Friday, August 27, 2010

Odd threats, er, thoughts

Alberta Premiere Ed Stelmach says "there will be no Provincial sales tax as long as [he's] around." Although it is couched as a promise, it reads more like a threat. Especially when he followed it up with a statement that it may be necessary in twenty to thirty years.

I've obviously engaged "student mode" in anticipation of this September's return to post-secondary; I noticed the cottage cheese expired a week ago, but still smelled it, just in case. When it smelled sour, I still checked for mold. (Threw it out, Dear Reader, worry not)

The dogs have followed mommy's unhealthy eating example however, I caught Faith the Husky with her head in the cat's litter box...eating... and now I have to come up with a punishment that is worse than eating poop.

A group of 33 Chilean miners has been trapped underground since a mine collapsed back on August 5th. No joke here, there are reports that if they began digging now, it would still take them until Christmas to free them, such is the depth of the emergency shelter they reside in. Please send your thoughts to these people.

I found this article in the New York Times, about language and how it shapes our thinking, focusing on a language called Guugu Yimithirr where they do not use directions like "forward" or "backward", but instead use north, south, east, or west:
"In order to speak a language like Guugu Yimithirr, you need to know where the cardinal directions are at each and every moment of your waking life. You need to have a compass in your mind that operates all the time, day and night, without lunch breaks or weekends off, since otherwise you would not be able to impart the most basic information or understand what people around you are saying. Indeed, speakers of geographic languages seem to have an almost-superhuman sense of orientation. Regardless of visibility conditions, regardless of whether they are in thick forest or on an open plain, whether outside or indoors or even in caves, whether stationary or moving, they have a spot-on sense of direction. They don’t look at the sun and pause for a moment of calculation before they say, “There’s an ant just north of your foot.” They simply feel where north, south, west and east are, just as people with perfect pitch feel what each note is without having to calculate intervals. There is a wealth of stories about what to us may seem like incredible feats of orientation but for speakers of geographic languages are just a matter of course. One report relates how a speaker of Tzeltal from southern Mexico was blindfolded and spun around more than 20 times in a darkened house. Still blindfolded and dizzy, he pointed without hesitation at the geographic directions."

I also found this article, which should also be read, but it is ten pages, so here is my favorite excerpt:
"KENISTON CALLED IT youth, Arnett calls it emerging adulthood; whatever it’s called, the delayed transition has been observed for years. But it can be in fullest flower only when the young person has some other, nontraditional means of support — which would seem to make the delay something of a luxury item. That’s the impression you get reading Arnett’s case histories in his books and articles, or the essays in “20 Something Manifesto,” an anthology edited by a Los Angeles writer named Christine Hassler. “It’s somewhat terrifying,” writes a 25-year-old named Jennifer, “to think about all the things I’m supposed to be doing in order to ‘get somewhere’ successful: ‘Follow your passions, live your dreams, take risks, network with the right people, find mentors, be financially responsible, volunteer, work, think about or go to grad school, fall in love and maintain personal well-being, mental health and nutrition.’ When is there time to just be and enjoy?” Adds a 24-year-old from Virginia: “There is pressure to make decisions that will form the foundation for the rest of your life in your 20s. It’s almost as if having a range of limited options would be easier.”
The most compelling line in the article: "Is it only a grim pessimist like me who sees how many roadblocks there will be on the way to achieving those dreams and who wonders what kind of freewheeling emerging adulthood she is supposed to be having?"

So this is all I have to say today, mostly because I was pulled from my Work-nest and put on a truck where I had to actually work to be paid. Strange sensation. Anyway, in the words of Pat Benetar, "Hit me with your pet shark! C'mon! Hit me with your pet shark!"

1 comment:

Roots said...

Interesting post. Definitely touched on several subjects at once which will leave my comment a little on the long side. As for Mr. Stelmach, Politicians will always find ways to stay in office for as long as they want and Albertans do enjoy the lack of PST in their province. I know I certainly do when I go there to visit. So it's a way to use that security of Albertan heart to maintain a decent number of voters approval.

Glad You didn't try to eat the cottage cheese as for the dog...well not much you can do. Dogs eat poop. Best bet is to give her a swat whenever you see her doing something bad and use a firm loud tone so she knows not to do that. Training your dog is always a process.

I heard about the Chilean miners the other day. I know they are in a pickle, but it could be worse. They could have limited air/food/water supply. Yes, they are trapped, but as long as they have supplies, they will survive it. Which is a good thing to remember. :)

I've heard about this omniscient sense of direction before. I think what happens is people have a better developed sense of the earth's magnetic pull and can identify the directions based on that sense alone. Just a guess though.

And finally the 20 something manifesto. My response is "get in line". Everyone has trouble struggling through these years. I myself have just recently made a small breakthrough into overcoming the obstacles of my chosen career path. Overall, it's not about how daunting, or how hard the path you walk is. It's all about if you walk it or not despite the difficulty. Otherwise you go nowhere.