Friday, November 28, 2008

Make the BC gov't keep their promise on the Great Bear Rainforest

Here's a cause that I can really get behind. And I hope that you can too. You don't have live in BC -- the more people that pitch in and sign the petition, the better.

My fellow Victorian, Darren Barefoot wrote about this campaign in his blog recently:
The Great Bear Rainforest is a huge swath of the land–the size of Austria–on BC’s central coast. It’s home to three kinds of bears, six million migratory birds, 3000 genetically distinct salmon stocks and many species of plants unique to the region. Most importantly, it’s the largest tract of intact coastal temperate rainforest left on Earth.

As you may recall, there was a landmark agreement in 2006 among various stakeholders–the provincial government, logging companies, First Nations and environmentalists. They agreed to a new approach to resource planning developed by an independent team of scientists, and committed to its implementation by March 31, 2009. But we’re not (ahem) out of the woods yet.
There's more in his original post, including a link to a Facebook group, a video about the campaign and more information, so head over and take a look.

Darren is urging all of us to sign an online petition urging the government to live up to its promise to protect the forest. If you do, you'll get a nice little auto-responder from the environment minister, which will make you feel special. I urge all of you to go ahead and take a few seconds to add your voice to this cause.

Merry Christmas...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

First photos from our new house

Looks like we're back in the game...

We've been renting in Victoria for nearly two and a half years now, which is the longest Heather and I have gone without owning a home. But all that's about to change.

We've decided to take the plunge and buy a house. We've been looking for awhile and now that the market has softened, there are some good deals to be had. Our deal is still in the works, but we should be moving in at the end of December, which is a great way to celebrate the New Year!

We'll be looking for help moving on New Year's eve, so if you're not busy...drop me a line. I'll even supply pizza!

I've got some pictures up on Flickr of the inside of the house and I'll add some outside shots soon. Tonight was the first time I brought my camera along.

You can view the set (with cutlines of the photos) by using this link to go to Flickr.

You can also see the slideshow below.

And now for something completely different...

If you're of a similar vintage (and getting better with age, I'm sure) you'll appreciate how stupendous today's news really is.

The Monty Python gang have finally launched their own channel on YouTube. (Let the bells ring and the banners fly!)

This is very, very good news for those of us who can never get enough of the funny walks, the parrot jokes and philosopher footballers.

Here's the link to the site that introduces the new channel. You'll be able to watch their introduction, as well as choose from an amazing line-up of famous clips - most also available in the high-quality format that I wrote about the other day.

Here's one of my very favourite segments...Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Google adds 10 million photos from Life archives

Now this is big news.

Google has announced that they are putting all 10 million pictures from the archival collection of Time-Life on line and available for searching via Image Search. There are some amazing photos included -- many of them never before published.

According to the announcement on the Google Blog, the archives date back to 1750 -- or to a time before photography even existed! It's an amazing resource. Full marks to Google for pursuing a project like this.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:
One of our favorites is this classic Eisenstaedt image of children watching a puppet show.

Alfred snapped this in 1963, at the climax of Guignol's "Saint George and the Dragon" in the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Just as the dragon is slain, some children cry out in a combination of horror and delight, while others are taken aback in shock. Every child is consumed with emotion, masterfully captured by Eisenstaedt's camera. These amazing photos are now blended into our Image Search results along with other images from across the web.
Whether you're looking for a particular image, or just browsing, I know you'll enjoy looking through this collection.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where the hell is Matt? - in high def

Have you heard about Matt, the guy who filmed himself dancing with people all over the world? It's a good story, and if you haven't heard about it, you can find out more at his website, or just watch the video. (Note -- The website seems to be down)

Even if you've seen the video, here's an update to the story that I just found out about.

The original videos on YouTube were the usual, low-quality types. But when you go to the YouTube site, there's a link below the video that lets you watch them in high quality. The difference is astounding and shows what kind of quality is possible with online video.

Here's the original (low-res) version of the video:

And to see the high-quality video, use this link.

It appears that a lot of videos on the YouTube site are now available as high-quality versions...just look for the link at the bottom of the viewer. It's worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What a concept - making a good video

Here's some breaking news. The Onion News Network says that YouTube is going to launch a groundbreaking contest. Check it out below.