Saturday, April 22, 2006

Harder Next Time?

Canadian Press
Apr. 21, 2006 10:22 AM

RED DEER, AB

Talk about adding insult to injury, dude.

A 20-year-old man who was hit by a train that he didn't hear coming because he had Norwegian heavy-metal music blaring in his headphones now has to pay a $287 ticket for trespassing on Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.

Jesse Maggrah was knocked into the ditch and suffered several broken ribs and scrapes to his head and hands.

On Wednesday, a CPR officer served Maggrah with the ticket as the young man was recovering in hospital.

"This is a double whammy for me," Maggrah said Thursday. "I'm grateful that I'm living, but I'm not grateful that I've got to pay this ticket. I'm ticked off about it."

The ticket was issued under the Alberta Petty Trespassing Act. Railway police tend to issue warnings about trespassing, but in this case they decided a further deterrent was needed, said CPR spokesman Ed Greenberg.

Officers didn't, however, seek the stiffest penalty. If charged under the federal Railway Act, a trespasser could be fined up to $10,000 or receive six months in jail.

Maggrah said he'll pay the fine.

"I don't want to take it to court and all that crap, so I'll just pay it," he said.

What? This guy's pissed because he was STUPID? Who walks on the train tracks anyway, and who does it with headphones on? I'm thinking a small fine is the least of his worries considering he's alive, not on life support, not maimed, not damaged (ok, maybe from some time before), not missing limbs and has his beautiful face still intact.

Here, for any of you who might try this 'at home,' are the rules.
Don't wear headphones whilst walking on train tracks.
Don't turn the sound up so far you can't hear a train wistle! They're really loud for a reason
Don't turn the sound up becuase Apple says it's bad for you.
Don't be STUPID.

Thanks to Stantec in Calgary for the photo

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

So there's been this huge issue in my city -- cat licensing. Lots for and lots against and all manner of good, bad and really dumb reasons for licensing.

So, let me get this straight: according the supporters, licensed cats will stick to their own backyards while outside, stop pooping in the neighbours’ peonies, and will no longer be eaten by coyotes, hit by cars, or become lost.

Is there an education program that comes with the licenses? Will the coyotes now see the licenses and realise licensed cats are not edible? Will licensed cats realise they’re too special to leave their own yards? Will they discover that the neighbours’ gardens are no longer suitable places to make deposits? Will speeding vehicles screech to a halt when they spot a licensed cat? Will licensed cats somehow be able to read maps?

I suppose a license is a good idea if one's cat is prone to running away, but mostly, cats know where their food and warm beds are so they normally don't go too far from home.

In the case of a cat eaten by a coyote, which happens a lot here, a license won't help because coyotes can't dial the phone to say "Hey, found your cat and it was delish."

I can see a license helping for cats that are hit by cars, providing someone stops to look at the license and calls it in so the cat's owner can be told their kitty is deceased. In our area, however, the coyotes are faster than the drivers and kitty roadkill is usually dragged off to feed coyote pups.

Mostly what will happen is that disgruntled neighbours will take advantage of the license to report that the next door kitty has left poo in their plants. This city's bylaw officers report that the vast majority of infractions are reported by people who can't stand their neighbours and wish they would move.

Other than that, though, licenses are a great idea!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

War. What's it good for?

And, we’d like to know why…

…The US Government is planning on spending multi-billions of dollars refurbishing its stockpile of nuclear (That’s NU-CLE-AR, Mr. President) weapons and why the US for some reason has the only UN sanctioned stockpile of nuclear warheads. We’d also like to know how more warheads equal less probability of testing said warheads…. According to Ambassador Linton F. Brooks,

The RRW warheads would create a "reduced chance we will ever need to resort to nuclear testing." In addition, he said, "Once we demonstrate we can produce warheads on a time scale in which geopolitical threats could emerge, we would no longer need to retain extra warheads to hedge against unexpected geopolitical changes."

We’d also like to know why the US government acknowledges the very poor state of US schools, and why it does nothing about the low quality education the majority of its citizens receive.

Wait! If the US spends next to nothing on education, and some money convincing its poorly educated population that they’re under siege, then nobody will question the need for spending billions of dollars on technology that cannot be used short of annihilating the whole world, US included. That doesn’t answer the question of why the US gets to make all these rules that apply to everyone but the US.

Could it be true, the statement on the front of MacLean’s Magazine, currently on newsstands: “Worst President in the last 100 years?”

CRAP

Wow…. Lots of fun craziness going on in the world today.

Since Michael Baigent and Dan Brown have had their very public little scrap settled, there have been lots and lots of interesting programs and articles in the news. Congratulations to both those guys for really effectively using every possible facet of the media to publicise their various properties, The Da Vinci Code (book and film) and Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Jesus Papers.

Both books are great reads and really fun as they have so managed to piss off the Catholic Church, which has now spent untold amounts of time and money trying to discredit both Brown and Baigent.

Today in the local paper, there’s an article on a website called www.jesusdressup.com, where people can dress up “Jesus” in all sorts of funny clothing. Earlier this week there was a PBS program on a guy who does facial reconstruction and who had a skull dating from the time and coming from the area where Jesus would have come from.

It seems that Christians all over the world are highly offended by the dress up site but not in the least bothered that Christ’s looks have been utterly misrepresented for ever and ever, amen.

The facial reconstruction guy’s model is of a dark-skinned, curly, dark-haired guy – pretty much a guy who looks like most guys that come from that area of the Middle East. The mock-up guy was decidedly NOT blond and blue-eyed. So now the Christians are bothered by having holes poked in their theory of the white Christ. Why doesn’t it cross their minds that it is highly unlikely that their medieval Christ cannot possibly bear any resemblance to the real McCoy?

Here’s another question: the bible, if it can be believed at all, says that Christ had brothers and sisters. There cannot be any question that Mary, his mother, and Joseph, his father, had families – parents and siblings. So why do Christians get all bent when anyone suggests that there are many living people who have blood ties to both those families? It is illogical to believe otherwise. There cannot be any question that Christ’s bloodlines continue to this day.

Other stuff:
- “Virgin Birth” does not mean the woman’s a virgin; it means she has had her first child. See this Wikipedia reference for more, interesting, information
- It is very unlikely that Christ said “I AM the son of God.” It probable, as he was leading a rebellion against Rome, that he said “I am A son of God,” considering the rest of the message was “Join me.”
- The Catholic Church is totally freaked out by those who want to put an end to suppression of the truth, suppression of women and support and promotion of anti-Semitism. If Dan Brown and Michael Baignet’s books are garbage like the Catholic Church says, why is the church so hell-bent on disproving the stuff? Great letters at Salon.com

How weird is it that Christians put up statues and drawings and paintings of a man being brutally tortured and then tell they tell their little children to pray to that thing, all the while exhorting people not to pray to graven images. It is so wacked!