Very Suspicious

A police officer was testing three potential detectives on suspect identification. She showed the first man a photo for five seconds and then turned the photo over and asked the candidate how he could best be identified. The man replied that the suspect would be easy to spot because he has only one eye. The police officer frowned and explained that only one eye was showing because it was a profile photo. She moved on to the next candidate, who sat back in his chair, smiled and smugly said:

“Ha! He’d be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!”

“What’s the matter with you two?!” exclaimed the officer. “Only one eye and one ear are showing because it’s a picture of his side profile!”

Extremely frustrated, she showed the picture to the third candidate and asked the question for a third time. The third man looked at the picture intently then calmly pointed out that the suspect wears contact lenses. The officer didn’t know what to think but checked the suspect’s file on her computer, and was shocked to find it was true.

“Wow! I can’t believe it. It’s true! The suspect does, in fact, wear contact lenses. Good work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?”

“Easy,” the third man replied. “He can’t wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear.”

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DaVinci’s Designs

Leonardo da Vinci is known for such paintings as “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper,” but he was also a masterful engineer. According to the LiveScience website, in the 16th century he designed what would have been the longest bridge in the world at the time, connecting Constantinople to a nearby area called Galata over the Bosporus Sea. He was responding to a request for proposals from Sultan Bayezid, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire.

DaVinci’s bridge was never built, but modern researchers from MIT have built a 3D replica of the bridge, using materials and construction equipment that would have been available in the 16th century.

They found that da Vinci’s design, using only a single arch, would have been structurally sound, thanks to compression that would have held the bridge’s stones together.

Leonardo was a true Renaissance man.

Housing Markets Flat in 2019 After Strong Second Half

Vancouver, BC – January 13, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 77,331 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2019, a decline of 1.5 per cent from the 78,516 units sold in 2018. The annual average MLS® residential price in BC was $700,460, a decline of 1.6 per cent from $711,564 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $54.2 billion, a 3 per cent decline from 2018.

“Housing markets across the province staged a strong recovery in the second half of 2019,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “This sets up 2020 to be a much more typical year than what markets have experienced recently.”

A total of 5,218 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded across the province in December, up 48.9 per cent from December 2018. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $755,165, an increase of 8.7 per cent from December 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.9 billion, a 61.8 per cent increase year-over-year.

Total active residential listings were down 10.6 per cent to 24,691 units in December. Total inventory of homes for sale have declined more than 10 per cent on a year-over-year basis for two straight months.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Employment (Dec) – January, 2020

A good news report. Canadian employment increased by 35,200 jobs in December, partially offsetting the previous month’s decline of 71,200 jobs. This brought the national unemployment rate down from 5.9% in the previous month to 5.6% in December. Regionally, the increase was led by Ontario (25,000) and Quebec (21,000). December’s increase was largely driven by full time work in the private-sector, which finally broke its losing streak. Most of the increase was in accommodation and food services (25,000) and in construction (17,000), while other industries saw little change. Compared to the same month last year, Canadian employment is up 1.7%.

Not a great report. Employment in BC fell by 7,700 jobs in December, following last month’s decline of 18,200. The decline was primarily driven by part-time employment (-6,500). By Industry, employment losses were generally broad-based, with the exception of construction, health care/social assistance, and accommodation and food services. The provincial unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.8%. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC is up by 0.3% (7,100) jobs.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.