Category Archives: Culture

The End of the Arctic

It’s a somewhat breathless title, but I understand why the producers chose it since we are all unwitting witnesses to the end of a lot of cultural practices and the quite sudden destruction of an ecosystem that humans have been living on for thousands of years.

I’m not going to opine on the particulars since this is a set of issues that I’m just learning more about myself.  I think it would be a good thing if a lot more Canadians in the South watched this video.  It’s put together by the guys who run the AsapSCIENCE channel, though they’ve chosen to keep this video separate from their primary content which is a general science education channel and doesn’t usually delve into political issues.

It’s essentially about climate change and how it’s already beginning to seriously impact Inuit people, which most Canadians should already be aware are one of the most marginalized and most poorly served communities in the entire country.  It has been produced in collaboration with Greenpeace, but don’t let that scare you off, if they did have a say in the production it was a very light touch and regardless of the conclusions or the call to action, the video itself helps to build more knowledge on the topic.

The short documentary is a deep background to a video featuring Bill Nye on as part of their normal science topics discussing Arctic ice melting as it relates to climate change and changes in the Arctic Ocean basin.  It’s also a good watch.

If you’re interested in signing the petition mentioned in the documentary it can be found on the Greenpeace website here.

Sometimes I Love My Job

It can be tedious working for a crown corp and the CBC certainly has its moments, just like any other job, but then there are things like this that you just don’t get to see anywhere else.

It’s pretty strange to be at a point in your life where pop heroes from your childhood are now being retread as kids entertainers of your middle age.  But it was still pretty neat to see the parents almost as excited as the kids!

Sorry for the bad quality, I didn’t expect to see Maestro, let alone be taking video of Let Your Backbone Slide so I wasn’t exactly prepared.

Because it’s 2015

There are a lot of symbolic things that Trudeau and his new government have done today, especially when it comes to telegraphing that they will be serious about issues which have faced aboriginal Canadians.  But the best soundbite of this morning’s ceremonies was his answer to the question of why the cabinet should be comprised of 50% women and 50% men.

“Because it’s 2015.”

I’m fairly realistic, I don’t expect this new government to be that dramatically different from other Liberal governments in the past, but it is pleasant to see them bowing to reality and facts for a change.  The fact that women are underrepresented in leadership positions is something that was within their power to address at the top level so it is refreshing to see some action.

New York, New York

I just got on the new Union Pearson Express for the first time and am off to New York for the first time in almost a decade.

Unfortunately it’s for work, but I packed my camera and I’m hoping I can take some time to shoot a few photos and maybe grab a nice bite to eat somewhere. My brother the chef has been filling my taste buds with fancy ideas of fun places to go!

Uranium

Check it out, I’m a huge fan of Derek Muller (the host) and anything on PBS doesn’t tend to go too far astray. I’ve read several books on Uranium and the weapons development over the past several years and as much as I’m pretty strongly opposed to the development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons there really is no escaping that it’s one of the most thrilling scientific, engineering, and espionage stories of the 20th century.

http://video.pbs.org/program/uranium-twisting-dragons-tail/

Dying with Dignity and Judicial Freedom (or Activism)

So Canada will soon have a legal framework for euthanasia despite the fact that Harper fought it tooth and nail.

I’m not 100% certain how I feel about this, but I think that’s normal.  Like many issues relating to life and death it’s complicated so this is a pretty normal feeling I suppose.  In fact, I tend to distrust people who don’t have any ambiguous thought at all when it comes to political-medical issues.

In either case, it’s good to know that even under one of the most right wing governments Canada has had in the past half century, the framework of the Constitution is standing up for fundamental freedoms in a way that evolves with the times.  This has had me thinking a lot about the long term effect of having a modern legal framework which is based on 20th century norms of justice and human rights.  As controversial as some elements are, we have a lot to be thankful here and we should be happy that the court under McLachlin has managed to remain largely free of interference from both Chrétien and Harper.

I know that some on the right have portrayed this as judicial activism (and not in a positive way) but I’m very happy that our legal system at the judicial level at least, still seems to be largely aloof of the government.  I really can’t imagine that the country would be a better place if it weren’t.

Vox: Canada legalizes physician-assisted suicide