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28 September 2009 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post


VANCOUVER – There’s a new look to THECOMMENTARY.CA.

The website has been redesigned and reorganised, making it more manageable.

It’s been six years since the website debuted online, and this is its third incarnation.  The publisher of THECOMMENTARY.CA Vishal Dhir, is responsible for this new look.  He’s done a tremendous job at getting the site ready and explaining all of its nuances to me.  It’s more web 2.0, but I’m hesitant to explain what that means, as I’m barely understanding it myself.  It’s not his fault; it’s mine, as it has always been a challenge for me to comprehend technology.  I’ll leave the website stuff to him and stick to the interviewing.

After taking the summer off, the interview program, On the Line returns this week.  The debut interviews this morning are with the child activist Craig Kielburger, and bestselling author Deborah Tannen.  Some of the other guests as we start the fifth year of the program include: novelist Linwood Barclay, TSN’s Bob McKenzie, American academic Michael Awkward, chef Jeff Crump, and the noted Canadian economist and commentator, Brian Lee Crowley.

Craig Kielburger, On the Line

I’ve long admired Kielburger.  We’re the same age, but he’s accomplished much already, certainly far more than I have.  He’s a passionate activist against child labour and poverty in the developing world, starting at the age of 13.  At 13, I could barely make a fist.  That Kielburger has made a significant difference in the world already is without question.  Tomorrow, at GM Place here in Vancouver he hosts We Day, a fantastic program for young people with speakers such as the Dalai Lama, Mia Farrow, Dr. Jane Goodall, and more.  In our interview we discuss his years of activism, and his new book, written with his brother Marc and the journalist Shelley Page, The World Needs Your Kid: How to Raise Children Who Care and Contribute (Greystone, 2009).

You can listen here:  http://thecommentary.ca/ontheline/376

Sisterspeak: Deborah Tannen

My second guest this morning is the Georgetown academic Deborah Tannen.  She’s a professor of linguistics there, and has written what is already a bestseller: You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives (Random House, 2009).  It’s an interesting book, and we talk about the unique relationship that sisters have with one another.  As a male and an only child, I ask Professor Tannen, what I could glean from understanding sisters.  It turns out there’s a lot.  The book is already a New York Times bestseller, as were her previous books:  You Just Don’t Understand, and You’re Wearing THAT? This is a fun, fascinating, and at times funny interview.

Deborah Tannen interview: http://thecommentary.ca/ontheline/377/


As this new site goes online and the new season of interviews begin, I thank again, my friend and colleague Vishal Dhir.  It’s because of him that I went online with a website in the first place.  It’s his forbearance, patience and endeavours since, that I remain online with the site you see today.

Also, I thank and acknowledge the contribution of Michael Kwan, who a while back, very kindly designed a new website for me.  I wasn’t able to use it, but I remain very grateful for his work.

Michael Klassen very generously came up with a fix to the old site last spring.  Thanks Mike; I owe you lunch.

I also thank Olivia Todd-DeRidder, who patiently assisted me as my interviews over the last five years were moved over to this new website.

Mike Kettel deserves acknowledgement for his contributions.  He took the photo of me that appears on the Biography page, marking the first time that I’ve ‘appeared’ on the site.  I don’t know whether that deserves thanks or not.

And I thank in advance, my friend and colleague Anjan Chaklader.  He will be contributing to the On the Line program from time to time this fall, filling in for me on occasion.  He’ll be on this week with a conversation with TSN’s Bob McKenzie.  He’s a terribly knowledgeable fellow, especially when it comes to sport and politics.  Do listen for him.

It’s been eleven years since I started writing commentaries, six years since this website went online, and five since the audio interview program began.  Thank you for visiting and listening.  There’s more fascinating conversation and discussion to come this fall.  I’m looking forward to it, and I hope you’ll be there as ever.