Archive for alcohol

Just one click could save a life!

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on February 5, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation needs your help – and it won’t cost you a cent!

The Foundation has joined a new crowd sourcing initiative called FundChange.  The idea is that charities can sign up for micro-financing, that over time will accumulate. The initiative is being sponsored by Telus, who has agreed to match any donations that are made – but only for the initiative that gets the most votes.

The Foundation is promoting its Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) Program. From the site:

The P.A.R.T.Y. Program aims to reduce the number of teen injuries, and it works ­– a study by the Hospital showed that six weeks after completing the P.A.R.T.Y. Program, participants had significantly improved knowledge of risk factors for injury.

So what can you do?

First you can click THIS LINK, which will take you the the Foundation’s area on the FundChange site. Once you are there, click the VOTE button. It won’t cost you any money, and you don’t have to sign up for anything. Just click the button. And come back tomorrow and vote again!

If you are feeling particularly giving, you can also click the FUND button.  That one will cost you however much you are willing to donate.  But in the end, your vote could be worth a lot more if the Foundation wins.

Want to see more about the program:

Why are divorce rates high? Because divorce is an option.

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

CBC News has an interesting piece about a recently released study by the Vanier Institute of the Family. The study found that, according to 2006 Canadian census data, 40% of first marriages end in divorce. Or, if you like, 60% of first marriages were doing alright (as of 2006).

My immediate reaction is that I would like to know a little more information about that statistic – like how many of those first marriages were still in the “honeymoon phase” at the time the study was done, and could therefore have crumbled by now. I’d also like to know what the divorce rate is for second and third marriages…

But what is really interesting to me is the top eight reasons why people got married and the top five reasons given for divorce.

Let’s start with the reasons people say they got married:

  1. Feeling that marriage signifies commitment
  2. Moral values
  3. Belief that children should have married parents
  4. It is the natural thing to do
  5. Financial security
  6. Religious beliefs
  7. Pressure from family
  8. Pressure from friends

Notice anything missing from this list?  Where is the “I fell in love and wanted to make sure that we would always be together” answer?  What about, “we get along so well and I just can’t imagine living without him/her“?  Maybe these answers were nine and ten on the list? Am I the only one who finds it disheartening that every reason listed for marriage is an external force acting as pressure on the couple? Where are the answers from people who wanted to get married?

Now lets look at the reasons people say they got divorced:

  1. Different values and interests
  2. Abuse — physical and emotional
  3. Alcohol and drugs
  4. Infidelity
  5. Career-related conflict

Well, you can’t really disagree with any of these.  I doubt that most people would expect someone they loved to stay in a relationship involving #2, 3, or 4.  #1 isn’t a great thing to have in a relationship either, though I would question the reason those people got married in the first place.  As for #5, well, it’s debatable – but I would say that if a person cares more about their carrier than their spouse, they probably should be divorced.

But what is really striking about these answers is that they are timeless. We seem to make a big deal about how divorce is more common now than it was 20, 30, 50, 100 years ago.  Yet the most common reasons given for divorce today would certainly have been just as common 100 years ago.

The only difference is that 100, 50, 30 and even 20 years ago divorce was far less acceptable.  There certainly is still a stigma regarding divorce today – but it is nothing compared to previous generations. Today, if you have a reason to get divorced, you can make it happen and you can move on with your life. You can even get remarried if you like.

Now, consider this in tandem with the fact that the top eight reasons for marriage involved external pressure…

It’s pretty clear why the divorce rate is so high – people are getting married even though they don’t want to. And once they realize that they made a mistake, they fix it.

I think that the real story here has nothing to do with divorce: it is that society has forgotten that pressuring people to get married is only effective if you don’t give them a way out.

Forget age-based alcohol driving rules

Posted in Rules, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on July 27, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I’ve heard a lot of discussion for and against new legislation that will make it illegal for people under 21 to drive with anything other than a zero blood-alcohol level.

The blood-alcohol level thing has always confused me.  We learn very early in school that there is almost no way for the average person to gauge the true effects of alcohol on their own body.  We all know about that little card you can get that compares how much alcohol is in each type of drink, and we all know that it is complete garbage. The number of variables that have to be taken into consideration are simply immeasurable.

Any yet, we continue to presume that the law can simply give a single number applicable t all, and that will somehow keep us safe – despite the fact that nobody is ever quite certain if they are over the level.

I propose that we stop relying on age-based, and blood-alcohol-based laws. The law should be that if you drink alcohol, you can’t drive for 24 hours. Period.

If everyone, young or old, was required to have a zero blood-alcohol level when driving there would be absolutely no mystery.