Thoughts from the front lines

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A Vision For Peace

While reading The Year Of The Flood, I didn’t understand the purpose of Toby’s vision. I think of all of us were confused as to why the author included it in the book. For those that don’t remember this passage in the book, Adam One suggests that Toby become an Eve. However, Toby thinks that she is unsuitable for the position because she does not believe in his religion. As a favour to Adam One, she goes on a vigil to help her make her final decision about accepting a position as an Eve. On her vigil she sees a liobam, but instead of roaring she sees it yawning. What is the meaning behind this vision?

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We all know that division is a central theme in the book. We can see this in the Gardeners between Zeb and Adam One as Zeb leaves the cult to form Maddaddam. We also see a division between the Gardeners and the Pleemobs as well as the Compound and the Pleebland. Everyone is separated due to their differences of wealth, power and personal beliefs. Ultimately, these differences brought chaos. In Toby’s vigil, the liobam represents harmony. How did I come up with that you may ask? Well, let’s think about. A liobam is a combination of a lamb and a lion. A lion is a ferocious predatory animal that dominates the animal kingdom on land. The animal symbolizes strength, power, dominance and leadership. People idolizes the lion; it even has its own movie called The Lion King. The lamb is a gentle docile creature with many useful qualities. The lamb provides milk, wool, food and companionship. In Christianity, it symbolizes tranquility and purity. This animal is often overlooked because it is seen as a weak animal. By combining a lion and a lamb together they complete one another because they have qualities that each other lack.


I think Toby is like a liobam. Before joining the Gardeners, she was resilient like a lion. When she became an Eve, she changed drastically. Throughout the story, she learnt to be a leader when she was an Eve. When she was with Ren in the meadows, she was kind towards her and took care of her by providing her food, shelter, clothes, companionship and treatment for her wounds and fever. Toby is an example of how when people put their differences aside, good can come out of it. Toby put her opinions about the Gardeners aside and became and Eve, which helped her survive the flood in the end. Instead of killing Blanco immediately like a lion would, she moved with caution like a lamb would to find a logical way of protecting herself and Ren around Blanco without causing too much trouble.

In the media, the lion and the lamb are used in films, books, and music to convey important messages. For example, in the movie Lions for Lambs directed by Robert Redford the plot centralizes on university students being encouraged to “make a [positive] change” in the world. Meanwhile, the US government is misusing their power and position by using propaganda to implement a military action plan in their fight with Afghanistan.  Two smart and innocent students enlist in the arm, while another student who’s bright is ignorant about the world around him refuses to do anything meaningful with his life. The movie depicts the government who is essentially the leader of the military as the lions. As I mentioned above, lions are symbolic for leadership, power, strength and dominance.  Someone who possess all those attributes, can be dangerous if they are misguided by their own personal greed or by their own wickedness. Inevitably, having a lion-type leader will not end very well (just look at all the evil dictators that existed in our world). Alexander the Great once said,

“I am never afraid of an army of Lions led into battle by a Lamb. I fear more the army of Lambs who have a Lion to lead them”. 

Do you think that what Alexander the Great said is true in our own world?



“Lion and Lamb as Metaphors of Divine-Human Relationships.” N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

“What does the lamb symbolize?” Reference. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

“Leadership Minute: 3 Ways to Make Your Vision Contagious.” Brad Flurry. N.p., 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

“18 Question Mark HD Wallpapers | Backgrounds.” Wallpaper Abyss. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

“The Lion, The Lamb Together.” God… In The Beginning. N.p., 22 June 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2017. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Lions for Lambs.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Mar. 2017. Web. 25 Mar. 2017. <;.


A Breath of Fresh Air

As I stare into the bright luminescent light of an apple computer screen writing this blog post, while sitting comfortably on a big cushioned Ikea bought chair, I am waiting for my brazilian coffee beans to be brewed. It is true, I live a life full of luxuries. Inside my confined home I have everything that I can possibly need. A bedroom that is all mine with a queen sized bed, a desk large enough that would make Donald Trump say “It’s huuuge”, and a closet that would make the Kardashians jealous. I guess you could say that this style of living is similar to Jimmy’s, luxurious. However, instead of a house he lives in a “castle”, but I think both homes does its job; to keep things out. For some of us we feel safe in our homes, I do too. Once we step outside from our protective walls we are immediately susceptible to danger. For Jimmy, walking outside to the pleeblands and recognizing how his world isn’t so perfect from the compound opened his mind to how his world is slowly crumbling, just like our own world. In Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood brings up the topic about global warming. We know it’s happening, but most of us aren’t doing much to change that. Only when a global warming disaster effects us it is then that we start to make a change.

I bet you were jealous while reading that I have an apple computer, Ikea furniture and a room perfect for a Queen. I would be jealous too. I don’t have those things. I wanted to show you how easy it is to want materialistic things. Who could blame you and I? I blame advertisement. They have these fancy billboards, and commercials that can easily hypnotize adults into purchasing an easy bake oven because a regular oven is too hard to use. Advertisements showcase the things we want, not the things we need. In the book, Jimmy works in advertisement selling people things they don’t need and feeding on people’s vulnerabilities. I think we are doing the exact same thing in our society, feeding off of people’s insecurities. We want the new “it” look that is trending, we want the cool fast cars that make people look with envy as you leave them standing in your dust. People’s demands are increasing and manufacturers are mass producing goods to meet those demands, but at what cost? Burning of fossil fuels and the textile companies are the two major contributors to global warming. To be honest, our future doesn’t look too good. Our world might end up just like in Oryx and Crake where disease, droughts, famine are common over the globe, and we are not too far from it.

We all know (I hope) that CO2 is a major culprit for global warming. If not then go to national geographic.  In a study conducted by NASA, 350 ppm of CO2 is considered to be the “safe number”. Why 350 ppm you may ask? It is because at this level, if everybody were to work together to stop the emission of CO2 we are able to reverse the rate at which global warming is increasing at. However, if it is higher than 350 ppm, then we will have a harder time to reduce the CO2.




There is a limit at which the planet can handle, and that is 400 ppm. I was curious what level of COs the planet was at, and the number will scare you just like it did to me. We are officially over 400 ppm, and out of the safe zone. In December, the Earth was at a high of 404 ppm. It’s very unlikely to go back down. This means that it is too late to reverse global warming. Before we had a chance. Well, I think you get the picture.  One of the major concerns Montrealers should have is air pollution especially in downtown. You know the old saying, “I’m going outside for some fresh air”?  We can’t say that anymore.  Is this really our future?



Society, N. G. (2015). Air Pollution Facts, Air Pollution Effects, Air Pollution Solutions, Air Pollution Causes – National Geographic. Retrieved February 10, 2017, from

Kahn, B., & Central, C. (2016, September 27). Earth’s CO2 Passes the 400 PPM Threshold–Maybe Permanently. Retrieved February 10, 2016, from

(2016, December 12). Retrieved February 10, 2017, from

Causes of Climate Change. (2016, October 11). Retrieved February 11, 2017, from