Category Archives: video

Saskatchewan specialist wait times

On July long weekend I was incredibly sick with infection in my leg.  I was overwhelmed with fever, cold sweats and dehydration.  Wendy took me to St. Paul’s Emergency Waiting Room where I was admitted to the quieter ward.  Eventually it all filled up.  Everyone of us had the same story.  We were all on wait lists to see a specialist but our health had deteriorated to the point where we had to be treated or admitted on an emergency basis.  Several of us have waited months.

John Maeda once wrote that more administration need to understand what their users are going through.  It’s why while teaching at MIT, he also enrolled at MIT to understand what his students were going through.  For me, I have struggled to keep treatments going despite them being ordered by the surgeon for no other reason then the nurses are often intimidated by the bureacracy and refuse to act without new doctors orders.  This means new appointments and a frustrated doctor who already left orders.

I wouldn’t wish this infection on anyone but until you go through it, it’s hard to truly realize how brutal our system is and I’ll be honest, lean hasn’t made it any better.

Not only are we suffering (the treatment given at the hospital that day actually made my infection worse) but we are costing the system how much more in emergency room costs and hospital admissions?

Elbphilharmonie Bauzeitraffer – 5 year construction timelapse

First of all, watch this time lapse video taken over five years.

Here is the story behind it.

The Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall under construction in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany. The new construction sits on top of an old warehouse building and is designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron.

In 2007, the construction was scheduled to be finished by 2010 with an estimated cost of €241 million. In November 2008, as an endorsement to the original contract, the costs for the project were estimated at €450 million.In August 2012, the cost were re-estimated to be over €500 million, which should also cover the increased cost for a strengthened roof.

As of December 2014, construction work is scheduled to end in October 2016 at a cost of €789 million, with an announced opening date of 12 January 2017.

The easternmost part of the building will be rented by Westin Hamburg hotel, scheduled to open in October 2016. The upper floors west of the concert hall will accommodate apartments.

I love the ambition of this project.  It’s something you don’t often see anymore.

Carbon Capture Conundrum

The Political Panel’s Murray Mandryk and Stefani Langenegger discuss the controversy over the province’s $1.4B carbon dioxide capture project with Morning Edition host Sheila Coles.  You need to watch it.

This reminds me a lot of some of the Devine mega projects that never worked as promised which this Saskatchewan Party seems to still be in love with.  This is the first one they made happen and it’s really not working nearly as well as they promised.  As Murray Mandryk said, maybe Wall should not has been as smug as he has been.

Also as Mandryk says, maybe you can’t effectively capture coal in western Canada.  As Langenegger points out, SaskPower rate payers are actually subsidizing Alberta oil companies to get oil out of the ground.  This project is a big mess.

If you want to read more, check out James Fallows in The Atlantic on clean coal from 2010.

This is what Mark wants for Christmas

From the Verge

The dream car of your childhood can now be the dream car of your adulthood. A giant street-legal version of Little Tikes’ red and yellow car is currently for sale on eBay. It’s a one of a kind, and there are some real perks to it. There are huge windows (although there’s no glass), an engine so that you don’t have to walk it around, and it should be easy to spot in a parking lot.

The car was built in 2013 by the custom vehicle shop Attitude Autos. You may have heard about it back then: after being featured on the BBC, video of the car went viral online. Since then, it’s been popping up at charity events around the UK — the shop behind it seems to hope that whoever buys it next will put it to the same use. "We have managed to raise a substantial amount of money for children’s charities with the Crazy Coupe, so it’s potential in the right hands could be quite phenomenal," it writes.


Over two years ago I found myself at a crossroads in my life.  I had just quit my job after being almost 8 years on 24 call of some sort or another.  It got to the point where I cringed and flinched every time a phone would ring.

I was working on some other projects that hadn’t come to fruition and I needed a job.  So I took one at Don’s Photo for a couple of reasons.  I have always loved photography, I always liked going into Don’s Photo, and I needed some time away from being in a high stress environment all of the time.

I didn’t think I would stay long but something changed.  When I would leave work at 6 p.m., I had no stress in my life.  I left work behind.   I enjoyed my colleagues, I enjoyed work.  Life was good.

In January I was having a discussion with the manager on ways to better use the web to drive in-store sales.  He asked for a memo.  I sent him a 7000 word missive on what I thought we could do better.  He forwarded that to the owner and there was some discussions on me doing some writing for the store.  Personally I think the discussions revolved around how to ensure I never sent a 7000 word memo to them again.

I still deal with customers but the goal is to find a way that I can write for the company blog and social media.  Most of my time is spent on the blog.  Since I took it over, I have posted over 200 times in 2015.  Many are product announcements and are pretty basic but I have created some long form articles as well that I am pretty proud of.  As a family based business, it is fun to be given the freedom to compete with companies like B&H Photo or Adorama online.  I love being the underdog.

The bad part of it?  I had to go on Facebook again.  I refuse all friend requests but it does allow me to manage the Don’s Photo page.  They also have a Pinterest board that I umm, do whatever it is that you do to a Pinterest page (right now it is building theme based pages around products and tutorials).

The biggest obstacle in writing it is that while I am can write, compared to everyone else, I am the worst photographer both technically and artistically.  It has given me a chance to emulate one of my heroes in Steven Johnson and that is research and write about what I don’t know about so that you can learn it without having to do through what I had to do.

In the future there will be a podcast and a YouTube channel but for now I have a large bucket list of articles to write.  That will take some time to work through.

The one unexpected part of being at Don’s Photo is that there are quite a few of our customers that have strong political views.  Also, there are quite a few of you who have strong political views that escape by taking photos.  It’s amazing how many of us can have concurrent conversations about poll numbers and aperture settings at the same time.

Not everyone is a fan.  The other day this women comes in and is asking some questions about something.  She asks my name and I tell her.  Her eyes narrow and says, “You don’t know that blowhard named Jordon who writes in the paper.  I can’t stand him.”

I just looked back and said, “You aren’t alone, he drives me crazy some days too.”.

I still have some city building and affordable housing projects on the go but for now, being a writer and camera nerd is paying the bills.

Where container ships go to kill other people

There aren’t too many places left in the world where the practice of ship breaking—scrapping old ships for metal—can still exist. These days, environmental and labor regulations in the developed world have displaced the practice to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where cargo carriers are salvaged for their steel.

The largest vessels wind up on the shores of the city of Chittagong in Bangladesh, where the industry has become a vital part of the country’s urbanization. It employs roughly 200,000 workers and supplies the country with 80 percent of its steel. Ship breakers beach and dismantle vessels daily wearing flip­-flops and T-shirts. It’s no easy task, considering ships are constructed to withstand the elements for the 30 years they spend operating on international waters.