Wikipedia is constantly changing, including editors who are very keen to delete content and tell you “wikipedia is not …”

In the version of the Satchel article on Wikipedia at the time of this writing, many of the cultural context references have been removed, although a restored section with the Indiana Jones, Hangover and Guardians of the Galaxy references is surviving.

UPDATE 2018-05-17: There is a single anonymous user who, apparently not content with having already removed thousands of characters worth of the article, has again returned to remove the “In Popular Culture” section, again.  The user’s edit history shows a consistent focus on removing popular culture references from articles.  END UPDATE

Below is an earlier version of the article with more extensive references. (I will admit that not every single cultural reference in the version below is needed.)

As a side note, I think, but was unable to confirm, that references to satchels in the 19th century may be actually be something more like a Gladstone bag.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, using Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (for this blog posting only).

Men carrying satchels. Men carrying satchels.

A satchel is a bag, often with a strap.[1] The strap is often worn so that it diagonally crosses the body, with the bag hanging on the opposite hip, rather than hanging directly down from the shoulder. They are traditionally used for carrying books.[2] The back of a satchel extends to form a flap that folds over to cover the top and fastens in the front. Unlike a briefcase, a satchel is soft-sided.



Roman legionaries carried a satchel (a loculus).

A carriel is “a small leather satchel from Colombia with a long history dating back 400 years”.[3]

A photo from the Bain News Service shows Camille Saint-Saëns carrying a satchel in the United States in 1915.[4]

Letter carriers in many countries carry a mail satchel.[5]

School bag

Children carrying leather and cowhide satchels. Children carrying leather and cowhide satchels.

The traditional Oxford and Cambridge style satchel is a simple design that features a simple pouch with a front flap. Variations include designs with a single or double pocket on the front and sometimes a handle on the top of the bag. The classic school bag satchel often had two straps, so that it could be worn like a backpack, with the design having the straps coming in a V from the centre of the back of the bag, rather than separate straps on each side.[citation needed] This style is sometimes called a satchel backpack.[citation needed]

A cover illustration from The Queenslander Illustrated Weekly on January 31, 1929 shows a school bag taunting a schoolboy.[6]

There is an example of a schoolboy’s satchel in the collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.[7]

The school satchel is described as “the bag of choice for 1950s children”.[8]

A 1959 photo shows schoolgirls with satchels (schooltassen) in the Netherlands.[9]

The use of school bag satchels is common in the United Kingdom, Australia, Western Europe and Japan.[10] In Japan the term for a school bag satchel is randoseru. The Unicode for the school satchel Emoji is U+1F392.[11]

In cases where the school bag is a hard-sided box, it is a briefcase rather than a satchel.

In fashion

Much of the popularity of the satchel as a fashion accessory in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada since 2008 is driven by the Cambridge Satchel Company, whose product was on a Guardian gift guide in 2009, and was described as a cross-body bag in a 2010 article.[12][13][14][15]

In popular culture

In literature, the satchel is often associated with the classic image of the English schoolboy: “And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel” is a phrase from Shakespeare’s monologue All the world’s a stage.

In Mark Twain’s 1869 travel book The Innocents Abroad he reports that upon arriving in France in 1867, “With winning French politeness the officers merely opened and closed our satchels”.

In the Little House on the Prairie novel By the Shores of Silver Lake, the Ingalls family carries two satchels on their train ride west.

Indiana Jones always carries a satchel as part of his outfit, alongside his whip and hat (the prop used in the movies was a 1943 Mark VII gas mask bag).[16]

The satchel is referenced in the movie The Hangover, where the character Alan Garner says “it’s not a man purse, it’s called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one.”[17] The bag he was actually carrying was a Roots Village Bag.[18] Following the attention due to the movie, Roots released a larger bag, called simply The Satchel, however the design of both the Village Bag and The Satchel are not the same as the traditional satchel.

The satchel is indirectly referenced in the nod to both Indiana Jones and The Hangover in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, where the character Peter Quill says “It’s not a purse, it’s a knapsack.”

In Shaun the Sheep Movie the eponymous sheep has a satchel with a Blue Peter badge on it.[19]

In Kiki’s Delivery Service, Kiki carries a satchel when she leaves home.

In My Neighbor Totoro, Satsuki Kusakabe, her friend Michiko and other school children can be seen wearing satchel backpacks as they go to school.

In season 3 of Glee, Blaine Anderson carried a buckle-detail satchel.[20]

In The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper is seen carrying a brown satchel (reported to be a distressed-canvas Goorin Brothers bag).[21]

In Stargate SG-1 season 8, Dr. Elizabeth Weir is seen with a satchel behind her desk and later on her desk, in the two-part episode “New Order“.

Television presenter Monty Don often carries a satchel when touring gardens.

In the BBC Two television series Mary Beard’s Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit, presenter Mary Beard is seen carrying a satchel while visiting various ancient locations.

In The Captive Prince by Scott Chantler, Topper says “I think I’m going to need a bigger satchel.”

Ford Prefect carries his gear in a satchel in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

See also


  1. Satchel,, Accessed 28 October 2009
  2. Satchel,, Accessed 28 October 2009
  3. Amay, Joane (16 January 2013). “Current Obsession: The Carriel Bag”. Lucky magazine. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  4. Wikimedia Commons – File:Camille Saint Saëns – George Grantham Bain Collection.png also on Flickr and at the Library of Congress – ggbain 19050 / LC-DIG-ggbain-19050
  5. Heidelbaugh, Lynn (April 29, 2006). “Satchel for letter carriers”. National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  6. Flickr – State Library of Queensland – Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, January 31, 1929
  7. satchel – MISC.541-1992 – V&A
  8. Williams, Sally (6 July 2009). “How magic of Harry Potter is creating a fashion for stylish satchels”. WalesOnline. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  9. Flickr – Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo / W.P.W. van de Hoef, SFA003001968
  10. “7 Ways to Make Your Child’s School Bag Lighter”. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  11. “School Satchel Emoji”. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  12. “Christmas gift guide 2009: Men’s accessories”. The Guardian. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  13. Cartner-Morley, Jess (24 April 2010). “How to dress: Cross-body bags”. The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  14. Lukas, Erin (23 December 2011). “The story behind the explosion of the Cambridge Satchels”. Fashion Magazine. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  15. Williams-Grut, Oscar (23 January 2014). “Moneybags: humble British satchel conquers the world”. The Independent. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  16. “ – Research – Indy’s Gear – The Shoulder Bag”. Archived from the original on 5 Feb 2015. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  17. Memorable Quotes from The Hangover,, Accessed October 29, 2009
  18. “Village Bag on the Silver Screen”. 14 Aug 2009. Archived from the original on 27 Jun 2010. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  19. Doran, Sarah (14 Feb 2015). “Fascinating behind the scenes facts from Shaun The Sheep The Movie”. Retrieved 23 Aug 2015.
  20. Williams, Nakisha (13 September 2012). “Style Hunter: Must-Have Messenger Bags”. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
  21. Williams, Nakisha (13 September 2012). “Style Hunter: Must-Have Messenger Bags”. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.

Wikipedia Categories:

procrastination, anxiety, and dialogue with your past self

Often procrastination is viewed as a problem of organisation, and a typical approach is to try to provide a system for prioritizing and tracking tasks, in the model of Getting Things Done.  There are all kinds of methodologies related to this kind of organisation and priotization model, and certainly they may help those who really are procrastinating because of a lack of structure in their work planning.

But what is often not addressed is that there are people who are procrastinating because of anxiety, not because of lack of organisation.

Tim Urban did a TED talk in 2016 called Inside the mind of a master procrastinator that really resonated with me.  But what I found even more interesting (since I am more of a text than a video person) is his blog posts exploring procrastination in more detail:

I really admire Tim Urban for being able to be open about this issue, in a society that values productivity perhaps more than anything.

I particularly like The Eisenhower Matrix, which gives a better way to think about task priority

It’s basically four quadrants.

Eisenhower grid

Although this looks like a classic productivity tool, Tim Urban has actually figured out that it has some subtle factors when you take into account how people think and behave when procrastinating.  In general, procrastinators mess up these priorities.  They will do Quadrant 1 (Important, Urgent) when a deadline forces them.  Otherwise they will do either Quadrant 3 (Not Important, Urgent) or particularly occupy Quadrant 4 (Not Important, Not Urgent).

If I apply an anxiety perspective, Quadrant 1 (Important, Urgent) gets done when the anxiety about the deadline overcomes the anxiety about the task.  Otherwise, aversive strategies move the anxious procrastinator either into Not Important, Urgent or Not Important, Not Urgent.


Procrastinators who are no longer able to use deadlines as motivation Tim Urban describes as “Disastinators”, stuck forever in a corner of useless tasks (e.g. unpleasurable obsessive web surfing or other maladaptive coping strategies) in Quadrant 4.

This is basically being paralysed by anxiety, doing meaningless things.

Eisenhower grid avoid stuck

One of the keys to getting out of Quadrant 4, if stuck there because of anxiety, is to deal with the anxiety itself, rather than the tasks.  In other words, an anxiety-based procrastinator may need emotions management and mental strategies a lot more than time and priority management (and may in fact be acutely and painfully aware of both the exact priorities and the time constraints they are facing).  This is a really important insight.  If it’s anxiety that has you stuck, no amount of productivity techniques will help change the outcomes.  The procrastination is anxiety-driven, the solution is addressing the anxiety itself.

And the highest priority things (Quadrant 1 & 2) may be the most anxiety-generating, which is why anxious procrastinators if they do anything at all, may churn out Not Important but Urgent items, or be stuck in endless Not Important, Not Urgent activities.

You May Be Missing Your Hopes and Dreams in Quadrant 2

Tim Urban makes a second really important observation, which is that even people who are high-functioning may do just the Urgent things (Quadrant 1 and 3) and never make it to the things in Quadrant 2 (Important but Not Urgent).  But Quadrant 2 covers a lot of things that are at the core of improving your life.  Depending on your personality, many things may be in Quadrant 2: relationships, health, new skills – basically all of your aspirations.  And as you busily do Quadrant 1 priority items, you may never find time to do the things that bring meaning to your life.

Tim Urban describes this as “delegating to future you”.  Learning that language, meeting that girl or boy, making that new career… all always safely in the future.

Dialogue Between Past Self and Future Self

Here’s where I would like to add some value to the already-excellent analysis that Tim Urban did.  One thing that happens with procrastination is a really dysfunctional dialogue across time.  It may be across minutes and it may be across decades.  It’s the dialogue between past you and future you.

Procrastinators load a lot of tasks onto their future self.  And whether it’s “I’ll just surf the web for five minutes” or “I’ll do that next month”, eventually the future self becomes the present self, and is basically thinking “I can’t believe Past Me stuck me with this task, there’s so little time left, why didn’t Past Me just do it then?  You suck Past Me.”

And since there is no past you and future you really, just present self, this means procrastinators basically feel angry at themselves a lot.  For some intense procrastinators, all the time.

I think it might be possible to surface this dialogue in a healthier way.  There are two aspects: first, gratitude to your past self, and second, empathy with your future self.  This can start out small, but the key is to verbalise it, either internally or (depending on the people around you) out loud.  Did you put out your clothes the night before so you could get ready quicker?  “Thanks Past Me.”  Did you take some time to sort medication into daily slots so you don’t forget what to take each day?  “Thanks Past Me.”  Did you do the laundry yesterday so you have clean clothes today?  “Thanks Past Me.”

Similarly, when facing a task, you can try (this is hard) to empathize with your future self (who is, after all, you).  Writing that report today is a gift to your future self tomorrow, who will be less anxious and angry, who won’t have to struggle to complete too many piled-up tasks.  Doing even a small important task today means that future you won’t face the same anxiety and won’t have to fight whatever aversive behaviours and compulsions the anxiety may trigger.

This is a way to try to make your internal dialogue kinder across time, rather than (inevitably anxious) future you having to deal with the tasks that (inevitably anxious) past you avoided.

You can also, when necessary, forgive your past self.

Just as importantly, a healthier self-dialogue and addressing anxiety directly may open up the space so that you’re not always either dealing with crisis tasks in Quadrant 1, or obsessively avoiding anxiety-making tasks by huddling in the corner of Quadrant 4 (the “Stuck Here” quadrant).  It may open up the possibility that you actually make time for present you to do things in Quadrant 2, whether it’s learning photography, or going to a party, or whatever it is that will advance your life in important ways.

I hope this is helpful.

Many Government of Canada consultations

The Government of Canada is conducting many consultations.

It’s a bit of a challenge to find the major ones on so I’ve made a list below.

Provincial Electoral Reform

There are also two provincial electoral reform (including online voting) consultations running:

Provincial General Consultations

And there are additional provincial-level consultations, too many to list them all, but here are a few:

CLOSED consultations

The following consultations are now closed:

Star Wars VII: A New New Hope?

Star Wars IV

Written by: George Lucas

very good

Star Wars V

Story by: George Lucas
Screenplay by: Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan (and George Lucas, uncredited)


Star Wars VI

Story by: George Lucas
Screenplay by: Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas


Star Wars I

Written by: George Lucas


Star Wars II

Story by: George Lucas
Screenplay by: George Lucas and Jonathan Hales


Star Wars III

Written by: George Lucas


Basically, with the exception of the first movie, the more George Lucas writes it, the worse the movie is.  (This also aligns with my “one great idea” theory, where many writers have one really good first book or movie in them, and after that, not so much.)

Star Wars VII

Written by: Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt

With Abrams and Kasdan writing, I have a new new hope.

According to Vanity Fair:

Abrams and Kasdan took over the screenwriting process, starting more or less from scratch. “We said, Blank page. Page one. What do we desperately want to see?” Abrams told me. Though Abrams said both men had pet ideas from the development process they wanted to incorporate, and did, Kasdan made the process sound like more of a teardown: “We didn’t have anything,” Kasdan said. “There were a thousand people waiting for answers on things, and you couldn’t tell them anything except ‘Yeah, that guy’s in it.’ That was about it. That was really all we knew.”

By mid-January, Abrams and Kasdan had a draft, most of it hashed out in plein air conversations recorded on an iPhone as they walked and talked for hours at a time through cityscapes that changed according to the vagaries of Abrams’s schedule: first along the beach in Santa Monica, then through a freezing Central Park, in New York, and finally on the streets of London and Paris. One day, the two men spent eight hours at Les Deux Magots, the boisterous café on Boulevard Saint-Germain where patrons are jammed elbow-to-elbow and which is famous for having once been a hangout for the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. “We’re like yelling back and forth in this noise, saying, This should happen, that should happen, he can’t do that…”

science podcasts

There are lots of interesting science podcasts available, particularly thanks to the BBC and French radio.  English radio is almost always just continuous talking.  Some of the shows from France (maybe just France Inter) have (sometimes jarring) musical interludes (marked with ♫).

Interviews with scientists

  • The Life Scientific with Jim Al-Khalili – BBC, iTunes
  • Les savanturiers ♫ – France Inter, iTunes
    • Bernard Croisile, neurologue, August 30, 2015 (talking about his expertise in memory, particularly as it relates to Alzheimer’s) – France Inter, iTunes
  • Discovery (see below) sometimes has interviews
    • Life Changers – Anita Sengupta, September 14, 2015 – BBC, iTunes

General Science (separate segments)

  • Canada’s classic science show, CBC’s Quirks and Quarks (generally very short segments) – CBC, iTunes
    • New Horizons Reaches Pluto, June 27, 2015 – CBC, iTunes
    • Dinosaur Fossils Preserve Blood Cells, June 13, 2015 – CBC, iTunes
  • The Science Show (Australia) – ABC Radio National (RN), iTunes
    • The Science Show celebrates 40 years, August 29, 2015 – ABC, iTunes
    • Quirks and Quarks – also celebrating 40 years, July 11, 2015 (Australian tribute to Canada’s show) – ABC, iTunes
    • Current sleep patterns far from normal, June 25, 2015 – ABC, iTunes
  • Discovery (BBC World Service) – BBC, iTunes
    • James Watt and Steam Power, July 13, 2015 – BBC, iTunes
  • Future Tense (Australia) – ABC Radio National (RN), iTunes – more tech focused than science
    • Science Fiction: Earth’s repair manual, November 23, 2014 – ABC, iTunes

General Science (entire shows)

Single-Topic Science

(one topic or theme per episode)

  • La Conversation scientifique – France Culture, iTunes
    • Qu’est-ce qu’un minéral ?, September 19, 2015 – France Culture, iTunes – « A l’occasion de sa réouverture, visite de la galerie de minéralogie du Muséum d’histoire naturelle, en compagnie de François Farges, Brigitte Zanda et Etienne Klein. »
    • Rosetta, Philae, Mars Express et les autres, January 31, 2015 – France Culture, iTunes
  • Science publique – France Culture, iTunes
  • Continent sciences – France Culture, iTunes – usually starts with a segment about an animal or animals, “La chronique animalière” (about 5 minutes) and then the main topic

History of Science


Single-Purpose Shows

(single-purpose shows, a set of episodes on a particular topic, ends once the topic is covered)

  • A Brief History of Mathematics (10 episodes) – BBC, iTunes
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects (100 episodes) – BBC, iTunes
  • Seven Ages of Science (7 episodes) – BBC, iTunes


  • The Long Now Seminars about Long-Term Thinking – Long Now, iTunes – sometimes has science episodes
    • Beth Shapiro: How to Clone a Mammoth, May 11, 02015 – Long Now (video), iTunes (audio)
  • In Our Time – BBC, iTunes – sometimes has science episodes
    • The Photon, February 12, 2015 – BBC, iTunes
    • Note: Although iTunes and the BBC site have an In Our Time: Science feed, it hasn’t been updated since 2013, so subscribe to the main feed instead.

Shows that have completed

  • Frontiers – BBC, iTunes – completed in 2014
    • Crossrail – Tunnelling under London, July 10, 2013 – BBC, iTunes
  • History of Science (UK Royal Society) – iTunes – last episode in 2014 – appears to have been replaced by Lectures and events – iTunes

April 19, 2015  light and dark, night and day, asleep and awake
April 12, 2015  podcasts I like
December 13, 2014  two urbanism podcasts

Cineplex VIP – there is a light that never goes out

Cineplex has VIP theatres, including one at Lansdowne.  It’s an ok idea but from my perspective appears to have a fatal design flaw.

VIP basically means:

  • a lounge/bar outside the theatres
  • a few one-person “executive” washrooms rather than large shared washrooms
  • larger seats, with seat controls to lean back and (I think) put up a foot rest
  • reserved seats
  • drink and food service at the seat (server comes and takes order before movie, then brings it)
  • smaller theatre

Because of the drinks, it is local legal drinking age only (e.g. 19+ in Ottawa).

So other than the 1% income inequality aspect, ok.

UPDATE 2015-12-31: Cineplex has turned off the blue seat lights, at least in the VIP Lansdowne theatre I was in yesterday.  So the primary issue reported in this blog post is now fixed.

The new theatres have some other minor distractions, but they are mostly understandable:

  • if you sit in an aisle seat, you will have the lighted stairway in half of your feild of vision – but 1) you can always sit in the middle and 2) I concede that it is a necessary safety measure to have the stairs always lighted
  • The (bright green, glowing) exit signs are on either side of the screen (both in VIP and UltraAVX) which makes them hard to exclude from your awareness.  I imagine again that much of their brightness and position may be required from a safety standpoint.  One issue I have a hard time forgiving is that the signs cast a glow onto the screen itself.  This seems unnecessary, as no one is ever likely to be standing right at the screen position when needing to find the exit.  They could do some simple design (e.g. a black metal or plastic barrier) to block the light scattering “backwards” onto the screen.
  • The servers came in with some last service after the movie had already started.  To me this is not acceptable, as it pulls you out of the movie experience.


IMG_2888-12888-20150621 - Version 3

Except. Those seat controls. That glow bright blue. They never go out.  Here’s an artificially-darkened version of the above image.

IMG_2888-12888-20150621 - Version 2

Now if it were me, here’s how I would design these seat controls:

  • they would only illuminate, when the house lights are on, if someone was sitting in the chair
  • they would be illuminated in red
  • they would have distinct shapes or raised icons so that you could identify them by touch
  • the illumination would go out as soon as the house lights went down

At the absolute maximum, I might agree to a touch-activated, very very dim red illumination when the house lights are down.  So as to not distract the other guests.

These are not controls that you’re using all the time.  At most you might adjust your chair when you sit down, or just before the movie starts.  I didn’t actually see anyone using them at all.

Instead, at least in the movie I was in:

  • they never go out
  • they are illuminated in bright blue (which is not a natural light, and which is the wrong colour for any light in an otherwise dark room)

The fact they never go out might be ok if they were completely blocked from view.  But they are not.  Which means if you have good peripheral vision, you can see not just the light below you on your chair, but the lights on the chairs to the left and right of you.  Which means the entire movie experience is like this:

blue light blue light blue light blue light blue light blue light

Maybe your ideal experience of a movie is to have the rough equivalent of someone constantly shining blue laser pointers into the corners of both your eyes, but mine is not.

As a side note, Cineplex has started an autism-spectrum-friendly screening program called Sensory Friendly Screenings, with “2D projection, increased auditorium lighting, lower volume and smaller crowds” (Autism Speaks press release, PDF).  Other than the increased lighting, this actually sounds like a better theatre experience for everyone.  The VIP theatre would be ideal for this screening program… except it seems likely that the blue lights that never go off will be a distressing stimulus.

I very much hope they are supposed to go out, but just weren’t switched off.

In any case, I really only care about the the reserved seat part, so I will be going to IMAX instead.

(Also incidentally the three one-person washrooms may be nice in theory, but mean a giant lineup at the end of the movie – go down the hall to the larger shared washrooms by the UltraAVX section.)

Sidebar: There are three four VIP theatres at Lansdowne.  Cinema 3 is bigger than cinema 2.  I don’t know about cinema 1.  Make sure you check not just the show but the time posted outside the theatre (all three VIP cinemas were playing the same movie, just at different times.)