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mental health mondays :: let's talk [begrudgingly]

this will be a quick one, because there's only so far i can go praising an initiative from bell canada before i start to vurp.

nevertheless, as much as i might detest them as a former customer [and i do], i appreciate the fact that bell has mounted a campaign for the last three years on raising awareness about and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. the "let's talk" campaign is also, of course, a fundraising effort and bell donates money per tweet, per call, per text and per facebook share on wednesday, january 28th. they also have a community fund that provides grants to organizations seeking to improve access to mental health programs. plus they've given an arseload of money to hospitals, research bodies and organizations like kids help line.

the web site for the campaign is itself a solid resource for information on mental health issues and the corporation has even developed a nifty little toolkit so that you can organize your own mental health events/ discussions.

as i say every year, being a bell canada customer might not have been good for my personal mental health, but their "let's talk" initiative is doing a lot to help others. so yes, even bad corporations can do good things sometimes. and just as we should hold them to account when they screw up, we should give them a salute when they do things right. [otherwise they'll never learn.]

i will be making a concerted effort to create a tweetstorm on my own with their #bellletstalk hash tag, but please feel free to join in [especially if you're a bell customer, since that's where the call/ text money will come from] and speak up about your crazy and the right of all of us to have our crazy treated seriously and respectfully.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…