Blog

Check out my posts (208 and counting) about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc. 

Beware of weapons of mass distraction

Beware of weapons of mass distraction

When the atomic bomb was being developed during World War II, some scientists wondered if an explosion could ignite the atmosphere. The 2023 movie Oppenheimer highlighted that concern in an exchange between Brigadier General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan...

Sometimes when you blow smoke, the world catches fire

Sometimes when you blow smoke, the world catches fire

Typically in Canada, wildfires consume an average of 2.5 million hectares of land annually. This year, 6,132 blazes burned 16.5 million hectares, according to Natural Resources Canada. The summer of 2023 was by far the worst wildfire season in history. There were a...

Read a banned book today

Read a banned book today

In 212 B.C., the Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti burned almost all of the books in his kingdom, keeping only single copies for the royal library. Those too were destroyed before he died, so that history could be seen to start with him. Previously, Shih Huang Ti is...

Having a chat with ChatGPT about my future

Having a chat with ChatGPT about my future

Will artificial intelligence (AI) take my job? Or yours? In a recent survey, a quarter of workers feared that AI will make their job obsolete. That includes people in creative pursuits, like illustrators, photographers, musicians and designers. And writers. AI is one...

Why did Rick Rubin cry about a board game?

Why did Rick Rubin cry about a board game?

Rick Rubin doesn’t write music. Or lyrics. He says he can “barely” play an instrument. When it comes to recording, “I have no technical ability,” he told an interviewer. Which is remarkable considering he has won nine Grammy Awards, founded Def Jam Recordings,...

X-ing out the bird

X-ing out the bird

It was the early days of a platform that was designed to share short messages with groups, similar to texts. The people building the system were brainstorming company names. They thought of how your phone would react when you received a message, which prompted two...

How one portmanteau fueled double-feature excitement

How one portmanteau fueled double-feature excitement

Have you heard about Barbenheimer? The films Barbie and Oppenheimer open the same day, July 21. Barbie is the first live-action movie based on the Mattel doll, crafted as a comedy-fantasy/journey of self-discovery. Oppenheimer is a dramatic biopic from director...

Tourists, resist the urge to make your mark

Tourists, resist the urge to make your mark

The “I was here” impulse can be intense when you travel. Sometimes memories, photos or a journal entry aren’t enough. That was apparently so last week for a 17-year-old Canadian, who etched his name onto a pillar at 1,200-year-old Toshodaiji Kondo temple complex in...

Do marketers need a reminder to not mock the dead?

Do marketers need a reminder to not mock the dead?

You’d think the Subway chain – whose former spokesperson, Jared Fogle, is serving 15 years in prison for child pornography – would take greater care when it comes to their marketing decisions. Yet days ago a Subway restaurant in Rincon, Georgia used their billboard to...