Saturday, March 1, 2008

Vote. Then, Vote Again

I'm leaving my NUTTY MAYOR survey up for a bit longer (to the right), because I want to use it for a future Province column.

Don't be shy. Exercise your franchise.

The future of humankind depends of YOU...sort of, more or less, uh...

Emperor's New Clothes Washed Here

What has Miro been smoking?

In an apparent effort to bring renewed pride to British Columbian's, the Sun ran a front page story about what geniuses we are - "20 Great Ideas born in BC."

Along with Generation X and Rafe Mair, came this gem: Insite, "Canada's first facility that allows heroin addicts to shoot up in a public environment."

I think I'll spend the rest of the day banging my head against the wall.

Beware Government Ideas. They give new depth of meaning to the word, "Shallow."

John Les, the Solicitor-General of the province of BC, has a new program.

The story was buried on page B7.

It is so bad, it should have been buried on page Z11.

The program is called...wait for it...POMP.

I kid you not.

Prolific Offender Management Program.

The idea is to give the worst repeat offenders health care and treatment for addictions and a variety of other unavailable options...mental health, housing...

Where exactly, Mr. Les-is-less are these offerings, because I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of addicts, mentally ill and homeless who would love to know.

Perhaps this stroke of bureaucratic genius could be renamed The Society to Undo Political Excrescences, or STUPE.

Or, how about, Department of Un-Manageable Programs, or DUMP.

The Tech (R)evolution is Amazing

The video below, sent to us by Mike & Edith Sims, is remarkable in a thousand ways.

Not only is it an astonishing sight, but the technology that allows you and me to view it is mind-boggling.

The Sims sent this to me in an email from their iPhone. I mouse-clicked the YouTube entry, and clicked "SHARE" to put it on this blog.

Now, you are watching it.

I realize that there are 20 year olds who just assume these wonders have always existed.

But, pardon this 65-year old for being thunderstruck.

Total Lunar Eclipse - February 20, 2008

Apple Gets Healthy Bite, Vancouver Take Note

Editorial: New York Times
A Streetcart Named Healthy
Published: March 1, 2008

Health experts have taken to calling low-income neighborhoods “food deserts,” and it is easy to see why. Supermarkets are usually in short supply and specialty produce and health-food stores are even rarer. Residents are often forced to do their food shopping in small grocery stores that carry few fresh fruits and vegetables.

Not surprisingly, these are the same communities that suffer most from obesity and related diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council have come up with an innovative solution. Pressed by Speaker Christine Quinn, the Council withstood protests from the retail food industry and approved 1,000 new licenses for mobile fruit and vegetable stands — designating them for the parts of the city that need them most.

There are already about 4,000 so-called green carts, but they rarely venture far from the tonier — and healthier — neighborhoods. The new initiative will put green carts on the sidewalks of the poorest areas, which are home to a disproportionate share of roughly half of the city’s residents who are overweight.

These neighborhoods are packed with fast-food burger and fried chicken restaurants. A city survey found that the chances of finding bananas, oranges or apples were small. No more than 6 percent of the bodegas the city looked at carried fresh greens.

The city could help even more by publicizing the green carts in their new neighborhoods, reminding residents of the benefits of a healthy diet, and handing out recipes for cooking with fresh produce.

Mr. Bloomberg and his health commissioner, Dr. Tom Frieden, and Ms. Quinn deserve credit for turning common sense into good health policy: banning smoking in public places, limiting trans fats in restaurant food and forcing calorie disclosure from chain eateries. We can now add the green carts to that sound list.

Tzena, Tzena, Tzena - The Weavers

This Hebrew Folk Song was an unlikely pop hit. We all played guitars and ukeleles and our idea of partying was singing. I had the pleasure of working with Ronnie Gilbert (the lady)at SFU in the theatre department 30 years ago.