Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Travel issues

One of my friends from work is traveling to Florida this weekend, so we were talking about flight plans and the issue of those body scanners came up. From what H heard from her friend, they don't really give you a choice on the matter. You get in a line, and if you're in the body scanner line, you have to go through. Even a pregnant lady went through because she was scared of not getting on the plane. And then, I realized something. I am much more uncomfortable with flying, especially into the US, because of the 'safety measures' than I am with the idea that someone will smuggle a bomb on board. Now, I'm not sure if that's because I'm Canadian, and I've never been robbed in any way (*knock on wood*) or even beat up (brother excluded). And, I fully support randomly testing the outside of my laptop for explosives residue, and I'm ok with putting my shoes through the x-ray machine. But keep your eyes outside my clothes.

I realize that as a small white girl, I'm low on the list of stereotypical bombers, so (fair or not) I'm probably low on the random cavity search list, but the idea of walking into a scanner and having a full body x-ray creeps me out. I know the person watching the x-rays does not get to see the people, and the security guards who see us, don't get to see the x-rays. Well, probably not. Maybe. Unless, they keep the x-ray pictures, for 'training purposes'. There's so much room for abuse, and it really creeps me out.

I can't find the link right now, but I'm sure I saw an article that said that behaviour screening is one of the more effective methods of screening. So, train up some airport security guards, make it a cool profession (come on, who doesn't want to be able to read people like the guy in Lie To Me), and make it public that you can not hide your intentions. How many people would try to get a bomb on board if some random guard at the airport would be able to see that you were anxious to get on the plane, not because you don't want to see your mother on the other end, not because you're scared of flying as such, but because you don't want to get caught. You're then pulled aside, for a conversation. Nothing intimidating, not an interrogation room, but a waiting room. This more trained guy or girl, then walks in and chats about where you're going, and the president, and how awesome this country is. And, if he sees that you are just nervous about flying, you're on your way. And, if he sees that you hate this country, well, then you get a trip through the full body scanner, and whatever other technology they can create. But, us normal travelers, us 99.9% of people who just want to go on vacation or to the conference in Vegas, why must we prove our innocence in such an invasive way? Apparently, because a handful of people every year decide they want to kill someone?

Thanks, I'll take my car.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Healthy Child, Healthy World

Healthy Child, Healthy World

Not that I'm planning on having children just yet, soon, but not next week, but the idea holds true for everyone. I want to live a long healthy life, and that includes trying to minimize the crap that goes into my body. As a society, we have become very complacent and trusting of major corporations (which I don't understand, but I'll save details for another day). Granted, there is a whole lot of science that we can't really understand without a PhD is chemical engineering, so it's hard to judge what is ok and what is not. My general rule is that if I can't pronounce it and/or understand what it is made of or how it is made, it's probably not good for me, and should not be in my food or clothing.
But, we run out of time, we have work, hobbies, social media, pets, and the green lawn with the white picket fence to take care of. We forget to take care of ourselves and have real relationships with those around us. I've lived in my house for almost a year and a half, I have said hi to my neighbours, but I don't know their names, what they do for fun or anything like that.
It's time to get back to basics, trust your neighbours, grow some of your own food, and stop buying pre-made everything (ok, so I'm not perfect, last night I bought ready to bake pumpkin pie filling).
I pledge to reclaim my house from chemicals before I start my family.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flying Cross Country

Ok, I learned my lesson. Flying from Calgary to Toronto overnight is not a good idea. Sleep is hard to come by in the small uncomfortable seats, and leaving at midnight and arriving four hours later at 6am local is hard when you want to be functional the next day. I had a three hour nap that pretty much negated the point of flying overnight.

Now I just have to deal with this mistake one more time... when I fly home I leave around 10pm and arrive just after 1am, and have to work the next day. Ugh.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fake Injury

Spanish police said Friday they had arrested a 66-year-old Chilean at Barcelona airport after discovering his broken leg was supported by a “cast” made out of cocaine.

The man, who had hobbled off a flight from Santiago, was carrying more of the drug in fake beer cans and two hollowed-out stools.

“The man had a fractured leg and the ‘plaster cast’ that was immobilizing it was entirely made from cocaine,” a statement said. He “displayed an open fracture of the tibia and the fibula, and has been transferred to a clinic for an operation.”

Spanish police are particularly wary about so-called “hot flights” from South America and had their suspicions about this man, which proved to be well-founded.

Road Rash Queen

The Road Rash Queen - Link has graphic images from the days after this story happened.

By April Phillips

Brittany Morrow was 22 years old when she hopped on the back of her friend Shaun’s Suzuki GSX-R750 back in September 2005. She was planning to join the Marine Corps and had her heart set on becoming a combat correspondent. She also loved riding and considered herself an experienced passenger. She was excited to be on a sport bike—even if it was as a passenger.

To prepare herself, she put on a pair of sunglasses and shed her cowboy hat for an oversized helmet. She donned a pair of Capri pants and a sweatshirt over her bikini.

“I thought nothing of the fact that I had practically no protection against the asphalt if anything were to happen. I figured that we couldn’t get into a wreck. It simply wouldn’t happen to me,” Morrow said.

Forty-five minutes into the ride, Morrow wished she’d been a little more thorough when choosing her personal protective equipment.

“I started to slide back on the seat and felt the cool air fill the small space between my chest and Shaun’s back. I felt a rush of wind hit my face like a brick and our bodies separated,” she said.

The force of the wind ripped her off the seat in an instant. Soon, she was grinding across the surface of the highway, and Morrow said she felt every single inch of the 522-foot tumble.

“I didn’t lose consciousness, but I remember wishing that I had,” she said. “I knew this was far worse than anything I had ever gone through, and I was convinced I would not live to see the next day,” she said.

Morrow spent the next two months in a hospital. She had third-degree road rash-burns covering 55 percent of her body. She lost half of her left breast. She severed the tendons in her left pinky finger and dislocated her right big toe. The accident also caused indirect health problems. She lost a lot of blood and ended up contracting pneumonia. She suffered a blood infection, a blood clot on one of her legs, and an adverse reaction to one of her three blood transfusions.

“My road rash was so severe that my skin was not going to grow back on its own. I had lost too much surface area for the doctors to simply suture me together and send me home. My thighs were the only two places that had not received any abrasions,” Morrow described.

In order for her open wounds to heal, the doctors had to cut off a thick layer of healthy skin from her thighs, place it over her burns and surgically staple the new skin in place. There wasn’t enough skin on her thighs to graft all the wounds at once, so the doctors had to choose which areas to repair first and which had to wait. As a reaction to medication, her long, blond hair fell out.

It’s been nearly two and a half years since Morrow fell off that motorcycle. She knew the physical healing process would be a long, tough journey, but she also realized that she had some emotional scars.

“My heart felt heavy, knowing something I loved so much had almost cost me my life,” she said.

That’s when Morrow decided that she had to get her own motorcycle and ride again. She’s now a trained and licensed rider. She owns two motorcycles—a Yamaha R6 and a Honda CBR600F4i. She takes part in track days and is learning to stunt ride. What’s even sexier is that Morrow works on her own bikes. This time, she’s doing it right.

“Riding prepared for the worst possibilities will always help protect you from injury in even the smallest wreck. I believe that wearing gear is an attitude that can save your life. Accepting the risk before you even swing your leg over your bike and protecting yourself in case it happens will make you ride smarter and safer and might even prevent an accident altogether,” she said.

Morrow is a protective apparel spokesperson and has also purchased the rights to TheRoadRashQueen.com, an online forum where she can share her experience and urge others to always wear the proper gear. She travels the country telling others how to protect themselves. She enjoys taking her message to the military, because she feels grateful to give something back to those who protect America.

“Protect others by protecting yourself,” she said. “Ride with the attitude that you are needed so desperately by those around you, including your country. You can’t afford to risk riding without your gear.”

Sunday, August 15, 2010

You know when...

You know when there's something that you would love to be able to do, but there's no point, because it's just not worth it? That's me. I'm currently on vacation with my family, and I've had a long day, and I would love to go to sleep, but, due to sleeping arrangements, if I go to sleep now, I'll just be woken up when my roommates come to bed. They're loud, and have pets, who are loud. There's just no point in going to sleep, but I have absolutely no desire to stay awake and do anything else either. Ugh.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Does God Have Free Will?

God is omnipotent. Being omnipotent means you can do anything you want. If God doesn’t have free will, he wouldn’t be very omnipotent. And being omnipotent means he can peer into his own future, to view it in perfect detail. But, if he sees his own future, then his choices are predetermined, and he's not omnipotent. Or, if he can’t see the future, then he’s not omnipotent. Omnipotence is trickier than it seems.

*No, this argument is not me declaring my belief in god, it's me liking the argument that Scott Adams brings up in his book God's Debris.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Your Video Game Owns Your SOUL

"UK games retailer GameStation revealed that it legally owns the souls of thousands of customers, thanks to a clause it secretly added to the online terms and conditions for its website. The 'Immortal Soul Clause' was added as part of an attempt to highlight how few customers read the terms and conditions of an online sale. GameStation claims that 88 percent of customers did not read the clause, which gives legal ownership of the customer's soul over to the UK-based games retailer. The remaining 12 percent of customers however did notice the clause and clicked the relevant opt-out box, netting themselves a £5 GBP gift voucher in the process."