Category: Environment

Tracking by GPS in China: Google vs Baidu Maps

A friend at Tongji University, Shanghai. Using his GPS coordinates of 31.2820193,121.5083353 he is at the red pin., but this time over 500m west north west of his Google location Baidu Maps.

A friend at Tongji University, Shanghai. Using his GPS coordinates of 31.2820193,121.5083353 he is at the red pin., but this time over 500m west north west of his Google location Baidu Maps.

A friend is visiting China and has graciously allowed me, through Google, to follow him. I provide location advice as i can read Baidu’s Chinese maps. This time I was able to use his GPS coordinates and track him on Google and Baidu Maps. Now you would think that two mapping systems would give you near identical results, but no, they do not.

What to do to Clear Snow and Ice from the Driveway, Toronto, Canada?

Frozen tulip, Toronto, Canada. I hope it will survive. 2018 Apr 15. Photo 8 by Don Tai

Frozen tulip, Toronto, Canada. I hope it will survive. 2018 Apr 15. Photo 8 by Don Tai

After a lifetime of shoveling snow from driveways and living in Toronto, Canada, it is rare that I am unsure what steps to take. This current weather pattern is increasingly odd. We have had rain, freezing rain, high wind, and now followed by a lot more rain. So, what to do?

Mapping GPS Coordinates: Google vs Baidu

Baidu map, Beijing University, is accurate to the line map. The map has a lot more detail about local anemities than the Google Map

Baidu map, Beijing University, is accurate to the line map. The map has a lot more detail about local anemities than the Google Map

If you play around with GPS coordinates you will quickly need access to a map. The GPS coordinate numbers do not reveal a geographic location useful to a human. The two go-to internet resources are Google and Baidu. Both have maps for North America and China, but are not as good outside of their competitive areas. As I am in Toronto and have lived in China, I can verify their usefulness for these locations, but for other parts of the world you are on your own.

Fruit d’Or Cranberries: Unclear Country of Origin

Fruit d'Or cranberries: packaging does not state Made in Canada, or Product of Canada. I almost did not buy it due to an unknown country of origin. Photo 1 by Don Tai

Fruit d’Or cranberries: packaging does not state Made in Canada, or Product of Canada. I almost did not buy it due to an unknown country of origin. Photo 1 by Don Tai

We are particular with the country of origin of our food. If I don’t see it clearly on the package I hesitate, which usually means I put it back on the shelf. Fruit d’Or Cranberries almost did not make it to our home, even though these cranberries are grown and packaged in Canada, it does not explicitly state this on the package. Not only did I miss this, but my wife also missed it. Please, follow the industry standards and Government of Canada guidelines and state “Made in Canada” or “Product of Canada”.

Hypocrisy of Electric Cars and Carbon Taxing: Canada, China, Norway

Our electricity must come from somewhere. Not too many places are blessed with a gynormous waterfall that we harness for clean hydro-electric power, such as Niagara Falls, Ontario. Still, electric cars are heavily subsidized by governments, as without these they simply would be too expensive. This is true in Canada, China and Norway.

The inconvenient truth is that there is hypocracy in this movement, one that we should note. Motor Mouth: The inconvenient truth about China, Norway’s EV subsidies. This is not the only article that highlights the hypocracy.

Xi Jinping as Emperor: Implications within China

As Xi Jinping has now removed his term limits within the Chinese constitution, this solidifies his hold on power until he dies or choses to leave. Even before this historic change in China’s constitution it was clear that Xi has a stronghold on China. This directly affects how government officials implement directives and the effect on the Chinese people themselves. An interesting observation, to say the least.

Interesting is how the Chinese government has changed in its implementation of general directives. It seems like government officials react faster and harder, and even overreact to policy implementations. These implementations are understandable, in a way, because government officials do not question or tweak directives, but carry out their orders, possibly overdoing it.

Walmart Wastes Food that Customer Puts in Cart but never Bought

I was at my local Walmart today, in Toronto, Canada. Two customers in front of me was an elderly woman who had, in her cart a variety of soft goods items such as a small rug, a shirt, some toothpaste, but also some groceries such as eggs, and a 4L bag of milk. Unfortunately her credit card was denied, so she left her products at the checkout and walked away.

Xinjian Cun, Daxing District, Beijing, China: Fire, then Expulsion of Migrant Workers

China, Beijing, Daxing, Xinjian Cun, where the government has destroyed the neighbourhood of migrant workers and evicted everyone. South Gate

China, Beijing, Daxing, Xinjian Cun, where the government has destroyed the neighbourhood of migrant workers and evicted everyone. South Gate

A large fire in a Beijing 北京市 suburb Xinjian Cun 新建村, in the Daxing District 大兴区 that killed 17 people, has prompted Beijing authorities to urgently begin investigations into illegal buildings, resulting in the destruction of a Beijing suburb called Xinjian Cun. Most of the residents there are migrant workers, have had a difficult time finding new accommodations. Their businesses and buildings have been bulldozed. The migrant workers have been told to go back to their villages. This, a forced mass expulsion of Chinese people, from a Chinese city, and in the middle of winter.

Toronto Snowfall 2017 November 10

This is the first snowfall of the winter season for Toronto, Canada, and a blustery -10C, a far cry from yesterday’s +6C, and also colder than the expected +6C next week.

Snowfall in Toronto, 2017 Nov 10. Photo by Don Tai

Snowfall in Toronto, 2017 Nov 10. Photo by Don Tai

By mid-day the snow had melted from my driveway, but there was still icy patches in local parking lots. Since tonight will go down to -8C if there were more accumulation I would shovel. Tomorrow and the next 4 days are all above zero.

Restored Leather Highback Chair

Leather highback chair needed two leather patches on the seat. After the repair was completed and new metal gliders added. Photo 1 by Don Tai

Leather highback chair needed two leather patches on the seat. After the repair was completed and new metal gliders added. Photo 1 by Don Tai

This leather chair was cast aside, but it beaconed me to come closer. It took little time to determine that it was leather covered and in need of a major repair. Once done, however, the chair was returned to service, and comfortable it is.

Glaringly obvious was the huge gash 6.5″/17cm gash in the seat, as well as a smaller 1″/3cm cut, also in the seat. After I determined that the backing material was actually the very reassuringly natural matte fibers of real leather, I knew the repair could be done.