I’ve written often about the concerns I have with research techniques. This column was inspired by my attendance at a focus group. I was just asked to attend some focus groups and I was reminded of the dozen or so reasons I don’t like them. First, rich and busy people usually won’t […]
I have many concerns about the quality of research conducted in political campaigns, by those governing and by industrialists. I even see those in the not-for-profit sector spending precious money on unproductive research. “Original” research in universities is often only conducted at the doctoral level. Research that is done often involves relatively unproductive statistical […]
Competitive advantage can be achieved in a political campaign through the better use of a blackboard and chalk, more phone lines for the phone bank, more volunteerdrivers or better use of new technology. We’re never sure which technological wave will stick and which one will affect the outcome of a particular campaign. I speculated about such […]
Outside the Helen Hayes Theatre, waiting for the doors to open, a very agitated male teenager passed on the sidewalk. He was walking briskly and talking in a loud voice with himself. He was also gesticulating, and in so-doing was using up all the free airspace in all directions. “What’s the matter with him?” asked […]
We often assume the police, fire, EMS, mayor, and other first responders are fulfilling their duties to keep us safe. But according to my studies of plans from the top 100 English-speaking cities in the world, this isn’t always the case. Many of our cities are in danger from their own emergency plans […]
I’ve always thought of Seattle as a symbol of modernity. Growing up in Vancouver, I viewed the Space Needle as an example of American prosperity and progress. It reached toward outer space while the monorail sleeked along the ground toward the future. I now live in Toronto, but visit Seattle when I can, to […]
Every now and then the topic of earthquakes comes up in Vancouver. The most recent event was the 4.8 quake on 29 December, 2015. I have worked on the topic of earthquakes for federal authorities for some years and continue to follow the issue. Vancouver’s emergency planning documents put the risk of an earthquake […]
Politics: Canada’s inflation rate drops to 1.1%, the lowest in 30 years (1992). Disaster: An earthquake in the Philippines leaves 1,000 people dead (1990). Space travel: Apollo 11 lifts off for the first moon landing (1969).
Disaster: A heat advisory is issued in Chicago, and about 1,000 people die in the following few weeks (1995). Politics: Boris Yeltsin announces he will resign from the Soviet Communist Party (1990). Politics: Louis Robichaud becomes the new premier of New Brunswick (1960).
Business: Samuel Bronfman dies (1971). Politics: Canada and the U.S. agree to North American defenses in the event of an enemy attack (1958). Disaster: A dam break in Switzerland leaves 70 people dead (1887).