Blog

Check out my regular posts (193 and counting) about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc. 

Google knows what we really care about

Google knows what we really care about

What was on your mind the most this past year? Even if you didn’t communicate it to the people in your life, you likely did to Google. The search engine knows what we really care about, from geopolitics to celebrity deaths to Pokémon. Every day, Google churns though...

Was the Book Better Than the Movie?

Was the Book Better Than the Movie?

Thomas Savage, Frank Herbert, William Lindsay Gresham and Haruki Murakami. What do these novelists have in common? They wrote the books upon which four of this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture are based. The source material goes back many decades for The...

A Pigment of Your Imagination

A Pigment of Your Imagination

Our ancestors once dug up a mineral from the ground, ground it against a rock, added water and started painting. That was some 250,000 years ago. Ochres – in red, yellow and brown hues – were the first colours used by humans to create art. We’ve always used colours to...

Why Some Animals Get a Bad Name

Why Some Animals Get a Bad Name

Efforts are on the rise to change geographic and institutional names that are offensive. For example: Last year, Toronto council voted to rename Dundas Street, named for Scottish politician Henry Dundas, who played a part in delaying the abolition of the...

What’s a Five-Letter Word for Conspiracy Theorist?

What’s a Five-Letter Word for Conspiracy Theorist?

Conspiracy theories are everywhere. They’ve even crept into the world of Wordle. For those who haven’t played it, Wordle is an online word game. You have six attempts to guess a five-letter word. With every guess, you see tiles that tell you if a letter is in the word...

Who Will Win the Advertising Super Bowl?

Who Will Win the Advertising Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl is coming up. Are viewers excited about the game? The halftime show? For a significant number, the answer is the ads. According to a Harris survey, 61% of those intending to watch this year’s Super Bowl are at least as interested in the ads as the game....

Embrace the Certainty of Uncertainty

Embrace the Certainty of Uncertainty

Today is Groundhog Day. In Ontario, Wiarton Willie predicted an early spring. However, Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam, as well as Punxsutawney Phil in the U.S., saw their shadows and predicted six more weeks of winter. A CBC headline said “polarization” has now spread...

You Can’t Always Shovel Out of a Social Media Pit

You Can’t Always Shovel Out of a Social Media Pit

Think before you post. Good advice, but it doesn’t always happen. While clearing the snow after this week’s storm, I found my mind drifting to two recent irritating stories. One involved Jon Reyes, a member of the Manitoba legislature and Minister of Economic...

Don’t Try This Miracle Cure

Don’t Try This Miracle Cure

Would you drink your own urine? The other day I spotted a story about an American anti-vax agitator named Christopher Key, who recently posted a video for his followers on this COVID “cure”: “The antidote that we have seen now, and we have tons and tons of research,...