New Year, New Schedule

We’ll be changing things up on the JenEric Designs blog for 2020, starting next week.

Monday/Friday will be Éric’s blog time.

Tuesday/Thursday will be Travelling TARDIS pictures (Paris/Cosplay continuing).

Wednesday will be something special that we’ll announce later. I will still occasionally post Fandom Travel and Blush posts, but not on a consistent schedule.

Happy New Year from our family to yours! I hope 2020 is the best year yet!

News!

Hello!

I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that AJ Travel, the agency I have been with since 2015, has closed. The good news: I have joined Orleans Travel & Cruise Centre!

Image from the home page of Orleans Travel.

If you were a client with me in the past year, keep an eye open for an email from me today from my new email jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca. If you booked travel with me longer ago than a year, I no longer have your contact information, so feel free to send me an email if you’re hoping to travel.

There will be a couple small changes, mostly to paperwork and how service fees and taxes are collected (separately from the payment for the actual trip), but I’ll explain everything before it happens. I am still working from home, which is the most important part.

Please bear with me as I transfer everything over to the new agency. I’ll be up and running soon!

Are you interested in travelling? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

How the Tide Pod Challenge Represents the Internet

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Let’s start this out with; Yes this trend is happening and it’s very dangerous and extremely stupid.

The American Poison Control Centers have reported over 700 cases of teens eating the candy coloured poison pods this year alone.

Does that sound like a lot? A national emergency? Something that people will make fun of for years to come? Apparently.

The story for the Tide Pod Challenge is as colourful and alluring as the pods themselves. It’s a great way to make fun of Gen Z and Millennials. However, like most things, it’s only reported everywhere and laughed about because it’s easy.

700 cases sounds like a lot right? It is nothing compared to the cases of children under 5 eating them. Every year since 2012, over 7500 cases are reported.

Consumer Reports: The problem with laundry detergent pods

Why is this the first time we’re hearing about it? Because it’s not flashy and fits into the current overwhelming Juvenoia.

It’s a perfect example of the way our social and news media deal with reality through a funhouse mirror. They cover Colin Kaepernick’s protest and ask if it’s anti-american instead of covering the countless useless deaths of black people. They cover the White Nationalist protests by asking whether it’s okay to call them Nazi’s instead of asking if it’s okay for them to march for a cause that would see millions of people killed.

It’s not fake news, it’s sensationalist news, and it’s nothing new. Look past what a few talking heads and meme creators tell you and think about what is going on.

So next time you see a funny meme about how kids these days do stupid stuff, ask yourself why it’s funny and if maybe it’s the wrong focus?

Later Days,

Éric


Sources

PBS: Kids got sick eating detergent long before the Tide Pod Challenge

New York Times: Yes, People Really Are Eating Tide Pods. No, It’s Not Safe.

Consumer Reports: The problem with laundry detergent pods

Your Source Matters (Or why I won’t take your link seriously)

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve noticed a trend on my facebook lately. A lot of people, who I respect, are posting articles that may have a point but are from a non-credible source.

We all gloss over dozens of these sorts of articles, advertisements, or videos each day. Most of the time we either ignore them or think, “HA! I knew it!” Anytime I find myself doing the second I look into where the information is coming from.

Cartoon from Dave Granlund
Cartoon by Dave Granlund

Both Sides of the Argument dot ca

Let’s take a province-wide advertisement, going on right now in Ontario. It’s called Both Sides of the Argument. On the radio, it has people who say they’re police, nurses, etc. coming out against the proposed plain packaging laws for cigarettes (brown paper packaging for all cigarettes). At first hearing how plain packaging will help gangs and illegal cigarette sales, it’s kind of scary. At the end of the ads it’s said quickly that they were paid for by JTI-Macdonald Corp. A quick google will tell you they’re one of the worlds largest tobacco companies.

Instantly anything said by those ads and anything said by their website is suspect. Multinational, billion dollar companies rarely create ad campaigns to stop laws, unless it will affect their business.

Does this mean that what they are saying is wrong? No. They could be completely right, but since the source is biased, any information shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Extremist Sources

We’ve all come across that article that says that contrails are really mind controlling vapour, or that fluoride is put in the water to make us more passive.

You’ll find variations of these on both hyper conservative and hyper liberal news sources. Thrown in with articles about the vices of the poor from the first and the dangers of modern medicine for the second.

If you post an article from one of these sites, my first reaction is to check their sources and then to check their other articles. The quality of their articles and sources affect their credibility.

These sites are notorious for sourcing statistics but not the studies, or experts they mention in their articles. Usually because they either outright lie or manipulate their quotes into a lie.

Does this mean that what they are saying is wrong? No. They could be completely right but since the source is biased, any information shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Writing

This may be petty of me but if the writing is too informal, has too many mistakes, or isn’t organized in a logical order; I will not take it seriously.

(This is my blog. I’m a fiction author. I don’t write news and any articles I do write, you should think of critically. I am not a news source. I also don’t have a team of editors to make sure each post is properly written.)

I’ve come across so many articles that attack politicians and celebrities. If your article is mean or harsh, I’ll assume it’s biased. Some might call this “tone policing”, it’s not. It’s called Journalistic Objectivity, and without it the news source is unprofessional and unreliable. (Opinion articles are an exception, but they should be properly labelled.)

Does this mean that what they are saying is wrong? No. They could be completely right but since the source is biased, any information shouldn’t be taken seriously.

What should you do?

Before you post something, or share something, double check to make sure the source is trustworthy or in the very least add that you’re not sure about it’s validity. It’s really that simple.

You can even google the title of the article and see what pops up. Often someone will have a dissenting opinion and you can learn something about the original source.

As I’ve learnt, multiple times lately, calling out the integrity of an article will normally just piss off the person who posted it. Angry people will defend their point of view, even if the source is bad, to an excessive level. They’ll also assume you’re attacking them or the news itself as opposed to it’s source.

It’s up to you whether you’re willing to challenge a friend on something. They may thank you, or they may yell at you.

 

My philosophy is that if a source isn’t valid, the content isn’t valid.

Éric

More Great News and something about fish

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Lots of stuff to talk about today. Let’s get started.

More Great News!

They say news comes in threes. At least my Mom used to say that my grandfather said, “Never two without three.” (I’m never quite sure if he actually said those things or she made them up)

Blush

A few months ago my wonderful Wife received a contract to publish Blush, a card game to open communication channels about sex.

Learn more about Blush.

Ask an Anonymous question.

A Study in Aether (Formerly The Mitten Wizard)

Last week I signed a contract to publish my first book. Hopefully to be released this year.

Parasomnia

Today I’ll be signing a contract for Parasomnia. It’s with the same publisher, an awesome small press, as A Study in Aether.

I’m still in shock at how close the two contracts came in.

After almost 7 years of writing seriously and trying to get published I get two contracts? I feel extremely thankful and I little bewildered.

Fortune Cookie

At a party this weekend I got a fortune cookie. It said, “Wisdom comes not from age but from experience.” It’s right but boy did it make me feel old and unwise.

I haven’t lived the most adventurous life but I’d like to think I’ve learned to be wise… maybe just a wiseass.

I will smack you in the face with fish

I read this article this morning and found it to be overall condescending. Maybe it was meant as tongue in cheek… Maybe not.

Either way, be warned, I’m extremely proud of the stuff I, and my wife, make and sell so you’ll be getting smacked in the face by fish… a lot.

Serial Story

So the serial stories aren’t attracting a lot of votes but they do attract a lot of readers. This makes me think I’ve given you too many choices.

You have until Wednesday midnight to vote on which story you’d like to proceed to the next step. The story with the lowest vote count will be eliminated and I’ll put up a new poll.

The poll:

What do you want 2016's Serial Story to be?

  • Wargrave Island (57%, 4 Votes)
  • The Ruby Child (29%, 2 Votes)
  • Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens (14%, 1 Votes)
  • The Cosmic Cuckoos (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

Loading ... Loading ...

Please Vote!

The stories

Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens

The Cosmic Cuckoos

Wargrave Island

The Ruby Child

 

Hope you’re having a great day!

Éric

CON Contest, Coffee, Buttons, and Felix Felicis

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Sick

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I’ve been really out of it that past three weeks. I first caught a cold, then a stomach flu, then hurt my back, and then things started to thaw. So I’ve been valiantly combatting viruses, bacteria, and allergies. It was a hard fight but I think I’ve finally gotten the upper hand.

So if my stories seemed extra delirious, I have an excuse.

CON Contest Winner

The CON Contest ended yesterday and was won by Tricia. Congrats again and hope to see you at CON.

CON, Coffee, and Buttons

IMG_29868975732683

Saturday is CON. YIKES! If you don’t yet know CON is Ottawa’s newest geeky craft fair dedicated to creators, artists, and artisans. No stores but sooooo much awesome. Come check us out.

I have roasted and flavoured five flavours for sale and I’m going to seal them tonight. I ordered labels that will hopefully arrive today or tomorrow. I’ll have the 100g bags for $10 but I’ll also be selling 25g tasters for $3 each or 2 for $5. The tasters will have an exclusive flavour that I’m calling Elvis (Peanut Butter and Banana Cream).

I restocked our buttons and created a new product. I call it the EGGcellent lottery. We have 48 easter eggs each with a pin inside. 1 out of 4 pins have prizes either $5 or $10 dollars off your next purchase or 2 pins of your choice. We’ll be selling the eggs at $3 each or 2 for $5. Yes you can mix and match the coffee and eggs. (Yum breakfast.)

Felix Felicis

The end is coming for poor Felix. His year round adventure is coming to a close. Only 2 more chapters left before his end.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicis is a serial story that I’ve been writing since April 1st, 2014. It currently has 9 parts and will end on April 2nd. Go read what you’ve missed, it’s silly fun.

After that I will start a new serial story. My goal is to have a new serial story every year that has between 5 and 15 chapters. The next one will be decided by reader votes. So get ready.

 

That’s it for me today. Have a great weekend and I hope to see you at CON.

Will you be Attending Con?

Eric