A truly thorough takedown (and a little personal honesty)

It’s impossible not to compare John Oliver to Jon Stewart. My take on his guest-hosting The Daily Show stint was that he actually delivers a more cogent, sophisticated and nuanced rant than Jon Stewart, and that’s still the case now that he’s at HBO with Last Week Tonight. Witness this blistering (and funny) attack on FIFA. And I love that his conclusion acknowledges the ambivalence so many of us face, torn between our love of sport or culture, and our revulsion at the ethical sewer that often lies just underneath.

Don’t have a kitten. Save one… with Morgan Brayton.

One of the most staggeringly talented people I know is also one of the most dedicated volunteers I know, working on behalf of the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association.

Now Morgan Brayton wants to take that work — and the organization — to a whole new level:

I want to help raise awareness around VOKRA’s work and convince more people to get involved. I want to help make VOKRA an organization with staying power. I know I can have a huge impact on VOKRA’s future but a couple of hours here and there won’t do it.

Instead, I want to dedicate myself to VOKRA full-time for the next six months and help make it a sustainable organization for many decades to come. To do so, I’m asking for your help.

Morgan’s crowdfunding $10,000 through GoFundMe, and she’s more than halfway there. Hitting her target will mean she can:

  • organize a launch event for VOKRA’s new Operations Centre
  • tell VOKRA’s untold stories online with her unique blend of warmth, compassion and humour
  • craft a long-term fundraising strategy so VOKRA can focus on its core mission, instead of constantly scrambling for the next piece of kibble moolah

There are plenty of great rewards (or “purrks”) for contributors… not to mention a healthy dollop of accountability:

I’ll regularly post about the work I’m doing, here and on the VOKRA blog http://vokrablog.wordpress.com/. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek at a rescue organization through blog updates, videos and photos. And you’ll witness VOKRA saving lives as I report on rescue stories, adoption stories and happy endings made possible through my donation of time, made possible by your donation of funds.

Morgan’s campaign culminates on June 25th with her birthday and a fundraising comedy show at Vancouver’s Wise Hall — one that promises to be easily worth the $25 you’ll pay for a ticket.

I’m delighted to see this going so well, because Morgan’s a dear friend and a mighty soul and I want her to succeed. But even beyond that, I admire her innovation and drive: she knows the difference she wants to make, and she’s taken a real risk to allow her to make it. And I know that, given the opportunity, she’ll blow our socks off. I hope you’ll consider helping her do that.

Well, that’s one way to wing it in an emergency

When I arrived at Jilin, I found that one panelist? [...] ?had a conflict and had to cancel [....]

But when [the other panelist] showed up at Jilin University’s Friendship Guesthouse, he said he wasn’t planning to talk about Snowden; he thought he was speaking on conflict resolution.So that left me with two hours to fill. And I had maybe 10 minutes of talking points, mostly cribbed from the Vanity Fair article I had read about Snowden the night before.

Ah, but I had one surprise (well, make it two): a Rubik’s Cube I bought at a campus shop at Northeast Normal U.

How Rubik’s Cube saved my lecture and my face

Filed under: Craft, Speaking