The British Royal Family Has a Problem with Titles

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is not the Princess of Wales to match her husband’s title. Indeed if the day that Queen Elizabeth abdicates or dies ever comes around, it was said at their marriage that Camilla’s husband would then be King Charles but she would have the title of Princess consort.

Yet this is how it is supposed to work for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge: When Prince William becomes Prince of Wales, Kate will become Princess of Wales. When William becomes King William, Kate will become Queen consort.

It seems that Camilla is being punished for being Charles’ second wife. And the addition of the word consort to their titles is further punishment for being a commoner.

This is not where my complaint of royal titles stops. Prince Phillip is not on equal terms with Queen Elizabeth as evidenced by the slight in titles. He’s 98 and still called prince.

I wish that whomever is the giver of British royalty titles just wasn’t so petty. It would be less taxing on my brain. A prince or princess should be the offspring of the king and queen. And every married King should have a Queen and every married Queen should have a King. The only time it should be different is if the King or Queen happens to be gay. Then disclaimers should be added to discern which one is running things and which one is only there because of marriage.

A queen being married to a prince just brings about imaginings of an Oedipus triangle. Yes, I said it and risk being thrown out of the commonwealth country of Canada. After all, Queen Elizabeth is our head of state.

Then, too, when it is Charles’ time, it looks like he will have the gender opposite of an Oedipus triangle.

I know it is bad manners to slight the royals this way but it is just that the titles they are given led me to these points.

And I will now go to the past to say that the British royal family has always been bad with titles. Remember Queen Victoria who had a whole time period named after her? The British Empire was at the height of its power back then. Remember the saying: “The sun never sets on the British Empire” because they held territory across many of the world’s time zones.

With all this, couldn’t Queen Victoria lay claim to the title of Empress? There have been lesser emperors and empresses.

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This Will Ruin More Learning Time

This new study out of MIT was designed to show, from Fitbit wearing students, that there is causation between fitness and grades. It found no such causation or even correlation.

But, because Fitbits and frustrated scientists are intrusive and don’t really care about students’ privacy, the data was mined further.

The next thing was to look at getting enough sleep before tests, midterms and exams. This also didn’t lead to a correlation.

But the scientists were bound and determined to find something so they looked at sleep before a non testing day or in other words a learning day.

The students who got the most sleep on the night before these days and strung those nights together, got the best marks. The next level of sleeping the night before got slightly poorer marks and the worst level of sleeping got the worst marks. Which blatantly suggests that sleep is important for learning.

Now this could just be a correlation. For instance, the students who had the worst marks might just have an inability to sleep well. Which makes it’s own sense. It’s just that I am going to assume that sleep is important for learning.

Knowing this, all the students will try their best to sleep well before a learning day. Most of the school year consists of learning days. Knowing full well the importance of this, the students will all put pressure on themselves to sleep well.

Do you know what is going to happen to a lot of those students? The pressure to sleep will be too much and they won’t get as much sleep as they normally would have gotten. So they won’t be able to learn as well or as much.

Their professors will drill it into their brains that they better stop clowning around at times they should be sleeping. Which will make the matter worse and their grades will go down further.

At the end of the school year the average mark will be down. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were down a full letter grade. The school can either lower their standards and give out grades they know their students are capable of or not promote a lot more students. I think the schools will have to lower their standards.

Then, in a few years, the real world will hire worse graduates and the general competence level will be down everywhere. Machinists will saw off more fingers, engineers will make worse bridges and more lawyers will become like Rudy Giuliani.

So it’s best to seal this one up and not tell any students. Really it’s for the good of all.

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Can Business Afford Ford?

Doug Ford is the province of Ontario’s Premier. His popularity has slipped drastically since he was first elected to the top post in the province. Still his political missteps continue.

He wants all gas stations in the province to display and post stickers that his government has decided they must attach to the pumps. They are decidedly propaganda against the carbon tax of the federal government. They claim that Ontario citizens are going to pay more and more to this tax. The stickers fail to mention that these very citizens are going to get more back in their income tax than they pay in carbon tax.

Anyhow Ford made it clear to the gas stations that they would have to put up the stickers or pay up to $10 000 a day in fines. This isn’t a fine thing to do. Especially since the stickers don’t stick.

I can just see all those anxious gas stations closing down their gas bars on the morning the fines started and rushing to a store for tape, scissors and even glue. They would be hoping against all hope they got back in time to attach the non sticking propaganda. (Can they even be called stickers if they don’t stick?)

And I can just see them managing to get back to the gas station only to find they had already been fined. They’d have to pay $10 000 because of what appears to be Ford’s bungling of the situation.

And it does seem like bungling. Remember Doug Ford’s brother, Rob, put Toronto under scrutiny for being the city with a crack smoking mayor. Doug was just a city councilor then because it was widely assumed that he was the more bungling of the two.

But I think it is an entrapment scheme to make some businesses pay more tax. But since tax is a dirty word to the Progressive Conservative party of Ontario, they managed to call it a fine.

What clever ways will Ford’s government come up with to make businesses pay more money to Ontario? When it can’t be a tax it’s fine. Surprise me Doug Ford. Maybe you’ll somehow manage to balance the budget with no tax. Just fine after fine after fine.

Doug Ford you’re more creative than I thought. But I still wonder if the province’s businesses can afford you.

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Boy is Trudeau Red Faced Right Now

Justin Trudeau in brownface and blackface is all over the news right now. The first poll I saw yesterday that takes this into account had the Conservatives and Liberals each going down a percentage point while the NDP and Greens went up a point each.

I was really hoping that this poll would show something more that couldn’t be quashed by the margin of error. Still I am going to treat this poll like it’s factual and truly representative of the voters.

Sure the Liberals should go down but why did the Conservatives go down? Shouldn’t the Conservatives be gaining some of the Liberal losses? I think it was inevitable that both would sink in their ratings. Why? I think it is an illustration of dog whistle politics.

Every single election the Conservatives are in, there is at least one scandal in their party where they have to get rid of a contestant for a seat because they do something racist or at the very least intolerant of a minority. Every election time. A lot of the time the Conservatives manage to hold it down to one scandal exactly. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Every election writ they want the public to know they are the party of racists and intolerance. Like a dog whistle this lets them get the racist vote while not upsetting the more equality minded in their party.

Now, seeing that Justin Trudeau is racist and the leader of his party, I think 1 percent of voters left the Conservative party for the possibly more racist Liberal Party. And 2 percent of the high minded Liberal supporters left for the Greens and the NDP in roughly equal numbers.

I am, however, disappointed that the effect is so small. Perhaps the import of this scandal has yet to sink in. I hope so.

Still I find one thing encouraging. I believe this election that the racist vote will be split three ways. Yes the Liberals and Conservatives will have some racists voting for them but still there is Maxime Bernier and his slate of candidates for the People’s Party of Canada. He and his candidates wish to stop or severely curtail immigration. They’ve been charged with racism many times but refuse to offer any concessions to their opposition.

And yes Maxime Bernier is from the Conservative party where he failed to become leader so he started his own party. Thanks Maxime for helping split the racist vote three ways.

And for a guy who can’t remember the amount of times he dressed up in brown face and black face, Justin Trudeau’s face should be beet red in embarrassment.

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The Evolution of Walking the Plank

Pirates liked making their captured enemies walk the plank. That is they would nail a plank to the edge of the ship much like a diving board. Then they would tie the enemy up so they couldn’t move anything except their feet a little. Then the pirates would set the victim on the ship side of the plank and make them move forward by the point of their swords. The small foot movements would eventually get the victim to jump off the plank’s far end. Because the victim was bound they wouldn’t be able to swim and thus drowned in the water.

Perhaps the pirates liked it because it was slow torture. Perhaps they liked to play mental games with their poor victim’s head. Maybe there was a third reason.

I bet the pirates liked to compare the quality of the various dives they had seen. “One time we made this guy walk the plank and he flopped forward on his belly and face. He hit hard enough that that may have been the cause of death. He cheated us out of a drowning.”

Or, “I still remember the one victim like it was yesterday. They fell cleanly into the water head first and disappeared under the water. They cheated us out of seeing that death.”

Or, “We had one like that they didn’t enter the water so cleanly but they squirmed under the ship and thus cheated us out of watching their death.”

It was bound to happen sooner or later that before they were bound, one victim who knew the drill and had certain skills might say, “I’ll walk the plank just don’t bind me. That way I can show off to you a one and a half somersault in the air before cleanly entering the water. I will enter the water so cleanly that there will almost be no splash.”

Always up for something new the pirates agreed. After the clean entry and the fulfillment of the contract the victim swam for shore and spread the news that the pirates were really dive aficionados.

And you thought police actions by the mighty states who plied the ocean stopped piracy. Really it was this being a spectator to good diving that led to the downfall of piracy. Soon all would be pirates filled the stands of diving competitions the world over instead of their trusty ships.

Did you think that the disappearance of piracy and the rise of competitive diving weren’t linked? Well they were and are. Without so much as one sword raised, would be pirates get to see the finest diving this world has ever seen.

If you can show me a place on earth where piracy still exists I will show you the same place has no serious competitive diving opportunities.

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Last week I was playing the Cure and singing along when on came the song Lovecats. And stupidly I thought I should sing this song to my cat Bast who was right there. So I did, naively thinking it would be a light serenade for my cat. I was petting her and thinking she was enjoying this as much as I was.

Then came a line from the chorus: “I miss you, hiss you, lovecatsssss.” Notice it has 3 hissing sounds in this one line. I hadn’t. I had never noticed that before and because I sang that line, facing Bast, I got bit. Now it was not a terrible bite. No skin was broken. But it was obvious that I should not do this again.

Well played, Robert Smith and the rest of the Cure. I had a ticking time bomb in my song collection just waiting to be used some day. And over those thirty years or so I had a cat half the time so it was inevitable that I would be bit one day.

I think I was blinded by love. Specifically by the love in front of the word cats in the title of the song. How could a song that professes love to cats possible hurt human-cat relations. But the Cure had set their trap 30 years ago.

Really, I think it was the irony. Artists love their irony. I believe that Robert Smith and the Cure deliberately wrote the line in the chorus to make cats bite. Then they carefully named the song Lovecats to hide what they had done. I now know that the title of the song is ironic.

And speaking of irony, this little plot came from a band called the Cure. Shouldn’t a band known as the Cure do their best to promote and strengthen human-cat relations? They did not and now I know they meant the name of their band to be ironic.

So now I am thinking of starting a band and calling it the Remedy. It will have singles like Lovedogs, The Butterfly, Just Like H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, Far From Me, Dull Street, Girls Don’t Cry, In Between Nights, and Thursday I’m in Lust.

I’m thinking Lovedogs could have a line like: “Owwwwwwwwww, that grrrrrrrrrl is rough, rough.”

Maybe Robert Smith has a dog. Maybe he forgot about his booby trap line from 30+ years ago. Maybe he’ll get bit. Or some unlucky sap like me is going to get bit by his dog. Let’s hope it doesn’t puncture the skin. And on and on this nasty, ironic game might go.

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When the Earth Flips

Every 200 000 years or so, the magnetic poles of the earth flip. The north magnetic pole becomes the south magnetic pole and vice versa.

I think a priority after such an event would be to make our compasses still work. In order for them to work, north must become south and south must become north.

The first thing we must change are our globes. We would have to flip them so Antarctica is on the top. But scratch that name. The arctic would now be the antarctic and so I think we would have to change the name of the continent at earth’s top to Arctica.

Map books would have to be flipped, too. It would be prohibitively expensive to reprint all the new atlases right away so for the first few years we could just flip the atlases and stroke out the N and S in the legend and replace it with the opposite.

This would finally be fair for the 200 000 years or maybe less that southern countries spent at the bottom of all maps and globes. It would be your chance to shine, Australia. Instead of being called Down Under you could now be called Up Over. Lord it over us in the south during your 200 000 year reign.

Or we could at last make the science right. The magnet in the compass is built so the magnet’s north end is attracted north. A magnet’s north is attracted to another magnet’s south. If we view the earth as a gigantic magnet this means that Earth’s magnetic north pole is today very near the south pole. Our north end of the compass is really pointing to Earth’s south magnetic pole which is in the north.

Finally there would be harmony with all magnets when the earth magnetic poles flipped. The north of the compass would point south which is how magnets work. They always are attracted to the other pole. Maybe this science would be easier to learn.

Wait. This might confuse the populace even more than the flipping of atlases would cause. So the land Up Over finally gets its shot. It’s decided then.

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LRT Collisions

There are things that no one ever tells you about LRT or light rail transit until you get it in your city. My twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo are rather small so there are only 14 vehicles or trains.

There have been 10 car accidents with the LRT vehicles and we’ve only had the service since June 21st. Now I can detect an easy pattern. Like this one: the cars won’t rest until ever single train has been damaged. I imagine that by the end of the calendar year all 14 LRT vehicles will have been hit.

It’s my opinion that the cars are playing superiority and territorial games. “This is my city and my roads,” the cars are saying. “Size doesn’t intimidate us so just beware!” Each train costs almost 7 million dollars. Each car only costs maybe $30 000. What does the car driver have to lose?

Well actually I’ve heard the price of some of the accidents’ damage to the trains and it is about the cost of a new car. The car driver is going to have to get used to paying more insurance because the accidents have all been the car driver’s fault.

Aren’t used car drivers supposed to be wary when buying a car? They’re supposed to make sure that the car has been in no accidents or at least minimal ones. This is because each accident the car is in, even though the car has been fixed, makes it less structurally sound than a new car.

Well each LRT train is likely to be hit by some date soon and they will all be less structurally sound than when new. All of us non car drivers are going to pay.

Thanks for making it clear that in this city at least, we just can’t have nice things. At least not for transit.

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The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect is a chaos theory example of how small differences in initial conditions can cause a hugely different outcome much later in some systems. One influential paper is called: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?

Of course this idea changes everything. Like if we don’t like the loss of life that often occurs with tornadoes, we could try to wipe them out entirely by exterminating butterflies globally. I am not going to be tripped up easily in this mission. I know that moths have the same type of flap and come in the same types of sizes as butterflies. So of course we would find it necessary to wipe them out, too. But it’s all for the greater good.

But if one little butterfly’s flap can cause a tornado what about the giant, monstrous moth, Mothra? Mothra is said to have a wingspan of 250 meters. What could the flap of those wings do to poor old mother earth’s weather?

Personally I think it would be so disastrous that earth beings could very likely be wiped out. Which is why I believe that Mothra has never visited the earth. Instead, I believe it has ended up affecting the weather on Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.

I bet you’re going to ask if I have any proof for this outlandish claim. Well it is my thinking that Mothra flapped its wings once, a millennia ago on Jupiter, which eventually created the great red spot. This storm has been seen for hundreds of years by astronomers, since observations were first taken of Jupiter. This storm is also the diameter of 3 earths which should sufficiently scare you about the possibility of Mothra causing something similar on the earth.

But is this the worst possible calamity that could be caused by the flap of some wings?

Well stars, including our sun, are said to have weather as well. The Carrington Event of 1859 caused a coronal mass ejection on the sun that hit earth’s magnetosphere and caused disruptions of telegraph systems all over the earth. A solar event like this today would cause widespread blackouts and remind us that the weather of the sun definitely affects the earth.

But nothing can live on the sun. Or can it? Mike Brotherton’s Star Dragon is one such beast that not only lives on a star but thrives there and has control of much of its environment. Maybe one flap of its mighty wings can cascade over a few months and cause a modern day Carrington Event.

So maybe we’ll have to exterminate Mothras and Star Dragons as we venture out into space. But maybe we’ll be too soft to do it because after all we will have no tornadoes affecting our lives in the future.

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Why Artists Seem to Love the San Andreas Fault

It must have begun with some of the earliest plays out California way. Actors and other artists know it is their bread and butter to cause some reaction in people. So after the earthquake/play they were delighted to hear the audience say that “the performance moved me”.

Both sides might be aware of the literal meanings of those words, because of a fault slip or whatever, still, the actor will internalize it as an effective performance.

This and technology was the start of the legend of Hollywood. The silver screen went over big there and the kudos for the actors expanded. Now all across the country, people could be moved by what they saw. Moving pictures were high praise for any actor so the best of them began moving across country to the San Andreas fault’s area. Which created more moving pictures and the cycle continued.

Los Angeles especially began attracting all kinds of artists. Like musicians who made the area one of the true meccas for music.

Not only was the music moving, but it also stirred something deep inside its fans. Before a single note was played. A fault will do something like that. It’s so powerful that it will make the fans and the act evacuate the building, too. Only to come back on a less stirring night, because sometimes the music moves you too much.

Somehow Hollywood artists found themselves in the age of hyperbole. Not only did they manage to eke out an existence in this age, they also thrived as never before. How many of these artists loved to hear “That was an earth shaking performance!”

An artist may even have been disappointed by this truism. Especially if it were her goal to hear her performance was “Truly earth shattering!”

And then there is the more personal. Like “Your performance literally shook me to my core.” This might be the artist’s true goal.

But we should beware of the artist who is of singular vision and wants to go out with a bang. Stealing the plot from the Superman movie of the seventies, they may wish to move their audience like never before. Thus rigging a nuclear weapon in the San Andreas fault set to go off during the climax of their performance.

This would likely shake them at least as far as Las Vegas. Undoubtedly the performer would die but thinking ahead they would have a live feed to the part of the world that wouldn’t be shook that much.

So whose fault would we say it is then?

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