If the world could vote

Posted in News, Opinion

For most of you, probably this poll is not new. But, on the eve before the United States goes to the polls to vote for the new President, Obama vs. McCain, it helps to have a little perspective. I typically would stay away from talking about politics in any form, but just simply: If the World could vote…

… Obama would win.

8 major newspapers conducted a worldwide(ish) poll testing the waters of who would win the vote, if we all had a say. Obama was the favoured candidate in all countries, with Canada chiming in with a 70% Obama vote. 75% of Canadians also indicated, in a follow-up question, that troops should be withdrawn from Iraq.

There is also an online poll, not connected with the above results, that is still ongoing at IfTheWorldCouldVote.com. As of the time of this post, Obama was the favoured candidate in most countries, with Canada chiming in with 88.5%

More on this story from CTV or the ITWCV FAQ.

Follow the full election coverage on http://election.twitter.com/ – yes, both Obama and McCain are on twitter.

Sue me! the official mascot of the 2010 Olympic Games

Posted in Around Vancouver, Events, News, Opinion

The mascots for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games were unveiled today in a 35-minute live show at the Bell Centre for Performing Arts in Surrey, B.C.

There are three mascots and one sidekick:

The 2010 Olympic Mascots

  • Miga — a snowboarding sea-bear inspired by the First Nations’ legends of the Pacific Northwest. Miga, described as mischievous and outgoing, is part sea-bear and part orca whale.
  • Quatchi — a shy and gentle Sasquatch with a long brown beard and blue earmuffs meant to conjure the mystery and wonder associated with the Canada’s wilderness.
  • Sumi — an animal guardian spirit, who flies with the wings of the thunderbird, is described as “a natural born leader with a passion for protecting the environment.”
  • Mukmuk — a Vancouver Island marmot sidekick considered an honorary member of the mascot team.

A video introduction to these characters is available in the official 2010 Olympics website.

I’ve been talking to a few friends and their reactions have been mixed. Some of the comments I’ve heard are:

  • Sumi sounds like “Sue Me!”
  • They look like Japanase cartoon characters
  • Quatchi reminds me of the Kokanee Sasquatch
  • A fat sasquatch, a one-eyed teddy and a green alien looking thing!
  • looks like they were designed by a big committee and crammed all the ideas in, and rejected none

More opinions: Darren, Miss604

What do you think?

A quote on life

Posted in Opinion

I was reading Sidney Poitier’s The Measure of a Man today (which by the way is an amazing and inspirational read) when I came across a passage I just had to share. It really sums up my feelings about my job:

Freud once said that life is love and work. But if you do bad work, it can’t provide the meaning in your life that you need from it. I feel most critical of myself when I notice any trace of slovenliness in my work. My work is me, and I try my damnedest to take very good care of me… [pg 161]

I think that’s an amazing way to put it. I think that whatever you do, and however much you like what you do, you should always put yourself into it. Whether you work at McDonald’s or some Fortune 500, you should feel proud at the end of the day that you lived up to your own expectations.

Sidney Poitier mentions how, in the end, our legacies are our love, our work, and our families. I’d rather know that I gave something of myself in my work, and feel proud of my contributions, than to end any day with the personal dissatisfaction of slacking off.

I consider it a great honor to have the opportunities I do. I feel very lucky. I believe I have a huge obligation to fulfill this role I’ve been given, and to do what I can to pass on knowledge to others. I don’t believe in hoarding knowledge, and think that the biggest contribution one can make on the world is to give of oneself – in work as well as in life.

Tags: , ,

Active Release Technique & Updates

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Opinion, Science

For the past month, I have been getting Active Release Technique/Therapy (ART) sessions done on my neck by a chiropractor in North Van.

ART is a massage technique which focuses on the soft tissue system: muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. All the things that I have problems with.

My chronic pain has been quite a burden for the past 6 months. Although I was making some progress healing from the second whiplash injury in January, the muscle tension and scarring were still a major problem, and in some ways were getting worse as the muscles grew weaker. I had been having sporradic success with the NUCCA treatment in completely alleviating my TOS (pinched nerve in arm), but it was not consistent. When the back of my neck became very tender from the tension – about 3 months ago – I started to have even greater issues because my neck would simply get tired holding up my head.

After I recovered from the Norwalk virus, I decided to switch to a new chiropractor in a clinic that also has physio, massage and other therapies in a hope that a team would have better success in treating my problems. The chiropractor introduced me to ART, hoping it would have some success in breaking up the massive amounts of scar tissue and fibrosis. The scar tissue was making my muscles tense (shorter) and weak, and trapping the nerve in my arm.

My ART treatment is fast – just a couple of minutes, plus an adjustment. Right now my body can’t take really long treatments since my overall pain level is too high – if it flared up more, it would be too much for me to handle. So, we focus on smaller areas at a time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Creepy Teddy Bear

Posted in Opinion, Shopping

Ok, I’ve seen some seriously messed up and evil looking teddy bears out this. But this one just ups the creepiness scale.

Designed by Philippe Starck, it’s called the TeddyBearBand. Cute name and perhaps cute concept. But I think it would freak me out as a kid to see a bear with a bunny for a hand and a dog for a foot.

Philippe Starck: “In my opinion, an overabundance of toys fosters infidelity. Instead of forming a lasting attachment to one toy, the child flits ever faster from one to another, the greater the number of toys, the more frantic the pace. There is no reason that, later on, he or she should treat people, a friend or a lover any differently. As an advocate of the one-true-love approach, I dreamt of a single toy that would serve as an apprenticeship for the lasting human relationships that await our children. A surreal toy, TeddyBearBand stimulates the imagination, considerabily more than any mere plush bear. It removes love and friendship from the realm of disposable emotions”.

That’s all very good and dandy. But this is more a social commentary and if reductionism is the key, simply buy one far less creepy bear. The bear is not the solution in an of itself. No?

Via cribcandy ; Tags: , , ,

Cory Doctorow: The Totalitarian Urge

Posted in Around Vancouver, Events, Opinion

A few hours ago Arieanna and I went to hear Cory Doctorow give a talk called “Cory Doctorow: The Totalitarian Urge: total information awareness and the cosmic billiards”. He describes it:

“It’s about how technology changes the way we view social problems,” says Doctorow. “Older mechanical technologies make us see the world as deterministic, knowable and manipulable. New emergent technologies like the Internet teach us that control is an illusion, the universe is out of control and laughing at us, and that the more we watch and control, the more problems we have.”

He talked about things like DRM, privacy, Copyright and how this all comes together to change the way we live now and what the future may hold if we let governments and corporations do as they like, unchecked. More control is not always better.

I recorded the lecture and you can download download an mp3 from the Internet Archive

Microsoft steals video, makes money from it

Posted in News, Opinion, Technology

My friend and co-worker had shot a video of a really cool mechanical spider that his brother built and added it to a story about it. That was about a year ago.

Today, he found his video on the MSN Video website, with no attribution and ads displayed alongside it. See for yourself. And the video is now tagged “StupidVideos.com” and is available here, uploaded by “Anonymous”.

I think MSN’s editors need to do a better job of checking where a video is coming from before they decide it is in the public domain. Is it hard to figure out if a video is not in the public domain? Yes. Is that an excuse to not do it? Of course not.



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