Category Archives: General Interest

Some thoughts on writing letters to the editor

This is the 2,000th post on my website!

And as an activist of sorts, I would like to offer some advice on letter-writing for publication.

My first letter was published early in 1968 by the Toronto Telegram, which later folded following a protracted labour dispute, and was effectively replaced by a number of its leading  writers and staff who founded the Toronto Sun in late 1971.

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Monkeys and politicians: Mind-conditioning 101

Found on the internet, author unknown…

If you start with a cage containing five monkeys, and inside the cage you hang a banana on a string and then you place some steps under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the steps and climb up towards the banana.  Seems logical enough.

But, as soon as he touches the steps, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result… all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the steps, the other monkeys will stop him.

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No more pennies for Canada as of February 4th!

Starting tomorrow, the Royal Canadian Mint will stop putting one-cent coins into circulation, and the banks will begin to take them out of circulation.  In my opinion, not enough notice has been given, and many people will be taken by surprise when making purchases next week.  And when stores “round-out” the amount that people have to pay to the nearest nickel, there is going to be a lot of bad blood and complaints from customers about being “ripped-off” etc. if they have to pay more.

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Good grammar reduces password security

The following is a press release from Carnegie-Mellon University earlier this month.

– Grammar Undercuts Security Of Long Computer Passwords –

“Pittsburgh – When writing or speaking, good grammar helps people make themselves be understood. But when used to concoct a long computer password, grammar — good or bad — provides crucial hints that can help someone crack that password, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have demonstrated.”

Read the full release here.

French politicians freak over article in The Economist

Britain’s Daily Mail ran a great story yesterday describing the French response to an article in  “The Economist” which describes France as “the time-bomb at the heart of Europe”; it would seem that while The Economist supports the continuation of the Euro, it thinks that French plans to tackle the financial crisis are “not ambitious enough”.

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Ancient synagogue irreparably damaged by Jewish extremists

“The Israel Antiquities Authority suspects extremist ultra-Orthodox Jews who say the authority damages ancient graves during excavations… Similar acts have been carried out at other archaeological sites; one slogan sprayed Monday night read “A site for every grave [desecrated].” Another read “For Shuka,” probably referring to Shuka Dorfman, the head of the antiquities authority. ”

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