baha’i fasting times for 2009

hey—just in time for the Fast, I’ve calculated and posted Ottawa’s Baha’i fasting times for 2009, along with links to print out fasting calendars for other major Canadian cities. Hope you find them useful, and here’s wishing you and yours a joyous and spiritually transformative Fast.

Read more about the Baha’i Fast, here and on bahai.org.

volkswagons of the sea

Seen lately on a Baha’i email list which shall remain nameless:

Let us move like the volkswagons of the sea purposefully with determination regardless of our limitations.

nothing to say about it really, except that it gives a wonderfully hilarious mental image. I wonder how these volkswagons are supposed to navigate the sea? oh, and I’m not hating, either, I really did laugh. there comes a time in everyone’s life when we just happen to run out of good metaphors 😉

travelling travelling

stranded in torontosometimes you read the news, and sometimes you live it. like for example the latest news about air travel over Christmas! Last night was the first time I actually got stuck anywhere because of air traffic; on our way to Moncton, my family and I got stuck in Canada’s busiest airport after our 8:00 flight was delayed, then cancelled, leaving us to wait for a flight at 11PM. I’ve got nothing to complain about, really; all we did was hang around at Pearson airport for a little while—I caught up on emails and my mom and sister strolled around doing a little shopping in the duty-free section. Some others didn’t have it quite so easy: others had been waiting in Toronto for up to three or four days waiting for a flight out. Many of the people sitting around us on the flight (once it finally came) had been waiting upwards of seven hours for a plane. I’m just glad I wasn’t trying to get to Vancouver or Halifax; it seems like both airports have been effectively shut down for the past week. Things were crazy enough, though, to have Westjet lose a piece of my mom’s luggage—chock full of Christmas presents, of course—during our transfer in Toronto; thankfully, they just called up to announce that they were able to track it down, and it should be arriving in Moncton overnight, for us to pick up in the morning. I have to say that, for a relatively inexpensive airline, I’ve been pretty happy with Westjet’s service. I’d recommend it for anyone who wants to try flying within Canada for sure.

OK, dinnertime now. No more time for travel stories. It’s time for turkey :3

oh wow

conf2009 been a while hasn’t it? well apart from all the usual trouble I get up to in between blog posts, I finished up some work implementing the design of the official website of the Toronto and Vancouver Baha’i regional conferences—which, coincidentally, are coming up in just a few short weeks. (There should still be time to register if you haven’t yet.) After plenty of civilized discussion (lol) with friend and fellow webservant Martin (warning: link is hopelessly out of date), we ended up putting up a simple little WordPress installation to house the whole thing, and adapted an existing theme to use an already-developed and -approved visual design; the bulk of the work happened in about 24 hours after a few frantic phone calls. Maybe not the most rewarding thing I’ve done in the last while (the recent redesign of the Conference Board of Canada’s home page takes that cake), but I can assure that the adrenaline rush of meeting the challenge and ensuing success did in fact kick it high up onto the list. not that I make a policy of working on extremely short-notice web projects, but something else has been flung my way just tonight that I expect to be working on in the next week, before I head off with family for a (well-deserved?) Christmas vacation visiting my extended family in the Maritime provinces (Moncton and area, mostly). Sounds fun huh?

oh and look at me using all these parentheses!

baha’i explorer

bahaiexplorernow here’s a rather eye-popping addition to your Favourites bar: Baha’i Explorer is a Baha’i content aggregator—a clean, concise website that offers an overview of the latest Baha’i-related content to appear on the Internet, including listings from prominent Baha’i blogs, news headlines, Youtube videos, music, flash presentations and more. It’s an individual initiative, and is by all appearances 100% legit. Seriously, you need to bookmark it now, and maybe spread it on Digg and del.icio.us and Facebook and all those other sites. Do it. Go already!

blog action day: thinking about poverty

sip?“really, though,” I thought to myself while jotting down notes about blog action day’s chosen topic of poverty, “what am i doing sitting here, sipping on a milkshake, when the three dollars I paid for it could have paid for a meal for a hungry child?” I still don’t have an answer. But it did get me thinking—thinking hard enough to put together a few thoughts on a topic I admittedly don’t think much about. thinking about wealth, family, and social position, and how I tend to take them for granted, just because that’s the way things are. thinking about what poverty means in Canada, one of the more affluent nations of the world—where, according to my own employer, the Conference Board of Canada, and to OECD statistics, one out of every seven children lives in poverty. thinking, and wondering what in the world one person could do to stem the tide of what has been and continues to be a global epidemic that afflicts billions of people.

In 2001, the United Nations set eight overarching goals for development, the “Millennium Development Goals” (side note: I’ve gotten real tired of things being named “Millennium”. they named a bus stop near my old high school “Millennium” for pete’s sake). The first of these goals—which also touched on topics such as education, gender equality, and the environment—concerned the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Specific targets? halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day; achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people; and halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. That’s no small task, I pondered to myself as I looked for a way to tackle this issue from my own perspective. How in the world are they supposed to do that, especially given the repeated failures of aid programs through corruption, misappropriation of funds, the creation of dependency in the receiving nations that elicits cries of “neocolonialist pigs!” in the radical West? Sure, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, there’s enough food in the world to feed everybody, but aren’t there still 780 million people who are still chronically hungry? What are they going to do, air-drop hamburgers?

Thankfully, through the agency of some good-natured spirit, I happened to find out about a study session on the Baha’i International Community’s recent statement, Eradicating Poverty: Moving Forward as One that happened tonight. After attending and taking a bunch of notes, I put together a few highlights in typical dan-jones style that I’d like to share with you.
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