Archive for June, 2011


Sportsmanship Lesson for young Canucks and Bruins fans

Kind behaviour is even more impressive and appreciated when it appears in the aftermath of something unpleasant. Vancouver has fortunately witnessed some remarkably fine behaviour after the unfortunate post-Stanley Cup Final game street riot.  This article appeared in the June 28, 2011 edition of the Vancouver Sun:

A valuable lesson in community, sportsmanship

Elementary school students exchange letters with a Boston school to congratulate them on the Bruins’ Stanley Cup win


Students at a Langley elementary school have represented Canucks fans in a show of good sportsmanship that involved pens, paper, and some creativity.

“Vancouverites are good sports but a few troublemakers made us look kind of bad. Vancouver is not a bad city. Great job on your win.”

That was one of more than 200 letters and postcards that Grade 1 to 5 students from R.C. Garnett Demonstration elementary school wrote and couriered to students at Eliot K-8 school in Boston last Tuesday.

Jessica Baldwin, an eightyear-old Grade 2 student, drew a picture of the Canucks logo and the Boston logo shaking their cartoon hands on her letter.

She wrote: “My name is Jessica and my school is R.C. Garnett. The Bruins played a good game, congratulations.”

Baldwin said she felt bad and disappointed after watching the Canucks lose the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins on June 15.

She saw a bit of the riots after the game before she was sent to bed by her parents.

“I was scared,” she recalled. But she regained her spirits after writing letters to congratulate the winning team.

“I was excited,” she said. “Because I like to write and draw. It made me happy.”

The Langley school wanted to help the students learn from Vancouver’s loss and the ensuing riots.

“We wanted to teach them how to deal with losing graciously, to use sportsmanship and to move forward in a way that allows us to be positive citizens,” said principal Ute Goetzke.

So Lorraine Baldwin, Jessica Baldwin’s mom and co-president of the parent advisory council, came up with the idea of a little pen-pal exchange.

“It popped into my head while walking to school that we should get the kids to send notes to kids their own age and say: good job, we’re sad, but you guys did great,” she said. “I was impressed by how much they embraced the idea.”

She added: “The biggest lesson is about community and kindness.

“We’re all part of a community of hockey fans and kids around the world,” she said. “If we’re all kind to each other, no matter what we’re feeling, we’re all going to be in a better place.”

The students haven’t heard back from their pen-pals at Eliot school yet, but the return letters are on their way.

The students at Eliot school in Grades 3 and 5 wrote back last Friday to reciprocate their congratulatory remarks, according to the Boston Herald.

Brian Murat, a nine-yearold student at Eliot, drew the black-and-gold B’s emblem on his card. He knew about the riots in Vancouver.

“They reacted a little bit overboard,” Murat told the Boston Herald.

“They shouldn’t have done all those things. They should have had good sportsmanship.”

Holly McPartlin, a third-grade teacher at Eliot school, told the Herald that the letter exchange was helpful for the kids.

“It’s really important for kids to understand what it means to be a good sport,” she said. “It’s a life lesson.”

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

New App to Make E-mail More Civil!

Have you ever wondered if your friends, family members or contacts are reading your e-mails? If you knew they were asphyxiated by unread e-mails, would you wait until their Inbox invasion subsided to send them e-mail? There’s an app for that!

Developed to make email inboxes more socially considerate spaces,, a new service for Gmail users will analyze and determine the current level of email traffic.  Then, using the tool, your friends and family can encourage you to e-mail at a more convenient time. After receiving a link from, you can check to see whether their Inbox is already flooded. They can also opt to have one-line e-mails sent to the top of your inbox.

“I think we’re really good at the etiquette part when we have the cues that allow us to be polite,” Georgia Tech Assistant Professor and developer Eric Gilbert says. “ helps manage expectations and lets people choose to send mail when it’s best for you.”

Could this app be the answer to a very common problem and will it actually make us more considerate?


E-Mail Considerations – Seth’s Handy Reference

Seth Godin, marketing guru, has re-issued the following guidelines for e-mailing. If you’re an e-mailer, take the time to review the following list – it’s an important one!

Before you hit send on that next email, perhaps you should run down this list, just to be sure:

  1. Is it going to just one person? (If yes, jump to #10)
  2. Since it’s going to a group, have I thought about who is on my list?
  3. Are they blind copied?
  4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?
  5. So that means that if I didn’t send it to them, they’d complain about not getting it?
  6. See #5. If they wouldn’t complain, take them off!
  7. That means, for example, that sending bulk email to a list of bloggers just cause they have blogs is not okay.
  8. Aside: the definition of permission marketing: Anticipated, personal and relevant messages delivered to people who actually want to get them. Nowhere does it say anything about you and your needs as a sender. Probably none of my business, but I’m just letting you know how I feel. (And how your prospects feel).
  9. Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).
  10. Have I corresponded with this person before?
  11. Really? They’ve written back? (if no, reconsider email).
  12. If it is a cold-call email, and I’m sure it’s welcome, and I’m sure it’s not spam, then don’t apologize. If I need to apologize, then yes, it’s spam, and I’ll get the brand-hurt I deserve.
  13. Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
  14. Could I do this note better with a phone call?
  15. Am I blind-ccing my boss? If so, what will happen if the recipient finds out?
  16. Is there anything in this email I don’t want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).
  17. Is any portion of the email in all caps? (If so, consider changing it.)
  18. Is it in black type at a normal size?
  19. Do I have my contact info at the bottom? (If not, consider adding it).
  20. Have I included the line, “Please save the planet. Don’t print this email”? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger or flight attendant).
  21. Could this email be shorter?
  22. Is there anyone copied on this email who could be left off the list?
  23. Have I attached any files that are very big? (If so, google something like ‘send big files’ and consider your options.)
  24. Have I attached any files that would work better in PDF format?
  25. Are there any 🙂 or other emoticons involved? (If so, reconsider).
  26. Am I forwarding someone else’s mail? (If so, will they be happy when they find out?)
  27. Am I forwarding something about religion (mine or someone else’s)? (If so, delete).
  28. Am I forwarding something about a virus or worldwide charity effort or other potential hoax? (If so, visit snopes and check to see if it’s ‘actually true).
  29. Did I hit ‘reply all’? If so, am I glad I did? Does every person on the list need to see it?
  30. Am I quoting back the original text in a helpful way? (Sending an email that says, in its entirety, “yes,” is not helpful).
  31. If this email is to someone like Seth, did I check to make sure I know the difference between its and it’s? Just wondering.
  32. If this is a press release, am I really sure that the recipient is going to be delighted to get it? Or am I taking advantage of the asymmetrical nature of email–free to send, expensive investment of time to read or delete?
  33. Are there any little animated creatures in the footer of this email? Adorable kittens? Endangered species of any kind?
  34. Bonus: Is there a long legal disclaimer at the bottom of my email? Why?
  35. Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what’s to come and likely it will get filed properly?
  36. If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I?

Style News – Celebrating Curves!

Vogue Italia – June 2011 Cover

(Photo by Steven Meisel)

Vogue Italia’s June issue celebrates curvy models, with a trio of plus-sized models posing for the cover in sexy lingerie.

Also, Vogue Italia editor-in chief Franca Sozzani launched the online only Vogue Curvy back in February. The website features style tips, trends and praises the beauty of women who have a little meat on their bones.

More recently, the Italian Fashion Editor launched a petition against pro-anorexia websites on her blog. She cites a recent study from the University of Haifa in which a group of 248 girls, ages 12 to 19, were surveyed on their Internet and television intake and asked about their eating habits and weight loss methods.

From the Press Release:

” The results showed that the more time girls spend on Facebook, the more they suffered conditions of bulimia, anorexia, physical dissatisfaction, negative physical self-image, negative approach to eating and more of an urge to be on a weight-loss diet. Extensive online exposure to fashion and music content showed similar tendencies, but manifested in fewer types of eating disorders. As such, the more the exposure to fashion content on the Internet, the higher a girl’s chances of developing anorexia. A similar direct link was found between viewing gossip- and leisure-related television programs (the likes of “Gossip Girl”) and eating disorders in adolescent girls. The study also revealed that the level of personal empowerment in these girls is negatively linked to eating disorders, such that the higher the level of empowerment, the more positive the physical self-image and the lower the chances of developing an eating disorder.”


Sozzani writes:

“Models, as I have underlined before, are in most cases naturally long, lean and slender being still very young and still not fully developed. The image they convey, however, is often that of an excessive thinness, but designers themselves discard those who are visibly suffering from nutritional problems. This is a topic that has been often discussed with false prejudice against fashion when nobody was left to blame.

Yet now we find out that not only the girls’ parents or fashion, or models are to be blamed. The more time you spend logged in Facebook the more chance you have to become anorexic. Reading the article it looked like the social network was guilty of showing virtual role models that girls tend to imitate. Wrong, and sometimes even fake models, the result of photoshop alterations. The younger tend to feel inadequate as regards such models and put their health at stake trying to imitate them. They accept messages passively and adjust to them. Sometimes destroying their lives.”

Sozzani also mentions the recent death of Isabelle Caro, who struggled with anorexia from the time she was 13 and adds that pro-anorexia blogs are even more dangerous than Facebook — “There [are] countless of them and their number is growing in America.”

To sign’s petition to shut down pro-anorexia websites and blogs click here.



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