Things Are Good: Safer Cities Stem from Active Communities

In the 1990s former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani popularized the broken window theory which is a zero tolerance approach to getting rid of crime. At first it proved successful and the approach spread, only later was it revealed that other factors were at work. Today, the solution to fighting crime and bringing life back ...

Things Are Good: Why the Parkland Shooting can Change the Gun Conversation in the USA

Out of the tragedy of the Parkland school shooting might come some good. You might be sceptical as Americans are used to schools being attacked by gunmen and we’ve heard before that the most recent shooting will change things. Indeed, school shootings are still so common that the Onion runs the same headline every time. ...

Things Are Good: Signal Foundation Launches to Fund Cryptography for All

The privacy rich messaging app Signal continues to make the world of communication safe from prying eyes. With an announcement yesterday of the launch of the Signal Foundation the group will have a long lasting impact on the world of privacy. Private communication is healthy for a democratic society and the ability to have conversation ...

Things Are Good: Canada Banning the Capture of Dolphins & Whales

Increased coverage in media about the inhumane treatments of marine animals by entertainment facilities are impacting Canadian laws. Thanks to the efforts of documentarians, like in Blackfish, and concerned citizens Canada is making it illegal to capture dolphins and whales. Criminal code penalties are being considered by the senate to really drive home that Canada ...

Things Are Good: The Berlin Wall: Now Down Longer Than it was Up

The Berlin Wall marked a negative time in recent history in which two sides couldn’t communicate well and severed a country, and families, in two. During the Cold War people risked their lives tring to escape to West Germany from the oppressive East. The tearing down of the wall was a true turning point in ...

centre of the universe: Keep ’em separated

Recently the Government of Canada included on its summer student funding program a check box that asks whether the business (non-profit/agency/charity/etc.) applying for federal tax funding complies with Canadian law. Normally, that’s not a problem. Normally, if you apply for federal funding, you’re all, hells yes we comply with federal laws. It’s exceedingly rare for ...

Things Are Good: Flash North Korea for Freedom

Flash Drives For Freedom from Doug Burnett on Vimeo. The reclusive state of North Korea doesn’t like it when information leaks in or out. The government is propped up by ignorance, fear, and a lack of a viable alternative. They control their population by limiting access to knowledge; North Korea bans free and open internet ...

Things Are Good: WikiTribune to World: “Hello”

In 2001 when Jimmy Wales launched Wikipedia he never thought that the website would become what it is today. This year he has launched (with many others) WikiTribune and hopes that it becomes as influential as Wikipedia is online. WikiTribune exists because of the disappointing state of news media right now (it’s worth noting the ...

Things Are Good: Why Net Neutrality is Important

The current federal administration in the USA is really challenging norms in American society, the most recent attack is on net neutrality. Earlier this year the Trump administration tried to prop-up the profits of a handful corporations at the cost of internet freedom and failed because of actions taken by the average citizen. What the ...

centre of the universe: Conscientious Objection shouldn’t mean dereliction of duty

Canada passed a law in June 2016 to make legal and to offer protection to the providers of medically assisted dying. Let’s just pretend for a moment that “Medically Assisted Dying” isn’t one of the lamest, most watered-down name for the practice of euthanasia. Predictably, there were a number of objectors to this bill, many ...

centre of the universe: Alouette

Way back in the nineteen somethings, Canada was going through the sort of identity crisis we all go through when we’re about fifteen. Québec was all stomping around the place, slamming doors and cupboards and shouting “JE PARS” everytime someone looked at it. “Hey, Québec,” we’d say, “I like your cheese. You have lovely cheese.”…

centre of the universe: centre of the universe 2017-09-14 19:19:06

The following article is mean. It’s also plaigiarised. Responding to Catholicism With Logic and Charity In this article I will address the growing issue of Catholicism, give three examples of this crisis, and then conclude by suggesting three approaches to take when addressing proponents of this view. Let me begin by summing it up in…

Things Are Good: American Startup Creates Job Board for People with Criminal Records

Americans like to think of themselves living in the land of the free, ironically the country has the highest incarceration rate on the planet (and the greatest number of people behind bars). The laws in the USA are quite strict with zero tolerance and minimum jail time for offenders, this leads to a lot of ...

Things Are Good: Even Massive Multinationals Support Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is what allows the internet to be what it is, and without it the internet would be pretty much useless. The Trump administration is presently trying to eliminate net neutrality to protect the profits of a very small group of companies. It’s worth noting that the Obama administration also tried this but didn’t ...

Things Are Good: In Venezuela Bus TV is the Free Press

Venezuela has been witnessing a massive crackdown on journalism and public dissent under the current government (not that the previous government was much better). Mass protest happen daily throughout yet receive no media coverage due to government interference. This clampdown has led to frustration amongst media professionals who have decided to keep broadcasting, but on ...

Things Are Good: Using a Blockchain to Rebuild Trust in Governments

Cryptocurrencies have popularized the use of a digital concept called a blockchain. These blockchains can be used to track transactions and increase accountability of shared networks. If this sounds familiar, a few months ago we looked at how blockchain technology can be used to track physical items. Citizens around the world have been losing trust ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: An Adventure With My Mom and a Surprise Ending

Last week I decided to keep a promise I’d made to my Mom – I would take her out for dinner and spend a night away with her in a really nice hotel. My mother is like Thelma or Louise trapped in a frail, 95 year old body. Despite the extraordinary kindness of her assisted ...

Things Are Good: How Pressure from Pedestrians and Cyclists Make Better Cities

Depending on where you live you may think streets are for people or for cars. The correct answer is that streets are for moving people and not built for the need of inanimate objects. In an interesting series of videos the Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume examines the different urban design decisions between suburban and urban ...

Things Are Good: VLC Demonstrates the Awesomeness of the FOSS Movement

VLC plays anything you can throw at it as it’s an amazing piece of software. The application is focussed on doing one thing really well: playing media. It’s so good because of the philosophy behind it, known as Free and open-source software (FOSS). Meaning that anybody anywhere can contribute to the source code and make ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Desmond Cole, the Toronto Star and Another Existential Crisis for Professional Journalism

DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. I see this as a two-fold issue; firstly, actions and secondly, words. I’ll consider both briefly and then elaborate on my concerns. Actions There is no point in rehashing here the now well-known details of what lead to Desmond Cole’s departure from the Toronto ...

Things Are Good: Be Safe Online

The American government recently repealed laws set to protect your privacy online, clearly the government doesn’t care about private communication. This impacts people around the world because a lot of internet traffic travels through the states via various online services. Safe and secure conversations are needed to keep a democracy running and we all deserve ...

centre of the universe: Fuck Libraries

The Saskatchewan government, in its 2017/18 budget, has slashed library budgets around the province. Its done all kinds of other things too like force civil servants to take a 3.5% cut in pay, shut down the only highway bus transportation service in the province, increase the provincial sales tax, and basically pissed off pretty much…

Things Are Good: Get Rewarded for Supporting Civil Disobedience

If your idea to change the world is creative enough then you could get $250,000 from LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Technically, it’ll be from MIT Media Lab with money from Hoffman. The Lab and Hoffman teamed up to ensure that creative civil resistance in the USA doesn’t die under the Trump presidency. With the increased ...

Things Are Good: This River is a Person in New Zealand Law

The Whanganui River its the first river to have the same legal stats as a person. The New Zealand federal government recently passed a bill granting the river legal personhood. This means that the river is afforded all the rights as a person under New Zealand law. The river’s rights to clean air, legal representation, ...

Things Are Good: Use Technology to Mobilize Your Community

The current federal leadership in the USA has many people concerned about their rights and freedoms. If you’re one of those people you can use these technological tools to help you stand up and fight back. Newsweek, rather surprisingly, compiled a list of tech tools that can be used to mobilize communities or be used ...