Monday, February 26, 2007


This is awesome!

I try to point as many people towards Radio3 as possible, so go there and hear.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Doin’ it for the Cause

Oh Cope378...

The My Generation, A Festival of Power was a powerful event indeed, powerfully-strange. I’m Having a hard time reconciling the various groups I saw represented at the event.

One the one hand we had the union, “trying to raise awareness.” By raise awareness they actually meant work to bring back the BC Hydro monopoly to create a larger number of unionized jobs for the cope378 union to represent.

On the other hand, various groups more concerned with fighting coal based power than with rebuilding a monopoly.

And on the third and final hand, a group of musicians with absolutely no connection to the issues up for discussion at the day-long event.

When I first arrived at the daytime festivities (held at the VPL) I met Brad Hope at the Save Our Similkameen booth. I was glad to see a group opposed to coal-power because I’m a guy opposed to coal-power and I’m pretty freaked out about a plant starting up near my home town.

Brad and I had a great chat about how people in Princeton are really disturbed by the planned power-plant, and how his group is trying to link up with the Peace Energy Cooperative to look into alternative energy sources.

The other thing we chatted about was why nobody my age, or really any age other than nearing retirement, are getting involved in social and environmental justice issues. Brad wondered how to attract the younger crowd to these types of events, and while I may not have the perfect answer I’ve got a couple of suggestions now that I’ve had a few minutes to reflect.

a. Don’t stack a concert with notable artists who have no vested interest in your cause. Sure Buffy Sainte-Marie inspired millions back in the day, but there’s the problem. It was back in the day, and the issues were different. Buffy (and Jim Byrnes) telling me to keep on fighting for my cause reeked of insincerity.

Prep your performers or choose ones with a real interest in your issue if your goal is to inspire more than a hankering for a doobie and some bellbottoms.

b. Focus, focus, focus (read as if you were whatever Brady-daughter was jealous of Marcia). Don’t confuse visitors with different booths delivering different messages. I got a pro independent-power-producer viewpoint at one, a pro hydro-monopoly view at another, and a “hydrogen power is bitchin’” view at a third.

c. Localize your issue. Is expensive power your concern? Tell people in Vancouver what it may cost them in the future to heat/light their Vancouver homes. Is green-energy your concern? Show people from the GVRD some regional solutions.

In closing, Final Fantasy was amazing. Mindblowingly amazing, and not at all connected to the debate around greenhouse gas emissions or independently owned and operated coal-burning power plants in British Columbia.

Friday, February 16, 2007


BCIT's in-house streaming media people hooked me (us) up by hosting the first BCIT Magazine of 2007. The other place to check it out is on the bcit blogs - if only they were easy to navigate... Oh well, one can't have one's cake and have it too, or is that eat one's cake and not get fat... Whatevs.

BOOM! Internet explodes.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What Drives the News in Vancouver

Just how far have Olympic promoters penetrated the CTV Newsroom?

A student of ours (and my buddy) Joel Baycroft was at the unveiling of the countdown clock for the 2010 games, and he (along with everyone other than CTV)witnessed quite a different event.

To be fair, on board Chopper9 David Kincaid noticed the protesters and did mention their concerns - perhaps they just looked like a small group from up in the air...

To be extra fair - CTV links to 2010watch from their site - check the bottom of the yellow block of links on the left.

To be opinionated and rude, the evening news for Monday night was basically a blow job for games-organizers and a celebration along the lines of "We have the broadcast-rights, na na na na na!" I hate criticizing a broadcast in public because in general CTV really can put together a stellar show, but it was gross.

I wonder if the other broadcasters are increasingly going to focus on CTV painting the games with their happy-brush. It seems strange to me, and I think the central issue is that Bill Good is doing a considerable amount of Rah-Rahing outside of the newscast - and for many people he represents CTV-News in Vancouver. When I see B.G. on TV it means I'm watching news, not a hosted-celebration.

At first I though maybe it was all in my head, but pretty much everyone I've chatted with has agreed.

Monday, February 12, 2007

BCIT Magazine January 11 2007


As we've previously covered, I'm the assistant instructor for the Broadcast-Journalism program at BCIT this term.

In honour of that please enjoy:

The students this year are talented and bright - pretty much just like every year. It is a constant pleasure and privilege to work with this group and the students currently in first year.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Deconstructing Dinner - We love food, and we love living. I've been thinking about how much food I consume, and what that means for the world around me. I eat a lot. I put a lot away. I don't shy away from seconds, thirds, or fourths. If I grew my own food I wouldn't have time to write about eating (possibly a good thing) or spend as much time eating as I'd be busy tending to the crops all the time. So where are the crops that are being tended to so that their bounty can reach my ever-hungry gullet?

That's where Deconstructing Dinner comes in. Last week the podcast was an interesting snippet from the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security conference in Vancouver. Some very current and topical (although not analgesic) topics are discussed.

This week's episode is part one of a two-parter on agribusiness, and promises a Cargill expose.

The reason I post this is that I'm starting to realize the massive amount of fuel burnt solely for the purpose of getting food to my table, and the massive commercial and financial forces behind this strange need to ship things from where they are grown to other places where they are grown.

Alright, I'm not really "starting" to realize, I've known about this for quite a few years. It's just that now that I shop for my own food it's visible that it even costs more for food from afar, so why not pay less and burn less and..... well you get where I'm going - which tomorrow is to this sweet looking produce-market I ran by with Helen today.

Oh, and fuck the Grammy awards. I don't have much to say on that that hasn't been said before, but they suck and I hate them.

Love Mike.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

More Bad Design

I don't mean worse, I simply mean that I have another really poorly thought out thing.

This knife has been the bane of my breakfast buttering for nearly two years. I particularly loath this thing because it seems to rise to the top of the stack of butter knives every morning, and it's a total piece of crap!

You know how you kind of dip a butter knife in the tub of margarine or butter - or maybe you've got a fancy-pants pad of butter that you cut little mini-pads off of to spread - well anyway, the pointed tip on this total waste of china-stainless does a piss-poor job of dipping or slab-cutting. It also totally fails to have a wide enough blade to do even a half-decent job of spreading.

In an effort to end this post on a positive note, enjoy these!

Bad design, and Bad Advice...

Sometimes making the logo bigger is a bad decision. I'm willing to bet the order for a few odd million of these went out before anybody actually took the time to hang one on a rear view.