Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Another Brick in the Wall

From the New York Times:

Now a fence is proposed for the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico in an effort to improve national security and stem illegal immigration. The Senate wants 370 miles of it; the House, 698. And President Bush has invited military contractors to devise a "virtual" fence that would seal the existing stopgap fencing with high-technology tools like motion sensors, drones and satellites.

As a classic design challenge, The New York Times asked 13 architects and urban planners to devise the "fence." Several declined because they felt it was purely a political issue. "It's a silly thing to design, a conundrum," said Ricardo Scofidio of Diller Scofidio & Renfro in New York. "You might as well leave it to security and engineers."

Thanks Mike, for that sickening sign of things to come. For more on fences ....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Born Again Shmorn Again

In follow-up to my post yesterday re:Speaker's Corner, I was walking by there this afternoon and saw a few people standing around. I took off my headphones and asked what they were speaking about. I wouldn't have bothered if I had known I was going to have to answer the old "Have you accepted our lord, Jesus Christ in your heart". (note to all Jews: the response "No, I killed your lord Jesus Christ" works wonders).

I need an answer as to why only Christian fundamentalists and lunatics ever take advantage of opportunities to express themselves on soapboxes and signboards. This goes back to my graffiti question again. I wasn't expecting a dissertation on the state of abstract expressionism but a nice rant about Chinese human rights or the Creba trials would have been nice.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Who Knew?

I was walking past City Hall this morning (and every other morning for the past year or so) and noticed this podium. Inconspicuous? Yes. Ugly? Hell yeah. Did the city decide it didn't want to bother competing with the oh-so-famous Speaker's Corner at CityTV? Which is the Speaker's Corner that you know and/or love?

Here's an opinion on the state of affairs of the City Hall grounds from Now Magazine.

The good news: Another well-intentioned design competition from the City of Toronto to redesign City Hall. The comp will be launched this fall and I know an Environmental Design student or two who will be keeping an eye on the proceedings.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tracking a Story Through the Internet

So this is probably not news to people but I learned a few things yesterday:

I started tracking an inane story "Hollywood's Take on the Internet Often Favors Fun Over Facts" by Andrew Lavallee from the Wall Street Journal which I had seen via Boing Boing RSS and was then on Digg.

Boing boing had posted it at 2 am on May 3rd, it was posted on Digg at 6am. By 4 pm it had 100 diggs, by 5:30 it had 640 and as of a couple minutes ago it had 1184. But where did it come from.....?

Here's how it all worked:

Digg via Boing Boing (6am, May 3rd)
Boing Boing via D-Land 3.0 (2 am, May 3rd)
D-Land 3.0 via (12:57 am, May 3rd) via The Morning News (May 2nd)
The Morning News via Slashdot (May 2nd)
Slashdot via... read on! (9:27, May 1st)

So I deduced that this progression was completely spurned by the WSJ's free ten day trial period. I was so excited I even called Mark to let him know how clever I was. I thought that freedom had finally prevailed and here was proof that by opening up content, everyone wins. HOWEVER, Slashdot didn't get their story off of some dude who likes to read the Wall Street Journal. They got it off Carl Bialik, who works for the WSJ, and sent it to them.

Who is Carl Bialik and what's his shtick? Is it incredibly naive of me to be surprised that the mainstream media is sending stories to Slashdot?

Here are the links for the sites above... in order:

Boing Boing
D-Land 3.0
The Morning News

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Amateur Photography - Myspace Style

Just some lighthearted fun at someone else's expense. I think someone needs to come out with a myspace profile photo coffee table book. Say that five times quickly. My question is: when did everyone get so intense?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

CMCC Follow-Up

I'd write it up myself, but BlogTO has done a better job than I could do. Especially considering they have a video of the press conference for dowload.

Does Zipcar have an SUV?

The illustrious Auto-Sharing initiative based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts is in Toronto! I was walking by the parking lot at Peter and Queen and noticed a sign that said "Zipcar lives here" or something of the like. A quick Google search pulled up the following article from The Globe and Mail, although the Zipcarwebsite lists American sites only:

In major cities across North America, new-age car rental companies such as Zipcar Inc., Seattle-based Flexcar and Toronto's AutoShare - Car Sharing Network Inc. are growing exponentially as young, urban professionals discover the cheap, convenient alternative to car ownership.

Through a combination of aggressive marketing and management savvy, Zipcar has emerged as the leader and most profitable player in the market, propelled by its dominance in New York, the largest and least car-friendly city north of the Rio Grande.

Link to the article here.

London Hates Spraypaint

London, Ontario has passed a bylaw banning spraypaint sales to minors. Much in the same wave of a previous post on NYC's war on markers.

Link to the CBC article:

The city of London, Ont., is taking a tough stand on graffiti, banning the sale of markers and spray paint to anyone under the age of 18.

The new bylaw, which was passed on Monday, is reportedly the first of its kind in the country.

"It took some hard work, but we're the first in Canada to do this and I think it's great," said Coun. Bernie MacDonald, who spearheaded the graffiti bylaw.

The mere fact that Bernie is so proud is laughable. I think they should pass a bylaw against bylaws.

A Brief Overview of the National Film Board

From the CBC Archives:

On May 2, 1939, the film industry receives a major boost. Parliament has asked Scottish filmmaker John Grierson to assess the state of filmmaking in Canada, and he's found a lot to be desired. In response, Prime Minister Mackenzie King creates the National Film Board with Grierson as its director. The NFB would soon establish a reputation for innovation and excellence at home and abroad. When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honours the agency on its 50th anniversary, CBC's Dan Bjarnason looks back on the NFB's many accomplishments.

Link here for the video.

Check out the National Film Board of Canada as well.