this song was released.

I remember this song well. It was my favorite song on the album “Zooropa” by U2.  I was in Taiwan when this album was released. Listening to this song brought back memories of scooters, motorcycles. a large gaping hole in the middle of the street, some truly weird roommates and dancing to the song “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against The Machine. That song was quite popular at the time in one particular Taipei bar. Every time it was played, a large crowd would start dancing on the dance floor.  I don’t remember the name of the bar. It was a bar not too far from where I used to live at that time. I think there was a 7 Eleven convenience store nearby.

After twenty five years, I still like this song. It has some some of the most memorable lyrics in music.

Click here to watch live performance of this song by U2 in Sydney, Australia on November 27, 1993.

According to some reviews of the album:

Jon Pareles wrote that the songs are about how “media messages infect characters’ souls”, while music journalist David Browne said the songs are concerned with “emotional fracturing in the techno-tronic age”.

Notes:

Pareles, Jon. A raucous U2 moves further out on a limb. The New York Times. July 4, 1993.

Browne, David. Music Review: Zooropa. Entertainment Weekly. July 9, 1993.

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Food, Religion

Food For All

The Golden Temple Amritsar Picture 3

Wow! The Sikh Golden Temple feeds nearly 75,000 people for free on a daily basis.

Nearly 500 years ago, a Sikh guru living in the Indian subcontinent introduced a revolutionary idea when it comes to the consumption of food. The idea was simple enough: a place should exist where everyone, regardless of religion or social status, could sit on the ground together as equals and eat the same food. The philosophy behind this free meal was a radical departure from the prevailing norms, where caste hierarchies decided what you ate and with whom you ate it.

“The Sikh gurus worked very intentionally to challenge social distinctions in various forms,” said Simran Jeet Singh, the senior religion fellow for the Sikh Coalition and a PhD candidate at Columbia University.

According to Singh, the writings of the gurus speak explicitly about the problem of caste and reject any concept in which somebody has any more divinity within them than somebody else.

All information in this post was gathered from this article published by Vice News.

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Business, Economics, Job Market

Ontario’s job losses and the raise in minimum wage

Yes, Ontario did lose 51,000 jobs in January 2018.  The minimum wage in Ontario also rose to $14/hr in January 2018.

I keep hearing in the news that these job losses can be attributed to the rise in the minimum wage.

It does look that way if you just look at the 51,000 figure. The 51,000 job lost were all part-time jobs.

But once you dig into the numbers, it becomes very difficult to conclusively say that the job losses were caused by the rise in minimum wage.

First of all, you cannot make a good analysis based on just one month of data.

Let’s look into January 2018 numbers anyway.

On a percentage basis, part-time jobs lost were:

Ontario                       -4.3%

Quebec                       -3.9%

Saskatchewan          -4.8%

New Brunswick       -4.1%

As you can see, Ontario’s part-time job losses on a percentage basis were not that bad when compared to Quebec, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.  Saskatchewan actually lost more part-time jobs on a percentage basis than Ontario.

The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of job losses by the total number of part-time workers.

If you look at the different sectors of the economy where the job losses occurred, you  will notice an interesting fact.

You would have expected job losses in the Accommodation and Food Services sector where 60% of the workers earned $14 or less. However, there were 2,200 more jobs created in this sector in Ontario.

Also it is important to note that 44,000 jobs were lost in industries that have small numbers of low-wage workers.

The 44,000 drop in service sector employment included:

professional, scientific and technical services (-13,300)

public administration (-5,600)

educational services (-8,100)

health care and social assistance (-9,700).

Sources:

Bloomberg. Blame Ontario minimum wage hike for job plunge. Or not.

Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives. Ontario January job numbers: Keep calm and carry on.

Statistics Canada. Labor force characteristics by province.

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