NOV 2011 305

Every Wednesday, I share some fun blog posts from around the web. Here is this week’s selection.

Canada is known for a lot of things. We’re known for our hockey, for our maple syrup and for our sense of being a cultural mosaic. As Buzz Bishop points out, we also have quite a few famous Canadian inventions that you may not have known were invented by Canadians. You can thank a Canadian for the creation of the zipper, the paint roller, insulin, green garbage bags and even 5-pin bowling. Apparently, 10-pin bowling was “too strenuous” for some Torontonians.

Children are taught all sorts of different subjects in school and a recent New York Times editorial inspired Ray Ebersole to defend the importance of algebra. Some people may scoff at real world applications for your average adult citizen, but just like the quadratic equation, algebra “teaches problem solving skills that are useful in every part of life.” Mathematics is fundamental.

When you graduate from traditional school and into the real world school of hard knocks, you’ll have many more lessons to learn. In the case of the “unemployable” John Chow, he reminds us not to confuse “busyness” with “business.” Just because you’re actively doing something doesn’t mean that you are being productive or making the best use of your time. Sometimes, “doing more” is really just another form of laziness. Sometimes, you should think about doing less.

Speaking of doing more, Emily Guy Birken offers some useful tips on how you can be more productive when you’d much rather procrastinate. It’s easy to get sidetracked with YouTube videos, Facebook games, and mindless busywork. These distractions can be awfully tempting, so you should at least “procrastinate constructively” with some tasks that matter.

And finally, we have Sonia Simone describing some of the key points from Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, which just went into effect yesterday. If you are already adhering to the best practices for online marketing, including social media and e-mail, chances are that you are still safe. You will want to be extra careful about getting explicit permission from your clients, colleagues and contacts before sending any sort of “commercial message” to them, though.