Today,April 9,2014, there were 2 multiple stabbing incidents this morning, one in  Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville ,Pennsylvania,USA and in  an office in Toronto ,Ontario,Canada.

And to think that we already had our fill of ongoing gun violence,the most recent one from Fort Hood,Texas,USA.

Knife violence is just as deadly as gun violence and in all these recent shooting and stabbing events, underlying mental health issues abound as mitigating factors.

There’s not much to say about this. It’s so obvious that ongoing precautions need to be installed and increased citizenry vigilance has to be part of it. That’s as  much as one can do in today’s real world. There will always be uncontrollable factors like a mentally unstable individual plotting to do nefarious things in whatever possible way irregardless of what ever precautions are installed.

It’s a violent and sad world indeed!

 

Josie

Ever since the ongoing saga of the still missing  Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 plane which started on March 8, 2014, the entire world had been constantly entranced with the ever constant changing details of a massive investigation / search  which involved at least 8 countries pooling together all their latest technology resources and agencies like the intelligence services,military,navy,etc.

The fight to run against the clock especially in trying to find a plane that’s  missing without a trace inspite of today’s high-tech world and possible survivors make this entire scenario look like  riveting episodes of a Hollywood movie thriller.

While the media coverage has been constantly updated as soon as available information comes in , all kinds of speculations,arm-chair experts,conspiracy theories,security concerns  also come into the mix.

In a post-Sept. 11 world , it’s to be expected now that all possibilities have to be ruled in .No stone will be left unturned especially when the plane isn’t found yet.

A lot will be learned from this very unfortunate episode and for sure, the entire airline industry and its security details will have to be modified and updated.

Another aspect that we have to consider is the ongoing grief,angst,anger and despair of the flight crew and passengers’ loved ones and friends dealing with this ongoing tragedy and the worst part is not knowing what really happened…no answer…no means of closure , affirmation nor reassurance which adds a huge salt on their emotional/mental wounds. They don’t deserve that nor even the flight victims.

I pray that the plane will be found. Only then will the process of closure whether good or bad will start for everyone’s sake.

I pray for everyone involved in their ongoing search for answers in this gripping mystery.

Josie

For all the years that I had been living in Canada, I had been told that a typical Canuck is usually obsessed with Canada’s national sport which is hockey. Some say that it’s almost like a religion.Such a belief has been ingrained since childhood, I believe.

With the recent Sochi Olympics and the fantastic job of both Team Canada’s men and women’s hockey teams in bringing both gold medals home, it only reinforces Canada’s reputation as the mother country of hockey, the Holy Grail in a way.

The televised footages of die-hard hockey fans especially yesterday’s Canada’s  men’s hockey team’s gold medal finals with Sweden had been a revelation for me. Whether you’re watching them on TV or on Youtube,twitter,etc., it’s pretty amazing to see the lengths of how these fans will go the extra mile to watch a very important hockey final where national pride and reputation is at stake.

Since it was  a Sunday yesterday, church attendance was reportedly sparse during the hours of the highly anticipated  mens hockey gold medal game. Most of the pubs,bars and restaurants with big flat-screen TVs had been opened as early as 7 am(depending on your local time zone–which means that in the Pacific West Coast,it’s probably a few hours after midnight),offering liquor especially beer and a good meal…indeed, the Canadian way to enjoy  watching a good hockey game.

Most of the fans would either take a few hours of sleep or not sleep at all to adjust themselves in watching the game either at home or at the pub in the early hours of the morning,considering that Russian time is different from North American time.They strongly believe that watching the game is their way of supporting their hockey players. The  Canadian women’s hockey gold medal game with the US women’s hockey team  was held last Thursday but at least in the afternoon–Canadian time.

For these Canucks, winning an Olympic gold hockey medal is a mark of success and pride. Singing the national anthem O’Canada is like a cherry on top of the icing of a cake.

Go Canada Go!

Josie

With the recent Target store  security info breach from credit/debit card use during last year’s Black Friday sales week in the U.S. and the discovery of an alleged Russian mob responsible for such a cybercrime, it’s perhaps time for the U.S. companies to adopt the European method of enforcing credit/debit card security, even if it’ll be a little costly to implement.

Here in Canada, the adoption of embedded microchip in both credit/debit cards is also used in Europe. It involves slipping the microchip side of the card to a slot in the card reader upon cashier checkout and typing in one’s PIN after which the transaction is finalized.

No more need for magnetic swiping nor written signatures. In case, you lose your card and someone picks it up, that person if he’s dishonest will not be able to use it unless the PIN was written on the card. Believe me,there are  some folks who are too lazy to use even 1% of their brain cells to memorize their PIN. If they make it a habit to memorize it,it’ll be like doing it automatically,like brushing teeth for example.

Of course,if I happen to be in the U.S.,using my Canadian credit card would involve using the magnetic strip since the U.S. card readers are only programmed for magnetic strips being swiped upon  cashier checkout.

It’s something to seriously consider to thwarting all those sophisticated card hackers. That magnetic strip behind our cards contains all our personal info.

If all security precautions are uniformly implemented worldwide,there’ll be much less security breaches.

Josie

Fire has become another visitor in the Canadian province of Quebec. First was last year at Lac-Megantic when flames burst out from a train derailment.

Now, last night, it hit the quaint town of L’Isle-Verte,Quebec ( L’Isle-Verte is French for Green Island) in a  4-story seniors home which opened in 1997.Apparently, the home from initial reports had stated, that water sprinklers weren’t fully installed there due to a regulation that the building wasn’t more than 4 stories high. The home was built mainly of wood which I personally feel wasn’t a good insulator for Canadian winters.

Ongoing search,rescue and investigations are still continued amidst difficulties in going through the debris,smoke and ice. The stark reality is that as of the present moment, 5 people had died, 30 are missing and 20 are injured from the fire.

Considering that the residents are seniors,majority of whom have disability problems and Alzheimer’s dementia, it’s heartwrenching to think of how they were able to escape if they were ever lucky,from such a frightening inferno. I could just imagine how their loved ones and friends  are feeling right now when they thought that having these folks in such a home would keep them safe when in fact, it ended this way.

The ongoing debate of strict  fire safety regulations and fault-finding will definitely ensue but these will not bring back the dead nor completely heal those traumatized from the fire.

This is a preventable situation but alas, we all learn from hindsight. I just hope that this unfortunate situation will be rectified for everyone’s sake irregardless of whose heads will roll in the process.

My thoughts and prayers are with the injured,deceased and their respective loved ones/friends. In a town with a population of 1400 where everybody knows everybody,the emotional pain is unfathomable.

Josie

In a span of just a few weeks, there has been repetitive incidents of gun violence like 2 school shootings–one in Boulder area in Colorado and another one in Roswell area in New Mexico; then there’s a movie theater shootout in Florida and inside a supermarket in Indiana.

Looks like some folks are getting too trigger-happy and dealing with stress by just using their guns.Life is really starting to get cheap and dispensable.

Too sad indeed!

The ongoing debates on both gun violence,gun rights and mental health eligibility to handle a gun will still go on but STILL no solution in the nearest possible horizon.

God help us!

Josie

I had mentioned in  a previous blog dated 1-12-2013  about the Canadian Arctic Blast Experience. With these past few weeks,especially this week, not only is Canada experiencing  very extreme freezing weather but also in the United States and other parts of the world.

Ice,snow,wind chills,freezing rain,polar vortex,constant struggles in dealing with it in a regular basis, travel delays and cancellations, power outages,frostbite, frozen pipe explosions,etc.,etc.

It makes me think that Mother Nature is trying to tell us something about global warming.

Preparing and dealing with the big chill is no different from preparing for a Doomsday scenario in my opinion. Dressing warm,getting edible and non-perishable food items, flashlights,generators,etc.

There’s a Canadian expression here which goes like this  “Is it cold enough for you?’  as a conversation starter. Canadians take great pride in their winters and as to how to deal with them as a badge of honor.

I really don’t know if I would like to say such an expression with the current chill we’re all experiencing right now. It might rub the wrong way to a suffering listener.

Keep warm anyway! Be careful of the ice. It’s challenging to deal with it. I’d rather deal with nice,fluffy snow even if it’s more than 6 feet because you can navigate around it. The chances of falling down into the snow wouldn’t result in  bone fractures unlike if you slip and fall into ice.

What a way to start the new year 2014!!!

Josie

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