No Food for Thought

Food is something you should provide to your brain long before coming to this blog. You will find no food recipes here, only raw, serious, non-fake news for mature minds.

Power surges and whole-house surge protectors

admin Wednesday September 13, 2023

Following a recent storm, my boss explained his Playstation was broken and said there was a power surge when power was restored. I was quite surprised since I always thought it was lightning itself which caused power surges.

This prompted me to read about power surges, which showed that while lightning is one source of surges, it is indeed far from the only one. But thankfully, I discovered not only these new risks, but a protection against surges I had never heard of: whole-house surge protectors (or surge arresters). I read a few interesting articles about surge and surge protectors. The one I'd recommend the most is the first:

Unfortunately, none of these gives convincing advice that one should use whole-house surge protectors. If you are aware of a cost-benefit analysis on the topic which compares average cost to how much losses using such devices prevents on average, please comment.

Cryptomedy: a cryptic but somewhat distributed comedy

admin Friday September 8, 2023

When people notice their bank account has been compromised, most call the bank. But even among software developers, few would ask the bank to change their code as a remedy. Yet, that's what Tulip Trading has asked their pseudo-bank (Bitcoin "developers") to do. At least, optimistically.

Those who believe "cryptocurrencies" are "decentralized" will struggle to make sense of such a request. But those of us who do see beyond the first level will appreciate that cryptomedy is well-distributed. It seems each one of its actors contributes its small share of humor.
If only the capacity to appreciate the resulting farce would be abundant and equally distributed among all adults… rolleyes

La grande histoire de La petite vie

admin Thursday September 7, 2023

Étant né en 1985, j'étais trop jeune lorsque La Petite Vie a débuté pour réaliser à quel point cette série a fait l'histoire. Et encore plus pour chercher à expliquer comment une série d'à peine une soixantaine d'épisodes a pu être aussi marquante.

C'est la lecture de l'excellent article « La grande histoire de La petite vie », publié dans L'actualité, qui m'a fait comprendre le tout. En effet, à lire l'auteur, qui semble faire remonter ce succès jusqu'en 1976, c'est une longue histoire qui aurait mené à cette réussite.

Claude Meunier wrote:

J’étais heureux que les gens embarquent. Mais en même temps, j’avais très peur que ça s’arrête. Je n’avais jamais été choyé par la critique. On avait dit de Paul et Paul1 que c’était une bande de morons ; de Ding et Dong qu’ils étaient des innocents ; de ma pièce Les voisins, coécrite avec Louis Saia, que c’était un mauvais téléroman… Je m’étais tellement fait ramasser que je demeurais très nerveux à chaque épisode. J’avais l’impression que les chroniqueurs m’attendaient dans le détour.

1 Trio d’humoristes auquel Claude Meunier a appartenu, avec Serge Thériault et Jacques Grisé, de 1976 à 1981.

Mais finalement, les principaux ingrédients ne seraient pas tant surprenants : expérience, échecs préalables, efforts, remises en question, ressources suffisantes, et la sagesse de s'arrêter à temps.

From Climatic Disruption to Ashes to Further Climatic Disruption

admin Wednesday September 6, 2023

The ongoing wildfire season in Canada has been unprecedented. Even though the worse has been in the West for a while, this week, we're seeing smoke in Quebec city again, and there's a new smog warning today. But how much carbon do we emit by fighting fires, bringing firefighters from other countries, evacuating towns and letting some buildings burn?

The answer is not that much―but only relatively. Unfortunately, it's trees themselves which emit the most. By far.

CBC wrote on 2023-09-06:

“The effectiveness of our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets is going up in smoke, literally.”

The amount of greenhouse gases burned in this year’s wildfires is estimated to be more than two and a half times that of all sectors in the Canadian economy combined, said Kurz, citing federal government data.

It's been several months since the newscast I follow (Canada's daily 45-minute The National) covers climate-related catastrophes/issues for 5 to 10 minutes on average. If we haven't already passed a tipping point, it's never felt so suffocatingly close.🥵

From Ashes to Ashes to Pharce

admin Tuesday September 5, 2023

No Food for Thought wouldn't be complete without a rant against Canada's Phoenix pay system. This week I worked with an unfortunate former government employee who's been compensated incorrectly ever since Phoenix was deployed, in 2016.1 She is still affected by Phoenix's mess, even though she retired 5 years ago! While this post doesn't pretend to be complete―which will have to wait until this fiasco's end―as the government reveals it's already paid over 4 million compensation hours to its employees, and with costs already in the order of a billion CAD, it's high time to start that rant.

Ah, if only "conservatives" could actually be conservative. Here's hoping Phoenix will die soon, but most importantly, that we Canadians at last start valuing governance and never allow such a phoenix to regenerate.

1 To tell the whole story, Phoenix only worsened her problems, which go back to 2014, when her pay's management was moved to the Miramichi centre Her situation has reached the point where she sent a letter accusing the government of fraud attempt😣


admin Saturday September 2, 2023

Some people are bored enough to break the law in order to find distraction. Why not get a wild cat like a serval (even if they're illegal in Nova Scotia)? Maybe because wild animals are themselves bored, when kept in captivity, and reputed to be great at recovering their freedom.

For anyone who's owned a cat and tried to keep it inside, feline escaping skills should be little surprise. What I find slightly surprising is the transformation of courage into fear visible in this encounter between very different cats. It seems the legal cat got its daily dose of adrenaline...
Angle matters!lol

Exit or Voice: the powerful anti-Putin voices of Arkady Volozh and Oleg Tinkov

admin Saturday August 26, 2023

Half a decade after the famous treatise on the matter, quitting or speaking remains a constant dilemma. In particular in rogue autocratic regimes like Vladimir Putin's Russia... and about a topic as political as the Russo-Ukrainian War.

👏🏼Russian businessmen Arkady Volozh and Oleg Tinkov👏🏼 have managed to take the right decision, clearly voicing their opposition, despite a forced very costly exit.

Arkady Volozh wrote:
I am totally against Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, where I, like many, have friends and relatives. I am horrified by the fact that every day bombs fly into the homes of Ukrainians

Oleg Tinkov wrote:
Of course there are morons who draw Z, but 10% of any country are morons. 90% of Russians are AGAINST this war!

Google Maps driving you nuts? Welcome to the anonymous road club

admin Friday August 18, 2023

Fast Company has written a 5-point rant against Google Maps. The first 4 points honestly don't bother me much... but as for the last one, it was quite a relief to read, about a year after realizing it and wondering if I'm going crazy for being the only one getting this behavior and going mad about it:

Michael Grothaus wrote:
Many times I just want to see the name of the street I’m standing on. So, I open Google Maps and zoom in on my current location. Yet no matter how far in I zoom in, Google Maps doesn’t always apply a label to the street I’m standing on. It just remains blank. Of course, business pins I have no interest in are still prominently displayed.

Slashdot's coverage of the article has lots of comments about that problem, some of which suggest the persistence of such a flaw does not result from incompetence, but rather an intentional business decision:

ThumpBzztZoom wrote:
It's simple, Google does not want you to know where you are. The less you know where you are, the more you have to rely on Google Maps.

Unfortunately, the issue is not just limited to your surroundings. Maps fail to show road and waterway names even when exploring different regions. And no matter the explanation, I have to admit that at this time, I'm still using Google Maps.😒

Volunteer organizations, moral licensing and dysfunction

admin Sunday July 9, 2023

Having contributed to countless projects via volunteer organizations, I know that organizational dysfunction is―if not a rule―almost a norm, in particular in organizations with little funding, no staff and no management.

There are some obvious explanations for that, including volunteer burnout, but what is more surprising is the frequency and persistence of harassment. Jeroen Camps highlights an interesting scientifically studied phenomenon called moral licensing which may help explain that.

I am skeptical about the existence and importance of moral licensing, but if it affected everyone, very few of Kohlberg's stages of moral development would remain plausible.

Du Crédit d'impôt relatif à un fonds de travailleurs à un Crédit d'imposteurs

admin Tuesday June 6, 2023

Qu'y a-t-il de pire que de subventionner le secteur privé? Mal subventionner le secteur privé. Chose bien trop commune dans notre pays.

J'allais cotiser à mon REER+ du Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec aujourd'hui. Après 2 minutes, je constate, sans grande surprise, que ce n'est toujours pas possible. Les cotisations sont toujours suspendues; du moins on le suppose, puisque le site web ne semble l'indiquer nulle part. Je ne ferai pas partie des chanceux qui pourront cotiser cette année; on repassera pour la solidarité.

L'article du Journal de Montréal explique une partie du problème. Suffit d'ajouter qu'au lieu d'encourager les particuliers à détenir des investissements au Québec, on les encourage à en acquérir. Oups! La nuance fait toute la différence, transformant une intention d'encourager l'économie locale en une pure dépense, empirant notre déficit. Sacrés incitatifs pervers

Ah, si seulement on pouvait remplacer le crédit d'impôt relatif à un fonds de travailleurs par un crédit d'imposteurs au Parlement du Québec!

Il y a de l'espoir, tout de même. Cet article de Julien Arsenault indique qu'à défaut d'encourager la détention, on allonge une période de détention minimale... à une nouvelle tout aussi arbitraire, mais sans doute moins pire que la précédente. L'article a aussi le mérite de rectifier celui du Journal de Montréal en indiquant que le problème des émissions n'est malheureusement pas la faute de la FTQ, mais bien... de la régulation gouvernementale! Et du même coup, on éliminera le crédit pour les « riches »... car n'est-ce pas plus facile d'ajouter encore davantage de règles que de les rationaliser? Ainsi, on aura bientôt un crédit avec une période de détention minimale, un plafond salarial et une limite annuelle (pour ne mentionner que les plus importants des critères). Et bien sûr, sur des actions qui resteront difficiles à se procurer. Si on cherche à économiser, ce n'est certainement pas de la complexité!

Fully Free

Kune ni povos is seriously freethough not completely humor-free:

  • Free to read,
  • free to copy,
  • free to republish;
  • freely licensed.
  • Free from influenceOriginal content on Kune ni povos is created independently. KNP is entirely funded by its freethinker-in-chief and author, and does not receive any more funding from any corporation, government or think tank, or any other entity, whether private or public., advertisement-free
  • Calorie-free*But also recipe-free
  • Disinformation-free, stupidity-free
  • Bias-free, opinion-free*OK, feel free to disagree on the latter.
  • Powered by a free CMS...
  • ...running on a free OS...
  • ...hosted on a server sharedby a great friend for free