Canadian Attack Ads About to Get Worse

It’s coming down to the last few weeks of the Canadian election. Attack ads have gotten worse. Of course Harper started the attack ads first. Now the NDP have joined in. It’s only a matter of time until the Liberals wade in with their best insults. The Greens seem to want to keep things clean. But even they might have a breaking point.

Attacks will only get worse until the parties are like those word bullies on the playground. The parties are not there yet but my prediction is that they will all get there by the final election week.

To soften the blow of these future insults, I will say them here so that will take some of the sting out of them when they are actually used by the parties. The parties will make attacks on the very names of their competitors.

The Conservatives will be called the ‘Cons-are-active’ party. The NDP will be called the ‘NDPeeing’ party. The Liberals will be called the ‘Fiberals’. Finally the Green party will be called the ‘Mean’ party.

You will think that is all, as far as the parties can go. But wait they all have a particular colour associated with them. This will also be used against them.

The Liberals are associated with red, out of which will come the insulting refrain, ‘red is dead’. The Conservatives are associated with blue out of which will come the demeaning refrain ‘the blue poo’. Again there will be a rhyme for Green which will probably be ‘obscene green’. The NDP is associated with orange out of which will come ‘orange –‘ er how about ‘orange –‘ um okay, I guess nothing rhymes with orange.

Now I see it – the reason the NDP is willing to make attacks. If things digress as far as they can, then the NDP is golden, or at least a golden orange.

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3 Women and a Baby

I bet some of you have been scratching your heads about the upcoming Ghostbusters movie. Why, oh why, have they made the lead actors all women? Well, quite frankly, because it does not hurt suspension of disbelief to make the leads female. This kind of story is just as plausible with female characters driving the story. Hollywood has been told time and again that there should be more women star vehicles and now they are responding. But the main reason they are responding is that women stars will work for less money.

Expect to see more women in every type of show if this Ghostbusters experiment pays off. The title 3 Women and a Baby may have tipped you off to one scenario. But 3 Men and a Baby almost instantly brings an image of incompetence in managing a tot. I think, to produce the same effect, they are going to have to name this movie 3 Self Centred Women and a Baby and must have a script that matches.

I expect this to be a woman’s golden age in film. Women will be starring in all kinds of movies, with all kinds of plots and I expect them to do just as well as any cast of men. Guaranteed money makers will be tried first, like Star Wars Episode XIII or Back to the Future IV (where the future will have to have much more than just 21st century hoverboards).

After the success of these sure things, women will be tried out in riskier and riskier films. Sure some of these are destined to fail, but when it is found that women have as many successes as the male actors they replaced, something will happen to make male stars have as much renewed appeal as the women. You see the women will start asking for more money. They will eventually want as much as any man might demand.

So we will come right back to a level playing field. The golden age of women actors will be gone – where they starred in just about everything. But maybe there will be no animosity and women will have as much chance as a male in playing a lead role in the distant future. And it might be for the same amount of money.

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Money For Nothing

Just about now, those who have invested in sea shore real estate in the U.S. might be thinking of the alternatives. Especially if global warming actually creates higher sea levels. The way I see it, there are two choices.

The first choice is to simply look up the hill. I believe the total rise in sea level is estimated to be 16 feet. Looking at a topographic map ought to tell our real estate investor where to build their next sea shore abode. If the sea level rise is consistent, this might be the very spot where land can increase in value to who knows what the limit is.

But if the greenies have their way and the sea level rise is less sharp, perhaps a middling rise, then this puts the sea shore in flux and the land that results in being the sea shore is debatable. In that case it might be wise to think fresh water.

Yes, all that once valuable sea shore land money, might flee to the lake shore. In that case, I suspect Michigan’s fate will be much brighter. The great lakes will become the best place to be and invest. If you see Michigan becoming an economic powerhouse again, I expect that this might be the reason.

The great lakes rise and fall, too, so there might not be an exodus of money to this area unless the ocean sea levels rise by a larger amount. Still wouldn’t it be strange to find Saginaw lake shore being the primest of all the prime real estate in the U.S.?

But global warming could cause the worth of an area of the world to rise by an infinite percent. Some of the shores of Greenland are basically the glacier meeting the ocean. What about when the long buried land meets the sea? The world will then see new seashore and even beaches.

So find a way to make friends with the people of Denmark. They are the people who own Greenland. Perhaps if you get in their good graces you can perhaps own a bit of Greenland. Even that unglaciated Greenland with new sea shore. That sea shore is going to rocket from nothing in value to something in value.

If the present day U.S. coastline worth is any indication, those areas of Greenland are going to become wealthy. I think some of the Danish people are already feeling guilty about this possible wealth and money for nothing. And that, to me, is why Copenhagen (the capital and largest city of Denmark) will try to be carbon neutral by 2025.

Correction (September 22, 2015): Apparently the melting of Greenland alone would make the sea level rise 23 feet.

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I Hate Snowmobiles

A few of you city and town dwellers who have cable and/or no snowmobiles in urban limits, might think my reason for hating snowmobiles is made up. But it’s not. Snowmobiles ruin television reception that is over the air.

I grew up in the country where many a snowmobile would wander past. If they got close enough to my house, snow would appear on the TV as well as outside, usually in horizontal lines with staticky sound that overpowered what Hollywood was trying to send. We only had bunny ears. Maybe those huge antennas would work to minimize this. I don’t know, though.

I’m not sure what it was about snowmobiles that affected this. Perhaps it was the small and powerful engine. If so, the nonexistent back then, but now common ATVs would probably affect television reception in the same way. Or maybe it was the snowmobile treads on the snow that cause the bad television reception.

So, today, if I’m walking in a gift shop and see a snow globe with a snowmobile in it, I might suddenly flashback to my youth. If I had a really bad week at school and wished to take solace in Saturday morning cartoons, I would sit or lie facing the television, hoping it would take me away from my troubles. And then a snowmobile or a parade of the accursed vehicles would go past and all I would feel was anger toward the world at large.

Or, I might be watching the snow fall and think that the world is getting a nice white blanket for snowmobiling and a nervous twitch appears on my face. A vacant stare is all the outside world will see but I am remembering that two hour mystery movie where the detective finally says “The person who committed the murder is -” and the sound of static replaces the clear speech. But for a brief second the detective is clear again and says, “they committed the murder by -” and the static and picture is so lousy that you can’t understand anything until the movie is over.

Game shows were popular in my youth. Seeing one even by itself can trigger my hatred of snowmobiles. Trivia was one of the most popular ways to test the contestants. Many times you would hear the question but never the answer. (On Jeopardy you would hear the answer but not the question). Oh snowmobiles, how you made a mess of my early life.

So I am caught wondering. Does the new digital television system fix the problem caused by the hated snowmobilers? I tried a few searches but couldn’t find the answer. If anyone knows, please leave the answer in the comments.

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Free the Corporation!

If you are out shopping around for a cause, let me bring you a new one. Corporations everywhere are being persecuted. I don’t think its out of line for me to speak for these corporations. Later, after the cause has been won they will support me. But for now they can’t. Because they are not truly free.

If you are law adverse, you might not have realized that our judicial system considers corporations to be people. This surprising definition might confuse some. But those of us in the know are now used to it. So I’m going to take this at face value and demand the freedom of all people, including corporations.

Our judicial system has defined the role of the corporation. A corporation is legally obligated to do one thing and one thing only: make profits for the shareholders. That’s it. A corporation can only make profits.

Now I as an original person, find this offensive. Let’s say I was given the option of eating or defecating. What would happen if I were forced to choose one but not the other? I would die from this inhumane treatment in a matter of days. Doing one thing and one thing only would be self defeating for the vast majority of people. We know this so our rights are enshrined in constitutions and other laws. I believe it’s time to extend that governmental largesse to the other people of our country.

The big corporations are all likely to say that they don’t need freedom, that they are doing fine. But don’t listen to them. That is because they are slaving under the powerful yoke of their shareholders. Corporations must parrot what their stockholders wish them to parrot. They have no choice. Not only is the primacy of the stockholder holding them back, it’s also true that the shareholder is the only consideration the corporation can consider.

We pretend we have beaten slavery, but the corporations are our proof that not all people in this country are free. I think we must march on Ottawa and the rest of the capitals of the free world. After many years we might gain the freedom of the corporation. It’s hard work but I know we can do this.

But I’m still unsure which way we should try to maneuver. Should we strike down the law that makes the bottom line the sole purpose of a corporation? Alternatively, we could go over to the dark side and strip corporations of the legal definition of being people.

Perhaps this lack of a clear vision hinders people from the cause. But I know we can overcome it if we work together. Together we shall overcome!

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The Canadian EpiPen Election

You might first like to watch this commercial roughly telling how to administer the Canadian EpiPen. For more comprehensive coverage of the main two instructions, visit this website.

Canada is facing the possibility that Canada as we know it will no longer exist. The name Canada might exist but it will be a completely different place. Bill C-51 and its fascist leanings are responsible. This bill was brought to you by the Conservative Party of Canada and supported by the Liberal Party.

The Greens were the first to spot the problems with Bill C-51. Like the fact that protesters could now be equated with terrorists. Realizing this calamity, the New Democratic Party or NDP joined the Greens in being opposed to this legislation.

By their name, you can probably suspect that the Greens use one particular colour to advertise with in elections. They do. The other parties do it, too. The Conservatives use the colour blue, the Liberals use the colour red and the NDP use the colour orange.

Let’s go back to that EpiPen video ad. They say the two steps of using an EpiPen is “blue to the sky and orange to the thigh”.

In fighting off the deadly Bill C-51, Canada might have to use a sort of political EpiPen.

Firstly “blue to the sky” doesn’t mean to keep elevating blue (or the Conservatives). It means pull them up and off from their current position on top. That is all that must be done with blue because it’s only purpose after that is to be discarded.

Then “orange [NDP] to the thigh” would be the way of administering needed medication to the body of Canada, in such a way that the country could be cured the most quickly.

Now I realize in this metaphor that I’m ignoring the Liberal party and the Greens.

The Liberal party voted for Bill C-51 so they should be discarded like the Conservatives. I like the Greens and suspect they will make gains this election but I don’t think they are quite in a position to take enough votes away from the Conservatives and Liberals to rule the country. The NDP is however in that position and I hope that the country is willing to take in enough of the orange medicine that may save the country.

So I am going to call this the Canadian EpiPen election of 2015. I hope Canada pulls through.

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My last post mentioned IQ and I believe my inherent distrust of the subject peeked through. It’s an emotional subject not the least because some feel it attempts to measure the worth of a person. I view IQ tests as recreational toys. As with other toys it is best to only play with them. In all the years of IQ tests they have only been proven to sometimes correlate with how someone might do in future schooling. That’s it. That’s all IQ tests are good for.

So I think of IQ numbers as ‘kind of lies’. I’m not going to write a whole post damning IQ tests. Indeed there is lower hanging fruit in the IQ game. I am talking about the “science” of giving historical figures IQ rankings.

Every time I hear the opening of the network show Scorpion say that Einstein only had an IQ of 160, I want to smash the TV. I take that back. What I really want to do is smash the network that put this crap on the air. It is for one inviolate reason that I say this. Albert Einstein never wrote an IQ test.

What the psychology hacks behind this “stat” are doing is claiming that from the writings of these historical figures and what they accomplished in life we can attach an accurate number to their IQ. I don’t think this is a science at all. What I think this is is psychologists finding an area to use their biases on.

If a ranking by physicists of all the best physicists were to take place, I ‘d bet that Einstein would be in the top two. The two most dominant physicists of all time were Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. These two scientists had a huge effect on many areas of physics.

C’mon, its in the very culture around us. In this culture if you want to insult someone you can simply sarcastically call them “Einstein”. Yet Einstein gets ranked at 160. Newton I’ve heard gets a huge 190 rating. That is despite devoting a large chunk of his life to the pseudoscience of alchemy.

Although 160 is considered a high IQ, many in today’s culture get rankings above this. And all these people accomplish so little when compared to Einstein.

Yet those obscenely high IQ people remain slackers, lollygaggers, and ineffectuals. Almost none of them can come up with something of import like Einstein did over and over again.

The simplest explanation will say that Einstein had a higher intellect than psychologists are admitting. This idea of giving someone an IQ ranking without testing them seems to me to be a kind of lying on top of the kind of lying of the IQ test. So I just view the IQ tests of historical figures to be simply lies.

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CEOs and IQ Tests

I do think CEOs can be worth more than one employee. But taking a more scientific tack I suggest we check out the sometimes maligned studies of intelligence in psychology.

An IQ is an Intelligence Quotient. It is the Mental age of the test taker divided by the actual age of the test taker, multiplied by 100. The astute of you will realize that average intelligence must be 100.

The basement of IQ scores seems to be around 50 IQ points. The highest IQ scores are around 200. There might not be a straight, linear relationship among scores, but I find it telling that psychologists use scoring that might imply that the very smartest people are only around twice as smart as the average person. And the average person is only twice as smart as the least gifted performers. I think this scale was chosen because it gives some harmony to the various scorers while still maintaining there are differences.

So, even though psychology is a soft science, I think psychologists played this like a lawyer or a gifted negotiator. The smartest people are worth only 4 times what the least gifted are worth. Shouldn’t salaries of CEOs versus the least paid in the company be only 4 times as big?

If you hadn’t heard, many CEOs make 1000 times the wage of their lowest paid employee. It wouldn’t bother me so much but every time there is a push on increasing the minimum wage, the CEOs cry foul. With costs of living, the lowest paid workers need to work two jobs or need some kind of handout from the government or charities.

Oh the work ethic of most CEOs is exemplary, perhaps they work 60 hours a week. But those lowest paid employees working two jobs are working 80 hours a week. Don’t give me the line that all you need to be successful is to be a hard worker. It doesn’t work that way because CEOs have gamed the system.

Sure not every CEO has come out against an increased minimum wage. But those rich CEOs are very likely to fund right wing think tanks that do come out against an increased minimum wage.

Shame on any CEO that somehow suggested that current minimum wages are fair. Let’s cap their wage at 4 times mimimum wage and then find a changed tune.

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Young Disney Stars Go Rogue Way Too Often

We’ve seen it all before. A young, incredibly good youngster who is also very talented, grows up with Disney to become a megastar and then immediately goes rogue.

Is it the onset of puberty that builds until the star is 18 and finally they have to become wild and well, there is no other way to say this, they become bad?

They have problems with drugs, problems with alcohol, problems with their families, problems with friends and just plain try doing criminal acts.

Disneyland claims to be the happiest place on earth. Shouldn’t stars brought up in such an environment become happy and good adults?

Maybe, instead we should start pulling our child stars from obviously less happy places. Like say Waco, Texas or a crime riddled ghetto or maybe Detroit. I bet a kid from these less happy places would really appreciate the perks of stardom and would work to keep it. They might even become or at least stay good. Judging by results they have at least as great a chance to be good.

Perhaps you think such unhappy places have no star system. But the ghettos seem to spawn the biggest rap artists and Detroit is also known as Motown for the record label that started there. Even Waco could host child pageants as a future star mechanism.

And if these kids make better stars then we could expand our scope and make stars out of kids from the most hellish places on earth. Refugee camps could make good starting places. Or sweat shops from around the world. Hollywood and big music agents, intent on getting the best kids, could raid those warlords who make slaves out of kids. These might be the best stars of all.

Then the powers of Hollywood could finally thump their chests because they’re doing good and actually mean it.

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Rest In Peace Stephen Huss

My best friend, Stephen Huss, died last weekend. He was my age, only 47. The electronic music aware of you might recognize his name from the rock band Psyche. Now that he is gone I find it a bit comforting that he had success early in life. Psyche was signed to a label when he was still in high school.

I knew him for the last 15 years, but especially in the last 10 we became best friends. We occasionally would disagree with each other, but in the entire time I’ve known him, I don’t think he has insulted me once.

Of course we got along. We both play guitar and keyboards (He was a keyboardist with Psyche). We both like the idea of writing. I have my blog and science fiction. He would write horror and he also thought about writing a biography of Dwayne Goettel who was a fellow member of Psyche and later joined Skinny Puppy but died in 1995. And we both liked cats. He had this shelf thing in his apartment that held twenty unique figurines of various cats, collected from hither and yon. I just did a search on this blog for cats and found I have written about them 14 times.

For a time we said we were a band called The Mysterious They. Right from the start we said there would be no live shows. We both liked song writing. My song writing abilities had dwindled from years before when I could write the base of a song in a couple weeks. Stephen was way faster than I was in my prime. We’d meet every week and I’d find he had the basis of two new songs, just waiting to be fleshed out between meetings. And I think he was still writing solo stuff on his keyboard at the same time. The Mysterious They fell by the wayside, though, when Stephen decided not to do it anymore. He was worried about fame. He already had tasted that in Psyche and knew that was what he didn’t want. I don’t know that we would ever have gotten fame though – the only successful act I know that never did live shows was The Alan Parsons Project.

We’ve critiqued each others writing. I felt uncomfortable reading some of his horror. I’m not a big horror reader so perhaps that uneasiness was success on Stephen’s part. But besides this reaction I’m largely oblivious (in horror!) and can’t point out problems or successes. So we stopped critiquing but would tell each other about our progress in writing. Stephen had a computer but preferred to write by hand in notebooks. I thought it would be a pain to retype the story. But Stephen said no, he would just hire someone to type it up for him. Just a couple weeks ago he said he had a short story idea already written in his head. Now no one will ever see that story.

But I already miss him most in the day to day things. This weekend is the Blues Festival in Kitchener. When we went in past years, Stephen would always know what most of the bands were famous for. I only started seriously listening to music when I was 12 or 13. Stephen seemed to know about bands from as far back as his memory goes. And he’d even know older acts from hearing them on classic rock stations. I’m going to miss that almost encyclopedic knowledge when I go this year. There are multiple venues so we used all that knowledge to decide which acts to go listen to.

Goodbye, Stephen, you will be missed.

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