Toxic Risk

The WWF has a very readable section on their site that lists basic ways to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. I love it when the valuable theories and ideas of any organization/person can be boiled down to what the reader can do at that moment to start change. I've recopied the top 10 but there are a lot more on the site along with explanations for each.

Eat lower on the food chain (less meat and dairy).

Do not microwave in plastic.

Do not use pesticides (inside, outside, or on pets and kids).

Quit smoking.

Treat dead batteries as hazardous waste.

Wash hands, floors and windowsills frequently.

Avoid "super-strength" specialty cleaners.

Avoid mercury fillings.

Read labels and call 1-800 numbers for information on product formulations.

Write or call local, provincial and federal politicians, asking them to take action to reduce hormone- disrupting chemicals in our environment.


Not wrestling related - the World Wildlife Fund has an interesting report out called the Living Planet Report, 2004. The term "ecological debt" is new to me but is a main tenet of the report. The way I understand it is that it means that we are using resources at a rate higher than the earth can replenish them, therefore they are "borrowed" in a sense. The report makes four suggestions to decrease or hopefully reverse the trend.

"Four factors make up the ecological debt;
therefore, debt reduction requires policies and
actions that lead to:
1. Increasing biocapacity by protecting,
conserving, and restoring ecosystems and
biodiversity, to maintain biological
productivity and ecological services.
2. Lowering world population.
3. Reducing per person consumption of
goods and services.
4. Improving the resource efficiency with
which goods and services are produced." p. 22

Most of those seem pretty clear but Number 2, lowering world population, is bound to cause some excitement as Malthusian Theory rears it's head again (still?). I wonder how this stacks up considering that as North America we have one of the lower birth rates around but by far the highest consumption in the world. Is giving birth to one child here the ecological equal to having several children in an "undeveloped" country? Are the numbers of people as big an issue as our voracious appetites for stuff? I suppose if we do both we reduce consumption by that much more.

I'm just making this up as I go and if I come up with new thoughts after I've read the report in full or want to recant some I've already written I'll post again soon.



I've decided to take up a new sport. Everyone needs a challenge, right? I know I need to stay reasonably fit to enjoy my winter more and I was thinking about getting a gym pass but it kind of depressed me. The gym here isn't that great and I feel like I've been there and done that. I've always fantasized about playing hockey "for real" after playing pond hockey a bit as a kid and loving my floor hockey experiences.

I spent a disturbing hour shopping for used gear a few days ago. So many choices and smells, but it cost less than I feared although it seems like a LOT of gear for a non-hitting team (and where will I store that smelly pile?). Tonite was the big night, practice #1. The outing involved a lot of awkward spills, stretches and pulls along with the glory of scoring while sliding on my stomach during the scrimmage. I can hardly walk the stairs this evening and it may be a rare multi-ibuprofin kind of day tomorrow.

Gotta love it.


odds & ends

Feels like I haven't posted in ages so I thought I'd throw in a few things. First of all, we're in Winnipeg hanging out with family and doing the Thanksgiving thing. It's become my favorite holiday because of it's focus on being thankful for what we have and not the purchase and distribution of superfluous stuff - although there is always waaay too much food. The weather has been fabulous (the first nice weather they've had all year) and we spent a glorious day in the lake region of the province yesterday. In one afternoon I managed to dabble in throwing around the football, canoeing, rock wall climbing and yes, mountain biking. Throw in some socializing with some wonderful people we don't see often enough and gazing at the fall colours and you have the makings of a pretty good family reunion. Must admit that certain upper body muscle groups are tight today though.

I had a short chat with my parents about the "dissonance" entry and Ivy following directions. My dad said essentially not to worry about her taking orders, we all rebel soon enough anyway. My response was "yeah, but I rebelled against the wrong things", and he replied "we all do"...so much calm wisdom to glean from my parents.

Ivy attended her first "Kids Church" today, as we went along with the folks. After recounting all the bible stories she had heard, she excitedly piped up "The teacher told us how to get to heaven! You just raise your hand and open the door!". She was quiet for a moment and then said, "but she didn't tell us how to get back". Another minute later, "Maybe you don't come back". It is interesting how often she asks about heaven and prayers, considering we don't attend church or even talk about it very often. It's poignant to see how pure and up front kids are about things like that and makes me wonder why I don't pay more attention. I suppose I added a lot more filters and defenses as I aged (sounds like I'm about to turn 80, not 30) and now feel compelled to justify everything with logic or science when clearly that doesn't apply to a spiritual experience, almost by definition.