We’re Shutting Down!

October 22, 2008 by

From My Bottom Step is shutting down. You will not see any more news updates, no more comics, and no more pedestrian issues.

At least until Monday.

Starting tomorow we will be moving the blog over to a new host and domain. Make sure to set your bookmarks to http://www.frommybottomstep.com and update your feed reader to http://www.frommybottomstep.com/feed/.

Thanks for your patience while we make the upgrade. See you on the other side.

If you are still seeing this it means our new host 1&1 is taking its sweet time to implement changes in our domain name. Hopefully this will be resolved as quickly as possible, and you’ll be able to experiance the new site.

Sneak Peek

October 15, 2008 by

Did you know that FMBS is graduating to a self-hosted site with a brand new look and increased functionality?

photoYou can get a preview of what’s coming by clicking HERE.

Have you ever wanted to be a citizen journalist and cover breaking news stories? Is there a subject area that you’re particularly interested in and have some understanding about? Want to write about these interests but don’t want to publish your own website? Well, here’s your chance!

FMBS is looking for contributors. If this seems like something that you’d be interested in, send me an email inquiry.

Check Us Out!

March 18, 2010 by

Our backgammon club hosts a *FREE* program 5-9 pm every Thursday on the 3rd floor at the Central library. New players always welcome!

In The News – 2008/10/22

October 22, 2008 by

Breaking news. Local, regional, national, and international. London, Ontario, Canada, and the world. Whatever catches my attention and interests me. Updated throughout the day!

Disclaimer: I regret that I can only ensure the validity of these links at the time that the articles are published. The (unscrupulous?) practise of some media outlets to subsequently redirect links to advertisements is completely out of my control and beyond my capacity to monitor.

Canada/Ontario/London

Police Media Releases (Last Updated: 2008/10/22 05:07pm)
Boycott of Richmond Hotel
Spinning LPL – news or advert?

Canada/Ontario

Anti-poverty activists target MPP Deb Matthews
Deadline extended for hydro consolidations
Defibrillators for Toronto transit hubs
Hospital-borne infection linked to contracting out
Is McGuinty planning to renege on more promises?
Liberals failing to protect our water supply
Testing the Municipal Elections Act

Canada/Other

$50K penalty for Internet postings
Decreased aid for students who need it most
e-Waste by feds is unconscionable
Former Liberal MP charged with assault
Inadequate support for unpaid caregivers
“Institutional deficiency” to blame for torture
Meat from deadly Maple Leaf plant being shipped again
Medical marijuana denied to inmates and parolees
The growing income gap

International

California’s drive-thru voting

In The News – 2008/10/21

October 21, 2008 by

Breaking news. Local, regional, national, and international. London, Ontario, Canada, and the world. Whatever catches my attention and interests me. Updated throughout the day!

Disclaimer: I regret that I can only ensure the validity of these links at the time that the articles are published. The (unscrupulous?) practise of some media outlets to subsequently redirect links to advertisements is completely out of my control and beyond my capacity to monitor.

Canada/Ontario/London

Police Media Releases (Last Updated: 2008/10/21 03:22pm)
City will choose development experts
Council’s social conservatives advocate service cuts
Owner should be charged for risk to public

Canada/Ontario

According respect to pedestrians
Crisis decline of Ontario’s biodiversity
Dairy farmer vows to continue political action
Delinquent management of Ottawa River
Hamilton’s pursuit of LRT
Liberals must proceed with anti-poverty initiatives
MPAC incompetence
Toronto’s drug-dealing nightclubs
Toronto’s land transfer tax

Canada/Other

Ask doctors to wash hands
Conservatism isn’t popular with Canadians
Dion blames negative Tory ads
Government interference stalls commission
Increased incidence of laser attacks on pilots
Possible postal strike before Christmas
Rae v. Ignatieff – Round 2
Release of Iacobucci report expected
‘Trickle-down’ theory fails in Canada
Tweaking the ‘do not call’ list
Unsustainable health care costs

International

+200M unemployed
Extreme inequality is a problem
Fecal contamination causes 80% of illness
Maude Barlow gets U.N. appointment
Raising children in dog cages

Turning the Tables

October 20, 2008 by

sketch

In The News – 2008/10/20

October 20, 2008 by

Breaking news. Local, regional, national, and international. London, Ontario, Canada, and the world. Whatever catches my attention and interests me. Updated throughout the day!

Disclaimer: I regret that I can only ensure the validity of these links at the time that the articles are published. The (unscrupulous?) practise of some media outlets to subsequently redirect links to advertisements is completely out of my control and beyond my capacity to monitor.

Canada/Ontario/London

Police Media Releases (Last Updated: 2008/10/09 09:34pm)
Freeway proposal makes mockery of TMP
LACH posturing is suspect

Canada/Ontario

Complain to the grocery stores
New ‘sexsomnia’ trial ordered
Number of Harvey’s E.coli cases still rising
Provincial planning process needs reform
Selflessness triumphs over selfishness
Single-use household batteries should be illegal
Water needs to be properly priced

Canada/Other

Canada’s first ‘murder by HIV’ trial begins
Obsolete election strategies
Shamefully promoting asbestos
Victoria’s anti-homeless initiative

International

Mexico’s drug wars
The world’s worst humanitarian crisis

Colour Coded Restaurant Inspections

October 19, 2008 by

I had the opportunity over the past couple of months to participate in a number of focus groups developed on for the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) in order to get public input on the new system for identifying the cleanliness of restaurants in the MLHU jurisdiction.

Just this past week it was made public (in the London Free Press) that the MLHU would be requiring restaurants to post their inspection reports for public viewing.  Paired with a colour-coded system that alerts consumers to the cleanliness of a given establishment this initiative will bring London (and area) based restaurants up to a certain standard held in many cities in the region.

Although I fully believe that this is a step in the right direction I think that the MLHU is not taking the right approach to the issue of cleanliness in food service establishments.

Through sitting in and contributing to the focus groups that the MLHU held and experiencing the systems in places in such cities as Toronto I think that the MLHU’s approach to implementing a system here in London is not good enough as it allows for too many “unknowns” and interpretation of meanings.

With this new system, colours are associated with the cleanliness of an establishment.  Green indicates that everything (or almost everything) is ok, Red indicates that there have been severe infractions and that the establishment has been closed.  Then there is the Yellow indicator.

This is where the problem lies with me.  Yellow indicates a “conditional pass” which means “non-critical violations” have been identified, are not a health risk and must be remedied.  In my eyes a place is either clean or it isn’t and in the end it should either be open or not.

I know that we live in a world where everything is not black and white and there are grey areas everywhere we look, but when it comes to what I am eating I don’t want there to be any guess work that I have to do.

If I were to see a Yellow sign, marking a conditional pass, I begin to wonder what was the threshold the health examiner used when evaluating this establishment.  I fully understand that there are certain criteria that need to be met, but I begin to worry when an establishment is on the borderline of those criteria, teetering between the colors Yellow and Red.

When it comes to the safety of what I am eating I do not want to have to do reading in order to evaluate whether or not the establishment I am at is up to my standards, I just want to know if it is clean or not.

Chances are if an establishment is getting a “conditional pass” there are other things that need remediation that the inspector missed finding, many of these “other things” can be, and probably are more important and detrimental to the health of the consumers.

I honestly hope that this system, after it has been in place for some time, gets re-evaluated with input once again from the public to see if the system currently proposed is truly the best way to educate and inform consumers.  For now I guess I will have to live with the system that has been chosen and praise it as a beginning step in the right direction.

In The News – 2008/10/19

October 19, 2008 by

Breaking news. Local, regional, national, and international. London, Ontario, Canada, and the world. Whatever catches my attention and interests me. Updated throughout the day!

Disclaimer: I regret that I can only ensure the validity of these links at the time that the articles are published. The (unscrupulous?) practise of some media outlets to subsequently redirect links to advertisements is completely out of my control and beyond my capacity to monitor.

Canada/Ontario/London

Police Media Releases (Last Updated: 2008/10/09 09:34pm)
Brain tumours conference
Guinness decision is irrational

Canada/Ontario

Doctors ratify deal
Time to assist autistic children

Canada/Other

Shysters target foreign construction workers

International

Tougher regulations on lead
Waste Reduction Week

Commercial Pollution

October 18, 2008 by

photo

photo

Plastic signage stapled to telephone poles along the Commissioners Road E. arterial. Should business be allowed to pollute our visual environment by using telephone poles as free billboards?

In The News – 2008/10/18

October 18, 2008 by

Breaking news. Local, regional, national, and international. London, Ontario, Canada, and the world. Whatever catches my attention and interests me. Updated throughout the day!

Disclaimer: I regret that I can only ensure the validity of these links at the time that the articles are published. The (unscrupulous?) practise of some media outlets to subsequently redirect links to advertisements is completely out of my control and beyond my capacity to monitor.

Canada/Ontario/London

Police Media Releases (Last Updated: 2008/10/09 09:34pm)
Many residents still without a doctor
Mixed reactions to Springbank Dam problem
MLHU restaurant inspection reports
Schools embracing new technology
Why Megan Walker is so cranky

Canada/Ontario

Courts allow repeated bail violations
Gripes about regional councils
McGuinty’s promise to reduce poverty
OPP ignore illegal sporting event
Police infighting is now public
Sarnia pastor’s son arrested for sex charges
SLAPP threatens public participation

Canada/Other

Did Harper lie about deficits?

International

Curbside parking merits congestion pricing
Predatory credit card companies target students
UCLA’s body-parts trafficking scandal

BookCrossing Release – 2008/10/17

October 17, 2008 by


Read and Release at BookCrossing.com...

Become a BC London Ambassador!

click me
Title: Southern Cross
Location: Tim Horton’s; Adelaide/Commissioners; London, Ontario
Time: 8:15 p.m.

To learn more, click here.

“In their first appearance (Hornet’s Nest, 1997), Chief Judy Hammer, Deputy Virginia West, and reporter-turned-rookie-cop Andy Brazil battled a serial killer in Charlotte, North Carolina. Now, in Patricia Cornwell’s Southern Cross, the trio are dispatched to Richmond, Virginia–via an NIJ (National Institute of Justice) grant–to quell the growing gang problem and modernize the beleaguered Richmond PD. They bring with them a sophisticated computer program for tracking criminal activity and a tried-and-true methodology for reforming Richmond’s men and women in blue. Unfortunately, Hammer, Brazil, and West could not have been prepared for the resentment they would confront… or the bizarre cast of characters they would find upon their arrival: Lelia Ehrhart–wealthy (and nosey) chair of the Blue Ribbon Crime Commission–whose heavy European accent renders her English dangerously hilarious; Butner “Bubba” Flunk IV–tobacco industry worker, gun collector, and UFO aficionado; Smoke–the sociopathic leader of the Pikes gang; and Weed Gardener–14-year-old painter turned master graffiti artist…The novel becomes a satire on city politics, Southern culture, the ever-tense relationship between the police and the public, and the struggles of the average man and woman with computer technology.”

graphic

In The News – 2008/10/17

October 17, 2008 by

Breaking news. Local, regional, national, and international. London, Ontario, Canada, and the world. Whatever catches my attention and interests me. Updated throughout the day!

Disclaimer: I regret that I can only ensure the validity of these links at the time that the articles are published. The (unscrupulous?) practise of some media outlets to subsequently redirect links to advertisements is completely out of my control and beyond my capacity to monitor.

Canada/Ontario/London

Police Media Releases (Last Updated: 2008/10/09 09:34pm)
City Hall “is jeopardizing public safety”
Springbank Dam money sinkhole?
MLHU restaurant inspections

Canada/Ontario

Increased cost of Toronto water
$300M Goderich wind project terminated because of red tape
Developers are trying to silence citizens at OMB
Growing toll of E. coli outbreak
Home buyers may get energy ratings
Police need to stop acting like children

Canada/Other

A legal right to shelter
In Canada, crime pays
Taking the lead on BPA

International

Nevada’s tent city

In The News – 2008/10/16

October 16, 2008 by

Breaking news. Local, regional, national, and international. London, Ontario, Canada, and the world. Whatever catches my attention and interests me. Updated throughout the day!

Disclaimer: I regret that I can only ensure the validity of these links at the time that the articles are published. The (unscrupulous?) practise of some media outlets to subsequently redirect links to advertisements is completely out of my control and beyond my capacity to monitor.

Canada/Ontario/London

Police Media Releases (Last Updated: 2008/10/16 07:41am)
IPC seminar
Military training marches
School closings

Canada/Ontario

Elementary school teachers fight funding gap
Ontario’s piecemeal approach to autism

Canada/Other

B.C. police credit bait cars for theft reduction
Canadian al-Qaeda sites incite terrorism
Dion expected to tender resignation today
Election gag should be removed
Falling home prices
National Post gags on election law
‘Profound’ 009 GDP contraction predicted
Taxpayer subsidy of Liberal Party decreased
Votes mean money to our political parties

International

Iceland’s financial meltdown
Iranian confidence vote

What Would a PR Result Look Like?

October 15, 2008 by

This is what the ‘first past the post’ result currently looks like, and for comparison, if they were awarded seats based upon the ‘proportional representation’ percentage of the popular vote that they received:

PARTY VOTES % OF FPP PR
    VALID SEATS SEATS
Conservatives 5205334 37.630 144 116
Liberals 3629990 26.242 77 81
BQ 1379565 9.973 48 31
NDP 2517075 18.196 37 56
Green 940747 6.801 0 21

I can wish, can’t I?

Locoweed is Well Named

October 15, 2008 by

Okay, that’s simply one of it’s street names, along with Stinkweed, Jimson Weed, Devil’s Apple, and Thornapple. But it’s probably the best common descriptor for Datura stramonium.

According to the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, the plant “is a member of the nightshade family and is a common weed growing along roadways and in pastures in southern Canada and the United States. Most troublingly, it says that it’s used (usually by teenagers) for “hallucinogenic and euphoric effect” and “Jimson weed parties are becoming more common” despite the fact that it “can cause acute anticholinergic poisoning and death in humans and animals.” 01

In 2000 it was “linked to at least one death in the Niagara Region” where it grows naturally. In 2003 “a 13-year-old boy landed in the intensive care unit after eating the plant.” In 2005 “a Simcoe boy went into a coma and was airlifted to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto” after ingesting it. In 2006 “four Hamilton teens were sent to hospital after smoking jimson-laced cigarettes during their lunch break at school.” In 2007 “three males, ages 14 to 17, were found in an incoherent and unresponsive state” after eating it’s seeds. 02

Today’s paper reports it’s use by local youth as well. “On Saturday, a 16-year-old girl was found incoherent on Commissioners Road … several others youths have been treated after ingesting the seeds during recent weeks.” 03

Sources:
01. Teenagers with Jimson Weed Poisoning
02. 3 Teens Poisoned…
03. Jimson weed seed dangerous if ingested


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