Life is a rollercoaster…

Ever feel like The Game of Life was too cookie-cutter for your much more morbid lifestyle? Toymaker Takara Tomy is coming out with a new “super spicy” version of The Game of Life, which includes stops like shotgun weddings, gambling sprees, and the sudden and unexplained disappearance of family members. The economy sucks, people are stressed, things never go as planned. By the time you’re done playing a round, you might be thankful for what you have. The game is based on a Japanese idiom called ??????? (jinsei wa haran banjo)—life’s a roller coaster ride. It comes out in April, and will retail for about $40.

Check out the link here.

Microsoft Songsmith…OMG!

Released only a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft Songsmith takes your singing and creates a somewhat workable tune around it. YouTube users have fun with it by entering a cappella versions of hit songs to see what music Songsmith comes up with. The results are hilarious, like this cruise ship version of Roxanne by The Police.

Check out the link here.

RRSP time has come again!

Since March 2nd will come faster than you think, now is the time to make your TEUCU RRSP contribution for 2008. You can borrow the funds to make your TEUCU RRSP contribution at Prime. With a TEUCU RRSP Draw, you need only apply once and the funds are available to you year after year. Our easy repayment options allow you to take advantage of our RRSPs without feeling the crunch! Just give our offices a call at 416-542-2522, visit either of our 2 locations 14 Carlton Street or 500 Commissioners or apply online ( For those members who already have their RRSP Draw, just give us a quick call to get things started.

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Tracking your Privacy

Ontario’s Photo Card Act, 2008 received Royal Assent in November and it allows the Ministry of Transportation to issue three new types of photo cards in an attempt to provide more effective security measures post 911 :

1.  A basic photo card-Includes the holders name, photograph and other info issued to any  resident of Ontario who does not have a valid driver’s licence;

2.  An enhanced photo card-Same as above with other features including an implanted RFID (which stands for Radio Frequency Identification for those confused by yet another acronym), that will allow it to be used for travel;

3.  A combined photo card that includes everything in #2 as well as replaces your drivers licence.

Use of any of these cards is optional, however those possessing any of the above cards will be subject to duties of carrying it, presenting it or surrending it (similar to your drivers licence now).  The Act permits the Ministry to share your card information with other provincial and federal agencies in Canada.

When crossing the border, those who would have one of the travel cards listed above, would hold the card up and the RFID-enabled card would be read by border officials using a reader from a distance of 10 metres or more.

Sound good?

According to some critics such as Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s information and Privacy Commissioner, this process is open to potential risks such as skimming, eavesdropping and cloning since unauthorized and low cost RFID readers in the vicinity can receive information emited by the card. Dr.  Cavoukian stresses that even a Faraday sleeve (a holder for the card) that would protect the card during non-use is not sufficient protection.  She also feels that although the information stored on the RFID would only consist of a unique chip that would allow access to a database where personal information would be stored, these are insufficient measures to protect the owner of the card from possible criminal intent.  

How do you feel about this?  Will you be taking advantage of this latest technology?


It’s Only a Matter of Time cntd’

I thought it apropriate to continue my very first entry on this blog forum. I talked about how a small town in Nova Scotia had banned smoking in vehicles carrying young children ( I had a feeling that it was only a matter of time before it was passed here in the big city. Today is that day. Any driver caught smoking with a child in the car younger than 16, may face fines of up to $250.00. It’s been several years since I have been a smoker, and I feel better today than I ever did as a smoker. The Government is hoping that this will encourage people to try to convince others to quit smoking.


Plane Lands on Water

Another reason why I think twice before getting onto an aircraft. The other day shortly after take-off, a plane leaving New York City needed to make an emergency landing after a flock of segals flew through the engine. Luckily all passengers aboard the plane were rescued. Below is some coverage from CNN of the plane making the landing in the Hudson River, and the passengers being removed from the aircraft.

Top Ten Fears

Are you held captive by your fears?  You many not be alone. While the exact rankings may change over time, here are the top ten now and just as a comparison, the top ten from 2007.


1.  Speaking in public

2.  Snakes

3.  Confined Spaces

4.  Heights

5.  Spiders

6.  Tunnels and Bridges 

7.  Crowds

8.  Public Transporation (Especially Planes)

9.  Storms

10. Water (as in swimming and drowning not drinking)

By comparison in 2007, our fears were:

1. Spiders (Arachnophobia)

2. Social Phobia (Characterized by being criticized or humiliated in social situations)

3.  Flying (Aerophobia)

4.  Agoraphobia (Fear of open spaces)

5.  Enclosed or confined spaces (Claustrophobia)

6.  Heights (Acrophobia)

7.  Vomit (Emetophobia)

8.  Cancer (Carcinophobia)

9.  Thunder (Brontophobia)

10. Death or dead things (Necrophobia)

and as an added bonus

11.  Public Speaking

Thanks Mandy!