Canada: Workers find live British cannonball in Quebec

A worker poses beside the cannonball in Quebec

Builders in the old part of the Canadian city of Quebec have unearthed a live cannonball fired by the British during a siege in 1759.

They posed for photos with the large, 90kg (200lb) projectile, unaware that it was still potentially explosive.

Army bomb disposal experts later collected the device, saying there was still a danger, CBC reports.

The British besieged Quebec while fighting the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

The cannonball in QuebecImage copyrightLAFONTAINE INC

Quebec City archaeologist Serge Rouleau, who examined the munition before the army and noticed that it still contained a charge, said it was more an incendiary bomb than a cannonball, Le Soleil news site (in French) reports.

He had taken it home after the builders’ firm, Lafontaine Inc, contacted the municipal authorities.

“The ball would break and the powder would ignite, setting fire to the building,” Master Warrant Officer Sylvain Trudel, a senior munitions technician, was quoted by CBC as saying.

Workers pose beside the cannonball in QuebecImage copyrightLAFONTAINE INC

“With time, humidity got into its interior and reduced its potential for exploding, but there’s still a danger,” he added.

“Old munitions like this are hard to predict. You never know to what point the chemicals inside have degraded.”

BBC map

The cannonball is now at a safe site and will either be disarmed or destroyed if necessary, CBC says.

It is believed it was fired at Quebec City from Levis, across the St Lawrence River, the broadcaster adds.

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, part of the Seven Years’ War, ended in victory for the British, and was a major milestone towards the end of French rule in what is now Canada.


How to find plugins and samples faster in your DAW

Cubase MediaBay

You might have explored ways to speed up your creative workflow, but you can get faster at carrying out more prosaic tasks in your DAW, too.

Here, we show you quick methods of hunting down plugins and samples in five DAWs, and walk you through the process of creating a custom sample collection that you’ll be able to navigate at speed.

Ableton Live

The fastest way to locate plugins and samples (and more) is with the Find function (Cmd-F). If the results are mysteriously empty, be sure to select the right Category/Place down the left-hand side.

VST (but not AU) plugins are displayed using the folder structure on your drive. To customise the plugin list, head to your VST folder and arrange the VST files (.vst or .dll) into folders of your choosing. To have a plugin appear in more than one place, create an Alias (Mac: Cmd-Alt- drag) or Shortcut (PC: Alt-drag) to the VST file. To see the changes, reload Live or click Rescan in Preferences (where you’ll also find options to use a VST Plug-In Custom Folder in addition to or instead of the system one).

As for samples, drag favourite folders onto the Places area to pin them there. If you already have a sample in your project, right-click its clip or waveform and select Show in Browser to see the others in its folder.

Bitwig Studio

Search plugins by name in the Browser pane (Alt-B), and sort by developer or drive location – click the Search icon to choose. Star a plugin to add it to the active Collection – by default, a generic Favourites Collection, but you can define your own with a right-click. Select which to view in the Collections tab, and right-click to set the Target Collection, to which starred items will be added.

Adding plugins ‘in place’ (eg, by clicking the ‘+’ on a track) invokes the Pop-up Browser, offering further filtering options. If you find yourself filtering and searching for the same things over and over – for example, all effects by Cableguys – save that search as a Smart Collection. You’ll be pleased to hear that filtering and organising samples (and other content) works in a similar way.

Steinberg Cubase 8.5

Cubase users can search plugins by name – even if you misspell it, it’ll show you the closest matches. What’s less obvious is that you can create custom plugin lists, selectable with the arrow dropdown next to the search field. To define them, head to Devices » Plug-in Manager.

When it comes to organising samples, Cubase’s mighty MediaBay (F5) is one of the most powerful systems of any DAW. Add folders and tag samples (or other media, as the name suggests), rate them out of 5, search by name or filter by attribute, and preview them. Be sure to give the manual a good read on this one, as it’s rather deep…

PreSonus Studio One 3

Hit F6/F8 to browse and search instrument/effects plugins, viewed four different ways according to the topmost Sort By selector. Find your last-used plugins in the Recent folder. To Hide plugins or add them to the Favourites folder, use the right-click menu, or click the small spanner icon to enter edit mode.

For samples, head to the Files tab (F9), where you can right-click preferred folders and click New Tab From Here to pin them for future use. As well as dragging samples straight onto the timeline or receptive instrument, you’ll find a bunch of useful right-click options.

Apple Logic Pro X

Once upon a time, Logic users were stuck with boring-old ‘by vendor’ AU plugin categories. That all changed when v10.1 introduced the Plug-in Manager, found under Logic Pro X » Preferences » Plug-in Manager. It’s a basic system, but it allows you to divvy up your plugins into categories.

The Browser (F) is similarly basic – select the All Files option in the right-hand browser pane to get at your system files. If you’re not seeing the option, head to Logic Pro X » Preferences » Advanced Tools and select Show Advanced Tools.

How to find your favourite samples every time with a custom collection

Step 1: Browsing sample packs can be slow, but you can drastically speed up your sessions by compiling your favourite sounds in one folder. Start by making a folder named _Favourites. The underscore ensures the folder appears at the top of the list when folders are viewed alphabetically on a Mac – a space works too. Inside, create subfolders for each category of sound (Kick, Snare, Bass, etc).

Step 2: You can manually copy files from your favourite libraries into the _Favourites folder, but we prefer to use the free cross-platform MetaDigger. To compile kicks, we Choose Work Folder… as _Favourites/Kick, then Scan Files on our main samples folder. When it’s done, we search for kick, then preview sounds and click Copy To Work Folder (Shift-C) for the ones that stand out.

Step 3: Often, you’ll end up with a jumble of meaningless filenames, but your OS can rename them sequentially. On PC, select the lot and rename as, say, Kick and the number is added automatically to each. On Mac, right-click the selection and choose Rename X Items…, then the Format and Name and Index options. Before long, you’ll have a best-of-the-best collection ready to fuel your productions.


How to Find WordPress Plugins that Complement Your Business

How to Find WordPress Plugins that Complement Your Business

WordPress comes highly recommended as a content management system (CMS) by bloggers, SMEs, and start-ups due to its flexibility and customization options. Despite its smooth learning curve, it has a very high ceiling when it comes to what you can accomplish. Without writing a single line of code, you can construct a professional-looking and fully-functional website within hours.

That said, several guides can help would-be site owners create a WordPress site from the ground up. Unfortunately, the prevalence of individual guides and design tactics have made it very easy to end up with a generic-looking site. To help you create a standout website that’s aligned with your personal brand, below are the crucial steps you need to follow:

1. Determine Your Online Goals First

One of the aspects that made WordPress popular is the amount of plugins, themes, and other integrations available. Although the official resource repository from WordPress alone offers tons of free plugins, remember that installing many things you do not need may take a toll on the performance of your website. Certain plugins may also cause conflicts and issues when installing simultaneously with others.

As a rule of thumb, you should always only install what you need to preserve the performance and stability of your site. First, you must identify the goals you want to accomplish–from building an email list to ranking highly in search engine results. For most site owners, online goals are usually related to generating sales, increasing traffic, and generating leads.

Recommended for YouWebcast, September 29th: The Future of Sales Enablement: Listen To Your Buyers, Speak To Your C-Suite

Tip: To help with your goal-setting, make sure your goals are ROI-oriented. Keep in mind that ROI does not always equate to monetary gains. Also consider other key performance indicators (KPIs) such as traffic, bounce rate, customer acquisition cost, and conversion rate.

2. Read Reviews of Plugins

After identifying your goals, remember that the most efficient and practical way to accomplish them is to use only one plugin for a particular purpose. For example, you should only have one plugin for email marketing, one for contact form building, and so on. Since you need to commit to learning and using a single plugin for the long-term, you need to make the best choice possible by digging deep and getting-to-know each option.

An excellent way to assess whether a plugin is worthwhile or not is to read reviews from other users. Keep in mind that any self-respecting publisher will make it easy for you to find these reviews. In fact, most viable plugins can be examined and rated directly from the WordPress plugin library. In case you cannot decide, you can resort to other channels such as YouTube and online forums for more thorough reviews.

Aside from reviews, don’t forget to check the date of the most recent review. Keep in mind that WordPress regularly rolls out updates to the entire CMS, which may cause issues with outdated plugins.

3. Find Free Alternatives Before Buying

Lastly, remember that most–if not all–premium plugins charge on a subscription basis. If you always opt for paid plugins as you start, your enterprise could run out of funds within a few months’ time. Fortunately, there are always free alternatives or free versions of premium plugins you can consider.

Take note that you can only make the most out of premium plugins if your site already has a steady stream of traffic. In the meantime, focus on getting acquainted with the plugin’s free version by learning its functions and understanding how it works. Consider this an opportunity to test different plugins so you can decide which is best for you before you place your investment. Just don’t forget to deactivate or uninstall a plugin in case it fails to meet your expectations.


Finding WordPress plugins should not be an overly-complicated process, but it does require research and planning. As long as you keep your choices aligned with your goals and avoid coming to rushed decisions, you should have no problem finding the best plugins that will establish a solid foundation for your website.


How To Find Inspiration from Your Old Blog Posts

A very common and sage piece of advice that you’ll get from many a professional blogger is that you shouldn’t choose a topic for your blog based on its relative level of popularity or profit potential. Instead, you should be choosing your core topic based on your actual areas of expertise and interest. You should be pursuing your passion.

There’s no point in writing about a niche or industry that you actually don’t like, because the well of creativity is going to run dry far too quickly, especially if those profits don’t come pouring in right away.

Feast and Famine of Blog Ideas

The thing is that even if you choose a niche or subject area that really interests you, eventually you’re going to run out of ideas to blog about. That’s natural and normal. You may be flooded with all sorts of great ideas when you first start out, but you’ll also run into ruts where there’s just no inspiration to be had. There are several ways to remedy this, like reading other blogs in your niche. And then there’s an existing resource that speaks to you already: your own blog.

Of course, this will only make much sense if your blog has already been around for a while and you’ve already built up a good sized archive. That said, I find it can be incredibly fruitful to dig through your own archive to seek out inspiration for new posts.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

You don’t even need to go back that far. When I first became a dad and had to figure out how to balance my work responsibilities with my responsibilities as a stay-at-home parent, I wrote a blog post on the impact that being a father had on my productivity. I wrote about how I had to write my blog posts in between diaper changes or how my work sessions would be sporadically interrupted by a crying baby.


That original post was published within a couple of weeks of my daughter being born. It was much more about my initial experience and my initial reaction to what would become the new normal. Then, I followed up with a related post six months later, discussing much of the same subject matter, but from the perspective of having lived the work-at-home dad (WAHD) life for half a year. This added value to the conversation while revisiting something I had already written.

What’s Old Is New Again

While you probably shouldn’t just regurgitate something that you wrote a couple years ago and pass it off as if it were something completely new, there is a lot of value to be had in the posts that you’ve already written and may have already forgotten about. If they’ve become a vague memory for you, then chances are that they can be new and interesting to your readers again too.


Consciously or unconsciously, most professional bloggers return to this strategy on a fairly regular basis. John has written about the true value of the dot com lifestyle on more than one occasion, as it ties back into his core branding and core messaging.

No matter what niche, industry or area of interest you approach on your blog, there’s a good chance you can unearth some precious nuggets of inspiration when you browse through your archives.


[source :-johnchow]