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a modest proposal

ok, every four years there is an orgy of sport where canada has a shot at doing something substantial. we can't compete in the summer olympics but, dammit, in the winter olympics, we should be able to accomplish something great. of course, right now, we're having our great white northern hides whipped by a country with a population that's less than that of our largest city. so i think we need to change our focus. canada, with all its creature comforts, may be becoming immune to winter's edge. we no longer have that love of the snow and ice and wind we once did. our skiers go slower, our skaters fall down, it's not pretty.

it's time to participate in a different kind of games. you see, canada's population is becoming increasingly urban. a far greater proportion of our population live in cities than many places in the world, so, in order to capitalise on this strength, i would like to propose:

the urban olympics

lots of events based athletic-ised versions of the crap we have to do every day. here's some suggestions (more always welcome):

dumpster diving (single and team)
running for the bus (the runner must start out running towards a parked bus, which will pull away as soon as the runner gets close enough for the bus driver to get a good look at him/ her)
shovelling (could be adapted to raking leaves for seasonal appeal)
moving furniture up the stairs
carrying groceries (automatic disqualification for broken or torn bags)
highway cycling (complete with cars; bronze medal means you survived, gold medal means you have all your limbs)
commuting (in traffic)
taking the stairs because the elevator is broken (5 floor, 10 floor and 20 floor competitions)
getting ready for work after your alarm doesn't go off

the possibilities are endless and, what's better, we could probably do a lot better than we are are in those other olympics...


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…