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  • cqwww 10:17 am on October 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Are you checking in to Standing Rock today? 

    Standing Rock #NoDAPL

    Surveillance Culture around Standing Rock #NoDAPL

    There are a lot of people today checking in on Facebook to suggest they are in Standing Rock, to stand in solidarity with the #noDAPL Dakota Access Pipeline protest. With the checkin, the user usually adds something to the effect of:

    The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has been using Facebook check-ins to find out who is at Standing Rock in order to target them…

    A few things of interest to these checkins.

      1. There is no evidence I’ve seen as of writing this, that the Morton County Sheriff’s Department is doing this. I’m not saying they are not, but it’s always intelligent to verify a source other than blindly following the lead of others on the internet. As of writing this, Snopes says it’s unproven.
      2. If it indeed is proven, and you check in here in solidarity, you are doing a disservice to reply to friends who ask “Are you really there?” and you reply, “No, just in solidarity virtually” — as the people scraping the checkins will also be able to scrape your comments to realize you’re not actually there.
      3. If this is unproven, what could such a hoax provide? As we head into the election in the U.S, it doesn’t matter which of the final two candidates wins, they surely both will not only support, but exacerbate the surveillance culture that exists in the U.S. What does this mean? Well, anyone who “stands in solidarity” is clearly identifying themselves politically, and that will surely remain noticed and logged forever.

    This post is not intended to suggest you hide your political views, but it’s worth considering what efforts you make in knowing what could happen in 5-25 years down the road, simply by you checking in — in solidarity. Right now, there are Canadians being denied entry into the U.S. even though they’ve never been found guilty of a crime.

    If we want to stand in solidarity with a more long-term productive outcome, it should likely be in reform of the surveillance culture itself that we’re endorsing by being silent. Are you OK with your government or law enforcement logging all of your Facebook activity, forever? What about your web surfing? Emails? Phone calls? Microphone and camera in your smart phone? If you’re not aware of the current laws in terms of how your usage of these can be monitored and logged forever, this is a great opportunity to get the facts.

  • cqwww 11:31 am on October 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    The “432 Hz vs. 440 Hz” conspiracy theory 

    There’s currently a post on HackerNews called The “432 Hz vs. 440 Hz” conspiracy theory. It links to an article by Jakub Marian that starts to break down why he doesn’t feel it’s a conspiracy theory.

    While I appreciate Jakub’s breakdown for the reader to get to explaining why the 432 number itself is effectively fabricated for convenience, he eventually states: “The 432 Hz tuning, the divine tuning of nature itself, is ultimately defined as one vibration per 21279240.2083 periods of radiation of an uncommon chemical element” however he’s missing the critical argument.

    What is missing from the argument is the irrelevance of the number. For example, if 432 Hz resonates with I don’t know, the neocortex, there is no relevance what the number is or that we’ve associated with what we humans currently call a time second — that’s just a standard way of identifying the number.

    What needs to be done is validation or invalidation of this frequency in terms of “healing and soothing properties.” It’s also important to not do so defensively, otherwise you’re arguing against organized religion or Santa Claus or Unicorns — it’s a useless effort to argue against something that has no scientific evidence. If someone is making a claim without evidence in the first place, you’re arguing irrationally already and you’ve already lost. Reason requires logic.

    “Here is my repeatable scientific evidence why I feel the world is flat” is different than “I have a feeling the reason the sky is blue is from unicorn tears — prove to me it’s not”.

    It is my suggestion that if someone feels that 432 Hz has healing and soothing properties, they take this hypothesis and run it through the scientific method. It will be these published results that can be responded to, directly. A quick search on plosone doesn’t show that there’s any documented research in this area currently, a new opportunity for those interested.

  • cqwww 10:53 pm on October 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Financially Investing in Yourself 101 

    This applies to those new to financial investing for retirement in Canada. These are the recommendations I usually make, so I’m summarizing here.

      • Pay down any debts with more than 10% interest as fast as you can.
      • Once your debts are paid off, save until you have a 3 month float in the bank in case you become unemployed
      • Start saving for retirement, and this is where the numbers really stand out. If you can save 64% of your income, you can retire in less than 11 years.
    Years to Retirement

    Years to Retirement

    This is pretty simple. If you’re spending 100% of your income, instead of saving it, you will never be able to retire without something else happening. If you’re spending 0% of your income and can maintain that, you’re ready to retire right now. The graph above shows the options in between. Mr. Money Mustache breaks this down in more detail.

    • If you don’t own real estate yet and want to, this is where you can start to max our your RRSPs until you’ve reached $25,000, which you can then loan yourself tax-free under the Canadian Home Buyers Plan. This only applies to your first property.
  • cqwww 10:53 pm on October 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: expectations, love   


    My thoughts on love. This will likely be updated as I feel I have new insights, as this is always evolving.

    I was reminded after reading a recent tweet by my friends at Creative Mornings Vancouver, stating that love can cause you “the most horrific, terrible pain”, and I’m sure we’ve all felt devastated after losing a loved one, however it is my opinion, this is not love.

    Tweet from Creative Mornings Vancouver

    Love is the thing that can cause you the most horrific, terrible pain

    Feelings like loss, hurt, rejection, jealousy, fear, are all other emotions, but they are not love. Love is only giving. Love is abundant. I responded stating Love causes no pain, it’s only giving. Pain is other things, like jealousy, fear etc. It’s a great perspective to have, I feel.

    I find the more you think about this, you realize you love someone by giving, and in fact it’s even better if you can give love through actions without expectations. I will suggest all of the hurt, suffering, and pain you feel stems from expectations, and they are not from love, which is only giving.

    If this is true, when you tell someone you love them, you should not need the same words reciprocated. You can provide love actions to someone even if they don’t love you back. Someone may tell you they need time alone, or demand you leave them alone, and if you really love them, you can give them love by respecting their wishes.

    I’m still thinking about exceptions to giving love everywhere, and the only condition I’ve thought of where you should not give love to someone else, is when it interferes with your ability to love yourself. The first and most obvious case to me is an abusive situation. If you’re ever the victim of abuse, you need instead to prioritize on loving yourself. If someone is putting your life, or theirs on the line, you need to prioritize on yourself. I’m sure there are cases when unrequited romantic love can reach a time where you need to move on, in order to love yourself. Other than that, if you’re loving yourself fully, you can give love, through actions, in an abundant supply.

    If you choose to give love through actions in this way, you will likely be tested, and if you are, you will grow. Through my growth, I am learning that those that challenge you the most, likely need love actions the most. I feel a lasting romantic love based relationship is when your priority remains to give, without expectations, and your partner lives the same way. It’s not through expectations, but an intention and/or agreement for continued growth, that allows for sustainable love.
    I have more thoughts on love in other contexts, especially a deeper dive into romantic relationships which also require equal parts passion and commitment, and I plan to write on those in the future if there is interest.

    I’d love any insights on love I missed or have incorrect! Thanks for taking the time to read.

    With love,




    • Marg 11:23 pm on October 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Telling someone is jus one way, or love language. Check our Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. Maybe you can find other modes that may fit others better if words ring hollow? Actions or acts of service, touch, gifts or symbols, and spending quality time are other ways to make a statement without words, he has found, after counselling hundreds of people and tracking the trends. Worth a read.

      • cqwww 11:29 pm on October 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Marg,

        Thanks for sharing some insight! I intentionally used the term love actions without highlighting a specific action or even a few, based on the notion that there are many ways to provide love actions, including those mentioned in the The Five Love Languages.

        Understanding which actions makes someone feel loved is likely very different from your default love action, and learning that is an art/science even when combined with really good communication!

        With love from across the pond,


  • cqwww 9:47 am on September 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Free university 

    I’ve written years ago about free online university courses, there’s no limit today on what you can learn other than what time you’re willing to put into it. Today with the announcement that Germany is offering tuition to all Canadian students, it’s time to start a global list of places Canada’s can go for a free post-secondary education, and it doesn’t seem to be in Canada.

    • Germany
    • Nordic nations Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (PhD free for Denmark & Sweden)
    • Finland. Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students will be introduced in autumn 2017 onwards for English-taught Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes. Doctoral level studies will remain free of tuition fees.

    Low cost options:

    • France (~$350 CAD/year)
    • Argentina (small fee)
    • Austria (~$500 CAD/year)
    • India (under $5k CAD/year including accommodation)
    • Taiwan (under $2k CAD/year)
    • Czech Republic (~$1500 CAD/year)
    • Belgium (under $1000 CAD/year)
    • Italy (~$1000 CAD/year for public universities)
    • Spain (under $2000 CAD/year for public universities)
  • cqwww 11:01 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Conscious Canada 

    At the Ideas – Vancouver meetup tonight, we were discussing how many businesses there are that should be boycotted, and even if they are, as one voice, there’s not much change that is likely to happen. It was agreed that the only way change would happen, would be if the masses got on board. The result of the idea was the creation of the Conscious Canada subreddit.

    The first objective of the subreddit is for you to take the time to list a non-political organization you think should be boycotted, and why. You want to have a compelling story, and likely with evidence, as to why it should be boycotted. If others in the subreddit agree, they will upvote it. If they disagree, it will get downvoted.

    The agreement by joining the subreddit, is that by the end of the month, whichever company is listed at the top, you agree as a member of the subreddit, to boycott that company for one month. For example, it’s the beginning of September; whatever is at the top on Friday, September 30th will be boycotted by you and the others for all of October. If you’re on social media, you can link to the reason and use #ConsciousCanada hashtag, with the desired outcome that that organization will change the discussed behaviour.

    I will be moderating the sub-reddit initially — I will be removing any issues that are political organizations, as well as any joke/gag issues (will bring to a vote at an ideas meeting if it’s debatable if an issue is a gag or not.

    Remember, every penny you spend is a political statement on the world you want to live in. Join us.

  • cqwww 2:57 pm on August 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Nobody lives past thirty 

    Something is not right


    I saw this cartoon today, “Something’s just not right — our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic and free-range, and yet nobody lives past thirty”. I enjoyed this thought provoking cartoon.
    It creates an opportunity to thank science (Vaccinations, antibiotics, science based GMOs, bio-tech) and put things into perspective!

  • cqwww 12:13 pm on August 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Getting Thunderbird to Inbox Zero plugin 

    idea: I would love to help with this, if there are any developers who have the chops. I want a Thunderbird email plugin that at some (setting driven) interval takes a random old email in your Inbox and brings it to the top of your Inbox, with the goal of getting you to Inbox 0. Say for example 5 old emails, from random dates, are brought to the top. Most are likely not relevant any more so can be deleted or archived.

    Thunderbird Inbox Zero Plugin

    Idea: Thunderbird Inbox Zero Plugin

    Even more advanced it would dynamically choose the number to bring to the top based on how many emails are in your Inbox, and how many it detects you process per day.

    Any other suggestions for Thunderbird email users that are privacy conscious to get to Inbox zero, I would love to hear your suggestions!


  • cqwww 12:17 am on August 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Shading practice 

    This was drawn without a model, under the direction of my favourite shading artist, introducing me to shading.

  • cqwww 3:57 pm on April 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Bratzer v. Victoria Police Department (No. 3). 

    My friend David Bratzer has closed the page in a long journey against the Victoria Police Department for exercising his right to discuss his political beliefs in his personal life, in public. I met him over 5 years ago, where he spoke at IdeaWave 2010 on The Key to Criminal Justice Reform: Ending Drug Prohibition. This was a controversial talk, as at the time I was told the Victoria Police previously had a conference deny him from speaking out on this issue. I welcomed the challenge, and would not be silenced by an organization, even a police department, by allowing someone the right to free speech on their own time. I feel we have a shortage of people in society willing to risk their careers and livelihood for their principals, especially the altruistic. I feel as a society, we all have an obligation to support these risk takers if we don’t have the courage to do so ourself.

    Five years later, and David just posed this on his Facebook wall:

    Today the BC Human Rights Tribunal issued its decision in my case: Bratzer v. Victoria Police Department (No. 3).
    It’s been a long road, but worth it. The decision is a significant victory for employee rights in British Columbia. Here is a brief summary of key points:
    • The Tribunal determined that employers have a duty to accommodate the political beliefs of employees (paragraph 323).
    • The Tribunal recognized that the protection offered by the Code for political belief includes not only the belief itself but also the manner of expression (paragraphs 274 and 276).
    • The Tribunal ruled that employers cannot force their employees to ask for permission in advance of expressing their political beliefs (paragraph 401).
    • The Tribunal recognized the right of police officers to participate in political advocacy and in the affairs of a political party (paragraphs 321 and 386).
    • The Tribunal found the actions of Chief Jamie Graham (retired) were motivated by his antipathy toward “left wingers” (paragraphs 122, 123, 218, 220, 223, 224, 349, 320, 350, 351, 394 and 424).
    • VicPD has been ordered to pay $20,000 for injury to dignity, the highest ever award for a political belief case in Canada (paragraphs 437 and 438).
    Thank you to my family, colleagues and friends for all their support!

    I would like to take the time to thank David for being a personal hero of mine — risking his livelihood for the greater good of society with a young family is courageous. You’ve always demonstrated a level of integrity I’ve admired (not to mention the countless hours you’ve spent door knocking, flyer handing, building a student award program, and running as a school board trustee — your support for students and youth may be unrecognized by most, but it is not by me).

    David: You’re the definition of community super hero, to me.

    David’s Blog.

  • cqwww 5:29 pm on March 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply  


    My first entry for #fivetenfriday was experimenting with the GIMP. I don’t normally edit my photographs except for cropping. It was a lot of fun testing the filters out, I will do more of this.

    In this image I applied a canvas filter to a magnolia tree imagine I just took here in Vancouver, B.C.

    Magnolia Tree as a Canvas

    Magnolia Tree as a Canvas for #fivetenfriday

    In the process I also learned that my hosting provider doesn’t like large files, so I activated a 5 year old Flickr account. If you click on the link you can see the fill size image, as well you can also see in the EXIF data showing I took the photo on manual mode, which is something I’ve been forcing myself to use since I got this new camera, which has been a great learning experience. You have to zoom in on the full screen flickr image to see the texture. Thanks for checking it out!

  • cqwww 8:11 am on March 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Silent Wisdom 


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