Archive for August 20, 2017

The Great Canadian Road Trip: Part 2 – Quebec City To Moncton

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 20, 2017 by itnerd

Upon leaving Quebec city, we set off for Moncton NB. This is a drive that should have taken just over 6 hours. But we came across some trouble in the form a transport truck that went into the ditch:


By the time we arrived at the scene of the accident, we were able to watch it being flipped back onto its wheels and being pulled out of the ditch. Or as my wife put it, it looked like something out of the TV show Heavy Rescue 401.

But fortunately for us, the scenery was great as per these shots from the Nikon COOLPIX W300 camera:

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Since we entered Quebec, we’ve been seeing signs like these:


My wife really wants to see a moose. But I have no interest in that as places like Newfoundland warn motorists to be wary about moose since people tend to get killed in moose car collisions.

When we finally arrived in Moncton, we stayed at Chateau Moncton which was a very nice place according to my wife:

When we arrived at Chateau Moncton the staff greeted us and just pulled up my name and reservation before I even finished digging up my printed hard copy. They were efficient and accommodated any reasonable ask that I had such as having a room with a view:


The hotel backs onto the Petitcodiac River and has direct access to a trail that runs on the riverbank. You can also watch the tide come in from an observation deck as well. The room itself was basic but more than decent. WiFi is free and there was a decent place for us to set up shop:


I’d have no problem recommending this place if you’re staying in Moncton. Bonus points for the fact that its close to downtown Moncton:


You can tell that you’re in the maritimes when you see stuff like this:


Here’s where we had dinner:


I’ll let my wife tell you about Catch 22:

For our dinner I choose Catch 22 lobster bar as shown on You Gotta Eat here. I had ordered their lobster chowder which silky and oh so creamy filled with lots of lobster followed by lobster roll. Hubby had fish n’ chips made with light batter.  

Good choice on her part as the food was great and reasonably priced. The best part was that it was less that 800 meters from our hotel.

After a good nights sleep, we packed up, and had breakfast as described by my wife:

In the morning we were cheered by the lovely breakfast spread laid out and included as part of our hotel booking. We enjoyed our breakfast with a view overlooking the river and the offerings of their breakfast was similar and as good as the hotel where we stayed at last night. I for one am looking forward to coming back here on our return trip.

We then headed to Starbucks for some fuel for our next stop which was North Sydney Nova Scotia. That was an interesting journey as you’ll see from our post which will be online tomorrow.




United For Iran Releases New App to Teach Young Children in Iran About Sexual Abuse

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 20, 2017 by itnerd

United For Iran, a Bay-Area NGO working to promote civil liberties and civil society in Iran is announcing the release of Michka: a new Android app that serves as an e-book designed to help adults teach their children how to identify and report sexual abuse.

Michka is the story of a gender neutral insect whose wings are a private part that should not be touched by others. When one day Mr. Koopoom, an adult insect, touches Michka’s wings, Michka becomes confused about what it should do. The story tells a tale of how children can talk to their parents about things that are confusing.

Sahar Shams, the project lead behind Michka, is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She created the app, with the approval of child psychologists, as a resource for Iranian parents to talk about the difficult topic of sexual abuse in a language that is appropriate, understandable and non-threatening for children.

Unfortunately, there is no data on the prevalence of sexual abuse of children in Iran. But, in 2016, the issue of child sexual abuse became part of the national conversation when number of complaintants came forward in Persian media outlets accusing Saeed Toosi, a prominent qari (someone who recites the Quran), of sexual misconduct, including rape of children.


Michka is the sixth app to come out of United for Iran’s app incubation project, the IranCubator.

Key facts about United for Iran’s IranCubator app development project – The IranCubator:

  • United for Iran launched its new app incubation program in June 2016, seeking to match civil society activists with app developers and programmers to build smartphone applications for the 40 million smartphone users currently living in Iran.
  • IranCubator provided financial and technical support to winning developers and activists with projects that advance civil society in Iran.
  • All submissions were judged by the IranCubator Advisory Board consisting of notable technology and security experts, internet freedom advocates and social entrepreneurs including Allen Gunn, Christopher Allen and Danny Kennedy.
  • Ahead of the IranCubator competition, United for Iran conducted an extensive Community Needs Assessment with Iranian activists to determine the specific tools for advancing civil liberties. Based on those findings, the IranCubator Advisory Judges prioritized apps and ideas that fight against the legal and socio-cultural discrimination against women, immigrants, people with disabilities and LGBTQ communities, as well as projects that promote education for underserved communities.