Alan Pickersgill

An engineering professor at the University of British Columbia has set a project for his first-year students.  He wants them to come up with a design that will prevent people from falling into used clothing donation boxes. Too many of our poor and homeless population are dying to get a warm coat.  According to a January 2 CTV news story , he wants to retrofit the existing bins because removing the 6,000 bins in BC would cost millions. Then there’d be a problem of storing them somewhere, which would just add to the cost. The money would be much better spent on poverty relief. ButRead More →

When you get to my age you can make a resolution to give up new year’s resolutions. The chances of anything getting better fade away as the years fade away. It’s all pretty good as it is. Or good enough. There’s not much room for improvement any more. Or any expectation of it. I’m not looking at the big picture here. I’m trying to lose interest in Donald Trump. He’s being himself and there isn’t much hope for his country until they find a way to keep the likes of him on the outside looking in. His crimes and misdemeanors might catch up to himRead More →

On Christmas Eve, Lynne and I watched the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol. It’s something we try to do every year. It is based on a novel Charles Dickens wrote in 1843 and has a lot to do with poverty. Early in the story, a pair of bleeding-heart liberals come to Ebenezer Scrooge’s office raising money for poverty relief. Are there no prisons? Scrooge asks. Are there no workhouses? He sends them away empty-handed. Later, the Ghost of Christmas Present shows him two starving children. The boy is Ignorance, the ghost tells Scrooge, and the girl is Want. Society should beware them both,Read More →

I must admit it. I liked the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. I watched it twice, then borrowed Shirley Jackson’s novel from the library. I was, at first, sixth in line for the only copy they have, but all things come to those who wait. Especially library books. There were five other people waiting in line when I brought it back. Then I found a copy of the 1963 Robert Wise movie The Haunting in The Beat Goes On, one of Guelph’s used stuff shops. It was a much more faithful and straightforward adaptation of the novel than Netflix provided. I wasRead More →