Saturday, 25 February 2017
But climate change is blowing through and the snow is melting rapidly. Outdoor skating rinks which are frequently open until mid-March are now closed in many neighborhoods.
A shame, or as that guy South of Border so often tweets: Sad! Would that he wised up about what's happening to this world, but to nobody's surprise it looks like he won't.
Saturday, 18 February 2017
The snow and the photo both fit right into the world as we've known it, but at the moment the ground is shifting under our feet, and we don't know what's going to happen next.
A climate change denier is now head of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the president of the United States is either getting crazier and crazier or just showing his true nature, take your pick. Things are somewhat better here in Canada, but we can't help but be affected by what is happening South of the Border. Even our handsome Prime Minister seems to think he has to make nice with The Trump in order to keep trade relations from being damaged.
But it's going to be hard to do business as usual. We should stand on guard, as the song has it. So should the whole world. Which is why I've signed up for Shift Left, an interesting movement that is going to try to win swing seats in the US Congress for the Democrats. The idea is for people in safe districts to help out in the nearest swing district. In our case that's one in Upstate New York or another in Upstate New Hampshire. Don't know yet just what I can do concretely, but it's worth trying. Here's the link: Swing Left
By the way, it looks like the tree is leaning right, but it all depends on your point of view. From the other side it would indeed be swinging left!
Sunday, 12 February 2017
As it happens, though, I've been reading the wonderful novel by Maylis de Kerengal, variously called Réparer les vivants (in French) or Mending the Living (translation by Jennifer Moore) or The Heart translation by Sam Taylor. In it, a young man dies and his heart and other organs are donated to others. Sounds gruesome, but it is exalting. The French is poetic, evocative and engrossing, while the translations (why there are two, I haven't been able to determine, but both are quite good in their own way) carry the reader along through all the agony of the young man's family and medical professionals who will see that he lives on in others.
In France, organ donation is the default situation: a person must opt out, or it is assumed that he or she has agreed to have organs donated. In North America, the reverse is the norm, so that unless one has specifically signed a statement approving donation, they won't be. I'd always been a bit ambivalent about this, and while I've signed the statement on my driver's license agreeing to donation, I had no strong position. After reading the novel, I'm far more positive. Read it, and check out where you can sign up. In Canada: here. In the US: here.
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Cold, snowy weather is what makes this place interesting this time of year. January was the warmest ever, of course. I know there are much graver consequence of climate change, but, selfishly, I hope that we don't lose all this.
By the way the parks where this family is frolicking as well as Jeanne's and Thomas's are set down in densely populated neighborhoods. Great city planning!