Well it’s officially my favourite season: the season of egg nog. Much like the intrigue created by the Disney movie company which releases its classics every so often by “opening the vault” only to “close the vault” again shortly after, the egg nog “distributors” (now I’m making them sound like a mafia group) hook you on the nog-juice for a few months then take it away long enough to make it special again the next year. And, just like Disney classics, egg nog is delicious enough to entice you to buy it every time it comes out (I fear only in my mind could Disney and egg nog become so closely connected). Anyways, before I write a dissertation on the joys of egg nog, let’s look at some of the headlines lately. News briefs In a not-so-positive story, the Youtube video created by Amanda Todd a month before she committed suicide grabbed my thoughts Friday morning. The video didn’t garner much attention in September when she released it, but it took on a new meaning last week following her death, and now over 7 million people have watched Amanda recollect her hardships via video. I’ll let you watch the video (youtube search Amanda Todd), but the long-and-short of it is Amanda was coaxed into flashing a random guy on video chat (people can go online and play ‘video chat roulette’ talking to dozens of random people), that guy found out who she was (possibly through Facebook), showed her classmates the photo of her flashing him, then he continued to follow her and do the same as she moved on to a new school. After that, she was a victim to bullying, beat up, and had several suicide attempts before actually completing one. Her fellow and former students also continually harassed her online, largely ‘publicly’ through Facebook. The incident brings to light something many older folk haven’t experienced: cyber bullying, stalking and harassment. The thing to note is no one is immune anymore, a similar thing happened when I worked in another community, and a parent talked to me about their daughter being bullied by a male classmate to send him a photo of her breasts or else he’d spread rumors around on her. Unfortunately for the parent and the daughter, she felt optionless and sent the photo. I guess the idea here for anyone outside of the situation is it never hurts to find out what your kids are up to in the ‘cyberworld’. Relatedly, on the ‘evils’ of Facebook and the internet, the incident reminded me of a video I watched a couple weeks ago called ‘Amazing mind reader reveals his gift’. Check it out for yourself and see how the ‘clairvoyant’ is able to tell random people so much about their lives - including credit card numbers, home security information and relationships. On a more positive note, extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner made a free fall from outer space - at an altitude of about 71,500 feet - in a trip that lasted four minutes, 20 seconds. He broke the sound barrier of 1,200 km/hr by reaching a speed of 1,342.8 km/hr, and broke the record for highest free fall ever. One of the most interesting facts out of it is (or at least interesting for people who assume once you’re in space you’re just going to float around), even though he was in space, he was still close enough to Earth to be pulled in by gravity. The last record for largest free-fall was set in 1960 at 31,333 metres. The diver reached a speed of 988 km/hr. The NHL continues to be locked out, and word is this time the NHL could potentially shut down for up to two years. Latest numbers last week is the NHL has lost more than $230 million in revenue already, but apparently that’s not enough of a motivator (and I freak out if I lose $2.30). In soccer, Canada’s Christine Sinclair was fined and suspended last week after making comment on poor officiating at the Olympic Games (that cost Canada a spot in the gold medal game). It’s good to protect the referees, but at some point, when the officiating is glaringly egregious, perhaps its a good time for governing bodies to let players make their comments (now the governing body just looks as ridiculous as the official did that game). And an interesting thought noted by a colleague at the Westman Journal recently: A sign of the ages. Ask someone what time it is and see if they look at their watch or cell phone to tell you. Anyway, until next week, keep a smile on your face and I’ll do the same.