Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The following is a story by my father Alex who was a member of the Black Watch. He told the story to the Sudbury Scene who published his story as well as others in a special two page spread on Thursday Nov 7th 1963. Be advised it is wartime and blunt.
We moved along quite well until we came to a canal. There was no way across. The bridges had been blown. As we waited, an old Dutchman came along and asked the lieutenant what the trouble was.
The lieutenant told the civilian to "get lost," but some of the fellows started talking to the Dutchman who knew a little English. We told him the problem.
The old man went away...but he soon returned, this time toting a barge. He tied it up where we were waiting and disappeared again. In a short time he was back again with another barge -- and then another.
All the time the Germans were taking potshots at the Dutchman but they did not hit him. He left before we could thank him for the three barges which helped us to hop across to the other side of the canal.
On the other side a German sniper pinned us down from a nearby tower. Our lieutenant told a young private who had joined us two days before to take the PIAT and blow a hole in the tower. The private replied he had never fired that type of weapon the officer said "Now is the time to learn."
And he made a good job of it - a bull's eye the first shot. And so we moved forward again to our objective, a park two streets away.
We went from house to house and as we approached the park we found twenty Germans were in an air raid shelter in the park. Their small arms fire kept us in the houses. One of our fellows crept close to the shelter and called on the Germans to surrender.
They wouldn't so he used the flame thrower on the shelter... And we took the park.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
In the vastness of nothing but fields I spotted a group of teens huddled together against the wind walking along the road facing north. Facing into the cold wind. Clutching tightly their coats to their bodies. Their backpacks trying to fly free like kites behind them. Heads down to protect their eyes they walked.
Their goal to walk 300 km between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta in 8 days making 15 presentations to high schools about the 2 million people displaced by the genocide in Darfur. They are hoping to raise money that will be donated to Warchild, a non-profit organization providing front line support to the people of Darfur.
I had wished I had taken their picture. People say that teens don’t care but here was a group of people who hoped to make a difference in the world. Here they huddled together walking with hope that their message would be heard.
To read more of their trip click here for their story.
I would also like to mention that at the time I spotted them there was no support vehicles in sight for at least 20 km in either direction. These young people walked alone as Darfur walks alone.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
On the evening news last night beside the government spokespersons, the people from Project Porchlight were interviewed. Smiling, thinking they have accomplished a great task, yet if you read the first 4 responses to “A bright idea spreads** I think their smiles are premature.
JAG makes them sound like a bunch of partiers and Yana, Lon and Ray makes it look like they really didn’t think things through.
To be fair there is Ban The Bulb. An interesting blog that has Campaign Goals that make sense. I like # 6. Propose appropriate exemptions Make the case for appropriate medical and specialist exemptions.
So where do I apply for my exemption?
My clever friend Eric, sent me the following link Banning light bulbs? A TV-inspired policy ... an interesting article. How much is this idea is inspired by reality and how much by the media. Has anyone figured out the emissions of making a fluorescent bulb versus an incandescent? What about the recycling aspect? Announce how YOU can save the environment by changing bulbs might make you fell better but is it real or a political ploy?
The article “Critics claim ban hardly bright idea” says of the ban that it will be “a minor dent in the nation's greenhouse gas emissions” and "In any event, it will account for less than one percent in Alberta and less than one per cent nationally." My favorite quote from the article is “incandescent bulbs use 5% to 10% of the energy they consume to generate light, with the rest being shed as heat.” Does that mean people will turn up their thermostats in the winter darkness because the light bulbs don’t offer any heat?
Well, my panic at this story has subsided somewhat with the notification that this will all take affect 2012. If I start now, maybe I figure out how to get that exemption and if not—I wonder how many light bulbs my attic will hold?
**I took a copy paste of the response page for two reasons. First because you would have to open another window and because a webmaster can remove views that might not be in line with the site.
4 Responses to “A bright idea spreads”
JAG Says: March 23rd, 2007 at 7:05 pm
… and to think it all started over beer and a BBQ! You’ve come a long way from 50 bulbs on a cold day in Kinmount. Here’s to changing the world - one bulb at a time. Congrats to the entire Porchlight Team!! JAG
Yana Maltais Says: April 25th, 2007 at 10:56 am
Great idea to save power.
BUT why is no one talking about the mercury in the flourescent bulbs
OR what happens in the landfills to this mercury
OR the problem of lack of toxic waste processors in Canada?
OR what happens in China etc. where the ‘recycling’ of flourescent bulbs happens???
Responsible organizations need to look at the whole picture.
Be the first to raise this issue, before the others I am contacting.
Lon Says: April 25th, 2007 at 1:44 pm
Has the National Research Council or any other scientifically based organization done any research about the energy cost in terms of home heating from making the change away from incandescent? If so, where can I read up on this?
We are bombarded with messages that incandescents are wasteful, but they, like other electrical resistant devices, are actually 100% efficient at utilizing electricity to make heat and light (obviously mostly heat). I am of the opinion that in Canada, for the most part, this heat is actually utilized most of the year. We need to look at the energy requirements of the entire home, not just home lighting.
Cetainly efficient lighting plays a major role in the grand scheme, but my concern is that in Canada our main source of electricity is hydro (renewable), and therefore by losing a portion of electrical heating, the overall usage of primary fuels will have to increase, thus increasing overall CO2 emmisions.
Ray Says: April 26th, 2007 at 12:33 am
I am suprised with all the news commentary on compact fluorescent bulbs and no mention about LED bulbs which are much more eficient than the flourescent bulbs. Here are a few examples of web sites describing these bulbs.
I know helping the environment is always an excellent goal except for one small challenge. I have photosensitivity epilepsy. Flashes and flickers cause me to have Grand Malle seizures. I have problems going outside my home because of my intolerance to the lighting in most buildings and the possibility of flashing lights on vehicles outside. For example, on garbage pick up day in my neighborhood, I must be vigilant not to see the flashing back up warning light of the garbage truck. To see the light will cause me to have a seizure.
My neurologist has prescribed special glasses that can cut some frequencies but I am unable to afford them until the end of July. They aren’t covered under our healthcare system.
What will this ban mean? Will the government regulate the frequencies of the bulbs sold? I know I am only one person but I do know many people complain they suffer from migraines because of fluorescent lights. While halogen lighting isn’t as bad as fluorescent it still seems to have a refresh or flicker.
I am all for getting green but will there must be exceptions, will I have to buy black market light bulbs or get a doctor’s note as not to be arrested by buying incandescent light bulbs.
I don’t drive an SUV. I recycle and keep the thermostat down to save energy. I try to be green.
Will the Conservative Government make me live in the dark
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Just click the dinosaur below.
While I have lived in one of these cities and worked in 3 others I am disappointed to say I don’t live in a clean city now. I guess our city’s light rail transit, park systems and recycling programs don’t add up enough or they forgot to put us on the list to start with.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The weather here is miserable here. Just two days ago I was admiring our neighbors crocuses as I walked to the mailbox in short sleeves and now all this snow!
We have a saying in here, “If you don’t like the weather this morning just hang around till this afternoon”.
I really should not complain too much because I am safe at home and not on these icy roads.