Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Time for solar power to take the lead

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

What is the delay with bringing solar power to the average consumer on a massive scale? We have had solar powered calculators and even watches for many years. It seems as though governments who stand to benefit the most from solar power by reduced costs thereby having more money in the budget for healthcare, education and infrastructure investments are doing almost nothing to promote its widespread adoption and usage.

The question is why?

The answer could be infrastructure.

In the case of electricity and oil there are lots of middlemen who receive government money and support from the industry to build and maintain refineries, processing plants, parts companies and all the other aspects of electric and oil companies. Ethanol has received major funding and tax breaks even though it has caused major devastation in the world by using food (corn) to fuel machines, thus causing millions of people to suffer as the price of corn rises while their standard of living decreases. That means millions of families are having a harder time putting food on the table while multi-billion dollar corporations receive money to convert food to fuel.

One of the best ways to save the planet and use the best free, renewable resource that we have available, would be to go solar.

1. Government buildings should be converted to run at least 20% of their needs on solar power.
2. Cars paid for by the government should be hybrids.
3. An incentive such as a rebate or low interest rate loan should be given to all homeowners and builders to make/purchase/renovate homes and make them solar energy friendly.

Some more stories on the issues surrounding ethanol:
Technological Review

More stories on solar energy:
Triangle Business Journal
New Energy
UB Reporter

Organic wine

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

I recently had some organic wine. It was from Spain and the name of the wine was Senorio De Elda. I was impressed with the lightness of the wine. In fact, it was almost like drinking juice. If I can consume less pesticides and other weird things in my food and beverages, I am ok with that.

I enjoyed the wine so much that I am going to look for more and other brands. Senorio De Elda was light and fruity with almost no aftertaste. I am curious if the heavier wines are going to be as light in terms of fruitiness while retaining a full-bodied texture and flavour. Can’t wait to find out.

I eat a lot of organic food – breakfast organic oatmeal, organic fruit, organic bread (kamut or quinoa). Organic veggies carrots, spinach, broccoli and tofu! Also organic rice and noddles. Yes, it is more expensive but I really do notice a difference in taste, how my body digests the food and how I feel after I eat (i.e. better, more energy!).

I find organic food lighter but naturally more flavourful, so I am ok with paying the premium. I would rather spend the money on healthy food than bad food (hot dogs, red meat, lots of bad bread, soda pop). The only non-organic food products I purchase are fish and chicken.

The journey continues. This spring and summer will be very pivotal. I am looking forward to the challenge and the work I will have to put in to get what I want. Stay tuned.

abortion rights

Friday, December 12th, 2008

My thoughts on what I find to be a disturbing article I came across in Canada’s National Post, one of the nation’s two national newspapers. The article was released this week, when our parliament is shut down so that no one can discuss it in our parliament and the rest of the Canadian media has been completely silent about it.

The article supports various efforts in the United States to make abortion more difficult for women. Maurice Vellacott a MP of the Conservative Party who is in power right now sent the article to all the members in parliament. Harper doesn’t want parliament to vote on his horrible economic statement but his MP Vellacott is sending out season’s greetings to everyone with a newspaper article that supports making abortion more difficult for women.

Unfortunately it is not one lone MP expressing his point. It is the actions of a MP of a Conservative government whose sole purpose has been to spread fear and disdain throughout the country. Most people in Canada have been nervous about the Reform / Alliance / Conservative Party for precisely this reason.

Canada’s Conservative government has done no work for 6 months, Harper called a surprise election after the summer break. When the majority of MPs came back and didn’t support of his economic plans to literally bankrupt them, reduce women’s equity and do nothing else for our economy, Harper shut down our democracy and the parliament will not return before the end of January 2009. We are the only country in the western world who has done almost nothing in the past 6 months.

Now on the same day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has an interview with the CBC, where he states that he wants to work with others and wants their ideas (because he has none of his own), the National Post prints an article that supports one of the basic (if understated) principals of the Reform / Alliance / Conservative Party, restricting Canadian women’s right to safe abortions.

It is an article that seeks to make women feel ashamed for getting abortions regardless of the circumstance and praises the more restrictive access in various regions in the United States. The National Post is the same newspaper where former Bush speechwriter David Frum regularly writes for, where he supports Bush and Harper.

It is not an innocuous article, it is part of the philosophy of a divisive, sneaky government that has reduced funding to women’s groups across Canada, canceled our National day Care program brought in by the Liberals, in favour of a cash handout, that still leaves families struggling to find adequate care for their children (our country’s future).

The fact that the rest of the media is silent about this, actually empowers and enables the Conservative Party in creating an atmosphere where the abortion rights could be attacked and reversed. I am a man, I’m not the one going to carry the baby. But it seems really evil to sneak the possibility of a restrictive law back into the mindset of a country where the issue has been pretty much decided and do it during a time of nearly unprecedented economic stress and fear.

Attacking women in Canada regarding their own bodies is cowardly, immature and a government that encourages its members to do so is only showing their true stripes as being misguided and frankly not worthy of the trust its citizens place in them to work for the good of the country.

Once again, the Conservative Party has shown that they have nothing to offer except for dividing the country and using their faulty, abusive reasoning to undermine the rights of the citizens they swore to work for.

To deny women’s right to clean, safe medical abortions would put Canada back to the days of the recent past (1940s-1970s) when many women died, ran off to “houses” to have their babies in secret and then abandon them to religious organizations (with all the problems that we are still not dealing with in terms of abuse and neglect of thousands of children over the past decades who were brought up in orphanages run by nuns, priests and religious lay people), or kept the babies and had stilted lives mired in regret and frustration, while men who also made the children left them and our society condemned the mothers as “loose women”.

There is a reason why birth control is so popular and why the revolutions of the 1960s happened: women were being put down, black people were being put down and ignorance was considered to be bliss. Respect, justice and equality are things that we should never take for granted. We must always be vigilant for there are many who seek to place limits on the freedoms of women and others, keeping them from their true potential due to their own fears and insecurities, which they want to force down on the rest of us.

If you believe in a women’s right to have a life of her own, not controlled by the whims of ideologues in government, then you have to stand up and say so. Cheering at a sports game or singing the national anthem are not the only things you can do to be patriotic. There are some serious questions to ask when huge portions of the population are in danger of losing their rights over their own bodies and the rights to make decisions in their own best interests because a few people in the media and in power in the government are testing the waters to see how watchful the population is during the holiday season.

If the National Post is advocating restricting access to abortion and is supported by the sitting government of the day, who waits until after they win the election to openly talk about it, that’s evil and cowardly and if you support the women in your lives, it is something we should all speak out against.

What do you think? Are you ready to let your sister, daughter, lose the rights the previous generation used to improve the quality of their lives? If your wife, girlfriend, business partner, friend had to quit work or school (like millions of women did before abortions were safe and legal) because they couldn’t get a legal abortion or it became much more difficult how would you deal with it?

Have you noticed…

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

That the media seems to be covering more news stories about the environment of late? In fact, ever since the elections have ended, the CBC and other media outlets in Canada have mentioned different ways other countries in the world are using their industries to create jobs and advancing the fight against reducing their respective carbon emissions. Too bad that the media didn’t do that during the election campaign.

Since our elections ended, there have been stories on Freiburg in Germany and on Portugal and how they are reducing pollution, driving their economy with new jobs and innovative technologies while Canada lags behind. The Canadian solution thus far seems fairly feeble. There are companies trading carbon emissions by hiring a 3rd party to cut down healthy trees and plant new ones to offset their greenhouse gas emissions!? Who thought that one up? Apparently when people purchase airline tickets through Air Canada they can choose to offset the carbon gas damage of their trip buy contributing to this program from the safety of their airline seat… The new trees will take at least 20 years to mature… This is the 2nd largest country in the world in terms of landmass and that is how Canadian companies and the Conservative Party are helping to curb greenhouse gases. Not very inspiring. I wonder if the tree planting company plants trees in areas where forest fires have burned down hundreds of healthy trees or not? From the news report, they seemed to be planting in areas of healthy forests.

Also in the news: Harper and Flaherty might be heading towards a deficit. Really? You mean to say that when Canada is in a war where auditors cannot get all the information on the costs to the country because the Conservatives will not release the information – that the country’s budget might actually be headed towards a deficit… Who wouda thunk it?

Maybe we are in for a surprise… if the economy continues to tank, the dollar continues its drop and GM and Chrysler join together putting more people out of work, perhaps the Conservatives will not make it through 2009. Not that any of those things are very good. But it seems as though the greed of the past 15 years or so is really coming back to bite some of the major companies in the world. Then there is the distinct possibility that the Harper party will implode on itself through its own avarice and lack of focus outside that of copying Leo Strauss’ broken ideas.

Speaking of GM, imagine how much more stable GM and Ford would be right now if they had continued with the electric vehicles they released, then recalled and destroyed after protesting California’s zero emission policy (1996-2003). Check out this movie for more info: Who Killed the Electric Car?

The strange thing about the political winds, is that we are always given a chance to put the society on the path to prosperity and a positive humanist vision. We just have to take the responsibility seriously and make sure that the people we elect help build the society we need and not waste our resources on corporations, war and their own lifestyles. It is really up to us. Hmm…

Raw Food

Monday, September 17th, 2007

I saw an episode of Oprah today where Dr. Oz was talking about eating raw food. Apparently, humans in the UK were put on a raw food diet for 10 days eating 11lbs (!?) of food per day! Interestingly enough, the result was significantly lower cholesterol counts as well as many more bowel movements. Discussing this with a very lovely friend of mine, she stated that she would find the diet boring and miss all the flavouring of her everyday foods. My thoughts, grains and nuts are the basis of bread, pasta, food spreads (humus, nut butters – peanut, almond, etc.) and beans provide protein (as well as soy nuts, almonds).

So what about it? Any experience with raw food, sushi, steak tartar, Inuit cooking? Any comments from real health professionals or athletes? Speak your mind and let me know.

Hello everyone!

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Well, it’s almost a go! I am getting closer to understanding what I am a-doin’ ;) . Stay tuned, it is going to be a lot of fun!