Tag Archives: Holidays

Still Looking for a Christmas Present? Try These Projects on Kickstarter Canada

It’s the last weekend before Christmas, so there’s a good chance that a lot of you out there are out in the hustle and bustle trying to find last-minute gifts for friends and family. If the weather forecasts are to be believed, some of you might not be able to make it out into the madness that is last-minute shopping before Christmas. That’s great! Why? Well, that means that you’ll have to be a bit more creative with your gift ideas.

So, why don’t you make someone’s day (in addition to the person who you’re giving the gif to) by making a donation in their name to one of these projects on Kickstarter Canada. Also, you could just donate to them anyways — and not make the donation on behalf of someone else: it could be on behalf of you!

Note: I’ve only included projects that — at the time of writing this post — hadn’t reached their goal.

NASH: The Movie

“You may have heard of Steve Nash, the NBA superstar and multiple MVP winner. You may also know that he’s Canadian. A Vancouver documentary crew secured unparalleled access to Nash, and they’re in the middle of raising money for production and editing costs for the final film. Unlike many film projects, tiers of this project include a physical and digital copy of the final product, which gives potential backers a tangible reward for their donation.” (Source)

Stratus Watch

“The concept is as simple as it is unprecedented; a titanium wristwatch with a face that you can choose. You can choose from dozens of patterns and colours from the manufacturer, or design your own and submit it to them. The watches exude a clean, straightforward charm, and even the lowest funding tier gifts you one of them.” (Source)

Shot Time

“In what could easily be the ruin of many a young soul, this is a shot glass that measures the amount of liquor consumed over a period of time; a potent mix of a stopwatch and a case of acute alcohol poisoning. The consequences of such a device are best left to the imagination, but if it meets its funding goals, the consequences may become very real, very quickly. Hooray for progress?” (Source)

Canadian Black Garlic

“Exactly what it says on the tin; backers are funding the creation and shipping of various black-garlic-based condiments and seasonings. The majority of the project’s funding goal will go to securing a large batch of Canadian-grown garlic, and the rest will go into the blackening and production/packaging process. Is there anything more Canadian than authentic Northern delicacies?” (Source)

SpecShot

“Like the mirror universe version of the Shot Time, the SpecShot is a two-in-one system that scans your drinking water for contaminants and then posts the results online. This process could be equal parts fascinating and harrowing, depending on your results, but the ultimate goal is to spread awareness through hard data, and hopefully inspire some change to our water quality standards.” (Source)

Why Posting Duplicate Content to Social Media is a Good Idea

When I first connected my website to my Twitter account, I worried about reposting the same link. That is, when I tweeted, I didn’t necessarily want to be sharing something that I had already sent out. I figured if people had already seen what I had said, they wouldn’t need to see it again, right? Well, that might just not be the case.

Yesterday, I came across a creative answer to a question on Quora that I’m going to share below. A quick lead-in: the question asks about bizarre (and small) social experiments  that lead people to the opposite conclusion of their hypothesis. There are some great answers on the question, but this one in particular, applies to sharing content on the web:

We all get countless happy birthday message from acquaintances (veritable strangers) on Facebook.

Out of personal and professional curiosity, I decided to perform an experiment with 2 parameters:

1. I edited my “Facebook” birthday to the current day every day
2. I did this every day until not one person wished me happy birthday

A few people — mostly my closest friends — immediately noticed, but for the few first days, the volume of birthday messages hardly diminished day-to-day.

After a couple of weeks, I started getting a few people who were in on the “joke” wishing me happy birthday every day, along with a handful of “stop it, this isn’t funny” messages.

A few weeks later, a few people just went ahead and un-friended me (on Facebook only … I think).  But more interestingly, a couple people who had just recently wished me happy birthday, did so again.  And did so very sincerely!  They had merely forgotten.  More on that in a bit.

A couple months into it, the messages were still coming in (genuinely), but were down to just a couple or a single every day — along with the requisite friend who wished me HB every chance he got.

Finally, after just 103 days, I got no new happy birthday messages.

The span crossed 3 “major” holidays: Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day.  My favorite messages were the “I had no idea your birthday was on Christmas!” types from pretty close friends.

The “wasn’t it just your birthday? Oh well, hope it’s a good one!” types were fun as well.

What to take away from this? I occasionally coach/teach people how to use social tools for marketing/whatever and one important lesson is that not everyone sees every message every day, so you shouldn’t be afraid of posting duplicate content, especially if it’s an important message or one that resonates well with a big audience.

And when people occasionally express concern over that concept, I tell this story 🙂

Of course, this is just one small social experiment, but it is certainly something to keep in mind when you think twice about sharing that blog post on social media more than once.

 

No-Vacation Nation: What Kind of Balance Do You Want?

Way back in February, I wrote a post about a 25-hour workweek that used data from the OECD. This data showed the paid vacation and paid holidays for OECD nations. In particular, this data showed the requirements for paid vacations and paid holidays for some of the OECD countries. There’s been an update to the data, so I’ve included the graphic below:

You may notice a couple of things. First, it looks very similar to the first one that I embedded back in February. The second thing you may notice… the United States continues its perseverance in not mandating paid vacation. Every time I see data like this, I’m astonished that one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world doesn’t see fit to require that its people are required to have vacation. Of course, the lack of vacation probably contributed to the US becoming one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world, but what good is all that wealth if you can’t enjoy it? What good is money if you’re took sick to spend it?

The declining state of health probably had something to do with the separation of one’s mental health from one’s body’s health, but the lack of vacation has probably accelerated it. Of course, just because vacation isn’t mandated by the government doesn’t mean that companies don’t offer it. In order to stay competitive, companies have to offer their employees vacation or they’ll work elsewhere. That being said, there’s a pervasive culture of overworking yourself in the US. Not only on a national-level (lack of holidays), but also at the employee-level.

Take a peak inside a big firm and you’ll often hear about employees who participate in the game of one-upmanship in trying to see who’s worked more in a given week. “I worked 60 hours last week trying to get this report finished for a client.” “Yeah, well I worked 65 hours last week finishing a report…”

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At first, one may say that this is putting people and the culture way out of balance. Well, one would be wrong. Balance has a way of maintaining an equilibrium. That is, balance will always be balance. Confused? Think about it like this: stand up from your chair. Are you standing? Good. Right now, you’re balanced. You have some of your weight on your left foot and some of your weight on your right foot. Balanced. Now, shift your weight to right. You’ll notice that you didn’t fall over, right? You simply have more weight on your right side than on your left side. Balanced. Now, lift your left foot off the ground. All of your weight is currently on your right foot. You’re still balanced, right? Now, begin to bend at the waist to outstretch your right arm forwards… while stretching your left leg backwards. At some point, you may fall over in attempting to do this. That’s okay because I’m sure you get the picture by now.

At each stage of this exercise, you’re body was balanced. You were balanced when you were standing straight, you were balanced when your weight was on your right foot, you were balanced when you lifted your left foot, and you would have been balanced had you been able to outstretch your right arm and left foot. It’s simply a question of what kind of balance do you want. Do you prefer the balance where you’re standing comfortable with both feet on the ground? How about the balance where you’re lifting one foot off of the ground?

While the lack of mandated vacation in the US may seem like there’s no balance, there has to be. It just might be manifesting itself in different ways. You have a choice — what kind of balance do you want?

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Note: if you’re looking for a creative way to add more vacation days to the US, how about making every religious holiday a national holiday?

When’s the Perfect Time to have Kids?

… after I graduate. No, after I get my first job. No, after I pay off all of my student loans. No, after I get that promotion. No, after I pay off the car. No, after  I pay off the house. Et cetera. Et cetera.

Does this sound familiar? I’ve heard this story before (both in real life and in fiction). There’s always some crisis where one of the protagonists has to decide to have kids or not have kids. More often not, the protagonist does want to have kids, but they’re looking for some sense of security before having kids. Eventually, the protagonist has an epiphany and realizes, there is no perfect time to have kids. Since today is Valentine’s Day, I wanted to reiterate that point for any of you out there who may be thinking about having kids.

There is no perfect time to have kids.

Being a parent is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced nor will it be like anything you’ve yet to experience. The “security” of getting one more thing under your belt (be it graduating, getting a job, paying off student loans, paying off the car, paying off the house) or anything else you could possibly think to want to have happened before you have kids won’t ever make you “ready” to have kids. That was a long sentence, let me shorten it: no matter how many things you do to make yourself ‘ready’ to have kids, nothing’s going to be good enough. Why? Because your readiness to have kids doesn’t stem from something external (which is what all of these things are). Your readiness to have kids stems from something inside. Something inside “clicks” and you come to the realization above: there is no perfect time to have kids.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!