Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Boat Race (Need We Say More?)

Most of you probably know that rowing has become a big part of my life since my two daughters have become involved with the sport here in Hamilton. And now Jaime is rowing for the University of Victoria on the West Coast.

I didn't know much about the sport, but I've become hooked, to put it mildly. So I thought I'd let you know about one of the biggest events of the year, The Boat Race, which is running Easter Sunday at about 2 pm, London time (10 am EST).

It's the annual challenge race between the crews from Oxford and Cambridge that's been going on for 150 years each spring in London. This is a big event in London, with major newspaper, TV and radio coverage in the days leading up to the race itself. Over 250,000 people will line the banks of the Thames River in the centre of London to watch, and you can even listen live if you want, over the Internet.

I had hoped that it might be on TV here in Canada, but while TSN has the rights to show the race, I can't find any mention of it in their schedule. Nor can I find anyone who's offering a live video feed over the Internet.

The BBC has been the official media sponsor of the race in past years (view the 2004 race here if you have a Real Audio player) but this year, ITV has been given the rights.

There's also a nice Canadian angle to this year's race, as reported here in today's Globe and Mail.

Even if you're not much into rowing, you'll have fun checking out all the stuff about the race on the various websites. It's a big deal for a lot of us.

UPDATE -- Oxford beat Cambridge on Sunday.

Friday, March 25, 2005

First, there was this wierd light...

...then I woke up, curled up in the fetal position, in a cornfield in Saskatchewan.

Yes, I was abducted by aliens a few weeks ago. How else to explain my lengthy absence from the world of Daily Upload?

No? Not buying that? All right. I guess I can't really blame you.

But the part about Saskatchewan, if not the corn field, is kind of true. I have spent some time out there in the last couple of weeks. I was there for my Mom's 83rd birthday. We had a great party for her and she seemed to have a really good time. I was glad that I had made the effort to fly out there. All the more so since the next day, she had another stroke.

Unfortunately, the stroke seems to have affected her memory more than some of the previous ones (she has a history of these TIA's or mini-strokes.) Right now, a week later, she remembers that she had fun on her birthday, but she doesn't remember that I was there. Sigh. We'll just wait and see.

On a somewhat related note, I don't know about you, but I'm having a lot of trouble with this whole circus around the Terri Schiavo.

The "wrongness" of what politicians are doing in the US is overwhelming. I don't know what the right answer is in that case, but I do know that it is not something that should be played out in public like this. It's an intensely private, personal tragedy and there's no way we should be participating.

Two articles today grabbed my attention as insightful pieces on this controversy, although they come at it from different perspectives.

The first, from is a first-person account of another family's story about their decision to end their brain-damaged son's life and the angst it caused them.

The second is a superb analysis from Rick Salutin in today's GlobeandMail. I'm not sure whether this is available on-line without a subscription. If it isn't, and you want to read it, drop me a line and I'll e-mail you a copy.

Death is a part of life. But that simple logic is hard to accept when the real thing faces us directly. And sometimes media events like Terri Schiavo's sad situation force us to confront our own feelings. I know that it's made me that much more likely to draft my own living will, so that my family never has to go through anything like that.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The ACLU wants you to know

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has put together a funny Shockwave movie about some poor guy who wants to order a pizza. The problem is that the One Big Database (a dream of American homeland security enthusiasts) has made it a tough call. Check out the movie and form your own conclusion. It's an interesting use of the power of the Web to warn about the power of the Web.