Don’t Forget the Innocents Who Died and Are Affected by War

This Remembrance / Veterans Day, I am not only remembering the veterans who died and fought for our freedom, but I am also remember the innocents who also suffered for it. Their names are often not as well registered and kept so they are more easily forgotten, especially by the victors who remember their deads more and who write the history to come.

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How Canadians Died in 2007

Statistics Canada released its Mortality, Summary List of Causes 2007 (1.0 MB PDF) today, with a ton of tables on causes of death, by provinces, territories and country, gender, age, etc.

As morbid as it may sound, I thought it was a rather interesting document to browse through. It’s not because I wanted to know about all the ways that people died, in summary groups, but rather how they compared to each other. We often hear about stats on various diseases, accidents, criminal activities and other causes of death. However, it’s often without context, like how does it really compare to other causes since lots of people die every day, or the context whoever is trying to persuade you of something wants you to hear. In other words, death stats are often presented to you in propaganda format. Lobbying format if you want to be kinder.

What the tables in the Mortality Summary List does is let you go through those numbers yourself, though they would generally be of more interest to Canadians since it is about Canadians. See the big and the small numbers of deaths and their causes. Which ones topped the list? Find the causes you’re interested in and see how the number who died compared to other causes. How does cancer compare to car accidents? Is AIDS that prevalent any more? See how it is in your province or territory. Are the top causes the same? Maybe even make comparisons, though you’ll have to do a per capita (per person) or percentage type of calculation to have a fair comparison in some cases. The Mortality Summary List even provided some of those calculations for you!

You’ll never had such a clear idea of what Canadians died of in your life! Were things the way you thought they were? You may want to rethink some things about various issues related to death, whether disease, crime or otherwise, especially where priorities should be put.

Makes for a great school project or presentation, too! Do it well and I promise show and tell won’t have been this interesting in a long time! 🙂

It is too bad this data is relatively old, being for the year 2007 when we are almost nearing the end of 2010. StatCan is generally pretty good at being far more up to date than that. Odd, though, that they have economic data for so many things up to the month when what’s called vital statistics such as this lags almost 3 years behind. However, unless there were some shocking new trend, and I mean shocking by numbers, not by gruesome image or high profile media stories like shark attacks, things won’t have changed much. You’re still getting a pretty good idea of what’s happening. That said, in 2007, deaths by major cardiovascular (heart) disease passed deaths by cancer for the first time in 10 years, though the trend had been predictable from previous years. Together, heart disease and cancer combined for a staggering 59% of all Canadian deaths in 2007.

Can you see the impact of obesity on society coming? Who wants to bet this order remains the same for most of the next 10, maybe even 20 years?

Anyway, it isn’t morbid to mull over stuff like this. Death is a part of life. While this is not a spiritual examination like my philosophy in the previous sentence often suggests, it is a social understanding of it for Canadian society.

And whatever tangents your mind goes on thinking about death, it certainly is a lot to think about!

Seriously, it’s not a morbid exercise. Quite enlightening, in fact. I hope you give it a look.

I’d should do some research to find an American equivalent to have a look. I bet that’d be real interesting, too!

Los Angeles Lakers Win 15th NBA Title, Phil Jackson Record 10th, and Red Auerbach Was a Sore Loser!

Nuggets Lakers BasketballThe Los Angeles Lakers just won their 15th NBA title, winning 99-86 over the Orlando Magic in game 5 of the NBA finals. This is their 15th NBA title, Kobe’s first without Shaquille O’Neal, and Phil Jackson’s record 10th. Kobe Bryant was named Finals MVP.

Jackson’s 10th title passes the great Red Auerbach’s 9 to set a new NBA record for championships won by a coach. But let’s get one thing straight, though. Auerbach might have been great, but ultimately, he was a sore loser by the quote below before he died in 2006.

“[Phil]’s never tried building a team and teaching the fundamentals,” Auerbach said. “When he’s gone in there, they’ve been ready-made for him. It’s just a matter of putting his system in there. They don’t worry about developing players if they’re not good enough. They just go get someone else.” [Yahoo!]

It was two different styles in two different eras, but there’s no telling what Red Auerbach might have done in this era. Auerbach’s teams weren’t exactly depleted of stars, but given the egotist he was shown by that comment, what do you think would have happened had he had those egos like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and others on his teams? He’d have had to have been the biggest ego on the team and shipped them out. He wouldn’t have known how valuable these players truly were, with their faults elsewhere than in the basketball skills. Maybe Jackson walked into those teams, and maybe he went and got what he wanted, but Auerbach would have shipped them all out had he been coaching those same personnel.

And this comment about not teaching the basics, that’s a load of BS from a bitter old guy. Why don’t you ask the stars what ultimately makes the difference in the game? You can have all the desires you want, if you don’t have the fundamentals, you won’t be winning anything worth writing about. And don’t tell me these guys had all their fundamentals down, or maintain them without being taught. Since when did any star have so much fundamentals they couldn’t use more? Maybe Jackson didn’t teach everything from scratch, but he could have because he still had to teach it. He may not have had to teach as large a set to every player as Red did, but he still had to teach them, and there’s no doubt he could because if he couldn’t, he wouldn’t be here. I would even say Phil, the Zen Master had the harder job cause he had to teach it to guys who thought they knew it all. Red never faced that nearly to the same extent. He wouldn’t have put up with it and shipped them out or benched them. It’s a different style that doesn’t work today.

And the Zen Master, he would never say any such thing about any rival, including Red. Phil just acknowledged on TV that Red was a great guy when asked about his relationship with Red being “competitive”. Phil said he’ll “smoke a cigar in memory of Red tonight”. To say anything so petty or negative of a worthy competitor like Red, as Red said of Phil, just would wouldn’t be zen… now or zen.

So Red, if you’re in Heaven, which I’m sure you are instead of some other place, I hope you’ll have changed your mind and heart by tonight cause Heaven ain’t got no place for people who are anything less than happy.

If not, may I respectfully say, get the Hell out of there!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.6