Layman's Lens

Life is beautiful.

Archive for June 2010


with one comment

The hospital is on Lake Ramsey which used to hold the record for being the largest lake within the limits of any one city until in 2001 when the City of Greater Sudbury was created and now lake Wanapitei holds the title...

My mom and I standing in from of the hospital in Sudbury where I was born. It used to be called the General Hospital. I understand it is slated to be torn down.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Sudbury


with one comment

The protest really would have been better for everyone if it had been sunny. Raincheck?

One of the street car drivers decided to get out and wait out the protest on Saturday morning at Queens Park. Everything was still peaceful up to this point. The hoodlums revealed themselves later.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

Posted in G20

Seen and Heard

with 7 comments

Boomboxes making a comeback?

After the 1997 APEC summit in Vancover, a Canadian judge concluded that in the future “A generous opportunity will be afforded for peaceful protesters to see and be seen in their protest activities by guests to the event…”.

Peaceful protesters have the right to be seen and heard. It is a shame that the destructive acts of a few hundred destructive hoodlums have drowned out  thousands of constructive peaceful voices at the G8/G20. Don’t let anarchist mayhem overshadow messages of peaceful demonstrators.

I’ve heard many imply that demonstrators don’t  know what they’re protesting, or even if they do, there’s not much point in protesting because it won’t change things. I disagree with both these statements:

What are you even protesting against?

I can’t speak for others, but here are 3 messages I wanted world leaders to know about when I joined the protest on Saturday:

1. Foreign control of Canadian resources is dangerous because foreign companies can’t be expected to treat our workers with respect.

Nickel workers have been on strike in my hometown of Sudbury for nearly a year. Inco was bought by a Brazilian company Vale in 2006. Since then Vale closed mines and have cut 900 jobs. The contract dispute is the result of Vale wanting to cut pensions and benefits because “…Sudbury is among the company’s highest-cost operations…”

In the past, contract disputes were resolved by compromise. Vale shows no willingness to compromise and will likely wait out striking workers until operations can be brought back online using replacement workers or until the union eventually gives into their demands. There is nothing to stop Vale from imposing further benefit/pay cuts either.

2. The G8/G20 countries must stop breaking promises to support people with HIV/AIDS in Africa

In 2005, the G8 promised universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2010. They will fall US$7 billion short of this  target. Not only will they not make good on their past promises, now the G8 will be further cutting back its funding over the next 3 years.

3. Water must be declared as a fundamental human right

The World Bank required the Bolivian government to privatize it’s water supply in Cochabamba in order to receive funding. The government complied and the cost of water shot up as a result and it became illegal to even collect rain water. Some were spending more than a 1/4 of their wages to buy water. It is unethical to limit anyone’s access to water in this way.

Protests can work

The case of water privatization also shows how protests can work. It was only after citizens of Cochabamba took to the streets that the Bolivian government backed down.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Posted in G20

G20 Street Furniture

leave a comment »

Adds a trashy twist to the draconian lockdown...

Garbage bins have been removed near the security zone for the G20 along with newspaper boxes, benches, bus shelters and even small trees.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

Posted in G20


leave a comment »

Must be hard to run in all that gear...

I’ve never seen so many police in one place – all decked out with riot helmets and gas masks. There’s a quiet eerie mood in the security zone near Union station as the G20 gets underway. The police officers seem to be having a good time though.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Posted in G20

Wi-Fi Bunnies

with one comment

There were three tables of bunnies like this at the show all dancing/singing together...

Dancing, singing Wi-Fi bunnies performing as part of Luminato in the distillery district.

Apparently these bunnies can read your emails to you out loud...

You can get your own Wi-Fi bunny for only $114.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Posted in luminato

Big Bens

with 2 comments

So much more economical to use photos as souvenirs.

I never buy souvenirs but I love going into souvenir shops.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Posted in UK

Restricted Visibilty

with one comment

It's like the Leonard Nimoy quote: "Those who cannot hear an angry shout may strain to hear a whisper"...but for signs...

Take care reading this sign…

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Sign


with 4 comments

Cost is 12000 Euro...yikes.

We got a demo of a robot today. His name is Nao (pronounced ‘now’).

He can pick himself up off the floor…

…and even dance. He is made by a French company called Aldebaran.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 15, 2010 at 9:48 am

Posted in robot

Square Dancing

leave a comment »

The most interesting vanity plate I've ever seen was ti3vom. You have to imagine seeing it in the rear view mirror.

I learned how to square dance at a wedding a couple of weeks ago. Great fun. This car was in the parking lot outside and we assumed it was the square dance caller’s license plate. You gotta do what you love.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 14, 2010 at 10:39 am

Posted in License plate

World Cup

with 3 comments

The Toronto Star titled their world cup blog: 'Two guys one cup'. Gross. ""

Terrible news today that Nelson Mandela’s great grand daughter Zenani was killed in a car accident last night on the way home from the opening concert. This event had the ability to again bring together the host country just as the World Rugby Cup did in 1995 shortly after Mandela became president.

(The South African rugby team was seen as the underdog there too, but ended up becoming champions. What a story. Nelson Mandela enlisted the rugby team to keep the country from tearing itself apart. If anyone hasn’t seen Invictus – go see it now. I can’t believe it didn’t get an Oscar.)

I wonder how many more people will be able to watch the World Cup this time around now that it’s available streaming online.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 11, 2010 at 10:10 am

Posted in World Cup

British Library

with one comment

But, if libraries become extinct, where will we turn for free internet access on road trips?

What will the library of the future will look like? Or will there even be libraries in the future?  Some have predicted libraries will become extinct in 2019. Others believe the goal should be to make the library more of an “urban hangout, meeting place and arbiter of information” as most expect books to become increasingly digitized.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

Posted in Library, UK

Adventure before dementia

with one comment

I'm making this my new motto...

What a great shirt. Europeans have great shirts.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Posted in UK


leave a comment »

Signs, signs everywhere are signs. Blocking out the scenery,  breaking my mind. Do this, don't do that. Can't you read the sign? - one  of my favorite songs

How many is too many? At what point does adding another warning actually make it less likely that someone will read anything? I can’t stand it when someone says ” … can’t you read the sign?!” This is one of my favorite songs.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

Posted in UK


leave a comment »

Once in a while he would lift stamp one foot loudly and march a few steps and scare the crap out of everyone...

A stoic guard at Windsor castle.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 7, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Posted in UK, Uncategorized

Video of the chainsaw bike

leave a comment »

Here’s a video of Matthew demonstrating how his bike works.

Don’t try this at home…

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 5, 2010 at 7:39 am

Posted in Chainsaw bike

Chainsaw Bike

leave a comment »

He looks so proud...Tonya’s cousin Matthew showed us his new bike.

It's a pretty ingenous set up...He and a friend modified it to include a chainsaw as a drive motor.

Those look sharp...The problem is that they retained the original sharp chainsaw chain.

Matthew told me he wore 2 shin guards on his one leg in case of a spill...There’s a good chance of doing damage to your leg in the case of an accident.

I think this is from a lawnmower...They even added a throttle control.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 4, 2010 at 8:10 am

Posted in Chainsaw bike


with one comment

I think the cave goes for a full kilometre underground...

When I heard there was a cave in Buxton, I expected the kind of thing we find in Ontario where you have to crawl on your belly to move around. Turns out it was a real cave. It’s called Poole’s Cavern. Apparently Poole was an outlaw that hid out in this cave with his posse.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Posted in UK


with 2 comments

This bridge was actually quite bouncy...I found this bridge near my hotel at Canary Wharf in London. I like asymmetric bridges.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

Posted in bridge, UK

24 Hour Advice

leave a comment »

I wonder if they'd give advice to travellers stranded due to the volcano...I saw this in Manchester. Good idea. I wonder how many people make use of it and how useful the information is. Perhaps I should have tried it out.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 1, 2010 at 10:07 am

Posted in UK