Ho Ho Hashtag…Santa In The Digital Era

It’s that time of year when many families and folks start planning for the holiday season…and for a lot of folks, that means taking part in the whole “tradition” of planning for Santa Claus.  Did you know that even Santa is embracing the digital era and jumping on the bandwagon (or sleigh?) of social media and connected convenience?

Here’s a picture of a sign I saw last year in a mall.  Yep, Skype with Santa!

Back in the day, we had to put pen to paper and actually write to Santa!

If you want more proof that Santa and his helpers are completely well-versed in the world of social media and modern tech (from Facebook to Flickr to Twitter), check out this article published prior to this weekend’s Santa Claus Parade in Toronto:  Santa Claus Parade joins the digital revolution.

So would one still leave milk and cookies out for Santa…or would you just post on Pinterest?


Poignant Video…”Five Extra Years”

Check out this interesting/innovative video by Designed To Move:

Physical activity in daily life has dropped quite a lot in past years.  Technology, electronics, and machines have become huge parts of our daily living–every hour of our days.  What are the consequences and ramifications of this?

The focus and setting for children’s play have changed over the years.  How children commute to and from school or activities have changed.  The amount of time spent sitting and hovering over our computers or other such devices has increased dramatically.

As the Designed to Move website reports:  physical inactivity is a cycle and has compounding costs over a lifetime.

What are two actions to change these concerning trends?

  1. Create early positive experiences for children (where they are playing actively and having fun). 
  2. Integrate physical activity into everyday life.  So move instead of falling for easy sedentary convenience.

Get more info and data on this topic at:  http://www.designedtomove.org/

Pub and Prayers?

As of the start of this month, the Albany Sports Bar in Auckland, New Zealand started offering church service on the first Sunday of every month, at 7 p.m sharp.  This would be church service with a twist….a twist of lemon or a twist of lime I’m not sure.

Pastors Calvin Culverwell and Vic Francis, leaders in the Protestant Albany Shore Vineyard Church who developed the project, said they were aiming for a relaxed worship atmosphere, where congregants can have a beer during the service. The church will provide pizza and fries.

Hmmmm, I wonder what sort of images they’d have if the bar had stained glass windows.

And will the pastors manage to keep worshippers (a.k.a. bar patrons) focused when the football/soccer game heats up on the large flat-screen TVs?

My last word on the subject:  Amen.  *hiccup*

Here’s the link to read more about this prayer and pub fusion: Church service brought to the bar.


The appeal of walkable neighbourhoods

Check out this link:  The appeal of walkable neighbourhoods

It’s an article from The New York Times about how neighbourhoods that are walkable are coveted–where everyday needs can be met by walking, transit or biking.  The piece links residing in such neighbourhoods with economic status and higher valued real estate.


In thinking about walkable neighbourhoods, I’m reminded of an interesting book I read years ago:  Great Good Place:  Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, And Other Hangouts At The Heart Of A Community.


Some excerpts from the book:

“Having the necessities within easy walking distance is the defining characteristic, the common denominator, of vital neighbourhoods.  Convenience does not emerge where local residents make little more use of the neighbourhood than to eat, sleep, and watch television (well, now-a-days Facebook, Netflix, and surf the internet)–all within their homes.  But in localities where an easy walk secures postage stamps, dry cleaning, groceries, a magazine, or a sweet roll and a cup of coffee, there will be life beyond private dwellings.”

“In using nearby facilities, in visiting them afoot and regularly, the residents of an area effectively create a casual environment and reap its benefits…People get to know their merchants and their neighbors; from among the many, the compatible few are able to discover one another.”

“Such an environment is well described as casual because the elements of accident and informality are strong within it…Without having to plan or schedule or prepare, those who move about in a familiar and casual environment have positive social experiences.  They bump into friends; they receive daily doses of novelty, diversion, and social support.”

Livin’ la vida automatic!


A student’s whacky experiment in automated dorm living.
It’s called the B.R.A.D. (Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm).

This goes beyond clapping to turn off the lights folks.  This is Derek Low’s dorm room at the University of California at Berkeley.  He’s transformed the room with motion sensors, remote switches and apps to manage his room’s settings.

Now, did he spend a bunch of time putting this all together instead of studying and doing his homework? Ha!

The romantic mode setting and emergency party mode setting are hilarious!