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nag nag nag

if you're in canada, you should be aware that there is a federal election that is happening on monday. unlike a lot of elections, this is one where the outcome is unsure, which makes it all the more important that people who would be inclined to sit at home and ignore what's happening to get out and figure out which candidate, if any, they support.

there are lots of ways you can make this decision. you can vote because you like the platform of a particular party. you can vote for a particular candidate because you think they are a well-informed, principled person (having those around is a good thing, no matter what party they come from). you can even make a point of spoiling your ballot (as long as you don't eat it, because that's illegal), if you feel that you've studied the parties and their candidates and really cannot find a decent one among them to support.

the important thing is to participate. because the easiest way for politics to become/ continue being corrupt and unfair is for the people to stay asleep and refuse to hold them to account.

in fact, voting should not be the only participation people have in their democracy. things as simple as making an effort to inform ourselves on issues, publicly question and take action against decisions we feel are wrong and support decisions we feel are right- those efforts are, in fact, more important. but the fact is that voting does change things, particularly when there are as many closesly contested races as there are in this election.

a word about strategic voting, while i'm at it: voting for one party or candidate you don't like or know nothing about because you dislike or fear the alternative is a really bad idea. it is a long-standing tool of those in power to maintain their position by keeping people afraid that anyone else is going to sell the country to foreigners, let terrorists blow us all up, or turn the country into a fascist dictatorship. you want to know what happens when people vote because they are made to feel afraid? look to the south of us.

vote for someone because you feel they are good or their party is good, even if they aren't going to win. because it's better to vote for what you want than to try to choose between devils.

information on how to vote is available through elections canada and riding by riding candidate profiles, as well as a lot of other information on the election is available through the cbc.

still convinced that your vote is meaningless? why not use the election as an excuse to campaign for electoral reform, so that people don't have to feel that their votes are wasted just because they don't support the winning candidate?

here endeth the nag.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…