Whose death would stun the Western World?

A month ago I asked readers What is the most misunderstood idea of all time?Image

My next big (slightly morbid) question is Whose death would stun the Western World?

A few years ago when Michael Jackson unexpectedly died, it felt like the world sort of skipped a few beats. I was in South Korea at the time. I tended to go to foreigner bars that catered to Canadians, Americans, Brits, Aussies and New Zealanders. My main bar was essentially running a several day long Michael Jackson marathon. He may well have been the most famous person in the world. Continue reading


ACN Inc Recruiting Hard in Kelowna: Do YOUR Research

ACN, a multilevel marketing (aka, pyramid) organization recruiting in Kelowna, across Canada, the US, and around the world.

ACN, a multilevel marketing (aka, pyramid) organization recruiting in Kelowna, across Canada, the US, and around the world.

ACNAmerican Communications Network – is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company dealing in telecommunications technology and plans, television, energy, and other services. As per Wikipedia,

Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation.[1] Other terms for MLM include pyramid selling,[2][3][4][5][6] network marketing,[7][8][9] and referral marketing.[10]

I have redded Pyramid as it is the concept by which this general sort of business model is best known. We’ve all heard of “pyramid schemes” and “pyramid scams”. The precise legality of MLMs and pyramid selling appears to be at least somewhat murky. The reasons for widespread skepticism regarding this sort of business structure, however, is crystal clear. From Wikipedia,

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states “Steer clear of multilevel marketing plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors. They’re actually illegal pyramid schemes. Why is pyramiding dangerous? Because plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors inevitably collapse when no new distributors can be recruited. And when a plan collapses, most people – except perhaps those at the very top of the pyramid – end up empty-handed.”[34]

Not all pyramid selling organizations are the same. I’m not going to comment as to whether ACN has engaged in illegal activities. However, putting legality/illegality aside, I do think there is reason for caution.


Well, for starters, take a look at this Fox News piece on them (this is probably the first time I’ve ever covered something from Fox News in a sympathetic manner):

Continue reading

Reasons I hate hockey

Aesthetics. What is beautiful? What defines beauty, quality and goodness? What distinguishes different levels of quality? For example, why are Oasis’ Wonderwall or Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit iconic songs of an era, whereas Swirl 360’s Hey Now Now fell out of our collective consciousness in months? These questions teeter on the edge of intractability.

Sometimes we try to offer accounts of why we like this or that. I suspect that most of the time the explanations we give are just after-the-fact stabs in the dark about value judgments that were made largely out of our conscious awareness within our unconscious minds. Please indulge me as I take a few stabs in the dark at why I utterly loathe hockey and wish the lockout would live on and on without end – or at least until I die or lose my mind. Continue reading

About Death By Trolley

Well hello, there! Have you been waiting long? No? Good. Please, do come inside.

(Pro-Tip: Given that this is the blog of a Canadian, social etiquette dictates that you remove your shoes upon entering.)

Welcome to Death By Trolley! You’ve entered an oddly though explicably named corner of the Internet devoted to issues of interest to the author. The direction of this blog has changed since its original creation as a consequence of changes in the interests and perspectives of the writer.

A bit about the author. I’m an early-30s Canadian transplant to Tucson, Arizona. I work in healthcare. I was formerly quite active in the atheist movement, was also a committed academic, was a proud progressive, and considered myself to be a feminist. Today, I continue to be an atheist, I continue to place the highest value on intellectual inquiry,  my values remain left of centre, and I continue to be a very strong gender egalitarian. However, I no longer have any real involvement in the atheist community, I am deeply concerned with several aspects academia and campus life, I actively distance myself from much of progressivism, and I most certainly do not identify as a feminist any further.

I am also working on developing a companion YouTube channel for this blog.


University of Western Ontario #1 on Globe & Mail Student Survey

London Free Press:

For the ninth consecutive year, the University of Western Ontario has made top grades in a survey of students across the country.

Western scored top marks in several of the benchmarks, including “most satisfied students” in the annual survey by the Globe and Mail and was the top university in 13 of 17 categories.

The survey results are based on the questionnaires completed by 35,000 undergraduate students. The students were asked 100 questions.

Western ranked first among large universities (more than 22,000 students) in quality of education, teaching, student-faculty interaction, technology, atmosphere, libraries, buildings and facilities, student residences, food services, recreation and athletics, ease of course registration and course availability and variety.

UWO also tied for second in two areas (career preparation and class size) and third in two (satisfaction with town or city and environmental commitment.)

Not a big deal 😉