2nd-grader suspended over drawing of Jesus

Another school over-reacts.

Merry Christmas to those responsible at Lowell M. Maxham Elementary School, Taunton, Massachusetts (MA). You idiots.

Yeesh.

Father angered by forced psychological evaluation of boy, 8

Here’s the offending “violent” image …

… The student drew the picture shortly after taking a family trip to see the Christmas display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, a Christian retreat site in Attleboro. He made the drawing in class after his teacher asked the children to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas, the father said. …

read the full article

(via Jason Mortimer on Facebook)

After it hit the fan in the media, school officials decided to dispute the father’s complaint. I’m inclined to believe the family … and crucify Julie Hackett, superintendent of the Taunton public schools.

privacy, ha … get over it

In the U.K. we can see what’s yet to come in the other large cities of the world.

They have cameras everywhere.

One London bus has 16 CCTV cameras inside.

So far they’ve spent £500m on the Closed Circuit TV program.

Does it work?

Only one crime was solved by each 1,000 CCTV cameras in London last year, a report into the city’s surveillance network has claimed.

The internal police report found the million-plus cameras in London rarely help catch criminals. …

BBC – 1,000 cameras ‘solve one crime’

(article recommended by Stuart Green)

graffiti artist Banksy painted this while being watched by a CCTV camera
graffiti artist Banksy painted this while being watched by a CCTV camera

details on the brilliant social commentary

At my hostel in Edinburgh there’s a sign in the kitchen saying:

Food has been stolen from this kitchen. If it continues, we’re actually going to take the time to review the video camera monitoring it!

I think these cameras are inevitable. They don’t work now. But our robot overlords will improve them over time.

Meet your Meat – disgusting

This is probably the vilest thing I’ve ever endured.

A People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals expose of commercial meat production.

The video that all meat-eaters should watch and every vegetarian should own, “Meet Your Meat”, narrated by Alec Baldwin, covers each stage of life of animals raised for food. No PETA videos are copyrighted, so copy them for everyone you know.

I recommend you do not click PLAY, not watch it on YouTube.

best movie – Crash (1996 or 2005?)

In 2006, director David Cronenberg said he was upset with director Paul Haggis who had chosen the name Crash for his 2005 Academy Award winning film Crash, feeling “it was not only ethically wrong, but annoying as well”.

I loved that Crash, and felt it deserved Best Picture in 2005. It was a very important look at racism.

But Cronenberg’s 1996 film also called Crash was braver, more visionary and far, far more memorable.

Unique. (The only movie close to as brilliant and shocking I’ve seen is City of God.)

Did you see the original Crash?

… a feature film about a group of people who take sexual pleasure from car accidents. Cronenberg has said that his agent at the time told him it would wreck his career, and begged him to direct The Juror instead.

The film stars James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger and Rosanna Arquette.

It was opened to mixed reactions from critics. Some praised the film for its daring outline and originality, others criticised it for its graphic sexuality mixed with violence.

It was nominated for the Golden Palm at the Festival de Cannes, in the end it won the special prize for daring, audacity, and originality.

crash.png

Crash (1996 film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

travelogue – Happy Birthday?

Nov 2, 2003

rick_mugI am … 40something today. There is some debate on the exact number. As you know, I don’t have to count those years in which my birthday was not acknowledged by anyone. I missed two for sure: in Kathmandu & Moose Jaw.

My family has never had much use for birthdays though we will celebrate this one.

Birthdays are, perhaps, a good prompt for introspection.

rick_bike2Happy Birthday?

Lets see.

I’ve written of my philosophy of voluntary simplicity; following my bliss; having achievable goals:

 

  • 1 hour reading / day
  • 1 hour exercise / day
  • few possessions
  • few commitments
  • eat modestly
  • lots of time on the www

This year I want to get out of debt & even start earning some income from this website editing hobby.

My buddy Rockin’ Ronnie travelled to Lynchburg, Tennessee for the Jack Daniel’s World Championships of Barbecue. They finished 2nd in pork butt! A dream come true.

Best news is that I bought a new mountain bike. It’s a half hour commute to the gym each way through the zoo and Inglewood Bird sanctuary on superb river bike paths.  I see more coyotes, deer & bunnies than people or dogs.

Biking takes care of my exercise quota. Lately I am finding cycling better for fitness than running. And it’s easier to get motivated to hop on the bike.

double_miniWork at Altadore Gym Club is going well. The boys program is relaxed & we have 3 full-time men’s coaches to shoulder the load.

The boys are strong on tramp and, in the mode of Kyle Shewfelt, good on floor and vault.

This lad, way high on double mini double back, is an Altadore trampolinist who just finished 5th in his age group at World Championships.

I always wanted to be a slumlord. 🙂 You can find me downtown in Bridgeland; Little Italy. TC got me a job as resident manager of an apartment block near Edmonton Trail.

apartment-Edmonton-TrailFrom my balcony you can enjoy a vista of skyscrapers — a compelling homescape even to a recidivistic wanderer like myself. (So far I am camping but camping on real hardwood floors.)

My first duty was to evict 3 of 17 tenants including the sickly alcoholic handyman who is here somewhat at the charity of the owner. Ne’er fear for those I displace — they can camp free a few blocks away at the park beside Edmonton Trail bridge.

Actually, we post eviction for everyone even a day late with rent. All three eventually coughed up the dough. As a capitalist stooge, I don’t care where the money comes from just so long as I get it.

My MP, Stephen Harper, leader of the Official Opposition, the Reform Party CCRAP (Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance party) Alliance Party? Conservative Party will defend my right to lord it over tenants.

I’ve never lived downtown before but I always thought that if one must live in the city, one might as well live in the urban hardcore handy to LRT (Light Rail Transit), the main public library, Eau Claire market, Princess Island.

There’s an urban beauty best exemplified in Calgary by the surreal dead calm between towers, illuminated by the reflection off mirrored windows. Brighter than Heaven.

_calgary_glareParty-wise, I am a stone’s throw from the Cecil Hotel & Beer Land (cheapest beer in town). The inner core is an interesting place to live — I saw a pick-up truck hawking live pigeons in China town last week — though I need to wheel around the odd passed-out bag sniffer.

Calgary is a boomtown inevitably attracting a population of angry, damaged dysfunctionals. There seems to be a pretty good social safety net at the nearby Calgary Drop-in Centre — but they won’t let you in at night if you are stoned or drunk.

BM invited me to volunteer to serve breakfast for the homeless sleeping in the gym at Knox United church downtown. Quite a civilized group of people. Many had daytime jobs, actually.

calgaryThe copious amount of media time on the gay marriage debate was a waste of time IMHO.

My own solution is practical; abolish all marriage. Isn’t it a throwback to the time before church & state were separated? What is sacrosanct about the heterosexual couple? Devout Muslims can have 4 wives; a good Mormon as many as he could stand. A Tibetan woman marries a man and all his brothers.

As a happily single guy (that’s my story, I’m sticking to it), I long ago quit apologizing for not being married. I’m not sure of the stats in Canada, but less than half the adults in Australia are married.

Hmm.

In a democracy we could organize. Majority rules, right?. We could vote to TAX all marriage.

Happy birthday to me. 🙂

I’m mostly listening to 50, coveting, like him, an iPod. But RC turned me on to (Trent Reznor protégé) Johnny Cash’s final album. Have you heard it? Excellent!

Johnny lost his beloved wife a few months before he succumbed. Testament to a marriage that worked.

He sings a life retrospection:

You can have it all,
my empire of dirt.

What have I become?
my sweetest friend.

Everyone I know
goes away in the end.

Kind of a bleak way to end a birthday reflection, don’t you think?

OK. Instead a joke:

I was tempted to join the international Sceptics Society — … but can I trust those guys?

Calgary Rick

chloe_rings_2003sm