Why are @IKEACanada and Leo Burnett silent in global trending Twitter #ikeamonkey?

Monday, 10 December, 2012

Why are @IKEACanada and Leo Burnett silent in global trending Twitter #ikeamonkey?

I wrote humourously about #ikeamonkey in my article “Top 10 Reasons why Monkey Darwin shops at Ikea & No charges by T.O. police!” so I won’t repeat those points here. In this article, I will take a more serious look at the business side of things.

I’m first of all puzzled and wondering “Why is @IKEACanada silent during global trending Twitter #ikeamonkey ?” I see people from around the world on Twitters write and write about #ikeamonkey. And the media outlets not just in Canada but from around the world are also turning this into a viral discussion! But then paradoxically, I see the @IKEACanada account (yes, the official verified IKEA Canada Twitter account) being completely silent on #ikeamonkey! Why is the IKEA Canada social media tweeting nothing about #ikeamonkey? And, more seriously, why is the Toronto-based Leo BurnettIKEA’s creative agency of record (since March 2011) NOT convincing IKEA Canada to do something creative and fun to engage all the people tweeting about IKEA!

Questions for Leo Burnett & IKEA Canada

Why is Judy John, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett and her team doing nothing? Are there heavy resistent from IKEA Canada? Now, may be they are doing something but in the Twitter age inside a perfect viral storm, one viral #ikeamonkey day is easily more than 100 human days! Since monkey Darwin was first spotted by shoppers at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, so one viral #ikeamonkey day (100 human days) has officially passed without something fun or engaging from @IKEACanada or Leo Burnett! What a waste of social media positive energy.

Lets have some fun IKEA Canada & Leo Burnett

There are many ways to engage and have fun. I spent a few quick minutes to come up with a few. Feel free to post and share yours in the comment.

Here are my free #ikeamonkey ideas/advices 2 @IKEACanada & @LeoBurnett #hint #youshouldreallypayme4myideas #yyc #canada

Some fun ones:

How about: You’r right! @IKEACanada our furnitures are a ton of fun to monkey with! #ikeamonkey

How about: Yes, @IKEACanada We let you monkey with your furnitures with no extra charges! #ikeamonkey

This one is just a nice way to thank monkey Darwin for all the positive & free publicity (good karma):

How About: Thx #ikeamonkey 4 your visit @IKEACanada We are donating $1,000 to your new home Storybook Farms Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland

At this point, some thoughtful social engagement by @IKEACanada about #ikeamonkey will tremendous good for IKEA as a global brand.

Now, I don’t mean to criticize Leo Burnett (Toronto) too harshly as I think they have done some great work over the years like this one, “Ikea’s Cardboard Outdoor Posters Fold Down Into Moving Boxes Take one and start packing.” But I just can’t help but think about the wasted positive worldwide fun & positive attention to IKEA (not just IKEA Canada). What a waste! I feel like someone dumping tons and tons of preciously liquid gold randomly into ocean, once lost, they can’t be found again! It sucks!

Update: I rethink a little, since this is an article about social media, I will wait & see if @IKEACanada or @LeoBurnett see my Twitter tags re this article or do anything today. If I have time or want to do a followup article on this, I will then call up Leo Burnett and see if I can get a comment.

Note: This post is cross-posted by me at examiner.


Carmen Stockton’s performance at Alberta Comedy Spectacular (June 2nd, 2012 – CBC TV and Radio LIVE recording)

Friday, 1 June, 2012

alberta-comedy-spectacular

LIVE comedy recording for CBC TV & Radio in Calgary
7pm Sat June 2nd, 2012

Check out my Comedy Central and Just For Laughs Comedy Festivalfeatured stand-up comedian friend Carmen Stockton’s performance at a LIVE recording for CBC TV and Radio in Calgary 7pm Sat June 2nd! See the poster for more info. Visit Carmen’s website for bio, comedy clips, and more.


Finding Jan Wong Out of the Blue – The ugly sides of Globe and Mail & Manulife

Monday, 14 May, 2012

Jan Wong Website page pix 01

As a long time reader (and fan) of Jan Wong‘s (website, twitter) newspaper articles and “Lunch with” columns, it came to me as a total shock when I belatedly discovered the real reason of why Jan is no longer working for the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail (she was fired from the fallout of one article) and why Jan, a successful books author and highly skilled writer, has to self-publish her memoir Out of the Blue (Amazon) (this is a story in itself).

Check out this video “For my review of Jan Wong’s “Out of The Blue” & news report” and the following insightful articles and interviews.

* CBC News, “Q&A: Jan Wong’s long march from depression to reinvention”

* CBC Books Radio interview, Michael Enright’s interview with journalist Jan Wong about her latest book”

* 2012, May 11, TVO Allan Gregg video interview, “Jan Wong On Her Battle With Depression

* TorStar Apr 27, “Toronto author Jan Wong’s book on workplace depression an instant classic

* Ottawa Citizen, Jan Wong’s blues – “Journalist chronicles her controversial descent into workplace depression

* Now, “Jan Wong wronged? The Bestselling journalist wound up self-publishing her memoir?

* Now Book review, “Out of The Blue – Wilful Wong

* backofthe book.ca “Jan Wong’s Globe and Mail blues

* The Chronicle Herald “Old China hand explores Canada’s mysterious East

* Quill & Quire Book review, Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness”

Ref: 2006 Sept article from Premier Jean Charest.

Disclosure: I own shares of Manulife and I am shocked and angry of Manulife’s unacceptable business practices. Setting personal feelings aside, it is just bad business to deal with legitimate insurance clients like it did with Jan. These kind of unacceptable behaviours can rightfully drive potential future clients away. I may write a separate article about this. Will see.

Jan Wong Website page pix 02


Insights from Montreal Student Protest Friday LIVE broadcast using Google+ Hangout On Air – Sarah Hill interview

Saturday, 28 April, 2012

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 02

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 01

This afternoon I interviewed +Sarah Hill to talk about her amazing coverage of Montreal student demonstration captured and broadcasted LIVE last night (Friday Apr 27) with video from +Jean Francois Desmarais‘s camera on the ground, and Sarah broadcasting LIVE from her kitchen in Columbia, MO in the US using Google Plus On Air Hangout technology!

The following is a partial list of questions I asked Sarah Hill in the interview talking about the LIVE broadcast last night from her perspective.

How did the LIVE broadcast come about? How did Sarah know Jean Francois (i.e. the vetting)? What other uses of the G+ Hangout On Air technology can already be used for today? Was there any Hangout On Air technical problems during the broadcast?

I was also able to talk to Jean Francois via G+ message and he was kind to share the setup he used last night and some technical issues he had. Here is my summary of his main setup.

– An old dual core portable computer with 4GB of RAM and a 1394 Firewire port (Firewire 400)

– a Sony HVR camera that was hooked up to the computer with a 1394 wire

– 4G key USB stick for video/data transmission

– Note: Here is a picture of Jean Francois’ gear for Sat night (Apr 28).

According to Jean Francois, the above setup worked well until he had to run after the demonstration. He ended up walking 3-5 km in total and ran into some technical issues. I’ve listed the issues here in Jean Francois’ words. My hope is by sharing the issues, others can have a better LIVE reporting experiences.

“1- [As there wasn’t time to organize and tape everything together] The wires kept unhooking themselves
2- The portable kept shutting down as soon as I closed the lid – even if we went in the control panel and set the parameters so it doesn’t turn off.
3- When there is a large crowd sometimes getting the connection is very difficult. I lost a good 45 min trying to [regain connection].
4- The battery of the portable was a major issue. We could have had a power pack but we needed to convert the current, so we needed a “transfo”- It was already too heavy so that option was out of the question.
5- If I had more time I would have loved to be able to have somebody with a hand-held mic but we had an issue bringing the sound from the cam and into the mic headset. I need to do more R&D on this.
6- Also, as I learned from past experience, good streaming means a lot of light. So the more light you have the better the quality of the image will be. [Kempton: I suggest a battery powered LED light panel]
7- And there is a need for a feature to know if you are still on air. I kept asking Sarah if I was still on air because I was not able to see the computer.”

By the way, Sarah plans to do a LIVE hangout tonight (Sat Apr 28) at 10pm EST to talk about the issues re the student demonstrations. If you live in Montreal or in Quebec, watch out for Sarah’s Hangout or invite.

Again, special thanks to Sarah and JeanJean Francois for the amazing and ground breaking coverage last night!

Note: Apologies for the audio echo in my questions. Fortunately, the echo doesn’t affect Sarah’s answers.

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 03

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 04

Here is the video captured and broadcasted LIVE last night (Friday Apr 27)

Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:12 MST UpdateMontreal Demonstrations on the night of Apr 28, 2012


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


Awesome FollowMeFoodie Mijune – Will vlog for a great meal – Vancouver Sun

Sunday, 18 March, 2012

Full half page photo of FollowMeFoodie MiJune

(Photo credit: @CoffeeGeek)

Hello foodies, check out this Vancouver Sun article “Will vlog for a great meal” featuring the awesome Mijune (Twitter/Facebook). Here is an excerpt from  “Will vlog” (emphasis added),

“But when it comes to food vloggers — that is, bloggers who post videos — it’s the new order. Vlogging requires crazy commitment and passion. Sure, cellphones and pocket cameras can easily capture video, but scripting, shooting, editing and uploading is another thing. It takes a sizable bite out of one’s life and exquisite patience. Ouch!

One such local vlogger, Mijune Pak, of Richmond, posts on YouTube and on her blog, Follow Me Foodie. “I know the food blogging community is very saturated right now but vlogging hasn’t been touched,” she says.

Here’s the reason in a nutshell. She and her two-man crew shot for three hours, then edited for six hours to produce a 1.5 minute video. Who’s got that kind of time or expertise?

We’re doing it because we’re passionate and it’s a good way of getting exposure,” says Pak, 25. One video, The Things Foodies Say [note: see below], “went crazy,” she says. “It’s very challenging because most viewers click off after two or three minutes. To lock in a recipe in two or three minutes is very challenging.”

Also check out her FollowMeFoodie YouTube channel and this really funny 90 seconds clip. If you love food, I bet you will laugh at recognizing things you or your friends say! Enjoy.

Shit Foodies Say – Episode 1

Disclosure: I’ve known Mijune personally for years and I think she is doing some great creative work with her FollowMeFoodie site and FollowMeFoodie YouTube channel.


Election fraudsters “Pierre Poutine” attack Canadian democracy mock Election Canada and voters

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

News from today across Canada. The election fraudsters “Pierre Poutine” are collectively giving major middle fingers to mock Election Canada and voters! Absolutely unacceptable.

Vancouver Sun, “Public faith in the 2011 vote is gone – judicial inquiry needed; Fraud a serious attack on parliamentary democracy; governor-general would be justified in forcing new federal election”

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s long-sought majority government rests upon 11 seats.

The key to his narrow 2011 victory was Ontario, where the Conservative Party finally breached a Liberal stronghold.

It was in crucial Ontario swing ridings where Conservatives won, often by razor-thin margins, that the government’s majority was decided.

And, it was in Ontario that evidence first surfaced of an apparently well-organized campaign of telephone calls which purported to be from Elections Canada and which told Liberal voters that their polling stations had been relocated and which directed them to bogus voting sites.”

Ottawa Citizen, “Elections Canada falling down on electoral fraud: Democracy Watch

“Elections Canada is failing in its mandate to thwart electoral scams and publicly hold fraudsters to account, the Ottawa-based advocacy group Democracy Watch said Tuesday, as the robocall scandal continued to shake the Harper government’s majority mandate. Read the rest of this entry »


Forget about Kickstarter, try IndieGoGo in Canada UK Australia Asia?

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

Sept 24, 2013 update: Kickstarter has finally launched in Canada earlier this year and you can find some Canadian projects here.

July 15, 2015 update: Since my 2013 update, I’ve used Indiegogo and like it. Worth investigate it for yourself and decide for yourself if it is a good enough crowdfunding site for your use.

***

After waiting for close to three years and trying to push a little, I am giving up on the idea of waiting for Kickstarter to come to Canada! Unfortunately, no more illusion for me. Kickstarter’s inaction/inability to find an alternative payment solution for Canada or non-US countries is inexcusable and can only be put as they don’t give a beep. To them, US is a big enough market for them to serve? After three years of waiting, I’ve given up caring. Quoting Kickstarter’s FAQ (emphasis added)

Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?

To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:

Be a permanent US resident and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.”

I am NOT paid by IndieGoGo to write this article! Judging from IndieGoGo‘s press articles and mention, they seem to be legit (I don’t know). A local friend has used IndieGoGo and I haven’t seen any complain from him.

I am sadden to write this article but then again, three years of Kickstarter inaction is inexcusable, enough is enough.

Can you share your experiences using IndieGoGo?

If you have used IndieGoGo to raise funds, can you please share your experiences good and bad? Both good or bad experiences are very much welcomed at this point. May be take a look of projects on IndieGoGo. And if they are worthy of your support, give them a try and let us know how things go? And if you are going to use IndieGoGo to raise funds, tell us how successful (or not) your experiences are.

P.S. To be fair, Kickstarter is doing good for permanent US resident. Even though I love my US friends, I just think Kickstarter sucks in helping projects initiated by non-US citizens around the world.


canada polymer $100 – money “laundering” test – wash and dry

Friday, 18 November, 2011

canada polymer $100 – money “laundering” test – after wash and dry

After a detail (with video) and more serious look at the new Canada polymer $100 banknote, I decided to have some fun and put the brand new $100 to a money “laundering” test. I washed & dried it in a dryer to see what happen.

Non-scientific test results:

* The fold marks are not much worst than regular use.

* The polymer $100 feels noticeably softer after heated up in drier but it feels ok and strong.

* The metallic strip and the holograms are still working great.

Conclusion:

* If you accidentally leave your $100 bills in your jeans pocket, they will survive a wash and dry cycle easily!

canada polymer $100 – money “laundering” test – after wash and dry


Canada polymer $100 banknote hands-on look finally! (with video)

Thursday, 17 November, 2011

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 18

I’ve written and speculated extensively about the new Canadian polymer notes. Finally, I am excited to say I’ve got one in my hand now. Have a watch of this slideshow of the new polymer C$100. In comparison, watch this slideshow of the HK$10 (which is less than US/C $2).

Here is a video of me checking out the new polymer $100, I slowed down the video at various place so you can have a closer look at some features.

Comments:

1) Raised ink: I definitely feel the raised ink on the large “100” and the shoulders and different parts of the bill.

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - front - pix 09

2) What hidden 100? I have given up trying to find the hidden numbers (using a single light source) in the maple leaf! Some people can see it, not me. So if this security feature is hard to use, or only some people (or small percent of people) can use it, I am questioning if this is a good security feature at all!

Note: I wonder if this feature is the WinDOE® (Diffractive Optical Element) as I wrote in “12 possible security features” in March?

New Bank of Canada $100 Polymer Note - Hidden numbers

3) Polymer but not cheap plastic feel: I actually quite like the feel and don’t feel it is “cheap” or anything thing. It feel like it is good quality. But only time and actually use will tell.

4) Large transparent window and metallic strip: I LOVE them! To me, they are the best part of the bill. They are extremely easy to inspect and tell if it is a real $100 with minimum training! They are hard to fake thanks to Securency International’s security features and patented technologies.

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - front - pix 06

Further info: In March, I wrote a speculative technology piece with extensive links to patents by Securency International, “Bank of Canada’s new polymer banknote – Patents & technologies by Securency International” After the new $100 was announced in June, I wrote “Canada New Polymer $100 Notes in Nov 2011 – Now your money is smooth & will bounce!

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 22

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 20

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 12

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - front - pix 02

The HK$10 (less than US/C$ 2)

HK polymer $10 (2007)

Here are some design info about the polymer $100 from Bank of Canada:

“$100 Note – Design Features
Portrait: Sir Robert L. Borden, Prime Minister, 1911–20
Signatures: Left – T. Macklem, Right – M.J. Carney
Size: 152.4 x 69.85 mm (6.0 x 2.75 inches)
Issue Date: November 2011
Theme: Medical Innovation Read the rest of this entry »


Vancouver plane crash heroes

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011

These heroes deserved our public thanks.

* Vancouver Sun, “Video: Plane-crash heroes tell their stories

* CBC News, “Plane crash rescuer says he ‘didn’t have a plan (with 16 mins raw interview with Jeremy Kerr)’

* Vancouver Sun, “Jeremy Kerr writes letter to Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff  Lee about his role in the rescue of passengers on Northern Thunderbird Air Flight 204 and its aftermath

* CBC News, “Premier to honour Richmond crash heroes (with crash aftermath video)

* National Post, “Vancouver plane crash: Heroes who fought their way into the flaming wreckage tell their story

“Jeremy Kerr, John Redmond, Haim Peri and Shawn Nagurny share a common bond even if they don’t know one another.

They were among the small group of men who, against all odds, pushed their way into the flaming fuselage of Northern Thunderbird Air Flight 204 to drag injured passengers to safety after the small aircraft crashed Thursday in Richmond, near Vancouver.

None of the men sought public attention in the days after the incident, but they have now come forward, largely out of the cathartic need to talk about what they experienced. The trauma of being thrown into the situation of becoming unexpected heroes has weighed heavily.

As the men carried or dragged the victims out, as many as two dozen other Good Samaritans offered help, carrying the injured to a grassy area not far from the wreckage. Redmond says all who responded — from those who offered first aid to those who sprayed car fire extinguishers on the flaming wreckage in the vain hope of beating back the flames — deserve credit.

But it was Kerr, Redmond, Peri, Nagurny and several as-yet unidentified men who entered the aircraft, suspending common sense to risk their lives for the people on board.

Here are their stories.

Jeremy Kerr

[…] At first, he said, he didn’t know why he helped out. It was an autonomic reaction for him to race over, he said. In hindsight, he now knows he did so out of extreme compassion.

“Waiting for help to arrive wasn’t an option,” he said. “If they were my loved ones on board, I would hope that someone would do the same for me.” […]

Some of the events around what happened are blurry to Kerr. He says he doesn’t remember the faces and names of the other heroes who worked with him. “It’s like looking down the barrel of a straw,” he said. “All I can remember is the victims.” […]

John Redmond

[…] He drove straight through an intersection, stopped the car “a little bit too close to the airplane,” grabbed his steering-wheel club in case he needed something to smash through windows to free people, and ran as fast as he could toward the airplane. 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


Remembering 9/11 – Friendships formed at Gander, Newfoundland

Saturday, 10 September, 2011

From Al Jazeera, Sept 10, 2011, “Friendships formed in shadow of 9/11 attacks” (with video),

“For residents of the town of Gander in Newfoundland, off Canada’s east coast, the events of September 11, 2001, are not altogether negative.

The town was flooded with nearly 7,000 passengers from trans-Atlantic flights that were forced to land when US airspace was abruptly closed.

The local population spiked from 10,000 to almost 17,000 in just a few hours. Overall, Canada received more than 200 aircraft and in excess of 30,000 passengers. In Gander, the giant airport took 38 commercial airliners and the Plane People – as they were known – stayed for almost a week.

During their enforced lay-over, lasting friendships were formed with locals.”

From Huffington Post, Sept 9, 2011, “9/11 Anniversary: Obama Thanks Harper For Canada’s Help” (emphasis added)

From Presiden Obama, “On the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, we remember with gratitude and affection how the people of Canada offered us the comfort of friendship and extraordinary assistance that day and in the following days by opening their airports, homes and hearts to us. As airspace over our two countries was shut down, hundreds of flights en route to the United States were landed safely by Canadian air traffic control in seventeen Canadian airports from coast to coast. The small city of Gander, Newfoundland, population 9,600, received 6,600 diverted passengers, while Vancouver received 8,500 people. For the next 3 days — before our air space was reopened — those displaced passengers were treated like family in Canadian homes, receiving food, shelter, medical attention and comfort.

From Toronto Sun, Sept 7, “Gander, N.L., to receive 9-11 award from U.S.”

“The town of 10,000, which rallied to house and feed 6,500 stranded passengers for several days after North American airspace was shut down in the hours following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will receive the International Resilience Award from the Center for National Policy.

“The story is an amazing one. The townspeople, with literally no warning, took into their homes 6,500 passengers who were strangers in need at a time of crisis,” said Scott Bates, the centre’s vice-president.

“For us, this is a moment of community heroism,” Bates said. “It’s something that we want to showcase so that people in the United States remember what Canada did for us and also, perhaps more importantly, how Gander is an example of how communities across North America should respond in a time of crisis.

“Rather than coming apart, they came together.””

From National Post, Sept 10, 2011, “On 9/11, air traffic controllers worked on a wing and a prayer”

“Don O’Brien and his air traffic control colleagues had been trained to handle emergencies in the sky. They knew how to guide an airliner without engine power onto the ground, for example — but no one had ever conceived of the crazy, high-altitude challenges of 9/11.

“We’d never trained or rehearsed for anything like it,” says O’Brien, an air traffic control supervisor at the NAV Canada operations center in Gander, N.L.

“After they closed U.S. airspace that morning — which was totally unprecedented — we suddenly had a couple of hundred large airplanes coming at us, and we had to find them somewhere to land.”

O’Brien works inside a two-storey concrete bunker of a building, surrounded by high, barbed wire fences on the outskirts of this small town in central Newfoundland. This is the command center from which NAV Canada, the country’s private, air traffic control provider, controls the skies over Canada’s eastern seaboard and the entire western half of the North Atlantic.”


Battles and War in the fight for Fair Digital Copyright for Canada – Government to Reintroduce Bill C-32 “In Exactly the Same Form”

Friday, 9 September, 2011

My heart sank reading Michael Geist, Sept 9, 2011, “Government to Reintroduce Bill C-32 “In Exactly the Same Form”” So my concerns and worries expressed in my Sept 5th, 2011 article, “Fair Digital Copyright for Canada – Insights from a new Phd thesis by Blayne Haggart” may have come true. But I am not giving up easily and Canadians shouldn’t go down without a fight.

Here is an excerpt from Winnipeg Free Press, Sept 8, 2011, “Long-awaited copyright bill returns, but top court to wade in too” (emphasis added)

“One of the hotly debated issues around the bill, around how educators are able to use copyrighted materials, has now popped up before the Supreme Court.

The justices will be hearing a case about whether grade school teachers who make copies of textbooks for their students should be shielded from paying tariffs.

The same issue came up before the Commons committee last March. Groups who represent educators and provincial ministers of education would like to see more explicit protection for classroom copying included in the “fair dealing” section of the Act, while those who represent publishers say they deserve to be compensated for the textbooks they create.

NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus said the government should be listening to criticism of the bill and making changes before it is forced to by the courts.

“There are problems that need to be fixed and we can do this in a collaborative way or a confrontational way, but I would prefer to get this bill done,” Angus said.

“I want to know that they’re actually listening to the witnesses, because witnesses have identified some serious shortfalls with the bill that can be fixed.” […]

Internal U.S. embassy cables posted by Wikileaks this year suggested former industry minister Maxime Bernier offered to show American officials a previous copyright bill before it was tabled in Parliament.

The cables also detailed how the office of another former industry minister, Tony Clement, suggested Washington include Canada on an international piracy watchlist in order to push legislative efforts along.


U2 documentary “From the Sky Down” – a film that is “for anyone who is interested in how songs get written.”

Friday, 9 September, 2011

Sept 8, 2011, LA Times, “Toronto 2011: U2’s Bono shows ’em how it’s done

Sept 8, 2011, LA Times, “Toronto Film Festival: Director talks opening night U2 doc

Bono on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival

The business of selling and buying movies at TIFF.


Mellissa Fung – Under an Afghan Sky: A Memoir Of Captivity – Go read it!

Friday, 13 May, 2011

Mellissa Fung – Under an Afghan Sky - A Memoir Of Captivity

In recent years, Mellissa Fung has become one of the reporters that I admire and respect a lot. Her book, “Under an Afghan Sky: A Memoir Of Captivity” has recently been published. Go find it and read it.

In October 2008, Mellissa Fung, a reporter for CBC’s The National, was leaving a refugee camp outside of Kabul when she was kidnapped by armed men. She was forced to hike for several hours through the mountains until they reached a village; there, the kidnappers pushed her towards a hole in the ground. “No,” she said. “I am not going down there.”

For more than a month, Fung lived in that hole, which was barely tall enough to stand up in, nursing her injuries, praying and writing in a notebook. Under an Afghan Sky is the gripping tale of Fung’s days in captivity, surviving on cookies and juice, from the ‘grab’ to her eventual release.

I find the love letters that Mellissa and Paul wrote separately were extremely touching. Here are two samples.

Mellissa Fung – Under an Afghan Sky - A Memoir Of Captivity (pix 1)

Mellissa Fung – Under an Afghan Sky - A Memoir Of Captivity (pix 2)

When I have more time to come back to the book, the first thing I will do is to finish reading all these letters first.

Here are some of the media reports, radio & TV interviews that I find insightful.

* CBC TV, The National interview with Peter Mansbridge, “Under an Afghan Sky: Mellissa Fung’s memoir of 28 days in captivity

* CBC Radio interview, The Current, “A Memoir of Captivity: Mellissa Fung” (The host Anna Maria Tremonti did one of the most insightful and touching interview.)

* CTV News interview, “Mellissa Fung recounts Afghan captivity in new book

* Toronto Star, “I’m just calling to say goodbye” (This reports deals with the sexual assault.)

* Maclean’s, “Mellissa Fung and her captors – The CBC reporter held in Afghanistan resisted, defied and then forgave them

* CBC Strombo TV interview with Mellissa.

By the way,

“[Fung] is donating her portion of book royalties to the Ayenda Foundation, which establishes schools and learning centres and scholarships for Afghan children. “I always knew that whatever came out of this book I wanted to benefit the people I left behind there.”” [via TorStar] [HT Strombo for link confirmation]


Canadian comedy mini-series for election night – “The Party”

Sunday, 1 May, 2011

CTV asked a group of Vancouver comedians to produce a comedy mini-series for election night – Watch the first episode here.


May 2nd Election: All-candidate no-shows

Thursday, 28 April, 2011

May 2nd, 2011 update: May 2nd Election – How can I forget? #elxn41

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It is sad to see so many candidates decide to disrespect voters and not show up to give people a chance to listen to their views.

Apr 28, 2011 CBC News, “All-candidate no-shows: More examples for our list

Once again in this election, candidates across Canada stand accused of dodging invitations to participate in all-candidates debates, forums and/or media panels.

To try to make sense of it all collectively, I’ve started a list.

So far, the examples available show mostly Conservatives. […]

[note: Following are some info related to Calgary.]

The Globe and Mail names the following Conservatives who had skipped all-candidates events:

  • Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East)
  • Diane Ablonczy (Calgary-Nose Hill)

[…] Michelle Rempel (Conservative, Calgary Centre-North) didn’t attend an all-candidates’ meeting at the University of Calgary but previously had attended other events. When she missed a second event, organizers replaced her with a potted plant. Read the rest of this entry »


Kickstarter launches in Canada … Happy 2nd Birthday (updated)

Thursday, 28 April, 2011

Sept 24, 2013 update: Kickstarter has finally launched in Canada earlier this year and you can find some Canadian projects here.

Feb 16, 2012 update: SeeForget about Kickstarter, try IndieGoGo in Canada UK Australia Asia?Please comment in the new post as comment for this post is now locked.

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Happy 2nd Birthday Kickstarter! Of the early projects that brought momentum, I found the Allison Weiss and Designing Obama projects very inspiring. And the recent iPod Nano watch kit project was very cool too. I am really happy for people who were able to fulfill their dreams using Kickstarter.

At the same time, I am extremely disappointed that, after two long years, only Americans with American addresses can raise funds! Canadians can only pay to fund projects but NOT allowed to raise funds without a US address. At the moment, as a fan of the site, I am sadly thinking Kickstarter will launch in Canada after hill (sp?) freezes over! How can we change this?


Elections Canada: Advance poll numbers (2,056,001 ballots cast) soar from 2008 – Vote on May 2nd!

Wednesday, 27 April, 2011

May 2nd, 2011 update: May 2nd Election – How can I forget? #elxn41

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I am excited of this news and I am wishing/hoping for record voter turnout. Our democracy is stronger when more eligible voters care enough to vote. Vote on May 2nd if you haven’t voted in the advance polls already.

CBC News “Advance poll numbers soar 34% from 2008 – Friday, Monday busiest advance poll days ever” (emphasis added),

“More than two million Canadians turned out to cast ballots in advance polls over the holiday weekend, according to Elections Canada’s preliminary estimate, a 34 per cent increase from 2008.

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand said 2,056,001 ballots were cast during the three days of advance polls in a “higher than expected turnout,” compared to 1,528,780 advance ballots cast three years ago.

More than 676,000 Canadians voted on Friday and more than 823,000 on Monday — the two busiest days of advance voting ever, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

And the final tally could be even higher. Mayrand said the overall figure is a preliminary estimate, and some polls may not have reported yet.”


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