Tag Archives: International Exploits

Social Media in Disasters and Revolutions ~ NXNE 2012 Spiel Artifacts

Overview: At NXNE 2012, Dave Olson discussed the democratization of communication and how civic/cultural changes are amplified despite attempts to thwart dissent. Practical examples of people spontaneously using these tools in emergency and disaster relief situations were highlighted, as well as the historical forebears of these methods.


NXNE Disasters and Revolutions

From rallying citizens in Egypt and advocating for civil rights in Saudi Arabia and Libya, to natural disaster management in Japan and the USA, social media tools and tactics are used for critical endeavours beyond business marketing and personal expression. However, tools like Twitter and Facebook are often brushed off as non-essential or entertaining playthings by media and society despite the proven ability to spread critical messages rapidly.

We’ll discuss the democratization of communication and how civic/cultural changes are sparked and amplified despite attempts to thwart dissent. Plus, share practical situations where the tools were used spontaneously by citizens in disaster zones, as well as in emergency management and relief agencies in crisis mitigation strategies. Finally, by delving into historical examples, we’ll seek social media’s true fore-bearers for democratized, civic messaging.



From Canada.com: HootSuite’s house of 100 owls

As a social media platform, Hootsuite has a front row-seat to the news of the world. When a natural disaster or social revolution takes place, users flood the service…other times, political unrest has presented Hootsuite with a sort of business Sophie’s Choice…“We need to be able to play both sides,” Olson says. “We have Occupy Wall Street using us on one side and major banks and organizations using us on the other.

Taxi Flashbacks Towards Gatwick – Postcard bonus

Ephemeral Feasthouse

In a collection of transitory reminiscences, Dave O rolls on from rainy North Van by taxi down venerable Granville St. down the spine of to YVR with indigenous dioramas. Then travels by plane to Gatwick Airport, continuing via train to Victoria Station, then by another taxi to Piccadilly Circus passing notable London sites along the way. And recapping visits to New York neighbourhoods, San Jose developments, importance of stimulating road literature, podcast faves, outstanding Vancouver activities, worthy podcasts, street music, thoughts on going with the flow, healthy breakfasts and provocative TV in London.

Flag a ride for: Taxi Flashbacks Towards Gatwick – Postcard bonus (.mp3, 58:08, 47MB)

Continue reading Taxi Flashbacks Towards Gatwick – Postcard bonus

Lt. Magnum’s Philipines Exploits Exalted by the USN

Puffer fishMy brother who did some time in Iraq as an engineer for the US Navy (long story) then shipped out aboard a vessel USS Peleliu named for the my fave island
Peleliu, Palau – for the Philipines to tend to some humanitarian tasks for the people dealing with the strife caused by a recent typhoon.Dave's trip to Peliliu

Turns out, the goodly Lt. performed such noble service, the USN wrote a press release article extorted his efforts. The article twas found ‘in the wild’ by brother #4 who is bound to be the future mayor of some small town in Alberta.

 The photos mentioned in the release were not attached (i’ll write the military attache for help) … but instead, here are a few photos Lt. Magnum snapped while in the islands plus one from my trip to Peleliu back around 1995 or so.

{His tasks remind me of a great podcast episode on BicycleMark’s Citizen Reporter about the Rainbow Family helping out down in the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Katrina.}


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug 2, 2007 [0711]

Navy Engineer Makes a Difference

NAVFAC Far East Engineer Recounts Pacific Partnership Humanitarian Mission

My security detail

YOKOSUKA, JAPANWhen Lt. Robert Olson volunteered to be an embedded engineer for the Pacific Partnership Humanitarian Mission in the Philippines he knew the area needed help, but he didn’t know the full extent of the difference he was going to make. He went as part of an advance team – his part, to plan projects for the Seabees. Olson, whose primary responsibility is as an engineer for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East, Public Works Department, learned about the assignment while he was serving in Iraq. He returned to his home in Japan for two weeks and left for the assignment.
The areas where he worked in the Philippines had been hard hit by volcano and typhoon damage from eight months ago.Entire areas were buried.

“It was the kind of contribution I wanted to make from the very beginning,” he said. “Everywhere I looked, there was something needing to be done – they needed help!”

Olson identified the projects to be worked on immediately, such as a hospital in desperate need of repair, where most of the doors and windows were missing.The roof was damaged with ceilings handing down.

Olson said he learned a lot from retired Senior Chief Builder, Ed Guillermin, who worked with him from the onset. “Guillermin had a lot of experience,” Olson said, “especially with preparing the bill of materials.”

Mayon smoking

The next hurdle was getting the materials, but they had quality help there too.Olson explained that a retired marine named, Duane McDavid, working in Singapore was the contracting specialist.He said this man also made a difference.He was able to award contracts to vendors to deliver materials locally – getting the materials on site when they were needed while helping the local economy.

“Another plus was that the materials were to the local standards,” Olson said, explaining the importance of this issue as events unfolded.

He went to Manila to work out materials but acquired more than materials on his trip.

“I stopped in to the headquarters for the Philippine Seabees and met with their Rear Admiral and asked if he could spare five Seabees. He gave us fifteen! Additionally he put us in contact with the Philippine Army Corps of Engineers who provided us with an additional 25 enlisted and officer engineering personnel. So we went from having 20 Seabees to having a work crew of over 50!”

After a day at sea

Olson put them to work, coordinating work efforts in several locations.

“It made things interesting,” he said.

One of the projects included a river clogged by debris. They started by clearing a section with the one bull dozer that the Seabees had.

“We started with that,” he explained. “When the Army saw that – they wanted part of the action too, so they brought their bull dozers and it turned into a real international cooperative effort.”

Olson discovered the value of charitable organizations saying there was a great spirit of volunteerism. They provided lunch time meals, coordinated equipment needs free of charge, and provided transportation for the Medcaps.

Island on way to Pardito

The medical portion of the mission was part of Olson’s job too, scouting for landing sites and making ready for on-land needs for the USS Peleliu – a ship carrying doctors, dentists and other specialized health care personnel.

The Pacific Partnership Humanitarian Mission resulted in 2844 pediatric patients and 4987 primary/acute care people being seen. Health care providers filled 21,112 prescriptions and specialists made 3683 eye glasses. A total of 14,133 patients were seen in all areas of patient care.

But that’s not all. . .a river now flows free.


Lt. Robert Olson snaps a photo while at the Headquarters of the Philippine Seabees.


Lt. Robert Olson photographs river project

Barcelona Travel Tips for tokers and foodies

Some amigos are Barcelona-bound and since i’ve been to this fine city, i’ve assembled a few travel tips and resources for them. Ergo:

Stuff to See:
Picasso’s museum – a wide-ranging collection from youth paintings to pottery to blue period classics by the local boy made good housed in a classic manor house

Antonin Gaudi’s architecture – especially Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia – this master is less known in the west but will blow your mind with melting buildings and a bewildering rethinking of space and material

Goudi's Sagrada Familia Goudy's Parc Guell in Barcelona

Las Ramblas – this is *the* main strolling drag of the city, put on big sunglasses and stop a dozen times for a glass of wine here, tapas there, rent a chair to gaze a little while, take your time – every one else is …

Make sure to:

Eat lots of Gelato – better for ya then ice cream so eat more! a variety of flavors makes hard to choose especially when each is laden with fresh fruit

Tip the posers – along Las Ramblas you’ll see are elaborately-costumed street performers striking poses for tips – throw in your coin and get a brief performance and a chance for a photo

Mmmm ham – it seems in every cafe you’ll see ham aging, tied from ceilings – this marbled meat is served impossibly thin and tasty and makes a great picnic – This guy agrees

Tapas – the aforementioned ham along with hundreds of other small tasty snacks are the norm for eating – be sure to stop along the way for one or many of these small appetizer plates most are displayed in counter case for easy ordering

La Boqueria Market – this meandering indoor market displays the finest the region has to offer from fresh seafood to whole piglets – load up with bread, cheese, meat, olives and Mediterranean fruit for a vast movable feast

I haven’t even mentioned the street musicians in cobbled courtyards, the happening late night vibe, the cable car over the harbour, the fabulous beaches, Columbus statue, clubs and pubs galore, huge steaming paella feasts …

More Tourist Resources:
Dopefiend’s trip to Barcelona – Dopecast #81

Doepfiend in BarcelonaHe says: “In a special Dopecast partially live from the scenic surroundings of the Port Vell in Beautiful Barcelona, the Web’s Favourite Cannabis Commentator tells what makes Barcelona an ideal stoner location and re-lives some favourite memories of the city while smoking some very tasty Moroccan pollen.”

Bonus: Uncle Weed’s podcast with the Dopefiend and Max Freakout  – Choogle On #38

Tourcaster – Getting To Know BarcelonaGetting to Know Barcelona feed

National Geographic Walks of a Lifetime (.mp3)

“Take a ramble with Traveler on tree-lined Las Ramblas, a thoroughfare in Barcelona that actually incorporates five streets and comprises one of Europeâs most electric pedestrian foot fairs. Some say it’s the most famous street in Spain. For our money, it’s one of the world’s greatest promenades–with no intersections and no motor vehicles. Our walk can take you several hours–or all day–depending on how much you decide to sample the city’s world-class art, street performers, and tapas bars. And if you venture the route at night, well, you’ll probably see the sunrise before you get home.”

Rick Steves’ Travel in Europe podcast on Spanish travel and culture

You probably already know that the flamenco, Sunday evening bullfights, tapas, and sangria are some of the flavors of Spain. Now, as part of the European Union, Spain is a re-energized democracy that might also provide us examples for coping with the threats of terrorism.
Also, we’ll learn how the Spanish tradition of taking a midday nap — the siesta — has been helping Spaniards beat stress for centuries…and how its days may be numbered in modern, urban culture. Julio Astor of the Spanish Tourism Board joins Rick to explain the role of “the siesta.”

Thanks to my Mom on Flickr for Barcelona photos
Here’s an interesting Barcelona tag on Flickr in case you want fancier photos

Purple Kush testing episode reaches new err … highs

[cross-posted from Choogle on Forum at The Grow Report]

I usually have little problem spieling on about cannabis or whatever related topic – even while taking a walk or on the seabus and shockingly, i am almost always coherent. Well, in the Purple Kush testing episode, i break my loquacious tradition and stumble along in a debilitated state of speechlessness after joints, vaporizers and hookahs of my beloved homegrown bud.

This almost went into the “lost tapes” pile but Queer Ninja’s adamant request encouraged me to dig it out and dust it off.

Glorious Purple Kush Testing Sessions Choogle on #49

Cousin Herb joins me for two testing sessions (one early in the cure and one later when the bud is perfect) and the second features me drooling on about a recent dentist visit and the struggle to toke with a frozen mouth along with some anecdotes about my horrible job hanging the Christmas lights.

While this one may not make it on the “Greatest Hits” album, you may love it and feel the cold Canadian winter being warmed with the finest herb.

Next up posting Thursday 4:20 PST as Dopefiend and I roast out on my porch, entitled Interrogating a Russian Over Drinks” – not too weedy but I do ask “everything you ever wanted to ask a Russian but were afraid to ask.”

… and in episode #51 is the long awaited Hemp for Victory interview with authour Kenyon Gibson – i wanted to make sure to collect lots of relevant links and notes to give this amazing book the attention it deserves.

Meanwhile be sure to check out Kenyon’s blog “Hemp for Victory” for news and opinions on hemp in the UK and around the world.

US/CAN border line-ups – BC to Washington cameras

Borders are a drag and I often travel o’er the USA/Canada territorial line in the sand via Peace Arch, Pacific (aka Truck) or Lynden cause sitting in a long border line is an exercise in boredom and inefficiency.

I always mean to add these hand resources, so here they are: cameras, wait times, back routes and more.




Rearview Mirror at the border with Hand
photo Lee LeFever

Dopefiend Forums now Choogle-fied

Zandor of the Grow Report along with Dopefiend and the tribe over at Dopefiend.co.uk are barn raising a big, shmancy forum at the Grow Report for the cult-like fanbase to unite in conversation around the world. They set up me up with my own big tent for the Chooglers to hang out in.

Still life with weed In case you haven’t noticed, the Dopefiend Network are rolling out the podcast goodness like a veritable indie-BBC with an international mix of top-notch shows from the op-ed, news-i-fied Dopecast, giggle-fied Queer Ninja, the psyched-pundit Max Freakout, your instant barstool buddy Lefty plus the aforementioned Zandor’s Grow Report (key for med growers) plus Black Bettie’s show on the way.

‘Tis fantastic to see Dopefiend’s earnest vibes people catalyze the chatting and interacting – his shows allows a sterling means of expression for many enthusiastic stoners and i am glad to be along for the ride.

So you’d best choogle on by and offer your opinions on whatever you got to spiel on.

(Another) Promo for Max Freakout’s Psychonautica show from Uncle Weed and The Dopefiend

Continuing on with promos for Max Freakout’s Psychonautica podcast on the Dopefiend.co.uk podcast conglomerate, here’s one with Uncle Weed and the Dopefiend pushing the goods to the people recorded at the Dope Den in South East London in June 2007.

Of course you are subscribed to his show (along with the rest of Dopefiend.co.uk‘s offering) but for my own benefit (and Max’s), here’s the clip.

Uncleweed and Doepfiend Promo for Max Freakout’s Psychonautica (.mp3, :14, >500K)

Kickin’ off the Choogle On Podcast Bonanza

I’ve heard the voice of the people and aye, ’tis a powerful thing. You want the Choogle. I often get hung up on trying to make them *even better* with extra tasty tidbits and i somehow get hung up on the chronological order in whihc i recorded shows thinking that somehow this construct matters to the noble, patient listener. Well considering i have dozens of hours of footage from the recent three-coast long strange trip, i am firing ’em out at my convenience and shooting for a massive batch of the Choogle On! with Uncle Weed [FeediTunesBlog] shows rolling out – warts and all perhaps but you don’t seem to mind too much ;-).

Picaddilly Circus London

Starting it off is the brand-new episode Joints on Brighton Beach – Choogle on #38 with my amigos The Dopefiend and Max Freakout . Topics include weed, politics, revolution, day-trips, trips, and more joints and has a wee of tasty music to commemorate the first all-new episode in some time – Lazarus by The Black Tories and a snippet of Rocket Man from Clayton the Seabus busker.

Scenes of Brighton UK

Look forward to a few late night wanders around London, a visit with Hemp Ed, another chat with the Numbskulz, an interview with the authour of Hemp For Victory, a vaporizer test, a hookah session, late night wander seeking the heart of San Jose, rooftop tokeout in NYC’s West Greenwich Village and observing a band in a bubble in the Meatpacking District. Plus some rather random personal journals and trip comments along the way. Gonna post it anyhow.

Atlantic Seacoast in Brighton

Oh yeah, tons of new stuff from Heads e-magazine shirts, flags and the like. Tell me why you deserve free stuff via choogleon (insert @ here) @uncleweed (dot) net.

Do try to stay up now.

Lounging in W. Norwood, Trips to Brighton, Wandering in Camden, …

Note to say i’ve fastidiously documented thick slices of my travels in London … Didn’t make it Scotland this time around but heaps of good times starting with staying at Piccadilly Circus in the midst of downtown chaos taking late night walks through famous sites, to lounging in a nice middle class neighborhood equipped with vaporizer to a proper English day trip to the seaside of free-wheeling Brighton and a herbal respite on a canal in Camden before an interview with an ex-pat author.

Around my toil, I managed dozens of hours of concentrated goodness in audio recordings including intrepid dark adventures past the new Globe Theater over Tower Bridge in the pouring rain en route to Cleopatra’s obelisk while Big Ben’s bonging 3AM – seems i didn’t record *allthatmuch* but ended up with a’ plenty – and even a decent stack of photos and video clips from the front row of a double decker bus. Yeah i am a sucker for thrill ride (heh).

A few appetizers perhaps?