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friday favourites 04.02.11

welcome to the second edition of friday favourites! ok, i have to admit that there was a lot about this week that i really didn't like. first, it was freezing cold. then there was snow. then, of course, there was the cabin fever that accompanies being trapped in your house by cold and snow. but perhaps i shouldn't complain. my current situation allows me to stay at home, rather than hauling myself out of doors in order to get to an office. and besides, when i think about it, it isn't that difficult to think of things that made the week better.

knowing i'm not the only one :: we've all had things go terribly wrong sending texts. sometimes, that is because we're not looking carefully at what we're sending. other times, it's because our smart phones think they're smarter than we are and they take it upon themselves to correct what we're doing. i once tried to send a text message to my sweetie saying "you are my whole world". unfortunately, i made a typo and sent "you ate my whole world" instead. fortunately, there are a growing number of web sites where we can all share our text message misfortunes. eventually, i think we'll all give up and go back to telex. just you wait and see.

the high arts
being back on camera :: those of you who've been reading my blogs about filming conversion will know that the process of making an entirely independent film was, shall we say, challenging. this week, i got my first chance in a year and a half to be in front of a camera again and was happily reminded that filming can be fun. the end product is still under wraps, but i'm sure it'll end up on you tube eventually. the important thing was, we had a good time. who knew that could happen?

you know it'll make you happy

the great enabler :: most men would rather pierce their scrotum with a rusty nail than accompany a lady while she's window shopping for lady things- clothes, shoes makeup, etc. but somehow, i lucked out. in fact, not only does my significant other like to come along, but he's actually got a phenomenal eye for what suits me. of course, he got the nickname "the great enabler" because he's also very good at helping me justify purchases to myself... sure i don't need another pair of shoes, or another dark lipstick, but isn't the point of life to feel good?




backlash against the crtc :: i can't remember the last time i had any positive thoughts about any decision made or policy set by canada's communications overlord. their work generally falls into two categories: either i could care less and think they're wasting tax money that's needed elsewhere, or i find them contemptibly stupid and myopic. their decision to cave into the wishes of telecommunications giants (notably bell) and greenlight across-the-board caps on internet usage most certainly falls into the latter.

i'm not sure who up there thought this would be a good idea, but one thing seems certain: whoever did made no effort to do any kind of independent research and chose instead to accept the telcos word as gospel. basically, their case is that the only people who need unlimited internet access are porn freaks, online gamers and people doing illegal downloads. who the heck would want to defend that demographic?

of course, the truth is that many, many, many people use the internet for other purposes and limiting that access would make canada a member of the technological third world. people are organising revolutions with these tools and the crtc thinks that the internet has no purpose beyond entertainment. their decision clearly shows that there is a desperate need to replace the existing bureaucrats with people who actually know what's going on with technology, rather than reading about it in the newspaper.

the good news is that a lot of people are getting angry and they're speaking up. your tax dollars hard at work, figuring out ways for large corporations to get more money from you. i'm happy to see that, for once, the people have a potential ally in the federal government. i may not agree with many of stephen harper's policies, but in this case, his government seems to get what the crtc does not: everything has changed.

so what's been making your week? what made you smile?

what i'll be watching this week :: well, as i suspected, i did spend much of the week watching what's been happening in egypt. i think we've all been immersed in the coverage and in doing a crash course in recent egyptian history (because, let's face it, most people's knowledge of the country stops with king tut). i think this will still be the situation to watch this week, but personally, i'll be focusing on the u.s. this is truly the first major incident where we'll see how much things have really changed vis-a-vis their willingness to let other countries handle their own affairs.

plus, of course, i'll be following the shenanigans of the crtc. i'm hopeful that, since this seems to be the one policy issue that all parties in parliament have agreed on since jean chretien left office, their decision will be overturned. if and when that happens, it will open a right can of worms, because the government really isn't supposed to go screwing around with decisions made by an arms length organisation. the fact is that this decision is so unbelievably stupid that the government is pretty much obliged to step in. and once that's done, they can't really step back out without questioning whether the time has come to scrap the crtc as a whole and start over. this will be a long, slow-burning story, but potentially huge.

and for those of you in the montreal area, don't forget i'll be dj'ing tomorrow at kill me now, an old school goth-alternative-industrial-new wave night at cabaret playhouse.

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making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

the portuguese referendum

what the what? "there's no referendum in portugal" i hear you say. and you're correct. the portuguese socialist party won elections in 158 of the country's 308 municipalities, the country was named the best travel destination in europe at the world travel awards and the antichrist josé mourinho had a street named after him in his home town, but there was no national referendum in the country of portugal.

but there could have been.

back in the fifteenth century, spain was... nonexistent. the iberian peninsula was divided into several states, each of which considered themselves independent of all the others. you had portugal on the atlantic side. in the centre was the kingdom of castile [which had previously been castile and léon]. in the northeast you had the basque kingdom of navarre [home to one of the many branches of my family tree]. in the south-southwest, you had the muslim caliphate that had once held sway over much of the modern-day spanish territory, but…