I know I've seen it before, but it is beautiful and amazing:
Next time there's an imminent disaster, I'll watch the network that uses all the already in place webcams to show what's happening rather than allowing/encouraging reporters to agrandize and endanger themselves with the events.
I admit it. I have a ghoulish curiosity about storms. So do lots of people. Storm chasers are a good example. So are all the people who watch the all-news channels during storms and boost those ratings. But I tire of reporters leaning into the wind and rain, wading in the water, and shouting the obvious extreme cliches.
I'm with this guy.
Then the Hurricane Sandy devastation in New Jersey and New York. Footage of flooded subways, as if massive waves of water finding an outlet in large holes in the ground was a surprise. In Toronto’s east end, a tree fell. Power went out. CP24 savoured it all, at last some real, honest-to-God disaster effects.
For all the raw footage and dramatic scenes of flooding, fires, rescue workers waist-deep in water and darkened buildings lashed by wind, television struggles to convey the authenticity of disaster-inducing storms. The fallback position is disaster-movie cliché and panicked voices in a studio commanding viewers to look (just look!) at this footage of flooding! The term “weather porn” doesn’t do it justice.
I’m old. I’ve finally accepted that. But the thing is, I have always looked older than I am.
When I was 17, my friends used to send me into the liquor store for them because I didn’t get carded. People often mistook me for being in my mid-20s. I liked looking old then.
But during the summer when I was 51, three incidents occurred that brought me up short:
But I naively didn’t chalk that up to my looks. I just thought she had forgotten my age. The next one really hurt, though:
“Yes,” she replied. “Are you?” Well I knew I looked older than the typical undergraduate stud, so I wasn’t really flattered. I merely smiled and said, “No, I’m a prof.”
But then she added, quite unnecessarily I think, “Oh. Well the only reason I asked is there are lots of seniors in some of my classes.”
Seniors? Me, a senior? Sure, you can get an AARP membership at age 50, and, sure, some life insurance companies urge you to fantasize that you can retire at age 55, but senior? Me? Hmph.
Seniors’ discount? I was in my early fifties!
For several years after that I used Just For Men.
Ms. Eclectic says that now, many years after those incidents, my age is finally catching up to my looks, and I was beginning to think maybe she was right. But just last weekend, someone asked me, “How old are you?” and guessed numbers in a range about five years older than I really am.
I exhaled deeply and hung my head in resignation. So now, when people ask my age, I just tell them, “Under 90”.
You are too old to go trick or treating when:
10. You get out of breath from knocking on the door.
9. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.
8. You ask for high fiber candy only.
7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag,
you lose your balance and fall over.
6. People say: "Great Boris Karloff Mask,"
and you're not wearing a mask.
5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or..."
and can't remember the rest.
4. By the end of the night,
you have a bag full of restraining orders.
3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.
2. You're the only Power Ranger in the
neighborhood with a walker.
And the number one reason Seniors should not go trick or treating...
1. Because you keep having to go home to pee!
Have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN anyway!!
[sent to me by my friend Marc, who is far to young to understand how painfully close to the truth this is.]
Our idea of Hallowe'en fun was to hang this spider from our balcony so that it dangles outside the balcony of our downstairs neighbours. They loved it, we loved it, great fun all around.
Not only is the test itself unusual, to say the least, but the diagnosis is so multi-dimensional I cannot imagine it doesn't have portions that apply to just about everyone, albeit different portions for different people. My diagnosis:
So I guess I get to pick and choose which of all these statements applies to me now and which might have applied to me 60 years ago?
You are in a perpetual quest to find the new, the exciting. Emotionally volatile, you are known for sudden changes of opinion, of appreciation, and behavior. Following rules and established methods is difficult for you and the difficulties of higher education are usually quite daunting. Knowledge is best gained through an intimate association with the matter at hand. Usually driven by attitudes and desires of the group, you are talented in an established field of endeavor. Emotions come and go without a strong understanding of their causes. They are unexpected guests in an otherwise placid landscape. You live by your own codes of conduct, which can be noble or terrible depending on the individual. Authority is meaningless to you. You hate to be predictable, at all costs. Rarely verbally effusive, you can at times feel as if your feelings are too deep for words. You are very observant, but rarely express these observations to others.
There is compelling evidence from the New England Journal of Medicine that countries that eat more chocolate produce more Nobel prize winners.
I tried to follow the links in the article to see how they measured chocolate consumption. Unlike many of my friends, I strongly prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate.
At any rate, the correlation is bound to lead to considerable discussion about cause and effect.
Jack sent me this last week. It's fascinating.
I wondered if the whole thing was a hoax, but apparently not. Snopes has no entry for it, and the Wikipaedia entry treats it as legitimate. So does the Smithsonian magazine. What a blow to the common anthropological explanations about human evolution! I realize this probably isn't new for many people, but it is really fun to think about.
The structures on this site were built about 12,000 years ago (10,000 BC) and perhaps intentionally buried with sand about 8,000 years ago. No one knows who these people were, what the massive buildings were for, or why they were buried. Just for reference, these structures were built during the last ice age and are more than 7,000 years older than any other structure we have yet discovered on our planet.
And while the gubmnt-funded pensions are somewhat better funded in Canada, the medical commitment of the gubmnt will likely cause serious problems in the future.
And now this from the BBC [h/t Jack]. The abuse of alcohol by Baby Boomers is imposing even more costs on the health system:
More NHS money is spent treating alcohol-related illness in baby boomers than young people, a study says.
The Alcohol Concern report found the cost of hospital admissions linked to heavy drinking 55 to 74-year-olds in 2010-11 was more than £825m.
That was 10 times the figure for 16 to 24-year-olds.
Ten times! Holy cow! It appears that in addition to having to deal with the baby boomer effect on pension commitments and general aging-related health commitments, gubmnts will also be addressing the fact that we're all a bunch of lushes.
Is it time, now, to raise the Pigou tax on alcohol even more? Please, no....
(aqua velva or anti-freeze anyone?)
I just heard from my friend, Ron Greidanus, that the Georgetown Bach Chorale will be doing its rendition of Handel's Messiah again this year in Goderich (and elsewhere). From their website:
Christmas doesn’t seem complete without the Chorale’s annual
presentation of Handel’s most innovative oratorio “Messiah”.
Come and enjoy highly spirited choruses, lyrical arias and the
very dramatic interpretation of this timeless work. This platter of
audible delicacies is not to be missed. In this musical feast, with
two harpsichords, Baroque organ, period strings -including viola
da gamba- and transcendental choral and solo work, the Bach
Chorale creates an evening designed to make Advent complete.
Saturday November 17, 2012
North United Church, Goderich 7:30 pm. $25. Students $10.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Christ Church Anglican 4 Elizabeth St. North, Brampton [update: 4pm].
Friday, November 23, 2012
St. Elias Ukrainian Church, 10193 Heritage Rd., Brampton 8 pm.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
St. Elias Ukrainian Church, 10193 Heritage Rd., Brampton 3 pm.
Ron's interpretations and performance will blow you away. In Goderich, the ticket prices are $25 ($10 for students). For the remaining performances, the prices are $30/$10. I really, REALLY recommend it.
Here, in part, is a review I wrote of the group's performance two [update: six] years ago:
I heard a performance of Handel's Messiah last weekend that was by far the most exciting I have ever heard. It wasn't perfect (so how many live performances are?) but the interpretations of tempos and styles were terrific, and the performance was technically among the best I have ever heard. [much quicker tempos for some sections, and much more staccato than many people would expect, but all well-researched by the conductor]
The conductor/harpsichordist is Ron Greidanus. He played a Chopin piano concerto when I was playing French horn in the Blyth Festival Orchestra, and I had the pleasure of conducting that orchestra when Ron performed a Bach piano concerto. He was raised just north of Clinton and despite his late start in music, he developed a terrific reputation for his knowledge and talent. The "orchestra" for this performance of Messiah is 2 violins, a viola, a cello, a bass, a baroque (valveless) trumpet which was played extremely well, and tympani (in addition to Ron on the harpsichord).
And Ron wrote to me after that review,
It is a different approach, that's for sure — the choruses fast, articulate and sublime; the arias and recits for the most part rather dramatic, if not theatrical. It certainly makes the music come alive — you actually know what is going on.
I love the Baroque approach, and will never change back. If I had to conduct a large choir, I don't know what I would do. The lightness and precision is so much fun to make happen.
If you live anywhere near Goderich, this group's performance will be well-worth the drive to see the performance. Failing that, you might want to attend other performances by the Georgetown Bach Chorale.
Let me add that although most people seem to think Messiah is appropriate for Christmas, theologically I'd just as soon see it at Easter (as, in fact, I did the first two times I ever saw it performed). After all, everything in Parts II and III, including the Hallelujah Chorus, is about the crucifixion, the resurrection, and onward.
Another advantage of performing Messiah at Easter is that there is a whole lot less competition for audiences then.
My younger son and I absolutely adore stale marshmallows as a treat. They're tough, yet chewy and sweet.
So six months ago I bought a bag of gigantic, king-sized marshmallows, slit it open, and left it in the back of the pantry, just to prepare for our next visit to his place. I hauled them out tonight to pack 'em up, since we'll be going to visit him and his family soon.
My, oh my, they are good (of course I had to "sample" one). It will require considerable will power not to eat them all before we go.
Robert Fulford, writing in the National Post, itemizes the antisemitism extant in Malaysia and in the process criticizes columnists Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Burman of the Star.
It’s only when we grasp the unremitting and mindless hostility of countries such as Malaysia that we begin to understand the pain and difficulty of Israel’s place in the world. This is the context in which we should think about the Harper government’s pro-Israel policy. Israel faces automatic enmity from all the Arab nations, most other Muslim-dominated states and the many organizations in democratic countries that dedicate themselves to showering abuse on Israel (and no one else) in the name of human rights....
Yet many Canadians apparently believe that there is something unfair in this situation, not in the invective heaped on Israel but in Canada’s habit of friendship with the only democracy in the Middle East. It’s argued that this policy has done harm to Canada. Jeffrey Simpson of The Globe and Mail says that because of our attitude to Israel, “Canada’s reputation in the Arab world is mud.” Tony Burman, of the Toronto Star, former head of Al Jazeera English, and now a journalism teacher at Ryerson University, says that our government’s “passionate pro-Israeli stance” has damaged Canada’s reputation throughout the Middle East “after decades of being one of the world’s respected ‘honest brokers’ on Mideast issues.”
Of course there are many reasons for Canada's pro-Israel stances: democracy, constant threats of annhilation, and expulsion of Jews from so many arab and other Muslim countries to name three important ones.
David Henderson, in reviewing John Goodman's book on the economics of healthcare, takes a well-deserved swipe at the current Canadian health care system:
These data, plus the fact that Canadians wait so long to see a doctor and to get surgery, help to make another point that Goodman discusses: the supposed "right to health care." When I hear people say that people have a right to health care, I take on the moral issue with moral reasoning, questioning whether health care is something that a person can truly have a moral right to. Goodman does it differently--and effectively. He points out that Canadians don't have a right to health care. How can you say it's a right if people aren't guaranteed to actually receive the health care service they need? The right to get in line for care, which is really all that Canadians are guaranteed, is not much of a right.
When I first moved to Canada over 40 years ago, the health care system was much better for several reasons. We rarely had to wait very long for any service. Two important things happened, however:
One reason I wish the world price of oil would fall is that it might speed the departure of this autocrat. From the NYTimes,
Queues for all the products for which Chavez has instituted price controls speak loudly to his failed economic policies. How is it that economists have done such a poor job of educating both voters and politicians about how badly price controls distort the economy and make so many people so much worse off?
Venezuela’s traditional dependence on oil exports has deepened, with 96 percent of export revenue now coming from the oil industry, up from 67 percent just before Mr. Chávez took office. Nationalized steel mills produce a fraction of the steel they’re designed for, forcing the state to import the difference. And nationalized electric utilities plunge most of the country into darkness several times a week. The contrast with Brazil’s high-tech, entrepreneurial, export-oriented economy couldn’t be more stark....
With oversight institutions neutered, the president now runs the country as a personal fief: expropriating businesses on a whim and deciding who goes to jail. Judges who rule against the government’s wishes are routinely fired, and one has even been jailed. Chávez-style socialism looks like the worst of both worlds: both more authoritarian and less effective at reducing poverty than the Brazilian alternative.
I have no idea where Jack got this, and he has no cite for it, but we both agree that it is consistent with what we remember:
As I said, it rings true. As much as my liberal friends might be persuaded by the Trudeau mystique, I hope they'll look for more than hope, dreams, name, and mystique.
JustinT: "I am in love with Canada. I want to spend my life serving it."
Well... that's nice... he loves Canada and wants to be Liberal leader in his cushy MP job. Let's look at Justin's C.V. and see what he has done in his prior life and back up his "love" for Canada.
Justin Trudeau's C.V. :
Plan A:- BA, Literature (McGill - 4 years)
Plan B:- BA, Education (UBC - 2 years)
Plan C:- Supply teacher of drama, French, social studies
Plan D:- School of Engineering (U of Montreal - 1+ year withdrew)
Plan E:- Actor (CBC miniseries)
Plan F:- Master of Arts, Environmental Geography (McGill - 1 year withdrew)
Plan G:- Liberal MP, Papineau riding (4 years)
Plan H:- Liberal leader (2013)?
He quit teaching in 2002 and went back to school for a career change to Engineering. In 2008 he quit his Master of Arts program and decided to enter the world of federal politics in Papineau riding. So for 6 years he was kicking around as a professional student and actor... WOW, talk about being productive...!!!!