mark a rayner: The Fatness is live!

My fourth novel is available as of today!  It’s a satire about concentration camps for fat people and bureaucracy gone mad. (Don’t worry, it’s a love story.) This crazy book was 12 years in the making, so I hope you enjoy it. Here’s a quick synopsis, and more purchase links below: Synopsis Keelan Cavanaugh is ...

PostArctica: Dissolving Clouds

Came across this and began to wonder… If I could do it too… So today I dissolved some clouds using only the powers of my mind. It took longer than I thought it would.  

A Puff of Absurdity: On Comparing Existentialism and Stoicism

This summer, I went on one camping trip with a book on Stoicism, then another camping trip with a book on Existentialism, and I was intrigued by the many similarities. Then I came across this video that has some overlap with what I had noticed. As they say in the video, Massimo Pigliucci (MP) on Stoicism ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Wasting Time

I had a brief Facebook conversation with Massimo Pigliucci about my decision to fritter away a morning watching the rain and petting my cat. He said, “It’s up to you to determine whether your morning was wasted or not. But from a Stoic perspective the good use of time comes when one is doing something ...

The Canadian Progressive: Put Muslim characters who don’t need to be ‘saved’ on school reading lists

Children’s stories either written by Muslim writers or featuring Muslim main characters are typically nonexistent or problematic in their representations of Muslim experiences, writes Heba Elsherief, a PhD Candidate, Language and Literacies Education, at the University of Toronto. The post Put Muslim characters who don’t need to be ‘saved’ on school reading lists appeared first ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Heretics and Believers

Peter Marshall’s Heretics and believers:  a history of the English Reformation from Yale University Press (2017) arrived as a belated birthday present on Friday past.  It’s proven to be well worth the wait.   As the official blurb describes it, “Peter Marshall’s sweeping new history—the first major overview for general readers in a generation—argues that sixteenth-century England ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: 2016 in books #nlpoli

1.  Brand Command by Alex Marland.  The book that political marketing and communications academics will be quoting for a while to come. 2.  Observing the outports by Jeff Webb.  An accessible examination of the role the new university, its professors, and students played in the social and economic changes in Newfoundland and Labrador during the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Being Useful: a Necessary Shift in Radicalism

“Oh, what can we do in a case like that? Nothing to do but sit on your hat, or your toothbrush, or your grandmother, or anything else that’s useless.“ Those are the butchered words of a Burl Ives song I sang as a kid until my sister corrected me. The last word is actually helpless, not useless. ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Late Summer Reading #nlpoli

From the University of Toronto Press: “The years after Newfoundland’s confederation with Canada were ones of rapid social and economic change, as provincial resettlement and industrialization initiatives attempted to transform the lives of rural Newfoundlanders. “At Memorial University in St. John’s, a new generation of faculty saw the province’s transformation as a critical moment. Some ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Late Summer Reading #nlpoli

From the University of Toronto Press: “The years after Newfoundland’s confederation with Canada were ones of rapid social and economic change, as provincial resettlement and industrialization initiatives attempted to transform the lives of rural Newfoundlanders. “At Memorial University in St. John’s, a new generation of faculty saw the province’s transformation as a critical moment. Some ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: labradore’s Labrador #nlpoli

For your summer reading enjoyment, here are five books on Labrador, courtesy of the always helpful Wallace McLean at labradore: Elizabeth Goudie, Woman of Labrador Originally published in 1973, Woman of Labrador is Elizabeth Goudie’s enduring and candid story of her pioneering life as a trapper’s wife in the early 1900s. She was left alone ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: More Newfoundland books you should read #nlpoli

Yesterday you got Jerry Bannister’s five books on Newfoundland. Today you get an eclectic list from your humble e-scribbler: 1.  Jeff Webb,  The Voice of Newfoundland: A Social History of the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland, 1939–1949.  This is a book about how radio helped shape Newfoundland at a crucial time in its social, economic, and ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The ":new" Newfoundland #nlpoli

Every once in a while,  SRBP has featured a list of suggested books either for summer enjoyment or as in April 2006,  for anyone interested in reading about Newfoundland and Labrador. A recent email reminded your humble e-scribbler that it was time to update the recommended list of books on Newfoundland and Labrador.  There are ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Cast Off Discouragement!

I just watched Gordon Laxer give a talk on his newest book, After the Sands. I haven’t read the book yet, but here are my notes from his speech. This is more or less paraphrased with reasonable accuracy (and links!). I had never heard of Laxer before, but he was the first chair of the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Cast Off Discouragement!

I just watched Gordon Laxer give a talk on his newest book, After the Sands. I haven’t read the book yet, but here are my notes from his speech. This is more or less paraphrased with reasonable accuracy (and links!). I had never heard of Laxer before, but he was the first chair of the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On That Time I Fell and Hurt My Head

I fell on ice a few days ago. My feet were swept clear out from under me, and apparently I injured my brain. At the hospital, they said it’s either a migraine or a concussion, and since I don’t have a history of migraines, and since I wiped out earlier that day, it’s probably a ...

cartoon life: Books for Tingest are built

Well…. Books for Tingfest are built and sent off and ordered. They will each be a limited edition of twenty. One of those has to go to Library and Archives Canada. I wouldn’t mind keeping one for myself, if that’s alright with you. As to any of the other books I’ve printed and distributed, well… I ...

Andy Lehrer: Michael Laxer turns the page

I’ve known Michael for about 25 years. He’s a good friend, activist and writer. Recently he and his partner Natalie shut down their used bookstore in Etobicoke, which had existed in various forms on Lake Shore for 14 years, and will be moving his bookselling business online in a recognition of changing consumer habits. While ...

Andy Lehrer: Michael Laxer turns the page

I’ve known Michael for about 25 years. He’s a good friend, activist and writer. Recently he and his partner Natalie shut down their used bookstore in Etobicoke, which had existed in various forms on Lake Shore for 14 years, and will be moving his bookselling business online in a recognition of changing consumer habits. While ...

Andy Lehrer: Michael Laxer turns the page

Michael Laxer I’ve known Michael for about 25 years. He’s a good friend, activist and writer. Recently he and his partner Natalie shut down their used bookstore in Etobicoke, which had existed in various forms on Lake Shore for 14 years, and will be moving his bookselling business online in a recognition of changing consumer ...

centre of the universe: Money for Nothing

Copyright is, at its simplest form, the method by which creators are paid for their work. It is a registration of an intellectual property (IP). It says “the creator has the right to charge, or not to charge, money for you to use this”. It’s not a form of censorship (and no court would rightfully ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Rape on Campus

Since I saw Into the Wild and started reading Krakauer, I haven’t stopped. But this last one took a while to open. It’s about rape on college campuses, specifically in one football-lovin’ town: Missoula. The book is readable only because the rape scenes are reported factually and “reporter-ly” without any emotional language attached to the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Finnish Schools: What Do They Have That We Don’t Have?

Everyone’s a buzz about schools in Finland being awesome, so I read a book and some articles and their curriculum documents to figure out what’s so special. In a nutshell, copying their school system will do little unless we can find a way to copy their entire culture, but let’s look at their structure nonetheless ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: A same sex marriage, 200 years ago

Is same sex marriage a recent phenomenon? Actually, it isn’t. Let me explain. On Tuesday, the odd legal team of David Boies and Ted Olsen (who opposed each other in the infamous Bush vs Gore debacle) will try to build on their previous victories in striking down Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: A same sex marriage, 200 years ago

Is same sex marriage a recent phenomenon? Actually, it isn’t. Let me explain. On Tuesday, the odd legal team of David Boies and Ted Olsen (who opposed each other in the infamous Bush vs Gore debacle) will try to build on their previous victories in striking down Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. ...