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Japan's Disposable Workers
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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
All the lonely houses stand like monuments / To thieves
— Neko Case, Tightly
August 28, 2011

Emmylou Harris & Daniel Lanois

Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic Best day of live music. Ever.

Many more photos to come, but first to sleep.

Posted by skooter at 8:35 PM This entry is filed under .

Emmylou Harris & Daniel Lanois

Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic Best day of live music. Ever. Seriously.

Many more photos to come, but first to sleep.

Posted by skooter at 8:35 PM This entry is filed under Music, Camera.
Tags: Concerts, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, Hamilton, Music

August 24, 2011

Yo Steve. Thanks for Everything. Be well.

Well, I didn’t see this coming. Funnily enough it was a topic of conversation at a barbecue at a friend’s house on Monday night.

Steve Jobs’ announcement that he’s stepping as CEO of Apple had the world abuzz today. Not just the tech-world either, but the whole world. I could literally hear the rumour spreading across the floor at the software company I work at. It was amazing.

The Internet will be—who’s kidding who, already is—overwhelmed with content which means this little note will disappear under a swarm of bits that Google deems more important.

With that in mind all I’ll say is thanks for everything Steve. We are where we are today in the state of technology in large part thanks to you. Much of what I’ve done as a career was in some way inspired by or influenced by you. It’s been remarkable (though I’m still a little upset you killed the Newton so quickly, as I rather liked mine.)

On a personal note Steve: whatever the reason this happened today, and whatever you’re doing right now I hope you’re happy and healthy. You deserve nothing less.

I’ve posted this before, but let’s go with it again. It’s a fairly inspirational few minutes from a fairly remarkable guy.

And one my other favourite moments:

Posted by skooter at 7:25 PM | TrackBacks (1) This entry is filed under Design, Technology.
Tags: Apple, PBS, Steve Jobs, Triumph of the Nerds

August 23, 2011

Jeff Tweedy - Dawned on Me


There’s been much going on in life lately, and it’s been easy to lose track of things. One thing that’s sort of slipped through the cracks lately is the fact that there’s a new Wilco album due on Sept. 27th. The video above features a solo performance by Jeff Tweedy of the song Down with Me. Far be it from me to judge, but I’m kind of amazed he didn’t punch the photographer while it was being shot but maybe I’m being too judgemental. There’s an interview to go with the video.

The video below is a trailer for the album that looks like it was shot at the Wilco loft in Chicago. It. Is. Awesome.

Excited? A little bit.

Posted by skooter at 6:00 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Music, The Whole Love, Videos, Wilco

Interface Design: Linked In

Linked In's email change interface Interface design is a little bit art, a little bit science, and a little bit personal opinion. The last part is one reason it’s not hard to find bad examples around the internet.

I recently had to add a new email address to my Linked In profile. It’s been a while since I had to do this, so I poked around trying to figure out how to get it done. Naturally I wound up on the site’s Profile page, but there was no sign of an option to add a new email address.

Eventually I noticed the link above, sitting beside my Primary email address. Linked In lets you add as many email addresses as you have to your profile in order to make it easier for people to find you. One of these addresses gets set as your primary address, and when I saw the Change link it seemed fairly clear that this was going to let me change my primary address.

Not so, as it turns out. This is just one of the things the link lets you do. It’s also the only way to add a new email address to your profile, or remove one that you’re no longer using.

A poor choice of language here on the part of an interface designer makes it hard to get a fairly basic job done, and shows the signs of an interface designed by someone who doesn’t use the system.

Posted by skooter at 7:00 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

August 22, 2011

Jack Layton: 1950 - 2011

Jack Layton passed away this morning. I used to write about politics quite a bit more here, for the most part because I was involved in politics quite a bit more. I fled that particular rat race and it’s in no small part because there’s not enough people like Jack Layton in politics today.

Whether you agreed with him or not, and whether you were a member of the NDP or not, it was hard not to respect Jack. He was a man who stood by his convictions, who tried to fight for political ideals that he valued instead of just blatantly grabbing votes. In an election typified by the Harper campaign of attack ads and Michael Ignatieff’s desperate “vote for us because we’re not them” plea, Jack was the only person who seemed to be moving the discussion forward.

Much has been made on the news today of the fact that people tended to call the man “Jack.” In stark contrast to the other party leaders—no one’s ever called Ignatieff “Michael” or “Mike” and only George W. Bush ever called Harper “Steve”—Jack Layton was a comfortable presence. He was a man that people felt like they could sit down and have a conversation with.

More importantly, he was a man people could sit down and have a conversation with. He lacked the arrogance of his fellow party leaders, and it’s why he did so well.

He was rewarded, famously, in Quebec. Jack won more seats than any NDP leader ever had. That those seats were won by candidates who were unknown (and unqualified, though few could define the qualifications required to be an MP) speaks even more strongly to the strength of the man. When Quebec chose to abandon the Bloc Quebecois they chose Jack Layton’s NDP largely because it was Jack Layton’s NDP.

This leaves the NDP with an uncertain future, and only the Conservative Party of Canada with an established permanent leader. It’s going to be an interesting few years.

One thing’s certain though: it’s going to be a lot less interesting without Jack in the election. He was the only person who steered the last campaign to a meaningful conversation, and he won’t be there for the next one.

So long Jack. Thanks for being the only leader in recent memory who seemed to care more about the country than getting elected.

Posted by skooter at 6:14 PM This entry is filed under Politics.
Tags: Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff, NDP, Stephen Harper

Daniel Lanois: The Maker


Only five more sleeps and one more plane flight until Daniel Lanois’ Harvest Picnic event just outside of Hamilton, Ontario featuring a list of talented music too long to do justice too but headlined by Emmylou Harris. This one’s going to be the stuff that memories are made from.

Posted by skooter at 9:07 AM This entry is filed under Music, Vancouver.
Tags: CBC, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, Harvest Picnic, The Maker, Videos

August 17, 2011

Five Minutes from Home

Sometimes I feel like I’d rather live closer: ‘in town’ as I’d say from my perspective over here. Then sometimes I head out for a walk after work, and I remember why I like living here.
West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall West Vancouver Seawall

Posted by skooter at 8:55 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Vancouver.
Tags: Lynn Canyon, Public Art, West Vancouver

The Wagons - Willie Nelson live in Melbourne, Australia


Quite unsurprisingly, Six Shooter Records recently signed Melbourne, Australia’s The Wagons to a distribution deal in Canada. I could’ve predicted this was going to happen. Those guys sign everybody I like eventually. The video up above should give you some indication of why.

I met Henry Wagons, the band’s lead singer, about a year ago when he played the Vancouver’s Legendary Biltmore Cabaret as the opening act for Justin Townes Earle. It was such a fantastic night of music that I headed down to the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham the next night to catch a repeat. Photos are on Flickr from those gigs.

The Wagons are playing the Railway Club the day after I get back from Toronto: this is going to be a great show.
Henry Wagons at the Legendary Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver

Continue reading "The Wagons - Willie Nelson live in Melbourne, Australia"

Posted by skooter at 6:43 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.

August 10, 2011

You Need Type to Live Your Life


This is a very good seven minute piece. If this piques your interest and you haven’t seen Helvetica you’re missing out.

Posted by skooter at 7:10 AM This entry is filed under Design.
Tags: Information Architecture, Information Design, Typography, Videos