New Design Streamlines TriAdventure and Nikibasika


WEB DESIGN NEWS: TriAdventure and Nikibasika merge designs to create a mobile friendly, single-site experience for athletes, crew and donors. Over the coming months we’ve got lots more improvements planned both online and off. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or register now.  This summer by training and fundraising for the annual TriAdventure; a 3 day event involving a 3km swim (or 15km run), 15km canoe, and 140km cycle. The money raised is the used for a home and long-term education for orphaned and vulnerable youth in Kasese, Uganda.

Our focus is to help these young adults become self-sustaining leaders in their communities. Each participant is supported with formal education beyond secondary school, and more important, with leadership development, career guidance, global and human rights awareness. Each young person also participates in a team where they create and lead a community-development project that helps people in need in their local area. Some of the kids are now adults and already working and giving back in their community. Registration for 2017 is now open, to help or to register as an athlete or crew, please click here. Registration will secure your spot and is limited as this is a small group.

Graphic design and website development support courtesy of Raymond Helkio.
Feature image: Kiiza and Blair Cox
Pictured above: Stephanie Stroka, Cate Creede, Yves Precourt 
and Lisa Hipgrave


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Hair of the Dog’s website gets a make-over

Kick-ass food, serious cocktails, cheeky staff and now a website to match! Hair of the Dog’s mobile friendly upgrade is designed around the food and their extensive beer collection, 50+ brands from around the globe. They have been a Church Street favourite since opening fifteen years ago and they’re still serving up a cheekier brand of sophistication than you might be used to from your garden variety pub.  Come, Sit, Stay.

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Mind, Body, Beautiful by Design

With graphic design by Raymond Helkio Infinity Yoga + Fitness opened September 6, 2016 in Richmond Hill and carries with it the inspiring lessons from the infinity loop, it’s a perfect synergy of mind and body fit for a queen (or king) by Joanna Sherman. Also this month, Marguerite Arbour debuted HEAVEN SCENT, her latest line of handmade coconut oil based balms and lotions wrapped in packing that allows the product to be queen. Namaste.

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Call For Bloggers: Queer & Trans Men

QueerTransMen.org brings you great up to date info on the issues facing queer trans guys and the guys that dig them. They are looking for a few good bloggers to join them in spreading the word about trans guys and sexual health. And they pay! For more information please email them.

Brought to you by the super-fine folks at the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance, graphic design for blogger outreach: Raymond Helkio

 

 

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Closet Case: New Web Series Premiering on theBUZZ

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village we take you on an uncensored journey into the closets and behind the alter egos of our communities most beloved queers. Welcome to Closet Case.

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village join us as we go behind the alter egos and into the closets of our communities most beloved queers. Thursdays on theBuzz.

Episode 1: Inside D’yan Forest, an 81 year old internationally recognized cabaret singer, actress and stand-up comedian. This ‘bisexual Betty White’ has been dazzling audiences for more then seven decades with her one-woman extravaganza and slight-of-mouth comedy.

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My Business Ate My Life {A Recovery Plan}

MBAML Book Cover, Helkio

Written by Elizabeth Verwey and cover design by Raymond Helkio, My Business Ate My Life has over 25 ideas to help you get back on track. Join us for a fun evening with other business owners and make new friends at the lovely Paintbox Bistro. This is a free event.

My Business Ate My Life
Book Launch 

Monday January 25, 2016
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Paintbox Catering & Bistro
555 Dundas Street East
Toronto, ON M5A 2B7
REGISTER

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Proud To Vote: LGBTQ ISSUES IN THE ELECTION

Proud To Vote HELKIO

GRAPHIC DESIGN: Raymond Helkio

Join us for a discussion & debate with representatives of all four major parties on key issues for LGBTQ communities in Canada. The event features representatives from all four major Canadian political parties running candidates in Ontario with the discussion moderated by Brenda Cossman, from the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. Unlike riding-focused debates, this town hall will focus on a range of issues of interest to LGBTQ communities in Canada, including domestic and foreign policy issues.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
Buddies In Bad Times Theatre
Doors: 5:00pm
Debate begins: 6:00pm
Post-debate Social: 8:00pm

UPCOMING: LGBTQ Issues Debate in Ottawa on Friday, September 25th being held at the National Centre for the Arts. Follow both our events on Twitter at #LGBTQVotes or Facebook.


Event Partners include: the 519, the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the Dignity Initiative, #EndHateLaws, Pride Toronto, Sherbourne Health Centre, Trans Lobby Group, and XTRA Pink Triangle Press.

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How To Social Media

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it” -Erik Qualman

Posting to social media from your website means that your charity gets to keep the counts (likes, shares, retweets), drive traffic back to your website and earn credibility as an information source.

It’s not frequency that counts, it’s the brevity of your content. Keep them short, interesting/informative and newsworthy. Most of your posts should give people ‘new news’ or insights into your event or the charity itself. Donors, and volunteers want to hear more about their favourite charities not endless requests for support. Give your audience more about you; tell them about your volunteers, facts about your organization or insights from other departments. And do most of it from your website so you can enjoy what’s working, adjust what’s not and measure engagement in a meaningful way.

How To Social

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Not Just Another Brick In The Wall: Ledbury Park SAC Honours Helkio Design

IMG_1978The LPSAC logo mimics the complexity of Ledbury Park students while giving a nod to the building’s architecture. Ledbury Park School Advisory Council adopted a new before launching their hugely successful capitol campaign a little over two years ago.

Their Believe Campaign has raised over $28,000 and funds resources such as SMART Boards, athletic uniforms, literacy and numeracy resources plus the Brick by Brick fundraising campaign which bridged the gap between the TDSB’s commitment ($75K) and the full project budget for ($150K) Ledbury’s new Playscape. Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio

 

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KM Hunter Foundation Artist Awards

Every year the KM Hunter Foundation awards six grants of $8000.00 to artists in the areas of Visual Art, Dance, Theatre, Literature, Film and Video and Music. Recipients are recommended for this award by the Ontario Arts Council juries who put names forward from their own individual juries. Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio // KM Hunter Foundation Logo // 2015 Awards Invitation (below)

Hunter invite 2015

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Dignity Initiative: A Legacy of Love

The Dignity Initiative Wordmark

In June 2014, over 500 activists, academics, lawyers and policymakers from across Canada and around the world came together in Toronto, Ontario for the WorldPride Human Rights Conference which raised the level of awareness of global LGBTI issues in Toronto and Canada and provided a launch pad for the Dignity Initiative.

There is currently no framework or best practice guidelines for LGBTI and allied groups across Canada for working on global LGBTI issues. Our goal is to convene around the development of a set of policy pieces that would be practical tools for the Canadian government and Canadian civil society organizations. This project builds upon the 10-point plan of action on human rights for LGBTI people presented to the federal government in May 2014 by over 80 civil society organizations. Join us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the developments. Logo, graphic design and website: Raymond Helkio.


THURSDAY MAY 14, 2015
Reception & Discussion 
for International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
The Dignity Initiative hosts a reception and interactive discussion on how Canadians are becoming more involved in supporting human rights for LGBTI people around the world. This reception is co-hosted by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and The Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto.

Agenda:
5:00pm-6:00pm Reception (light refreshments and cash bar)
6:00pm-7:30pm Panel Discussion and Conversation

Panelists:
Adedapo Fabunmi, APAA (Africans in Partnership Against AIDS), Initiative for Equal Rights, Nigeria
Maurice Tomlinson, LGBTI Aware Caribbean & Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Vijaya Chikermane, Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention
Michelle Emson, KyivPride Canada

Moderator: Doug Kerr, Dignity Initiative

The panel will discuss ways that Canadians are working on human rights for LGBTI people in several regions and countries of the world, including the Caribbean, India, Nigeria, and Ukraine.

Join this Facebook event page for more information.

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Is PrEP Making Us Sick?

 

PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is the use of anti-HIV medication (a blue pill by Gilead Sciences called Truvada) which keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected.

This is not a smart strategy for STD prevention because it’s is only effective against HIV and so while our community watches HIV rates decline, we are now facing soaring rates of Syphilis and other STDs. Is this trade-off really worth it? Taking PrEP to avoid HIV is like holding up an umbrella to the rain while facing oncoming traffic. Yes, you’ll stay dry.

If you use PrEP instead of a condom you risk other, potentially more serious diseases like Syphilis, Hepatitis A, B and C, HPV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. This partial list should scare you because many of these diseases still hold the potential to shorten or your life. Is taking PrEP the responsible choice or is it just a game of “see no evil, hear no evil” for the lazy gay man. Consider that getting an STD is not about you, but about the other people YOU might infect. If you are not going to use a condom, get your ass to the doctor after unprotected sex. It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you aren’t going to pass on.

Today, the vast majority of people living with HIV respond well to treatment, most living a relatively normal life. Many will even live longer then our HIV-negative counterparts because HIV requires blood-work every six months and so the constant doctors visits means problems are uncovered before they become a problem. Perhaps it’s time to rethink our fear of HIV.

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Not The Comeback We Were Hoping For

Syphilis rates among the MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) in the Hamilton area haven’t been this high since the 1980’s. Not the comeback we were hoping for. This Public Health initiative is in cooperation with The Hamilton AIDS Network and launches today in Hamilton, Halton, Haldimand, Norfolk & Brant and online through Squirt, Men4MenTalk and Grindr to encourage more MSM to get tested for HIV. Thank you Dane Griffiths for your insight and creativity with MSM HIV testing. Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio.

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Project Seahorse: Annual Report

Seahourse Annual Report 2013

Dr. Amanda Vincent: “The world needs more people committed to marine conservation. In an era marked by the exponential decline of coral reefs and other ecosystems, this is one of the foremost challenges we face, one that Project Seahorse is always trying to address through our work. The question is, how do you do it? How do you turn people into stewards of the marine environment?” Annual Report, Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio

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3 Social Media Trajectories

“This Will Go Viral!” Is A Disease Of The Ego
How does a video go viral? There are a lot of techniques that will help boost your YouTube views but the definition of “viral” is to reach epidemic proportions, quickly. Is that one million views in two days? Fifteen million in a week? Five hundred thousand in the first hour? There is always some benefit to having one of your videos go viral but how much energy should you put into it? Could these views translate into donations, tickets sales or support for your charity? It may actually be more important for your charity to reach a thousand of the right people with the right message versus one million avatars.

Sell Less, Socialize More
Don’t pre-plan all of your social media engagement, just keep most of it engaging. There is nothing wrong with pre-scripting some of your posts or tweets, in fact it makes good sense to have your team pre-approve some messages and guidelines but if you plan everything you’ll sound like a marketing robot. You may be putting on the most amazing event of the year but posting about ticket sales five times a week is not fun for the fans who already have a ticket. Engage your audience in topics and conversations that would be of interest to them and just forget the selling until you’ve established the relationship.

Tag Your Way To Better Relationships
Let’s say your group is organizing a 10km run for your charity. You could post the following: Registration is open, sign up now! This is a sales pitch and your audience audience has nothing to connect with. Instead you could post this: Thank you to @ScottSmith and @AndrewJones for registering your awesome team! This shows that you are paying attention to them and your post will appear on their facebook/twitter feed so you’ll multiply the impact of your post.

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CANstruction calandars


Every year, the Greater Toronto Area design community showcases its ingenuity by creating structures built entirely of canned and packaged food for the benefit of the Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto. CANstruction demonstrates the commitment of design professionals to local communities by utilizing their skills to alleviate hunger in a unique and creative way. Our annual calendar goes out to architect & design firms and members of the CANstruction community. The food donated from this event is The Daily Bread Food Bank’s second  largest food drive.

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HIMBO!

HIMBO! Sex, Drugs, Celebrity, The Law of Attraction & Other Adventures is a life love letter from a man learning to live authentically without apology. A time capsule of sparkling yet gritty modern life, Shaun’s book debut includes no-holds-barred provocative selections from his many contributions to the likes of The Globe & Mail and Xtra!, as well as thought-provocation from a multitude of celebrities he has interviewed for his acclaimed radio and TV shows – from Lady Gaga to Liza Minnelli, Betty White to Rosie O’Donnell. Sample ePub available here. Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio. 

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Everyone Loves A Quitter!

PositiveLite.com and the OHTN have teamed up to start the smoking cession discussion among AIDS Service Organizations and similar healthcare providers. PHAs (People Living With HIV/AIDS) may face greater challenges to quitting smoking due to a unique set of social, economic, psychiatric, and medical needs that may affect their smoking habits and their ability to quit (6) The resulting overlap between treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS, substance use, and mental illness makes smoking cessation among PHAs a more difficult proposition than in the general population. To read the full background article click here. Design: Raymond Helkio

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Moral Courage: There’s An App For That!

What’s Moral Courage? Do I have it? Do you? Moral Courage is the willingness to speak truth to power and risk backlash for a greater good. And now there’s an App we’ve designed that guide you through your moral courage journey. Currently the App can support 17 languages and counting.

As Robert F. Kennedy told students at the University of Cape Town “Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet is it the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”

The Moral Courage Project (MCP) is lead by Professor Irshad Manji out of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and through the MCP website which serves as a hub for students around the world.

If you have questions about MCP you can always send me an email and as one of the Canadian ambassadors for the project I can help you get involved or answer questions. Don’t forget to download the App (it’s free!) and look for my video question in the Ask Irshad section.

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Celebrate. Demonstrate. Agitate.

Queers for Social Justice logo: Raymond Helkio
Queers for Social Justice is a coalition of queer community groups, organizations and causes. The group was formed at a community town hall meeting for queers on May 27, 2012. We have come together to bring a unified message of social justice and politics to Pride 2012.

Drawing attention to the struggles that affect queers in Canada and abroad: homophobia, transphobia, bullying, the criminalization of HIV, refugee Bill C-31, homonationalism (e.g., focusing on “gay rights” to the exclusion of the broader concept of social justice) and the cuts to services at all levels of government.

Join for Pride 2012 us as we celebrate, demonstrate and agitate! You can find out more on facebook.

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Catch Raymond Helkio on Blog Talk Radio: ROYNATION

Please join me Thursday May 24th at 10PM (EST) on Blog Talk Radio with host Roy Mitchell for the show ROYNATION. We’ll be talking about The Great Meeting Room, Free Speech, Moral Courage, the Rob Ford: Prove It! campaign and Roy’s trending fashion. It’s going to be lively!

Blog Talk Radio is free and you can login with facebook to chat with us during the show!

Also on the show is Greg Youmans who wrote a book about the film as part of the QUEER FILM CLASSICS, a critically acclaimed film book series that launched in 2009; the series will cover twenty-one of the most important and influential films about and by LGBTQ people, made in eight different countries between 1950 and 2005, written by leading LGBTQ film scholars and critics. The series will unspool at the rate of three new titles each year until 2015.

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Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival


Please join me for this year’s amazing line-up of films at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival. This year I have sponsored the film August which is showing at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday May 18th, 2012 (7:15pm) and I hope you’ll be able to join me for another year of incredible LGBT films.

About August: Five years ago in LA, Troy and Jonathan were in the midst of a full- blown love affair. But when their relationship proved too intense, Jonathan broke up with Troy and escaped back to Spain to follow career aspirations. Since then, Troy has made steps to re-establish a healthy life and has found a new love in handsome Argentinian bartender, Raul. Just when things seem to be returning to normal, Jonathan shows up unannounced looking to strike up a casual friendship that leads to old habits and a mounting sexual tension that threatens Troy’s newfound balance.

Avoiding the clich?s of a typical gay romantic triangle narrative, Rapaport’s debut feature deals with the difficult choices people are forced to make in order to break the cycle of self-destruction that accompanies unhealthy relationships. By approaching the story from each character’s perspective, Rapaport’s August thrives, and his mix of Middle Eastern and Latin influences help add to the film’s charm.

Based on Rapaport’s award-winning short film, Postmortem, August is more than just a steamy showcase for its gorgeous eye-candy cast, many of whom got their start in famous soap operas. The film is a refreshingly honest take on a universal problem.

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Free Hamid Ghassemi-Shall

A real story of a man wrongfully imprisoned and facing possible execution. This video by Hailey does a great job explaining a very unfortunate situation and through her Free Hamid campaign we hope to bring Hamid back to his family. You can help by watching and sharing this video with your friends and colleagues. Thank you for caring enough to watch.

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Moral Courage Project (re)Design


A new brand package for the Moral Courage Project (MCP) consisting of a logo, letterhead, tear sheets, fundraising kit and other fun things (pictured above: presentation folder with business card).

The Moral Courage Project is housed at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and is lead by professor Irshad Manji. The Moral Courage Project is growing into a global leadership program to help students engage in difficult dialogues about culture, power, justice, responsibility, citizenship and other contentious issues. For more information about MCP you can visit the website or contact me directly.

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ACT Gay.

The AIDS Committee of Toronto’s winter/spring newsletter is out. The theme is ACT Gay and this particular issue is dedicated to gay men – you can get your copy here. ACT’s Executive Director says “Our Gay Men’s Community Health Programs have taken this to heart, with a campaign launched at Pride to celebrate the resilience of gay men through 30 years of the HIV epidemic in Toronto. It’s a community we’re proud to come from, and a community we continue to serve as a priority.”
Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio

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David Testo exposes himself for Male Call Canada

Launched this past September, Male Call is the most comprehensive national survey of men who have had sex with men in Canadian history. For the final few weeks of the campaign, professional soccer player and former Montreal Impact most-valuable-player David Testo is joining us to encourage gay and bisexual men across the country to participate in the national, bilingual Male Call Canada study, led by the University of Toronto and supported by national partners including the Canadian AIDS Society, the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), and l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). This research is collecting data about the attitudes, knowledge and sexual behaviours of men who have, or have had, sex with men and will help inform future public health and HIV prevention strategies, help build healthier communities and ultimately save lives.

Testo joins researchers from universities across the country, community partners and a national advisory group to help promote the study, which aims to recruit 6,000 men for a confidential, toll-free telephone survey. Potential study participants can call 1-855-846-MALE (6253) to confidentially and anonymously take the survey. The lines will be open until the end of January 2012.

For gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and who are interested in becoming study participants, David Testo, who recently came out as a gay man, has a clear message: “I urge you to make this very important call. Over the last decade, much has changed in the lives of men who have sex with men, and more information is needed about their attitudes on a national scale.” Testo adds: “This survey provides an opportunity for men to contribute their opinions on current issues so that we can better educate, promote and develop effective programming for our community and the population at large.”

“This is the most comprehensive survey of men who have had sex with men in Canadian history,” said University of Toronto Dr. Ted Myers, Principal Investigator for Male Call Canada. “We hope David’s endorsement of this study will encourage even more men to participate in the study. The more men who participate, the better the results, the stronger the study’s findings and application.”

Once the data is collected and analyzed, a report complete with findings will be available by July 2012 at www.malecall.ca. The study is also supported by the national advertising campaign themed ‘Let’s Talk’. Photograph by West Phillips

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LogoLounge Master Library, Volume 3

LogoLounge Master Library, Volume 3
Raymond Helkio: Universities Without Walls (UWW) logo, page 100.

This is a collection of 3,000 original logos, collected and selected by the renowned LogoLounge. Organized thematically with the broader focus of Shapes and Symbols, the collection features logos that cover all categories of logo design, including typographic, illustrative, pattern-driven, and photographic. You can get a copy for $40 from these fine folks. You’ll find the UWW logo at the top of page 100.

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29 of 704


With some help, I captured 29 of the 704 pixel art space invaders installed around Paris. They are made of tiles inspired by the 80s Rubiks Cubes. They have these cool installations in 30+ cities around the globe. Unfortunately, Toronto isn’t one of them, but let’s hope that changes.


Also burning in Paris was the Israeli Palestine conflict showing itself through street level poster art around the core. At least Paris allows for free speech – any mention of the Israeli Palestine conflict in Toronto and you’re likely to get censored. Speaking of which, Toronto City Hall is at it again this year (specifically Mayor Rob Ford) is planning to withhold $100,000 in funding for Pride Toronto if the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) group are allowed to participate in the parade. C’mon Rob, get the facts about this group and get your nose out of Pride Toronto. Pride is about belonging as well as the right to free speech and we’ll fight to keep it that way.

For more on this last year’s drama click here.

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The End of Space

The end of space. Well, not really, the end of the double space after a period, I hope. I used to think that the double space was a by-product of the typewriter because on those prehistoric machines I got one font and depending on how hard I tapped the keys, periods and commas were often indistinguishable. The truth is that the double space has been in practice long before the typewriter it’s time for it to end. It’s ugly.

With modern day typography, the extra space just creates white gaps in large bodies of text and literally slows the eye down when reading. The period does a great job of indicating the sentence is now over so the extra space is redundant. We could give the extra space some meaning and purpose such as “pause now” or “pause now and go get a sandwich” – that way there’s a reason to hit the space bar twice. More sexy content, less spaces in-between.

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