Archive for the 'The World At Large' Category

40 million dollars will buy you….

Just a mere 40 million dollars will buy you this home. 

This house, located in Dubai, is approximately 3000 Sq. meters, contains 5 bedrooms and six bathrooms. Here’s the kicker, the house includes a private beach and garden, rooftop garden with spa pool, infinity swimming pool, indoor reflecting pools, concealed service quarters, entertainment patios, outdoor dining areas, chef and show kitchens, and outdoor showers.

I just need 6,660 roommates to afford it at the rate of what I pay for rent in Vancouver, BC. I’m starting a sign up list and if we can get that many people on board, we can each have the house to ourselves for 1.3 hours a year. Totally worth it. Who’s in?

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Presidential Candidates: They’re Just Like Us!

I don’t know which magazine it is, it might be inTouch, People, OK! or some silly, sugar-bloated, plastic-encased, time-wasting (yet strangley entertaining) celebrity magazine that has a section called “They’re Just Like Us!” or something to that affect. Any ways, I ran across a fun little article about the potential presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, and their latest interactions, likes and dislikes with things of the pop culture realm. I decided to do a “They’re Just Like Us!: Presidential Edition.”

Just a couple normal guys. That’s all.

In an article by Jake Tapper, a senior national correspondant with ABC News, conducted a candid interview of the presidential hopefuls and their likes and dislikes of a few things of the pop culture world.

Last Movie You Saw:

McCain: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. “I enjoyed that so much. The old guy wins”

Obama: Shrek 3

Favorite Superhero:

McCain: Batman. “He does justice sometimes against insurmountable odds,” McCain says. “And he doesn’t make his good works known to a lot of people, so a lot of people think he’s just a rich playboy.”

Obama: Spiderman and Batman (and dislikes Superman). “The guys who have too many powers, like Superman, that always made me think they weren’t really earning their superhero status.  It’s a little too easy.  Whereas Spider-Man and Batman, they have some inner turmoil.  They get knocked around a little bit.”

First Movie You Saw:

McCain: Bambi. “When his mother was killed,” McCain admits. “Oh, yeah, I cried.”

Obama: Born Free. “I remember that movie having an impact on me,” Obama says. “I think I may have teared up at the end when they release [the lioness] Elsa. I couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5, but I remember choking up on that.”

Favorite Movies/TV Shows

McCain: Movies: Born of the Fourth of July, We Were Soldiers, Full Metal Jacket, Apocolypse Now. (TV SHOWS): Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dexter, Seinfeld.

Obama: M*A*S*H, The Dick Van Dyke Show

Favorite Tunes or On Your iPod:

McCain: ABBA, Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, Usher. “I was on Saturday Night Live with him, got to see him perform, and I was very impressed with him.”

Obama: Frank Sinatra, Sheryl Crow, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Javanese flute music, African dance music, a lot of R&B.

If you want to read the full article, click here!

A sham election

Robert Magabe, one of the Africa’s most notorious leaders, was ‘re-elected’ into his seat as a executive president. Many countries have or are considering ignoring the legitimacy of Magabe’s candidacy due to vote-rigging on top of decades of political unrest and acts of state terror. He has systematically abused the people of Zimbabwe. The chasm between international guarantees of human rights and the abuse instigated by Mugabe against Zimbabweans continue to widen.

Mugabe once compared himself to Hitler in an article by the Daily Telegraph of London. Mugabe said in the article that “this Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold”.

One story about a man, a former Zimbabwean prison guard by the name of Shepherd Yuda, has recently surfaced. He filmed, in secret, vote-rigging at his prison that he worked at. For doing this, he has been forced, along with other fellow prison guards, to flee his country. He was forced to vote for Mugabe by superior officers. The people of Zimbabwe do not have a chance to choose who they want in office and if they attempt to vote for the Mudabe’s opposing party, it might mean death.

Let me paint you a picture of how desperate the times are in Zimbabwe. The horrors the people of Zimbabwe face on a regular basis is exponential. On the financial side, the average income for a Zimbabwean has dropped from $975 in 1990 a year to below $400. The inflation rate continues to soar and is already over 620 percent above normal. The unemployment rate of Zimbabwe is at 70 percent and climbing.

On the health side, accordingly to the World Health Organisation, the life expectancy at birth for Zimbabwean men is 37 years and 34 years for women, the lowest of any country in the world. The life expectancy used to be in the 60’s in 1990. One in four people have HIV and over 4,000 of them day each week because of it. Even though the United States has provided over 400 million dollars in food aid between 2002 to 2007, Mugabe has placed government policies that has directly caused Zimbabwe to have the highest number of people starving to death. He uses international food aid for economic power against Zimbabweans and maniputes the distribution of international and government food aid to benefit his political manueverings. For example, A Zimbabwe citizen cannot have access to food aid unless he or she possesses a registration card that supports Mugabe’s political party.

Also, many consider Mugabe as racist and homophobic because of various comments he has made throughout his history in power. He has systematically attempted to remove the white population from Zimbabwe, who he considers to be enemies of the state.

In 2005, Mugabe drove out 10,000 homeless individuals from their make-shift shelters that he had placed there originally by the Mugabe-installed Operation Murambatsvina (literally meaning: Drive Out the Rubbish). Many of the poor that was displaced from their already-shanty homes to cardboard boxes supported the Movement for Democratic Change opposition party, which further illustrates that the move was politically-driven by Mugabe.

These examples are only the tip of the iceberg of what Mugabe has done to the people of Zimbwabe. I could go on and on about the atrocities that he has inflicted on his people and it would take awhile to go through the endless examples and stories. We may not be able to directly influence or change Zimbabwe, but what I want to point out is how ridiculously lucky/blessed we are to be able to vote, or even more specifically, the freedom to choose whoever we want to govern us. I think we take it for granted. I know I do. I’m a hypocrite, but I want to try.

How lucky are we that we get to vote? We are not impeded by the military, the government or any other outside force to choose who we want in office. The election is around the corner and as always, people are divided by who they want in office, but we should consider the opportunity to vote for the most powerful man on the planet as an honor. With that honor and right to choose, we have the responsibility to research and learn who we best feel represents us and the country. Don’t just cull an opinion from one source. Research the news, talk to people who don’t agree with you, talk to people who agree with you, watch the news, read the news, read books, learn both sides, but ultimately, make a well-informed choice.

Save Water, Change the World

The world is preoccupied by oil. Little do we know that a larger problem looms: the growing worldwide water crisis. We need water to live, but we don’t need oil to live. However, a study by the UN foresees a global water crisis in which two-thirds of the world will have a serious lack of access to drinkable water. That’s about 4 billion people!

The United States is the biggest water waster in the world. Guess who is next? Canada. Little do you know that Canada also doubles the water consumption of all of Europe. I am starting an initiative with a handful of friends who see this issue as a thing that needs immediate attention. We are called WaterDrop.

Did you know that the average person uses approximately 330 litres of water a day. You don’t believe me? I’ll give you some examples.

A 5-minute shower with a standard shower head uses 100 litres of water.

A single lawn sprinkler spraying 19 litres per minute uses more water in just one hour than a combination of ten toilet flushes, two 5-minute showers, two dishwasher loads, and a full load of clothes.

How much water is used to flush a toilet? About 2 to 7 gallons, or 8 to 28 litres, depending on the type of toilet.

If you leave the faucet on while brushing your teeth: 8 to 12 litres.

Using an automatic dishwasher: 36 to 48 litres. If you hand wash, usually people use about 80 litres.

Now do you see how much water we use and how much we waste when The average person in the developing world uses 10 litres of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. That’s about how much we use to brush our teeth.

I could keep giving you all these facts, but if you’re interested, you can check out waterdrop.blog.wordpress.com and become a fan on Facebook! Come on, we all use water, why not save a little bit for your fellow man.


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