Archive | August 2013

Rhetoric. 28 August 2013

Hello folks, and welcome to another edition of the column. Today we will be looking at the article from CBC that talks about a young boy from China who had his eyes gouged out. This truth cannot be stressed enough; the world is not all peaches and cream, and it is important to protect the young, especially when they are at that age. There are people out there who have malicious intents, and they will prey on young children if they are not taught how to stay safe, or if they are not supervised, or a combination of both. They are our most important resource, for they will discover new leads in our bid to understand ourselves as humans, they will run our country when we are all old and grey, they will defend our nation when a threat emerges, and they will bring about further progress in our society: to this end we owe them this much, and we must keep them safe, and teach them these valuable skills when it comes to identifying strangers and potential threats to their safety.

stranger-danger

Now I know most schools in Canada conduct this sort of personal safety training; the stranger danger philosophy, and other bits of information most commonly delivered via assemblies during school hours, but parents and/or guardians please keep an eye on your child. Bullying will look like nothing when a child loses their eyesight, or any vital organ of their body.

When I read a story like this, it strikes home the message of how lucky I am to be living in a country like Canada, and while this country is not perfect, it is hell of a lot better than some of the other options out there in the world. War, famine, political unrest, and the black market; all these things are a threat to peace and stability. Yet we are very fortunate to be free of most of that in our country, very fortunate. Make no mistake though, this is not a free ticket to let down your guard, for scum like the woman who gouged out the eyes of the little boy can also end up in Canada as well: documents can be forged, identities stolen, and various other entrance methods acquired via fraud, intimidation, or payment.

The more I think about this, the more I seem to lean towards supporting a sort of judge Dredd-like entity in this day and age. Yes the arguments then arise of civil liberties, and so forth. Yet we see people do much horrible things to children, and organized crime running rampant, for they know that the legal system will always allow them to have a lawyer, and a good one too if they can afford it. These lawyers are not in the interest of the law, rather they are there for the money, and thus we see a revolving door. With the Dredd-like entity, when tackling organized crime, they can deliver swift justice on the spot: while regular police officers are left to handle the civilian populace, and thus we have separated the hardcore from the non-hardcore who deserve a second chance.

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Right now my mind is running with ideas of how to deal with such vile, disgusting animals such as that woman, but setting up a Dredd-like force will take months of planning and preparation; time that may not be readily available, not to mention the cost associated with the new organization. Perhaps Interpol, or the organized crime department should be granted such powers? War criminals and organized crime heads get this “special” treatment, all the while the regular civilian populace will NOT see their liberties disappear, nor will these branches touch them in any way, shape, or form. A special gift to mafia heads looking to escape justice: the bullet will send you to your god on the other side from now on.

Anyways folks, this is just me ranting on about a “solution” on how to tackle such problems, but you be the judge on this matter: would a Judge Dredd-like force benefit us? Does this segregated approach work? Will it help reduce this sort of barbaric behaviour? Questions to be answered, but I will leave you with the article, and let this be the end of the rant. Thank you all for reading, and I shall see you next time.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/08/28/china-boys-eyes-gouged.html

Off the Record. 28 August 2013

Hello folks; I just wanted to put this little piece out before I head off to the Borderlands – yes I am still playing that game, and since I have discovered matchmaking, I will not stop anytime soon. Today we will be covering the subject of youtubers and how their job is just like any other job. Earlier I watched a video from Totalbiscuit, who explained that people who tend to call out video commentary work as: “not real work” is in fact jealous that the youtuber’s job is more interesting.

jobs in the uk

This is true for the most part as many jobs out there which are “real” jobs are quite mundane and non-fulfilling. More often than not – for the sake of survival – jobs people take up tend to be cashiers work or line cook, both of which do not offer as much professional freedom as a youtuber, or a writer. However I must point out that “mundane” work is stable, and provides money for the worker who – at the end of the day – can then use it to purchase goods and services should they desire. When people complain about bills, keep in mind that you are purchasing a service, for the hydroelectric company worker does not have to be there to fix the generators if you are not paying the bill; they would be off doing some other line of work if there was no money coming from the hydroelectric company.

This piece may seem all over the place but there is a purpose to the madness, and that is work is work. When looking at youtube, yes it may seem like it is not “real work,” but remember that there is a ton of editing work put into the video just to squeeze out that little bit of revenue. Ad money also fluctuates depending on the market that day, and the job is not – overall – stable like working as a trades person, or a clerk. What I am aiming at here is do not be jealous people; these commentators need to make a living too, and they just happen to get the luck of the draw when it comes to careers. However, their line of work can – at times – be unstable as traditional forms of media attempt to marginalize and harass these new forms of media all in a bid to survive the turn of the century. Times are changing, and the “old guard,” that being newspapers and television, are slowly dying out.

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Besides people, like Totalbiscuit says, do you really want another several thousand folks competing in the same job market as you? The market is still terrible at this time, and more people are flushing into the market who have better qualifications than you, or who are younger and more energetic than you are; let the youtubers have their jobs, because you sure as hell do not need anymore competition from college graduates, immigrants, high school grads, and – at times – seniors looking to recover their lost finances when the market bubble burst in 2008. Besides, like a movie star, they provide entertainment, and that makes life interesting; as does vacationing, enjoying a good meal, and finding the right spouse in life. Thanks for reading folks, and I will see you next time.

Telegraphed Gazette Column. 22 August 2013.

Hello folks and welcome to another edition of the column for the 22nd of August, 2013. Today I will be discussing a recent issue with a MacDonalds in Richmond, British Columbia, and how it reflects negatively on a certain group of people. Earlier today while I was at the gym, a friend pointed out an article to me in 24 hours – a local paper – about a woman in Richmond who cited discrimination when she could not get her order right at a MacDonalds. While the fast food chain tried to sit down with this individual, she instead decided to go to the media and broadcast her side of the story; something the news media was all to eager to jump on board.

BC_2001954

Now this friend of mine, his girlfriend works at this branch, and she was there when the event took place. The truth was that the lady spoke poor English, and could not communicate properly with the staff at the branch. They did try to decode her order, but in the end she stormed out in protest. Now the lady is calling for the branch in Richmond to hire Mandarin-speaking staff only for that branch: which is located in Canada. Lady just because you “think” you are a big shot, does not mean that a fast food chain will cater to you alone. This country – Canada – speaks English, or if you are in Quebec or New Brunswick, French. The employees never asked you to leave, you did so on your own will. There was no sign of hostility from the employees; you however decided to go forth with this allegation when you went to the media, so do not try and act like you were in the right here.

Now normally I would simply brush this off as a case of a foreigner trying to get some camera time, however my concern is that this will reflect badly on the Chinese-Canadian – or Canadian-Chinese, if you prefer – community living in the lower mainland, in and around Richmond. Now I know that people will not jump to conclusions on this, but there is that risk of a few – at times aggressive, at times passive – individuals who would decide to seek a sort of “revenge” if you will for what just happened. Granted nothing violent came out of it, but there is that risk.

Ultimately if you are visiting, or living in a foreign country, you must understand that they may not – and/or do not – speak your language. That is something that you need to understand if you are to avoid making a fool of yourself in front of the cameras. The majority trumps the minority, and rightfully so; for the majority is the main source of tax dollars, personnel, support, and culture. The choice for this lady will be to either like it, or leave it; for her loud shouting and protest will only succeed in upsetting the majority, and put the minority community at risk for hostile language and/or verbal violence.

Anyways folks that is all I wanted to say for this edition of the column. Thank you for reading, have a safe weekend, and I will see you next time.

Telegraphed Gazette: Column. 14 August 2013

Hello folks, and welcome to another edition of the column. Today we will be looking at the issue of the Translink in the lower mainland of British Columbia, and their push to make the compass card more widely used. The issue that arises from this push is that their machines cannot validate paper bus transfers which are received after a cash payment has been given upon boarding any Translink bus in the lower mainland.

The spokesperson from Translink stated that it was too expensive for the company to upgrade all their fare boxes; thus the result will be that if a passenger is to board a bus, and then a Skytrain, they will need to pay twice. These transfers cannot be traded in, nor will there be any form of discounts available to the transfer holder. The spokesperson however noted that there will be a transitional period in which both payment options – cash, and compass card – will be accepted as they proceed to teach the general public on how to use the compass card in their daily commute.

Now this is all fine and dandy if the passenger is from the lower mainland, but what about guests and tourists from abroad? Normally when I travel to a country, the only form of payment I have available to me is usually cash or credit, since I am not a local and may not have known about these little bits and pieces of information. Now the compass card – or at least the concept of it – is not new to the developed world as cities such as Hong Kong have been using it for the past decade now, way before Translink even considered this new form of payment.

What I find interesting about Translink’s strategy is that they wish to go all in with the compass card, and state that their machines will be too expensive to make compatible with the tickets. Last time I took the Skytrain, there was this small blue box which validated tickets for the Skytrain, as well as bus services. Perhaps a combination of the two, with one or two lanes set aside for transfer users so that they can still pass through the gate with their transfers? All those upgrades, and still no one thought about this potential issue creeping up?

However, it is said in the article that the transitional period will also be a time when retailers will begin to stock compass cards – monthly, and pre-loadable. Thus I suppose the issue can be solved by positioning retail stalls in airports, and bus terminals, where visitors can gain access to these items before departing the transfer point and entering the transit system. Then the next step will be figuring out how to effectively host a public awareness campaign in order to promote the compass card, and finally phase out paper-based transfers. While there is a degree of frustration related to this topic, let us hope that translink – during the transitional period, or before – can reach a solution where the loss of cash payment transfers will not affect the local populace who commute to work daily using their services. The link to the full article is located in the URL below.

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/08/13/skytrain-wont-take-bus-transfers-with-new-compass-card-system?fb_action_ids=10153124337945541&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B171055329747353%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.recommends%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

 

Thank you folks for reading, and I will see you next time.

Update. 8 August 2013

Hello folks;

Well this is embarrassing, I said I would do a review of Borderlands 2, and I have not. The truth is I have stopped playing Borderlands 2, and have moved onto Rising Storm – an expansion to Red Orchestra 2. Now the game Rising Storm rotates around the idea of asymmetric warfare: where the Americans have all the firepower, but the Japanese have access to risky tactics both guerrilla and conventional. The level of realism in the game is what the Red Orchestra 2 title hinges on; the idea that combat in the game is as realistic as possible, and where your character is never bullet spongy.

The game itself is quite easy to learn, and painfully difficult to master as the slightest wrong move can get you killed either by bleeding out while still mobile, or by a shot to the head. Unlike the more common games like Call of Duty or Halo, Rising Storm relies on the realism and asymmetric warfare to attract players looking for a challenge, and where others can test their abilities in battle which can be transferred to other games which rely on a quick trigger finger and a sound tactical mind: Counter Strike being one of the said games.

Aside from that, there really is not a whole lot to talk about regarding Rising Storm: like Red Orchestra 2 there is a level system – though not as relevant as the level system in Planetside 2. The combat is realistic, there is asymmetric warfare, and graphically it is not as shiny as Call of Duty or Halo. However if you are interested in a challenging shooter that will punish you for rushing into the fray, then Rising Storm/Red Orchestra 2 – they grouped the two games together on Steam – will be the answer to your request. Right now it only costs 20 dollars USD, so it will not run you into the ground.

Now onto some blog-related news: I have received a comment which states that some of the text has been running off screen. Now I had a look at the articles in the blog, and it does not seem to run off the screen on my end. I do run Firefox, and checking the browser google chrome, I do not see that issue appearing either. However I did notice on chrome that a couple of links seem to run off screen, which can be problematic. Rest assured that I will work on fixing the issue, but in the mean time folks do expect links to articles and websites to run off screen as I do copy and paste them from a word document as the actual blog program itself – from earlier experience – will not register the link, and a reader will have to copy the address into their browser as clicking it will yield no results. Despite the length of time working on this blog, the infrastructure is still – somewhat – strange and unforgiving. However the links themselves are still useable and will bring you to the said website once accessed. Anyways folks that concludes this update for the 8th of August 2013: the name has been Vince, and I will see you next time.