Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/1/2011 (2586 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Re: Hydro math (Letters, Jan. 22). This is a cute little bit of jiggery-pokery. The writer wonders what the big deal is about transmission-line losses that he calculates amount to a mere one per cent of Manitoba Hydro's expected generating capacity when Bipoles I, II and III are all operating at capacity. Several things are wrong with this analysis.
First, the relevant figure when considering the 40-megawatt additional loss calculated by Hydro for a west-side Bipole III is the incremental power that will be carried as a result of the addition of Bipole III, not the total generating capacity. This would produce a loss figure well beyond one per cent.
Second, the piece implies that only the east-side route will traverse boreal forest. That, of course, is not true.
Third, expressing the loss in relative terms masks its significance. The engineers of the Bipole III coalition have calculated that the cost of the generating capacity required to offset the additional loss with a west-side choice for Bipole III is $320 million.
Dean emeritus of engineering
University of Manitoba
Re: We're hooked on salt (Jan. 20). Soon motorists will be complaining about the potholes in the city and the poor conditions of our highways. These problems are caused by salt use on roadways.
It is well-known that a container of water will expand as it freezes, causing the container to crack. Water in cracks in roadways reacts the same way, damaging the asphalt and concrete.
When the sun comes out in below -10 C temperatures, snow or ice melts but freezes at night. This daily thaw-freeze soon causes enough damage for speed bumps to appear across the road, eventually resulting in potholes.
As for damage to the environment, all one has to remember is the ancient Romans salted the fields of Carthage so farmers could not grow crops to feed their armies.
Cloak of elitism
Re: She'd like a few words with you (Jan. 13). Experience tells me many people who downplay the importance of correct grammar aren't up to the task of learning it. I'm a long-term grammar grump who is trying to curb my rude tendency to correct my friends' grammatical errors.
I do slip occasionally but am shifting my focus to correcting the poor grammar I hear on television and radio broadcasts. The machines don't roll their eyes at me and the new hobby keeps me sharp.
My current pet peeve is the rampant misuse of the reflexive pronoun "myself." The word "myself" is never the subject of a sentence; it is always the object of a verb or preposition. Every time I hear "myself" used in place of the words "I" and "me," I also hear fingernails scratching a chalkboard.
Am I wearing a cloak for exclusionary elitism or prejudice? Jila Ghomeshi might say so. Her and myself should meat some time. She works at U of M I coulda went to U of W but I went their instead.
Re: Misguided auto policy hurts the poor, (Jan. 8). This is the second piece I've read by Peter Shawn Taylor suggesting the importance of using cheap cars to fight poverty, and the overpowering bad taste it left in my mouth was very familiar. Taylor's ridiculous insistence that "a car is a very powerful weapon" for fighting poverty promotes very dangerous, conservative ideas, not to mention a very strong "every-man-for-himself" capitalist attitude that has already crippled our neighbours to the south.
The suggestion that access to vehicles for welfare recipients will increase job opportunities is a gross oversimplification and the statement that a car is as important as a high school education is ludicrous.
If we really want to tackle poverty at its source, issues such as affordable daycare, housing and accessible pubic transportation must be addressed. Civic planning should incorporate mixed-economy neighbourhoods with the means to create accessible and diverse job options in central areas, and, of course, our punitive and unjust welfare system needs a complete overhaul.
Roger Lowenstein, in his Jan. 12 article, It's about fewer guns, not public discourse, says the U.S. National Rifle Association is somehow responsible for the recent shootings in Tucson, and by implication other firearms-related mass murders, by lobbying against bans of semi-automatic weapons.
Anti-firearms activists are demonizing SA firearms as a starting point in their ultimate quest of total, incremental civilian disarmament. It is relatively easy to sway the non-firearms-owning public with scare tactics of "assault weapons," which are more correctly described as selective-fire weapons — that is, capable of full-automatic fire.
An SA weapon requires the trigger to be pulled for each shot and is used by many in hunting, target shooting and various legal firearms-training disciplines. It is unfortunate that the use of an SA firearm in an event such as this provides ammunition for a witch hunt against all guns of that genre.
I have read many letters in the Free Press regarding the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and its choices as to which groups should constitute the content of its exhibits. I was happy to see CEO Stuart Murray's letter, Museum will be inclusive (Jan. 13), assuring readers the museum will offer a diverse representation.
Interestingly, also in that day's paper was an article that included U.S. President Barack Obama's response to the recent carnage in Arizona, and I wondered if his words were perhaps appropriate for our discussion of the CMHR.
Obama asked his listeners to "talk with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds." I would like us to learn from history and not use its horrific details as a catalyst for a competition over which group has suffered the most.
After all, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Isn't the goal of those of us who believe in the rights of all human beings — regardless of race, gender, creed, etc. — to learn to listen to each other, to find common ground, so that we move toward the kind of society that refuses to again be caught up in human rights abuses?
Mary Ann Loewen
I have never been fond of the word "museum," which for me conjures up images of dusty artifacts of ages past. I have visited the concentration camp in Dachau, Germany, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Both left me physically and spiritually drained.
My hope for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is that it would build energy and inspire, something that most museums by their nature, well, don't. It's not that I am not interested in learning about the countless atrocities of the past, but I am doubly interested in learning how humanity has, and will, rise to the challenges ahead.
Under the headline No functioning fire truck to fight fatal blaze (Jan. 22) is the report: "At St. Theresa Point... a raging fire claimed the life of a two-month-old baby (while) the community's lone fire truck sat broken, in a garage, with no hoses... (and) no one knew where the keys were."
What did we expect? After all, they have only 70 per cent unemployment, so they lacked the manpower to repair the fire truck or find the keys.