Author Archives: All Things Pacific NorthWest

It’s Zeeeelicious!

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a vegan. Not really but I did give it a try for a couple months over the summer. Hats off to anyone who actually is a dedicated vegan because damn! That’s a hard order to fill. If you live in the downtown core, there’s no shortage of quirky little cafes offering everything from gluten-free, nut-free to all animal products-free. But if you are someone like me who had to shamefully move back home because holy housing prices downtown! Well you probably noticed the further east you move from Vancouver, the less cute little corner cafes that can fit you dietary bill you will find. Enter Zena’s Gluten Free Bakery!

 

The bakery was started by two friends, Rebecca and Erin and if you stop by on any given day  you’re likely to see them there! Please don’t be the person that comes in and asks to speak to Zena, there is no Zena! They got the name idea from it’s origins in other languages, translating to warm, hospitable and welcoming in Greek and Woman Warrior in Latin, no doubt that resonated with the two kick ass boss lady owners #girlpower.

 

This bakery has enough food options to suit the dietary needs of even the most concerning customer requirements. Not to mention the food isn’t half bad, actually it’s zeeeelicious! Although they don’t have in store seating at their location, the yummy treats to go are worth the trip out there. 10/10 recommend the old school brownie if you’re planning a stop by. But if you’re unfortunate enough to not live in the area you still have some gluten free options provided by Zena’s, their website offers online shipping of their dry mixes so you can bake at home! Even the most kitchen challenged of us can manage to turn out a few treats with them. But if you’re like me where everything somehow turns into a disaster in a kitchen settings, fear not! The staff welcome calls to the bakery to help trouble shooting, trust me, they know me by name there at this point!

 

So if you have a strict dietary restriction or are just looking at different options to spice up your meals, check out Zena’s Gluten Free Bakery in Maple Ridge, pretty soon you’ll be saying “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gluten!” *Fabio voice*

 

 

 

 

Extra Extra Read All About The Fake News

FAKE NEWS!! I’ve bet you’ve heard that term within the last year more than once. Albeit, probably from the worrisome leader of our neighbours to the south, but to throw a plot twist at you, I wont be talking about him today, well not directly anyways. Instead, I want to tell you about the troublesome issue of fake news and I thought what better way than to scroll through my Facebook feed and find you an example. Let me tell you, it didn’t take long.

 

After scrolling for a couple a minutes the day after the Las Vegas shooting took place, I came across an article titled Las Vegas Gunshot Victim Believes There Were Multiple Shooters (The Blast, 2017). Now this article presents the misinformation in a deceiving way. By interviewing an individual, Rocky Palermo, who was in the vicinity when the shootings took place, a sense of insider knowledge or expertise is offered to readers. The fact that Palermo is not trained for situations such as these nor does he have any tactical knowledge of bullet trajectory still does not stop him from claiming there were multiple shooters. But not just multiple shooters, at least 3-5 shooters according to his insider knowledge. This is all the Internet needed to spark a wildfire, and let me tell you, that thing spread faster than a snow cone melts in hell.

Enter conspiracy theorists.

 

Within hours Facebook groups such as Las Vegas Shooting Uncensored Talk and Las Vegas Shooting Investigation were started, pulling in members by the hundreds. Here an open discussion board fuelled the fire of misinformation as thousands of people turned Facebook into an echo chamber, reiterating their own beliefs and custom interpretations, with no regard for fact checking or the truth. Confirmation bias is a funny thing isn’t it? To add to the chaos, Facebook and Google alike promoted several false news stories surrounding the shooter, some claimed he was a Trump hating Democrat, but most startling, false news stories surfaced of wrongly identifying the shooters as Geary Danley (Levin, 2017). The origin of the misidentification of the shooter are unclear but that didn’t stop the false accusation from being spread across social media platforms. His name was quickly embedded into the algorithms of Facebook and Google and thus the sites promoted the rumour by having it remain at the top of the search results for anyone searching his name.

 

The police have come out publicly stating there was only one shooter, Stephan Paddock, and have emphasized this point in spite of all the conspiracies claiming otherwise (Qiu, 2017). And let me tell you, boy are there a lot of conspiracy theories starting up, just a quick google search and you’ll find more than your fair share.

 

Now, I don’t know about you, but this leads me to question how this fake news was able to spin out of control so fast and gain so much traction. Let’s look at the news source, in 2016 it was reported that 62% of adults use social media platforms, such as Facebook, as their news source. This has increased by 13% since 2014 (PEW Research Center, 2016), an unsettling trend to say the least. If that doesn’t freak you out than how about this, 44% of Facebook users use the platform as a news source, two thirds of their users (PEW Research Center, 2016), I’ll break that down further for you, there are 2.01 billion Facebook users, this means that approximately 884400000 people use Facebook as their primary news source. Were you too lazy to read that number? It is 884.4 MILLION people, let that resonate.

 

But wait! It doesn’t stop there, nearly 6 out of 10 Twitter users receive their news from Twitter and get this, 7 out of 10, 70% of Redd It users use that site as their news source, REDD IT! (PEW Research Center, 2016). As a communications student, I’m sure my fellow students will agree, the first thing we learn is to take every news article you read with a grain of salt, if you are getting your news articles from Redd It, I suggest you down the entire 1kg box of salt with it. (Please don’t actually ingest 1kg of salt).

 

If I haven’t already lost you in the numbers, I have one more to throw at you, 31% of these users get their information from this social media platform. Wait for it. Tumblr (PEW Research Center, 2016). Honestly, I wasn’t even aware that Tumblr even posted anything news related, let alone have that many people use it as a news source. I’m just going to say it, bring back the newspaper! Evidently, we are in desperate need of it.

 

References:

Blast Staff, The. (2017). Las vegas gunshot victim believes there were multiple shooters. The Blast.

Gottfried, J., Shearer, E. (2016). News use across social media platforms 2016. Pew Research Center.

Levin, S. (2017). Facebook and google promote politicized fake news about las vegas shooter. The Guardian.

Qui, L. (2017). No, there was not more than one gunman in the las vegas shooting. The New York Times.

 

 

 

A Peer Review: By Rachel F

I didn’t have to read it on her about page to know that Emily is a visual+interaction designer. Her website speaks for itself and oh my is it telling a story. In the subtlest and minimalist way possible, her website his screaming “I’M BEAUTIFUL”. Actually though, I could stare at your home page all day, it’s that aesthetically pleasing. Although there is an abundance of whitespace, I believe it helps draw the attention of the viewer to your photos. I noticed as well that your Instagram account that is linked in the sidebar contains photos of a similar theme and appearance to that of your website. Continuity! Nice touch.

In terms of proportion, I think your titles could be a bit larger in size as they seem to get a little bit lost in the shuffle while scrolling through your page. Or perhaps even a slightly thicker font will help create an emphasis and guide the viewer.

A couple of other concerns I have are about the customization of your website. Keep in mind, I’m not the best person to critique this aspect because, personally speaking, I am terrible at changing code to make computers do what I want, so please take this next part with a grain of salt!

The Olsen WordPress Theme you have chosen is absolutely stunning, but that still leaves room for you to personalize and tailor it. I’ve noticed several other websites with this theme and they tend to look very similar to one another. And as Travis Gertz brings up in his article, How To Survive The Digital Apocalypse, there is a lot of pressure to apply what has been successful with other organizations to our own. I am definitely guilty of looking at other websites using my same theme for ideas. I do appreciate the customizations you have done with your colour scheme to set yours apart though and I’ve noticed that the font you have picked is much heavier than the default one (seriously what were the designers thinking with their original, no one can read that!).

Speaking of my own experiences, it’s easy to see a theme laid out for you, take it at face value and just layer in your own content without any modifications. But even the design aspects, that have been tried and tested and made it to the final stage of these WordPress themes, shouldn’t be blindly accepted as the ultimate perfect design.

We can’t trust the data. And those who do will always be stuck chasing a robotic approach to human connection – Gertz

Wishes and Wants of Audience Location

Hello to my public! If you’re reading this then that’s you! Whether you like it or not according to Michael Warner, although if you don’t like it I suppose you could always leave this page, please don’t.

Let’s restart.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to visit this website. Upon settling on a concept for this website, I figured my audience would be pretty geographically obvious. I have a website exploring the great Pacific Northwest so its viewers would most likely be it’s inhabitants. But then it was brought to my attention that my website could instead act as a tourism beacon and thus my audience would be people from different parts of the world hoping to come and explore our lovely little enclave.

If that’s the case than fantastic! But in all honesty, I’m inclined to think the majority of my web traffic is from a little PUB 101 class from a university located somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Just a hunch though…. hi guys, see you on Tuesday!

Quarry Rock

This last surge of summer weather has inspired me to get outside. Haha just kidding, I wanted to stay in my pjs and watch movies, but thank god I have active friends that drag me on hikes with them. And you should thank them too because this review of North Vancouver’s Quarry Rock is brought to you by the extremely rude text from miss emily that forced me out into the elements.

For those of you who swore you would have a rockin summer body for 2017 but failed to go to the gym and are still madly out of shape, well first, join the club, and second, this hike is for you! As someone who loses her breath while walking up a flight of stairs, I can personally vouch that this hike is 110% doable. The round trip takes just under 2 hours and has a mild 100 metres elevation gain. And oh boy is that view worth it. You look out on the deep blue waters of the Indian Arm and get to see the picturesque mountains around Belcarra. If these views don’t stir up all sorts of nostalgia for our beautiful city then move away because we don’t want you. But on a serious note, the view you’ll look out on is everything that comes to mind when someone says beautiful British Colombia. Take your time and lounge in the sun on massive rock faces, bring a lunch, make a day of it! The only sweat you’ll work up will be from the sun beating down on you. That being said, do be careful and wear proper shoes, the hike isn’t difficult but the terrain gets rocky in some places and I saw not one but several abandoned sandals. Please don’t add to the graveyard of cute flip flops!

John Lennon Millennial Remix

Yes, I have a smartphone, but it’s an iPhone. This translate to the battery goes from 100-0% in 2.7 seconds (approximately). So thank god I have a Mac Book, which oddly enough lasts almost 8 hours on a full charge-get it together Apple. This means that I spend most of my time on my laptop and less time on my phone, and being part of the millennial generation, classically characterized by a social media addiction, the Instagram website is an always open tab.

As you can see, the website is very similar to how it is displayed on any given smartphone. However, I would argue that the format is better suited for tablet/smartphone viewing. The website is well balanced with equal empty space on either side and the content heavily weighted in the centre, but this leaves the page with an abundance of negative white space.

 

Instagram underwent a makeover several years back, most of us will remember it as the time the logo went from the little brown camera to the bright pink icon. Instagram also removed background colouring and replaced it with predominately white blank backings. They claimed their reasons were to create less distractions for viewers by draw less attention away from the photos being posted. This concept did not translate well to their website. Instead it has left a washed out and boring screen to stare at, thank god the photos being posted are interesting because otherwise I would have ditched this platform a while ago.

 

In terms of proportion, the photos posted by users are clearly emphasized as their sizing outweighs any other aspect of the website. That being said, in the profile page, some more attention should be placed on the user’s information such as their profile picture, username etc. Instead the first point of focus is the posted photos in the middle of the page. Arguably the last point of focus is the Instagram name in the top left corner. I mean it’s understandable that if you’re on that page you obviously know you’re using the Instagram platform but come’on, it’s just bad branding on their part, cease the opportunity.

 

At the end of the day, I can complain all I want about the misused design principles Instagram has implemented but it will still be my number 1 tab, guaranteed to be open at any time of the day.

You may say I’m addicted, but I’m not the only one.

 

And oh my how convenient, my Instagram is linked right there to your right, toss me a follow.

 

Everyone Sweats

The era of social media has created a generation obsessed with posting their best selves for the world to see. In many cases, these “best selves” are far reaches to what their actual lives resemble. During such times, it is a rarity to uncover someone willing to be honest with their audience about the less than picturesque moments. Ivan So Sweaty throws social normality out the window and reveals an attempt at a genuine connection with his audience through honest communication about problems everyone faces. Let be real, everyone sweats, we’ve all had self-conscious moments with clammy hands and sweaty pit stains.

Website Review

Upon first glance, the aesthetics of the Ivan So Sweaty are pleasing to the eye. The header collage of pictures are organized in a geometrically sound way and the blinking arrow intrigues the reader, pulling them down towards the content of the website. The empty white space at the very top of the page is prime real estate, I can appreciate the minimalist design of the website as that what I am aiming for with mine as well, however, it seems like a bit of a waste leaving it entirely blank. Although the images on the home page speak for themselves and are far more powerful than any words can be, a title letting the viewers know what website they are viewing could be helpful and still fall in line with a minimal approach.

Your True Self

After reading your About page, I had a pretty clear idea as to why you chose this subject to focus your website on. Ivan makes a point to say that although it may appear he is presenting a genuine and honest version of himself, it is only one part of him and he is not presenting his entire self. In John Sutler’s article, he poses the question of the true self being constructed and buried upon layers of personality, if this is the case then does the disinhibition effect release that true self? Regarding this website, I would instead argue that the true self is made up of different parts, Ivan is putting forward a personal part of his true self yet at the same time, hiding other parts of his true self. In addition, Sutler also talks about dissociative anonymity and how that gives you power. Ivan, you have revealed a personal and ongoing struggle that you face in your daily life but you have used your last name in a way that can be overlooked by the majority of your audience. The pictures on your home page also depict a man looking to be in his 20’s but again have all identifying features hidden. Being able to separate your website from your real world identity can perhaps allow you to be more open with your blog posts but it also can create a sense of distrust between you and your audience.

 

Overall, I really like your concept for your website because at the end of the day there are 2 kinds of people in the world, those who sweat and filthy liars.

Mind Map

Simplicity is key. And easy navigation is everyones friend. I have tried my best to make the content on my website easily accessible for everyone to find what they are looking for. I have menus set up for the general topics I want to post about, there are only 2 for now but as my interests expand I hope to include other areas relating to Vancouver. The far right is reserved for PUB 101 content. It’s drop down menu leads to all the sections laid out in the course syllabus such as process posts, peer reviews etc. Hopefully, this will make it easier to find posts relating to the course.

 

Clean and simple lines are my goal for the appearance of my website. Simple elegance is something to strive for and through this website I hope to achieve a degree of minimalist beauty.

Lindeman Lake

If you want to get your ass kicked by a steep vertical incline, boy do I have a hike for you. Lindeman Lake is located within Chilliwack Provincial Park and is approximately 2 hours east of Vancouver. The hike itself is about 4km roundtrip and can be completed in a crisp 2.5 hours, but trust me, you’ll want to leave some time to enjoy the lake and all it’s glorious views.

The hike starts off with a nice mountain-esque trail as you begin your ascent. Don’t let it fool you, the full hike will not be that easy. About a third of the way up is where the fun kicks in, or if you’re like me, the torture. Smart tip: wear shoes with laces so every 10 minutes when you feel like you’re going to die you can stop and pretend you have to tie them to take a quick break without looking like you’re as out of shape as you are.

 

I definitely wanted to turn around at every break I took, thank god I have active friends who push me because the lake at the end is absolutely worth it. Turquoise mountain water awaits you and if it’s a hot day, there is no better feeling than jumping into the crystal clear lake and feeling the refreshing glacier water. There is a lot a exploring to be done around Lindeman Lake, not to mention the photo opportunities because as every millennial knows, when it comes to hiking: pics or it didn’t happen.


 

Have a photo shoot, go for a swim, if you’re feeling extra adventurous you can camp out there over night and tackle the Greendrop Lake hike which is just past Lindeman a little further.

 

And one final tip for all of you from my own personal experience, if you are in a rush to get back to your car because you’re going to be late for work, do not and I repeat do not try to run down the steep incline. Yes it could save time and yes it seems like the fasted way but when you lose your footing on the loose rocks and tumble to your way to bruises and bloody knees, you’ll wish you took the cautious way instead.

10/10 do not recommend running.