Interview with Shawn MacDonell

Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 10:55 am

Shawn MacDonell grew up when computers were gaining popularity in the home and the Internet had not yet extended beyond military and academic circles. It was a time when guidance counsellors and aptitude tests pointed high school students like sheep toward computer science degrees.

That didn’t cut it for Shawn. He abandoned that path after taking his first few steps and, somewhat accidentally, he developed a program to teach children how to read. With baseballs.

This episode of Electric Sky is published as part of the Canadian National Day of Podcasting, initiated by the Canadian Podcast Buffet to bring dusty old podcasts out for a shine for a one-day reunion-like festival on December 1, 2010. Somehow it became an annual event.

Interview with Neil and Jeff of the Arrested Development Documentary Project

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 7:18 am

The Man Inside MeCome on! The publication of this interview is LONG overdue. I originally recorded it on August 24, 2009, just six days before my wife (Andrea) found a lump in her breast — a lump which turned out to be cancer. It’s been a heck of a year. We’re now a happier, healthier us!

I’ve been looking forward to publishing this interview. Besides being related to Andrea’s and my favourite television show, it’s about two people (Neil and Jeff) following their passion, curiosity and creativity to embark on the ambitious Arrested Development Documentary Project (a documentary about the television show Arrested Development). You can watch a trailer for the project here.

According to Neil, “The project has been on hiatus for a number of months, but for good reason, director Jeff got hitched up, married, he took the plunge. In addition, we have been ensuring all our legal ducks are in a row. Too bad Bob Loblaw is not still practicing law, we could really use his legal advice. The project is far from dead, it is just going a whole lot slower than we expected.

This episode of Electric Sky was published as part of the Canadian National Day of Podcasting, initiated by the Canadian Podcast Buffet to bring dusty old podcasts out for a shine for a one-day reunion-like festival on December 1, 2010.

Photo from the Arrested Development Documentary Project photo collection.

Interview with Marian van der Zon

Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 6:00 pm

Islands of Resistance coverI grew up with a romantic view of radio pirates; ordinary people using public airwaves to build communities from locations offshore, from basement studios and from mobile transmitters in the backs of vans. As passionate as I am about radio, I never knew pirate radio had a Canadian scene.

Then I found out my good friend Bob Goyetche was a host on CNOT (a Montreal-based pirate radio station) in the early 90s. And then I met Marian van der Zon at the Radio Without Boundaries conference in Toronto last year. At the time, she was editing a book about the Canadian pirate radio scene. That book, Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada, is now available.

John Meadows interviewed Bob Goyetche about his experiences in pirate radio and has published the discussion on his On the Log Podcast. Click here to listen to Rebel Radio.

Also, check out this story about an Ottawa boy who set up his own pirate radio station this past winter. And I thought the younger generation didn’t care about radio anymore!

Interview with Andrea Ross
Electric Sky,Podcasts,Portrait

Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 6:53 pm

I’ve often heard people say they’re fighting or they’ve beaten cancer. It was a shift in my thinking when, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, my wife talked about healing and being a survivor.

Six months, three surgeries and six rounds of chemotherapy later, I understand.

You can follow Andrea’s incredibly inspiring online breast cancer journal at The site features regular blog posts from everyone in our family as well as audio podcasts that document various stages of our journey, and videos that celebrate life and fun during a stressful time.

Andrea and I also collaborated on the children’s book podcast, now on hiatus.

Hey! Electric Sky is five years old!!!

Interview with Dewitt Jones

Monday, August 24, 2009 - 10:34 am

One of my favourite lessons taught by Dewitt Jones is to study your tools and how to use them so you can capture the extraordinary no matter which tool happens to be in your hand at the time.  Dewitt knows this well.  His extraordinary photographs have graced pages and covers of National Geographic magazine for seventeen years.

I had the privilege to meet and speak with Dewitt at a small private event designed to create a space for conversation.  The conversations hinged on creativity, curiosity and the extraordinary.

Interview with Hugh Brewster

Sunday, August 16, 2009 - 9:45 pm

A new all-ages book by historian and author, Hugh Brewster, explores the valour and determination of the Canadian forces as one problem after another stacked against them for the raid on German forces at Dieppe.  His book includes details on the planning and execution of the raid, as well as the incredible stories of survival of Canadian soldiers that became German prisoners — several of whom escaped through (patiently) hand dug tunnels.

Relevant books by Hugh Brewster:

Listen to more with Hugh Brewster on

Photo of Hugh Brewster from

The Leadership Summit 2009: Leaders and Followers

Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 9:55 pm

We tend to be myopic when we face challenges — it’s much more comfortable to focus inwards.  Leaders are no exception.  So, when leaders talk about thinking out of the box, they should be first in line.

This concept has been embraced by Bill Hybels who founded The Leadership Summit fifteen years ago.  While the event has faith-based overtones, the concepts that are discussed are relevant to leaders of any community.  In fact, this year’s program included Chip and Dan HeathDavid Gergen, Bono and Tony Blair.

  • Show ID and Intro
  • Taber Bucknell
  • James Drew
  • Gina
  • Pastor Dave Kornelsen
  • Julie Osborne
  • …and several anonymous contributors

Relevant links:

Special thanks to Lois Warren for all of her logistical help.

Bye, bye

Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 11:45 pm

In response to Amazon’s decision (something they’ve called a “glitch” in their swift and misguided damage control campaign) to remove books about gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexual lifestyles from their ranking system (both adult and children’s literature), I have joined a growing number of people who have removed all of the links to books and other merchandise sold by from their sites.

You will no longer find links to on this site.  I encourage you to make your online purchases from an online retailer of your choice.  For books, I recommend both Powell’s Books and Chapters.