Tag: companies

The Amazon Prime Air Drone. Image: Chris Demorro
Lighter News

Amazon Testing “Octocopters” For Half-Hour Delivery Times (But Not Anytime Soon)

Lots of people buy books and products from Amazon, an online seller.

They order and pay over the Internet and the books are shipped through the mail or a delivery service like FedEx.

One day, people could get their Amazon deliveries from an “unmanned aerial vehicle” — a tiny flying vehicle that looks like a toy helicopter.

And instead of waiting days to get the parcel, it could be at the buyer’s home in half an hour or less.

The company is working on a fleet of tiny vehicles they call “Prime Air.”

The vehicles are also known as “octocopters.”

Image: Fredrik Rubensson
Environment Science

Pollution Shuts Down Chinese City

The air pollution was so bad in Harbin, in China, on October 21 that the city was forced to close roads and schools, and to cancel hundreds of flights from its airport.

News reports said the smog (a mixture of smoke and fog) was so thick that people couldn’t see more than 10 or 20 metres in front of them.

According to unofficial reports, people could not even see the person standing next to them.

The city’s website said: “You can’t see your own fingers in front of you.”

Residents said there was a “burning” smell in the air.

Many people covered their noses and mouths with scarves or masks.

The pollution was blamed on several factors.

Image: Adrian Scottow
News

Toronto Landmark, Honest Ed’s, Has Been Sold

A Toronto landmark has been sold to a builder in Vancouver.

Honest Ed’s discount store, at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst, will close down in two to three years.

Since 1948, the store has grown to take up almost a whole block.

Over the years, the decorations all over the building have become more and more extravagant.

The public can see the store’s neon signs and colourful lights from two blocks away.

The founder of Honest Ed’s was Ed Mirvish.

Image: Ssolbergj
News Politics

Canada Makes A New Trade Deal With The EU

Canada has a new deal with the European Union. The agreement is expected to increase the amount of trade between Canada and many countries in Europe.

Trade, in this case, is when one country buys something from another country and vice-versa.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said the new deal could increase trade by 20 per cent, beginning in 2015, and add $12-billion to Canada’s income (the money it makes) each year.

The new trade deal is called CETA, which stands for Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

It is expected to create 80,000 new jobs in Canada.

Canada and the European Union have been working on the new trade deal for the past four years.

Canada’s largest trading partner is the United States, but increased trade with other partners is good so Canada is not as dependent on any single country.

News

Factory Conditions, Wages Improving In Bangladesh

Things appear to be changing for the better for people who work in clothing factories in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a small country in south-east Asia.

About four million people there work in clothing factories, cutting and sewing clothes. A lot of the clothing they make is sold in stores in North America.

Most of the factory workers in Bangladesh earn much less than workers who do similar jobs in North America. Often they work long hours, and many of them work in unsafe conditions.

Recently there was an accident involving workers in a clothing factory near Bangladesh’s capital city, Dhaka. Many workers were injured or killed.

Clown, Cirque du Soleil; image: Camirand; costume: Dominique Lemieux
Arts News

Cirque Du Soleil Lays Off 400 Employees

Some of Cirque du Soleil’s performers will soon have their feet on the ground.

That’s because the fantastical circus company is laying off 400 employees.

Cirque employs about 5,000 people around the world, doing more than 100 types of jobs including performing.

Most of the lay-offs will be at the organization’s Montreal headquarters, according to an article in the Globe and Mail.

Cirque du Soleil is a famous Canadian performing troupe. According to Wikipedia, they describe themselves as “a dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.”

They were founded by two former street performers, Guy Laliberte and Gilles Ste-Croix, about 30 years ago.

Environment News Science

Scientists Criticize Iron-Dumping Experiment

Scientists around the world have criticized a group of Canadians for dumping more than 100 tonnes of iron dust into the Pacific Ocean last summer.

The group, called the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, is supported by the village of Old Massett, British Columbia.

About 700 people live in the village, which is located on the Haida Gwaii islands.

They used to make their living by fishing for salmon, but now there are not enough salmon and 70 per cent of the villagers don’t have jobs.

Last July, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation paid $2.5 million to an American businessman named Russ George to dump a mixture of iron sulphate and iron oxide dust into the ocean about 370 kilometres west of the islands.

They hoped the iron would cause more plankton to grow in that part of the Pacific.

They believed that more plankton would help increase the number of salmon in the area.

Lighter Technology

It’s Fun To Work (And Play) At Google

Everyone wants to work somewhere that’s interesting and fun.

The people at Google have taken that concept to an extreme.

Their new Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Ont. have some features that make everyone want to come to work.

Google is the Internet’s most popular search engine (the software program that helps you find websites you’re looking for).

The company also makes many other software products such as Google Maps and Google Chrome.

Google also owns many Internet companies including YouTube and Blogger.

Lighter

What’s In A Meme? Ikea Monkey Goes Viral

Who knows why something “catches on” through the Internet?

Somehow it sparks the collective imagination and before you know it, it’s gone “viral.”

That’s what happened last week with the “Ikea monkey.”

Bronwyn Page was in an Ikea (furniture store) parking lot in North York, Ont. on Dec. 9 when she saw something unusual.

A little brown monkey wearing a diaper and a tiny, expensive-looking coat.

AC Boeing 777
News

Air Canada Flight Makes A Detour To Locate A Stranded Yacht

Picture this. You’re on a plane, flying from Vancouver, B.C. to Sydney, Australia.

You’re flying over the Pacific Ocean. For the last 12 hours, your flight has been perfectly uneventful.

And then suddenly the captain’s voice comes over the plane’s speakers.

There is a boat in distress, the captain explains. And the plane is going to change course in order to help look for it.

That’s exactly what happened to 270 passengers on board Air Canada flight AC033 last Monday.

The captain was told there was a “vessel in distress” somewhere in the Tasman Sea, which is between Australia and New Zealand.

A yacht with one person aboard had left Sydney, Australia, about two weeks earlier. It had lost its mast, was very low on fuel and had been drifting.