Pants On Fire (Sam Harris)

There are moments when I’m sitting over there, in my easy chair, philosophising about the next big theory of the arts, where I contemplate, and others where I instead sit down with a good book and consider another perspective – ever hear the expression one man’s truth is another man’s lie? Well if you haven’t then you might still be open to learn something.

There are a lot of idioms out there about the concept of truth, dear readers. If the truth be known… a grain of truth, ain’t it the truth, bend the truth, fact is stranger than fiction, the gospel truth, honest to goodness, the naked truth, the moment of truth, truth will out, and the list goes on.

Sometimes the truth is even hard to swallow.

The truth is, when you are putting together all of the facts, reality bites. But that doesn’t mean you should share a bald faced lie either. Well, at least that’s what the author of this month’s 5 L’s Of Language would have you believe.

No No No No, Baby No No No No, Don’t Lie

Sam Harris is a best-selling author and neuroscientist, not to be confused with a neurologist, which people sometimes think he is. And he also believes that if a decision came down to a matter of ethics it would be his responsibility to share that reality with you, otherwise he would be making a lie of omission, which should bear the same weight as a commissioned lie.

Harris is something of a heavyweight when it comes to atheism. Sharing ranks with Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens, he has been called one of the Four Horsemen of the New Atheism. An advocate for separation of church and state, a strong critic of religions, and a critic, Harris chooses to focus his ideas on science and secularism. His list of books includes:

  • The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2004)
  • Letter to a Christian Nation (2006)
  • The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)
  • Lying (2011)
  • Free Will (2012)
  • Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (2014)
  • Islam and the Future of Tolerance (2015)

The Very Worst Part Of You, Is Me


Have you figured out which book I read yet my friends? I’ll give you a hint, Pinocchio would probably be an expert at navigating a series of unfortunate events which stem from this practice.


That’s right I read through the book Lying. Which is pretty much just a hard cover essay that was a breeze to get through, but a little bit harder to digest, given what Harris is recommending in his thesis.

Effectively Harris states that we should all line up with his own personal philosophy of honesty at all times. This means avoiding lies when confronting serial killer child murderers, overweight spouses, and even coworkers. The only people who really seem to be exempt are spies, but they live a hollow life after all, one which is for a purpose far grander than they are capable of seeing. So white lies, lies of omission and everything else are unacceptable.

Which is where the essay is ultimately flawed, but interesting. I would agree with Harris that we should avoid white lies whenever possible, but there are some circumstances which are far beyond the scope of certain groups (read: poor people, discriminated minorities etc). And dealing with people with failing health is far more complex than the feelings of the ill versus the feelings of those who are left behind. Not all have the benefit of choosing who they interact with, but perhaps there are some lessons within.

Blame It On Your Heart


Don’t get me wrong, I was thankful for this gift. My parents bought it for me this past Christmas because they know how much I love to read a good critical essay or philosophy book. And this book got me thinking, you see creative cuties, I have this theory that the reason why one man’s truth is another man’s lie, and I’ve spoken about it before. It’s a consequence of this ability we all like to believe we have, called common sense. Harris is a victim of wrong thinking, but his heart is almost in the right place.

If only he could get a broader perspective, maybe then his opinions might make more sense – at least, that’s my theory.


I Could Get Used To This (Cross Talk Ep. 17)


You may or not be familiar with a band called The Veronicas. I wasn’t initially, not until I stumbled across a Virgin Records store in New York City back in 2006. I intentionally hit up the store hoping to find some local New Yorkers on the rise, thinking I could beat the fame train and know some “cool” music ahead of my Edmonton hipster friends back home. I grabbed  Arctic Monkeys and the Veronicas, amongst a couple other picks.

I When I left the store, I immediately popped the Veronicas into my CD player, because people still had them at this time, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had landed across a couple of Australian identical twins that made a healthy mix of pop music. Electro, punk, rock, dance, prog, you name it, these chicks mixed with it.

Suffice to say, it was not my typical fare at the time. I was listening to mostly hip hop, punk rock, and the occasional foray into indie rock. Mostly because of my hipster friends.

I had some preconceived notions.


Thankfully those notions didn’t hold me back for too long, and before I knew it, I was a The Veronicas fan. After all, pop music can be just as powerful as any other form of music, especially when artists explore the genre and bring something new to the table.

Which is why today, Chris and I explore the importance of looking at films you expected not to like, but ultimately did, so that we can break down some of these weird ideologies, get outside of our realms of influence, and experience excellent films. Examples for us as two white dudes that grew up in the 80s, watching animated movies and romantic comedies, but even within genres we are “supposed to” like, there are examples which break the mould.

I’d give you some direct examples, but I think it’d be best if you just watched the episode, reader readers.

This is episode seventeen of Cross Talk, and we at the timotheories team know that you’ll enjoy it. It’s an excellent topic and one that I’m personally stoked to share with you. So grab some popcorn and some candy, and figure out with us how to challenge these stereotypes! Plus Chris looks crazy in that preview thumbnail, so I fully expect that will serve as satisfactory clickbait.

Before I wrap up my thoughts on this post, I just want to remind you all of how important you’re support of this website is for me. I operate timotheories out of my own pocket, and exchanging ideas with creative professionals like you are one of the major reasons why this thing even exists in the first place.

So thank you.

Another day, another theory realized my friends. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the episode, and I’m so ready to dig into this week and share some reviews on the new Train album, the blu-ray release of Queen of Katwe, some thoughts on Facebook, and a digital download of my experience at a concert.

As The Veronicas, like to say, I could get used to this.

Please comment, subscribe, and share this video with friends. We want to hear your feedback!


Earn The Power of Self-respect (Bryan Lee O’Malley)

There was a time when I loved comic books, so much that I would buy new ones impulsively just to continue to round out my collection, get lost in the stories, and hold onto something I thought was real. Ironic given that I was enjoying fantasy stories.

But the thing is, just because I loved comic books, doesn’t mean I should have sworn them off for good, and then burned all of my copies in a fire of cleansing. Literally. I literally burned them all. Because I thought I was addicted. Read: WTF was I thinking. Yeah, I’m gonna come back to that story some other time. You don’t just get the good stuff right out the gate friends. You should know how the carrot dangle works by now.

(Foreground) Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) - (Background L-R) Andrea (Laurie Holden), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies), Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride), T-Dog (Robert 'IronE' Singleton) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Yes, I’m watching The Walking Dead, and no I don’t care that I’m at least 4 seasons behind everybody. I’ll catch up quick. Like The Quick and the Dead.

Anyways. I was trying to make a point about indulgence.

Consumption of even the seemingly healthy things you love the most can cause you to gain weight my dear readers. Physical weight, emotional weight, spiritual weight, whatever. You name it, and someone has overindulged on it.


And it’s important to enjoy the things you love, because if you don’t, nothing else will probably fill that void. Romantic and platonic relationships are important in life for connection, but without purpose, and entertainment, which often go hand in hand if done correctly, you might as well be a zombie.


Which is consistent with the them of today’s spotlight author. That’s right, I’m sharing another post on the The 5 L’s of Language, because I know you need nutrition, and I promised to read the book I bought for my sisters birthday and which she wanted me to read so we could talk about it. So I did it Katrina, and I enjoyed Seconds. I really did.

But before I dig in too deep, we should run a quick refresh of what The 5 L’s of Language are all about –

I will read one book a month from the 5 groupings below, slowly expanding the number of books read so that I reach the point of 5 books a month. A book for each group

  1. LIFE – Biographies/Art/Music
  2. LOVE – Classic Fiction/Non-Fiction/Graphic Novels
  3. LEARN – Business/Leadership/Self-Help
  4. LABEL – Philosophy/Sociology/Psychology
  5. LEET– The Internet

I might be beating you over the head with this concept, but even I need a reminder now and then, and if The Devil is in the details, lets make sure we are thorough to avoid conviction. Today we are looking at Bryan Lee O’Malley and his particular brand of creativity which often shines right through in his illustrations, writing, and sometimes music. O’Malley authored the Scott Pilgrim series after all, and thus the theme at hand is LOVE. Because graphic novels.

Bryan Lee O’Malley vs the World

O’Malley doesn’t take himself too seriously. Well, at least not anymore. When he dropped out of film school and decided to create his first graphic novel, Lost at Sea back in ’03, it didn’t go over well with anyone. Especially not his friends. They were expecting him to put together something fun and irreverent, because that’s how he views life and that’s how his interviews come off when you read a bunch of them in a row.

But then he wrote Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life and seemingly exploded over night, even gaining the attention of film studios. Which is how Scott Pilgrim vs the World got made.

He makes art that combines video games, martial arts, romance, manga, and music all together in a sort of collage of pop culture. I immediately got what he was going for, because I grew up with all of those things around me. Almost to the point that I felt like it was a chronicle of my own fantasies. Which is impressive.

Scott Pilgrim, Seconds, and now Snotgirl, all have that manga look to them. But where Scott Pilgrim focused on martial arts and video games, Seconds was more about food culture and folklore. It was definitely a step away from the Scott Pilgrim books, movie, and video game. Seconds was definitely more mature than I initially expected too, though it was a shorter book, so it didn’t have time to run into the details and explore as many characters.

My point with this post is this friends. Make things that you love, because Bryan Lee O’Malley did, and even though he found a huge opportunity, I’m willing to bet a loaf of bread that he would’ve been happy no matter what success he got once he took a second attempt.

Check out his website here for more information, and this interview for some insight.

I’m out of theories for today, but check back tomorrow when I give you my own update. Should be a good one.


11 Ways People Die Before Death (Cross Talk Ep. 9)

Death is a difficult thing to write about, I think. After all, I’m still alive and so I have no life experience (death experience?) with this particular topic. Films have addressed death since their inception in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that more honest portrayals of death started to come to light. Much like sex, drugs, and rock n ‘roll, filmmakers have slowly opened up and arts and culture have become more accepting of these harder to digest themes.

For instance, one of my favourite movies about death is The Fault In Our Stars, which is full of love and beauty, but is also a very real in its depiction of the nearness to death that the two leads are experiencing.

But when we record an episode of Cross Talk, we want to present a nuanced view of whatever topic we set out sights on. So why would we treat death any differently. We wouldn’t, is the answer – because we think using our brains is important.


With that made clear, we are going to explore a lot of great examples of the nature of death, in film on this episode nine of Cross Talk. You want to know more, dear readers? Well how about I lay it out for you?

We’re going to share an example of a character that can’t die, but not for an very obvious reason, associations of death and greed, an animated movie death that changed a franchise, whether we are really alive, dead or somewhere in between, if death is as unique as life is, and two movies that explore the idea of what we might do if knew we couldn’t die OR if we knew when we were going to die.

Just a quick disclaimer, Singh won’t be present for this episode, but we do give him a shout out, so please stay tuned for his next appearance; and as always, I’ve included a direct link to the full video for you here, but because we have the ability to embed vidoes you can click through here. After all, wouldn’t want you to waste any precious life overexerting yourself watching episode nine of Cross Talk!

I’m out of theories for now, but please check back tomorrow for an album review that is full of lemonade and bae. It’s a heart breaker for sure. Please comment, subscribe, and share this with friends. We want to hear your feedback!


Stick A Pin In It (Pinterest)

Today’s post, dear readers is all about keeping track of your scrapbook in a digital age, or as I like to call it…

Everything you wanted to know about Pinterest, but didn’t know you wanted to know, in a thousand words or less.

Way way back in roughly 1500 BC, somewhere in Mesopotamia, the tool we commonly call scissors was invented. Scissors are used for a number of reasons, from agriculture and animal husbandry, to food preparation, to body grooming, to metalwork, to medical work, to clothes making.

We don’t even realize how often we use them in our lives, because they have been around and integral to all kinds of cultural activities.

If we fast forward to westernized culture from the 20th century, people were scrapbooking interesting pictures of their dream house, that wedding dress they wanted to hand-make, all of the chili recipes they could get their hands on, a group of furniture pieces collaged together that a future living room would feature, lists of exercises, movie ticket stubs, travel photos, articles about Clint Eastwood and Helen Mirren, you name it, people saved it in a book.

Then the age of computers rolled around, and we went from storing paper, to saving images. We all did it. There was a folder labelled Photos, another labelled Photos 2, Nice photos, Brad’s images, and Family Trip ’03. But even that phase of saving images was not destined to be a force majeure for long.

Eventually social media started to develop and digital connectivity pushed forward to allow for new ways of sharing information. Especially images. That was 6 years ago.

Then one day in March of 2010, a new website launched which was touted as a way to save images and categorize them on boards. The website also allowed users to share boards, and save others content in their own boards. And best of all it was free to use.

Pinterest is a rather elegant and simple solution for something which we’ve been doing for generations, but now we have the ability to make our scrapbooks shareable and even use them for digital storefronts of our brands and products. Recently CEO Ben Silbermann has identified the web and mobile app as a catalog of ideas. Which as we all know, appeals to me greatly.


This article by Wired probably says it best, but I think this section of the article is particularly important in understanding what Pinterest does so well.

It’s a quiet overachiever. The social service offers a clean, efficient interface where people can save images or discover new ones… But subtle is its own strategy. Beneath the surface, the company has made significant changes. Silbermann believes they can help transform the digital pinboard he and cofounders Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra invented into the dominant global visual search engine. He thinks they will drive new people to try Pinterest and spend more time on it. “We’re trying to build a catalog of ideas for the entire world,” he says. “It’s only as good as the diversity of ideas inside it.”

Pinterest Basics

Pinterest is very simple while being intuitive and allows you to choose how much of an investment you are willing to put forward. It is infinitely customizable, but rather than waxing poetic, why don’t I get technical for you friends?

1. Sign Up. When you sign up can choose to link either your Facebook or Twitter account. This is mostly to help you find an existing network of contacts to follow, and who can follow you back,

2. Your Profile I highly recommend creating a username that either aligns with your existing accounts AND/OR with your company name. You should also consider using the same photo as well from other accounts too.

3. Your Settings. Spend some time messing with the email notifications and decide whether you’ll receive emails for likes, comments or repins. I would also recommend installing the Pin It button so that you can add content anywhere and anytime to Pinterest.


4. Adding Pins. This is pretty straightforward, but you can either save a pin from Pinterest or if you are on another website you have the option to pin images when you hover over them. Some browswers like Chrome has a Pinterest button at the top of the page which groups all of the images on a webpage for you to choose from. Once you’ve saved a pin, you can choose a board to pin it to and also write some info about the pin.


5. Adding Boards. Almost as easy as adding a pin. Depending if you come from your profile or elsewhere on the internet, you can either click the “Create a board” or “+” buttons. I recommend giving your board a clear name so that your followers know what they are getting themselves into when they check it out. You can also add other pinners to your boards, and even decide if these boards are private or for public consumption.


6. Like & Comment. This is useful when you like content, but don’t want to pin it. This way, the pinner gets some feedback and you can carry on.

7. Uploading Pins. This is specifically for your own content. Click the “+” button and follow the directions to add from a URL or via direct upload.

My Pinterest Account

Last but not least, I’ve started my own Pinterest account to share art I make with you, music and movies I review, and content I think you should be absorbing. I’ll keep working to make better and more frequent use of the account. But I think this is a good place to start.

What do you think folks? Did you learn something about Pinterest? I hope you take the time to set up your account because no matter what kind of artist you are, there is value to be had in using a digital catalog of ideas. But that’s just a theory.