Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm worried about Canada

Can we chat for a minute?

I love being Canadian. I love our country, the history, the social programs, the people, the geography, everything, but I'm starting to worry.

Throughout much of my youth Canada was consistently ranked as one of the best countries to live in, now according to the UN, we're not even in the top 10: UN Report. Points have been made that it's not so much that the quality of life in Canada is declining, rather it's that other countries are improving faster, but doesn't that amount to the same thing? Should we be aiming to improve as fast as everyone?

But there's much more to worry about and I don't even know where to start. The environment? The inability of scientists to speak out? The Government's control over Crown corporations? The Government's tactics on handling crime? The true cost of fighter jets and fighting terror? Where do I stop?

The Government says it has an action plan against climate change (Canadian Government Climate Change Website), then why is Canada continually awarded with titles like Fossil of the Year award (Climate Network Website), attempt to close research facilities like the Experimental Lakes Area (Experimental Lakes Area Website), pull out of the Kyoto Accord (David Suzuki Organization Website), and leave individual provinces to seek their own methods of combating carbon emissions, never mind the continuation of the tar sands (there are too many links focusing on the harmful affects of the tar sands to list here, however I will link to a Nature of Things documentary on the topic: The Nature of Things).

Those are just a few of the things I'm aware off, and I'm not a news/environment buff.

And what about the Government's control (a.k.a. bullying) tactics? Government scientists aren't allow to speak about their research without permission from the Government, and even when they are granted permission, they're kept to specific talking points outlined by the Government (Muzzled Scientists (CBC)Scientists Writers of Canada Website) and even other countries have noticed: (Muzzled Scientists (BBC)). It's not just scientists that are feeling the pressure, it's librarians too Librarians Silenced (National Post). I wish it stopped there (no, I wish I didn't even have to write this post), but now there are wide-spread concerns over a section of the budget that gives the government control over, among other things, collective bargaining rights over Crown corporations. I've heard a lot of predictions that the CBC will soon become State radio, akin to what is run in Russia (Crown Corporations (The Star)Crown Corporations (CBC)).

Ugh. I'm starting to feel oppressed just writing this...and I've still got at least two more points to cover from what I mentioned above.

I'm a big fan of prevention. Preventative health care, preventative social programs, etc., just preventing negative outcomes in general. Unfortunately, that's not the tactics taken in combating crime in Canada right now. Instead it's more prisons, more penalties, and longer sentences, the Government has in it's words, gotten 'tough on crime' (Summary of Crime Measures (Huffington Post), National Union of Public and General Employees Comment CCPA concerns on cuts to prevention programs). And finally there's the true cost, of many things. How much do those new fighter jets cost? Is that with or without the maintenance and are we even going to see those fighter jets? (Cost of F-35 Fighter Jets (CBC)Cost of F-35 Fighter Jets (CTV)Cost of F-35 Fighter Jets (Globe and Mail)) What about fighting terror? (Missing anti-terrorism funds (Natl Post)Missing anti-terrorism funds (CBC).

Of course I've added new concerns to my list since I began this post, specifically regarding the Senate and in general the Government's lack of transparency and accountability. However, if I delved into those issues this post would never get finished.

You can accuse me of selection bias if you like, posting only links to sites that support my fears, and you very well might be right. However, I'm not a journalist striving for a balanced view, and I'm not acting as a researcher or even a librarian. I'm writing as a worried Canadian. And, as Canadian I apologize if I've offended you, dear reader, or if I've gotten any of the facts wrong.

I think the end point of this discussion, regardless of your opinion is that we should demand better from our country and our Government...I just wish I knew how to more effectively voice my concerns.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why Grimm is like BTVS, and I'm okay with that

I've fallen off the blogging wagon over the last two weeks. As most of my real-life friends, and anyone on Twitter probably knows by now, the hubby and I are moving to Boston in little more than a month and a half--so, we've been busy. I haven't had much time to write at night, instead it's been packing and planning, then planning and packing. I've got a big long ranty post three quarters complete, I just haven't had the brain power to get through the last push to complete it.

So, consider this an interlude.

Cue dancing bears, or the Canteena Band, or whatever. I'm going to talk about television. I don't do this often, the hubby and I don't even own a television, we haven't had one for several years. We're one of the many people who watch our shows online (and that's all of three), and one of those shows is Grimm (NBC in the US, CTV in Canada).

Grimm is more-or-less a procedural crime show that involves Grimm fairy tale creatures. The hubby and I both enjoyed it from the get-go last season. It has an interesting cast of characters, an intriguing premise, and the more it runs, the more of the complicated back story is revealed. And I think it's pretty much the new Buffy (admittedly without the Joss Whedonspeak) and here's how the characters match up:

Nick Burkhardt is a Grimm, (aka The Chosen One). He doesn't have any special powers like Buffy did (okay, he can see vessin for what they really are, but that's what gets him into trouble), but the safety of Portland and ostensibly the world, rests on his shoulders.

Monroe is a warewolf, or in Grim-speak a blutbad. He's got a definite bromance going on with Nick, and fills the obvious place of Oz (and also provides the occasional amusing quip), although crosses over into Giles territory as Nick's first adviser into the world of vessin.

Hank Griffin is Nick's all to human partner in the Portland homicide department. His lack of special-ness, but willingness to throw himself into the fray makes him a perfect Xander stand-in. He's the definite zeppo of the group, but we love him anyway.

Rosalee Calvert is a fuchsbau (or warefox) and runs the local vessin Spice Shop (aka Magic Box), which also conveniently contains a large collection of ancient reference books. She makes a good (also straight) Willow. Although she doesn't possess any magical powers, she's proven herself adept at mixing tinctures for any occasion.

Captain Renard is...well that would be a spoiler, but in my mind he fits the Angel persona. He's brooding and secretive, and he might be good, or not, but he's definitely got a past.

Sargent Wu is very capable member of the Portland PD, and so I'm going to liken him to Riley Flinn for his ability to run down a suspect with ease, and for being a sensible cop who follows procedures. He also gets his share of witty remarks.

Adalind Shade is a hexenbiest  (or essentially a witch) and I would map her to Amy rather than Willow (although possibly Willow when she's addicted). Again, due to plot spoilers I can't go into my reasoning behind this.

There's even a Jonathan equivalent in the Grimm world and that's Bud Wurstner the chronically nervous eisbiber (mole man). He seems to have a knack for appearing frightened and helpless, but actually turns out to be a solid trooper in the second season.

The trailer, it's bigger on the inside...(oh wait, that's another verse crossing...) is another good storage point for books and weapons, making it comparable to the library or the Magic Box.

The only character I don't have a good BTVS match for is Nick's girl friend Juliet Silverton. She might earn the label of Ana in the season to come, but I'll have to wait and see.

So there, that's how I see Grimm in the Buffyverse. It's really a fun show. I've been impressed with the writing and the underlying story that's been slowly playing out since the first season. I'm hoping it will continue to grow in the next year, and possibly move farther out of the episodic nature it's still using to structure it's continuing plot around.


Friday, May 3, 2013

How is amenorrhea treated?

Last but not least in this series, how is amenorrhea treated? All of the sources I've consulted say more or less the same thing and that's: treat the underlying cause, and your period will come back.

That sounds pretty easy, right? Probably not. If I've learned anything, it's that the body and how it regulates itself if complex; however, I suppose in theory it sounds simply enough.

If your period stopped because you're over or under weight, achieve a health weight (whatever a healthy weight is).

Stopped because of olycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (sorry, I didn't talk about this)? Treat PCOS, which has a variety of solutions such as: hormone treatment (often oral contraceptives); improve the body's sensitivity to insulin through other medications (e.g. metformin); fertility medications; or surgery.

If your thyroid isn't working properly, again, you're likely going to be put on medication to regulate the thyroid, or possibly undergo radiotherapy.

You get the point, right? This seems to be a cause and effect situation, where once you've pinned down the problem, the solution should be possible to identify.

In my case, because my blood tests came back normal (I did 2 sets, several months apart), and I have no history of health problems, the cause is vague. The first doctor I saw said it could take as much as a year for my period to return, and even the second one said that period return times varied widely between women. Further, the second doctor had suggested after several visits the next step in my treatment process would be to go back on the pill--just for a month or two to get things re-started.

Unfortunately, I have no desire to go back on the pill, ever. So I'm going to wait.

Here's a link for the National Institute of Health (UK):

Here's a link for the National Institute of Health (US):

Here's a link to a health clinic in the US, the Cleveland Clinic:

Here's another link to a health clinic in the US, the Brown University Health Clinic: