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Birch Tree: Toronto, 2016
Japan's Disposable Workers
Jeff Tweedy Plays Charades with Ewan McGregor
Steph Cameron at the Railway Club (February 1, 2016)
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Thin Systems
Listen to the Bell, Mr. Premier...It Tolls for Thee
Gordon Campbell Won't Run Again?
Bike Maintenance Lessons: Disc Brake Pads
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Brave New World: The Musical
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Daniel Lanois and his AC30
Dan Mangan - Forgetery

I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
I crossed many states just to stand here now, my face all hot with tears, / I crossed city, and valley, desert, and stream, to bring my body here:
— Woody Guthrie, Remember the Mountain Bed
June 28, 2010

Crab Fountain, Museum of Vancouver

Crab Fountain at the Musuem of Vancouver Crab Fountain at the Musuem of Vancouver The Crab Fountain at the Museum of Vancouver is one of Vancouver’s most prominent pieces of public art, and one of its largest. Located a bit off the beaten path at the rather underwhelming Museum of Vancouver, the dramatic sculpture is nonetheless a highly photographed object. I was particularly fond, on this day, of the way the crab’s arms framed the Canadian flag in the background.

A plaque is located at the base of the sculpture, and it reads:

This fountain sculpture, made by George Norris, was commissioned by the Women’s Activities Group of the Centennial Committee of Vancouver as a gift to the citizens of Vancouver.

Beneath this plaque is a time capsule to be opened on Canada’s Bicentennial, July 1, 2067

The crab was looked on by the Indians as the guardian of the harbour and is also the sign of he zodiac for the period beginning July first, Canada’s birthday.

Posted by skooter at 11:22 PM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Museum of Vancouver, Museums, Public Art

June 27, 2010

Jeff Tweedy at the Commodore Ballroom, January 31, 2006

Jeff Tweedy at the Commodore Ballroom I suppose you could argue that it all started here. Of course I owned Yankee Hotel Foxtrot before this, and it got listened to…a lot. This was my first Wilco concert though.

Strictly speaking a Jeff Tweedy solo show, but with Glen providing backing drums that’s two Wilco band members so let’s just call it a Wilco show by proxy at least. Wilco is more than Jeff, but the line between Jeff’s performances and Wilco’s is blurry at the best of times.

It was an amazing show. One of the best I’ve ever seen. I went with a friend—a date, actually—and we had a great time. I didn’t know at the time it was going to be our last date. There was music played that I’d never heard before.

The relationship ended the next day. We still talk, though not often, and when we do she occasionally talks about how great the show was. She remembers California Stars vividly. That song is a gateway drug to Wilco, trust me. I think I spent most of the show standing behind her, with my arms wrapped around her waist. Given that I was probably singing softly into her ear, I’m happy to know she still loves the song.

The rest of the tour was recorded on video and released as Sunken Treasure - Live in the Pacific Northwest a full length concert on DVD. Well worth watching and owning.

Posted by skooter at 3:30 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Jeff Tweedy, Wilco

Jeff Tweedy covering Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”

Posted by skooter at 3:41 AM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Jeff Tweedy, Videos, Wilco

June 26, 2010

Genetic Engineering Isn’t the Solution for Troubled Salmon Stocks

Are we seriously considering releasing a genetically modified version of a crop that’s in trouble into the wild? Make no mistake: if these salmon are sold and raised on farms, they will escape into the wild. It’s inevitable. When that happens it’s effectively the same as introducing an invasive species, and we know how that goes.

There’s a legitimate question as well about whether all of the product of this salmon—and I refuse to call it meat—will be properly labeled in stores.

Salmon stocks are in trouble. Genetic engineering isn’t the solution to that trouble.

Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table
By ANDREW POLLACK, Published: June 25, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat — salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate.
Enlarge This Image

The developer of the salmon has been trying to get approval for a decade. But the company now seems to have submitted most or all of the data the F.D.A. needs to analyze whether the salmon are safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment, according to government and biotechnology industry officials. A public meeting to discuss the salmon may be held as early as this fall.

Posted by skooter at 4:52 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Science, Technology.
Tags: Genetic Engineering, GMO, Salmon

Vancouver Critical Mass - June 2010

Vancouver Critical Mass, June 2010 Vancouver Critical Mass, June 2010Vancouver Critical Mass, June 2010Vancouver Critical Mass, June 2010Vancouver Critical Mass, June 2010Vancouver Critical Mass, June 2010

Posted by skooter at 4:24 PM This entry is filed under Cycling, Vancouver.
Tags: Critical Mass, Cycling

June 23, 2010

Neko Case - Don’t Forget Me

One of the disadvantages of not having a TV is that every once in a while something like this happens and I don’t hear about it. Ah well. At least I can ride out over the tubes here and see it after the fact.

Posted by skooter at 2:26 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Sheryl Crow, Videos

June 21, 2010

Neko Case: I’m a Piece of Shit White Trash and I Will Fuck You Up

Watching Neko Case take out her aggression on a fan is pretty darn funny. Wait until the end when she demonstrates her business savvy: “Still good. We could resell that.”

Posted by skooter at 8:10 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: A.C. Newman, Music, Neko Case, New Pornographer, Videos

Mondo Spider

Today was Car Free Day in Vancouver, so I wandered up Main Street. Mondo Spider was the definite highlight.

Posted by skooter at 12:02 AM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Car Free Day Vancouver, Main Street, Mondo Spider

June 20, 2010

RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293

RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293 RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293RDM Technology BV 105mm Howitzer Gun Serial #34293

Posted by skooter at 3:31 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Canada, Technology.
Tags: Artillery, Canadian Forces, Howitzer, Military

2202 Main Street, Vancouver

2202 Main Street, Vancouver, BC

Posted by skooter at 12:54 AM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, Main Street

June 19, 2010

The One You Love Would Love a CCM

The One You Love Would Love a CCM

Posted by skooter at 5:14 PM This entry is filed under Cycling, Marketing.
Tags: Advertisement, CCM, Cycling, Marketing

June 18, 2010

Found Objects: Moose Wine Glasses

The Salvation Army at 12th & Main is the main branch for the city. They actually have a pretty awesome selection of stuff ranging from home electronics to a semi-circular wood coffee table that could use a bit of refinishing.

Wine glasses with a moose and pine tree on the side though? That takes the cake. There’s two, and as much as I don’t need them at $1.99 each it’s tempting…tempting…

Posted by skooter at 4:01 PM This entry is filed under Inanities.
Tags: Found Objects, Moose

Eddy Merckx Made Me Do It

Today is Eddy Merckx’s 65th birthday. Even at 65, I’m reasonably certain that Eddy could kick my ass on the average bike ride. Such is life. I’m working on it.

Since I own a Merckx frame (kitted out with Campagnolo Centaur, of course) I figured I had to do something to celebrate, so in the afternoon I saddled up and headed to North Vancouver intent of riding to the top of Mt. Seymour for for the first time.

“Why Seymour” you ask? What… “Because it’s there” isn’t a good enough answer for you? No matter. There was a reason.

Continue reading "Eddy Merckx Made Me Do It"

June 17, 2010

Parker Street Studios

The Parker Street Studios are home to some of Vancouver’s best artisans, and are a popular destination on the annual Eastside Culture Craw. Located in Vancouver’s old industrial lands, their rough interior is outdone by their even rougher and exterior. The buildings are in the perfect state of decrepitness that makes them a joy to photograph.

Posted by skooter at 6:18 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Vancouver.
Tags: Architecture, Artists, East Vancouver

Wintermitts Video Launch Party at Cafe Deux Soleils

Local band Wintermitts held a video launch party at local vegetarian restaurant Cafe Deux Soleils. A good time was had by all.

Posted by skooter at 8:03 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Cafe Deux Soleils, Commercial Drive, Vancouver Bands, Wintermitts

June 15, 2010

Vancouver’s Dunsmuir Separated Bike Lane Opens

The city has been busy installing a separated bike lane on Dunsmuir over the past few weeks (though the first step actually took place during the Olympics, when the Dusnmuir Viaduct bike lane was opened.) Today marked the bike lane’s official opening.

Mayor Gregor Robertson was joined by a group of cyclists for the inaugural ride, followed by obligatory speeches. Key points that were made:

It’s worth noting that while Dunsmuir is a one way street westbound the bike lane is a two way lane running on the north side of the street. This means that eastbound cyclists—normally accustomed to travelling on the south side of the street—will be immediately adjacent to vehicles. It can be a bit disconcerting at first, but once you get used to it it’s really no big deal. I’ve been told by city staff that Beatty Street is a good route for merging into the lane.

Posted by skooter at 7:59 PM This entry is filed under Cycling, Vancouver.
Tags: Cars, Cycling, Gregor Robertson, Vancouver

The Star vs. the Globe on the Vuvuzela

The now infamous South African noise maker the Vuvuzela has, quite literally, become the story of the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

It’s quite interesting to compare the Globe’s commentary on the issue with the Toronto Star’s. The Globe article is a boring, listless recitation of the facts. An example:

But here it is blown long, loud and tuneless in a packed stadium. At 127 decibels, it’s louder than an air horn (123.6 decibels) and a referee’s whistle (121.8 decibels), and doctors say that those in close proximity could suffer hearing damage. Earplugs advised.

Quite the contrast with Cathal Kelly’s article in the Toronto Star

There’s someone in our neighbourhood who kicks off with his vuvuzela at 5 or so. A demented milkman, maybe. It’s low and mournful, like a steer dying of heartbreak. Imagine Miles Davis on the vuvuzela, but without any talent. If I could find him, I would kill him with my bare hands.

Fair enough — vuvuzelas are an intrinsic part of South African soccer. Hear that, pal? Soccer. Not dawn in the suburbs.

I give points to The Toronto Star here for recognizing the inherent silliness of the topic which is, after all, about a jubilant nation’s choice of noisemaker. Annoying though the things may be, the real story should be about the game.

Posted by skooter at 3:55 PM This entry is filed under Sports.
Tags: Articles, FIFA, Football, Vuvuzela

Mollie Katzen’s Broccoli & Tofu in Spicy Peanut Sauce

The Finished Product In the Wok Ingredients I do O.K. sometimes. I think the sauce thickened up a bit, but it was pretty good regardless.

Yes, those are lightsaber chopsticks.

Recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by the phenomenal Mollie Katzen

Posted by skooter at 3:17 AM This entry is filed under Food.
Tags: Enchanted Broccoli Forest, Food, Mollie Katzen, Moosewood, Tofu, Vegetarian

June 14, 2010

Beaver Top Hat on Main Street

Beaver Skin Top Hat on Main Street, Vancouver A man needs beaver fur top hat. What more is there to say?

Posted by skooter at 9:14 PM This entry is filed under Canada, Politics.
Tags: Beaver, Canada, Hat, HBC

Arcade Fire Playing at the Notman House in Montreal

Arcade Fire at the Notman House from POP Montréal on Vimeo.

More new Arcade Fire at the Notman House from POP Montréal on Vimeo.

Posted by skooter at 5:49 PM This entry is filed under Music, Quebec.
Tags: Arcade Fire, Concerts, Montreal, Videos

June 13, 2010

Snoopy vs. the Red Baron at the Billy Bishop Legion

Currently my favourite piece of artwork in the city of Vancouver. It’s been here for years, and I’ve only just discovered it. My grandfather learned to fly in a Tiger Moth biplane so I sort of think of him as Snoopy.

Posted by skooter at 6:14 AM This entry is filed under Canada.
Tags: Billy Bishop Legion, RCAF, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron

June 11, 2010

Objectified: The Film

Objectified title card Directed by Gary Hustwit Objectified could be seen as something of a follow up to the his earlier Helvetica., though that doesn’t really do the film justice.

Objectified delves a little deeper into the culture of consumption in numerous conversations with the people who make the things we consume. Notable designers interviewed include Dieter Rams of Braun(company), Marc Newson, Jonathan Ive of Apple, Chris Bangle of BMW and Karim Rashid (resplendent in purple sunglasses there aren’t words to describe.)
Karim Rashid

Rams opens the film, proclaiming Apple the only company to truly value design. Combine Braun’s history of design with the fact that North Americans traditionally view Europe as the home of good design and this comes as no small compliment.

Objectified explores a culture where the design of mass produced objects is increasingly important. During the 60s and 70s there wasn’t much focus on the shape of things we used. Function was important, and ergonomics were often overlooked. The classic example of the Good Grips swivel peeler is explored as an example of looking at the everyday objects we use in another way.

This leads to the exploration of the theme of the democratization of design. Our houses are increasingly filled with objects we think of as having been designed rather than simply manufactured. Mass retailers Ikea and Target are held up as examples of the process in action.

Ultimately, one of the points the film’s various interviewees reiterates is the fact good design is usually less design. Virtually every designer points out the contradiction of their profession: that good design should be timeless and last forever, but that they are paid to create the new thing that consumers want to replace the old with. Landfills are full of stuff that’s been discarded for no reason other than style and trends.

Dieter Rams sums up the future of design nicely in the film with his closing words:

The value, and especially the legitimization of design will be, in the future, measured more in terms of how it can enable us to survive—and I don’t think this is an exaggeration—to survive on this planet.
— Dieter Rams

Objectified is well worth seeing, and makes a nice companion piece for Helvetica. Hustwit also produced (but didn’t direct) the phenomenal Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and has rapidly become one of my favourite filmmakers.

Posted by skooter at 9:54 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment, Technology.
Tags: Apple, Design, Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive, Karim Rashid, Movies, Wilco

June 10, 2010

No Skating on Deer Lake Infographic

No Skating Infographic, Burnaby Lake I had a few minutes to spare in Burnaby the other day, and went for a short walk on a trail on Burnaby Lake. It took me about five minutes to figure out what this infographic sign was supposed to be telling me what not to do. At first I thought it meant no walking on the lake, which didn’t make that much sense (although I do have an iPhone, and it might have an app that lets me do that.)

The skate graphic is far too subtle here and hardly noticeable from even a moderate distance.

Posted by skooter at 4:35 PM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Infographics, Information Design

Great Lake Swimmers at the Vogue Theatre

More video from the Great Lake Swimmers show at the Vogue Theatre in January.

Posted by skooter at 12:45 AM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Great Lake Swimmers, Vancouver, Videos, Vogue Theatre

June 9, 2010

Michael Geist & Tony Clement on Copyright Reform

Michael Geist, Canada’s most recognized expert in online rights, writes thoughtfully about the government’s proposed copyright reforms in The Tyee.

Mr. Clement, Loosen Those Digital Locks!
Unfortunately, the legal protection for digital locks — unquestionably the biggest and most controversial digital copyright issue — is the one area where there is no compromise. Despite a national copyright consultation that soundly rejected inflexible protections for digital locks on CDs, DVDs, e-books, and other devices, the government has caved to U.S. pressure and brought back rules that mirror those found in the United States. These rules limit more than just copying as they can also block Canadian consumers from even using products they have purchased.

Interestingly, on the same topic, I received a response to a note I sent to CBC Radio’s Spark about their coverage of the copyright act which seems to suggest that Tony Clement hasn’t read and certainly doesn’t understand the act that he’s rewriting.

Surprised? Read on.

Continue reading "Michael Geist & Tony Clement on Copyright Reform"

Posted by skooter at 4:37 PM This entry is filed under Music, Politics.
Tags: CBC, Copyright, Michael Geist, Tony Clement

Wilco’s “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” Introduces Hockey Night in Canada

There’s nothing quite so perfect as old school Being There era Wilco to introduce a Blackhawks game.

Posted by skooter at 2:43 AM This entry is filed under Music, Sports.
Tags: CBC, Hockey, Jeff Tweedy, Wilco

June 8, 2010

Building a Fake Lake in a Province with 200,000 Real Ones

This is sufficiently crazy that it could only be a government plan. Ontario has 200,000 real lakes, and they’re building a fake one so they cane make Toronto look like Muskoka.

Toronto is not Muskoka. I miss Muskoka.

G8/G20 summit fake lake to cost $57K
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | 10:03 AM ET, CBC News

The government is trying to correct the price tag associated with the so-called fake lake at the $1.9-million G8/G20 media centre in Toronto.

The mock lake inside the centre will actually be a 10-centimetre-deep pool, built at a cost of $57,000, a source at the summit management office told CBC News. Add in the cost of the rest of the media centre and the total goes up to $1.9 million.

Summit organizers are building the pool inside Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre to showcase the site of the G8 summit hundreds of kilometres to the north in Huntsville, Ont., from June 25-26.

The source told CBC that when the G8 summit was first announced, the marketing “message” was to bring Muskoka to the world. The original plan was to create something at the media centre in Toronto called the “Muskoka corridor.” That’s when the idea of the fake lake was created as part of that marketing plan.

Posted by skooter at 3:41 PM This entry is filed under Marketing.
Tags: Muskoka, Public Art, Public Relations, Toronto

June 7, 2010

Peter Bregman on How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking

Peter Bregman writes on the Harvard Business School blog about how and why you shouldn’t be trying to multitask.

It’s worth noting that there is a difference between multitasking and effective time and task management. Bregman’s article reads in such a way as to assume that the reader is aware of this distinction, an assumption that I don’t think its fair to make.

Bregman’s example of multitasking is a classic: trying to do something while having a phone conversation. The end result is that he makes a mistake in the task he’s trying to do and misses critical details of the phone conversation.

Nobody’s life consists of doing only one thing. The things that we need to get done—whether their personal, or for work—rarely come at us one at a time, and often overlap. This is where effective time and task management comes into play. It gives you the ability to get more than one thing done over a reasonable length of time.

Effective time and task management is a valuable skill, and sometimes means saying No or Please ask me later. Multitasking almost never works, as Bregman suggests:

You might think you’re different, that you’ve done it so much you’ve become good at it. Practice makes perfect and all that.

But you’d be wrong. Research shows that heavy multitaskers are less competent at doing several things at once than light multitaskers. In other words, in contrast to almost everything else in your life, the more you multitask, the worse you are at it. Practice, in this case, works against you

Continue reading "Peter Bregman on How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking"

Posted by skooter at 3:05 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Harvard Business Review, Multitasking, Peter Bregman

Snoop Dog Shot First: Adidas’ Star Wars Ad

These sorts of mash ups can often go badly, but Adidas has done quite a good job with this one. It actually kind of makes me wonder why George Lucas didn’t cast Snoop Dog as Luke in the prequels.

Posted by skooter at 2:40 PM This entry is filed under Marketing.
Tags: Daft Punk, David Beckham, Snoop Dog, Star Wars, Videos

Parking Rates in Vancouver

Parking Meter in Vancouver It’s no secret that I don’t drive much, and lobby fairly seriously for people to cycle or take transit as much as they can. I’ve long argued that parking in downtown Vancouver was far too cheap and far too plentiful. Until about a year go there was such ample free parking outside the downtown Aquatic Centre (and near the ocean’s shore) that I never had to pay on the rare and inevitably rainy nights that I drove to swim. These spots were eliminated when parking meters were installed.

The rest of downtown still had meters whose cost paled in comparison to Toronto, but apparently things have changed a bit. I was downtown to pick up a friend from Germany and found a spot instead of continuing to loop around the block. You’d think $1 for 10 minutes would be sufficient to discourage people from parking, but the spots were full.

Now that I think about it, I wonder what a ticket costs? It might actually be cheaper to just leave your car here and get a ticket that it would be to pay for parking.

Now if only we started charging downtown residents more for their parking permits, which at $65 per year are ridiculously low in an area where private parking costs quite a bit more. People complain that the buildings don’t have parking spots but that’s sort of the point: if you live in a building that doesn’t provide parking, it’s not up to the rest of the city to subsidize you.

Of course the bigger problem is people who have private parking spots but continue to park on the road because its more convenient.

At least we’re taking steps in the right direction.

Posted by skooter at 3:17 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Vancouver.
Tags: Cars, cycling, Environmentalism, Parking

Things That Scare Me: Deep Fried Fat

Deep Fried Fat There isn’t very much in the world that really scares me. I’m not that fond of reptiles, I never tried cliff diving and there’s a few places in the world that I wouldn’t vacation at certain times.

I think that I’d put Deep Fried Fat at the top of the list though. This basically means fat fried in fat. I think my arteries shrivelled up a bit while I took the photo.

Posted by skooter at 3:06 AM This entry is filed under Food.
Tags: Food, Health

June 6, 2010

Whytecliffe Park

A friend from Germany was in town, so I took him on a mini-tour of my favourite North Shore parks. After dinner we visited Whytecliffe Park. Luck was on our side and it was low tide, so we trekked out to the island.

Posted by skooter at 3:50 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Nature.
Tags: Bowen Island, North Vancouver, Whytecliffe Park

June 5, 2010

A Halifax Principal Falls Prey to the Surveillance Society

We live in an era of unprecedented surveillance, and it continues to grow. While governments and private businesses alike assure us that the Big Brother of Orwell’s 1984 isn’t going to happen, the reality is that out lives are increasingly monitored and recorded. A school principal in Halifax, Nova Scotia is learning quite a bit about this these days, after a video of his interaction with a student was leaked to YouTube.

The Globe and Mail has an article on the topic. I’ve added emphasis to reflect some thoughts, which I’ll elaborate on:

Halifax principal wrestles student to ground, escapes dismissal
Oliver Moore, Published on Saturday, Jun. 05, 2010 9:26AM EDT

Video of a Halifax-area principal wrestling one of his students to the ground and manhandling him through the halls has sparked a furious debate here on school discipline and raised the _always-fraught issue of race relations.

The leaked surveillance tape shows Ken Fells, a black man with a military background, grappling with 14-year-old Josh Boutilier. The 74-second video on YouTube shows the white student trying to push past the principal before he is hurled to the floor and frog-marched to the office in a full-nelson.

“Everything just went blank and I didn’t know what do,” Josh said on Friday. “I wasn’t hurt at the time because I was in really bad shock, but after a couple of hours I started to hurt real bad.”

But Mr. Fells’s vocal supporters say surveillance videos rarely show the whole picture and school staff need the discretion to deal with students who pose a danger. The Black Educators Association rallied to his defence.

Some interesting things to consider here:

The Video Should Never Have Been Made Public

The video was leaked—stolen, in effect, by the husband of school board superintendent Carole Olsen. This video should never have been made public, and that is a pretty clear violation of both Principal Fells’ and the student’s rights. Fells is clearly the party suffering greater harm here, and its shocking that more hasn’t been made of the theft of the material.

This isn’t a small matter either: Carole Olsen has failed in her duty to protect private and privileged information by allowing her husband access to her computer whether unwittingly or otherwise. While this may seem benign, consider the possibility that the laptop may contain private information including addresses and phone numbers. The school board has a duty to protect that information, and in this case their agent has failed completely.

Why is Fells’ Race Relevant?

In the 21st century, I can’t understand how the fact that the principal is black is even relevant to the issue. Haven’t we moved past this? Is there actually an implication that Principal Fells would have treated a black student any differently? Are people actually raising the issue of the principal being black when they’re commenting on this?

What Happened Before the Camera Caught This?

As Fells’ supporters have pointed out, the surveillance camera shows only part of the picture. While it’s clear that something happened to lead up to this, there’s been little said (and less reported) about the prelude to the incident. With national media broadcasting the tape and 200,000 views on YouTube there’s effectively been a public trial here with no due process and no attempt to be balanced or fair.

Semi-anonymous comments on YouTube, the Globe and elsewhere will run rampant, with little relevance to the reality of the situation.

Teaching is a difficult job and teaching high school students is especially difficult. Teenagers talk back and ignore teachers, and are as capable of causing bodily harm as any full grown adult. I certainly wouldn’t argue that high school teachers don’t occasionally cross the line, but they also deserve respect and don’t often get it.

The Surveillance Society

Is this an example of the good or the bad of the surveillance society?

As in most cases, it’s a bit of both. Closed circuit cameras in schools—an environment where legal minors interact extensively with people who are not their legal guardians—are arguably reasonable. The major issue here is the leak of the public video, which has effectively created a public lynch mob and bypassed any reasonable attempt at respecting due process.

Privacy rights are a slippery slope, and the danger of the surveillance society is that they can increase the speed of descent quite quickly. Ken Fells’ life and career has probably been altered permanently by this violation of his privacy. While it might seem benign, put yourself in his shoes in a moment of tension…a moment of anger…a moment where your behaviour, anonymized and out of context might be perceived as hostile or damaging.

The danger of the surveillance society is that your moment is recorded and made public.


Posted by skooter at 7:53 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Human Rights, Surveillance

The Sadies at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret

The Sadies at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret Toronto altCountry legends The Sadies played Vancouver’s Legendary Biltmore Cabaret last night. The place rocked, my ears are still ringing and for the first time in over two years of regular attendance, the band played two encores (including an awesome cover of Van Morisson’s Gloria.)

The most pure fun I’ve had at a live show since Young Galaxy at Toronto’s Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.

Posted by skooter at 4:54 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Biltmore Cabaret, Music, Sadies

June 3, 2010

Forget Laser Printers: Lego Printers

I’d trade mine for this in a heartbeat.

Posted by skooter at 5:44 AM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Lego, Technology, Videos

June 2, 2010

Douglas Coupland’s Pixelated Orca Statue

Douglas Coupland's Pixelated Orca Sculpture Douglas Coupland's Pixelated Orca Sculpture Douglas Coupland's Pixelated Orca Sculpture

Located on the western side of the new Vancouver Convention Centre, the Douglas Coupland created Digital Orca sculpture takes Coupland’s fascination with Lego to its natural extreme.

Posted by skooter at 1:54 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Canada, Vancouver.
Tags: Douglas Coupland, Orca, Sculpture, Vancouver

June 1, 2010

Louise Bourgeois: 1911 - 2010

Maman by Louise Bourgeois at the National Gallery of Canada

Posted by skooter at 2:26 PM This entry is filed under Camera.
Tags: Lomo, Obituaries