Category: media

“How are you feeling?” “Swiney…”

swine_flufrom XKCD

You know all that stuff you’ve been hearing on TV and in the news about Swine Flu? Turns out it really does exist, and you can get it! How do I know? Well, I have it. And it isn’t fun.

I’m feeling a lot better (though not great) now, but this past weekend I had a horrible fever for three days. The worst fever I’ve ever had, and the longest I’ve ever had one. It was intense. I was dizzy and in so much pain. I ran out of Ibuprofen, my one weapon, on Saturday. I bought more, but when I got home, all achy and feverish, I couldn’t get the damn childproof bottle open. Seriously, it took me ten of the longest minutes of my life. I almost took a pair of scissors out and started stabbing it. Luckily, it finally popped open. I transferred the pills into my old bottle instead of struggling with that horrid contraption for the rest of the night.

I was pretty sure that I was going to be all right, but being that sick is scary. I live alone, and as I mentioned, I was very dizzy. I was afraid that I would fall over when I got up and no one would know.

You can’t really do anything about Swine Flu.  In England, the National Health Services says that if you have the symptoms of Swine Flu, you shouldn’t go to the doctor unless you’re at risk (old, pregnant, pre existing condition…) or have been sick longer than a week. So I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in a self imposed quarantine in my apartment. Watching lots of Stargate, taking drugs, and whining in my Facebook status.

So I’m not dead. Which is suprising, considering if that if half the things the media seems to want us to believe about H1N1 were true, I would be. Even after four years of journalism school, the media and it’s fearmongering disgusts me. They are going to have the world terrified to step out their front doors soon enough.

Which isn’t to say that Swine Flu isn’t a big deal. The people who say that it’s just like a regular flu are wrong. I’ve had a regular flu before, and I’ve never been this sick. It really knocked me out, and I’m generally a very healthy person.

Anyway. Now you know someone who’s had Swine Flu. No one will sit beside me in class anymore. Sigh.

Weblink Wednesdays: Target Women

Sarah Haskins is a genius. Her series Target Women looks at how the media advertises to women, and mocks it mericlessly. In a hilarious, sarcastic way. All of the episodes of Target Women are great, this is one of my personal favourites:

For more wonderful Sarah Haskins, visit The Current.

One small step?

As a perfect timely follow up to my Tuesday post, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner finally called out Facebook today. Apparently not only does Facebook own the information you have up now, but any past information. It also keeps your information even after you close your account. This violates Canadian privacy laws, and likely privacy laws around the world.

Just like we always thought, our information isn’t safe on Facebook. Even when it’s no longer on Facebook. (Eeek. Does that mean Facebook remembers that I listed AFI as one of my favourite bands on my first profile?)

The first time I ever really realized the danger of Facebook was when I was working for the newspaper. We needed photos of three students who had been killed in a car crash that morning. So, we went on their Facebook pages. Because any picture they post up there is public domain and we could print it without reservation. I think this is a gross invasion of people’s privacy.

Canada is the first country to take a stand against Facebook.

So what’s the solution? 1) Facebook can stop operating in Canada, and thus alienate over 12 millions users and all of their Canadian advertisers. Not to mention the people around the world who (hopefully) would leave Facebook in solidarity. 2) Facebook can face the charges in federal court. They can pay the fine and move on. But this leaves a huge, indelible black mark on their record. Or 3) Facebook can actually do something about it.

It’s my opinion that even if Facebook remedies this complaint and deletes old information, they still have a long way to go.