gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for December 16th, 2008

Crossing the line

December 16, 2008 @ 08:33 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Transit strike

According to a story on the CBC’s website, people have been threatening Andre Cornellier and his family:

Graham said he is speaking on behalf of the union instead of Cornellier in order to take some of the attention away from Cornellier, who has received some “significant threats” against himself and his family. Police have been called to investigate the matter, Graham said. In the meantime, Cornellier is concentrating on the business of administering the strike, he said.

I can understand people’s frustration with the situation and I certainly don’t support ATU 279’s position, but threatening the union boss or any of the strikers is taking things too far. Threatening the union boss’ family is so far over the line of acceptable behaviour that you need a telescope to even see it. Let’s keep the protests civil.

Hopefully, the person or persons who did this will be found, charged, convicted and do some jail time.

Carbon monoxide

December 16, 2008 @ 00:42 By: gordon Category: General, Health

I was getting caught up with a friend recently and he mentioned that he and his wife had had a bit of a scare a few days ago when their carbon monoxide detector went off. They quickly got out of the house and called the fire department who confirmed that there were elevated levels of CO in the house, particularly in the basement near their natural gas furnace and water heater.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

A furnace guy spent three hours checking out their furnace and water heater, but he couldn’t find any problems, so the source of the carbon monoxide hasn’t been positively identified, which is a bit troubling. But they do have the carbon monoxide detector upstairs and I think they’re going to get another one for the basement.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is highly toxic. It is formed during the partial combustion of compounds that contain carbon, particularly in internal-combustion engines. Basically, it bonds with red blood cells much more readily than oxygen molecules do, which brings on a whole host of unpleasant effects up to, and including, death. If you are poisoned, chances are that you won’t realize it since one of the effects is to make you dizzy and confused.

Purging it from your system isn’t simply a matter of getting into fresh air. Because it bonds so well to red blood cells, it takes a long time to work its way out, though breathing pure oxygen can help accelerate the process. There can be long-term effects such as memory loss, confusion or even permanent brain damage.

Sadly, six people from two different families in Ontario have died in the last month due to CO poisoning and it kills 300 people in North America every year.

Bad stuff.