Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thank You Good Samaritan [Update]

Dear Good Samaritan,

I was warned that Ottawa was a cold-bureaucratic city when I moved here two months ago. Last night we made small talk in the waiting room at the Kanata Animal Hospital. I had brought in a stray cat we took in a few months ago who was having a miscarriage. You listened to my story and before you left gave me $40 to help with the financial bill. Your kindness and generosity was overwhelming and you would not give me your name. I just want to say THANK YOU!

Update: Link Added

I wrote this above note to all the Ottawa radio stations and newspapers. A revised version of the above letter will be in tomorrow (Saturday)'s Ottawa Citizen.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crazy Baby Names...[Updated]

While one of the best part of being a parent is having the power to name your child. I appreciate this freedom and in no way, shape, or form do I wish to place limitations suchs as laws, fines or any sort of thing if you name your kids something stupid and he is mercilessly teased. I recently blogged making reference to this issue of parents naming their kids stupid names:

little Johnny Jett-Slade and JanieTulika-Rain


Come on:

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A New Zealand couple is looking to call their newborn son Superman -- but only because their chosen name of 4Real has been rejected by the government registry.

Pat and Sheena Wheaton say they will get around the decision by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages by officially naming their son Superman but referring to him as 4Real, the New Zealand Herald newspaper has reported.

The Wheatons decided on the name after seeing the baby for the first time in an ultrasound scan and realizing their baby was "for real."

They decided 4Real was the best way to write it, but the name was rejected because the registrar said a name had to be a sequence of characters.

Pat Wheaton said he was considering appealing against the decision through the courts, but whatever happens he won't be budged on his choice.

"No matter what its going to stay 4Real," Wheaton told the Herald, "I'm certainly not a quitter."

A spokesman for the Department of Internal Affairs, which operates the registry told the Herald discussions with the Wheatons about their son's name were continuing.

The baby is now two months old, after the Wheatons first applied to register his name in later June.


I think I have now heard it all:

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese couple tried to name their baby "@," claiming the character used in e-mail addresses echoed their love for the child, an official trying to whip the national language into line said Thursday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

10,000 visitor

At 11:29am this blog hit it's 10,000 visitor someone from the Royal Bank in the GTA

I Need Your Advice

I thought I would bounce this off as many people as I can. I hope to get your advice on an opportunity that has just presented itself.

I received a Teaching Assistantship(TAship) with Carleton worth approximately $9000. This summer I secured an excellent summer job with the a certain crown corporation. The past few months have been incredible, I really enjoy my work here, and I often receive compliments about how they are going to miss me (and my excellent work) when my contract finishes at the end of this month. They have asked if I would be willing to work one day a week in the fall.

My BA is in Sociology and Canadian Studies, and would most likely be a TA in the Sociology department (but this has not been confirmed as of yet). My Master's degree that I'm starting this fall is in Public Policy (course-based) with a balance between economic/math/stats courses and practical/theory seminar-type courses.

Here is my dilemma.

I know that I can't do both the TAship and work part-time for this crown corporation from a time-management perspective. One thing I let pass at Trent is that overloading in 3rd and 4th year required me to drop extra curriculars (volunteering and clubs/groups). I feel I missed out on the social aspect of university and don't want to make the same mistake again. Thus, I will have four courses per term, extra-curriculars, and I also have a partner of three years who I will need to set aside time to see on weekends because he's doing his Master's at Waterloo.

My future career plans is what is driving me to consider this opportunity. There’s that catch-22 of graduating and having the education but not the work experience. After I graduate in the Spring of 2009 I will have very little work experience of which to speak or place on my resume. My three years working as a receptionist for the Undergrad Student Association will not be the type of work experience (assumably) that employers will be seeking. I have very little work experience related to any type of policy. I’ve learned that this Crown Corp is the type of organization that there is a lot of internal movement and opportunity. Therefore, when I graduate in 2009 will the people I even worked for still be able to speak about my work.

The reason for my haste is that I have this ten-year plan. While I know that it must be flexible for change, I also know what I want. After my Master's I want to work for 8-10 years and then settle down have a family, stay home with my children until they are in school full-time and then go back into the work force full time. I have no plans to do a PhD or stay in academia.

The other part of the equation is the monetary reward. At this Crown Corp I am paid very well and I will have to work 13 hours a week to meet the same amount I would have receive with my TAship. The TAship says that I will work 10 hours per week but clearly this will be change depending if I have papers to mark etc.

Therefore, do I decline the TAship and use this excellent opportunity to stay with this Crown Corp, which will provide me with solid and longer work experience. While housing policy is not what I was initially considering, as I am more interested in health care and education policy, I really like what I’m doing and learning here. Additionally, when I graduate I need to set myself apart from other candidates. On the other hand, are there skills and experiences that a TAship will give me that I am not considering?

I apologize for the length, I thought I would get it all out though. I value any advice or feedback you can give.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Snakes...and Crocs...on a Plane: Egypt Edition

Watching too many American movies? Didn't want to pay extra pet-travel costs? Perhaps new terror tactics? Nope, scientific research.

CAIRO (Reuters) - A Saudi passenger tried to smuggle a large number of reptiles, including cobra snakes and infant Nile crocodiles, out of Egypt in his luggage, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported Sunday.

The discovery of the reptiles in the passenger's bags triggered a brief panic among security personnel at the Cairo International Airport, witnesses said.

The 22-year-old passenger, identified only as Anas, said he needed the reptiles, which also included chameleons, for scientific research at his university in Saudi Arabia.

His collection will be handed over to Egypt's main zoo in Cairo.

Of course this is only one side of the story. But let's be real here, if it really was for university scientific research, the transportation of these types of animals would not have been in this man's suitcase.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Cabbie Wins Privacy Right Over Medical Record

I am in agreement with this. I also think about the Toronto school bus driver, Susan Drury, who had an undiagnosed seizure while driving and 10-year-old John Pham was killed, because even having her medical records would not have prevented that tragedy.

Unfortunately the article does not indicate for what purpose these medical records are used. Safety? (concern for someone with Diabetes who may face long drives without regular eating habits) Drug testing? Allergies (e.g perfumes)? Prone to narcolepsy

I do agree with the ruling:

The ruling by the privacy commissioner could affect anyone who drives professionally. Currently people who drive buses, trucks or taxis not only need a doctor to say they're fit for the road, they also have to sign a waiver that gives the government access to their medical records.

Charlottetown taxi driver Neil Harpham thought that went too far, so he filed a complaint with the privacy commissioner and won his case. The privacy commissioner ruled that demanding blanket access to a person's medical records was too intrusive.

But then again, this was the same guy CBC captured in this stellar quote:

Lack of dictionaries in dem Merrytimes? (Please note that most of my family is from PEI and NB so this statement is in jest)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Driving....It's the Culture...

Just want to draw your attention to an article in the G&M today:

I completely disagree for a variety of reasons, but do not have time to elaborate today because I'm writing a final exam at 5:30 but I will post my comment that I left on the website:

I frequently drive from Ottawa to London and I agree with many of the comments above regarding speed limits in Germany and cost of time. My biggest complaint is DRIVERS WHO HOG THE PASSING/LEFT LANE!!!!!!!

I will admit I drive at a high speed (130-140kmh) but I've also never been in a car accident, never had a speeding ticket, and consider myself a very safe driver. Why?

I refuse to pass on the right or weave in and out of lanes because that is dangerous and more likely to cause accidents. However, if someone is going 105kmh in the passing lane and I have my left blinker on (a signal used in Germany to indicate that you want to pass) and they do not move over what else can I do? You can try flashing your lights, honking, or signaling with your hand (politely) to move over, but many people just don't get it that it's a passing lane.

Want to help the cause of getting people out of the left/passing lane? Use your left turning signal to indicate you want to pass and hopefully it will catch on. I've been doing it for about two years now and I have seen an increase in people doing it!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Women's Lives and Health are Favoured Over Mens' in This Country

In my blog I often discuss the unfair treatment of men and women in this country. This letter in The Recond reinforces everything I've been saying with an excellent example (Thanks Joanne for alerting me about this):

I have been reading a lot in the news about whether we should have a two-tiered medical system -- hello, it is already here! There is one system for women and one for men.

Why are annual Pap tests and mammograms for women covered under our current medical system and the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood tests to detect prostate cancer in men cost $30?

Today, I read that we are spending $83 million to vaccinate young girls for cervical cancer. What is not two-tiered about all this? Does anyone realize that prostate cancer is not an old man's disease anymore and it is becoming more prevalent in younger men and one in seven men will get prostate cancer?

Yes, it is a curable cancer but only if it is caught in an early stage. One of the best indicators is the PSA blood screening. Prostate cancer is fast becoming a silent killer of men. And also, the loss of breasts is devastating but how about what men can lose with removal of the prostate -- including their lives?

I know all this because I am a prostate cancer "victim" as was my father and grandfather. This was diagnosed by my annual PSA test as the anal exam did not indicate a problem. And guess what? Now that I am a "victim" as they classify me, my ongoing PSA test is covered if I go to the cancer clinic to have it done. We need to realize that this test needs to be covered under our medical program now.

Oh yes, my ongoing treatments for curing my cancer will be covered under our medical system and in my case I took the preventive measures. What about those who do not because of the cost? Let's level the playing field here. Annual PSA blood tests need to be covered under our medical system.

And guys: This is no longer your "father's disease." Discuss this on your annual visit with the doctor, get tested and pressure our government to make this important test covered under our medical program.

Tom Sutherland

Wasaga Beach

Hat Tip: Joanne's Journey


One more thing though that pissing me off. It's the way men are portrayed in the media. Two examples:

Example 1: Those stupid Whiskas commercials. Sure you've seen then, and I'm sure you've laughed just as I did. But I've been thinking about it realized that they would never ever reverse those roles and have acting in the same way, it's only funny when we make fun of men. According to market research however:

Bruce Miller, director of marketing for Whiskas, said the company's consumer research showed that the cat-owner relationship is different from the relationship with any other animal. With dogs, the owner is in charge. With cats, it's the cat thats in the driver's seat. "We had women in the focus group say. If my husband behaved that way, I wouldn't put up with it. But my cat does, and I love him for it."

Example 2: A sequel for Daddy Day Care is Daddy Day Camp, another example that makes men look completely incompetant, completely unable to take care of children. What great role models men have...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lottery Winners Win Twice On Same Draw

What are the odds....

If there was any time that you would want to accidently purchase a second lottery ticket for the same numbers you play...Wow talk about LUCKY!

LONDON (Reuters) - A lottery winner doubled his share of the jackpot to nearly 1 million pounds after he mistakenly bought two lucky tickets for the same draw, organizers Camelot said Wednesday.

Derek Ladner, 57, from Cornwall, and his wife Dawn, 60, won with their usual numbers in the mid-week draw, sharing the 2.4 million pounds jackpot with four other tickets.

A week later, he found a second identical ticket in his wallet and realized he had absent-mindedly entered twice.

Their double-share of the jackpot is worth just under a million pounds.

The pair have handed in their notice at work and are taking a break to decide how to spend their windfall.

"It's beginning to sink in," Ladner told a news conference. "We are going on holiday first...and then think about what we are going to do for the rest of our lives."

Now if this was in Canada, this may throw up a red flag because of the recent lottery-scandels of insiders winning. But I like to give people the benefit of the doubt so I truly believe this is really the luckiest people in the UK!