Speaking Of Fish...

Here's video of a, well, National Geographic calls it a, uh, "weird fish with a transparent head".

Click here to go to the National Geographic Web site to see the, erm, fish.

Let's Kill The Oceans

Disturbing but hardly surprising news as our species (that'd be humans) continues to make the case we're just too dumb and awful to live.

Today's ecological stupidity: overfishing, which is now starving top of the food chain predators like dolphins, sharks and even seabirds.

From the Canadian Press story:

"This is the first time that we're seeing a worldwide trend that more and more large animals are going hungry," Margot Stiles, a marine biologist at Oceana and the author of the report, said from Washington, D.C.

More here. (Toronto Star)

Aside from the appalling ethics involved in unnecessarily wiping out whole species to feed our overpopulated and greedy selves, there's the self-preservation question: when we turn oceanic food chains upside down, you can bet there will be consequences for us. One small example: bluefin tuna, which feed on herring, are in trouble enough just from overfishing. And now we're making sure they starve? Kiss your sashimi goodbye, buddy.

A bigger worry: if we can't manage our fishing now before the crisis hits, what's going to happen when we truly do start to run out of traditional commercially-caught fish? Keep fishing until everything's gone?

That does not sound to me like a wise plan. But it does sound disturbingly plausible.

I'm no expert but it seems to me the solution lies in aggressively-enforced international treaties limiting fish harvests and the generous establishment of protected areas to give wildlife a chance to recover from our predation. Basically like national parks, but international and in the oceans.

Also, aggressively shifting to growing/raising food locally as much as is possible/reasonable would seem to be sensible.
And not acting like out-of-control evolved primates with poor impulse control might be an idea too.

Forget right and wrong. Responsible management of resources--be they water, timber or fish stocks--is critical to the long-term survival of humanity. When billions of us collectively act like shoplifting 10-year olds in a very small corner store, the shop that is this planet will soon run out of inventory.
And I promise, this future will not be fun. Let's try for a better one.


I learned to use Twitter AND I CAN'T STOP!!! Currently I'm following Hugh Laurie (who is clearly blogging from the "House" set), John Cleese (with updates on his teeth), David Lynch (and his handy forecast for L.A.), and the best of them all, Rainn Wilson, who is addicted to the device. Twitter is like Facebook without the pointless applications. By the way, if somebody feels like following me, find me under jicastillo.

Six In The Morning

Special March edition, with extra sarcasm!

1 CUT OFF First Nations University of Canada, which abbreviates its name as FNUniv in violation of internationally agreed-upon acronym conventions, has had its funding suspended by the provincial government until they restructure their board of directors to something resembling what an FSIN report asked for three years ago. (The Star Phoenix)

2 THE "R" WORD Here's a surprise--Canada's economy shrunk 3.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2008. (CBC)

3 NOT GOING TO HAPPEN Canada's prime minister says the Taliban can't be defeated. But, um, if Obama asks us to stay beyond our withdrawal deadline, we'll, ah, listen to his request. (Globe And Mail)

4 KEEP THEM LEGAL Canada's safety minister says use of electric torture-murder devices, that is, tasers, shouldn't be suspended just because sometimes someone gets killed (and not by tasers but from "excited delerium, whatever made-up thing that is). (National Post)

5 YOU CAN'T DO IT LIKE THAT The International Criminal Court is trying to figure out if it can investigate Israel for war crimes in the late 2008-early 2009 attack on Gaza. Meawhile, the Red Cross is compiling unflattering reports on both Israel and Hamas. Oh--and Israel's prime minister might be charged for accepting envelopes stuffed with cash. Busy busy! (The Guardian)

6 FUN WITH SOLDIERS Looks like there's been a military coup in Guinea Bissau. The army denies a coup is under way but since soldiers have killed the country's president and the borders are closed we'll let you draw your own conclusions. Guinea-Bissau is significant for being a massive conduit for South American nose-candy and drug money, but how that could make a small African country unstable is unclear and, frankly, baffling. (New York Times)

(Edited to repair poor spelling)

This Week at City Hall

Tues, Mar 3:
Finance and Administration Committee (12:15 pm): Considering a request to provide tax exemption status to a condominium development in the Warehouse District and a request by Regina's taxi companies that the committee approve a fare increase.
Green Ribbon Community Climate Change Advisory Committee (1:15 pm): Considering the committee's 2008 annual report.
Development Appeals Board Hearing (5:30 pm)

Wed, Mar 4:
Executive Committee Meeting (11:45 am): Considering 2009's property tax reassesment policy as well some of the niggly details to do with October's municipal election.
Regina Urban Environment Advisory Council (5:30 pm)
Paratransit Advisory Board (5:30 pm)

Thur, Mar 5:
Transit Advisory Board (6:30 pm)

You can attend and present at any of these meetings. Full agendas and the reports under consideration can be found here.

Slumdog... Again

Dear dog-groupies;

So I decided to catch "Slumdog Millionaire" again. I saw it for the first time four months ago and I wasn't that impressed. I didn't even include it in my Best of 2008 list. But how could 5,000 members of the Academy be wrong? Wait a minute... They have! ("Shakespeare in Love" instead of "Saving Private Ryan", "Dance with Wolves" as opposed to "GoodFellas"... I could go on.)

Anyway. Guess what. "Slumdog" holds up pretty well. The rather underappreciated acting it's not half bad (Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor is a hoot as the hammy host.) And Freida Pinto can't really act, but her stunning beauty keeps you staring to the screen in awe.

"Slumdog" is not the best Danny Boyle movie. "Trainspotting" is a genuine classic, and the terrific "Shallow Grave", "28 Days Later", and "Sunshine" are superior. But his Oscar victory hopefully will allow Boyle do whatever he wants. What about that sequel of "Trainspotting", "Porno"? Irvine Welsh already wrote it... Somebody has to rescue Robert Carlyle from doing "Stargate" for chrisakes.