Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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Posts from — June 2005

Same-sex marriage bill passes!

Here’s something that makes me proud to be Canadian today. The Canadian parliament has finally passed long-promised legislation which legalizes same-sex marriage in Canada. This is a great day in Canadian history.

While the report from the Globe and Mail doesn’t show that other Paul Martin acting like much of a visionary — “A right is a right and that is what this vote tonight is all about” — I especially liked what rookie Member of Parliament Michael Savage had to say: “(We are) a nation of equality. A nation of strength. A nation of compassion. A nation that believes we’re stronger together than we are apart. And a nation where we celebrate equality. [. . .] We will send a statement to the world that in Canada gays and lesbians will not be considered second-class citizens.”

It’s about time, or so says this particular Paul Martin….

What’s going to be interesting is how the reaction to this plays out here in the US.

(I should also point out that the bill now has to be passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor General, but it’s looking very likely that this will go ahead by sometime later in July)

June 28, 2005   No Comments

Commencement speech by Steve JobsText of Commencement address by Steve Jobs

I haven’t posted much on the blog of late, but here’s something worth reading if you have a moment. It’s the commencement speech given by Steve Jobs at Stanford last weekend.

June 15, 2005   Comments Off on Commencement speech by Steve JobsText of Commencement address by Steve Jobs

Podcasting and Canadian content

Probably the best news of the day for me came via Todd Maffin’s i love blog. The CBC announced today that they have launched a Radio 3 podcast focusing solely on Canadian independent music.

As Todd points out:

The CBC Radio 3 podcast is special for three big reasons:

  • To our knowledge, this is the first all music-based podcast from a public broadcaster — and certainly the first all-Canadian offering.
  • It’s chock full of 100% ‘podsafe’ music
  • This podcast comes from a special unit at the CBC called Radio 3. Our mission: to showcase new and emerging Canadian music and culture. We’ve got a website at, that houses close to 30,000 tracks from more than 6,000 Canadian artists on it (!), and this podcast is full of the best of New Music Canada’s best.

As he also mentions, Canada is receiving attention around the world as one of the current hotspots of great new independent music, so I can imagine this podcast will be of interest to many people outside of Canada as well. CBC Radio 3 remains one of Canada’s best kept secrets and I hope this will help to get it some more attention. They’ve been doing amazing work for a long time now.

Aside from my affection for CBC and Radio 3, I was also excited about this podcast for another important reason: listening to it will become a weekly assignment for my fall seminar on Canadian culture. Todd blogged about this course earlier in the week, and I’m just finally getting around to announcing it here.

One of the exciting things about this course is that I’ve been awarded a grant that will allow me to outfit all 21 students with iPods (well, I have enough cash for iPods for 15 students but am trying to drum up a few more bucks). The iPods will be loaded with Canadian music, course materials, and will be outfitted with Griffin’s iTalk microphones which will allow the students to create their own podcasts about Canada. Their main podcasting assignment will be to document their class fieldtrip to Ottawa partway through the semester.

I’ll be blogging more in the coming weeks about podcasting and the development of my course.

June 4, 2005   No Comments