Posted in Writing

Ladislao José Biro, how did he invent the ballpoint pen?

The Biro, later to become the Bic ballpoint pen.
The Biro, later to become the Bic ballpoint pen.

Who was Ladislao José Biro, how did he invent the ballpoint pen and how did it help in World War II?

László József Bíró, was born on 29 September 1899 in Budapest in what was then Austria-Hungary.

He was a sometime journalist, painter and inventor who was frustrated with fountain pens blotting and smudging. He got the idea on a visit to a newspaper printing press, which used quick-drying ink and a roller.

“It got me thinking how this process could be simplified right down to the level of an ordinary pen,” he later said. The rest is history!

Posted in Social Work

Building trauma related social work skills.

Building trauma related skills while incorporating how we can each balance our lives and the social work we do comes from a wide array of opportunities available to us to build our skills in working in trauma, how we support ourselves and each other doing this challenging work. I am striving to be better prepared now to continue learning how to assess trauma, how to encourage the steps of healing and how to provide ongoing after/care supports through a number of resources currently available or I can advocate to have created in the future.

Discovering my own experiences and journeys of trauma throughout my life, using the lessons trauma-informed practice can provide, has made the journey personal for me. I like that in addressing my own trauma related experiences I have from my past allows me to create stronger helping hands rather than being aloof or emotionally detached from myself. This allows me to experience the best outcomes in working as a social worker when I am able to experience or empathize with my clients. It’s more genuine, honest and real, to share our ‘human understandings’ with others to encourage, model or support others to try challenging their areas of concern, it builds less isolation and encourages the development of a social safety network to assist all of us build our lives into what our potential can offer.

When we attempt to integrate a trauma-informed practice process with our own personal journey, it makes us one with the process; allowing us to see ourselves interwoven with all humans experiencing trauma. Tosone, Nuttman-Shwartz, & Stephens (2012) talk about the relational nature of trauma (232), or shared trauma in large trauma events where both parties experienced similar events as in large weather related events and draw a clear line between this and a clinician self-disclosing their personal trauma experiences attempting to build empathy or rapport with a client. This can create a tension in the therapeutic relationship, as Tosone, et al. stated “…the clinician, whether or not disclosing her own childhood trauma, may mistakenly assume she understands the client’s reactions based on her own personal experience. It is incumbent upon the clinician to ensure that her selective self-disclosure is in service of the client’s best therapeutic interests, not personal need.” (233).

My own personal thoughts about trauma have over the past years been drawn to reflect on the citizens of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. These folks have experienced the most grievous form of trauma; unending civil war, misery and starvation where murder of young men and sexual violence is used to defeat one tribal group, as conquering armies have done throughout history. At a more global level, I don’t know what a whole nation can do to heal and survive the trauma they’ve experienced over the most recent years. Children growing up in war, orphaned, starving – all from their own countrymen. How does a nation heal? Nelson Mandela had a vision for a country torn by civil war to heal. It must start with political decisions to seek peace.

Tososne, C., Nuttman-Shwartz, O., & Stephens, T. (2012). Shared trauma: When the professional is personal. Clinical Social Work Journal, 40(2), 231-239.

Posted in Featured, Social Work

Comfort Dogs Head To Orlando To Help Families & Victims Heal

(ANIMAL NEWS/SERVICE DOGS) Following the horrific nightclub shooting Saturday night, Chicago comfort dogs are headed to Orlando to help families & victims heal.

Source: Comfort Dogs Head To Orlando To Help Families & Victims Heal

Posted in Web Hosts

Web Hosting Your Own Blog

Web hosting can be a challenge for any new blogger looking to create a web space for their ideas, projects, photographs, or any other reason why blogging would be an interesting idea to try. Learning how to blog, how to create and organize ideas into content can be an exciting learning opportunity for anyone interested in trying blogging for the first time. What I love about is that it has all the needed supports and services any new blogger will need to get an exciting blog up and running. It is so easy to use, and they have lessons on how to blog too! What more could anyone ask for?

At some point though, your interests might grow to explore other ideas about blogging. can assist that too by simply upgrading from your Free account to a WordPress Premium or WordPress Business account – still the great services but more too, like your own Domain name, more space for images, posts etc. To learn more about how to choose either a or a account, check out this great resource Get WordPress to compare them together.

Another idea out there is to create your very own Web Host account and host your own account online. While is fantastic, more options are available to you using your own hosting account and a installed web site. Most web host providers can offer subdomains, just like does.

Now that you’ve taken a closer look at hosting your own website I’ve selected a few hosting programs that offer you low-cost or free web hosting for your review.

The free hosting offer I’ve selected for you provides a large amount of web space for your files and posts, 2GB web space and 100GB of monthly web traffic, or visitors to your site. Think of online gaming and watching YouTube videos all month long! How many visitors to my site would that be? A 1,000 visitors per day to a web site, who are visiting two web pages per visit can use up to 8.5GB of traffic per month! Wow, that’s a lot of visitors! Try it!

The low-cost offer I’ve selected provides the Safest of the Safe web hosting with a variety of unlimited packages with web space and domain options to meet any new or experienced webmaster’s needs now and in the future. Give a try and let me know how it worked out for you!

If you sign up with one of my recommended partners I disclose that I use both of them myself and have a commercial affiliate relationship with them.

Posted in News

Calgary Premiere of the documentary “Swift Current”

Tonight attended the Calgary Premiere screening of the documentary “Swift Current”, a powerful conversation of child sexual abuse in organized hockey in Canada. Sheldon Kennedy went on to star in the NHL for three teams but carried the terrible memories and trauma of sexual abuse by Graham James, a Junior hockey coach while playing for the Swift Current Broncos as a teenager.

SWIFT CURRENT – Official Trailer from Marcel Herman Films on Vimeo.

Now, Sheldon Kennedy is a strong vocal advocate for standing up for children who are being abused, giving them a voice and inspiring people around the world to take action to stop child sexual abuse and get services and resources to children traumatized by child sexual abuse. See more about Sheldon Kennedy and the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Center in Calgary Alberta, Canada.

Calgary Flames Foundation lead sponsor.