No One is Reading This

March 11, 2012

Copyright : http://www.flickr.com/photos/photopia/with/6796758098/ Some rights reserved by HiMY SYeD / photopia

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Podcamp is more than a way for podcast hobbyists to get together once a year and talk about how we are podfading. Although, we did that too. It was also about social media, networking, how to use social media and other internet community tools to make a difference be it artistically or politically. That’s what podcamp is for me. All the different ways people are using the internet and social media to make a point, or make money. I must admit, the monetizing bit somewhat escapes me. Maybe because I am not making any money doing it.

To set the stage, for this show, it’s Saturday, podcamp toronto at Ryerson University, late February. We’re at the end of a full day of half hour sessions. A group of us are sitting off to the side after the last session, just chatting about the caveman diet, running, meditation and one woman’s father’s book called Dancing in the Mirror, self described inspirations of peace and joy. Oh yes did I mention the caveman diet?

People in the podcast community in attendance:  Bill DeysScarborough Dude, Bob Goyetche, Valerie,  Diets mentioned:  The Paleo, Caveman, Hunter Gatherer.   Podcasts mentioned: Dancing in the Mirror  Surround Sound Sites Mentioned: Holophonics

http://www.crossfitmodig.com/
http://www.crossfitmodig.com/

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December 23, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matter 201 – A Snow Globe Musical Mashup

Filed under: Art Matters,Humour,Podcast — Ninja @ 7:25 pm
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An Anne Keenan Higgins Stocking Hook – (Photo by Ninja)

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Today I give you a Ninja original Snow Globe Christmas Mashup with ambient household white noise including the refrigerator.

Reindeer in Tutu with Santa (Photo by Ninja)

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November 12, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 199 – I Want My I Want My MT…Therapeutic Seal

Filed under: Art Matters,Humour,Podcast — Ninja @ 8:24 pm
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This past summer,  Special K, Dragon, Fly and I went to Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Civilization.  The highlight of the visit was the exhibit called Japan: Tradition.  Innovation.  The exhibit showcased Japan’s achievements in design.   I wanted to take home everything I saw, including a robotic seal intended for elder care.

Links:  Japan: Tradition and Innovation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Therapeutic Seal, Museum of Civilization


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November 6, 2011

Proust Questionairre

Filed under: Art Matters,Humour,World View — Ninja @ 7:30 am
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1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Living in Japan with a freelance, work from home job.

2. What is your greatest fear?

A ninja is afraid of nothing.

3. What do you consider your greatest acheivement?

Building my home.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Impatience

5. Which living person do you most admire?

Tina Fey

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

My computer and other electronic equipment.

7. What is your current state of mind?

Apprehension and anticipation.

8. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Who’s fat ass is that?

9. What is the quality you like most in a woman?

Perceptiveness.

10. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My wife.

11. Who are your favourite writers?

Proust, Tolkien, Herman Melville, Jeannette Winterson, Anne-Marie MacDonald, Douglas Hofstadter, Yukio Mishima, T.S.Elliot

12. When and where were you the happiest?

Right now.

13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Who you calling a fat ass?

14. Where would you like to live?

Japan.

15.  What is your most marked characteristic?

My passion and enthusiasm. Oh wait. Is that two?

16. Who are your heroes in real life?

The Wachowski Brothers, The Coen Brothers, Tina Fey, Marg Delahunty, Special K.

17. How would you like to die?

Reading a book peacefully either in bed or gazing out the window at the autumn leaves.

18. What is your motto?

If what you’re doing is not going to matter in 100 years, don’t worry about it.

 

September 10, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 198 – Filling Up and Spilling Over

mmm…doesn’t that look refreshing?

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Are you a lesbian? Have you ever been a lesbian? Well Holly Near was. Singer, songwriter and activist, she was a lesbian-feminist in the heady, crazy days of early gay and women’s liberation. In the 70s she sang with the prolific and talented ladies of Olivia Records; with the likes of Cris Williamson , Meg Christian, and Teresa Trull.  Olivia Records eventually stopped producing lesbian-feminist music and morphed into a cruise line and travel company. Oh and Holly Near herself morphed into a heterosexual.

Today’s show is about the Olivia Travel company. During a recent trip to Ottawa, we had the pleasure of dinner with some friends of our travel companions who live there. Talk turned to what it was like to holiday in a resort exclusively for women. Also mentioned, in case you don’t know her, is the comic Karen Williams who has worked as a comedy writer, host of In the Life, and featured in the documentary We’re Funny That Way. Marga Gomez, as part of the resort entertainment, was also on the trip. Other Musicians Mentioned: Carole Pope, Kevin Staples.  Other Artists Mentioned: General Idea, A.A.Bronson.  Lezebrities Mentioned: Rosie O’Donnell

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July 30, 2011

This Just In: Science Explains Evil – The Media Assures Me So

In the aftermath of the horror that took place in Norway recently, the headline on the Globe and Mail print version today reads:  Can Science Really Explain Evil?   Doesn’t that seem just a bit sarcastic to you?  It did to me.  Let’s have a look at that statement – shall we?   First of all the statement belies an underlying assumption about science as an authority that makes you sit up and ask challengingly, “Yeah? Can they?”  Note that I did not write it. I wrote they. That is because here is another assumption:  That science represents a group of people rather than a system of knowledge.  Now let’s imagine that I am ultra-religious.  Or even a little bit religious. Or even religious in a tiny way ; in a way that has been unexamined, say the type of faith you have in a belief that you have never bothered to question. Like Christmas: good; Ramadan: makes me feel funny and uncomfortable.  In this case the belief is:  There is a group of people called scientists that arrogantly believe they can solve the mystery of life, the universe and everything (to turn a phrase).  Oh and by the way these stuck up geeks think I caused global warming.   This ingrained belief in the truth of what a scientist really is leads me to the next question:  If science can’t explain evil, what can?  What is the next choice?  Oh!  Maybe faith?  Maybe religion?  It doesn’t matter. The question is the hook that makes you buy the paper.   If you’re a skeptic like me, the last thing you want to do is fork out the coin.  Instead I went to the internet version and read the associated article.  Nowhere in the article is there any implication or certainty that science has the answer to this pseudo-authoritative question.  I’ll repeat it again – just in case you forgot : Can Science Really Explain Evil?  Who said science ever did?   There is only discussion of neuroscience and psychology.   In fact one of the more banal statements that is made in the article is that the scientist, who is representing the complexity of this question, reveals that empathy is on a spectrum and that “The spectrum approach reminds us that none of us are angels and none of [us] is the devil [sic] …”  Well.  Thank you so much for that gem of wisdom. Now I understand everything.   You may be wondering as I did, why there is no mention of that other discipline that explores the problems of our day known as philosophy.   Oh, but in the article, there is.  It is explained that the scientist’s “…investigations are more practical than philosophical”.   It seems to me – call me a little out of it – that neuroscience and psychology, being rather young disciplines, ought not to have been called upon to explain the question of acts as disturbing and vile as the recent events in Norway.   Philosophy is wanting because, well, it’s difficult to distill and present the difficult concepts to a layperson – especially when, as a writer, you are trying to make deadline to keep the paper afloat in these times of yellow journalism.  And anyway – philosophy is way beyond what most of us can handle in the age of quick sounds-bites and headlines delivered to our already overflowing inboxes.

Was the media ever anything more than yellow journalism?   That’s a good question to ask too.  And mostly I want all of us to ask a lot of questions.

July 29, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 195 – Savage Beauty and a Little Bit O’ Gershwin

A Typical McQueen Creation

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Special K follows the fashion world, so it made sense that she didn’t want to miss the late designer Alexander McQueen’s retrospective Savage Beauty. It was showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during our New York trip. I’m normally not so keen on fashion, so I didn’t expect to be blown away by the exhibit. On Feb 11 2010, McQueen tragically killed himself in his London flat at the age of 40, just days after his mother’s death. He was known for his runway spectacles, outrageous edgy performance art meant to compliment his fashion creations and make a statement. I didn’t even know any of this about him when I followed Special K and Dragon into the first gallery. Despite the crushing crowd, straining to get a glimpse of his works adorning mannequins and on display platforms, I lingered over what I realized were oddly compelling works of art. I couldn’t believe that anyone would collect razor clam shells, strip them, varnish them and then drape them over a woman’s body or make a leather suit with bleached denim attached and taxidermy crocodile heads. I think the pieces that intrigued me the most were his monstrous lobster claw shoes and the endless variety of masks, some playful, some nightmarish, adorning the mannequins’ heads. To me, it is brilliant, ironic, and a little mischievous that these pieces are even called fashion. Instead, each garment tells a story and makes a point, sometimes terrible as illustrated by his collection called Highland Rape. 

Besides seeing this exhibit, we also took Dragon and Fly through Central Park and through an photographic exhibit by the Korean artist Ahae. Walking through the Vanderbilt Hall in the Grand Central Terminal, we saw but a small sample of the many photographs he took over the course of two years from one window where he lives and works in Korea.

And what trip to New York would be complete without a pianist in Washington Square Park playing Gershwin’s iconic Gotham tune Rhapsody in Blue?

Washing Square Park Rhapsody
Playing Gershwin in Washington Square Park (Photo by Ninja)

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March 27, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 193 – Nonsense, Lunacy, and a Little Cello Music

Leo Zhang – Cellist

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Meshugoss : me·shu·gaas or mish·e·gaas or mish·e·goss (msh-gäs) n. Slang Crazy or senseless activity or behavior; craziness.

Narishkeit:  nar-ish-kite (a nar is a fool) n. Slang Nonsense; foolishness.  “An artist, you want to be? Never mind this narishkeit! Better you should go to college and get a real job!”

Another Saturday morning at the Market and we cover lots of ground.   Subjects of import discussed:  Family Day, Bad Driving, Gender bias ascribed to bad driving, Canada Goose Jackets – everyone is wearing them, the Apple iTouch new killer app – the flashlight, Ninja proves she looks terrible in hats, the saddest music in the worldLeo Zhang – A cellist plays for us in the background (well at least I think so), How to fix a deviated septum, Flash Flicker Photography Group, Flash mobs.

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February 13, 2011

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 192 – The End of The World is Nigh

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“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein

What do Canadians do while they are waiting for the end of the world?  Watch hockey of course.  But that doesn’t stop Ninja from engaging her father and nephew in a lively discussion about impending global catastrophe.  But before we get to that, Ninja shares expert information about climate change,  how petroleum is processed, and what is required to support life here and elsewhere in the universe.   Ninja is hoping to soon make the three and half year trip to Jupiter’s moon Europa where scientists think life could exist in our solar system.

Famous people featured: Linda Hunt, Albert Einstein, Steven Hawking, Martin Gardner.    Moons and planets mentioned: Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Io, Europa, Mercury. Places on earth mentioned:  Stratford Ontario, China, Shanghai.

Europa - One of 63 Moons of Jupiter
Europa may be mankind’s only hope.

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December 20, 2010

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 189 – PodCursing Meetup



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Vachon Cakes Associated with Quebecois

When the Scarborough Dude shows up, you can bet that the conversation will not be safe for work and the podcaster meetup in December was no exception.  We start out discussing C words, the W and T word, J word, D word and F word. We then effortlessly move onto the discussion of violence – domestic and workplace.  Talking out of my ass, I refer to bill 184, but what I really meant was bill 168. This bill came into affect on June 15 2010 and amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act specifically with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace. Bill 184 is an act to amend the floral emblem act – not remotely related to workplace harassment or violence. I for one come away less closer than I expected to a working definition of psychological versus physical violence.

So you are forewarned. Don’t play it full blast at your cube or within ear’s reach of your mother or nana.

Political issues discussed: Nanny State, Treason, The FLQ crisis, Pierre LaPorte, and Julian Assange.   Fictional heros mentioned: Lisbeth Salander. Deserts mentioned in a pejorative way : May West, the uniquely Canadian fluffy cake snack, not the film and entertainment sex symbol of the early 20th century.
Podcasters present:  ValerieThe Dude, The Dude Again with Brent, Closet Geek (Brent)


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