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friday favourites :: 26.08.11

well, we lost jack layton this week and there's a hurricane bearing down on the east coast that looks set to inflict some serious damage, so this truly isn't the best week to think of favourites. on the other hand, as i sit here at my desk, observing a sky so grey and dreary, i realise that it's probably one of those times when thinking of the things that help boost your spirits is that much more important. so think of something that made you smile this week and join me for a quick look at the things that kept my chin up...

wiki works :: further to my comments on christie blatchford, the national post and why the media was so quick to condemn jack layton [original, post-election observations here], it does please me to know that the sports writer-turned-political-commentator won't find it so easy to put that debacle behind her. some thoughtful person saw fit to edit her wikipedia entry to include mention of the controversy over her remarks. the system works. [others have not been so kind.]


going underground :: i am a big supporter of public transit. although i can and often have driven, i strongly prefer to get around without one. unfortunately, this apparently puts me in a significant minority in canada, despite the fact that our population is hugely skewed towards urban centres. i do consider myself lucky to live in a city that puts more effort into getting its population from a to b than most. while it's far from perfect, montreal's system is vastly superior to those in the two other cities i've called home [halifax and toronto]. and the jewel in its proverbial crown is its metro [subway to the rest of you] system.

and i'm glad to see that i'm not alone in my admiration. matt mclaughlin has created "montreal by metro"/ "metro de montreal", a web site dedicated to the system, including its complete history, user information, statistics [i actually used his information to select which metro station we should shoot scenes from "conversion" in and it served me well] and about the metro's art and architecture. unlike almost every other system in the western world, where metro stations are built on two or three set plans, each one of montreal's stations is unique and features work from world-renown artists. [if you'd like to have a look, you can see a little photography project i did, taking pictures of every station on the system here, here and here.]

hint :: less crayons, more therapy
you laughed, admit it :: ok, i realise that this is going to result in me losing every single friend i have who is also a parent, but in my defense, i'd like to say that 1. i know my art was at least as bad as this [and still is]; 2. i'm probably just working out some of the issues i had with kids when i was one and most of them picked on me mercilessly [as opposed to now, when the internet allows me to hide behind a carefully crafted persona that's comfortable making cracks about her awkward past]; and 3. i am certain that all of you have been presented with a piece of your child's art and wondered what the hell was going through their little heads. so lighten up already. [of course, if you did like it, you should also check out the original for this sort of site "i am better than your kids".]

that about does it for this week's high points. feel free to share some of your own in the interests of raising the overall level of happy in the universe. i do hope that the threats of imminent tornado death are overstated, since the world really doesn't need more bad news this week.

i'll leave you with a quick shot of the one kind of computer pop-up i've learned to love. i swear, he does this all the time.


Biba said…
I wouldn't mind this kind of pop-ups either :)

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


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.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…