All posts tagged: Featured

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In Review: Towards a Better Internet for Children?

Below is an excerpt from my review of Toward a Better Internet for Children? Policy Pillars, Players and Paradoxes, which appeared in Vol 40 No. 3 of The Canadian Journal of Communication. Towards a Better Internet for Children? Policy Pillars, Players and Paradoxes, edited by Brian O’Neill, Elisabeth Staksrud, and Sharon McLaughlin, offers 16 chapters that contribute evidence-based insights into ongoing European policy debates regarding Internet regulation and child online safety. Smartly divided into three complementary parts (policy pillars, players, and paradoxes), the collection provides a timely discussion of the efficacy of current European policy initiatives; the evolving roles of regulators, educators, non-governmental organizations, and parents in implementing Internet safety; and the contradictions that result from efforts to make the Internet safer. The collection’s 27 contributors are all members of the EU Kids Online network, a research network of 33 countries supported by the European Union’s Safer Internet Programme. The discussions found in the collection are largely based on data from the most current EU Kids Online Project (2009–2011), to date the largest study of …

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How To: Start Your Research Paper

The Student Learning Commons at Simon Fraser University invited me to propose an independent project related to my work as a writing facilitator. So…I went in search of a way to communicate about academic writing that combined both my interests in teaching and video production. I envisioned three possible applications for the vid 1) an intro to undergraduate writing workshops facilitated by the SLC 2) a tool for instructors or TAs to show or share their students and 3) a stand alone resource on the library’s site for students to access along with the university’s many other excellent research/writing resources. I animated the video using Keynote, Mac’s Presentation Software–a simple program that lets you take the average slideshow to the next level. Feel free to share or adapt (and if you’d like the source file, get in touch)!  

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Risk vs. Safety

Last year I pitched a story to a mid-size BC news source that questioned the old adage that ‘you can never be too safe.’ I wanted to show how the overemphasis on safety in an online game for children ages 6-14, while well intended, has lead to types of surveillance that ultimately take away from the value that play provides. The editor rejected the story with a simple question: “How is “less safe” play beneficial to kids?” I emailed back to clarify: no response. Now an article written by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU) asks, “can we go too far when it comes to child injury prevention?” and their answer is “yes”–but as it turns out, my editor wasn’t the only one to reject the idea that safer isn’t always better. Brussoni et al. make a strong case for the problem with over-emphasizing safety on playground surfaces, but the comments section clearly reflects the polarizing effect that the topic of children and risk has on adults. One commenter asserts that “to oppose …

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The Great Shop Robbery

On a Sunday afternoon my partner, Dale, and I were doing some camera tests using our jib arm using Dale’s 1969 Jaguar as our text subject. This short film came together completely by accident. From this ‘Movie Sunday’ was born–a promise to dedicating every Sunday to film. As you watch, keep in mind that there were only the two of us, no lighting, no sound, and no script. Just spontaneity.  

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Talking ‘Play’ on CBC

In January I had the pleasure of joining radio host Rick Cluff on CBC’s The Early Edition for an interview on the importance of play. The interest in my research was piqued because of a Teen Philosopher’s Cafe I moderated on the topic of ‘play vs. work’ on behalf of Simon Fraser University’s Cafe Series. What interested me most about the interview was that CBC took the time to interview Vancouverites on what they thought play was. The answers, while not necessarily surprising, affirm that play is ambiguous and yet seems to mean similar things to different people–for example that play is the opposite of work. You can listen to the 6 minute interview on The Early Edition at the 1:30:53 mark.

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In Review: The Philosophy of Play

I’m pleased to be able to share this excerpt from my review of The Philosophy of Play, which was recently published in the American Journal Of Play: In April 2011, the inaugural Philosophy at Play conference brought together academics, play-sector workers, policy advocates, and analysts, among others, to make play the subject of philosophical inquiry and practice. The Philosophy of Play, edited by Emily Ryall, Wendy Russell, and Malcolm MacLean, is a collection of essays that arose from that conference. According to the editors, the objective of the collection is “to provide a richer understanding of the concept and nature of play, its relation and value to human life” and to provide “a deeper understanding of philosophical thinking and to open dialogue across these disciplines” (p. 2). Drawing on a range of philosophical traditions including the work of Plato, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, Nietzsche, Sartre, Burke and Deleuze, the collection, like the ubiquitous concept of play itself, is vast in scope, made up of sixteen chapters varying slightly in length and depth. No specific overarching questions or themes dominate …

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Nardwuar

In an interview from 2008, Lady Gaga puckered up and planted a kiss on an issue of Discorder Magazine. The cover featured a photo of American transgender icon Amanda Lepore, who earlier that year played the pop star’s Fame Ball. Over three years later, I sit down to interview the CiTR radio personality who captured Gaga and Discorder’s first kiss. Pointing my audio recorder in his direction, I start the interview. “Who are you?” Leaning into the recorder with a smile he says, “Nardwuar the Human Serviette from Vancouver, British Columbia.” Sitting in the basement of Neptoon Records, we’re surrounded by thousands of vinyl albums, alphabetized from floor to ceiling on all four sides. It’s an audiophile’s paradise, and a fitting spot to interview with Vancouver’s plaid-clad audio aficionado about his new compilation LP,Busy Doing Nothing. Wearing his trademark golf-style cap with detachable pom-pom (a gift upon his mother’s return from a visit to Scotland), Nardwuar is to the Canadian music scene what Don Cherry is to our national pastime. After years of witnessing his …

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Talent Time

If Vancouver’s Biltmore Cabaret is packed late on a Wednesday, whatever is happening inside must be worth staying out late for on a school night. After more than four years, Paul Anthony’s Talent Time is still surprising audiences and challenging our perception of “talent” (read:American Idol wannabes need not apply). His monthly two-hour variety-inspired talent show, also aired on Shaw and Novus as a half hour television series, has featured both bald eagles and a glass-smashing side-show act. And that was in the same half hour. “Would that have been as exciting if we hadn’t been whispering in a room with birds-of-prey just a moment before?” he asks, explaining that the variety makes each act that much better. For Anthony, the best acts are the ones that catch the audience by surprise, and he’s constantly looking for talent of the unconventional sort. “I’ll check out the bulletin boards in the library,” he says, “but, there’s no treasure map. It’s like shopping at a shitty second-hand store. You’re going to spend a lot of time there, but you might …

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Said The Whale

The greats of Canadian music share the same plight, as far as catching on in the United States. Neil Young made it. So did Nickelback. As did Justin Bieber (mind you, if Usher can’t make you famous, no one can). Then there’s Celine Dion and Shania Twain, and also Bryan Adams, whose music isn’t even considered Canadian according to the Canadian Radio-Television Commission’s Canadian Content regulations. The Hip tragically never made it in the U.S., despite taking home 14 Junos and reaching number one in Canada with nine of their 12 studio albums. Keeping The Hip company are an entire class of Canadian groups who, by choice, remain content to never hustle their talents south of the border. As demonstrated by their 2011 documentary Winning America, Said The Whale wouldn’t mind catching on down south. With their third LP Little Mountain on the precipice of its March 6 release, frontman Tyler Bancroft chats with Discorder from his cozy Vancouver apartment to discuss where the band’s sights are set next. The local quintet are gearing up to get back in their …