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When pets live better than you do…

March 22nd, 2011 No comments
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I’ve always said that if I had to be reincarnated as an animal that I’d want to come back as one of my cats.  Why?  Mostly because I think my cats rock, but also because they are spoiled rotten (which I’m sure has something to do with the fact that we don’t have children and they’ve been relegated to our “fur babies”).

People love their pets and businesses know how to tap into that adoration.  Recently, while spending some time in the pet aisle at our grocery store (because I do spend a lot of time and money in that aisle) I stumbled across this tantalizing tidbit for my felines:

Needless to say I was quite amused, and immediately had to buy the treat for our kitties.  Seems despite having a background in marketing and psychology that I, too, succumb to the messages that my pet deserves the absolute best.

While I agree that we may spoil our kitties, we haven’t gotten to the point of investing in cat spas that boast chauffeur service, private verandas and bird watching or cat cottage retreats offering private suites, adjoining suites for multiple cat families, “extreme bird watching”, and organic catnip.  Maybe our cats do live a bit more of a humble existence than some with wealthier “pet parents”.  Certainly, they live more humbly than those cats and dogs who have the title of being Pet Millionaires.

Pets have steadily become a windfall for businesses capitalizing on our love for our furry family members.  It’s little wonder that in our consumer-driven society that even our pets are keeping up with the the furry Joneses next door.

I’d love to hear what the most extravagant gift was that you ever bought your pet.  Incidentally, ours was a 9 foot cat perch made from bamboo and rattan.  Quite impressive, and quite loved by our three kitties.

A kitty by any other name is still just as cute… cheers to our kitty families!


Osiris aka “Wusser-Si” aka “The Cat from Hell”


Buddy aka “Monkey Boy” aka “Boo Boy” RIP


Bijoux aka “Fluffernut”


Kalifornia aka “Kali” aka “Monkey-Bits”


KatStevens aka “Brat Cat”


Yums aka “Yum Yums” aka “Yummies” RIP


Miss Missy aka “The Real Miss Missy”


Valentine aka “Val” – honourary cat, and because she’s a jealous doggie…

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IFCO – Celluloid Junkies 2011

March 13th, 2011 1 comment
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Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Independent Filmmaker’s Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO) 19th annual gala, Celluloid Junkies.  IFCO is an artist-run centre that assists its members in cultivating the art of traditional film-making using Super 8, 16mm and/or 35mm films, hence the reference to celluloid for this year’s gala.

If you live in the Ottawa area, and haven’t checked out this annual event, you’re missing out on a opportunity to experience a different side to this oft-labeled sleepy city.  You’ll experience the work of some talented filmmakers, some of whom are presenting their work for the first time to an audience.  All the films are unique and are testaments to the individual spirits of each of the filmmakers .  They’ll be films that will stir base emotions, such as joy and sadness.  They’ll be other films that will make you uncomfortable with their content and themes.  And, there will be films that will leave you so perplexed that you’ll feel like your mind has just been on an all-night bender and it woke up next to some stranger.  Guaranteed though – you will experience something different than your usual Saturday night out at the movies.

With the advent of digital media consuming the film-making industry, artists such as those found exhibiting their work at IFCO’s gala,  are rebels protecting a threatened art form from slipping into obscurity.  I’m quick to support artists that are brave enough to hone a craft that takes, I’d argue, a lot more patience than its modern derivative.  Working in this medium also isn’t cheap.  It’s substantially more expensive than working in digital formats; however it seems to me that there is more raw honesty and integrity in these films than in some of the digital counterparts I’ve seen.

I also fully support the rise of digital films, but I think it’s important for consumers and future artists to stay connected to the roots of the art form.  Inexpensive and easy-to-use digital cameras have made it such that anyone can easily record, edit and screen (via the Internet) a film.  This fast and easy approach should make movie goers, and movie makers, all the more appreciative of artists, such as the IFCO group.  These folks nurture and keep alive the predecessor to modern day film-making that has made everyone a critic, director and producer. Clearly, there is something extremely valuable in keeping a piece of history alive.  We learn to understand where we’ve come from and the strives and struggles made in making art more accessible to the masses (whether that’s a good thing is entirely another discussion).

Kudos to the staff, volunteers and artists at IFCO on another memorable evening of films!  This chick can’t wait to see you next year!

Cheers!

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Which Kill More Birds, Oil Sands or Wind Turbines?

February 20th, 2011 No comments
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Lately, I’ve been becoming more interested in policies surrounding environmental issues – in particular the idea that we can reverse climate change. There have been many scientists suggesting that government policies surrounding climate change are based on flawed data. Those policies are costing us money – lots of money – so, I’m naturally going to be curious as to how the government is spending my tax dollars.
For example the notion that we can somehow reverse climate change seems like a bit of a daunting, if not impossible task. We’d be right in that assumption because the climate has and always will change – that’s the one thing that’s constant about our climate. We don’t and can’t control it.
We’ve also been led to believe that clean sources of energy are better for us and our environment, and well, that doesn’t entirely seem to be the case either. Wind energy is being touted as a renewable, clean, and safe source for us. Turns out there’s questions about the health implications to humans, and implications to birds and other avian animals. Who knows what the real cost will eventually be to us? Sure, the oil sands may not be the best solution for our energy needs, but if the below video is any indication, I’m not sure that wind turbines are the better alternative.
Clearly, we have some more research to do before we start investing billions of dollars into energy sources designed to lower our carbon emissions. Understanding the science behind why these initiatives need to be undertaken, in addition to the real cost to us, is of paramount importance. We may discover that those choices lead us to different issues that cost us far more.

Warning: video is not meant for the squeamish.

Source: FrontierCentre

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