Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Unlovely and unloved?

There's no underestimating the power of a pretty face -- or of a homely one.

Brian Bergman's survey reveals the prettier the face the better one is treated even from one's parents. Read on( I copied parts because the link still won't work)

Your mother was right. Sometimes life just isn't fair. For years, studies have confirmed that attractive people get all the breaks. Teachers pay more attention to their good-looking charges, as do doctors and nurses. Juries are more apt to acquit, and voters are more likely to elect, the handsome and the beautiful. And employers? They're the biggest suckers of all, lavishing jobs, promotions and higher salaries on those who are easy on the eye. As if all that quality of life weren't enough, attractive people also have a leg-up in terms of quantity. One recent research project concluded that, on average, good-looking men will live seven years longer than the rest of us, while their female counterparts will endure an additional three years.

But surely there are limits to this phenomenon, especially when it comes to the unique bond between parent and child? If there are faces only a mother can love, at least we can count on that, right?

Not necessarily. At a recent demographics conference in Edmonton, sociologist Andrew Harrell outlined a 2003 observational study -- one of several he's conducted over the past 15 years -- on children and shopping-cart safety during excursions to buy groceries. The issue is a serious one, as upwards of 30,000 children are badly injured each year in North America due to falls from shopping carts or tip-overs. Which makes the results of Harrell's latest survey all the more disturbing. To wit: good-looking children are six times more likely to be buckled into shopping cart seats than kids who are, well, not as pleasant to behold.

As a father of five, ages eight to 35, and grandfather to three more, Harrell -- who turns 60 on April 1 and is executive director of the University of Alberta's population research laboratory -- admits to some discomfort with his own findings. "I would have hoped for more from the human condition," he says. "To think a child's looks might dictate the care a parent gives that child is appalling."

Appalling, yes. But not entirely surprising. After all, Harrell's decision to test whether the attractiveness of a child might influence parental vigilance was no idle whim. He's well acquainted with a body of research that shows the impulse to judge others on the basis of physical appearance begins shortly after birth -- and suggests even parents can fall prey to the scourge of lookism when dealing with their own children

The jury is still out on whether our preference for the attractive is inherent or learned. That two- to six-month-old children already appear to be discriminating suggests a genetic link. But there's no doubt children also learn a great deal by observing how their elders treat the handsome and the homely. In one study cited by Harrell, adults watched videotapes showing children of varying levels of beauty kicking a dog. "With attractive children, viewers conclude they were either provoked by the dog or it was accidental," says Harrell. "With the less attractive ones, it's seen as an intentional and malicious act."

Scott Wooding, a child psychologist and family therapist based in the Calgary area, says Harrell's findings have the ring of truth. "As a society, we really don't want to talk about this because it's so unfair," says Wooding, who has authored several books on parenting. "But parents will at times treat their children differently, based on looks." Wooding stresses that such discrimination is unintentional. "Parents absolutely believe they are treating their children exactly the same," he says. "But it isn't always so."

Valid or not, Harrell's study is already prompting some parents to do a bit of soul-searching. Gary Perkins is a Calgary-based energy lawyer and father of two -- let the record state, very attractive -- children, ages 6 and 9. "It's interesting information and I wouldn't slough it off," says Perkins. "But if it's true, it really bothers me. Not because other people do it, but because I might do so. I would hope not, but if it's subconscious, then who knows? I'm going to be thinking about it."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005



Am 100% sure that question is going through the minds of Indonesians.Then, they must be wondering what kind of God would stand by while another disaster threatens to disrupt their lives once again.Thankfully,no tsunamis were triggered off-thank God for small mercies.However,there are no answers to those types of questions-at least none that can satisfy.

But,whenever disaster strikes it is always our first instinct to question God.I don't know the answers but suffice it to say that God never gives us more than we can bear.Funny concept to come to grips with especially with the loss of a loved one.Yes,at times it can be unbearable and nothing,even the most well meaning words can comfort.Remember even Jesus asked God to take the cup away from him.But,God's will has to be done even though we cannot understand the purpose.

Life,they say is never about just good times but is a mixture of good mixed with bad.Hopefully,the bad times make us stronger as we have to dig deep to find the strength to go on.Having said all that I cannot even begin to fathom the sense of helplessness and grief that those people are feeling. After all it was just a mere three months ago that their lives were disrupted and were now in the process of getting lives back on track.Wouldn't that just make you want to quit?

But,I suppose you go on because the strength of the human spirit forces you to.And with time the grief and pain becomes easier to bear.Stay strong Indonesians.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Things I wish would be invented

Fun things i.e,not the serious things like cures for HIV,cancers etc.Those are a given.

1. Top of the list is disposable clothes....Absolutely hate anything to do with washing and it doesn't help that I do it by hand.With disposable clothes the ironing problem is also eliminated.

2.The opposite to the microwave.Haven't come up with a name yet but you should be able to pop a drink in and get it chilled in seconds.Beats having to go get some ice.

3.A time machine.I always thought it was cool to get in a machine and be propelled either in the past or the future.

4.More male contraceptives.We have the female condom,how about the male pill?

5.A perm that would last more than 6 weeks.

6.A device similar to the tv remote that would mute people you don't want to hear

7.Something to duplicate the buzz on a mosquito,would be good to drive people crazy

8.Toys that would put themselves away

9.A chip that would erase what you don't want to remember

10.Mind reading device

11.Something to make you invisible

Saturday, March 26, 2005


Mercy or Murder?

For the past week I have been engrossed by the story ofTerry Schiavo,who at age 26 Image hosted by suffered heart failure that left her like thisImage hosted by

For the past 15 years she has been kept alive by a feeding tube which has now been removed by a court order.

Her parents are fighting to have the tube reinserted while the husband insists that Terry would have wanted to die rather than be kept alive in such a state.My first reaction was it is better that she dies because who wants to be kept alive in such a state.And I could not understand why after 15 years the parents are still unwilling to let go.But,I suppose you never ever give up hope and they must harbor the faint hope that she will one day come out of the vegetative state.It must also be very hard to standby and watch your daughter starving to death and being unable to do anything to help.

I find that to be a lot of pain for anyone to have to endure.Which parent would find that easy? A few years ago a family friend had to make a decision about turning off life support for his 11 yr old son.Up to this day he still says it is the hardest thing he has ever had to do and he still wonders if he made the right decision.If the daughter could have said to them she wants to go then am sure they would be more accepting.

Coming out of all of this is the need to make living wills,says the experts.Of course hardly anybody thinks of dying when you are that young.Maybe now we would be forced to make preparations for when we would want the plug pulled if it ever comes to that.

By the time I post this Terry Schiavo might be already gone to her resting place.There is a debate about right to die but am really not sure she is being allowed to die.It seems quite close to being "murdered".

Friday, March 25, 2005


Good Friday

Today is the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus and it is also a day of traditions.For starters it is a day that meat is not eaten and I never really got a plausible explanation as to why this is so.Yesterday, my friend told me it has to do with shedding of blood which is symbolic of Jesus shedding his blood for us.Therefore, in honour of that we stay away from meat-makes sense I suppose.Anyway,the traditional Good Friday lunch would consist of either mackerel,saltfish or fresh fish as the meat substitute with breakfast being some cross buns.Yesterday,this Jamaican girl told me that cooking on Good Friday is not part of their customs which highlights how different islands have different customs.

Then there are the superstitions like putting the white of an egg in a glass with the shape it takes suposedly determining your future.Yesterday,the buzz in Kingstown was that the volcano may erupt as some areas of the island had a sulphur smell and given that the last eruption took place on a Good Friday there is a lot of paranoia to go around.

At church this morning there was this thought provoking sermon.The theme was would you have said Jesus or Barrabbas if you were part of the crowd.I want to think I would have kept quiet,but i don't know.Think on it and Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Love yourself

Monday,I had a discussion with someone about self esteem and the way some people are crippled because they think very little of themselves.And today I read this

We have such poor images of ourselves that we have difficulty understanding the good others see in us. When someone gives us a compliment, we are quick to point out what is wrong.When someone supports or encourages us, we remind them of our failures.We play ourselves down to such a degree that others begin to question the faith they have placed in us. This vicious cycle can only lower our already low self esteem. Today is a good time to rethink our thoughts about ourselves. We can accept the compliments we recieve when we give them to ourselves first.We can build our confidence by celebrating our small victories and successes. We can support the faith and trust others have in us by supporting and having faith in ourselves. It all begins with our willingness to acknowledge that we are really fine, just the way we are.Ain't that the truth?

It all comes down to loving one's self and when you do you will honor and treasure yourself more.Honoring means you are not going to put yourself in situations where you end up feeling worse about yourself. It means you make decisions based on what is best for you and not what others want you to do.Am not going to pretend it is an easy task but we owe it to ourselves to try.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Thank God it's Monday

Don't worry,am not going crazy.But come Thursday it is school break for two glorious weeks.No more classroom until April 11th, so it's all good.The last two weeks or so have been really hectic with writing exams,marking papers and doing reports.Am not quite done as yet but things are more under control so I can breathe easier.This term I have seen slight improvements in some of the students but most of the time it is still an uphill challenge. These students never fail to amaze with their behaviour,value system etc.Many times I am shocked at the things that come out their mouths and am not that much older than some of the older ones.Sometimes,it just seems as if you have already lost this generation of children.Kinda sad but true.

The cricket confusion continues along its merry path.Chanderpaul replaces Lara as the new capt for the first test in Guyana(if there is a test at all).Most people expect the second string team to be totally outplayed and outclassed which means they really don't have anything to lose.We all will be watching to see how they fare and if the South Africans can lengthen their domination of West Indian teams.But,am almost sure there are more twists and turns to happen before that first test on March 31st. So everybody buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


War Hero

Grenadian hero gets recognition.I was not in favour of the Iraq war and I have mixed feelings about Caribbean people joining the British army.But,congrats to this young man for his act of bravery and selflessness.

Friday, March 18, 2005


The world of Politics

Politics is a real strange thing eh.Take the case of St Lucia where Sir John Compton resigned and handed over his party's leadership to Vaughan Lewis.The Vaughan Lewis led party subsequently lost two elections and now Mr Compton at age 79/80 is back out of retirement and once again leading his party.What a backward step taken by the UWP!

A few weeks ago Sir James Mitchell,incidentally a cousin of Compton was at his party convention here in SVG.Like Compton he had handpicked his successor who went on to lose at the polls.Thankfully, Sir James has not decided to come out of his retirement..well not yet.

There must be something about being in power that makes these politicians reluctant to leave.Then they set themselves up as a saviour and really believe that the country cannot prosper without their input.Politicians are really a strange breed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005



After walking for 6 days continuously Earl "Ole George" Daniel and Joel Butcher have learnt that The Guinness Book of Records will not be recognising their achievement.

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Image hosted by

According to a news item a Guinness spokesperson said it it is impossible to compare one person's avhievement against another since terrain,climate,walking speed etc would be different.Sounds stupid if you ask me.But it is quite deflating to hear this especially when the nation was willing them on.

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Tough break guys but respect is still due

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


My greatest moment

Another random topic chosen for me by a friend.Well,this one is really easy because nothing compares to the day I got my Common Entrance Results.

First up,it was my second attempt at the dreaded Common Entrance having failed my first outing in another Caribbean island.And most of us know that the Common Entrance determines what school you get into if any at all.So plenty hopes and dreams are usually riding on taking this one exam that sort of determines your future as young as age 10 in some instances.

Anyway I moved back to St Vincent in September,1990 not doing as well as I ought to.I had regressed so badly that no body thought I even had any chance of making it to a good school.There was even a joke making the rounds at home that they would just take off the top of my overall and I would have the skirt to go to my new school in Sept.Now the colour of my uniform was synonymous with one the low ranked schools.For my part,I wanted to go to the top school and nothing else would do.Why should I break family tradition by going elsewhere? I had to go to the school everybody went to or I was lesser.Such was the reasonings of an eleven yr old.

Because I was so far behind my aunt organised for me to get extra lessons.To tell the truth I hated most of it especially writing compositions at which I was awful.But there was no rest for the wicked so work I had to.Then came the day we had worked towards and I felt I had done good enough to achieve my goal but very few believed me.

Finally,results came and I remember the fear I felt as I walked to school.I actually stopped and leant up against a wall to scared to actually go further.Then this family friend saw me and asked what was the matter.I told him my aunt had said if I failed I was not to come home.He said I must know that my aunt was joking with me and I should run along and get my results.So I got the courage to go the final yards,went into my classroom and collected my slip.With trembling hands I opened it and saw I had passed,not only passed but passed with flying colours.

I remember running straight to my aunt's office,bursting through the doors and climbing up on her shouting that I was going to High School.I think for a moment she was too stunned to react but soon she was rejoicing with me.I had done it,we had done it.If I could have bottled the moment of my greatest triumph I would have.

Monday, March 14, 2005


National Heroes Day

Today,March 14th is National Heroes Day and we honour the life of Joseph Chatoyer.Earl "Ole George" Daniel is on course to achieve his goal of walking six days continously without sleep.Actually,he has already beaten the world record of 5 days 10 hrs but is currently extending it to the 6 day mark.At about 6 pm this evening every body would be heading to Heritage Square complete with flags to celebrate with Ole George.Nuff respect Ole George.

Addendum:Earl Ole George Daniel and Joel Butcher walked into the Guinness Book Of Records when they completed their 6 day walk around 6.45 pm this evening.My apologies for not mentioning Joel before but nobody knew if he was expected to finish the course.Congrats guys!

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Condoms in Prison?

I meant to post this yesterday but it was impossible to log on to Blogger.Anyway,the condoms in prison debate has been heating up the airwaves for the past week with quite diverse views.There are those who view any move by the authorities to introduce this measure as ungodly and promoting homosexuality.The other side's argument is centered around health concerns and the need to lessen the infection rates given that homosexual behaviour is a feature of prison life.

As far as am concerned condoms should have already been distributed in prison.It is no secret that homosexual behaviour occurs in prisons and neither is it any secret about the presence of HIV/AIDS behind the prison walls.At least one person has died of HIV while incarcerated and God knows how many more infected ones are presently a part of the prison population.

While we argue about the morality of it all we also have to look at measures aimed at curbing homosexual behaviour.Do we have the resources to build a prison that would give the over 300 inmates their own cell? Are we ready to explore the possibilty of introducing conjugal visits? And what if your partner is a male,would a conjugal visit be allowed? I can see the population screaming loud No's to the above questions.

So isn't it a lot cheaper to provide the condoms and forget about the morality issue?Morality issues,while fine are not going to prevent infection rates and when these inmates return to society with possible infections the problem becomes greater.Given the problem of high infection rates we have in this island I say what lessens it must be worth a try.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Marathon Walk

In just a few hours, Vincentian long distance walker Earl Daniel will begin one of the most challenging events of his walking career.

Ole George as he’s affectionately called, is attempting to break the World record for continuous walking without sleep. That record of 5 days and 11 hours and is currently held by a British citizen. Ole George says he’s aiming for a 6 day record. He begins at Richmond from 5 o’clock this evening.

He intends to circle each village from Richmond en route to Kingstown, almost 400 miles.

Should he complete this feat, Daniel will earn his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. He says he wants to encourage Vincentian youths to think outside the box and become pioneers. He’s also aiming at putting St.Vincent and the Grenadines on the map, especially in the area of sports tourism


Better him than me.Good luck still.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Things Caribbean

For most people outside the region the Caribbean is seen as a place of endless sea and sand.Those of us who live here know it is much more than a tourism brochure with many real problems like crime and the rate of HIV infection on the rise.Whilst we share a common culture there is something that distinguishes each island from the other.Take the simple matter of accents that serve to identify where each person is from.One may be forgiven for being unable to readily identify the Leeward Islands accents but there is no way you can miss the Barbadian,Trinidadian or Jamaican accents.

Apart from the accents,has anybody ever noticed that certain names originate from a particular island ?For example Callender is a Bajan surname as is Headley,Gayle is Jamaican,Liburd is Kittian or Nevisian etc.In St Vincent there is the situation where certain surnames are linked to races or even a geographical area.Names like Lavia,Ballantyne,Baptiste and Nanton to name a few are associated with those of Carib descent.Stapletons and Ferdinands originate from the village of Rose Hall,while Hoopers live mainly in Petit Bordel on the Leeward end of the island.

Then there are the various types of food that are served around the region.Windward Islanders have a taste for wild meat viz iguana,manicou and mountain chicken.Am not supposed to say this but some Grenadians eat monkey. Shhhh,don't say you heard it here.One thing though,Cbean food is noted for its spiciness,highly seasoned foods and the use of stuff like coconut milk.Jamaicans speciality is jerk,the Guyanese pepperpot and of course doubles is Trinidadian.Added to that there are countless sweets like sugar cakes,fudge and tamarind balls to satisfy any sweet tooth.Did I mention all the exotic fruits like sugar apples,my personal favorite golden apples, mangoes, sapodillas,plums,plumroses,guavas and others too numerous to mention? I think I'd better stop before I make myself too hungry.

Any mention of the Caribbean is incomplete without mention of the music.From reggae/dancehall originating in Jamaica to the soca sounds born in Trinidad the beat is enough to keep us moving in a way that only Caribbean people can.Oops,I almost forgot the chutney (sorry Devin) and the zouk of the French Islands.The festivals of the Caribbean is a whole other blog so am not even going to mention them.Let's just say Caribbean people love a lime(party/hang out for my non Cbean readers).Let's hear your observations.

Pic of the plumrose(could not get it posted below)
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Monday, March 07, 2005


Never a dull moment

There is never a dull moment in Barbados says a popular tourism advertisement.Am thinking it can be easily applied to West Indies cricket.From one controversy to the next seems to be the order of the day for West Indies cricket.The first one I was fully aware of was the drama regarding Brian Lara on the 1995 tour of England.This one was so huge that the public even got to read the Manager's report courtesy Tony Cozier's cricket quarterly.Then there was the Kensington Oval boycott,the strike at Heathrow prior to the South African tour and the sending of over aged players to an U 19 World Cup.

Now we have been innundated with the WICB/WIPA saga with respect to personal endorsements.Since Teddy Griffith made his announcement all the players with the exception of WIPA and Digicel have made a statement of some sort.Naturally,each side is trying to gain an upper hand in the court of public opinion. But,is it too much to ask that all the parties involved sit down like the adults they are and work out a solution? I don't really care about whose fault is it because it has long gone past that. The damage has been done and now it is time to move forward minus all the silly posturing that is going on.

I must say it find very amusing all the fears of a second string team being slaughtered if the worst should occur.Lest we forget,this team is not even lying in the middle of the test table.This is a team that even with the presence of the "big" names has been beaten soundly all around the world.Indeed,the only test win last yr came against the Bangladeshis.So if it comes down to a second string team all they have to do is maintain the no 8 spot.Not exactly a huge task.Therefore,when or if the dust settles,is it to much to ask the team to at least draw some test matches?

Friday, March 04, 2005


Martha Stewart

"When she gets out of prison,she's Nelson Mandela,not some disgraced personality" Neal Gabler,media critic.

Say it ain't so.Martha Stewart and Nelson Mandela in the same breath? Try as much as I can,I cannot find any similarities.Martha Stewart,big CEO of a business empire.Mandela,struggling to promote equal rights for a race.Ms Stewart went to jail for selling shares in some company based on a tip off(or some jazz like that).Mandela,accused of treason was sentenced to life imprisonment and only released after 27 years.Mind you Mandela did hard time on Robben Island that even affected his health.Martha Stewart spent five measly months in jail where from all reports she did not suffer unduly.Indeed much is made of how slim and trim she got while in jail.

Mandela did not have any company whose stocks rose while he was incarcerated and on his release there was no reality show waiting for him.Neither did he have any private jet waiting to whisk him off to one of his palatial mansions.For sure the world did not hold its collective breath as Martha Stewart walked out her prison.As my friend puts it one is a crook and the other is a distinguished gentleman.

I like Martha Stewart,she is a woman who built on her catering skills to become the force in domestic products.Probably,I would have taken the tip too if I were in her position.But Nelson Mandela she is not and the attempts to even draw any similiarity is insulting to people's intelligence.Not to mention how it reduces Nelson Mandela.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Miss HIV

Beauty Pageant with a twist Can you imagine a show like this in the Caribbean? It just may have the opposite effect.One thing for sure is a pageant like that will draw a massive crowd.The curiousity will be just too much.But I can't be certain it will aid in reducing the stigma.I wonder if it really helped the situation in Botswana as well,

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Telephone Manners

Running to answer the telephone only to hear the click as some one hangs up on you is really annoying.Or when you pick it up and the person on the other end wants to know who is speaking.I don't have a problem with being sked to identify myself in a work setting.But if you call a private # there is no need to be asking who is speaking.Just plain bad manners.

Recently,our phone line has been getting a new breed of callers.I was going to say am getting a new breed of callers but I cannot personalise it as am not sure the calls were meant for me exclusively.Ever so often when I answer the phone there has been a "breather" on the other end.No words,just the heavy breathing sounds or moans.Flattering,I suppose depending on how much you want to stretch it:).But seriously,it goes beyond an annoyance to plain old disgusting. Real strange the way some people get their kicks eh? It really does take all types to make this world of ours turn.

Right now having a caller hang up in your ear doesn't seem that bad at all.

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