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Morning Brew: Canine Augmentation Technology, Pepsi for the Children, Parole for Sale

Photo: "Money Trees" by sniderscion, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

Alex Ferworn of Ryerson University here in Toronto has won a national technology award for an invention that could be used to help rescue victims of earthquakes. His Canine Augmentation Technology puts cameras that record video and sound on nimble rescue dogs, that crawl through rubble and locate trapped survivors. Now if only we develop Contract Arbitrator Augmentation Technology to help them seek out fair union contracts within the rubble that is today's economic state, it'd be smooth sailing. Someone get on that, stat.

Metrolinx president Robert Prichard is saying that road tolls on Toronto's highways and congestion taxes are still worth discussing and that unpopular public-private partnerships may play a role in the future of our city's transit growth plans. Speaking of...

Even though obesity and diabetes is surging amongst our population, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has decided to re-sign their $0.5million contract with Pepsi-Cola and keep sugary sodas in vending machines in schools. The reason cited? The long-term effects of the artificial sweetener aspartame are unknown. Here's a wacky idea: replace the vending machines with a tap water drinking fountain.

Apparently we should be bracing for a long city union strike. The City is assuring residents that if we take our garbage to one of the specially set up garbage transfer stations, we need not be concerned about hygiene and health issues. They'll take good care of maintaining those heaps, but if you keep your own heap or dump illegally, the tune changes. Vermin and maggots will crawl into your ears while you sleep and chew away on your brain, if you have one.

Does our court system allow wealthy criminals to buy their way to early parole? Something isn't right about this arrangement. But I'd like to keep both of my kneecaps and all of my fingers, so that's all I'm sayin'.

And the Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly talking to the Atlanta Thrashers about the coveted fourth overall, 1st round draft pick they hold. Will the Leafs manage to get a young, top prospect like John Tavares in this year's draft, or will they do what's more likely and trade away what depth they do have to bring back Doug Gilmour for one more season, and hire Dan Maloney or Pat Quinn as coach again.

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