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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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Lad Culture

I had a funny email exchange with Colin over at I had mentioned this excellent, uncensored, collaborative blog in my Tech Central Station article on the changing media habits of people under thirty.

I love SE and refered to it as a Èstrange lad culture site. Now I assumed that most people recognized lad culture - and sorry not to put it in quotes, they are not working on this keyboard - as the sort of driving force behind Maxim magazine. Apparently not. This is more a European usage.

One of the best things about being Canadian is we borrow from everyone, Yanks, Brits, Aussies and then expect the rest of the world to know what we are talking about. Great fun!

In any case, go take a look at SE (but not at work).


Moving and posting will be light

Worse, I am on a borowed computer which has all sorts of strangeness to its key board. So very light.


Old Europe welcomes New to sit below the Salt

Walesa is not a major player in Polish politics anymore, and he is prone to rambling in his public statements. Some reporters rolled their eyes at what he had to say. But he was not afraid to take dead aim at ludicrous labor laws enacted by the old member states that will restrict access to jobs in the west to workers from east. "After seven years our workers can access your market," Walesa complained. "This is communism, ladies and gentlemen." He would know.
tech central station
The arrival of the "new countries" in the EU is going to profoundly shake the status quo. These are the nations which Chirac suggested should shut up about the Iraq war. These are nations which need opportunity more than the guidance of the Germans and the French. It will be fascinating to see how well - if at all - Old Europe will adapt to the upstarts.

Hard to Argue

AIDS victims in 1987: Philippines 135 / Thailand 112

In 1991 the WHO predicted the Philippines would have 80,000 to 90,000 cases and Thailand 60,000 to 80,000 AIDS victims.

Thailand promoted the use of condoms in massive campaigns where Catholic Philippines promoted “Abstinence” and “Be faithful.”

The prognosis of the WHO was wrong for both countries:

1999: Philippines 1,005 / Thailand 755,000 AIDS victims

Source: British Medical Journal, volume 328, April 10th 2004.(no link)
paul cella
Paul Cella does not tend to get his facts wrong. So...what's different about the two cultures? Cella points to the Catholicism of the Philippines. And if the difference were a few percent I would be inclined to agree; but here the numbers are truly staggering.

I suspect, and it is a complete guess, that the underlying culture of the Philippines is sufficiently different from Thailand to allow an abstinence campaign to work. Very possibly because of the centuries of work by the Catholic Church the Philippines is not a stop on the sex tourist list nor is it particularly renown for prostitution.

But the numbers are pretty hard to refute.

A Flickr image

More because I want to try the feature than anything...
Another beautiful day on the seawall
Originally uploaded by caterina.

Posted by jaycurrie from Flickr.




It's a blog, it's a photoblog, it's sodical software...God alone knows what it is but Caterina Fake's alternate life at Flickr is fun. I'll line up the links later but here is a sample of a literature post:
SealWyf says:

Last Friday, I was able to attend a talk by Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust, and model for the infamous Librarian Action Figure. Nancy is a delightful speaker. Some quotes:

"Those of us who love to read have more than one life."

(Midnight thoughts after submitting the manuscript for Book Lust): "Oh my God -- I left out Anthony Trollope!"

(The sequel is to be called Book Lust 2: the morning after. It does include Anthony Trollope.)

(On why she sees a lot of movies): "I am married to a movie slut." She implied that if she didn't accompany him to movies, he might find other companions.

(On the Librarian action figure): "Once you're in plastic, what is there left to accomplish?"

Nancy is the creator of the "Rule of 50", which suggests how many pages of a book one should read before giving up on it:

1) If you're 50 or younger, read 50 pages. Time is limited, and books are nearly infinite.
2) If you're over 50, you have even less time. Subtract your age from 100, and read that many pages.

Nancy herself applies the rule ruthlessly. When she said that she starts about 15 books for each one she finishes, her audience, a group of Smithsonian librarians, gasped in admiration.


Blogger must be feeling the heat. They have put up a rather cool, graphically concise, interface. Very nice indeed.

Canadian Literary Blogs

I'm writing an article for the Ottawa citizen on Canadian Literary Blogs. Any suggestions? Post 'em to comments.