Happy Canada Day!

July 3, 2010

Belated, of course. Here, have a funny Kate Beaton comic.


Michelle Obama

April 3, 2010

Had a little sketch comedy thing to do, so I put together a costume.

Barack here.


Holi

March 4, 2010

If you’re one of those people who says things like “I don’t care about skin colour! I don’t care if you’re black, yellow, green, blue, or purple!” …then you are an idiot and you should stop saying that, since I doubt you actually intend to sound condescending and dismissive, or to compare people’s real experiences of racism to the imaginary experiences of imaginary people in weird imaginary skin colours. As of tomorrow you have to stop saying it. But for the rest of today you can still say it, I guess, because today many people in India and the diaspora actually are green, blue, or purple.

It’s Holi, the Hindu festival of colour, and man is it ever beautiful.

Clicking the pics will take you to enlarged versions.
Full photoset of 20 gorgeous shots is here.
Thanks to Reub for the tip.


Gay vs. Homosexual: Words Matter

February 16, 2010

If you poll Americans about how they feel about military service being open to people of different sexual orientations, some will respond differently depending on whether you use the term “homosexual” or the words “gay men and lesibans”.

I’ve also read interesting commentary about very subtly coded language biases in journalism, when news outlets choose to say things like “this person was killed” or “this person died”. Same phenomenon being described, but the words can frame the story- and suggest who to blame- pretty differently. Worth thinking about if you write or consume factual content- a lot of biases can be buried in seemingly-neutral copywriting.

I’d be really interested to see a poll where these same Americans are asked to “name a famous homosexual” and “name a famous gay man or lesbian”. Wonder how divergent the answers would be?


Haiti quake info

January 13, 2010

Port-au-Prince, Haiti was hit with a massive earthquake yesterday. Their infrastructure is devastated; apparently all the hospitals in the city are either collapsed or abandoned.

Heartbreaking photos here (some graphic).
Damage analysis here.
Donate to the Canadian Red Cross.
Donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Canadians: if you donate any amount of money through Plan Canada, the Canadian government will match your donation.
Plan Canada is a great non-denominational organization- I’ve been sponsoring a kid in Niger through them for about 6 years and it only costs about $1 per day, pretty cool.

Feel free to post whatever you did to help in a comment. I will pat you on the head like the bunny you are.


Can you write like Sarah Palin?

November 24, 2009

I wish this would happen.

Or rather, can you write like Sarah Palin’s ghostwriter?

Here are some sample sentences from her new book:

“As the soles of my shoes hit the soft ground, I pushed past the tall cottonwood trees in a euphoric cadence, and meandered through willow branches that the moose munched on.”

or,

“I breathed in an autumn bouquet that combined everything small-town America with rugged splashes of the Last Frontier.”

Slate characterizes her style as having “multiple references to local flora and fauna, heavy use of PSAT vocabulary, slightly defensive tone, and difficult-to-parse meaning.” They even created a pretty funny index for the book. Sample entries:

food, Alaskan
________halibut tacos, 1
________reindeer sausage 1
________caribou lasagna, 218

They’re also having a contest to see who can write the most Palinesque sentence. Contest details here.

If you’re new to Pageslap, welcome!


News is bunk

October 22, 2009
This is major.  Somebody call Anderson Cooper.

This is major. Somebody call Anderson Cooper.

Daily news annoys me. It’s 70% invented; they need so much filler to make their daily allotment. Last night a major Canadian news channel ran a story about 12 small dogs found in unsanitary conditions in the GTA. It was literally a news story that could be summarized as “Sad dogs got dirty. More at 11.” On national news. This is news? I thought about it for a while but then my head exploded and I turned off the television and ran around my apartment intoning insightful headlines like “DOGS: DISHEVELED AND DISAPPOINTED. CANADIAN CANINES COPING WITH CANDIDA. PARKDALE PUPPIES… IN POOP.” …and other stchupidness, over and over, to simulate what I was missing.