Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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13

May

2022

Pow! How Batman led me astray

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday May 12, 2022

 

We all know about life’s major decisions. You know this decision will affect you for the rest of your life. 

            I am only realizing, late in my life, that smaller decisions, things I didn’t bother thinking twice about at the time, can also affect the rest of one’s life. 

            When I was ten, I regularly went to a barbershop a couple of blocks away. The barber kept a stack of comic books for his customers to look at while they waited. 

            I got hooked on Batman. I loved the way he dispatched his foes with a single mighty uppercut that came all the way up from the floor. Ka-Pow! Blam! Smash!

            My family moved away from that barbershop, but I never lost that mental image of Batman’s invincible fists. 


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13

May

2022

Corporate defence mode

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday May 8, 2022

 

Small stories open up into bigger stories. The CBC’s Go Public” series investigated a small incident where an Uber driver called one of his passengers a nigger. 

            When the passenger’s girlfriend defended him, the driver ordered her to shut up. 

            All captured on video. 

            It should have been an open-and-shut case. The girlfriend sent the video to Uber. 

            But Uber didn’t apologize. It shifted into corporate defence mode. 


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13

May

2022

The gap between cause and correspondence

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday May 5, 2022

 

The coyotes were howling on the hill above my home, the other night. A. howl echoed through the woods. Then another. And several more. Accompanied by a multitude of something like barks. Punctuated by a whole series of high-pitched yips, which I assumed was coyote pups joining in with their elders.

            Not long after, a magnificent full moon rose over the hill.

            I’m sure some of you immediately thought, “They were howling at the moon!”

            No, they weren’t. They started howling long before the moon appeared. 

 

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3

May

2022

Invisible bath of radiation

Author: Jim Taylor

Sweden is building a road that recharges batteries on an electric bus, as the bus passes over it. 

            The project is an experiment. 

            I gather that transmitter will be buried in the asphalt. When the designated bus passes over a transmitter, it will emit a blast -- sorry, I can’t think of a better word -- of wireless radiation that will boost the bus’s battery storage, much like the wireless charging devices for your cell phone. Or your hearing aids. Only much stronger.

            Promotional blurbs released about the Swedish experiments gloat that this process -- if successful -- will eventually eliminate the need for charging stations. The highway will recharge your Tesla or Ioniq as you drive. 

            Wait a minute… What about the humans in those vehicles?


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3

May

2022

Invisible bath of radiation

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday May 1, 2022

 

Sweden is building a road that recharges batteries on an electric bus, as the bus passes over it. 

            The project is an experiment. 

            I gather that transmitter will be buried in the asphalt. When the designated bus passes over a transmitter, it will emit a blast -- sorry, I can’t think of a better word -- of wireless radiation that will boost the bus’s battery storage, much like the wireless charging devices for your cell phone. Or your hearing aids. Only much stronger.

            Promotional blurbs released about the Swedish experiments gloat that this process -- if successful -- will eventually eliminate the need for charging stations. The highway will recharge your Tesla or Ioniq as you drive. 

            Wait a minute… What about the humans in those vehicles?


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3

May

2022

Invisible bath of radiation

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday May 1, 2022

 

Sweden is building a road that recharges batteries on an electric bus, as the bus passes over it. 

            The project is an experiment. 

            I gather that transmitter will be buried in the asphalt. When the designated bus passes over a transmitter, it will emit a blast -- sorry, I can’t think of a better word -- of wireless radiation that will boost the bus’s battery storage, much like the wireless charging devices for your cell phone. Or your hearing aids. Only much stronger.

            Promotional blurbs released about the Swedish experiments gloat that this process -- if successful -- will eventually eliminate the need for charging stations. The highway will recharge your Tesla or Ioniq as you drive. 

            Wait a minute… What about the humans in those vehicles?

 

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3

May

2022

The night Huey, Dewey, and Louie died

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday April 21, 2022

 

I remember the night like yesterday. Our daughter Sharon called from Edmonton. “It’s over,” she said, and started sobbing.

            Sharon was in her mid-thirties at the time.  “Finally, one of the in-vitro fertilizations worked in a petri dish. Three cell blobs were implanted and my body registered the appropriate hormonal response. I was pregnant after almost a year of trying.”

            She named the three “blobs” – properly, blastocysts – Huey, Dewey, and Louis. Because A, B, and C, or 1, 2, 3 sounded too generic.

            Because of her age, hers was considered a “high-risk” pregnancy. She had ultrasound tests almost weekly. 

            And then one week, there were only two blobs left. 

            And about a week later, the ultrasound showed no blobs at all. 

            That’s when Sharon called to say, “It’s over.”


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3

May

2022

Random thoughts on an Easter morning

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday April 21, 2022

 

My alarm went off at 5:30 Easter morning. Through my window, on the far side of the lake, a full moon was slipping behind the mountains. 

            I heard a thump. A bird had flown into my window. Quail aren’t noted for intelligence – but even they know it’s easier to find sunflower seeds at my feeder than to scrabble around in the undergrowth looking for leftovers from last fall. 

            A quail, a nerf-ball of feathers, lay motionless on my deck. Broken its neck when it hit the glass, I assumed. 

            But I had an Easter sunrise service to attend. So I left it for later. 


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3

May

2022

Easter isn’t about eggs and bunnies

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday April 17, 2022

 

The sun has not yet risen.  It’s Sunday morning. A small group of Jewish women straggle along a path towards a cliffside cemetery outside the city walls. Gravel crunches under their sandals. Their breath makes little clouds in the chilly morning air. 


 ***************

The sun has not yet risen.  It’s Sunday morning. A small group of Ukrainian women creep from the underground bunker where they have been imprisoned for the last few days. Even underground, they could feel the earth tremble aa bombs showered on the city above them. 

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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: Easter, Ukraine, women

3

May

2022

Warning: may contain disturbing images

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday April 14, 2022

 

These days, every newscast about the war in Ukraine includes a warning about “disturbing images.”

            Victims lying in the streets, hands tied behind their backs, a bullet hole in their heads. Bodies, wrapped in plastic, laid out like speed bumps. Trenches with the dead stacked like sardines. 

            Tomorrow’s “Good Friday” church services should carry a similar warning: “This service may contain disturbing images.”


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