Halifax Skating Oval Could Be Kept for 50 Cents to $2 per Use (A Cost-Benefit Analysis)

Halifax Skating Oval

For about $1 of tax per person per year, or a $2 (toonie) charge per use, the Halifax Skating Oval can be sustained, at the highest cost estimates. It could be as low as 50 cents per use. I’m not encouraging this, but if paying for use of the Oval were a last resort, it could be very affordable and definitely worth its value!

There’s a big debate on whether or not to keep the Canada Winter Games Skating Oval on the Halifax Commons (CBC, Jan 4 2011). A lot of the public is enjoying the facility, but the worry is the cost of maintaining the Oval after the Canada Games are over. The hope is that business support can be found to pay the costs, rather than increasing taxes or having to charge skaters. However, that’s a political solution. This analysis looks at the business case of keeping the oval if the public had to pay for it.

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The Cove, Japan’s Dirty Dolphin Killing Secret (entire documentary)

Each September to February, a nasty dolphin hunt takes place off the coast of Japan in a little village called Taiji (tai-jee), where most of the 20,000 dolphins and porpoises killed off Japan are done annually. The Cove, winner of multiple international film festival awards including Oscar for Best Documentary in 2009, exposes what goes on in Taiji and how Japan manipulates little bankrupt countries to support its whaling cause and empire through the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Courageous to film undercover, inspiring and shocking to watch, this film is having some effect on public awareness of the issues, from brutal senseless killings to mercury poisoning in the food and fraud by selling worthless dolphin meat as expensive whale meat. You might also learn a thing about being coy and manipulative in empire building, as well as dedication and heart in pursuit of a cause through Ric O’Barry and others’ efforts to expose this annual massacre.

Despite all the public praise and awareness this film has been getting, the issues raised could always use a little more attention because they’re still killing dolphins in Taiji as I write in October. Well, this little site of mine gets some decent attention, so here is the movie in case you haven’t seen it. Thanks to whoever uploaded the entire thing on Tudou in high quality, and even added English and Japanese subtitles, where it needs to be known!

Synopsis
Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action. THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann.

Please come back later if you’re not catching news of this at a time when you have 90 minutes to spare and watch. You can spend 90 minutes doing a lot of worse things in life.

The Cove’s website for more information on the film and cause.

Take part in helping save the dolphins as promoted by The Cove.

Nam Nguyen is Why the Vietnamese Will Be Watching Men’s Figure Skating at 2018 Winter Olympics

Nam Nguyen at the 2010 Olympics Figure Skating Exhibition Gala Skate

Viet Nam is a country in Southeast Asia not exactly keen on winter sports, never mind figure skating, never mind men’s figure skating in its macho patriarchal culture. I know. I’m Vietnamese. It also means I can also tell you it’s a hypocritical patriarchal society because everybody knows the Mother runs the house. That’s why our ultimate cursing is towards the Mother, and nobody cares much for cursing our Fathers.

Wow, that link was insightful! I just looked up a link to demonstrate what I knew of Vietnamese cursing and never knew there were so many. But trust me, all of it is mostly rare compared to the curses towards one’s Mother.

Anyhow, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, wherever it may be held, there just might be huge Vietnamese interest in men’s figure skating. That would be due to a kid named Nam Nguyen from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. At just eight years old, Nam was the youngest skater ever to become the Canadian National Juvenile Men’s Champion. His outstanding free skate there is below. The kid didn’t miss a jump and was also very artistic.

Just in January, Nam finished 3rd in the Junior Men’s category as an 11 year old, behind two 17 year olds (thanks for the correction by Britt in the comments #3 and #4 below). That placement earned Nam a chance to perform at the 2010 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Exhibition Gala Saturday night. He was quite the showman there, though nerves probably caused him to fall on his first jump. Watching him, the only show man in the building who could have outdone him was Evgeni Plushenko. Canadian champion Patrick Chan had better watch out! This kid could jump and punch the lights out and has a ton of charisma to boot!

That said, the nerdy get up they dressed Nam in didn’t exactly do his image a lot of good, despite tearing off a jump suit to start his routine.

It’s hard to predict the future, of course. Lots of people who try don’t do very well, whether their name is Nostradamus or Not a Damn Chance. However, if Nam continues to work hard, stays injury free and his Parents don’t make him study more than he skates as Vietnamese Parents are prone to do in a culture that values education so much, the kid has got an incredible future in figure skating. He won’t be able to compete until the 2018 Winter Olympics due to age restrictions. However, he should be able to make an impression on the Canadian national titles a few years before that.

Can’t wait!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.6

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