This feed contains pages in the "society" category.

I think that I must exude violence in some unknown fashion. Whenever I wear the following shirt:

Image: Hate Free Zone public, I seem to get quite a few odd looks, as well as "what does your shirt say?" Maybe it is too hippy-ish for an era after the 70s. I was, however, in a bowling alley with lots of bandies.

Just don't tell 'em about the hatchet in the top drawer of my dresser, or the Viking jokes...

Posted Fri 29 Jul 2005 07:37:37 PM UTC Tags: tags/society

There's a relatively new Google Maps hack floating around that's titled HYDESim: High Yield Detonation Effects Simulator. Read: "range and strength of effects when dropping a nuclear warhead of X strength on X location."

This entry in Eric Meyer's blog explains its origins and a few other things. It's somewhat scary to think that such a thing could happen, but interesting nonetheless. Such an unfortunate part of the world we live in.

It's kind of neat to think of how Google has brought about such a wide range of unique and inventive web apps with their maps API. They're real pioneers, despite having a few flaws.

Posted Wed 13 Jul 2005 11:12:01 PM UTC Tags: tags/society

I took an English exam this morning, on which one of the essay questions happened to have to do with the decrease of making trips to nearby locations on foot/bicycle, with two articles citing the many health consequences of this decreased physical activity, the current epidemic of obesity, and safety consequences of new pedestrian-unfriendly communities.

I'd have to say that my community is fairly bad, though not completely. Yes, there are stores easily within walking distance of residences. However, none of the neighbourhoods have sidewalks. I was born in Scarbourough, Toronto, and they have sidewalks and people walk everywhere (or at least did). Our newly-renovated high school also doesn't have a single bike rack on the grounds. I've been yelled at for bringing my bike into the school for safe-keeping, other times I've found trees or (more recently) light posts to lock it to. We're also getting a new Super Wal-Mart and a few other stores right next to the high school, which is going to wreak havoc on traffic, and I do have to cross one semi-main road to get to the school.

I also have at least one neighbour who will drive when s/he has to go visit someone who lives about 300 feet up the street. It's pretty sad.

It would really be nice if communities themselves put a little effort into making things safer and easier for people to walk or bike to. Maybe planners think that nobody cares about walking anymore, though it's that sort of thinking that just makes it come true.

Maybe I should start a petition or something about those bike racks sometime. It's a pretty easy problem to solve.

Posted Thu 16 Jun 2005 11:49:04 AM UTC Tags: tags/society

BBC News reports that in a recent study, a good portion of girls aged 6-8 have been found to be dissatisfied with their bodies and think that they're too fat.

Six year olds. Too fat. Oh the insanity.

What kind of society is it that we live in today that pre-adolescent children already feel that they're not living up to some standard set in stone.? It's kind of disconcerting that the media and commerce takes advantage of the doubts and weaknesses of children that will undoubtedly lead to problems later on in life, all for increased profits. Barbie, fashion magazines, Hollywood, cartoons... what is it with the preoccupation with being pencil thin?

Of course, at 5'4" and a trim 106 lbs, I'm hardly an objective commentator. None of it's from dieting or anorexia, though. Some people naturally have a lighter body frame than others, which affects healthy weight a lot. Take your index finger and thumb and put them around your wrist - mine overlap, indicating my small body frame. Others may have higher weights and larger frames, and still be perfectly healthy.

Having recently watched the award-winning documentary Supersize Me, I'm of course aware of the fact that there's of course a problem with obesity as well. (I'm glad that I've never been a big fan of fast food after that...) The US is the fattest country in the world.

However, teaching kids to eat right and encouraging the mindset of unworthiness are two very different things. Personally, I feel that it's just an epidemic-in-the-rising caused by our great breakthroughs in technology... many of which decrease the physical activity that a person needs to perform to get through the day.

I'm also certain that the epidemic will pass. When people start showing up in hospitals in droves due to heart-related problems and Type 2 diabetes, others will eventually take it seriously that technology can't replace the body's need for exercise. If a change in mindset doesn't come around, it will likely be because other advances have rendered ways to keep people healthy without having to get physical exercise.

Maybe I'll read this in 30 years and be suprised.

Posted Mon 07 Mar 2005 05:35:20 PM UTC Tags: tags/society