happiness

June 22, 2009

I attended a course last week and the lecturer mentioned an article he was reading in the Atlantic about happiness – specifically the seven factors that seem to predict that we will be happy as we get older. It’s an interesting study at Harvard that has been going on for more than 70 years.

The study suggests that having five or more of the seven factors at age 50 was a very good predictor of a happy and healthy old age.

I’m sure that the study doesn’t account for many other factors, but it still is interesting. I think I have five of those factors, but just to be sure, I’ll start exercising soon … I promise.

flytape

June 21, 2009

Is PETA stupid? I’m pretty sure some of them are. From using fairly manipulative (and exploitive) ads to degrading their more serious work with their trivial scolding of Obama for killing a fly, PETA is their own worst enemy. Maybe they can find a new use for fly-tape by using it on their mouths.

I know they were baited by the media, but pick something important to talk about – there are so many urgent topics about animal rights. But pick on everything and people tune you out.

sri lanka

June 11, 2009

There is a big lump of discomfort in my stomach about Sri Lanka. I feel there is truth yet to be revealed from both sides and I know so little about this entire conflict. People have been asked to make moral judgements about the civil war without much understanding of the complex history and without the view from the ground.

Sri Lanka has now denied entry to Canadian Member of Parliament Bob Rae as the latest attempt at censoring the recent crush of the Tamil Tigers (and the incidental high rate of civilian casualties). This is not going to win them respect or understanding from the rest of the world – only more questions.

What worries me? The recent fighting (and aftermath) is exactly the kind of environment necessary to recruit more young people to the Tamil Tigers. Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? It often depends on which side of the fence you are sitting. Sometimes those distinctions are not easily apparent.

death all around me

June 8, 2009

I have seen death all around me
heard it creep up on my friends
drummer and strummer expired
model, roles and rolled
into one; related and isolated
from my core

inspirer, conspirator, quiet leader
of people; listen, read, learn
to open your door
I have heard death all around me
far too much

kidnapping shoplifters

June 5, 2009

I heard a story on the radio about two idiot shop owners in chinatown who confronted a shoplifter, tied him up and put him in the back of a delivery van. I understand they are frustrated with losing inventory, but come on.

obama in cairo

June 4, 2009

I haven’t seen the entire speech yet, but early signs are promising – Barack was as balanced as he could be and the speech seems to have generated a lot of conversations and buzz on blogs and television around the world.

Osama bin Laden criticized Obama’s speech before it even happened. The best result the world can hope for is that people like bin Laden becomes irrelevant to young people. This engagement and empowerment of young people can only happen when western countries make lifestyle sacrifices and consider the rights and welfare of all people. A new beginning indeed.

update: The link should work now. Looks like youtube had to deal with all the hatred that this speech brought out. It amazes me that Obama saying ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’ (peace be on you) or quoting from the Koran is considered traitorous.

Don’t most speakers try to engage their audience with words and greetings in the local language and culture? Would they prefer if he said “Howdy-Doody Cairo”? Wow, I thought people were a little smarter than they are currently demonstrating.

update 2: I watched the whole thing. A lot of rhetoric and very preachy, but I still think he’s as progressive as America will allow.

drums

June 3, 2009

It’s the time of year when you hear drums from all over the world. Check out rhythms starting this Thursday when the Muhtadi International Drum Festival kicks off at the Wychwood Barns on Christie Street.

The festival continues outside on Saturday and Sunday at Queen’s Park (north side of Wellesley). Hope it’s good weather. Can’t wait to see Amara Kante and Steafan Hannigan.