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Your Success: it is ill Gotten – Blog 4

Your Success: it is ill Gotten – Blog 4 

(452 words)

It is a common misconception that the podcast community does not have any conflict. That, due to the format of the podcast community being predominantly a one way street of discourse; avast! That is not so. Things get surprisingly and deliciously spicy from time to time; however, most conflict in the podcast community is in the form of rabble rousing and greatly benefits the channels involved. On the StarTalk Radio podcast, Neil Degrassi Tyson’s beef with other astrophysicists about Pluto’s status as a planet is hardly a legitimate source of conflict. In fact I’d say the community feeds off of that kind of conflict and grows from it. 

Aside from some intra-podcast channel drama, I think the largest, nay! The dangerous conflicts are coming from the misappropriation of podcast content. Podcast content is frequently being misappropriated by 3rd parties and used for their own gain. I hear this talked about from time to time; back on February 3rd I had listened to Joe Rogan explain the problem to his guest Jim Norton. He pointed out the problem of “Companies […] taking clips as we were live and uploading them immediately and building these huge channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and you could use that for anything they were selling things they had links to stuff, they were basically building a business off of your clips.” (Rogan, 2020). He went on to explain that while there are copyright laws that protect community members, it is becoming increasingly hard to track due to the sheer volume of content being uploaded. 

Whenever they are found these parasites get exorcised pretty fast, but new ones sprout up very fast. The idea is that these people setting up the channels use clips from popular content creators, and essentially leach the analytics of the original channel. Aside from taking subscribers and affecting the original channels’ analytics, creators have a problem with what other messages are being attached to their clips and what kind of products are being sold. It could easily be some unsavory individuals using the creators popularity to push their own agenda or sell products that the creators would not want to be associated with. 

Many content creators on the internet deal with this same conflict. While individual instances can be resolved, the fight is ongoing. As an avid purviewer of quality podcast content, I for one do feel irked to say the least when I find channels that have essentially stolen from creators I follow. Not much I do but spit a little and make sure you don’t give troll accounts the views, downloads or subs they’re scamming for. 

I hope you learned something from this, and remember, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated. 

And here’s my name to say so.

D.A. Mills

References

Rogan, J. (Host). (2020, February 03). #1421 – Jim Norton [Audio podcast]. In The Joe Rogan Experience. Google Podcasts. 

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cDovL2pvZXJvZ2FuZXhwLmpvZXJvZ2FuLmxpYnN5bnByby5jb20vcnNz&episode=MTY3NGY3MTktY2I4MS00Y2ZjLWI2NDAtMWNmMzFmOTgyNmNm&ved=0CDYQzsICahcKEwjwvtGV9p_oAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ

Invasion of the Ear Snatchers – Blog 3

Invasion of the Ear Snatchers – Blog 3

(562 Words)

Over the last several years, I have witnessed several micro trends in the podcast communities that I frequent. These include mainly the advancement and accessibility of the technology necessary to make a podcast. The reliability of the technology has played a huge roll in whether podcasters were willing to work on the road. Several of the hosts of IronRadio for instance, either have guest calls/Skype-ins or record the show while on the road. I remember some of the earlier shows being a real shot in the dark when hosts were conferencing while on the road. Well, the future is now; we have the technology. 

Hardware aside, the Casters are all looking for more and more ways to track their analytics and connect with their viewers. The before mentioned Ironradio had long since used email and Facebook, but many of the younger generation are asking viewers to connect through LinkedIn (OilField Basics), Instagram, or even Twitter (IQ2US). Even some big name players are recording the video of themselves making the podcast and uploading it to YouTube where the same material has a chance to be monetized, often a second time (JoeRogan Experience).

Those are just what I call the micro trends I’ve personally been noticing. On a larger scale however I was unaware of the more impressive macro-trends surrounding the Podcast community; the Digital News Report 2019 did a recent survey of 75,000 people it was revealed that over half of people under 35 listen to at least one podcast a month, even going so far as to refer to this group as a “plugged-in smart phone generation” (Fletcher et al., 2019). 

As you can infer from the above graph, there is a surprisingly large number of people relying on podcasts for, presumably as I do, news and entertainment. There is understandably a plethora of reasons why Millennials and Zoomers are turning their backs to the MainStream Media and instead embracing alternative media sources like podcasts. A few of these reasons were touched on in the Digital News Report 2019, explaining that “no matter how good reporting may be, if people do not salute it, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on public opinion and knowledge” (Fletcher et al., 2019).  The following data from the report helped explain the reasoning behind leaving traditional media behind.

Pay special attention to the mere 16% of people that the Reuters Institute found were agreeing that the media uses the right tone; another paltry 29% felt the topics covered were relevant to them (Fletcher et al., 2019). 

It is my strong belief that these statistics show how the chichi reporting of mainstream media has caused people to reach into the cornucopia of podcasts for seemingly custom tailored news reporting. Reporting no less on topics they are interested in and conveyed in a tone people both enjoy and relate to.


Podcasts are by and large a positive ‘personal’ experience for most people; however, there may be some downsides to the masses of the under 35  crowd diving into the realm of podcasts, but that’s for another blog. 

And here’s my name to say so.

D.A. Mills 

References

Fletcher, R., Kalogeropoulos, A., Newman, N. (2019). Digital News Report 2019. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 49-61. Retrieved from

https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2019-06/DNR_2019_FINAL_0.pdf

A Deep Look at the Discourse Community of Drilling 

A Deep Look at the Discourse Community of Drilling

(913 Words)

Author’s Note:

Below is an informal report using a memo format written for the Communications 202 course at Fleming College. We are analysing discourse communities that are related to our program of study. Analysis is done under the presumption that we are already active members of this discourse community and the community is assessed according to the requirements laid out by John Swales. As a 2nd semester student in the Resource Drilling Technician program, I’ve written about the drilling community at large.

To:   Comm 202 
From: D.A. Mills 
Date: February 09, 2020 
Re:   Discourse Community Analysis of Drillers 


Introduction

In 2019 I took the first tentative step to enter the drilling community by enrolling in the Resource Drilling Technician program at Fleming College. This report should serve to help newcomers to the drilling discourse community. Topics will include the community’s history, lexicon, methods of communication and more. Using John Swales’ Six Characteristics of Discourse (COMM202, 2020) to examine the community and research to provide examples of specific Drilling Discourse communities, newcomers will gain knowledge and insight about the community. I will conclude with several recommendations on how to join the drilling community. 

Background

Because of drilling’s long history and application around the globe, over time drilling has developed several particular communities which focus on individual aspects which allow the professionals to work, learn, and communicate.

The professionals working in the drilling community typically have duties involving one or more of the 4 main branches of drilling. These are Environmental Drilling, Geotechnical Drilling, Resource Drilling and Water-well Drilling. Geotechnical Drilling: done before any construction occurs to obtain information about soil conditions and ensure the safety and stability of buildings and tunnels (GEOL16, 2020). Environmental Drilling: Used both before and after there are any environmental concerns. This type of drilling is “performed when soil or groundwater samples are required in order to assess an area for contamination, or when groundwater monitoring wells or remediation wells are required for the treatment of groundwater” (Hinterland Drilling, 2020). Resource Drilling: Done to obtain any resources of economic value, such as metals or oil. Water-well Drilling: Used to gain access to groundwater sources anytime there is a need for potable water. A form of drilling known as Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is also commonly used in resource drilling, geotechnical drilling and the installation of utilities. It is due to this diversity of work and the promise of high pay that drew me into the drilling community. 

In the drilling community, experience and results trump any paper credentials. So while formal education is more of an asset rather than a requirement, it is certainly held in high regard. A great example of formal education would be Fleming College’s Resource Drilling Technician diploma program (Fleming College, 2020). They also detail several auxiliary courses seen as valuable within the drilling community. Those courses include Transportation of Dangerous Goods, First Aid, Working at Heights, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, H2S and a DZ License.

Research and Analysis 

Over time, drillers in all areas have gained a reputation for working in all manner of severe weather and unsafe conditions, working long hours and being copiously productive with their labour. A lesser known trait of high importance among drillers is the ability to communicate effectively. Safety being chief among a drillers concerns, the Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee (ADITC, 2015) specially emphasises drillers “must be able to communicate effectively with geologists, engineers, consultants, landholders, and all others involved in a drilling project, so that it can be completed in the most efficient and economical manner”. 

John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities
Art by D.A. Mills
Art of John Swales’ Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities: D.A. Mills

In John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities (COMM202, 2020), John Swales lays out the required characteristics for a discourse community to proliferate and function. All 6 of these characteristics can be seen within the drilling community. There is a broadly agreed set of common public goals, mechanisms of intercommunication among their members, participatory mechanisms to provide information and an acquired specific lexis.

All drillers share the common goal of providing efficient service while maintaining safety. We wear regulated Personal Protective Equipment. These include, CSA approved hard hats, safety glasses, boots and High Visibility clothing. 

In the drilling industry we have several mechanisms of intercommunication among ourselves. Some of these also provide ample opportunity to participate in the exchange of information and receive feedback. These include daily reports in the form of drill logs and hand signals when on the job site. Additionally due to the ever evolving industry around drilling, many drillers join groups on social media like the Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group (2019). In these groups drillers can troubleshoot problems with each other or just discuss our day to day operations. 

Drillers have a vast lexis which is used on a daily basis. This will include everything from specific geological vocabulary, abbreviations for tools and parts of drill rigs and some rather colourful jargon to describe different aspects of the job. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Drilling is a serious business and likewise the drilling discourse community can be very professional at times. Due to the rough nature of the work, the community can also be downright crass at times. Whether it’s the professional side or the grittier side, newcomers can rest assured knowing that the drilling community is very welcoming and sharing. For those newcomers looking to get involved, I’ll offer a few great first steps. 

  • Apply! There are a lot of entry level positions open in the  drilling industry and getting involved with the work itself is a wonderful first step. 
  • Learn! For the more academic minded, enrolling in a course like Fleming College’s Resources Drilling Technician diploma not only opens a lot of doors but teaches a plethora of important knowledge.
  • Join and participate in a chat group like the Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group on Facebook.

As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to enter the discourse, I find it to be a very positive and welcoming community. I wholly encourage you to take that first step and come on in.

And here’s my name to say so.

D.A. Mills

References

Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee. (2015). The Drilling

Manual (Fifth Edition). Australia: CRC Press

Fleming College. (2020). Resources Drilling Technician (Optional Co-op).

Retrieved from https://flemingcollege.ca/programs/resources-

drilling-technician

Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group [Facebook page]. (2019).

Retrieved January 28, 2020, from 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/395066454388761/

GEOL16. (2020). Resources Drilling & Blasting Week #1: Introduction to 

Geotechnical Drilling [PowerPoint presentation]. Retrieved from

Fleming College myCampus Portal.

Hinterland Drilling. (2020). Environmental Drilling. Retrieved from 

https://www.hinterlanddrilling.com.au/blog/what-is-environmental-

digging

COMM202. (2020). John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse

Communities [Desire2Learn link]. Retrieved from Fleming College

myCampus Portal.

DCA 2nd Draft

DCA 2nd Draft 

(900 Words)

Author’s Note:

Below is an informal report using a memo format written for the Communications 202 course at Fleming College. We are analysing discourse communities that are related to our program of study. Analysis is done under the presumption that we are already active members of this discourse community and the community is assessed according to the requirements laid out by John Swales. As a 2nd semester student in the Resource Drilling Technician program, I’ve written about the drilling community at large.

To: Comm 202

From: D.A. Mills

Date: 22 Jan 20

Re: Discourse Community Analysis of Drillers

Introduction

In 2019 I took the first tentative step to enter the drilling community by enrolling in the Resource Drilling Technician program at Fleming College. This report should serve to help newcomers to the drilling discourse community. Topics will include the community’s history, lexicon, methods of communication and more. Using John Swales’ Six Characteristics of Discourse (COMM202, 2020) to examine the community and research to provide examples of specific Drilling Discourse communities, newcomers will gain knowledge and insight about the community. I will conclude with several recommendations on how to join the drilling community. 

Background

Because of drilling’s long history and application around the globe, over time drilling has developed several particular communities which focus on individual aspects which allow the professionals to work, learn, and communicate.

The professionals working in the drilling community typically have duties involving one or more of the 4 main branches of drilling. These are Environmental Drilling, Geotechnical Drilling, Resource Drilling, and Water-well Drilling. Geotechnical Drilling: done before any construction occurs to obtain information about soil conditions and ensure the safety and stability of buildings and tunnels (Harvey, 2020). Environmental Drilling: Used both before and after there are any environmental concerns. This type of drilling is “performed when soil or groundwater samples are required in order to assess an area for contamination, or when groundwater monitoring wells or remediation wells are required for the treatment of groundwater” (Hinterland Drilling, 2020). Resource Drilling: Done to obtain any resources of economic value, such as metals or oil. Water-well Drilling: Used to gain access to groundwater sources anytime there is a need for potable water. A form of drilling known as Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is also commonly used in resource drilling, geotechnical drilling and the installation of utilities. It is due to this diversity of work and the promise of high pay that drew me into the drilling community. 

In the drilling community, experience and results trump any paper credentials. So while formal education is more of an asset rather than a requirement, it is certainly held in high regard. A great example of formal education would be Fleming College’s Resource Drilling Technician diploma program (Fleming College, 2020). They also detail several auxiliary courses seen as valuable within the drilling community. Those courses include Transportation of Dangerous Goods, First Aid, Working at Heights, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, H2S and a DZ License.

Research and Analysis 

Over time, drillers in all areas have gained a reputation for working in all manner of severe weather and unsafe conditions, working long hours and being copiously productive with their labour. A lesser known trait of high importance among drillers is the ability to communicate effectively. Safety being chief among a drillers concerns, the Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee (ADITC, 2015) specially emphasises drillers “must be able to communicate effectively with geologists, engineers, consultants, landholders, and all others involved in a drilling project, so that it can be completed in the most efficient and economical manner”. 

John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities
Art by D.A. Mills

Art of John Swales’ Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities: D.A. Mills

In John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities (COMM202, 2020), John Swales lays out the required characteristics for a discourse community to proliferate and function. All 6 of these characteristics can be seen within the drilling community. There is a broadly agreed set of common public goals, mechanisms of intercommunication among their members, participatory mechanisms to provide information and acquired specific lexis.

All drillers share the common goal of providing efficient service while maintaining safety. We wear regulated Personal Protective Equipment. These include, CSA approved hard hats, safety glasses, boots and High Visibility clothing. 

In the drilling industry we have several mechanisms of intercommunication among ourselves. Some of these also provide ample opportunity to participate in the exchange of information and receive feedback. These include daily reports in the form of drill logs and hand signals when on the job site. Additionally due to the ever evolving industry around drilling, many drillers join groups on social media like the Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group (2019). In these group drillers can troubleshoot problems with each other or just discuss our day to day operations. 

Drillers have a vast lexis which is used on a daily basis. This will include everything from specific geological vocabulary, abbreviations or tools and parts of drill rigs, and some rather colourful jargon to describe different aspects of the job. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Drilling is a serious business and likewise the drilling discourse community can be very professional at times. Due to the rough nature of the work, the community can also be downright crass at times. Whether it’s the professional side or the grittier side, newcomers can rest assured knowing that the drilling community is very welcoming and sharing. For those newcomers looking to get involved, I’ll offer a few great first steps. 

  • Apply! There are a lot of entry level positions open in the  drilling industry and getting involved with the work itself is a wonderful first step. 
  • Learn! For the more academic minded, enrolling in a course like Fleming College’s Resources Drilling Technician diploma not only opens a lot of doors but teaches a plethora of important knowledge.
  • Join and participate in a chat group like the Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group on Facebook.

As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to enter the discourse, I find it to be a very positive and welcoming community. I wholly encourage you to take that first step and come on in.

And here’s my name to say so.

D.A. Mills

References

Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee. (2015). The Drilling Manual (Fifth 

Edition). Australia: CRC Press

Fleming College. (2020). Resources Drilling Technician (Optional Co-op). Retrieved 

from https://flemingcollege.ca/programs/resources-drilling-technician

Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group [Facebook page]. (2019). Retrieved 

January 28, 2020, from 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/395066454388761/

Harvey, J. (2020). Resources Drilling & Blasting Week #1: Introduction to 

Geotechnical Drilling [PowerPoint presentation]. Retrieved from Fleming College myCampus Portal.

Hinterland Drilling. (2020). Environmental Drilling. Retrieved from 

https://www.hinterlanddrilling.com.au/blog/what-is-environmental-digging

COMM202 (2020). John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities 

[Desire2Learn link]. Retrieved from Fleming College myCampus Portal.

1st Draft Drilling DCA

Drilling Discourse Analysis 1st Draft 

(841 Word)

Author’s Note:

Below is an informal report using a memo format written for the Communications 202 course at Fleming College. We are analysing discourse communities that are related to our program of study. Analysis is done under the presumption that we are already active members of this discourse community and the community is assessed according to the requirements laid out by John Swales. As a 2nd semester student in the Resource Drilling Technician program, I’ve written about the drilling community at large.

To: Comm 202

From: D.A. Mills

Date: 22 Jan 20

Re: Discourse Community Analysis of Drillers

Introduction

In 2019 I took the first tentative step to enter the drilling community by enrolling in the Resource Drilling Technician program at Fleming College. This report should serve to help newcomers to the drilling discourse community. Topics will include the community’s history, lexicon, methods of communication and more. Using John Swales’ Six Characteristics of Discourse (MacGillivray, 2020) to examine the community and research to provide examples of specific Drilling Discourse communities, newcomers will gain knowledge and insight about the community. I will conclude with several recommendations on how to join the drilling community. 

Background

Because of drilling’s long history and application around the globe, over time drilling has developed several particular communities which may focus on individual aspects which allow the professionals to work, learn, and communicate.

The professionals working in the drilling community typically have duties involving one or more of the 4 main branches of drilling. These are Environmental Drilling, Geotechnical Drilling, Resource Drilling, and Water-well Drilling. Geotechnical Drilling: done before any construction occurs to obtain information about soil conditions and ensure the safety and stability of buildings and tunnels (Harvey, 2020). Environmental Drilling: Used both before and after there are any environmental concerns. This type of drilling is “performed when soil or groundwater samples are required in order to assess an area for contamination, or when groundwater monitoring wells or remediation wells are required for the treatment of groundwater” (Hinterland Drilling, 2020). Resource Drilling: Done to obtain any resources of economic value, such as metals or oil. Water-well Drilling: Used to gain access to groundwater sources anytime there is a need for potable water. A form of drilling known as Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is also commonly used in resource drilling, geotechnical drilling and the installation of utilities. 

In the drilling community, experience and results trump any paper credentials. So while formal education is more of an asset rather than a requirement, it is certainly held in high regard. A great example of formal education would be Fleming College’s Resource Drilling Technician diploma program (Fleming College, 2020). They also detail several auxiliary courses seen as valuable within the drilling community. Those courses include Transportation of Dangerous Goods, First Aid, Working at Heights, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, H2S and a DZ License.

Research and Analysis 

Over time, drillers in all areas have gained a reputation for working in all manner of severe weather and unsafe conditions, working long hours and being copiously productive with their labour. A lesser known trait of high importance among drillers is the ability to communicate effectively. Safety being chief among a drillers concerns, the Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee (ADITC, 2015) specially emphasises drillers “must be able to communicate effectively with geologists, engineers, consultants, landholders, and all others involved in a drilling project, so that it can be completed in the most efficient and economical manner”. 

John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities
Art by D.A. Mills
Art of John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities: D.A. Mills

In John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities (MacGillivray, 2020), John Swales lays out the required characteristics for a discourse community to proliferate and function. All 6 of these characteristics can be seen within the drilling community. There is a broadly agreed set of common public goals, mechanisms of intercommunication among their members, participatory mechanisms to provide information and acquired specific lexis.

All drillers share the common goal of providing efficient service while maintaining safety. We wear regulated Personal Protective Equipment. These include, CSA approved hard hats, safety glasses, boots and High Visibility clothing. 

In the drilling industry we have several mechanisms of intercommunication among ourselves. Some of these also provide ample opportunity to participate in the exchange of information and receive feedback. These include daily reports in the form of drill logs and hand signals when on the job site. Additionally due to the ever evolving industry around drilling, many drillers join groups on social media like the Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group (2019). In these group drillers can troubleshoot problems with each other or just discuss our day to day operations. 

Drillers have a vast lexis which is used on a daily basis. This will include everything from specific geological vocabulary, abbreviations or tools and parts of drill rigs, and some rather colourful jargon to describe different aspects of the job. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Drilling is a serious business and likewise the drilling discourse community can be very professional at times. Due to the rough nature of the work, the community can also be downright crass at times. Whether it’s professional side or the grittier side, newcomers can rest assured knowing that the drilling community is very welcoming and sharing. For those newcomers looking to get involved, I’ll offer a few great first steps. 

  • Apply! There are a lot of entry level positions open in the  drilling industry and getting involved with the work itself is a wonderful first step. 
  • Learn! For the more academic minded, enrolling in a course like Fleming College’s Resources Drilling Technician diploma not only opens a lot of doors but teaches a plethora of important knowledge.
  • Join and participate in a chat group like the Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group on Facebook.

References

Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee. (2015). The Drilling Manual (Fifth 

Edition). Australia: CRC Press

Fleming College. (2020). Resources Drilling Technician (Optional Co-op). Retrieved 

from https://flemingcollege.ca/programs/resources-drilling-technician

Geotechnical Environmental Drilling Group [Facebook page]. (2019). Retrieved 

January 28, 2020, from 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/395066454388761/

Harvey, J. (2020). Resources Drilling & Blasting Week #1: Introduction to 

Geotechnical Drilling [PowerPoint presentation]. Retrieved from Fleming College myCampus Portal.

Hinterland Drilling. (2020). Environmental Drilling. Retrieved from 

https://www.hinterlanddrilling.com.au/blog/what-is-environmental-digging

Macgillivray, C. (2020). John Swales: Six Characteristics of Discourse Communities 

[Desire2Learn link]. Retrieved from Fleming College myCampus Portal.

World of Podcast: Leveling Up – Blog 2

Google Podcasts app screenshot: D.A. Mills

World of Podcast: Leveling Up – Blog 2

(651 Words)

In this installment, I want to relay some of the ways that podcasts can help you level up so to speak. Once again I want to express my continued amazement at how underappreciated and underused podcasts are. As a medium for relaying information and imparting knowledge they are truly impressive. There are an endless number of specific skills and knowledge you can learn just by listening to a podcast that teaches those things: however, we can also gain what might be called secondary skills in abundance as well.

SNIPING FOR ACTIVE SKILLS

There is such a large cornucopia of specific skills and knowledge that I will limit myself to some of the knowledge I have personally benefited from. In 2017 while applying for the position of Service Advisor at a car dealership, I realized my lack of experience could be a hindrance. Being the aficionado of podcasts that I am, I quickly found a series of job specific podcasts to immerse myself in. The best of which I found to be Service Drive Revolution with Chris Collins. His podcast “discusses little known service drive secret weapons to help pull your service department ahead of the pack” (Service Drive Revolution, 2020).

All of a sudden I had switched gears to spending any walking or downtime learning what I could about the Service Adviser position. My 35 minute walks to and from work each day, 30 minute lunch breaks, time shopping, doing chores etc were all spend listening and learning. Unfortunately, after making it to the top 2 picks after a selection of over 60 candidates, I didn’t quite make the cut. Thanks to the interviewing panel repeatedly expressing how impressed they were with my knowledge of the position, I knew my efforts hadn’t been in vain. 

I am currently undergoing a similar process of leaching knowledge and experience from Drilling related podcasts. Getting familiar with some industry concepts and lexis. Even hearing from industry professionals about what makes apply for drilling jobs different from other industries. I will withhold those particular gems though, no point making things too easy for my competition. 

SPRAY AND PRAY FOR PASSIVE SKILLS

Some of the more overlooked benefits to listening to podcasts regularly are the passive skills that we can develop. For instance I can attribute the following skills to my consumption of podcasts:

  • Active listening 
  • Increased focus
  • Multitasking
  • Critical thinking
  • Self motivated

Those without such a carnivorous appetite for podcasts might not see the correlation to these skills, so let me break a couple down.

Active listening: it is easy to listen absentmindedly to music when moving about, but to actively listen and learn to the podcast is in fact not something that came naturally, overtime I have continued to get better at not just ‘hearing’ but ‘actively listening’ to the podcast.

Increased focus: Along the saem lines of actively listening, I have found that over time I have gradually been able to expand the amount of time I can focus on a podcast before getting ‘cast fatigue’. This can vary based on topic, but I can now listen to hours of podcast without getting distracted. Case in point, the epicly long episodes on Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History where 4 hour long episodes are the norm. His podcasts are described as “Passionate without being aggressive, loud but smart, and the trademark fast, staccato vocal delivery that has been compared to William Shatner after too many espressos.” (Carlin, 2020).

Sure as rain, we can all benefit from improving or outright gaining these skills, and for the low-low cost of $0.00 no less. Whether working as a team or independently, anyone with well developed skills from this list will shine far above their colleagues and competitors. 

Especially in the drilling industry where safety is of the utmost importance, I am confident that strong listening skills and ability to focus can make people stand out among the herd.

And here’s my name to say so. 

D.A. Mills

References

Carlin, D. (2020). Dan Carlin. Retrieved from 

Service Drive Revolution. (2020). Service Drive Revolution with Chris Collins. Retrieved from

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/service-drive-revolution-with-chris-collins/id1125522101

World of Podcast Blog 1

World of Podcast

Over the past decade I have become an increasingly more voracious consumer of so called ‘podcasts’, and long format audio shows. The ease of access to a true cornucopia of content is astounding to say the least. My particular favourites include topics ranging from health, fitness, science, history, and politics. 

A surprisingly small number of people listen to podcasts on a regular basis. Luckily I am able to be one of those people. I’ll routinely stock up on a few episodes before I leave the haven of wifi. It is possible to engage with many of these podcasts through their websites, Facebook pages or leaving reviews. I however have always been content with just a listening roll. 

Since I my primary mode of transportation is walking, I’ve found that it’s important to make up for all the lost time traveling. Anytime I leave the house I can throw my earbuds in and learn something interesting or entertaining. Aside from the educational component, podcasts sure do help pass the time and give me a sense of having accomplished something. 

While I am always willing to sample new podcasts, the mainstays over the last several years have been the following:

Hardcore History

Startalk Radio

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Iron Radio

The Joe Rogan Experience

Monday Morning Podcast

Since I listen through the Google Podcast app, once I’ve subscribed I can subscribe to channels and download episodes to listen to. Downloads auto clear after 30 days which is pretty handy for storage reasons. 

Podcasts are free, portable, and do not require other participants to plan around. What’s more, as I’ve touched on, podcasts are perfect for multitasking. Any kind of ‘busy work’ pairs perfectly with the podcasts. Traveling, cleaning, cooking, waiting in long lines etc. Time well spent, and very relaxing. 

Fleming College: Our Next Step Forward

Fleming College: Our Next Step Forward

(634 Words)

At the soonest possible time, Fleming College should ban all single use plastics from sale on school grounds. This includes, but is not limited to single use plastics and other non-recyclables in the cafeteria/Auk’s Lodge, ALL single use plastic items in vending machines, and the abhorrent use of unrecyclable gloves in labs and the Fish Hatchery.

As students at Fleming College, we are in the particularly uncomfortable position of wanting to be proud to be members of a school that prides itself on being ‘Environmentally Sustainable’. As an institution, Fleming College mouths platitudes about how Environmentally woke it is here. There is no shortage of media and Fleming press coverage supporting this notion supporting this. Just in a recent article Fleming College Receives STARS Gold Rating For Sustainability Achievements, Fleming College President Maureen Adamson was quoted saying “From banning the sale of bottled water […] Fleming is committed to ensuring sustainability is interwoven into every aspect of the College” (PTBOCanada, 2019). Every part of the curriculum is even geared around studying and protecting the environment. As a collection of people, everyone here is more than ready to accept our moral superiority for being part of such a forward-thinking school.  We’re the vanguard of the environment. Nay, Protectors of the Earth. And OH! We are mighty. Every class no matter the relationship to the environment helps further push the agenda, ever on guard that we may lose focus on what is important. It does not end from one class to another. The instructors have duly NEVER missed an opportunity to get a pot shot in at the lacking and questionable (at best) environmental policies of previous Conservative governments.  I’m down with all of that. We all are. I walk the walk and talk the talk.

And yet, this is all just words and parading. Running at the mouth almost, to the point this is an upsetting topic of conversation among other students and myself. Vending machines throughout the college dispense an unending supply of single use plastic and non-recyclables, while the cafeteria could not be happier to supply every student with plastic utensils, and plastic wrappings for food, non-recyclable coffee cups and plastic lids. It hurts. It truly hurts. This is one of the most real examples of cognitive dissonance I have experienced. An entire college of people saying one thing and doing another.

A concrete example of this dissonance was on a short trip to the Fish Hatchery, our entire class was urged to use the plastic gloves provided (single use, of course) to pick up a fish, clip the adipose fin, release the fish, and then toss the gloves. We filled up a garbage bag for the sake of what amounted to a time filler for our class. It’s hard to hear about protecting the environment when the very people preaching the way of The Righteous are themselves blind to these impacts on the environment. 

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Figure 1 Adipose fin clipping. Photo Mills, D.
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Figure 2 Cringe worthy waste. Photo Mills, D.


And for this, the Earth wept.

Take Hold This Olive Branch!

It may be a too large a step forward for Fleming College to purchase reusable gloves or biodegradable gloves, audit the sustainability of vending machine merchandise and find an alternative to plastic cutlery; it will however be easy to simply REMOVE the plastic cutlery from the school. We have access to metal utensils, or we can bring our own from home. Or heck, maybe we can consider removing all sugary snacks and drinks entirely!

There is also the option of regretting to plan our day in such a way as to not rely on unnecessarily polluting.  In honor of the great Karl Marx, we can call this ‘Seizing the means of pollution’.

We can do this one small thing, and we can make a huge positive impact. Let’s not just be forward thinking, let’s be forward acting.

And here’s my name to say so.

D.A. Mills

Figure 3 A ban on “unflavoured water” would be more accurate. Photo Mills, D 

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Figure 4 Message received! Don’t drink water, drink pop instead.  Photo Mills, D.


A close up of many items on display

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Figure 5  The college that got a Gold rating for sustainability still uses plastic straws. Think about that. Photo Mills, D.


Figure 6 Even the book store and campus dorms are not safe. Photo Mills, D.

References:

PTBOCanada. (2019). Fleming College Receives STARS Gold Rating For Sustainability 

Achievements. Retrieved December 05, 2019, from https://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/2019/12/3/fleming-college-receives-stars-gold-rating-for-sustainability-achievements

Online College Courses: Treasure AND Trash – Blog 10

Online College Courses: Treasure AND Trash – Blog 10

(434 Words)

Online college courses have been around long enough now that I have long since heard about what a double-edged sword online courses have become. I’ve heard the inspiring tales of triumph and crushing stories of betrayal. So while we can all find cases where online learning is optimal, we should absolutely not push for a system of 100% online courses.

In class learning has value beyond that of the credit itself. Getting up in the morning, making yourself presentable, getting to the classroom for a predesignated time, interacting with the other students, and most importantly being able to question and verify things with the instructor on the fly. Sounds almost like practice for having a job. Not only do the people who need that ‘practice’ that most lack the drive to successfully complete online courses, but they sorely loose out on those more minute benefits to learning in class. In the summer of 2019 I required a high school math credit with mere weeks to meet a college registration deadline. TVO’s ILC courses smelled like a bargain at $40/credit.

My God! The horror! Turnover time on emailed questions was often days. The convoluted instructions on how to submit assignments became costly in both time and marks. By the time the college’s deadline reared its ugly head, the registrar’s office had become inundated with students in a similar position. Thanks to some face time, with the more than helpful administration at the college, I was able to sort things out. I was considered lucky.

Online courses are acclaimed for their versatility and flexibility, but they CANNOT become the sole choice for aspiring students. They have a place, but they CANNOT be the only place.

With the rise of the Online College, many brick and mortar colleges have speedily sought to regain the market by offering online courses. While I’ve heard many hail the online classes as the way of the future in a digital world, I’ve also heard the opposite. Online classes are priced at only a hair cheaper than real world classrooms. I’ve experienced first hand the credit/certification mill of online learning. In 2010, for mere pocket change, I became a ‘Bronze’ Level Twist Conditioning Certified Coach. Great filler on a Personal Trainer profile. Abjectly useless in application. It is a college’s job to care about getting your money, whether they care about how prospective employers view your ‘online courses’, is up for debate.

So while online courses are lucrative and have a place, when it comes to getting a ‘useful’ education, I advise considering the merits on some old fashioned ‘in class’ learning.

And heres my name to say so.

D.A. Mills

Species Profile

Monarch Butterfly

The monarch butterfly also known as the Danaus plexippus, is one of the most well know and recognized butterflies. The WWF (World Wildlife Federation) currently lists the monarch’s status as endangered (WWF, 2019). Herein we will review the monarch’s physical characteristics, outline its life history, feeding ecology and preferred foods.

Physical Characteristics

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Figure 1: Monarch Butterfly. Photo: Bonnie McBride

The monarch butterfly is most easily distinguished by its wing colours of orange, black, and white markings.

The “two pairs of brilliant orange-red wings, featuring black veins and white spots along the edges” give them a stained-glass window effect (WWF, 2019). As would be expected of a butterfly, the WWF (2019) states that they barely tip the scale at less than half a gram in weight with their wingspan coming in between 7 and 10 cm.

Alternatively, the larvae of the monarch butterfly (caterpillars) have their own unique appearance (see Figure 2). Monarch caterpillars have yellow, black and white stripes. They grow up to 5 cm before they metamorphize and shed their skin, leaving a chrysalis that is “seafoam green with tiny yellow spots along its edge” (NWF, 2019).

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Figure 2: Monarch caterpillar. Photo: Bonnie McBride

Life History

The NWF (National Wildlife Federation) explains that monarchs exclusively lay their eggs on milkweed which then take 3-5 days to hatch into larvae (NWF, 2019). It was additionally explained that those larvae then eat the leaves of the milkweed and about 2 weeks later, form a chrysalis. The monarch butterfly emerges 2 weeks later and typically only live for a “few weeks”, but the last ones to hatch in summer “can live upward of eight months” (NWF, 2019). The hope of the species will rest on their tiny little shoulders, as it is this 4th and last batch of monarchs that migrates south to Mexico or California for those living west of the Rocky Mountains according to L. Stafford Mader (2014). It is crucial for the species that the last batch of monarch butterflies not only survive the migration south, but also the winter itself. They leave those wintering grounds in the spring and migrate back to Canada for the summer beginning the cycle anew (WWF, 2019).

Preferred Food

While not as prolific as bees, monarchs are still pollinators, the importance of which cannot be overstated. Although the monarch butterfly can feed on the nectar of many flowers such as “echinacea, black-eyed susan, sage, goldenrod, zinnias and dahlias” (WWF, 2019), the most important food source for the species is still the milkweed plants. As stated above, the monarch larvae/caterpillars exclusively eat milkweed.  In Milkweed: Medicine of Monarchs and Humans, Lindsay Stafford Mader (2014) explains the connection between the steroid compound called cardenoloid, in milkweed and the decreased risk of infection in the larvae and later the natural toxicity of the butterfly that acts as a defense against predators.

The higher the cardenoloid levels in the milkweed the larvae eats, the higher the caterpillar’s chance of survival. Higher consumption of cardenoloid rich milkweed not only helps with survival on an individual basis but directly connects to the survivability of the species itself. This would be from the common association response poisonous prey induce in their would-be predators.

References

NWF. (2019). Monarch butterfly. Retrieved October 31,

2019, from https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Invertebrates/Monarch-Butterfly

Stafford Mader, L. (2014). MILKWEED: Medicine of monarchs and

humans. HerbalGram, (101), 38–47. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=awh&AN=94874416&site=eds-live&scope=site

WWF. (2019). Monarch butterfly. Retrieved October 06, 2019,

from http://www.wwf.ca/conservation/species/monarch_butterfly/

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