Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If you don't like it here...

Edmonton, Alberta. It is at 53° 33” 0’ N and 113° 30' 0" W, approximately. The average high for the month of March is 1° C. There is still the possibility of snow.

This is where I currently live. This morning it has been snowing. The wind was blowing a little bit. It is -5° C and with the wind it feels about 6 degrees colder. We have seen more snow this winter than we normally do, so we like to think, but that is not true. This part of the globe is cold and snowy in the winter time. Sometimes it is cold and snowy in the summer time. It gives us a break from the mosquitoes.

To go along with all of that cold and snow is the complaining. People love to hate winter. I used to enjoy winter, and still do sometimes but as I age my patience with the frosty season is growing shorter and shorter while the season seems to grow longer and longer. I am not alone in that feeling. People around me, in my family, my social circles, and neighborhood all seem to feel that winter is getting to be too much. I agree.

So why are there so many people in Edmonton? Why are there so many people in Alberta? We are here because of history. We are here because of stupidity. We are here because of jobs.

Our ancestors decided they needed to be somewhere other than where they were. So for some reason they selected this country. I understand the need for people to escape persecution, to look for freedom. So why did they settle here? A couple of seasons living in this country should have told them it is just not nice. And even now, we have to spend more to stay warm, eat and generally get around than the people who live in tropical climates. We are using more resources to get at resources we need in order to live in an environment where we need more resources to live.

There were the greedy. This land seems to have a surplus of resources and if we had kept our appetites holstered we might not have need all those resources. So now, here we live in the dark and the cold extracting those resources so a few of the smarter people can get rich and live in warmer climates.

When you look at the planet you quickly realize there is a band that runs around the centre where the weather is warm. Warm is not cold. How do I know this? There is some supposition but did you ever hear Bob Marley sing about block heaters, snow shovels or frost bite? As you move north and south from this band of warmth and livability the climate get colder and colder until all you have left is a frozen waste land.

Sure people talk of the beauty of the north, and it may exist, but in the end miles and miles of ice and snow are still just miles and miles of ice and snow. Beauty lies in trees, grass and tropical seas; things with colour. Snow is white. White is not a colour. It is an absence of all colours.

So people go south for their vacations. They feel they need to get away to somewhere warm to relax for a couple of weeks. Might it not make more sense to live in a warm climate where you can stay relaxed and then come up to a cold climate to play in the snow for a couple of weeks. It is not like if we all left the snow would just disappear.

What is the solution? Simple, move everyone to a climate that does not have snow. Now you are thinking there is simple problem with that plan, there are too many people on the globe. You are right. There wouldn’t be room. The first thing to do is find me a suitable place in the sun, with appropriate living accommodations. This means a steady income (don’t confuse this with a job), a nice home with furnishings, and all the other things I need to enjoy my life. Then we, as a species, need reduce our population.

There are a couple of plans for that. We could simply eliminate the stupid people but that would lead to too much arguing about who qualifies. I could draw up the specifications for such a qualification but not everyone sees from my point of view yet. As an alternative we slow down the breeding. Limit every couple to half a child. That is a statistically derived value and any one who thought otherwise would qualify for the ‘stupid’ category I am not allowed to specify.

People in Canada, the United States and other countries around the world worry about human rights. It is a valid concern but I have the solution. Get over it! We could use a means test to determine who can breed. We set the bar high enough that the majority of people cannot pass. Problem solved.

Dealing with people who float through multiple relationships would require stipulating that if they have bred once they will not be allowed to breed again. Problem solved.

There are many other problems that could come from this kind of solution but we are well enough equipped to deal with them. As you read this right now you may be voicing all sorts of objections. Shut up.

The best part of this is that within a couple of generations the population would be reduced to a size the lands around the equator would be able to support. As a side benefit it would also mean less pollution and a generally cleaner world.

We also might have to reevaluate our own attitudes towards commerce, industry, the environment and our fellow man (and woman), but that probably wouldn’t hurt. After all a system that keeps encouraging growth on a planet with dwindling resources doesn’t sound like a system we should be all that proud of.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It is still -20

It wasn’t the gutting of the Alberta Health Care. It wasn’t making quality education an option only for Alberta’s elite. Nor was it the idea of selling his fellow citizens to the lowest bidding oil company. Even the idea of being the prophet for a corrupt and obsolete philosophy didn’t seem to bother him. Once Ed Stelmach realized that, contrary to what Ralph Klein said, being premier of Alberta gave him no control over the weather, there was nothing left to do but resign.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A monster by any other name

One night when, I had lots of better things to do but was too lazy to do any of them I was struck by similarities between Count von Count and Edward Cullen, and I am not just talking about their chiseled good looks. The Count was developed for Sesame Street in order to teach simple mathematics to children. Edward Cullen was created as a character in a tale of romance and sanitized sexuality largely aimed at teenagers.

Both Edward and the Count are fictional characters although I will grant that some of Edward’s fans seem to have lost sight of that little fact. They are both aimed at children. It is true that the majority of the Count’s fans are much younger children and a lot of Edward’s fans are merely young at heart. In both cases however the concepts of death and evil have been stripped of anything that might offend a sensitive heart. When you are three years old, this is great.

The count seems to suffer from arithmomania which is closely related to lore about vampires being unable to resist counting. Throw a handful of grain in the dear departed’s coffin and when they break out of the grave they will be bound to the spot counting kernels until the sun comes up. This doesn’t seem to bother Edward the whole thing about the sun is something of an issue here.

In fact there is little of the traditional vampire in either of them. Despite how much Edward and his cohorts claim to love blood they don’t seem to take much of it, but then the Count doesn’t take any. The Count is meant for children; Edward’s character has simply been castrated. Watching the Count you notice something interesting about his skin. It is fuzzy. Edward sparkles? What is he, the cubic zirconium of the monster world? If it were a competition everyone knows the cuddly pet wins out over the shiny one every time.

Neither the Count nor Edward seem to have a problem with garlic although other than anecdotal evidence it has never been proven that garlic will repel vampires. Both Edward and the Count have no need for mirrors as neither of them has a reflection. It is a good thing neither of them needs to shave. This could also explain why Edward always has the tousled hair women find so attractive these days. The Count also has some hypnotic powers which are kept under wraps these days. Edward just has that creepy weird connection with Bella.

In researching their histories I found they were both created for or through acts of kindness. The Count was created as a teaching aid for children and Edward was turned into a vampire to avoid death from an influenza epidemic. I also found myself getting a bit uneasy with the idea of researching the histories of fictitious creatures.

Edward Cullen is about as scary as a Sesame Street monster. The Count is a Sesame Street monster. On the Street the Count annoys people and other muppets with his constant counting. Edward is just annoying, once you get past his scary stalking Bella thing.

Both the Count and Edward are much loved by their fans although some of Edward’s fans seem scarier than he is.

Edward Cullen is a gifted musician and can play classical, jazz or what ever else he would like. When ever the Count sings it sounds like Romani music, regardless of what he is singing. That is sort of a gift.

Interestingly it turns out that Edward Cullen is number 5 on Forbes list of the 10 Most Powerful Vampires. Count von Count is number 8. Angel and Spike beat both of them.

The Count drives a silly car called the Countmobile. Edward drives a silly car called a Volvo.

Count von Count has had a few girlfriends. Edward may have had other girlfriends besides Bella but it is hard for me to gage how attractive that dark sullen brooding countenance has been to women in the past.

So as I have shown here there are quite a lot of similarities between Count von Count and Edward Cullen which explains why it is so easy to laugh off Mr. Cullen’s appearance on the popular culture landscape. Vampires really shouldn’t be neutered school boys.

Of course now that I have proven that point I can move on to other more worthwhile endeavours, but first I have to watch Dr. Phil. Now he is COOL!