Archive for the 'Communication' Category

Aug 28 2012

The Squirt Gun: a Parable

True story: when I was seven years old I had a squirt gun that I really loved. It was a big yellow plastic thing that held about a litre of water and shot a stream long and true when the trigger was squeezed. One day my big brother — three years older — was teasing [...]

One comment so far

May 08 2012

The Great Caramelized Onions Debate

There’s been a kerfuffle over the past week around the issue of caramelized onions and whether or not they can be made in a short period of time, such as ten or fifteen minutes. (What you missed it?) It started with this article on Slate.com, in which Tom Scocca complains that “recipe writers” lie about [...]

6 comments so far

Sep 28 2011

Name Plates in the Cube Farm

Categorized under Communication,Rant,Stupidity,Work

I once worked in an office environment that was a vast array of cubicles, and every cubicle had a name plate to identify the cube’s inhabitant. There were two kinds of name plates available; one type was a free-standing A-frame of the type you see on executive desks that say “The Buck Stops Here” and [...]

10 comments so far

Dec 05 2010

Taglines from Hell

Because I am a masochist at heart, I sometimes spend my lunch break eating at my desk and reading discussion threads on Linked In. In a recent thread, some poor sap was asking for help coming up with a promotional tagline that connected the idea of volunteering with the concept of “winners” or “winning.” Having [...]

7 comments so far

Apr 30 2010

CBC Radio News in Decline

Categorized under Communication,Montreal,Rant,Stupidity

Let me begin this small rant by stating that I’ve been a hardcore fan of CBC Radio since before most of you were born. It’s not just the lack of advertising (which can make listening to commercial radio — especially in the morning — downright torturous) that makes me a fan. It’s the high standard [...]

6 comments so far

Mar 16 2010

Martin Amis and the Decline of Print Media

Categorized under Communication,Culture,Writing

Forgive me while I carve a rather meandering path to my point, but it begins last spring when I received in the mail a flyer from the Humber School for Writers. It indicated that Martin Amis would be the headliner, the star instructor, at Humber’s summer workshops for 2009. Martine and I both wondered what [...]

10 comments so far

Feb 04 2010

Samaritans

Categorized under Communication,Culture,Rant

Quick quiz: what is a “Samaritan?” If you answered “a person who selflessly does a good deed,” you are wrong. A Samaritan is simply a person from Samaria, a mountainous region of the Holy Land between Judea and Galilee — more or less what we now call the West Bank of Israel. The ancient Samaritans [...]

21 comments so far