Definition of “Toronto”

Toronto is Canada’s largest city. The word itself derives from a native word meaning, “A Tim Horton’s on every corner every three blocks.”

[and damn it, no, it’s no typo up there, the iconic coffee/doughnut chain does NOT use a hyphen in its name]


Sir John A MacDonald, Canada’s First Prime Minister and Noted Drunk

John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Primie Minister, (1867–1873; 1878–1891), became known as the Father of Confederation. Sir John was as well known for his wit as his love of booze, enough to have been visibly drunk for many of his debates in Parliament.

During one election debate, Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out,saying, “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!”

MacDonald’s reply? “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”

Honey, Wanna Stop at Ikea and pick up a divorce? (or Ikea is Swedish for “pissed off gf/bf”)

Leading psychologist confirms what we all knew already: Ikea shopping leads to divorce

Would your relationship survive putting together the Liatorp flat pack?

Want to know if your relationship will work? Try the ‘IKEA rage’ test

A LEADING psychologist has branded an IKEA wall unit “the divorce maker” because it is such a nightmare to assemble.

PUBLISHED: 15:59, Fri, Apr 24, 2015 | UPDATED: 06:40, Sun, Apr 26, 2015

Assembling IKEA furniture can be the ‘ultimate test’ for relationships
The Liatorp storage unit puts relationships under such intense strain that they could cause a break up, said Ramani Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University in Los Angeles.

She said that the unit’s 32-page instruction manual and 169 screws required to assemble it often lead to arguments and frustration.

Professor Durvasula said that the Liatorp was the “ultimate relationship test” – and that if you passed you would be together for years.

IKEA has long been parodied for the complexity of assembling its flat-pack furniture.

But according to Professor Durvasula, the Liatorp is the most deadly item in the entire range.

The 9ft wide and 7ft high unit sells for £825 in the UK and is three separate bookcases joined together with three doors on the front.

According to the manual, there are 22 different kinds of screw or bracket and 13 different pieces of wood that go into its assembly.

In an interview on US TV Professor Durvasula called the Liatorp a “wall unit extraordinaire”.

She said: “Some pieces of furniture require two hands, two people, pieces of glass, making drawers.

Couple assembling furniture

Assembling furniture is a testing activity for any relationship if things start to go wrong
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“Because it requires so much collaboration, so much cooperation, and there’s a potential that someone could get hurt if this thing comes crashing down, you better be on the same page.

“It’s the ultimate test – if you can put that piece together, you can start planning your 50th wedding anniversary party.”

Professor Durvasula said a trip to an IKEA store “literally becomes a map of a relationship nightmare”.

She that assembling flat pack furniture required “communication, cooperation, collaboration and respect”, tools which every relationship needs.

Professor Durvasula said: “Unfortunately (they) fall apart as soon as there are hammers, nails and allen wrenches involved…

“In essence, putting together this furniture is like a pressure cooker. How do they behave when the stress is on?”

IKEA meltdown have been the feature of dozens of YouTube parodies and in the US comedy 30 Rock one of the characters breaks up with her boyfriend in IKEA.

And there may be a good reason why: one study found that the layout of its stores were like a maze so that consumers make more impulse purchases.

Courtney Frappier, a New York City publicist whose recent trip to IKEA with her boyfriend Alex Mele ended in tears, told the Wall St Journal that she will never return to the store.

The rows they had over their Bjursta sideboard and the Bekant desk were so bad that her boyfriend will not give them their proper names; instead he calls them Terrible and Misery.

New York-based marriage counsellor Dr Jane Greer said that she had seen couples go to war “over an IKEA couch that neither of them even liked”.

She said: “Underneath, every discussion is really about how important am I to you? How important is my comfort and happiness to you? If I want this couch, and it’s important to me, then why isn’t it important enough to you?”

IKEA’s success is staggering and in the UK, twice as many people visit one of its stores regularly than go to church every Sunday.

Some 10 per cent of all furniture bought in the UK is from IKEA which has around £1.2 billion of sales in Britain each year.

Around 10 per cent of babies in Europe are said to have been conceived on an IKEA bed.

IKEA spokeswoman Janice Simonsen said: “While IKEA has no set philosophy on couples shopping together, we want everyone to have a good experience.”

Astrophysicists discover source of radio signal that suggested alien intelligence after 17 years of looking

Australia’s 210-foot-diameter Parkes telescope first began detecting fast radio bursts of a frequency and duration that suggested an intelligent source in 1998.

After much research, and many years, the source was finally found and it does indeed stem from what was previously considered an intelligent source: homo sapiens.

The radiation was coming from the facility’s microwave oven.

Hunting … Canadian Style

How to hunt down your dinner in Canada. My favourite part is the passing drivers who had reflective safety vests in the their cars in case of an accident.

No word if anyone had a portable BBQ, a buckknife, six lawnchairs, and a bottle of their homemade marinating sauce ready.


Ottawa motorcyclist splits deer in half in highway collision
Driver was ‘very lucky’ after hitting deer in soft mid-section
CBC News Posted: May 07, 2015 7:19 AM ET Last Updated: May 07, 2015 12:13 PM ET

A motorcyclist riding on Highway 417 in Ottawa this morning was thrown from the bike after it cleaved through and killed a deer running across the highway.

An off-duty paramedic said the collision happened just before 6 a.m. ET Thursday in the westbound lanes of Highway 417 near Boundary Road, in the rural southeast of Ottawa.

The collision “literally split the deer in half,” through its midsection, said Ottawa paramedic Ian Courville, who witnessed the grisly crash while travelling to work.

“I saw a bunch of cars hitting the brakes in front of me and then kind of a cloud of what appeared to be red in front of me,” said Courville.

“Then I saw the bike there skidding across the fast lane and the guy, the motorcyclist was lying on the right side of the road there and I obviously saw the deer and saw what happened.”​

“The deer didn’t suffer much. He was split in half so he died instantly, I’m assuming,” he said.

Deer hit in ‘soft spot’

Courville pulled over along with other drivers to help the motorcylist, while others who had reflective safety vests in their vehicles directed traffic away from the collision and the body of the deer.

The 46-year-old motorcyclist ended up some 45 metres from the site of the collision, while the bike was another 45 metres down the road, said Courville.

The motorcyclist was alert as he was taken to the trauma centre of the Civic campus of the Ottawa hospital with non-life-threatening leg injuries.

Courville said the motorcycle hit the deer right at the end of the deer’s ribcage and before the hip bones and the back legs.

“It’s probably what saved him: the point of impact was at the soft spot of the deer,” he said. “He was very lucky. It could have been a moose going across.”

All Hail Liberland!

You know that patch of garden in the back yard you’ve forgotten to water or mow since Madonna wasn’t Joan Rivers?

Careful, cuz someone might just “liberate” it and form their own country. The three-square-mile sliver of land on the banks of the River Danube was inadvertently left off of land claims made by Croatia and Serbia. Presto! On April 13, it declared independence.

Welcome to Liberland, Europe’s newest (micro) state

  • On 3 May, Liberland’s leadership was allowed to open an “honorary consulate” in Serbia, currently the seat of its government-in-exile. (Photo: Liberland)

BRUSSELS, 4. MAY, 09:08

Taxes are nil. Trade virtually unhindered. No official currency. Regulations kept to the very minimum. The powers of the state limited to bare essentials and private property sacrosanct.

To some, these may sound like the contours of a libertarian fantasy; for others, they are the founding principles of the youngest European country, The Free Republic of Liberland.

  • The 7 square km patch of land in Gornja Siga seemed the best place on which to fly Liberland’s flag. (Photo:Liberland)

It started as a jest, designed to go viral.

Czech libertarian activist Vit Jedlicka, a member of the eurosceptic Free Citizens’ Party, spent years campaigning in his homeland for lower taxes and a smaller government. But when the 31-year old economist’s efforts met with little success, he decided to go off the grid.

On 13 April, Jedlicka and his friends travelled to Gornja Siga, a pocket of land along the Danube river, raised a flag, and declared the birth of Liberland, a new micro-nation whose motto is “Live and Let Live”.

Sound preposterous? It might well be. But the uninhabited piece of land between Serbia and Croatia, on which Jedlicka’s group have set their sights, has a tricky aspect.

With Serbia tracing the border along the Danube, and Croatia claiming the border along thebcadastral municipalities of the two countries, Liberland’s new soil is effectively claimed by neither side.

According to some legal sources, sovereignty over such a terra nullius (“land belonging to no one”) may, in theory, be acquired by occupation. Jedlicka’s team did their research – of all the bits of terra nullius that were up for grabs, the 7 square km patch of land in Gornja Siga seemed the best place on which to fly Liberland’s flag.

Head of (a virtual) State

Things escalated quickly: the curious state-building endeavor of this handful of enthusiasts has caught the eye of media around the globe.

In the past two weeks, “president” Jedlicka has given over 50 interviews to major newscasts. In this time, Liberland’s interim leaders have been in contact with potential investors, libertarian think-tanks and individual donors.

The idea has also attracted a cult following online, with social media and the libertarian blogosphere soaring with praise to the new micro-nation, the number of citizenship applications from around the world reached 300,000, of which 20,000 are Egyptians, 65,000 are Turks and many thousands are from Serbia, Croatia, and elsewhere the region.

Swamped with emails, phone calls and online requests in numbers exceeding their wildest expectations, Liberland’s “immigration office” might be the only such department in the Balkans to face a unique, if virtual, challenge: positive net migration.

Despite the online sensation, it didn’t take long for the first bumps on the road to real-life statehood to appear. As “president” Jedlicka announced, 1 May was to mark Liberland’s founding holiday, on which the first 100 settlers to reach the shore by boat would be given honorary citizenship.

However, the plans went awry. Determined to prevent illegal crossing of national borders, Serbian and Croatian border patrols have stopped would-be Liberlandiands from entering the area. The venue had to be moved to a nearby restaurant on the Serbian side of the border, with some 30 attendees getting their documents over a glass of beer.

Jedlicka’s team seems determined to strike a deal of coexistence with the Croatian and Serbian governments, however.

In his first diplomatic mission as head of (a virtual) state, Jedlicka tried to meet with Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, but was told she was abroad. According to sources on the ground, while both countries have officially dismissed the micro-nation as a joke, the Serbians have shown more benevolence than Croatians.

Honorary consulate

On 3 May, Liberland’s leadership was allowed to open an “honorary consulate” in Serbia, currently the seat of its government-in-exile, while the Croatian border control has been heavily patrolling the Danube and blocking the dusty road leading to the area in question.

Although there has yet been no mark of Jedlicka’s success in persuading the Croat authorities to let him access Liberland’s soil, winning the hearts of locals is likely to go more smoothly, with bar owners wide open to the idea of new, independence-seeking customers.

While legal experts and commentators have predictably poured cold water on the micro-nation’s bid for statehood, the unexpected support for the idea of Liberland left some wondering if the starry-eyed attempt does stand a chance.

The current practice of state recognition has been described as combining two approaches to statehood: the constitutive and the declarative theories.

According to the former, Liberland could achieve personality in international law only if it is recognised by other sovereign states.

The latter, declarative theory, posits four criteria which Liberland would have to meet in order to be considered a proper country: a government; a defined territory, a permanent population; and the ability to enter into relations with other states.

As things stand, Jedlicka’s team is opting for this second route. Jedlicka’s masterful PR stunt, portraying the Liberland project as peaceful and essentially harmless, certainly helps his prospects.

Even if Liberland becomes the first micro-nation to actually achieve some sort of recognition (dozens of failed attempts include “The Principality of Sealand” and “The Republic of Minerva”), the challenges of nation-building extend beyond his initial steps.

There are roads, bridges and sewage systems to be built, residential homes to be constructed, and law enforcement forces to be assembled – feats difficult to achieve for a government reliant on voluntary tax revenue.

The draft constitution’s guarantee of unrestricted border-crossing seems hard to reconcile with basic security precautions. On top of that, future Liberlandians might want to consider the nasty dangers looming in the corners of “tax havens” – fraud, money laundering, and terrorism – and to carefully design preventive mechanisms.

The will is manifestly there. Let’s wait and see if there is a way