Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

on what I want to be when I grow up

Questions suggested by a Monster dot com email I got. My answers are supposed to help me decide what I want to do when I grow up.

1. What subjects do you most enjoy reading about?
Anthropology, psychology, why people do the things they do, some fiction
2. What television or radio programs do you most enjoy?
TV fiction - (current) West Wing, Bones, House, CSI, Veronica Mars, Lost
(past) Quantum Leap, Firefly, Buffy (first season)
TV fact - animal programs, Lonely Planet, Tour de France, home renos
Radio - As it happens, interviews
3. What are your favorite types of movies?
SciFi, action/adventure, anything else well written
4. What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes?
Sewing, reading, gardening, some cooking - things where you make something or see what you’ve accomplished
5. What type of volunteer activities do you prefer?
Organizing, background work, puppywalking
6. What subjects do you enjoy discussing with friends?
Popular culture, movies, cooking, gardening, politics, psychology, dogs
7. What subjects come to mind when you daydream?
Travel, my ideal house, clothing (fashion)
8. What have been your favorite jobs?
Finding things for people that they couldn’t find for themselves (teaching can be included in this too)
9. What were your favorite school subjects?
Anatomy, religion, art history, science
10. What are your pet peeves?
Litter, bad grammar and spelling, bad manners, lack of objectivity
11. If you doodle, what do you often draw?
I don’t doodle - interesting, because I can draw very well
12. If you ran the world, what changes would you make?
For Canada - less government and better government
For the world - establish democracy and capitalism everywhere (which you cannot do without basic freedoms and responsibilities)
13. If you won a million bucks, what would you do with it?
Invest enough to live comfortably off the capital and give the rest of it away to family and friends
14. What are your favorite kinds of people?
Interesting, positive, active, kind, considerate, capable, funny
15. How would you like to be remembered after your death?
I would like to make some part of the world a better place
16. What are your favorite toys?
I don’t have toys. I like my bike, sewing machine, mix master, coffee grinder. Maybe all the fabric I have in boxes could be considered “toys”.
17. How would you describe your political beliefs?
I don’t care what you do, just don’t ask me to pay for it (and don’t hurt anybody).
18. Who do you most admire in life and why?
This feels like a loaded question and too long for this type of query. Maybe later.
19. What tasks have brought you the most success?
Depends on how you define success. Is success happiness, contentment, financial reward, approval of others, social standing? I’ll have to think about this one too.
20. What tasks do you think you could do well that you haven't yet done?
Forensic anthropology! Any kind of forensics involving science (see “Bones”).

Monster says: “Examine your answers. Do you see a certain behavior or belief in more than one aspect of your life? What information do you see repeated that seems to reveal a behavior pattern? What are your long-lasting interests?”


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

on humbling experiences

Margaret Kemper may have had the Charter save her from the charge of impaired driving, but this doesn’t negate the fact that her blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.  Just because her rights were impinged on by police (they pulled her over when they had no reason to), doesn’t mean she “got away with” drunk driving.  Unfortunately, she may very well think she got away with it and she will continue to drink “just a little” and drive.  And one day, she might actually hit someone with her car while she is intoxicated. 

I would love to be shown that I am wrong.  Mrs. Kemper, now is the time to publicly vow never to drink anything (not even one) and drive again.  Make it your mission to be a public figure on this issue.  Being humbled by a learning experience is never a bad thing and you can make something good come of this.  If you choose.

Story at:

Thursday, November 03, 2005

on multiculturalism

In looking at material on the riots in Paris, I came across this very long but well written article. It deals with the ‘why’ of the riots, among other things. The original is here.

What I want to write about here is multiculturalism. A lot of Canadians, especially the members of government, pride themselves on being multicultural but don’t really know what it means or what its consequences are. The way the government handles multiculturalism is to separate and set apart each culture, ostensibly to celebrate it but also to keep it separate, so it doesn’t get mixed in with the ‘rest of Canada’. However, if you keep a culture separate and apart, it stagnates.

All cultures, including a ‘Canadian’ culture, are living, growing things. The English language is a great example, especially compared with French. English accepts other words into it and grows and becomes something a bit different from what it was but different ‘better’. French language custodians resist any change and French only has 35,000 words
with which to allow people to express themselves, whereas English now has 500,000 words.

Also, separation of cultures is the same as apartheid and that didn’t work in South Africa, nor in the United States before the civil rights movement. Attempts to keep groups of people separate are misguided whether their intentions are noble (helping a culture to survive) or base (prejudice against that culture or people). And usually, only the might of government makes the separation of cultures possible. People can try to avoid each other but it takes government interference to make it “work”.

In Canada, we have the shameful government interference with aboriginal people that separated them out of mainstream society for base motives and now those peoples, those cultures are stuck in a marginal existence. Of course, having been separate for so long, they fear being integrated into mainstream society. But I like to look at the Jewish culture and see how it has survived for millennia against all efforts to separate them or even eliminate them, and with no government assistance in keeping their culture alive. I stand in awe and admiration of the Jewish people and I think they should be used as a shining example of how to have many cultures existing together without government interference.

Go read the article.