New Blog Header Photo

It had been a long time since I updated the photo at the top of this blog, so it seemed like an appropriate time to do so.

The image depicts a winding road stretching into the distance, flanked by trees on either side. The road, which appears wet and slick, is shown in a black-and-white color scheme, highlighting the contrast between the dark trees and the lighter road surface. Telephone poles and power lines run alongside the road, which gently curves through a wooded area, creating a serene and slightly desolate atmosphere. The surrounding trees are a mix of evergreens and deciduous trees, some of which have lost their leaves, suggesting late autumn or early spring. The sky is overcast, adding to the monochromatic and moody ambiance of the scene.

This photo was actually a test photo, taken from a moving car with a new camera I have. I was testing how good the vibration reduction in the camera was, and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised!

I was also testing the built-in black and white mode, which I’m still experimenting with. It seems the black and white filtering varies depending on which camera mode the camera is set to. (I use aperture priority, manual, and automatic most often.) That might be the subject of another blog post.

Photo details: Nikon Zf in B&W mode, Nikon 17-55 f/2.8G DX (crop) lens set to 55mm, Nikon FTZ-II lens adapter, 1/250s at f/5.6, ISO 125.

Unveiling ACSE-K8: An Innovative Email List for Ontario’s K-8 Educators in Coding and Technology

Welcome to the latest addition to Ontario’s educational landscape—ACSE-K8, an interactive, private email list designed exclusively for K-8 educators. Whether you’re teaching in public or private schools, or you’re a consultant in this field, ACSE-K8 offers a unique platform to integrate coding into your classrooms.

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Favourite Cover of The Highwayman?

Shhh… I’ll let you in on a little secret: one of my favorite songs is a country tune, not the hard rock or metal I usually listen to. Many of you might know it from the supergroup that included Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson.

Originally written and performed by Jimmy Webb, the song quietly lingered until The Highwaymen—as they were known—brought it into the spotlight. Their rendition highlighted the profound lyrics through their distinct voices and characters that made it a timeless classic.

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Programming Challenge: Array and Loop Manipulation (Intermediate)

This image is an illustration featuring a stylized scene with a central magnifying glass focused on a number 5 on a cube. The magnifying glass has a classic design with a blue tinted glass and a beige handle. Surrounding the magnifying glass are multiple cubes with numbers and mathematical symbols on their faces. The cubes have different numerical values such as 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, with mathematical operations next to them like "+4," "-2," "x4," and "?". Arrows around the cubes suggest movement or rearrangement, implying a dynamic or interactive aspect to the puzzle-like setting. The overall color scheme is warm with a monochromatic tan background that complements the blue and white of the cubes. The image could be interpreted as a metaphor for problem-solving, analysis, or mathematics, as it appears to represent a numerical puzzle or game being examined or solved.

Challenge Description:

You are provided with a list of n non-negative integers. Your task is to write a program that performs the following operations:

  1. Query Mode:
    • The program should first ask the user if they want to perform queries or updates: Enter 'Q' for query and 'U' for update.
    • If the user enters Q, prompt them to enter a range [l, r] (1-based index) and then output the sum of elements from index l to r inclusive.
  2. Update Mode:
    • If the user enters U, prompt them to enter an index i (1-based index) and a value v. Update the element at index i by adding v to it (this is an increment operation, not set).
    • After each update, print the new full array.

The challenge is designed to teach basic array manipulations and looping constructs, with a focus on handling user inputs and performing range queries and updates efficiently.

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Toronto’s Lane Filtering Proposal: Where Do We Stand?

A dynamic daytime traffic scene on a multi-lane highway, viewed from behind a motorcyclist engaged in lane splitting. The motorcyclist, in clear focus, wears a black helmet, black jacket, white gloves, and light-colored pants, navigating skillfully between lanes. Surrounding vehicles include a mix of cars and a pickup truck, with urban buildings and a clear blue sky in the background, capturing the essence of rush-hour congestion.

In 2018, Toronto toyed with a concept that sparked interest among motorcyclists and raised eyebrows among the city’s drivers: lane filtering. This maneuver, which allows motorcyclists to weave between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, promised a smoother ride for two-wheelers and posed questions about road safety and traffic flow. Fast forward to today, and many are left wondering, what ever happened to that proposal? Let’s revisit the facts and ponder the current state of lane filtering in Toronto.

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🌿 Ethical Wildlife Photography: A Guide 📸

This is a vibrant and fantastical illustration showing a photographer, kneeling with their camera on a tripod, capturing the serene beauty of an enchanted forest. The scene is drenched in sunlight filtering through the canopy, illuminating an array of flora and fauna. Several species of animals are depicted in harmony, including deer, rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, and various birds, some in flight and others perched by the water. The flowing creek adds a sense of tranquility, with fish visible beneath the surface. This magical setting is bursting with color, from the lush green trees to the richly colored flowers and moss-covered stones. Butterflies flit in the air, adding to the fairytale ambiance. The composition invokes a sense of wonder and the richness of untouched nature through ethical photography.

The Ontario Parks blog post discusses the importance of ethical wildlife photography, highlighting seven common issues photographers should avoid, such as baiting wildlife, trampling off-trail, damaging habitats, introducing non-native species, unsafe roadside manners, following wildlife too closely, and using recordings to attract animals. It emphasizes respect for nature and the need to minimize impact while capturing the beauty of wildlife and landscapes, encouraging photographers to practice responsible behavior to protect the environment and its inhabitants.

Read more here.

US Sues Apple in Landmark iPhone Monopoly Lawsuit

The Department of Justice (DOJ), supported by 15 states and the District of Columbia, has filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, accusing the tech giant of monopolistic practices in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The lawsuit highlights Apple’s dominance in the U.S. smartphone market, where it holds over 65% of the total market and more than 70% of the performance smartphone segment. It attributes Apple’s significant net income, which surpasses the GDP of over 100 countries, largely to the success of its iPhone product line.

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