Robert Vinet

A​ Passionately Curious Bloke

Category: Links (page 1 of 39)

Robert’s Newsletter for August 11, 2019 – Napping, They Simply Don’t Care, July was Hot & Expect to see Miniature Horses on Your Next Flight

I try for once a week, but it’s more accurate to say that every so often I send out an email newsletter with notes from the week. It’s my view of what I saw and thought was interesting, 😮 as I try to make sense of what’s going on.

You should sign up — it’s not bad.

Not subscribed yet? Sign up here

🧳 Adventure & Travel

» Transcontinental Race: Germany’s Fiona Kolbinger becomes first female winner of endurance bike race, cycling more than 2,485 miles across Europe in just over 10 days » Read More…

» Brad Ryan, 38, a veterinarian at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, has been taking his 89-year-old grandmother on road trips for 3 years now. When Grandma Joy was 85 she told him she had never seen mountains or the ocean. Now they are on a mission to visit the 61 national parks in the USA » Instagram… & Read More…

» Video: Higher Ground, a tribute to Mount Blanc » Watch…

» Video: Hiking the Faroe Islands » Watch…

» It’s sad to read that violence, coca production, and drug trafficking have increased along Colombia’s Pacific coast » Read More…

» 80% of Americans want Congress to fund repairs required in the country’s national parks » Read More…


☀️ Living Better

» Boredom is highly underrated. Researchers and scholars argue that boredom is an important adaptive function and can be good for us » Read More…

» Here’s how to break out of the procrastination » Read More…

» Updated exercise guidelines » Link…

» Take a nap » Link…


👓 Interesting and/or Cool

» Amazing video by National Geographic of a Crack Splitting an Antarctic Ice Shelf in Two » Watch…

» Video » French inventor Franky Zapata has successfully crossed the English Channel from Sangatte, France to the Dover, England on a jet-powered hoverboard. The 22-mile trip took Zapata 20 minutes to complete » Watch…

» A Saskatchewan Air Ambulance took to the skies last weekend with the first all-female crew in the organization’s 73-year history. “One of the most common [responses] was ‘girl power,'” said Jen Rondeau, one of the paramedics. “And ‘good for females in male-dominated industries.’ That was important to us.” » Read More…

» Standard eBooks, carefully produced for the true book lover » Link…

» Millions of books are in the public domain. You can download them free » Read More…


💾 Tech

» The tiny, inexpensive, lightweight Raspberry Pi is thriving in some of the most dangerous and extreme environments, from the International Space Station, to Antarctica, in deserts, under water, atop mountains, inside volcanos, a nuclear disaster zone…   » Link…

» One job, many roles. The different skills needed to be a successful CTO » Read More…


🤓 Geeky & Nerdy

» Video » Dr. Tamitha Skov, Amateur Radio Call Sign: WX6SWW, posted a new 3-hour space weather mini-course » Watch…


🔒 Privacy & Security

» Some of the newest and most popular cars are at risk of being stolen in seconds by exploiting weaknesses in keyless entry systems » Read More…

» A remote-start app exposed thousands of cars to hackers » Read More…

» 6.2 million voter email addresses amassed by Democratic campaign organizers were left unsecured, unencrypted, for 9 years » Read More…

🔐 My Privacy Newsfeed » Private Domain


🏦 Business

» Decoy Effect » The trick that makes you overspend » Read More…

» Men aren’t shaving as much. And it’s costing Gillette billions » Read More…

» U.S. restaurants are serving fake guacamole due to soaring avocado prices » Read More…


📊 Numbers & Statistics

» Annual cost in the US of lost productivity due to sleepiness is $63 billion

» 33% of Americans get less than six hours of sleep a night

» Norweigan oil fund » Link…

» July was the hottest month recorded » Read More…

» Toni Morrison passed away on August 5, 2019 in New York City. She was 88. She published 11 novels, co-authored 5 children’s books with her son, Slade. In 1993 she became the 1st black woman to win the Nobel Prize » Read More…

» We all love meetings, right? Of the 11 million meetings held daily in the USA, only 50% are considered productive. This piece recommends meetings begin and end on time, and if you limit them to a short amount of time to get a stated goal completed, the overall meeting will be more productive » Read More…


📰 News

» The subscription model isn’t working for media companies. Customers are spending less time and money on news » Read More…


👽 Etc.

» Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, 19, wins the Canadian Open tennis tournament, the first Canadian to win in 50 years after her opponent Serena Williams was forced to retire from the match early in the first set due to injury » Watch…

» US Dept. of Transportation rules airlines must allow miniature horses to fly as service animals » Read More…

» It’s not surprising that a study has found that someone who cheats on their spouse in their marriage is significantly more likely to engage in misconduct at work as well. It comes down to personal ethics and a person’s values, doesn’t it » Read More…

» The melting arctic heats up the question of who governs the Northwest Passage. The USA rejects Canada’s claim that the Northwest Passage is an internal waterway and subject to Canadian jurisdiction. Just look at any map and you’ll see the majority of the Passage traverses around Canadian islands and land mass » Read More Here… & Here

  • Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated the defence alliance is carefully monitoring China’s increased presence in the Arctic » Read More…

» North Korea’s new stamp features Kim Jong Un shaking hands the 45th U.S. President, another wannabe dictator. Who doesn’t want their face on a stamp. I predict Trump will request a stamp with his likeness on it. He’ll stop at nothing in his attempt to become popular »  👹 Link…


🗒 Opinions

» America’s mass shootings are a political choice » Link…

» Americans are much more likely to be gunned down in a public place than residents of any other country in the world. And it’s a choice every American makes when they vote, or don’t. They could elect people who would limit access to military weapons, for example. But they don’t.

Increasingly, these targeted mass killings are linked to the white supremacist/white nationalist rhetoric openly promoted by the president and the Republican party.

This photo pretty much says it all » Trump is accompanied by his wife Melania at a hospital in El Paso. She is holding an orphaned baby boy whose parents were among the 22 people gunned down a few days prior. In the photo, both are grinning. Trump is offering a thumbs-up. Seemingly unaware of how poorly thought out, and deeply unpopular this would appear to be, or they simply don’t care, Melania posted the photo to her official Twitter account.

More about this photo in The Atlantic, CNN



» “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” she said in her Nobel lecture. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” – Toni Morrison

I hope you are well.
Keep Being Yourself!


A​ Passionately Curious Bloke »
Notes for a ​voyager »
​A Voyage »

​» The only thing I know is that I know nothing. ― Socrates

Robert’s Newsletter for August 4, 2019 – This is Exactly What They Want

I try for once a week, but it’s more accurate to say that every so often I send out an email newsletter with notes from the week. It’s my view of what I saw and thought was interesting, 😮 as I try to make sense of what’s going on.

You should sign up — it’s not bad.

Not subscribed yet? Sign up here

🧳 Adventure and Travel

» The most breathtaking national parks around the world, according to National Geographic

» Not everyone is celebrating the tourism boom. Residents are question the economic benefits and ecologists point to environmental damage from overtourism. Read More…

» Video: Lonnie Bedwell doesn’t let his loss of sight stop him from leading a life of adventure. Watch… Continue reading

Snow in June

‘Never seen it this late in June’: Five centimetre of snow fell in some parts of Newfoundland. One man woke up to more than 10 centimetres of snow at his cabin at Peter Strides Pond in central Newfoundland.

Standing up for Canada, Facts Matter; Antarctic is melting; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Canada’s population has reached 37 million, according to new data released this morning by Statistics Canada. It took just two years and two months to add one million people, which stood at 37,067,011 as of April 1.

50 years ago today, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston bid farewell to his parents and began an incredible 312 day journey which cemented him in the history books as the winner of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, making him the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world.

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has survived 5,161 days longer than expected — but a massive storm threatens to end its mission

A new study looking at 25 years of data came to the conclusion that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting about three times faster than earlier thought. The Antarctic ice sheet covers about 24 million square kilometres and holds about 60 per cent of all fresh water on Earth. If it were to melt completely, it would raise sea levels by 58 metres.

Facts Matter: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland addressing an audience that had just presented her an award in Washington, D.C. offered a rebuke of U.S. President’s tariffs plan, without saying his name, calling for truth, facts,  open trade, and rules-based order.

Chrystia Freeland’s speech:

A group of U.S. Republican senators is siding with Canada on tariffs (paywall)

The Stanford Prison Experiment, the most famous psychology study of all time, was a sham.

The State of New York sues U.S. President’s foundation, alleging ‘extensive’ lawbreaking. New York’s attorney general sued the U.S. President, three of his children and his ‘non-profit’ foundation. Barbara Underwood alleges “persistent illegal conduct” at the foundation, including support for the U.S. President’s 2016 presidential campaign. She asked the court to dissolve the non-profit, and impose bans on the U.S. President, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka from holding leadership roles in New York charities. The suit states: The U.S. President “ran the Foundation according to his whim, rather than the law.” Money raised under the guise of helping veterans was being used to help elect the U.S. President to office.

June 14

1872: Labour unions are legalized in Canada.

1900: Hawaii becomes a United States territory.

1928: Che Guevara is born in Rosario, Argentina.

2017: A massive fire at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in London kills 72 people. It’s Britain’s deadliest fire on domestic premises since the Second World War.

March for Our Lives; Facebook sold away your personal info, now they want your naked photos; Volcan de Fuego; Banning alcohol from flights; No-one answers anymore

Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High high school shooting are not taking a summer vacation. They have planned a campaign, aimed at the four million Americans turning 18 this year, for stricter gun laws, with a plan for a 60-day, 20-state bus tour to rally the youth vote ahead of November’s U.S. midterm elections. The March for Our Lives: Road to Change tour will start on June 15 in Chicago with a peace march.

Antarctica’s first Pride celebration – Earther

Microsoft is buying Github for $7.5 billion

At least 25 people are dead after the Volcan de Fuego erupted in Guatemala Globe & MailCBC

Facebook wants your naked photosCBC

Facebook gave over 60 device makers, including Apple, Amazon, and Samsung, deep access to users’ personal infoNY TimesBBCTelegraphBloombergThe HillFortune

Bayer to retire Monsanto name, but not it’s products – Reuters

No-one answers the phone anymore – The Atlantic

  • How I’ve learned to get someone to put down their phone and listenFast Company

Alcohol should be banned on flights – WSJ

The U.S.A.’s National Security Agency (NSA) posters from the 50s and 60s [pdf] – Government Attic

You may have overpaid for your used car; Facebook’s Instagram; Binge-watching comedies; CarMax is the ultimate used car salesman; The Marshmallow Test

New York’s last remaining independent bookshopsThe Guardian

Ted Dabney, a founder of Atari and a creator of Pong, dies at 81 – NY Times

Stratechery’s Ben Thompson: Facebook’s Instagram acquisition was the greatest regulatory failure of the past decade – Recode

Comedies Make the Best Binge-Watching – Vulture

Affluence, not willpower, is why some kids are better at the Marshmallow TestThe Atlantic

Here’s why CarMax makes more money on used cars than anyone else – Jalopnik

“The primary reason for this is simple—most people are overpaying.”

Social networks are being used to illegally sell prescription medicationsBuzzFeed

China boasted that their healthy life expectancy is now better than in the US — and they’re right – Insider

June 3

1799: The Island of Saint John changed it’s name to Prince Edward Island.

Roxham Road; The perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich; Film camera; Travel as a rite of passage

The perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

Worth experiencing: Interactive: Roxham – National Film Board of Canada

In early 2017, the number of asylum seekers arriving at Roxham Road sharply increased. This quiet and practically unknown road between the United States and Canada became the location with the largest number of irregular border crossings in the country.

Canon has sold it’s last film cameraPetaPixel

Mamoudou Gassama: Travelling is a rite of passage for many Malians – BBC

What if all guns suddenly disappeared? – BBC

More than 20 years ago, Vancouver doctors started noticing Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin was being abused, and yet the drug company continued to promoted it as being less addictive – NY Times // Is that enough to show criminal intent?

  • More than 2 years into public health emergency, officials in B.C. still struggle to slow deaths – CBC
  • ‘Unintended Consequences’ — Inside the fallout of America’s crackdown on opioids – The Washington Post (paywall)

Teens dump Facebook for YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat – TechCrunch

Reddit is now more popular than Facebook; U.S. President has started a Trade World War; Trees have rights too; Internet trends report; High-protein diets linked to heart disease

Free Music Archive

In Canada and the U.S. Reddit is now more popular than Facebook. Globally, Facebook is still #3 behind and YouTube – Alexa

Trees have legal rights. Because nature. – Globe and Mail

Higher temperatures make it harder for students to learn and leads to lower test scores. The economic case for installing air conditioning in every school – Quartz

High-protein diets are linked to heightened risk for heart disease, even for vegetarians – Quartz

Canada’s best phone deals are in Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Double-data mobile offers spark questions over why only some provinces get the best phone deals. – CBC

2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year ContestThe Atlantic has photos

Google’s Toronto city built ‘from the internet up’ – BBC

Ben Page, the man who cycled across the Canadian Arctic

Vermont will pay you $10,000 to move there and work remotelyQuartz

Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends reportQuartz

Some highlights:

  • Global smartphone shipment growth has fallen to effectively nil.
  • Growth in the world’s number of internet users has also slowed to about 7% in 2016, down from 12% in 2016.
  • Roughly 50% of the world, about 3.6 billion people, now have some access to the internet.
  • The average adult spends about 6 hours per day with a digital device.
  • Wifi is everywhere: There are around 450 million wifi networks in the world, up from about 100 million five years ago.
  • There are three messaging apps—WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat—that each have more than 1 billion monthly active users.
  • Around 60% of all payment transactions are now done digitally, with over 500 million mobile payment users in China alone.
  • We’re spending around 30 minutes each day watching videos on mobile devices.
  • It’s estimated that there are more than 30 million Amazon Echo devices in users’ homes, up from about 10 million at the end of 2016.
  • Roughly 13% of all retail sales come from e-commerce, up from about 5% a decade ago.

Best summer fruit for Memorial Day, Learning to code in middle-age; The Governor General in space; Message in a bottle, Quintuplets, Montreal Expos

Today our American friends honour the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives for the United States. Happy Memorial Day.

Mamoudou Gassama became an instant hero when he scaled the outside of a building to save a dangling child. He is now being offered citizenship by French president – CBC

California looking at stronger data privacy measuresNPR

A middle-aged journalist, Andrew Smith, learns to code and app – 1843 Magazine

The 5 best summer fruits, according to the NY Times

World’s oldest known message in a bottle found near Perth, Australia – CBC

All the books Bill Gates has recommended over the last eight years – Quartz

FBI advises router users to reboot now to kill malware infecting 500,000 devices – ArsTechnica

Alan Bean, 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, Dies at 86 – NY Times

More than 1,000 Canada Revenue Agency employees have been disciplined for misconduct over past 4 years. That comes out to an average of one person every working day. Failuring to protect the agency’s information was the reason in about 40 per cent of cases. – CBC

In some provinces, Bell, Rogers, and Telus, are all offering mobile plans with extra data, in response to Shaw‘s promotion. But Canadians still pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for cellular data.

May 28

1927: The House of Commons approved the old-age pension plan.

1934: Annette, Cecile, Yvonne, Marie, and ÉmilieThe Dionne quintuplets – are born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne in Callander, Ontario. They were the first quintuplets to survive for more than a few days.

1995: Jacques Villeneuve becomes the first Canadian to win the Indianapolis 500.

2003Patrick Roy, one of the NHL’s premier goalies, retired after 18 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. He won 551 games during the regular season and 151 in playoffs.

2005: Justin Trudeau marries Sophie Grégoire in Montreal, Quebec.

2016: Canada’s federal Conservative Party ends it’s opposition to same-sex marriage. At their party convention in Vancouver, members voted to end the party’s opposition to gay marriage. Same-sex marriage has been legal across Canada since the Civil Marriage Act was passed in 2005.


May 27

1893: The Ontario government created Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada’s first provincial park.

1911: Vincent Price was born.

1968: Montreal is awarded a baseball franchise. The Montreal Expos were the first Major League Baseball franchise located outside the United States.

1999: Canadian astronaut Julie Payette flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, as part of the crew of STS-96. She would later be appointed Governor General of Canada.


May 26

1603: Samuel de Champlain, reaches Tadoussac, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, and sets foot in New France for the first time.

How to survive the Great Family Road Trip

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