Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the story. The way in which the story is reported, it is ambiguous as to if this police chief unconciously broke the law through his carelessness or if this was a planned attempt at bring to light that police officers "do good things every day," as the officer later states. Has this officer really done a good deed if this was planned? Does this sort of action even constitute a "good thing" even if it was not planned?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
This place is of particular note because it serves the best Tiramisu in all of Italy and thus, probably in the whole world. My gracious host, the ever smiling Stephano, took painstaking care that everything was "just so." His father, the absolute spitting image of "Captain Haddock," who had just gotten home from a hunting trip in Ireland, eagerly lit the fireplace to ensure my comfort and attempted small chit chat in his broken English.
The village was quietly serene and the scenery...well, let's just say I felt like I had stepped into a fairytale.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
To know the road ahead, ask those coming back. (Chinese Proverb)
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Jar number 1: Barbie under pressure. This jar is symbolic of women under pressure, striving for perfection. Barbie represents an unrealistic ideal of the female body image, an image that is continually reinforced through media: movies, magazines and TV. The Barbie in this jar is contorted in an unnatural fashion; just as women continually put unnatural pressures on themselves to strive towards the images and expectations that continually bombard them. The fact that Barbie is in water represents the female in today’s society always trying to keep her head above water but not always succeeding. In essence, Barbie is drowning.
Jar number 2: The masks we wear. In one sense, the items in this jar represent the ways in which women strive to be beautiful: a razor to shave leg and armpit hair; anti-aging cream to keep wrinkles at bay; foundation to create young flawless looking skin; lipstick to add colour; lacquer for the nails; tweezers to pluck those stray hairs… These are physical ways in which we try to hide our perceived flaws. However, this jar also symbolizes the masks we wear to hide our vulnerability. It is the difference between our private selves and our public selves. Each and every day with each and every person every one of us chooses what we will reveal. We create the image that we want to project.
Jar number 3: What’s super about that? Superwoman, super mom, the female executive, the domestic diva, and the sex goddess – it’s difficult to be it all. This jar illustrates the many roles the average female juggles and how we cope. The women’s liberation movement has brought about much freedom for females, but in many ways it has also created many pressures: stress and lack of time being just two. Many women work full time (represented by the money in the jar), yet working mothers still do about twice as much housework as their husbands (Morin, R. & M. Rosenfeld, 1998), (represented by the scrub rag). The condoms represent the responsibility of birth control that is often in the hands of the female. The diaper pin represents the female’s involvement in childrearing. The keys represent the running of errands, the transporting of children to various activities and the commute. How does she cope with it all? Is it the five cups of coffee? Mood altering drugs? Or the occasional headache medication?
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The following pictures are of the Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo in Florence. Above the dome is visible through a narrow side street. Although I took some pictures of the whole church, it really is quite immense and a picture just does not render it justice.
The construction of this Gothic cathedral commenced in 1296 and was completed by Brunelleschi in 1436. The frescoes that cover the dome (seen above) were painted by Varsari and Zuccari. The paintings on the lower part of the dome depict the depths of hell. As you move up, you come to earth and then finally at the top the heavenly realm.
As many churches this age, there are narrow passage ways and steep stair wells. Going around this one (I no longer remember how many steps...but quite a few) left me dizzy and breathless, and not just because of the view.
Finally, the dome as seen at a lower level. This church was unique in that taking pictures of the interior was not an issue. In many of the churches, because they are considered sacred places of worship, cameras are not welcome.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Is this really how people view me? Click below to find out which super villain you are.
Click here to take the Super Villain Personality Test
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Some interesting facts about the Canada Goose:
- They fly in V formation when migrating. This apparently minimizes the "drag" on each individual bird allowing them to take advantage of the slipstream created by the bird in front of them...much as cyclists do.
- Can travel more than 1000 km in one day.
- Mate for life, however if one dies the other will take another mate, or pine to death at the loss of their mate (depending on which source you're reading)
- Have 13 different "calls" that scientists have identified so far.
Friday, February 09, 2007
The "Canadian" component of these findings somewhat ironic considering that the day before a BC provincial cabinet minister was forced to resign over a profanity-laced, insulting message with extreme anti-American sentiment directed at one of his constituents. Even more disheartening, were the letters to the editor the next day supporting this kind of behaviour and sentiment.
But back to the question of tolerance. Tolerance as defined by the Canadian Oxford dictionary: a willingness or ability to accept or allow without protest or irritation. Canada is a multi-cultural nation and given our vast geography and weak population we have always had the luxury of keeping a healthy distance from our neighbours which, lets be honest, in many cases helps to keep the peace. We as Canadians are also very sensitive to what is and what is not politically correct. As a result, I would hazard a guess that most of us know which answers to give whether or not we actually believe it. The reality is one only has to look in the papers to see that "hate crimes" are alive and well.
There is of course the question as to if Canada experiences more or less of these sorts of crimes or intolerances than other countries. Aside from the Toronto hate crimes unit which publishes a detailed annual review, complete with ethnic breakdowns and trends that date back to 1993, it seems that other police forces are either reluctant to give these sorts of details or do not have them. In fact one article suggested that Quebec being "very sensitive to our international reputation of being open, tolerant and socially progressive" has a "great reluctance to deal with hate crimes." They fear it would "jeopardize our image."
Finally, when you have large immigrant populations, there is the question of what sort of racist prejudices newcomers bring with them. Immigrants often have different cultural and ethnic residues which they bring to their host country. I, in fact, have been witness to a situation where two Canadian born individuals of different ethnic backgrounds held their parents' prejudices and almost broke into a fight with each other when they first met based solely on their hatred of the other ethnic group.
Don't get me wrong, Canada is a great place to live, but obviously there are a lot of issues surrounding this topic and I am curious to know if Canada actually does meet the mark as one of the least bigoted nations.