Cat Power, bunny suits and War Pigs.

Jane Jacobs, dead at 89. The world is a less reasonable and intelligent place without her.


In the kind of news that — presumably — Ms. Jacobs would have been happy to see, Toronto has opened its first New Mobility Hub near Exhibition Place. Bike lockers and a wireless hotspot at the center of a GO Train station, two streetcar lines, a bus route and a pedestrian walkway. Putting a few of these around the city, mixed with a few carpooling services, could really make a difference for commuters. I don’t think it’ll get people out of their cars en masse, but it’s a start, and a good one. Find out more at
[via Spacing]


Two links from Wired‘s Listening Post blog: a video clip of the Flaming Lips and Chan Marshall singing Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” on Austin City Limits, and a short article about the weird new Pepsi ads with Jimmy Fallon and Parker Posey (I haven’t seen any with Eva Longoria) dancing nuttily around city streets.


The Canadiens survived a crazy ride last night and beat the Hurricanes 6-5 to take a 2-0 series lead, heading back to Montreal. While I’m happy their up two games, and I like their chances, I won’t get too confident. It wasn’t that long ago — 1997, I think? — that the Canadiens were up two games on the Rangers heading home and they lost the next four.

I’ll celebrate when they’re in the second round.

Pirates & poison

Check out this Movie Blog post about a new Warner Brothers pricing scheme (which they found at Gizmodo). Frustrated with the popularity of $3 pirated DVDs in some Asian markets, they now plan to sell legal copies for $1.50. So can someone explain to me why I’m getting charged $25+ per disc? I know, I know, they charge what the market can bear, blah blah etc. That’s fine. But don’t turn around and bitch to me about how online piracy — which might…might…account for a 5% downturn in business — puts the poor stuntmen and set designers out of business and then turn around and mark your product down 94%.

Apparently if we were to download 19 movies and pay full price for the 20th, Warner Brothers could bear it. Makes it hard to feel sorry for all their whining…


This doesn’t make me happy: Toronto Star: 2,4-D said to cause cancer. Growing up on a farm I was around 2,4-D all the time, but my dad was licensed to use it commercially and watered it down. I suppose it freaks me out more than a whole army of suburbanites obsessed with the color of their lawns have been able to buy it off the shelf for years now and dump it into their front yards and patio plants with abandon.

By the way, it’s the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl meltdown.


I think that when my guy at Harry Rosen teases me for spending way less than usual, I have a bit of a clothes spending problem. And here I was proud of myself for walking out with only a pair of shoes (these ones, in fact).


I watched a pile of movies this weekend, most of which we’ve had stored on the PVR for a while and I just hadn’t gotten to (along with the fifteen or so still on there):

  • Warrendale (Allan King Films) was a CBC documentary made in the late 60s that the CBC refused to air. It was about emotionally troubled kids living together in a house with some (remarkably patient, by the look of it) caretakers, and seemed shocking in a few ways: the language the kids used (you’re used to any TV made during the 60s being scrubbed so clean that to hear a little boy screaming “fuck you!” over and over is startling), and the methods they used to control the kids (calming them during tantrums by wrapping up their arms and legs). It was also a little weird to see a teenage girl being bottle fed by the same woman whose face she was screaming in earlier that day. Interesting, certainly, but hard to watch.
  • The Rules Of Attraction (imdb | rotten tomatoes) wasn’t so serious, but it was depressing in its own way. I’ve come to learn that I don’t really like movies based on Bret Easton Ellis novels, and I’m also more certain than ever now that I despise the 80s; Ellis, if his books even remotely resemble an accurate picture of what things were like for rich college kids, has just given me more reason to despise them. I’ll say this for the movie: it managed to keep me from thinking about Dawson’s Creek every time James Van Der Beek was on the screen, which is no small feat.
  • I got back to the serious stuff with Ghosts Of Attica (imdb). I knew little about the Attica riots, since they happened four years before I was born, but if you’ve seen Dog Day Afternoon and you watch enough Oz you pick up a few things. It ended up being a similar story to a topic I’d discussed recently with friends: the Kent State massacre, which happened just 16 months before the Attica riots. The problem — social unrest and mass uprising — and the response — a violent overreaction by police — were eerily similar in both cases. Whatever horrible things the Attica prisoners did to get themselves thrown in prison (ignoring any bearing racism or poverty might have had on their incarceration), they didn’t deserve to be shot in the back, and the guards surely didn’t deserve to be shot in the same cowardly way by their would-be rescuers.


We also downloaded the first season of Deadwood this weekend; I watched the first couple of episodes, but I’m just not as into it as Nellie is. She’s always had a bit more of a western fascination than I.


Now that basketball’s over with (for me, not the Raptors…although I think even I played later into the year than they did…) I’ve gone back to running. I only did two miles tonight, just enough to get back into it. My legs felt a bit tight, probably since I haven’t run on a treadmill in a while. It should be warm (and dry, more to the point) enough soon to run outside, but that doesn’t last long; by June Toronto’s too choked with smog and humidity to run outside. For me, anyway.

One down, three to go.

Bitchin’. Montreal is just putting the finishing touches on a win in the opening game of their series against the Hurricanes. The 6-1 score shocked everyone, I think, especially since Carolina scored less than a minute into the game. But Montreal stayed calm and Cristobal Huet settled down, and Martin Gerber wasn’t able to stop much. I expect the Hurricanes to come out firing in game 2, but I’m just happy that the Canadiens were able to steal one on the road against a team that owned them during the regular season.


We just got back from watching Brick with CBGB. It’s just as good the second time.


We (Nellie and I) had dinner at Fieramosca first. Damn, that place is good. I had orecchiette with sausage, chicken, rapini and sundried tomatoes; Nellie had the gnocchi with porcini mushrooms and zucchini. We were pretty stuffed by the end, too full even for dessert. Not too full for the limoncello though…

No more wolves in song/band names, please.

It’s just the tiniest bit sacrilicious sacrilegious, but “Hard On For Jesus” by The Dandy Warhols might just be the coolest song ever. Perhaps it’s the sacriliciousness which makes it cool?

“When We Were Wolves” by My Latest Novel isn’t too shabby either. Songs are always better when sung with a serious Scottish brogue.

“And we run, and we hide, and we hid, and we ran, and we hide in lightless rooms and we bang on our pianos, la la la.”

I’m not exactly sure why — it could be the nature of how I gather music, or it could be the lack of mind-blowing albums lately, or it could just be that I have less time for it now — but I feel like I’m speeding past music these days rather than really experiencing it.

Adam & Eva

We just got back from watching The Sentinel (imdb | rotten tomatoes), to which we’d won free tickets from Now. It was…not so good. Basically there was nothing in the movie that you couldn’t see coming six miles away, and Eva Longoria was completely, absolutely, 100% useless. I think she just wandered by the set one day and they grabbed her, put her in a secret-service-y-looking suit and gave her a couple of lines. I’d skip this one unless you’re having a stupid day and want something predictable. Or unless someone gives you free tickets.


Oh god no: Kerry ‘thinking hard’ about 2008 run for president.


I finally got my economics mark back today, which means that course is officially over with. I’m well into the book for my next course — marketing — and it’s oh-so-thrilling. It’s also a bit hard to plough through, since I regard marketing as just below cheese-in-a-tube on the scale of human accomplishment. I’m trying to read this textbook at the same time as Cluetrain, which is kind of like reading Wealth Of Nations and The Communist Manifesto at the same time.