Oil making the world go round; HIV in South Africa; Nesting impulses


AIDS ribbons

My SUV-owning father just pointed me to this great video from British stand-up comedian & political activist Robert Newman entitled “A History of Oil: The terrifying 100 year history brought to life”. It’s a great mix of comedy and serious commentary on petroleum politics & peak oil. The live stage show in London even featured pedal-powered lighting — Newman asks them to speed up or slow down as the mood requires. grin A quote, to whet your interest:

And the guy next door said, “I’ll tell you this much about the United States, we are sure bringing about world unity. ‘Cause the one thing that unites the entire planet — hatred of us. It’s like you all became one big nation called ‘The rest of the world’.” And I said to him, “Well, actually, we did. In fact, we’ve got our own flag.” He went, “Oh yeah? What is it?” I said, “Same as yours, but on fire.”
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Today’s depressing news clip: 40% of South Africa’s public sector believe HIV/AIDS has been cured. I suppose this is what you get when your head of state doesn’t think HIV causes AIDS, your Health Minister tells you a diet of olive oil, garlic and lemons works better than anti-retroviral therapy, and your former Deputy President states during his trial for raping an HIV positive woman that he didn’t use a condom because he took a shower after sex and thus couldn’t become infected. Way to live in denial, guys.

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Back on the home front, Shannon and I have successfully booked a moving van for the last week of June, despite the fact that by bizarre convention most people in Québec move on or around the July 1st long weekend (about 4% of households do this in any given year). I had been worried that the van wouldn’t be back in time for us to pick up, but since it’s moving season we had to sign a contract agreeing to pay $100 per hour if we return it late, where “late” means “by 10 minutes”, so we should be fine. We’ve finished planting the garden behind our house (mint, morning glories, tomatoes, peppers, basil, beans, and a few other herbs) and have made a good start on the one in front which we left to the weeds last year. We’ve also been pouring over paint chips as we make plans to redo a few rooms, hopefully before Shannon moves in. It’s exciting to be making plans to live together! It’s also exciting to travel to see friends and family; I’ve arranged a rideshare and a couch to crash on for Nikita’s wedding in Toronto this Saturday, and made plans to spend Sunday and Monday with my family in KW after that. And tonight Shannon and I have plans to go see the circus — life is good.

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