Since I haven’t been able to keep my mind focused on a single, visionary idea for a post, you’re stuck with this: random bursts of thoughts.

If you’ve read my occasional political rants, you would understand that I was mortified when I read that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is an introvert by nature.  Gasp!  Could it be that he and I have something in common?!  The horror!

How’s this for a remarkable statistic?  In a 2006 study, it cost $356 on average in physician-related costs alone to treat an obese child. Conversely, it was estimated to cost $23 per child to implement a school-board wide health promotion and obesity prevention program.  Why are we not focused on prevention when we know exactly what is causing obesity? This isn’t cancer; there’s no mystery here!  Obesity is sucking health care taxes that would be better spent elsewhere.  Prevention has to start in our homes and in our schools.

After being hit by another snowstorm last week here in Toronto, I continue to be surprised by how a little bit of snow has become a news event. Seriously.  It’s February in Canada; what did you think was going to happen?  Whining about snow has become a favourite sport, it seems.  I think there is some truth to this opinion column from The Globe and Mail: we are hating on winter to our detriment.  The less of winter we have, the more global warming holds us hostage.  Is that what we really want?

Warning: full-on rant coming up…

I want DQ to enjoy our four seasons and she really does see the benefits of each one.  Except when at school.  Her play yard is full of snow that never got plowed.  “Great!”, you say. “Lots of snow for the kids to play in!”  You would be wrong.  On this cold morning, I overheard a parent saying to a teacher, “You’re going to supervise them carefully outside, right?  This snow is really icy.”  [Insert first eye roll here]  The teacher replied, “Yes, we’re going to speak to the office today about keeping the kids indooors today.  It’s too icy.” [Insert second, larger eye roll here]  This, after getting memo after memo from the school with their finger-wagging, condescending tone, reminding parents to dress their kids appropriately for the weather because “we go outside every day except when the temperatures go below -20”.  Give me a large break.  I’ve lost track of how many days DQ has spent recess and lunch hour indoors this winter, and believe me, it has never gone below -20.

Let’s wrap it up on a brighter note then, shall we?

Didn’t think you’d ever meet a cool scientist?  Meet Jennifer Gardy.  She’s an epidemiologist and her passion is to trace and track disease outbreaks by following how genomes mutate in pathogens as they travel from patient to patient.  As she says, “It is literally CSI, but it’s ‘cootie scene investigation’ instead of Crime Scene Investigation.”  If all scientists could get this excited about their work and post science-minded tweets that are actually intriguing, we’d have so many more science graduates doing great things in the world.  A nice role model for young girls with the slightest interest in science.