Friday, June 25, 2010

Potato, You Know, Potato

Canadian comedian Irwin Barker, the Professor of Comedy, died Monday, too early.

Honestly, how many comedians do you hear ssaying, "I was thinking about Pythagorus the other day..."?

From Pythagorus to Pavlov, potatoes to pink entertaining man who obviously loved language. Comedians also talk about his mentorship and generosity. More about Irwin is here.

Thanks, Irwin, for setting a good example while making us laugh (and think).
Saturday, June 19, 2010

Talent in the Bay

Shy-Anne Hovorka performed at the opening of the G8 World Religions Summit in Winnipeg. Here's her video, produced locally.

Lots of creativity in this region!

Click here for all things Shy-Anne.
Saturday, June 12, 2010

Score!! Subtract One!

Edited to add material in blue.

I'm not a soccer fan, but I am apparently susceptible to images of people running on a grassy field with their arms in the air, shouting in glee. Who doesn't like to feel that sense of "Score!!" from time to time?

And since the New Yorker hasn't called to demand that I send over some of my short stories for immediate publication, I have to find those moments of "Score!!" other places.

Bookstores are dangerou$ place$ for me. I have to be really careful about buying books.* and ** I'm also very susceptible to the non-book merchandise in bookstores. So it's easier if I just stay away from them.

However, about a month ago, I got a hurry-up job for which I needed material. I scoped out a few things online but needed to browse the actual books in several different classifications and I didn't even know what to call those groups--self-help? leadership? management? business? inspirational? So I had to visit the local Chapters. I HAD to.

I bought four books. (Culled from 30.)

I didn't use any of them for that project.

However, I'm using two of them to change how I'm organizing my work life. And I'm using the other two in a different project.

A bonus of writing in the world of education is that I get to pull examples from all parts of life, and that rewards my habit of following rabbit trails online. Er, diverse reading.

So, although I can't charge any of the books back to a client (the ultimate score; free books!!), they're still business expenses. Which is a score, of a sort, if there is actual business income to charge them against. So, call it a Score! (only one !).

And now, back to staying out of the bookstore. Most of the time.
* I often make exceptions for books by people I know, especially local ones. Just last week, I added a new book of poetry to my bookshelf!

** I am desultorily reading a book about Canadian literature: Left Hook, by George Bowering. This afternoon I was passing the bookshelf where I store books till I get around to reading them, and I noticed a familiar title: Left Hook. Yes, I bought the same book off the sale table at Chapters TWICE. The good thing is that I paid $4.49 for it both times (wouldn't it stink if that other you got a better sale than yourself did?). The other good news is that I am consistent in being interested in books about Canadian literature. And in other good news, I have a gift (or door prize) at the ready. Yet it must be considered a net lo$$.
Saturday, June 5, 2010


Watch this. It's really nifty.

I suppose you could say that optical illusions "trick" the brain. But instead, what if they simply tap into the brain's natural tendency to do someting it really wants to do?

Same with writing. We carefully craft arrangements of ink splotches for someone else to see (or feel, or hear), and from that, the other person creates an entire world. Because the brain wants to.

The pertinent question: How can I improve my writing so that others' brains find it easier to suspend their disbelief and co-create a world with me?

I first saw this video on Gimundo, where I was directed from The Happiness Project.