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Registering pregnancies in India

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/07/13/pregnancy.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6897564.stm

India has plans to require all pregnant women to register their pregnancies with the government.  Women will also have to ask the government for permission to have an abortion.  The government says that this is to prevent women from aborting their female babies (due to the huge dowry required when those girls marry).

Holy Human Rights Infringement, Batman!

If this proposal goes through:

- will babies born to mothers who didn't register their pregnancies have restricted rights?
- will women who don't get permission for their abortions end up getting one anyhow in unsanitary, dangerous conditions?
- will the government charge a fee to register a pregnancy and then end up making more money?
- how will this be policed?
- will women eventually have to undergo a pregnancy test before they can get a government job?
- will they go to jail or be fined if they didn't register their pregnancy?
- will an unregistered baby be taken away and a generation of non-registered orphans be created?

Why not change the dowry system instead? 

Wheezers rejoice!

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I just posted a comment to the CBC website about this article:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2007/06/26/black-bear.html

Here’s what I said:

Your headline is misleading. It implies that the woman was being attacked by the bear, when in fact the bear was merely nosing around her property, probably just looking for food. I find it disturbing that instead of making her property less attractive to bears (removing garbage, etc.) or contacting authorities, she just kills it.

6th May, 2007

shaorn found out today that her friend from university just died. 43 years old and had a heart attack while riding his bike.

I didn't know him, but I feel really weird: I don't know what to say to Shaorn, I'm glad I have a physical booked for Wednesday, and I'm going through all those "life is short" thoughts.

When something bad happens it always reminds me that the days are ticking and I'd better get off my sorry ass and do something positive. And I'd better openly and frequently express my feelings for those I love.

Damn those clever marketing people!

Do-It-Yourself. No, really.

As part of our obsessive apartment redecoration stint, we decided to build a headboard for our bed. All we needed was a piece of plywood, upholstery foam, and fabric.

We chose fabric on Thursday right after work at a store close to our offices. But being after 6 pm on the Thursday night before the long weekend, we were in a bit of a pinch to find a store that would carry upholstery foam and plywood.

We decided that if we were going to a) drive, and b) to a big-box store, that it had at least better be Canadian-owned. So off to RONA we went.

I have to say, our experience at RONA took DIY to a whole new level. Having found the lumber section, we waited for about 10 minutes at what appeared to be the order desk. When no one came to help us, we chased store workers around until finally one stopped for us and told us we needed to go to the Cut Shop. He showed us where that was and paged the Cut Shop Guy. Things were looking up.

Stranger Than Fiction

Will Ferrell. Lanky, silly, boogers-kinda-manboy.

At least that's what I thought of him until I saw Stranger Than Fiction.

He plays Harold Crick, all-around lonely, repressed guy. Being an IRS agent, he obsessively counts things: the number of strokes he uses to brush his teeth,  the exact number of minutes in his coffee break, the number of steps to the bus stop. He lives a regimented and colourless existence.

Until he starts hearing a voice in his head narrate his life.

The voice is that of famous author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a recluse with writer's block. Thompson creates a morose, chain-smoking Salinger whose characters always meet horrible deaths. She's having a hard time with Harold, though; she can't seem to find the right way to kill him off. So her publisher sends her an assistant (Queen Latifah) to help her finish her novel.

While he's waiting for the bus, Harold hears the author mention his imminent death.  Shaken, he takes a week vacation (watch for Tom Hulce's wonderful hippie HR manager). With help from literature professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), Harold tries to piece together what's going on and how to prevent his death.

This film shares the tone and meta construction of films like Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Being John Malkovich. Strong acting, great writing, and a very palatable life-is-worth-it message.

Definitely not boogers.

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Food for the Mood

On Friday night we went to the ROM for an event called Food for the Mood. Three presenters spoke on the use of food as aphrodisiac: in ancient Egypt, in the Kama Sutra, and in ancient and modern North America. Although billed as "hands-on", I didn't see any artifacts that I could touch. However, the presentations were funny, well-delivered, and very informative.  And everyone got a handmade truffle (from George Brown student chefs) at the end. Mmm mmm.

We learned that many current rituals have their origin in ancient customs.  For example, in ancient Egypt the water lily was used frequently to set an amorous mood and was inhaled or soaked in wine for its psychoactive properties. A dozen long-stemmed roses doesn't have quite the same effect. Montezuma II is said to have drank 50 cups of chocolate a day. Casanova, too, drank chocolate in order to have luck with the ladies. Wonder how far he would get with a heart-shaped box from Shoppers?

On a separate note, apparently the Kama Sutra contains many images and references to same-gender sex. I've never read it, but presenter Sudharshan Duraiyappah explained that the book refers to four states of sexual identity: male, female, mixed-gender, and gender-neutral. It contains the idea that there exist people who are not strictly male or female in their physical, emotional, and psychological states. The concept is lost in translation from Sanskrit to two-gender-only English. I've only been able to find references online to the concept of a third gender, and would be interested in reading anything anyone can find on the four-gender idea.


Five years!

shaorn and I are celebrating our 5th anniversary today.  We were thinking about where to go for dinner tonight and thought it might be nice to visit one of the places we went to when we first got together. Hm...


- We first met at Satellite, an off-shoot of Zelda's. It's now a pet food store.
- Afterwards, we headed over to Slack Alice's for drinks.  It's now under new management, renovated, and just called Slacks.
- At the end of the night we went to the Red Spot, which, well, I have no idea what happened to it.
- Date number two was spent at the Queenshead Pub, underneath Pimblett's. Which is no more.
- For our third date we went to Slack Alice's to watch Queer as Folk on the big screen TV. Again, gone.
- After the third date we spent a lot of time at Mitzi's Sister, which had just opened up on the corner. Until it moved to a larger location down the road in the old Tennesse Restaurant.

What does it mean that all the places we used to go to are gone!?

I think it's a good sign.

Places and things and people will change throughout our lives together.
But the glowing spark within us remains.