Thursday, April 30, 2009

REPLY AWL

An article in the February 23 edition of The Daily Telegraph talks about parents demanding a television host be taken off the air because she has only one arm. Parents say Cerrie Burnell scares their children and forces them to talk with their children about things the parents aren't ready to discuss. I'm sure she might appear scary at first, but it will give parents a good opportunity to talk to their children about how some people only have one arm. I don't think some parents are upset that it forces them to talk to their children about disabilities at a young age, I think they're upset by it because it just forces them to talk to their children

An article in the February 10 edition of The Independent gives tips for parents to cope with the recession. Most of them are pretty obvious, like eating out less and watching dvd's at home instead of going out. As far as talking to older children is concerned, the article tells parents to be honest with the children but blow smoke at the same time.

"Kids, the recession is taking place because a bunch of idiots bought houses without the ability to pay for them. The greedy bastards who run the world used that as an excuse to totally wreck the world's economy. It is going to get a lot worse because the U.S. and other governments have spent more money over the years than the world actually has. But don't worry, there's a new president in America who's going to fix everything, even though mostly what he does seems to be saying "hope" and "change" a lot, while having people shout "yes we can." Oh, and also he talks a lot about his dog."

An article in the February 26 edition of the Daily Mail talks about a bunch of meningitis vacceens that have been recalled because they contained Staph A and were therefore unsafe. And they're safe normally? I'm sure it was just an accident.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

REPLY AWL

The editorial in the March issue of Chatelaine really got me thinking. Miriam Sinati talked about her father and mother who are active, healthy and with it at the ages of 82 and 70 respectively. She said she had started worrying about her family's health after her son's problems with eczema. She started trying to live a healthier lifestyle, with good results. It seems like there are a lot of people in their seventies, eighties and nineties who are still fairly healthy and active. Then you've got all these 60-year olds with cancer. I think about the unhealthy lifestyles people my age live and I wonder if we're all going to die before our parents.

Katrena Onstadt's collumn in the April issue of Chatelaine was about snobbishness in the green movement. She made some good points, but did she have to include all the sniping she did?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

VICTOR

Cbc Television, Sunday April 26, 8:00 p.m.

Victor is the story of the life of Victor Davis, the Canadian Olympic swim champion. It was written by and stars another Canadian Olympic swimming champion, Mark Lutz. Also in the film are Ron Lee (I finally learned his name) as Cliff, Victor's coach, and Dan Duran as the sports announcer.

This film tells the story of Victor's life, returning over and over to scenes of him in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run driver, the event that ended his life in 1989. I found this to be a compelling film, if a bit confusing due to the plot jumping around.

Friday, April 24, 2009

REPLY AWL

The March 16 issue of Maclean's contains an article entitled "The Sexting Scare." It is about how some teens are sending nude pictures of themselves over their cell phones to friends. While I don't think this is the best thing to do, I do think there has been a lot of overreaction to this. They are not distributing child pornography, as some states say. Some teens in the United States have already been charged as sex offenders because of sexting. This will affect them for the rest of their lives. I wonder if they will be able to have and raise children like they want. Come on, judges, get a little common sense. As for pedophiles who intercept these pictures, I will take you before the heavenly courtroom.

The same issue contains an article entitled "The Schmorgischbord At Milly's Diner." It is about a restaurant in a small town in Quebec. It reminds me a bit of my town with lots of cool people who are, I daresay somewhat eccentric.

There is also an article in this issue entitled "These Are The Real People With Style" about a guy capitalising on individual's unique fashion looks. Come on, kike, let people be themselves.

The March 23 issue of Maclean's contains an interview with Niel Straus, the author of a book on survival. One thing he said that I thought was particularly thought-provoking was that 9/11 happened and everything people born in the 70's and80's that thought couldn't happen here happened here: a terrorist attack, the mess surrounding Hurrican Katrena and the financial crisis.

The same issue also contains an article about a mom who talked too much, then decided to be silent for two days a week. Sure, she needed to talk less, but did she have to take it to that extent?

BABY-LED WEANING

I recently found out about something called baby-led weaning.

Baby-led weaning is a method whereby you feed a baby solid foods at six months (when they are able to handle them) which allows the baby to appreciate the texture of the food and, as I understand it make the experience of being introduced to solid food more pleasant.

This sounds like a cool idea. When evaluating these alternative parenting techniques, I like to think about the historical tradition behind them. Certainly, they might not have had pureed baby foods in times past due to lack of technology to produce such a thing.

Cutting the food up into shapes the baby can handle seems like a good idea. Anything to avoid the bucking, "Here comes the airplane"/"Here's your pureed squash" tscinerio.

I am seriously considering trying this with my future children.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DELIVER US FROM EVIL

TVO, Wednesday April 22, 10:00 p.m.

Deliver Us From Evil is a documentary about a Catholic preest, Oliver O'Grady who molested boys and girls for thirty years and got away with it.

The documentary tells the stories of how he got close to some of his victims, and how all the higher-ups protected him, not taking serious action when they should have and moving him to different parishes. Though the story is a familiar one, this is an excellent documentary because it really lays the story out. It explains all parts of the story, and gives the non-Catholic insights into the Catholic mindset.

In fact, those insights were the thing I found most striking about this film. It explains how the Catholics are told to be "docile, obedient followers." It talks about how family's let the preest get close to them, letting him stay at their house on his days off (if he doesn't have any family within driving distance, of course.) This means that the children see the preest at church, at home and at school, which as one of the victims says in the film, "... as a Catholic, is your (whole) life."

The film also talks about the people's reliance on the preest. The Catholic church teaches that salvation is only through the Catholic church. Catholics see Communion as the most important thing. The preest has allmost this God-like status because he is the only one, according to church teaching with the power to turn the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. O'Grady says he would get people calling him up twice a day asking him things like, "What shall I have for dinner."

He said, "Whatever you like. You've had dinner before, you'll have dinner again."

I must say, this is the only part of the film were I feel any good feeling toward O'Grady in any way.

On the down side, I felt this film could have used far less descriptions of the specific acts O'Grady performed on those little boys and girls. I know the kinds of things those people do, and I don't need exact details. There are a few instances in the film when it is merited, like when one male victim describes being forced, but other than that the graphic descriptions are unnecissary.

Still, this film is a must-see for a good example of a pedophile preest, the hierarchy that protected him and the mindset of the people whose children were victims.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NEW AM 740 ADS

I don't know about the new TV ads for Toronto's Am 740. They make it seem like the morning team talks mostly about themselves rather than presenting an entertaining morning show.

To see the ads, click the title of this post and follow the links.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

REPLY AWL

The Feb. 29-March 2 issue of USA Weekend contains an article on St. Joseph's Day, a Catholic observance. The article says, "legend has it, during a medieval drought and famine, Sicilians prayed to St. Joseph, the patron of workers and the guardian of family. When the famine subsided, they attributed it to the saint and promised to honor him each year with a feast."

So, rather than thanking God for relief from the drought and famine, they attributed it to a saint. The feast includes fava beans because tradition holds that fava beans are associated with good luck since they survived the drought. Luck and a supposedly Christian sect? It does not compute.

An article from the January 8, 2008 edition of the Jersey Journal contains a column saying that Girl Scout cookies should be banned. This is a humourous piece, but it isn't so far off from the way some people seriously think.

TILLY

Tonight I went to a dessert social that was a fundraiser for our local crisis pregnancy centre. The Quinte Youth Alliance put on the play Tilly, based on the novel of the same name by Frank Perreti.

The actors did an excellent job. They knew their lines perfectly and the performance went off without a hitch. The play tells a good story and has a message or two that needs to be heard.

The story is about Cathy Ross, a woman who goes to a funeral and sees a woman weeping at a grave with the name Tilly etched on the tombstone. The proverbial biscuit is dipped in the tea and all Cathy's memories come flooding back. Cathy and her husband Dan eventually learn that Tilly is the name of the baby Cathy aborted nine years earlier. The woman at the abortion clinic gave her a funeral.

While the performance and the basic story are good, I have a problem with some aspects of this story.

First and foremost, the plot is very underdeveloped. The novel itself is only 126 pages. The characters are not given time to develop and the reasons for why they did what they did are never clear. From a literary standpoint, it should have been a much longer novel, taking us back to when Cathy got pregnant and leading up to the time nine years in the future when the events of the novel take place. Additionally, Perreti should have devoted part of the novel to telling the back story of Anita Mendoza, the woman at the abortion clinic, as well as that of the woman at the funeral home.

Second, there are too many loose ends. It's never clear whether Cathy and Dan are Christians. Cathy mentions that she used to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to her kids when they were little. This would seem to indicate that she has been a Christian for a number of years, but if she was a Christian at the time she became pregnant with Tilly, why did she have the abortion? It's never explicitly stated what the Ross's spiritual standing is.

Also, Anita Mendoza is the woman who worked at the abortion clinic. She had her pastor perform the ceremony for Tilly. It's indicated, in the play at least, that Mendoza was a new Christian. If she was a Christian, why was she working at the abortion clinic? I assume that she had just recently become a Christian and was trying to get out of her job there, but whether this is the case or not is never made clear.

Cathy eventually discovers that Tilly and God have forgiven her for aborting Tilly, but whether Cathy becomes a Christian or not is never revealed. What happens to her? Does she go on to lead a Christian life?

Most importantly, we are never clearly told why Cathy aborted Tilly in the first place. After the play, the director of the crisis pregnancy centre said that in the novel, it said that Cathy and Dan didn't want to have any more children. However, from the reviews I've read on Amazon, this isn't made clear in the novel.

Third, the characters are not developed (because the plot is not developed.) As I said above, there needed to be a lot more of a back story.

On a positive note, the story does contain some messages that need to be heard, particularly that abortion hurts everybody. The woman feels guilty for years and the other people involved feel hurt by it, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SONG REVIEW: LOVE LETTER TO JAPAN: THE BIRD AND THE BEE

This is a catchy song which can be described as pop. However, it is not the crummy genaric pop you hear on commercial radio. It has real lyrics. Also unlike commercial pop, it is nither sappy (the traditional lagoon moon June sort of thing) or dirty. It's just a catchy, honest love song.

Monday, April 13, 2009

SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS THAT OTHER KIDS HAVE DONE

I recently read an article originally printed in the April 2008 issue of People magazine that talked about a 70-year old man named Alferd who is going to school for the first time.

While on the surface this might seem like a great thing, consider the following. He's 70 years old and in first grade. Is he ever going to advance to a significant reading level? Alferd said he wanted to learn to read because his father was a poor sharecropper who was cheated all his life. However, is Alferd himself ever going to be able to read a contract? Can he read his bank statement? They don't teach that sort of thing in grade 1.

Alferd is in this ghetto school with kids with names like Denisse and Drayke. Does the school really have enough resources to give him the education he needs?

Alferd says he wants to stay in the teacher's class until he gets his GED (what we in Canada call a high school equivalency) but how is he going to get a GED if he only takes grade 1 for years and years?

The Great Eastern, Newfoundland's Cultural Magazine.

I used to think stories from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine were cool and exciting. Now I just think they're boring and predictable.

APOLOGIES

I apologize for not posting a review of the second part of India reborn. I can not now distinguish things in the second part from things in the first part.

I would like to say this, though. Indian readers, listen to me. Once the New World Order gets through with you, they will drop you like a knife down a sink drain. That is what they've done with the west. They allowed us to live high on the hog for years, and now they're wrecking our economy. They'll do the same to you.

I also apologize for not posting reviews of the last two Degrassi: The Next Generation episodes but I can no longer review them with any conviction.

Friday, April 10, 2009

CRUMMIER AND CRUMMIER

I swear mainstream media gets crummier by the day.

Tuesday, I listened to the news on both Cjbq and 91x (the local college station.) In the weather forecast, both stations gave the weather for that day and that night, then said the weather would be getting warmer, reaching a high of nine on Saturday. It left me thinking, what horrible weather are we going to have between now and Saturday that they don't want to tell us about? Fortunately it's been nice since yesterday.

Today at 10:00, I went to listen to the news on Cjbq. The announcer said his name, gave a weather forecast, then gave the usual speel they have to give concerning the sponsor. The newscast then ended and I heard, "Merry Christmas from Cjbq."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

DOWNLOADING

A woman called me a couple days ago from the Canadian Copyright Board. She was taking a survey about people's downloading and copying habbits.

She asked questions like, "How many CD's have you copied in March?" and "How many songs do you have on your computer?", but she never asked important questions like, "Why do you download?"

My view on downloading is this. If I just want one song, I'm not going to buy the album so the artists aren't going to get any money from me anyway. If downloading were made illegal, I'd just go without.

I would personally never copy an album or a Dvd. If I want a whole album or a movie, I'll buy it. I have encouraged my sister to do the same. When I go to concerts, I always buy a CD of the artist's music (unless they mostly sing covers, I'm not a fan of covers.)

All the blogs from which I download songs are licensed under a Creative Commons License, which means it's all right to copy the artist's work as long as you credit the source.

I've also downloaded podcasts featuring copyrighted music but there are hundreds of those all over the internet. Is the Canadian Copyright Board going to go after every podcaster and make them pay royalties? That would sure make them look like a bunch of greedy bastards.

I have a feeling answering that survey is eventually going to land me in a military brig someplace. If it does, I would encourage people to use lots of force and violence to get me out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS THAT OTHER KIDS HAVE DONE

Today, a 200 ton slab of coal fell off a truck in South Dakota, blocking I90. Authorities took it to Mount Rushmore to make a statue of Obama.

I am mad at Google. I tried to delete one of my feeds today but nothing worked. If anyone has any solutions, email me at
alexhorton55@gmail.com

So some time around now is the anniversary of Cbc Bold. It's been an interesting year, watching that channel, but I wonder how long it can survive on reruns of short-lived Cbc shows.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CKRZ GOES OFF THE AIR

I just found out today that Ckrz-fm in Oswegan went off the air a little over two months ago.

I first heard Ckrz when I was going to the school for the blind. At first, I thought it was stupid. Then, in my last year I developed a new appreciation for it as it showed me the culture of the Six Nations reserve. I had listened to it over the internet in the last couple of years and appreciated the ecclectic music.