JoeyColeman.ca

Hi, I'm Joey Coleman, a journalist in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada who is a open data activist, engaged citizen, and proud blogger. This is my personal website, or the place I try to break the Internet

On Pressed Black Pants

I was that guy in high school, pressed black pants every day. What some may call dressing for success; but at its root there was a practicality to this - I found that Moore's sold good pants at a fair price, and eventually they became my entire pant wardrope. "Boring" as my closest friend often remarked. Black shoes (running shoes, again practical), and a collared polo shirt of some type. This was my "uniform" before I actually had a uniform. Post High-School, wearing a loose fitting uniform for work, I slowly converted to loose fitting cargo pants and khakis. In university, and post-university, I never went back to pressed pants. In rez and renting a student room, I didn't have...

God Isn't Giving You That Choice Coleman

Sunday, July 8, 2001 - Land Forces Central Area Training Centre MeafordThe call is made, who among us recruits wishes to attend Church Parade. I declare that I will be attending services. We form up alphabetically, my last name happens to place me first. The Sergeant asks me "So Coleman, what are you?""Baptist Sergeant!""Coleman, God isn't giving you that option. So what are you again?""Baptist Sergeant""Coleman, God is only giving you two choices, Catholic or Catholic without the Pope"I stare blankly ahead. The Sergeant had a wit about him, and even after a week, I've realized that it's best to shut-up; this Sergeant enjoys humiliating recruits more than the others. I'm already standing out, I'm...

Why Did I Exclude Ice Cream From the Story?

The other day I was telling a story, one of my favourite stories. The time people thought I was gambling on the Pope. It's April 2005, Pope John Paul II has died. I'm living in St. Andrew's College at the University of Manitoba. It is the seminary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. I'm the student union representative for the College's student association. De facto, I represent the students of the College to other student bodies on campus. I'm also a reader at St. John's College, the Anglican college on campus. I'm Protestant, identifying as Baptist. These roles make me a leader in these faith communities. A few days after Pope John Paul II's death, a group of us...

Should Office Hours Be Renamed Open Hours?

My path to university is unconventional, I'm a bit of a unicorn, not many Crown Wards of my age went onto post-secondary education, as there were not the supports needed. I went to the University of Manitoba, they gave me a good offer, and I believed that as they had access supports available for Crown Wards, it was a wise choice to move out of Hamilton to attend university. (Another motivating factor was seeing first generation students among my non-Crown Ward peers dropping out of university due to being unable to focus on their studies due to friend and family pressures)Nowhere near an "elite" university. NPR's The 1A aired an fascinating discussion entitled "What Happens To Low-Income Students In...

UCalifornia Takes Big Step Towards Open Access: Cuts Subscription to Elsevier

The University of California was paying Elsevier $10-million per year to access academic journals filled with publicly funded research that Elsevier paid nothing towards the cost of researching. The academic journal publishing racket has had a good run blocking public access to knowledge, and charging institutions billions of dollars in rent to access academic journals. University of California released the decision in a press release:“Make no mistake: The prices of scientific journals now are so high that  not a single university in the U.S. — not the University of California,  not Harvard, no institution — can afford to subscribe to them all,”  said Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, university librarian and economics professor  at UC Berkeley, and co-chair of UC’s negotiation team....

The Crushing Feeling of Disappointing Others

Sunday evening began the latest young adults conversation & learning session at my parish, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Downtown Hamilton. It is the first group activity I've done in the Church since RCIA when I converted so many years ago. I tend to practice my faith in solitude, not hidden, just not in group discussions within the parish. I listened intently, only speaking briefly once when my thoughts were requested. These discussions are new to me. The topic turns to our human fallibilities and failings. Another parishioner notes that we then to be more diligent when others can see us, and that the must crushing of failures are those we commit which negatively effect others. Very true, and...

Snow Storms and Perfect Attendance

There are two tough winters that I can instantly recall the year of, 1992 and 2004. 2004 was cold, very cold, Hamilton's modern record low temperature of -30C was recorded at Hamilton Airport on January 16, 2004. I remember day-after-day of cold, layering my uniform jackets, and still being cold. 1992, I remember it for the number of storms, the wind, the cold, and the one day I was one minute late for school. I loss my perfect attendance. This was a big deal to me, I hadn't been able to get perfect attendance because of moving between schools during the year. 1992, we'd already had many snow days when the storm I remember was raging. It was windy, very...

The Moon Missions as a Child of the 80s

The 20th anniversary of Apollo 11 occurred when I was age seven; only three years after the Challenger Disaster. I didn't grasp the significance, only recently starting to read full non-fiction books and National Geographic magazines. Sometime shortly after the anniversary, I got my hands on a National Geographic about the mission, which included an audio record recording of the mission. I used my grandmother's record player to listen to that mission, it was fascinating, man on the moon, technological achievement, anything was possible. I was mesmerized, reading every book I could get at the school library about the moon landing. It was Apollo 11 that gained all the attention, it was Apollo 11 which was subject of all the...

Words for Journalists - like me - to Live By

From Gary Abernathy, as published by The Washington Post:Thomas Jefferson famously wrote,  “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government  without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not  hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” The biggest danger to  Jefferson’s preference is not Donald Trump. It is the self-destructive  habits of modern journalism itself. That it is better to be right than  to be first is a concept that, in the Internet age, seems as quaint as  Jefferson’s quill pen.Jefferson could not have  conceived of a BuzzFeed and the infinite landscape of constantly updated  digital platforms, or the 24-hour cable news cycle. But all who aspire  to be part...

How Do I Respond to Radical "Populism" Which Exploits Social Angst

The rise of extremist is distressing. Good people, people I know have lost their way, are vacuumed into extremist. Why? It promises a relief valve to the angst of precarity which inflicts the working class and marginalized people in our society. The purity and simplicity of extreme ideologies fulfilling a need for purpose, a need to feel empowered, the need to feel some dignity. Extremist is not providing solutions, and in many cases will worse the very precarity which needs solving. I can only minimally fault the people I know, the people who I've known as good, for turning to extremism. The leaders in our society are failing to address precarity, are failing to address the challenges society is facing,...