Remembering Canadian Nursing Sisters in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife

The website of The Friends of the Canadian War Museum (where I volunteer) includes the following references to Canadian nurses in the military – Canada’s Nursing Sisters.

FCWM Fact Sheet Canada’s Nursing Sisters 1914-1918

FCWM Research Paper Canadian Nursing Sisters in the Korean War (I wrote this one.)

FCWM Personal Treasure Artifact W2-15: Nursing Sister Served as Model for Canadian Volunteer Service Medal

FCWM Website banner photo (rotating with other images) No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital at Doullens

 

Empty Gestures on Climate Change (by Bjørn Lomborg)

Individual actions to tackle climate change, even when added together, achieve so little because cheap and reliable energy underpins human prosperity. Fossil fuels currently meet 81% of our global energy needs. And even if every promised climate policy in the 2015 Paris climate agreement is achieved by 2040, they will still deliver 74% of the total.

When climate campaigners urge people to change their everyday behavior, they trivialize the challenge of global warming. The one individual action that citizens could take that would make a real difference would be to demand a vast increase in spending on green-energy research and development.

Source: Empty Gestures on Climate Change by Bjørn Lomborg – Project Syndicate

Imagining a Senate Trial: Reading the Senate Rules of Impeachment Litigation – Lawfare

This is interesting.  It describes the rules, such as they are, that will govern the impeachment trial in the Senate. The proceedings will be presided over by Chief Justice Roberts but that’s separate from the role of the judge which falls collectively to the Senators…they are judge and jury. The author compares the rules governing impeachment to Calvinball…the rules are pretty much whatever 51 Senators want them to be.

The rules under which Donald Trump will face trial in the Senate are a combination of theatrically detailed and maddeningly vague.
— Read on www.lawfareblog.com/imagining-senate-trial-reading-senate-rules-impeachment-litigation

Affordable housing crisis – I’m part of the problem

Here’s some quasi-scientific evidence of something I’ve noticed in Toronto.  I think there are a lot of people (like me) whose Toronto homes are often vacant.  It’s a sign of inequality of incomes/wealth.
My one-bedroom apartment in Toronto is vacant more than half the time.
The young family that lives next to me seems to be there only half the time.  They have a loud toddler. It’s easy to tell when they’re home. I’m guessing they’re using it as a pied-a-terre.
My granddaughter has a friend who lives near her school but whose family also has a home in Scarborough.
And this guy – the quasi-researcher, found lots of dark condos and concluded that they are owned but vacant.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/11/10/how-many-condos-are-sitting-empty-in-toronto-one-man-investigated-and-what-he-found-surprised-him.html
I can’t think of what a good regulatory approach to this situation should be. The objective would be to redistribute the existing supply of housing in order to meet the needs of families who can’t afford adequate housing. Taxing perpetually vacant condos might work.  Taxing merely under-used condos and apartments would be hard to do and probably wouldn’t change behaviour much – just tick off people like me.
Public shaming would be effective. For example, change the rules for overnight parking so that occasional residents like me have to display a big parking permit in their windshield that says, “I’m partially responsible for the affordable housing crisis.”   That approach wouldn’t address the absentee condo owners.
Better would be incentives for people to rent out their living space when they’re not using (the government would subsidize AirBnB listings? That doesn’t sound right, but why not if it brings extra supply on to the market?)

Time Machine: Expos Uniforms in Nationals Park

As usual, I’m conflicted.  It’s great to see the old Expos uniforms, but it does seem a little goofy if you’re a Nationals fan.  Better: the suggestion of  sporting early 70s Washington Senators uniforms.

Washington Times columnist Thom Loverro called it a “cheap, lazy, thoughtless promotion,” indicating that any claim to a connection between the two teams seems as distasteful as American poutine.

To have Guerrero tossing the opening pitch is to “celebrate a corpse,” he suggested, and posited that D.C. should look to its own past, which includes the Washington Senators who took off for Texas in the early 1970s.

Commenters tended to agree, with one asking rhetorically: “why do we give a rats arse about Montreal?” Another local tweeted that the throwback jersey “manages to disrespect both Expos fans and fans of both Senators teams” (there were two iterations).

 

Source: Throwback Expos day at D.C. baseball game divides Montrealers — and Americans | CTV News

Wirecutter Review: The Best Paper Towel for Mopping Up Tears

 

“Who Should Get This
While sometimes viewed as wasteful, paper towels are a great way to tackle the occasional (yet inevitable) messes. Although a dishrag or sponge is suitable to handle smaller spills, the convenience of paper towels make them perfect for more substantial things like the routine daily drying of tear-soaked countertops and floors. For that reason we recommend keeping a roll or two handy anywhere crying is likely to occur, including on public transportation, at the post office, in a random CVS that one time for no reason, or basically anywhere inside or outside.”

Source: Wirecutter Review: The Best Paper Towel for Mopping Up Tears – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency