Focus Groups

  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 […]

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On Line At New York

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 […]

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Boston’s Wake Up Call

Where I live in Canada, Boston is well known for a few things. First, it’s “Maritimers’ Heaven.” Folks from the Canadian provinces bordering on the Atlantic Ocean, think Boston is pretty special and sophisticated. Boston is also known as a tough town. Boston’s urban emergency plan and the Mayor’s recent Task Force on Climate Change […]

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Stirred, not Shaken

  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 […]

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Flight Out of Danger

It’s hard to warn people to stay clear of dangerous situations. Motorists will remove road barriers and drive right into danger. They’ll even use logging roads to get around road closures. Vague direction to “be aware” or “take shelter” may be misunderstood or ignored by many.   For the most part, urban emergency plans are dominated […]

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