Friday, May 28, 2004

CBC exclusion of Green candidate

On the Eyeopener this morning (Friday, May 28), at about 6:45am, they hosted a debate between candidates in the Calgary South Centre riding that included only the 'Conservative', Liberal and NDP candidates.

The existence of the Green party candidate was only mentioned by the announcer at the end of the segment.

I just called CBC and left a message expressing disappointment at the exclusion of the Green candidate, Philip Liesemer, and called for them to give him time to make up for not being included, and to ensure the inclusion of Green candidates in all further election coverage.

Feedback to CBC Calgary can be made to (403) 521-6000.

Please spread this message and ask folks to phone the CBC to insist on inclusion of the Greens. If they get a lot of calls, they will give more coverage.

Please do the same with any media who do not give fair coverage to all candidates. Let's not continue to let the media get away with telling us who the "real" candidates are.

(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Monday, May 24, 2004

Excellent Web Design Process

"Design Eye for the Usability Guy" goes through a rather boring website and details the steps to turning it into a very effective design.

The same principles can be extended to many other media, too.

Seen at Boing Boing: Design critique of Jakob Nielsen.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Friday, May 7, 2004

Mothers' Day for Peace

"Mothers' Day" was not meant to be the season for a Hallmark-led frenzy of tokenistic consumerism in a false honoring of our mothers. It was a radical call to counter the culture of violence and war.

Here is the original "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe (1870, Boston):
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.

Seen at Alternet: 'In the Name of Womanhood and Humanity...'.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

That about sums it up

A "press conference" by Mr. Bush (current White House occupier) in Flash. Very, very, honest... [snicker]

Seen at Metafilter: Why choose the lesser Evil?.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Online Sign Language Video Training

The American Sign Language Browser is an online dictionary using video clips.

They passed my test of having the first word I thought of ("weird" - one of the main signs I still remember from when I studied ASL).

Very cool. Very handy. Permanently in my bookmarks.

Seen at Boing Boing: Sign language video glossary.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Great ideas for Halloween

These are some amazing costumes. I'd love to do something like this for the Eve of All Hallows.

Seen at Boing Boing: Funny trompe l'oeil costume.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Media vs. Democracy

[this is from a posting of mine from an email discussion that's been going on between a bunch of mostly U.S.-based computer geeks.]

To my mind, one of the greatest anti-democratic tools used against us is the media. By the simple act of exclusion, they prevent any but the "selected" parties/candidates from having an opportunity to win.

For example, there are about a dozen national political parties in Canada that have "official party status". Of those, only four receive media acknowledgement (except in rare newspaper articles referring to "fringe parties"). A recent web-poll by one of our dominant national 'news' corporations asked the question "If the federal election were called today, who would you vote for?" with the choices being the four parties they consider "real". There wasn't even an "other" or "none of the above" option.

In the most recent city council election in Calgary, there were nine or ten candidates for mayor. Of those, the local media "selected" for us four candidates that they decided were 'real' contenders - giving virtually no coverage to, or even acknowledgement of, any of the other candidates (who happened to not be in the pockets of rich developers).

I would love to see "equal time" laws for elections. If any candidate for a public office is given media coverage, all other candidates for that office must be given equal time of equal prominence. Otherwise, the media is telling us who to vote for - which is not anywhere near democracy.

Sure the free-market/libertarian view would contest us forcing the media to cover candidates they don't want to. Tough. Media is power. And an extremely unbalanced and unequal power in our current societies. With power comes responsibility. Either the media fulfills that responsibility and we have a chance at democracy, or the media gets to do whatever it wants and we continue to have authoritarianism.

(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Monday, May 3, 2004

Funny Christian anti-porn video

There's not much I can add to this - just watch it (available in QuickTime and evil Windows video formats).

Seen at Boing Boing: More anti-porn online propaganda videos.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)