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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
She used to work in a diner / never saw a woman look finer / I used to order just to watch her float across the floor
— Neil Young, Unknown Legend
June 26, 2009

Vancouver Might Get Curbside Composting

It seems like the City of Vancouver might finally get curbside composting. It’s about time, really. Toronto’s had this for about three years, and it’s a huge step in reducing garbage in landfills. I compost already, but too many people don’t…even when it’s easy.

One potential problem is the number of condominiums in Vancouver, and the private pickup requirements. By some estimates more than half of Vancouver residents live in condos, and these condos have private pickup. The end result may be a curbside composting that serves only homeowners, most of whom should be composting in their backyards already.

It’s better than nothing though.

Posted by skooter at 1:31 PM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Compost, Garbage, Recycling, Vancouver

Michael Jackson

3:47 seconds in, and history is made.

Posted by skooter at 1:26 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Michael Jackson, Motown, Music

June 25, 2009

Creativity That Knows No Bounds

Human stories like this are a reminder of the endless creativity of human beings, and why the New York Times is the world’s best local paper. You can be guaranteed that if someone tried this in Vancouver, they’d be shut down and probably arrested on the second night.

‘West Side Story’ Amid the Laundry
By PENELOPE GREEN for The New York Times, Published: June 24, 2009

JUST after 9 p.m. on June 17, the third installment of the High Line Park Renegade Cabaret was held on Patty Heffley’s fourth-floor fire escape. There were colored lanterns, and a festive array of undergarments hung from the railings.

Ms. Heffley, 55, a former punk rock photographer, had staged a laundry “installation,” as she put it, to bolster the live performance she was hosting. Elizabeth Soychak, a jazz singer and professional organizer who gives her age as “permanently 39,” wore a 1950s moss green chiffon dress and waited while Ms. Heffley, in black, introduced her.

“This is in response to 31 years of obscurity,” Ms. Heffley announced from the fire escape. “Now, every day there are thousands of people looking in my window. We’re not here to celebrate, we’re here to exploit. Welcome to the Renegade Cabaret.” Then Ms. Soychak launched into an a cappella rendition of Johnny Mercer’s “Early Autumn.”

Posted by skooter at 1:35 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Music, New York

June 23, 2009

Autochromes from the George Eastman Collection

Early attempts at colour photography, preserved by Kodak as part of the George Eastman Collection. On the day of Kodachrome’s demise, it’s important to remember that technology makes it much easier to share these with the world.

Posted by skooter at 1:44 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Technology.
Tags: Kodak, Photography

On Grunting

While I love Wimbledon’s traditionalism, the sport of Tennis does need to grow up a bit.

New Wimbledon roof sparks worries about loud grunts
Kathryn Blaze Carlson, National Post, Monday, June 22, 2009

A new retractable roof over Wimbledon’s Centre Court may stave off rain delays, but some fear it will wreak havoc of another sort: the amplification of tennis grunts which, even without the help of an echo-inducing medium, sound like epic battle cries.

Grunting, long a part of an otherwise prim and proper tournament, has only become controversial as of late, with 16-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito facing accusations that her gutteral cries might actually be a strategic way of distracting her opponent.

Grunting isn’t a new controversy at all in tennis. It’s typically an involuntary reaction to athletic exertion, and the rules that discourage women from grunting while saying nothing about men are nothing less then sexist. Women’s professional tennis has been getting increasingly athletic over the years, and treating it any differently than the men’s game shows a lack of respect.

Posted by skooter at 1:34 PM This entry is filed under Sports.
Tags: Tennis, Wimbledon

Kodachrome Officially Ends

It’s finally happened. Last year it was speculation but Kodachrome is now going out of production.

It was always weird film, wonderful and fine grained but it required a dedicated processing lab, not the “standard” E-6 slide processing that was much more readily available. Kodak is still making slide film, as is Fuji…but the loss of Kodachrome is a blow to those of us who still like film nonetheless.

I bought film today: 10 more rolls to last a while longer. It may be the last batch, but I’m not sure. Although my cost has gone up quite a bit, it’s still cheaper than a Canon 5D.

Expect to hear a lot of Paul Simon lyrics quoted.

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know theyd never match
My sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the worlds a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama dont take my kodachrome away

Posted by skooter at 1:24 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Technology.
Tags: Kodak, Photography, Technology

June 19, 2009

Without Ferrari, it’s not Formula One

Frankly, if Ferrari and McLaren stick to their guns on this they will win. That’s where the dedicated fan base is.

Formula One in Turmoil as 8 Teams Break Away
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Published: June 19, 2009

SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Ferrari, McLaren and six other teams have announced plans for a rival series to Formula One in 2010 after the collapse of heated negotiations with F1 organizers over a budget cap for next season.

Ferrari, which has participated since the inaugural championship in 1950, and current championship leader Brawn GP were among the members of the Formula One Teams Association which announced the split Friday, ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

Posted by skooter at 1:57 PM This entry is filed under Sports.
Tags: Formula One, Racing

June 14, 2009

Tragedy on Half Dome

Sent by a friend, who was hiking on Half Dome at the time.

Yosemite hiker dies in fall from Half Dome
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer, Sunday, June 14, 2009

As many as 30 horrified onlookers saw a male hiker plunge hundreds of feet to his death Saturday as he was climbing Yosemite’s world-famous Half Dome, park rangers said.

The man, who was not identified pending notification of relatives, fell at 3:40 p.m. as he climbed the granite edifice in the midst of a hail storm. The hiker fell to a shoulder of the dome about 1,800 feet from the top.

Half Dome from the floor of Yosemite Valley

Posted by skooter at 4:58 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Travel.
Tags: Half Dome, Yosemite

June 13, 2009

Post It Stop Motion Animation

Posted by skooter at 5:11 PM This entry is filed under Technology, Words.
Tags: Animation, Design, Post-It

Barak Obama Gets It

It’s called being a person not a politician, and the Democrats probably just got two votes for life.

I can’t help but think that Stephen Harper’s response to the father’s comment in that video would have been to criticize him for not having his daughter in school.

Even the National Post thinks the Conservatives are dead.

Posted by skooter at 5:09 AM This entry is filed under America, Canada, Politics.
Tags: Barak Obama, Stephen Harper

June 11, 2009

The Harper Government Is Dead

Healthcare is always the top polling issue in elections. Well, it’s always one of the top three. Healthcare and the Economy (otherwise known as jobs usually flip the top two positions.) This will kill the already dead Harper government at the next election.

Canada was relatively self sufficient, and a significant player in the world market for medical isotopes. The Harper government has just killed it, and abandoned our health care security in the process (not too mention increased costs over the long term, in all likelihood.)

Canada to get out of isotopes game: Harper
David Akin, Canwest News Service, Published: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada plans to leave the production of medical isotopes to other countries — despite the fact that for a time last year, this country was producing nearly all such isotopes in the world.

Posted by skooter at 2:40 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Science.
Tags: Conservative Party of Canada, Health Care, Stephen Harper

June 10, 2009

Never Let it Be Said the Vancouver Sun Doesn’t Know Hyperbole

The emphasis below is mine:

Bachelorette’s influence felt across Vancouver after episode filmed here
BY JEFF LEE, VANCOUVER SUNJUNE 9, 2009

VANCOUVER - Less than 24 hours after the latest episode aired involving Vancouver’s Bachelorette Jillian Harris, the city no longer seems the same.

Really?

Yesterday’s article on the topic was good too, stating that:

Filmed in April, the weather looked a tad grim when Jillian hit the water with Kiptyn for a hot “Vancouver-style” date of kayaking from False Creek to Granville Island.

Of course Granville Island is on False Creek but I guess I can’t expect every Vancouver Sun journalist to know that.

Posted by skooter at 3:22 PM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Television, Vancouver

June 9, 2009

Big Oil’s Guilty Conscience

Shell has settled a lawsuit in the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa, issuing the standard claim that the settlement is not an admission of guilt and claiming that it had no role in Saro-Wiwa’s death.

Nonsense. Just nonsense.

Shell to Pay $15.5 Million to Settle Nigerian Case
By JAD MOUAWAD, Published: June 8, 2009

The announcement caps a protracted legal battle that began shortly after the death of the Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995. Mr. Saro-Wiwa, Shell’s most prominent critic at the time in Nigeria, was hanged by that country’s military regime after protesting the company’s environmental practices in the oil-rich delta, especially in his native Ogoni region.

Shell continued Monday to deny any role in the death. It called the settlement a “humanitarian gesture” meant to compensate the plaintiffs, including Mr. Saro-Wiwa’s family, for their loss and to cover a portion of their legal fees and costs. Some of the money will go into an educational and social trust fund intended to benefit the Ogoni people.

Posted by skooter at 1:37 PM This entry is filed under Politics.
Tags: Environmentalism, Human Rights, Oil