GreenWashing Nanaimo Style – It’s All in the Numbers

It’s all in the numbers. On reading about the Green Municipal Funding for the Cogeneration System at the Regional District of Nanaimo Wastewater Treatment Facility, you’d imagine that the system was making a huge dent in the electricity required to power Vancouver Island. Cogeneration at [Wastewater Treatment Facility] will significantly offset electricity demands on Vancouver …

Saul Griffith on Future Energy

I often get asked how to present the information of climate change, peak oil, the economy and the future of humanity. Saul Griffith, one of the founders of Wattzon a tool to measure the energy impact of your everyday choices presented at the PopTech conference at the end of 2008.

Sustainability Presentation – Selkirk College

The slides and mind map of our recent presentation to staff of Selkirk College entitled, “Sustainability or Survival – the future of life in the Kootenays” can be downloaded here. I will update these links this weekend! Sustainability_Presentation_-_Slides Sustainability_Presentation_-_Map1 This was a lot of fun and gave us an opportunity to challenge a few people …

DimDim – The Art of the Webinar

Last week I participated in a Webinar with users from across Canada. For my readers who don’t know what a webinar is, it’s like a seminar, but presented over the web. I’ve tried a few of these services, and the current leader by a long way is DimDim. With this service it is possible to …

Less is More – Car Seat Research

Many times a day, I’m reminded that less can mean more from an environmental perspective, but this thought provocing video goes strictly against the grain of everything we are tought about child safety and car seats. In fact just a couple of months ago, I argued the exact opposite for older children, stating that they were  allowed to be in simple boosters rather than full harness car seats at 40 pounds only becuase it was too difficult to make these kids strap into the “safer” equipment.!

Are You Ditching Powerpoint?

Garr of Presentation Zen points us to a controversial article, and discusses what it means for his “Presentation Zen method”.
Presentation Zen


Last week an article appearing in The Sydney Morning Herald entitled Researcher points finger at PowerPoint generated quite a stir.

The article highlighted findings by researchers from the University of New South Wales, including John Sweller who developed the Cognitive Load Theory back in the ’80s.

One of the findings mentioned in the article: it is more difficult to process information if it is coming at you both verbally and in written form at the same time.

Since people can not read and listen well at the same time, the reporter suggested, then this may mean “the death of the PowerPoint presentation.”

Should we be ditching these infamous presentation tools for something else? Are our brains not able to take in all this information at once? Should we go back to blackboards and whiteboards? Butchers paper?

Bert Decker has this to say…
Create Your Communications Experience: Controversial New PowerPoint Research

PowerPoint (or Keynote) is a great tool to AMPLIFY what we are saying, but not serve as our scripts, or substitute for our own communication experience when we are speaking.

What can we learn from this information? Slides full of text don’t work. Images, charts, graphs, and symbols do work.

Reinforce your spoken words with appropriate imagery or supporting visual information. And lay off on the bullet points.

If you need help with this, check out the two sites quoted above, Presentation Zen has many awesome examples of slides that are effective and have minimal text. If you’re looking for images to use, check out FlickrStorm. By using the advanced search option, you can search through creative commons licensed material, so it’s easy to ensure you are not breaching copyright.

How do you do powerpoint? Do you have to sit through boring hour long, bulletpoint presentations? Organize a presentation technique seminar for you company, get an expert in save the world from bad powerpoint!

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eMoms at Home Increases Traffic

There are some great websites out three to help work out how to use blogs for business purposes. One of my favourites is eMoms at Home, down-to-earth chat and advice…

eMoms at Home — 6 Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Traffic and Blog Revenue:

I recently hired blogging extraordinaire Sarah Lewis to help me overhaul my blog. I’m quite clueless when it comes to CSS – and Sarah is both talented, fun to work with, and a dang cool lady. I should have my new template up and running by the end of February.

Because of this, I’ve been doing a little housekeeping around here.


Although the work I’ve been doing is minor in the big picture of things, even small tweaks are making a big difference, so I wanted to share them with you. I was surprised at the time I put in (less than 2 hours on all of these combined) vs. the results, which were way more than I expected.

Simple changes like replacing a small feed icon with a large one, better placement of subscription information, a pages letting people know what subscription to a feed is… all pretty simple.

Technically Training Engineers

Who loves training? Who loves training other people?

In my last job I spent the final few weeks attempting to pass on much of my knowledge of the design software and methods we use onto several EITs, (junior engineers).  This had been slow coming, mainly due to job requirements, and timings with other commitments. But finally we got there.  The guys got in and learnt some of subdivision design in 12D software.

When organising technical training, not everyone picks up things at the same speed, or in the same ways.  Some people can pick up software quickly with a couiple of pointers and the help files, other people learn by asking questions, others learn primarily by observing. All people gain from parts of each type of learning, and that’s why when training its a good idea to try to incorporate each method.  But first things first… preparing.

The hardest part of the process is definitely preparing myself. The ability to spend time working through what needs to be taught, how many sessions it will take and how I’m going to get these guys up to a standard where they can run. 
Roughly in accordance with the Manager Tools Training Method these are my steps: