Saturday, April 28, 2007

Eco-Morality: Light Bulb Lunacy Indeed!

The latest environmental bandwagon is driving me crazy. People asking me out of the blue if I have energy efficient light bulbs in my lamps? People who profess to be all pro-environment because it's trendy nowadays but one year ago were sinful in their consumption. I don't use the word sinful lightly either. Environmentalism is the new religion!

When I heard Australia was going to ban the incandescent light bulb I wasn't all that impressed.According to this article at "Incandescents will be banned by legislation in about 2009-10, though some special needs, such as medical use, may receive dispensation". Would I be considered to have special needs? Fluorescent lights give me a headache! While they don't give me a migraine (effectively not making me have "special needs") I truly can't stand the glow that they give off.

I'm not the only one who feels this way. I 100% agree with this article!!

Let me take you inside my bedroom. There is, of course, a bed. On each side is an identical night table--one holds my husband's books and pyjamas, the other, my own. Each table holds a small lamp. These, too, are identical -- silver base, beige shade. But the innocuous little light bulbs inside them are completely different.
Responsible citizen that he is, my husband has screwed in a compact fluorescent. I, on the other hand, refuse.

I cannot do it. The warm light of the trusted incandescent bulb is so important to me that I refuse to convert to the cold, blue light emitted by its environmentally friendly counterpart. The light it emits is, in a word, ugly. It is not the warm, inviting light of my beloved incandescent, and I refuse to allow it on my side of the bed.

Yet as Canada's government threatens to ban incandescent light bulbs by 2012, I fear I will soon lose the welcoming light of my little 40-watter.

Our home is, in all other respects, a beacon of energy efficiency -- the greenies would be proud. We have installed low-flow toilets; a high efficiency washer and matching dryer; a new set of kitchen appliances, which all came with fancy EnerGuide logos. (We consciously sought out the most efficient models. Because of this, the fridge available in my price range hums so loud that I fear it's about to launch.)

When we renovated, we paid for an energy assessment and followed every single one of the report's recommendations. We installed a high-efficiency gas furnace with a programmable thermostat and replaced the water heater. We could not afford to replace the ancient windows right away, so instead sealed the windows with tacky plastic wrap.

I believe we should all do our part for the environment, but in a free in democratic society I don't like the word 'ban'. We tax cigarettes to death (no pun intended) in an effort to reduce consumption so why can’t we do this for incandescent light bulbs? A ‘ban’ just demonstrates that people are unable reduce consumption unless the government intervenes.

Also what happens to people who rely on lighting for their job? For example, photographers or make up artists?

Other bloggers have written great posts on this very topic.

Fred at Gay and Right talks about Light Bulb Facism and links an article about the mercury levels in the CFLs. He also has a few other great posts on this new eco-facism. Check it out!

Check this link out where someone recreated a booklet that was make up for the phase out in California. I had FAQ that addresses issues I brought up like headaches.

Either way in both Australia and Canada this enviro bandwagon also coincidentally aligns with potential elections in both countries!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Chapter in my Book of Life

It's official, I've accepted Carleton's offer. Thankfully I won't be as poor as I had anticipated as they have now offered me a Teaching Assistantship. It's a two year program so I get a TAship of $9000 x 2 years plus a $2000 scholarship which will be subject to renewal if a keep a certain average as well :-)

So I close the chapter in my Book of Life on Trent University. I'm finished three of five classes, I still have three papers and 1 exam to write! I will be moving to Ottawa May 1st (place TBD). It's getting pretty exciting!

I'm really looking forward to this new chapter of my life. I was definitely sick of Trent and Peterborough; four years is a LONG time!!! Thankfully my Master's is half the time, but probably double to work :-)

Because I'm bilingual I should have no trouble finding a job this summer. It's going to be sad leaving some amazing people, but all the more reason to find excuses to get together. Thank you to all of you who have supported me thus far.

To those of you who read this blog and comment thank you as well, while I love having the ability to drop my thoughts in the big pool of the internet, it's nice to get a splash back to keep me in check or challenge me! I like it! Keep the comments coming!



Gender Double Standard

I was sent this via email:

This message is being sent to all students, staff and faculty from the Marketing and Communications Office on behalf of the Office of Risk Management and Security:

ALERT: Peterborough and Lakefield Police advise that there have been two attempted sexual assaults and one sexual assault in the downtown area that have targeted university aged women walking alone after dark. Students are reminded to avoid walking alone after dark. If you notice anyone who appears suspicious or if you feel uncomfortable, go to a safe area - a restaurant, bus terminal - anywhere where there are people. Trust your instincts and report any suspicious activity to the police (911).

For more information on ways to exercise personal safety, see the Risk Management website:

Information released by the Peterborough Lakefield Police regarding these attacks has been posted on the Risk Management website:

For more information, please contact the Security Office, Trent University at ext. 1328.

Why is it that if there are attacks on women a special email goes out to warn us, but I get no email about men being assaulted downtown? Statistically, men are three times more likely to be victims of murder or assaults, and I'm sure Peterborough isn't any different. So why are women so special? Are women's lives more valuable? I don't know the answers to these questions, but I'm getting pretty tired of it.

The other thing that annoyed me this week was This Globe and Mail article about success in survivor breast cancer rates falling. Well gee, with a pink ribbon campaign, the ability to buy a blender in pink, runs for breast cancer and comedy skits and public service announcements about mammograms, there is no wonder that the rates of fallen. This is a great thing, don't get me wrong, but can we say the same about screening rates for colorectal or prostate cancer?

When give all this attention to women's issues such as violence or disease, men's issues are forgotten. Forget Status of Women groups. Women are not a minority in university classrooms or the work place anymore. If anything, the status of men is in decline, and while some feminists would argue this is a good thing to balance things out from the past, I would argue that our men are being left behind. Our husbands, sons and nephews need just as much attention to health and violence, but unfortunately this isn't happening.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Proof that Everything Happens for a Reason

I checked the mail around 2pm today, no mail. I decided to go and check for it again around 5pm. We have one of the little boxes that you have to walk down the street to get. No mail. On the way back I noticed, what I thought was tacky lights in someone's garage. Getting a little closer I realize that it was a fire!

The fire was small enough that I could go through the garage and go to the door that goes into the house. I first banged on the door, quickly realized that I'm sure owner wouldn't mind if I just barged in. I yell FIRE FIRE FIRE HELLO IS ANYONE HOME?

A guy comes running. I asked if he had a fire extinguisher. He said no. I said I have one, just a second. I ran 6 doors down cutting across everyone's lawn, run into my house, and run back over. I see that that he's tried to get the garden hose around the house. I give the extinguisher to the guy and he puts out the fire.

A couple of neighbours came by (a considerable amount of smoke has come out of the garage by now). All is well though. The fire started on this plastic shelving that was full of expensive power tools. The guy insists that it wasn't his ciggarettes because he smokes at the table and not near the shelf. He blames that a couple of the power toosl were plugged in charging.

If I hadn't been so obsessive about checking the mail, and if at that very moment I didn't check the mail, the entire garage, and possibly the house could have had a lot more damage than it did.

Everything truly does happen for a reason.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Still Waiting....

Alright, so I will be a grad student come September. What remains to be decided is if it will be at Queen's or at Carleton.

So when I applied to grad school I applied for Public Policy/Administration, but in case I didn't get in (I'm a Sociology and Canadian Studies major, not politics or economics), I applied for an MA in Sociology at both Carleton and UWO.

Western accepted me right away. I got an email Feb 15th saying I got in. I was offered $16,500.

Carleton (Sociology) accepted me next, but only offered $2000.

Carleton (Public Administration) accepted me next, but only offered a $1500 graduate scholarship

So then I was trying to figure out, do I really need an MA in Public Policy to become a policy analyst when the UWO program has a specialization in program and policy evaluation. I finally decided that I was sick of Sociology, the theories, the mentality, the marxist-feminism. I was sick of it all. No more Sociology for me.

But could I live on $1500?

I was in contact with the Public Admin program at Carleton and they told me to tell them about my other offers. I told them about Western and about Carleton Soci. I was emailed back that they could offer me a $2000 departmental scholarship. Now, does this sound different than a "graduate scholarship"? I assumed with was in addition to the $1500, but I emailed back to make sure. Nope not $3500, but $2000.

Yet another kick in the pants from Carleton.

At this point, I've had a crummy experience with this school. I had problems with their application deadline changing twice times, their website being completely out of date and now this. But it's in Ottawa, and I want to get into federal government. And it's Public policy, and I haven't heard back from Queen's at this point. Queen's has told me they will let me know end of March to early April.

On Wednesday I get an email from Carleton Sociology (Because I don't have any stamps, I didn't send in the 'refuse offer of admission' form yet). They offered to double my scholarship to $4000 and offered me two years of TAship (Teaching Assistant) at $9085x2 years!….22,000 is looking mighty nice. But I know that I don’t want to do Sociology any more….

When I applied to Carleton’s Public Admin program, I had to fill out an application for employment. They asked me if I wanted to work internal or external to the department. I, wanting to appear loyal checked the box, that I wanted to work internal, even though I would be more comfortable leading a Sociology 100-level class over Politics-100. Especially since I didn’t take politics 100. That got me thinking, maybe that’s why I haven’t been offered a TAship. Really, what would I teach?

So I contacted the Carleton Public Admin program again and told them about my offer. I also told them that, even though I checked the box ‘internal’ that I am flexible to work external as well. I was emailed back that she would see what she could do and would get back to me as soon as possible. This being a long weekend, I will not get my answer as quick as I would like.

The problem is, Carleton (Public Admin) wants a tuition deposit in their office by April 15th (again, not proofreading anything, this is a Saturday) or else they will refuse the offer of admission, even though I should have 45 days since the offer (which would give me until May 5th.

Meanwhile, Queen’s is now saying within the first two weeks of April, I should year. I’m checking my online app twice a day and my mail box once a day. If I’m rejected I get a mailed letter, if I’m emailed or my online login says “offer” I’m in. So far, neither. Again long weekend, so mail is going to be super slow….

This is torture.

Also because I have to find a place to live for May 1st, I even know what city I’m going to be in.

I spent the last four years working my butt off to pay for my education on my own without any financial help from family. I made sacrifices like not having a car, no laptop, no iPod, no new clothes, no going out to the bar. After 4 years, I think I deserve a car. In addition, my boyfriend may not be living in the same city as me. I’ve been quite lucky that he’s driven me anywhere I need to go, grocery shopping etc… in the last three years. Question is, will I be able to afford a car?

In the meantime, I have four papers and 1 exam until I’m done my undergraduate degree!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

These jokes just write themselves

Ok, new theory...Dion can't be that dumb to constantly use words that are used in an attack ad against him...I mean he's an academic right? So what if, the MSM have finally turned on being Liberal-friendly, hate Dion too, and are mocking him by using 'unfair' every chance that they can get? But wait, the Liberals used 'unfair' twice in their own there some unknown reason he's doing this? Or is this just a part of his (limitless academic) vocabulary? Am I suggesting a vast Liberal conspiracy?