Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Northern and Geek News

While it's been several months since I was a salaried reporter, I've still viewed myself as a journalist, even though I'm working in another profession. It's just one of those things. Being a journalist kind of stays in the blood. However, I think my skills have now officially rusted to the point that I'm becoming concerned.

Someone got tasered in front of my apartment building and I didn't know anything about it until I heard the news on CBC today. Seems there was a fight in front of the Storehouse bar (which is just below our apartment) on Saturday night around 1 a.m. The RCMP showed up, one of the participants in the fight took a knife and held it to his own throat and threatened to kill himself.

So the police tasered him.

Meanwhile, three stories upwards, I'm playing Civilizations with the windows open because it's warm in the apartment, and I don't hear a thing.

sigh I find that quite depressing. Then again, it could be worse....I could have been the guy who was tasered.

Believe it or not, someone being tasered (I love saying that word, by the way) wasn't even my favourite story from the North today. No, the story about a teacher in Salluit, an Inuit community in northern Quebec, getting in hot water because he taught evolution in school would be the one that does the trick. It's been strongly suggested that he not teach evolution in quite as much detail as he had previously. Go here to read the story.

My favourite quote? "I don't personally accept my children being taught that they came from some species from Africa somewhere. Here in the North there is no such thing as monkeys."

Oh...my....well, whatever you believe in...That level of ignorance drives me nuts.

You know, I appreciate that I should be sensitive to Inuit culture. But it's science class. You teach science in that class, not religion. Evolution is the reality, no matter what others might like you to believe. I'd mention intelligent design, but since senior member of the Catholic Church have said its ridiculous and Jon Stewart has so thoroughly mocked in this past year, I just can't take that argument seriously.

Honestly, this anti-evolution stuff drives me nuts. The school is in northern Quebec, but Nunavut has also become a lot more religious in the past decade. If a racket over evolution hasn't happened here yet, I won't be surprised to see it occur sometime in the next year or so.

One more reason for me not to be a teacher. If I had a parent come in and say I can't teach evolution to her child because she doesn't believe in it, I may well go mad and do something I would regret.

Anyway, a couple of bits of geek news:

1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season Eight. Really. Honestly. Just not, ummmm, as a TV show. According to this story Buffy creator Joss Whedon is doing a six part comic book mini-series based on what happened to Buffy and the gang in the year after the end of the show. Could be worth a look. Whedon isn't a bad comic book writer. And it's harder than you might think to go from writing novel, movies and TV to go to comic books. Look for it in October.

2. More Superman, this time it's the international trailer. You'll see some of the same scenes as in the older trailer, but lots of new neat ones, including the final shot. And boy, the flying scenes look good.

3. I can successfully change the battery in an iPod Mini. Hardly earth-shattering news, I know, but I'm still quite impressed. Cathy's Mini has always been a bit touchy. I blame the combination of a week in the Dominican quickly followed by two months in the Arctic. So the Mini hasn't been holding a charge well. But I went and ordered a new battery, followed the very bad instructions (at least three typos), successfully replaced it and it now works fine.

Yes, it's a small thing. But as I have no mechanical inclination whatsoever, I think this is quite the accomplishment.


Way Way Up said...

I've read the same story regarding the teaching of evolution in Nunavik with great interest. Its all very silly and stupid. I grit my teeth at the school I work in everytime the issue comes up. I have to sit and listen to a prayer in the morning the school I work at(some sorta Charter violation going on here) but man how dare I open up young minds to new ways of thinking.

Jason said...

I love the taser bit Craig. It would have been perfect if while you were playing you said, "hmm slight buzzing sound wonder what that is?"

Superman trailer, I assume you mean the eye bit which I though was amazing.

As for the evolution bit, I agree fustrating but again when you sign on for a different culture there are things you may disagree with but you have to except it. Case in point: there is no Israel, there is a Palestine, there is a Israel embassy and post office where I am. BUT there is no Israel when talking to people, it is referred to as Palestine. I may know that it is different elsewhere but I don't try to challenge it here.

Do we want everyone to agree on everything or do we accept that some people see the world very differently then we do?

Brian said...

Just a word on Inuit Culture.
There seems to be some confusion about what is Inuit culture these days. Is Inuit Culture, with a mix of Christianity thrown in, really Inuit Culture?
To my mind it is not.
Some would say that decision should be left to the Inuit; some would say that seeing as European cultures introduced Christianity to the north then it everybody’s right to have input.
No easy answers, but it’s great that TB has had the foresight to write about it.

Anonymous said...

I did not agree with your generalization about Inuit. Many Inuit believe in the evolution theory. It is never good to generalize about a race, any race.