Mutant starling?

Starlings are busy, noisy birds that like to flock together and don’t mind being aroud people. We see a lot of them in the city. They are dark with a speckled look.

The other day, I spied one that was partly white. I wasn’t sure what kind of bird it was, but it was the shape of a starling, acted like a starling, and kept with a flock of starlings and pigeons.

I managed to “zoom in” on it before it flew away. Looking at the picture, I’m more convinced that it was a starling: the feathers that do have pigment look like starling feathers.

If anyone wants to look for it, the bird was at Sherbourne and Shuter, one block up from Sherbourne and Queen.

Louisiana land loss

Coastal erosion is a fact of life in Louisiana, perhaps because of better flood control. The Mississipi is not carrying as much silt to its mouth. I attended a presentation this morning about coastal restoration. The speaker, Mr. Milling, kindly sent a copy of this map. It was prepared by the U.S. Geological Service, so it’s in the public domain. The red areas are land that has been eroded away from Louisiana since 1932–which was probably the first time the U.S. had an accurate map–and predicted up to 2050.

LOLcats: Monorail Cat is offline

This is about what I feel like tonight:

I’m home from the Project Management & Technical Communication Summit in New Orleans. All the cats are in and accounted for. The kittens are visibly bigger. I’m going to get some rest.

Cephalopod art

I’ve been taking swimming lessons at the Innes Community Centre in Toronto. The pool and the corridor outside the changerooms are decorated with exuberant marine pictures. Here’s the squid:

New Orleans giant crocodile hoax

There were e-mail rumours of a 21-foot (6.3-m) crocodile found swimming in the streets “post-Katrina.” However, reports that the photo in question was a Nile crocodile killed two years earlier in the Republic of the Congo. It was about 16 feet long (5 metres), which is adult size. Here it is draped in a truck bed.

Tropical Storm Noel over Hispaniola

Tropical storm Noel hovers over Hispaniola, dumping rain and more rain.

Adobe Robo Help 7 and Captivate

Adobe RoboHelp 7 was released at about 7:00 a.m. yesterday. And today I’m taking a hands-on workshop on creating Multimedia user assistance files with RoboHelp 7 plus Captivate 3 to include short “movies” to illustrate the topics. Captivate enables you to capture a series of onscreen motions. It’s neat!

UPDATE: Here’s a link to a reviewer’s guide to RoboHelp 7, in PDF

Invention of a disease

Not discovery—invention.

Bridgepoint Health is a chronic-care hospital in Toronto that used to have the much more euphonious (and meaningful) name Riverdale Hospital. It sits on a bluff above the Don River’s ravine, and is thus seen every day by the tens of thousands of motorists using the Don Valley Parkway.

The hospital is also adjacent to (and indeed has designs on) Riverdale Park. As I was running through the park yesterday I noticed that Bridgepoint has a huge banner advertising (is that the right word?) a “new disease”, neurodiabesity.


When I got home I googled neurodiabesity. I found no definition, only its being listed as one of several “new” complex diseases under attack by the brave physicians of Bridgepoint Health—and how much money that battle will take.

So, is this really a new disease, or just an opportunity for a hospital seeking a niche to distinguish itself: define a new disease, and promote oneself as that disease’s enemy-in-chief?

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