Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Book Review: TimeShift

It's an excellent story. It's a sci-fi, with drama, suspense, and spans 900 years over a 6 month period.

On our drive into the city last week, I regaled hubby with the plot line. Robots, using artificial intelligence (AI) are trying to take over the earth. It's not a new notion: robots taking over the world, but it is well-crafted in Kris Trudeau's debut novel. I am hoping for more.

Trudeau has strong female characters, in a future where we are equal, smart and powerful. She's included mystery and romance, and the time travel is easy to grasp. In some novels that flash back you're not sure where you are. This isn't so in this novel.

Basically, her premise is a pet peeve of mine. We, as humans, are creating technology with no means by which it can be regulated – ethically or legally. Politicians and laws do not keep up with new technology.

Artificial intelligence is certainly in the news:

Is Artificial Intelligence Taking Over Our Lives? (NYTimes, Dec. 5th)

I think of both biological and inanimate interventions. Genetic manipulation, superbugs, viruses that do not respond to antibiotics, for example, and then there is the overtreatment of health issues. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on IVF, for example, when we artificially help families to conceive. I've had many clients who have fought family to have cancer treatments stopped.

I taught Social Studies at U. Ottawa
to student teachers.
Trudeau has a good grasp
 as the characters move through time.

In 2016 times we can see how drones, smart phones, and other technologies can cause harm, and even death, and this theme is a huge part of the novel. Trudeau has fleshed out a very interesting future, with specific tools, weapons, and creative futuristic means by which we seek food, clothing, shelter and transportation. She is brilliant!

Winnipeg River Trail 
This trail follows the Assiniboine River 
 (where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet; 
the hub of trade and living for over 6,000 years,).
 Trudeau has a good grasp on her settings. She uses real places, such as the Winnipeg River Trail. I love those vivid mental images I can create when a good writer paints a picture.

Kris Trudeau
Kris Trudeau lives in on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The completion of her debut novel, TimeShift, marks the end of a six-year journey that began in Winnipeg, Manitoba from where she originally hails. Owner of a website development and graphic design firm, Trudeau spends her days helping organizations across Canada grow their businesses. Writing became a passion for Trudeau in the last decade both in business and for leisure. For fiction, she finds the creative process to be a fascinating, magical experience and is looking forward to exploring several ideas for future stories.
This is just what Kris Trudeau predicts!

This is what tranportation technology should do.
Antigravity Magnetic Globe!

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@Barrie Summy

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Another dump of snow!

Monday morning, twas a bit of a shock. It was predicted (2 - 4 cm only).
The man with cancer, and a bad back, shoveled.
The woman with sinusitis, bronchitis, and an ear ache, filled the feeders!
Then there was Daisy! She helped JB shovel. She was thrilled with the snow. Rescuing a dead life, whacking at the snow.
Annie, the cat rescued from a barn (she was dumped in rural Ontario), refused to step outside. The video shows how Dorah managed the 14 cm (5½")  of snow. She slept on the warm wool blanket on the bed.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Our snow angel

Angel in Bala, 2009
This angel has a special place in my heart. JB and I bought it for my parents. I'm sure it was during an artisan's tour in Muskoka, perhaps around 2001, or so, as we toured around one summer. Funnily enough, we had a dump of snow overnight (11+ cm or  4½"), and we're going to have to do some digging out.
She is pretty in her white, and I've spray painted her several times. At one point, her head fell off, due to rust. We took her to the guy nearby, and he reattached her, and repainted her for $10. 
I left her repainting too late this year.  It has to be above 10 C. for the paint to stick and dry. It didn't go well. I began to paint her, then ran out of white spray paint.

She's had her trials, in the snow, and wind. I brought home a pallet, and she'll sit there for winter. 

I sent hubby off to buy me some more spray paint. White for Angel, gold for some other things. Turns out, it was too cold for the white to stick. The excellent gold paint really stuck, even on a cold, rainy day. Then I sprayed the candelabra, too. They are fastened to the pallet. Our winds can be fierce.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Movie Review: Rooftop Christmas Tree

Hubby was watching curling, by the fire in the basement. I'm entertaining some cold symptoms by watching sappy Christmas movies under a warm blanket, with thick socks and orange juice! There are lots of Christmas-themed shows on TV.  For this I am thankful. It's cold, damp and dreary here. The snow melted, and the rains fell.

This show was filmed in our region:

The Rooftop Christmas Tree

The director is David Winning, Bryar Freed wrote the screenplay, and Landria Onkka wrote the book on which the film is based.

The movie stars Morgan, Reid and Huszar, supported by a crew of many.
Michelle Morgan appeared in the television show Heartland.
Tim Reid is perhaps best known for the role of Venus Flytrap on the television comedy WKRP in Cincinnati. I knew I recognized Tim Reid. My feeble, phlem-drenched brain couldn't pin it down. I did some research.
Stephen Huszar has starred in various film and television productions.
Douglas Moyle:

Douglas Moyle's photo.
March 13/2016–Thanks Douglas Moyle 
for sharing this awesome pic.
Actor Tim Reed, well-known for his role
as Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati.
It was filmed at Cedarhill Christmas Tree Farm, and on Elgin St. in Almonte, last February/March.

They used local extras –$12/hour in the cold!

The courtroom scenes were filmed at Carleton Place's town hall, on Bridge St. It's a lovely heritage building. They had to put up a US flag, and take down the Canadian flag, as well as the photo of the queen. Continuity at its finest!

Courtroom scenes for the upcoming movie A Rooftop Christmas Tree 
are being filmed at Carleton Place’s historic town hall, located at 175 Bridge St.

Arts & CultureNewsAnother movie crew in town February 22, 2016 0 
See more photos: courtesy of Pauline Byrne Donaldson. 
Yet another movie crew is shooting scenes in Almonte. As of 6 p.m. Monday evening crews and equipment…
They used some great locations, like the dam in Almonte, as well as CafĂ© Postino, which is housed in the old Post Office.

There were some overhead shots of the towns, as well. In this day and age, I'd bet they used a drone or UAV!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Animal dormancy: squirrels

I do like it when the leaves fall, and our skies open up. We've had rain, snow, sleet and hail, sometimes within the same hour. Once the leaves fell, I noticed this squirrel nest in the tree. Turns out it is a black squirrel. We have several. It sat in the sunshine for about 10 minutes, then ducked back into the nest.

We have lots of rodents! I was reminded that they come and go in winter. Many of our critters become dormant, if they don't migrate.

Animal dormancy: New World Encyclopedia
  • 1.1 Hibernation – heart rates can slow by as much as 95% (e.g., bears, raccoons).
  • 1.2 Estivation – like torpor, slumber, slow down of metabolism in summer (e.g., salamanders, squirrels).
  • 1.3 Diapause – deer (pregnancy), insects in winter remain as embryos.
  • 1.4 Brumation –cold-blooded animals (e.g., snakes).
  • 1.5 Torpor – diurnal metabolism slows by half.

The question is which ones hibernate?
Properly speaking, however, use of the term [hibernate] should be confined solely to warm-blooded homoiotherms—i.e., birds and mammals whose feathers or fur serve as insulation to reduce heat radiating from the body and aid in the maintenance of constant body temperatures, which normally are independent of those of the environment. 
I found an interesting reading comprehension passage, with questions, that explains hibernate and estivate, as the critters manage in our harsh climate in Canada. Our critters have choices: hibernate (sleep in winter), estivate (sleep in the heat), migrate. I think we need another word, as the tree rats are waking from hibernation on an irregular basis.
hibernate, estivate,
I'm finding that the critters are doing less hibernation, as our temperatures went from warmish to cold, to snow, and back to rain this November: precipitation. It's mostly melted. The critters have come and gone. It cannot be good for them. The deer need the cold temperatures to go into heat, and for the males to get any action. The females are only in heat for 24 hours.

Yet, the red squirrels, the black and gray squirrels, have been quite active. I haven't seen the chipmunks for a month, or so.