Category Archives: Communication

How Modern Family is Saving Social Morals from Themselves

and other funny stories.

We hosted a dinner party for three women and three men. Two of the women are in a long-term relationship. One of the men is in a long-term relationship with one of the women. That leaves two men unaccounted for.

Our two male guests happened to be wearing the same shirt.

“Time to play: Who wore it best?”

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Win a signed copy of my new favourite coffee table book!

UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations goes to Paul Le Tourneau who was randomly selected as the winner of a signed copy of Banned on the Hill!

Banned on the Hill

While reading and absorbing James’ essays, I was reminded of the term infotainment, which Jon Stewart used to describe the likes of Fox News. Infotainment also aptly describe The Daily Show but with a different sentiment. Instead of being a news show designed to entertain for the sake of ratings, The Daily Show is a comedy show that also happens to inform—Banned on the Hill does the same. James sees art as a way to deliver the truth yet leave room for personal interpretation and opportunity to decide for one’s self:

“The wonderful opportunity we, as visual artists, have is to help people understand complex issues by presenting information in ways that people can better absorb it.”

In her essay What is Harper afraid of?, James includes the above image to help people “remember and really feel the scale of the tankers navigating the skinny channels in B.C.” By juxtaposing information from a graph against a familiar scene, James makes the numbers real. The reader now imagines a tanker standing on end in the middle of NYC and the data come alive.

To the skeptics, please note that she’s not exaggerating. This size comparison is a point of pride for the American Petroleum Institute and it is in fact plainly graphed on page 5 of its promotional material. Continue reading

Produce, publish, and promote: Tell your story

Atavist facilitates the process from beginning to end, in any digital format:

Likened to Etsy by the NY Times, Atavist is a platform for media craftsmen. It’s a platform that integrates all media formats and adapts to emerging devices, and not just for “serious” writers, this app may very well do for writing what the printing press did for reading and the Internet did for knowing.

I can here the click-click-clicking of your thoughts already!

Check out four other “revolutionary apps for digital storytellers” vetted by the Tyee.

Live within limits without limiting life

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Walking to school, I finally had the courage to tell him: “They had to put Nevada down.” Immediately he burst into tears.

Nevada lived 40 very long years (88-120 in human years!) thanks to the care of the team at Langley 204 Riding Stables

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Prime Minister Changes his Name

Breaking News:

Citing the need to make communication about his character and intentions more efficient, Canada’s Prime Minister has announced he is changing his name to:

Prime Minister Hijack

Omnibus Budget Debate Debacle

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My Husband’s Grocery List

My Husband's Grocery List

My Husband’s Grocery List

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Santorum warns of ‘reign of environmental terror’ | Grist

This may be favourite headline of all time:

Santorum warns of ‘reign of environmental terror’ | Grist.

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Anonymous Holiday Greetings | Earth Summit

What to do with propaganda from your government:

Anonymous Holiday Greetings | Earth Summit.

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In Good Faith

I just can’t let go of the idealism that journalists and politicians truly desire to make the world a better place. At some time, each of them must have sat in a college class, hardly able to sit still through lectures on social injustices, and decided to do something about them.

It seems to me that political imperatives arise out of the mechanics of working within “the system,” and rising above that system is a challenge most of us do not take on. We have all seen the news about the toddler who was run over in China, and no one came to her aide. I have not been able to bring myself to watch the video, but there have been a flurry of theories rationalizing the behaviour, which points to our capacity to excuse and rationalize our actions, regardless of how gruesome. Judging the would-be samaritans in China, is similar to judging journalists and politicians. We take on “holier-than-thou” assumptions that we would behave better, yet there is resounding evidence that we wouldn’t. Continue reading

Occupy Vancouver

As much as I would love to be a a rabble-riser, I am rule-bound. Other than making consumer and employment choices, I have been a couch potato activist. So, to bus downtown at 9 am on a sunny Saturday morning was momentous for me. I arranged the comfort of a group so I didn’t feel out of place, but I found that the Occupy movement has no specific demographic, and everyone is not only welcome, but encouraged to join.

There is no definition of the participants. There is plurality in the people. There is plurality in the messages. There is plurality in the delivery. Continue reading

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