Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bike Helmets

I know I've talked about this before, but the video below just reaffirms some thoughts.

"This almost pornographic obsession with safety equipment... this culture of fear has created a bubble wrap society."

"If the bicycle helmet was a vaccine or a medicine there is no way it would be approved by the ministry of health; there is simply not enough proof."

The fact is that there is a strong negative correlation between the safety of cyclists and the prominence of bicycle helmets. Wear a helmet if you like, but certainly don't begrudge anyone who doesn't. Instead, just thank them for being out there with you, cuz the number of active cyclists is the single largest contributor to your safety.

"Every single health warning on a pack of cigarettes applies directly to car traffic. We don't even have to write new texts... we can just copy and paste them."

Did you know that the automobile industry is one of the largest proponents of bicycle helmets?

Why? To instill that feeling of fear in a potential cyclist. It's also certainly no coincidence that this is precisely juxtaposition to the false sense of security and power they have injected into their vehicle owners (against all statistics).

It's actually scary (and hilarious once you realize) to the extent our lives are controlled by these subtle influences. A great Slate article looked at Hollywood's contempt for the carless. How not having a car became Hollywood shorthand for loser.

"And so anything outside this dominant culture is treated as, well, a little weird. Hollywood's representation of cyclists, for example, as blogger Bike Snob puts it, has "pretty much been nerds on 10 speeds." The list of prominent bicyclists in film history includes misfit teens (Napoleon Dynamite), eccentric Einstein-like scientists (the license-less Jeff Goldblum character in Independence Day, in which the bike is, admittedly, shown as a pretty decent way to escape Manhattan), vaguely countercultural types (Mark Wahlberg's character in I Heart Huckabees, or Carl Bernstein in All the President's Men) perpetual man-children (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure), and people who otherwise refuse to grow up or are out of touch with real life and the working world. (Consider the couch-surfing Owen Wilson character in You, Me, and Dupree, whose answering machine message announces: "If this is in regards to employment, please be aware that my Class Four driver's license has expired.")

In The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, for example, Steve Carell is that rarest of filmic creatures: a bona-fide bike commuter, shown pedaling to work, navigating the various hazards of the traffic landscape. A boon for alternative modes, perhaps, except for the fact that the bicycle, like the character's penchant for collecting action figures and his virginal status, is treated with a certain condescension. "I'm not the only person in the world who rides a bike," he protests to his co-workers, one of whom replies: "Yeah, everyone rides a bike, when they're fucking 6."


Interesting article addressing the subtle manipulations all around us. Next up? Gender roles!... just kidding... kinda...

Anyway, that's it for now!

It's not the weekend yet,

but I wish it was!

Profound, I know.

Ok, so this weekend, Cuff the Duke plays the Grad Club on Friday night. Saturday night is our semi-formal, to which I'm just finishing up some "art" to submit (more on that later.. ). Also, I've been told there may be a potential visitor or two! Trying not to get my hopes up, but ya know...

BUT, what this post is really about is that I wanted to let you know, if you haven't heard already, about the PATHS Conference being held over the weekend.

From the facebook page:

The purpose of the conference is to provide diverse career options to law students. We explore various career alternatives available to law students who are not interested in pursuing work in large firm settings. We focus on legal education as a tool for enacting social change, developing specialty law practices, achieving professional excellence, and discovering truly rewarding careers.

The conference is FREE for all Queen's Law students and registration is not required.

Schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 4 (room 001):

Opening Remarks by Professor Darryl Robinson
1:00 - 2:30: work-life balance in the legal profession

Leann Beggs - Director, Career Services, Queen's Law
Jasmine Daya - Associate, Wolfe Lawyers (personal injury litigation)
Christine Peringer- Mediator, private practice
Lynn Wheatley - Deputy Judge, Small Claims Court (Toronto)
Moderator: Nick Bala
**Pizza lunch provided.

Saturday, February 5 (room 001):
9:30-10:00am: Breakfast provided (law lounge)
10:00-11:30am: Panel 1 - new lawyers in practice up to 5 years
11:30-12:30pm: Lunch provided (law lounge)
12:30-2:00pm: Panel 2 - seasoned lawyers in practice 5+ years

Speakers (Panel 1):
Travis Allan - Zizzo Allan Climate Law LLP
Jennifer Hockey - Litigator, Department of Justice
Kristin Muszynski - Templeman Menninga LLP
Jan Peiris - In-house counsel, Uni-Select Inc.
Moderator: David Freedman

Speakers (Panel 2):
Steven Bookman - Sole-practitioner, family law
Michael Dineen - Criminal lawyer, Pinkofskys
Marco Filice - Director of Development, Liberty Development Corporation
Kirsty Mathers McHenry - Policy Counsel, Legal Aid/ sessional professor, Queen's.
Moderator: Art Cockfield

Closing remarks by Associate Dean Corbett


See you all there!

The Paths Committee


Alright, so a really great opportunity to bust the chops of lawyers succeeding outside of the Bay Street path. On top of that, a familiar face in Steven Bookman is going to be on a panel. Steven has helped me out huge in the past (from getting me a job driving limos way back when, to writing a recommendation letter for Queen's Law) and it's more than fair to say that I wouldn't have the opportunities I have today without his help.

Fresh Kils

One of my buddies from high school became an officially nominated JUNO award producer yesterday! Fresh Kils (Andrew Kilgour) actually has his name on two of the five albums nominated for Rap Recording of the Year; D-Sisive's "Vaudeville" (which also features a Ron Sexsmith cameo) and Ghettosocks' "Treat of the Day".

His MySpace page here.

I got to admit, it's not my cup of tea (a cup of tea is more my cup of tea), but geez, this is pretty awesome/inspiring news.

This would also be a pretty good time to whip out those grade 10 photos, but as he's only going to get bigger, I'll bide my time.

Congratulations man. This is really exciting news.


Vaudeville. Download here (this download is a bit complicated (not impossible), but it's the only source I found... )

D-Sisive is a one-man music machine cruising to the hum of his own engine. After last year’s triumphant return to the hip-hop limelight with both his Polaris Prize nominated gem Let The Children Die, and his second classic full length of 2009, the acclaimed Jonestown, one would think the accomplished Toronto MC would be content to rest on his ever-expanding laurels. Not D-Sisive. The enigmatic one is back – and this time taking things to an entirely new level with the epic Vaudeville. Produced in tandem with Andrew ‘Fresh Kils’ Kilgour and featuring a surprise cameo from legendary Canadian songsmith, Ron Sexsmith, Vaudeville is filled with incredible hip hop tracks, smoke and mirror gags mixed with punch lines, and intense stories. An album that showcases the wide variety of influences and themes which only an enigmatic master of ceremonies like D-Sisive could pull off.

Kilgour's name is also all over the Ghettosocks album.

TREAT OF THE DAY. Download here.
Written and performed by Ghettosocks except where noted
Arranged by Ghettosocks and Fresh Kils at The Kilzone
Tracks 04, 06, 07, 08, 09, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 recorded at The Vault Studios in Halifax
Tracks 01, 02, 03, 05, 10, and 11 recorded at The Kilzone in Toronto
Additional production on track 04 by Ghettosocks
Additional production on track 15 by Dexter Doolittle
All Tracks recorded by Fresh Kils, except tracks 08, 09, 14, and 16 recorded by Beatmason
Mixed by Fresh Kils at The Kilzone
Mastered by Tom Rogers at Atomix Media

Go see Fresh Kils live when you get the chance. I've seen him in Toronto twice now (with More or Les) and both were great shows. Not sure if I could get through an entire album myself, but live, I gotta admit, the music kicks ass.