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Evolution of Stop Motion Photography
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Japan's Disposable Workers
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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
I've proven who I am so many times / the magnetic strip's worn thin
— Bruce Cockburn, Pacing the Cage
August 29, 2008

One Business I Wouldn’t Want To Be In

That Zoom airlines collapsed isn’t really a surprise. It’s really only a matter of time before Canada is back to having only Air Canada as a carrier. I doubt even Westjet will survive. The population is simply too small.

Then again, I may be wrong. We’ll see.

Posted by skooter at 1:42 AM This entry is filed under Canada, Travel.
Tags: Airlines, Airport, Business

August 28, 2008

Smelling an Election in the Air

It’s well known, by now, that the media smells an election in the air. Stephen Harper is making his wish to go the polls the worst kept secret in Canada.

Another sure sign is the sheer number of email messages I’m getting from people who haven’t contacted me in four years. It happens every season. It’s not a good smell.

Don’t let Harper fool you, by the way. He promised fixed election dates, and passed the legislation. That he’s now weaseling out of a date he committed to is tantamount to a lie. If he hadn’t made the commitment, it wouldn’t be an issue.

Posted by skooter at 3:07 AM This entry is filed under Canada, Politics.
Tags: Canada, Conservative Party of Canada, Elections, Stephen Harper

Yay, New York City!

I’ve never ridden a bicycle in New York City, and I’ve been told it’s…challenging. I’m glad to see the greatest city on earth doing more to encourage cycling and, more importantly, to actively discourage driving.

August 27, 2008,  5:41 pm
Bike, Don’t Drive, City Tells Its Workers
By SEWELL CHAN

The city has drastically cut the number of free parking permits it gives to city employees, including teachers. So how else are civil servants supposed to get to work?

On Wednesday, city officials said they would expand secure bicycle parking for employees at five municipal buildings in Lower Manhattan in the fall. Three existing bike parking facilities will be enlarged, going to 110 spaces from 46, and two others will be added, creating 24 new parking spaces.

While we’re at it, hurrah to both New York and the always interesting David Byrne for the most interesting bike racks I’ve seen in a long time.

Posted by skooter at 2:56 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Travel.
Tags: Cycling, Music, New York

August 27, 2008

Mini Legomen are 30 Years Old Today

They’ll always be Legomen to me. Minifig be damned.

Posted by skooter at 4:01 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment, Inanities.
Tags: Lego

August 24, 2008

Back from Clayoquot Sound

Six days of paddling including three days of rain were followed by a two hour motorcycle ride to the Departure Bay ferry terminal. Eight days of a beard came off this morning, laundry was done and dry bags have been unpacked.
Riding the ferry home after paddling for six days Vancouver Island from the Ferry

More pictures to come shortly. Patience, naturally, being the nature of shooting film.

Posted by skooter at 8:14 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Travel, Vancouver.
Tags: Clayoquot Sound, Kayaking, Me, Vacation, Vancouver Island

August 16, 2008

Does this Mean Erickson will Stop Designing Buildings that Leak?

Pretty much every one of Erickson’s famed Vancouver buildings has leaked like crazy. Still, this does seem like a bit of a silly regulatory kerfuffle over annual continuing education requirements.

Famed architect runs afoul of regulator
FRANCES BULA
Globe and Mail Update
August 15, 2008 at 11:15 PM EDT

VANCOUVER—Arthur Erickson has been called Canada’s most famous architect and the first to put Canadian architecture on the world map.

But he is no longer allowed to call himself an architect, according to his home province’s regulatory body. Or at least not when it comes to buildings currently going up around Vancouver with his name attached to them.

The Architectural Institute of B.C. has sent him a warning letter saying he needs to clarify what he’s doing because local marketing and news articles about several prominent buildings under way make it sound as though he is working as an architect.

“This is a very dear and honoured member of the profession whom we want to celebrate. But he’s not entitled to provide architectural services without being registered. And he’s not,” said Jerome Marburg, the AIBC’s director of legal affairs and licensing. “We can’t make an exception for Arthur because he’s Arthur.”

Posted by skooter at 9:04 PM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Architecture, Design, Vancouver

August 15, 2008

Knights of the Penguin

Penguin probably makes more money than me, too.

Penguin at Edinburgh Zoo may pick up Norwegian knighthood
By John Bingham
Last Updated: 4:09PM BST 15 Aug 2008

After a decades-long military career which has seen him rise to the rank of Colonel-in-Chief, Nils Olav has learnt to take promotion in his stride.

Members of the Norwegian King’s Guard visit to the zoo to honour the distinguished bird every few years when they are in the city for the military tattoo.

Posted by skooter at 6:54 PM This entry is filed under Penguins.
Tags: Knights, Penguins

August 14, 2008

Martin Rogers is Gone

Martin Rogers & Ben, July 31, 2007 at the Burnaby Model Railroad

Posted by skooter at 8:51 AM This entry is filed under Family, Friends.
Tags: Benjamin, Martin Rogers, Obituaries, Trains

August 13, 2008

Making the World a Cheaper (and Poorer) Place

If you shop at Wal-Mart reading Wal-Mart: The Bully of Bentonville: How the High Cost of Everyday Low Prices is Hurting America might be enough to make you stop.

I don’t, and have rarely set foot inside (in Charlottetown, PEI there were few other options when I lived here) for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the principle involved in supporting a mass market big-box retailer with little interest in its employees and the bottom line.

Continue reading "Making the World a Cheaper (and Poorer) Place"

Posted by skooter at 3:57 AM This entry is filed under America, Marketing.
Tags: Consumers, Retail, Shopping, Wal-Mart

Isaac Hayes & Jesse Jackson

Dearly departed Isaac Hayes, introduced in 1973 by Reverend Jesse Jackson sporting a full afro.

Posted by skooter at 3:45 AM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Obituaries, Soul

August 12, 2008

The Rain in Toronto

The thing is, if people in Toronto weren’t complaining about the rain they’d be complaining about the heat and humidity. It’s always something out there.

Posted by skooter at 1:33 PM This entry is filed under Canada.
Tags: Toronto, Weather

August 10, 2008

Can’t Stop the Wave

NBC just doesn’t get it. Still.

Tape Delay by NBC Faces End Run by Online Fans
By BRIAN STELTER
Published: August 8, 2008

NBC, which owns the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States, spent most of Friday trying to keep it that way.

NBC’s decision to delay broadcasting the opening ceremonies by 12 hours sent people across the country to their computers to poke holes in NBC’s technological wall — by finding newsfeeds on foreign broadcasters’ Web sites and by watching clips of the ceremonies on YouTube and other sites.

In response, NBC sent frantic requests to Web sites, asking them to take down the illicit clips and restrict authorized video to host countries. As the four-hour ceremony progressed, a game of digital whack-a-mole took place. Network executives tried to regulate leaks on the Web and shut down unauthorized video, while viewers deftly traded new links on blogs and on the Twitter site, redirecting one another to coverage from, say, Germany, or a site with a grainy Spanish-language video stream.

As the first Summer Games of the broadband age commenced in China, old network habits have never seemed so archaic — or so irrelevant.

Posted by skooter at 12:44 AM This entry is filed under Sports, Technology.
Tags: Copyright, Olympics, Television

August 8, 2008

PETA’s Greyhound Bus Advertisement

What’s interesting about this PETA ad isn’t so much the advertisement itself (which is basically disgusting and offensive.)

What’s interesting is that that web page originally had a few comments on the bottom, to which I added one fairly benign comment. All of those comments are now gone, and it is no longer possible to post new ones.

Mine, incidentally, never actually got posted. I guess PETA doesn’t accept criticism at all, no matter how gentle.

Posted by skooter at 1:20 PM This entry is filed under Marketing.
Tags: Advertising, Marketing

Beijing 2008

With David Emerson and his Conservative government afraid to rock the boat on issues that truly matter, it’s nice to see Irwin Cotler speaking his mind about the China issue.

I only wish I weren’t cynical enough to believe that if the Conservatives were speaking out about China’s human rights record, the Liberals would be telling Canadians that the Olympics were not a political event, but a sporting one.

Cotler blasts China’s human rights record
Last Updated: Thursday, August 7, 2008
CBC News

On the eve of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler sharply criticized China’s human rights record and called the awarding of the Games to Beijing a betrayal of the Olympic Charter.

The MP made the comments Thursday at a press conference in Ottawa flanked by journalist Beryl Wajsman, human rights activist and former Miss World Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam and former Liberal MP David Kilgour.

Posted by skooter at 1:07 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Sports.
Tags: China, Human Rights, Olympics, Politics

August 2, 2008

Shimano Dura-Ace 7970 Electronic Shifting

Velonews has more details on the new Shimano Dura-Ace 7970 electronic shifters. There’s enough information there to convince me that this is definitely different. No cables, self adjusting derailleurs, potential for more than a single set of shifters.

I’m not going to be jumping on this bandwagon very quickly, but I’m intrigued at least.

This is a fundamental shift in cycling technology that hasn’t been seen before. The basic mechanics of shifting have been the same since the 50s and 60s. Shift levers have changed to be sure, but in evolutionary ways. Still cables pulling on springs at heart, with a chain to tie it all together.

Old technologies have a habit of sticking around the longest. The book has been remarkably resilient, and the bike ha been extremely persistent. I suppose we’ll see what happens now.

Posted by skooter at 5:03 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Technology.
Tags: Cycling, Dura-Ace, Shimano

Edmonton

I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid going to Edmonton, but work had me there for three days recently.
A user group sponsored training course was the reason I was there.
Can-Cell industries hosted the training courses at their main warehouse.

Continue reading "Edmonton"

Posted by skooter at 3:43 AM This entry is filed under Canada, Travel.
Tags: Canada, Edmonton, Travel, Work

Purple. Definitely Purple.

Spandex Velvet at Fabricana The marriage of spandex & velvet is surely the kind of unholy alliance that should be banned.

Posted by skooter at 3:38 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Inanities.
Tags: Cycling, Fashion

August 1, 2008

Tolls are Good

There’s more than one way to cross the Fraser. Some of those bridges should be tolled, and we might as well start with this one.

New, tolled Pattullo Bridge gets green light
Last Updated: Thursday, July 31, 2008 | 9:00 PM ET
CBC News

More than 79,000 vehicles travel over the Pattullo Bridge, which spans the Fraser River between New Westminster and Surrey, B.C., every day. (CBC)

TransLink has approved the construction of a new, tolled crossing to replace the 71-year-old Pattullo Bridge spanning the Fraser River between Surrey and New Westminster, B.C.

Posted by skooter at 6:09 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Vancouver.
Tags: Cars, Roads, Transportation, Vancouver

Battery Operated Bikes

I confess to not quite understanding the point of electronic shifting but Shimano is apparently hitting the market next year.

Cables stretch, but are cheap and easy to replace. Perhaps the electronic version will remain snappier for a longer period of time, or perhaps forever. This article provides a bit more detail, but I want to see what Velonews has to say first.

I just don’t want my batteries to die when I’m on my way up Cypress Bowl.

Posted by skooter at 5:02 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Technology.
Tags: Cycling, Shimano

So…um…yikes?

I don’t think I’ve been this shocked in a very very long time.

This particularly gruesome detail was the most chilling:

Then the incident became even more macabre. The attacker returned to the victim’s side and began sawing through his neck. A few moments later, he walked to the front of the bus holding a decapitated human head, displaying it to the 34 passengers and the bus driver standing outside.

Posted by skooter at 4:51 AM This entry is filed under Canada, Travel.
Tags: Bus, Crime, Greyhound