Category: news

Oct 29 2014

Pope Francis Seems To Talk Sense A Lot

If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ve probably gathered that none of us here are the biggest fans of the religion thing. I think I can speak for Carin when I say that much of the time it seems like a lot of what organized religion offers is poorly disguised racism, discrimination, intolerance and even downright silliness.

But that said, this Pope Francis fellow seems pretty alright. It’s not easy to enact institutional change in even the smallest, most progressive of organizations under the most ideal of circumstances, so he deserves some respect for even giving it a shot when his institution is the Catholic church, the views of which even the dark ages look at now and then and go “What the fuck, guys?” It’s sad that things as obvious as gays are just as human as the rest of us keep running up against opposition, but good on him for continuing to stir that pot among others.

Pope Francis says the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real, and God did not wave a “magic wand” to create the universe.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church said Tuesday that current scientific theories concerning the start of the universe and the development of life are compatible with church doctrines – a landmark declaration for a religion fraught with conflict over literal translations of the Bible.

Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on Tuesday, Pope Francis urged Roman Catholics to embrace current scientific theories as “required” methods to understand existence. The pope’s suggestions fly in the face of more traditional views that read the Bible as a literal record of the creation and development of the world.

“When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Pope Francis said.

But Pope Francis suggested on Tuesday that such theories still rely too much on God as a supernatural force who breaks the laws of nature. Instead, Francis said God “created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.”

You know what? I can deal with that. Maybe I don’t believe that Sky Guy built humans from scratch, but if you want to believe that something spiritual beyond our understanding is helping you along the way and has a hand in making you the person you are, have at it. I can make that compromise, especially when even the Pope is at the point where he’s giving a little.

Oct 27 2014

This Might Get Jian Gho-Messy…

Um, what a day yesterday. I’m scrolling through tweets…and…huh? Jian Ghomeshi? Fired? Huh? Suing the CBC? Huh? Where in the world did that come from? He was just taking some time off for personal reasons. And then Jian Ghomeshi put up his own statement saying why he thinks it happened, and…then things got interesting for sure.

I shouldn’t do this, but I can’t resist. Soundtrack time…just take the S off.

King of Spain

Oh look, what’s that? The gates of hell? Opening up and I’m being dragged in?

I’m still just sort of confused and my head is spinning…but apparently there’s a massive screaming outcry. I get it, he’s Jian Ghomeshi, everybody loves him.

But but but…

we don’t know all the facts yet, as this story points out.

So before we condemn the CBC, why don’t we just sit back and wait? We don’t know where the guilt or the innocence belongs.

I gotta give CBC credit for reporting on it this morning…let’s hope they can keep things even-handed as this goes along. It sounds, from a few accounts, that things are kinda awkward, kinda stressful and kinda weird there this morning.

And that song will be in my head for the day.

Oct 27 2014

Just A Drunk Ol’ Boy…

Were you to ask me what sort of person would do this, my answer would be either a drunk guy or a Floridian. In this case, I’d be right twice.

Authorities say Travis Ryan Royal of Dunnellon was seen dragging a 48-inch, flat-screen television toward the front door of the Wal-Mart at 9570 SW State Road 200 just before 2 p.m. Friday. When stopped, he told store employees he had paid for the item and needed the security tag taken off, according to Marion County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Royal, who was reportedly heavily intoxicated, then wandered over to a display holding fried chicken and ate $3.67 worth of food, reports state.
When asked where he was going with the television, Royal said he was going to take it to a restaurant inside the store to watch the “Dukes of Hazzard,” according to reports.

For his sake I hope the Marion County Jail has televisions, because that’s where he’s sitting in lieu of $25000 bond after being booked on a charge of grand theft.

Oct 25 2014

No, This Isn’t A Scene From A Movie

Here’s a video describing the final exchange of fire between the ottawa shooter and the Sergeant-at-Arms.

So I guess this is why there were pictures going around on Twitter saying “Don’t mess with the Sergeant-at-Arms.” Yeah I’ll say. Holy crap! He’s some kind of gun ninja!

I feel sorry for the librarian…that must have been just a smidge freaky, here comes a bullet, right into your desk.

Yeah, no question about that, that gunman wasn’t gettin’ up.

Oct 24 2014

Everybody Get Your First-Aid Certifications

I saw this story detailing the efforts of people trying to save the fallen soldier at the war memorial, and it was very powerful, not only for the obvious reasons, that these people ran into danger to try to help. But it also drove home the point that everybody who was trying to help him had first-aid training, so worked as an efficient team, and knew what to do. Sure, he didn’t make it, but at least they gave him the best chances he could have, a lot better than he’d have with a panicking, dithering mass of confused folks. This reminded me that I should really update my first-aid, again, and find a way to have it not just be a dim memory, because you really never know when you might need it.

I still can’t get over the senselessness of it all, and I think about the honour guards back on duty there today. In their heads they probably know it’s not going to happen again…but…shiver.

Oct 24 2014

Jesus Take The Meal

One of the more creative dine and dashes I’ve seen comes out of Lawton, Oklahoma. Well, I guess it’s not as much a dine and dash as it is a dine and sit there hoping for the best, but you know.

Police say Kristi Rhines ordered several alcoholic drinks and food at El Chico in Lawton but later said she had no way to pay for them. She told managers her husband was on his way to pick up the tab. 
When asked about her husband, she told them she was legally married to Jesus Christ, but had no marriage license. She also told management that Jesus would be able to walk in and produce U.S. currency to pay for her bill.

The Lord, either because he was busy answering the prayers of others or doesn’t exist, was a no show.

Rhines, who’s bank balance I’m guessing must have been option 2, was subsequently booked into the Lawton City Jail on a fraud charge.

Oct 22 2014

No, Parliament Should Not Sit Today

Obviously, we’re totally shocked by all of the insanity going on on Parliament Hill today. Hopefully all of our Ottawa friends are safe and doing well.

But whether or not everyone is safe and sound, Parliament should not sit today as Michael Chong is suggesting.

Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong says he wants Parliament to sit today as scheduled in spite of the shooting on Parliament Hill.
Speaking in a phone interview, from his locked-down Ottawa office, Chong said: “I think it’s important that we do not close Parliament” over the episode.
Chong said failing to sit in Parliament today, as scheduled, at 2 p.m., would send a message to people like the shooter(s) that actions like this can disrupt this democracy.
“I think it’s important to send the message to people like that that you won’t stop a democracy,” said Chong.

I get the sentiment. I think it’s nuts, but I get it. We do need to be strong in the wake of situations like these. Life must, and will, go on. But as well as strong, we must also be safe. As I type this, we know for sure that one suspect is dead, but there seems to be a real possibility that there are more than one. As far as I’m concerned, that’s more than enough reason to shut things down for the day. Believe me, Question Period is not that important to anyone. The last thing we need is another tragedy today. And no, I don’t mean Question Period.

Be safe, everyone.

Oct 19 2014

Don’t Annoy Your Nurses. It Might Kill You.

I’m glad Daniela Poggiali wasn’t on staff at the hospital where I was. I’m sure there were times when I would have annoyed even the most tolerant of nurses.

Here are some creepy lines from the story.

Cops arrested a nurse in northeastern Italy in connection with the deaths of as many as 38 patients, whom she might have killed because she found them — or their relatives — annoying, officials said.

So poor Steve might have been annoying, and bam, out I’d go.

Police have the cellphone of Daniela Poggiali, 42, which included a photo she snapped a few months ago of her giving a thumbs up next to a patient who had died moments before,…

That’s just evil.

Or is this the most evil?

Another one of Poggiali’s colleagues said the accused nurse was once reported for giving powerful laxatives to patients at the end of her shift to make work tougher for nurses working after her.

You just wonder what gets some people into some professions.

Oct 12 2014

Eating At Burger King Is Dangerous Enough Without Managers Trying To Stab You For Complaining

I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps this restaurant employees attacking customers instead of the other way around stuff is more common than I thought.

The lawsuit, filed October 1st, claims the incident happened in June 2013. According to the lawsuit, the customer said he asked for warmer food and the manager, Francisco Berrera, wasn’t pleased.
The customer claimed Berrera then told another employee, in Spanish, “…he doesn’t even know what I’m going to return it and do whatever I want to it and he’ll still eat it…” However, the customer understood every single word. He refused the food and asked Berrera for a refund.
The lawsuit claims that Berrera said no and that’s when things got violent. The customer said Berrera would soon attack him, by lunging at him with a taser in one hand and a switchblade in the other. Berrera was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with deadly weapon.

The customer, only identified in the story as the customer, the plaintiff or a New Mexico man has sued Burger King, as you may have gathered from the bit quoted above.

His suit is about more than simply being attacked over cold onion rings, however. It also alleges that there have been problems at other Burger Kings in the state run by the same group that owns this one, including an incident where a worker put dish sanitizer on somebody’s french fries. I’ve eaten at Burger King, and that actually kind of sounds like a bit of an upgrade.

None of the allegations have been proven, though it’s worth noting that Berrera, who the suit also claims had been violent with other customers and coworkers in the past, plead guilty to the charge in the onion rings case. That puts Burger King in a pretty tight spot should it plan to defend itself rather than settle, I’d think.

Oct 10 2014

I Just Can’t Buddy Up To The Buddy Bench

Call me jaded or cynical if you’d like, but I’m not so sure about this here “buddy bench” idea.

It’s a simple concept. You put a bench on your school’s playground, call it a buddy bench and explain to the kids that if they’re lonely, they can sit on it and that will signal the other kids that they’re supposed to ask if you’d like to play. Yes, schools still have playgrounds, apparently.

All of this seems like a nice idea. Give the loner kids some hope, and teach the others a little bit about sharing, caring and finding friends where they wouldn’t expect them. All good lessons, and certainly ones that ought to be taught somehow, somewhere.

But let’s be honest. As untainted by adult biases, stereotypes and other such horseshit as children can be, they’re also little assholes. I was one when I was young, and so were you. You might not have meant to be and you may not have realized it at the time, but at some point, you were a little asshole to somebody. You said something or did something to a classmate that was mean, hurtful…whatever negative adjective suits your fancy. You did it and you know it. Some of us did it more than others and some of us pretty quickly realized we weren’t proud of it, but there were, unfortunately, those kids who did it with bad intent. They did it because they liked it. They knew what they were doing and knew who they should do it to. And their targets, I hate to say it, were the very people that were going to be the ones most likely to find themselves in need of a buddy bench had such a thing existed back then.

Without meaning to, proponents of the buddy bench are making targets out of anyone who sits on it. Whether somebody makes fun of the “bench dorks” once or sets out on a full on asshole onslaught, it’s going to happen and it’s going to suck for those kids. All the best intentions and educational messages in the world aren’t going to stop that buddy bench from becoming a bully bench. Human nature says so, and I say that in spite of my belief that most human beings are, at heart, good.

And there’s another problem here. Let’s assume that I’m completely wrong and not a single person who dares sit on the bench is pestered or bullied and everyone finds a playmate for recess. Great, right? Well…no, actually. Once the 20 minutes of recess are over, what happens then? Not everyone is going to get along, because no matter the age some people just aren’t going to like each other. And I can tell you from firsthand blind kid experience that there aren’t many ways shittier of forging long lasting friendships than having a teacher or parent force somebody to play with you. If you ever want to have an awful day, spend it with somebody who totally doesn’t want to be around you and can’t wait to go home. I’ve been on both sides of that and it sucks either way. I’ve never been sentenced to community service, but I imagine that’s sort of what it feels like. You fulfill your obligations because the authorities are watching and then get the fuck out of there at the first opportunity, hopefully never to return or even speak of it again.

I have little doubt that these benches are somewhat successful, but you can’t tell me that in no way will they ever make existing problems worse. And even if somewhat successful is the goal which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it kind of defeats the purpose if that success comes at a heavy price for someone else.

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