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Tuesday July 19, 2022
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Of all the super heroes, we think the Wonder Twins might just be the most intriguing because their super power actually gives them unlimited super powers!

Think about it. Zan can turn into water in any state, and Jayna can become any animal. The possibilities are limitless. And it all starts with touch. 

That's not news to Dacher Keltner of the University of California. He's been researching touch for more than 15 years and says that after a couple years of pandemic 'hands off', it's important to remember that humans need touch to hone other senses. And to be, well, human. 

Now if you're thinking you'd like to achieve superhuman status, we're not sure we can help but you might start with this little chant. 

Shape of a lion, form of a cloud ;)
IN THE NEWS
Patrick Brown seeks re-election
Source: Twitter/@CTVNews
The embattled former candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada officially declared his intention to run for re-election as mayor of Brampton.

Patrick Brown made the announcement with his wife, children, and city supporters by his side, essentially ruling out any hope that he will be allowed back into the federal leadership race.

Brown was removed by the party's leadership election organizing committee two weeks ago for allegedly hiring a volunteer to work on his campaign who was simultaneously being paid by an unnamed corporation.

He insists the allegations are false and were manufactured by the party in order to create the pretext for disqualifying him.

“Unfortunately the Conservative Party did not want to have a free and fair election. We’re pursuing legal options to make sure what was done is exposed," he said.

Brown endorsed Jean Charest and Scott Aitchison during his announcement, saying both candidates share his vision for an inclusive party.

While he enters the Brampton race as the incumbent, he faces stiff opposition from half of city council, some of which have already tried and failed to remove him as mayor.
SCAM
Illegal rooming houses
Source: Oksana Kravchuk
Saeed Aldairi and Melissa Tulshi each rented houses in Etobicoke in November and within just a couple weeks, both had illegally constructed rooms in the basement and rented them out to international students.

The landlords had no idea this was going on until an inspection was conducted, revealing seven additional rooms and nine beds within the houses, just down the street from one another.

Text messages and bank documents revealed that Tulshi had rented one room with a single bed to a student from India named Surya Sriramula, along with his friend, where each paid $450 a month.

As it stands, the landlords of each house, who did not know each other prior to the discovery of the small-time criminal enterprise, have jointly filed papers with the Landlord-Tenant Board. They claim to be owed a combined $120,000 in rent, property damage, utilities, and legal fees.

Aldairi and Tulshi have apparently stopped living at each property, but continue to run each as rooming homes, collecting rent from unsuspecting students. 

They have also filed counter claims with the LTB, alleging their landlords have slandered them, illegally entered their homes, and denied them reasonable enjoyment of property. They're seeking $61,300.
CONSUMER
More free money
Source: unsplash.com
Several consumer electronics companies, including Samsung Toshiba, Pioneer, Sony, and Panasonic engaged in price fixing of optical disk drives (ODD) between 2004 and 2010, and are now settling a class-action lawsuit to make up for it.

ODD were found in things like DVD players, video game consoles, walkmans, computers, and other disc-holding devices. If you purchased one between 2004 and 2010, you can claim $20 in the class-action lawsuit without any supporting documents.

"Proof of purchase is not required because we would expect that most Canadians would have purchased those items during the roughly six-year period. We wanted to make it an easy claims process," said Linda Visser, a partner at the firm suing the companies involved.

The suit is being settled for $29.7 million, and claimants have until Nov.14 to make their claim. The defendants agreed to settle the case prior to the discovery of just how much prices were inflated through the anticompetitive activities they partook in.

The scheme was discovered during an antitrust investigation conducted by the U.S. Justice Department, which yielded several fines and penalties.
CLIMATE
Countries suing countries?
Source: pexels.com
On the topic of lawsuits, climate scholars and legal experts are wondering if it's feasible for one country to sue another for damages inflicted by the defendant's carbon emissions.

A new study conducted by Dartmouth College looked into who the biggest contributors to climate change really are, and found that a small number of nations emitted most of the carbon between 1990 and 2014.

Nikki Reisch, climate and energy program director for the Center for International Environmental Law, says that the complexities of climate change and international law couldn't possibly allow for any lawsuit to be based on a single study.

She does think the study is important, though, saying that it illustrates the lopsidedness of who and what contributes to climate change, and how often those with lesser blame end up paying the biggest price.

The U.S., for example, cost Mexico US$79.5 billion during the time frame the study looked at, and gained US$247.2 while its emissions drifted into Canada.

No lawsuit is likely to ever be filed by one country against another, especially given the diplomatic ramifications of doing so. However, the study illustrates that while collective action is important, some are, to borrow from George Orwell, more equal than others.
TRAVEL TUESDAYS
New York state of mind
Source: marinetraffic.com
It's hard to think of a more scenic route from Toronto to New York than on the Viking Cruise along the St. Lawrence River and down the east coast of the United States via the Atlantic Ocean.

The 13-day voyage will cost you $11,695 at minimum, and while it will take much longer than any flight could be delayed, your journey will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in this part of the country. 

The luxury cruise makes its first stop in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, where passengers can disembark to take in the beautiful historic sites of one of Canada's oldest cities.

It then travels further down the river to Sept-Îles and Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec, both of which allow passengers to take in the wildlife and enjoy some fishing or bird and seal watching.

Next up is Charlottetown, P.E.I., where you can visit the farmhouse that inspired Anne of Green Gables, followed by a stop in Halifax, N.S.

That's it for pit stops. The last day of the cruise will be spent on the great big sea, with the ship sailing down the Atlantic to arrive in the city that never sleeps.
INNOVATION
JetBlue tests hydrogen fuel
Source: Universal Hydrogen
Universal Hydrogen is a company experimenting with aircraft that are powered by hydrogen alone.

It's a technology that could mean big changes for the aviation industry, given its current total reliance on fossil fuels for planes to get from A to B.

JetBlue became the first airline to invest in the company a year ago, and this week, Universal Hydrogen will unveil its first prototype for a plane fuelled completely by hydrogen. The company hopes to begin test flights in the United States later this year.

Hydrogen is an ideal candidate for replacing jet fuel, not just because of its carbon-neutral upside, but because of its efficiency.

The team expect the test plane, known as the ATR-72-600, will not only match the distance capability of a jet fuel powered aircraft of the same size, but possibly even exceed it.

The hydrogen fuel cells are filled with light hydrogen, meaning the plane has to do less work, and can therefore potentially stay in the air longer.
ODDITIES
When life gives you crabs, make whiskey
Source: Jennifer Bakos
The green crab is one of the most successfully invasive species in North America's marine wildlife.

They hitched rides on European ships in the early 1800s, and can eat up to 40 pounds of muscles a day, despite being half the size of a human hand on average.

Tamworth Distilling in New Hampshire has decided to do the not-so-unthinkable, taking these little clappers and turning them into whiskey.

Will Robinson, the product developer for the distillery says he knows at least three quarters of the people who hear about Tamworth's Crab Trapper whiskey will be staunchly opposed to the idea. But he also knows that anyone who inevitably agrees to try it will change their mind fast.

It's made with mustard seeds, coriander, cinnamon, and a bourbon base, after going through a stringent scientific process to break down the crab into stock.

Marine biologists say that one distillery does not a solution make, but if enough people see the innovative ways by which the green crab invasion is being curtailed, it could be the start of getting the problem under control.
FUN
A course for adventure
That story about the cruise to the Big Apple got you dreaming? What better way to put you in a boating state of mind than playing a little Love Boat trivia!
Have a great day ahead Staker!

Today's edition was written by Michael Cowan and Maureen Norman
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