Dreaming after Model United Nations

This model United Nations, like the last, I was hoping to fall in love. I’m only dreaming though, that kind of thing doesn’t happen twice very often. Nevertheless, I was on the lookout. I was seated beside a very cute Italy, and before the conference met a tall elegant United States, who said we would naturally be best friends. Unfortunately she was joking because I was actually the Islamic Republic of Iran. Italy was later moved across from me, and it turned out that the United tates had a boyfriend. We also all live approximately eight hours away from me. I know neither of their last names

The two days past incredibly quickly, and now I find myself on a bus back to the TOR, travelling through Quebec. Suddenly, my bus stops working, out of battery, just like most of us after this conference. We begin waiting and it gets colder. Even though its mid-March there is still way too much snow. I look around the bus. Out of forty kids there are three girls, there was supposed to be four but one had to bail. One I try to avoid, she makes me feel bad about humanity. The other one avoids me, I think I make her feel disappointed, we used to be friends but we never bothered to continue the relationship. There’s also one girl in my grade, but we just don’t talk, other than a couple words. She used to go out with my friend, but even then I never bothered to speak to her. She’s very quiet and it surprised me when she came. I refuse to talk to her though, its been too long since I’ve known her.

There’s also a barn and a house nearby. We decide to knock on the door to check if we can have a place to temporarily stay away from the cold. It sounds like the beginning of a horror story.

We knock and a pretty teenage girl answers the door. She seems very perky and asks us what we want, in the back we here some French show she must have been watching. Alors, most kids on the bus don’t speak French. I’m in the only French class in my grade, which has six people. There’s another kid who understands French, he grew up in a French Immersion school, he actually was France in a different committee. We tell her that our bus broke down and we would really enjoy a place to warm up. The girl explains that she will not let us into her home; we would later discern between ourselves that this was probably because her parents were away, and so many teenagers would create a naturally unsafe environment. France asks permission for us to stay in the barn. The Quebecois teenager hesitates for a moment and then relents and leads us anglophone teens into her barn. There’s not much in the room but for straw or her, I’m a city kid I don’t know the difference. My mind however is full of calculations, if the bus needs a battery it will probably take an hour to arrive, that gives me an hour to create a meaningful relationship, not nearly enough time. Dammit, even in my dreams I cannot create lasting relationships with girls.

Maybe we can become French pen-pals.

Modeh Ani after shabbos

Sometimes I really don’t think people care about what they are saying as much as they should.  For instance last night, after havdallah, a group of kids began singing the song “|Modeh Ani”.  I don’t have a personal problem with Modeh Ani, it is a moving song that I enjoy as much as the next guy but singing it after Shabbat does not make sense. There is a kabbalistic (I say kabbalistic but there are multiple sources) in which we learn that for Shabbat  one gains an extra soul.  After Shabbat G-d takes it back, which is why we feel the need to fill that gap with things like partying. As K-OS says “Every day is Saturday night but I can’t wait for Sunday morning.”

Now you need to realize that in Modeh Ani we thank G-d “SheChezartah Bi Nishmati”, which translates as us thanking G-d for returning to us our souls.  This is derived from the concept that our souls “migrate” during the night to heaven.  So I just think it is a little misguided to thank G-d for returning your soul after he takes away your soul

Dworbit- A new concept

Dworbits is the depiction of life after a certain solar explosion. Due to how large the explosion was, a major part of Earth’s crops became burnt. As well mutations have been occurring more and more frequently, especially mutations of size. Suddenly it has become normal to stop growing after age 4, as well; many of those in their “Golden years” have resumed growing. It is a common site to find fifth graders with a height of 6 ft, and people 8 ft high are nowhere near as uncommon as they once were. Of course there are other mutations but due to the high amount of exposure most of them have died.
Because of the large amount of the Sun that has been incinerated by itself, the Sun lost a good deal of its gravity. This doesn’t directly affect anyone very much, naturally the tides are a bit lower, and the year, a bit longer but overall what really affected the people was the matter of where the gravity went. Energy, unlike matter, can never disappear. So where did the gravity go? Well most of it went to the Sun, some to Mercury, some to Venus, but a good deal of it managed to make it to Earth, not to mention the moon, and the space station Lucky Strike. Out of the gravity that hit Earth, some five million humans, not to mention all kinds of objects and animals obtained gravitational force. Some five million more humans obtained a dangerous amount of radiation. The increased gravity resulted in some things weighing more than others, causing some to die from their own weights.
Another effect was that certain people, objects and animals, especially the larger ones, began getting their own orbits. People would put various things in their orbits, like lunches or suitcases. Out in the wild, animals whom were strong enough to survive their gravities began to adapt to make use of gravity in their own way. Various predators have been observed using their orbits to ensnare and capture prey. Herbivores have been using their orbits to hold food, or in the case of some elephants, entire trees. Other animals have even taken to tossing rocks into their orbits to protect themselves, or possibly to attract mates, who knows? After all they are animals. The sapient world has also changed. In fashion culture, wearing a “ring of Saturn” is a symbol of power and elegance. Laws had to be reviewed, is shoplifting the same as accidentally catching an object in one’s orbit? Real Estate also had its own question to answer now that it was not uncommon for houses to circle around houses. But probably the greatest change occurred in the organized crime circuits.
It began in the underground circles, a game that would instantly have been outlawed with vigour if any of the people had been anything but the atypical perversions of the dredges of human society. One promoter had an idea, to use the new gravity to his advantage. The idea was simple really; you take a midget and put him in a large person’s centre of gravity. They would immediately be caught in the larger persons orbit. Then you get another Gravitant (a person with an abnormal centre of gravity) and a midget. You put the two Gravitants side by side and watch as the midgets collide, and whichever midget gets knocked unconscious first loses. The best part for an underground organization; you can do it against the will of the midgets, who can simply be tossed into orbit or even the Gravitants, who can be tied up. There have been cases where the midgets have been unnaturally thrust out of orbit, causing abnormal blood tides in Gravitants bodies, as well as bruising and concussions on the midgets. This “game” is called Dworbits. This has also led to a certain amount of racism towards midgets.
Cults have also been popping up, proclaiming this the beginning of the end, or a visitation by aliens or something. The main problem has been the cult of “Returners” who have decided it’s their mission to return the gravity to the sun. They do this by killing Gravitants, after which the energy leaves their body and goes to the nearest feasible source. The returners do their best to ensure that the energy goes to the earth. I say that the energy seems to return to the nearest feasible source, but what does that mean? Feasible seems to mean at least as much mass as the object it previously occupied, however there are exceptions. If the object is destroyed in multiple places at once- such as in the case of the sun- it will go into objects with at least as much mass as the size it was cut to. To capture the energy the Returners require a larger object than anything that has gravity, as well as being transportable. The Returners have found the perfect object to use is the planet Earth. After they collect all the gravity onto Earth it is unclear what they will do.

Public transit is going in the wrong direction

The Toronto star, as of last Thursday I believe, published an article about how the province will be funding the Toronto transit.  This has caused an abnormal amount of controversy.  There have been comments about how paying for the transit through instituting gas taxes, or maybe by creating a special tax for people who live near the transit utilities.  Personally I don’t see how it’s fair to ask car owners to pay for the fare of bus users, but I also don’t think you can ask people who simply live close to stations to shoulder the tax for a right that every person in this country has a right to, and probably will use, (unless by some rare chance you happen to be Dr. Sheldon Cooper).  My own region, York, has chosen a third option, to increase the bus fare of the YRT, or “yurt” as we fondly call it, to a grand total of $4.  Initially this seems like a great idea, I pay when I use it after all.  But it’s the exact wrong direction, Toronto, as well as cities all over the world, should be working on making bus tickets cheaper, regardless of inflation. 

The argument for this is based around the idea that public transport is a right, so why should we pay for it any differently than any other right?  Why do I need to pay money to go to the doctor who I then see for free?  Should I need to buy a bus ticket so that I can get the right to vote?  Clearly paying for tickets is a method that out-dates the current times.  And besides, I really do not want to see the day when I hand over a fiver to only get as far as Finch station.  As one reader wrote in, “the only people who take the transit nowadays are the people who cannot afford cars.”  These are the people who are paying these absurd fares, it feel like we’re being held hostage by the York region.  

It isn’t like there are not other reasons for free transit.  How about safer, cleaner roads that occupy less area.  And on these roads are trained drivers rather than you’re usual riff-raff G2 owner who has never been on a highway before.  Road maintenance would cost less because so many people would take the transit.  

When I was in Portland, Oregon the fare was one dollar.  Knowing that as long as I had a single dollar left on me I could afford to take transit really encouraged me to use their system, how much more so if it had been free.  Imagine how many people would be taking the transit, Toronto would become a lot less polluted and because nearly everyone would be using the transit, it pretty much pays for itself.  And the environmental factor would be huge, the largest city in Canada would suddenly have a lot less pollution; Canada might actually get a good name environmentally.

Of course, not many politicians back this up, many are under the influence of the investment of automobile companies, if that was not evident from the 2008 bailout, (which I’m not outright criticizing).  These companies would, understandably suffer because of the free local transport, but in reality the amount of cars being bought should already be dropping, people no longer see a car as a symbol of freedom, but more as it actually is, a method of going from one place to another.  People who value cars as a symbol of freedom will continue to buy them, while people who think they are useless are already on the edge, maybe working from home, using bus passes conservatively, carpooling, or catching a ride with friends, are simply waiting for the price to drop.  And, let’s be real- car prices are not going to drop anytime soon.  Maybe the industry would suffer, but there would be another industry would get a chance to thrive.  Maybe one day Canada will be known for its durable, economical, and environmentally friendly buses.  

Also, if transportation is free, people will be encouraged to step out what they think of as their physical boundary, and explore job options in other areas of the city, an encouragement that Canadian youth sorely need, with their stagnant unemployment rate.