Canadian Democracy Inaction (no that is not a typo)…

I’m mad.
I’m annoyed.
Can our politicians really be so childish?

I’m not a Green Party member. I doubt I’ll actually vote for them (I vote based on the candidate in my riding first, and political party affiliation second).

The Green Party garnered approx. 5% of the popular vote in the last election. They’ve ran candidates in all of the ridings. They now have a sitting MP – yes he crossed the floor, but both the CONS and the LIBS have benefited from the floor crossings in the last few years so they can’t really argue that point with any credibility. These were the basic criteria that the media consortium who run the national debates gave the Green Party during the last election in order to be included in the debates during this election. Now that they’ve met those criteria they are still being excluded from the process because the CONS and NDP (most vocally) will not participate if they are included. I call BS on this. It does not matter what your political affiliation is, you should be seriously concerned about supporting any politician who would actively subvert democracy this way. I say let the Greens in, if the CONS and the NDP want to take the balls (or lack there of) and go home they can – they are within their rights not to participate but I suspect it would do them a HUGE amount of damage…although the debates might be more interesting for us with only the LIBS, BLOC and Green debating.

Arghhh…why must politics in Canada be the art of choosing between the lesser of all the evils?

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Call it “spoofed” or “joe-jobbed”…I’ll call it PO’d!

That’s right, I got spoofed…spammers used an old email alias of mine and sent out a nice healthy spam attack. Now, the 462 undeliverable emails that landed in my in-box were bad enough, but on further investigation the spam they were trying to send was just plain stupid. I’m not sure which to be more PO’d about…that spoofing of my domain name or the pathetic excuse for spam. It was even something funny. The subject read “You Look Stupid”. OK, so maybe it was ironic, since there I sat feeling rather stupid…darn spammers. 

Being rather Internet savvy I did what any good geek-girl would do…in a bit of a panic I began Googling for answers. What should I do? Can I stop this? Will I get blacklisted? What happens now? I Googled “domain being used to send spam” and thankfully, I found a great posting that calmed me down from Al Iverson at SpamResource.com, http://www.spamresource.com/2007/07/ask-al-my-email-address-is-being-used.html. After reading the article, I deleted the old email alias and got on the phone to my ISP.

Of course, my ISP wasn’t able to help much other than to reassure me that they would not be taking any action against me, that the mail was not actually going through their servers, and that because I deleted the email alias the spammers would likely move on to another unfortunate souls domain name sooner rather than later.

It looks like email authentication may be the only real solution to this problem…but advances in that direction seem to be moving at a snail mail pace.

This just goes to show that even someone who thinks they’ve got a good handle on the Internet and makes her living doing so can be targeted by the nasty spammers. I wish I had learnt a lesson from all of this, that there was something I could actually do to prevent this from happening again, but it looks like I’ll just have to hold out for the universal adoption of some sort of email authentication…but frankly I’m not going to hold my breath.

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Spare Some Lungs, Anyone? Organ Transplants Needed in Canada

Joel Solomon is soon to receive a living organ donation from close friend Shivon Robinsong to solve a lifelong genetic condition that has slowly deteriorated his kidney function. He chooses now to speaks out on behalf of another friend, Robert Burton, also in desperate need of a life saving lung transplant.

read more | digg story

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AGEs (advanced glycation end products) – Are They The New Trans Fats?

Thinking of grilling a steak for supper? Think again. Grilling, broiling and frying foods on a regular basis could increase your risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Just in time for BBQ season – researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered that grilling, frying or broiling food can be harmful.

read more | digg story

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Using Health Products for Weight Loss

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about obesity in the news. It is an epidemic in the developed world, with the number of people likely to develop resulting illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease set to increase dramatically within the next 5 years. Given the new public emphasis on losing weight, Health Canada released some useful information

read more | digg story

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Making Shakespeare Appealing in the Digital Age

The Stratford Festival of Canada is attempting a new approach to make Shakespeare appealing to a younger crowd. They’ve created a Flash animated, modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing. Animation was done by Mannkind Design

read more | digg story

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In the back row…

While cleaning out the refrigerator today I discovered a mysterious back row of condiments. Things I don't recall buying with "best before" dates that came uncomfortably close to predating my occupancy of the apartment. Clearly I had more condiments than I could ever have possibly wanted or needed since I neither used them before they expired nor missed them hiding behind all of the other items. But, looking at all of the expired things I realised that some of them I had really enjoyed (or even bought more not realising I already had some) while others I had tried once and they just didn't satisfy my palette.

This made me think of the Internet…when it comes to websites there are thousands of mystery sites in the back row. Some belong there in the back row and are never missed and some are really good but get lost in the sheer volume of similar information out there. Often, my challenge with clients is how to make sure that their website does not get lost on that back shelf. There are so many simple tools to use and practices to follow that can keep your information fresh and in the front row…and not cost you thousands to do it.

As the saying goes, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but educating yourself on the basics will benefit any website project you're involved with. One of my favourite Search Engine Optimization resources is http://www.marketleap.com/help/seo101 for a clear SEO 101 for Internet Production professionals and their clients.

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