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Thursday, August 9, 2012

User Services and Instructional Librarians

What I do:

The User Services Librarian’s overall responsibility involves the coordination of reference service, information literacy and e-Learning initiatives, as well as provides communications with, and support for, Library Services users to achieve institutional learning goals.

Reporting to the Director, Library Services, the User Services Librarian’s overall responsibility involves the coordination of reference service, information literacy and e-Learning initiatives, as well as provides communications with, and support for, Library Services users to achieve institutional learning goals.

Specific responsibilities include:
•Providing general reference services in all disciplines individually and at the service desks, as well as specialized reference/research services;
•Providing input in the selection of new reference/electronic resources based on analysis, need and suitability; 
•Working collaboratively with college faculty and library colleagues to integrate information literacy and research skills across the curriculum;
•Cultivating partnerships and collaborating with faculty on projects;
•Teaching library research instruction sessions at all library locations across a wide range of programmes;
•Participating in ongoing development of the library webs site; monitoring and evaluating web sites and research sources;
•Contributing information and advice about user’s needs towards ongoing planning and development, in order to provide leading edge Library Service; providing strategies toward the ongoing development of new library initiatives;
•Staying abreast of relevant library technologies, including Web 2.0 communication and social networking technology and developing marketing, outreach and reference services through the use of these technologies;
•Responsible for technology-enhanced instruction through the development of learning objects, streaming audio-video, web-based modules, and e-learning within course management systems; assessments of teaching and student learning outcomes;
•Working collaboratively with liaison librarian to create discipline-specific modules, web-based exercises, simulations, and other applications;
•Participating in development of references services, information literacy and e-learning policies;
•Coordinating the development of library publications to promote and instruct on the library and its resources;
•Providing guidance to all full and part-time support staff in the Library;
•Other duties as required.

On Accessibility

Adaptive Technology in Universities
A university library should be part of an inclusive and dynamic community of residents, students, faculty and friends. Throughout time, university libraries have maintained a close relationship with learning and research and have even influenced these two important priorities. Librarians like to see positive changes throughout history as evolution. Technology, such as the internet, has changed and improved the way people use libraries
The changes that occur over time in our libraries seem to parallel the history of London. Positive and innovative changes in communities are made possible through the efforts of true leaders. Librarians have the ability to lead the way this time in a way that is responsive to the needs of the community,  faculty and staff.
A good way to do this is to go back to the two important priorities throughout the history of academic libraries - learning and research, to check how closely our libraries are measuring up.
The main issue:
There isn’t adequate accessibility. So our mission will continue to serve students, faculty and staff as a university designed to provide information using cutting edge technology – only this time, our identity includes all people, including people with disabilities. How would it be to initiate the creation of an Inclusive Research Centre within the library to collaborate with researchers throughout the university and surrounding communities. I think that a university that has the initiative, the energy, the innovation and the ABILITY to enable universities to move forward and realize an inclusive learning and research vision. A positive step would be the building an academic program in inclusive design at the undergraduate, graduate and professional development level. In addition to a technology advantage and rich history in academics, a university can include programs and initiatives that perfectly complement adaptive technology programs and offer a vibrant, expanding academic community to situate their research.
Librarians regard disability as a disparity between the needs of the individual and the service, education, tools or environment provided. As well, accessibility is regarded as the adaptability of the library system to the needs of each individual. The development of university research and services should be grounded on accessibility and inclusion.
Just as universities may support open standards - as well as open access and open source wherever possible - to distribute their work as widely as possible and to encourage broad participation in their initiatives, all our work is therefore collaborative. Departments research teams as well as community partners and city community services can use the library’s Inclusive Research Centre for a broad range of research and programming initiatives.
We as librarians are strong advocates of people with disabilities as they are often overlooked when it comes to being productive with regards to information. They should not be limited to only being ones who consume information. Instead of people with disabilities being the ones who are limited in their abilities, it is actually our entire society that is limited if people with disabilities are excluded. We lose a big part of what makes us a community when people with disabilities are omitted. Therefore, inclusion benefits everyone and without this inclusion, we all lose out in being a complete community. Since many universities are on the cutting edge of technology, this becomes a major part of our strengths and power we have to our advantage. It should be used to the fullest. There are no limits to how this space in a university can be used. In a library, there should be room for everyone.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Reading brain images

Brain-image technologies that can read your thoughts and allow you to control computer interfaces. A fairly recent development, esp. prominent in assisstive technologies (helping people with severe speech impediments) which now seem to be showing potential for migrating to the more main-stream applications.

Here is the audio link, in case you haven't had a chance to listen to today's "On the Current" on CBC: 

In simple terms, scientists are compiling and cataloguing our (prototypical, flexible) brain responses to images. Such catalogues (or dictionaries) later allow a computer program to identify what a person is actually thinking (i.e., imagining in his or her mind). They appear to work with only concrete object images (apples, trees) for now, and have harder time with abstract ones (trust, love), according to the interviewed scientists.

Fascinating! Where will keyword searching IR be in 5-10 years from now? Imagine other consequences (e.g, in courtrooms or personal relations)?! The ethical and social implication are equally scary... Will there be time when there won't be private thoughts? At the expense of some direly needed convenience, of course...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Words on Trial: The New Yorker

What can "language detectives" contribute to solving "language crimes" (e.g., extortion, black-mailing, fraud)?


 In courtroom situations, how reliable are witness narratives? 

Who's the author of a note?
Can someone's writing style be distinctly recognizable?


How much does the meaning depend on our expectations?
Are these linguistics always right?
"Words on Trial: Can linguists solve crimes that stump the police?" --
 Click here for full article

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Poetry for Children

This IS Literacy

There are lots of books of poetry out there, many are aimed at children.  Here is a short list of some great books to check out when trying to get your child/student engaged in writing or reading poetry:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Awful Library Books

 Training Retarded Babies and Pre-Schoolers
Linde and Kopp

Wow. Wow. I was a two year old toddler when this came out. What kind of world was I immersed in? Serious disadvantage to be that age...TWO YEARS OLD at a time when books like this held the answers. Somewhat relieved but... still unsettled inside due to this book having any level of authority in the medical sciences. LOL the authors likely had it a LOT worse and behold!  Training Retarded Babies : Awful Library Books

Friday, May 18, 2012

Annual Reviews - A Non-Profit Scientific Publisher

Annual Reviews publications are among the most highly cited in the scientific literature, and are available in print and online to individuals, institutions, and consortia throughout the world.


Annual Reviews - Home

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New resource available - Films on Demand (Digital Educational Video) | Western Libraries

Western Libraries recently purchased the resource Films on Demand, an online platform that provides access to more than 6,000 streaming videos.  On average, an additional 600 new video titles are added annually.

New resource available - Films on Demand (Digital Educational Video) | Western Libraries

Friday, May 11, 2012

Canada News Centre - Government of Canada supports Aboriginal skills development in northern communities

 The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, today announced a Government of Canada investment that will enable over 270 Aboriginal people in remote northern communities to develop skills that will help them find and keep good jobs. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
Canada News Centre - Government of Canada supports Aboriginal skills development in northern communities

Best Websites on Internet -, an online platform designed for everybody to discover best websites on any subject like art, business, computer, entertainment, food, health, lifestyle, sports, technology, travel and more.

Best Websites on Internet -

Why Mozilla believes Firefox on Windows RT is a bust | Business Tech - CNET News

 Mozilla could bring Firefox to Windows Metro, but without access to system services that IE10 gets, it would be hobbled, and Mozilla would be shut out of a new PC segment.

Why Mozilla believes Firefox on Windows RT is a bust | Business Tech - CNET News

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

London, it's been 20 years and I'm still here.

I left for a city with more job opportunities, a transit system that included subways, streetcars and buses that arrived every 10 minutes. Toronto was everything and more for a single woman who just turned 21. What brought me to London Ontario? Why did I stay? Why do I want to leave again? I think "Semester at Sea" is calling be part of the Faculty...OoohEeeeeee!


Pixies Debaser Music Video on MUZU.TV

Obviously, I like the Pixies. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thanks for adding The Life of Reile to Western Blogs

I received an email from Communications and Public Affairs, Western University that my blog was added to their student directory. You can see a lot of interesting things here:


I'm excited to start this term in May. Two courses to go. Wish me lucks.

21 Jump Street - Official Trailer [HD]

Saying goodbye to my iPhone, the data hog | Apple - CNET News

After flirting with an iPhone for a month, here's why I switched back to a BlackBerry. The iPhone was fun, don't get me wrong, but I know where my loyalties lie.

Saying goodbye to my iPhone, the data hog | Apple - CNET News

Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012 - You have to watch this. Objectively.

So Kony is quickly becoming a household name ... thanks to a viral YouTube video that exposes the Ugandan warlord as the bloodthirsty leader of a child army and child prostitution ring.

In the YouTube video, producers beg for celebrity support to raise awareness and showed a picture of Rihanna, in an effort to get her involved. You have to watch this, and also read about the criticism the organizers are facing.

To me, the video reeked of over-egged rhetoric and poor attempts at emotional blackmail. But Gavin is cute! Watch it, and keep in mind that Kony hasn't been in Uganda since 2006. Evangelical Christians have bad days, such as naked meltdowns; it's normal in California. 

I had to ask myself: Am I falling for something or am I standing for something? The answer is neither falling or standing; I am sitting, just staring while watching it all fall apart with all the drama one could expect of a dramatic arts major. Wasn't the goal to make Kony famous?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Currently Reading: night road :: Kristin Hannah

 For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices.
To hold on…
To let go..
To forget…
To forgive…
Which road will you take?

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids safe and on track for college. It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

NIGHT ROAD is vivid, emotionally complex novel that raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

 I enjoyed reading this novel because it satisfied my need for suspense. Another thing that I found interesting is it allowed me to see the point of view from the 'overprotective parent'. 

 Literature describes these types as 'Helicopter Parents' - the kinds I see usually only have one child and have the idea that stifling their independence and coddling them means that they love them more - and that the child will always need this 'love'. 

Maybe this might be why there are mostly parents that attend university information sessions - they are protecting their 'investment' but I digress. Interestingly, I can't help but see a correlation between the helicopter parenting style and kids who are 30 and not sure what they want to be when they grow up. 

I identified with Lexi - no my parents weren't drug addicts and I was not neglected. But I had an upbringing that allowed me to make my own decisions without interference or objections. My parents guided me, they didn't guilt me into their idea or their plans for how my life should be.
They always knew I would be helping people to achieve their own ideas and aspirations. They also knew I was happy with what I have and wasn't driven by money or by status. I was destined for something else - Not-for-profit, which eliminated doctor and lawyer careers.  

It also resonated with me when Lexi was judged because of her poor socioeconomic status while going to a school far away from her trailer park - at a high school with the well-to-do. Of course, she stood out from the other teenagers; how about the clothing, the homes, the cars? And what sort of influence would she be - after all, her deceased mother was a heroin addict and she never knew her father. What would happen if she made friends with someone - and her parents didn't approve of her because of her circumstances?

Rich parents often blame poor kids when their offspring effs up. Poor kids aren't effing up because they cant afford to. It becomes a question of pride - the doctor and teacher couple, well, their children must excel; they have no choice because it looks bad if they don't do well academically (I mean come on - what kind of 'teacher' are you if your own kid can't learn? What kind of doctor are you if your kid screws up one question on their test; was it because they fell off their bike and you weren't there to catch them?). Tough life...


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Breaking up isn't fun.

A friend of mine recently found herself out of a relationship. They only met last year, but she truly thought that he was 'The One'.  He was everything to her, which in my opinion, was The Problem.

Just like the movies, natch!
This isn't a novel, nor a movie. It happened. Now it's over.

Blinded by love, she had unfortunately missed many of the 'red flags' that were always there. She chose to overlook them because she was following her heart and not using her brain to realise he was still married didn't love her the same way. She was more positive to be around after going through the denial, anger and depression stages. At some point though, she finally resolved to the reality -  that life goes on - and carrying baggage causes one to sink deeper and deeper into Lake Nowhere. She had to find out on her own that it was time to let go instead of hanging on to nothing in her attempt to understand why he ditched her. The hardest thing for a girl to do is to let go of the one guy she would do anything for.

It is a hard lesson for her but let's face it; he will treat her exactly how she lets him treat her. He is not doing anything to her that she didn't allow him to do. However, her needs and wants are just as important as his. She should've put herself first because if she doesn't care about herself no one else will. It's best for her to practice some self control and let this go. It takes some discipline to stop thinking about the person, especially if there are unanswered questions, or a desire for a second chance. At least an explanation for disappearing?

On Letting Go - I think that technology makes it somewhat harder to do this. My friend is always trying to creep on his Facebook profile to see what he's up to. She sees that he is also maintaining a profile on a dating site. She Google's his name and finds random irrelevant non-informative things about people with the same name that live in other countries. 

It's as if she developed a obsession with someone who has moved on and obviously not thinking about her at all. Why re-open the wounds by sabotaging the healing? It is a waste of time and emotional energy. Put that towards something positive like volleyball (it worked for me and it is a passion that will never leave or confuse me and we are all high on endorphins and sports drinks yelling, 'I GOT IT!!!...Oh GOOD TRY!!!' And the guys are hot......   just sayin ^_^ ).

I'm not a relationship expert (In fact, I am single and likely so because I live up to what I advise as a question of principles i.e practice what I dish) but it seems a lot easier to just accept a situation and move on. Life shouldn't change that much once you're over the pain and suffering and all the stages of grieving are through. Make it better. Accept that it is over because then healing can start.

Obviously,  I like The Smiths
 A person who has been rejected is going to feel bad for a while. This is inevitable, expect to feel like a reject and worthless and even like you want to die. Wait for the clouds to clear and allow tears and anger in the meantime. Keep a journal of how you feel - this will come in handy during the weak times. Bottom line - Don't spend a lot of time worrying about someone who really doesn't deserve a second thought. Just be glad that its done and try to focus on your life and keep it moving positively forward. 
Somehow, when you decide to let go, it eventually doesn't  hurt as much. Being accountable also helps because it acknowledges that it takes two - my friend recognizes where she made her mistakes and has learned from them. A real relationship doesn't come with rules, it comes with respect boundaries.

   I don't think her manfriend was being honest with  her from the beginning. All the signs of Andropause were there:

  • He complimented her excessively, 
  • acted like he loved her excessively, 
  • talked excessively, 
  • lied excessively, 
  • sent lines of poetry not written for her (which she found cute in a misguided way - but it turned my stomach to read it)
  • Her parents were concerned - why is this guy overreacting the 'ideal guy' persona?
  • he didn't seem real. 
  • He made excuses not to see her
  • yet made plans to travel with her, 
  • made plans to live together, 
  • made plans to have a family  - 
    • she wasn't too keen - she needs time to think about these things
  • underwhelming disappearing act; not even a goodbye - more like a 'fate made me go'
    What a relief! She dodged a bullet? Well, it's just a silly game. What more can a woman expect from a separated Catholic; they aren't allowed to divorce. They made a vow. They are like a mouse spinning in a wheel, running, running, running all the time. Adios, mouse-man.

    No one around her believed his charade and they hadn't even met him yet. No more complaining about him acting strange and shady. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she loved him. She was crushed and once she was over the pain she had to resign to the inevitable.  She had to let this go - completely let it go because:

    1. love doesn't run away;
    2. it isn't confusing either
     In fairness, a break up is never one person's fault. though. We usually see what is not there or ignore the warning signs of an approaching breakdown. She did what she thought was right for her at that time. Most people do that. 

Cheers, mate.
I have already been through this whole process of moving on. It is tough and it is important to allow yourself time to grieve and face reality instead of looking for distractions and/or rebounding with an unsuspecting person who is dealing with a broken heart that they didn't break! The truth is, most people are not ready to accept the demise of a relationship. They look for answers that they sometimes already have. They look for answers to understand what happened; I wasted time thinking about explanations for being let down/betrayed/ignored/discarded. The reality is - no one owes me an 'explanation'. I just didn't want to face the reality of the end of my relationship, mostly because it was ended for me. I had no say in the decision. I consider this a gift - it's like they did the hard work for me and I didn't have to do a thing nor say a word.

I waited around for a while - enough time to be sure this silliness was actually happening - until the excuses and the obvious lies became unbearable to receive. The worst mistake he made was deciding to forget about the person who actually stood there and waited for him; all effing winter. Good thing the winter was so warm and mild  - spent enjoying the outdoors, the sunshine, good friends, new friends, and the best New Years eve ever. I've been blessed with the best of people in my life.

Why be upset about something that wasn't there in the first place, like genuine honesty, support, humanity and authentic reciprocated love? I know what that feels like, I was raised with all of it. Surprising how real someone may seem; they have a pulse, they do nice things but if it seems too good to be true or feels weird, then it usually is too good to be true. The act is finite; they're emotionally bankrupt and physically cannot fulfill the plans they make. Which is why I had so many doubts early on...ah hindsight 101... Know when it is over.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Just read: The Kite Runner

I love graphic novels.

Khaled Hosseini had adapted his  international success into a comic book - a graphic novel - which took me two hours to read. This format of a story which takes on many issues and struggles of war, prejudice, honour and violence which have torn at Afghanistan for generations. What sets this apart from the novel and from the movie are
the hundreds of excellent illustration, drawn by Fabio Celoni and Mirka Andolfo.

The images tell the story in a way the movie could not - if you've read the novel (I hadn't) you still have your own imagination to draw from. The story is a condensed version with minimal text. Great for those of us with compromised vision. limited attention spans and need more than seven days to finish a book. I feel like I have lived a lifetime after reading a graphic novel in a single afternoon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's up, Tolkien?

"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."  --J.R.R. Tolkien

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear Youngest, Please Don't Grow Up

Each year, we anticipate the new year approaching. You were born at a friend's house, January 1, 2000.

 Many make plans to celebrate. We like to stay up late. Set off sparklers outside and revel in the festivities in our hood. We don't have to go further than the front porch to see the action.

For us, though, this is your birthday; which makes you twelve years old. I know, duh momma. Now that you're twelve, you're looking towards the future. Your whole life is ahead of you. I know, whats the big deal, momma. It's not so easy, but keep your positive attitude: What's the big deal?

It gets harder to say 'what's the big deal' because we make a big deal, these things that happen, the things people do and the things that they say; or things happen unexpectedly with those that you love; learn to let go of the negativity and take responsibility for yourself; decide to make your happiness an option for you to choose, so when things aren't going so well, you have a direction to take. And yes, I support your current ambition to be a WWE wrestler. So for now, stay twelve...because thirteen is another ball of yarns.

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.”
If I only knew you were trying to tell me then, that you want a piano. Stat.
― Anne Frank

When you were born, it felt like I was born too. I became the mother to a daughter for the first time.

Where ever did the time go? From 2000 to 2012, it's been somewhat of a blur. Holding you on my hip, checking the mailbox and opening the letter right there in the street, you were this old when I received my acceptance letter at Western. Suddenly, I went from stay-at-home mom to three university degrees while working, volunteering, single mom-ing and reading anthropology, linguistics and library science books to you as bedtime stories. Your favourite books and movies are mysteries, historical fiction and the countless stories and movies you've created. One of my favourites is an animated segment you produced when you were eight using Movie Maker and Microsoft drew each picture and figured out how to make the character look like she was speaking - adding emotion and animating her eyes and expressions. You added her voice. A few days of working on this and a few seconds of a movie were complete:

Brava, bella!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Currently Reading...

Week of Feb 13, 2011:
Love You More by Lisa Gardner
Who do you love?

One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, a state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self defense, and bears the bruises to back up her claim. For veteran detective Warren, it should be an open and shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?

It begins with Brian's death, details, accuracy, stats, arrival of police investigators and then...I sneeze. Uneventful of course; but the unexpected spray of blood all over the pages raised the drama to inimitable  levels of hysterics; an oh shit!  awkward moment of silence with sound; a laughscream of sorts. By golly - I have a nosebleed. Yet another reason for boxes of tissue as I read.

Monday, February 13, 2012

You killed it, Adele!

Add caption

Adele wins six Grammys, February 12, 2012. I heard that your dreams came true!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen.

Stanly, NC.
viewers of the video called with concerns about his actions.

Amazing Videos of Earth at Night from Space

While you’re curled up comfy in your bed each night, the crew of the International Space Station is getting unrivaled views of our planet. For anyone wishing they could see what the astronauts see, here are recent videos of the Earth at night taken from space. These spectacular videos feature city lights piercing the darkness like shining beacons announcing the extent of human habitation. But they also include incredible natural phenomena — such as ethereal auroras, shimmering lightning, and the silvery Milky Way — which surpass anything created by man.

appleonia - precious

Jessica Chapnik Kahn fell off an apple tree and became appleonia...

This was the first technical test experiment for appleonia's music video 'It's not so precious'. Clearly, there was a fair way to go...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Negotiating Parental Power Struggles with Adolescents

The child looks up to parents and their wonderful powers and idealizes who they are. The adolescent looks down on parents and their unfair authority and criticizes who they are. The young adult looks at the hit-and-miss child raising job parents have done and humanizes them as well-intended but imperfect people.

Negotiating Parental Power Struggles with Adolescents | Psychology Today

"Although my job is not to control your decisions, it is my job to inform them. This means I have a parenting responsibility to let you know when and why I think the decision may not be in your best interests, and what a better one might be. And of course I have my own choices about responding to whatever decision you are free to make."

Teenager: "Huh?" 

Facebook Parenting. For the troubled teen. 

Children need love most, when they deserve it the least.  

A Woman of a Certain Age (Subjective)

Imagine my shock and dismay. I strive to be a lady, a woman of a certain age. I've cut my waist-length blonde highlighted hair to just below the shoulders, dyed it brown. I carry myself like the mature woman that I am. What follows is insanity:

Sales Clerk: "Excuse me, do you have ID?"
Me: "What?"
Sales Clerk: "ID, you look underage".
Me: "LOL you're funny thanks for the compliment" I start to 11:00 a.m. too early for vodka?
Sales Clerk: "I'm serious kid, where's your ID?"
Me: "Really?" I think I'm having a debonaire wtf moment because she's serious.

This female clerk looked about 30 years old and was searing my eyes with sternness. I felt like I should look in the mirror to make sure I hadn't turned into a child.  Never take things for granted as being the same as last time you checked...

I appreciate what I have and I feel fortunate to a certain point. But whats wrong here - I carry myself in a mature way and act my age. I dress modestly. I have no piercings nor tattoos. I'm not skinny. I make eye contact.

Her: "What?"
Me: "I might be older than you"

I find my health card and proudly show her my year of birth. 1971. I listened to Zeppelin and the Who and Cat Stevens. I wore pantsuits circa 1976 and was a teenager in the 80's.

Elderly lady behind me: "You don't show your age, dear"
Me: "Thanks, love..I inherited some good genes."

I pat her arm and she smiled. I leave the store. What just happened?

I realise this shouldn't be a problem and I appreciate this as a gift which I gratefully accept. But come on, what is it? - I'm not short and I don't own a pair of jeans, I don't follow fads or trends. I don't own an iPod and I drive a Buick. I can only see out of one eye for crying out loud. I'm a bloody cyclops.  Am I really failing fortydom?

My battle scars are all internal.  The wisdom is, at least there is no pity.

'Is Marriage for White People?'

An author and law professor speaking in Toronto on Friday says black women should consider marrying outside of their race instead of feeling forced to wed unsuccessful black men.

'Is Marriage for White People?' author on Metro Morning - Toronto - CBC News

He's quoting a grade six-er by the way.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

10 Things I Believed When I Was A Little Kid In Order Of How Embarrassing They Still Are When I Remember Them Today

Yes, I should've been more bright. 10 things; lets start with number 10:

10. If I crossed my eyes for too long, my eyes would get stuck that way.

 9.  If I swallowed my gum, it would take SEVEN YEARS to digest.
          ...or it would turn into a tree. Imagine my grief...

 8.  A strange fear that the eggs in the refrigerator might hatch.
          ...thank you, Kids Help Phone for clearing that one up.

 7.  If my school bus went over a speed bump too fast it would explode.
          ...the things kids say on the short bus to daycare. 

 6.  North was literally 'upwards' therefore Canada was literally above the USA.
         ...I used to argue this point and use the map of the world to prove it.

 5. That my name (Jenny) was unusual because I didn't know anyone else named Jenny -
        ...until I went to kindergarten and learned I was just one of many.

 4. A hundred dollars was an unimaginable amount of money.
        ...and cleaning the house for 25 cents was a good deal.

 3. I went to a wedding where the groom and groomsmen were all dressed in pretty much identical tuxes, and I thought the ceremony was for the bride to choose her husband from all the men up there.
        ...I still believe this on some level.

 2. All grownups started their days with screwdrivers at breakfast.
        ...moving right along....

 1. I removed all of the tops from the year's supply of glass Coke bottles to lift up the seal inside the top to see if I'd won the car, compromising the carbonation of 30-something bottles of Coke.
        ...It seemed to be worth the trouble.

        ...unfortunately, this one is brought up often so it's number one ^_^

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why The Planet Doesn’t Care About Your Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

 from co.exist

 We know that infinite material growth on a finite planet isn’t possible. By some measures, we are already using 1.5 planets or more to support our current lifestyles--and that’s in a world where billions still live in abject poverty. So yes, dematerialization is the word of the day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cat on the pitch at Anfield

A cat walks on the pitch during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England February 6, 2012.

You can follow him on Twitter @Anfieldcat

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, 
keep secrets like a sister 
and share love like a friend. 

I absolutely adore these two.  We were reunited recently at my cousin's wedding. Alison took this photo of us; she also managed to walk away with the wine bottle. I managed to join her table and represent Germany and Scotland among the Ukrainians. The last wedding attended was hers.

Ever wonder what people with MS feel?

Multiple Sclerosis. What is it? I've reduced it to two words:
Friendly fire.

The immune system attacks important components of the CNS (central nervous system). What do people with MS feel?

I found this humorously realistic.

The larger issue: Medication. There are pages of side effects. Let's not go there. Anyone up for volleyball? Hey! Smear your glasses with vaseline first. ^_^

Business Leadership in the 21st Century - Classes Without Quizzes

What are the current leadership challenges and what does the future hold? Carol Stephenson, Dean of Western's Richard Ivey School of Business, discusses findings from the School's ground-breaking research on leadership failures and successes relating to the recent financial crisis and why character, competencies, and especially commitment, are critical for the leaders of today and tomorrow.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Monday, January 30, 2012

UWO now WU - Western University Canada | The Gazette

And now for something completely different...

Economic downturn. Loose change. Climate change. States of Matter. The Question of change. Exchange. Rearrange. Do you freak when you see the new Facebook? Nothing ever stays the same. Logo change alert. Hold fast to Purple Pride. Now breathe through your nose. Here is the old logo (2002-2012):

    "If you look at the logo, it could be a church or something else, we needed to be a little bit more distinct that we are a university—a top tier university in Canada.”

   "But the changes are not limited to a shift from a tower to a coat of arms. They also include a slight shift in the shade of purple, a new font—specially created for Western and named “Hellmuth” after the founding bishop—and a switch from the name “University of Western Ontario” to “Western University.”

Western unveils new branding | The Gazette

   Administrations will be ordering lots of new letterhead and changing websites this week  >_< which, coincidentally, is no longer a larger issue...Now, what about renaming the City of London? Renaming Victoria Park (i.e Tank Place?). Should I notify the Registrar about my name change...come on, everybody's doing it. Remind me to consult my family and friends. Change can be so much fun.

On renaming the City of London by Ian Gillespie, The LFP:

The Holy Roller Tank in Victoria Park; rename the park: Tank Place

     "This rebranding trend is great. And London needs to jump on the bandwagon in a big way. As you may know, the University of Western Ontario (UWO) has “rebranded” itself with a fresh new name; from now on, the venerable school will no longer be referred to as “you-dubba-you-oh.” Henceforth, London’s institute of higher learning will be known as Western University. (Or “woo.”)" more:

 Western strikes up the brand | Ian Gillespie | Columnists | News | London Free Press

We just might start living up to our potential.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

British Museum lifts veil on Muslim ritual | London Free Press

 Oh veils and Muslim rituals. I get it. No, yeah, I do. As a Muslima, should I decide to go to the hajj I would need a 'guardian' (ok got that 'covered'). Evelyn Cobbold was not required a formal signed declaration that she was a Muslim. Unlike today's regulations in the KSA, she was not required to appear in the company of a 'guardian'. Surprisingly, she does not appear in the photograph covered head to toe in black. She was 65 when she embraced Islam.

   "Among the individual tales told is that of Evelyn Cobbold, who wrote that she was the first European woman to take part in the haj. Although never formally converted to Islam, she had long considered herself a Muslim and was granted permission to go on the pilgrimage in 1933".

She stands not behind the men.

   "Lady Evelyn Cobbold, daughter of the 7th Earl of Dunmore, embraced Islam at the age of 65 and in the following year, 1933, achieved celebrity when she performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, being the first British woman to do so".

   "From the ‘Highlands to the Hajj’ is a celebratory look at the life of this extraordinary individual who transcended social norms, not only as a fiercely independent woman, but also as a proud convert to Islam. Although by no means unique in her conversion or as an avid traveller, Lady Cobbold’s achievements nonetheless remain significant and worthy of attention".

British Museum lifts veil on Muslim ritual | Comment | London Free Press

   "Another Briton who earned considerable fame for his involvement in the haj was Richard Francis Burton, a 19th-century soldier and explorer who disguised himself as an Afghan doctor and Sufi dervish to avoid detection.

(Hahaha no way!)

   "He joined an Egyptian caravan to Mecca in 1853 and, despite several close scrapes, returned unscathed and wrote an account of his adventures in A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah".

O Issue Large-Plus: There is something so British about this - the privilege, methinks. Privilege can and usually is so much fun for the privileged. Sneaky guy sneaks into the Kaaba and returns unscathed! But Evelyn? I bet she drove a motorcar in the land where women cannot by law, drive a car.

Facebook free (circa 2010)

   "We are now living in the new reality. It's one in which it all has to start with people. People are products, products are money, and money is power".

Is Facebook run by sociopaths? | Technically Incorrect - CNET News
   "Once you have the power, you can even try to tell governments what to do and what to think. And that's so much fun".

What is my larger issue in all this? Come on, it shouldn't be an exhausting exercise to log into a website and see 5500 notifications about everything and everyone - exponentially exhausting users to the 'like'. It is liberating to set free from the chains that bind, the push to pull. My room is for sleeping, not creeping, naa'aa'meen?

"Even if you aren’t a Facebook user (I am not anymore), its impact is inescapable. The world’s largest social network has, for better or worse, made TMI a laughably quaint notion, redefined friendship, and become, if not a verb (like Google), perhaps the most recognizable proper noun of the digital age." Face(book)ing the Music