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Happy Christmas, porch pirates: Bait bomb showers glitter, spritzes fart spray

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Porch pirates beware, a popular YouTube star has discovered the perfect revenge for those who steal parcels off doorsteps and it involves glitter, fart spray, and plenty of humiliation.

Intrepid U.S. engineer Mark Rober, who worked on the design of NASA’s Mars Rover, explained that he witnessed a pair of thieves snatch an Amazon package off of his front doorstep on his security cameras earlier this year.

“If you’ve ever been a situation like this, you just feel violated,” he said in a YouTube video he uploaded on Monday. “I just felt like something needs to be done to take a stand against dishonest punks like this.”

Rober said he showed police footage of the theft, but they told him they were too busy to investigate.

At that point, Rober said he decided to take matters into his own hands.

After six months of designing, planning, and testing his invention, Rober succeeded in building a device, disguised in a box for an Apple HomePod, that would disperse a pound of glitter when opened. But that’s not all.

The package also releases a rancid fart spray and records the unsuspecting recipient’s reactions at every angle thanks to the cameras on four phones installed inside the box.

Rober put the cleverly designed prank box to use by leaving it on the front doorsteps of his and several of his friends’ homes, to see if the thieves would take the bait.

The device appeared to work exactly as planned as the hilarious reactions of different thieves are recorded as they open the box and are showered in glitter and the smell of farts.

“Dude, look at my car,” one man laments to his friend after opening the package in his car. “Oh my God. I don’t know what this is. [It’s] literally like everywhere.”

“Come on, bro,” another thief says to himself after the device explodes glitter all over the passenger seat of his car. “What’s that smell? That s**t stinks.”

Because the thieves were all eager to abandon the package following their surprise, Rober was able to retrieve the device and recover the footage.

“So the moral of the story is: just don’t take other people’s stuff. Not only is not cool, but on the plus side, you’ll never find yourself in this situation,” Rober tells his YouTube audience at the end of the video.

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LIFESTYLES

Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

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Top environment official urges Canadians to back Ottawa’s ambitious plans to tackle plastic trash

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The second in command at the federal Environment Ministry challenged Canadians to continue to speak up about the problem of plastic pollution and push elected officials, scientists and businesses to do more.

Quebec MP Peter Schiefke, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, made the comments online at Vancouver’s annual zero waste conference on Friday.

He said most Canadians want solutions to curb the tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic garbage that ends up as litter each year on the country’s beaches, parks, lakes and in the stomachs of animals. 

“Making sure that message is heard with industry stakeholders, elected officials and make sure that they are constantly putting pressure on it … so we notice that this is something that Canadians want, the backing of Canadians to go and undertake these huge challenges,” he said.

Schiefke filled in for  Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the last minute after Wilkinson was called away to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass one of the most expensive fares in Canada

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OTTAWA — OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass is one of the most expensive passes in Canada, and transit riders are facing another 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Transit Commission meeting on the 2021 budget, CTV News Ottawa looked at the cost of a monthly adult bus pass at transit services across Canada. Ottawa ranks behind the TTC in Toronto, Mississauga’s “MiWay”, Brampton Transit and Vancouver “TransLink” Zone 2 access to the suburbs for most expensive transit fares in Canada.

The cost of an OC Transpo adult monthly bus pass is currently $119.50 a month.

The 2021 City of Ottawa budget includes a proposed 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares. If approved, an adult monthly transit pass will increase $3 to $122.50, while a youth pass will increase $2.25 to $94.50 a month.  The cost of an adult single-ride cash fare would rise a nickel to $3.65.

The TTC is the most expensive transit service in Canada, charging $156 a month for an adult fare. MiWay charges $135 a month, and the cost of an adult monthly pass with Brampton Transit is $128.

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network “TransLink” has three fare zones. The monthly bus pass cost for “Zone 1”, which covers Vancouver, is $97 for adults. The “Zone 2” fare, which covers Vancouver and the suburbs of Richmond and Burnaby, is $131 a month.

Edmonton Transit Service, which includes a Light Rail System with 18 stations on two different lines, charges $97 a month for an adult monthly bus pass.

An adult monthly bus pass in Calgary costs $109 a month.

The survey by CTV News Ottawa of transit fares across Canada shows Gatineau has higher transit fares than Montreal and Quebec City. The STO charges $99 a month.

A monthly adult bus pass costs $88.50 in Montreal and $89.50 in Quebec City.

The cheapest adult monthly bus fare is in Charlottetown, at $58.50 a month. A monthly bus pass in Whitehorse costs $62 a month.

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