Archive for November 2016

Open Season on Pedestrians in Toronto   Leave a comment


Toronto Star

10 pedestrians struck Thursday morning in Toronto. By evening, 8 more were hit

18 pedestrian accidents in a day is almost three times the daily average, police say.

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An average of seven pedestrians are struck on Toronto’s streets every day. 

Collisions involving pedestrians spike between mid-September and mid-December, Stibbe said. The incidence dies down when the holidays start and people go on vacation.

“November will be the worst month,” says Stibbe.

 Kim McKinnon, a spokesperson for the city’s paramedics, said they tend to see an increase in pedestrians being struck in the fall, when days start to get shorter.

“Obviously, there is something about (the day), the weather and the status of the roads and people rushing that is causing these accidents,” she said.

In September, Toronto police said that 542 pedestrians and 541 cyclists had been hit by cars since June 1. The total of 1,083 collisions means about 9.5 crashes occur every day, or one every 2.5 hours. This has increased since last year, when 999 pedestrians and cyclists were hit during the same period.

Pedestrian fatalities have increased by 34 per cent since 2005, according to the City of Toronto. One pedestrian is killed or seriously injured in Toronto every two days. Pedestrian fatalities account for about 50 per cent of total yearly traffic fatalities in the city, and 35 pedestrians have been killed in 2016 so far, Toronto Police said in a statement released Friday afternoon.

Road deaths in Toronto are increasing in general, peaking at 65 in 2015, which is an 11-year high. Stibbe says that if two more people are killed in traffic accidents this year, the number will be the most traffic-related fatalities since 2004.

In an effort to bring the incidents down, City Hall is starting up a Road Safety Plan, which will begin in January and will run until 2021.

The plan will involve creating pedestrian safety corridors in places where serious collisions frequently occur. It also proposes lowering speed limits in 54 locations, many of them on downtown arteries such as Yonge St., Bay St., Bathurst St., Queen St., Dundas St. and Bloor St.

In 28 locations, the speeds will be reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h, and in 24 others the limit will go from 60 km/h to 50 km/h. In two locations outside of the downtown core, limits will fall from 70 km/h to 60 km/h in an effort to increase the likelihood of pedestrians surviving a collision, the rate of survival decreasing as speed limits increase.

The Road Safety Plan aims to lower pedestrian deaths by 20 per cent over 10 years, but many are arguing that this goal is not good enough.

According to Dylan Reid, the co-founder of Walk Toronto, a 20-per-cent decrease in pedestrian deaths from 2015 would leave the number at 31, which is still higher than the 18 pedestrian deaths in 2011.

Other countries have had success with road safety crackdowns; Sweden created a road safety plan in 1997 and reduced traffic fatalities by 66 per cent between 1990 and 2011. The plan, called Vision Zero, has become national law there.


Posted November 29, 2016 by markosun in Transportation

Superheroes in the 16th Century   Leave a comment


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Posted November 28, 2016 by markosun in Art

Washington Caps head coach gets a puck to the head   Leave a comment


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The start of the Caps/Leafs game was strange. Leafs’ grinding extraordinaire Matt Martin opened the scoring with a breakaway goal. But I want to focus on the opening face off.

As the Leafs gained possession off the draw, the puck deflected off Nikita Soshnikov’s stick and into the Caps bench. The puck struck Caps Head Coach Barry Trotz square in the forehead.

Midway through the first period, CSN aired a replay.

Trotz was looking the other way when the deflected puck jumped up and clipped him. At first, Trotz is surprised and seems confused on what happened. But then he looks at the referee, has this sassy look like Whatever, dude, and keeps coaching.
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Barry is built like a fire hydrant and has the look of a Mafioso gorilla. Tough Manitoba guy from Dauphin. He shook it off, BUT.
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Barry must have had a side splitting headache last night. When the Caps game opened tonight Barry was on the bench wearing…
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… a Helmet!

Posted November 28, 2016 by markosun in Sports

The Heights of Hollywood celebrities and World leaders, as if it matters.   Leave a comment


Tall, small, big, short, it makes no difference. Unless of course you are a middle linebacker or a jockey. Despite the trivial nature of this post, there are some surprising revelations here.  Never realized Snooky was 4’8″, and Seth Green was 5’4″.

There is a bit of redundancy here, it was necessary to include as many people as possible.

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World leaders

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Canada’s current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is 6’2″.

Heights of leaders – past and present
Name Height, Cm Height, Feet and inches (rounded to nearest) Country (leader of )
Abdelaziz Bouteflika 159 5’2 Algeria
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner 164 5’4 Argentina
Julia Eileen Gillard 166 5’5 Australia
Stephen Harper 188 6’2 Canada
Fidel Castro 190 6’3 Cuba
Tarja Halonen 172 5’8 Finland
François Hollande 170 5’7 France
Nicolas Sarkozy 165 5’5 France
Napoleon 168 5’6 France
Jacques Chirac 189 6’2 France
François Mitterrand 172 5’7 France
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing 189 6’2 France
Georges Pompidou 181 5’11 France
Charles de Gaulle 196 6’5 France
Angela Merkel 165 5’5 Germany
Gerhard Schröder 174 5’8 Germany
Helmut Kohl 193 6’4 Germany

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Adolf Hitler 173 5’8 Germany
Viktor Orban 174 5’8 Hungary
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 157 5’2 Iran
Saddam Hussein 188 6’2 Iraq
David Ben Gurion 152 5’0 Israel
Silvio Berlusconi 165 5’5 Italy
Benito Mussolini 169 5’6 Italy
Yasuo Fukuda 169 5’6 Japan
Kim Yong Ill 160 5’3 Korea (North)
Muammar Gaddafi 183 6’0 Libya
Benito Juarez 137 4’6 Mexico
Josef Stalin 165 5’5 Russia
Dmitry Medvedev 163 5’4 Russia
Vladimir Putin 170 5’7 Russia
Boris Yeltsin 187 6’1 Russia
Vladimir Lenin 165 5’5 Russia
Tony Blair 183 6’0 UK
David Cameron 185 6’1 UK
Winston Churchill 168 5’6 UK
Gordon Brown 180 5’11 UK
Margaret Thatcher 165 5’5 UK
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 193 6’4 UK
Sir Alec Douglas-Home 185 6’1 UK
James Callaghan 185 6’1 UK
Edward Heath 183 6’0 UK
John Major 180 5’11 UK
Queen Elizabeth II 163 5’4 UK
Harold Wilson 173 5’8 UK
George W. Bush 182 5’11 USA
Barack Obama 185 6’1 USA
John F Kennedy 183 6’0 USA
George Washington 187 6’2 USA
Abraham Lincoln 193 6’4 USA
Ronald Reagan 185 6’1 USA
Bill Clinton 184 6’2 USA
George H.W Bush 188 6’2 USA
Gerald Ford 183 6’0 USA
Richard Nixon 182 5’11 USA
Hugo Chávez 173 5’8 Venezuela

Posted November 28, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Blade Runner Images are here in 2016   1 comment


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Blade Runner is a 1982 American tech noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is a modified film adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

2019 is the year where the events of Blade Runner take place. The specific month, November, is given after the opening titles and crawl of the movie have played. The city of Los Angeles of 2019 is depicted as an technologically advanced society.

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The Giant Screens on the sides of buildings are some of the most surreal images in the movie.

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Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a total population of 21,150,000 as of 2013. The city proper is the 3rd most populous in the world.

Beijing Today

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Posted November 28, 2016 by markosun in Cities, Science Fiction

Fidel Castro and his opposition to Individual freedoms   1 comment


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In the early 1960’s after The Bay of Pigs invasion which failed, the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (Organizaciones Revolucionarias Integradas – ORI), began shaping Cuba using the Soviet model, persecuting political opponents and perceived social deviants such as prostitutes and homosexuals; Castro considered same-sex sexual activity a bourgeois trait. Gay men were forced into the Military Units to Aid Production (Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción – UMAP); after many revolutionary intellectuals decried this move, the UMAP camps were closed in 1967, although gay men continued to be imprisoned. In 2010, Castro took responsibility for this persecution, regretting it as a “great injustice”. By 1962, Cuba’s economy was in steep decline, a result of poor economic management and low productivity coupled with the U.S. trade embargo. Food shortages led to rationing, resulting in protests in Cárdenas. Security reports indicated that many Cubans associated austerity with the “Old Communists” of the PSP, while Castro considered a number of them – namely Aníbal Escalante and Blas Roca – unduly loyal to Moscow. In March 1962 Castro removed the most prominent “Old Communists” from office, labelling them “sectarian”. On a personal level, Castro was increasingly lonely, and his relations with Guevara became strained as the latter became increasingly anti-Soviet and pro-Chinese.

Castro’s increasing role on the world stage strained his relationship with the USSR, now under the leadership of Leonid Brezhnev. Asserting Cuba’s independence, Castro refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, declaring it a Soviet-U.S. attempt to dominate the Third World. Diverting from Soviet Marxist doctrine, he suggested that Cuban society could evolve straight to pure communism rather than gradually progress through various stages of socialism. In turn, the Soviet-loyalist Aníbal Escalante began organizing a government network of opposition to Castro, though in January 1968, he and his supporters were arrested for allegedly passing state secrets to Moscow. However, recognising Cuba’s economic dependence on the Soviets, Castro relented to Brezhnev’s pressure to be obedient, and in August 1968 he denounced the leaders of the Prague Spring and praised the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. Influenced by China’s Great Leap Forward, in 1968 Castro proclaimed a Great Revolutionary Offensive, closing all remaining privately owned shops and businesses and denouncing their owners as capitalist counter-revolutionaries. The severe lack of consumer goods for purchase led productivity to decline, as large sectors of the population felt little incentive to work hard. This was exacerbated by the perception that a revolutionary elite had emerged consisting of those connected to the administration; they had access to better housing, private transportation, servants, and the ability to purchase luxury goods abroad.

The man had no compunctions when it came to brutality and oppression for the sake of the Revolucion.

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Posted November 27, 2016 by markosun in Geopolitics

Black and Blue Friday   Leave a comment


Total insanity. Shop until you get dropped is literally the case of this black shopping day.



Posted November 27, 2016 by markosun in Space Aliens