The unnoticed death of a billion-dollar endowment

Given plummeting oil prices and the ensuing talk of austerity in Alberta, a program designed to think long-term, to change the way we approach social and cultural problems, and to invest in long-term projects outside the fluctuations of a resource-based economy is an idea worth considering. If someone pitched it now, the province’s progressives would likely … Continue reading

Objects without stories

(Note: This post is quite Calgary-based, and not particularly well-researched, so take with large amounts of sodium) I’ve always been one of those people who needs to read every placard in a museum. Looking at objects is one thing, but without context to understand what makes them unique or interesting, its just so much stuff. Once … Continue reading

Artists are People

Cross-posted from The following is a response to Patrick Finn’s piece, Artists are Dangerous, and the video below. You should also read Dr. Finn’s response in this week’s Fast Forward. I am better than you. I am smarter than you, work harder than you, and am more pure in my aims. What I do … Continue reading

Everybody borrows: Talking to songwriters about creativity

Image by Brandon Bird,

Right now, we’re legislating based on ideas about creativity that are hundreds of years old. They might be true, but they also might not. It may turn out that the approach we have to copyright law right now is the best way to promote the creation of new culture, and to make the world a more vibrant place. But it might turn out that it’s actually counter-productive, that we’re stifling more creativity than we’re encouraging, and are keeping valuable new ideas from spreading. The only way to figure that out is to have a better understanding of creativity, and talking to artists seems like a pretty intuitive way to build that understanding.

Don’t support the arts

There are so many good verbs we could be using with art. Why get stuck on “support”?

Instagram changes and piracy: Not the same thing

There’ve been some tweets floating around comparing the Instagram TOS kerfuffle with file-sharing. Now, I’m not saying people who’ve had their materials pirated aren’t allowed to be upset. I just think it’s a really terrible comparison, and it’ll be kind of frustrating if it gains traction.

Giving people the option to add a filter and make the snaps they were going to take anyway more aesthetically appealing isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t make fake art, it makes prettier snapshots.

Stuff I like: Relic Radio

Admittedly, this one won’t be for all tastes. There’s a cheesiness to vintage radio plays that will either come across as comforting and well-worn, or impossibly distancing. The scripts pull liberally from the hoariest pulp cliches, but their reliance on family-friendly advertising money means they can’t embrace grit and gallows humour with the gusto of … Continue reading

Best Stuff Day 18: World’s greatest headline

Just a quick one today: Back in June, this article appeared in newspapers around the world, and reality officially became a game of Mad Libs

Best Stuff catch-up: Days 9 to 11

Alright, so school is officially cramping my desire to work on this blog. But I set myself a target, and I intend to hit it. Without further ado, then, come three more contributions to the canon of amazing things that I experienced in 2010: Day9: Comedy Death Ray They have a podcast that I hear … Continue reading