Archive for the ‘Travel & Adventures’ Category

Letter to the Mayor of Victoria

Dear Mayor Dean Fortin,

Coming from the outside, one can have a more unbiased view on things. As a international environmental technology student at Camosun College, I have noticed a few things around town that I think would further improve the already high living standard of Victoria.

I am a prospecting emigrant from Sweden and the issue I would like to raise to your attention is noise pollution. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Noise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects. Furthermore, stress and hypertension are the leading causes to health problems, whereas tinnitus can lead to forgetfulness, severe depression and at times panic attacks. We all read about beached whales being due to naval sonar – i.e. marine noise pollution. Also worth noticing is that noise pollution is also a cause of annoyance for us humans as well . A 2005 study by Spanish researchers found that in urban areas households are willing to pay approximately four Euros per decibel per year for noise reduction. (REF). That’s a lot of money!

Worth noting as well is that noise pollution often persists because only five to ten percent of people affected by noise will lodge a formal complaint. Many people are not aware of their legal right to quiet and do not know how to register a complaint.

Something that is really bothering me and the people I been asking about this issue is in particular the sirens of the emergency services. Of evident reasons these vehicles are equipped with sirens to call on your attention in traffic, but coming from a city of 250.000 people and living fairly close to the major hospital I didn’t hear as many ambulances as I do here in Victoria. I just feel it seems the drivers of the EMS vehicles like to use the sirens excessively instead of only when absolutely needed, e.g. going through intersection while running a red-light, clearing a path between vehicles and so on. In Sweden they seem to use the sirens more like horns on your own car. Honk when needed and of course use the flashing lights the vehicles are equipped with.

I’m proposing a by-law for the reduction of noise in Victoria.

I hope you agree and you put forward my proposal!

Best wishes,

Stefan Martensson


Some of the information above are direct quotes from the wikipedia page about Noise Pollution. I do not claim that I have done any of the research nor have the intention of stating that any of the above research is mine. It’s the owner of the contributors of wikipedia and I just borrowed it for this letter with the reference to the page.

More on the subject Camosun….


Well, today after getting the unfortunate news that I wouldn’t fit in GEOG214 and GEOG220 I was ready to throw in the towel. I was thinking, perhaps work for a semester, then come back or even work for a year then do it…  Even hear with Medicine Hat College if they still had openings and so on…

I feel ill-treated for people being square in their ways and not looking at the possibilities. Especially when I had told them what to do to sort things out MONTHS ago, and we’re doing it now as I told them to do it then, the difference being some classes are full already… (NOT irritated at the situation, AT ALL!! As you can imagine!)  Grrrrr.. Read the rest of this entry »

First day at Camosun College…

Well, it is not how I normally live and operate my life, that’s for sure!

I mean, I normally plan, organize and get most stuff done BEFORE the shit hits the fan. Trust me, the shit ALWAYS hits the fan…  not sure why, not sure how…  but it sure finds its way there. What do I mean?

Well, I kind of related to this in earlier posts,I wanted to get the course selection done months and months ago. For some strange reason I accepted to wait until now. Now see where my arse ended up…  Sqeezed between a rock and hard place.

Okey, down to specifics…

Read the rest of this entry »

Helsingborg – CPH – YYC – Canmore – Nelson – Victoria

Hey friends,

This time around leaving my family was extra hard.  It’s testing my conviction that a life here in Canada is the road I want to go. Read the rest of this entry »

My Future Travel Goals

Travel goals written July 3, 2007…  still dreams…   🙂

This is just a list over things I want to do, places to be and other stuff to experience… Read the rest of this entry »

World Heritage Areas

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kayaking Rönne å

Catharina enjoying herself on the river.

From 090725 – Paddling Rönne å

A beautiful day on the quiet river enjoying a few hours of kayaking.

From 090725 – Paddling Rönne å

Stefan having some fun…

From 090725 – Paddling Rönne å

For more pictures, feel free to browse them here

Normandy Trip / D-DAY

090601 – Normandy Trip started

Gathered at Erik’s place and two other guys joined us shortly after 0800. It was Per and Johan. They were dressed up like Talibans and were newly home from Afghanistan after serving there for 6months.

We loaded up and left for Landskrona and Vallåkra some short stops gathering some more gear. We soon there after headed to Malmö to pick-up our final co-traveller (also called Johan) and then started to head south through Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

New S-MART.SE / Studies in Canada / Normandy

Hello my friends,

First and foremost, do you guys like the new look on S-MART.SE? I am kind of happy with the end result and the 10th anniversary make-over. Read the rest of this entry »

Life Thoughts – Good Things to Know

Optimists Live Longer Than Pessimists

Optimistic people live longer than pessimists, according to a Mayo Clinic study that was started in the 1960’s. The 900 subjects were initially classified as optimists, pessimists, or a bit of both. Then, recently, researchers looked at the status of the test subjects as compared with their expected survival rates when the study began. Optimists had a significantly better survival rate, while there was a 20% increase in the risk of death for the pessimists.

Although the report did not try to explain why positive attitude was equated with longevity, it did say that optimists may be less likely to develop depression and helplessness and that they might be more proactive in taking care of themselves.

Keep smiling my friends!