Yay! The same-sex marriage bill finally cleared the House of Commons this evening! I realize this was on many levels just a symbolic gesture but it’s exciting to me nevertheless. This will make us nation number three to allow equal access to marriage — at times like this I’m reminded that for all its faults, Canada’s not such a bad place to live.
Shannon and I spent a nice weekend with some friends at the Mastigouche provincial wildlife reserve. It was too hot to do much, so we just camped beside a lake and swam a lot. Two friends from Pakistan got to hear their first loon calls, which hopefully made up for simultaneously experiencing their first deerfly bites. One of them also saw a bear in the woods, fortunately from a safe distance. I couldn’t get over how sandy the soil was there, making the lake bottom not only pleasant but highly reflective, which made for excellent visibility while swimming under water. I know that sometimes lakes are clear because they’re dead (for example, due to acid rain), but as far as I could tell this one was okay. We had a lot of fun watching little fishies, tadpoles, and other assorted marine life cavort in the shallows.
Interesting: a commercial street in Vienna near a co-worker’s house is ad-free for two weeks. The artist’s webpage shows a few photos of the actual installation, plus some from other shopping areas around the world edited to show you what they would look like without commercial signs. It makes you realize just how pervasive advertising is.
I just watched The Yes Men documentary. I can’t believe the things these people get away with: by running fake web pages for George W. Bush, the WTO, and DOW Chemicals, they’ve collected speaking invitations to conferences all over the world, which they gleefully accept. You would think that if you invite someone from the WTO to speak, and they show up in a gold lamé leisure suit with a three foot phallus which they tell you is to be used to manage a remote workforce using electric shocks, that you would think something was up — but you would be wrong. Anyways, recommended viewing.