Thursday, May 19, 2011


There is an article in the April 11 issue of Maclean's entitled, "Teens: Wired To Take Risks." Among the things the article categorizes as "risky behaviour" are acts such as suicide and self-mutilation. disgusting!

An item in the April 18 issue of Maclean's talks about a central Florida community that wants to ban children from playing or laughing too loudly. Sometimes the sounds of children playing and having a good time outside my window is the only thing that keeps me from completely going over the edge.

In the same issue, there is an article about a class of Grade 5 students in a town in Germany who had to watch a man kill a rabbit with a hammer as part of a lesson about how our ancestors supposedly lived and killed their food. This reminds me of that Disney propaganda cartoon, "An Education For Death."

Monday, May 16, 2011


There are three main problems with the public school system.

The first problem is that, by necessity, it is one size fits all learning when, in fact, we all learn differently.

The second problem is all the emphasis is placed on passing tests and not on actually learning things.

The third problem is that it is not made clear enough why the students are learning what they're learning.

Though I don't think the public school system can be fixed and was, in truth, a wrongheaded idea from the start, below are my suggestions for improving things, at the high school level at least.

Math: Math should entirely consist of word problems. For me and probably for a lot of students, math was the chief subject where I shook my head and said, "Why are we going to need this in the real world?" Rewrite math textbooks so that they're entirely made up of word problems that show how the material is used in real life.

English: The only practical use of anything you get out of studying novels is when you and your friends are having a bull session and talking about books you've read. Studying novels in high school helps you to understand future books you read better, but the essay questions are only practical for students who want to study literature in university. Therefore, eliminate the written discussion questions and just talk about the chapter.

As far as grammar is concerned, take a cue from the colleges. They managed to teach in ten weeks what high school couldn't teach in two years.

As far as writing is concerned, have the students read articles from magazines or exerpts from books that have actually been on the New York Times or Maclean's bestseller list in the past three years, instead of trying to make the students sound like they're writing stuff 60 years ago.

History: Well, for a start schools could actually teach real history, you know, what actually happened.

Second, relate what happened in history to what has happened in more recent times and what is happening today. Indeed, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Geography: Instead of focusing so much on things like immegration and transportation systems, teach where stuff is in the world. Honestly, all these bucking people who think Central America is it's own continent.

Science: For cripes sake, stop teaching evolution. It is a fantasy that's full of holes. If you aren't going to teach creationism, then teach that the Earth was created by a giant potato.

Also, take a lesson from "Bill Nigh, The Science Guy" and make it easy for the students to understand what you're talking about. Additionally, as with everything, relate to how it aplies in real life.

Parenting: Teach different techniques involved in parenting, such as attachment parenting, co-sleeping, elimination communication, etc.

In addition, schools should have classes on the history of entertainment. A lot of kids think Louis Armstrong was the first guy to walk on the moon, not that we ever actually went to the moon.

Schools should also do what they used to do and teach classes on things like budgeting and other practical life skills.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Just for clarification, I am not the Alex Horton who wrote an article about the VA in the Washington Post yesterday. His blog is called Army Of Dude. Thanks for all the attention, though.

If you have information you would like made known, send it to me and I will post it. All contributors will remain annonymous unless they ask for their name to be made known..

In that spirit, below is some information a guy sent me.

I work for a company out of Minnesota that makes penile implants, and for incontinence, the urinary sphincter and males slings. Our products are implanted because a patient has had diabetes or a radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer. The VA in Washington, DC has done 1 or 2 incontinence devices in the past year or so – that’s it. Yet, I see palates of condom catheters on the loading docks. It amazes me that they care so little for the Veterans and I can’t imagine walking around wet all day and what their skin must look like. Let alone how it must affect them emotionally. Why are our Veterans being subjected to wearing condom catheters and diapers?
When women have breast cancer, they are automatically offered reconstructive surgery - even on the other normal, health breast for purposes of symmetry!! But men can’t get a penile implant or an incontinence implant after a prostatectomy when there is nerve damage. What gives with the Washington, VA? Other VAs treat these problems like in Richmond and in Delaware – You would think we would offer the same for our Vets in DC.
Thanks for hearing me out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Bob McIntosh one of the longest heard voices in Canadian radio passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital at the age of 69. Bob McIntosh has been providing The Winter Road Report for nearly 50 years, starting as an employee of the provincial transportation ministry in the 60s, later syndicated by Soundsource and since 2004 by Canadian Radio Syndications.
With his reports being heard on a great many stations, over many years, his voice would have been heard by more listeners than almost anyone else in the industry. Canadian Radio Syndications President Mike Beeston said, "the industry has lost an historic voice, a dedicated servant of the listening public, and I and many others have lost a friend."

I have heard this man on CJBQ doing traffic reports. He had a classic voice and his professionalism will indeed be missed.

Click the link above to go to the website where this obituary originally appeared.


Got this in my email. Don't know how legit it is, but if it is legit this behaviour would not be atypical of the VA.

If it is of any use to you: A few years ago, I had 30 opioid pills
prescribed at the Washington VA. They were to be shipped via USPS.
Only 2 of them arrived. As you might expect, my calls and visits
resulted in a runaround with no effect and even worse, with the people
I contacted showing boredom. I got the clear although unspoken message
that it wasn't anything that hadn't already happened many times
before. A little back-of-the-envelope math pointed to right much
money--enough to grease the necessary palms.

I guess the people I got in touch with, at least one of whom I still
believe to have been honest, had long since realized there was nothing
that could be done. The scam was too easy to run. You just pocket 28
pills and drop the bottle in the mailbox. Nobody checks you. Or... if
anybody does check you, they make a nice chunk of change. And you
certainly know as well as I do what the attitude of the VA people is