albert postma

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Where does the Hydro Go?

Check out this picture.
And no, I don't think it is the Northern Lights.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Me...A Packrat?

I have a stack of things. They are all blue, rubbery, flat, and round. (like mini crepes)
Here is the problem: they don't have a specific use. I could, potentially, use them for anything at all that I wanted to. They have so much potential for use in all areas of life that I can't actually get down to applying them to something.
Perhaps if when I got them, if they said "This is a jar opener" or "New and Improved Harmless Projectile", or even "Collect All 6 Colours!" then I would think that I at least had something with value.
I can't get myself to throw them out. I have this fear in the back of my mind that as soon as I discard them, then I'll be in a predicament where all I can think is "if only I had a stack of blue, rubbery, flat, and round objects, I'd be out of this pickle".

What if we were to live in a society where creativity meant buying something nifty, Imagination was replaced with T.V., laziness was a virtue, and people threw stuff out whether or not it was still good? Imaginative Laziness coupled with Wastefulness. hmmm…
Sometimes it becomes difficult for me, when I get a potentially useful object, to find a use for it because occasionally my imagination is too lazy to come up with something. On the same note, for many products, the question is: what purpose does it serve. There is some legitimacy to this question, of course, as products must serve some sort of purpose. The problem I see with it, though, is that we allow ourselves to be limited to that purpose.

Case in point: The child and the cardboard box. How often is it that an adult buys an infant a new toy as a present, and the child is more interested in hitting the box it came in against the floor for 3 hours straight than he is in playing with his new toy? The adult, of course, takes the box away so the child will play with the toy. Why? Because the box has served its purpose, and now it is time for the toy to serve its.

So, after being spoon-fed the functions of products, it becomes a daunting task to come up with a function on our own. As far as I see it, we can either limit the potential of something to its given purpose, or we can expand the purpose to the potential.

I have a hard time throwing things out, thinking one day they may serve a purpose, so perhaps it is just the packrat in me trying to rationalize itself away.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Campus Bar

I was reading the latest issue of The Crown just a few minutes ago, and I appreciated the articles regarding alcohol. I am a big fan of sitting down and drinking a refreshing, crisp cold one. So I was thinking, why not do it on campus?

Imagine, the Redeemer pub. A place where students, staff, and faculty could all come together to talk, laugh, and enjoy a pint of their favourite brew. The religion students could discuss if they were predestined to be enjoying a glass, while the history majors argue about the inevitability of the French Revolution, and the theatre students could act out a bar brawl. Ah yes, the coming together of academia.

Perhaps the addition of a campus pub could also curb the current budget. If you are someone who enjoys the occasional drink, then right now you are paying your tuition PLUS how much you spend on alcohol. If, though, the money you spent on alcohol were to be a source of income for Redeemer, the tuition rate could be lowered (at least in its growth), and so in the end it would be like getting discount drinks!
It is win-win situation. Those of you who don’t drink will have a portion of your tuition funded by those who do. And those who do drink will be doing so at a discount price.

A campus pub: greater camaraderie with positive economic implications. I’ll drink to that.

Monday, March 01, 2004

The Seasons of Integrity?

I just walked back from the school today in the rain. What a wonderful feeling. Not that I hate winter, I just wish it was only a week or so long. I must say that one of the best seasons of the year is spring, when all the snow is melting, the temperature rises, and the sun stays out for more hours of the day.
I went to bed early last night in order to wake up early in order to finish one of my take-home midterms in the morning. When I got up, it was nice and sunny (mind you, it was 8am), and so the first thing I did was go for a walk around campus. It was so peaceful and quiet - I am assuming since the only people up at that time were probably those who were in class already. I think one of the grooviest things about springtime is that +5 C. actually feels warm. Had it been the summer or autumn, I would have bundled up more from the frigid temperatures, but not this morning. Rain is nice too.

Those are just my personal opinions about the season, so now the real question: why excuses, as my title infers (quite directly actually)? This comes back to the midterm I was finishing up this morning. I was writing an answer to a question regarding Britain's involvement in the formation of the modern state of Israel. It was quite fascinating about how many empty promises Britain was making at the time, yet how much the people groups at the time regarded them as ones Britain intended to fulfill. All the declarations and concessions they made were solely for the purpose of getting a group of people on their side for the present time with no real vision of the future.
In the first case, there was quite a bit of political instability within the Arab population, so to bring peace and curb the potential for a full-out Jihad, Britain promised the Arabs a portion of the Middle-East for them to form an independant state. (mind you, they were vague in describing the boundaries for this other than stating the Arabs couldn't have what France had already claimed. This led so some discrepancy over whether or not Palestine was in fact claimed by France or promised to the Arabs). Then, the British got together with the French in order to decide just how they would go about splitting up the Middle-East after the World War was won - with complete disregard for the promises to the Arabs.
Lastly, and what really brings forth the conflicts we know today, Britain promised in the Balfour Declaration that they would support a Jewish national home set up in long as it didn't infringe on the non-Jewish population already there. The reason for this declaration was quite simple: Britain needed to make sure Russia would continue to fight in the war, and they needed United States support. The Jews in both of these countries were powerful enough to sway the political decisions made. So, kiss the Jews' butts, and you've got military support.
The problem is, the British (in my humble opinion) had no intention of ever fulfilling their promise to the Jews. In fact, this declaration ticked off both the Arabs and the French because it flew in the face of concessions they had already made with Britain. So now you are left with the Arabs, who had inhabited Palestine for 1200 or so years and so feel quite the geographical attachment, and the Jews, who had inhabited the land before the Arabs and considered Palestine to be their rightful home (from the promises in the Old Testament, and the holy city Jerusalem). Both now seem to have political support for their goal to capture the land - after all, they were both promised it from the British.

The sad thing we accept any different from our own government? Some politicians continue to make campaign promises that they know they won't be able to fulfill, or simply have no intention to fulfill, but it gets the public on their side for the time when it counts - the election. And then the same candidate who was elected last time, who has not fulfilled their promises, makes more promises to win another election, and they get voted in!
I am not saying this happens all the time, of course, but even once is too much.