Concise video summarizes safety of vaccines

Posted on Sunday 6 April 2014

A good video, summarizing the massive volume of literature confirming the safety of vaccination with no link to autism, and showing the evidence on a nice visual time line.

Video Link

Bench @ 1:21 pm
Filed under: Health Care andnews andSchool
Android accounts for most mobile malware

Posted on Tuesday 25 March 2014

Apple may have the big security blunders, but apparently Android accounts for the vast majority of the mobile malware out there according to ZD Net. And Android phones become more susceptible over time with updates. Makes you think a BlackBerry isn’t such a bad idea after all eh?

Apple may account for next to no “malware” but its closed OS explains that. Apple has other issues with flaws in mobile banking and finger print security.

Bench @ 8:02 pm
Filed under: Misc andnews
Apple iPhone Security Breach Found

Posted on Tuesday 8 October 2013

News reports are trickling through tech blogs, but it appears iOS 7 has a big security weakness. German experts were able to crack the finger print iPhone security feature simply with the aid of a cell phone camera. Now on the one hand, doubt national security rests on iPhone (Obama has a BlackBerry) and owners should keep them on hand at all times, but makes you wonder if you want your lawyer, doctor or accountant using an iPhone, or if they should trade in the “cool” factor, for the security of a BlackBerry. After all, despite all the panic, BlackBerry sold it’s BES 10 to 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies this year.

It would seem this latest security flaw with iPhone just confirms that BlackBerry remains the undisputed secure phone and messaging system, and that Apple efforts at “security” are more gimmicks and games than function.

We wonder when the main stream media will pick up this story, as the #1 phone in North America having a major security flaw would seem of interest to Canadian and American cellular customers.

Bench @ 12:08 pm
Filed under: Economy andnews
WestJet axes TV in flight!

Posted on Monday 29 July 2013

A recent trip provided a bit of an annoying surprise. The trans Canadian West Jet flight was TV less. Not just dysfunctional, not there. And a brand new plane no less? I asked the steward, who said new West Jet planes no longer have TV’s! They are “reevaluating in flight entertainment” but no worries, while they do that, they will rent you an iPad…

Not that Air Canada is any better. They no longer waive the “flight change fee” ($75) for funerals… unless you provide them with the death certificate.

Sure wouldn’t feel bad if a third, less cheap (WJ) or heartless (AC) airline stepped in!

Bench @ 4:51 pm
Filed under: Parties
Enso = Good Sushi in Regina’s East End

Posted on Monday 7 May 2012

The opening of “Enso” brings a good sushi restaurant to Regina’s east end. It’s a bit hidden away, on Quance, but easy to find when you’re looking for it. Would definitely recommend it, had good food there a couple times, despite being in a strip mall, it has nice, modern décor and is reasonably priced. Good for a date night, or dinner with the family. And all with ample free parking, and in the east end. The couple times I’ve been there it was easy to get a spot, but it’s smaller, so I’d recommend reservations if you’re trying on a weekend.
(306) 205-9442
3243 Quance Street, Regina, SK

Bench @ 5:30 pm
Filed under: Misc andnews andParties
Saskatchewan Deficit at $304 Million

Posted on Friday 9 December 2011

The Provincial Auditor’s Office has announced that Saskatchewan is facing a $304 Million deficit – its third straight, not the small $25 Million surplus the Sask Party has announced.  This is looking at Saskatchewan’s “summary financial statement”, the same way all the other provinces, and the feds, do their accounting.  So other provinces could be in “surplus” too if they used Sask Party accounting.

The Provincial Auditor states the province is adding another $189 million to its “total debt”.  Saskatchewan owes more than the year before and lost money over this past year, while Potash Corp posts profits in the billions.  No different than the way the NDP used to budget, but when the Sask Party ran 4 years ago on an agenda of change, all they really have “changed” is they spend more than the NDP.  After 3 straight deficits, and increasing public debt while they were at it, the only year the Sask Party ran a surplus, granted a big one, was the first year they inherited fiscal restraint from the NDP.

The Sask Party is lucky the NDP ran a prickly Lingenfelter.  Throw in a young, honest NDP leader, with a business or accounting background, and the Sask Party will have to start turning surpluses the real way, like the other provinces in Canada do.


3. Anonymous source

Bench @ 6:41 pm
Filed under: Economy andnews
Saskatoon Housing More Expensive Than Edmonton

Posted on Tuesday 15 November 2011

The “average home price” in Saskatoon exceeded $330,000 in October 2011.  This is above the average home price in Edmonton and nearly $50,000 more than the average home price in Regina, both with higher average weekly wages than Saskatoon.  Winnipeg housing is far cheaper, around $90,000 cheaper, though wages there are less on average than Saskatoon.  The actual average house price in Saskatoon would be even higher, as “home” includes condos, trailers, half-duplexes etc.

Interesting that Saskatoon now exceeds Edmonton in housing costs.  This suggests that Saskatoon housing is seriously unaffordable, as it is more expensive than nearby large centers.  Both with higher average wages than Saskatoon.  Edmonton’s average weekly wage and annual median family income far exceed Saskatoon’s.  As well, Edmonton has cheaper gas and charges substantially lower personal income tax, and no provincial sales tax.  Really, a move to Edmonton would afford the average Saskatoon resident a raise, a chance to afford a nicer (any) house over Saskatoon and an improved standard of living.

With more and more evidence showing that Saskatoon housing prices are out of control, and that young professionals and those with mobile established career can live in a nicer house, or better area elsewhere, one has to ask, how long can Saskatoon house prices remain so high?  And will this impair the city’s ability to attract workers, who can make more, and live for less elsewhere?

Bench @ 9:44 am
Filed under: Economy andhousing andnews
Saskatchewan experiences (modest) exodus

Posted on Thursday 23 June 2011

For the first quarter of 2011, Saskatchewan “lost” a net 593 residents to other provinces (immigrants – emigrants).  This does reverse a long  “positive” trend of inter provincial immigration over the previous 17 quarters, albeit a minor one, with 209 residents “gained” in the last quarter of 2010.  Saskatchewan still “grew” 0.2% in the quarter, on par with most of Canada, and below Alberta’s 0.4% increase in total population.  Still, this growth was split roughly 50:50 between the “natural birth rate” and “international immigration”.

Perhaps more concerning than the relatively minor loss of just under 600 more residents to other provinces than we gained in return, is Saskatchewan’s ongoing reliance on a high First Nation’s birth rate, and immigration from third world countries to grow our population.  The First Nation’s birth rate represents a huge opportunity, but also, huge challenge.  Immigration from the third world is more a reflection of laxer laws in Saskatchewan regarding bringing ones’ family over, and one would assume most of those living in abject poverty are moving to Saskatchewan  just because they can, not because they “prefer” it over other areas of Canada.

Just another reason Saskatchewan’s “boom” is more “hype” as an average 0.2% population increase, is jointly fueled by  international migration and births, and the “boom” days, of a whopping 200 people choosing to “move” to  Saskatchewan from Alberta, BC, Ontario etc. appear over.  Meanwhile, nearby Alberta gained 5300 residents from inter provincial migration alone, part of about 15,000 new residents over all.  The graph and links below tell it all…

National graph

Original Source

Bench @ 3:22 am
Filed under: Economy andhousing andnews
Residents Grudgingly Accept Contract

Posted on Saturday 16 April 2011


Resident doctors in Saskatchewan have Grudgingly accepted the latest financial offer from the Ministry of Health via the University of Saskatchewan.  This is after being without a contract for approximately 28 months,   including the first 23  months, where the Government of Saskatchewan refused to negotiate or even meet with the residents.  In fact, despite a formal request for a face to face meeting between Health Minister Don McMorris, the University of Saskatchewan, and PAIRS, Don McMorris never actually met with residents.

Saskatchewan resident doctors are now finally paid the Canadian average, amounting to an increase from $10 to $11 an hour over 4 years.  This leaves them substantially below  their neighbours in Alberta, and is not enough to improve their efforts at recruitment from other higher paid jurisdictions, though it may be adequate to prevent a few more medical students from leaving each year.  Residents generally cited feeling “burnt out” and “tired” of ongoing negotiations, and like they could not afford to continue to get by on their prior 2008 level wages.  The ill will built by the Saskatchewan Party towards resident doctors is not likely corrected by an increase to “average” and the disdain towards Don McMorris by resident doctors, HSAS and SEIU may be beyond repair.

The government achieved one goal, it settled a labour dispute in only 28 months after it was due and still has yet to use its Essential Services Designation.  However, the Sask Party likely has made no dent in its Canada Worst Recruitment Rate, filling 73% of residency spots in Saskatchewan in 2011, when the national average is 90% filled, and Calgary, BC and Manitoba all fill 96% or more of their residency spots.  Maybe next time Don McMorris, Brad Wall and company will realize they need to treat valuable health professionals with respect, when resident doctors – like HSAS and SEIU members – can choose to move to Alberta, to make significantly more and pay less in taxes, yet with the same cost of living.  To all those who would critique a physician for leaving Saskatchewan, and question their loyalty, it is hard to be loyal to Saskatchewan, when they completely ignore and abuse their medical student interns and resident physicians.

Unfortunately pro-Saskatchewan Party news agencies, like the Leader Post and Star Phoenix, continue to spin the crisis in health care in Saskatchewan, with their respective stories far more positive, neglecting to mention many of the resident’s concerns and not allowing comments.

Bench @ 8:52 pm
Filed under: Health Care andnews andSchool
Saskatchewan Budget Kind of Mediocre

Posted on Thursday 24 March 2011

Yes, the budget is not bad.  It has a very small $50 million surplus.  It decreases taxes a bit for lower income earners.  Yet, it does nothing to address issues with housing, with a paltry $1.7 million allocated, it does nothing to address the shortage of doctors in Saskatchewan, with resident doctors still not being able to convince the government to pay the 300 of them above minimum wage, or anywhere near the Canadian Average.  And the Sask Party really did nothing to earn this $50 million, a thank you is owed to Potash Corp and Mosaic for another stand up year.

However, despite the Sask Party and Don McMorris’ fiscal restraint, and saving thousands a year by keeping resident doctors below minimum wage, and the Canadian average, they did find $5.1 million to make late night beer runs more affordable at off-sale outlets.  Hopefully we don’t go over board on the new cheaper beer though, as there will be no rural doctor to see you after you crash your car or get alcohol poisoning.  Oddly, it would have been exponentially cheaper for the government to finally pay its 300 resident doctors above average, with full back pay, than to make beer more affordable.  But I guess we know what Mr Wall’s priorities are now don’t we?

Bench @ 1:04 pm
Filed under: Economy andnews andSchool