Showing posts with label polls/questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label polls/questions. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Teach me about people who hand out flyers and coupons

Living in a neighbourhood with a lot of pedestrian traffic, I see a lot of people standing on the sidewalk handing out flyers and/or coupons.

My natural inclination is to politely decline anything I'm not in the market for.  But it occurred to me in the shower that I might be making their job harder, depending on how they are incentivized and/or rewarded by their employers.

Are they incentivized to get rid of all their flyers, or are they incentivized to have a high conversion rate?  If they have to stand out in the cold until they get rid of all their flyers, or if their employer looks more positively upon them for handing out more flyers, I'm doing them a kindness by taking a flyer regardless of whether I'm in the market for what they're selling. But if they're incentivized based on conversion rate, i.e. their employer looks more positive upon them for people actually coming into the business and buying something after receiving a flyer/coupon, I should keep rejecting things I have no intention of using.

Anyone know which approach would be the kindest to the people in this thankless job?

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Teach me how non-employer-specific unions work

I recently received an email telling me that the drywallers' union is on strike, and this might cause  delay to my condo. (Which isn't a problem - I'm perfectly comfortable in my apartment in the interim and I sincerely hope the people working so hard to build my home get a generous settlement that helps them be comfortable too.)

Googling around the idea, I get the impression that unions in the trades work like I recently learned unions in show business do - the union isn't specific to an employer, all workers who belong to a certain category are members of the union, and the different employers pay them according to the collective agreement for reasons I don't wholly understand but nevertheless am glad work.

Since they're going on strike, I assume they're in negotiations for a new collective agreement and the negotiations have stalled.  (At least, this is the only situation I'm aware of that leads to a strike).  Which raises a question I never thought about before: who's on the other side of the negotiating table?

The unions with which I'm personally familiar are all for the employees of a single employer.  You work for that one employer, you're part of that union. You switch to another employer, you're no longer part of that union. So in collective agreement negotiations, the union is negotiating with/against the employer.

But since the drywallers and others like them (and the show business unions too) seem to represent everyone doing the same job for all different employers, who are they negotiating with/against? Is there someone who represents all the employers? A union of employers of unions?

Or is there a word for this kind of union where the workers work for many different employers, so I can google it better?  (Non-employer-specific union was fruitless, and googling around the idea of multi-employer union kept getting interference from US health insurance plans.  Also, I think Google's auto-complete feature is anti-union. But doing the same searches with DuckDuckGo just gives me even fewer Canadian results on the first page.)

Thursday, March 03, 2016

What's the name for the way parts of my firefox interface are disappearing?

For the past couple of days, my Firefox has been occasionally having this weird graphics problem, where parts of the interface at the top disappear and occasionally black boxes appear over the browser window. Screenshot below, click to embiggen:

Does anyone know what this phenomenon is called so I can google it effectively?

If you have troubleshooting ideas, so far I've tried disabling hardware acceleration, updating my graphics driver, disabling Classic Theme Restorer (which was being used in the screenshot), and disabling transparency in the Windows interface. Each step except disabling transparency helped a little, but none completely eliminated the problem.

The problem can usually be made to go away by changing the browser window size (i.e. clicking the "restore" button on the top right), but that's never permanent. Sometimes, however, I have to close the browser completely.

There weren't any updates or changes that correlated with the arrival of the problem, at least not that I can dig out. A java update appeared in my tray shortly before the problem started, but I didn't actually install the update until after the problem started.

In any case, my real question is the name/term/standard description for this weird way various things are randomly becoming invisible, so I can google it and/or file bug reports.

Anyone know?

Update: Switching to 64-bit Firefox (to go with my 64-bit Windows 7 install) removes the problems of the blank areas, but 64-bit Firefox eats up memory like crazy.  At one point I left the computer alone for 2 hours with only 1 tab open (the weather network), and when I got back it was using 5 gigs of RAM. I'm currently working on the Firefox memory problem and have some avenues, but if I can't make it work I'll do a system restore.

Second update: It turns out the memory leak on 64-bit Firefox is specific to to the combination of The Weather Network website and the Adblock Plus add-on. It doesn't happen on any sites other than The Weather Network, and it doesn't happen on The Weather Network if I disable Adblock Plus.  So I've filed a bug report with ABP to see if they can fix it. They've proven responsive in the past, so hopefully there will be a solution eventually.

As for the random blank graphics, I still don't know what they're called or why they were happening. They don't correspond with specific objects or elements, and move or grow or disappear when I resize the window.  When I try to take an about:memory log while they're happening Firefox crashes (so there are some relevant crash logs wherever it is crash logs get sent to). And they aren't related to The Weather Network or Adblock Plus because they occurred on other sites and even when I had all my add-ons disabled. But the 64-bit Firefox seemed to solve that problem, whatever it was.

With thanks to , and for pointing me in useful troubleshooting directions via Twitter.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Help write the next New Rules: Natural Consequences Edition

Last week's Carolyn Hax chat mentions in various places parents scolding adult children with variations on "That's not how I raised you!" (They're scattered throughout the chat - easiest way to find them is by doing a Ctrl+F for "raise".)

This statement does a lot of things.  It disregards the adult child's very selfhood by treating their choices like nothing more than the result of the parent's input rather than being a function of their own personality and decisions and humanity.  But then it turns around and, with tone and delivery blames and scolds the adult child for the input not having been adequate to produce the desired output.

If you point out this logical fallacy by pointing out that, within that framework, it's the parents fault that they didn't get the desired outcome and therefore not something to scold the adult child about, you're accepting the parent's premise that the adult child isn't a human being with their own selfhood and is instead merely the result of the parent's input.  If you point out that when you have a human child the result is an autonomous human being, that simply intensifies whatever they're scolding about in the first place.

It's dehumanizing and based on a logical fallacy that feeds upon itself.  I think it needs a natural consequence but can't think of one at the moment.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Teach me about the economics of ATMs

A tiny family-owned convenience store in my neighbourhood has a Royal Bank ATM in it. Since the bank account from which I most often withdraw cash is with Royal Bank, I sometimes pop into this store to use the ATM.

However, I never buy anything from this store, because it doesn't have anything I need that can't be obtained at a significantly better price elsewhere in the immediate neighbourhood.

Am I making this store money by using the Royal Bank ATM located inside it? Or am I costing them money?

My googling tells me that no-name ATMs - the one that you often find in bars and restaurants and charge exorbitant fees - make money for the business in which they are located.  But do bank-branded ATMs also do that?  Even though they don't charge a transaction fee if you're a customer of that bank?  Or do the banks charge businesses to host the ATMs on the grounds that the ATM might attract people who will then become paying customers?  (I haven't been able to google up anything suggesting that they do, but it sounds like the kind of thing a bank would come up with.  Nor have I been able to google up anything suggesting that businesses make money from hosting bank-branded ATMs)

If it costs this little convenience store money for me to use their ATM, I'll get off my lazy ass and walk a block to the actual bank branch.  But if it's revenue neutral, I want to use it sometimes because it's more convenient for me on some of the routes that I take for various errands. And if it actually generates revenue for them, maybe I should use it systematically, rather than that revenue going to the bank or to Shoppers Drug Mart.

Anyone have any insight about how this works?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Teach me about the connotations of Orange County, California in the 1980s

When I was in elementary school (between 1985 and 1991),  this story-teller sort of guy came to our school and told us some stories.  When it came time to tell us the last story, he said we could choose between two: one was about a boy and his pond, and the other was about a big-city thief.  His tone and delivery suggested that the boy and his pond story was idyllic (and, by extension, boring) and the big-city thief story was exciting. My schoolmates overwhelmingly voted for the story about the thief, so he told us that story.

Afterwards, there was Q&A session, and someone asked him if anyone actually asked to hear the story of the boy and his pond, and he replied that it had happened once, in Orange County, California. His tone and delivery suggested that if you knew anything about Orange County, California, you'd understand why this was and perhaps find it humorous.

Of course, as an elementary school student in southern Ontario, I didn't know anything about Orange County, California.  In fact, I still don't.  This memory came back to me in the shower this morning so I've been doing some googling, and I still can't figure out any characteristics of Orange County that would make it clear why students there in the 1980s would prefer to hear a story about a boy and his pond. 

Anyone have any insight?

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Contemplating the ethics of donating food to the Salvation Army food bank

I do not donate money to the Salvation Army because their history of anti-gay action.

However, the easiest way for me to donate food to a food bank is to put it in the food bank bin outside my local supermarket. This is the only place I know of in my immediate neighbourhood where you drop off a food bank donation.  And this bin happens to be for the Salvation Army food bank.

I don't normally buy food for food banks, choosing instead to give them money so they can buy what they need and take advantage of bulk discounts and wholesale pricing, but from time to time I find myself with unwanted food or household products (I buy something that ended up not being right for me, I get a free sample box that includes stuff I'm never going to use, etc.), and I feel that the food bank is the best place for these things.

So I'm wondering where food bank donations fall ethically.

On one hand, they can't use food donations for anti-gay actions like they can with money donations, and having a busy food bank to run might take their attention away from other things.

But, on the other hand, would donating food to the food bank free up money that would otherwise be spent on the food bank for harmful political action? 

Also, what would happen if their food bank failed because they didn't receive any food donations?  Would people who need food suffer, or just be redirected to another food bank? Would the Salvation Army suffer, or just have more time and attention for activities that are less helpful than a food bank?

In short, could the Salvation Army do harm with donations of food like they've been known to do with donations of money? Or is the only possible outcome that the food goes to hungry people?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Help me find the words to describe my idiocy

I tweeted this story when it happened, so it might be familiar to some of you.  Disclaimer: I do recognize the flaws in my thinking in this story and have learned from them. The purpose of this post is to figure out the words to describe the flaws in my thinking.

I was walking down the street, and I saw an Orthodox Jewish teen carrying a piece of plant matter, which looked very much like the palm leaves used on Palm Sunday in the Catholic church.

So I wondered, "What do they use palm leaves for in Orthodox Judaism?"

I walked on some more, and realized that line of thinking is racist.  Just because I believe I can identify this young man's religion based on his dress and grooming doesn't mean the object he's carrying has religious significance!  If I saw someone whose religion I didn't believe I could identify carrying a similar piece of plant matter, I'd think it's for a hobby or a science project.  It wouldn't occur to me that its significance would be religious unless it was actually Palm Sunday.

So I chastised myself for such racist thinking, and went home.

When I got home, I googled out of curiosity Orthodox Judaism palm leaves I discovered Sukkot, a Jewish holiday that involves palm leaves.  And Sukkot was actually in progress on the day that this happened!

Then I thought to myself, "So I wasn't actually racist!"

But, of course, my logic that the leaf must necessarily have religious significance because it was being carried by someone whose religion I could recognize was just as racist as ever. It just happened to land on a correct conclusion this one time.

So here's what I'm trying to figure out:

1. What logical fallacy did I commit by assuming the leaf had religious significance?
2. What logical fallacy did I commit by concluding that I wasn't actually racist just because my assumption ended up being correct this one time?
3. What word should I be using in this blog post instead of "racist"? "Anti-Semitic" doesn't seem correct, because there were nothing "anti" about it, and I'm not sure if "that person is Jewish, therefore I think they are in the process of practising Judaism" can quite be considered anti-Semitism. So what is the word for this particular flavour of idiocy?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Things I'm sure they've invented a word for, but I can't think what it is

I'm looking for a word or phrase to express the concept of going straight to boldly/almost-but-not-quite aggressively asserting your rights when asking nicely would have the same effect.

Example: rather than emailing your landlord with "My toilet's been dripping lately, could you have a look at it?", you go straight to citing chapter and verse of the Residential Tenancies Act about the need to maintain a state of good repair and emphasizing the importance of a functioning toilet to basic quality of life.

Part of the notion this word or phrase encompasses is not giving your interlocutor the opportunity to say "Yes, of course!" and demonstrate goodwill and reasonableness. 

The best I can come up with is "unnecessary assertiveness", but I don't want to use the word "assertiveness" because it isn't a bad thing, and in the thing I'm trying to write I'm trying to differentiate this phenomenon from regular, appropriate assertiveness.

Any ideas?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Teach me how to keep my sweaters from acting like clutter

In the winter, I most often wear an open-front sweater (cardigan or wrap cardigan) over another shirt.  In the summer, I sometimes wear a smaller, lighter top of a similar style over whatever I'm wearing, just for a tidier look.

When I'm sitting at my desk and feel the need to take my sweater off, I drape it over the back of my chair.  But I don't promptly put it away, because I might get cold and feel the need to put it back on.

I'm not as diligent as I should be about putting the sweaters back in the closet, so I often end up with multiple sweaters hanging on the back of my chair.

Then, with the passage of time and multiple sweaters and lots of getting in and out of the chair, the sweaters start getting pushed off the back of the chair and fall down and get tangled around the chair legs and wheels and mechanism.  I get frustrated by this, pick them all up, and throw them all on the couch. 

So the vast majority of the time, I have a cluttery surfeit of sweaters hanging on my desk chair or piled on my couch.

Putting them away in the closet like I'm supposed to obviously isn't something I can convince myself to do, so I'm looking for better ideas.  Where can I keep my sweaters so I can conveniently take them on and off without them looking like clutter?

Context:  my desk is in my living room, which also contains a couch and TV and general living room stuff. There isn't room for anything beside the desk, because on either side are the doors to my bathroom and bedroom.  I don't really want to keep something right beside my desk chair, because I already have to move my desk chair out of the way to do yoga, so I don't want to introduce another thing to move out of the way.  There currently isn't room for anything else under my desk, although that may change in the future if I ever get around to cleaning and donating my old desktop computers.

The best idea I have right now is a clothes tree, but I don't really like that idea because I'd have to do a lot of rearranging to find room for one, it wouldn't be within convenient reach of the desk chair, and it doesn't seem like it belongs in a living room.

Anyone have any better ideas?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Things They Should Invent Words (and Natural Consequences) For

We need a word and natural consequences for that thing where people assume that the goal/motivation behind a particular action of yours is different from your actual goal/motivation, and then lecture you because that action isn't to achieve the goal that they've unilaterally attributed to you (which you aren't even trying to achieve in the first place).


"You shouldn't buy those Cortland apples.  You should buy Gala instead because they're organic."

Except my goal isn't to eat what's most optimally healthy or environmentally friendly, my motivation is to eat what's most yummy to me.

"You shouldn't buy that used widget on ebay.  You can get newer widgets for cheaper at Big Box Store."

Except my goal isn't to get the cheapest widget, it's to get the specific widget that's worked for me in the past when other widgets haven't.

"You shouldn't buy a new condo. The maintenance costs will go way up."  

Except my goal isn't to have maintenance costs that never go up, my goal is to live in a brand new building in a suite that no one else has ever lived in before.

Any ideas for names for this phenomenon or attendant natural consequences?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Teach me how to store my earrings

I have a lovely wooden jewellery box.  It's lined in velvet or some reasonable facsimile thereof, with all kinds of neat little compartments.  And it's utterly unsuitable for the jewellery I actually own - the sizes and shapes of the compartments simply don't correspond with the sizes and shapes of the jewellery, so my jewellery is currently all sitting in a tangled pile on top of the compartments, making it impossible for the box to close.

I've already worked out that I need a necklace tree for my necklaces, but that still raises the question of what to do about my earrings.  Some necklace trees have a little tray at the bottom that you can put earrings in, but I'd prefer something that keeps them more contained.  Googling around this idea, I see suggestions to use ice cube trays or egg cartons, but that would take up more room than I'd like. But, at the same time, I'd like to be able to see what I have at a glance rather than having to dig through.

I have probably between 10 and 20 pairs of earrings.  (I've never actually counted, and I keep finding ones I've forgotten about because they're currently being stored in this tangle of jewellery.)  I'd like a storage solution that enables me to acquire earrings willy-nilly without having to worry about whether I have space for them in my earring organization system. Most of my earrings are hoop or drop styles, but there are some studs in there too.  The vast majority of them are cheap; none of them are expensive.  The smallest are tiny little studs, and the largest are about 2 inches.  I don't plan for any future earring purchases to go much more than 2 inches in diameter for hoops, but I might go longer than that for dangles if they're lightweight.

Any suggestions?  How do you store your earrings?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Teach me how to erase an external hard drive with a dead power supply

As I blogged about before, my old external hard drive (a Western Digital Elements) has gone through two power supplies in just over two years.  I was sick of buying new power supplies for it, so I replaced it with a external hard drive that doesn't require a power supply (which I'll blog about after I've used it for a bit).

Now I'm ready to dispose of the Western Digital. 

Problem: to erase it, I'd have to connect it to a computer.  And to do that, I need a working power supply.  And I don't much fancy buying yet another power supply to use only once just to erase a drive I no longer intend to use.

Does anyone know of a way to erase an external hard drive that requires a power supply but the power supply is dead?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Post your external hard drive recommendations here!

Just over two years ago, I bought a Western Digital Elements external hard drive.  I didn't put a lot of research into this - I just had to reimage my computer so I needed something immediately for backup.

It served me well for nearly two years, but then the power supply died.  I bought a new one on ebay, but it died just now, after only a few months' use.  The internet suggests that this is not an uncommon problem with Western Digital external hard drives.

So I've decided it's time to go for quality.  Can anyone recommend an external hard drive that has given them worry-free reliability and longevity?

I don't necessarily need anything with its own backup software or anything, I just need an external hard drive that will work and keep working for years without my having to worry about it.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Do silica gel desiccant packets get used up?

After the Infamous Rogers Centre iPod Drowning Incident of 2012, I started collecting everyone one of those little silica gel desiccant packets that crossed my path.  I put them in a ziploc bag with some rice, just in case I should ever have a similar incident in the future.

That paid off this week, when I accidentally overturned a glass of water onto my ipod. I stuck the ipod straight into this bag and left it there for 24 hours, and it came out fully operational (and I think the moisture indicator didn't even turn, knock wood!)

My question: do I need to throw out all these silica packets, or are they still good for further use?  I intend to keep adding packets to the bag as I encounter them, but can I keep the "used" ones in there or should I throw them completely out and start over?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Help write the next New Rules: Natural Consequences Edition!

I have a series of posts called New Rules: Natural Consequences Edition, in which I propose natural consequences rules for various behaviours that really should have consequences.

There's one behaviour for which I really would like to introduce natural consequences, but I haven't been able to think of anything yet.  That behaviour is:

Lying to people about their own thoughts, feelings, motivations, or experiences.

This is probably my greatest pet peeve, so I want to give it a really good consequence.  But nothing is coming immediately to mind.  Any ideas?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Laptop batteries: WTF?

I'm very frustrated by the mixed messages I'm getting about laptop batteries.

My recent computer troubles turned out to be due to my battery being dead (which involved a weird and roundabout diagnosis!).  All three Dell techs I spoke to in the process told me that you shouldn't keep your laptop plugged in all the time (which I normally do because most of the time I'm using it at my desk), you should instead allow your battery to discharge fully and then recharge it.

However, Dell's laptop battery FAQ says this is unnecessary and the battery will behave nicely even if you leave it plugged in all the time.  But their Alienware battery FAQ says the opposite. 

I did start charging and discharging the battery once I got my new battery, but I find it very inconvenient. I also noticed that there's a "Disable Battery Charging" setting, so I was wondering if using this setting and leaving my computer plugged in would save my battery from any negative effects of having it fully charged and still plugged in.  I asked Dell's twitter account, but they directed me back to the FAQ that said this was unnecessary.  And this right after they posted the Alienware FAQ that said the opposite.  (My computer isn't an Alienware, but I believe it has the same kind of battery.)

I also had the idea of just taking the battery out completely and using the laptop on AC power only until I need to move it.  One of the Dell techs I talked to told me this would work, another told me it wouldn't work.

The internet contains arguments supporting and opposing every possible approach, including things like "maintain a battery charge of 70% at all times" or "take your battery completely out of your laptop for normal operations, but discharge and recharge it once a month." All of these arguments can be found from credible sources and backed up by scientific explanations.  I could write a paper with quality citations in support of any possible approach to battery management.

And I still haven't the slightest idea which approach is actually correct.

My intention when writing this blog post was to put the question out to my readership, but that will just be more sensible people giving soundly-reasoned explanations on the internet.  I seriously don't know what to do.

Opinions are welcome, even though I'm tired of opinions.  I'm particularly interested in:

- What is your own battery management approach, and what kind of battery lifespan do you get?  (By "battery lifespan" I don't mean "how long until your battery drains and you have to recharge it?", I mean "how long until you have to buy a new battery?")

- Would using the "disable battery charging" function while leaving the battery in the computer and the AC adapter plugged in eliminate whatever harm might potentially be caused by leaving the AC adapter plugged in when the battery is fully charged?

- Any experience with just taking the battery out?

Update:  I have since learned that the "disable battery charging" function gets better battery lifespan.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Can you recommend a Google Reader replacement with visual notification?

One function I really like about Google Reader is that, when I'm signed in, the Google Reader icon on my Google toolbar turns green when there are new posts waiting for me in Reader.  Because this exact functionality was not available in Chrome when the Google toolbar stopped being compatible with Firefox (which was also a dick move on Google's part, BTW), I stopped upgrading Firefox at version 10.

I'd really like to duplicate this functionality in whatever I end up replacing Google Reader with, i.e. I'd like a visual cue when there is new reading material waiting for me.  I don't need (and would prefer not to have) something that pops up every single time a new post arrives, I just want to be able to know when something new is present so I don't have to keep checking back.

I use Firefox as my primary browser.  I'm willing to upgrade my Firefox, but I don't want to switch to Chrome because I'm losing trust in Google.

Can you recommend anything?  Or, conversely, have you tried any Google Reader alternatives that don't have this feature so I can avoid them?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Post your router recommendations here

I am looking into buying a router for the purpose of connecting two computers to my (Rogers) cable modem at the same time. I intend to connect them by ethernet, not wi-fi. I have no objection to the router being wi-fi capable, but I'd like the option of disabling its wi-fi so I don't have to worry about securing a wi-fi network that I don't even need. I don't anticipate needing to connect more than two computers at once.

I'm asking about routers because that's what the internet tells me I need to connect two computers to the cable modem at once, but if you know of another, better way to do it, please let me know.

Also, if there's a particular router that you recommend not using, I'd appreciate knowing that as well.

Anonymous comments welcome.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Poll: how old were you when you first learned about abortion?

How old were you when you first learned that abortion is a thing that exists, and in what context did you learn about it?

I'm asking because I've heard stories of people (especially, but not limited to, catholic school teachers), both in the present day and when my peers were kids, lecturing kids about the evils of abortion when the kids were at an age when I myself hadn't yet even heard of abortion, and I find myself wondering if these lectures would end up teaching the kids that it's even an option.

I don't remember exactly when I first learned about it.  I know it wasn't specifically mentioned in the sex ed I received from my parents or my schools, and I can extrapolate from what I know of my learning curve that it wasn't in my sex ed book.

I learned how pregnancy happens around the age of 8 or 9, I reached menarche at 10, and I learned (on a theoretical level, fortunately) that rape exists at 10 as well.  So, starting at the age of 10, I had a quietly ever-present fear of being forced to gestate my rapist's baby, and hadn't the slightest clue that pregnancies could be terminated.  (I was thinking solely in terms of a rapist because I was still years away from being able to even imagine wanting to have sex voluntarily, even in a distant and hypothetical future.)

Several years later, I read something (I don't remember if it was an article or a work of fiction) where a girl who was pregnant thought that if she skipped rope for hours and hours, she'd have a miscarriage.  (I don't remember if she actually tried it or if it actually worked.)  This was my first exposure to the idea that miscarriage could be induced.  I was relieved to learn that such a thing might be remotely possible, and started brainstorming other ways to force myself to miscarry so I wouldn't have to gestate my rapist's baby.  I considered the possibility of simply stopping eating and drinking, thinking that if it didn't cause a miscarriage it would at least kill me, and, by extension, also gave some thought to suicide as a solution.  I was probably under the age of 16 when this happened, because I don't remember looking up ways to induce miscarriage on the internet and I'm pretty sure I would have if I'd had internet access at the time.

I became aware of the existence of abortion, as a medical procedure, sometime before the end of high school.  Weirdly, I don't remember any single moment of relief at the realization that you can just go somewhere and get it done professionally. There was a time when I knew it existed but didn't know the details of the laws governing its accessibility (I remember mentally debating whether it would be more effective to tell the doctor that I would commit suicide if I couldn't have an abortion or to actually attempt suicide, completely unaware that you don't need to convince them of that particular level of desperation) but I figured it out by the time I was in university.

All of which is to say that if, in middle school or early high school, someone had lectured me about the evils of abortion, they would have been teaching me that it is possible to end a pregnancy and that it is possible to do so with a proper medical procedure.  And if someone had taken my child or teenage self to an abortion clinic to protest, they would have taught me "This is where you can go to get an abortion."  It's likely this information is more accessible to the youth of today, but some of the stories I heard that inspired this post were about people who were older than me, who surely would have learned a thing or two about how to get an abortion if lectured on the evils of doing so in Grade 6.

What about you?  When and how did you learn that abortion exists?  If people had lectured your young teenage self on the evils of abortion, would they have been teaching you about its existence?