Wednesday, January 20, 2010

various and sundries

The heartbreak in Haiti continues. Relief is coming from all sides, but the nightmare is only in its infant stages.

Virginia Montanez reports that the two young women from BRESMA orphanage are safe in Pittsburgh now, along with at least some of the Haitian children they care for. You can read about it in her blog, That's Church. Kudos to Virginia for spreading the word far and wide. I suspect she had a bigger hand in this than we know right now . . . hopefully we'll eventually hear the whole story.

You can find a list of registered charities that accept donations for Haiti at this CBC web site. A small donation may seem pointless in the face of so much disaster, but real people are out there doing real work saving real lives. Pick an organization you trust, and even a small amount of real money will help.

On a different note, a radio interview with a Pakistani rock and roller caught my attention the other day. Salman Ahmad is trying to change the world one note at a time. The fact that the extremists and hardliners hate him makes me like him even more. You can check out his book, "Rock and Roll Jihad," here.

You may remember that I made a counter prediction to the Farmers’ Almanac forecast of a bitterly cold and dry winter (read the post here). I’m winning, at least for now. The snowplow operators have avoided bankruptcy (barely), there is ice for the hockey players, and the temperatures have been in the single digits below zero (centigrade) during the day. We did have a few weeks of "bitterly cold and dry," but they don’t count. I’m an advocate of living in the present, especially if the present makes me look right.

Speaking of winter, some British cops got in trouble for sled riding on their riot shields. I’ve sled ridden on barn shovels, plastic vapour barrier, and metal roofing, but this is a new one. Hey, if no one was throwing Molotov cocktails, and I had a stack of unused shields laying around, I’d have done the same thing.

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