Monthly Archives: August 2007

"CNE was so much fun!"

Nefarious and I spent the day at the CNE and got ourselves unlimited ride passes which was tons of fun — there were basically no lines so we must have gone on forty or so rides in all (to say nothing of walking end to end a couple times, watching a trick riding show, going through every pavilion, and more)… There was an express bus straight to the front gates from the station next to our house, so it was super easy to get there. Still, we walked all over the place, and did so much stuff so I'm totally tired out! Oh, and I almost lost my camera taking those DIY roller-coaster photos, haha…

Oh, and because I hear so much hushed comments along the lines of “look, he has long ears, why does he have long ears” coming from little kids, followed by them being quietly admonished by their parents to not ask questions and not stare, let me say to parents very strongly: by all means, encourage your kids to ask me those questions! I'm happy to talk to them, and won't say anything inappropriate.

Really, if this world has a definitive cultural problem, it's that people who don't understand each other don't communicate with each other, and emphasizing that's how it should be to children does the world a huge disservice. The more people of different sorts ask each other questions and learn to understand each other, the better a world I think we'll live in. So don't get your kid in trouble for asking a question — start a polite conversation instead and help them learn the answer and break down a needless social divide.

PS. My leg was essentially sealed up this morning, and there are no signs of infection, so I'm not terribly worried about it. That said, since I tore that suture, I've had really strange (they don't feel bad, more like pins and needles) shooting sensations up my shin, so I guess it must have been wrapped around a nerve in part. Feels kind of nice actually because it's not painful and I'm so used to pain in that region.

All Classes, All Ages, All Creeds

Nefarious and I rode the subway/bus out to the airport to pick up Rachel's mother who's visiting for a couple days… I don't know why I never just took transit in the past, given that it's faster and significantly cheaper than driving! We also drove it back, which is where I had a great encounter.

The woman who sat down next to us was in her late forties or fifties; an elegant and polite Air Canada stewardess. She chatted with Nefarious and Rachel's mother, and after a while asked me why I had taken out my lobe jewelry (I told her they got too cold when I went snowmobiling). The amazing thing was that she was asking because she was stretching her lobes and wanted to know what would happen when she took them out — hers were probably about 2ga, and she was wearing very pretty carved wood claws.

It's really something how diverse this “sub”-culture is…

I wish I'd brought my camera because not only would I have loved to take this woman's pictures, but I also chatted and saw about a dozen people with familial facial cuttings (which are very common in Toronto and I see daily because of the large African immigrant community).

Painting and horseracing…

Nefarious's drawing is an apple tree (the apples are poisonous but it's the good kind of poison”) and the little person at the bottom is her, trying to reach for an apple. The bird is trying to get it too, but the apple actually belongs to the guy in the background. Anyway, we're off to the racetrack — Nefarious's uncle is a jockey and he's riding in a $300,000 race today. It will be my first time at a track.

Medicine? I prefer the rooty sort.

One of the things that's always fascinated me is indigenous medicine and how it's sourced. Out of the millions of plants in the rain forest, how do people know which ones to seek out for specific medical conditions, especially when so many others would be toxic or at best ineffective? I certainly don't buy the “we know because the gods told us” explanation, but at the same time, humans haven't been around long enough to figure it out through a process of elimination.

The real answer of course is that we learned by observing animals, eating the same things they eat when they get sick… Animal cultures have indigenous medicine as well. When animals get sick, they seek out specific plants, sometimes traveling great distances to get the right ones for the illness they have (because we — the animals of the planet — co-evolved with these medicinal plants in a chicken and egg fashion). It's really quite amazing. Anyway, I was reading about this in Riddled with Life (by Marlene Zuk), a book that makes a case for the symbiotic need for disease, and it quoted a funny little bit by the World Health Organization titled “The History of Medicine”

2000 B.C.   Here, eat this root.

1000 A.D.   That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.

1850 A.D.   That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.

1920 A.D.   That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.

1945 A.D.   That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin.

1955 A.D.   Oops … bugs mutated. Here, take this tetracycline.

1960-1999   39 more “oops.” Here, take this more powerful antibiotic.

2000 A.D.   The bugs have won! Here, eat this root.

That said, I've quit taking the Lyrica (neuropathic pain meds). Its pain control was minimal at best (I really prefer just taking the hillbilly heroin on rough days when it comes down to it), the side effects were unpleasant (mood issues, mental clumsiness, and peripheral vision hallucinations), and almost everyone who wrote me with personal experiences had quite negative things to say about what had happened to them or a family member. Like I said before, I'd really rather have a clear head and be in pain than have a muddied sense of reality — so yeah, pain it is…


……it does make a good t-shirt!

Things are not what they seem

This video is not really very good but I was bored and took a quick one of playing with the magnetic implants. I'm surprised no magicians have gotten these yet — I would think there would be quite a few applications for them. Of course, magic is secretive, so for all I know lots already have them!

PS. While browsing around I came across this video from “Jon Paine“…


Speaking of, this would be a great place to shoot a movie… Other than getting shot by the Turkish Army that is. I suppose there are other desolate places, but few so modern (see also: ghost towns — there are actually lots of neat mostly boring ones here in Ontario).