I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with anything coming from the Prime Minister's Office, but reportedly while "Canada is preparing to increase humanitarian aid for the war-ravaged Syrian people," it has no intention to contribute to "any Western air strikes on Syria." Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative party, will probably be called a bleeding heart Liberal by the United States, but when you look at all the facts presented by the news, this approach actually makes sense.More
If everything Snowden has revealed is lies and hyperbole, why does the United States want to charge him with spying? Sounds more like he should be charged with lying. If I was the U.S., I'd deny everything, get some qualified nerd to explain the impossibility of storing so much data from millions and millions of Internet users and shrug it off as paranoid nonsense.
Unless what he's saying is the truth, and releasing heavily censored top secret documents is the best damage control the U.S. has managed for this potentially volatile situation. So, let's assume for a second that Snowden is saying the truth, what does that make him? A traitor? A spy? An enemy? What if it actually made him a real patriot?More
The video you see above shows Toronto Police killing a scrawny 18-year-old boy armed with a knife during a stand-off. According to the CBC:
Witnesses say Sammy Yatim was alone on the 505 Dundas streetcar near Trinity Bellwoods Park when he was shot just after midnight ET Saturday morning. He had pulled a knife and ordered everybody off the streetcar, witnesses say.
As I find myself still reading the first issue of The Economist I received in June, two more issues have already appeared in my mailbox. I am so behind that their Predictions of 2013 supplement from December still sits on my desk, still wrapped in cellophane. I have to ask: does anyone actually read The Economist? Or are we all just pretending, carrying it around just so people think we are well-informed?More
Although you had probably heard that Instagram had added video capabilities to their service, your first experience with one of the videos probably went something like this: suddenly, as you're scrolling, a photo animates, starring dressed-up teenage girls screaming "WE'RE HAVING FUN, DAMN IT, THIS VIDEO PROVES IT" and even before you found the volume button, you asked yourself, "WTF, Instagram?" (and not, possibly, why I am following teenage girls on Instagram).More
But those mind-boggelingly great artists... well, they keep getting re-discovered and re-discovered over the decades and before you know it some Viking/Pirate/Folk (doesn't know how to tell them apart most of the time) fake dreads-sporting neo-paleo-neo-hippie girl is playing 'Smoke On the Water' to me with an expectant look in her eyes, as if she'd just unearthed a rare gem.More
Yes, I know. You are different. You are not your parents, and your parents were never cool anyway. But here's the thing; yes you will change. Maybe you'll be dead, addicted or in jail. Despite what Hollywood tells you; your youthful hijinks are not consequence free. I realized that the first time someone told me 'Oh by the way, you know so-and-so? Yeah, he's dead.' Kids die too. There's no karmic judge that spares the 'good ones' and you don't get off with a slap on the wrist because you are young, not from life. Certainly not from death.More
Why is it, in general, that people seem to think I have it in for them personally when I participate in a debate or simply post something on Facebook they disagree with? Why is it all so personal?
It's quite simple;
I've come to the conclusion that these people have been taught all through their childhood that they were entitled little brats. And they grew up to be entitled big brats. It's personal because if it weren't that would mean I didn't care about them personally. If I say something they feel is objectionable it's either aimed directly at them or it's ignoring their feelings.More
When I was living in Toronto, back in 2006 or so, everyone around me was online dating. All of my girlfriends were doing this -- and I was living alone at the time. It was the thing to do... Every cell in my body was against it, and I was getting tons of mixed messages from around me. A few being: age difference (I can date someone younger than me), religious or cultural difference, any other difference did not matter apparently -- and while you're at it, why not have a first date with someone new three times a week? You can be having dates with multiple people, even kiss them, but until you have the talk of exclusivity, all was game. I knew I could never do that. But my girlfriends did! So I decided to give it a shot. What could I lose? I would just be honest and write what I wanted on my profile and present who I was, and hope it would resonate somewhere with someone, right? Wrong. Instead, a lot of weird things happened... I met a lot of weird people, which made me come to the conclusion that online dating is mostly a waste of time, and success is there only because statistically and mathematically, it would have to occur (which it does).More
Itís the holiday season. I felt like a break from the usual seriousness, and I havenít done a tutorial in a while. So, just for fun, and perhaps some edification, I present you a simple way to do cool looking street-art headers for your blog, site, or even print. More
There are many small things that annoy me daily. I'm sure it's the same for you. If not, well, consider yourself lucky. Unless, of course there are many big things that annoy you daily, in which case, sucks to be you. Here's a list. Why? Because lists are fun. Sorta. It's better than bottling shit up, or so I'm told. If it doesn't work it's back to the original plan, although where I'm going to get enough rat poison, I don't know. More
Nerds are never going to leave you for another woman, and the mistress he comes with is not human and cannot reciprocate her loyalty with fellatio, leaving only you as his option; even though he talks about her so much you sometimes question why it was incredibly disappointing to him when you told him he could not bring his laptop to bed. Seriously. While they may also watch a lot of pornography they are also smart enough to know the difference between porn sex and real life sex. While they drool over sci-fi hotties they also know they do not stand a chance with them. Rather, they would like to engage in conversation about the media's portrayal of women and how it hurts us. Anyway, nerds do not have affairs (with human women) primarily because: they've already been wounded by a cheater; they know that no else wants them sexually, thereby limiting their chances for infidelity greatly, and; while Kirk might, Picard definitely would not. More
If you are prepared to define 'all over the world' as 'the rich few countries' then 'all over the world' protesters have gathered at Wall Street and places they perceive as local equivalents to protest. They are protesting many things, there's no agenda, no list of demands. In general they are just angry at where the world is going and I couldn't agree more; I'm friggin' pissed. But I will not join them. Here's why. More
I don't know what I'm thinking when I plop myself into the driver side of a tiny Toyota Tercel, my fiancée sitting in the passenger side, and the stick in between us. A line drawn in the sand. A very symbolic boundary separating "those who know" and "those who do not know".
"How did I end up choosing this again?"
"You said you wanted to learn."
"Yes. I did, didn't I?" I don't touch anything in the car and sit with my hands in my lap, my legs together.
"Yes, you did. And it'll be great! I'll be your teacher." He's incredibly enthusiastic. A man who probably learned how to drive a car with a standard transmission by reading a manual about it in his mother's womb. He is brimming in what should be my self-confidence but having grown up as the eldest child with every move questioned it's hard to believe I can control machinery.More
On my first day as history major a professor told us "Please forget everything about history you were taught in school." The impression most people are left with is that history consists of first a load of guys in toga's doing a lot of thinking and philosophy, then a big meltdown and a big period of time in which nothing happened but burning of witches and heretics by people who thought the world was flat, and then a slow emergence of modern thought. And of course these days we are well away from the irrational flat-worlders. We have science! More
I'm a sucker for well-done parodies because while they mock the original creation, they also show a deep knowledge of it. And that very knowledge, which the reader can recognise and appreciate in this book, is what makes Pat the Zombie so great.More
The overarching message in this book is quite simple; fucking stop, the fuck, 'helping' fucking Africa with aid that is clearly only doing fucking harm, not good. You can see with your own eyes, so why the fuck keep doing it? The fuck?! (Paraphrased. The 'fucks' are mine.) More
You can't feed six billion people without it. I'm reading The End Of Food right now. The level of societal change we would have to undertake to revert 80% of the population to manual food production would (will) be impossible. The fact that we don't even see it coming is just absurd. More
The interdependencies of modern life make it inherently frail. We're so isolated from the necessities of life that virtually all of us never give them a second thought. Food is never a problem, neither is clean drinking water. These things becomes immediate, panicky concerns when Walmart and all the rest aren't delivering at the lowest possible price. We don't have a grasp on what the actual costs of life really are; we are increasingly unprepared for a breakdown. More
After writing 'Things My Father Should Have Told Me As a Child' I was ostracised from the dating community. Gangs of irate feminist protesters throw rocks through my windows, men the world over have taken out contracts on my life, hackers have invaded my computer and ordered bondage gear in my name. My Mac refuses to boot (but that may be due to a botched Linux install), Girls I dated all call to ask if I meant them (yes) and girls I never GOT to date called to ask if I meant them (yes, too). Models refuse to work for me and rumour has it that the W3C is changing all the standards so I'll be out of a job. More
You know the stories, songs, books and blog-posts that start with "My father took me aside one day and ..."? Well, the concept of 'fathers' was not a stable thing in my childhood. Mostly I had to make do with occasional, very occasional, letters and a phone call on my birthday. So I'm guessing that my fathers (biological, adoptive) didn't get much time for such asides. Besides, I was a pretty chatty kid, so they probably never got a word in edgewise. So, I learned all those 'man' things on my own. More
The train pulled into the station. He walked down the steps towards the bus that would take him home, where he wouldn't have to see things that made him nice again. Where people don't get raped, don't cry on your shoulder, don't sit in a wicker chair like a wounded puppy, looking at you as if you have any of the answers they seek. Only to go back to let it all happen again. More
For the second time this week I've read a "Letter to the Editor" where a female reader complained that a magazine in question had too much man in it. In the first case, a long-time reader of The New Yorker had a problem that the last two issues had too few women in it. She was so outraged that she sent the issue back demanding a refund. Elsewhere, another reader completely dismissed all of the articles in the previous issue of a club's newsletter because all but one were written by men. She summarised the entire thing as a "testosterone overload". I agree that, despite some improvements, gender inequality issues are still alive and well. I also agree that magazines need to present a balance of voices that reflect their audience. As a Social Worker, I also think that if we're all going to preach the importance of equality among gender (among other things), we're not helping the problem by discarding something just because it was written by a man. More
First and foremost, Basil Baxter (who Loves You) wishes to address some personal grievances. Basil Baxter (who Loves You) has noted with mounting displeasure that, despite claims to the contrary by your extensive PR department, you apparently do not, in fact, read all letters sent to you. More
LARP (Live Action Role Playing) is an often misunderstood hobby. People see pictures or movies online, often at semi-humorous websites that make a living ridiculing others or stealing material from actually funny sites, and it all seems as if we geeks just call each other up some day, get together in a park and start playing pretend. Or as if it's all about bashing each other while pretending to be knights. Sadly, LARPers themselves are sometimes lured in front of the camera's, and "to keep things simple for the folks at home" enticed to dumb it all down to just those two things, at best. More