Kevin O'Donnell's blog

Solar Eclipse Tonight

Right before sunset the solar eclipse will begin. Be sure not to stare!

If anyone wants a suggestion on where to take a picture I'm curious what this angle lines up. From the Parliament Hill grounds with the solar eclipse dropping right behind the Museum of Nature. Perhaps the angles won't work, but that could be iconic. 

I don't have a solar filter so can't even attempt it. Posting this in the hopes someone else does! 

Calculations by The Photographer's Ephemeris

Digital Billboards - Ottawa still considering them

The digital billboard pilot the City of Ottawa has been running for a few years is coming to a close. Reading through the latest results at shows the report will recommend various guidelines for making digital billboards "work" well. Various measures have been introduced: slower refresh rates, no video, lowered brightness at night, various setbacks based on viewsheds and location. If we do end up with digital billboards those are good things.

Politics as Creative Work

Last week I went to see This American Life's live show that was broadcast to theatres across Canada, the US and Australia. I always know I've enjoyed something if I find myself itching afterwards to create something myself. One segment of the show featured work by Vivian Maier who wasn't discovered until after she passed away. Stop reading, visit this website, and check out her work. Amazing stuff - I'm motivated to carry my camera around more often.

Thrilla On The Hilla: @ElizabethMay vs. Conservative Backbenchers

As an independent MP Elizabeth May can propose amendments to a bill before third reading. Her amendments to Bill C-38, the budget, will be ruled in order (she's a lawyer after all) and with help from other MPs will force a named, standing vote. Passing the budget will be a long drawn out affair.

Nuclear Power - biggest source of electricity price increases

There is a pithy maxim in politics that to really get an idea across you need to repeat, repeat, repeat until you're sick of hearing yourself make a point. Lately each time I sit down to blog about Ontario's energy policy it sticks in my craw. "Surely people are sick of this by now right?" I ask myself.

Forget $16 for Bev Oda's OJ. How much do "Media Relations Contacts" cost?

I need to open with the coverage:

Hundreds of researchers from around the globe arrived in Montreal this week to attend the International Polar Year Conference, but those scientists working for Environment Canada were also accompanied by so-called "media relations contacts" tasked with monitoring and recording interactions with the press.

Mass transit investments lower congestion for those who still drive

Car drivers this post is for you. Everyone hates congestion but, realistically, congestion can be considered a defining characteristic of a city. A city is a place with lots of people in it. People like to move around. Transportation infrastructure is expensive no matter what kind of mode we choose (except for bikes and walking of course). So by definition we're only ever going to build just enough roads, LRT, GO Trains and buses as we need to make our city productive.