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Friday March 27, 2015

21:00 Elephant Song at Friday, March 27, 2015 at 9:00 »Tonight at City Cinema
Only 4 days left to see this film.

Rated: Parental Guidance (Mature Theme)
Runs: 110 minutes
Director: Charles Binamé
Country: Canada
Released: 2015
Starring: Bruce Greenwood, Colm Feore, Xavier Dolan, Catherine Keener
Awards: Canadian Screen Award Nominee for Best Actor and Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Award-winning director Charles Binamé unfolds a story of drama, deception, and desperation in Elephant Song... The film delves into the mind of troubled psychiatric patient Michael, detailing the complex back-and-forth between him and the unprepared doctor who attempts to untangle his web of lies. When psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence goes mysteriously missing from a hospital that has recently been plagued by scandal, Dr. Toby Green is called in to investigate before the news goes public. Convinced that Michael is hiding knowledge about his colleague Green is determined to control both the situation and the patient, adamantly ignoring the advice from the person who knows Michael best, Nurse Susan Peterson. As Michael demonstrates his superior intelligence and manipulative nature, it becomes increasingly unclear who is controlling the conversation. Binamé’s visually striking, cool design is a perfect mirror for the elaborate mind games at play, while setting a mood that underscores the fierce desperation percolating throughout. Inhabiting his role with complete conviction, Dolan is transfixing, and Greenwood brings meticulous control to his portrayal of Michael’s baffled counterpart. The dynamic relationship between the two leaves the viewer on edge as the stakes rise and the truth becomes that much harder to reach.” – Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Film Festival

Advance Tickets ~ IMDB on Film ~

15:21 Get an early start with current gardening trends »Journal-Pioneer Living
Today’s gardeners have different priorities than they did a generation ago. Our focus has shifted to these three trends: growing-your-own, container gardening and growing an environmentally responsible garden.
15:01 No tax increase in Charlottetown as council approves budget »The Guardian - Local News
There will be no tax increase for residents in Charlottetown. City council voted 10-0 today to approve its 2015 municipal budget. However, Mayor Clifford Lee said the city was set to pass a five per cent tax hike until the provincial government ponied up $1.5 million in funding Thursday to help ...
13:18 Mercedes-Benz Is Going to Build a Pickup…But You Can’t Have It »shift+drive

New Benz Truck?The big luxury automakers are trying to expand their product lines until they can fill every possible niche. Hot hatches, minivans, coupe versions of SUVs, coupe versions of sedan versions of coupes (yo, dawg!). But despite this plethora of models, none of them have given you what you really want... until now.

The post Mercedes-Benz Is Going to Build a Pickup…But You Can’t Have It appeared first on SHIFT&DRIVE.

13:12 Buddhist monastery hosts open house in Little Sands »The Guardian - Local News
LITTLE SANDS — The doors will swing open for the first time this weekend as the monastic academy of the Buddhist society hosts a “Spring Fling” open house for the general public. The event will be held Saturday, March 28 with three different sessions throughout the day to ensure visitors have ...
12:36 P.E.I. Tories hopeful royal commission gamble pays off »The Guardian - Opinion
Is it good policy or mere political posturing? The announcement Wednesday by PC Leader Rob Lantz that he will strike a royal commission on government accountability if his party wins the spring election comes as a surprise. He wants to take a close look at government loans, e-gaming and the ...
12:30 Cost cutting must continue »The Guardian - Opinion
Since coming to office, Premier Wade MacLauchlan has cut cabinet to eight including himself. Congratulations.The premier has also reduced the number of staff in the premier’s office and just recently he announced the number of ministerial executive assistants would be cut by half. Again ...
12:30 O'Leary mayor says he resigned to give residents say in land deal »The Guardian - Local News
O’LEARY - Former O’Leary mayor, Stanley MacDonald, says he resigned his position so as to give residents a say in a proposed land purchase. MacDonald issued his first public statement since his March 12 resignation during the town’s annual information meeting Wednesday night He explained that, ...
12:28 Grammar needs constant attention »The Guardian - Opinion
Spot on Dr. Des Colohan for your recent entertaining piece on the correct use of “less” and “fewer.” Fewer words, the less said. My current irritant is the widespread tendency for English speakers to add to the world’s burgeoning population by referring to individuals as “they,” as in “if the ...
12:27 Safety is as important as education »The Guardian - Opinion
Today is a beautiful day. A number of people are badmouthing the school board for cancelling school once again. Mind you, if a child were killed because of road conditions, or a school bus accident because of road conditions, then they'd really have something to complain about. The school board ...
12:25 Critical of party, not the candidate »The Guardian - Opinion
As the election gears up and candidates are nominated, I would like to take the chance to thank and congratulate every one of them for having the resolve and perseverance to run. Putting myself out there has not been the most comfortable experience but it has been the most rewarding. Elected or ...
12:24 Cable funding election rhetoric? »The Guardian - Opinion
Poor Pat Mella griping about Gail Shea not making the headlines re cable funding announcement. The Guardian most likely ran this in the headlines back in 2005 when the Paul Martin-led government committed to this project only to have it scrapped by Stephen Harper in 2006. Ms. Mella and her ...
12:22 Our Canada, so our rules »The Guardian - Opinion
Should citizens be allowed to wear veils, masks or any other paraphernalia over their faces during citizenship ceremonies? What about going to a bank, police station, nightclubs or getting a passport, driver's license, etc.? Probably not. Our Canada, our rules.Eric McCarthy,Summerside
12:21 Forensic review supports kiosk findings: CNIB »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
Over the last several weeks CNIB has been relatively silent regarding recent media attention surrounding significant shortages of funds at an independent lottery kiosk in Summerside between 2011 and 2013.
12:21 Horse owners do have compassion »The Guardian - Opinion
In response to The Guardian editorial letter March 9, 2015 by Mary Parker re: ‘Horses face untimely end.’ I have been involved with racehorses for at least 50 plus years as owner, trainer and groom. Over the years, I have had to find places for my horses when their racing careers were over, ...
12:13 Forensic review validates CNIB’s findings »The Guardian - Opinion
By Pamela Gow-Boyd (guest opinion)
12:12 Charlottetown Presents Balanced Budget, Avoids Tax Increase »City of Charlottetown
2015-03-26 The City of Charlottetown presented a balanced budget for 2015 at a public
12:07 Dead trees and dead dogs »The Guardian - Opinion
Is the following a rumination on the relative value of life and death, or just a couple of kids trying to figure it all out?“Papa, I just saw a dead dog,” said number one son, Louis Romero, aged five, on a recent drive in the family car.Seated beside him was number one daughter, Sophie ...
12:02 UPEI Wind Symphony graduates ending on a high note »The Guardian - Living
Nine graduating students and their music will be in the spotlight during UPEI Wind Symphony’s year-end recital at Steel Recital Hall on April 2
12:00 P.E.I. man facing drug charges in Nova Scotia »The Guardian - Local News
AMHERST, N.S. - A 22-year-old Charlottetown resident is facing charges of possession of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking and numerous Motor Vehicle Act charges following a vehicle stop on Highway 104 near Amherst. RCMP stopped the 2014 Hyundai Accent and found the driver did not have a ...
11:58 Fundraising fun on stage with the Winsloe Players »The Guardian - Living
The Winsloe Players — and the laughs — are back with ‘Oh, My, Where’s the Groom’, now playing at the Carrefour Theatre
11:32 P.E.I. agricultural market report »The Guardian - Business
The Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture Forestry compiles a weekly agricultural market report. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT
11:07 Propane leak forces cancellation of some P.E.I. government services »The Guardian - Local News
The provincial government has cancelled all services offered at the Sherwood Business Centre because of a propane leak. The Charlottetown Fire Department is on site and has advised that there is no danger to the public. The source of the leak is being investigated and updates will be provided ...
11:00 NDP could scrap Health P.E.I. if elected »The Guardian - Local News
SOURIS - The body that manages P.E.I.’s health care system could be scrapped if an NDP government is elected, says NDP leader Mike Redmond. Redmond made the announcement in Souris as he laid out his second major plank in his election platform a new P.E.I. Health Accord. “The Health P.E.I. ...
10:30 PC Party paying Rob Lantz salary, taxpayers paying Premier Wade MacLauchlan »The Guardian - Local News
It’s a political oddity in Prince Edward Island. None of the current leaders of the province’s political parties holds a seat in the legislature so the method by which they are getting paid is different. Rob Lantz, who was elected by the Progressive Conservative Party on Feb. 28, is at the top ...
09:44 P.E.I. farm fined for not rotating crops in field »The Guardian - Local News
SUMMERSIDE — A western Prince County farm operation has pleaded guilty to failing to properly rotate its crops in one of its fields. D.S. Ellis Inc. was originally charged with one count of breaching the P.E.I. Crop Rotation Act and one count under the Environmental Protection Act, though the ...
09:16 Province's deficit $5 million lower than predicted »Journal-Pioneer Local
The province's books look better than they thought they would.
09:03 Are you 'terrified' yet?....... (161 Words) » | New Topics
Well, you should be, but not because you'll be a victim of 'terrorists'. It's the government that you'll have to be wary of.

If Bill C-51 passes, the state of personal freedom will be set back centuries. Arrest [u]for something someone may do [/u]was discontinued in civilized countries hundreds of years ago.

The local mounties aren't even waiting for Bill C-51 to pass. They arrested a local UPEI student the other day.

"Police won't say if any charges are pending or talk about the allegations against Raisolsadat. He was arrested based on police suspicions that he might commit an offence related to terrorism. He was released and ordered not to leave P.E.I. or possess firearms. He must report to the RCMP every week and continue to reside in his home." -The CBC

Terrorism is defined as 'the use of fear to achieve a political goal'. Who are the real 'terrorists' in Canada today?

08:49 RCMP warn of fake Canada Revenue Agency calls »Journal-Pioneer Local
Kings District RCMP are cautioning the public about calls from people claiming to work for the Canada Revenue Agency.
08:40 Canada Post delivery changes concern P.E.I. residents »Journal-Pioneer Local
Islanders may be known for their polite behavior, but Canada Post’s plan to cancel door-to-door delivery has some Islanders up in arms.
08:22 Wade Was Chairman Of Foundation Owned By ‘Codfathers’ Sobeys, not Irvings »
Although Wade Maclauchlan talks about transparency, he does not seem to demonstrate it very well, we can not expect him to lead by example. Red Like Me has learned that parent company which owns Island EMS is closely associated with Premier Maclauchlan in his past, he is in tight with the Sobey’s. Medvie EMS is … Continue reading Wade Was Chairman Of Foundation Owned By ‘Codfathers’ Sobeys, not Irvings
08:20 RCMP warn of fake Canada Revenue Agency calls »The Guardian - Local News
Kings District RCMP are cautioning the public about calls from people claiming to work for the Canada Revenue Agency. There have been numerous reports of calls to the public by people claiming to work for the Canadian Revenue Agency. These callers claim that money is owed to the agency and ...
08:08 P.E.I. residents voice concerns about Canada Post delivery changes »The Guardian - Local News
Islanders may be known for their polite behavior, but Canada Post’s plan to cancel door-to-door delivery has some Islanders up in arms. One of those is Barb MacDonald. Once Canada Post’s new plan is implemented on Oct. 19, there will be a community mail box directly outside her bedroom ...
07:45 P.E.I. storms delay Easter Seal campaign stops »The Guardian - Local News
P.E.I.’s record snowfalls are playing havoc with the work of 2015 Easter Seals ambassador Jacob MacNeill and his team. The campaign is falling behind schedule due to businesses being closed because of inclement weather. Five scheduled visits to P.E.I. Rotary Clubs that were cancelled last week ...
07:41 Daily Specials for Friday, March 27, 2015 »Casa Mia Daily Specials

The Daily Specials at Casa Mia Restaurant for Friday, March 27, 2015 are:

  • Falafel Wrap with Almond Rice...11.99 House made chickpea fritters, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, baby spinach and feta in a whole wheat wrap with lemon vinaigrette and red pepper aioli...served with almond rice.
  • Savoury Roasted Carrot Soup...4.99

Casa Mia Restaurant
131 Queen Street
Charlottetown, PE
Telephone: (902) 367-4440

07:39 PEI Receives 35 Million Funding From National Securities, Already Spent »
Finance Minister Wade Maclauchlan is either inept or a terrible con man. Piping off in the media about having 5 million ‘surplus’ in the Provincial budget in the previous quarter after rolling 5 years allowance for Securities Regulating into last years income. Watch the shell game and follow the money. 35 million dollars from Cooperative … Continue reading PEI Receives 35 Million Funding From National Securities, Already Spent
07:37 Some buses running for P.E.I. schools »The Guardian - Local News
Some Island students will be able to take the bus to school this morning thanks to improved road conditions in parts of the province. Full busing will be available for L.M. Montgomery Elementary, Sherwood Elementary, Souris Regional and all schools in the Colonel Gray Family. RELATED: P.E.I. ...
06:54 Red Like Me Apology To Guardian Editor Gary MacDougall, He Never Did Get PNP Money »
I have reported many times that Charlottetown Guardian Editor Gary MacDougall received PNP money, I have just learned this is not true. My most sincere apology to Mr. MacDougall, I know the damage this can inflict on a mans reputation, Red Like Me and myself are not in the smear business, we fight smear. The … Continue reading Red Like Me Apology To Guardian Editor Gary MacDougall, He Never Did Get PNP Money
06:06 Veteran leadership: O’Brien says responding to adversity key in playoffs »The Guardian - Sports
The newest member of the Charlottetown Islanders is also the most experienced when it comes to Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. Quinn O’Brien was acquired in a Dec. 19, 2014, trade from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The 20-year-old forward played 22 games during the past two ...
05:00 New Social Media collection »ScreenScape Official News
One of the more popular uses of digital signage is to promote audience engagement on social media. So it’s no surprise that one of the more frequent requests we hear from our members is “more social media templates!”. Today, ScreenScape is releasing a new collection of social media themed templates, available immediately to all members. […]
00:47 [BRIEF NOTE] On how the Germanwings crash shows how much we depend on trust »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The news today that the crash in the French Alps of Germanwings Flight 9525 was almost certainly caused intentionally by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was the talk of much of the world today. News media around the world, and investigators in Europe, are already dissecting the life of one apparently normal young man who not only decided to kill himself but to murder 149 other people. Why did he do this?

When I first heard of the plane's odd course yesterday, its calm preprogrammed descent into a cold mountainside, I thought of William Langewische's November 2001 article in The Atlantic examining the 1999 crash EgyptAir Flight 990. That plane, too, was intentionally crashed by its pilot, one Gameel al-Batouti. The consensus seems to be that al-Batouti killed hundreds of people because of personal problems, the consequences of reprimands from his employers at EgyptAir ranking highly. What will we find out about Lubitz?

This intentional crash, this mass murder, seems to have created a certain sense of unease. Philip Gourevitch's essay in The New Yorker, "A Bewildering Crash", caught the reality that, from the perspective of victims and non-victims alike, this seemed almost a random occurrence. These people died for no reason, and nothing could have been done to prevent this.

They could have been any of us, anywhere—whoever flies or rides a train or takes a bus or in any way entrusts her life to strangers, as we all must regularly and routinely to get through this world. That sense of investment in calamity—it could have been me—is true, of course, of accidents and targeted acts of terrorism as well. But to be told that a scene of mass death is the result of an accident or terrorism is to be given not only an explanation of the cause but also an idea of how to reckon with the consequence–through justice, or revenge, or measures meant to prevent a recurrence. After the massacre at Sandy Hook, we could at least dream of gun control. But the story of Lubitz, suddenly in control of a plane flying all those aboard to their deaths, offers us only a cosmic meaninglessness and bewilderment.

It would almost be more comforting if the Germanwings crash did turn out to be some sort of terrorist attack, after all, if this terrible action can trace its roots to some sort of dark conspiracy. It would almost be nice if, as seems quite possible, this wasn't the action of a single man who had a single bad morning and decided, kilometres above the ground, to commit mass murder. Then, there would be a proportionality between the act and its origins. Things would match up. As things stand, as James Follows observed earlier today, there really is very little that can be done to prevent future occurrences of this sort.

But then, this sort of thing is common in all catastrophes of this kind. Look at September 11th conspiracy theories, particularly the ones alleging the active involvement of the American government. Yes, it would be a terrible thing if there was a conspiracy by powerful people in the United States to destroy two skyscrapers at the cost of thousands of lives in order to manipulate global politics, but at least the terrible outcomes of 9/11 would seem to have proportionately weighty origins. The reality of 9/11--the fact that a couple dozen men working on a shoestring budget directed by people on the other side of the planet could wreak such havoc, could change the world--demonstrates how fragile our civilization is.

If Germanwings 9525 means anything, it is as an illustration of the reality that modern globalized civilization relies on the good will of its members to avoid catastrophe. Knowing about this fragility is unsettling, I grant, but it's rather better to know about this than to remain in ignorance. We need to be prepared.
00:09 Down the Backstretch: What does future hold? »The Guardian - Sports
With an election near, Oakes wonders what provincial parties vision for harness racing is
00:03 [MUSIC] Eurythmics, "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
I had a minute-long snippet> of the Eurythmics' cover of the Smiths' song "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" years before it was officially released on CD, an extra on the 2005 reissue of We Too Are One. (Audiogalaxy was superb.)

Morrissey's lachrymose lyrics fit squarely into his classic mold.

Last night I dreamt
That somebody loved me
No hope, but no harm
Just another false alarm

Last night I felt
Real arms around me
No hope, no harm
Just another false alarm

So, tell me how long
Before the last one?
And tell me how long
Before the right one?

The story is old, I know
But it goes on
The story is old, I know
But it goes on

Oh, goes on
And on
Oh, goes on
Goes on

The below video places the Smiths' original version against the Eurythmics' cover, and then against a third cover by Eddi Reader, Clive Gregson and Boo Hewerdine.

I argued back in 2005 that the Eurythmics' performance was a better version of the song than the original, and I stand by that argument. There's a sense of urgency, in Lennox's vocals and the inexorable sweep of the music forward into despair, that just isn't present in the more languid original.
00:00 Provincial government services at Sherwood Business Centre canceled for the day »Government of Prince Edward top news stories
Patients and clients are advised that due to a propane leak, all provincial government services offered at the Sherwood Business Centre (formerly the Ellis Bros Shopping Centre) are canceled for the day. The Charlottetown Fire Department is on site and has advised that there is no danger to the public. The source of the leak is being investigated and updates will be provided as the investigation continues. Patients and clients are advised to contact...
00:00 Provincial Palliative Care Centre officially opens »Government of Prince Edward top news stories
A new $5.6 million provincial palliative care centre will provide patients with more care options and their loved ones the opportunity to be involved in care, says Premier Wade MacLauchlan.'This modern facility will improve the quality of life for patients and allow them to spend their last days as comfortable as possible with every opportunity to enjoy time with their families,' said Premier MacLauchlan. 'The centre will ensure patients receive...

Thursday March 26, 2015

23:58 Chasing the Panthers »The Guardian - Sports
New Brunswick champs lead the way at junior C tournament
23:58 Chasing the Panthers »Journal-Pioneer Sports
New Brunswick champs lead the way at junior C tournament
23:31 Warriors claim bantam AAA title »Journal-Pioneer Sports
O’LEARY – It seemed like a long wait for the Prince County Warriors.
23:30 Warriors claim bantam AAA title »The Guardian - Sports
The Prince County Warriors won the P.E.I. Irving Oil Bantam AAA Hockey League championship Thursday with a 4-1 victory over the Eastern Express. They won Game 5 at the O’Leary Community Sports Centre to claim the best-of-seven championship series in five games. Blake Gallant’s goal 3:53 into ...
23:22 Emergency services centre a no-go this year »Journal-Pioneer Local
No money in 2015 budget for construction of facility
23:00 Oat of Place »justpictureit
photo - Oat of Place

A single oat plant in a field of barley.

22:55 RCMP continue investigation into UPEI student facing terrorism charges »The Guardian - Local News
Police continue to remain mum on their investigation into a UPEI student feared to be contemplating terror activity. RCMP spokesman Sgt. Greg Cox told The Guardian Thursday that “it would be inappropriate’’ to give any detail as to the possible terrorism threat or threats being investigated. ...
22:43 Less being spent on community grants »Journal-Pioneer Local
East Prince Seniors Initiative’s funding cut this year
22:05 Budget focuses on economic development and debt reduction »Journal-Pioneer Local
Summerside council holds the line on taxes in its 2015 budget
21:31 March 27 & 28 Weekend Events & Homegrown Atlantic »onrpei
Friday The Founding Father – 2pm & 7:30pm @ The Mack More Soul – Hunter’s Ale House Liam Corcoran Band + Andrew Waite and The Firm + Iain McCarvill – Baba’s Lounge Popalopalots—Live Improv Comedy – The Guild, 08:00pm Winsloe Players Present “Oh, My, Where’s the Groom?” – Carrefour de l’Isle St. Jean 07:30pm Ceol […]
20:53 MacDonald rink wins big »Journal-Pioneer Sports
In placement round of Canadian senior championships
20:18 Saggo injured in training, will miss UFC fight in Poland »The Guardian - Sports
TORONTO – Canadian lightweight Jason Saggo has had to pull out of a UFC fight in Poland next month after rupturing his Achilles tendon in training. "Bad news!'' tweeted the 29-year-old fighter, who lives 20 minutes north of Charlottetown. Saggo's tweet included a clip of the injury occurring. ...
20:18 UPDATE: Saggo injured in training, will miss UFC fight in Poland »The Guardian - Sports
Jason Saggo ruptured his Achilles tendon Wednesday night sparring for a UFC fight in Poland in less than three weeks. The Grand Tracadie resident has had to pull out of the fight with Marcin Bandel as he awaits surgery, he told The Guardian on Thursday night. Saggo posted the news on Twitter ...
20:05 Off to The Rock »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Wildcats begin play in Atlantic bantam AAA female hockey championship April 2


19:35 [LINK] "Can’t Get There from Here? Writing Place and Moving Narratives" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Savage Minds hosts an essay by anthropologist Sarah Besky talking about the importance of the ethnographic writer's awareness of place and movement.

Why should we care about how (or whether) one can “get there from here”? Perhaps because, as Kirin Narayan reminds us, “Reading transports us.” She frames the project of writing place with a question: “How do ethnographers enhance this journey so that readers glean facts about a place and something of the feel of being there?”

The “arrival trope” is, of course, the most common of ethnographic devices. I have one. You probably do, too. But the arrival trope has been rightly criticized for fetishizing the state of finally being somewhere (else), ready to begin anthropological fieldwork. We probably all recall Malinowski’s directive to “Imagine yourself suddenly set down surrounded by all your gear, alone on a tropical beach close to a native village, while the launch or dinghy which has brought you sails away out of sight.”

This impulse to recount arrivals speaks to the fact that ethnographic narratives are at heart concerned with movement—from place to place.

The primary means by which I move from place to place, both in the field and closer to home, is walking. When I work in Kolkata, the act of winding my way through pedestrian congestion, in and out of markets, and through that city’s metro, is a constant sensorial overload. When I write about Kolkata or Darjeeling, I use the local equivalents of the “wicked huge Radio Shack” to draw readers into these movements—and importantly the sensations of these movements. As Alex Nading has argued, “trailing” the movements of people and other creatures can be a way of carrying place seamlessly from fieldwork into narrative.

When I write about place, then, I close my eyes and re-imagine walking. This is less visualization exercise and more constructive daydreaming. What does it smell like? What does it sound like? What does it look like? What does it feel like? How do I get there from here? How many Dunkin Donuts (or their Himalayan or Kolkatan analogues) do I pass on the way? I find that on my first couple of drafts, these descriptions are way overwritten, but with more editing, place starts to tighten, and even serve to bolster historical and theoretical elements of books and articles as well.

Wonderful writing on writing, this.
19:31 [LINK] "Norway’s sovereign wealth holds lessons for Canada" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
CBC News' Susan Ormiston describes how resource-wealthy provinces like Alberta, and perhaps Canada as a whole, should learn from the example of Norwegian prudence.

Norway today sits on top of a $1-trillion Cdn pension fund established in 1990 to invest the returns of oil and gas. The capital has been invested in over 9,000 companies worldwide, including over 200 in Canada. It is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

By contrast, Alberta’s Heritage Savings Fund, established in 1976 by premier Peter Lougheed, sits at only $17 billion Cdn and has been raided by governments and starved of contributions for years.

“For the last 10 years, when nothing went into the Alberta fund, and we put a lot of money aside, the profit went out of Canada," says Rolf Wiborg, a petroleum engineer who recently retired from Norway’s public service.

Wiborg, who studied at the University of Alberta and worked for a Norwegian oil company before joining Norway’s Petroleum Directorate, says the key to success has been Norway's ethos of sharing and a commitment to never waver from that goal.

“We don’t change our policies in Norway, with changes in the oil price – you can’t do that," he says. “Lougheed’s government in Alberta knew that, they made policies and then they left them behind."

Oil and gas make up 25 per cent of Norway’s GDP, so the recent plunge in oil prices should have set off alarm bells in Oslo. Thousands of workers have indeed been laid off, but parliament is not painting a dire forecast for 2015.

Much more at the link.
19:29 [LINK] "Venezuelan doctors face tough choices as economic crisis worsens" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
MacLean's hosts Hannah Dreier's Associated Press article noting that one casualty of Venezuela's ongoing economic collapse is modern medicine.

Oncologist Gabriel Romero performs hundreds of life-saving surgeries a year, but he no longer takes pleasure in his work.

That’s because he believes that many of the mastectomies he does on some of Venezuela’s poorest women wouldn’t be needed in a normally functioning country. Doctors say they are being forced to return to outdated treatments because the socialist country’s economic problems make it impossible to ensure the proper running of radiation machines in public hospitals, where patients receive free treatment under Venezuela’s universal health care.

“You don’t feel comfortable with it, because you’re making a decision that goes against your professional judgment,” Romero said recently after seeing patients in the grubby basement clinic at the Dr. Luis Razetti Oncology Center, at the foot of a Caracas slum. The hospital’s only linear accelerator machine, the more modern of the two kinds of radiotherapy devices used in Venezuela, has been broken since November.

“We’re practicing medicine from the 1940s here, and we know that’s not right,” Romero said.

The challenges facing doctors are just one reflection of an economy battered by widespread shortages. The recent crash in global oil prices, which account for 95 per cent of Venezuela’s exports, is creating a cash shortage that makes it difficult to buy imported goods, such as parts for medical machines. Also depressing economic activity is 68 per cent inflation and a currency crisis that has seen the value of the local Bolivar plunge 46 per cent this year on the closely-watched black market.
19:26 [LINK] "The Scottish Streets Where a U.K. Election Will Be Won or Lost" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
In an extended article, Bloomberg's Rodney Jefferson looks at Scotland, where in the next British election the Scottish National Party may not only drive out Labour but end up providing needed support for a Labour minority government. Shades of the proposed Liberal-NDP coalition government under Stéphane Dion some years ago, here.

Six months after a referendum on independence put politics back into pubs and living rooms, the movement that brought voters out in record numbers and rattled financial markets has evolved into a mass phenomenon sweeping Scotland.

Rather than retreating after Scots voted to remain in the three-centuries-old union with England, the nationalists have harnessed that radical spirit and directed it at the U.K. Parliament at Westminster. SNP membership has quadrupled to 100,000, or one in 43 Scottish voters, and polls suggest the surge in support will translate into votes in May, placing Scotland once more at the heart of deciding the U.K.’s fate.

“It’s unprecedented, on a different scale,” Nicola McEwen, associate director of the Centre on Constitutional Change at Edinburgh University, said in an interview. “The referendum was never about a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ I just didn’t foresee how the extent to which the ‘yes’ alliance mobilized behind the SNP.”

The Scottish nationalists meet this weekend for their pre-election convention in Glasgow amid unprecedented electoral expectations under new leader Nicola Sturgeon. The party’s rise is reverberating beyond Scotland’s borders because polls point to the U.K. election producing no clear winner, potentially handing the SNP a decisive role in who governs the country which they are committed to splitting up.

[. . .]

Polls show the SNP, which opposes the Conservative-led U.K. government’s fiscal austerity, is ahead in at least 40 of Scotland’s 59 districts. It currently has six lawmakers at Westminster. If the polls are replicated on Election Day, the SNP could become the third-biggest force in U.K. politics, with the main opposition Labour Party which has dominated Scottish politics for decades the biggest casualty.
19:22 [LINK] "Egypt, Sudan Edge Toward Cooperation on Ethiopia’s Nile Dam" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Bloomberg's William Davison and Ahmed Feteha note that the geopolitics of the water of the Nile remain fraught, with upstream countries' increasing their usage while downstream countries are concerned with their water supply. Increasing the efficiency of water use is going to be a necessity in the long run, I think.

Egypt and Sudan took another step toward cooperating with Ethiopia on the hydro-power dam it’s building on the Blue Nile river after the three nations’ leaders signed an accord on Monday.

The countries agreed that the river’s waters should be used in a way that doesn’t cause “significant damage” to any of them and that any disputes will be resolved through negotiations, according to a copy of the “declaration of principles” published by Ahram Online, a state-owned Egyptian news website.

“The purpose of the Renaissance Dam is to generate power, contribute to economic development, promote cooperation beyond borders, and regional integration through generating clean sustainable energy,” according to the agreement signed in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

The 6,000-megawatt dam on the Nile’s main tributary will be Africa’s largest power plant after its scheduled completion in 2017. Ethiopia says it will benefit the region by generating electricity, reducing floods and storing water for use during droughts. Sudan and Egypt will receive priority to purchase electricity generated by the dam, according to the agreement.

[. . .]

Egyptian officials have expressed concern there will be water shortages during the filling of the dam’s 74-billion cubic meters reservoir, a capacity that’s almost equivalent to one year’s flow of the Nile. While the dam is a “vehicle” for Ethiopia’s development, for Egyptians “it’s a source of worry, because the Nile is their only source of water and life,” El-Sisi said Monday in a televised speech at the signing ceremony.
19:20 These Visions Of Johanna Are Now All That Remain »NJN Network
She was the Queen of Folk Music, Bob Dylan’s lover and is still a vision of loveliness By Stephen Pate – Joan Baez is still proudly and beautifully singing out her songs of freedom after 57 years. Joan Baez was captured in this photograph performing at the Palacio Euskaduna Jauregia, in Bilbao, Spain on March … Continue reading These Visions Of Johanna Are Now All That Remain
19:19 [LINK] "Why Chinese Tourists Love Japan" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Bloomberg View's Adam Minster notes the phenomenon of Chinese tourism in Japan. Despite strained relations, the reputation of Japanese goods is enough to attract Chinese visitors. Could this be the basis, or a base, for reconciliation? One hopes.

There's no lack of ill will in China toward Japan. The chilly diplomatic relationship between Beijing and Tokyo is matched by occasional expressions of antagonism by the Chinese public. In September, the tenth Japan-China Public Opinion Poll (a joint effort by Chinese and Japanese organizations) showed that only 11.3 percent of Chinese had a favorable opinion of Japan, with 57.3 percent claiming that their impression had worsened over the last year. (Grievances about World War II and ongoing territorial disputes were among the top reasons cited.)

And yet, despite this apparent disdain, Chinese tourists can't seem to get enough of Japan. In 2014, 2.4 million Chinese visited Japan, an 83 percent increase on the previous year. And last week the Japanese government announced that it was increasing Chinese consular staff to handle a surge of Chinese visa applications.

Why haven't China's travel plans seemingly been affected by its political views? It comes down to shopping -- specifically, to the Chinese public's penchant for shopping overseas. Given China's frequent product safety scandals and the rampant forgeries of designer goods that flood its markets, Chinese often schedule shopping sprees when they're outside the country. In 2014 alone, Chinese spent $164 billion abroad, making them the world’s biggest vacation spenders.

And Japan is increasingly China's favored shopping destination. In 2014, spending by Chinese tourists was up 10.3 percent over the previous year -- amounting to almost $2,000 per visitor. During this past February's Chinese New Year, Chinese tourists spent around $1 billion in Japan. Business has been so good that Laox, a Chinese-owned duty free chain that caters to Chinese tourists in Japan, has seen its stock rise 1,400 percent since 2012.
17:43 Whatever it takes »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
France? China? How far is Summerside willing to go to drum up new business?
17:39 Lynx drops 5-1 decision to Nova Scotia at junior C tournament »The Guardian - Sports
The Southside Lynx suffered their first loss of the Maritime Hockey North junior C championships on Thursday.The Nova Scotia representative from Truro scored four third-period goals to down the Lynx 5-1. The result leaves Truro at 1-0 while the Crapaud-based Lynx is 1-1.Southside will play the ...
17:33 Rebooted “3D Out Run” For Nintendo 3DS Is Absolutely Mesmerizing »shift+drive

3D Out Run ScreenshotIf you hung out at the local arcade in the '80s, you probably dumped at least a week's allowance into arcade racer Out Run. Now it's back in 3D glory thanks to Nintendo.

The post Rebooted “3D Out Run” For Nintendo 3DS Is Absolutely Mesmerizing appeared first on SHIFT&DRIVE.

17:25 More CBC Cuts »Sean Casey
With budget shortfalls, the CBC is cutting 24 jobs in Atlantic Canada, including two positions on the Island. Across Canada, 144 jobs have been cut, with […]
17:20 Small Craft Harbours funding to expand, improve boat basin »Journal-Pioneer Local
MILLIGAN’S WHARF -- Major repairs for Milligan’s Wharf are coming right on schedule. Fisheries and Oceans minister and Egmont MP Gail Shea announced funding Tuesday for a project which will see the outer wall of the wharf ripped out, the north wall extended and a new outer wall built on armour ...
17:18 Axe falls again at CBC, two positions cut at Charlottetown »The Guardian - Local News
CBC News cutting 144 positions from local services, Radio-Canada cuts 100
17:18 Axe falls again at CBC, two positions cut in Charlottetown »The Guardian - Local News
CBC News cutting 144 positions from local services, Radio-Canada cuts 100
17:13 Resigned as mayor to give residents a say – MacDonald »Journal-Pioneer Local
Concerned about proposed land purchase
17:11 Province boosts snow funding for Charlottetown, Summerside »The Guardian - Local News
The P.E.I. government announced more than $2 million in additional funding for Charlottetown and Summerside today. Premier Wade MacLauchlan delivered the news at a press conference in Charlottetown on Thursday. To help ease the burden of what has been an extraordinary winter, the province has ...
17:11 MacDonald has not ruled out re-offering »Journal-Pioneer Local
O’LEARY -- Stanley MacDonald has not ruled out re-offering as mayor of O’Leary. The town will be scheduling a byelection, likely in May, to choose a new mayor, a position which became vacant with MacDonald’s resignation on March 12.
17:02 Ring in spring »Journal-Pioneer Living
Youth Chorus presents ‘Voices of Spring’ on March 29; Confederation Singers perform Mozart’s ‘Requiem Mass’ for Holy Day on April 3
16:58 Bonshaw Ceilidh Sunday »Journal-Pioneer Living
Monthly ceilidh concert at Bonshaw Hall
16:54 Province's deficit $5 million lower than predicted »The Guardian - Local News
Increased revenue from Crown corporations and reduced expenses by government departments have improved the province’s third-quarter fiscal position by $5 million. Premier Wade MacLauchlan released the numbers during a press conference in Charlottetown on Thursday. Revenue is $14.6 million ...
16:54 Presenting the Story of Confederation »Journal-Pioneer Local
New program provide opportunities to learn about Province House and Charlottetown Conference
16:54 Story of Confederation »Journal-Pioneer Living
New program provide opportunities to learn about Province House and Charlottetown Conference
16:48 [BLOG] Some Thursday links »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)

  • Centauri Dreams examines different ways in which starships can decelerate.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper examining the potential habitability of exomoons orbiting bright white main-sequence stars, between F5 and F9.5. Ultraviolet radiation is key.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes a Chinese ASAT weapons test.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the Swedish language now has officially added the gender-neutral pronoun hen to its vocabulary.

  • Language Hat notes an ambitious new project to digitize ancient Irish-language documents.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer is critical of the Democratic Party's stance on abortion when it gets in the way of necessary policy, likening it to the Republican Party's ongoing satisfaction of its base.

  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the final interesting weeks of Messenger's survey of Mercury, with photos.

  • Peter Rukavina remembers when in 1995 he was commissioned by the government of Prince Edward Island to set up a provincial website.

  • Torontoist reacts with humour to the impending merger of Postmedia and Sun Media.

  • Towleroad notes a lawsuit brought by a Michigan women against her former gym for being too trans-friendly.

  • Understanding Society examines the mechanisms connecting experiments with policies.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues against mandatory voting and mandatory jury service.

  • Window on Eurasia observes a controversial election among Moldova's Gagauz and looks at the extent to which Islam in Russia is not under the government's control.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell goes on at length about the ridiculous Biryani project, a failed dirty tricks effort to sabotage the English Defense League and radical Muslims. Wow.

16:45 Island Liberal MPs and Egmont Candidate Stand Up for the CBC »Sean Casey
For Immediate Release  March 26, 2015 Charlottetown, PE – PEI’s Members of Parliament and the Liberal Candidate for Egmont were quick to respond to the latest cuts […]
16:41 Lynx drops 5-1 decision »Journal-Pioneer Sports
At Maritime Hockey North junior C championships
16:22 Vinland Society to present images by John Sylvester »Journal-Pioneer Living
CHARLOTTETOWN —The Vinland Society of P.E.I. is inviting the public to a summer visit to Iceland.
16:19 Libraries to assist with registrations for local shellfishers »Journal-Pioneer Local
O’LEARY — Island shellfishers can get a helping hand from staff at their local library when it comes to filling out online license applications.


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