Friday, July 29, 2005

John got published in the Globe and Mail!

Look out Pulitzer!

Pick up a copy of today's (Friday, July 29) G&M if you get the chance. Even the drawing kinda looks like him. Well, not really.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Moo-nority Report

Retina scans for IDing cattle? That's udderly preposterous. The project will milk the government of millions of tax dollars. What a low thing to even suggest.

Science has confirmed the blatantly obvious

What men and women have known for years. Still no cure for cancer.

Monday, July 25, 2005

It's about time

Via Slashdot.

Russia's biggest spammer found brutally murdered.

I *WHAM* DON'T *SMASH* WANT *WHAM* TO *SMASH* PLEASE *WHAM* HER *SMASH* ALL *WHAM* NIGHT!!!!! *SMASH* gloop *WHAM* bloody ooze *SMASH* splat *THUMP* squish...

"I left my Princeton education to work with worm poop"

Stick THAT into your compost bin, traditional manufacturing processes!

- OR -

"How I became a CEO at age 23."

Your plant wants Terracycle plant food. Available at Loblaws and Home Depots across Toronto.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Is there any hope for the future?

Think this kid was playing GTA: San Andreas?

13-year-old charged with stealing car with baby inside

By:Dave Balut

Tampa, Florida - Major George McNamara says he’s known Burall Reynolds family for almost 25 years.

Maj. George McNamara, Tampa Police Dept.:
“This is personal with me. What do you do to save a kid like this?”

McNamara says Reynolds has been arrested three times since May. And now the 13-year-old is charged with stealing a 2003 Mitsubishi Gallant with a baby inside.

Maria Muniz stepped inside her parent’s home on West Orient Street Monday night and left her car running in the driveway. When she came out less than a minute later, the car was gone.

And her one-year-old son Christian was still in the back seat.

Maj. George McNamara:
“Unfortunately two subjects came along jumped into the car stole it drove about a block took the baby out, left the baby in the street, and then stole the car.”

The child was returned safely to his mother. Now Burall Reynolds is charged with Grand Theft Auto, Auto Burglary, Aggravated Child Abuse and False Imprisonment of a Child under the age of 13.

Maj. McNamara:
“Where are the parents, where’s the system, we’ve got to do more to protect the community as well as try to give this kid a chance for the future. Because he’s 13, he’s looking at being adjudicated as an adult and Florida state prison.”

Just before the two teenagers stole the Mitsubishi, neighbor Loretta Riffe says the same boys tried to steal her mini-van but someone scared them away. Now she’s using a screwdriver to start her vehicle.

Loretta Riffe, Auto Burglary Victim: “I think that parents need to get their act together personally, I think they need to train their children that this is a crime and they’re going to be paying for it.”

Police say Burall Reynolds confessed to the car theft. He’s now in the juvenile assessment center, again. Investigators are still looking for his young partner in crime.

London Bombings: Redux

I only have one thing to say.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

So long, Scotty.

James Doohan has been beamed up. He's entered the undiscovered country. His heart couldn't take anymore, Captain - it blew.

And so begins the deluge of bad Trek-related media headlines to honour the passing of one of sci fi's most beloved characters.

Meanwhile, this, on how Scotty perfectly embodies the relationship between the IT department and the CEO.

May he live long and prosper... and may we never have to do a bad movie about finding him on a Genesis planet...

Monday, July 18, 2005

On the book industry

From Michelle, The Red Fork at help! bats! everywhere! on the lifecycle of the book and independent bookstores versus mega-bookstores.

I find this to be a really interesting topic since I hope to one day own my own little book nook, and because John and I both worked - and in John's case, continues to work - for Indigo/Chapters/Coles mogul Heather Reisman. On the one hand, as a consumer, I get lots of books at lower costs. On the other hand, the big bookstores have the publishing industry over a barrel, and my books keep getting more and more expensive.

A couple more articles for you bookies to check out - unfortunately, they're more than three years old:
Dooney's Cafe, champion to the little man who successfully lobbied to keep Starbucks off its hallowed grounds (only to have them move across the street), and which also serves yummy desserts on Bloor St. W;
The Link from Concordia University;
and Maclean's.

Couldn't find anything on how Chapters has affected the Canadian publishing industry since Heather took over - the advantages to keeping your company private, I suppose.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Providing a useful service - aka "Lazy Blogging"

Just surfing the net for fun and I came upon the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) website. Yeah, it's an American organization, but it's relevant and covers a lot of online issues. It even has a section about how the Patriot Act should concern Internet users. Fascinating stuff, if you don't mind getting a little paranoid about how your freedom is being jeopardized. When that happens to me, I jsut calmly tell myself that buying shiny objects will make it go away. Oooh, pretty shinys...

For the true space nerd in you...

I spotted this Mars Simulation Project freeware on Home of the Underdogs - thought I'd pass it on to y'all who like the space nerdery. Which really only amounts to John, as he is way into the colonization of the red planet.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Oh, Scott Kurtz, you are the greetest.

Hee hee. I'm Skull.

Dose make Vicki smash!

Another thing just made me mad in Dose: page 13 is a "Worst Song Ever" spread. It's an elimination flowchart of some of the worst songs ever, written with a very wry, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. A clever piece any other day, but as usual, they tried to have the running story theme - London - on the top. It reads:

"I would like to express the full horror I feel at the terrorist attacks which bathed the British capital in blood," said French President Jacques Chirac > "The West is Winning," said PM Paul Martin >

Again, bad, bad production. What the hell are they doing putting "The West is Winning" right next to condolences?

And Paul, what the fuck? Does 40 dead and 700 injured in London yesterday look like winning to you? Does a dead Egyptian envoy look like winning? Does more than 1,900 dead sons and daughters of the coalition look like winning? I'm not even counting the thousands of Iraqis and Afghanistanis killed. RAARRGGHGH!!!

Calm down, Vicki, don't get so worked up, you're not there, you only have to worry about affording that new pair of shoes, relax...

Vicki angry. Also, rage makes me sleepy.

London Bombings, Part 2

Another thought about this tragedy: The Metro's page 3 headline is: "World caught by surprise."

Um, pardon me for being obvious, but duh. We'll never be ready for a terrorist attack. Ever. We just aren't a race of beings capable of fully understanding or accepting acts of cruelty and slaughter. Yet we've somehow managed to engage in it, both actively and passively, or allow it to happen out of negligence and indifference.

Maybe we should all stop being surprised and start realizing these things are happening for a reason. Maybe we should stop saying "yeah, they bomb us because they hate our way of life and everything our free and happy and prosperous country represents," and start thinking about how we actually got to be free and happy and prosperous.

Maybe we should stop trying to pin the blame on liberals, or people who worship other gods, or people who "aren't patriots," or homosexuals, or coloured people, or people who don't think like us. Maybe we should look in the mirror and think really hard, beyond the last greasy hamburger meal we had, and ask ourselves, "Could I have done this?"

Well let me tell you something: No. You didn't do it. You didn't carry the bomb to the bus and push the detonator button. You didn't swear revenge on the ones who bulldozed your house, killing your elderly mother within. You weren't the one who bulldozed that house because it might have been a hive for terrorist cells. You didn't even throw any rocks at the soldiers who raped your 14-year-old sister.

You didn't shoot the 8-year-old boy dead in the street because you thought he was a teen with a gun. You didn't give the order to have tonnes of explosives dropped onto a tiny mud-hut village. You didn't send hundreds of sons and daughters to a war no one needed to fight. And you didn't draw up the plans to annex the oil sluicing under your enemy's country. After all, it's so deep underground that if you dug just a little deeper, you'd end up in Satan's bedroom.

You didn't do any of these things, and you probably will never have reason to.

But maybe you drive an SUV.
Or you don't recycle.
Or you decide it's okay to leave all the lights and appliances in the house on while you're gone because, heck, it's your money, your rent covers utilities, why should you have to turn out any lights? We'll never run out of energy! We're one of the world's richest countries! I belong here! I work hard to make money and feed my family and you can't take that away from me! Now bring me a double bacon cheeseburger and an extra large side of fries and turn up that air conditioner, will ya? I'm sweatin' like a pig here!

Sorry, I get a little angry sometimes and it all comes gushing out.

London bombings

I heard about this story late morning yesterday and couldn't think of anything intelligent to say about it then, so call me a little behind the times.

I was on the subway on my way to work this morning and decided to pick up copies of Metro and Dose - I didn't get a 24 - to see what the free dailies spin on the whole situation was.

Metro, as usual, reported lots of snippets, the usual reactions, pictures, numbers, etc. Dose's coverage was much more compelling, and included write ups and interviews with people - assumedly personal friends and contacts - who were actually in London near the bomb sites. I was amazed at the depth of Dose's coverage of the tragedy up to page 7, where the words "Premature Ejaculation" boldly stood out in an ad on the bottom right corner of the page.

Because of Dose's blocky greyscale layout, the ad looks like part of the editorial. Firstly, bad, bad production layout. I don't care if they paid premium for placement, you just DON'T put an ad for erectile dysfunction on the same page as world wide tragedy. Secondly, BAD, BAD PRODUCTION LAYOUT. Were they even paying attention when they placed that thing? Okay, sure, dailies have high-stress deadlines to adhere to, and Dose is bare a year old, but C'MON!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

New job, Week 2

Still loving it. There's so much to do, and it's all challenging my brain to work and not rely on other people. I actually get to make judgement calls based on my own opinions and thoughts and I don't get criticized for them - wow!

Meanwhile, back at the old job, I learned two more long-time employees are leaving. I've always held that the first ones to jump ship on the Titanic were rats... so call me Ben and pass the cheese.

At this point, I would like to extend a very heartfelt raspberry: