Rick Mercer's take on the 'flag flap'

Rick Mercer has posted a thoughtful entry on his blog about lowering the Peace Tower flag to honour Canadian soldiers killed in service.

Read it.

He comments on the official protocol for lowering the flag, which is:

…the flag on the Peace Tower of the Parliament Building at Ottawa is flown at half-mast:
on the death of a Lieutenant Governor;
on the death of a Canadian Privy Councillor, a Senator, or a Member of the House of Commons;
on the death of a person whom it is desired to honour.
His comments bring to mind a comment that I read recently. I believe it was on either the CBC or CTV News website comments, but I can't remember which. The comment was very short, very simple, and very powerful. It essentially said this:

If we lower the flag on the Peace Tower to honour every unelected Senator who passes away, why are we not lowering the flag for our soldiers who die in battle, serving their country?

Food for thought.

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REALLY bad ideas

Who thinks these things up?!

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Pirates and Emperors (or, size does matter)

Following in what seems to be this week's theme of videos, have a look at Pirates and Emperors. It reminds me of a School House Rock video, and will have you bopping along!

Brought to my attention by Saskboy, who always has lots of interesting stuff on his blog, Abandoned Stuff.

While we're on the subject of pirates vs. emperors, I've been following the Stephen Harper government's recent decisions about the military; namely, only lowering the Peace Tower flag to half mast on Remembrance Day, and the decision to ban the media from covering the return of fallen soldiers' coffins.

I totally disagree with the flag decision. I've heard people say that oh, the Liberals weren't consistent in lowering the flag anyways, and it wasn't a long-standing tradition, but that's not the issue. It shouldn't be a debate about what the previous governments did or didn't do. To me, suddenly deciding to not lower the flag anymore when Canadian soldiers are killed in the line of duty is a slap in the face to the military, their family and friends.

The Conservative government claims to care so much about the military, so a much better way of showing this would have been to become consistent in lowering the flag. What do they have to lose by continuing to do it? Can't afford to pay someone to lower the flag? It may be a small thing, but it means a lot to Canadians.

I had mixed feelings about the media ban. While I think the government is getting out of control banning things every month, I think they may have had good intentions in this case. I'm not sure that the decision to restrict the media from covering the return of the coffins was made because they wanted to hide the cost of the war. I think that whoever made the decision might have actually thought that it would be easier for the families not to have that moment captured on film.

I live close to CFB Gagetown, and my husband works in the base town, and it seems that many military families are really mad about this decision. I also saw military families interviewed on the news last night. While I'm not sure that I would want those moments on film if my non-military loved ones died, I can understand that if your husband/son/father/wife/daughter/mother/friend died in the line of duty, you would want the country to know their sacrifice and see the cost of war. It seems wrong for the government to make such a decision without long and careful deliberation and conversations with the military and families of military casualties.

While there are certainly problems with the media, I believe that they would respect a family's wishes to not intrude if they were asked to. It frustrates me that this government is constantly telling Canadians what we have the right to see and know. Conversing with the parties involved to come to a consensus is one thing, but deciding what is 'best for us' is quite another.

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'Hotter Than Hell'

Recently, I wrote about an environment Canada scientist who was cautioned by the federal government not to promote his novel about global warming.

Well I'm happy to hear that the Conservative government's gag order has backfired. Demand for the book has been so great that DreamCatcher Publishing has already ordered a second printing of Dr. Mark Tushingham's book, Hotter Than Hell.

The novel is about global warming in the near future, which has turned much of the United States into a desert, and results in mass violence and a dispute between the Canadian and U.S. governments about Canada's fresh water supply. Click on the picture to read more.

Tushingham hasn't yet spoken publicly about the controversy, but his editor is enraged, telling the CBC,

"It's absurd. It's like the kind of thing that happens in dictatorial countries where freedom of thought doesn't exist, freedom of speech doesn't exist, freedom of expression doesn't exist."

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Quirk of the law

Ha ha ha... something they didn't teach us in law school. Well, not formally anyways... ;)

Courtesy of Space Monkey Pants. Read more comics on Wondermark.

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The monkeys...

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An Inconvenient Truth

link (in case the player doesn't work for you)

more information...

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Dear Mr. President

link (in case the player doesn't work for you)

Here's a moving slideshow set to the song

Dear Mr. President
Come take a walk with me
Let's pretend we're just two people and
You're not better than me
I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?

How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way!
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away!
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box!
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
You don't know nothing 'bout hard work

Dear Mr. President
You'd never take a walk with me - Would you?

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See Jane... not as much as John!

See Jane is an organization created to help promote balanced gender roles in children's movies and television.

The organization studied the portrayal of boys/men vs. girls/women in the 101 top-grossing G-rated films released from 1990 through 2004, and they found that only 28 percent of speaking characters (both real and animated) were female. They believe that because young children are so impressionable, unbalanced gender roles in movies and TV shows can influence a child's understanding what it means to be male or female, and can promote gender stereotypes.

In a children's world that is saturated with Disney Princess products, it's nice to see a group promoting strong, positive children's characters - both male and female characters. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing all of the princess stuff; in fact, Cinderella is one of my favourite Disney movies, but you have to admit that Mulan is a much better role model for little girls. Every time I go into the pinkpinkpink 'girl' aisles Toys 'R' Us, I have the same thought: Girls' toys suck. In my opinion, tea sets, dress up clothes and a million dolls (including the skankily clad and heavily painted 'Bratz' dolls - there are some great role models) just aren't as fun as dinkie cars and Rescue Heroes gear. That's just my opinion. But what do most girl's toys teach little girls? Domesticated tasks - cooking, taking care of babies, how to look pretty... boy's toys seem to teach them how to look beyond their home lives to future adventures. I know there are examples of toys marketed to both genders that don't fit into those categories, but they seem to be the exception to the rule. Hopefully we'll see more though - kids need balance.

In an interesting social commentary, a female CNN anchor was more interested in talking to Geena Davis about her good-looking husband than about See Jane's campaign for improved gender roles in children's media. Hmmm... even though we at CNN are part of the media, let's not talk about gender stereotypes in media, let's talk about your hot husband instead. Sad.

There's an interesting post with comments about See Jane and gender roles on the blog The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What To Think
(I know what you're thinking, but "Mrs. Davis" is just a coincidence).

If you don't want to read it, or you'd like to know more, you can watch/listen to a webcast about See Jane's research results.

Interesting quotes from the webcast:

  • "Looney Tunes has 12 characters and only 1 of them is female. But of course it’s everybody’s favorite, it’s Granny!"

  • "In 1999, New York Times magazine figured out that if women were added to Congress at the same rate that they have been added, we would reach gender parity in 500 years. I don’t think we can wait that long for Congress and I certainly don’t think we can wait that long for the entertainments that our children are seeing. We can’t wait for the change to happen naturally. We’re going to have to push things along."
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Instructional videos from the Japanese

So many handy tips!

These are strange but useful little videos, brought to my attention by Lifehacker. No need to know how to speak Japanese, the instructions in the videos are quite clear.

There are a bunch more on YouTube (some with intriguing titles!), but I haven't had a chance to check them out yet.

Ahh, the weird and wonderful things we learn on the Internet...

Something else I learned today (from the videos): question marks and exclamation points are used in Japanese writing. Who knew?

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This has been one hell of a day.

And the icing on the cake...

"We're not talking today, we're not talking yet, about constitutional amendments, but my position is known."
- Stephen Harper

Ahhhhh! I hate him I hate him I hate him!!


*sigh* Someone who can't even pronounce 'nuclear' properly shouldn't be allowed to have and direct the use of nuclear weapons.

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Happy Easter!

I've posted this before, but, in honour of Easter...

Check out this silly little jingle.

I love it!! Makes me giggle (and sing along). :)

Who will be silenced next?

In the latest installment of the Conservative government's gag order, an Environment Canada scientist has been 'cautioned' not to launch his global warming-themed novel -- not right now, anyways.

Dr. Mark Tushingham had been scheduled to appear at the National Press Club today, to give a speech discussing his novel and the science he based it on. But he was called and directed not to go to the meeting.

According to a spokesperson for Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, Tushingham was ordered to cancel his speech because he didn't follow the proper process of getting permission to speak publicly.

This comes on the same day that Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn issued a news release saying that 15 research programs related to the Kyoto protocol were being eliminated.

Tushingham's publisher says: "I guess we're being stifled. This is incredible, I've never heard of such a thing."

Public servants beware: you too must refrain from doing anything publicly that might be seen as conflicting with Stephen Harper's government's beliefs ...even if it's in a science fiction novel.

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What's a favicon?

A favicon is an icon that shows up in the address bar of your web browser, just before the "http://", and next to the website's listing in your bookmarks (Using Firefox? Mine's a big blue dot). If you're using the Firefox browser, I'm sure you've seen them on a lot of websites. Note: While technically favicons should work in Internet Explorer, I can't see anyone's except mine.

Lifehacker has a link to a tool for creating a favicon from any picture (oh, and instructions on how to get it to show up). It's a simple way to customize your website's bookmark and address bar (really simple - if you update your own website or blog, you can handle it). Just find a picture you like, that will look good reeeeeally small.


On an entirely unrelated note, spring is definitely here. Now while the impending arrival of spring and all of its sunshine has excited me for a while, now I remember the bad part about spring in our house: spiders.

I have become a shoe-wielding maniac.

Sometimes I miss our fourth floor apartment.

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Battleship: Nuclear war edition

Click to enlarge
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Rick Mercer had some seriously funny skits on The Mercer Report last night. I can't link to the videos directly, but visit the archives to watch them. My favourites on the April 11th show:

  • Goodnight... (version #1)
  • The Stephen Harper Way
  • Diversity in the House
  • Easter Break
  • Rick's Rant (Danny Williams for Liberal Leadership)

I've heard a lot of talk lately about the good and bad elements of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Some people think they're wonderful, some think they're horrible, some aren't sure, and some have never heard of the debate. Have a look at Penn & Teller's video footage of and commentary about PETA's violence and double standards.
Contains some offensive language
Link found via Newfoundland: Canada's Dark Horse

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A 'right' to be intolerant?

The blog Grrrl Meets World has an thought-provoking post about people who claim that they have a "right" to be intolerant; namely, a right to speak out against homosexuality, even when it is done in a way that it contravenes anti-discrimination laws.

Many of the observations she makes also seem to apply to other religions and viewpoints - not just about homosexuality.

Food for thought (click the link above to read her entire post):

How many times has hate been spread, all under the guise of religious piety?

Why does there have to be an ultimatium when it comes to the public practice of religion (particularly, Christianity)? It's seen as all or nothing -- if you want to censor the hateful and discrimatory parts of a religion, then you're viewed as attempting to suppress the whole faith system, including the positive giving/loving/encouraging aspects of it.

In many religions, you'll find a version of The Golden Rule -- do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's such a simple, foundational concept, but it's ignored when we turn people different from us into the Other. When we objectify them as "Other," we forget about the golden rule, and sacrifice our fellow human beings to our religious ideologies.

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Happy Birthday Cheeta!

Cheeta, the chimp from the Tarzan movies of the '30s and '40s, turned 74 years old yesterday and had a birthday party, complete with sugar-free cake and pop. I wish I could find a video clip of the party; I saw it on the news yesterday, but no luck. You can see more photos here though. The party was held by workers at the primate sanctuary where he lives: Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered and Threatened Apes - or CHEETA.

In case you were wondering, chimps rarely live past 40 in the wild, or past 60 in captivity. Cheeta's in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's oldest chimp. He's doing pretty well for his age - he's active, has all of his teeth, and enjoys painting and car rides (oh, and flirting with attractive female chimps too, I'm sure). Yahoo news

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I love it!!

And in this one, I am sad to say that I am the person upstairs...

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Stupid Girls

I just love the lyrics to Pink's new song, Stupid Girls.

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading People magazine and watching Entertainment Tonight sometimes, but it bothers me that we live in a world in which women are progressively being dumbed down and objectified.

Not that I think the women in question actually are dumb (well, not most of them), but I think that playing down one's intelligence can do a lot to heighten a female celebrity's popularity, and that reality bothers me. Are people scared of smart, powerful women? I'm not sure; maybe. I think that some men can be threatened by confident women, and that gender roles and the glass ceiling are still very much a part of Western society, as much as we might like to think that they aren't. But women also support stereotypes and 'stupid' girls too, so men as a gender can't be blamed. It just worries me that so many young girls have body image issues, and feel that they need to be thin, wear brand name labels, or become sexually active to be popular (speaking of, I saw a CBC -or was it CTV?- news report about 'lipstick parties' recently, and it literally made me feel ill to know that pre-teen girls think they have to participate in group oral sex in order to get boys to like them. Granted, these parties may not be a widespread trend, but it's disturbing nonetheless).

It must be hard growing up in a world where Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan are splashed all across TV and magazines. We hear more about celebrities' sex lives, eating disorders and shopping trips than we do about the charity work that they (and 'regular' people) are involved in.

Go to Fred Segal, you'll find them there
Laughing loud so all the little people stare
Looking for a daddy to pay for the champagne
Drop a name

What happened to the dream of a girl president?
She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent
They travel in packs of two or three
With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees

Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?
Oh where, oh where could they be?

Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back
What a paparazzi girl - I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back
Push up my bra like that - I don't wanna be a stupid girl

Disease's growing, it's epidemic
I'm scared that there ain't a cure
The world believes it and I'm going crazy
I cannot take any more!

I'm so glad that I'll never fit in
That will never be me
Outcasts and girls with ambition
That's what I wanna see!

Disasters all around
World despaired
Their only concern
Will they fuck up my hair?!

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An inspiring story of equality

I've been corresponding with Melinda Terry, a teacher in Seattle who is asking Canadians to help her create a lesson plan on Canada for her 6th grade class. I came across this story, and decided to share it with her. I find it really inspiring. Not only does it show the hospitality and generosity of a place that I love, but it reminds us all that one person really can make a difference.

I was reading Alan Doyle (of the band Great Big Sea)'s road journal tonight, and read that there are talks of making a movie about a black sailor who survived the shipwreck of the U.S.S. Truxton off the coast of Newfoundland in 1942.

This story is about the people of Newfoundland affecting the U.S. civil rights movement.

I'm almost embarassed to say that I didn't know the sailor's story; I feel that I should know the history of this disaster better. My Dad & Grandmother are from the small town of St. Lawrence, which helped to rescue drowning sailers from the stormy waters.

I've heard about the incident in general. Two U.S. Navy ships (the U.S.S. Truxton and U.S.S. Pollux) ran aground on Newfoundland cliffs during World War II, on February 18th, 1942. 203 sailors died; 185 were saved.

Well, it turns out that there was only one African American survivor of the U.S.S. Truxton, named Lanier Philips, and he says that it was the hospitality he received from the people of Newfoundland after the disaster which led him to become a civil rights leader for equality for all races in the U.S. military.

I wanted to know more, so I did an Internet search and found a National Public Radio program about Lanier Philips. Listen to it - his story is pretty amazing!

There's a second, shorter story from Carleton University here, which has some additional information, but listen to the NPR one first, it has more background information, and is more like a story than a news report.

If you'd like to know more, the St. Lawrence town website has more information about the tragedy.

FYI, I first read about the Seattle teacher's request on Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy (forgot to post the credit/link back in this post earlier - oops!)

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Seal hunt documentary tonight

Remember to watch (or tape to watch later) 'My Ancestors were Rogues and Murderers', an award winning documentary about the history of the seal hunt, which will air on CBC Newsworld's 'The Lens' tonight, Saturday, April 8th, 2006 at 10:00 pm ET/PT.

Watch the trailer.

Also, don't miss the insightful interview with the director of the film, Anne Troake, found on 'The Lens' website. Troake has an interesting background, and explains how she reconciles her environmentalism with her position on the seal hunt and her opinions about activist groups like the IFAW.

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Quiz Time!

I am...


Bill Maher on oppressed Christians (via Grrrl Meets World)

Reasons to avoid buying an SUV (submitted to an SUV company when they ran a contest for commercials) (via Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy)

National Geographic's 'Bear-Cam' (via email from Apartment Girl)


I just got an email saying that an online comment I posted in response to an Ottawa Xpress article about celebrity seal hunt protesters was selected to be published in the print version of the magazine.

Neat! :)

Costco reverses decision to remove seal oil capsules

Update below

Well, it seems that Costco has reversed its decision to remove seal oil capsules from the shelves of its Canadian stores.

The U.S.-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who claimed that it convinced Costco to remove the capsules, is angry, and has added the company to its boycott. The Society claimed that it convinced Costco to remove the capsules in protest of the seal hunt. Costco replied that it was a "business decision", and denied any affiliation with the Society.

Thanks to kodak for blogging about this - I hadn't heard the news!

April 10th update: Goodness, now the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is disputing seal oil's status as a health product. They released their own study, in which they list toxins they apparently found in the oil, and in which they call seal oil "snake oil".

On a related note...

I mentioned prejudicial remarks against Newfoundlanders in my April 4th post, including those of Paul Watson, the head of Sea Shepherd. I just read some information about the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on Activist Cash, a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom which provides information about anti-consumer activist groups (select Sea Shepherd from the 'Activist Groups' dropdown menu). The
Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition of restaurants, food companies, and consumers, so I'd like to do some independent research about the Sea Shepherd, but the article makes some pretty shocking claims:

"SSCS’s mission is to stop fishing of which it disapproves. Its preferred methods? Ramming and sinking fishing ships, throwing butyric acid on their decks, and firing machine guns. Watson argues that United Nations resolutions authorize him to commit violent acts. But he regularly interferes with fisherman and hunters who are committing no crime."

"Sporting the skull and crossbones, his black or battleship-gray ships sail menacingly through the waves. They are painted with the names of the boats Watson has rammed and sunk. ... The group has sunk at least ten ships in Iceland, Norway, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, and the Canary Islands."

"Watson was a founder
[of Greenpeace]. But Watson’s violent tactics became too much for Greenpeace, which kicked him out in 1977, after he assaulted seal hunters. Watson now assails his old comrades for being too wimpy, calling Greenpeace “the Avon ladies of the environmental movement.”

"Of his native Canada, Watson has said he “despise[s] its government and dislike[s] its people.” Scandinavians, meanwhile, are “the children of the rapers of Ireland and executioners of the Celts.” The “bloodlust of these Viking offspring” who hunt whales made him “ashamed” of his Danish ancestry. And Watson once shouted through a megaphone at Makah Indians on a whale hunt: “Just because you were
born stupid doesn’t give you any right to be stupid.”

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Documentary on the history of the seal hunt

Update below

I just read this morning that a documentary about the history of the seal hunt will be on CBC Newsworld tonight and Saturday, so if you get a chance, watch it or tape it. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard lots about it, so I'm looking forward to it. For those of you looking for more information, this might be a good start.

It's called My Ancestors were Rogues and Murderers, by Anne Troake, and it will air on The Lens, CBC Newsworld at 10:00 pm ET/PT tonight, Tuesday, April 04, 2006, and same time on Saturday, April 08, 2006.

Watch the trailer.

I mentioned in a blog conversation that it makes me so sad to see the debate about the seal hunt beginning to turn into a personal attack on Newfoundlanders.

For those of you not following, take, for example, the comments of Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Society:

Watson confirms he wrote an e-mail describing Newfoundlanders as "blight and a curse, saying he has "no respect for Newfoundland or Newfoundlanders.

"They debased Canada when they joined the nation in 1949 and they continue to embarrass us in the eyes of the world as they inflict bloody carnage on innocent creatures (seals)."

April 7th update: Another example of this disturbing trend is an email sent from a Vancouver resident to a Newfoundland bed & breakfast, saying that "we won't weep" if the next tsunami hits Newfoundland.

Although I have my cynical moments, I like to believe in the basic good of people. Maybe it shouldn't surprise me that there is such prejudice in the world, but it still does. Perhaps this film can educate us all..

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My main Internet browser is Firefox, and I haven't looked at my blog using Internet Explorer in a long time. I happened to tonight though, and noticed a bunch of formatting oddities that don't show up in Firefox on an 600x800 screen. So I humbly apologize to you, dear readers, for weird indents, and for the sidebar being alllllll the way down the side of the page.

Twinkle, Twinkle

Okay, there's been too much politics on here lately. For a complete change, check out the lyrics to the French version of the children's song, Twinkle, Twinkle. I came across these the other day, and I immediately sent them to my best friend - I knew she would understand my delight. :)

Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman,
Ce qui cause mon tournment?
Papa veut que je raisonne,
Comme une grande personne;
Moi, je dis que les bonbons
Valent mieux que la raison.

Ah! Can I tell you, Mother,
What's the cause of my torment?
Papa wants me to reason
Like a grown-up.
Me, I say that candy has
Greater value than reason.
Found on There's a Life in Here Somewhere

Help a U.S. teacher teach her students about Canada

This is such a fantastic idea!

A Seattle area teacher is preparing a lesson plan for a unit about Canada, and she wants you to tell her about your community. More information in the link above. Found via Saskboy.

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My thoughts on the Juno awards

  • Where were all the awards? Presenting just 7 out of 39 on the show is pathetic.
  • Where were all the women? Besides Pamela, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, and Feist from Broken Social Scene, none of the performers were women, and few of the nominees were. At least some of the presenters were.
  • Why the hell was Coldplay's British frontman inducting Bryan Adams into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame?! Having Coldplay perform, okay, fine, but they should have chosen a Canadian artist to do the induction.
  • Loved it when Pamela got booed - twice - for using the Junos as a soapbox against the seal hunt. Also loved Jann Arden quipping that her bra was made out of seal eyelids, and seeing the camera pan to Rex Goudie, jumping in the stands.
Speaking of the seal hunt... (yeah, yeah, I know, I'll shut up about it soon) ...I stumbled across a blog with some interesting comments:
No one cares about poor old Jim, who has to go to the ice or see his family starve. No one thinks about this: Yes, sealing is gross and unpretty, yes it is horriffic and ugly, but NOBODY actually does this for FUN. No one says to themselves, "yanno, Jim, 'by. I think i haven't had nearly enough near-death encounters this past little while. I think i should go to the ice, you know, see what's up. Get a few kicks".

It irks me that people who have no concept of the historical significance of the hunt, or the economic importance of this hunt not to the shipowners (who could do without) but to the poor sealers themselves who have to do this or else face emmigration to Alberta, where we're raping the shit out of the environment for the sake of oil --- but that's a whole nother story.
Food for thought.

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"There will have to be constitutional changes," Harper says

Oh dear God...

Will somebody - the Liberals, NDP, Green - somebody! create a party stable enough to bring down the Conservative government, before Stephen Harper starts messing with the constitution?! I shudder to think of the changes he would like to make to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms...
CBC article

Food for thought: a quote from Stephen Harper's acceptance speech:

"The West has wanted in, the West is in - now Canada will work for all of us!"
I grew up in Alberta. I like it there, and I don't buy into the stereotypes. But does that sound like a man who is focused on creating a fair and balanced government?! That's a scary statement to make in an acceptance speech.

The recent media restrictions and the fact that the Conservatives have stopped funding the One Tonne Challenge really worries me...

Edited for language - my mother might see this! ;)

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Save the baby veal: Avoid cultural prejudice

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Published in the Nunatsiaq News. The caption underneath the photo reads:
Tommy Akulukjuk and Corenna Nayulia pose in a parody of celebrity “Save the baby seal” campaigns. Nunavut Sivuniksavut teacher Murray Angus created the poster to counter Paul McCartney’s recent anti-sealing campaign.

The teacher who created the poster issued a press release with some insightful words:
"… all cultures have a relationship to animals and … people in southern urbanized settings should not look down their noses at people whose cultures and economies are still closely tied to the harvesting of animals in the wild"

"There's a kind of cultural arrogance at play" he said.

Inuit don’t participate in the Newfoundland seal hunt or anything equivalent to it, but their communities across the Arctic have been severely affected whenever animal rights protesters have been successful at reducing the market for seal pelts generally …

The post[er] is … meant to give southerners a little glimpse into what it might feel like to have their own culture and animal practices judged harshly by outsiders.
Found via Field Notes. More of the story behind the poster from the National Inuit Youth Council, and Siku News. There's a humorous/interesting article from Kent Driscoll of the Northern News Service.

In my opinion, the cultural prejudice spoken of is not only directed towards the Inuit, but towards the sealers. Very few of the people protesting the hunt have been to Newfoundland and know how truly different the culture of a Newfoundland fishing community is from that of other places. To them, fishing and sealing are not merely jobs, they are traditional ways of life. It must be difficult to see your way of life and source of income slowly eroding; especially when international hostility towards you is drummed up by celebrity activists who have never spoken with you, and know virtually nothing about your way of life.

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