One of the funnier ads from the last Super Bowl was from a nut company who encouraged you to eat their product mid-afternoon to keep you alert, keeping Robert Goulet from messing with your stuff.
Well, it will have to be keeping the ghost of Goulet away from here on out, since he passed on yesterday. He had an interesting pedigree; born in the US to Canadian-rooted parents, his family moved back to Canada during his teens, where he made a name as a radio announcer, singer and actor before getting recruited back stateside to play Lancelot in Camelot on Broadway.
Speaking of ghosts, it's Halloween, and the costumes are out in force on campus. One of my colleagues brought in an Optimus Prime voice-changing helmet and asked if she should do her lecture with it on.
"At least a part" was my reply. However, I'm not above lecturing in character, like I did a few weeks ago as a robot flight attendant as we covered a Managerial Econ question regarding an airline; the cost per flight were the same for a freight flight as a passenger flight, so I wondered if they had robot flight attendants.
"Would..you..like... coffee..tea..soda..or..pop..or what.. the.. rednecks down.. south... call ...'Coke'."....
I wound up staying in character for the remainder of the problem-
"With .. the freight.. run..., we make 26 thousand.. with a fifth ...passenger run..., we make 25 thousand... even ignorant... humans ...can see...that 26.. is greater.. than 25."
Interesting political gamesmanship up north. The Canadians are running a budget surplus, so the Conservative government is proposing a 1% cut in the federal GST sales tax effective January 1, along with bigger zero bracket on income taxes, a 0.5% cut in the bottom tax bracket and a corporate income tax rate cut.
Just about everything but the corporate tax cut will sell well with swing voters, so the Liberals aren't going to be the Grinch who Stole the Tax Cut and bring the government down over the issue. They're planing on abstaining, allowing the Tories to pass the bill; the Conservatives have more seats than the BQ and the NDP combined, so they command a majority if the Liberals opt out of a vote.
The Liberals are in the position the Chinese are often in on the Security Council, abstaining from a vote where they don't like the issue but don't want to create a stink by vetoing it. A winter election over a GST cut wouldn't go over well.
Here's an interesting economic question. If you knew sales taxes were going down by 1% after the first of the year, might you opt for more gift cards for Christmas that can be redeemed after New Years with 1% more bang for the buck?
That might tend to depress Christmas sales a bit this year. Maybe not that much, but enough to make a dent with Canadian retailers.