The Quick Brown Fiox

Three workshops with literary agents as guest speakers coming soon: How to Get Published, in Kitchener & Brampton, and Writing for Children & for Young Adults in Burlington

How to Get Published
An editor & an agent tell all
Offered in two locales:
Saturday, February 20, 2016
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Forest Heights Public Library, 251 Fischer-Hallman Road,
 Kitchener (Map here)
Saturday, February 27, 2016
10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cyril Clark Branch, Brampton Library, 
20 Loafer’s Lake Lane, Brampton, Ontario (Map here)

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this workshop is for you. We’ll cover everything from getting started to getting an agent, from getting your short pieces published to finding a book publisher, from writing a query letter to writing what the publishers want. Bring your questions. Come and get ready to be published!
Special Option: Participants are invited to bring a draft of a query letter you might use to interest an agent or publisher in your book. You don’t need to bring anything, but if you do, three copies could be helpful.

On February 20 in Kitchener, our guest speaker will be Olga Filina. Olga is an associate literary agent with The Rights Factory, a boutique literary agency that deals in intellectual property rights for entertainment products, including books, comics & graphic novels, film, television, and video games. TRF works directly with publishers, producers, studios, game developers and other rights-buyers in all territories, occasionally in conjunction with local representatives. 
The Rights Factory has an esteemed roster of both fiction and non-fiction writers including Jennifer Close, debut author of the must-read short story collection, Girls In White Dresses; Margot Berwin, author of Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire (optioned by Julia Roberts in conjunction with Columbia Pictures for film rights), and the forthcoming paranormal romance, Aromata.
Before joining TRF, Olga spent over a decade as a sales manager and book buyer for both national and book store chains and two years as a literary assistant at The Cooke Agency. While Olga will read anything that may set her book clubs on fire, she gravitates towards commercial and historical fiction, great genre fiction in the area of romance and mystery, nonfiction in the field of business, wellness, lifestyle and memoir and young adult and middle grade novels with memorable characters. In her spare time, Olga sits on library boards, organizes literary festivals and runs more book clubs than she can count. For more on The Rights Factory, see here.
Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email:

On February 27 in Brampton, our guest speaker will be Martha Magor Webb, a literary agent, director and full partner at the McDermid Agency, which represents literary novelists and commercial novelists of high quality and writers of nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, history, literary travel, popular science, investigative journalism and true crime. 
The agency also represents a certain number of children's and YA writers and writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.
Martha represents a growing list of writers, focusing on literary fiction, narrative nonfiction (including memoir and true crime) and ideas-driven nonfiction.
Her clients include Michael Crummey (multiple award-winning author of Sweetland), Alison Pick (long-listed for the Booker Prize), Robyn Doolittle (Bestselling author of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story) Pasha Malla (long-listed for the Giller, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, winner of the Danuta Gleed and the Trillium awards), Damian Tarnopolsky (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the award), Russell Smith, Jessica Grant, (winner of the First Novel and the Winterset awards), Grace O'Connell, Matt Lennox, Andrew Westoll, and Karen Le Billon, whose first book French Kids Eat Everything sold into thirteen countries and translated into ten languages.
For more about the McDermid Agency, see here.
Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 if you wait to pay at the doorTo reserve a spot now, email:

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong,
a New York Times #1 bestselling author
and one of Brian's students
Writing for Children & for Young Adults ~ the world’s hottest market
With guest speakers Monica Pacheco,literary agent at the McDermid Agency and Jennifer Mook-Sang, author of Speechless
Saturday, March 5, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Burlington Central Library, Centennial Room, 2331 New Street, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

If you want to write the next best-selling children’s books or just want to create stories for your own kids, this workshop is for you. Learn how to write stories kids and young adults will love and find out what you need to know to sell your book.
Special option: You may, but don't have to, bring 3 copies of the opening couple pages (first 500 words) of your children’s book or young adult novel (or 1,000 words if that will get you to the end of your picture book or to the end of your first chapter.) If you’re not currently working on a children’s story, don’t worry, we’ll get you started on the spot!
Guest speaker Monica Pacheco is a literary agent with The McDermid Agency. The McDermid Agency represnts literary novelists and commercial novelists of high quality and writers of non-fiction in the areas of memoir, biography, history, literary travel, narrative science, investigative journalism and true crime. 
The agency also represents a certain number of children's and YA writers and also writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.
The McDermid Agency's clients include distinguished literary authors such as Michael Crummey, Greg Hollingshead, Andrew Pyper, Nino Ricci, David Adams Richards and Michael Winter. The agency also represents writers of narrative non-fiction, such as Charles Montgomery and James MacKinnon, both of whom won the Charles Taylor prize for literary non-fiction in their years of publication.
Monica Pacheco
 represents a growing list of writers. Her clients include: Actres/writer/director Sarah Polley, Yves Meynard, Madeline Ashby, Marty Chan, Irina Kovalyova, Sarah Henstra, Eli K. P. William,TV food stylist Janice Poon and Bram Stoker Award-winning horror writer David Nickle.
Monica is actively seeking clients in the areas of literary and commercial fiction, Young Adult, Middle Grade, high concept picture books, fantasy and science fiction.
For more about the McDermid Agency, see here.

We will also have author Jennifer Mook-Sang as a guest speaker. Jennifer lives and writes in Burlington. She’s as amazed as anyone to find she’s a published author. Her humorous middle grade novel Speechless was started in one of Brian Henry’s classes and was released by Scholastic in September. 
Speechless is already a hit. The CBC has named it one of the 75 best books published in 2015 (see here), and it’s a finalist for the  Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award. 
Jennifer was also a finalist in the Writing for Children Competition 2014 sponsored by CANSCAIP and The Writer’s Union of Canada. Jennifer will speak about how she got her first book published. 
In the meanwhile, Speechless is available online here and be sure to check out Jennifer’s website here.
Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 43.36 + 13% hst = 
49 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email

Note: “Writing for Children and for Young Adults”is also being offered Saturday, April 2, in Barrie, with literary agent Rachel Letofsky (see here), on Saturday, April 30, in Guelph, with Yasemin Uçar, senior editor, Kids Can Press and authors Jennifer Mook-Sang and Kira Vermond (see here), and Sunday, May 29, in Ottawa with acclaimed author Alan Cumyn (see here).

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Saint John, and heis the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing Inc). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published. 

Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. Also, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale, to: ~ Brian

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 12:59 pm


Photo-mystère 158

Qui se transforme?

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Posted on 5 February 2016 | 4:34 pm

Other Food - Daily Devotions

I'm sorry. Please forgive me

"David Asking Forgiveness" by Julius Schnorr Von Carolsfeld (1851-60)

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 51:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17

Psalm 51 is David's eloquent prayer of repentance, prayed after the prophet Nathan confronted him with God's reaction to his role in the Bathsheba affair. I wonder, had he been avoiding God in the interim? Or had he carried on as usual, pretending everything was fine between them? Now that he knew things weren't fine, a lot of seemingly pent-up realizations came bubbling to the surface:

  • He's been feeling dirty: "wash me thoroughly ... purge me with hyssop ... wash me..." (Psalm 51:2, 7, 10). My Bible's footnotes explain, "The Hebrew word for wash (vs. 10)  is not the one used for the simple cleansing of a dish in water but rather the washing of clothes by beating and pounding them" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 727.
  • His sin has been bothering him—even if he squelched it down pretending it was no big deal: " sin is always before me..." (Psalm 51:3,4).
  • He admits that he deceived himself and needs God's help for that not to happen again: "Behold You desire truth in the inward parts / And in the hidden part you will make me know wisdom" (Psalm 51:6).
  • His sin has sucked the joy out of life: "Make me hear joy and gladness .... Restore to me the joy of Your salvation" (Psalm 51:8,12).
  • It has silenced his praise: "O Lord, open my lips / And my mouth shall sing aloud of Your righteousness" (Psalm 51:15).
  • He fears God's Spirit has left or will leave him: "Do not cast me away from Your presence / And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11).
  • He has a renewed realization that God is holy and not someone with whom to toy: "Have mercy upon me, O God ... Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed" (Psalm 51:1, 14).
  • No bargaining, he gives God carte blanche to deal with him over this sin: "Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion" (Psalm 51:18).

I would suggest that David's reactions to his uncovered sin are frequently ours as well. That's why Psalm 51 is often our destination when we've sinned and we're needing to confess and repent.

May our words be as sincere, our spirits as broken, our hearts as contrite as David's appear to be when we read or recite this sacrifice of confession and repentance.

PRAYER: Dear God, You know how easily and often I sin and feel the same emotions as David expresses here. Help me to be as repentant as he was. May I learn from these times so that "truth in the inner parts" and wisdom in the "hidden part" become my lifestyle. Amen.

MORE: Ash Wednesday
Today the church commemorates Ash Wednesday. Here is the Collect that begins the Ash Wednesday liturgy:

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Bible Drive-Thru

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 10:00 am

Anglican Samizdat

Ashes to go – supersize that for me and add some fries

Many Anglican Church of Canada parishes have jumped on the bandwagon of offering passersby in the street ashes on the forehead; it’s called ashes to go. For those who doubt the validity or efficacy of such antics – it has … Continue reading

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 9:45 pm


OMG! I Reached the Target!!! -24.5kgs!!

I've been so busy and it has been hard to follow the diet since my new job begin but still at least my brain has burned some energy so much while I've been sitting front of the computer that this morning when I stepped on the scale, for the last time of this project, it showed me 62.5kgs, meaning that I managed to reach my target weight that I set a year ago! 

I haven't yet checked the wedding dress but it should fit. I try it this evening when the kids fall asleep! And I promise to come back with photos and final fitness test results but don't wait me too early. I have to travel to Norway next week so the updates may last...



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Posted on 15 January 2015 | 7:14 pm

After the Kids leave

Dr OddGlove – or how I came to hate my dentist

Yes, I know, I know, we’re on a “break”.  But I just have to interrupt our brief holiday to up-date you on my harrowing experience with the Demon Dentist of Harley Street.  I wrote the post below, along with a follow-up, about a year ago, detailing all the ways I’d like to torture my (former) […]

The post Dr OddGlove – or how I came to hate my dentist appeared first on After the Kids Leave.

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Posted on 2 June 2015 | 12:13 pm

Buzz Feed

We Know Which Male Disney Character You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign

You’ll go from zero to hero, just like that.

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 8:29 pm

How to survive life in the suburbs

Top Ten Romantic Movies For Valentine’s Day

A couple of years ago I decided Valentine’s day was the best time to tally up my top ten Romantic Movies of all time! Hmmm of all time? That might be putting too much pressure on myself. Perhaps my top ten date night movies rating from one Kleenex to an entire box!  So as Valentine’s […]

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 1:38 pm

Progressive Bloggers

The Disaffected Lib: BC Throne Speech – Be Vigilant Lest We Become Another Alberta

The burn. Christy Clark's message to British Columbians is to be vigilant so we don't become another Alberta. Madam premier then went on to add that Alberta has "lost its focus."Ms. Clark repeatedly made Alberta the poster boy for how not to run a prov... . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: BC Throne Speech – Be Vigilant Lest We Become Another Alberta

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 10:03 pm

Bird Droppings

Legitimizing the new anti-Semitism

      It's been fully a week since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement absent of any specific mention of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, and the only mainstream media mention of the breathtakingly glaring omission was in the conservative-minded Toronto Sun.
   I posted about Trudeau's whitewashing of Jews from the Holocaust on my Facebook page, and was met with a chorus of "What makes the Jews so special?" and "Jews don't have a monopoly on suffering".  The kind of anti-Semitic tripe that used to be spoken privately in whispers is now stated openly and boldly, and the cue is coming from the highest office in the land.
   No one is denying there were other victims, but the overriding agenda of the Holocaust was the extermination of European Jewry.  The industrial scale killing factories built specifically to facilitate the genocide of the Jews also proved to be convenient for dispensing with Soviet prisoners of war, political opponents, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and other "undesirables", but the Jews were always at the front of the line at the gas chambers, and their total destruction was the Nazis' priority.  The Holocaust was also the culmination of centuries of Jewish persecution, and became a defining moment in the rich and tragic history of Judaism and a catalyst for the creation of modern day Israel.  It only requires a rudimentary knowledge of history to understand what makes the Jews unique in the context of the Holocaust, and how failing to acknowledge their central place in it is at best woefully ignorant and at worst a deliberate and sinister sop to anti-Jewish interests.  Either - or both - could be true in the case of a Prime Minister lacking in intellectual credentials and with a history of openly pandering to fundamentalist Islam, including normalizing Canadian relations with Iran, which makes state policy of denying the Holocaust and openly clamoring for the destruction of Israel.
   The most disturbing and disappointing element of Trudeau's blunder isn't the free pass he's getting from the mainstream media.  They've been in his pocket all along.  What's unsettling is the dearth of strong reaction from the Jewish community itself.  Among the few Jewish organizations that commented publicly, the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs said it accepted the explanation from the Prime Minister's office that Trudeau's statement was a first draft issued in error, which ranks right up there with the-sun-was-in-my-eyes and my-dog-ate-my-homework as credible excuse-making.  The notion that the PMO would inadvertently release a public statement about something as profound and sensitive as the Holocaust is as ludicrous and insulting as the suggestion that Trudeau "forgot" to mention the Jews.  Meanwhile, the statement remains unchanged on the government's website several days after the "correction".
   Maybe the deafening silence from the Jewish community has something to do with a Jewish tradition for keeping disagreements within the family, or maybe it's a reflection of widespread Jewish support for Trudeau in the bigger political picture.  Either way, I never thought I'd see the day when the 6 million would be thrown under the bus for the sake of social peace and/or political expediency.  That it's happening within the lifetime of some Holocaust survivors and at a time when anti-Semitism is enjoying a resurgence unprecedented since the end of World War Two should be troubling to anyone who's taken the time to learn the lessons of history.

Note to all readers: feedback is encouraged and welcome, but please demonstrate the courage of your convictions by signing your name to them.  There is no credibility in anonymity.

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Posted on 3 February 2016 | 9:03 pm

Trashys World

Diamond dogs and suffragettes….

In spite of my love for his music since I was a child, I didn’t get a chance to see Bowie until the spring of 2004 here in Ottawa. I took my then 11 year-old eldest daughter with me. I thought it important at the time that her first live concert be someone who should could […]

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Posted on 11 January 2016 | 12:57 pm

The Galloping Beaver

Trudeau and ISIL: some guesses and thoughts

Just watching the press conference about Canada withdrawing CF-18s from Iraq and increasing the number of special forces and logistical support...some quick thoughts. - Half a dozen CF-18s bombing the odd truck or position every few days is not massive air campaign. I'd venture to guess that there is an oversupply of strike aircraft in the region relative to available targets. Unless a

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Posted on 8 February 2016 | 5:09 pm

Michael Geist

The Trouble With the TPP, Day 28: Privacy Risks From the Source Code Rules

Yesterday's Trouble with the TPP post examined some of the uncertainty created by the surprising e-commerce provision that involves restrictions on source code disclosures. KEI notes that governments have not been shy about requiring source code disclosures in other contexts, such as competition worries. Yet this rule will establish new restrictions, creating concerns about the implications in areas such as privacy. For example, security and Internet experts have been sounding the alarm on the risks associated with exploited wifi routers and pointing to source code disclosures as potential solution.

Dave Farber, former Chief Technologist of the Federal Communications Commission, warns:

The post The Trouble With the TPP, Day 28: Privacy Risks From the Source Code Rules appeared first on Michael Geist.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 5:23 pm

Montreal Simon

Stephen Harper's Day of Defeat and Embarrassment

Well one thing is for sure. In his lonely loser bunker, surrounded by the last of his loyal Cons, somewhere between Alberta and Paraguay, Stephen Harper is having another bad day.

Another Con bastion has fallen.

And a red tide has swept over Newfoundland and Labrador.
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Posted on 1 December 2015 | 12:02 pm

Ghost of a Flea

Black Opium Nuit Blanche - The Night Isn't Over Yet

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 2:47 pm

The Disaffected Lib

The Ponzi Economy and The Rise of the Looter Class

We're already well into our eventual environmental meltdown. Are we now also on the cusp of a global economic meltdown? There is a growing chorus of voices warning that the end really is nigh for this enormous House of Cards we built for mankind in the wake of WWII.

Like most of us, I didn't dwell much on the environmental or economic State of the Planet until the twitch first set in somewhere around the turn of the century. Since then the looming perils have indeed materialized.

The fact is, we've been on a multi-generational bender of sorts and now it's hangover time. CBC business reporter, Don Pittis, writes that, "If you ever thought there was a group of smart people who really understood the economy and you were just too stupid to figure it out, now is the time to disabuse yourself."

It's an interesting article, a worthwhile read. Pittis focuses on British economist/journalist Martin Wolf of the Financial Times. Wolf suggests Britain's redemption lies in either a full-blown purgative depression or "helicopter money" which is a term for a guaranteed annual income plan.

Pittis concludes that the real problem isn't with the economy or the various proposed solutions.  Our Achilles' Heel, is a terminal problem.

"For leaders who make policy, it is almost impossible to try radical and unproven medicine that might work, for the simple reason that it might instead precipitate a crisis for which they would be blamed.

"So long as the global economy seems to be muddling on, governments and central bankers prefer to kick the can down the road just a little further, and keep praying for a miraculous, spontaneous cure."

What Pittis and Wolf and the rest of the like-minded cannot seem to grasp is that our economic model has a systemic, mortal flaw. Neoclassical economics of the sort taught to Wolf and Harper by Friedman and Hayek resting on a foundation of perpetual, exponential growth is a hoax introduced in the post-war era that worked really, really well but only for a few decades and only for those it was aimed at benefitting.

Sometime in the next century, when mankind's population has stabilized at somewhat under one billion, our era may be named something like "The Great Bloat," the era in which civilization swelled to the bursting point - and then burst.

The whole growth-based paradigm was a hoax, a contrivance crafted from some unsustainable circumstances and assumptions. Things that, by logic, didn't fit were dismissed, labeled as "externalities." Resource shortages, cost of resources, damage to the environment - mere externalities that must never be permitted to cloud the model.

This gave rise to the theory, the belief that was enshrined as orthodoxy, that the economy could and should grow larger than the environment. It has. That's the world of 7+ billion heading for 9+ billion we live in today. We're already consuming the planet's resources at 1.7 times their natural replenishment rate and still our appetites are growing. The miners' canary in this is that all other forms of life, marine and terrestrial, have declined in total number by half over the past thirty years. We're taking so much of everything they also need to survive that their numbers are collapsing.

Pittis may write of "leaders who make policy" but he abuses the word "leader." We don't have leaders today - not in the Liberals, nor the Conservatives nor the New Democrats. They're all self-interested, feckless can-kickers, the lot of them.

The tragedy of this is that you can no longer rely on the head of your preferred political party for leadership. You're going to have to self-educate. You've got to make up your own mind on just about everything - social, political, economic and environmental.

There's plenty of top-quality information out there. Read Joe Stiglitz. Read Phil Mirowski. Read James Galbraith. Read John Ralston Saul.  Below is an interesting lecture by Galbraith to the Post-Keynesian Conference. Pick it up around the 19-minute mark.

Of particular interest is Galbraith's description of the American economy and, to a lesser extent, the economies that are driven by it, in the post-2008 world. He describes it as a Ponzi economy exploited by a class he calls "looters" by which he means the 1%. He contends the looters see what's going on and they know it can't last so they're using their wealth and their influence, economic and political, to bleed the whole thing dry.

Fortunately we have fearless political leaders to keep us safe from these predators. What's that? Oh...

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Posted on 8 February 2016 | 11:31 pm

De Smog Blog

These are the Five European Think Tanks Exxon was a Member of in 2014

This is the first part of DeSmog UK’s series mapping Exxon’s ties to EU think tanks and lobby groups.

Pressure is mounting on ExxonMobil to explain why the oil giant funded climate denial around the world years after its own scientists established global warming was real.

Exxon has a long history of funding climate denial and last September it was revealed that it did so despite a full scientific knowledge about the impacts of manmade climate change in the 1970s’ and ‘80s.

This prompted the New York Attorney General to subpoena ExxonMobil to “determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business.” A similar investigation has also been launched in California.

These revelations tell us what Exxon knew. The investigations in New York and California are asking ‘what did Exxon do?’

Exxon in the EU

So, while the oil giant has been getting a lot of heat in the U.S. for funding climate denial, this DeSmog UK investigation takes these questions across the Atlantic, and asks: what has ExxonMobil been up to in Europe?

The past 10 years are pretty murky when it comes to deciphering ExxonMobil’s climate denial activities in Europe.

In 2007, the oil giant pledged to stop funding climate denial groups in response to pressure from shareholder activists. However, eight years later the company was found to have given more than $2.3m (£1.7m) to an American lobbying group and members of Congress that deny climate change and block efforts to tackle the issue.

It begs the question: has ExxonMobil been up to the same tricks in Europe?

var icx_publication_id = 14813; var icx_content_id = '10295'; [Reuse options] Click here for reuse options!

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 8:01 am


2015 RotoRob Baseball Awards

Oh man, as super talented kids start arriving in the Bigs younger and younger and make a bigger impact each season, picking this award gets harder all the time. So many choices!

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Posted on 8 February 2016 | 10:54 pm

Canadian Living

Alder headband knitting pattern

The best winter accessories are both fashionable and functional, which is why we love the Alder Headband. Staying warm never looked so amazing.

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 1:03 pm

Pro Woman Pro Life

If Robyn Urback isn’t pro-life…

…she should be. “Outrage over innocents,” her column in the February 6, 2016 Post, perfectly describes how most people who are pro-life feel not only about animal abuse, but about abortion, too. Urback describes how terrible it is to see an animal mistreated: I think the explanation has to do with the way we perceive […]

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Posted on 7 February 2016 | 5:11 pm


It’s time to protect the Great Bear Rainforest's grizzlies

read more

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 11:23 pm

Rolling Around in My Head

A Visitor Comes To Ruby's School

Image description: A blackboard, surrounded by an orange border with the alphabet inscribed on it and with an apple and a pencil at the bottom right corner. On the blackboard in white letters are the words SCHOOL DAYS.
I was on the phone to her mother when Ruby arrived home from school. She called out, "Is that Dave and Joe?" Her mother told her that it was and, I think, was just as curious as to why Ruby was so excited. A call from us isn't uncommon but her excitement over it was. She came rushing on the phone.

She started, "I told my teacher about your blog!" she said, and then stopped herself. We've been playing this game for quite a while now, as I am a story teller, and the girls like hearing 'Ruby' stories, or 'Sadie' stories ... I want them to tell me stories too. So without even prompting, Ruby took a pause and told me a story.

"At school today we had a visit from a boy and his mom. He had a disability and he talked to us about what happened to him. He had something happen to his brain and he was in a coma for a long time. Now he has some tubes and he told us about how the tubes have to be changed really fast when he goes to bed. His mother was there too and she showed us how some of the things worked. He was really nice and it was fun to listen to him. When it was over, I told my teacher that you had a blog and that you write about being in a wheelchair. I told her that she should check out your blog and that she can even watch you get married. She said that she would read your blog."

So, in the happenstance that you are visiting to read my blog, welcome Ruby's teacher.

Ruby and I talked a bit more with Sadie filling in from the background. She was really glad that they had had a visitor come to the school and to talk about disability. I remembered back to Ruby's first day of school, when she went to Junior Kindergarten. I asked her that day if there were any kids in her class who used wheelchairs. She sighed a deep sigh and said with great disappointment, "No they all just walk." Ruby likes and welcomes diversity and notices it's lack.

It was a fun phone call, I was pleased and proud that she wanted the teacher to read my blog and that she recognized that the young boy in her classroom, talking for himself about his disability and me here writing this blog about my disability are members of the same community. That she sees the community and sees the connection pleases me no end. So many refuse to acknowledge the community, the kinship and the connection between disabled people - even many with disabilities, that her immediate, without question, ability to see how what that boy did there and what I do here are connected.

We rung off with Ruby's excitement in my ear.

Congratulations to the school for creating this opportunity for their students and for their visitor. Congratulations to the boy's mom and if I may speak to you for a second let me tell you why ... because Ruby spoke of you and your voice too but primarily she spoke of your son and how he represented himself, that is remarkable parenting.

Change comes.

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 4:02 pm

A Canadian Foodie

Homemade Cloudberry Jam or Homemade Bakeapple Jam

The Elusive Cloudberry and Cloudberry Jam There it is. An aggregate fruit, raspberry-like (a fruit that develops from the merger of several ovaries that were separate in one single flower), They occur naturally throughout Northern regions, mainly in mountainous areas. Cloudberries grow wild across most of northern Canada, but are somewhat synonymous with Newfoundland where...

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** Remember to join %% to create your own online recipe box and then click SAVE on my recipe below to add it! I use my online recipe box ALL the time! **

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Posted on 6 February 2016 | 7:21 pm

Dean Somerset

Building the Basement of Champions: How to Build a Legendary Home Gym

About 2 years ago, my wife and I started gathering the resources and researching the possibility of building a new house. We knew some of the stuff we wanted (a kitchen, more than one working toilet, a fireplace for when it’s -40C outside, a garage, floors, etc), but then it was the “wouldn’t it be…… Read More

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Posted on 1 February 2016 | 5:40 pm

Knit Nut

The edible helium balloon!

I don’t have an actual bucket list, but if I did, inhaling helium would have been on it. I finally got my chance to do it a couple of weeks ago, in the most unlikely of places. An edible helium balloon was served as a dessert course in a fancy restaurant!

I took GC to [...]

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Posted on 25 August 2015 | 6:16 pm