DoodleChaos – Dance of the Line Riders (Video)

I created a Twitter account a few weeks ago.  I’ve been following and unfollowing people since then. There is a fine line between ‘this is interesting’ and ‘this is depressing’. Here are some of the more amusing and thought provoking things I’ve found.

What your Dog is Thinking

something. you may not realize you’re allowed to do. is take a snoozle. and then when you wake up. immediately start another one
– Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings Jul 4 –

sometimes. i will yawn really big. and soon after. the human will also yawn. i have yet to decide. what to do with my powers
– Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings –

I don’t own or use a virtual assistant – do you?

You would think that by now Alexa might be experienced enough in the ways of carbon-based lifeforms to be able to distinguish between a sneeze and the calling out of her name. “Bless you, Stephen” would be a better response than “Hm. I don’t know that one.”
– Stephen Fry, @stephenfry Jul 11 –

Would Car Guys agree?

As a teen, I dreamed of getting a Porsche 928. The 1982 model could go 0-60 in 8.0 seconds — so fast! But now my 2005 Hyundai Tucson can go 0-60 in 8.9 seconds. And it can carry kids, Christmas trees, and/or miter saws. #progress
– Geoffrey Miller @primalpoly Jul 10 –

DoodleChaos – An Animated Doodle to Music – Brilliant – I’ve watched it more than once!

Actor James Woods responds to Bette Midler’s Climate Change angst

Calling all #climatedeniers. IT WAS 117 YESTERDAY IN LOS ANGELES!!! IT’S GOING TO BE 103 TODAY. ITS 8AM. GIVE US A BREAK!!!
– Bette Midler @BetteMidler Jul 7 –
You live in the desert. It is July.
– James Woods @RealJamesWoods Jul 9 –

Fear pays – that is why it is so rampant

I hope people don’t figure out that you can monetize fear. If spreading fear becomes profitable then greedy people might start distorting reality in a way that causes people to panic.
Rev. Duncan Trussell M.D. @duncantrussell Jul 7 –

Satire about HuaWei – the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world after Samsung

CEO of HuaWei refuses to stop using expression ‘It’s my way or the HuaWei’
– The Beaverton @TheBeaverton Jul 7 –

Office Lingo

Have been compiling a major report all day and I’m not sure if it’s just that I’m a bit tired but I can’t help but think that “PDF’ing a file” sounds like something you just shouldn’t say in an office environment. #officelingo #notreallyswearing
– Blair King @BlairKing_ca Jul 6 –

Aquaculture makes a significant contribution to Canada’s economy, but is another industry under attack from environmentalists.

Trying to farm fish in Canada is like trying to operate a chicken farm under the rules of the Migratory Birds Act. – @brianleecrowley
– Stewart Muir @sjmuir Jun 22 –

Now and then you have to prune back Twitter, Facebook and Feed readers

Unfollow three toxic people in your Twitter feed (or unlike on FB and unsubscribe on YT) and see how quickly your day gets brighter. You don’t have to invite the madness to live rent free in your head.
– Dave Rubin @RubinReport Jul 3 –

Peterson Derangement Syndrome

Someday “Peterson Derangement Syndrome” will be cited in the DSM as a peculiarly virulent social contagion which did not affect ordinary people, but which left-leaning intellectuals, lacking immunity, succumbed to in droves.
– Barbara Kay of the National Post –

Dr. Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto, speaks in Calgary tonight at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Peterson, the author of the book 12 Rules for Life,  made headlines in 2016 when he opposed Bill C-16 (which affords transgender people the freedom from discrimination under the Criminal Code). His opposition was not to the rights of transgender people. He saw the language part of the Bill as an extension of a campus culture that he believes is controlled by “social justice warrior, left-wing radical political activists.”  He saw the potential  of being charged with a hate crime or running afoul of the Ontario Human Rights code if people failed to use a transgender person’s self identified pronoun.

Cathy Newman : “You got into trouble for refusing to call trans-men and -women by their preferred personal pronouns.”
Jordan Peterson: “No, that’s not actually true. I got into trouble because I said I would not follow the compelled speech dictates of the federal and provincial government. I actually never got into trouble for not calling anyone anything.”
– Cathy Newman’s interview of Jordan Peterson –

There is opposition to Dr. Peterson’s Calgary lecture. An open letter addressed to the Calgary venues board of directors calls for the “immediate cancellation of the Jordan Peterson talk”. It also asks them to “implement better diversity training for all staff” and apologize to the LGBTQ community. The letter says Peterson’s comments are “toxic and often violent” and says his “ideas are misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist.”

A recent headline in the Calgary Herald serves to fulfill Dr. Peterson’s fear of the small steps a nation takes on the road to limiting freedom of speech. The headline reads “Should Jordan Peterson be Allowed to Speak in Calgary?” Allowed? As in permitted to? Dr. Peterson has been on a speaking tour all over the world. Is there a law, yet, in Calgary, or Alberta, or Canada that does not ‘allow’ him to speak here?

There is a poll attached to the article. As of this morning, almost 7000 readers have responded to the poll. 95% say he should be ‘allowed to speak’. One comment read:

Another comment read: “These people accusing Jordan Peterson of hate speech express far more anger and hatred in their speech and actions. Lets face it, I wouldn’t want to debate this guy, calling him names is way easier.”

Cathy Newman recently interviewed Dr. Peterson on Britain’s Channel Four. She asked: “Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended.”

Peterson responded: “Because in order to think, you have to risk being offensive. Look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable.”

“Well, I’m very glad I put you on the spot,” Newman replied.

“But you get my point,” he said. “You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell’s going on, and that is what you should do. You’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me. And that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.”

If we restrict freedom of speech by forbidding giving offence, we will be moving in the direction of being forbidden from speaking.
– Joseph Azize, 9 February 2018 –

For the record – I am in general agreement with most of the message Jordan Peterson is delivering. I admire his desire to help young people who feel adrift in a culture that has not prepared them for life in a world that is so different from the one they were schooled in. If you are opposed to him or his message, why?

Palm Trees and Sunrises

Sunrise with contrails – a Radiance filter
Sunrise with a filter called Cave Dweller
Sunrise with a Cartoon filter
Sunrise with HDR, Contrast and Dehaze filters
Palm fronds – an impasto filter

All filters are available in a program called Topaz Studio.

This post was for the old WordPress.com photo Challenge Lines.

Springtime Blooms – Arizona and Alberta

My Place in the World is in the Garden, with my camera, then at my computer – turning photographs into digital art.

Olneya tesota – Ironwood tree – Impasto filter
Carnegiea gigantea – Saguaro Cactus – Cartoon filter
Opuntia – Prickly Pear Cactus – Pointilism filter
Trichocereus candicans – Argentine Giant – ‘Fine Wine’ filter
Puschkinia libanotica – Striped Squill – Color Grunge filter
Scilla siberica – Siberian Squill – Radiance filter
Forsythia Northern Gold – Texture Impression filter

All photo filters were applied in the program Topaz Studio.

This post was for the old WordPress Photo Challenge Place in the World.

Red Roses in a White Vase

This simple bouquet of two roses and some baby’s breath will last forever (or until it gets so dusty the roses don’t look red any longer) because I dried the roses by hanging them upside down in a cool spot for several months.

After I took the photo, I tried a few filters in the Topaz Studio program which is a free download.

Roses are angiosperms,
Violets are, too.
Sugar is C12H22O11
We know this from peer review.
– Author Unknown –

Impasto filter

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Some poems rhyme,
Some don’t.
– Author Unknown –

Pointillism filter

Roses are red and violets are purple
Sugar is sweet and so is maple surple.
– Roger Miller –

Textured impressionist filter

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Please flush the toilet
after you’re through.
– Author Unknown –

‘Fine Wine’ filter

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Please don’t kiss me,
‘cuz I have the flu.
– Author Unknown –

Original photo

Unexpected Entertainment in Nelson, British Columbia

We arrived in Nelson on motorcycles, hot and dusty after a long day of riding. We could almost see our hotel, but couldn’t get to it because it was on a parade route. A police officer asked us to pull over and park. That is how we came to be spectators at  the Annual Gay Pride Parade.

That evening, after we had wined and dined at a local eatery, we realized that this was a perfect opportunity for people watching. There was a wedding reception in the hall near our hotel (downtown on Baker Street). Guests in fancy dress came and went from the venue, frequently upstaged by the eclectic garb of cross-dressers, marchers from the parade and bikers. The booze evidently flowed. It was an extremely entertaining evening.

Nelson has many heritage buildings, but the finest, and most photographed, is the Court House. It was designed by a British architect, Francis Mawson Rattenbury. It was completed in 1909 at a cost of $109,145.88. Francis was also the architect of the province’s Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. Though he was a popular designer of the day, his personal life was in disarray. It abruptly ended when he was murdered by his second wife’s 18 year old lover, who was also their chauffeur. The lover was convicted and sentenced to hang. Four days later, the  wife committed suicide. The British public then decided that justice had been served and the Home Secretary agreed. The young lover’s death sentence was changed to a life sentence – and he was out in seven years.

This is a photo of the Court House – as it appears to most people.

I used Topaz Studio filters to alter the photos that follow:

Cartoon Filter
Black and White filter
Light HDR filter
Textured Impressionist Filter

Which photo best captures the architect’s life, now that you know the rest of his story?

Dark Side of Group Loyalty – Bias and Fallacies

If you are promoting the value of loyalty, it may be that you need to promote other values at the same time, like fairness and integrity. As effective as loyalty can be in promoting other positive behaviors, Loyalty in isolation can be a dark thing.
– Angus Hildreth’s comments, Group Loyalty

The Information Age has given us access to incredible amounts of data and opinion, but also vast numbers of Biased Reports and False Narratives… and an Uncivil Outrage that is triggered when people are unwilling to look beyond the easy facade of their Loyalty and Bias.

How culpable are politicians and the media in stirring the flames of anger? What is the role of Social Media?  How do YOU know when mountains of bias are covering a more accurate truth? Here are just a few ideas that could help you to be more informed and less manipulated.

Be Cautious of Statistics

The Four M’s of Statistics –  they can be Manipulated, Mismanaged, Misrepresented and Massaged by officials and other groups to promote their agendas. Does the argument still hold true if you eliminate the statistic that is propping it up?

Ignore The Ad Hominem or Personal attack

This is when a writer attacks the opposition’s intelligence, morals, education, professional qualifications, personal character or reputation with derogatory  Name-Calling. This type of writer may also use  The “F-Bomb” to defend or strengthen the argument with crude or profane language.

Check for ‘The Repetitive Lie’

Look  for the lie, fallacy, slogan, or deceptive half-truth that is repeated over and over until people accept it without real proof or evidence. Brief phrases or slogans such as “The 1%”  “Big Oil” or  “Big Pharma”  trigger a feeding-frenzy that is not necessarily supported by the balance of evidence.

Be wary of Guilt by Association

A writer may refute someone’s standpoint by associating them with  a group, party, religion or race on the premise that everyone in that group is the same. This is also a tactic used when people are labelled as being racist, sexist, etc in an attempt to shame them.

Don’t be Taken in by Infotainment and Star Power

Infotainment is when entertainers deliberately mix facts, news, falsities and outright lies with entertainment.  This  includes endorsements by a well-known figure who is not an expert.

These are just a few of the more obvious tactics that suggest that the information might be biased and  you are not being told ‘the rest of the story’.

As social justice advocates have come to dominate Western culture, they’ve created a situation where interlocutors are more intent on burnishing their adherence to the correct opinions than they are about discovering something new, learning the truth, or even engaging in open and reciprocal dialogue.
– Uri Harris, Quillette, January 17, 2018 –

This post was prompted by conversations I have had with basically good folks who are deeply committed to their political party (which isn’t in power). They cannot stand the leader of the elected party and say disparaging things about elected representatives of that party.  They cannot think of a single positive thing that the opposing party has done – ever.

I don’t presume to think that I can say anything that would change their minds. I do think, though, that I can lend my voice to a growing movement that supports the need for civility across party lines. I don’t think this ‘shame and blame’ rhetoric from an intolerant tribe is the path to strong, cohesive communities.