True Story by Brad J. Boudreau
Café Chat l’Heureux in Montreal is aiming to be the first cat café in North America, based on the kind you tend to see in Japan, You can donate to their Indiegogo campaign to help get them started (and pay for cat caring expenses), or just follow along on Facebook to see how they’re doing.
"The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment." In a talk equal parts eloquent and devastating, writer Andrew Solomon takes you to the darkest corners of his mind during the years he battled depression. That led him to an eye-opening journey across the world to interview others with depression — only to discover that, to his surprise, the more he talked, the more people wanted to tell their own stories. (Filmed at TEDxMet.)
Canadian government burns 100+ years of environmental data, books, and public records.
Conservative government closed environmental libraries containing historic environment records. Scientists protest to no avail. Public silent.Many collections such as the Maurice Lamontagne Institute Library in Mont-Joli, Quebec ended up in dumpsters while others such as Winnipeg’s historic Freshwater Institute library were scavenged by citizens, scientists and local environmental consultants. Others were burned or went to landfills, say scientists.
Wow this is truly terrifying. A major western government are actually BURNING BOOKS because they ideologically disagree with the science they can be used to help research.
why doesn’t this have more notes? people really don’t give a shit anymore do they
Fuck Harper’s government I’m sick of this shit
but lol canada is so gr8 u guise nothing bad ever happens here we’re so peaceful
(canada is actually incredibly racist and has some major problems going on right now, and this argument is used by canadians to IGNORE what harper and his gov’t are doing so they don’t have to face reality. it makes me sick sometimes)
While I’m on the topic of being furiously angry anyway.
Hey guys, I know I’ve been away from Tumblr for a while, but given that several of my friends and followers are of the geeky (and occasionally Canadian) persuasion, I thought this was a PSA worth handing out. I’m sure a lot of you know all this stuff already, but there’s almost always someone who doesn’t, so!
Do some math if you order with ThinkGeek and/or DHL if you are Canadian, or shipping to a Canadian friend. (It can be very similar for other non-American countries, too, and other companies, but for the sake of simplicity (and personal grievance) I’m focusing on these guys.)
1. ThinkGeek and DHL do not disclose or estimate foreign taxes or customs fees.
Let’s use my most recent order as an example. On a $58.45 USD order headed for Quebec, I was quoted $0 sales tax, and $28.35 shipping, for a total of $86.80 USD.
However, this total doesn’t address Quebec’s Quebec sales tax (9.975%) or goods and services tax (currently 5%) which apply to purchases like this (because they aren’t listed as a gift by ThinkGeek, even if your order was purchased as a gift for the recipient in question). For me, that comes to an extra $8.75 or so, if USD and CDN are par (they aren’t, so it’s probably more than that if you’re ultimately paying in CDN like I am). You’ll have to look up the taxes for your destination address yourself and do some math, and hope that your payment service gives you a fair conversion rate.
It also doesn’t address what customs fees you might face. Now, to be fair, customs fees are always a bit of a shot in the dark (they can be stupidly high depending on the type of product, and whether your total purchase is over $20), but most shipping companies clear them for a rate known as a brokerage fee. UPS lists theirs right here.
2. …or DHL’s fees.
So what are DHL’s brokerage fees, if they have any? Well… they aren’t saying. (If anyone can find a list please let me know, but I’ve been digging for a while and I’ve got nothing.) On top of the initial shipping fee and brokerage fee, shipping companies also often have disbursement fees (and potentially other little expenses that you’d only find in the fine print). DHL does list this one, thankfully… as 2.5% (or $7, whichever’s higher), and… 2% here? You have to go deliberately digging for it to find either one.
Well, okay. Now the total shipping fees are $28.35 USD + ~$8.75 + ~$7 = about $44 USD + whatever the costs are for customs/brokerage and any additional fees. Can’t be too bad, right?
When my friend’s package arrived, DHL informed her that the total fees for pickup — on top of the shipping fees I’d already paid — would be $36.84 CDN. (More on that later.)
All shipping costs put together then equal roughly $65.19, which is more than the actual product value of $58.45 USD, especially depending on currency conversion rates.
Can’t afford these extra undisclosed fees? You can cancel the order and have it shipped back — for the cost of the return shipping. And you have to pay the customs fees either way, even if the product is being returned. Once it’s back with the shipper you can then apply — and wait — for a customs reimbursement.
3. …or taxes for places you aren’t shipping to.
First off, in my particular instance, after I made my order DHL somehow determined that the package was bound for Ontario, not Quebec, even though all of the rest of the shipping address was correct (including the — identifiably Quebecian — postal code). I noticed this right away and contacted both ThinkGeek and DHL multiple times by phone and email trying to get it corrected.
Long story short, ThinkGeek insisted that DHL has left them with no way to have an incorrect address fixed once they’ve sent off an item, and that besides that, the province was definitely correct when they handed my order off to be shipped. DHL then informed me that only ThinkGeek or my (currently in-the-hospital) friend could arrange to have it corrected… even though ThinkGeek said the opposite. Then ensued a long game of telephone tag with DHL who repeatedly called saying they couldn’t find my friend’s house despite my providing detailed directions (and specifications that it was in Quebec) over and over again.
Finally, my friend was out of the hospital and I was able to give DHL her phone number. They called her and informed her that the package was in Ottawa… in Ontario. After she told them that she was in Quebec, they finally managed to find her house, after more than a week of failed deliveries.
On the breakdown statement my friend received, the $36.84 fee was listed as: $11.75 duty/customs, ~$10 for processing (guess that’s the brokerage… or is it the disbursement? or because they couldn’t find the house?), ~$4 for a collect on delivery fee (or is that the disbursement?), and $10.97 for PST, GST, and HST taxes… wait, what?
HST is a tax applied in Ontario but not Quebec. Evidently it applies to DHL deliveries anyway if they so much as pass through the province. Better account for that too!
4. Not to mention ThinkGeek mostly sells things you can find through other retailers.
Of course, all of this isn’t to say that you can find anything at ThinkGeek somewhere else (you can’t), or it will always be cheaper to buy at a local store (if you have to mail it to a friend anyway, it might not be), but before you buy there — or ship with DHL! — check around. You might find a better deal than you’d think.
The End of Growth | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio
Economist Jeff Rubin and environmentalist David Suzuki might seem an unlikely pairing. But they’ve been touring Canada together, talking about the natural limits to growth from their very different perspectives. We listen in as they try to convince a Calgary audience that we’ve already exceeded the capacity of the planet.
Besides the fact that Calvin and Hobbes is the comic I cherish above all others, Bill Watterson is my biggest creative influence and someone I admire greatly as an artist. Here’s why:
• After getting fired as a political cartoonist at the Cincinnati Post, Watterson decided to instead focus on comic strips. Broke, he was forced to move back in with his parents and worked an advertising layout job he hated while he drew comics in his spare time. He stayed at this miserable job and submitted strips to comic syndicates for four years before Calvin and Hobbes was accepted. About this period Watterson wrote: “The only way to learn how to write and draw is by writing and drawing … to persist in the face of continual rejection requires a deep love of the work itself, and learning that lesson kept me from ever taking Calvin and Hobbes for granted when the strip took off years later.” (Also see the Advice for Beginners comic.)
• Watterson sacrificed millions (probably hundreds of millions) of dollars by never licensing and merchandising Calvin and Hobbes. He went through a long and traumatic fight with his syndicate over the licensing rights, and although he eventually prevailed, Watterson was so disillusioned with the industry he almost quit cartooning. “I worked too long to get this job, and worked too hard once I got it, to let other people run away with my creation once it became successful. If I could not control what my own work was about and stood for, then cartooning meant very little to me.”
• Luckily Watterson didn’t quit and took a sabbatical instead. Eager to reinvigorate his creative mojo on his return, Watteron proposed a radical new layout for his colour Sunday strips. For those not familiar with comic strip lingo, each week a newspaper comic will have six ‘daily’ strips (usually black and white, one tier, 3-4 panels) and one ‘Sunday’ strip which is larger and in colour. Previously, the Sunday strip was comprised of three tiers of panels and looked like this. The layout was restrictive and the top tier had to be completely disposable because a lot of newspapers would cut it and only run the bottom two tiers in order to save space so they could cram in as many comics (or puzzles, or ads) as they could.
Watterson was sick of the format restraints and wanted more space to experiment and push his storytelling ability so he (with his syndicate’s support) gave newspaper editors a ballsy proposition. They would have to publish his Sunday comics at a half-page size with no editing, or not publish it at all. By this time Calvin and Hobbes had been running for over five years and was extremely successful so Watterson had the clout needed to pull this move off. Despite fearing many cancellations, he was pleasantly surprised that most newspapers supported the change. Free of the shackles of tiers and panel restrictions, Watterson gave us visually exciting and beautiful strips that hadn’t been since the glory days of newspaper comics in the 1920s and 30s. He was free to create strips like this, and this and this. “The last few years of the strip, and especially the Sundays, are the work I am the most proud of. This was close as I could get to my vision of what a comic strip should be.”
• After working on the strip for 10 years, when Calvin and Hobbes was at the height of its popularity and was being published in over 2,000 newspapers, Watterson stopped. He had given his heart and soul to one project for 10 years, had said all he wanted to say and wanted to go out on top. “I did not want Calvin and Hobbes to coast into half-hearted repetition, as so many long-running strips do. I was ready to pursue different artistic challenges, work at a less frantic pace with fewer business conflicts, and … start restoring some balance to my life.” Since retiring the strip, Watterson has pursued his interest in painting and music.
It’s pretty incredible when you think about. Could you say ‘no’ to millions, I repeat, MILLIONS of dollars of merchandise money? I don’t know if I could. Would you stop creating your art if millions of people admired your work and kept wanting more? I don’t know if I would.
Reprints of Calvin and Hobbes are still published in over 50 countries and the strips are as fresh and funny as they were 20-25 years ago. It has a timeless quality and will continue to entertain comic fans for generations to come. Great art does that.- The quote used in the comic is taken from a graduation speech Watterson gave at his alma mater, Kenyon College, in 1990.Brain Pickings has a nice article about it. The comic is basically the story of my life, except I’m a stay-at-home-dad to two dogs. My ex-boss even asked me if I wanted to return to my old job.
- My original dream was to become a successful newspaper comic strip artist and create the next Calvin and Hobbes. That job almost doesn’t exist anymore as newspapers continue to disappear and the comics section gets smaller and smaller, often getting squeezed out of newspapers entirely. I spent years sending submissions to syndicates in my early 20s and still have the rejection letters somewhere. I eventually realised it was a fool’s dream (also, my work was nowhere near good enough) and decided webcomics was the place to be. It’s mouth-watering to imagine what Watterson could achieve with webcomics, given the infinite possibilities of the online medium.
- My style is already influenced by Watterson, but this is the first time I’ve intentionally tried to mimic his work. It’s been fun poring through Calvin and Hobbes strips the past week while working on this comic and it was a humbling reminder that I still have a long way to go.
- The quotes I’ve used in the write-up above are taken from the introduction to The Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection, which sits proudly on my desk.
This is showing how you grip a sword
Please keep in mind that I’m not a professional or anything!
I just took some art classes when I was younger, so these are just a few things I remember or have learned since then!
Anyways, this ‘tutorial’ is just something I made very quickly…and I’m not good at explaining or teaching.
So please don’t take this seriously lol