I’m convinced that the University of British Columbia that we visited today is the world’s ugliest campus amidst the world’s most beautiful scenery.
A couple days before we flew from Denver to Vancouver, I looked up how we might go about watching our favorite shows that we watch on the Web every day – The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. I found information about virtual private networks (VPN) and paid for a one-year subscription. So now we have the best of both worlds: Our VPN makes it look like our computer is in the US so we can access the same sites we would in the US. However, there are some things available in Canada that aren’t available in the US – I guess a difference in licensing agreements. In those cases, we turn off the VPN and watch Canadian Netflix.
Below is a screenshot from a news article about the Colbert Report that I was reading when the VPN was turned off.
And one more thing about Canadian/US differences: credit cards. The young man working at the organic grocery store down the street told me he can always tell when the customer has come from “down below” because Americans don’t have a computer chip on their credit cards like Canadians do. I had heard the clerks at two other stores kind of mention it, but I didn’t know what they were talking about. I finally looked it up and found out that Europe, Canada, and Mexico all have the computer chip credit cards that make the cards more secure/less likely to be used by a thief because the user has to enter a PIN, not sign his name. They still have magnetic strips on the back, but that’s only until all the merchants have converted to the new system. Most merchants have machines that recognize the magnetic strip and the computer chip, but the ticket machines in Paris’ train stations do not. Hopefully they take cash. The US has been reluctant to convert to the new technology because of expense but is expected to convert by late 2015 when a law changes the burden of fraud to the merchants instead of the credit card companies.