Canadexit: how to escape the clutches of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

 Want to migrate to Canada? Hop on a canoe with prime minister Justin Trudeau. Photograph: Sean Kilpatrick/AP

Want to migrate to Canada? Hop on a canoe with prime minister Justin Trudeau. Photograph: Sean Kilpatrick/AP

Google searches for “how do I move to Canada” spiked in the UK following the Brexit vote, in inverse correlation to the value of the pound. Trump has already begun challenging his critics to make the move, perhaps anticipating the gulags (fabulous gulags, the best gulags) he will establish in our frozen north.

Though frequently cited as an empty threat, it’s not unreasonable for Brits and Yanks anticipating a future transatlantic summit between God-Emperors Trump and Farage to contemplate a move to Canada. Many have come before.

Our first wave of disgruntled immigrants crossed the Bering Land Bridge into North America some 40,000 years ago, although history doesn’t record the identity of the neanderthal real estate tycoon they were fleeing. Their First Nations ancestors were later displaced by Americans, loyal to the British crown, who fled the Revolutionary War. During the 19th century, somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 escaped slaves made their way to Canada on the Underground Railroad.

In the early 1900s they were followed in turn by the Doukhobors, a pacifist Russian sect who fled oppression in their homeland and resettled in the prairies of western Canada. Upon experiencing the reality of life in the prairies of western Canada, the Doukhobors regretted their decision, and devised a plan to return to Russia: they would force the Canadian government to repatriate them by stripping naked and setting fire to their own houses. Canadians are a patient people, but only to a point. The most devout of the Doukhoubors now live in Azerbaijan.

Where should Trump-Travellers live in Canada nowadays? Here are two cities compared.

Vancouver
Canada’s only beautiful city has already been rendered unaffordable by the same borderless capital flows whose panicked stampedes are about to devastate London. Suitable for aspirational fregan employees of weed dispensaries and 17-year-old Lamborghini-driving daughters of Chinese Communist Party officials.

Toronto
Canada’s largest city is now best-known for the antics of its late mayor, beloved domestic abuser and crack addict Rob Ford. His brief reign so ashamed Torontonians that they promptly elected a man so boring that his name is actually “John Tory”, and whose soporific public persona might be particularly reassuring to Trump/Johnson refugees.

As for those of us already here, I think I’m safe in saying that we are conflicted by Canada’s status as a refuge for the politically dissatisfied. On one hand, we would prefer that control of the US and UK governments not fall into the hands of populist demagogues. On the other, periodic influxes of liberals are an electoral bulwark against their rise in our own country. On behalf of Canada, let me assure you that you’re welcome here, but politely suggest that you consider standing and fighting.

  • From Monday 4 July, Guardian Cities is devoting a week to exploring all things Canada. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join the discussion

All of the above is taken from a very interesting and very well written article in The Guardian newspaper web site. You may read the complete article here.

Camping for free in British Columbia, Canada

people camping

Why pay scalper prices for a campsite when you can camp for free in thousands of locations in British Columbia?

Recently, news reports of individuals and companies buying a full season at a campsite or buying blocks of campsites during long weekends has raised the ire of some campers.

Why pay when you can camp for free? For years I went camping for free with the family all around BC. In those days most of the free sites didn’t have cut firewood, but that may have changed now. In my day the sites were simply referred to as Forestry Campsites because the BC Forest Service maintained them. Yes, they weren’t deluxe sites. Heck, I was camping. But most campsites I visited were in beautiful locations, quiet, and somewhat remote.

Check to see if a similar service is available where you want to go camping.

The BC government has a website titled Recreation Sites and Trails operated by the Ministry of Forests. I’ll provide the link in a minute. Some BC forsestry campsites may charge a fee nowadays. Check their web site for details on the campsite of your choice.

PLANNING YOUR TRIP

CHECK THE RECREATION SITES & TRAILS listed on their website for current conditions or possible closures due to fires or other events.

For the latest info on CAMPFIRE RESTRICTIONS and FIRE PROHIBITIONS in your desired camping region check the BC WILDFIRE SERVICE WEBSITE

During times of high fire risk, be prepared and bring a portable stove for cooking.

Here is the link to the BC Ministry of Forests Recreation Sites & Trails.

Those incredible flying machines- Drone Helicopters

Drone Helicopter

Unlike most helicopters, hovering drones use multiple rotors. Many drones are based on a design called a quadcopter, which employs four rotors on arms set 90 degrees to each other. Each rotor is directly driven by an electric motor. By turning two of the rotors clockwise and two anticlockwise it counters the twisting effects of torque produced by a single-rotor helicopter (without a tailrotor to push against the torque, a helicopter would spin hopelessly round and round). Moreover, whereas a helicopter needs to vary the pitch of its blades (the angle at which they attack the air) in order to manoeuvre, the multiple rotors on a drone have a fixed pitch. The drone instead manoeuvres by independently changing the speed of one or more of its rotors under computer control. As this set-up requires fewer and less complex moving parts than a helicopter, it makes drones simpler, cheaper to build and maintain, and potentially more reliable.

Ascending Technologies, a German dronemaker bought earlier this year by Intel, a giant chipmaker, gave e-volo a hand with the electronic systems that control them (the craft contains more than 100 microcontrollers). The greater number of rotors provides both more efficiency in lift and higher levels of redundancy in the event of a failure. And, just in case of a big emergency, there is also a parachute—one that will gently carry to the ground the entire drone with its passengers remaining in their seats.

The VC200 gained permission to fly from German authorities earlier this year. It has an all-in weight of 450kg and, in its present form, a flight duration of 30 minutes. After completing a series of flight tests the VC200 should be fully certified by 2017 in a category of aircraft known as an “ultralight”. The company have taken this route because it will get the VC200 into the air sooner and allow valuable flight experience to be built up while discussions continue about creating a possible new class of aircraft for passenger drones.

A rather different approach is being taken by Malloy Aeronautics, a British company. It is developing a drone you can sit on like a motorbike. The Hoverbike is now in its third incarnation, having begun with two rotors, one at the front and another at the rear, but progressing to four. However, it does not look like a typical quadcopter. Instead, it has a pair of rotors at the front and another pair at the back. Each is slightly offset and partially overlapping. So far, the company is carrying out test flights of the craft as an unmanned drone in order to develop its software and systems fully before fitting a seat and handlebars to produce a passenger version. Malloy has, though, flown a one-third scale remote-controlled prototype with a dummy pilot (see picture below).

Drone Helicopter2

The idea behind the Hoverbike is to produce a rugged and simple air vehicle which, because it is oblong rather than square, would be more easily transportable in vehicles or other aircraft, and would be able to operate and land in difficult surroundings, such as on the side of a mountain, says Grant Stapleton, a Malloy director. The company is also working with America’s Army Research Laboratory on the Hoverbike concept. It would have basic controls, such as a throttle grip for the right hand—as on a motorbike—with the handlebars used to provide other commands.

The above is from an article in The Economist magazine. Read the full article here.

Can ‘smart’ birdhouses help improve air quality in Amsterdam?

The TreeWifi birdhouse glows green – and gives passersby free Wi-Fi - when the air quality is high. Photograph: Joris Lam/TreeWifi

The TreeWifi birdhouse glows green – and gives passersby free Wi-Fi – when the air quality is high. Photograph: Joris Lam/TreeWifi

A designer in Amsterdam is proposing to install birdhouses in trees across the city that give passersby free Wi-Fi when the air is clean. The aim is to encourage people to use more sustainable forms of transport like bicycles in order to reduce pollution levels, so the birdhouses glow green when the air is clean enough and reward citizens with free internet connection.

The TreeWifi structures may not actually be able to house birds (yet), but they are fitted with sensors to measure air quality in the city. It comes at a critical time as it was revealed last month that air pollution levels in parts of Amsterdam break EU standards. But how do you best encourage city dwellers to go green?

“Being a designer, I set out to find a simple way to make air pollution visible to citizens in a way that people just understand on an emotional level, rather than having to dig through data and maps,” founder Joris Lam explained to FastCoExist. “In this age of mass surveillance and machines tracking your every move I thought it would be refreshing to design something as simple as a birdhouse,” he says. The initiative is still crowdfunding to get off the ground (and into the trees).

Read this and other interesting stories about cities on The Guardian newspaper site here.

Hacking Smart TV’s; hackers record video/audio of you in the room

Okay, this is old news but I thought I’d bring it up again. Smart TV’s are smart because they are connected to the Internet.

Problem number one: they are connected to the Internet.

Problem number two: they are easily hacked.

Smart TV hackers are filming people having sex on their sofas – and putting it on porn sites

Okay it was rumored to have occurred back in 2015.. http://metro.co.uk/2016/05/23/smart-tv-hackers-are-filming-people-having-sex-on-their-sofas-and-putting-it-on-porn-sites-5899248/

How to easily hack your Smart TV : Samsung and LG
https://iicybersecurity.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/how-to-easily-hack-your-smart-tv-samsung-and-lg/

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Smart TV in 2016

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-reasons-shouldnt-buy-smart-tv-anymore/

How to Protect Your Smart TV from Hackers

https://www.allclearid.com/personal/2016/04/how-to-protect-your-smart-tv-from-hackers/

Okay, that’s enough for now. You can search the Internet for more. Just don’t use your Smart TV to do the search.

PS: Be sure to tape over the camera on your phone/laptop/tablet etc. Easily hacked too, but that’s another story.

New forum for knitters

VicPic.jpg

A friend of mine has started a new forum for knitters, experienced or beginning knitters.

Her name is Vickie and she has been operating her own knitting web site called Simple Knitting for over five years now. Her Simple Knitting web site is mainly for beginning knitters, although experienced knitters also have enjoyed her articles.

Vickie decided to create a forum so beginning knitters and knitters with experience can connect and share their love of knitting. Her forum is called Knitters Digest.

Her Knitters Digest forum is in beta testing at the moment, and is open for membership while testing. Below are links to her Knitters Digest forum and her Simple Knitting web site. Please drop by and help build the forum membership. It’s free to join.

Link to Vickie’s Knitters Digest forum: Knitters Digest.

Link to Vickie’s Simple Knitting web site: Simple Knitting.