Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tax time

It is always been a busy month in February, not only it is the shortest but it packed with all these festivities like Chinese New Year, Valentine Day, and the new Family Day. But one thing that bothers me the most is the RRSP contribution deadline. Every year I will be scratching my head to figure out my contribution and the worst part is to find the money. It is very dreadful to most people as they have to decide where to put there RRSP investment. Fortunately most financial institutions are already aware of these so they let you park the money and decide later.

This year the stock market is not looking good so GIC or Bond will probably be most common choice. I always think that the people that come up with this RRSP idea is genius. It really helps the government and financial market to release a lot of pressure. Imagine all the money coming every year to support the financial market and the retired people.

So now let me finish my RRSP contribution and start filing my Tax return. By the way, QuickTax is being stingy this year. They only allow 2 returns per copy instead of 5 so beware if you are sharing with family or friends.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Car show

Originally uploaded by Unionville

After missing the car show for over 10 years, finally got a chance to go last weekend. Actually I didn't plan to go but my friend got extra ticket and I know this year they are showing the new Nissan GTR.

What's so special about the new GT-R? Mostly, the fact that it's no longer based on the Skyline platform, which underpins our current Infiniti G35 sedan and G37 coupe.
Instead, the GT-R's body and chassis are unique – not only incorporating GT-R exclusive styling but engineering elements, such as a flat underbody with ground effects, as well.

The 3.8-litre V6 engine is a new unit as well and is coupled to a brand-new sequential-shift transmission that offers paddle shifter, automatic operation and three different settings for shift speed and aggression.

It all adds up to a 485 hp package that can lap the Nurburgring racetrack faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo, according to Nissan's claims.

But the GT-R is more than just an out-and-out performance car. It's designed for high-speed touring as well. Its interior is the nicest you'll have seen in any Nissan, with real aluminum accents and a leather-covered dashboard. Fittingly, the instrumentation was designed by the Gran Turismo folks, who helped make the GT-R so famous to begin with.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar eclipse tonight Feb 21

There will a Lunar Eclipse tonight after 12am. The following video was taken last year in Hawaii.

The eclipse will begin when the moon enters the faint outer portion, or penumbra of the Earth's shadow. The penumbra, however, is all but invisible to the eye until the moon becomes deeply immersed in it. Sharp-eyed viewers may get their first glimpse of the penumbra as a delicate shading on the left part of the moon's disk about 20 minutes before the start of the partial eclipse (when the round edge of the central shadow or umbra, first touches the moon's left edge). During the partial eclipse, the penumbra should be readily visible as a dusky border to the dark umbral shadow.

The moon will enter Earth's much darker umbral shadow at 1:43 on Feb. 21 by Greenwich or Universal time, which is 8:43 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Eastern time zone, 7:43 p.m. Central time, 6:43 p.m. Mountain time and 5:43 p.m. Pacific time.
Seventy-eight minutes later the moon is entirely within the shadow, and sails on within it for 51 minutes (about average for a total lunar eclipse), until it begins to find its way out at the lower left (southeastern) edge.

The moon be completely free of the umbra by 9:09 p.m. Pacific time or 12:09 a.m. (Feb. 21) Eastern time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Battle over - Blu Ray the winner

So after 2 years of battling with Sony for the next DVD format Toshiba has announced that they will withdraw from this market. They will slower their HD-DVD player and disc production and will stop their HD-DVD business by March 2008.

Finally after the unforgettable lost for the VCR format, Sony has won this time. But I think the ultimate winners are the consumers. We can start saving our $$$ for the Blu Ray stuff since the price will drop more rapidly now that all the manufacturers can focus on one technology. Actually, I'm kind of regret that Toshiba dropped out so soon as all my old DVD collections won't be able to play on the Blu Ray player. Let's hope some manufactures will produce player that backward compatible.

iPhone competitor

Seem like Apple and Rim will have competitor on the smart phone market.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Digital photography?

Since digital cameras became main stream I rarely look at any photo album anymore. It is very cost effective and green but somehow I miss the physical photo. In the pass ten years I had cumulated thousands of photos and they were resided in various hard drives in my home computers. Actually I have hard time organizing them, I tend to save them casually everywhere among my PCs, and after I downloaded them I rarely have a chance to see them again.

Lately I’m using online site to post my photos so family and friends can share, but still very tedious. Usually, there are some post processing need to be done. For one, I like to take my picture in RAW mode so at least I have to convert them to more common format like JPEG before I can post them. While I was doing that I usually found the color or the composition were not that desirable so ended up spent time touching up the photos. This is not a simple exercise, even though there are lots of software out there that can help but it is always depend on personal preference and experience. At the end of the day it took me hours and hours before I could get it done.

I know this is the norm but sometime I hope I can just find a store to develop all my photos professionally and I don’t mind paying a little bit more. Hm…may be I can open a business to do this…:)

The Case for a Creator

I'm reading a book called 'The Case for a Creator' by Lee Strobel. It is quite interesting the author was an atheist journalist and after interviewed with many scientists and scholars he found many scientific evidences that support a creator for this universe.

Lee revealed some of the myths and discrepancies discovered in Darwinism, and lots of thrilling discoveries from cosmology, cellular biology, DNA research, astronomy, physics, and human consciousness that present astonishing evidence.

This is by far one of a most interesting book that I’ve read and I strongly recommend it. If there is a Creator what should we do to get to know Him?