Monday, July 25, 2016

If we followed all of the nutritional and fitness advice that is available from healthcare professionals and in books, magazines and on the web, we would need 60 hour days and would be doing nothing else but exercising and preparing and eating meals. 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Canada's 2015 election

Although it is clear that Stephen Harper's record on the economy is poor in spite of his claim to the contrary, the reality is that our federal government can do little about the economy.  We are pawns of the US and large corporations. Unfortunately, both Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair are making the economy the big issue of the election.  Their ideas are too small to have any real impact on the economy. The real issues are the environment, social welfare and democracy itself.

Stephen Harper is anti-farmer, anti-scientist, anti-environment, anti-CBC and anti-democracy. The only thing he is for is big business and big oil (his financial supporters). He wants to be dictator. Let’s get rid of him. 

Elizabeth May is one of the smartest people on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and I would like to vote for her but she has little chance of unseating Harper.  The anti-Harper vote is split between the Liberals and the NDP.  I think that the best strategy right now is to vote for the candidate in each riding that has the best chance of beating the Conservative in that riding.  This is the approach that the LeadNow ( organization is taking. Is there any hope of a coalition of Liberals, NDP and Greens?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Reverse Theory of Education

The Reverse Theory of Education

Virtually every school district and university in North America and the rest of the world states in its mission statement or objectives that it wants its learners to become independent lifelong learners.  In fact, we do just the opposite.

We take young children who learned to walk and talk in one year, are learning sponges and have unfettered creativity and put them into institutions.  We start not badly by giving them teachers who have been well trained, who are generalists and whose focus is on the children and their learning.  But we have taken the children and put them in an institutionalized environment and made them somewhat dependent on someone called a teacher.   Most documented curricula make teachers feel that they have to “cover the material”.  I hate that phrase.

In high school, we provide teachers still well trained but who are subject specialists and their focus is on the subject rather than the learning and the process of “covering the content” has worsened.

In university instructors are subject matter experts who are not trained teachers and many of whom care little about teaching – it is something they have to do to support their research.  They pontificate from the front of a classroom because it worked for them so it must work for everyone else.

This process makes students increasingly dependent on the “teacher”.  We have systematically pummeled the desire to learn and be creative out of people.

Then suddenly when people go into graduate work or get jobs they are expected to be independent lifelong learners.

What is wrong with this picture?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

TD Bank is immoral

I want to express my OUTRAGE at two recent actions by TD Bank.
  1. Support for US gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson
  2. An increase in interest rates by TD Visa from 21.5% to 22.99%
How in the name of humanity can TD justify supporting the manufacture of weapons in the light of almost daily fatal shootings?
TD Visa has been making huge profits for many years because of exorbitant and controversial interest rates.  Especially in this time of record low interest rates from the Bank of Canada, this cruelly victimizes those people who have unwisely and perhaps necessarily accumulated some credit card debt.  And now they are increasing the rates!!!???  This is criminal usury.
I have been a loyal customer of TD for more than 20 years and have more than a million dollars invested there but I cannot stomach the fundamental immorality of these decisions.  I am investigating moving my money elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some exciting developments.

Three recent announcements should create some excitement for eLearning and Learning Management in the education sector.

Pearson Education is a major supplier of materials for the education market but has had relatively little impact in the LMS world. They recently purchased eCollege and Fronter and have now introduced a free on-line LMS they call OpenClass. Time will tell if this proves to be a viable alternative for Moodle and Blackboard. Check it out at

Ali Jafari of Indiana University who has previously developed Angel Learning and Epsilen Environment will shortly be announcing the availability of CourseNetworking which is described as follows: CourseNetworking (CN) is a free, online platform that connects teachers and students from around the world based on shared interests and class subjects. It combines the social component of popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter with similar functionality of existing learning management systems (LMS) used at many colleges and universities. Unlike existing learning systems, though, which typically limit access to members of a single course, CN creates an active, large-scale learning environment that is completely open to any user, nationally and internationally."
This could revolutionize the way we approach learning. Check out the announcement at

Another announcement offers some new flexibility for course authoring. BreakthroughPerformanceTech LCMX
is described as an extended Learning Content Management System that “allows courseware authors to leverage their learning content and present it in countless different ways for a wide variety of target platforms and in a remarkably short timeframe.” It will be announced in Nov. 2011. See the article at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are you like me - overwhelmed by all the health and fitness news and recommendations that inundate us every day?

As an overweight teenager, I went on my first diet when I was 14 years old and lost 40 pounds over the following two years. I watch my diet and still weigh less than I did when I was 14.

I have never been a smoker.

I have been a triathlete for 23 years and rarely miss a day of fairly intense exercise.

The media now report health news every day. Fitness people make many recommendations about the kind of exercise we should do.

If we obeyed all the information we would never eat anything and we would spend 24 hours a day doing nothing but exercising. How do we cope with all this information?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I became an HDTV junkie after subscribing to Bell ExpressVU satellite service just over a year ago. It is not, however, without its problems.

I have been considering updating to a new TV and discovered that the HDMI output on the Bell PVR did not work. After many attempts to call and email their customer service, I finally got an acknowledgment that, indeed, there is a problem with the HDMI output. I have spent more than two months of frustration trying to get an answer as to when this will be fixed. After writing a snail mail letter to the executive offices, I have had calls from them. They claim that they will have a software solution in "two to four weeks". We will see.
I have become a High Definition Television (HDTV) junkie. Now that I have seen HDTV on a regular basis I don't like to watch anything else.

Although I have a collection of over 200 DVD's, I have been anxious to get into Blu-ray or HD DVD but reluctant to make the commitment because of the dual format situation. Now that seems to have been settled and Blu-ray is declared the winner.

Why is it, however, that the choice of movies on Blu-ray makes no sense at all? I recently browsed the more than 600 titles available on Amazon and found very few that I want to buy. They have very few classics and few really good movies. The new releases make sense but the choice of older movies includes mostly drek.