FICTION FEATURE: Poetry from new fiction contributor, Sara Kinninmont:
TEENS’ CARS: Sacrificing the glory of the ride for academic pursuits:
MUSIC REVIEW: Harem by Sarah Brightman
SOUNDING OFF: AU’s request to be removed from the tuition cap
Hot weather blues:
Author Ray Bradbury, in his classic Touched With Fire, argued that 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees centigrade) is the ideal temperature for murder. Any lower, and people are less agitated; any higher, and people are too lethargic to carry out their violent thoughts:
So this leads me to wonder, what’s wrong with these people who describe the most searing of summer days as ‘beautiful?’ Weather-casters are particularly prone to this misrepresentation. Come mid August, temperatures soar, swelling the mercury well into the high thirties – occasionally creeping into the forties – people get testy, wilted and weak, and start visiting 7-11 just to bask near the Slurpee freezer for a few minutes, but still our clueless newscasters deem it, “a beautiful day”.
Yesterday, a local Calgary newsperson commented – with palpable regret – that our current temperature did not constitute a record high. Oh dear. Is this a competition now? Must we have a record number of record highs in a single year? Global warming not working fast enough for ya buddy?
I suppose we may as well find some way to have fun with it – otherwise it would be deeply disturbing to notice that we’re reaching record highs several times a month. Statistically, it’s miraculous: environmentally, it’s tragic.
Maybe the news has to put on a brave face and pretend that our constantly rising temperatures are some sort of accomplishment for our beleaguered Earth. “It’s 42 degrees today, 4 points above our previous record! Go Earth!”
Ok, so most of us aren’t buying into that. But then what is it that some people find so pleasing about the hottest weather? Do they enjoy the sensation of being hot and sticky all day – buttocks tearing Velcro-like from vinyl chairs and wooden benches? Do thrice daily showers help to break up the monotony of the day? Is there meditative bliss to be found in the rhythmic drone of oscillating fans and AC units?
I am not blessed with air conditioning, but my neighbours are, so I get all the noise, and none of the cool. It’s like sleeping in a hot, white-noise blanket: cozy.
I am getting a nice blast of warm air from my roaring computer fan, however. I can almost smell the super-fast RD-RAM chips frying on my state-of-the-art P4 motherboard as I type, shortening the life-span of my silicon-encrusted friend each day the sun continues to broil my home.
Ok, I know that people yearn for clear summer days so they can go out do all the things they can’t do in the winter. Going to the zoo, playing Frisbee in the park, baseball leagues, walking the dog – yep, great summer fun. But at these temperatures? I’m good for a good 5 minute tennis match, then I’m done.
I bought a treadmill to help stay in shape while I’m at home, but at these temperatures I conk out in two minutes. I worked up a hell of a sweat just pumping some iron the other day. All the signs of a great workout, without getting a great workout. Hmm: Nothing like feeling the pain, with no gain:
So forgive me if I’m cranky – like my overworked computer, I’m part-way through a melt-down and fading fast.
I’m watching the news with great interest as the temperatures continue to rise – to see how high it will go before these morons stop proclaiming it a ‘beautiful day.’ A couple of years ago we topped out at 43 degrees centigrade. I’m sure there are many who hope to beat that this year.
I’ll tell you this. The next person who tells me to drink something hot so I can feel more cool gets a hot cup of tea in the face. They’ll feel cooler later on.
Tamra Ross Low
Editor in Chief
NEW AUSU CALENDAR NOW AVAILABLE
The 2003/04 AU calendar is now available in print, and online. The online version has been significantly revamped, and I will be reviewing the new website in next week’s Voice. To order a print copy of the new calendar, contact the AU information center, or check out the online version at: http://www.athabascau.ca/calendar/03/index.html
The Voice will soon announce a writing contest for all AU students. The prize will be substantial, and we’re looking forward to lot of great submissions. Watch this space for details to come soon.
The Voice fiction feature has become popular, but submissions have been slow. Send us your best fiction today, and it might become our next feature.
Attention Budding Writers
The Voice needs some new voices. We know you have plenty to say, so why not get paid for it. Send us a writing sample or article for submission and you might be published in an upcoming issue. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it pays. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Link of interest
Students interested in learning about conferences, job openings, internships, and other student opportunities should check out the Outside Opportunities page on the AUSU website, located at: http://www.ausu.org/opportunities/index.php