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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Huge orange flying boat rises off a lake / Thousand-year-old petroglyphs doing a double take / Pointing a finger at eternity / I'm sitting in the middle of this ecstasy
— Bruce Cockburn, Wondering Where the Lions Are
May 30, 2007

Arial vs. Helvetica

Typography is a bit of a religion, and like religions the various proponents of different schools often make irrational arguments in favour of one choice or another.

There’s one argument that’s always winnable though: the fight against Arial.

Arial is simply hideous, and while I’m not personally a fan of Helvetica it may be that the pervasiveness of Arial has coloured my view: too many times the sans serif font of choice is Arial simply because people are using Windows.

A typical argument in favour of Arial is “it’s good enough” which is a bit like arguing in favour of a Ford Pinto. It’s hardly the standard by which greatness or good design should be judged. Good enough doesn’t make something right, or even adequate.

Use Helvetica instead of Arial: always. I personally prefer Frutiger in almost all its flavours, but I’m not going to argue the point.

Posted by skooter at 10:03 AM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Design, Fonts, Typography

Toronto’s Sam the Record Man closing

Sam the Record Man was my home away from home for many years. I spent hours pouring through the stacks there and everything from Wagner to U2 to Miles Davis was bought there for a long time. I hardly bothered going anywhere else.

Toronto’s Sam the Record Man closing
UNNATI GANDHI
Globe and Mail Update
May 29, 2007 at 8:51 PM EDT
Toronto — Sam the Record Man, a Yonge Street staple since 1961 and once Canada’s top music retailer, will be closing its doors for good next month.

Citing ubiquitous music downloads, Jason and Bobby Sniderman, the sons of Sam Sniderman and present owners of the flagship Toronto store, said rarely does a day go by without a story about declining CD sales.

“We are making a responsible decision in recognizing the status of the record industry and the increasing impact of technology,” said Bobby Sniderman in a press release.

He would not elaborate when reached by telephone Tuesday.

Sam the Record Man has been a staple on Toronto’s Yonge Street since 1961 and was once Canada’s top music retailer. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

The store will close June 30.

When HMV opened, some predicted the death knell of Sam’s. Instead, it thrived and expanded. There was something very sterile about HMV’s retail environment. It presented better for parents, but it lacked that clubby feeling that good stores always have—the sense that if you just keep hunting, you’ll find something really truly special.

Continue reading "Toronto’s Sam the Record Man closing"

Posted by skooter at 6:11 AM This entry is filed under Music, Technology.
Tags: iPod, Music, Toronto

May 25, 2007

Why Stylesheets Are Cool

This is not only a good article about buidling community online, but before I even finished it I fell in love with a little feature on the stylesheet.
Fortuitous

Displaying long articles on a web site can be tough…they go off the bottom edge of the page and people sometimes don’t realize this. This page uses a layered effect to fade out the bottom of the page, bringing it back into focus as the content moves up.

Beautiful.

Posted by skooter at 8:00 AM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: CSS, Design

May 11, 2007

The NDP’s Environmental Disconnect

The NDP consistently tries to portray itself as the party of the environment, which makes headings like this, from the latest e-newsletter, all the more astonishing:

Canadians pumping profits into big oil’s pockets

A new study this week confirms the NDP’s charge that ordinary Canadians are getting hosed at the pumps. For every litre of gas Canadians buy, 15 to 27 cents is being pumped right into the pockets of big oil and gas. The NDP is challenging Stephen Harper to stand up to his big oil buddies, set up a monitoring agency and launch a public inquiry to ensure fairness at the pumps.

Doesn’t this contradict the NDP’s environmental platform?

Continue reading "The NDP’s Environmental Disconnect"

Posted by skooter at 1:23 PM This entry is filed under Politics.
Tags: Cars, Environmentalism

May 7, 2007

Wilco Interview

The new album’s out in a week, and today’s Pitchfork features a long, wandering interview with Jeff Tweedy.

Posted by skooter at 7:57 PM This entry is filed under Music.

May 6, 2007

Toys in the Backyard

Toys in the Backyard

Posted by skooter at 11:37 AM This entry is filed under Camera.
Tags: Black and White, Georgia

May 5, 2007

Fixed Election Dates in Canada

Fixed election dates are not compatible with the Westminster Parliamentary system on which Canada’s government is built. They simply are not.

Why Stephen Harper has chosen to pass a bill—a meaningless, hollow bill—to implement them remains a shock to me. why the rest of parliament chose to help him in this agenda is equally surprising.

Simply put, the government can fall on a non confidence vote at any time. Fixed terms therefore don’t exist. Our constitution already defines a five yer maximum: the Harper government has, here, passed a bill which simply shortens that to four years without going through the process of a constitutional amendment.

Whether this is because the Harper government doesn’t respect the constitution, or because they felt that this was an issue not deserving of an amendment doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s invalid.

Unfortunately, i think it’s the former: I think the Conservative Party of Canada believes that parliament is supreme in all matters, and i only wonder at what point they’ll stop.

Our Constitution is supreme, our Parliament is fickle.

Posted by skooter at 5:55 PM This entry is filed under Politics.
Tags: Charter of Rights, Conservative Party of Canada, Constitution, Stephen Harper

May 1, 2007

One of my Favourite Buildings

False Creek, on First Avenue

Posted by skooter at 11:54 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Vancouver.