Category Archives: Apocalypse Soon

Special Syndrome, aka Incredible Weather, aka It’s Just Winter

Today’s forecast from Environment Canada includes a special weather statement, which starts as follows:

An Alberta clipper will spread snow from west to east across southern Ontario this morning.

I understand the need for everyone to feel special, everyone likes to be special to someone.  I’m starting to believe however that meteorologists might need some “special” attention in the emotional care department, perhaps a hug.  They seem especially attention starved these days, since every little bit of winter has a nifty news worthy name attached to it, and “Special Weather Statements” happen so often they really don’t feel that special any more.

Clipper of unknown origin
Clipper of unknown origin

While it sure sounds snazzy, I and (I feel certain that) most of the general public doesn’t know what that is.  I does seem to be a real thing, which you can find for yourself.  But I suggest that declaring that winter just being winter as “special” doesn’t really make me care any more.

Well, at least until Tuesday when that Saskatchewan Sideburn rolls in, then woe betide the entire Eastern provinces, indeed civilization, nay, mankind as we know it.

 

Mass Shooting Tracker

A few days ago I saw this article on Twitter, and it opened my eyes (already open to a painful degree) about the absolutely amazing and broken way that the US treats the distressingly common mass shootings there.

As anyone that isn’t American knows, generally people don’t shoot each other.  At all.  But in the US, as that article says, the Lafayette theatre shooting was the 204th mass shooting (generously defined below as shooting 4 or more people in one incident) in the US this year, which happened to land on the 204th day of the year.  Yeah.

Some of the most telling observation comes from a site that article linked to, a site called the Mass Shooting Tracker which was started by a bunch of Redditors in an effort to raise the publicity of these horrendous crimes, which seem to come and go without any fanfare from the media in the US.  From that site’s wiki page:

The most obscene incidents of gun violence usually do not make the mainstream news at all. Why? Because their definition is incorrect. The mainstream news meaning of “Mass Shooting” should more accurately be described as “Mass Murder”.

The old FBI definition of Mass Murder (not even the most recent one) is four or more people murdered in one event. It is only logical that a Mass Shooting is four or more people shot in one event.

Here at GrC, we count the number of people shot rather than the number people killed because, “shooting” means “people shot”.

For instance, in 2012 Travis Steed and others shot 18 people total. Miraculously, he only killed one. Under the incorrect definition of mass shooting, that event would not be considered a mass shooting! Arguing that 18 people shot during one event is not a mass shooting is absurd.

I find this amazing, and sad.  So, kudos to these folks for doing their best to change the status quo and I sincerely hope that somewhere along the way someone finally listens.

The Independent article sums things up for the rest of the world watching in sadness and amazement:

“Those who live in America, or visit it, might do best to regard [mass shootings] the way one regards air pollution in China: an endemic local health hazard which, for deep-rooted cultural, social, economic and political reasons, the country is incapable of addressing,” The Economist wrote in response to the Charleston massacre. “This may, however, be a bit unfair. China seems to be making progress on pollution.”

Since I do travel there for work regularly, but thankfully not that frequently, that sums things up more or less just as I see things.  Heaven forbid someone even mentions those two words guaranteed to start an argument:  “gun control”

The Onion once again has the final word, as they wrote more than a year ago:

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

 

Chickens now uncomfortably large, says National Chicken Council

Several things about this article jumped out at me as I read it.

First off, it seems that we are doing a FANTASTIC job of breeding chickens in the last 50 years or more.  How good are we at breeding chickens you may ask?  Let me tell you.  It seems that overall the size of a chicken today is 4 times that of a chicken in the 1950s.  For some perspective, this means that we are probably going to manage to breed a chicken large enough to feed a whole street, followed immediately by creating a chicken large enough to kill many streets of peaceful humans, all of which could happen within my lifetime.

Rise of the Chickens
Who wants chicken fingers now, Timmy?

This is all very reminiscent of a Patton Oswalt bit, in which he eerily predicted this very outcome.  I give you:  MEGALEG


The second thing that I noticed about this article is the fact that there is a National Chicken Council, which fortunately (or rather unsurprisingly) exists in the US.  It had not occurred to me that this would be a necessary organization, but then again with the inevitable Rise of the Chickens ™, it would probably make good sense to keep a close watch on these terrifying, but still tasty critters.

There’s busy, and then there’s Walmart Meth busy

Nikki and I continually talk about being busy;  “Oh man, that was a busy weekend”, or “Jeez it’s a busy few days”, but I have to admit I have never been quite as busy as this lady:

While shopping at Wal-Mart she decided to accidentally save some cosmetics for later in her purse.  Needless to say she ended up having an altercation with the store security folks.  This by itself is lamentable, but apparently the real problem arose when the security folks discovered that she had a 20oz pop bottle of meth “cooking” in her purse.  Wal-Mart security apparently had no sense of humour at all about the pace of today’s hectic lifestyles, and decided to evacuate the store given the propensity of meth to do things like “poison everyone nearby” and “explode”.

Clearly she was just multi-tasking, I mean this kind of thing isn’t something you can just leave lying around the house when you leave to go lift some eye shadow from the closest ‘Mart.  I salute you, as-yet-unnamed-defendant and your attempt to really make the most of your time here on Earth.

Follow this story here.

 

Minneapolis teens decide to not drink the Catholic Kool-aid

In a move that anyone with an actual brain could have predicted would “go badly”, the Catholic church shows up to indoctrinate the senior class at a Minneapolis high school about what a proper marriage should be.  The presentation disparaged adopted children ( “sociologically unstable”), kids with only one parent (“a ‘normal’ family is the best family”), and naturally the whole presentation got entirely out of hand and erupted into anger when the topic of gay marriage inevitably was addressed:

“When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset,” said Bliss. “You could look around the room and feel the anger. My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom.”

Bliss was one of several students who stood up to argue with the representatives from the archdiocese. One girl held up a sign that said, “I love my moms.”

…..

At one point, Bliss raised his hand and, “as politely as I could,” began to argue with the presenters. He used his knowledge of history to refute many of their points, and explained that various cultures have accepted and embraced homosexuality going back hundreds of years.

“I think they were surprised by the history I gave them and surprised that I was so calm,” said Bliss. “I don’t think they expected the response they got from the students.”

They were so upset that the priest and school officials abruptly ended the assembly. Students who were angry were allowed to stay there and talk with the archdiocese volunteers. It was more civil, for a while, but the more questions the presenters tried to answer, the worse it got.

“It was a really awful ending,” said Bliss. “It was anger, anger, anger, and then we were done and they left. This is really a bad idea.”

The presentation was a very thinly-veiled attempt on behalf of the church to control the outcome of an upcoming vote on same-sex marriages, which the students were quick to pick up on:

Hannah said students were anxious when they heard about the program and were suspicious because only seniors were required to go. “We put two and two together,” said Hannah. “All of us will be able to vote next fall [on the constitutional amendment that limits marriage to same-sex couples].”

This kind of thing is exactly will inevitably end the power of these kinds of institutions.  As it turns out, these kids prefer to think for themselves for the most part, and while there are exceptions to every rule, for the most part young educated people won’t stand for this kind of blatant discrimination, and they aren’t afraid to talk about it, and ultimately take action when something is wrong.

You stay classy, organized religion!