The Supremes in Santa suits

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Some random Monday thoughts to match our random winter weather…

Looks like it’s open: Legoland Canada! Or, as Jonathan Kay points out in his love letter to Lego, a Legoland Discovery Centre: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/03/04/jonathan-kay-in-praise-of-lego/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

It may not be the full-blown Legoland experience, but I’m excited! Heck, the little Lego event they hold in Moncton at the Crystal Palace is enough to make my day. A trip to the Lego store in Hiroshima was the highlight of the two years I spent in Japan (OK, that’s not true, but it was cool, and I remember it to this day).

There are few reasons to go back to Ontario for a visit but this is one, fer sure.

We need more blockhouses. What’s a blockhouse, you ask, because you’re very curious and you know Eric’s obscure interests in strange things is always fascinating?

Well, if you’ve ever been to Fort Edward in Windsor, you’ve seen one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Edward_(Nova_Scotia)

Now what’s cool about these is that they’re little forts, made quickly out of readily available natural materials. Think of it this way: when you were a kid, you probably thought it would be cool to have your very own castle, right? Well of course it would be. And blockhouses are tiny Canadian castles.

So here’s what I’m suggesting. Every person in the county with property and trees and an operational power saw should build a blockhouse and we’ll become world famous as the place where everybody has a blockhouse.

OK, much as I like that idea, I realize it won’t happen and, um, fame might not find us if it did. So maybe I’ll go with Plan B: Parrsboro used to have a blockhouse on a hillside overlooking the Partridge Island beach (http://gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/ports/archives.asp?ID=263) ; a community group should form to rebuild it. Raise private money, use volunteer labour, and build Cumberland County’s only little fort as a tourist attraction, a tribute to history, and just a really cool thing.

Blockhouses are cool.

A website called battlecam.com will be broadcasting a live crucifixion this Easter. I don’t think I’ll comment, except to say things are going to get a whole lot stranger over the next few decades.

The Whatcott decision by the Supreme Court has prompted lots of scathing editorials. Generally, I don’t like Rex Murphy, but he’s absolutely right here, and his op-ed includes a photo from a Santa convention: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/03/02/rex-murphy-choosing-self-esteem-over-freedom-of-speech/

(Andre Coyne’s op-ed on the subject is the most useful I’ve encountered, with its blow-by-blow dissection of the ruling’s failure: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/02/27/andrew-coyne-supreme-court-twists-the-charter-of-rights-in-its-haste-to-limit-free-speech/)

This will seem crazy, cuz it is: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Elderly-woman-dies-after-nurse-refuses-to-do-CPR-4323453.php#ixzz2MWUgR5ad

What’s fascinating about this to me, though, is how common the mentality of the so-called nurse really is. Make no mistake: give someone a policy to follow and threaten them with repercussions if they don’t, and independent thought goes out the window for a huge number of people. There is a connection between this story and the experiences we have in our every day lives, when commonsense decisions aren’t made because someone doesn’t feel empowered to “bend” the rules. (I know they’re not the same: the rules stickler at the government office isn’t guilty of letting old people die because s/he wouldn’t give CPR. But it’s a sliding scale, and lots of people park their sense of professional responsibility on that dubious measuring stick.)

I’m no Newt Gingrich fan, but an interesting Salon interview with him: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/03/in_the_real_world_we_were_kidding_ourselves/

Never been: http://www.buzzfeed.com/burtwonderstone/15-things-you-can-only-do-in-vegas

Good rant: http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/adam-hills-joan-rivers-fat-jokes-about-adele

I generally find Joan Rivers funny and I have nothing against the woman, but certain Hollywood celebs are behind the times and they don’t even know it: mocking fat people who aren’t in on the joke ain’t funny anymore. No, don’t worry, I haven’t joined the PC police – still think Family Guy and South Park are very funny – and I don’t think I’m sensitive just because I carry around a spare monster truck tire. But attacking an overweight singer in a field where almost all the singers are bombshells is just ignorant. I don’t even get it: Where’s the joke?

I’ll tell you another offender: Bill Maher. I like the guy’s show, even if I don’t like his politics, but the way he uses someone’s weight as a reason to criticize is just sad. What does someone’s weight have to do with their skill as a singer or broadcaster, a politician or writer? It’s like the southern California famous spend so much time at parties with the beautiful people they haven’t noticed that a lot of people are fat now and a big percentage of the population no longer wants something they struggle with to be a source of ridicule.

This isn’t a “fat is good” sermon, just a recognition we all have our flaws. Bill Christie has a fat problem, but Bill Maher has a being a jerk problem.

I’ll end on an up-note. Animals are awesome: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/02/animal_wise_how_virginia_morell_began_to_report_on_intelligence_and_emotions.html

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