Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rule #76: ODD

No, it doesn't say odd. It's an actual acronym - O.D.D. It IS odd. but it's not the word odd. Check it:

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a childhood disorder described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as an ongoing pattern of anger-guided disobedience, hostility, and defiant behavior toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behavior. Children suffering from this disorder may appear very stubborn and often angry.

A child? Stubborn and angry? Nahhhhhhhh., I don't believe it.
Apparently, to be diagnosed with ODD, a child must exhibit 4 of the 8 symptoms listed below:
  • Actively refuses to comply with majority's requests or consensus-supported rules 
  • Performs actions deliberately to annoy others
  • Angry and resentful of others
  • Argues often 
  • Blames others for his or her own mistakes 
  • Often loses temper 
  • Spiteful or seeks revenge 
  • Touchy or easily annoyed
Are you fucking kidding me? Those aren't symptoms! They're descriptions... OF EVERY FUCKING TEENAGER ON THE PLANET!
Gee, I wonder if there's a medication that can be purchased to treat this "disorder"? Oh, and guess what? Of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members of the panels on 'Mood Disorders' and 'Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders' had financial ties to drug companies. What a crazy coincidence that the people who decide what constitutes a "disorder" happen to be the same people who profit from the sale of drugs that medicate these disorders. Craaaaaaaaazy coincidence.

Seeing as we're labeling every mood in existence, I'd like to submit a condition to the DSM.. (F.U.C.K.) - Fed Up Coming to worK - Ok, it's a stretch, I know. I guess I could've went with (DWWD).. (Don't wanna work disorder) but you know where I'm going with this.

In the new world, creating new disorders for the sake of profit will be prohibited.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Rule #77: Searching for space aliens

According to Hollywood, alien life forms seem to be a shit-ton smarter than us, so if they want to find us, they'll find us. I say stop wasting money and resources on trying to find them. The amount of money wasted on trying to contact alien life forms is astronomical (pun intended, thank you). Mostly private money, but it could still go to better use.
Even if there is life out there, why would we want to find it? We can't get along with each other as it is. Are we running out of people to hate? And what if we find aliens and it turns out they eat humans? So they start farming us like we do with cattle. Maybe cattle ruled the earth and we were the aliens that cattle reached out to a million years ago? Did you ever think of that? Now the cows are all like
"Moo... we really fucked that up,.. moo."
Or even worse, what if they're looking for work? Now we've got aliens in the unemployment line, at the soup kitchen...

You know what? I wish everyone would just relax. We're bored. That's the problem. Take a look around. Hey rich people, you see what's going on around you? Child abuse, pedophiles, global warming, snowblowers, male pattern baldness, etc..... We can't invite strangers into our house until we clean it up. Can you imagine what they'd say about us? "You should see the little blue / greyish planet down the way, no wonder galaxy values are tanking."
Don't worry, if ET calls, we'll pick up.

In the new world, we'll fix our own problems before we search for new ones.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Rule #78: Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest

So Kitchener Waterloo is just wrapping up the 45th annual Oktoberfest celebration, which is touted as the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany." While I admit that I always have a good time at Oktoberfest, I refuse to give credit to the Oktoberfest event. I have a good time because of the people I go with. I also don't want to trash the organizers. I actually worked on a volunteer committee for a bit and the organizers work extremely hard to do the best with what they have to work with. The problem is how the city handles it. As this is supposedly the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany" I'd expect more. MUCH more.
Here's how my first KW Oktoberfest experience went. My ex brother in law (who I miss dearly) got me tickets for the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany". So I'm pumped. I can't wait to get downtown where everyone's going to be walking around talking German, drinking beer in the streets, smashing kegs open, dancing and whatever else drunk Germans do when they party. Well you can imagine my disappointment when we pull up to the front door of a tent... Over a parking lot... Nowhere near downtown! And we drink shitty draught beer at a picnic table all night. I'm looking around thinking "This is the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany?" Whatever dude. Like I said, I had a good time that year and every year I've gone since. Because the people I party with can have a good time anywhere. Even if you put them in a cage in the middle of the street. Which is pretty much KW Oktoberfest.
This year I decided to pass on the tent deal and go to the official tapping of the keg at city hall. Well I guess it was my fault for expecting anything different. After endless boring speeches from our politicians, we shuffle down to... you guessed it... A TENT! What a surprise. Now if you wanted to get out of the tent and party on the street, no problem. Just as long as you don't leave the 20x20 steel cage attached to the tent. Preposterous! Even worse was one of my favourite bars trying to cash in by offering an "Oktoberfest" menu full of food items that sound like the noise you make when you sneeze. Let's face it, German ain't exactly the most romantic language out there. 
If you claim to host the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany", you should do it right. Or send it somewhere that can. Like George st in Newfoundland or Bourban st in New Orleans. They party in the street all the time and Kitchener can't do it once a year to celebrate "the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany"? Maybe it's in the name. Perhaps we should change the name of Kitchener to New Kitchener. Just a thought.

In the new world, If you... oh, and I hate schnitzel... If you claim to have "the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany" you had better do it right, or lose the right to a community that isn't afraid to party in the street.

George st. Newfoundland


Monday, 20 October 2014

Rule #79: Football vs Church

I assume the original head of the NFL, Jim Thorpe, neglected to consult God on NFL scheduling. Perhaps he was an atheist.
As a huge football fan, I was always pissed off that all the games were scheduled on Sunday. It made for an exciting Sunday, but if I had plans to be away or had to play hockey I had to miss all the games. Plus, I don't have the cognitive capacity to concentrate on more than one game at a time, so at the most, if I dedicated 12 hours to football, I could only get 3 games in anyway. I always thought they should spread it out over the week like hockey. They're making improvments with Thursday & Saturday games in addition to the Monday nighter, but I don't watch much football anymore, so thanks for nuthin'.
And who the fuck are all these religious running backs praying to when they score a TD? God? What do they think, God is all like "Hey, thanks man. I needed those points to cover my spread." If he's the God I've been taught to fear, he'd be more like "Whatever dude, why the fuck ain't you in church?.. Maybe a good old fashioned dose of cancer will change your ways!"

In the new world, football will be spread out through the week and church will be at 5:00 on Friday afternoons to help keep old people off the streets during rush hour.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Rule #80: Dooring

I'm not addressing this because I'm a cyclist and it's not my fault they gave it a stupid name but in a world where we promote healthy living and sustainability, it's an issue that requires attention because bicycle commuting is a big part of those values. Dooring is when the door of a parked or stopped car opens and hits a cyclist riding by. The only thing that's new here is the name... DOORING! The concept has been around as long as roads, cars and bikes have been interacting. Cyclists are more aware of it because they know the result of connecting with a car door at 25kph is less than ideal. In fact, many people are hurt or even killed by this every year. The problem seems to be awareness.

I think common sense dictates that we have a look to see if opening our car door will obstruct any traffic - Pedestrian, car, bike or other. At the very least we don't want our door damaged by a passing car. But the person at the highest risk is the cyclist. A passing vehicle can take your door off and a passing pedestrian could sustain a nasty bump. But a bicycle Slamming into an open door at 25k would not be a subtle interaction. This is more prevalent than I realized. In Toronto, for example "motorist opens door in path of cyclist" collisions were 11.9% of all reported car/bike collisions in 2003. And that was 10 years ago.

What it boils down to is creating an awareness. Our current system of Implementing a dangerous situation and not telling anyone, doesn't seem to be working. For example, don't put bike lanes in the path of potential open doors without letting everyone know there's a hazard. Or perhaps we should be following suit with cities like Chicago. The current government is proposing a $1,000 fine for dooring a cyclist (in Toronto it's currently $85). As well as placing stickers on the rear passenger windows of every cab in the city, saying “Look! Before Opening Your Door." These are good ideas as long as we're careful the increase in fines is not used as a revenue generator for the city.

In the new world, bike lanes will be wide enough to include any potential hazards that may be encountered in said bike lane.


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Rule #81: Ridiculously unbelievable movies

I can handle a little farfetchedness in movies from time to time. Like the scene in Boondock saints when the brothers have a shootout with their dad in the middle of the street and no one gets hit. Or when Bruce Willis escapes a torrent of bullets from bad guys with bad aim in every movie he's ever been in (except sin city). I can swallow all that.
But Hollywood went too far with this one. This enlightenment came while I was laser focused on World War Z the other night. At one point I finally had to call bullshit. No, it wasn't the scene at the beginning when Brad Pitt and his family are the only ones to escape the traffic jam. And no, I wasn't surprised that a magazine taped to your forearm could protect against super fast, mega strong zombies. Nor was I taken aback when Brad correctly figured out which disease to inject himself with in order to repel zombies.
Nope! All that shit can really happen. What pushed me the brink was the plane crash. After having the side of the plane ripped out with his grenade, Brad then locks himself into his seat to prevent being sucked out with all the zombies. That didn't surprise me. Then the plane lands in the woods, splits in half and Brad and his assistant survive. That didn't surprise me. The fact that they landed on the front lawn of the building they just happened to be looking for didn't even phase me.

But the part when the plane finally came to rest and Brad woke up with a metal piece of the seat belt lodged in his abdomen... At that point, I was like... Whatever! As if a small piece of steel is going to penetrate Pitts' chiseled abs. HA! Laughable man! Obviously the writers of World War Z haven't seen "Snatch" where Pitt portrays the bare knuckled, tattooed Pikey "Mickey". If anything, they should have shown that piece of metal being bent on contact with Pitts' abs of steel!

In the new world, if you're going to make a movie, make it either ridiculously ridiculous or believably believable. Don't try to mix fantasy with realism.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Rule #82: Mining Canada's tar sands

Canada has a shit-ton of oil buried within the oil sands of Alberta. The oil sands, however, are a particularly dirty form of oil and extracting it from the oil sands is more environmentally challenging than other methods of oil extraction. So it begs the question; Are the benefits worth the environmental risks? If you ask an investor, the answer is undoubtedly Yes. Ask an environmentalist and I imagine the answer is No.

Consider the following:

What's extracted from the earth in Alberta is called bitumen. A mixture of sand and heavy crude. Processing one barrel of bitumen requires about three barrels of water and the toxic water is then pumped into giant tailings ponds... But I'm sure careful thought has gone into ensuring those toxic ponds never leak into the Athabascan river. So no worries there.
Overall, the oil sands are about 9% more carbon dioxide intensive than the average barrel of oil refined in the U.S. Per day, tar sands operations release as much carbon dioxide as all the cars in Canada and enough natural gas is burned to heat 4 million homes daily. Oil sand extraction relies heavily on open pit mining which destroys immense areas of land. It occupies 140,000 square kilometers, an area larger than all of England. 
I love Canada. But even we, up here in the great white north, aren't above selling out to the almighty dollar. At least Ecuador held out for a while. Ecuador said no to ruining the rainforest and decided to leave the oil where it is. Until lately, that is. They finally caved, stating.. "Ecuador has no easy alternatives to boost oil production and needs more money to continue anti-poverty programmes." Oh well, join the club Ecuador! It's pretty bad when we're taking environmental lessons from a developing country.
Investors must understand the environmental risks relating to the development of the oil sands. If something goes wrong, everyone loses. Investors, the public and the environment.

In the new world, open pit mining for bitumen will be halted until a clean means of extraction can be used. Or better yet, eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels.