Posts by Alia Dharssi

Social Media and the Future of News

This is a great TED talk by Clay Shirky, who takes about how social media is transforming the way that we consume and create information about…

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Street Papers: A Unique Platform for Marginalized Voices

One of the cool things I discovered this past Saturday at Media Democracy Day is Megaphone, a Vancouver street paper sold by low-income and homeless vendors that provides a voice for people on the Downtown Eastside.

Street papers are a growing movement. According to Sean Condon, Editor-in Chief of Megaphone, there are over 100 street papers worldwide. The first was created in New York in 1989 when someone came up with the idea of printing a paper to be sold by homeless people as a means of employment. It worked and now there are a number of street papers all over the world in both developed and developing countries that not only provide employment to low-income and homeless individuals, but also frequently provide them with a voice.

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Buses that run like subways

The New York Times had a neat article today on buses that run like subways. These buses are fast, can efficiently manage hundreds of commuters at…

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Vote for old growth!

Yay! It’s election day! And while you’re thinking about who to vote for (because you are voting, right?) and whether to support BC-STV, I urge you…

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The Dinner Party (or why one woman is refusing to eat dinner for 60 days)

In honour of the 60th international women’s day, one woman is refusing to eat dinner for 60 days to protest the subtle ways in which gender inequality is visible all around us. Here is the beginning of her MANifesto – it’s written with style and well-worth the read.

Why am I refusing to eat dinner for 60 days? Allow me to present a small menu of reasons.

The Appetizer:

At a formal dinner at my college last month, a large male-only party sat next to my husband and me. During the course of their lighthearted discussions, this amusing little anecdote came up:

“Haha, yeah I stayed in a guest house in that town, and it was sketchy, man, just sketchy”, one gentleman said, shaking his head and laughing.

“Oh yeah?” his friend replied.

“Yeah. Like, someone got raped in the room next door. That’s how bad it was.”, he continued, still smiling.

“Oh man!” his friend groaned with laughter.

“Yeah and I didn’t hear anything, because I had my earplugs in and was asleep, and she called the police and everything-I woke up when the police came into my room!”

This little gem of an anecdote was met with boisterous laughter from everyone within earshot. The young man added, as an afterthought: “Yeah, that’s actually pretty serious. It’s pretty bad”.

Conveniently for the dude, this woman’s horrendous experience served as both a cute story, demonstrating his comic abilities, and also a moment of serious reflection, proving what a ‘nice guy’ he is! My, how safe I feel in a world where gentlemen like my colleague admit that sexual assault, which is inflicted upon an estimated 1/3rd of women worldwide, is ‘pretty bad’ in addition to being a great punchline!

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Dolphins Blow Bubble Air Rings (to classical music, no less)

I thought this was cool and fascinating… The person who posted this on youtube explains: Dolphins have been observed to create bubble rings by exhaling air…

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Vote for the earth with the flick of a switch

Tonight at 8:30pm you can join millions of people around the world by turning of your lights for one hour to call for a more sustainable…

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If you could see the future, would you?

I was just at an event that had some team-building activities, one of which involved people surveying each other in partners and making up questions. One…

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The sad destination of a lot of plastic water bottles….

I just saw an interesting and quite terrifying video on TED about where our garbage often ends up – with detrimental consequences for animals and ocean…

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Are you hungry for change?

923 million people across the world are hungry. Almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes everyday. That’s one child every five seconds. Or about 1/3 of…

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