1. 09:13 23rd Sep 2014

    Notes: 3

    image: Download

    Can you tell what’s wrong with the official gubernatorial portrait of Arnold Schwarzenegger, which was officially unveiled in Sacramento earlier this month? Look at his lapel.
Originally, Arnold asked the artist to depict himself wearing a large pin with the face of first lady Maria Shriver on it. But as we all know, the Schwarzenegger marriage went sour shortly after the Governator left office, and the couple is currently in the midst of a multi-million dollar divorce. But apparently the portrait was finished before all that started to go down, so as the New York Post reported, Arnold had to get someone to do a crude touch-up after the fact. According to statehouse staff, a “sloppy mess” is what resulted.
It’s another wonderful case study in the dangers of cramming your official portrait with lots of myopic nonsense. It’s got to be up there with Mitt Romney asking for his official portrait to feature a copy of the Romneycare act. 

    Can you tell what’s wrong with the official gubernatorial portrait of Arnold Schwarzenegger, which was officially unveiled in Sacramento earlier this month? Look at his lapel.

    Originally, Arnold asked the artist to depict himself wearing a large pin with the face of first lady Maria Shriver on it. But as we all know, the Schwarzenegger marriage went sour shortly after the Governator left office, and the couple is currently in the midst of a multi-million dollar divorce. But apparently the portrait was finished before all that started to go down, so as the New York Post reported, Arnold had to get someone to do a crude touch-up after the fact. According to statehouse staff, a “sloppy mess” is what resulted.

    It’s another wonderful case study in the dangers of cramming your official portrait with lots of myopic nonsense. It’s got to be up there with Mitt Romney asking for his official portrait to feature a copy of the Romneycare act. 

     
  2. 10:01 29th Jul 2014

    Notes: 328

    Reblogged from futurejournalismproject

    image: Download

    futurejournalismproject:

Middle East Friendship Chart
Via Slate. Read through to select cells for relationship information. Select to embiggen. 

    futurejournalismproject:

    Middle East Friendship Chart

    Via Slate. Read through to select cells for relationship information. Select to embiggen. 

     
  3. 09:27 24th Jul 2014

    Notes: 9

    Reblogged from alastaircraig

    image: Download

    alastaircraig:

There are two explanations for this: one, a serendipitous consequence of a good Simpsons gag; the other, an elaborate meta-gag in honour of it.

While less likely, I choose to believe the latter: that no Bort name pins ever existed.

    alastaircraig:

    There are two explanations for this: one, a serendipitous consequence of a good Simpsons gag; the other, an elaborate meta-gag in honour of it.

    While less likely, I choose to believe the latter: that no Bort name pins ever existed.

     
  4. 20:01 26th Jun 2014

    Notes: 16

    Reblogged from thevancouversun

    thevancouversun:

    A la Jimmy Fallon, professors at Burnaby’s Simon Fraser University read mean reviews about themselves.

    More photos and video: http://ow.ly/yuMyJ

    My old school and my old student paper. They’re doing great things these days.

     
  5. 02:02 9th Jun 2014

    Notes: 172

    Reblogged from stevenkraandrawingdaily

    image: Download

    stevenkraandrawingdaily:

// late night comic //

I feel this is a universal experience on so many things. Even right now, I am about to go to bed and am already realizing what a grammatical nightmare that previous sentence will be appear in the morning. That one, too. 

    stevenkraandrawingdaily:

    // late night comic //

    I feel this is a universal experience on so many things. Even right now, I am about to go to bed and am already realizing what a grammatical nightmare that previous sentence will be appear in the morning. That one, too. 

     
  6. Bearish on the Canadian Economy V

    The pundits are still talking about this famous story that ran on the New York Times' new “Upshot” blog a few weeks ago, declaring Canada's middle class to be the “world's richest” — a title that was previously held by the middle class of America.

    I’m always skeptical of Canadian economic triumphalism, and in a recent column for the Huffington Post, I quoted from two impartial US analysts who voiced some skepticism of the “Canada’s #1” conclusion: Reihan Salam in the National Review and Derek Thompson in the Atlantic.

    The reason for the eclipse is that Canadian income growth has outpaced America’s over the last few years. Here are some reasons to be sceptical about what this means for Canada.

    1. Canada’s housing bubble — Canadian housing prices are, by some measures, the most inflated in the entire world, which can be seen as a bad thing from a number of angles. Many economists have blamed Canada’s housing inflation for fostering a sort of “irrational exuberance” spending culture among middle class Canadians who cockily think they’re richer than they are because their house is worth so much, and don’t care about getting into enormous debt as a result. This stimulates consumerism in the short term, but at some point those debts need to be paid down and consumers will retreat.

    The other problem is that housing-related industries in Canada, particularly construction, are providing a lot of high-paying jobs that may not be sustainable in the long term, once demand for new homes and condos eventually declines.

    2. Oil — The second Alberta oil boom, based around the development of the northern Alberta oil sands, has created a lot of well-paying jobs and given Canada a lot of potential as an petroleum-exporting economic superpower, particularly in an era of sky-high oil prices. However, being a successful exporter requires a market to export to, and given all the politics surrounding the Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines, it does not go without saying that Canada has a stable, long-term consumer base for its most valuable natural resource — particularly as other nations experience oil booms of their own.

    3. Competitiveness and productivity— There was an interesting piece in the National Post the other day noting an uncomfortable and controversial fact — a lot of Canadian workers are overpaid. In a proper market economy, workers should be paid what their labor is worth, and the awkward fact is that a lot of Canadian labor is apparently not worth that much in the eyes of management. A lot of Canadian business are not as successful as they want to be, yet they’re paying their employees as if they were.

    This is a fact we sometimes lose sight of when we talk about the US economy. America is still the richest country in the world because it produces a lot of stuff the world (and Americans) want and need. The problem with the American economy is that the profits produced by the companies producing all the good stuff are not necessarily being shared in the fairest way possible. In Canada, by contrast, profits may be shared a bit more equally, but the profits to share are smaller, and it may be hard to continue to share them as generously if productivity is not growing in sync with job and wage expectations. This is the old “bigger pie / equal slices” argument.

    Below we see a Google chart of GDP growth.

     
  7. Bush’s portraits

    Hendrik Hertzberg at the New Yorker once described George W. Bush’s portraits as bad paintings, but good art. That sounds about right. As someone interested in political portraiture, I’ve enjoyed the coverage of his recently-unveiled gallery of world leaders at his presidential library in Texas.

    Unlike a lot of “professional” political portraits, which, as I’ve discussed previously, tend to be filled with tacky gimmicks and vain nonsense, Bush’s portraits, which only depict his subjects’ faces, seem intimate, human, and personal. You get a sense that Bush painted these trying to depict some essence of the leaders’ character, as well as their physical appearance, and I think that’s what makes them fairly compelling despite their roughness.

    What makes them less impressive, however, is the fact that they are all very obviously drawn from internet pictures, often pictures from Wikipedia or ones that appear within the first two or three matches when you Google Image search their name.

    Observe:

     
  8. 14:11 31st Mar 2014

    Notes: 1

    My very talented pal Angela has included me in her comic, Wasted Talent. This charming little exchange actually happened, ostentatious mannerisms and all.

    In the strip, the book I’m getting from her is Cubical Warrior, a fun collection of her beautiful comic strips about living and working in Vancouver. It’s her third book. I never cease to be inspired by how much content Angela’s able to produce, given that she spends most of her life just being a normal person with a normal 9-to-5 job. It certainly gives a zero-book dilettante like me a lot to feel insecure about.

     
  9. 01:17 17th Mar 2014

    Notes: 2886

    Reblogged from whatsdifferentincanada

     
  10. Bearish on the Canadian Economy IV

    Some interesting charts posted in Canadian Business magazine. The most interesting two are near the bottom, one of which compares Canadian and US economic growth, as determined by GDP per capita, the other Canadian and US “productivity,” which is to say GDP per hours worked — or to put it even more bluntly, how economically useful our work is. Though Canada has kept almost exact pace with the US on GDP per capita, we still lag on productivity.

    The author concludes:

    By looking at individual rather than family income, we see that wage gains from this period were largely thanks to rising commodity prices and increasing number of women entering the labour force. These are not trends we can expect to continue indefinitely.  Furthermore, these trends served to mask slow Canadian productivity growth.

    Being bearish on the Canadian economy means being prepared for the possibility for some kind of moment of reckoning in the near future, when the unsustainable nature of some of our current economic Good Times finally catches up with itself.