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The disturbing news about bisphenol A has been slowly leaching into public conscious. According to an article in the Globe (available here), independent studies have found that extremely low doses cause a wide variety of disturbing biological changes in rats. The unusual thing about this chemical, which mimicks human estrogen, is that low doses are more toxic than high doses. We're talking about almost unimaginably small amounts -- in the order of parts per billion. Our hormone receptors react to minute levels, whereas they are overwhelmed by higher levels and the metabolism-altering results are minimized.

A good site for background and a summary of recents studies is Our Stolen Future. Of course, the plastics industry says we shouldn't worry. But, according to this site,

Of 11 studies of the compound's effects at low doses, none funded by industry reported impacts. In contrast, 94 out of 104 government-funded studies found effects.

Hmm. Now, who would you trust?

Nestle wants to extend its permit to bottle water from the aquifer that supplies Guelph's drinking water. Its current permit allows 3.2 litres per day to be bottled. Guelph has had water shortages in the past and will likely have shortages in the future, due to growth and global warming. At a time like this, it makes no sense to allow a private corporation to make huge profits from what is a public resource that should be treasured and conserved (Nestle pays next to nothing for the privilege).

Nestle markets this water as Pure Life (formerly known as Aberfoyle Springs, identified by a graphic of snow-capped mountains whereas all that's there is a few houses and a highway). It is sold across North America and can be purchased in Japan via the Web. It is one of the lowest-priced bottled water brands on the market.

Wellington Water Watchers is informing people about this problem and urging them to comment on Nestle's request for a five-year extension. The deadline for comment is May 11. Please visit their site, where there are instructions on how to make your opinion known.

10 Years Ago This Week: April 24, 1997
Horst pays $1000 for injury avodance with his health credit card. Is the Casino Hospital run by the mafia now?



You can see a more extensive portfolio of my work at the blog, including This Bright Future, a distilled and partial continuation of Weltschmerz, Turtle Creek, a daily comic about a turtle and a computer, and Footprint in Mouth, a quarterly cartoon I draw for Alternatives.

Weltschmerz in Print

Weltschmerz ran in Toronto's Eye Weekly from 1997 to 2007. It ran in weekly papers in southwestern Ontario, Ottawa and Edmonton between 1995 and 2008.

Notes on Writing a Comic Strip

I wrote this 17-page, 4 MB PDF document for my workshop at the 2006 Eden Mills Writers' Festival. It details the creation of one strip and gives tips on writing comics.

Politics and Environment

Monbiot | Guardian columnist and Heat author George Monbiot's blog. Not only about global warming, but expect plenty of refutations of the flat-earthers. His writing is witty, incisive and bang-on.

Desmog Blog | An indispensible (and Canadian) resource that "clears the PR pollution that clouds climate science."


Weltschmerz playlist at CBC Radio 3 | Some of the music I listen to while drawing this comic -- independent and Canadian.

This American Life | Radio documentaries that hit the heart, brain and funny bone.

CBC Podcasts | I don't listen to much live radio. Now, podcasts allow me to catch a lot of what I miss. I listen to The Current, Ideas, Spark and Search Engine while inking.


Diesel Sweeties by R Stevens | Witty repartee between guys, girls and robots drawn in a pixelated yet surprisingly versatile style.

Scott Pilgrim Manga-style indie-rock romance by Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley | The most fun I've had in a comic book in recent memory. Highly recommended.

Dykes to Watch Out For | Alison Bechdel's brilliant weekly strip has been ghettoized because of its gay themes but deserves a wider readership.

Doonesbury | Garry Trudeau is still great after all these years.

Kevin Heuzenga | Enviable drawing style and dry wit. Start with Time Travelling.

Graeme MacKay | The editorial cartoonist for the Hamilton Spectator has a distinctive, addictive drawing style. And he makes me chortle.

Friends and Neighbours

Blog Guelph | Hometown photos and events.

The Narrative | Riveting photoblog. Matt O'Sullivan is at the right place at the right shutter speed.

Breast of Canada | A calendar promoting women's health.

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