Guest Blog Entries


Rob Ford and Jimmy Kimmel

Rob Ford and Jimmy KimmelEarlier today, I had a Twitter exchange with a woman I've never met. Her name is Catherine Solmes and she's @ccath on Twitter.

Catherine seemed quite upset by Rob Ford's trip to LA to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live. My plan was to completely ignore this story, and most of the Fords' embrace of worldwide infamy. In my opinion, the remaining Rob Ford supporters just enjoy seeing progressives aghast, and I'm not interested in feeding their perverse desires. But I could tell Catherine had something she needed to get off her chest, so I asked her to write a guest blog entry.

The following words belong to Catherine.

When news broke on Saturday afternoon that Rob Ford was on his way to L.A. to attend the Oscars and appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the disbelief, anger and frustration that overflowed in my Twitter feed was telling. After all the events since the news of a possible crack video featuring Rob Ford broke last May, this reaction struck me as significant. I myself reacted with outrage, annoyance and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. My city was, once again, about to be humiliated by the man who is a continued source of controversy and shame for so many of my fellow Torontonians.

Over the unbelievable past year, Ford had become world-famous for being the crack-smoking mayor of Toronto. Torontonians are privy to a lot more – the drug and alcohol abuse; the murderous threats; the bigotry, homophobia and racism; the gang affiliations; employing friends and associates with criminal backgrounds and little to no credentials in the Mayor's’ office; the domestic abuse allegations; the driving under the influence; the nonsensical outbursts in City Council meetings; the horrible, unrepeatable and unfounded accusations against a Toronto Star reporter; the exploitation of impoverished communities for photo ops; the public urination; the sexual assault allegations; and the unexplained and unaccounted-for absences from City Hall. It’s exhausting.

This man is not only the mayor of Canada’s largest city, he had reportedly been invited to the Oscars by Jimmy Kimmel. Ford supporters, accused those who took offense to this of being jealous. Yes, jealous. I honestly don’t know if there could be a further disconnect between those of us who want Ford gone and those who support him. It’s as if we live on different planets.

Of course, Rob Ford didn't end up attending the Oscars due to security issues (this comes from Doug Ford, so it’s likely they were never invited at all). I didn't watch the Oscars, but there was no mention of or awareness of Rob Ford among the glitterati on the red carpet or during the ceremony. Thank goodness for small favours. Knowing that the In Memoriam segment would prominently feature Philip Seymour Hoffman, who very recently died as a result of a drug overdose, Hollywood in any way celebrating “the crack-smoking Mayor of Toronto” would have been truly awful.

Tonight, he'll appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. While he and his brother Doug have done interviews with American media before, this feels different. This is a late-night talk show, albeit one with a less famous host, but the one which has arguably skewered him the most. Jimmy Kimmel has not only cracked jokes about him (no pun intended), he’d had an actor (Parks and Recreation’s Jim O'Heir) portray him in video clips. So what was this going to be about? Who in their right mind would allow themselves to be a willing participant on a show that played him as a joke? Who in Toronto actually believes that Rob Ford will be an intelligent and sympathetic guest for Jimmy Kimmel? Or that Kimmel will allow him to be?

Ford was accompanied on this trip by his brothers Doug and Randy, his Communications Director, Amin Massoudi, and two other staff. If this was a special trip to Los Angeles, where were his wife and kids? Doug claimed they were there to promote Toronto to the film folks in Hollywood. So I guess it’s a business trip then? If so, he neglected to mention it to Toronto’s Film Commissioner Randy McLean, whose very job it is to grow and promote the city’s film industry.

I have two theories. One, that Rob Ford is fully aware, from presumably having some understanding of the city’s budget and reputation (wow, I wrote that without sniggering), that many Hollywood films and series are shot here, that Toronto’s architecture and streets are easily substituted for many American and international cities on film and on television. With that assumption, Ford is using this as an excuse to be in L.A. and, while he’s there, take Kimmel up on his invitation to appear on the show. Here’s the kicker – Ford has had no meetings booked with studios or producers. He’s spent his time walking down Sunset Boulevard and taking photos with anyone who recognizes him (and some who don't).

My second theory is that he really thinks that L.A. film bigwigs don't know about Hollywood North and believes he is legitimately doing the city of Toronto a favour. (I wrote that, too, without sniggering or crying.) The man who votes against any motion that would benefit the city’s arts community is making a special trip to promote it to the Hollywood film industry?

I don't like to assume Ford is an idiot, because despite the truly ignorant things he says and does, he wouldn't be able to be as successful a politician as he has been. But this trip to L.A comes a few days after he claimed on an episode of his YouTube series Ford Nation that he doesn't like to be a celebrity and that he’s just your average guy, an everyman. Oh really? If you're shying from all the attention, and don't want to be photographed and have reporters follow you around, why would you chose to go to L.A. to appear on a late-night talk show? A talk show that has done nothing but mock you since they first heard of your crack use?

Ford claims he wants to be judged on his record as mayor, not his police record. Does he really think that Kimmel or anyone he meets in L.A. cares one bit about Toronto’s budget, unions, taxes or transit system? I suspect that anyone who approaches Ford for a photo or an interview is hoping that he’s high and/or drunk and banking him to say something idiotic on camera.

The episode has not yet aired, but we got a taste of it last night on Kimmel’s Oscar special. Ford wandered onto the set, in a tux, when his name was spoken. Kimmel reminded him that he was on tomorrow night’s show. Oh dear. Let’s all laugh at the “intoxicated and confused Rob Ford” as if this was a hilarious character he'd created. Let’s pretend that he’s not fully in control of his senses and wandering around in a daze. Toronto’s mayor is willing to be the butt of jokes about his drug and alcohol abuse. It’s come to this. Oh, how I wish we were the butt of an elaborate joke. Because I don't want this to be real.

Ford’s global infamy is based on one thing – he is Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor. And for having “enough to eat at home”, for refusing to step down, for having unwavering support from Ford Nation, and for having the gall to run for re-election. Some admire his balls, his determination to say and do what he feels like. Some enjoy the sheer entertainment value of it all. Some find him hilarious. Some find him relatable.

Kimmel should be ashamed of himself for having Ford as a guest. Ford should be ashamed too, but as we well know by now, he has no shame. Unfortunately, Toronto does. Anyone who continues to perpetuate this ongoing controversy is rewarding Ford’s shockingly bad behaviour and enabling a man’s dangerous downward spiral. Toronto is rightfully angry at Kimmel for following through on their “Rob Ford is a clown” bit. To us, this has ceased to be funny long ago. This isn't just making fun of Rob Ford, it is perpetuating the mockery that Ford has made of himself and the city he purports to lead. I don't know what will happen tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The most likely scenario is that Kimmel will gently rib him and Rob Ford will get to showcase his “everyman” charm and laugh off his drug and alcohol abuse.

Optimists out there are hoping that Kimmel will be merciless with Ford. Considering that Ford doesn't talk to anyone who asks tough questions, and that Jimmy Kimmel Live! is an entertainment show, this is highly unlikely. What will most certainly happen is that Toronto’s mayor will glow with misplaced pride and “aw shucks” charm, chuckle at his “indiscretions”, spout his “saving the taxpayers” clichés and allow himself to look bad, very bad.

Despite what happens, it’s all going to be about Rob Ford, the crack-smoking mayor. I think this will make Toronto look even worse than it already does. And after the year we've had with this man as our mayor, that’s saying something.

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Unprovoked Punch: To Fight Back or Not?

Unprovoked Punch: To Fight Back or Not?The entry below is from my brother Ryan. He's interested in your advice.

Here it is. Let me know if it should be tweaked. I don't mind putting it on the line.

Today I struggle. Today I wonder. Today the past has come to haunt me. I received the call that I have been waiting for subconsciously for a few years. My son is turning 10 in July and is in grade 4. On his way to a field trip this morning some kid in his class punched him in the face. It was not provoked from what I have been told. My son, Zander, turned the other cheek and did what I did in Grade 4, told the teacher and his mom (who was also on this trip) and the child's parents were called. 

When I was in grade school and high school I got picked on a fair amount. I was hit, I was ridiculed and I am definitely very sensitive to bullying - especially in grade school. Today I went through many emotions in a short period. I was angry at this kid and his parents.  I was angry at the school. I was sad for my son who is so gentle and would not hurt a soul. And I found the memories of my past come flowing back into my head....

My question is as follows (Feedback from anyone with advice or a parent who has gone through this would be amazing). I want to tell him to fight back. I want to alter him and make him less gentle because it makes you a target for bullying, which is much worse than when I was a kid.  And the impact it had on me was large, so I need to avoid him feeling the same way if I can. Is it completely wrong if I get him to learn to fight and punch, for defending himself only? 

Bottom line.  I was never told to hit someone back.  I wish I could go back in time and fight back instead of turning the other cheek but I can't. But not too late for my son. Is it wrong  of me to say "next time someone hits you, you hit them back twice as hard"? Otherwise, with the kids out there today, he is going to be bullied more and more each  year.  I'm told by most he did the correct thing by not fighting back. But I don't like it, I don't like  it one bit.

Any advice on how to handle this and bullying in general?

Mike's loyal brother, 

Ryan

Personally, I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all for this scenario. Sometimes you should fight back, other times you should walk away. It depends on a number of factors, but always, survival is key.

On a side note, neither of my kids have ever heard of a kid getting punched in grade 4 (or 5 or 6) for no reason, so this is thankfully pretty rare.

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My rules for restrooms at work

1. If I walk into a bathroom and you're washing your hands at the sink, there's no need for you to look around or in the mirror to see who's coming in so you can say hello. Restrooms aren't for parties. I really don't need to say hello to anyone in this terrible place. This is especially truy for co-workers I do not even know. It's even more awkward in this instance when you want to lock eyes with me in the mirror. Just don't do it.

2.Oh, I notice that you're having a full volume conversation on your phone while you use the facilities. Really?

3. If you're standing at the urinal next to me, must you do what so many of you do? Do you think that 1 inch piece of plastic dividing us will protect me from your foulness?

4. And ladies, don't think you're immune to your own set of rules. I generally do not frequent women's bathrooms (the operant word being generally), but I hear horror stories. Like Colonel Kurtz up the Nung river kind of horror. Perhaps the female readers of this blog can chime in.

5. Oh I notice when you don't wash your hands when you leave. Know this. I tell people about you. I tell them you're dirty. But you know what, it's ok. Your nastiness gives me an excellent ace up my sleeve for when you come around and shamelessly ask me to buy your stupid kids' stupid chocolates for their stupid fundraiser. Oh yes! When I say "no thanks", you'll be ready to bust my balls for being cheap. But I'll just say nothing and look at you, and then you'll remember that I know that you're a dirty bastard.


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Solar Power in Ontario

Solar Power in OntarioLongtime readers of this blog will remember Blackberry Ry. Ryan was a staunch defender of all things Blackberry and was even nice enough to lend me a Blackberry Playbook.

Ryan's no longer with Blackberry and is now working with the sun. I'll let him explain further in this guest blog entry he wrote.

I am solar (And so can you!) – Solar power in Ontario

I’m Ryan - that guy who used to work for BlackBerry. I work in the solar industry now.

Mike asked me to write up a guest post – with Saturday being the winter solstice (the shortest day in the year) it's probably a bad day to talk about solar... but it’s always a good day to talk about clean green energy.

There are a lot of questions about solar and a few myths… I just wanted to share my newly minted solar installation as well as answer some common questions.

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So these are solar panels. They convert radiation from the sun into DC power…the same type of power that starts your car or powers your cell phone.

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These are inverters. They take the DC power and turn it into AC power – the same type of power that comes out your wall sockets. This power is then sent into the electricity grid.

One of the most common questions I get about the system is – Do you have a hydro bill anymore? Yes, I still have a standard hydro bill. My installation went in under the Ontario Power Authority’s microFIT program… FIT meaning Feed-In-Tariff. Under this program, my home is essentially a very small power plant. I produce and sell electricity to my Local Electric Company at a fixed rate for 20 years. I have 2 electric meters on the side of my house – one for the solar generation and one for the power my home uses.

There are 2 other ways to put solar on your home – net metering and off-grid.

Off grid as some would know is where you are disconnected completely from the utility and use a system of batteries, solar panels, various controllers and even a propane generator for those cloudy days.

Net metering is where your electric meter would run forwards and backwards – forwards when the sun is down and backwards when the sun is up. This is the system where you offset or eliminate your hydro bill.

The controversy in solar started with the introduction of the Green Energy Act and the original rate that was set.

The original rate for the microFIT program was 80.2c/kWh – which at the time was about 10 times higher than you and I were paying for power. At that time a solar installation cost about $60,000 to $80,000. The rate was reflective of the cost of a solar installation plus giving a decent return on the buyer’s investment. This has changed and so have the rates. Now a solar installation will cost about $30,000 for the same size installation – less than ½ price of the original installation. Accordingly, the feed-in-tariff rate has dropped. New contracts received a rate of 39.6c/kWh – about 3 times what we all pay. Larger projects (anything which is greater than 10kW) receive an even lower rate.

So now that we're past the controversy (I can't wait to see the comments!)… let’s talk about the benefits of putting solar on your roof – for you and for Ontario.

Obviously, it’s a good feeling producing green energy. Making some money is nice as well – we have customers that have used solar as an RRSP plan or RESP plan! There are so many benefits outside of this.

Solar is a peaking power – that means when energy usage is highest, Solar is outputting at its highest.

This helps level off the price of electricity during the day – especially in the summer(and if you want to confirm that, just ask the IESO). Another benefit of solar power is how it benefits the electricity grid. In areas which are far away from a big generation plant – like Bruce Power or Niagara Falls – solar power can postpone upgrades to the transmission lines which saves money that us taxpayers would otherwise have to spend.

Solar power is one of the cleanest energies we have – this is something we can all agree on. When a solar plant explodes or experiences a catastrophe, you just have a bunch of glass, silicon, plastic, metals and wire to clean up. When you have catastrophes at some of the other energy producers you have long term real consequences to face. I’m not saying that solar should be the exclusive energy producer anywhere in the world – this is not practical. I just want to pass some knowledge to the great people who read this blog.

I look forward to your comments!

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Ford DANCES!



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Canadian Business: The Innovators of BYOD Programs

Canadian Business: The Innovators of BYOD Programs Mandi has written this guest blog entry she calls "Canadian Business: The Innovators of BYOD Programs". The following words belong to her.

When the Bring Your Own Device policy was first introduced, it was met with a lot of criticism. Employees using their own phones was considered to be a waste of time and resources, and furthermore, what about the data? It took a while to catch on, but now, roughly half of the world's companies have implemented a BYOD policy. But why? How could a policy once regarded with suspicion become the biggest recent corporate trend?

First Thing First: How Companies Address Security Concerns

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Image via Flickr by Steven Taschuk

Initially seen as a security risk, the byod program is extremely secure thanks to multiple applications.

With Mobile Device Management, you have the ability to manage all of the devices owned by your employees, but only to a certain extent. You'll be able to sync everything up and keep everyone on the same page. 

With Mobile Application Management, you have much more control over the devices on your network. You'll be able to force the download of applications, track their data usage, require passwords for some applications, monitor who's using the most data, and more. If the device is lost or the employee is no longer with the company, the device can be remotely wiped.

These two management tools can be run together, and even combined with a Virtual Private Network. With a Virtual Private Network, you'll control exactly who is on the network.

If you use a combination of all three, your data will be protected under multiple blankets.

Before implementing a Bring Your Own Device policy, though, it's important to lay out some rules on what the employees can and cannot do on the network. The policies need to be clearly outlined. Some companies must meet certain requirements laid out by various organizations in terms of what data can and cannot be accessed. Even if the device is owned by the employee, the employee must follow the guidelines set forth by the organization.

Greater Flexibility: The Benefits for Employees

One of the biggest benefits of a BYOD policy is that it allows employees to use their own devices. These are devices that the employees likely picked out for a specific reason and have put a lot of time into knowing inside and out. Because of this reason, your company will save hundreds of hours in training sessions.

Not only that, but think about the cost to the company. Before BYOD, companies would have to buy a huge amount of phones, activate them, and get data plans for them. With a BYOD policy, all of that is in the past. The employee will be responsible for the bills. Since the phone is also their personal phone, they'll likely protect it with their life.

Increased Collaboration: The Benefits for Companies

Another huge benefit of a Bring Your Own Device policy is that it has eliminated the need for a central office. Since everything can be synced across multiple devices, your employees can work from any location in the world. This is extremely advantageous, especially if you have an employee that loves to travel, or one that recently relocated that you don't want to get rid of. By using a cloud service, combined with Mobile Device Management, you can have all of your employees working on the same file from different locations around the world. The file could then be stored safely and securely on a cloud server.

This also encourages your employees to work together on certain files. Some cloud services, such as Google Drive, allow you to actually work on spreadsheets, word documents and presentations while they're stored in the cloud. These files can be worked on by multiple users, and every user will see the updates as they happen. You can allow people to access the file but not make any edits, or you can allow everyone access to modify the file. 

In a bonus that will surely please your IT, all technical questions will now rest with the employee. Your IT department will be able to focus on more important things, such as improving the company's network.

Studies have shown that employees that are able to use their own devices at work are happy and more productive. More productivity equals a better running workplace.

With all of the benefits and advancements in security, it's no wonder that almost half of the world's companies have switched to a Bring Your Own Device policy. Canada leads the world's adoption rate with over 75 percent of companies in Canada having a Bring Your Own Device policy. Does your company have a Bring Your Own Device policy?

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Miss Manners Gets Shanked

We're supposed to be a modern, civil society. We're supposed to be polite to each other, share public spaces and practice acts of common courtesy.

As such I've heard of instances of people spotting another person dumping trash on the street, and then approaching that person, and politely saying "oh excuse me you dropped something" to remind them that it's wrong to litter on many levels. I've done this sort of thing too, and generally I believe it's necessary that we enlighten the ignorant among us.

So, last week a guy was walking just ahead of me into a Tim Horton's, and although he clearly saw me right behind him, he didn't seem to have any interest at all in showing a little bit of the aforementioned common courtesy by holding the door for me, even slightly.

So, I quietly said "Thanks".

He heard me, but he said nothing and we both joined the line.

Minutes later though in front of about 20 people in line and a jammed lunch-hour T-Ho's, the guy decides to make his move, and he starts squawking and shouting and swearing at me, and basically challenges me to a fight.

This is a grown man.

I ignore him. That is, until he escalates his tirade, and starts yelling louder and proceeds to call me a "fucking pussy". Kids, I might add, are also in this store.

Now my Irish blood is up. Way up. So, I calmly take off my sunglasses, put down my coffee and rush briskly right up into his face with my arm fully cocked. I should add that although I was still in control, a guy in the lineup sees my rage boil over, and puts an arm in between us, which what might have separated me from a visit to jail.

As I rushed up to him and got nose to nose with this douchebag, for a split second I see fear in the guy's eyes, and for me, that was enough.

So I calmly said, "you're not worth it", turn my back on him, put my sunglasses on and very slowly walk out, sipping my coffee. This was quite deliberate to project to him that I didn't see him as a threat.

As I exit, I hear him continue but I simiply ignore him. I fully expect him to come outside after me, and I'm fully ready for anything, but he doesn't.

So I slolwy walk back to work and try to settle down. About 3 minutes later I hear him yelling again, this time from about 200 yards away, jumping around and continuing his threats. I guess he wanted to scare me by suggesting he was following me.

"Oh I know where you work you fucking pussy! You fucked with the wrong guy!", he screams, with his cellphone up to his ear as if he's on the phone calling some gangstas to come take care of me.

So, perhaps I was wrong for saying what I said initially, or perhaps it's just the price to pay for trying to remind our fellow man, that we're all in this together.

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Issues faced by Boys and Men

The Phenomenon of Sneaker CultureMy buddy Tim Legere has written this guest blog entry he calls "Issues faced by Boys and Men". The following words belong to him.

On Thursday April 4th, I attended a seminar at the University of Toronto titled "From Misogyny & Misandry to Intersexual Dialogue".

It was described as:

A conversation exploring the effects on both men and women of our current approach to gender and how we might foster a genuinely intersexual – and intersectional – dialogue that is both broad and deep, while incorporating all aspects of personal and social identity

The main presenters were:

Dr. Katherine Young and Dr. Paul Nathanson, authors of the books “Spreading Misandry” and “Legalizing Misandry”.

Organizers of the event were:

Who am I? Why did I go?

I’m a 50 year old separated Dad of two kids. During the last eight years I have become aware of serious issues that face Boys and Men and require society’s understanding and action. I went to this seminar to understand how these challenges might be solved and perhaps help to make the world a better place for my children.

What are some of the problems of Boys and Men?

  • Fathers receive shared custody of their children less than 10% of the time
  • 71% of all High School Dropouts are from Fatherless Homes
  • Only 42% of Bachelor Degrees are earned by Men
  • 85% of all Children that exhibit Behavioral Disorders come from Fatherless Homes
  • 30% of those named as Fathers who test for Paternity find they are not the Biological Father
  • 40% of Domestic Violence Victims are Men
  • Government funding for Prostate Cancer is 60% less than the amount for Breast Cancer despite Diagnosis Rates being Identical
  • 80% of all Suicides are Men
  • 94% of Industrial Deaths and Accidents happen to Men
  • 97% of Combat Deaths since the 1st Gulf War have been Men

The links to the source of the above statistics can be found on the following website: http://www.avoiceformen.com/activism/about/

Aren’t Men Privileged and the Beneficiaries of the Patriarchy?

MHRA’s contend that much of Feminist Theory is incorrect. Simply holding an opposing viewpoint to Feminism does NOT make MHRA’s anti-women or misogynists. MHRA’s outline some of their beliefs here (as composed by Dean Esmay).

It should be quickly apparent that this topic is NOT something that can be compressed into a sound bite or a 1-2 minute video. It requires significant reflection to understand ALL sides of the arguments before forming a thoughtful opinion.

What happened at this Seminar?

Doctor Young and Nathanson were prepared to discuss both Misogyny and Misandry and propose how different groups (e.g. Feminists and Men’s Human Rights Advocates or MHRA’s) might come together and discuss how they could “tackle” problems.

Unfortunately, staunchly Feminist groups disrupted the seminar by protesting loudly outside the auditorium, presumably setting off a fire alarm (which caused a delay, required a costly response from the fire department and potentially endangered others with a real emergency) and taunting MHRA’s with various shaming and derogatory chants and posters.

Personally, I was very disappointed that the protestors did not attend the seminar, pose questions and generally engage MHRA’s in a more reasonable manner. During the break I watched as several MHRA’s attempted to discuss issues with the protestors. It is my opinion that the MHRA’s were respectful, posed thoughtful questions to protestors and then backed up their positions with studies and statistics. When a Protestor could not answer a MHRA’s question they tended to respond emotionally, attack the MHRA (instead of debating the issue) and then change to another topic.

It seems that any attempt to meet and discuss perceived issues facing Boys and Men are viewed by Feminist Groups as being Misogynistic and therefore these events must be protested. My question to them is what happened to the rights of “Freedom of Speech” and “Opposing Viewpoints”?

The following are a few videos taken during this Seminar.

Feminism versus Freedom of Speech (NSFW)

What Needs to Happen Next?

Professor Young and Nathanson discussed a number of things to assist with an “Intersexual Dialogue”. The following are four items that I recorded and I hope match their suggestions.

  1. People expect to be listened to. Listen carefully
  2. Employ a Non-Hostile Etiquette
  3. Discuss the Future (not the past or who is more of a victim, etc,)
  4. Be Empathetic

I thought this was pretty good advice.

Have there been other Seminars and Lectures with similar Results?

Yes. The following were both delivered on the University of Toronto campus.

Want to learn more?

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The Phenomenon of Sneaker Culture

The Phenomenon of Sneaker CultureI used to work with a guy I called Hatman. I called him Hatman because he owns hundreds of different hats. After reading his 20th tweet about collecting sneakers, I had to ask him why anyone would want to own more than one pair or running shoes. Sure, I could see a guy wanting to own two or three maybe, but Hatman has dozens and dozens of pairs of very expensive sneakers. I just didn't get it.

Hatman introduced me to his buddy Ryan Aleong who took the time to write a guest blog entry about why he loves collecting sneakers. He calls this "The Phenomenon of Sneaker Culture".

Within the last 12 months, sneaker culture has taken on a life of its own. It went from being an underground love and appreciation for athletic shoes, to a pop culture phenomenon.

Current sneaker culture can be separated into two groups. On the one hand, you have those with a rooted interest in the history, design, and love for where kicks were, where they are, and where they are going. On the other are those simply looking to monetize the popularity of this new aspect of pop culture.

Aficionados have their own personal tastes and reasoning for their collections. Maybe it starts with what their favourite player wore. It could be a love for the design elements of the shoe. Some may be heavily interested in the technology. Every person has their own loves, likes, and dislikes.

Shoes are also seen as a form of personal expression. The different models, styles, and colourways allow the wearer to put a unique (and comfortable) stamp on their outfit for the day or occasion.

Christmas 2011 saw the re-release of the beloved Air Jordan XI ‘Concord’, popular because this was the first shoe that Michael Jordan wore upon his return to the NBA from retirement. It was a technological innovation for a shoe which also utilized luxurious elements for added value.

The shoe saw overnight lineups, fisticuffs, and websites crashing from fervent demand. This would be just the start of what was a banner year for sneaker popularity.

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The release of the Nike Air Foamposite One ‘Galaxy’ during the NBA All-Star weekend in February resulted in malls being shut down and police being called in for crowd control.

The Nike Air Yeezy 2 was the second collaboration project between Nike and hip-hop superstar Kanye West. With two colourways, limited availability, and only available by RSVP, the shoe instantly saw resale prices 9-10x their original MSRP of $245 US.

Retro releases of old favourites like the Concords have played a large factor in why sneakers are as popular as they are. A generation of people who used to love those shoes but couldn’t afford them, now can. At the same time, you’re seeing a younger generation of entrepreneurs seeing the financial windfall of reselling a shoe with finite availability.

Whether you love to rock ‘em, stock ‘em, or resell ‘em, sneakers have seen huge growth in popularity in 2012. And 2013 shows no signs of slowing down either.

Michael Jordan will be getting a senior's discount at Denny's but people will still be lining up to buy his shoes. At that point, I'll bet they're velcro.

Does anyone else collect sneakers?

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Jason's Mom and his Ultra-Marathon

Jason's Mom and his Ultra-MarathonToronto Mike reader Jason wrote this guest blog entry.

Greetings all Toronto Mike Readers!

On August 22nd 2011 my mother’s 7 year battle with ovarian cancer came to an end. She fought a very long and hard battle through those 7 years.

In honour of the hard battle my mother had to endure, my brother is putting together Cape Breton’s first ever Ultra-Marathon. This is a 52KM run along the Inverness County.

The proceeds of this race are going towards The National Ovarian Cancer Association (http://www.ovariancanada.org/).

If anyone is interested feel free to like our Facebook page, follow us on twitter and visit the website. The more likes and traffic the better.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheLOU52
Twitter: @LOU52ULTRA
Website: http://thelou52.wix.com/lou52

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