Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Body in Motion...

Newton's First law of motion is: An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by a force. An object in motion remains in motion, and at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force. Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. In other words, I have been enjoying a wonderful laziness this past couple of weeks. I go to work, come home, sleep ... rinse, repeat.  A body at rest.  It's good for the soul.

Sometimes a body in motion will defy Newton's first law of motion, and to that end I invite you to watch this wonderful video.  It's not about the children, it's about the seal.  The video is not very long, but you have to watch it to the end.  I once did a blog post about whether or not animals were sentient beings.  This video will leave you no doubt whatsoever.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful day, everyone.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Party Like It's 1976...


In case you have not seen this video yet, you're in for a treat. Put on your white go-go boots, turn up the sound, and dance like it's 1976.  I want to be her.  Talk about joy of life...!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Requiem for a Tree...

There is a tree here in Vancouver that is without question one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen.  For the past 15 years, I have watched the seasons through that tree -- spring, summer, fall, winter.  The tree has become like a friend.  When winter is nearing its end, I watch for the leaves to start budding on the tree, and then I watch for the blossoms.  Often I will go to work in the morning, and they aren't there, but at the end of the day when I turn the corner to come home -- et voila! -- the tree is in full bloom.  Everything about the tree is perfect -- the shape of it, the way the branches stretch above the sidewalk.  Across the street from the tree is a tiny corner park with a park bench, and on the hottest summer afternoons I sometimes sit on the little bench and watch the breeze in the tree, and watch the passersby on their bikes, skateboards or on foot.  It's a wonderful cool, calm people-watching spot, and the tree and I keep each other company.

Today as I came home from work, I turned the corner and all I saw was a huge, raw hole in the ground.  The most beautiful tree in Vancouver no longer exists.  It's gone.  The adjacent building is an old heritage church, and it now houses a neighbourhood community centre.  The centre is expanding and renovating its premises, and during renovations of the building, they chopped down the tree.  I actually feel real grief.

No matter what "improvements" they make to the building, it will never look the same without that wonderful tree.  It just looks like yet another barren structure in the middle of the city.  I'm sure it will be very nice, and it will provide better services to the community it supports.  But as Holly Golightly would have said, "But, oh, golly, gee, damn...!" did they really have to chop down such an exquisitely beautiful tree in the process?

I'm glad I took pictures of it, to remember it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Childhood's End...

When my daughter was a child, one of my biggest fears was that she would be abducted.  I was a single mom, and trying to juggle full-time work with being a full-time mother, and along with that I had a lot of concern that I wasn't doing any of it right.  And at the time there had been a rash of abductions, including one of a little girl named Abby Drover who was abducted by a neighbour and held in an underground bunker for 181 days.  She was discovered by accident, when the abductor's wife found him emerging from a pit underneath the family garage. The wife was shocked when an emaciated girl scrambled out behind him, trying to make her escape.

The stuff of nightmares.

What makes these monsters do these things?  Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Knight, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Lee Dugard -- all abducted, and all fortunate to have been found, even as much as almost two decades later.

Children have had their childhoods robbed of them because of these fiends.  Parents have turned into helicopter parents.  I know, I did.  My daughter's childhood was quite different from mine.  When I was a child, we heard horror stories of a kid getting lockjaw from stepping on a rusty nail, or contracting rabies from being bitten by a rabid dog -- none of them true of course -- but they were the horror stories of our childhood.  The bogeyman was a figment of our imagination.  Now he is very real, and he climbs into children's windows and takes them from their beds at night, or -- like Michael Dunahee -- snatches them from playgrounds when their parents have looked away for just a moment.

Just a brief nanosecond.

How do we keep children safe from predators?  I hope those three men in Ohio who abducted the girls and held them captive, never see the light of day again.  In a civilized society, we can't keep them locked in fetid dungeons the way they kept their prey.  Too bad.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Amanda Knox has now published a book about her journey through the Italian courts, and I am looking forward to reading it.  For some strange reason, which I cannot explain, I am not entirely convinced of her innocence.  Intellectually, I think she is probably not guilty of the crime, but if I were on a jury, there would be that small, nagging voice in the back of my mind that would create "reasonable doubt".  I cannot explain it.  It's just there -- questioning.  Amanda Knox has now been ordered to stand trial again in Italy for the murder of Meredith Kercher, even though the Italian Appeals Court stated the prosecution's charges against her were"not corroborated by any objective element of evidence." Amanda Knox will most likely not be expedited back to Italy because it violates the U.S. legal principle that a criminal defendant can't be tried twice on the same allegation.

Double jeopardy.

I'm looking forward to reading the book, and maybe it will silence that little voice in my mind that questions ... hmmm ... is there more to this story than we know?

Beyond a reasonable doubt...