This being Friday the 13th, I thought I would talk to you about one of our newest ‘Account Managers’, Cindy.  I know many of you are aware of her bubbly personality, eternally happy disposition and talented kids but I’m willing to bet that many of you do not know that she holds a MEd in Educational Psychology.  Further, I am sure none of you know why she studied this and the expertise she has in relation to Friday the 13th. Well read on!

Cindy was born into a farming family in Southern Ontario. As we all know, a farm can be a dangerous place. Luckily for us, Cindy was not the victim of any of the many things that can befell the brave people that farm the land so that we can have our Egg McMuffins, Porter House Steaks and Black Forest Cheesecakes (or soy and plant detritus in Brandon’s case). However, her neighbours- the Chambers Family were not as fortunate.  They seemed to have a family curse or something that ended up rearing its head every Friday the 13th.  One year, their dog went mad with rabies, another year Timmy fell in the well, yet another year their crops were invaded by birds– all on Friday the 13th! This did not go unnoticed by Cindy because her best friend Patricia ‘Polly’ Chambers became deathly afraid of Friday the 13th. Cindy tried to console her-  to no avail, until she happened to read an article by Joseph Wolpe on Systemic Desensitization. She began to put Polly through a number of activities to desensitize her to her irrational fear. She started by getting her comfortable walking under ladders, then stepping on cracks in the sidewalk and continued until she was comfortable breaking mirrors (this part took most of Cindy’s allowance for the year but it was worth it!). Slowly Polly was able to quell her fear of Friday the 13th. Today she leads a normal life in Castle Rock Maine (her arthritis is not bothering her as much as it used to).  For Cindy it was the start of her interest in psychology. In fact, she went on to found the Paraskevidekatriaphobia Treatment Centre which to this day enhances the lives of hundreds of people every year who fear Friday the 13th. For her work she won the prestigious Margaret White Psychology Award and was three-time recipient of the Annie Wilkes Psychology Writers Award.

Of course, this begs the question of what is she doing at Velsoft.  I have it on good authority that she is working on her PhD in Abnormal Psychology continuing the work of David Rosenthal who authored the seminal work ‘On Being Sane in Insane Places’. I think we now know why she is here!

What’s In the Pipeline:

  • Jan is working on our latest eLearning courses.
  • Keith is doing components for ESL and finishing up the Office 365 releases for Nov and Dec.
  • Carol is working on the Writing for the Web Refresh.
  • Ian Smith is doing research for the refresh of our Softskills courses and other projects.

Tech topics:

Accomplishments from the last week:

  • Custom Pages feature (allows admins to create pages within their organization using a wysiwyg)
  • New Badges system for znanja
  • Implementing new page design for individual course pages on the new site.
  • Custom work on Sleep Diary interactions.
  • Various bug fixes


Course Count:

Here is the official count of courses for both courseware and eLearning, broken down by Computer and SoftSkills.



Total Courses









Did you know:

  • Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Friday the 13th is called either paraskevidekatriaphobia (from Greek for Friday) or friggatriskaidekaphobia (from Norse goddess Frigg- after whom Friday is named).
  • Tuesday the 13th (martes trece) is considered a day of bad luck in Spanish speaking countries and Friday the 17th is considered bad luck in Italy.
  • Many studies have proven that there is a higher risk of traffic-related accidents on Friday the 13th (although probably not in Spanish speaking countries or Italy).
  • The original Friday the 13th movie was released on May 9, 1980. It wasn’t until Friday the 13th Part III that one of the franchises movies was released on a Friday the 13th (August 1982).
  • Some people think having 13 letters in your name means you’re devilish. Think about it: Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper, Rachael McLean, Nathan Hazzard, John Cockcroft, Dylan Langille, Luke Henderson – just saying!
  • Superstition has it that Friday the 13th is a bad day to get a haircut.
  • For a month to have a Friday the 13th, the month must begin on a Sunday.
  • Alfred Hitchcock and Paul Simon were born on Friday the 13th– scary!