Monday, December 20, 2010

it'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry.

Hilarious new AIDS WOLF video by explodingmotorcar-- Apparently it was supposed to premiere on pitchfork.com but Pitchfork rejected it. Isn't it just like a mega music machine like Pitchfork to ignore quality work by canadian artists(explodingmotorcar are based in Toronto, the video was filmed in Montreal where AIDS WOLF resides).

The word on the grapevine is that Pitchfork felt it was too "behind the scenes" or something like that, which is completely ridiculous. Maybe they just didn't like that this video so brilliantly makes fun of the music video industry and decided to do something different for once. It's a funny, smart, and hilarious music video--what else could they possibly want?
Not to mention, the puppets in this video are pretty cool and the puppeteering is so good it makes me believe that these little shits are really stalking the band.

So, make pitchfork regret rejecting this video, post this shit everywhere:


Sunday, December 19, 2010

happy holidays from britain's ugliest dog!

It's Christmas again, and that means being stuck in Northern Alberta sans internets at home.

Needless to say, there won't be many blog posts during the holiday season--but it is the holiday, so hopefully people have better things to do with their time than be on the internet watching videos of scottish fold kittens dancing or whatever.

But, just in case, here's an ugly/cute dog that kind of looks my family's dog, without fur.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

start collecting your middle class fossils now

Surprise, surprise. Toronto, like the rest of the world, is seeing a decline of its middle class and the income divide is getting worse in our city.

U of T professor David Hulchanski published the latest installment of his Three Cities Within Toronto study on Wednesday and it paints a "devastating picture of income segregation by neighborhoods"

The last report(from last year) showed that about 15% of traditionally middle income neighborhoods have changed since 2001, mainly being reverted to low income areas where people are earning 20-40% under the city average. If the trend continues until 2025 about 10% of the city will be middle income , 30% will be upper middle, and 60% will be low to very low income.

This toronto star article is actually VERY confusing because the author hasn't seen the report. They're writing the story based on a "source" who has seen it. they also made pretty grandiose statements about why Hulchanski published the report--"one observer pointed out that the report’s release is timely in light of the fiscally minded administration at city hall headed by newly minted Mayor Rob Ford."

Why can't they do anything but speculate? Because they couldn't get an interview with Hulchanski and they haven't read the actual report.  A lot of this speculation is attributed to Michael Shapcott, the director of affordable housing for the Wellesley Institute.
I wonder if the toronto star actually interviewed Shapcott or if they just trolled his website and pulled quotes from what he's already written? Now that's REAL journalism!
Besides the shoddy journalism of the Toronto Star, why is anyone surprised by this report?? This is a trend that has been happening the world over--the middle class is becoming extinct everywhere--so of course it's also happening in toronto, the largest city in Canada.

The middle class of our parents generation is crumbling because we have less job security and many of the long term/secure jobs of the past have been moved out of the country(like, to Mexico) to take advantage of cheaper labour and lack of labour standards. manufacturing jobs are practically non existent in this country and especially in this city. Everyone who has job hunted knows how hard and competitive it is just to fill in someone's maternity contract. We have people who are specialized but can't find a job in their field so these people are working at restaurants and bars, in retail, waiting until they can finally score something full time and in their area of education.

It's interesting though, to consider what it really means to not be middle class. If we're looking at paycheques, I probably don't know anyone who is middle class right now--I certainly don't make enough money to be considered a part of the middle income bracket, not even close. Most of my friends don't either but we don't buy houses or cars, we aren't married, and we mainly don't have kids. This is a biiiig difference from the middle class of days gone by. We just have a different standard of living and we spend our money in different ways.

In a world where the ultra rich get tax breaks but use more resources is it really surprising that a middle class no longer exists? Did you know that there's a list of transnational corporations who headquarter in Canada who have never paid their taxes? Like, a list. of millions of unclaimed dollars in taxes that could pay for things like services that support people in low, very low, and middle class brackets. Look at the united states, where the ultra rich don't even really PAY taxes. It seems completely backwards. you make more money, so you pay less money? Even though you use the infrastructure of the nation more? Look at Don Cherry(I know, we're all so sick of hearing about Don Cherry, but he's a great example) : this guy makes like $700'000.00 to talk about sports on public television. He's a conservative guy and he publicly supported the wars that Canada is currently bleeding money in. He supported the invasion of Iraq and also of Afghanistan. He gets paid more than most Canadians, out of Canadians own pockets, to publicly voice his uneducated opinion on things that the majority Canadians DON'T support. Then he has the nerve to lambaste the left of the Toronto city council and the left of the nation, calling them bike riding, lefty kooks- pinkos.
Well, us pinkos might just be left wing kooks for a good reason--because we're POOR! Does Don Cherry know how much money riding a bike saves??? This year the TTC fare went up to 3$. That means that on days that I have to go to school at York i pay 6$ for a return trip (cities that have far larger and far better transit systems than Toronto don't have fares that high). So we bike.

We're leftist kooks, pinkos, because we don't want Rob Ford to scrap Transit City and put the city farther into the hole than it already is. We don't want him cutting services that actually affect us and affect the most vulnerable people in the city. Some people see a policy change and it translates into not being able to afford the TTC  anymore, or having to choose between bare essentials, because some people are fucking poor. So that makes us left wing pinkos, because we actually have to count every single quarter we have in our change jar to afford to do our laundry. Unlike some people, who have a Scrooge McDuck pool of loose change that they'll never have to count.



Someone like Rob Ford can talk all he wants about not spending his councillor's budget and wanting to "Save money" as Mayor, but the truth is that he didn't NEED to spend his budget because he's fucking loaded.  Iust because he's fat and ugly doesn't make him working class and the whole point of having a councillor's budget is so that people who aren't loaded can do the job without suffering.
So the middle class is disappearing and we have idiots like Don Cherry and Rob Ford who claim to represent the "little guy" steering the ship... it's cognitive dissonance at its best when millionaires can claim to be 'blue collar' and people believe them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the mysterious officer mike.

apparently a police officer called the john oakley show on AM640 and talked candidly about the G20, saying that "99% of the public were fine and 99% of the officers were fine...but there was absolutely a culture that was tainted."

the officer, who called himself "Mike", went on to describe that culture as stemming from a "shut you mouth, don't say anything to the media and this is going to go away and it will be business as usual" message from cops and superiors alike.

he said there is "no question there was an amped up testosterone culture that i saw only in my days of college football" that they were "sent out to the streets cranked up... on the street level, and on the buses, before we were deployed there was a real, sort of, sports culture." surprisingly mike mentions chief blair, saying that that culture "testosterone" was there whether or not "the chief wants to admit that."

we all know what a sports culture looks like and we all know what it looks like when athletes are getting pumped up before the game. we also all knew it was happening at the G20 but since there is no public inquiry we won't ever hear police officers testifying about it.

talking about the covering up of badge numbers, mike says that "when you cover up your badge number it shows premeditation and it shows culpability...you knew you were doing something wrong and didn’t want to be identified.”

he says normal procedure "went out the window" and that police officers "were not functioning within the rules." he also laments not reporting the officers he saw breaking the law, stating:

“I don’t sleep well at night because I have to go into Regent Park and I have to look people in the eye after gang shootings. I have to tell them they should be ashamed of themselves for not speaking up to help their community and when I go home at night I have to look in the mirror and I have to have the same discussion with myself and I can’t give the same answer any more.

if this guy is a real police officer(and there's no reason to suspect that he isn't, i think) then it's pretty amazing. i think that what will be really interesting is to hear from police officers eventually about what happened at the G20-- did it change how they think of themselves? what they think of policing? of their superiors?? how the G20 affected the police officers who were involved might be something the public never hears about without a public inquiry.

more officer mikes!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

oh i get it, he thinks he's the mayor of CANADA...

in response to the hundreds of complaints hitting rob ford's office over don cherry's crazy speech, the mayor has been sending out this reply:

“I appreciate you taking the time to voice your concerns, and I value the privilege to directly connect with the citizens of this great City. I invited Don Cherry to be my special guest at the Inauguration because I have always admired his Canadian patriotism and community involvement. Mr. Cherry is a colourful character with strong opinions. As your Mayor, I promise to be open and attentive to alternative points of view and I encourage all frank and honest discussion. I hope that we can work together to provide positive growth and change for the City of Toronto.”

first of all, why isn't anyone editing this before it leaves his office? you don't say "i value the privilege to directly connect" you say "i value the privilege OF directly CONNECTING".

anyways, small things....

moving on.

ford says he invited don cherry because he admires his "canadian patriotism and community involvement" and when i read that it suddenly dawned on me... rob ford thinks he's the mayor of canada, not toronto!!!

of course!! don cherry doesn't live in toronto, so his appearance didn't really make sense in the whole "respect taxpayers" sense.. why bring him? why have him introduce the mayor of toronto???

but now it makes sense.

i'll just clear things up:

"dear mayor ford,

it seems that you have mistaken yourself for the mayor of canada. just so you know, canada is the country in which we live--you are currently the elected mayor of TORONTO."

i think we can look forward to things getting a lot better now that we've settled this!



"Ahhhhh"!

this is hilarious. there's an app for ipads called "halls eater":

“HALLS Eater” app features four nubile Miss Magazine lovelies, eager to feed you your favorite HALLS with an “Ahhh”.

yeah... because HALLS are so tasty?? the buzzfeed link to this video has the title "pervert gets an ipad", but i don't think this guy is a pervert at all. i think he's making fun of the application and how people get so obsessed with them--and also how people get so obsessed with electronic ladies.

either way, it's really funny.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

nothing like an 8 hour long filibuster on a sunday morning

yeah... obama kind of dropped the ball on this one.

bernie sanders: "it seems to me to be unconscionable for my conservative friends and for everyone else in this country, to be driving up this already too high national debt by giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires who don't need and in a number of cases, mr. president, don't even want it."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"being a racist? priceless"

anyone who wants to donate to Wikileaks using a mastercard or a visa will find it difficult, impossible actually, to do so. several days ago mastercard stopped funneling donations made to wikileaks and visa wasn't far behind.

a mastercard spokesman is quoted as saying that wikileaks was being cut off due to "rules barring use for directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal."

also paypal is giving wikileaks the old heave ho'.

interesting. seems like people should be able to do what they want with their money, right? but i guess with credit cards, the credit belongs to the company, so they can decide what they will or will not allow in terms of donations.

so, i wonder why mastercard AND visa both allow donations to be made, with their credit, to the ku klux klan?

yeah, this image was copied directly from that website--it's the contributions page for the KKK. they accept visa, mastercard, and american express.

the contributions page says there are "thousands of organizations working for the interests of negroes, asians, mexicans, jews, homosexuals"and that large corporations are applauded for "doling" out money to these causes while "white christian man and woman are not afforded the same courtesy."

the website asks "have you ever thought to your self i wish there was a political organization that speaks up for a white christian person like me? well, there is!" the motherfucking KKK!!!

if you've ever wondered "why is it white people don't stick together and all other races do?" well you're in luck, because mastercard/visa/american express will allow you to put your money where your MIND is--racial purity!

so you can donate money OR you can buy something from the GIFT SHOP--like this "Statuette" with lighted eyes:

perfect for the hatemonger on your christmas list this year.

because freedom of speech and donations should only be extended racists, homophobes, and sexists.

oh no you didn't!

story in the toronto star today about the decline of iconic canadian beer brands, molson canadian and labatt blue. lack of advertising, price slashing, and the delisting of the beers at restaurants and stadiums have all indicated that these "super brands" are not what they once were.

well, of course they aren't.

one of the dudes quoted in the story, beer author stephen beaumont, notes that while once upon a time this "slide in canada's beer megabrands might have wounded a patriotic drinker's pride a genderation ago, that's ... not the case now."

he goes on to say that the "idea of canadian beer patriotism is pretty much dead, if it weren't they wouldn't be having so much success with budweiser and coors light" and that "people who want to drink a canadian beer are more likely to be drinking a craft beer" these days.

errr... isn't that kind of like, the epitome of canadian beer patriotism? to drink the smaller, more local craft beers and support an actual quality canadian product?

and also, once a product is no longer canadian then why should we buy it? both molson and labatt were sold off to larger international corporations and are no longer considered to be canadian--so doesn't it make sense that people who are interested in supporting canadian business ventures would choose something they know is made in canada?

not only do i think most canadian beer drinkers would take offense to be accused of not supporting canadian beer, but we also have eyes and tastebuds and appreciate that being taken into consideration. actual canadian breweries taste better and have way better packing and bottle design. we shop with our eyes and seeing packaging that is visually pleasing obviously contributes to our purchases.

take one of my personal favorites, the great lakes golden horsehoe lager. not only is it an award winning lager, but the bottle label LOOKS nice-- so does the packaging(unlike molson canadian and labatt blue).

there's also kind of a culture associated with canadian and blue that i think a lot of people aren't into anymore. for example, when i google image the phrase "molson canadian" one of the first images i get is of a girl in a molson canadian red shirt grabbing her boob.

for both "labatt blue" and "molson canadian" google suggests that i complete the phrase with "girls". if i take the suggestion i get lots of photos of scantily clad WOMEN--clad in the colours of the beer, obviously.

if i google any of the following breweries NONE have a google suggestion to add "girls" :

big rock , steamwhistle, mill street brewery, great lakes, stratford brewing, nickelbrook, f&m brewery.

and even if i do type in "steamwhistle girls", nothing comes up.

molson canadian and labatt blue both came of age in an era when objectifying women's bodies was the way you sold beer--to men. all of the major brands do it, and that's fine because that's just advertising--we objectify women's bodies to sell everything. but for a lot of people, that kind of booby beer is over. seeing a beer ad that is obviously aimed at selling to men who want to get the ladies drunk doesn't make me want to buy the beer, it just annoys me.

instead of mourning the decline of two beers that aren't even that great, that aren't keeping up with the rest of the market, and are mass produced shouldn't it be considered a positive signal for canadian beer that molson canadian and labatt blue are being pushed out of the market?

and why the blame on "canadian beer patriotism"?? clearly canadians love beer, and they love canadian beer most of all. if anything, we deserve a pat on the back for choosing better canadian products.


Friday, December 10, 2010

wow, do you really need us to spell it out toronto star?


This is all over the 'news': women fare better during the recession than men!!

In the Toronto Star the headline was "Why women fared better in the recession than men."

Apparently "when it comes to employment numbers women were hit less hard then men during the economic downturn. They also continued to hold far more part time jobs than men, but made significant gains in professions where they would earn a higher paycheque."

Interesting.

According to a Stats Canada report(which you can see here) women "dominate in service industries" which includes the health care, educational, and social assistance professions.

In 2009 women held 67% of teaching, nursing, and other health positions.

In 2009 70% of part-time work was done by women in Canada--a stat that hasn't changed much in three decades.

So "women did better" during the recession than men. That means that women, who generally have to take more part-time jobs and do caring work for little pay got to keep their crappy jobs while big banker and lawyer men were losing their awesome jobs that paid a lot of money.

That's not "faring better", actually. not losing your job in the mall, or your three jobs at three different nursing homes is not "faring better." It means that while men are losing their jobs more frequently and staying unemployed longer, women's status isn't really changing at all.

And how is it "faring better" when women are supporting children and jobless partners? Then are they "faring better"? No, they're not. It means they're working part time jobs or long hours at demanding and low pay jobs and now they are the only provider for their family.

This is the problem with just grabbing stats and making it news--there is no analysis. The Toronto Star is just like "hey women are doing GREAT!" Why are we doing great?! Because we can still get jobs as servers at restaurants and bars? Because high paying, full time jobs were historically not available to most women so instead of doctors women became nurses? And because nurses were primarily women the job got less respect and less money than doctors did?

That's called the "feminization" of a work place. It means that a career or job is treated differently because women are the primary holders of it and it isn't an indicator of women "doing well."

It's too bad actually, the Toronto Star could have taken the stats and actually utilized them to write an interesting piece but instead they were just like "picture of pretty teacher, snazzy headline, and we're off to the printer! let's get drunk!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SO cool

design student kaylene kau created this sweet, sweet prosthetic limb for a class where the professor told the students to "push the boundaries of current upper limb prosthetic design."

so she decided to created a functioning tentacle!!


functional means that you can use it, like, this could be your permanent arm. very cool.

that face... is burned into my brain...

oh god... it's so horrifying.

i hate it when stephen harper rocks out. it is SO embarrassing. it's also incredibly embarrassing that he's rocking out to the proclaimers. the only people who can rock out to the proclaimers ARE the proclaimers.



uuggghhh... poor canada!!!!s

she's wearing glasses! get her!


another photo of the stupidest police officer in the world beating on someone with his face exposed has surfaced.

this time the victim is a woman, Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy, who blogs for torontoist.

she says of the incident:
"I saw a few officers take down a man next to me . . . and they began beating him while he was in the fetal position on the ground.” she says she turned around and then : “I got hit from behind by an officer. He struck me twice. Then he turned, and I ran.”

clearly this police officer was on a fucking rampage, swinging his baton at any civilian he could reach. it also looks like maybe he's practising a dance move?

too bad about the baton though, because that police officer looks pretty small and kind of doughy. she could totally take him sans baton.

mccarthy says that she filed a complaint with the RCMP over the incident but that's it's been slow going.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

so now there's a face, so what?

the latest in the G20 police brutality saga is that new footage has been uncovered that shows the clear face of a police officer beating up adam nobody, a G20 protester.

this article in the toronto star "make it right, chief blair" makes a case for going after this police officer and (for once) rosie dimanno actually gets some of it right. she goes through, step by step, the ways to find out who this police officer is--since the others in the video have their faces obscured.

dimanno's step by step is important not because this police officer needs to be "brought to justice." i think it's important because she's demonstrating how easy it would be for the police chief to find the police officer despite what the chief has been saying.

of course the police officer in question should be punished-- he is clearly one of many breaking the law he is paid to protect. with this in mind though, i think that we need to be careful not crucify him just because he was the only one stupid enough to leave his face uncovered. punish this man for his actions, but don't let it obscure the broader issues here : the culture of impunity, of violence, and the illegality abound at the G20 summit--before and during.

like the ontario ombudsman's report declaring that the toronto police's usage of the public works act to be illegal. constructing the wall, forcing people to identify themselves and submit to searches, raiding homes, all of these things are illegal because the public works act is war-time legislation.

storming into the designated protest zone and ripping the prosthetic legs off of people sitting there, keeping people detained in cages, threatening to rape female captives, and then claiming that because the police responsible aren't on the toronto force so you can't actually do shit about it--that's illegal, yo. ILLEGAL.

the author of the report, andre marin, stated: “There was a premeditated, conscious, flagged decision not to announce the existence of the regulation or the reviving of this war-time act, this relic. The government poked a hibernating bear and they didn’t want the public to know.’’

i'm pretty sure we don't need that report to tell us that what happened before and during the G20 was wrong, but I'm also sure we don't need a report or a picture to tell us that it wasn't individual police officers who made those decisions.

and no, this isn't an argument that the police officers were just "doing their jobs" or "taking orders" (although they were). what each police officer did individually contributed to this event becoming a horror story and they should all be punished. sometimes, though, focusing on individual punishment obfuscates where these decisions were coming from. the primary culprit here is chief blair and the chain of command--and i think it's there that we need to be looking for punishment.

by invoking antiquated war-time legislation, building the fence, and making security hyper-intensive chief blair created a climate in which individual police officers were encouraged to go above and beyond, legally speaking. everyone knew that shit was going to hit the fan and i'm sure there weren't a lot of "show restraint" speeches before sending those police out onto the street.

remember when they started building the fences and asking people to vacate their homes and workplaces?? we knew it was illegal. the police knew it was illegal. so maybe we should be focusing on how to stop these things BEFORE they happen instead of trying to chase them afterwards with reports and videos. we try leaders of countries for war crimes, for making decisions carried out by foot soldiers. so why aren't we going after the head of the snake here? our fingers should be pointing at chief blair, the province, and the federal government.



Monday, December 6, 2010

this plot's so thick it's practically stew.

i wrote a bit ago about george galloway speaking at york university and the kerfuffle it caused:
"maybe yorku should sue the excalibur."

that event was protested by some, attended by many, and was a focus point for groups on both sides of the israel/palestine debate.

rabbi aaron hoch wrote in an email to his community that in allowing galloway's lecture to proceed president shoukri was showing "his amazing tolerance for anti semitism and lack of vigilance regarding the feeling of safety for jewish students on campus."

as i wrote, president shoukri took exception to being called an anti-semite and sent hoch an email through his counsel, harriet lewis. she warned hoch to stop spreading "defamatory remarks about the...president and stop encouraging non-students to protest the george galloway speech on campus." (you can read the full letter here).

lewis demanded that hoch apologize to shoukri and in return, shoukri's office received a letter from the "friends of simon wiesenthal centre" demanding HIS apology to hoch and the jewish community.

the letter states that shoukri warned hoch "and the jewish community", that it was essentially saying "galloway in-jews out", and that a speaker like galloway does not "constitute legitimate activity at york university."

the letter also declares that george galloway is anti-semitic and that the university is also guilty of anti semitism based on the "working definition of antisemitism and nathan sharanksy's 3D test of antisemitism: demonization, double standard and delegitimization(of israel)."

by making antisemitism the focus of their accusations, the letter from the 'friends of simon wiesenthal are conflating the jewish faith and culture with support for the state of israel. their letter ends strongly, assuring president shoukri that their "25'000 members in canada and 400,000 members worldwide would react strongly to any legal action which may be undertaken."

ooooh. scary.

here's an interesting fact about the 'friends of simon wiesenthal', or rather, an interesting fact about A friend of simon wiesenthal.

meet honey sherman:
honey sherman is on the board of governors for york university(community affairs committee) and she is also part of the york university foundation.

she is also the wife of barry sherman (apotex, of nancy olivieri fame).

so honey sherman is listed on the letter to shoukri from the 'friends of simon wiesenthal'. actually, she's on the board of directors of the foundation.

isn't it kind of weird for someone so intimately involved with the operations of a university to be attacking its president though an external organization? isn't it kind of a conflict of interest? or perhaps it just makes her position on the B.O.G and the foundation that much more transparent.

here comes the best twist in the story though: the independent jewish voices sent this letter of support to president shoukri-- combating the idea that the entire jewish community supports israel and views shoukri's actions as anti semitic. in fact, the IJV views the letter sent by the 'friends of simon wiesenthal' as a "vicious attack" and describes it as part of the campaign to "criminalize legitimate criticism of the state of israel."

the IJV is offering its support to shoukri--i wonder how he'll respond. it's obvious from the involvement of honey sherman that this is sticky territory for the president to be treading in and the allies he chooses could be verrryyy significant in the years to come at york university.

letters:

harriet lewis to rabbi aaron hoch
friends of simon wiesenthal to president shoukri
independent jewish voices to president shoukri

Sunday, December 5, 2010

for geek christmas parties

it's christmas season and that means lots and lots of parties. the difference between christmas parties and regular all-year parties is food.

when you go to a christmas party you should usually bring food with you--as a gift for your host, but also just because it's christmas and people expect A LOT of tasty treats.

so you can just bring a brie wheel, or you can wow your geek friends with treats garnished with a super mario mushroom radish:





thanks internet!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

elitist and artsy, or, the sarah palin of canada.

i'm sure we were all a little confused when the first agenda on the first city council meeting of rob ford's tenure was "don cherry speaks."

and speak he did! cherry went on a tirade, explaining to city council that voters are “sick of the elites and artsy people" running politics.

after i stopped laughing, i started thinking. who are these elitist artsy freaks running the show anyways? elitist, yes. but artsy?

stephen harper? he slashed funding to the arts in canada.

david miller? well, he's moving on to the world bank... i mean, he was a fine mayor, but let's not get career politician confused with artsy here.

who exactly is don cherry talking about? it just seems like a statement that really isn't based in reality. "elitist and zionist"? that might be closer to the mark. "elitist and racist" would probably be even closer. but elitist and artsy? please, mr. cherry, tell us who you're talking about.

withouth pointing out the subject of his tirade, cherry's taken canadian politics one step further down the road to sarah palinification. the "art" of rhetoric, of bold and totally untrue statements, of saying one thing when reality demonstrates another.

you can see russia from your house, ms. palin? or your obama's "death panel" is going to kill your downs syndrome baby? well, in canada "elitist and artsy" people run politics.

i think we could probably establish some ground rules for elitism. lots of money for a job that has little positive impact on society could be one. having a platform to express your own biased views and never needing to consider anyone elses. using your money and celebrity to garner political favours and sway elections.

in 2002 don cherry resigned his deal with the HNIC(that's hockey night in canada). his reported pay for the contract before? $700,000.00. to talk about sports on t.v.

so he makes a shit load of money, he runs his mouth without consequence, and he has his suits custom made out of flamboyantly in your face prints.

i don't know, but that sounds pretty "elitist and artsy" to me.

stick to sports, don cherry, because you're kind of stupid in the real world.






Friday, December 3, 2010

"harper congratulates ford in person"

the picture under this headline, in a perfect world, would be this:

minks!!! evil, evil minks!!

this is quite an ominous headline from the toronto star today : "minks colonizing toronto island as small pets disappear"

apparently the american mink is making itself quite comfortable on the island and making some residents angry. the headline suggests that minks are killing pets left and right. hide your cats! if your kids are small enough, hide them too!

its a funny headline for the story--kind of like the toronto star is trying to up readers by insinuating that there is an attack on a pet every day-- actually, only one resident has seen a mink fishing out of her backyard pond and goldfish in a back yard don't count as pets.

everyone else in the story is all like "well, we do live on an island..." and one scientist says its a good thing considering minks are highly sensitive to pollutants and wouldn't make their home on a highly contaminated island.

the only other reference to a missing pet is a small cat that went missing and was "last seen" with a mink. experts say that minks don't hunt cats but if the cat got too close the mink could have hurt it.

instead of writing an interesting piece about an interesting animal the toronto star is(as usual) pandering to the one curmudgeon on the island who doesn't want her precious goldfish eaten and creating some kind of crisis on the island to sell newspapers.

who cares if the mink are eating goldfish? who cares if they killed a cat? they're wild animals!! they're supposed to do those things!




Thursday, December 2, 2010

"or tickling your butthole"

the next logical step:

this creeps me out.

how much money would you bet that this kids parents wrote this for him? like what kid sits there during Marmaduke and thinks "it's totally like the dogs represent different races!!"

the world is such a weird place...

if you give a pig a mandate...

"so let it be written, so let it be done." if you've seen the movie the ten commandments, you know that the pharaoh says that a lot and when he says it things actually happen.

not so when you're mayor rob ford. even though on his first day in office he was all "kill the ttc--so let it be written, so let it be done" that shit can't just happen overnight.

ontario transportation minister kathleen wynne stepped into the debate today and basically warned the mayor to put the brakes on his rhetoric, because the "$8.15 billion toronto light rail plan has already left the station."

wynne expressed her concern over the possibility of simply scrapping such an enormous project that is already underway and that "any plan that comes from the city has to come from the full council and the transit commission."

it's ridiculous to scrap the plan, yes, but it's also symbolic. ford's campaign platform was all about halting transit city so of course he's going to come out swinging the first day to prove to the people who voted for him that he's no lame duck.

the fact of the matter is that there was supposed to be a subway to york university like ten years ago. there still isn't a subway to york university. public transportation, especially underground, isn't something that you can alter overnight. it takes YEARS of planning, researching, testing, applying for permits and money, campaigning, and all of the other hard things that rob ford isn't going to want to do.

let's face it--the man didn't even attend a single budget meeting last year, he's not going to want to do this real work.

so people of toronto who hate rob ford, let's choose being rational and calm. let's choose facts over this myth that the mayor can just halt a billion dollar government funded plan. let's be proactive and engage our city councillors--if you're still complaining about ford but you haven't sent your city councillor an email, then shut up.

we all know how the story goes--if you give a pig a pancake, he's going to want to put syrup on it and then he's going to eventually want to build a treehouse and cause major problems(or, however that story goes). same plot applies when you give a pig a mandate. we just have to not give the pig everything it wants--the pig's demand for syrup doesn't have to be met!

plus, i have a feeling this pig won't last long without syrup.


let them fight, to the death!

the globe and mail put together this handy little list of city councillors for, against, or on the fence about transit city.

it's pretty interesting to look at the segments of the city that support the plan--trinity spadina, roseadle, danforth, parkdale/high park--parts of the city that heavily rely on transit, transit that is being overburdened and is losing its capacity to serve its users. but these are parts of the city where the subway can't be expanded, so LRT seems like a good plan to unburden the system.

also, this list is good because it breaks down this whole suburbs vs core thing.

york centre, don valley east, scarborough centre, don valley west. these are all parts of the city that have a city councillor for AND against transit city. that means that it isn't just "us vs them", that certain parts of the city aren't just responsible for ruining everything. it means that instead of coming to quick conclusions we have to actually learn about why those parts of the city are divided and how the needs of both sides can be met without sacrificing public transit.

For:

  • Adam Vaughan (Trinity Spadina)
  • Maria Augimeri (York Centre)
  • Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre Rosedale)
  • Mike Layton (Trinity Spadina)
  • Glen de Baeremaeker (Scarborough Centre)
  • Mary Fragedakis (Toronto Danforth)
  • Sarah Doucette (Parkdale High Park)
  • Janet Davis (Beaches East York)
  • Paula Fletcher (Toronto Danforth)
  • Josh Matlow (St. Paul's)
  • Joe Mihevc (St. Paul's)
  • Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park)
  • Shelley Carroll (Don Valley East)
  • Mary-Margaret McMahon (Beaches East York)

For but with changes:

  • Jaye Robinson (Don Valley West)
  • Ana Bailão (Davenport)
  • Josh Colle (Eglinton Lawrence)
  • Frank Di Giorgio (York South-Weston)

Against:

  • Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest)
  • James Pasternak (York Centre)
  • Vincent Crisanti (Etobicoke North)
  • Mike Del Grande (Scarborough Agincourt)
  • David Shiner (Willowdale)
  • Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke Lakeshore)
  • John Parker (Don Valley West)
  • Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre)
  • Gloria Lindsay Luby (Etobicoke Centre)
  • Denzil Minnan Wong (Don Valley East)
  • Raymond Cho (Scarborough Rouge River)
i see my city councillor on the "for" list, and i emailed him yesterday to voice my support for transit city and my concern about "killing it."

don't see your councillor on the list? is your councillor expressing a view that you don't support?
don't know who your city councillor is?

find your city councillor's contact info here and email them. call them!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

let the games begin!!

it truly is a glorious day. it's damp, dark, and it's december.

december 1st. today torontonians woke up to their new reality: mayor rob ford.

we did this to ourselves, my friends, and now we have to pay the price. but who says it has to be all bad? if the price for voter apathy and bad organizing is that now we have to be hyper attentive to city politics, watch-dog style, then fair enough.

i couldn't wait to read the news this morning, warm up the twitter, and get going. i feel like this is probably how hunters feel when hunting season opens--finally, fair game!!

until now all we could do was speculate about what ford would do but now we get to see it in action. hopefully noone's expectations were disappointed by his first big move--the complete and total destruction of public transportation in our great city.

in his own words: "transit city's over."

transit city, the long term plan for the city's public transit, is already underway and the ontario government has already spent approximately $130 million dollars on the plan. the city has also signed contracts worth about $1.3 billion for things like new streetcars.

that's a lot of money and planning to just scrap.

councillor josh matlow was quoted in the toronto star as saying he believes that city council should "have an opportunity for discussion about public transit in this city" because "transit affects everyone in every corner of the city and there are millions of tax dollars at stake."

he says he respects that ford was elected on the mandate of public transit, but points out that councillors were elected with mandates supporting transit city and there needs to be "responsible, thoughtful discussion."

i've got news for you, matlow, thoughtful and responsible discussion is a thing of the past.

so rob ford was elected because he said he'd kill transit city. so how about we not let rob ford supporters be the loudest voices? CALL city hall. CALL mayor rob ford. CALL your city councillor. send them all emails. tell them that although rob ford was elected mayor, he wasn't elected into the position of emperor and city council still has the imperative to represent everyone in the city not just the people who voted for ford.

you can email the new mayor (mayor_ford@toronto.ca)
you can call him here: 416 397 2489. you can also find your city councillor here.

let's just be proactive and not crazy. clearly standing at city hall "protesting" a democratic election isn't going to do anything but make us look like sore fucking losers. also, if you didn't vote, you don't GET to protest.

so let's do our best to look on the bright side of things-- we have to wake up and get involved, we can't be pouty babies about this, and we have four years of great gravy themed jokes ahead of us.



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

really? we're worried about our apples turning BROWN?

for real. i thought that this whole craze about making food look eerily perfect all of the time was over? i thought GMO foods were kind of...creepy to the public?

who would think, then, that a company would spend money and technology trying to find a way to ensure that your stupid apple doesn't turn brown once you cut it.

why? well because apples are popular, people like to eat apples and add them to things like salads. apparently these people give a shit that their apples turn brown a little bit once the flesh is hit with oxygen, even though the apple is still perfectly fine to eat.

the weirdos who invented this thing "said the technology would lower the cost of producing fresh slices, which have become a popular addition to children’s lunch boxes, and make apples more popular in salads and other quick meals."

i'm sorry, the "cost of producing fresh slices"? like you slice them at a factory and then send them to the store? of course they're going to turn brown!

i'm a big, big, big hate of pre-cut fruit and vegetables at the grocery store. i believe that the only "technology" that should be involved with sliced apples is a knife in your own kitchen. unless you're buying some kind of concoction that's been diced up at the store, i think that packaging fruit is weird. buy it, wash it, slice it yourself.

it just seems like a stupid thing to waste money and science on when some people in the world don't even have apples, or food, or clean water. get over yourself, north america. haiti is experiencing a cholera epidemic and we're worried about our apple slices turning an unsightly shade of non-white.




Monday, November 29, 2010

"if you rob people of their identity, if you rob them of their democracy, then all they are left with is nationalism and violence"

a video of nigel farage giving it to the EU, pretty amazing.

"what they are being told as their government is collapsing is that it would be inappropriate for them to have a general election. In fact commissioner Rehn here said they had to agree to a budget first before they are allowed to have a general election. Just who the hell do you think you people are. You are very, very dangerous people indeed: your obsession with creating this European state means that you are happy to destroy democracy, you appear to be happy with millions and millions of people to be unemployed and to be poor. Untold millions will suffer so that your euro dream can continue. Well it won't work"

well... i guess everyone owes this guy a post-mortem apology...

this is so sad. remember when the TTC was hiking fares to $3.00 and everyone was upset because the price of the TTC was already too high?

well, emotions were running high and (as usual) people made the mistake of targetting an individual instead of the system.

remember napping TTC worker?

i wrote about it here "the trick to avoiding the 3$ ttc fare? go to this guy's booth."

"we've all fallen asleep at work. the difference is that this guy works for the most hated public service in ontario, one that bleeds money and provides shitty service for an exorbitant and outlandish price to its users.

so i guess we could look at it as being a waste of money, or we could look at it as the ttc employee's resistance to the fare increases--letting a few customers go by with an extra three dollars in their pockets.

he's probably not even sleeping, just slyly looking out from under his eyelashes chuckling at his little thursday night insubordination. "

that man, George Robitaille, would eventually disclose that he had health problems that had caused him to fall asleep. he eventually went on medical leave and was very "disheartened" by the napping incident.

Robitaille worked for the TTC for 29 years, had a spotless record, and saved a man's life in 1995.

Robitaille died on Saturday, reportedly of a stroke, and hopefully he didn't die because toronto broke his heart.

TTc spokesman Brad Ross has said that despite the napping incident, Robitaille shouldn't be remembered for such a small mistake, and that "the best way to remember him is "the caring, compassionate and well humoured man" that his colleagues remember him as."


my brain automatically knows canadian facts because i was born here.

there's a newly designed test for people who would like to become citizens of canada. apparently officials decided the old test was "too easy" so they made it "more hard."

then they also decided that a 60% pass wasn't good enough, a canadian citizen should at least get a 75% on the exam.

so people started failing the test more, which creates more of a backlog for the system, which forces officials to change the rules/the tests/the procedures/ etc over and over again.

you can read all about it here in the toronto star but what i really love about the situation is the emphasis on cheating.

spokeswoman karen shadd told the star that the test questions were being shuffled more often to end what they "believe" to be "rampant cheating under the old system."

she goes on:

“In the past, with the old test, some people would buy the answers from unofficial sources...After paying for the answers, they would memorize them in order to pass the test. This accounted, in part, for a much higher pass rate.”

in other words the "wannabe citizens" found out the facts that they needed to know to be canadian, then they learned those facts, then they had the answers for the test.

i remember doing something similar, but i guess when you're "born" a canadian citizen you get to call that "learning" and not "cheating.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

hello, saturday

you know how it goes, you watch one youtube video for a german children's toy and it leads you into a world of other videos.



and then...

Friday, November 26, 2010

no, ann coulter isn't a homophobe at all...

i have to admit, i've never read fox nation and i don't a lot of attention to fox news. but now that i've seen it once i'll probably be addicted to it.

fox nation published an ann coulter opinion piece today about the TSA regulations in which she suggests that members of congress also go through the intrusive airport searches before entering congressional office buildings.

she gets in a little jab and congressman barney frank: "We've patted you down twice, Congressman Frank. Why don't you just go to your office now?"

why is that? because barney frank is gay he probably would like being patted down by strangers? classy, coulter, as usual.

it's kind of like when she got applauded for calling john edwards a "faggot" in this video

or the time she made the joke about two things gay men CAN'T do: get married and throw a baseball without looking like a girl.

because when you're a lady with long blonde hair and skinny, skeletor arms it's FUNNY to be hateful.


FoxNews cites a source more reliable than itself: The Onion

the fox nation website published a story in its "culture section" that they got from the Onion. The Onion!

the headline reads: "The Onion: Frustrated Obama sends nation rambling 75'000 word email"


the "story" reads as follows:

"Having admittedly "reached the end of [his] rope," President Barack Obama sent a rambling 75,000-word e-mail to the entire nation Wednesday, revealing deep frustrations with America's political culture, his presidency, U.S. citizens, and himself.

The e-mail, which was titled "A couple things," addressed countless topics in a dense, stream-of-consciousness rant that often went on for hundreds of words without any punctuation or paragraph breaks. Throughout, the president expressed his aggravation on subjects as disparate as the war in Afghanistan, the sluggish economic recovery, his live-in mother-in-law, China's undervalued currency, Boston's Logan Airport, and tort reform."

maybe it's time to get a new website intern, foxnation...

"i'm sorry for perving on your thanksgiving preparations"

so it's american thanksgiving (american thanksgiving is waaay too close to christmas), and so the internet is exploding with pictures of turkeys and dogs staring at turkeys.

so i was getting a little sick of seeing all of the different ways you can stuff ten different animals into a turkey when i came across this thanksgiving story:

"tracking down the trans"

james west, an australian journalist/author/producer, has been accidentally included in an email conversation about thanksgiving for the past three years. the emails were from a family somewhere in the united states whose last name is "tran." he ignored the emails for awhile but then started reading them(weird--which he admits) and became completely intrigued by the tran family and their thanksgiving.

this year, he decided to make a video to a) apologize for reading their emails and becoming so anonymously involved in their lives and b) to track them down and get them to actually invite him to thanksgiving.

the episodes are all on the website but i'll spoil it--the trans DO invite him for thanksgiving! they even pick him up at the airport! it's a pretty great story and also an interesting way of fighting the kind of "the internet is disconnecting us from one another" rhetoric that we all get so wrapped up in.

it's also just a really good and bizarre story, watch it!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

you're going to TWIST breasts? do you also twist balls?!

this whole TSA security thing is really interesting for a lot of reasons.

i just read this story about a radio host who opted out of the body scanner and then wanted to ask some questions about the full body pat down ( here) and was cuffed/had her ticket ripped up/and escorted out of the airport by a dozen cops.

there's a lot of speculation about whether or not it's been exaggerated but i don't think that's really that important-- i think the situation raises a lot of questions, valid questions, about the new procedures.

mainly, are the new procedures really that effective and if they aren't(which many people argue), then what is the point of forcing people to either be naked on a screen or have their boobs and balls twisted.

jeff goldberg, a journalist, has been very outspoken about the ineffectiveness of the new TSA regulations and especially of the body scanners. instead of actually being a barrier to people bringing restricted items on board, goldberg argues that the regulations basically just make it look like they're doing something. a gross abuse all for nothing.

he's not just writing about it, golberg has tested security at airports over the years

he writes of TSA regulations in 2008:

"I have for some time now been testing, in modest ways, their effectiveness. Because the TSA’s security regimen seems to be mainly thing-based...I focused my efforts on bringing bad things through security in many different airports, primarily my home airport, Washington’s Reagan National, the one situated approximately 17 feet from the Pentagon, but also in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, and at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport."

in one instance at chicago o'hare international airport, he managed to get through security wearing a "beerbelly": "a neoprene sling that holds a polyurethane bladder and drinking tube. "

the beerbelly can hold up to 80 oz of fluid and is worn under clothes--so you can sneak booze into football games or whatever. goldberg poured two cans of bud light into his beer belly before he went through security and it went undetected even in secondary screening. he was, however, relieved of his eight oz bottle of water.

goldberg has gone through security wearing or carrying blatantly pro-osama bin laden t shirts and "knick knacks" without even raising an eyebrow.

the best part of what goldber has done though, and what raises the biggest question about actual airport security, is that he has managed to get through all of these security checkpoints with FAKE BOARDING PASSES.

security expert bruce schneier created (and uses) the fake boarding passes for the express purpose of proving that the TSA regulations are a waste of tax dollars and do nothing to increase airport security.

schneier himself is on the famed No-Fly list but he makes himself fake boarding passes in his own name because the list is checked only at the point of purchase, not at security.

not only were they waved through security but schneier was carrying a 120z bottle labelled "saline solution." anyone who was on a flight in 2008 or since then probably thinks that getting liquids on a flight is impossible--i've had a clear bottle with literally less than an inch of shampoo in it thrown out because it wasn't in a container that would ONLY hold 100ml. bottles of water, breast milk, contact solution, lotion, all of these things usually get tossed in the trash.

but if you had the bottle labelled "saline solution", then you would have been fine in the states because medical supplies don't come in the prescribed "under 3 oz" size. the security didn't even check schneier's bottle.

getting through security with all of their items intact, without getting arrested, and with fake boarding passes proved the uselessness of "the ID triangle."

the ID triangle is a process meant to establish three times that you are who you say you are. you buy your ticket, you pass through airport security, and you board your flight. at all of these contact points you are identified and have to prove your identity.

sure, you're not going to get on an actual flight with a fake boarding pass, but schneier and goldberg prove that getting through security was pretty easy.

they also point out that the most dangerous place to be (and the most vulnerable spot in the entire airport) is the long, often snaking pre-security line. somebody detonating a bomb in this pre-security area on a very busy day could cause major damage and kill countless people.

but that wasn't happening every day, despite the lack of real security at airports and how does nudity and invasive pat downs resolve issues like the fake boarding pass issue or the fact that once someone intent on doing damage arrives at the airport its basically too late?

is it to reinforce the idea in americans brains that they are not safe and so should accept any and all security "precautions"? that they should trust the state blindly to protect them, despite evidence that they are no safer? while airport patrons are being groped and x-rayed, airport employees aren't. while women and men are having their junk be exposed to a maybe pervert who will perhaps masturbate to the image in the bathroom on his lunch break, security is doing nothing to prevent restricted items and people from getting on flights. it just doesn't make sense.

in his most recent article about airport security he has a discussion while going through screening with a TSA agent. goldberg refuses the nudity scanner and the TSA agent laughs at him, telling him that he won't like the pat down. the TSA agent also said noone would opt out of the nudity scanner once they'd been through the humiliating pat down. the TSA agent called over to a colleague "tell him what you call the back-scatter [nudity scanner], and the colleague responds "the dick measuring device."

so the cost of security that isn't real security is having people mock your naked body or prod your privates? and how likely is it that you'll be selected "randomly" for screening if you're a hot girl and the agents are dirty perv men? how often are dudes high fiving each other after patting down or scanning a particularly hot lady?

maybe nudity scanners and body pat downs will find items like "underwear bombs", but they don't address issues of identity and they don't increase security.

goldberg pulls off the most telling and shocking of his experiments in st. paul minneapolis-- getting through security without ID.

he writes:

"I decided to make myself as nervous as possible. I would try to pass through security with no ID, a fake boarding pass, and an Osama bin Laden T-shirt under my coat. I splashed water on my face to mimic sweat, put on a coat (it was a summer day), hid my driver’s license, and approached security with a bogus boarding pass"

i read this and thought that there was no way he was getting through without proper I.D.

he continues:

"I told the document checker at security that I had lost my identification but was hoping I would still be able to make my flight. He said I’d have to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor arrived; he looked smart, unfortunately. I was starting to get genuinely nervous, which I hoped would generate incriminating micro-expressions. “I can’t find my driver’s license,” I said. I showed him my fake boarding pass. “I need to get to Washington quickly,” I added. He asked me if I had any other identification. I showed him a credit card with my name on it, a library card, and a health-insurance card."

goldberg got through security with a credit card, a library card, a health insurance card, and a FAKE boarding pass.

and how does a TSA agent measuring your dick or looking at your naked boobs detect a fake boarding pass or an identity theft. how does it protect people in lineups like these, that are completely unprotected??







Wednesday, November 24, 2010

for all of our friends in north korea

most of us know that yesterday north korea killed four people(including two civilians) on a south korean island. this is horrifying for many different reasons--one being that tensions between the (communist) north korea and (not communist) south korea are always running high and people sometimes forget that.

it's important for politicians to react swiftly to news of north korea's attack on south korea, because they don't want people to start freaking out about north korea's nuclear capabilities etc.

so thank the lord baby jesus that 2010 presidential candidate sarah palin was on the glenn beck radio show to soothe the public and prove just how great she would be as president of the united states.

when asked by beck how she herself would have dealt with the attacks, ms. palin responded:


"This speaks to a bigger picture here that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policy but obviously we've gotta stand with our North Korean allies."

yeah.... north korea is not one of america's allies.. in fact, north korea is one of the original members of the axis of evil. that's the opposite of an ally. but i mean, it's the radio and sometimes ladies can't remember facts off the top of their heads without having them written on their hands. she's a beauty queen not a nobel prize winner: pat the pretty bitch on the head, give her a cookie, and send her on to the next radio show content in knowing that she tried her "darn" hardest!

and why should she have to remember the difference between north and south? communist and not communist? ally or axis member? because she' wants to be the president? well.. that's just a double standard!! probably people are being so hard on her because she's a WOMAN!

or maybe just because she's stupid and always on the radio and tv and god only knows why people listen to her at all.

she was corrected by beck and continued the interview. glenn beck for president?


well this makes me insanely angry.

sometimes i wonder why the police even go through the motions. why BOTHER knocking on doors? why BOTHER patrolling? if you aren't going to follow through with a suspicion, why even bother pretending to do your job.

today in the toronto star they ran a story about an OPP officer who noticed a vehicle not belonging to jessica lloyd park in front of her house--the officer knocked on the door and when noone answered, she left the premises.

well, russel williams owned that car. he watched the police officer leave. then he broke into the home and tortured jessica lloyd before taking her to his own cottage where he would eventually murder her.

apparently the police officer is "taking it very badly and is very hard on herself" and regrets not doing anything.

well yeah, you get paid to "do something." why not run the license plate? or take note of it? that way when jessica lloyd was reported missing maybe you'd have a lead and she wouldn't have been murdered.

people make mistakes, police make mistakes-- but this is a big fucking mistake. this is a woman who lives alone and the police officer feels strongly enough about the situation to go knock on her door but then just leaves? so why bother knocking on the door at all? was there so much going on in belleville that night that you didn't have time to radio in the license plate?

vancouver police letting women go missing under their noses for years and years without doing anything, cops at the G20 threatening to rape female reporters, cops in ottawa arresting a woman without cause and strip searching her illegally, and now this. why are police too busy being lazy or abusing their power to do the job they get paid to do? how much more will it take for us to realize that there is something very wrong the institution of policing?

so as much as the toronto star article makes us want to feel bad for this cop, that she's "beating herself up over it", i think it's more important for this to serve as a lesson-- when we place our "safety" in the hands of the police and they fuck up and don't do their jobs, when bad things like this happen they should feel bad. they should feel horrible.

when i make a mistake at my serving job, there was hell to pay. and that was FOOD. when cops make mistakes like this, it needs to be a bigger deal.



Monday, November 22, 2010

why would anyone flag this?

this is the greatest craigslist ad i have seen in a really long time. i have a feeling that you might not think it's as funny unless you've had an epic gaming session so intense that the only thing you can do while playing is go get a coffee crisp bars from the freezer, stuff it in your mouth, and toss the empty wrapper onto the pile with the others.

"we will probably have a great time." yeah, you probably would actually. it's like how my sister has a great time while my brother and i play games and we force her to sit on the couch and watch us. sometimes she'll fall asleep or try to "leave" and she gets a gentle reminder that she is having FUN. game time is family time, when we're questing we need positive reinforcement from her. she gets that.

this guy is just trying to fill the gap that having no siblings has left in his life!






Sunday, November 21, 2010

"The Tyranny of Soy in Paraguay"

a great piece from the real news network and produced by jesse freeston about the soy business in paraguay.


"As it stands, more than 25 percent of Paraguay's arable land is taken up by genetically modified soy farms. Peasant farmers, or campesinos, have organized to oppose this lucrative industry."

"And this industry is rapidly expanding. It's largely powered by Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Monsanto, and various Brazilian companies. Small farming communities, small farmers are having to migrate to the cities in a massive exodus from the countryside. They're doing this because of the repression they face from thugs hired by the soy owners, the terrible pesticides that are used in soy production that poison water sources, that kill livestock, that kill anything else but soy, and that create cancer, blindness, birth deformities among campesino farmers that are living side by side next to these seas of soy."



More at The Real News

because we all need more receptacles for fruit and plants.

i saw these on design milk today:


they're called cocoon and they were designed by a swedish student,Måns Salomonsen, at university stenebyskolan.

the top of the cocoon holds plants and herbs and the underneath holds vegetables or whatever else.

Måns describes his the entire process of creating these two pieces on the website.

in his description he includes his first sketches of what he wanted to create, which are just as great as the actual pieces themselves.

the sketches look like the greatest dr Seuss town of all time:



another great thing on design milk today --air plant tiles! air plants are pretty and unique, but they don't root in soil--instead they grow on other plants, buildings, etc. this design by pigeon toe ceramics solves the problem of air plants. i don't really know how well this would do inside a home--on a wall-- but it would be pretty neat in gardens or outdoor spaces.

also, it's getting cold and winter is much more imminent and one of the best parts about winter is spending ten million hours on the internet looking up things for summer.
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