Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Insurance Companies

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Vancouver Sun: Allergy sufferers on guard against storm of pollen

For at least the last week I have had what I initially thought was a cold. It went away and then it came back on Monday with a vengeance. Itchy eyes, runny nose, a weird feeling in my throat.

The weird, itchy feeling in my throat got worse, and I started to think that I had asthma. I have never had asthma. Why do I have asthma now, all of a sudden?, I thought to myself. In my distressed state of mind I concluded that my asthma was the result of toxic black mold in my walls. Sometimes I become very dramatic and arrive at very negative conclusions with a feirce certainty.

Stephen Rees saved me. I sent complaints about my symptoms out into the twittersphere and he responded with a link to this Vancouver Sun article about seasonal allergies.

I hope the rain pulls some of the excess pollen out of the air.

Also, maybe this post will cause people to arrive at this blog from google searches for allergies. Right now I'm the top result for anemia self diagnosis.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Electric Cars will Save Us?

Suppose that Vancouver became the North American capital for electric vehicles. It would be great, right? Everything would be better! Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson tweets:

inspired by low/zero emission vehicles at car show today. we must be north amer capital for electric vehicles!

If overnight every car in Vancouver became electric (or even some magic hypothetical car that runs on nothing and produces no emissions) the city would not change. People would still drive their cars around at 60+kph while talking on cellphones, and the city's number one priority would continue to be the automobile. Yes, I know that Vancouver professes something different (City Council has set a list of transportation priorities in the following order: pedestrian, bicycle, transit, movement of goods, and private automobile) but take a look around.

I may have said this here before, but: we basically live in a car-dominated dystopia. The number of deaths from car crashes in Canada is of the same order as deaths from breast cancer (3000 vs. 5000 per year). There are no special coins produced by the Canadian Mint to raise awareness of car crashes, though.

Walk around your neighbourhood some time and try to look at it through the eyes of someone from 100 years ago. Every single piece of ground where parking is not prohibited is occupied by an idle car. Think about that. Does it seem strange to you? Would any of this change if the fuel the cars use was changed?