MILNER.ca : Miscellany

By: Milner  09-12-2011

THE ILLUSION OF SURVEYS

Every day we are bombarded with surveys. News outlets, magazines, radio, television, product reviews, special interests and lobby groups. All with their own agendas, all with survey results to back them up and quite often with diametrically opposite results. How is this possible? Due to what I call the Illusion of Surveys.



CORPORATE DISCONNECT

A recent article called

by CMP Channel Group President Robert Faletra struck a resounding chord before I was more than a paragraph or two into it.



A BIT ABOUT OPEN SOURCE

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the open source model of software design and distribution. Many of these arise from the use of “open source” as a generic marketing term, but it has a very specific meaning. If a project or application you are considering doesn’t allow you to access the code, doesn’t allow the creation of derivative works, doesn’t allow for the redistribution of said works, then it is not open source.



ZEN AND THE CAR WASH

For some people washing their vehicle can be a labour of love. For others a necessary evil. It either case a few basic tips can help make the most efficient use of your time and efforts.



MEN, WOMEN AND MARRIAGE

What keeps a marriage going? Not surprisingly there is a fair bit of agreement between men and women on the top reasons. But after the first seven, opinions differ, often dramatically.



A CHRISTMAS POEM

Christmas is here and some credit is due to our service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. In some small payment towards what we owe these brave folks, stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. May God bless and watch over each and every one of the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces.



CANADIAN WEATHER HUMOUR

Some Canadian weather humour comparing temperature activities.



CANADIAN TRIVIA

Some Canadian trivia.



BIBLICAL PRINTING ERRORS

Over the centuries errors made when printing the Bible have occasionally crept into versions making them famous, or infamous. Mistakes in typesetting are not uncommon in any book and often attempts were made to recall the print run but as is usually the case not all erroneous copies are retrieved. These become rare and collectible over time, sometimes becoming worth considerable amounts of money. What follows is a list of some of the more notable versions of the Bible with printing errors.



FRIENDSHIP

I was recently cleaning out some old papers from a desk and came across the following short piece about friendship and thought I would share it.



OSI MNEMONIC (Humour)

For those not intimately acquainted with networking theory remembering the Open Systems Interconnect Reference model can be difficult. Those needing to remember the layers can devise a mnemonic - a phrase where the first letter of each word in the phrase corresponds to the first letter in the name of each layer



PROVINCIAL NAMES

While looking through some papers I found a small article that listed how the various Canadian provinces came by their names. While some I remembered others were a “learning again” experience. For your edification, and perhaps education, the list follows.



MONOPOLIES ARE EVERYWHERE

When we here the word monopoly what inevitably comes to mind are huge, looming corporations controlling major markets we rely on every day. Well there can be smaller monopolies too. These are what I like to call "effective monopolies" rather than the more narrow legal definition. And these can be found everywhere.



MEDICAL ALERT (Humour)

The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically.



WHEN IS A COUNTRY A U.S.A. STATE ?

When is a country actually a state in the United States of America? Apparently when its country code top level domain name corresponds to the postal abbreviation of a U.S. state.



SOME HOLIDAY HUMOUR

A little holiday humour I found in going trough some old bulletin board files.



IT MAKES ONE WONDER

Sometimes you have to wonder what some people are thinking - what reasoning processes they use to come to certain decisions and conclusions. Two items about two very different men prompted this article. The gentlemen are Danny Carlton and Al Gore. What have they in common? Nothing as far as I know other than triggering the thought “Does this person just not get it?”.



SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I suppose in many ways it is — emulating the style of a favorite athlete, artist, musician or writer. One needs to draw the line though at what amounts to plagiarism.



AN INTRODUCTION TO COMPOSTING

Composting is a simple way of converting organic waste into humus. This rich dark humus produced by micro-organisms is called compost. Composting produces a natural inexpensive (free) soil additive to help increase lawn, flower, tree and vegetable growth.



ARE YOU DEPRESSED ?

Are you depressed? Depression is a common yet treatable condition affecting about twenty-five percent of women and ten percent of men sometime in their lives. Less that one-third of those with depression seek help but for those who do seventy-five percent are treated successfully. The first steps towards this success are spotting the warning signs and seeking help.



SQUELCH STONE STAINS

To clean stains off stone you need to lift the contaminant with an appropriate chemical solvent and a powder poultice. When placed on a stain, the solvent dissolves the stain and the powder absorbs it away from the stone surface.



SEMPER COMMEMORATUS

It is during November that we celebrate Remembrance Day (or Armistice Day). It is a time for reflection on what has gone before and the lessons learned. It is a time to remember and venerate the honoured dead who gave their lives in service to their countries during times of war, and to honour those living who have and do serve in both war and peace.



DESIGN AND QUALITY CONTROL

Following the massive recall of lithium-ion batteries in Dell and Apple laptops batteries, speculation has arisen as to whether or not the problem indicates a larger problem - that laptop designs are just too hot and need to be redesigned. Notebook computers increasingly have higher thermal envelopes, and more localized hot spots.



FIVE SNIPPETS

I was housecleaning parts of an older version of my website and came a cross five short blurb type things that are pretty small to post by themselves so here they are as a small smorgasbörd of readings.



LONE STAR PLANET

Has Hollywood forgotten how to make decent movies, especially science fiction, based on literature anymore? Political correctness, gratuitous violence and sex seems to be their entire artistic vocabulary of late. This prompts some proposals for new movies (if made faithful to the written word).



RETROGRADE TECHNOLOGY

While I don't always agree with

in his various columns, his piece titled "Failed Promises, Failed Initiatives" (

; October 19, 2004; pp. 67) was dead on, and addresses a pet peeve of mine.



MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND

What follows is a is a rather poignant poem titled

Merry Christmas My Friend

written by a by James M. Schmidt, Lance Corporal,

USMC

Battalion Counter Sniper, about a veteran at Christmas time.



THE EDITORIAL THAT ISN’T

This is an editorial that isn't. What do I mean by that? Well, I really don't have a topic of deep interest or technical tips to share at the moment. But rather some musings on an occurance I observed last evening.



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MILNER.ca : Business

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MILNER.ca : Society and Culture

Not that it will come as a surprise to anyone that has recently filled their vehicle with gasoline, but a study by independent researchers has found that Canadian consumers are paying gasoline prices far higher than can be justified by production costs or historic profit margins. I was recently cleaning out some old papers from a desk and came across the following short piece about friendship and thought I would share it.