Water Cooler 6/12/2016 - Eight Continents


Even though the comment function still isn’t working, I decided to go ahead and post a Water Cooler article for Sunday. Some of you may still enjoy reading the international stories that I regularly post. I’m going to include one from each continent. Yes, I know there aren’t eight continents. Bear with me.

North America

Canada is set to legalize marijuana possibly as soon as next year.

“On the recreational side,” he added, “governments like Canada’s look at it as a revenue source and feel that it makes no sense to exclude all of this potential money from their coffers when people are going to continue to consume cannabis, and preventing them from doing so legally is just going to drive them to the black market.”

Look for more countries to consider this as a new potential tax revenue stream.

South America

Beer will soon be flowing again in Venezuela (for now).

The import-dependent economy is set to contract eight percent this year, with inflation of 700 per cent, the International Monetary Fund forecasts.

They should’ve taken lessons from the Soviets. As bad as things ever got in Russia, the vodka was always cheap and available allow the masses to drown their miseries. Unless their politics change, they will continue to have critical shortages and out of control inflation.


Russia continues to tighten its grip on Crimea in the Ukraine.

In 1944, the Tatars were deported from Crimea and resettled in Soviet Central Asia. They lived in exile until the 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev allowed them to return. Having suffered so grievously at the hands of the Kremlin, Tatars are presumed to oppose the return of Russian rule.

As is always the case in Europe, territorial claims go back millennia, and someone will always be fighting someone else for that land. There are over 100,000 have fled Crimea, and the numbers will likely continue to increase for some time.


A reminder that the real war on women is still waged around the globe. An Indian woman was burned alive by her husband and his family because her skin was too dark.

She said that following a fight on June 3, her husband, his mother and three brothers had locked her in a room and doused her in kerosene before leaving her to die. Neighbours in Parun village broke into the house after hearing screams and seeing smoke, but Mrs Bibi later died of her wounds in hospital.

Maltreatment, mutilation, and murder continue to be an issue in countries such as India because the government’s efforts to end it are not strong enough to break through the culture.


It’s not just a first-world problem. Ghana is considering banning mobile phones in primary and secondary schools.

Jeffery Avoka another high school student also said that his parents bought him a phone to do research and contact them in need of something. But he admits that he spends some time on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.

As a substitute teacher the past few months I’ve seen how distracting in school these phones can be. While they do have positive uses, and responsible kids seem to do ok with them, many do not.


And here we were lead to believe if we just did what Australia did with their guns, this wouldn’t happen.

Shots have been fired into a house on a suburban Gold Coast street.

How is it possible that criminals obtained guns when everyone turned theirs in and it’s nearly impossible to buy them now?


It would be too easy to pick an article about global warming, so instead I leave you with photobombing seals.

One seal swam right up to the camera and smiled – or at least appeared to do so. There was an impressive display of underwater acrobatics and even a rather close encounter with the seals’ impressive set of teeth.

It wasn’t all fun and games however one woman diver


There are a large number of islands in the Pacific that would be considered part of another continent more of the region was above water. For the purposes of this diary, I’m going to consider it one so I can include a story about my beloved All Blacks from New Zealand. Last year a few of the long-time players, including the team captain and my friend’s nephew retired from the national rugby team. Their first test against Wales was a see-saw battle early, but the All Blacks prevailed.

Wales’ last win against the All Blacks was in 1953, and under coach Warren Gatland they have won only twice in 31 games against the big three southern hemisphere countries.

Time will tell if the All Blacks can continue their run atop the world.

That’s the Water Cooler for today. Comments should be working soon, so feel free to dive in. If not, I’ll see you again next week.