Car accident (not mine for a change)

My niece Jessica was in an accident on the weekend.

The van she was riding in rolled and flipped. She was thrown out the window, even though she was wearing her seatbelt. She was taken to Fort Frances Hospital, near Thunder Bay. She was released but both she and her partner were concerned that she was more seriously injured than the FF hospital and my sister drove them to Thunder Bay Health Services. Her step-father is a former nurse and has worked in the other hospital in town for years and felt that my niece was showing signs of brain trauma.

After expressing his concerns, she was sent for CAT scans and they found that she had three small bleeders in her brain, as well as a spine and knee injuries… her third in as many serious car accidents. They admitted her immediately. The bleeds are healing it seems and they want to ensure that she doesn’t have stroke or other side effects from the trauma.

As for how the accident happened…

The driver was driving 140km in a 100km zone…. while texting. My niece’s partner was also in the car and was okay.

“As we flipped something in my head told me to undo my seat belt and roll with the impact. A moment later when the roof hit the ground the ceiling went through where I was sitting to the floor. If I hadn’t of rolled with it, I would have fit in a small box. We then bounced 40 meters while flipping in the air and landed again on the roof and slid to a stop due to snow build up inside and along the sliding edge. Literally, my martial arts training saved my life.

 I wasn’t knocked out or anything and was conscious the whole tim,e. After it stopped I checked on Jessica, then T [the driver] and then ran for help.
If Jessica hand’t been outside the window and buckled up, she would have been crushed by the roof in the second impact. After stopping if the van had fallen she would have been decapitated. I was really scared for her.
Somehow, despite riding the interior of the van, I came out with only a few scrapes and a bruised collar bone. I was pretty lucky.”

The driver is in critical condition in the Fort Frances hospital.

Vic Toews wants to know

Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, had no idea what he was getting into when he sponsored legislation calling for government monitoring of the Internet.

In the interest in ensuring that Vic Toews is kept fully up to date, be sure to let him know what you are up to on the Internet. The following was my email.

Dear Vic,

Since you are so concerned about the activities of Canadians on the Internet, I thought I would fill you in.

I am currently updating my Facebook and my Google+ account.

I will be updating my blog shortly.

To assist you in keeping track of what we are all doing, I will be posting your email address. I know you will appreciate Canadians being proactive in ensuring that you have the latest information of our Internet activities.

Sincerely, Anneke Dubash

The End is Nigh! ….. Or not…

Just about once every 10 years or so, some Christian nincompoop comes up with “absolutely irrefutable evidence” that the world is coming to an end. Regular as clockwork.

Here is a list of just a few of these “predictions“, including the regular-as-clockwork predictions of The Watchtower Society (AKA Jehovah’s Witnesses) for 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994…

The Watchtower finally “admitted” it was wrong…  in 1980. For more information on Armageddon through the eyes of the Watchtower Society, see here. And from a former JW, an excellent 3-part series on the failed 1975 Armageddon, the mindset, and the propaganda.

Christians as well as other people to have too few brain-cells and far too much time on their hands invariably start moaning about how “all the calamities, wars, natural disasters, and other “signs” point to the “coming Rapture””… as though calamities, wars, and natural disasters haven’t been happening with just as much frequency and power since the planet first saw the light of day and then Mankind.

Just because we’ve been HEARING more about disasters and wars and calamities doesn’t make them greater in number or in impact than ever.  Anyone with two brain-cells to rub together would have figured out that the advent of faster methods of spreading news and the ability for someone sitting in their living room to find out the SECOND something has happened on the other side of the planet means we HEAR about more events and in more detail and, now, witness them ourselves. The fact that CNN and other news organizations can suddenly turn the tipping over of a kayak in Lake Ontario into a “world event” subject us to hours and days, and often WEEKS of “newsworthiness” make us think that things are more earth-shattering than they actually are.

As well, given the size of the human population, more and more humans are more closely affected than in the past centuries.

The most recent of these “predictions” is that “the world is coming to an end on May 21, 2011“.

As usual, May 21 will come and go without the sky falling, everyone will forget it ever didn’t happen. The perpetrators of these stupid “predictions” will either say “they saved us all” or that there was an error in calculations and move the date up.

The fact is…. The world will probably come to an end sometime in the far, far distant future – far too far ahead for any human to concern themselves with, likely after we humans cease to exist . It won’t have been predicted in the Bible. Prayer or converting to whatever religion is in existence at the time won’t matter.  It will happen, but not because of an “angry god” or because Nostradamus or the Mayans predicted it. It will happen because it does.

In the meantime, while all those idiots are running wild in the streets crying that the sky is falling, we can get about the business about making this planet, which will go on for a very, very long time, a better place.

Have fun!

Charlie Sheen…

If you go to the town square, stick your head into the guillotine, pull the rope and chop your head off, it isn’t the fault of the crowd that gathered to watch you do it….

Muppet Nudity

This week, Sesame Street was bombarded with complaints about the attire of Katy Perry in a video with Elmo. The complaints centred around the décolletage of Perry’s skating costume (which had a skin-coloured section above the bodice).

Katy Perry and Elmo

Now. On the one hand, Sesame Street PTB (Powers That Be) MIGHT have foreseen this and perhaps warded off controversy by suggesting a slightly less revealing costume for Perry.

On the other hand, are the children watching Sesame Street going to even NOTICE her cleavage?

After all. 99% of the Muppet characters throughout the years have either not worn clothing or given a nod to clothing in the form of a tie and collar (and cuffs, in the case of Grover, the Waiter). That would be 99% of the MALE characters. Female characters are almost always clothed. The notable exception being Rosita. Of course, we have to also take into account that female Muppet characters on Sesame Street are vastly outnumbered by the male ones.

Personally, I am in favour of demanding that Sesame Street put clothing on all their Muppet characters. What sort of message is it to children that you can run around your neighbourhood stark naked?*

Male characters… Nudists




Oscar the Grouch

Baby Bear



Big Bird

(Big Bird used to wear a tie… Now, he’s nekkid as a jaybird).

Male characters with a nod to clothing…

Ernie and Bert

Super Grover (aka Grover)

Male characters clothed…

Count (The Count) von Count

Female characters, naked…


Female characters, clothed…

Zoe Monster & Abby Cadabby

* Before everyone goes off half-cocked and starts bombarding me with nasty comments… I do not seriously believe that Sesame Street should clothe the Muppet characters. This is simply to point out the stupidity of some people’s concepts of what is “appropriate” or “inappropriate” for youngsters to be exposed to. I would wager that many of the complaints come from parents who watch “Toddlers and Tiaras” and think that there’s nothing wrong with making 5 year-olds up to look like Las Vegas hookers and give them prizes for bumping and grinding to hoochie-coochie music.

Critical thinking… or lack thereof…

Today’s “big news” is “Balloon Boy was a hoax”…

And, the usual upshot of this is that the media and the public is howling for blood.

“We were duped!”

“The police didn’t do their job!”

“It’s the media’s fault!”

The fact is that everyone is to blame for this (except for Balloon Boy, himself. He’s a minor and it is hardly his fault IF his parent’s concocted this whole “show”) — If, indeed, it turns out this is a hoax.

God or Nature gave humans a brain. We have it not just to keep our ears apart. It is there to enable us to think and to make sense of the world and to survive.  That entails “Critical Thinking”. Unfortunately, most of us seem to use our brain, if we use it at all, more to keep our heads from imploding.

We don’t think, let alone think critically.

We use our brains the way water finds it’s way down hill. Whatever the most convenient path to a conclusion, that’s the one we take, even if it results in us accepting the most nonsensical and ludicrous possible outcome, that’s the one we chose and “By Gum!” that’s the one we are going to stick to.

Even better when someone else comes up with the “results” so we don’t actually have to do any thinking for ourselves.

Why should we be surprised that 1) someone tried to pull one over on us and 2) succeeded on pulling one over on us?

And, quite obviously, this was not exactly a methodically thought out “hoax”. Else, it wouldn’t have depended on the involvement of a small child who would easily spill the beans.

The police obviously didn’t think it through, either. Consulting with experts might have clued them into the fact that the balloon probably wouldn’t have been able to ascend to the heights it did with the child in tow. Using their brains might have given them the edge on the less than stellar planning of the parents. Just looking at the balloon might have given them pause to question. Did it actually LOOK as though it was carrying a weight?

The media didn’t bother checking facts or hesitate for one second to authoritatively tell the public that a child was aboard this unlikely vehicle.

The public, always willing to jump on any bandwagon, no matter how shoddily built or how absurd, went along for the (usual) ride.

Even after the fact, talk shows lined up to interview the child. His parents were more than happy to parade their child in front of the media. And, surprise, surprise, the child said something that didn’t fit the scenario. “We did it for a show”.

Of course, this, coming from a small child, could mean anything. It could have meant that he associated the cameras with TV shows and his reenactment was “for a show”. No, obviously, it MUST mean that the whole scenario was “a show”. Of course, it seems it likely was.

Adults brought up short by a child’s words and the media circus starts falling all over itself to blame everyone else for being “taken in”.

There’s a children’s story most of us remember. It, too, is about a hoax. A ludicrous, fanciful, nonsensical farce so unthinkingly silly that it couldn’t possibly work but does… until undone by the words of a child. “But he’s not wearing any clothes!”.


Humans are so ready to believe the most nonsensical and absurd scenarios rather than use their brains, ready to accept “facts” presented rather than learn the REAL facts for themselves, and then blame everyone but themselves for falling for nonsense.

People are ready to believe that hundreds of people could “manufacture” a moon landing, and then every single one of them could maintain complete silence for 40 years. Somehow THAT scenario is easier to believe than the one that had man ACTUALLY walking on the moon.

People are ready to believe that Iraq had nuclear weapons despite ample evidence to the contrary presented to them, both before and after that fact. Yet, they are also willing to believe that their own President would actually be willing to kill several thousands of his own citizens in order to bring about a war that was already inevitable by virtue of the nonexistent nuclear weapons.

Further, they are willing to believe that many of their own citizens would go along with this “conspiracy” and murder fellow citizens and remain silent, despite seeing the evidence before their own eyes.

Some of these same people actually believe that the Holocaust was “faked”.

I honestly despair of a world which consistently accepts the most idiotic conspiracy theory without once asking any one of the 5 W’s — Who, Why, What, Where, and When.

Yes, people have come up with actual conspiracy plans and have perpetrated them on us. Bush did it with his “weapons of mass destruction” nonsense which, had people actually listened to the actual experts would have avoided this terrible war in Iraq. Anyone who doubted was “A’gin us” and obviously an America-hater.

Instead, the masses fell for this one hook line and sinker and then made up an even more insane and diabolical “conspiracy” to blame the same person who pulled the wool over their eyes with a simple plan.

They never once ask themselves “Why?” or, if they do, come up with an equally nonsensical “Reason”.

Why would Bush need to murder thousands of innocent people (or as some conspiracy theorists would have us believe thousands on non-existent people) when he already had the war in the bag with his faked satellite images and arm-twisting of various countries in the UN Security Council? How would he buy the silence of the thousands of people who would have been required to keep Schtum about a conspiracy on this scale? No, easier to believe the most nonsensical and complicated and fiendish scenario rather than believe the simplest truth. America was attacked in its heart, in front of our very eyes and that in the days preceding the attacks, the media had been reporting that an attack was forthcoming (A fact… and a fact forgotten even by the media who had broadcast it).

Humans have an amazing brain and yet spend most of their lives not using it.

We have a capacity to do all sorts of good for the planet and for our fellow human beings. Yet, we spend most of our brains’ resources foolishly. Wasting them on conspiracy theories and hoaxes,  either believing in fake ones or allowing ourselves to be fooled by real ones.

If the majority of us took the time to use our brains, we wouldn’t have a media that spent all its energies trying to entertain us or falling in line with the politicians. We wouldn’t have politicians so willing (and able) to pull over on us the most blatant of scams. We MIGHT even have politicians we could trust and for whom we could be justly proud.

We wouldn’t be spending time and energy on the “Balloon Boy Hoax” or one fraction of a second even considering either the nonsensical “Moon landing” or the truly offensive “9/11” conspiracies.


On a personal note….

It was several hours between the writing of this and posting it. Those several hours was spent at the hospital with my mother who thought that, rather than call me down “all the from upstairs” it was a good idea for an 85-year old who can’t stand on a firm surface without risking taking a tumble to climb on a chair some feet away from the patio door in order to close the curtain.

She fell and took a few yards of shin off, necessitating a trip to the hospital.

I guess, given my “Elk wrangling” of last Autumn, I don’t have a lot of room to talk. But it reminds me of a friend of my ex-husband’s who had to sit down with his parents and tell them not to be doing “stupid things” after his mother, aged 89, fell off the roof while shovelling snow. “I don’t mind going to the hospital if you have a heart attack or a stroke. I am tired of rushing there after you’ve done something stupid.”

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