jfleck: Congratulations! I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job.
The G8 protests went more-or-less smoothly. The very first was in November, and despite a few broken windows, spray paint, and tax dollars used to control a mob of some that weren't there so much to protest as to "Take the Capital", it went smoothly. This week, the police did not wear their riot gear. They also tried very hard to have an open dialog with protesters. This must have worked , because even the protesters said they felt everything was very much in control, and that they did not feel threatened by law enforcement. From the images on the local news, it seemed the police made their roll to be supervisors rather than human barricades.
Email vs. Telephones:
I've had many discussions with family members on this topic. Most of them either do not have and see little need for a computer, use a computer only when forced and get frustrated with them, or just generally despise a medium that they deem so impersonal. But their main argument is that it is too time consuming, especially considering they have a phone across the hall that will allow them to speak to any individual at any time. I don't agree. Take for example, how voice messaging effects this equation.
In January, I'm hopping to start finishing my Computer Science degree. I've picked a school in Montreal, because it is close and the tuition is quite low. For about a week now, I have been phoning Admissions to speak to someone regarding obtaining a registration package. So far this person has not been at her desk when I call. No problem, I'll leave a voice mail. I have done this twice now, and only yesterday have I gotten a response... when I wasn't home. I came home last night to hear a message left by this contact at the university asking me to call her back.
Now in no way do I fault the individual working for the university. Work can get hectic, and you have to prioritize to get work done. This "phone tag" that she and I seem to be playing, is very much like email messaging. Only in this case it is more expensive. Similar to email, I've had to phone this individual, leave a few messages, to which she responds by leaving me a message. This is exactly what I do when send email. Send an email or two to inform or ask something of someone. They respond. Then I may respond if appropriate, and so on. Phoning long distance in Canada does cost, so despite the fact that Montreal is reasonably close, I've had two long distance calls charged to my phone bill.
Not only has phoning not been advantageous, it has actually cost me to use the phone. Had I been given the email address of this contact, correspondence would not have cost me, and I may already have a registration package on its way over to my house. Granted, had she been there, none of this would be much of an issue, but their isn't any certainty. Email allows you to prioritize and answer at your convenience. At times this can be inconvenient if your messages are being ignored, but for the most part, I can say I've had positive experiences with email. I suppose the real issue for many of my family members is not so much about convenience, and how impersonal the medium is, so much as a generation gap.