The Inexpensive Computer Comes With Expensive Shipping Option Only

When I read about the $9 computer on Crash Bang Labs’ Facebook page, I was ready to help kick start that CHIP. But I got to the payment screen when the shipping amount came up. How much could it cost I’d thought to ship a computer smaller than a couple of AA batteries? I braced myself for an exorbitant $5. If I was American, I’d have that somewhat greedy option. No, the over-popular CHIP computer (shipping next year) comes to Canada and most of the world for $20US (19% more than CAD right now)! It’s literally twice as expensive to ship a damn computer you could fit into your mouth, or into a tiny bubble wrapped envelope, than the cost of the damn computer.

Considering I can get “free” shipping from China for a $5 item on Amazon, the $5 to ship this within the USA is a bit much already, nevermind the 4 times too costly $20 to here.

Yes, CHIP looks really cool, and would work for all sorts of projects and not suck power. It’s basically the next version of the OLPC One Laptop Per Child computer for which I spent $400, years ago to get one, and give one to a child in Mongolia. So why did I baulk at paying $29 for CHIP now? Because I’m cheap? Because I dislike consumerism and buying things just because they are trendy and cool? Because I have a smaller computer inside me already? I don’t know.

American and Canadian Food Waste Both Staggering

Here’s a very interesting and instructive blog post about American food waste.

As my last blog entry on food waste, Rob Greenfield brought the previous link to my attention. Canada’s $31,000,000,000.00/year of wasted food has to change, as does America’s “food waste fiasco“.

Regina lost one of its few grocery stores without a food wasting compactor, a couple years ago. A pickup truck’s worth of unwanted food could be going to food banks in Regina every day from each grocery store here. As long as the food isn’t spoiled, they are protected in law.

Saskatoon Riding the Coattails of History

Acknowledging that an important feature in Saskatoon was constructed by the government, then bragging that construction of a future valued feature (a wind turbine) was avoided by the government instead of an opportunity seized upon, is a repugnant attitude. People like Sandra are not leaving a better world for our children, and Stephen Harper’s grand-daughter.

Baird Gold

It’s not easy for a long-time politician to leave public life, even if they have a golden parachute.

Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails on that front, then we should seriously reconsider who’s choosing our destination.

“study finds that the main barrier to achieving those goals is a matter of politics rather than technology or economic limitations.”

“We have the tools to transition to a clean energy economy; all that’s lacking is the leadership to put them to use.”
Greg is bang on, and I’m not saying so simply because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

Given that there are about 410,000 households in Saskatchewan, we’d need about 3 Ivanpah style solar power plants to provide electricity to every home in the province. We can do it, and we should.

That’s me last year providing a real-world example of technology we could build in Saskatchewan to give every household renewable energy at a price we can afford. We can probably not afford to fail to build such a new system.


ADDED: Prebble and others show that Saskatchewan must turn to renewable energy to succeed in reforming our economy.

Premier Wall Takes Potshot at First Nations Leaders’ Pay #skpoli

The Premier said:

“It underscores the need for leadership at the local level, including — and let’s be clear — including on the part of chiefs and council,” he said.

“We also saw a report on the fact that chiefs and council in this province and right across the country get paid, as they should, for their services and some of them get paid a lot. You know, they get paid to make the decisions, to make choices on behalf of their members of their First Nation and protection and safety have to be at the top of the list.”

In response, FSIN Kimberly Jonathan sent out a press release denouncing Wall’s comments, saying they exemplified the “paternalistic approach” First Nations receive at the hands of the federal and provincial governments.

While I’ve criticized MLA pay in the past, it’s widely recognized that MLAs are not a group discriminated against by more powerful people, and are not at all systematically disadvantaged because of their culture and race. There was no need for the Premier to bring up the pay level of political leadership on reserves, because there’s no evidence it contributes to the economic situations in those communities. The Premier took a clear pot-shot at First Nations leadership, instead of extending a sincere offer to help solve the deadly problem of house fires. Clearly his instinct to badmouth First Nations people/leadership is at least as strongly ingrained as my instinct to oppose something the Premier says.

Meanwhile, The Premier gets paid to make the decisions, and protection and safety have to be at the top of his list.