Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 207 – “Old is Just a State of Mind” – The Virtual Yooper (2012)

Ottawa - Canada's Captial - Parliament Hill

Ottawa – Canada’s Captial – Parliament Hill

On the occasion and eve of the final Podcasters Across Borders conference, I,  Mike, Shane, Adam, and Rick do a content walk from Ottawa’s Elgin Hotel to Parliament Hill and back again.  We try to get into trouble but it doesn’t work.   We do talk about things that could get people into trouble, though.   I talk to some tourists.  Shane waxes philosophical about personal  happiness and the end of humanity.    We consider the War of 1812, its 200th anniversary, and the origin of how Ottawa became the capital of Canada.   We get a more than a little meta about podcasting and Adam Curry.   Finally, we pay verbal tribute to the last PAB conference.  Join us for the walk, the talk, and the beauty of Ottawa, Canada:

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PAB 2012 Signed by Mark Blevis on the Pink Canoe


Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 204 – Disruption, Activism and Technology

Syria Crisis Graphic

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At Podcamp Toronto 2012, Heather Leson led a session called Dispatches of Disruption. The description of the session was advertised like this: “Every day someone uses the power of the Internet to change their world. What does it mean to be a disrupter? an innovator? a volunteer? What lessons can you activate at home? at work? I’ll share some examples of disruption aimed at corruption, elections, violence, potholes, agriculture, burgers, #futurewewant, and emergency response.”

She talks to us about how the world is using new media and new technology for social change, action and activism.

I’ll admit that many of the tools, techniques and ideas were new to me. Before this year’s podcamp, I had no idea what a crisis map was let alone how to use one. I hope that what you get from this audio is new to you too. 

Links:  Heather works at Ushahidi

Nikola Danaylov

Ramble with Russel

What is Crisis Mapping?

Ping-Pong can be a force for change

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Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 203 – The Hunter Gatherer Caveman Diet Rules

Copyright : Some rights reserved by HiMY SYeD / photopia

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Podcamp is more than a way for podcast hobbyists to get together once a year and talk about how we are podfading. Although, we did that too. It was also about social media, networking, how to use social media and other internet community tools to make a difference be it artistically or politically. That’s what podcamp is for me. All the different ways people are using the internet and social media to make a point, or make money. I must admit, the monetizing bit somewhat escapes me. Maybe because I am not making any money doing it.

To set the stage, for this show, it’s Saturday, podcamp toronto at Ryerson University, late February. We’re at the end of a full day of half hour sessions. A group of us are sitting off to the side after the last session, just chatting about the caveman diet, running, meditation and one woman’s father’s book called Dancing in the Mirror, self described inspirations of peace and joy. Oh yes did I mention the caveman diet?

People in the podcast community in attendance:  Bill DeysScarborough Dude, Bob Goyetche, Valerie,  Diets mentioned:  The Paleo, Caveman, Hunter Gatherer.   Podcasts mentioned: Dancing in the Mirror  Surround Sound Sites Mentioned: Holophonics

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Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 188 – Coffee with Tyffanie

Beer Chicken

On a lazy rainy Sunday afternoon in November, Ninja calls Tyffanie Morgan (of Breakfast With Tyffanie). She hails from Kingston, Canada, has been a host of the Kingston’s Gender Bender community radio show, and speaks from time to time on social media.

While Ninja sips her delicious coffee, they discuss the subtleties of cooking beer can chicken on the grill, gardening, yard vermin, gender bending, musicals, queer politics, have the requisite meta-talk about podcasting, social media and Podcasters across Borders. There may or may not spoilers in this show about Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. She didn’t specify which kind of beer she used for her chicken. Broadway Shows mentioned: Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Classic Canadian Plays mentioned: Hosanna. Canadian small towns mentioned: Picton. Iconic Gay Music mentioned: Madonna, ABBA, Disco Podcamps mentioned: Podcasters Across Borders, Podcamp Toronto

Other Links

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Hosanna by Michel Tremblay

Tyffanie's Podcast (when she posts)

Listen to the show at:

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 171 – The Living Museum in 64 Stories


It took Jowi Taylor 11 years to collect the pieces and create “Voyageur”, the Six-String Nation guitar.   It was made from 64 individual artifacts modern and ancient.  Each tell a story from the history of Canada.  A piece from former Prime Minister Trudeau’s canoe paddle, wood from the sacred albino spruce, (also known as the golden spruce),  of the Haida First Nation people, the top of Wayne Gretzky’s hockey stick, part of the cabin of a former S. Carolina slave John Ware, a piece of the handle from a championship oyster-shucking knife, and many more objects adorn and make up this guitar.  Jowi calls it a living museum because he invites people to touch it, photograph it, and of course play it.


Photo By Ninja

This episode of Hot Fossils is an homage to this living piece of history, this unique method of telling 64 wonderful stories.  Jowi Taylor gave the keynote address at this year’s Podcasters Across Borders. I attended the weekend of June 21st.  After the keynote, Jay Moonah was invited up to play the guitar.  My show today opens with Jay and Bob Goyetche playing “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Lennon and McCartney, followed by the question period.   I have edited out portions of the question period in order to focus on the story of the guitar itself.


After the question period, I talk to Jowi and he describes additional pieces that make up the guitar case.  For those of you interested in obscure and not so obscure Canadian lore, you’ll find out about the fun fur that lines the case, pieces of the costume that Karen Kain wore during the ballet Sleeping Beauty and material from the sportcaster Don Cherry’s pants.   You can read all about the six-string nation guitar project at the site


Photo by Ninja

What Can Twitter Teach Me?


Traditional media has discovered Twitter.   So what?   As Jay Moonah tells us in his recent podcast, and here I am paraphrasing him according to my own interpretation, Twitter takes committment.   I don’t care if you are Oprah or Ashton or Ellen.  Are you willing to engage or just exploit the tool for what you think is short term gain?   And then once you’ve stepped on the track and discovered that it’s a long distance run, do you have the time or energy to make it worth the while for yourself and the twitter communities you are now part of?  I didn’t think so.  Because, if you agree with Jay, you have to be an electronic media junkie.  You have to spend the time learning how to speak in 140 character chunks and still have meaningful discourse.  You have to be willing to explore the new community and determine what value it has for you and others.   You have to know what you want to accomplish, like Yoko Ono seems to.   There is a lot of give and take in Twitter conversations.   And a certain  lightness of being. Depending on how many tweeters you follow, and how often you look at your tweets, you could have an overwhelming number of separate conversations and tweets to take in.  This can be a daunting proposition to some.

The first time I received more than 200 tweets between tweet sessions, I panicked.  How was I ever going to keep up?  If I didn’t find a solution fast,  I knew that I would become a twitter casuality in no time.  There is no way I can devote the same time to twitter discourse as I do to other things in my life.   I panicked publicly with a tweet to that effect.  To which kaymatthews responded with:

Katherine Matthewskaymatthews @ninja_hotfrm

Twitter is ephemeral. Just be in the moment (oo….twitterzen….)

Most excellent advice.  If I want to get the most from Twitter then I had better not treat it so seriously and really that is what Twitter became for me.  A fun way to engage in repartee, gay and otherwise.  I get to react to whatever I want at whatever point I enter the discussion.   Or I can ignore every tweet and push information that I think my twitter community might be interested in.  Or hell.  Just push out something that interests only me.

I’ll tell you something else I have noticed.   I have observed from my year and a half of being involved in Twitter that it is impossible to sustain a flame war.   Although it may seem easier to say sarcastic and mean things in 140 characters it is even harder to keep it up.  Perhaps that is because it takes a lot of energy to stay angry.  Angry people usually need a lot of space to build and maintain their justification for being angry.  And furthermore if you persist, I have the power to unfollow and block you.

Because I know I am dropping into something already and always in progress it is vitally important that if my comments lack social import, then at least let me be saying something to improve or brighten both of our days.  Of course this is only one tweeter’s story.  Some tweeters have a daily routine.  They greet us all every morning with a hale and hardy “top of the morning to you”, followed by the ingredients of their muesli.  Then many hours later they let us know they are turning in with a “night twittersphere”.  As a ninja, I prefer to drop in unannounced and leave just as quietly and unobstrusively having left my mark.   Everyone has their own particular style. I often have to remember that some people and organizations are actually using it to communicate their cause or product to what they hope is a wide audience that can in turn influence others.

Given all these factors, what can Twitter teach me?   I think it has taught me that, unlike e-mail, there is an implicit agreement that reading tone, especially a negative one, into a tweet, is a recipe for conversational disaster.  An open mind is a must for tweeting.  If we don’t understand each other that’s ok.  Move on.  It’s a tweet, not a relationship.  And that open mind also means I will expose myself, if I am lucky, to someone else’s experience that is different from mine.  And perhaps a way of looking at something I did not consider before.   I don’t have to be committed to meaningful discourse.  I can just have fun.  You know, for the long haul.

Who Mourns the Press?

The Writing On The Wall

The Writing Is On The Wall

Not me.

Newsflash: This particular revolution has been going on since 1970. Have we only just noticed that the computer changed the way we communicate and associate?  Writers have been blogging all our lives. It’s just a different presentation. Take all the technology away from me and I’ll get my message out. I promise. I’ll scratch it on the wall.

No.  The revolution has been going on forever.  How old do you think Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park is?

In My Next Life I Hope I am a Hacker

From the website

Put simply, net neutrality means non-discriminatory treatment of traffic. That is, outside of limited exceptions such as spam and known viruses, the companies that deliver information over the internet have treated all information the same, delivering each package of information as quickly and efficiently as possible (often referred to as the “best efforts” internet). Under this regime an internet user is free to use any equipment, content, application or service on a non-discriminatory basis without interference from the network provider. Network neutrality means that the network provider’s only job is to move data – not to choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.

Legislation against net neutrality is not as simple as censorship if governments get their way.  Censorship is just an evil by-product.  It’s all about making a buck.  The less net neutrality we have, the more ways to charge me for use of the web.  But since there is more than one way to solve a problem, I shall just wait for the hackers to get around it.  And get around it they will.   In the meantime – please help save our net.

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 157 – Autumn GeekFest

On October 18, Toronto hosted another podcaster’s meetup.  Things got pretty meta with Omar Ha-Redeye (Law is Cool), Connie Crosby (Community Divas) and Shadow and James. Ninja is surrounded by lawyer types.  We talk about Omar’s voice, podcasting, podcamps, twitter and finally politics.

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 150 – The Next Hot Social Networking Tool

Born in October 2007, released in alpha to the public only this summer, Seesmic is another social networking tool. It is unlike YouTube or podcasting in the sense that it interactive and considered by the creators and participants to be more intimate than any of twitter, facebook, or chat. With Seesmic, you can visually converse with your cyberfriends and colleagues. How is it different or the same from Webcam conversations or another new videoconferencing tool, OovOO? Well we’ll have to see what it has to offer in the coming months. In the meantime, I spent about forty-five minutes with Tiil, an artist and Seesmic zealot during Podcamp Boston in July to get his enthusiastic testimonial about Seesmic.

Wiki page for Seesmic:

Tiil’s website :

Tiil’s hair cut :

Seesmic blog :

Seemic owner’s blog :


Famous Hollywood celebrities mentioned: Steven Speilberg, Harrison Ford. Famous New Media celebrities mentioned : Chris Brogan, Freida the retired art teacher who was involved in new media in the 80s. Other video messaging tools mentioned : OovOO. Famous Investors mentioned: Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis (who sold Skype to Ebay).

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 138 – Roman Catholicism : Judaism 2.0

Today Ninja gives you part two of the Geek Gathering. We folks know how to live in the moment. Katherine talks about the tedium of editing. Scarborough Dude takes photos of us, continues to swear and Ninja is pretty sure she hears him talking about wife swapping at one point. Talk turns to the meaning of religion and its sense of community celebration and sharing. It occurs to the group that perhaps the flood described in biblical times may actually have happened. We conclude that all religions are basically the same. But first there’s a comment about the last show from Kentie of the flatus and his co-host that venerable old man Jose, and a couple of notes from Rob commenting on and correcting some of my assertions. Thanks Rob and Ken.


Zeitgeist the Movie

The Vatican

The Daily Breakfast

Cardinal Ambrozic

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Search Engine


Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 137 – Portable Oddeo Device Geek Gathering

Nerd Girl by Steve Hilbert

Joan comes to a podcaster’s meetup and starts asking questions that everyone wants to answer yet digresses from. Revealed: What is it about podcasting that makes us want to spend hours and hours editing? Podcasting is about passion. We discuss the intimacy of podcasting, lattes, beer, and subjectivity. Sean admits he can listen to a knitting podcast and be thoroughly engaged. And challenges us to listen to his podcast about songwriting at Ductape Guy.

We learn that podcasters are communists, anarchists, members of knitting cults, hobbyists, navel gazers, former hippies, and most important of all: communitists – a new word coined by Joan. (Later that evening Katherine comes up with the verb form: communitize). Scarborough Dude swears a lot and then Joan swears back. So listen to this MetaCast with Sean, Katherine, Ken, Daniel, Rob, John, Valerie and others.

Other Links: Green Planet Monitor, Wayne McPhail, Rabble Radio, Librivox, Voiceprint

Web Nerd TV

Who’s listening?

Read it and weep podcasters! We have 3% of the total number of people listening to audio. The Globe and Mail asks: What type of radio do you listen to? and here were the results out of some 10,000 votes:

Traditional 74% 8185 votes

8185 votes
Satellite 7% 722 votes

Internet streaming 9% 1015 votes

Podcasts 3% 328 votes

None of the above 7% 782 votes

Facebook Censorship

In response to nameless faceless agents of Facebook removing some of Imogen’s photos, Imogen wrote that:

I have recieved two warnings in my email about removed pictures. I was sure I had checked and removed any pictures that were offensive, but ok, I accept there may have been more pictures that I did not find offensive, that maybe your moderators did.

I have logged in, clicked the box to accept that I have recieved the initial warning, only to find this message revealed afterwards…

“Your behavior indicates that you may be in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page here “

But there is no mention of what behaviour this was ? and no way of finding out ? Without this information, how can I (or indeed anyone) be expected to moderath thier behaviour ?

Can you tell me what, apart from posting the removed pictures, I have done wrong ?

I enjoy using facebook, and wish to continue as a member… But this kind of ambiguity makes it rather tough sometimes.

Thanks in advance.

Imogen Jyame Mann.

Imogen has a point. If we are supposed to operate within a certain range of behaviour on facebook, perhaps it might be a good idea to qualify and quantify what that behaviour is. If there are photos, language, images and other content that is unacceptable – how is that defined? What is the acceptable range? Imogen has no way of knowing what, if anything, she has done wrong.

Er…could it be because she is transgendered, hmmm? Let’s just say they are hardly being straight with her to put it wryly.

Podcamp Toronto 2008 – What is New Media?

So far I have really enjoyed podcamp. I cannot actually believe that it is already noon. Only a few more hours to go. I have experimented with blogs using blogger and some local desktop tools which I can talk about at another time, but I have not been so much into the visual word since I began podcasting in August 2005. It’s mostly a time issue. I will use this site as vehicle to keep you informed on where the podcast and my new media skills are going. This weekend I have talked to a great many people who are very friendly and want to share information about what they want to get out of new media. The flavour is much different from last year where there were web media organizations flogging their products or marketing managers wondering how to make money from it. This made a lot of the more geeky participants nervous and anxious I think. This year it is more about what does it mean to each of us and how can we use for our own purposes and goals regardless of whether that goal is money or community.

I am of course using the term new media rather loosely to mean that mythical beast WEB 2.0. An expression I completely loathe. What does new media really mean? I think it means use of technology to solve old problems. Like making money. Like communicating important information in terms of news and health. Like creating community. It is often claimed that technology isolates and alienates people. There is the common picture of a seventeen year old boy sitting in a dark corner of his room with nothing but a keyboard and the glow of the screen to keep him company. But really that is not what is going on at all. He is any age, all genders, all ethnicities using the internet to find and influence his community and is interacting in a new way with that community. He is on facebook, msn messenger, myspace, hi5, twitter and e-mail.

People do want to touch.