My Favourite Films of 2010

Films I have yet to see, which could end up on this list:

  • 127h
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone
  • Biutiful
  • Rabbit Hole
  • Blue Valentine

Philips’ Cinema 21:9 TV

Last year, Philips announced a very unique television. Its aspect ratio is 21:9. To say that is wide is an understatement. It is much wider than a typical HDTV (as evidenced in the image below), which has an aspect ratio of 16:9. Not only is it wide – it’s huge. There is only one model and it pans 56″. Unless you sit twenty feet away from your TV, that’s quite an immersive experience.

So, what are the benefits of this unit over a 16×9 56″ TV? As you can see in the image above, when you watch a film that was shot in a wide film format like 2.39:1, the image fills the screen of the Philips unit. Regular HDTVs would show black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

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Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West

Last year, Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs. Things like this have happened in the past, but there was something about this event that really pissed people off. Maybe it was the “aw, shucks” innocence of T.Swizzle, or the fact that Kanye was already on a bit of a downward spiral – either way, he was ostracized and parodied endlessly in skits on TV and the web, in tweets and Facebook statuses, and in day-to-day life by people who think they are more clever than they actually are.

Fast-forward one year to the 2010 VMAs. As Mr. McNutt posted in his live-blog of the event, these award shows mean less and less each year. Not that they ever really meant anything… but they’ve really gone from rewarding the best to rewarding the most popular in search of ratings.

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The NS Apocalypse

I was checking out some of the Nova Scotia highway cams the other day, and in several of the images I saw… a whole lot of nothing. Not a single car. It was eerie. I kept clicking and was finally relieved to see a couple of trucks caught on camera.

So this is what a sunny, August Apocalypse might look like in rural NS:

300 litres per day

I read my water bill this morning. Around $80 for three months, as usual. I then noticed that we have been using almost exactly 300 liters per day for more than a year – 300, 297, 298, etc. Before we installed a dual-flush toilet in one of the bathrooms, the daily average was slightly higher.

300L sounds like a lot. I mean, it is. But it’s only 150L/day per person. The average American uses nearly 600L/day. The average Canadian uses 325L/day, and we are using about half that. I still want to cut down though.

Cutting Down
I want to install dual-flush toilets in the other three bathrooms, or at least put something in the tanks to make them use less water per flush. Other than that, I really don’t know how we can cut down. We always fill the dishwasher and try to refrain from running the water when washing single dishes, or brushing our teeth. My showers are always under 10mins, though the same can’t be said of Amber… *cough* We have low-flow shower heads in both showers. Our outside tap is currently broken, so we haven’t been using a lot of water to wash our car or water our lawn. Maybe I should just be happy with 300L/day?

vs. Bottled Water
Another thing that struck me was the cost. 300L/day for 90 days costs us $80. That’s $0.89 per day, or $0.003 per litre. Let’s compare that to bottled water. A 591mL bottle is usually $2, or $3.38 per litre (I’m using 591mL as the example because that’s what the majority of people buy, especially from vending machines).

When you buy a bottle of water, you are paying 1,126 times more than you would if you just filled up a bottle at home.

So, here’s to cutting down on water usage, and not buying bottled water.

Unfortunately, I’m sure it won’t be long before other countries start invading Canada for our fresh water supply

NS Power Hikes

Well, what a surprise – NS Power is looking to increase rates by another 6.5% in January. Sound familiar? It should. Rates increased last year by a whopping 9.4%. In fact, over the past ten years, rates have increased on average nearly 5% per year. These increases are always justified by citing increased fuel costs, but oil and coal prices right now are on par with 2006 prices.

The increase supposedly has to do with the cost of low-mercury coal, which the government is requiring NS Power to use to reduce pollution. That requirement has been softened, and extended to 2014. NS Power is spinning this increase as positive for customers, because it is less than the 12% they had originally planned to ask for.

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