Monthly Archives: November 2007

Get your Christmas presents here at Art Interiors

This Toronto Based Gallery Specializing in Art from Up and Coming Artists has a great annual festival of small works of art on sale for $50 to $250. And the people who run it are great people too.

Quote of the day: everthing will be okay….


I hear the Mermaids / IBM 1401 singing.

What is this?

YouTube – IBM 1401, a User’s Manual Part I – IBM 1401 Processing Unit

(Reply) The IBM 1401 was an mainframe computer back in the 60’s. It was this huge beast of a machine that had a small flaw in which it leaked electromagnetic radiation in a frequency that AM radios could pick up. It didn’t take long for the geeks of the day to figure out how to make music out of it! That wierd instrument you hear at the start that sounds kinda like a claironet but isn’t… that the 1401!

Small side note: I have a mint condition hard cover manual on how to program the IBM 1401.

OLPC ‘Give One Get One’ Program Extended until the end of 2007!

TheCompiler blog from has the story. Key information:

The One Laptop Per Child project’s “Give One Get One” offer has been extended through the end of the year, which means there’s still time to pick up an XO laptop for yourself and someone in a developing country.The promotional offer kicked off two weeks ago and was originally scheduled to end yesterday, November 26, but due to the demand it has been extended through the end of the year.

Zoho Gets better and Better

Over at the blog Compiler from is a good review of the latest AND greatest features in Zoho Writer. Key quote:

While it isn’t feature complete just yet, Zoho Writer is getting very close to the ideal in online editing with word processing software that works equally well in offline and online modes. With big names like Google Docs, Microsoft Live and even Adobe all vying for your online office loyalty, there’s no doubt that if offline functionality matters to you, Zoho has the lead.

Boots and other luxuries (or how New York Manhole covers are made in India)

The has a fascinating article: New York Manhole Covers, Forged Barefoot in India

Some sample quotes:

Manhole covers manufactured in India can be anywhere from 20 to 60 percent cheaper than those made in the United States

And why is that. Could it be due partially to this:

“We can’t maintain the luxury of Europe and the United States, with all the boots and all that,” said Sunil Modi, director of Shakti Industries.

It reminds me of photographs of Europe in the 19th century.

Blade Runner: Final Cut now playing in Toronto at the Regent Theatre.

Blade Runner: Final Cut is playing at the Regent Theatre in Toronto.

Blade Runner was released 25 years ago and while Ridley Scott made strong improvements to the film when he released The Director’s Cut of the film, the Final Cut is even better. Scott has the time and the luxury of telling the story without feeling the need to tighten it up and quicken the pace. That’s just one reason why you should see it again.

Not only that, but as they say at, you should go to the Regent and take advantage of

the opportunity to see one of the great visual masterpieces of the cinema on an actual cinema screen, digitally projected no less, is too tantalizing to ignore. Scott’s restoration project has included digital fixes and cleanups

Plus, it is just fun to go the Regent Theatre! It’s a great old theatre on Mt. Pleasant just south of Eglinton. Go before the end of November!

The great Aroma espresso bar in the Annex, Toronto

Here’s a few reasons why you want to go to the Aroma Espresso bar located in the Annex of downtown Toronto (on Bloor around Bathurst):

– it’s in a great location. The Annex is great, and if you are going to a film at the Bloor, Aroma is a great spot to drop in before or after
– it has great ambience (see the link below for more photos)
– it has friendly service
– it has great coffee, plus they give you a chocolate with your coffee! (See photo above)
– when you order one of their delicious muffins that have a very light crust on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they warm it for you.

Those are just a few things I discovered on my visit. Try it yourself…

blogTO | Aroma Espresso Bar

Stephen Fry has a blog

Stephen Fry has a blog. Anything else I write will slow you down in getting to his blog. Go read that: you’ll be better off for it. Click here!

Like Twitter? Try Snitter!

What is it? Well

Snitter is “Snook’s Twitter”: an Adobe AIR-powered application for twittering

It is really COOL….lots of nice features. You can find it here: Snitter: Snook’s Twitter –

chumby and other low cost computing devices

chumby is just one of latest low cost computing platforms coming on the market, like OLPC. Plus, they are darn cute! Check it out.

Random fun with Microsoft Word and Russian Literature

I was sending someone an email tonight, and I was discussing one of my favourite books, The Brothers Karamazov. I noticed that Microsoft Word underlined “Karamozov”. Oh oh, I thought, better fix that.

Now if you type in “Karamozov” instead of “Karamazov” in ScribeFire, and then right click on it, it will tell you to replace it with “Karamazov”. But if you do this in Microsoft Word, you get “Kalamazoo”.

Now the first thought I had was: what, Word has been around since at least the early Dostoevsky novels, and it certainly ain’t small, so you think it would be smart enough to at least know leaders of major world literature? My Cyrillic is non-existent, but I am willing to bet money that the Cyrillic spelling of Karamazov NEVER translates into Kalamazoo.

My second thought was: maybe it’s me. So I right clicked on “Karamozov” and “Karamazov” and changed the language to “Russian” and the spell check error went away! Hmmm, I thought, Word IS smart! You just have to tell it the word is Russian! And it is smart enough to know that there are two ways to spell Karamazov!

But then I thought: I wonder if that is true. So I quickly typed in the another “Russian” word:

“Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww” and did the same test, and lo and behold, “Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww” is also the name of someone is Russia! (Perhaps this was a minor character the Dostoevsky later dropped to get the book under a 1000 pages.)

So, if you are a developer, and you are providing multilanguage support for your product, and you are asked to specify what standard you will be supporting, I recommend you say: the same one used by Microsoft Word! 🙂


Do not go to this site hungry

When I first saw the name of this blog, Chocolate Porn du Jour — Chocolate Chipped I thought, yeah, yeah, another person using the “p” word to get attention. Then I looked at the site. Wow. It is one decadent site! Not sure if I cheapen the site by using the “p” word…this is beauty in the form of chocolate! See:

and lots more!

A fantastic website dedicated to Gustav Klimt

A great flash presentation on The Life and Work of Gustav Klimt can be found at this site. Lots of his work here, from the famous like “Judith with the Head of Holofernes” to early portraits. A visually stunning site, which is most appropriate for this great painter.

Edward Burtynsky’s Quarries on exhibit in Toronto

At the NICHOLAS METIVIER GALLERY is Edward Burtyhsky’s Quarries. As he says:

“The concept of the landscape as architecture has become, for me, an act of imagination. I remember looking at buildings made of stone, and thinking, there has to be an interesting landscape somewhere out there because these stones had to have been taken out of the quarry one block at a time. I had never seen a dimensional quarry, but I envisioned an inverted cubed architecture on the side of a hill. I went in search of it, and when I had it on my ground glass I knew that I had arrived.”

It is on for a few more days: check it out if you can.

What scanning techniques are revealing about vegetative patients in the New Yorker

There is a fascinating article Silent Minds: The New Yorker on how brain scans on vegetative patients are showing more activities than was expected. Here’s the lede into the article, but I recommend you read the whole thing:

Ten years ago, Adrian Owen, a young British neuroscientist, was working at a brain-imaging center at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, at the University of Cambridge. He had recently returned from the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he used advanced scanning technology to map areas of the brain, including those involved in recognizing human faces, and he was eager to continue his research. The imaging center was next to the hospital’s neurological intensive-care unit, and Owen heard about a patient there named Kate Bainbridge, a twenty-six-year-old schoolteacher who had become comatose after a flulike illness, and was eventually diagnosed as being in what neurologists call a vegetative state. Owen decided to scan Bainbridge’s brain. “We were looking for interesting patients to study,” he told me. “She was the first vegetative patient I came across.”For four months, Bainbridge had not spoken or responded to her family or her doctors, although her eyes were often open and roving. (A person in a coma appears to be asleep and is unaware of even painful stimulation; a person in a vegetative state has periods of wakefulness but shows no awareness of her environment and does not make purposeful movements.) Owen placed Bainbridge in a PET scanner, a machine that records changes in metabolism and blood flow in the brain, and, on a screen in front of her, projected photographs of faces belonging to members of her family, as well as digitally distorted images, in which the faces were unrecognizable. Whenever pictures of Bainbridge’s family flashed on the screen, an area of her brain called the fusiform gyrus, which neuroscientists had identified as playing a central role in face recognition, lit up on the scan. “We were stunned,” Owen told me. “The fusiform-gyrus activation in her brain was not simply similar to normal; it was exactly the same as normal volunteers’.”

There is a blog for EVERYthing, including this.


men who look like old lesbians

it’s uncanny. 🙂

Paul Smith does stripes well in his Menswear Spring/Summer 2008 collection

Among other things, Paul Smith shows how to pull off the difficult task of mixing horizontal and vertical stripes by in his upcoming spring/summer collection shown in this video. (Look for the Harry Potteresque model):