Two star kayak

“This is to certify that XXX has taken and passed the above personal performance test as laid down by the Board of the British Canoe Union. Ha, finally got my two star kayak certificate today after taking the test few months ago during the summer. And I’m given a badge too! :)It’s a fairly easy test, and only took me two weekends to complete the training including the test. The most difficult manoeveur I was required to do was to regain my posture after a capsize without leaving the kayak, with the help of a rescuer (in another kayak). I was okay. But to be honest with you, I don’t think I will want to use this technique should I really capsize. :)Anyway, the test is necessary for me so that when I next volunteer (as a helper) to bring local sea scouts out to paddle on the Thames this coming summer, at least I’m aware of the basics of kayaking, and how to kayak the proper way. It should be good fun, and I can’t wait for the summer to come already, especially when the weather is turning cold early this year!

Freedom of speech

Do people realise that if freedom of speech means total freedom to speak, that they can speak their mind out, speak about anything without restraint whenever and wherever they want to, they should really spend some time to find out why this is bad. Take for example some natural laws, which many people take for granted, like gravitational force. Without the strong enough gravitational force on Earth, people could well be floating around, like on a moon. It’s probably no big deal, to be floating around. But by keeping our feet on the ground, the gravitation force helps smooth our day-to-day activities, like walking, drinking, making our lives less chaotic, so to speak.In much the same way, but taking to the extremes, if people are allowed to speak without restraint in such a way that even incitement of murder is not an issue, the world can become a rather chaotic place to live in, don’t you think?Okay, the extreme example is just to illustrate the point, as it is unlikely normal, or majority, people will want to incite murder. In this society, the way the community works is people tend not to insult or attack others without good reasons. Not because they can’t do that. It’s just more pleasant to be with people that sound logical. So long as we have something valid to say, we should not refrain from contributing, despite some people are more sensitive than others. It is through practice we learn to grasp the timing, the skill to speak with maximum impact. However, people should realise that not speaking out is also an option and that it is not against the spirit of freedom of speech. Politicians like Jack Straw should know that very well… (on minority Muslims women wearing veils as a threat to social cohesion).