Saturday, December 13, 2008

Charlie Brown Ad Agency

I found this fun little video that puts a new spin on "It's a Charlie Brown Christmas". Very well done!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Coffeehouses circa 1969

Came across this facinating film from 1969 that shows various coffeehouses created by churches etc. to entertain and educate the young folks at the time. I like it that you can smoke in church.
One kid even got his parents to give him their entire basement to put on a coffee house. Now that's teen spirit!

(Had to remove the player since it kept autoplaying whenever you hit the site. Got to be real annoying, really fast!)

Disturbing Deaths In the Literary World

Being a writer getting you down? Take some tips from these writers who managed to find interesting ways to end it all.

Inspiration for the following list of dead literary figures came from Charles Bukowski’s poem, "Beasts bounding through time," specifically the lines "sylvia [plath] with her head in the oven like a baked potato . . . Shakespeare a plagiarist . . . the impossibility of being human." Some may call it morbid, some may call it truth - either way I don’t give a damn.

  • Euripides [480-406 B.C.] Greek Playwright - Mauled by a pack of wild dogs owned by Archelaus, the King of Macedonia.
  • Dante Alighieri [1256-1321] Italian Poet - Fell ill and died about an hour after completing The Divine Comedy.
  • Francis Villon [1431-1464?] French Poet - May have been attacked by a mob of bandits or hanged by authorities after a brief prison stay for murdering a priest. Take your pick. Left France at the age of 32 and was never heard from again. "Where are the snows of yesteryear?"
See the full list here:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Don't Forget About

I've been trying to figure out how to get my Twitter updates away from a computer, without having them come to me as annoying and continuous text messages.
I already figured out that you can send a text message directly to Twitter by typing 21212 in the "To:" field, which is cool on it's own, but might not work for people who pay for text messaging.
Then I thought, maybe I can access the Twitter home page from my smart phone's browser, and Bob's your uncle, there it was. There is a standard view and a mobile view, and i find that the latter much faster and more compact for my Palm Treo.

By the way, if you use FireFox I found a neat little extension called TwitterBar, which lets you comment and post to Twitter right from Firefox's address bar. Pretty cool!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Arts News: Ballet BC Lays Off Entire Company

This week's announcement from the province's top dance company has sent the Vancouver Arts community reeling. As the article linked below states, the organization's board has blamed low ticket and subscription sales - which was obvious from the low turn out for the recent remounting of the Faerie Queen. They gave away a lot of free tickets that run.
I'm sure the recent world economic unease has made all but the crustiest of the upper crust look hard at how they are spending thier discressionary funds these days. The majority of us artists who view life from the bottom of the pond certainly are watching where we throw our shekels of late. But let's face it, the company has been riddled with internal problems for the last couple of years, around the same time most of the long-term staff jumped ship with the appearance of a new ED.
Frankly, I don't think the company is making smart decisions with it's programming and the proof is showing in their numbers. The Faerie Queen is a remount, as are most of their ballets this season. Although I don't know for sure, I have a hunch that budget considerations were a large part of the equation, since it's often easier to remount a production then to premiere a new one. I'm always a little torn when things like this happen to the big "Prime Performers" in town.
When I think of the Ballet's 2.4 milion dollar budget, I weep in my Lucky Lager, imagining what any producer in my community could do with that kind of coin, but a ballet company is very expensive. The rental of the Queen Elizabeth for one run is more than most small companies spend on their entire budget.
But large companies set the bar for the arts in most cities. They create good paying jobs for local artists, and artistic tradespeople, and they spend a great deal of time nurturing the arts in younger people.
Most artists would say that art shouldn't have to justify it's existance financially,
I'm inclined to agree.
Buy Nutcracker tickets!

Here's a link to the news story:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thought of the Day

Carl Jung
The foundation of all mental illness is the avoidance of legitimate suffering.
- Carl Jung

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Almighty YouTube

Over 9000 hours of video per day are uploaded to YouTube. This important tool is explained by an antropologist, Michael Wesch. Really interesting commentary. Definately worth a watch.

Also, here is the fascinating video about the evolution of web communications and the impact of Web 2.0 on just about everything - from Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lemonade Stand Marketing Lesson from a 14 Year Old

I came across this neat little article on Jason Drohn's blog: MarketingHackz, and I thought I'd pass it on to you.

That’s right! Some times the best way to see marketing well done is by watching couple kids run a lemonade stand. Although you might disagree with my statement that children are marketing geniuses, it is true. We tend to ignore this fact simply because unlike grown adults they don’t have to try as hard and they just don’t. It comes to them naturally - the art of selling!

This post is based on an experiment that was run by Bob ( 14 years old ), one of the neighborhood children. The plan was to sell lemonades as you can figure that out from the title itself. It was pretty interesting to see how he successfully carried out this experiment and made money simply by working a lemonade stand. I had no hand in this experiment but Bob decided to share it with me while I was at the park. I was so fascinated by his approach I asked him to write an essay for me on how to sell lemonades and make money ;-) . He wrote one and I typed it here. Read it guys, this kid knows marketing and how to add value to an existing product.

Read the whole article here >>

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Find Unclaimed Money Online

The Bank of Canada is holding millions of dollars from dormant Canadian bank accounts, and they will return the money to its rightful owners free of charge. The Bank of Canada provides an online search tool and detailed instructions on how to claim money that is yours.

Dormant Bank Accounts in Canada

Dormant bank accounts are accounts that have no owner activity in relation to the account. Canadian banks are required by law to send written notification to the owner of a dormant bank account after two years of inactivity, and again after five years. After nine years, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) publishes all unclaimed balances over $100 in the Canada Gazette, which is available at public libraries in Canada. After 10 years of inactivity, unclaimed balances of all amounts are transferred to the Bank of Canada.

Unclaimed Balances Held by the Bank of Canada

Unclaimed balances held by the Bank of Canada are Canadian dollar deposits in Canadian banks at locations in Canada and negotiable instruments issued by Canadian banks at locations in Canada. This includes bank drafts, certified cheques, money orders and travellers cheques.

Length of Time Bank Balances are Held

The Bank of Canada holds unclaimed bank balances of $500 or more indefinitely. Unclaimed balances under $500 are kept for 20 years from the date of the last transaction - 10 years at the original bank, and another 10 at the Bank of Canada.

Search for Unclaimed Bank Balances

The Bank of Canada provides a free online Unclaimed Balances Search database for unclaimed bank balances.

Friday, July 04, 2008

How to Look Good in a Photograph

Looking to get promo pictures done? I know an actress who recently spent over $300 to get shots taken. That can be a big chuck of coin for most artists, so it's important that you look your best. I came across this interesting little video at Video Jug. That I thought I'd share. It has some valuable and simple tips for you and for your photographer (should you go the cheap route).
Check it out here >>>

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Between the Civil War and World War I, advertising grew tremendously as a field, though no one thought of it as a science. The United States experienced a boom in newspaper and magazine publishing funded largely by advertisers. Every major city had inexpensive competing dailies and a national magazine industry grew. Advertisements at this time were text-driven with perhaps an illustration of the product. Extensive information, the kind one might find on a patent application, was included, as well as information on price.

Read the rest of this fascinating article here>>>

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Facebook In Real Life

Facebook makes it seem like developing friendships is easy, but look what happens if Facebook seeps into the "real" world in this comedy sketch from BBC's the Wall.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Twitter Explained in Plain English

I am having a hard time figuring out what the hub bub is about Twitter or even why it is supposedly so useful. But this video does a good job at explaining what it is, if nothing else.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What Blogs Are All About

I found this great little video that explains very simply what a blog is and why you might consider trying one for yourself.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Ad Graveyard - Ad campaigns that didn't make the cut.

Jeffrey Zeldman has a great collection of ads which came remarkably close to actual ad campaigns. Obviously my own dark sense of humor comes out by posting these.

See more at

Blogging Experts Talk

I found some interesting videos by various blogging experts talking at the SMC Louisville conference, on Scott Clark's blog, Finding the Sweet Spot. The first video talks about the importance of content on a blog. I was interested in their different perspectives on posting frequency. The other looks at "linkbaiting" and "link building".
These are the experts:

Go hear to find out more about the conference >>

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Real-Time Referrers Tracks Incoming Traffic As It Happens

What's happening on your website right now? This tool shows you the live incoming clicks, and where each visitor came from. It's useful when tweaking your marketing campaigns, or simply satisfying your curiosity. Below is a sample of what your page will look like.
  • It's free!
  • Works with any website or blog
  • Installs in 5 minutes or less

By installing their code on your site, you agree that your Real-Time Referrers page isn't password-protected, so anyone might see it. You agree that this product is provided as-is, without warranties, and that it might be flawed in ways that harm you or your business. You agree that your website is not pornographic, offensive, or illegal.

Finally, If you don't understand or like their product, don't use it!

Monday, March 24, 2008

6 Traits You Need to Move From Being an Employee to Being Self-Employed

From Susan Ward,
Your Guide to Small Business: Canada.
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Part 1: I Lost My Job! Should I Start a Business?

I get a lot of email that starts, "I just lost my job!" Somewhere in each email, the writer goes on to ask, "How do I start a business?"

More people are getting downsized, terminated or just plain fired all the time. And because of the state of the economy, finding another job can be difficult. Creating a job of your own by starting a business looks attractive when you can't find a job - or just can't stand the job you have.

But "How do I start a business?" is not the first question you should be asking if you're in this situation; the first question you should be asking is "Should I start a business?" Before you start thinking about the different types of businesses you might start, you have to do some thinking about you.

Starting a business is not for everyone.

Being self-employed is very different than being an employee. And some people find it impossible to adjust to the differences. Let's see if you have the necessary entrepreneurial mindset to become self-employed. These are the six traits that I think encapsulate the ways you have to think and behave if you want to make a successful transition from being employed in some one else's business to starting a business of your own.

1) You have to be flexible to be self-employed.

If you start a business, you no longer have "one" job with clearly defined duties and responsibilities. You'll suddenly have multiple jobs, which will be often interrupted by unforeseen crises (particularly in the startup phase). Many employees are used to having days filled with predictable activities; many self-employed people don't.

And once you start a business, there's nowhere to pass the buck. As an employee, you may be used to passing problems up along the food chain or not be very involved in decision making. As a self-employed business owner, you're the one who will have to deal with whatever the crisis is and solve the problem. You're the one who will have to make the decisions.

2) You have to be a self-motivated initiator.

When you're an employee, other people tell you what to do, either directly or indirectly. You get used to having your actions directed by others. But you have to direct your own actions as a small business owner. You can't just sit there and hope that maybe some clients stroll in or that someone will drop by out of the blue with inventory for your retail store. No one's going to drop work on your desk or point out what needs to be done. For many people who try to become self-employed and start businesses after having a long-term full-time job, this is the hardest adjustment to make.

Read the rest of this article here>>>

Photoshop Ebook by Sherry Hutson

The Painter's Guide to Photoshop, is a great resource for artists who want to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to resize images, save them as jpg files, set the correct DPI, learn about RGB and CMYK, and more.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Everywhere Girl

I recently stumbled upon an interesting blog entry about the "Everywhere Girl", which I think illustrates just how small the world is becoming with the internet.
This technology could be put to use by casting directors faced with the dreaded imperative: "Find someone who looks like this..."
For the actor or model, tracking their media reach just got that much simpler (anyone remember clipping services?)
Unfortunately, there are still some flaws to work out. I tried the BYO Search Lab offered on the website and got far less-than-perfect results. Check out some of the matches to my photo at the end of the blog.

Everywhere Girl, The Book

Everywhere GirlIf you’ve ever worried about photos from your past coming back to haunt you, get to know the story of the Everywhere Girl. Over a decade ago she was a young actress posing for a series of stock photos. While she’s no Mona Lisa, in recent years her photos have made their way into royalty-free collections and crept into print and web designs the world over. First chronicled in Paul Hales’ technology blog The Inquirier and later by Idée’s own CEO Leila, the Everywhere Girl now even has her own blog. While fans have been compiling her images with the human eye for years, no method is better suited to this kind of task than image-recognition technology.

We indexed a series of Everywhere Girl photos using PixID our image recognition technology and have been monitoring the appearance of the Everywhere Girl. Here are the interesting results from our book cover monitoring project:

The Let’s Study Series of Christian books

Read the full article here:

My Picture Match
I used this picture in the BYO Search Lab offered on's website.

Here are some of the more interesting results:

To be fair, this application, the BYO Image Search Lab, uses a database which supposedly holds over 2.8 million images. Obviously, none of them are of me!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mag My Pic

Wanna feel like a celebrity, or turn a friend into one? Have fun with this neat little website that gives you a number of different magazine cover options then automatically superimposes them over a picture you upload.
It could also be used as a great visual motivator, to help you see where you want to be!

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

Subscribe to People Magazine at a 37% discount!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Vancouver To Have Women's Radio Station

Harvard Broadcasting is in the run for a new FM Station in Vancouver. JANE FM 104.1 will feature many established and up & coming BC Women Music Artists with a focus on Roots, Folk & Alt Country.

JANE FM's application is coming before the CRTC in late February - but, support has to reach Harvard Broadcasting, or Grrls With Guitars organizer Nadine Davenport or directly to the CRTC by January 23rd 2008.

On a local level – this application has great potential for Vancouver longest running Women Songwriter Showcase & Compilation Series. The key is getting a successful application & winning the bid for the FM station available. If JANE FM is born there will be an opportunity to produce Grrrls With Guitars Compilation CD's for the next 7 years. From the beginning the Grrrls With Guitars mandate has always been to showcase at the highest possible level some of this Country’s brightest emerging talent. As a multifaceted project with 14 years under it's belt, it continues to seek out new & upcoming women songwriters of all genres that will be the voice of the future. There is certainly no shortage of talent to choose from.

"It is exciting to think about a future with many opportunities for women artists in the years to come on the airwaves of Jane FM. The injection of funding by Harvard into the GWG project will breathe new energy into this grassroots indie endeavour and allow us to produce CDs on an annual basis," Davenport says.

The Vancouver hearings have been scheduled for the end of February. The applications are now public and there are 16 applicants. They are now in the process of getting letters of support and in order for these to become part of the public record they must be filed by the third week of January.

There will be a meet-and-greet tomorrow, January 9th, in Vancouver at the Hotel Vancouver. You can bring anyone you like and anyone you think might be able to help raise awareness and support for this radio service. They would like to get as many people as possible out. They will host two sessions - 5pm to 7pm and a second one from 7pm to 9pm. It will allow them ti discuss their vision of what the service will be, collect input and answer any questions that people may have.

"We will have take away information as well and hope to motivate the submission of a 1000 letters. This will be an important part of the process in convincing the Commission," according to Davenport.

For this reason, Harvard Broadcasting is asking for your support to help make JANE FM 104.1 application a success. The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) evaluates input from the local community and businesses to determine the successful applicants.

You can also write a letter, showing your support for the application which will be presented at the license hearing the week of February 28, 2008.

Here is the procedure for filing Letters of Support for Harvard Broadcasting

1. Use the sample letter & support info ( the icons below ) to best address the needs of our application. We do encourage you to customize as much as possible or the Commission will file it as a "form letter". While this does not discount it entirely, it certainly has more force if it is seen as been inspired and constructed by the individual.

2. Insure that the application filing number (200714221) is included.

3. Please provide Harvard Broadcasting with a copy of your letter at the same time that you send it to the CRTC. Mail to 1900 Rose Street, Regina, SK, S4P 0A9 or

4. You can either fax the letter or mail it. CRTC - Ottawa, Ontario Canada, K1A 0N2
The fax number is 819-994-0218. If you fax they should retain the confirmation sheet.

5. Or you can file electronically at on the CRTC web site.

Following the link above, click the button labeled > 2007-18
Put a check mark in the box beside ' 200714221' Harvard Broadcasting,
and click next, at the bottom of the page. Add your comments, or attach your letter and click next. Choose whether or not you would like to appear in person at the hearing, and click next. Fill out your personal information and click next. Click Submit.

6. If possible please place the letter on company letterhead.

7. If you would like to appear at the Vancouver public hearing to show your support you must state that in your letter to the CRTC.

8. Filing of the letters of support needs to be received by the CRTC by Jan 23rd, 2008.

For more information go to the Grrls With Guitars website: