Back in a while!

25 ways to help curb climate change

Parade Magazine has a list of 25 easy ways you can help curb climate change.

One of the easiest is to buy new lightbulbs!

"If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with an Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent bulb, it would equal removing one million cars from the road."

Not sure why you should care about global warming? Here are a few reasons. More here. View a slideshow about the big picture. See some of the changes in the past 30 years. And read about the 4 stages of global warming denial.

Old Time Radio Shows

This one is so neat it deserves its own post. has a ton of MP3s of old time radio shows, free for download! They have a lot of cool stuff from the golden age of radio, such as Batman, Flash Gordon, The Bob Hope Show, George Burns, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Les Miserables and Unsolved Mysteries.

Right now, I'm listening to Abott & Costello's 'Who's On First'. So funny (but the cigarette commercials are slightly disturbing).

Bits & Bites

I have a million things bookmarked that I want to share, but haven't gotten around to yet. I'm heading off on vacation soon *happy dance*, so I'll try to cram a bunch of it into the next few posts.

Method home cleaning products - thumbs up!

I recently wrote about buying non-toxic, biodegradable Method home cleaning products, and several people wanted to know how I liked them.

I've now tried all of the ones I bought (all-purpose cleaner, tub & tile, and leather wipes), and I really like them! The grapefruit scented cleaner had a nice light smell, and was great for the kitchen counters and table. I loved the minty smell of the tub & tile cleaner, although it was a bit stronger. Both worked well, and although I had to use a little bit more 'elbow grease' than with harsher chemicals, I didn't have to work too hard. If I sprayed the tub & tile and let it sit for a minute, it worked great. The leather wipes made our couch more shiny, but other than that, it's hard to comment on it. I'm waiting for their laundry detergent to come in.

I'll definitely be going back to Shoppers Drug Mart to try out some other products in the line!

Damn birds!!!!!!!!

Okay, I'm beginning to hate the neighbors who live behind us. Not because they're unkind, but because of the birds. Ohhhh, the birds!!!

The people who live behind us have a lot of bird feeders. Seriously, like, seven. In subdivision-sized backyard. They attract the most awful birds; some kind of blueish black bird that looks like a crow, but smaller, and makes an awful "MAAAH" noise. Our neighbors were away for a month or so, and we'd be visited by a few robins, and teeny little brown birds. Despite the 'nest incident' a while back, I kind of enjoy having them around, and hearing them in the morning outside my window.

But I don't think the nice birdies will be back.

Our neighbors returned home a few days ago, and have obviously filled up their birdfeeders, because there are at least 30 of the nasty black birds out there, pecking in their grass, our grass, and the surrounding neighbors'. They're covering the trees, the roofs, and there are about 6 of them in our vegetable garden (incidentally, our neighbours put up three birdhouses about 4 feet away from our vegetable garden - nice). I went outside to cut some broccoli and nearly got dive-bombed by birds. I actually ducked.

I'm going to go insane. Every time I look out the window there are dozens of birds. But I've never even met the people who love back there; it's not exactly like I can go and ask them to use different bird seed.

Sigh. Does anyone have any suggestions for bird-proofing a vegetable garden?

Responses from MUN

The petition to keep Newfoundland in MUN's logo has surpassed its goal of 1000 signatures, and is still going strong, despite an attempt in The Telegram to discredit the petition (The article isn't online, but I'll type it out sometime soon).

There are many well-written, passionate comments on the petition. Here are a few:

"Having read all of the university's official answers, I still don't see the need to change the name of the university in a new ad campaign. The university can huff and puff about being "misunderstood" all they like, but if we, the people who already know and love MUN can "misunderstand" them, that's only greater proof that they are misrepresenting our university to the rest of the world." - #1012

"Memorial University of Newfoundland has prospered as a result of the quality of the students produced at the institution, most of whom are Newfoundlanders. To drop “Newfoundland” for the university’s name, to distance the institution from its roots, is an insult to all Newfoundlanders." - #936

"Who would want to take Newfoundland out of anything? Memorial should be proud to say... of Newfoundland." - #915

"Newfoundland is quickly losing the heritage/culute many of us hold dear. Please do not interfere with our university name and logo. What possible advantages are there to such a change???" - #787

"Please keep Newfoundland in the university's name in all promotional material and please keep the old logo --it may not be modern "art" but it is clear and dignified." - # 217

"The university is in Newfoundland and is part of our province's history and culture. We should be proud of who we are and where we come from." - #749

"Our university isn't just any Memorial University, it is the Memorial University of "Newfoundland". The establishment of this institution and the strides it has made over the decades to become the largest university in Atlantic Canada are a testament to the strides our province has made. Don't rob past, present and future students and faculty of the pride that is linked to the name as it stands, and the place that it stands for, our home...Newfoundland." - #734

"...Newfoundland and Labrador defines who and what we are, Memorial University of Newfoundland can only reflect that if we keep Newfoundland in its name." - #427

"Like everyone on this list I identify and am proud of MUN. Until we are presented with a logical argument demonstrating the pros and cons for a name change/logo change, we would like to keep our Newfoundland University name as MUN. Further, if we are presenting a unique cultural and academic experience of Newfoundland to the global community, why impose a disconnect by branding us with a generic stamp. I just don’t get it…" - #281

"...To the boys who went over the top and never came home, we appreciate it, and so should Memorial University of Newfoundland." - #637

"Without “Newfoundland” there is no memorial." - #379

"The words "of Newfoundland" are integral to of our University's history and founders. The name of a university is based on tradition and should not be adjusted to suit a marketing campaign." - #81

"Memorial University of Newfoundland was named in memoriam of the brave and fine Newfoundlanders who gave their lives so we could enjoy times of peace. We were, at the time, an independent country - not connected with Canada. I am proud of my heritage. As a graduate student at MUN, my wish is to keep the name as it is. The words, "Lest we forget" should be embraced. OUR SMALL COUNTRY OF NEWFOUNDLANDERS LOST A WHOLE GENERATION OF MEN. It's their memories we honour. Let's choose our naming conventions carefully. Logos, no doubt, are important marketing techniques designed to catch and hold our attention so we will make associations with them and remember. Why remove such an important part?" - #620

"...Universities are based on traditions, and familiar, easily recognizable icons are essential to the development and maintenance of traditions. It has been decided, by a small group of people, that we will abandon the use of this traditional and revered icon to facilitate a promotional campaign." - #436

"Our University was built as a Memorial to fellow Newfoundlanders who gave their lives for us. It is their Memorial and Newfoundland should never, never be removed." - #268

"I guess if you think an institution's noble origins are boring and a bummer, then it's okay to take the crest representing them out of the logo. But leaving out the location? Why bother doing something that will doubtless be confusing and controversial, unless there is some compelling reason not to advertise where MUN is? I have heard no such reason as yet." - #288

"There's an important difference between 'rebranding' and changing your identity - MUN is a major part of Newfoundland, and Newfoundland history and tradition are a major part of the university. In a time when we have to fight so hard to keep our Newfoundland culture from disappearing, I find it appaling that one of the great institutions that was built to preserve our history would even consider changing it's identity simply as marketing ploy." - #529

"Born and raised Newfoundlander who believes in never taking the word out of anything ever, ever, ever." - #910

A response from from Marketing and Communications can be found in the comments to my last post.

I added another link to the list of articles about the logo change.

The Memorial University of Newfoundland Board of Regents will likely be discussing the new logo at their next meeting. You can send your comments to individual board members (including alumni & student members) at the addresses here:

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How to be a good customer

I'm sure most of you have worked in customer service at one point or another. I worked at a record store for 5 years, and then spent another year in retail. I was good at my job, and I loved the record store most of the time. I also liked most of our customers, but there were occasional times when I wanted to wring someone's neck.

There were the customers who would let their kids race through the store (which usually ended in bruises, or someone crying). There were the customers who would complain to me about the prices. There were the lovely people who would flip out when the debit machine was down. And there was the guy who insisted (very loudly and rudely) that he should be able to return a CD because after listening to it, he didn't like the songs (even though we allowed customers to preview CDs).

Anyways, this all comes to mind because Danté wrote a post about things to remember when you're a customer. Feel free to tell him your pet peeves. Even if you haven't worked in customer service, I'm sure you've seen "those customers" before, and have had to refrain yourself from giving them a smack upside the head.

For those in the service industry who are having a crabby day, the website 'Customers Suck! The Customer is Never Right!' always provides a few laughs. I just noticed that they have a comic strip too, so enjoy!

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MUN Marketing vs. the GSU

The Graduate Students' Union at Memorial University of Newfoundland has issued a statement voicing its displeasure with the university's new marketing campaign, and in particular, the new logo. While the GSU news release is not available on MUN's website, the Marketing & Communication department's press release, and response to the GSU are.

The university takes issue with the GSU's statement, and states that its "goal in this marketing initiative is to build on the strengths of Memorial University, to make it stronger for your benefit as students and for the benefit of the entire province".

By now you all know my opinion. While I think it's great that Newfoundland photos, etc. will be used in the marketing campaign, I have not yet heard an argument that convinces me that removing Newfoundland from the logo is necessary or beneficial. I'm not the only one who feels this way. In the past two weeks, over 850 people have signed a petition saying that they want Newfoundland kept in the logo. The university has said it would like to have feedback from the university community. Maybe 850 letters need to be written to have an impact.

Marketing & Communications:
MUN president Axel Meisen:
Alumni Affairs:
Members of the Board of Regents (including alumni & student members):
The Muse editor John Rieti:
The Gazette:

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From Canada to Kandahar

The blog Farfromcanadahar is written by a member of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar, Afghanistan. According to the 'About the Author', "the PRT is a joint military/civilian organization whose job is to promote security, good governance, and reconstruction throughout the province."

While soldiers can't disclose many of their day to day activities, Dave does a good job of describing the complexities of the region and the efforts of the soldiers in Afghanistan. There are so many good posts on this blog, and I encourage you to read them to hear, first-hand, some of what goes on "over there". A particularly good entry is "Pencils and other Implements of Destruction".

On a related note, you can write the troops to let them know you appreciate their service. Regardless of how people feel about war, most of us appreciate the sacrifice that the military and their families make.

Here's some more information from Canadian Heroes, posted a while back by Saskboy:

"Soldiers constantly tell us that letters from anonymous people who show appreciation are a terrific boost to moral. I read a story of one trooper in the first Gulf War who did not have any family to write him. He received a letter from an anonymous school girl. He said that that one letter sustained him, that he read it daily again and again. He said that by the time he came home it was crumpled and soiled from being read so much.

Let’s challenge our readers to go to the Canadian Forces site to communicate their support to our men and women, especially now that things are heating up in Afghanistan.
The link is:
People can either leave a message or actually send a letter to any soldier. Instructions and guidelines are on the site.

Thanks for your help. Let’s make a difference.
Debris Trail"

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Ping me!

Is anyone else having trouble with the Technorati ping? My blog shows up as last updated 15 days ago, although I've updated (and pinged) many times since then. Any thoughts?

Beautiful writing

Reflections from the Waterfront

"Shake, shake, shake, senora..."

I'm excited! Bruce Guthro has a new album out, and I ordered a copy yesterday. I have his two other CDs, and one by his band Runrig, and I just love them. Too bad he doesn't get more airplay in Canada.

In Newfoundland music news, Avondale Music has a bunch of new releases out this summer, including Homebrew 7 and a new Punters album.

There are so many CDs on my Amazon wish list right now that I'll never be able to afford them all, but I've been downloading some great music from eMusic (only $9.99 a month for 40 DRM-free, completely legal MP3s!). My latest downloads are a bunch of tunes from Fisher, and Charlotte Martin.

And now for a random 10 from my music folder (which is, admittedly, much smaller than my CD collection):

Lyle Lovett - What'd I Say
Heather Hedley - Represent, Cuba
Hanson - Crazy Beautiful
Beatles - Good Day Sunshine
Kylie Minogue - Locomotion
Aimee Mann - That's Just What You Are
Live - Shit Town
The Weepies - Take It From Me
Marty Robbins - El Paso
Soul Decision - Kiss The Walls

A moment of silence...

Bits & Bites & MUN

Ahhh... it was a lovely weekend here, filled with sunshine, time with friends, good food, and lots of time outdoors. Hubby & I spent the entire day gardening yesterday, and I haven't slept so soundly in a long time! Our gardens are looking really good now, and our neighbors are starting to think that we're not really the hermit couple after all.

A particularly unpleasant appointment this week has been postponed too, so even though it's probably prolonging the inevitable, it feels good not to have to worry about it this week (I know, that's rather cryptic, but I'll explain another time).

I didn't watch the news or turn on the computer this weekend, so I was surprised to hear that two PEI farms have been quarantined for bird flu investigations. Eeep, that's close to home. Hubby's family lives in PEI and I work for a company based in Charlottetown.

We saw X-Men: The Last Stand on Thursday, and while it wasn't the best of the series, I enjoyed it.

On the Memorial University of Newfoundland front, the petition to keep Newfoundland in MUN's logo now has 554 signatures. The MUN Senate meeting on Thursday included discussion about the new marketing campaign, and many of the student senators were vocal during question period, taking issue with the removal of Newfoundland from the logo.

I added a couple more posts in the list of commentary about the new MUN logo (scroll down to the end of the post).

And just out of curiosity, last week I put together this collage of university logos (click to enlarge).

*Disclaimer: This is not a complete representation of Canadian university logos, and I can't guarantee that I haven't made a mistake and included an unofficial logo. For instance, I included 2 UofT logos, because I suspect the blue & red one is their most current. The logos are all different sizes, and are listed in no particular order.

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Memorial University no longer "of Newfoundland", part VII


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2 simple software tips that will improve your life

I was just taking a break from sorting through the mountain of email in my inbox, and I found a fantastic (and very well timed!) tip for Microsoft Outlook.

You know how some people reply to emails over and over again, without changing the subject line, so that the content of the message eventually has nothing to do with the title? Well, grumble no more! To make it much easier to tell what a message is actually about when you're scanning your email inbox, check out this handy little how-to from Lifehacker (a fantastic tips blog, by the way):

- - -

And while we're on the topic of helpful software tips, if you have Windows XP, for heaven's sake, reduce your eye strain by turning on ClearType!

ClearType is a Windows XP feature that smoothes the edges of fonts to make them easier to read. It's great for people like me who spend their days in front of a computer. I recently turned on ClearType on my Mom's computer, and she found it to be a big difference.

To turn on ClearType:
  • Go to Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Display
  • Click on the Appearance tab, and the Effects button
  • Check the box next to "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts", and select ClearType from the drop-down menu
  • Click OK, then Apply, and OK
That's it! Now isn't that easier to read?

Before and after:

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There's a 'Method' to the madness

I was picking up a few things at Shoppers Drug Mart last night, and I noticed a huge rack full of Method cleaning supplies! I've read about them, and wanted to try them, but hadn't seen them in any stores around town.

I seem to be getting more senstitive to the smells of harsh cleaners as I get older, and I hate the idea of using so many toxins around the house (it seems like almost everything these days contains toxic chemicals; laundry detergent, cleaners, soap, plastics...). Anyways, I've been trying to gradually switch to less harsh products, and I'm thrilled that major chains are starting to carry some of these products.

Method home cleaning products are non-toxic, biodegradable, not tested on animals, and the packages are recyclable. They weren't very expensive either; I think it was $4.99 for the all-purpose cleaner and the tub & tile cleaner. The liquid laundry detergent was $8.99 for a bottle that has enough liquid for 32 loads.

We'll see if this makes cleaning (a bit) more enjoyable!

Reviews: Vegetarian Baby and Child;; Treehugger

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes... Memorial University no longer "of Newfoundland", part VI

It seems that the 'powers that be' at MUN are listening, and have changed the text of the Research Report!

I mentioned in an earlier post that while the Government of NL is mentioned in the text of the website, the official name of the university was not used. It was just called "Memorial University", even in the copyright notice.

Now the text references in the Research Report to "Memorial University" have been changed to "Memorial University of Newfoundland". Good move.

For those of you who are wondering, the logo still does not contain Newfoundland, and the new university calendar is still the same.

Update: Marketing & Communications has let me know that "of Newfoundland" was left out of the text of the website in error. The original brochure for the Research Report mentioned the official name of the university many times. After it was brought to their attention, Marketing & Communications contacted the website administrators to fix the error.
Thanks for the info!

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Memorial University no longer of Newfoundland, Part V

The petition to keep Newfoundland in MUN's logo has 76 signatures (as of 11:20am Atlantic time).

The list of articles about the logo change is still growing...

Sure B'y posted a link to MUN's description of the symbolism of the crest/coat of arms on the university's current/old logo:

"The Arms of Memorial University have as their central element a cross moline, which is a fitting symbol for an institution dedicated to the memory of soldiers of Newfoundland who died during the Great Wars. The cross is the supreme symbol of sacrifice and its anchor-shaped ends signify the hope that springs from devotion to a good cause. The wavy bars above and below allude to the maritime setting of the university, while the three books in the upper part of the shield are a reference to its educational role.

The motto Provehito in Altum (Launch forth into the deep) captures the spirit of the adventure of learning and urges students to extend the frontiers of knowledge.

Claret and white, derived from the cross of St. George, were the colors of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the First World War. Red is a symbol of courage and sacrifice, white is the colour of purity, and gold is associated with nobleness and magnanimity. While paying tribute to the bravery of the soldiers of Newfoundland, these colors remind all that courage tempered with mercy can be enlisted in the service of pure and noble causes."

(Excerpted from the program of the Ceremony for the Presentation of the Coat of Arms to Memorial University of Newfoundland. Friday, September 18, 1992)

Now, this is only somewhat related, but I thought I'd share:

I liked this comment on the blog The Book Mine Set. To give you some background, John Mutford posted a review of the book 'Souvenir of Canada' by Douglas Coupland, and readers commented on their views of the book's characterization of the provinces. John mentioned the existence of his personal Newfoundland bias while he was reading the book, but mused, "I really don't know if Newfoundlanders and Labradorians deserve the self-proclaimed "unique" title. Certainly our culture is different than that of Alberta, but isn't Nunavut's? Quebec's? Saskatchewan's?" To this, a reader responded:

Being from Ontario, I can comment on your "bias".

Of course each province has a culture of their own, but I have never met a people more proud of their province than Newfoundlanders. When I've been around the country, I don't tell people I'm from ON. I tell them I'm from Ottawa (which may be the difference in living in a recognizable city!) There is a connection that you (meaning Newfies) have with your "land" that goes beyond regular provicial loyalty. Having visited there as a mainlander, I can see why. It's very easy to fall in love with Newfoundland.

This is part of the reason I feel so strongly that Newfoundland should be kept in the Memorial University of Newfoundland's logo.

If you're wondering what the heck the controversy around the new MUN logo is all about, read the summary at the begining of the petition, and the articles here.

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Interesting tidbits

  • Pee Wee's Playhouse is back

  • I don't follow the World Cup, but I know a lot of you do. And if you haven't already switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox, here's your incentive! The Firefox extension 'FootieFox' gives you live, up-to-the-moment soccer scores, which you can configure to specific teams. Check out Lifehacker for more information on 'FootieFox' and other online World Cup features.

  • Some soft drinks may contain the carcinogen benzene

  • Roger Ebert on the climate-change documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth':

    "When I said I was going to a press screening of 'An Inconvenient Truth,' a friend said, 'Al Gore talking about the environment!!' This is not a boring film. The director, Davis Guggenheim, uses words, images and Gore's concise litany of facts to build a film that is fascinating and relentless. In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to."

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A reminder to (try to) stop complaining and enjoy life:

Recent finds...

A.K.A. Memorial University no longer "of Newfoundland", Part IV

Just came across this petition this weekend. There aren't many names yet, so pass it around!
(Javascript won't work, so click on the image to go to the petition)

The list of related posts/articles was last updated on Friday.

Here's a link to MUN's 2006-2007 university calendar, with the new branding.

Also check out the online Research Report, with the new branding. I found this link on the survey's info page. I actually kind of like the colour scheme, but find it unsettling that while the Government of NL is mentioned, the university is just called "Memorial University" - no Newfoundland.

The MUN logo change is now a Hot Topic for discussion over at Newfoundlanders Abroad.

Oh Blogger, why must you mock me so?

Blogger has been experiencing a LOT of technical difficulties lately, which makes posting and reading difficult.

I find myself saying "GAH!!!" a lot.

Catnip says it best...

*Note: as I pressed the "Publish Post" button, I got the evil "Try Again" page. I'm gonna go now. :P

Saluting the 'Ode'... or not

Hmm... I wonder what they'll do?

Some debate going on over how the members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment will conduct themselves when the 'Ode to Newfoundland' is played over the French battlefieds when the regiment returns to Beaumont Hamel and area next month.

Lieutenent Colonel Kevin Hutchings says it's an honour to have all the members of the first and second batallions present for the 90th anniversay of the July 1st massacre. But he notes it is not permitted for Canadian Forces members to salute a, what is now, provincial anthem.

It seems such a shame that the veterans aren't allowed to salute what was, when they fought, the regiment's national anthem.

(via VOCM)

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Just because it made me laugh...

My Mom sent me this picture in an email recently:

"If you tell the guys about this, I'm peeing in your shoes!"

Hee hee hee.

Quite possibly the most hateful woman in the world

Goodness, that woman is just MEAN.

We all know she has no love for Canada (or France, or any country that's not predominantly Christian...), but now political pundit and author Ann Coulter has called 9/11 widows "witches."

But wait, it gets worse.

"I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter writes in her book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," published on Tuesday, referring to four women who headed a campaign that resulted in the creation of the September 11 Commission that investigated the hijacked plane attacks.

Coulter wrote that the women were millionaires as a result of compensation settlements and were "reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis."

The four women ... issued a statement saying they had been slandered.

"There was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again," said the statement.

[Coulter] criticized them for making a campaign advertisement for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry in 2004, and added: "By the way, how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy."

Other gems by Ann Coulter:

After the 9/11 attacks, she said,
"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

And she wrote in a book,
"Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do."

The hatred that some people can spew never ceases to amaze me.

Update: Edited to remove the link to fake quotes.

Memorial University no longer "of Newfoundland": Part III

On Monday I wrote an article about why I disagree with the Memorial University of Newfoundland's new logo.

Many bloggers have commented on the issue, and I'm keeping an updated list of them below my article. If you'd like to read them, click on the link above and scroll down to the bottom of the post. If you know of other blog posts or articles to add, let me know in a comment. Thanks!

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Quote of the day

Re: religion, terrorism and promoting hatred:

"It is sad to hear interviews with Muslims, wherein they are forced to defend an entire religion, because of the actions of a few radicals. Christians aren't forced to apologize for Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, who regularly broadcast intolerance and hate."

(via Far and Wide)
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Beheading the PM

Authorities are claiming that one of the accused terrorists arrested in Toronto expressed the desire to behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and that the group may have planned to behead other hostages if their demands were not met.


We don't yet know if these accusations are true, but it certainly gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Gary Batasar, who represents Steven Chand, accused the authorities of trying to instill fear in the public, and he chastised Harper for expressing 'happiness' that the suspects had been arrested over the weekend. He said:

"I expect my client to get a fair trial, as fair as every other trial that occurs in Canada. ... In fact, the comments made by the prime minister himself with respect to his happiness that these persons had been arrested certainly is surprising and shocking. I believe the prime minister should keep out of the process and let justice take its course."

Wow! I totally disagree with the lawyer on this one. It has nothing to do with the presumption of innocence or receiving a fair trial, but isn't the PM allowed to be happy that people, about whom the police have evidence of a coordinated terrorist plot, have been arrested? He's not saying that they shouldn't be given a fair trial, or that the police should stop investigating. I bet that many people are happy that arrests have been made, just as they'd be happy if any suspected violent offender was arrested (wasn't everyone happy when they arrested a suspect in the Cecilia Zhang murder?). We all know that the accused deserve a fair trial, and we all pray that the innocent are not convicted, but in the meantime, it's comforting to know that the police have some suspects in custody, so they can continue to get to the bottom of the story.

And if the police told me that someone planned/hoped to behead me, I'd be awfully glad that they were in custody.

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Update: Looks like the server maintenance is done now - blogrolls are back!

Strange... doesn't have blogrolling information on it this afternoon. Instead, when I typed in the URL, I got the screen in the picture, dated September 2004. What's that all about?!
As a result, blogrolls are down for the time being.

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Memorial University no longer "of Newfoundland", Part II

June 23rd: Updated again!

This weekend I received a copy of the Memorial University of Newfoundland's latest Alumni e-newsletter, Luminus Express, and it contains a link to information about MUN's new logo.

I've previously expressed disappointment about the university's choice for a new logo, which I still hold, even after correspondence with the university's Marketing & Communications staff. I posted about this issue before, but I would like to re-state and expand upon my opinions.

For those of you who aren't aware of the issue, the Memorial University of Newfoundland has created a new logo, in which the university is represented simply as "Memorial University" - no location.

I believe the logo should continue to contain "of Newfoundland", like in the edited image below.
Not only was the university named in memory of Newfoundland’s WWI and WWII veterans, but it is the location of the university - an important fact. Although the legal name of the university has not changed, and the crest and full name will still be used for ceremonial purposes, I think it is unwise to use a logo without the words “of Newfoundland” in it. There are many reasons for this:

Many people (including members of the university’s Alumni) are strongly against a name change, and although the legal name has not changed, this new logo seems like a back-end way around the controversy.

The opinion has been raised that adding “of Newfoundland” to the logo would make it more confusing. I wholeheartedly disagree, and I believe that leaving out the location will in fact cause confusion. Newfoundlanders all know where “Memorial University” is, but most people from other parts of the country, and certainly internationally, will have no idea where "Memorial University" is when they see the logo on a sweatshirt, backpack, or in any other situation when additional text and photos are not present. The inevitable question will be “Where is that?”.
Many universities in small areas use the location in their logo (or use an acronym in their logo, like UNB). As an aside, I imagine that far fewer people would have a problem with a "MUN" logo for the university, as opposed to this “Memorial University” logo.

Contrary to the university's claim that "there is no other Memorial University", a quick Google/Yahoo search brings up several, which again presents a problem for distinguishing the university using a logo with the name “Memorial University”. This logo does not set MUN apart from other universities; in fact, it will create confusion.
- Florida Memorial University
- Lincoln Memorial University

- The Hubert Kairuki Memorial University
- Roma Memorial University

- Memorial Health University

While I understand the desire to have a short, simple, and easy to reproduce logo, I do not believe that the addition of the location to the university’s logo would be counter to these goals, although I admit that it would make the logo slightly longer/larger. To be blunt, and perhaps it is just my opinion, but “Memorial University” sounds bland and non-descriptive. Brock and Dalhousie, while they are not the official names of the university, are more distinctive names, and less likely to be confused with other universities and locations. And while people refer to the university as “MUN” and “Memorial” in conversation, when they are speaking with someone who they think will not have heard of the university, they usually mention the location; either “Memorial University of Newfoundland”, or something along the lines of “Memorial University, it’s in the province of Newfoundland, Canada” or “MUN, in Newfoundland”.

A sense of home and community is very important to Newfoundlanders. While the campaign’s incorporation of local places, people, uniqueness and strengths is to be commended, it just feels wrong not to use Newfoundland in the logo. Perhaps my emotions are too involved, but I believe that others feel the same way. I still wear my MUN sweatshirt with pride; with much more pride, in fact, than I wear my UNB shirts. That's because Newfoundland is in my blood, and my four years at MUN were an amazing experience. We Newfoundlanders are proud of our home, and we like for others to know where we are from; more so, it seems, than people from most other provinces. Although I am sure it was not the intention of the university decision makers, removing “of Newfoundland” from the logo seems to be disregarding the importance of our heritage in all things we do, and I do not foresee the same pride in a logo that simply says “Memorial University”.

A logo is a device to tell part of a story, but our location is the essential first sentence of our tale. In fact, our location is often the element that piques people to ask more – I’m sure every Newfoundlander has mentioned Newfoundland to people from other parts of Canada and the world, and received the response “Oh, I’d love to visit there someday!”, which leads to a conversation about the province. The university’s marketing campaign will elaborate on the message in the logo, but this does not mean that Newfoundland should not be included in the logo. There is much more to our story than our location, which the campaign will illustrate.

They must have realized that this issue would be divisive, so why remove Newfoundland from the logo? I realize that the question of Labrador has been raised, but the university’s legal name remains “Memorial University of Newfoundland”, so it seems that there is no need to create a logo which “avoids the geographic reference which no longer matches that of the province.”

From what I understand, the representation and name of the university has been a controversial issue for some time, and it seems that there is more to lose in removing those words from the logo than in keeping them. To rephrase and make my meaning more clear: it seems that more people will be upset with Newfoundland removed from the logo, than the number that would be upset if Newfoundland remains in the logo.

It would not ruin the new logo to include "of Newfoundland" in small grey letters at the bottom. I believe this looks better than simply “Memorial University”, and I am confident that it would make more alumni, students, and Newfoundlanders in general, happy about the marketing of their university.

I like the new video, but personally, I would not purchase university products that did not say either Newfoundland or MUN, and I am extremely disappointed that the university has approved a logo that does not include our Island’s name - our heritage.

If you would like to voice your opinion about the new logo, you can email the university's marketing and communications group at, and the university president Axel Meisen at

Note: other bloggers have also suggested emailing your opinions to Alumni Affairs at

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Update: Many other NL bloggers have commented on this issue. Read their thoughts, and join the discussion!

May 24th

john-galt83: Been a while...

metal-tiara: So, convocation has (be)come and gone

May 25th

Curo: the new MUN logo

barhaven: Grad

May 29th

Cove Blogger: MUN Name Change Redux

June 5th

Townie Bastard: Embarrassed to be in Newfoundland

Cove Blogger: Memorial University of Newfoundland

June 6th

Owen's Mom: MUN Loses its Character

June 7th

Sure B'y: MUN Branding

vickeyth: MU like a cow

Townie Bastard: (Subliminal) Truth in advertising...

johnth: MU

Townie Bastard: More MUN, then a break

Liam O'Brien: "They Just Love Irony": Fun with Logos at Memorial...

damian: Memorial University of Newfoundland

June 8th

rexton: Open letter to MU(N)

rexton: They should add rather than take away

vickeyth: The sound of silence (or nothingness) - more MU

June 12th

Townie Bastard: Petition

Sure B'y: MUN crest symbolism

Sure B'y: Of MUN visits and logos

Owen's Mom: MUN update

metal_tiara: I know that many people have...

metal_tiara: I don't have any sophisticated image editing program, but here is a first run! (T-shirt idea)

john_galt83: Memorial University (of nothing and no one)

June 13th

Cove Blogger: MUN Name Change 3.0

rj:product: MUN Remembers Beaumont Hamel

erlking: Memorial University of Newfoundland's new logo...

June 14th

s55ael: I like it!!!

Townie Bastard: You know what will happen, right?

Laurie: The new logo

john_galt83: MU(N), again

June 15th

Simon: MUN to Memorial Re-Branding

June 16th

Townie Bastard: Flickr Update & MUN Update

erlking: So I sent an email...

June 23rd

erlking: I am so angry

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Sure B'y mentioned a link to MUN's explanation of the symbolism of the university's crest/coat of arms

Townie Bastard mentioned a CBC article about the issue: New Memorial Logo Drops 'Newfoundland'

Owen's Mom mentioned a 2002 letter to the editor of the MUN Gazette, in which Dr. June Harris explains her opposition to changing the legal name of the university

The Muse: Memorial re-brands

The Muse (editorial): So dark the con of MUN

This is a Hot Topic for discussion over at Newfoundlanders Abroad.

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For the Lord of the Rings fans...

Watch this video clip. Seriously, we ALL need a laugh on Mondays.

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

(via Grrrl Meets World)

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Additional Monday morning musings...

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On music and free MP3s

If you'd like to check out some new music, listen to these songs by Hey Rosetta (more songs here) and Adam Harnett (links via Cove Blogger and John Gushue).

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Also on the subject of MP3s... if you haven't heard of eMusic yet, check it out.

It's a music subscription service, similar to PureTracks or iTunes, but much cheaper, and you get MP3s unhindered by restrictions on how you can use them. I've been using it for the past couple of months, and I love it!

They don't have most of the big-name artists, but they have some, and they have a ton of lesser known artists, indie artists, and artists on labels such as Nettwerk, Koch, Sun, Rykodisc and Matador. They also have a good jazz back-catalogue, and for those who like classical, eMusic has almost the entire Naxos catalogue. I've found some great artists on there through their 'similar artists' lists and member recommendations.

It's legal, DRM free, and eMusic pays the artists royalties. In my opinion, the best part is that once you've downloaded a song, you can download it again, anytime, without having to pay for it again - particularly helpful if your computer crashes.

You can sign up for a free trial, and keep the MP3s even if you cancel your trial subscription (they're offering 25 free MP3s right now). I signed up for the free trial, and liked it so much that I signed up for a month-to-month plan - $9.99 a month for 40 songs (25 cents a song!).

Some of the artists I've downloaded so far:

  • Lisa Loeb
  • Tom Waits
  • The New Pornographers
  • Willie Nelson
  • Judy Garland
  • Ray Charles
  • Johnny Cash
  • The Weepies
  • Colin Hay
  • Patty Griffin
  • Spirit of the West
  • Neko Case
  • Jill Sobule
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Chris Bryan
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And for Newfoundland tunes, check out Avondale Music for some of the province's best traditional music. Avondale is the company behind the Homebrew and Downhomer Presents... CD series, as well as The Christmas Wish, Singalongs and Shanties and Our Songs compilations. Avondale also produces and/or distributes albums by tons of Newfoundland music groups including Shanneyganock, The Punters, The Celtic Connection, Great Big Sea, The Ennis Sisters, Ryan's Fancy, and many more.

New releases for this summer will be posted on the website soon!

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Quote of the day

On same-sex marriage in Canada:

"In the years since the courts started marrying gays, society has not collapsed. The Church has suffered more damage at the hands of a 435 page novel about a Renaissance painter."

(via the long walk)

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It's like looking into the future...

Why doesn't this surprise me??

Bush asks Senate to ban gay marriage

Harper to hold vote on repealing same-sex marriage law

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Online auction to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Network

Time for a public service announcement!

Check out the Canadian Breast Cancer's first online auction, going on from June 1-30, 2006.

They have over 150 items up for auction, and will be listing new items every day or two. You can bid on some neat stuff: theatre tickets, hotel packages, CDs and books, etc. Items will be available between 7 and 20 days.

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News & entertainment round-up: street racing, Agent Orange, PM vs. the media, and pulp fiction tackiness



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Spying affects everyone

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