Monthly Archives: May 2009

On revisiting silent movies

I love good silent movies. Some of my favourite films are from Fritz Lang and Charlie Chaplin. They never get old for me.

Sadly, they aren’t seen that much anymore. They need a way of getting people to rediscover them. One way of doing that is with music mashups. I’ve seen someone do a great version of “Fade Into You” over Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. (You can find it on this blog, or YouTube). Here’s another mashup using The Killers and Mr. Brightside and combining it with the luminous Louise Brooks from Pandora’s Box.

It would be great if people who like The Killers, see this, and go out and rent or download Louise Brooks and others. It could be the start of a beautiful thing.

The architecture of emergency rooms

Emergency rooms need better architecture. I started to think about this when I had to go to an emergency room a few years back. Reading this blog post, concerning “How do we decongest our overcrowded and dangerous emergency departments” (The Daily Dish by Andrew Sullivan) had me thinking of it further.

Essentially you have one room where everyone comes in and gets processed at a rate slower than they come in. You have people who aren’t really an emergency but who may have no where else to go (e.g. someone needing medical care at midnight). You may have people who really do need care but are wrongly ignored until it is too late. And I am sure there are lots of other problems as well.

I think doctors, nurses, patients and architects could work together to come up with a much better approach to dealing with this overwhelming situation.  If you were to visit an ER, what would you likely see:a seating area,
nurse’s station, and then a secondary area for waiting/treatment.
Maybe there is a coffee shop. Perhaps there is a TV. Right now the situation is constrainted by the architecture of the ER room. and the ER process. I think both should change.

One way to change this is to look at what other organizations do to relieve this bottleneck. Retailers are a good example of this. They have essentially broken down their bottleneck: the checkout space. For example, car rental agencies have people who come to your car and check you other there. They are essentially extending the checkout space over a much larger area. Other retailers are providing people kiosks or scanners that people can use themselves which again speed up the process and eliminate bottlenecks.

And such services are being provided in the area of medicine. Where I live, the province provides Telehealth Ontario, which is free access via telephone to a registered nurse, 24/7. I have used this in the past when I have had a sick child and it has been a great benefit to me, my daughter, and the local ER which wasn’t clogged with my presence.

There needs to be more of this, however. Redesign the ER to allow for check in kiosks could speed up the process. Ceiling mount monitors to provide people with updates on how quickly things are going. Give out pagers to allow people to leave the ER , but then provide them with areas within the hospital or around the hospital that they could go to in order to have a coffee, a rest, a bite to eat, a diversion of some sort.

These aren’t the best of ideas: I think someone who works in ER and is really familiar with the problems there could also come up with better ideas. But better ideas are needed now.

(Great photo from Mark Coggins’ photostream at

Now that’s how to wear a bowtie! :)

OPENING CEREMONY has lots of great fashion online for sale. But you need to see what they have, so they need models. I think they’ve made an excellent choice in their models for the bowties they carry from Alexander Olch.

You and I should look so good. 🙂 It’s a pretty smart association: Churchillian, you could say, since he was associated with both bulldogs and bowties.

I suspected bowties were going to be hot before I saw this: I am pretty sure of it now.

(Tip to the great blog, Cup of Jo)

What do people want to know? On Saturday night, mostly song lyrics

I learned this via The Edge of the American West. Try this trick:

  1. Go to Google.
  2. Type in the beginning of a common phrase (e.g., “how do I..”, “where are…”, “is barack…”)
  3. Look at the drop-down list of suggested searches.

I tried “god is” and here are some of the answers:

  1. not great
  2. dead
  3. an astronaut
  4. love
  5. not a fish inspector
  6. a girl
  7. good

Most of these I get, some (3) are a bit odd, but number 5?! What’s up with that?

Ok ok…you have to go try it now. 🙂

(Tip from Andrew Sullivan).f

What to wear – men’s shoes

Over at The Moment Blog – is a number of articles on men’s shoes that should be helpful to any man looking to pick up something new. This article, Fancy Footwork | Designer’s Men’s Shoe Collaborations, features these numbers from Florsheim that not only have some great models in black, brown and tan, but they slip in a blue number, too.

They also have a good write up on low cost Zig Zag shoes (like these below) that are perfect for summer.

Save or Splurge – or do both – when you travel has some great approaches to travel writing. I’ve mentioned the “36 hours” in a city article before: those are great for the quick visit to a place. They also have save-or-splurge guides that give you the high and the not-so-high cost ways of seeing a number of the great European cities. You can find it here: Travel – Guides and Deals for Hotels, Restaurants and Vacations – The New York Times

I’ve already found a place I want to stay in Paris in the “save” section: it’s Mama Shelter Philppe Starck had a hand in it, it’s in Paris, and the price is right, so I have to go!

The blog everyone is talking about: Ecocomics

What’s great about blogging is that someone, like the writer of the blog Ecocomics, can take what appears to be two very different interests (economics and comic books) and put them together to come up with something very different and interesting. For example, where else would you find someone posing the question: Where Does the Canadian Government Get the Money from to Keep Making Super-Soldiers?, other than at Ecocomics?

If ecocomics had come out sooner, we’d have alot more people interested in economics! Go see.