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February 27, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

ENTERTAINMENT - We don't post films on here unless we really like the trailers.

"How To Train Your Dragon" is based off a 2003 children's book, but the film is coming out from DreamWorks (Shrek, The Road to El Dorado, Sinbad, Madagascar, Over The Hedge... the list is endless) on March 26th 2010.

As usual DreamWorks follows their usual philosophy of "the bad guy is the good guy". Let me elaborate.

1. In Shrek the hero is an ogre.
2. In The Road to El Dorado the heros are a pair of con men.
3. In Sinbad the hero is a pirate.
4. In Madagascar and Over the Hedge the carnivores are surprisingly docile and the humans are the baddies.

Which brings me to the following video... Are PokeMon evil? You decide.

So yeah, don't forget... PokeMon, fantasy roleplaying games, video games, rock and roll and the internet are all evil. *sarcasm*

You know what is truly evil? Judging people based on ridiculous stereotypes. Let people be judged by their benign or evil actions, not by whether they happened to listen to rock and roll or read Harry Potter books.

February 20, 2010

Boxing Matches in Hockey Locker Rooms

CANADA - Young Torontonian hockey players are having pre hockey game boxing matches inside the change rooms... and their coaches are encouraging the practice, despite parental disapproval.

Luckily the scandal has been captured on video cameras, showing 15 year old boys pummeling each out with hockey gloves as makeshift boxing gloves. The fights are even structured and despite a ban on such fighting coaches and players continue the illegal fighting activities (to have a legal fight you need a boxing license).

In the hockey rink people tend to expect a little fighting, but the referees always keep it in check. This is different. This is more brutal, a mix of "Fight Club" and ultimate fighting with teenage boys... and the injuries are blamed on rough hockey matches.

Concerned parents want the change rooms monitored and a complete ban on such fighting. So far however players/coaches participating in such fighting have received only an one game suspension.

Worse, the league isn't sure what to do about the phenomenon. The fights are spreading virally online with carefully orchestrated fight videos.

Car Sharing is the Future

CARS - According to new statistics the average city dweller in the future won't own a car, they'll rent or share one for the occasions when they need one.

By 2016 car-sharing programs alone are expected to balloon to 8 times their current 2010 levels, reaching a total of 4.4 million people in North America. The car-share industry is growing very fast, approx. 33% to 50% per year depending on the location.

The reason is an increasing number of young people who don't see cars as a necessity any more. In this era of savvy urbanites with their BlackBerries, iPhones and pay-by-the-minute billing renting a car by the hour just makes more sense to them.

The car-sharing industry is even catering to this, making iPhone apps and other programs so that members can easily find the nearest parking lot where they can get a car.

And its incredibly cheaper too. They don't have to worry about insurance, maintenance, oil changes, punctured tires, gasoline prices because its all included in their "per hour" rental fee. There is a surcharge for mileage driven (which covers the price of gasoline), but otherwise its up to the rental company to make sure the car is filled to the brim with fuel and in perfect working order. You also don't have to worry about parking spot prices in your condo or apartment building, which alone can be hundreds of dollars per month.

Its also practical too. You can rent a Mini Cooper for the day to go shopping, or you can rent a truck for when you need to go to the lumber yard. Or a SUV for your camping trip.

According to automotive research analyst David Zhao its sending ripple effects through the automotive industry. The growth of the car-sharing industry will mean over a million less cars will be on the road in Canada & the United States by 2016 because more people will be sharing a significantly smaller fleet of cars

Zhao published a report in January 2010 which explains how the car-sharing industry has a multiplying effect, wherein people see cars like AutoShare and ZipCar on the road and they say "Hey, I could just rent one instead." It creates a loop effect that advertises itself through cars on the street and word-of-mouth and people who weigh their options are increasingly picking the car-sharing option.

Its ideal for university and college students on a tight budget and even after they graduate they keep using the service because they've realized how convenient, easy and cheap it is compared to buying their own car and having to pay for all the insurance/maintenance/fuel costs.

"It's clear the auto industry has to change," says one industry insider. For many, "owning a car just doesn't represent the dream it once did."

In Toronto alone there is 20,000 members of AutoShare and ZipCar, a number which is expected to increase to 160,000 by 2016.

Members pay approx. $5.50 to $9.75 per hour depending on the car and their membership plan and there's also cheaper rates if you want to rent the car over night ($1 per hour). Users say save hundreds to thousands of dollars per year compared to the regular costs of owning a car.

Zipcar is the largest such company in North America, with 350,000 members and a fleet of 6,500 vehicles operating in dozens of North American cities. Its expected to grow to 2.8 million users and 52,000 cars by 2016.

The service is so popular its now considered a perk (like swimming pools, health clubs and on-site dry cleaning) by condo owners and apartment buildings, resulting in the condos negotiating deals to have car-sharing parking spots available in their parking lots. For every car-share spot provided 10 less residents need a parking spot of their own, making more space available for rent.

City councils are in on it too, seeking to reduce downtown congestion, the need for downtown parking spaces and increase their efforts to reduce pollution. Many car-share companies already rent hybrids (and in rare cases electric cars), plus have plans to rent electric or hydrogen cars in the future.

Not owning a car also means people tend to drive a lot less. They don't go for a drive just for fun. They only rent the car when they actually need it. If you already own a car you might as well use it when going to fetch milk from the grocery store, but if the grocery store is a block or two away and you don't own a car its more practical to just walk there and back.

Paying by the hour makes every trip a financial calculation. Users consider their other options and only choose the car when they really need it.

Even traditional car rental companies like Hertz and Enterprise is getting into the car sharing industry, offering hourly rates in some regions instead of daily.

The automotive industry is experimenting in the market too. In Europe Daimler has launched a program called Car2Go and has since expanded the program to Austin, Texas to test how successful it will be in North America.

"If this program works in Texas, it will work anywhere," says a Daimler-Chrysler spokesperson.

Its also a turning point for the electric car niche industry, because it means cars dropped off at charging locations can recharge while they wait for the next member to pick it up. Plus since the cars are only driven locally the smaller range of electric cars is less of a problem.

Car-sharing industry insiders are now speculating at how popular this trend will be in the future. Some insiders even wonder if car-sharing might someday outnumber car-owning.

February 17, 2010

Quebec Sovereignty is Dead

CANADA - According to retired premier Lucien Bouchard, Quebec sovereignty is dead.

The statement came today as the former Parti Quebecois leader, the most popular leader in the history of the Quebec separatist movement, took the time to speak publicly on the issue for the first time since his 2001 retirement.
"Sovereignty is no longer achievable," says Lucien Bouchard.
Bouchard also says that not only is Quebec independence dead but it’s not something Quebecers should be focusing on. Bouchard argued that his old party should be focus its efforts on education and economic issues.

Of course some sovereigntists will disagree, notably Bernard Landry, who claims he will continue fighting for Quebec independence even if Bouchard won't.

But Bouchard also commented that the PQ party has become too radical, too prone to prejudices (like Jacques Parizeau's racist rant after the 1995 Quebec Referendum in which he blamed the ethnic vote).

Pauline Marois, the current PQ leader, started today's question period in Quebec by asking the government why it had changed the law to allow Orthodox Jewish schools to offer classes on Saturday.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest snapped back that she should have taken her former leader’s advice before the day’s question period, questioning why she hadn't been asking such questions sooner.

The PQ has had a poor track record when it comes to winning the votes of different ethnic groups living in Quebec, operating on the mantra:
"Si vous n'êtes pas Québécois, vous n'êtes pas censé être au Québec."
which in English means
"If you're not Quebecois, you're not supposed to be in Quebec."

See Also
The Roots of Quebec Separatism
Canadian Unity Vs. Quebec Separatism
Quebec Separatism: Why Bother?

February 16, 2010

Winter Olympics melting due to Climate Change

By Ai Lung Nguyen - February 2010.

ENTERTAINMENT/ENVIRONMENT - If you came to the Winter Olympics in Canada you might be a bit surprised by how warm it is: A balmy 9 degrees Celsius.

Its so warm visitors are wearing t-shirts and going golfing, enjoying some of Vancouver's many golf courses. For tourists the effects of global warming a bit of a blessing since they're not having to endure the dreadful cold of a Canadian winter in the mountains.

The record warm temperatures in February, the warmest in over a hundred years, is not unheard of. The Rocky Mountains have been getting steadily warmer every year due to climate change, but this year is startling warm. 15 degrees Celsius in downtown Vancouver and 9 degrees Celsius in the mountains means the snow is melting so rapidly the Olympics organizers are struggling to truck in snow from neighbouring mountains and even as far away as Alberta and the Yukon.

Maybe we should call it the Slushy Olympics? Or the Foggy Olympics since there's a lot of fog on the ski hills.

Conservatives want to build a bridge to Detroit

CANADA - The Conservative government in Ottawa wants to build a second bridge to Detroit, bypassing the Ambassador Bridge which has been the primary source of cross-border traffic since 1929.

There are 26 major border crossings (often in the form of bridges) between Canada and the United States and all but 2 of them are owned by Canada. None of them are owned by the US government, but 2 of them are privately owned: A railway bridge and the Ambassador Bridge which spans the water between Detroit and Windsor. The Ambassador Bridge was built by bankers and investors between 1927 and 1929 in record time and for years it was the world's longest suspension bridge.

After the stock market crash in 1929 the bridge was sold and it was passed through private hands for many years until it was finally wisely bought by Matty Moroun, owner of a trucking company, in the late 1970s. During the Great Depression the bridge was criticized as being a huge waste of money, but by the 1990s the Ambassador Bridge was the bridge of choice for 25% of cross border trade.

The problem however is that Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have become obsessed with replacing the bridge, even though cross border trips have dropped to 7 million per year (due to new security restrictions) from a high of 12 million in 1999.

Thus a new bridge isn't needed. The demand isn't there, not yet at least.

To their credit the Moroun family has done a very good job of running the Ambassador Bridge. Following September 11th for example the border was closed, but they helped arrange to escort various trucks across the border so factories could keep running and wouldn't be shut down.

Furthermore the Moroun family has stepped with an offer to build a 2nd bridge using their own money, $400 million worth, in the event the Canadian government needs it. Indeed the billionaire family have bought most of the land on both sides of the border, saying they are ready to build the new bridge quickly and efficiently. They even have ramps built, but are waiting for Ottawa's approval to build the new span.

But no, the Conservatives want to build the bridge themselves (even though its clearly not needed yet since border crossings are down so much), claiming two bridges close to each other would become a target for terrorists. What utter nonsense. There's a quarter of a km between the old bridge and the site of the proposed new bridge. It would take a nuclear weapon to take out both bridges, in which case both Detroit and Windsor would be economically incapacitated anyway by the size of the explosion and the radiation.

So whats the real reason? Canada passed up the opportunity to buy the Ambassador Bridge on numerous occasions. We've missed that opportunity. Why should we waste an opportunity for a free new bridge, built courtesy of the Moroun family.

According to a February 2010 interview the Canadian government is refusing to even sit down and discuss the matter and so the Moroun family waits for an answer.

4.6 Billion Cellphones Worldwide

TECHNOLOGY - The number of people with cellphone subscriptions worldwide has reached 4.6 billion and is expected to reach five billion by the end of 2010.

Depending on where you live in the world cellphone companies offer advanced services like internet and lots of gadgetry. Even people in developing countries are increasingly using their cellphones for internet banking, email and emergencies.

Mobile internet access is expected to surpass normal internet access by December 2015.

Of course what this also means is more used cellphones that need to be recycled. The average teenager in North America goes through 5 cellphones by the time they reach the age of 20. (Note that since some teens don't even have a cellphone, this means some teens are using 10+ phones during the ages 13 to 19.) It does seem pretty excessive.

February 14, 2010

Companies boycotting Alberta

CANADA - International companies Whole Foods Markets Ltd. and Bed Bath and Beyond are boycotting Alberta because of the Alberta tar sands and their continual production of greenhouse gases.

Whole Foods operates 289 stores, including 6 in Canada, and is one of the world's largest food retailers. Bed Bath and Beyond has over a thousand stores in North America. The two companies are encouraging other corporations to pull out of Alberta (or refuse to do business in Alberta).

According to environmental organization ForestEthics the boycott is designed to embarrass tar sands producers and the Alberta government. "At least 30 large U.S. brands are seriously considering taking action to address the brand risk of being associated with tar sands," said Aaron Sanger, a member of ForestEthics.

"Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond are the first two examples. But we are going to see others. There are conversations of substance happening now with many other well-known, well-respected companies."

The worry for these companies that the public is becoming increasingly fickle when it comes to greenhouse gases, sparking boycotts of products or companies they see as "not being green enough". Thus the wisest policy for these companies is to distance themselves from Big Oil in an effort to maintain their customers.

Alberta Oil accounts for 20% of America's oil imports and thus a sizable portion of American greenhouse gas production. Plus its one of the most polluting ways to obtain oil, resulting in polluted water, dead fish and skyrocketing cancer rates in towns down river from the tar sands.

ForestEthics served notice in writing to more than two hundred Fortune 500 companies six months ago, announcing plans to publicly name companies reluctant to act on the oil sands issue. Companies that don't change their ways will see boycotts organized against them.

Stephen Harper wastes $200,000 on consultant phone calls

CANADA - Stephen Harper's Conservative government has set aside $200,000 for consultant phone calls to keep the Prime Minister up to speed on changes in America's war on greenhouse gas emissions.

The $200,000 is to pay for 8 months worth of phone calls from a consultant, who will phone Stephen Harper twice per month to update him on changes within the USA with respect to environmental policy.

Thats a total of 16 phone calls at a rate of $12,500 per call.

Harper could have saved the Canadian tax payers a tonne of money just by phoning US President Barack Obama directly (twice a month if he really wants to) and talking about America's environmental policies... but no! Harper is so inept when it comes to the environment that he to waste $200,000 on hiring an American consultant.

He could get the exact same news just by watching American news channels.

Alternatively he could have just subscribed to some American environmental magazines and told one of his staff to read them and give him a report every 2 weeks. There are much cheaper ways to get the exact same information.

How about we flush more money down the toilet Stephen Harper?

Tesla Roadster proves electric cars can work

CARS - If you're not familiar with the Tesla Roadster here's a quick primer:

The Tesla Roadster
Company: Tesla Motors
Price: $120,000 CDN
Layout: Rear Mid-engine, Rear-wheel drive
Acceleration: 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.7 seconds
Horsepower: 248 hp
Top Speed: 125 mph (201 kmph)
Design Platform: Lotus Elise
Range: 244 miles (393 km) using the EPA combined scale
Fuel: Electric
Emissions: None

What the Tesla is essentially is an electric car that defies the logic that electric cars have to be short range and slow. It accelerates faster than an Aston Martin V12 Vantage (0-60 in 4.9 seconds) and can attain speeds that would be illegal anywhere on North American roads. True, its not quite as fast as a regular Lotus Elise (240 kmph or 150 mph) and it costs twice as much... but hey, its an electric sports car and that is just plain kewl.

Lets pretend you live about 30 miles from work, so you drive the car about 60 km per day. You'd only have to charge the car once every 4 days. Thats pretty damn reasonable compared to owning say a 2010 Ford GT40 (which gets about 4 miles per gallon when you drive aggressively, would cost you approx. $60 / day just to get to work and back and has a base price of $150,000 USD).

So far approx. 1,100 Tesla Roadsters have been built since it was first introduced in 2008, but production quadrupled in 2009 and is expected to grow as demand increases.

See Also:
Ronn Motors Hydrogen-Powered Supercar: The Scorpion

Mosquitoe Killing Laser System

TECHNOLOGY - This is quite possibly one of the best inventions ever made, especially if you really hate mosquitoes.

On Friday a group of scientists revealed their new invention, a "Death Star" of sorts that uses flashlights, a zoom camera lens, a computer and a laser. The flashlights track the bugs, the camera lens targets them and the computer calculates their location. The laser then aims and invisibly zaps the mosquitoe's wings off. See the video below.

Intellectual Ventures’ demonstrated the rapid-fire attack on mosquitoes in a video presented in Palm Springs, California. The goal of the device is to combat mosquito-borne malaria which kills over 1 million people every year. The company hopes to make smaller versions for cottagers.

The device has been perfected so it only targets female mosquitoes (the kind that feed on humans) and doesn't attack larger insects like butterflies. Furthermore the device is reasonably inexpensive, making it ideal for impoverished countries.

The laser is so fast it can shoot down 50 to 100 mosquitoes per second, or approx. 2 million mosquitoes in an 8 hour period.

1,700 Smog Deaths in Toronto

CANADA/ENVIRONMENT - 1,700 doesn't seem like a small number does it? That is the average number of smog-related deaths that happen in Toronto every year. Its a mind boggling number when you compare it to Toronto's low murder rate (63 murders in 2009) or even its suicide rate (which is slightly up due to the American recession, about 900 suicides per year).
You are 27 times more like to die from smog in Toronto than you are to be murdered.
In December 2009 Toronto's city council finally approved a plan to drastically reduce Toronto's smog levels 6% by 2012, 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

However how will Toronto achieve this lofty goal?

#1. Cut down on coal power for electricity. This means Toronto needs to invest heavily in wind and solar.

#2. Increase public transit & make the TTC cleaner by using more hybrid or hydrogen powered vehicles.

#3. Increase recycling programs... but how does this reduce CO2? (It doesn't. Recycling is completely unrelated to CO2, unless you're burning your garbage in an incinerator.)

#4. Promote electricity for heating instead of natural gas.

The problem is from my experience things move really slowly. In the past 10 years Toronto has only introduced "half" of a new subway line (the Sheppard line in northern Toronto). They keep promising to connect the Yonge subway line north to Vaughn and make a loop down towards York University and Downsview Station, but they haven't even broken ground on that promise yet.

A lot of these projects really call for more electricity from solar / wind projects, something which is progressing slowly thanks to whining NIMBYs (Not-In-My-Back-Yards) who blame windmills for everything from headaches to radiation (we get radiation from the sun all the time, and even more radiation from the electrical devices in our homes so whenever someone complains about radiation they're just revealing their own ignorance).

The thing is however is that these NIMBYs would be better off just shutting the heck up. Nobody wants to listen to their complaints except other NIMBYs. The distant noise of a windmill is way better than having a coal plant next door.

Frankly Canadians don't have much of a choice. Our electricity needs keep increasing and we're either going to have brown outs, windmills or more reliance on dirty electricity or over-priced expensive nuclear.

February 13, 2010

Portable Digital Projectors... the Future is Now.

TECHNOLOGY - It may be a bit unbelievable when you see it, but cell phones now have the ability to not only take photos and videos but project them also.

The technology required to make portable projectors is becoming both smaller and cheaper, unleashing a next generation of smart phones with more gizmos than you shake a stick at. Its bad enough our phones now play games, have GPS mapping, can turn your TV or car on and off remotely, act as video cameras and the plethora of applications available to download and enhance your phone's abilities... now its reached a point where its bordering on the magical.

Plus the technology is becoming reasonably cheap. An USB portable projector (ideal for your laptop or other mobile device) costs only $299 CDN.

Whats next? Holograms?

Seriously. I wouldn't be that surprised.

See Also: The Future of Phones

February 12, 2010

Getting Drunk on Valentines Day

SEX - Remember a couple years ago how you got drunk after work at the office Valentines Party and ended up drunk dialing your ex using the office phone system?

Please don't do that again this year.

In fact please don't do anything resembling that. If you're lonely, watch a comedy movie or read a book with lots of violence in it. Avoid anything sappy. Forget what day it is. Whatever you do don't start drinking from every bottle of your wine collection, ranting about how love sucks on your wine blog and then trip on your bathroom rug, bang your head on the toilet seat and dislodge a tooth.

After all it might be very difficult trying to find a Toronto dentist on Valentines Day.

Another thing you shouldn't do is go on Facebook at the last minute and try to find someone to hang out with. If you're relatively normal I recommend the Plenty of Fish website, or if you lean towards the gothic try Goth Personals Canada.

Or maybe you could channel your loneliness into your artwork, in the form of paintings, sculpture or photography. You could then waste some time filling out online forms for photography contests like Lenzr or the thousands of painting contests that happen every year... my apologies but I've never seen a sculpture contest online.

When all else fails watch a really brutal action movie where everyone dies in the end. That should take your mind off the fact that you're all alone on Valentines.

See Also:
Follow the Lilith eZine on Facebook

Year of the Tiger

RELIGION - The Chinese Zodiac for 2010.

TIGER 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938

You are in some kind of conflict. Your money and health signs are weaker and you could be prone to illnesses or accidents. There will be pressure from work. Watch your relations with your boss. Avoid partnerships in business. You favour professions with mobility such as import/export, logistics and international trading. Stay humble to avoid jealousies. Be conservative in your investments and avoid gambling and speculation. You may not have much romance. If you are not married, delay it. If your father still lives, be nice to him. Take extra care to avoid accidents that cause bleeding. Watch the food you eat and pay attention to your liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Rest well and do not overwork.

RABBIT 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939

This year favours the male rabbit more than the female; stumbling blocks await the female rabbit while the male obtains extra help and opportunities. Many changes and travel opportunities await. You will be creative and have new ideas. Your people skills are also good. Work outside of the office is your preference, and your strengths are in public relations, show business, arts and writing. Trust your intuition when making investments. Do not rely too much on others. Romance will be plentiful and if you are married, be careful about extramarital relations. Watch your digestion and hormone issues, especially if you are female.

DRAGON 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940

You have a strong travel sign. Your job may change and you may even change careers. This is a good year to start a new business, move or travel. Businesses to do with mobility – import/export, logistics, travel, buying and selling – are strong, and if you are the boss, you will do even better. Financial investments should be good. You tend to be quite spiritual. You also tend to be controversial and argumentative. You may feel lonely at times, so listen more and talk less. Beware of burial places and accidents. There is a bleeding sign so take care with sharp objects. Drive carefully.

SNAKE 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941

This is a conflict year for snakes. Take care with personal relationships. Legal conflicts could mean you will lose money. Female snakes will fare better than the males. You favour work in politics, the law and public relations. Money comes and goes. Your reputation, rather than your finances, will be rewarded. You tend to be suspicious and moody in personal affairs. Beware of arguments. Try to be patient and more caring. You may become forgetful and nervous. Your suspicion of others could cause health issues.

HORSE 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930

You connect with the tiger and this is a very lucky year for you. Opportunities for business, making money, enhancing your professional reputation and promotion await. You may incur jealousy. Do not rely too heavily on others. You like power and decision-making. The more authority you have in your work, the more money you'll make. Regular and investment incomes are stable. This is a good year to write exams. Your personal relations are good and you should consider marriage if you're single. If you are married, you should be even more loving. Beware of others' jealousies. You are healthy but pay attention to your heart and small intestines. Get your rest and exercise.

SHEEP 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931

This is a lucky year for you and you should do well at work and financially. Promotion and expansion are ahead for you this year. There will be opportunities and plenty of help. Your hard work will pay off but there will not be much money from speculation. However, when you travel abroad, take extra care to prevent being robbed. If you are single, consider marriage. If you are married, be careful of misunderstandings and try to take a vacation together. Overeating and digestive problems may trouble you. Do not overwork.

MONKEY 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932

You are opposite to the year of the tiger and you could lose money. Do not gamble or speculate. Your travel sign, though, is quite significant, so stay mobile. Hold off making plans. Favour businesses to do with import/export, travel, immigration or logistics. You could be become temperamental and prone to arguments. Delay plans to marry and, if you are married, be patient and take holidays together. You may be prone to accidents. Consider donating blood or a physical checkup at the start of the year. Do not overwork. Rest and exercise well.

ROOSTER 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933

This is a lucky year for those born under the sign of the rooster, especially those dealing with law or politics. You could expand your business or be promoted. If in public relations or politics, you will be well liked. There will be plenty of opportunities to make money and friends' financial advice will be helpful. Your sign shows strong personal relations and this is a good year to get married, but be wary of love triangles. Anticipate having accidents, colds or flu and beespecially vigilant with diseases affecting your liver and lungs.

DOG 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934

This is a mixed year for you. Beware of backstabbers and accidents. Do not put too much trust in others. You will enjoy arts and travel. Your strengths will be in work that has to do with politics, law enforcement, import/export, the stock market, travel or transportation. Spiritual endeavours would also be good for you. The more mobile you are, the more money you can make. You have a loneliness sign so do not expect much romance and consider doing some soul searching. Drive carefully, get your rest and exercise – you could be prone to accidents and food problems.

BOAR 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935

You connect well with the tiger, making this year a good one for you. Your learning star is very dominant and exams are your strength. Controversies will follow you. Do not be a guarantor for your friends. Businesses that involve talking or singing are strong for you, such as lawyer, actor, singer or teacher. The more opportunities you have to talk, the more money you can make. Legal conflicts or bad advice from friends may lose you money. Be patient and broad-minded in your personal relations. Take care to keep a balanced diet.

RAT 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936

This year you favour moving, travelling, changing jobs or starting a new business. Stay away from burial places. You may go through big changes at work. Your income should be stable with opportunity for additional money by working out of town. Your interpersonal relations will be quite good and, if you are single, consider marriage, possibly to someone of a different nationality. If you're married, consider another honeymoon vacation. Be careful with sharp objects and take your time doing things, including driving, because accidents and even surgery could be in your future.

OX 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937

Your social position may improve. Males in the ox sign could outperform the females this year. There will be new opportunities, including promotions. You'll do particularly well if you're in show business. Your income will be good but take care with occasional expenditures. This is a romantic year for you with opportunities to meet people who are wealthy or important. You may be prone to small ailments to do with food, so take care not to overeat.

See also the Greek and Canadian Zodiacs.

February 9, 2010

Toyota still the most reliable car brand

CARS - Did you know Toyota is one of the most reliable car brands available?

Thus recalls to fix the pedals from sticking is a logical safety precaution in order for Toyota to uphold their reputation for safe, reliable and well-made cars.

What I do find appalling is how rival companies like Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are jumping on this opportunity to diss a car maker that has been leading the curve for years now and raising the bar for reliability.

And if you're still not aware of just how reliable Toyota cars and trucks are, you need to watch these videos made by the BBC show Top Gear in which they deliberately try to destroy a Toyota Hilux truck.

And then to top it off, Toyota is the only vehicle to ever be driven to the North Pole.

Reliable? Safe? Definitely. If I was a finance or business consultant I'd be telling people that now is a good time to buy stocks in Toyota while they're taking the hits... because when the recall is over Toyota will be stronger than ever.

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