1. I, for one, welcome our new overlords

Tom Traves is the highest paid person working at Dalhousie, if by “working” and “at Dalhousie” you mean retired, and basically at home. What do I know about words and meaning though, I’m just a sessional English instructor.


Peter MacKay should be photographed hugging these destitute workers.

Well, since I’m unemployed and broke and homeless and all, and since it’s been suggested that maybe speaking out politically maybe hasn’t been the best thing for my hiring prospects, I’m going to say that he deserves every penny! And I fully support any raises given to President Florizone for his masterful handling of the Dentistry “scandal” (such a strong word, I prefer “Dentistry learning opportunity”) as well. In fact, I would go so far as to say they’re underpaid. I taught sessional courses with 100 students, and honestly, I was far over-compensated for my wretched, contemptible labour worthlessly educating young people and generally being an un-hate fucked woman. I’m sure screening a TED talk would really have been just as effective as classroom teaching, marking papers, meeting with students, writing reference letters, counseling and mentoring, etc. Had I known our retired presidents were subject to such pauper’s wages I would certainly have donated my salary.

YouTube video


Yay popsicles! Popsicles from a cart, yum! But rhubarb in popsicles? WTF. Is this normal? Isn’t rhubarb kind of…stringy? And aren’t sugar and artificial dyes exactly what makes popsicles tasty? I’m all about mobile food coming to my home though, so bring on the popsicle cart.

Anyway, because the internet allows us to endlessly search out irrelevancies, I googled “rhubarb is evil” and that led me to Veggie Tales videos and that led me to homemade fan videos of Veggie Tales with Barbies and Veggie Tales puppets. Here’s a Petunia Rhubarb one! Enjoy! God loves you when he’s not ruthlessly destroying houses of worship.

YouTube video

If you make it through all 14 minutes of that you can describe it in the comments.

Moving on, the climax of the article is when she orders a new bell for the popsicle cart that sounds like the “old fashioned ice cream sound.” “When I got them and opened them, the sound was so beautiful,” Patterson said. Which is nice! Unfortunately, that reminded me about how the ice cream song is racist, because everything is racist and we can’t have nice things.

YouTube video

3. Maybe he was trying to make an old-fashioned defibrillator cart?

It’s possible. And all the people with heart problems hear the bells and yell, “defibrillator!” Just like the old days.

In all seriousness, I googled “stolen defibrillator” and apparently people are stealing them all over the place and selling them for parts. Boooooo. One video cautioned that if you steal one, don’t play with it and put it on your head or anything.

Let’s try to stick to stealing copper wire and antique trucks and stuff, okay Halifax?

YouTube video

4. 1 seat, 2 seat, orange seat, blue seat

The $48 NSF Fee Centre is getting new seats.

Also, the new concession stands will “also be using mostly local ingredients” — other than the actual contract for the stands themselves. As the article notes: “The seats were ordered eight months ago from Maine-based Hussey Seating, and Connecticut-based Centreplate won a tender for the new concessions stands about four months ago.” So buy local, unless it’s a significant civic project, in which case outsource it to the States! But, like, the semen in the Donair sauce will be local. Okay, I promise that’s the grossest I’ll ever get in this column, sorry everyone. Don’t be mad, it’s my birthday!


Don’t you want to eat me? I’m local!

Here’s a slanderous article about Donairs.

“Canadian food is disgusting. As a nation, we are stoically proud of this fact. Few countries are as talented at taking gross food and making it even more gross than it was previously. We think tomato juice should have clam juice mixed into it. Our French fries come drenched in gravy, with cheese curds that squeak. And when a pita wrap is put into the hands of a Nova Scotian, it ends up drowned in a sauce that’s so sweet it simply defies common sense.”

This video is delightful. I wish they’d do one with the bathroom upgrades. We could see the nasty stained old urinals and then the nice sparkling new ones side by side.

YouTube video

You can think of this video as a kind of visual representation of housing in Halifax. The orange seats represent affordable housing, which has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. But people still live in the housing, and they live in communities (represented by the two orange chairs side by side.) But here come the fancy developers, represented by the nice soft leathery blue seat. And they tear down the orange seats and put in nice blue seats which are an “upgrade” except now the people who were in the orange seat don’t have a home anymore. But everyone is happy because the new seats are bigger and more fancy so everyone rushes to sit in the new condo seats.

Alternatively, think of the nasty orange seats as sessional faculty and the nice blue seat as a university president!

5.  Canada explodes and is no more

Sidney Crosby said it’s okay to play other sports that aren’t hockey sometimes. He suggested playing soccer, for example, and added that children in different sports get exposed to different cultures and skills.

YouTube video

What? Has he been turned by the American government into an evil infiltrator sent to destroy Canada? Next he’ll be sneaking into arenas at night with a blow dryer melting all the ice. What does he mean there are other sports than hockey? What skills could anyone possibly need beyond a slapshot? Like speaking French or reading or something? Boooooooo.

YouTube video

There’s totally one Black guy in this commercial. What do we need “different cultures” for, huh? What’s wrong with good ol’ CANADIAN NON HYPHENATED CULTURE???

White Canada cannot handle this shit Sidney! Today they’ll come for our hockey, tomorrow they’ll take the sugar and artificial dyes out of our popsicles, then they’ll try to take our very Canadian Confederate flags, and next people will be thinking that Canada consists of many diverse cultures and identities and that what it means to be “Canadian” outside of Indigenous foundations cannot be simply defined by one monolithic idea, and that hockey represents only one form of Canadian identity!

Oh ok, he said that “taking a hockey break adds to the ‘excitement’ of stepping back on the ice.” Phew! That’s still hockey. For a minute I thought he was suggesting kids play basketball or lacrosse or something un-Canadian like that.


1. Trust Youth

Important points made about the new child protection legislation.

Service Providers Concerned Duty to Report Changes Will Deter Youth from Disclosing Sexual Assault

The NS Sexual Assault Services Network (SASN) and partners met with Child Protection officials last week to discuss concerns with a proposed change to child protection legislation, which will extend the definition of “child” from 16 to (under) 19. Service providers are particularly concerned about the impacts of increasing the age for mandatory reporting of sexual violence to under 19.

While the amendments will ensure that vulnerable youth can access important services, changes surrounding duty to report would deter youth in that age range who have experienced sexual violence from accessing support and medical care. A recent Sexual Violence Strategy consultation with youth found that confidentiality is key to their decision to disclose the assault and seek support. “Scores of clients in my practice have waited until they are 16 to report sexual violence specifically so they will be guaranteed confidentiality,” says Robert Wright, a Nova Scotia therapist and educator who works extensively with victims of sexual violence.

Reluctance to report sexual violence can result in a delay in accessing time-sensitive medical care, such as Plan B (emergency contraception), STI treatment, and HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) medical exams and forensic evidance collection must also be done within five days of the assault. Those present expressed concern regarding the impact that changing the duty to report will have on a population already in need of mental health support and at increased risk of suicide. Representatives also noted that being forced to report sexual assault under the age of 19 will take control away from the person who experienced the assault and could be re-victimizing.

As many university and college students fall into the 17 to (under) 19-year-old age range, representatives from university health and counseling services and students’ unions were also present at the meeting. The Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) will launch the Sexual Violence Phone Line, currently a month-long pilot, this coming orientation week. “If we can’t guarantee confidentiality, many first and second year students simply won’t feel comfortable disclosing their assault to phone line volunteers,” says Kaitlynne Lowe, DSU Vice President (Internal). “This change has the potential to undermine the effectiveness of this important service in the long run.” The phone line will be the only of its kind in Nova Scotia.

St. FX Student Union President, Hanna Stordy emphasized that “university students under the age of 19 are not children. The proposed amendment strips this age group of their autonomy and silences survivors by taking away their ability to access confidential supports and services. This completely undermines the positive reporting culture that we are trying to foster which hinges on trust and choice.”

Service providers in community-based, university and college counselling and health services have worked hard to create space where youth feel comfortable seeking help and disclosing sexual assault. “This proposed legislative change will set us back in terms of sexual assault reporting and our ability to provide support. It will stigmatize counselling and compromise the integrity of many of our essential services”, says Jackie Stevens, Executive Director of Avalon Sexual Assault Centre.

Though this legislation aims to address assault of a child in the home or by an authority figure, it also greatly impacts those under 19 who have experienced peer-to-peer assault, a prevalent form of sexual violence amongst this age group. In British Columbia, “reports of sexual assault against minors are not expected unless the sexual violence is of a continuous nature and/or the perpetrator is a family member” (Ending Violence Association of BC, “Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policies” Fact Sheet.).

Service providers are confident that these concerns will be taken into consideration and the government will adopt a resolution that has true benefits for all youth in this province.

2. Cranky letter of the day

Access-of-evil Nova Scotia.

Tax-guzzling province

For the last few months, I’ve been looking for a good used car that is more suitable for winter driving. This because it seems my road will no longer be plowed on the same day as a snowstorm — the new 24-hour rule. (For the last 17 years it has been plowed on the same day as the storm, but this is another story.)

I purchased by private sale an all-wheel-drive vehicle for $4,000, knowing that it would need at least $2,000 in repairs. My surprise came at Access Nova Scotia, when the bill for HST, title transfer and sticker for my plate came to nearly $850. This is all tax. By the way, there is very little paperwork that goes into it. And because the red book on the car says it’s worth $4,500, extra taxes were levied, even though I knew I’d have to do repairs and pay the tax on that as well.

This province is greedy and guilty of short-term thinking in terms of taxes. The car I bought has had full taxes paid on it each time it was sold. I now support anyone who cheats. Our government will make criminals out of all of us. Tax on tax is criminal.

Paul Susnis, Herring Cove

I found this video on the internet.

3. Dear God

This entire letter is horrifying. I recommend reading it aloud while listening to this soundtrack:

Ticks: There is no safe season.

To the Editor:

Summer is now at the halfway mark and many people are thinking no need to be concerned about ticks, they are not out there, wrong answer.

The black-legged tick is a three-host parasite with a two to three year life cycle. Eggs that are laid in the first spring hatch into six-legged larvae in the summer crawl up on vegetation, tall grass and quest for a small host such as mice and other small mammals.

Larvae are active from July to September, with their peak activity in August. After feeding, they drop off into leaf litter and molt into the eight-legged nymph stage and remain inactive through the first winter, emerging during the second spring.

Nymphs become active and attach to medium size mammals from May on into August. The nymphs then drop off and molt to the adult.

Adult ticks seek a third and final larger host such as deer, through the remainder of the second summer, peaking in late September. The adult can be found from September to May depending on the weather. After mating, the female drops to the ground and lays about 3,000 eggs in the leaf litter at the end of the second summer to complete the two year cycle. If the adult tick is unsuccessful in mating, it will remain dormant in the leaf litter until temperatures begin to rise above 4 degrees Celsius to try again.

Feeding/attachment time for larvae and nymphs is about 2-3 days and adults can be 5-7 days, black legged ticks are slow feeders.

The host during any of the tick’s stages of development can be human; it is about being in the right place at the right time for the tick to climb on board.

Where you live, your hobbies and your habits may influence your risk. Outdoor occupations, occupations working with animals as well as outdoor recreation increase your risk of a tick bite. Outdoor pets that come indoors can carry ticks in and if they are not yet attached they can crawl off and on to you. Swing sets and tree houses in the woods increase the risk for children. Yards surrounded by dense woods as well as having woodpiles and brush piles.

One also needs so consider bird baths and bird feeders as birds carry ticks and they drop into the environment. Deer are everywhere and are regularly seen in urban areas. Do not feed the deer as this encourages them to stay in town. Crushed egg shell around plants helps to discourage deer from eating them as they do not like the smell of albumen.

Dress appropriately, use repellents, have a tick removal device and do body checks…keep up your guard to help reduce your risk of being bitten.

Be aware and protect yourself. Education is key!

Brenda Sterling-Goodwin
New Glasgow

El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor, community advocate, and activist. Her work focuses on social justice issues such as feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism, and decolonization.

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  1. Talk Show host Kyle Kulinski is misleading listeners when he attributes “racist origins” to the tune “Turkey in the Straw,” commonly played in hurdy-gurdy instrumental style by ice cream trucks. In fact, the melody originated as a fiddle tune in the early 1800s, perhaps derived from a ballad called “My Grandmother Lived on Yonder Little Green,” which in turn drew on an Irish ballad, “The Old Rose Tree.” The original lyric went like this:

    Turkey in the hay, in the hay, in the hay.
    Turkey in the straw, in the straw, in the straw,
    Pick up your fiddle and rosin your bow,
    And put on a tune called Turkey in the Straw.

    The tune is one of the most persistent American folk melodies, in a class with “Greensleeves” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” As such, it has inspired dozens if not hundreds of lyrical variants. One of these, created a century after the tune’s introduction to the American folk canon, was the repulsive racist version authored by Harry C. Browne in 1916 and cited in the Kulinski show. Browne’s recording in Columbia Records was one of many songs that contributed to the watermelon stereotype.

    It would be accurate to say the traditional, 200-year-old fiddle tune still in instrumental use by ice cream trucks was once appropriated by a second-rate performer who put disgusting racist lyrics to it. It is flat out wrong to say the tune has “racist origins,” or to imply, as I think Kulinski does, that its continued use promotes racism or ought to offend us.

    I for one do not intent to let a racist jerk who died six decades ago spoil a good tune that’s been around since the Napoleonic Wars. There is more than enough racism abroad today — real discrimination against real people with hurtful and destructive results in our own communities — without assassinating the character of a beloved melody.

    1. Many apologies! It does say on the picture but I should also have put in the link! Will fix it!

  2. Perhaps Sidney mentioned soccer because of the money paid to skilled young men such as 20 year old Raheem Sterling who now plays for Manchester City for the meagre salary of $300,000 a week, slightly more than the $60,000 a week he was paid when 18 years old at Liverpool.
    Why play hockey for chump change when soccer pays so well

  3. Shame on the Dal board for approving such a contract, it doesn’t seem in the best interest of Dal, the students or the faculty. This province needs to keep our best and brightest (like El), and we can’t do that it they can’t make a living wage. 400k would help with that. The worst part of this is it shows the Dal board doesn’t really give a damn about the issue of faculty being paid poverty wages.

    I could make some Ivany report reference here related to this, but I’m sure that the well heeled business peolpe in the One Nova Scotia commission will address this issue and recommend reining in executive compensation.

    Ànd you ruined donairs for me!