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, 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


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