Saturday, June 19, 2010

If I Had 50 Million Dollars...

Well, I guess my husband will have to wait a little longer for his TARDIS-inspired media room. On the upside, so will all of the other Dr. Who geeks out there. No one won the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot last night, although 30 people are $1 million richer today, from the MaxMillions prizes. Not me, though.

What is it about lotteries that draws us in? We know the odds. Most people are intelligent enough to realize that they're more likely to have a rhinoceros end up in their living room than to win a big lotto prize, and yet we still try. As I said to my husband last night, the odds are a zillion to one, but if you don't play, they're zero.

Still, I feel pretty foolish today for wasting money last night on tickets. Not a ton, but still... a waste. So why?

Truthfully, I think we pay for the dreams. Is there anyone who doesn't have long conversations about what they'd do with the money? First, starting with all of your philanthropic goals, to absolve any guilt for the big houses, vacations and new cars and vehicles that you plan for after that. These days, especially, it just gives you a sense of hope that things can get better. Most people I've talked to, even though they dream about what they could do with $50 million, say that they'd be happy to just win enough to pay off debts, go on a vacation, have a little luxury in their lives. For so many of us right now, compared to what we may have known before, luxury is a distant memory. Hopefully, a little dreaming is enough for now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Heartbreaking Video of the Oil Spill

I admit it: I am an avoider. I avoid reading about issues that I know are going to upset me. I hate feeling helpless. If it makes me angry, fine, I'll read all about it, but if it's just plain sad, even with a little anger mixed in, I'll sometimes avoid an issue until I just can't anymore. I've done that with the oil spill.

Then the other day I watched a slide show of photos of marine birds, covered in oil, completely mired in, dying as surely as if they were covered in cement.

Today I came across this video of an AP reporter, Rich Matthews, scuba diving in the Gulf. It's a worthwhile piece, and I hope you'll watch it. You can read his account of it here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sale & Pelletier to Divorce

Jamie Sale & David Pelletier had one of the most famous "Love Story"s of the 2000's, but apparently it's coming to an end. The two skaters, who famously were awarded a second Olympic gold medal for pairs figure skating in 2002 captivated audiences worldwide. Those same audiences were thrilled to learn that the skaters were a couple off-ice, as well.

Sale & Pelletier married 4.5 years ago, and have one son, Jesse, who turns 3 in September. They say that they will continue to skate together professionally. They have been living apart for the past 18 months.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mississauga or Abu Ghraib?

According to The Star, employees of Mississauga's transportation and works department were tied up with duct tape, spanked until they were bruised and humiliated, at the behest of a supervisor for over five years. The Ministry of Labour and Peel Region Police did nothing after viewing a videotape of one of the attacks. Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion admits that the city knew about the video back in 2009. Investigations were conducted by the MOL, police and by the city, and "action" was taken by the city, but the supervisor, Domenic Galamini was NOT fired. McCallion declined to specify what action was taken by the city.

In the words of SNL's Seth Myers and Amy Poehler: "REALLY?" Physical and psychological TORTURE of employees isn't a fireable offense? What the heck do you have to do to get fired from there? "Well, no one was actually killed..."

It's international news and people are jailed when American soldiers do it in an Iraq prison, but a supervisor doing this to his employees in a major North American city is worthy of what? A suspension? A note on his record?

This is why government employees (and unions) have such a bad reputation. I mean seriously - use some damned logic, people!