Bill 31: crosswalks

Julie tells me that she is addicted to the Niagara Regional Police media page. Because of her addiction, I learned of Bill 31, which amends the Ontario Traffic Act.

The changes involve pedestrian crossings and school crossings where there is a crossing guard displaying a school crossing stop sign. The change states that you now must wait until the entire intersection is empty of both pedestrians and the school crossing guard.

So if the crossing guard is escorting children across the intersection to your left, and you want to make a right turn, you must wait until the crossing guard clears the intersection before you proceed.

This change surprised me for multiple reasons. First, this change came into force in January 2016. I have heard nothing about it until last week. Even then it was courtesy of Julie! Further, there is a school very close to Julie’s house and I have encountered the crossing guards in the intersection opposite the school. I have broken these new rules multiple times without any reaction from the crossing guards. I know that crossing guards in general have no problem making sure drivers know they’re doing something wrong so I wonder if even they know if the change!

Although I am very glad to know of this change (thank you, Julie!), but I can just see it now … I’ll be waiting for the entire intersection to clear, and the driver behind me will grow impatient and start beeping, encouraging me to go because the way directly ahead is clear.

I’ve heard nothing of this change in the media, and how many people are fortunate enough to have a girlfriend to tell them of these things?!

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Politics and stupid

Malcolm Turnbull, 2016

Lord save us from the politicians who know not of what they speak! Today’s proud entrant is Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He seems to believe that if the government could get into all the encrypted messages his people send, all would be well. According to the Independent, he ratchets up the rhetoric:

When challenged by a technology journalist over whether it was possible to tackle the problem of criminals using encryption – given that platform providers claim they are currently unable to break into the messages even if required to do so by law – the Prime Minister raised eyebrows as he made his reply.

“Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,” he said.

So there you have it. A politician who claims that the laws of mathematics do not apply in his country.

DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen.

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Crowded music?

…sometimes I say I’m providing a house and you can provide the furniture. It’s a soundtrack, there’s space, and the audience put their own thoughts to it. Sometimes jazz musicians, we fill up all the fucking space, so people can’t lose themselves in it.

Robert Glasper, jazz pianist
regarding extended solos

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One drop

I saw this image in a Gizmodo story called “Most Habitable Earth-Like Planets May Be Waterworlds,” by George Dvorsky. I had to steal it … but since the USGS provided the image, it’s not stealing at all.

Take all the water on the surface of the Earth and put it all together in one mammoth drop. The above image shows what you’d get. On first glimpse, it’s less than I expected. Looking more closely, the drop covers almost the full north-south distance of the continental United States. Still, it’s less than I expected.

Image courtesy of the United States Geological Survey.

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Finding one’s path…

I saw an article in the Toronto Star titled, “Pope Francis says it’s better to be an atheist than a Catholic living ‘a double life.’” It fit in very nicely with some thoughts I’ve been having lately.

Namely, that we each find our path alone. Early in our lives, our parents instilled beliefs in us either directly or by religious proxy. As we grow old enough to think for ourselves, we embrace or reject what we’ve been taught and fine-tune our own beliefs.

What I don’t understand is how someone can claim to accept the entirety of a belief system like Christianity, but really only practice the parts they like. For example, many Christians are against same-sex marriage because it violates the sanctity of marriage and their religious teachings. Yet at the same time, many of these same people have divorced and remarried. I would suggest that divorce is much worse for marriage than two people getting married, who happen to be of the same sex. Further, the Bible does not allow divorce. So how can anyone who has divorced and remarried stand up and claim to defend of marriage?

I certainly do not believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, but the last time I heard, this is one of the tenants of Christianity. So how can Christians remarry? Work on Sundays? Lie? Steal? Masturbate? Have sex before marriage? Eat pork? Get tattoos? Gossip? Eat shellfish? The list seems entirely endless, and largely nonsensical, but it’s the word of God, right?

Even worse, your average neighbourhood Christian priest seems to steer clear of these topics!

It would be one thing to simply take on the Christian ideals you like as your own and not call yourself a Christian, but if you profess to be a Christian, how can you rationalize picking and choosing what you will practice?

If you really believe there is a hell, this would seem an unwise course of action! Yet many (most?) self-professed believers do it.

Disclaimer: I selected Christianity simply because it’s the religion I’m most familiar with. The same could be said for any of them.

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