Jann Arden: My mom ‘will forget me at some point’ because of Alzheimer’s

Monday, 20 November, 2017

I watched Jann Arden‘s interview on CBC National last night and was very touched and found it informative. From CBC Tweet, ““She will forget me at some point.” Singer-songwriter @jannarden sat down with @adriearsenault and opened up about caring for her mother who has Alzheimer’s.

This Q&A at timecode 7:37 was especially moving.

“Q: You asked her [your mom] at one point if she thought she would forget you?

Jann: “She said, ‘My mind might but my heart won’t.‘”

Full interview: Jann Arden: My mom ‘will forget me’ because of Alzheimer’s

Over the years, the following three movies dealing with Alzheimer’s/Dementia have informed & touched me deeply about the challenges faced by those affected and their families and friends.
1) The Notebook (2004) [K: I LOVE this movie so much in so many ways!]
2) Away from Her (2006) [K: This is a less well known film starring  Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent that I really like and enjoy. It was expertly directed by star turned director Sarah Polley.]
3) Still Alice (2014) [K:  Julianne Moore won an Academy Award as best actress for this film and Julianne really did an amazing job.]

Is Encana trying to subvert freedom of press by using copyright law?

Thursday, 21 February, 2013


According to CTV News “Encana seeks to remove embarrassing audio clip from Internet“,

Now the company is asking Chirbit to remove the clip, according to The Globe and Mail.

Encana is the copyright owner of the Recording. It was expressly stated at the outset of the Conference Call that ‘this conference call may not be recorded or rebroadcast without the express consent of Encana Corporation,’” Encana told the web site in a letter.

The Recording has been posted without Encana’s consent. The unauthorized use of this Recording clearly constitutes copyright infringement. … Encana views this matter extremely seriously and requests that you respond to the undersigned on or before the close of business on Friday, February 22, 2013, failing which, Encana will have no other recourse but to take all actions as may be available to it to protect its proprietary rights.

Chirbit has declined the request, invoking fair use laws and saying that under its policy, anyone who wants audio removed from its site should ask the poster to do so.

To hear it for yourself in order to make an informed decision, have a listen to the audio clip in question – Warning: Offensive Language. Also have a read of Globe and Mail report, “Encana wants embarrassing audio file erased from Internet“.

To me, it seems a case could possibly be made that Encana is trying to subvert freedom of press by using copyright law, ultimately if it comes to a lawsuit it will be up to the judicial systems to decide. Now you have listened to the recording, and read the relevant materials, do you think Encana is trying to subvert freedom of press by using copyright law?

Please share your thoughts and comments. All comments are moderated but all fair comments will be approved and I will defend your rights to freedom of speech.

Stretching and bending Copyright Law

It should be noted that copyright law has been used in Canada in recent years to over-reach (in my opinion) into other unrelated areas. Take Euro-Excellence Inc. v. Kraft Canada Inc., 2007 SCC 37, [2007] 3 S.C.R. 20, a Supreme Court of Canada judgment on Canadian copyright law as an example, it ultimately is a case about the import of chocolate that somehow got twisted into a case about copyright.

Note: I have made a record of the audio clip in question as a backup in case the original recording was removed for any reason or by accident. Freedom of press is a principal worth protecting and fighting for by all working jouralists.

Falling in love with Bear 71 in its world & Interview with co-creator Leanne Allison

Wednesday, 16 January, 2013

bear 71 - interactive doc from NFB

I just watched & experienced my first ever award-winning first-person-documentary! It got me to play along and fall in love with Bear 71! The online experience/first-person-documentary is FREE thanks to National Film Board of Canada. And today, after a year long global competition, Bear 71 was selected as Site of The Year Winner amongst 12 Site of The Month finalists by 58 international judges in 2 rounds of voting! To see how amazing this honour is, you should know that the Site of The Month finalists were in turn selected from 365 Site of The Day Winners!

I will watch & play with Bear 71 again for sure. (update: 3 times so far) Let me give you the permission to explore and to click and look at different things during the 20 minutes experience because there are endless ways and many interesting hidden surprise for people to “first-person” interact and discover within the documentary. I was imagining/hoping there was a “right” way to interact with the film but there isn’t one. At key moments, the gentle hands of the creators of the experiences will bring you right along into some memorable video that will hopefully stay with you. For me, the memorable experiences will stay with me and has reaffirm and be more aware of the beautiful environment we (and the animals) experience even things are changing rapidly (often in not so positive ways for the animals). Lets hope shows like Bear 71 will help us want to make our world a better place not only for us humans, but also for bears like Bear 71 and other wild animals before things are too late.

Bear 71 (Trailer without the fun of interactive hangout)

Jan 19th update: Here is my extensive video interview with co-creator Leanne Allison where we talk about the one million plus photos Leanne got to pick and choose to use. The raw & candid video footage of a variety of wild animals captured motion-triggered cameras. And down to a discussion of how best to protect bears from trains in high-speed. Leanne and I also got to chat about the awesome documentary Being Caribou (2004) which you can watch for free online.

Here are some selected praises from the 58 international judges which I whole heartedly agree with.

Tom Daly, The Coca-Cola Company:

“The team behind ‘Bear 71’ put interactive story telling at the new edge of how we should imagine things.”

Julie Campagna, Adobe:

“Innovative and memorable, yet disturbing.”

Steve Lemarquand, Resn:

“I felt emotionally compelled to trek the virtual landscape for Bear 71.”

Mathias Appelblad, BBDO:

“A beautiful experience that pulls you right in. A great example of how technology and interaction can tell a story in an innovative, engaging and emotional way.”

Wesley Ter Haar, MediaMonks:

A site that is steadfast, almost stubbornly interactive. It interweaves narrative with data in a way that creates something uniquely digital, while also managing to resonate far beyond the experience itself. I catch myself thinking of Bear 71 in the same way I do about books or movies that have made a lasting impression, it is proof that our industry can create compelling, emotive work and will be the standard-bearer (pun not intended) for years to come.”

Eric Jordan, 2Advanced Studios:

Bear 71 is masterful blending of documentary-style video and information graphics, which combine together to make the site deeply engaging and informative.”

iGEM 2012 University of Calgary

Thursday, 4 October, 2012

My friend Iain recently completed his undergraduate degree in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology at the University of Calgary. I learned from his Facebook page that he is a member of cool UC iGEM 2012 team. Check out more info on their Wiki page, http://2012.igem.org/Team:Calgary

iGEM: “A team of undergraduates competing in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition held by MIT. We build microbes to solve complex real world problems.”

Councillor Brian Pincott interview re Calgary 100th Stampede and Peace Bridge

Saturday, 7 July, 2012

Councillor Brian Pincott interview re 100th Stampede & Peace Bridge

I can’t believe this year is already the 100th anniversary of Calgary Stampede. To join in the fun, we went out to one of the many free Stampede breakfasts this morning. And I ran into Calgary city councillor Brian Pincott. I jumped on the chance to interview Brian for a few minutes to talk about Calgary 100th Stampede and the $25 million Calgary Peace Bridge. Yes, before & during last city election, I wasn’t too convinced of the $25 million price tag for a foot bridge even I was and still is a fan of renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. You see, I got hooked on Calatrava when I watched a documentary about his Turning Torso project years ago at Calgary International Film Festival. I will let you watchBrian‘s explanation of how pedestrian foot traffic has exceeded the council’s original expectation and there was an even unexpected added benefit of the bridge.

Councillor Brian Pincott interview re Calgary 100th Stampede & Peace Bridge

Rod Charko (1961 – 2012)

Friday, 15 June, 2012

Rod Charko, $100 million man, CEO Alberta Enterprise

I am saddened to read the sudden passing of Rod Charko, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corp. I met and video interviewed Rod in 2010 for my piece “Rod Charko, $100 million man, CEO Alberta Enterprise – Alberta’s opportunities & challenges“.

I am sorry to hear of his sudden passing. My thoughts are with his families and loved ones.

LIVE broadcasting Premier Alison Redford at 2012 Alberta Election PC HQ

Tuesday, 24 April, 2012

Alison Redford - AB Election 2012 pix 02a

Alison Redford - AB Election 2012 pix 08

Last night after the 2012 Alberta general election winners were declared unofficially on TV, I went down to do some LIVE broadcast from the PC HQ in Calgary Metropolitan Centre (see also here, here, here). Yes, I am a freelance reporter, I don’t have expensive broadcast equipment but I was doing LIVE broadcast from the PC HQ in Calgary Metropolitan Centre using my mobile phone!

It was quite an experience and experiment in that I was holding not one but TWO cameras! One was my Galaxy Nexus broadcasting live on the WIND Mobile network using my unlimited data plan. In another hand, I was holding my digital camera capturing higher quality video for later use (which I am sharing with you here in this post).

I’ve now used the 2012 Alberta general election as the testing ground of my first LIVE broadcast. I will be doing more LIVE broadcast in the future. For one, I will make sure I link the LIVE broadcast page where readers of my articles can actually watch my video reports LIVE on my channel!

My personal favourite moments last night were the quieter moments of Alison Redford out of the spotlight – Alberta Election 2012 (PC HQ)

Alison Redford’s first post-victory media scrum – Alberta Election 2012

Premier Alison Redford’s victory speech – Alberta Election 2012 (from PC HQ)

Alison Redford at 2012 Alberta Election PC HQ Festivities

See my whole set of Premier Alison Redford at 2012 Alberta Election PC HQ photos here.

Alison Redford - AB Election 2012 pix 13

Alison Redford - AB Election 2012 pix 17

Alison Redford - AB Election 2012 pix 19

Alison Redford - AB Election 2012 pix 21 Q-Its a great night hey? A-It's a great night

Alison Redford - AB Election 2012 pix 23

2012 Alberta Elections – report and random exit poll

Monday, 23 April, 2012


NOTE: All interviews are non-scientific and random depending on availability. (Total voters interviews requested: 19; Accepted: 5, Declined: 14)

11:12pm update: All my LIVE broadcast tonight from the PC HQ in Calgary Metropolitan Centre have been posted here.

6:30pm update: Saw this super cute yappy dog (video) on my way to vote in the 2012 Alberta general election.

4pm update: On camera LIVE exit poll and why this voter voted the way she did. LIVE interview #1, additional LIVE interview (#1a) as I was told the voter actually sat on former MLA Ron Stevens‘ board of directors.


The 2012 Alberta general election is one of the most hotly contested elections in recent years. What voters decide today will have deep impact to Albertans, Alberta-based, and Canadian businesses in general. Do Albertans and Alberta-based businesses want a new government? We will find out tonight.

The following are some unscientific random interviews done at a polling station in Calgary and one can wonder/guess if it means anything for the voters who don’t want to share who they vote for. Of course, I totally respect in Canada we have secret ballot for a good reason. TorStar has reported the Wildrose party has raised $2.3m, that is $800,000 more than PCs raised ($1.5m). Calgary Herald is reporting the election front-runners cast their votes in southern Alberta and Edmonton Journal will be one of the media posting election results later tonight.

2012 Alberta Elections – report and random exit poll


Note: If you have questions about the legalities of my exit poll and questions, please see my reply in the comments section.

City of Edmonton goes Google Apps – (Part 2/2) Privacy Issues, USA Patriot Act, FOIP Act

Friday, 13 April, 2012


Chris Moore, City of Edmonton Chief Information Officer, interview

2019, Dec 13 update: Broken SCC case name added in reference and weblink repaired.

2012, Apr 15 update: Here is an excerpt from an Apr 15th Guardian article “Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google’s Sergey Brin – Exclusive: Threats range from governments trying to control citizens to the rise of Facebook and Apple-style ‘walled gardens’” (emphasis added)

“[Google co-founder Sergey] Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google’s servers. He said the company [Google] was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.”

The above excerpt is a very powerful statement that should make foreign (to US) decision makers in the private and public sectors think carefully of what they get themselves into by putting data, especially sensitive data, onto Google’s cloud. As we can see from the latest Supreme Court of Canada decision “R. v. Tse, 2012 SCC 16” rejecting current Canadian loose wiretap law, the court has made it clear that accountability and effective judicial oversight are very important matters in Canada.


The focus of part 2/2 of this article series will be on the privacy related issues of City of Edmonton going with Google Apps. (See part 1/2 of this series for the financial and technology impacts.)

Keywords: The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, USA Patriot Act, Privacy Impact Assessment, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Summary: After extensive preparation by City of Edmonton to go with Google Apps, it is puzzling and questionable why city of Edmonton FOIP office (reporting to Edmonton city council, and working closely with Edmonton Chief Information Officer) has NOT yet decided to submit a privacy impact assessment under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to seek the two Offices of the Privacy Commissioners’ advices and recommendations.

The FOIP Act, USA Patriot Act, and the case of University of Alberta

First of all, a little bit of information about The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIP Act) (emphasis added),

“[the FOIP Act] was passed by the Alberta Legislature in June 1994. It came into effect on October 1, 1995. The FOIP Act provides individuals with the right to request access to information in the custody or control of public bodies while providing public bodies with a framework within which they must conduct the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

Given the FOIP Act focus re the “collection, use and disclosure of personal information“, it leads me to a serious concern in seeing City of Edmonton going with Google Apps and wondering how will the USA Patriot Act impact Canadians? At the moment, Google has no dedicated data center located in Canada, and Google stores its data in data centers primarily located in United States. Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, University of Alberta Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (Information Technology), responsible for moving the university to Google Apps for Education, has painted an informed picture in this article, (emphasis added)

“The decision to go Google took almost two years to be realized. First, we had to investigate all our options, including providing a single system on campus (e.g., Microsoft) and using a local provider (e.g., Telus). Second, having decided on Google, we did our due diligence by doing a privacy impact assessment and getting it accepted by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta. Third, we had to negotiate a contract with Google that respected Alberta’s and Canada’s laws. Google houses its data in data centers that are primarily located in the United States. The U.S. Patriot Act acts as a lightening rod for some people. It took 1.5 years to come up with an agreement that satisfied our legal team (both internal and external the university), security team, and privacy officer. Only after going through all these steps were we comfortable with signing an agreement with Google.”

In a phone interview with Wayne Wood, Communications Director, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Wood explained that, in Alberta, Read the rest of this entry »

City of Edmonton goes Google Apps – (Part 1/2) Financial, Technological Impacts

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

Chris Moore, City of Edmonton Chief Information Officer, interview

Update: Part 2/2 Privacy Issues, USA Patriot Act, FOIP Act has now been posted.

Yesterday, City of Edmonton announced it “will become the first major municipal government in Canada to use Google email and other office technology apps for all City employees“. Google Enterprise stated, “While Edmonton may be the first city in Canada to go Google, it’s in great company with other city governments in North America ─ like PittsburghOrlando and Zapopan, Mexico ─ that have already made the move.” It is only natural for people in Calgary, Toronto, and other cities to ask and find out if there are anything we can learn from Edmonton?

In a video interview with Chris Moore, Chief Information Officer of City of Edmonton, Moore said all 6 departments, 31 branches, 10,000+ people, will move to use Google Apps for Government. The press release states, “The change will be phased in over the next few years with Google email and calendar put in place in late 2012, into 2013 and the other apps available for employees to use late next year.

In fact, Moore told me a few hundred employees are already in pilot projects using Google Apps. (note: While the police services will stay on their separate system, the city’s fire services, parks & recreations, waste management/day-to-day garbage pickup, tax department, etc are part of this move.) In a phone interview with Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, University of Alberta Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (Information Technology) responsible for moving the university to Google Apps for Education, he said U of A has successfully transition 125,000 people and have 3,000 people to go in a phased migration. The U of A project started in March 2011 and is expected to be completed in early fall 2012.

According to city of Edmonton manager Simon Farbrother, “This move supports our City Vision, The Way Ahead, to use the most innovative technologies available. We will now have a more inclusive work environment where all employees will have access and be able to share and collaborate in real time on the same document whenever they want, in any location, and on any device such as smartphones and laptops.

By going to a cloud-based solution, Moore explained the city is moving away from the old model of software licenses installed on desktops and laptops, with upgrades every year or every other year, to the concept of iterative changes which people have already experiencing in their use of technologies at home.

According to Moore, 3.2 million dollars is the estimated up front cost for moving to Google Apps (e.g. implementation, training, documentation, etc). The cost savings over five years is about 9.2 million dollars, Read the rest of this entry »

Canadians aren’t that stupid @ToewsVic #TellVicEverything

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

“Canadians aren’t that stupid.” @RickMercer’s message to @ToewsVic
#TellVicEverything #cdnpoli #c30 [HT OpenMedia.ca]

Ontario Privacy Commish on Online Spying Bills (CBC interview)

New Quote I Love – All that is necessary for evil to triumph …

Sunday, 4 December, 2011

A new addition to Quotes I Love,

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke via Judge John Reilly‘s Bad Medicine: A Judge’s Struggle for Justice in a Frist Nations Community

There is a TEDxCalgary talk by Judge Reilly.

TEDxCalgary – Judge John Reilly – My Aboriginal Education

U of Calgary biosensor project takes students to competition at MIT

Friday, 4 November, 2011

This looks pretty cool. University of Calgary biosensor project takes students to competition at MIT (emphasis added)

A group of undergraduate students has developed a process that uses genetically modified bacteria to help monitor the levels of toxins in oil sands tailings ponds. The project has earned them a spot at the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) World Championship Jamboree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Nov. 5 – 7.

Eleven students from the faculties of medicine, science and engineering created a biosensor–a sensor that is biologically based–to detect levels of naphthenic acids (NAs), which can be toxic in certain quantities. The students spent months growing bacteria in a laboratory and adding a mini genome to enable the detection of NAs.

From Edmonton Journal, “Bacteria used to find oilsands toxins” (emphasis added)

“We decided early on we wanted to do an oilsands project because it’s so relevant to Alberta, it would be easier to get funding, and it was interesting to us,” said Emily Hicks, 21, a fourth-year biomedical sciences student and team captain.

The group created a bio-sensor to detect levels of naphthenic acids (NAs), which can be toxic.

The researchers grew bacteria in a laboratory, then added a mini genome to help detect the NAs. If NA gas is present, it causes a change in the bacteria which is then recorded on a computer hooked up to take readings.

“It will essentially start to form something that gives us a charge,” Hicks said.

We can see that on the graph.” The process takes just a few minutes.

Energy companies conduct regular sampling to monitor tailings pond toxins.

The students’ process “presumably will be a lot lower cost,” and could one day be used in Alberta’s oilsands, said Lisa Gieg, U of C assistant professor in biological sciences and faculty facilitator of the project.

“We still have a lot of ways to go to develop and standardize, but that’s the vision, to eventually use it as a screening tool, to try to detect, in particular, naphthenic acids.”

“The University of Calgary iGem team will be tweeting from the finals. Follow them on twitter @iGemCalgary and follow the conversation #igem2011


iGem Calgary – Last Project Night – TGIF Parody – iGEM Calgary 2011

Cardiac rehabilitation most effective immediately following heart attack

Thursday, 27 October, 2011

A healthy heart is important to us all and especially key for people that have a heart attack. I’ve added emphasis to the following article. [HT Marta]

October 27, 2011
Cardiac rehabilitation most effective immediately following heart attack

By Kathryn Sloniowski

Calgary, AB —New research from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine has found that patients who have experienced a heart attack are more likely to participate in, and complete a cardiac rehabilitation program when they have access to it within 14 days of hospital discharge. Cardiac rehabilitation is a series of educational and exercise components aimed at teaching participants how to live a healthier lifestyle, subsequently reducing risk factors for future heart related illness. Components include topics such as nutrition, physical fitness and mental wellness.

“The proven benefits of participation in cardiac rehabilitation are multi-faceted,” says Dr. James Stone, co-author of the study and member of the University’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. “They include living longer, less-frequent hospital admissions, requiring fewer heart procedures and having better control of the risk factors that cause coronary artery disease.”

The study, published in this month’s issue of Canadian Journal of Cardiology, included a total of 469 patients, Read the rest of this entry »

Wiebo’s War opens Oct 21st in Calgary & Edmonton, and then Oct 26 in Lethbridge

Friday, 21 October, 2011

Wiebo’s War is one of the best documentaries I have seen this year, I highly recommend it. The film is especially relevant to Albertans as we thought we know a lot about Wiebo Ludwig from TV news but David York’s Wiebo’s War, with intimate access to Wiebo and his family over two years, will show you a lot more.

Wiebo’s War opens in theatres today (Oct 21st, 2011) in both Calgary (The Plaza) and Edmonton (Metro). And then screening in Lethbridge at 8pm, Wed Oct 26. (watch NFB trailer) Here is a YouTube trailer.

Film review from National Post (3.5/4), Calgary Herald (4.5/5).

David York, Director of Wiebo’s War interview at Calgary International Film Festival

Q&A at 2011 Calgary International Film Festival

Here is Wiebo’s War (NFB synopsis and trailer),

This feature documentary focuses on Wiebo Ludwig, a suspect in a recent string of pipeline bombings. The bombings echo a campaign of sabotage he waged against the oil and gas industry in the 90s – barricading roads and blowing up wells. And when a 16-year-old girl was fatally shot on the family farm in 1999, Wiebo’s fight with the industry was thrust further into the media spotlight.

The Ludwig family are part of a Christian community that lives in close adherence to their religious values. The community is comprised of 5 married couples, 7 unmarried adult children and 38 grandchildren. They are self-sufficient in food and energy, but live in isolation and believe that those that don’t share their religious beliefs, like filmmaker David York, are living in terrible darkness.

David York - Wiebo's War - Q&A

NFB Get Animated in Calgary FREE on Nov 6th, 2011

Wednesday, 5 October, 2011

Check out NFB‘s annual program Get Animated, a FREE celebration of animation in Calgary, Alberta on Nov 6th, 2011.

My Favourite Foreign Films of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Monday, 3 October, 2011

The following are trailers and interviews of some of my favourite foreign films at Calgary International Film Festival 2011.

Starbuck (trailer) A ton of fun watching this Quebec comedy. 2011 People’s Choice Award

The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) (trailer) Be ready for surprises.

Almanya – (Welcome to Germany) Willkommen in Deutschland (movie site)

My Favourite Dramas of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Monday, 3 October, 2011

The following are trailers and interviews of some of my favourite dramas at Calgary International Film Festival 2011.

Take This Waltz (trailer, Q&A at TIFF, red carpet)

Late Bloomers (trailer)

My Favourite Documentaries of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Monday, 3 October, 2011

The joy of attending Calgary International Film Festival 2011 (or any film festival in your area) is to watch great films that you normally may not get to watch. The following are trailers and interviews of some of my favourite documentaries at Calgary International Film Festival 2011.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (trailer, press, and interview)

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (trailer)

Eric Bricker, Director/Producer Visual Acoustics, and me

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (filmtrailer, pre-screening & post-screening interviews, and Q&A)

Wiebo’s War (NFB trailer, post screening interview, Q&A)

Guide to Final Day of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Sunday, 2 October, 2011

Sun, Oct 2nd

12:00pm Becoming Santa (Eau Claire) Watch my video interview with ”Becoming Santa”‘s Santa/producer Jack Sanderson & director/producer Jeff Myers

2:30pm, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

4:30pm Almanya – Welcome to Germany (Eau Claire)

7:00pm The Salt of Life (Eau Claire)

%d bloggers like this: