Friday, December 28, 2012

Signs of the times

• The cat sanctuary in Ottawa, a hold-over from the days when cats worked as mousers on Parliament Hill, was once home to as many as 30 strays, but is now down to just four feline residents as chemical-based rodent control methods put the cats out of work.

New software tells business owners the time each employee arrived, their total productive time for the day, their overall efficiency, and their ranking relative to other employees. The idea is to encourage workers to compete for a higher ranking in order to boost productivity, but employees may not warm to the idea of being monitored.

• Ontario and Quebec ski resorts may benefit from global warming, as more than half of their competitors in the U.S. northeast may become unviable by 2039, according to a University of Waterloo study to be published next year.

• More than 7,400 Canada Post employees, including 23 members of the senior management team, received performance bonuses for their work last year, even though the crown corporation lost $327 million.

• An Ontario teacher warned her unruly students that they would “spend time with a pedophile,” and if their behaviour got worse it “would be without Vaseline.”

• European food safety officials have notified Canadian slaughterhouses that the meat of American racehorses, killed and packed in Canada for the European market, is too toxic for human consumption because the animals have been repeatedly injected with drugs to keep them racing. [Source: New York Times]

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