Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Youth Engagement in your Organization

As some of you know, one of the things that I'm passionate about is youth engagement.

Through the Maytree Foundation's DiverseCity onBoard initiative, I was fortunate to have been asked to serve on the Board of Directors for Ontario Nature. At the 78th Annual General Meeting a few weeks ago, I was asked to present the Youth Writing Awards for 2008-2009. Having this opportunity to present, I made some remarks on the importance of youth engagement for Ontario Nature, which I feel can be applicable for other organizations.

Here is an excerpt of my remarks prior to the presentation of the awards:

It is my honour and pleasure to be able to present the winners of Ontario Nature’s 4th Annual Youth Writing Contest. When I was first approached to sit on the Board, I was immediately drawn toward the many Ontario Nature programs that incorporated youth involvement, such as the Youth Writing Contest, Youth Nature Camps and Volunteer for Nature programs that emphasized family-type programming.

In the last year, Ontario Nature, in conjunction with its many partners, has further expanded its youth programming through initiatives such as “From the Ground Up” and “Youth Leadership”.

I think these initiatives to increase youth involvement have yielded great results so far, and if anyone has any ideas to increase what we can do to involve youths in helping to conserve nature in this province, feel free to share these ideas with Ontario Nature staff, or Board members that are in attendance today.

I would also encourage everyone here to take time to engage youth members at upcoming events. Start a conversation, share your own experiences and learn about theirs. Who knows, you might just provide that spark that opens the door to a life-long nature experience.

The Youth Writing Contest is part of the Ontario Nature Youth Challenge. Sponsored by our partners, Waste Management and Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Ontario Nature Youth Writing Challenge was open to students in grades 7 and 8 across Ontario. This year’s topic: “Every day we make choices that could help or harm our environment. What are you doing that has a positive impact on our environment?”

The essay winners were chosen by a selection committee consisting of Stephanie Foster, former Ontario Nature Board Member, David Robinson, Mountain Equipment Co-op and Clare Mitchell, Ontario Nature staff member. There were over 170 entries from across the province and it was difficult to choose amongst the essays. We thank everyone who made a submission, and we encourage each and every one of them to stay involved. In the end, five essays were chosen to be honoured.

The winning essays will be printed in the fall issue of ON Nature, posted on the Ontario Nature website and sent to the Premier.

It is my hope that all organizations (and their members within it) take the time to evaluate how they can involve youth in the activities that they deliver where applicable. Get youth involved early and let them show off their new ideas and perspectives. I can't understate how this is such an empowering feeling which will further their level of engagement. I can speak from personal experience on this front.

It may be difficult at first to determine the best way forward, but the rewards can be so great, both for the organization and most of all, the youth.

IntelliPoint and IntelliType Pro 7.0 released for Microsoft Mice and Keyboards

Microsoft has released an update to its IntelliPoint and IntelliType Pro software for its line of mice and keyboard products.

Download links for English as follows:

Intellipoint (Mice software)

Intellitype Pro (Keyboard software)

For non-English versions, please visit the Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse Hardware Software Download page.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

EcoSavvy Festival - June 19 & 20 at Mel Lastman Square

A few months ago, you may have remembered the EcoSuave 2009 event that I blogged about. This coming week, my friends Tommy and Mihee of Enlightened Events will be organzing a the EcoSavvy Festival to be held at Mel Lastman Square.

I think this is a great event for anyone of all ages. Learn about green choices you can make, from local companies who implement sustainable practices in their business models. Come out, learn a bit, and start conversations with others to spread the word. There will be lots of unique programming throughout the two days, so make sure you check out the events schedule to plan what you want to see.

Below is a press release with further information about the EcoSavvy Festival 2009.


For Immediate Release

Screen Through All The Green At North York’s Second Annual EcoSavvy Festival

Toronto - Being green in North York is about to get easier with the approach of its Second Annual EcoSavvy Festival, to be held on June 19th and 20th at Mel Lastman Square. Presented by Enlightened Events, the EcoSavvy Festival is an exciting, free event for the public, focused on helping individuals to make informed, green choices while promoting local and sustainable businesses and organizations.

At the EcoSavvy Festival, attendees will be introduced to green and responsibly made products & services, including: sustainable fashion wear, non-toxic cleaning products, chemical free & organic make-up, safe organic kids products, and delicious local organic food. Along with Live music performances by local Canadian artists, this year’s festival will consist of several fun interactive events for all ages.

‘One event that we’re excited to add to this year’s festival is the Eco-Fashion show.’ says Mr. Tommy Trinh, Co-Founder of Enlightened Events. ‘The Eco Fashion Show will have a serene, organic feel to it; the runway will be lined with a set of beautiful trees, and the show will take place under the natural rays of the sun.’ The fashion show will feature clothing lines carried by Green is Black, a retailer that features sustainable, ethically made clothing, and 69 Vintage, a chic vintage clothing store that lets customers re-imagine old styles into new.

Other special events at the EcoSavvy Festival include: a delicious organic food sampling event; DIY natural cleaning products workshops; eco kids activities, including a presentation by Earth Rangers and their animal ambassadors; and a food drive for North York Harvest Food Bank, where organic seeds will given to those who donate non-perishable food items at the festival.

Partners of the EcoSavvy Festival include: Bullfrog Power, Zerofootprint, Toronto Vegetarian Association, Anarres Natural Health, Retire Your Ride Program from the Clean Air Foundation, Green Enterprise Toronto, North York Harvest Food Bank, and Tonic Toronto Magazine.

‘Our goal for this festival is to help people screen through all the green in a fun, interactive manner’ says Mr. Trinh. ‘As more and more companies claim to be green and ethical, consumers will have a harder time distinguishing which products are truly sustainable. To help counter this trend of "green washing", our festival will only feature companies that have scrutinized various aspects of their business to minimize their impact on the planet and its inhabitants.‘

Located at Mel Lastman Square on 5100 Yonge Street, the Second Annual EcoSavvy Festival takes place on June 19th and 20th (Friday & Saturday) and will operate from 4PM to 10PM. For more information about the EcoSavvy Festival’s special events and schedule, visit: www.enlightenedevents.ca/ecosavvyfestival

About Enlightened Events

Enlightened Events is a social enterprise dedicated to building environmental and social awareness through fun, informative, and interactive events. At our events, such as the EcoSavvy Festival and EcoSUAVE 2009, we focus on helping consumers make informed choices while promoting local and truly sustainable businesses and organizations. We are mindful of the environmental, social, and financial impact of all products and services at our events, and work diligently to eliminate “greenwashing”.



Contact Information:
Company: Enlightened Events
Contact: Ms Mihee Kim
Address: 378 Margueretta Street, Toronto, On, M6H3S5
Office: 647-723-3693
Fax: 647-436-7642
Email: mkim@enlightenedevents.ca
Web: http://www.enlightenedevents.ca

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

June 2009 Updates for Media Center

Microsoft released cumulative updates for both Media Center for Vista (KB967632) and the Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (KB966315).

The following lists provide details as to what is provided within each fix.

June 2009 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista (KB967632)

  • Addresses an issue where Closed Captioning turns off after a focus change
  • Addresses an issue where a blank blue bar is displayed on the screen when watching live TV
  • Increases the number of tiles that are supported on the top level of the Media Center start menu
  • Addresses a top Watson crash issue
  • Fixes a Windows Media Center TV Guide issue that is related to the digital TV switchover

This is a cumulative update. This update replaces the following updates:

  • 960544 February 2009 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista
  • 955519 October 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista
  • 950126 June 2008 Cumulative update for Media Center for Windows Vista
  • 947172 February 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista
  • 941229 October 2007 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista
  • 935652 June 2007 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista
  • 932818 April 2007 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista

Download Links:

June 2009 Cumulative Update for Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (KB966315)

  • Addresses an issue where a blank blue bar is displayed on the screen when watching live TV
  • Addresses an issue on x64 systems with Parental Controls being enforced by Windows Media Player
  • Addresses an issue with black screens when playing DVD movies
  • Increases number of tiles supported on the top level of the Media Center start menu
  • Issue in which the seek bar is not displayed correctly on some Media Center extensibility applications.

This is a cumulative update. This update replaces the following updates:

  • 958653 Febuary 2009 Cumulative Update for Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista
  • 956147 October 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista
  • 957209 Update for the Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista: December 4, 2008

Download Links:

Both of these updates are also available through Windows Update.