Monday, June 25, 2007

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Day, Another Critter

Ole, Mexico Leads

No not soccer, although Mexico is in the semis of the Gold Cup in Chicago to-night. Canucks playing the Yankees (as an aside). Rather it is statistics related to Canadians suffering violence abroad. More have been assaulted in Mexico than any other travel destination since 2000. A total of 1133 travellers on foreign soil reported assaults to Canadian authorities. Of these Mexico leads the list with 173, China is next with 105 and Cuba reported 62. Now if I were to reveal to you my favourite travel destinations China, Mexico and Cuba make my top 5. Greece and Scotland round it out. Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night can mix it up with the best Mexican back alley I've had the pleasure of avoiding.
Source: Toronto Star, May 12, 2007.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cheating Shoes

Chinese police have detained three people for running a high-tech cheating scam involving wireless microphones during the national college entrance exam. Over 10 million high school students competed this week for just 5.7 million university places in the exam which takes place each June. It means make or break for the students and has spawned a string of cheating scandals in recent years. Police in Jiutai, in the northeastern province of Jilin, became suspicious when a mini-bus remained parked outside a school hosting the exam Thursday. Inside, they found three people, "two of them staring at a computer screen and talking into a walkie-talkie." A student in the examination hall used a wireless microphone to read out the questions and received the answers from the van. The three had charged the student 12,000 yuan ($1,500) for the service, it added. Security for the exam is tight and exam papers are considered state secrets before the tests. Authorities in neighboring Liaoning province spent 100 million yuan fitting over 8,000 exam halls with metal detectors and cameras to prevent tech-savvy students from cheating on national university entrance tests. Police had found some 42 pairs of so-called "cheating shoes" with transmitting and reception ability, selling for about 2,000 yuan each, in a flat in Shenyang, the provincial capital, state media said Thursday, adding that they -- along with "cheating wallets" and hats -- had proved popular this year. Three men in the southwestern province of Sichuan received suspended jail terms of 8-12 months last year for using pinhole cameras to send out images of the entrance exam papers to be worked out by "hired guns" for 19 students. Source: Yahoo news, Reuters and Xinhua News Agency.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wild Turkeys

Daddy Long Legs

Tapping my British childhood memories, I don't recall if Britain is home to dragonflies or not. Rather my recollections of insects conjure up midges and daddy long legs. Here in cottage country one quickly becomes acquainted with other six legged species. Midges give way to the more voracious black flies and mosquitoes. To counter them fortunately there is an abundance of dragonflies. They are said to eat several times their weight in mosquitoes each day. Too bad their weight is negligible. I am a turkey for thinking they would protect me while I did some gardening. Speaking of which, the wild turkeys have been parading through the yard. Here is quite the display I captured on celluloid, o.k. digital pixels to be exact, the other day.