Amazing TTC Driver

Today I was taking the TTC Streetcar. For those who don’t know, TTC stands for Toronto Transit Commission. The streetcar is similar to cable cars in San Francisco! So we never hear anything nice about the TTC drivers, it’s ALWAYS negative, but today I had a wonderful experience and thought I’d blog about it! Let me describe my journey in as much detail as possible!

Right before the streetcar took off from the station, the driver rang the bell to notify people that were walking towards the streetcar that he was leaving! I know that this gesture seems very minor and small, but a good handful of people made it into the streetcar without having the door slam right before them! I’ve witnessed many times when streetcar drivers just close the door because it was time to take off, but this was one of those rare times where they didn’t!

As the streetcar was taking it’s usual route, the driver says “Good evening everyone.” A single person near the front of the streetcar replied back with a whisper, “Good evening.” The driver wholeheartedly replied back to that single person with a “Good evening to you too. Now let’s try that again. Good evening everybody!” Now this time, I’d say about 50% of the streetcar replied back with enthusiasm, “Good evening!” Some even said “Good evening Mr. TTC Driver!” What a way to cheer people up after a long day of work! It doesn’t just end here!

As we continue going through the stops, he cracks a joke. “What’s black and white and smells like a cow?” The streetcar was silent for a moment until someone finally replies, “A cow.” The streetcar driver: “That’s the right answer!” I personally thought the answer was zebra when he asked…thankfully I didn’t shout out my answer or I would’ve been so embarrassed! He then says, “Common, it wasn’t that bad of a joke was it?!” Everyone laughs!

He cracks a few more jokes that I wished I remembered! I blame my sleepiness! But the jokes were just as awful as the first one, but they would’ve made you smile!

When we were approaching a stop, he instructs us, “Everybody, say ‘Good evening!’ when I cough!” When the next batch of people got onto the streetcar, you hear the driver cough over the intercom, followed by “Good Evening!” A bunch of people giggled at this point! It must’ve came as a great surprise to the people getting onto the streetcar!

Shortly after that, Mr. TTC driver here says, “at the next stop, everybody sing ‘Jingle Bells, Batman Smells’ everybody ready?” Unfortunately at this point, I got off the streetcar! But I did hear someone sing the beginning of that Christmas carol!

I just wanted to share my wonderful experience with a TTC driver that was super friendly and funny! When people were getting off the streetcar, a lot of them said “Good evening Mr. TTC Driver” or “Good evening!” This TTC driver was definitely fantastic! I know it’s one TTC driver out of 999 billion drivers, but one can make a difference! I hope you guys come across amazing public transit drivers as well!

 

*Note: Despite the conversation being embedded in quotation marks, they may or may not be direct quotations from the driver/people. There may have been some paraphrasing because my memory is only so good on a Tuesday evening!

Stop Webcam Child Sex Tourism – Sweetie

Credit: Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Credit: Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

I am pretty sure a lot of you have come across a more or less viral video about a 10 year old Philippino girl by the name of Sweetie. She is not a real girl, she is created from the advanced technology of our world today; used to trick and catch pedophiles from all around the world IN THE ACT of pedophilia and child exploitation! This is of course a wonderful and genius idea! According to the video that I will eventually be linking to this post, hundreds of thousands (750 000) of pedophiles are online at any given moment! However, only 6 have been caught… While Sweetie is talking to the pedophile, the Terre Des Homme is tracking the predator using pieces of information provided through the chat. The predators often think they’re safe because they’re hiding behind a computer and using fake information for their accounts. However, they are able to use google, facebook, and other social media to track them down! They’ve managed to catch 1 000 by November 4, 2013! This video was made to bring awareness to this growing problem and to provide a solution for it. At the end of the video, it asks you to sign a petition to help create new policies and laws around the world to stop pedophilia.

My Thoughts

I love this idea. I think the world needs to be aware, but I feel like there could have been some things left out of the video. I saw this video on facebook, the Chinese News, and various other sites linking to it. I have labelled this video – viral. When a video goes viral, we all know what that means. Everyone has seen or heard about the video and its contents. Now that they’ve made a video of their successful “Sweetie” and publicized that they’ve caught 1 000 people on public chats with a computer model; a good chunk, if not most of their targeted pedophiles will now be aware of this. Now they’ve seen how “Sweetie” looks and will now stay up-to-date with the new policies and laws (if they’re made). The predators will now be extra careful online. Since they also exposed how they use pieces of information provided through conversation to find them through Google and other online outlets, the predators (with the knowledge of baiting), will now be extra careful in providing personal information, making it harder to track them.

I personally think they provided too much information on HOW they’re tracking down online pedophiles. They could have focused on the actual problem and how successful it has been vs. what they’re doing to catch them. I mean sure, they can probably just make another computer model by a different name since they showed how Sweetie looks, but now they just gave themselves more work. Time wasted hunting these people down. I already mentioned that HOW they provided how they identified predators kind of gave them a weaker stance because now people know to be extra careful. Bottom line is, I think that the idea and success of what they’re doing is wonderful, but maybe they could have left some of the more important details out and still have lots of people sign their petition. They simply could have just contacted the important people/groups of the world PRIVATELY and pitched that online child exploitation is indeed a problem and show their stats/model to them. They essentially pointed out an issue and provided a solution, I don’t see why major governments would ignore this solution since the outcome has been hugely successful.

These are my 2 cents, I hope no one thinks I’m against this! I just feel that they could have kept it private and continued catching online pedophiles without giving the rest of the internet world pedophiles such a huge warning. If you’re clean, you have nothing to hide right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGmKmVvCzkw#t=138

What are your thoughts on this?

Canadian Shipping Costs

Today is the first time I will be shipping anything to anywhere. My sister recently shipped a small package (larger and heavier than mine) to Australia for $11. I figured shipping within Canada must be less than that especially since my package is only 1/8th the size of her package! To my surprise, shipping within Canada is ridiculous! Here I am, thinking shipping from Toronto to Vancouver would be less than $5.

Let me describe the item dimensions of the package I will be shipping. It is roughly 8cm x 6cm x 7cm. It weighs a little less than 0.09kg (85g). When I did my estimate on various delivery services, I got a range of $14-$35 and that was their cheapest delivery cost! The item itself is only a few dollars! Broke my heart a little ┬áto find out that it’ll cost me 3x the cost of the item to ship the package! Has anyone else underestimated postal/delivery costs?

Here is a picture of my package with a pen beside it for comparison!

Package