January 2007

I Dare You to Put This on Your Resume

by Joey deVilla on January 31, 2007

Photo of two people shaking hands, captioned with 'I'm so market leading, I shit solutions'.

Maybe being in the tech evangelism business has finally twisted my brain, but this really made me laugh out loud. I wonder if I can get this printed on a batch of Tucows t-shirts…

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New Kid in Town

by Joey deVilla on January 30, 2007

Gabriel's crib is ready and waiting!
Actual crib soon to be occupied by Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K.

I just heard that Deenster gave birth to a healthy 8-pound baby boy. Rumour has it that his name is Gabriel, but until I hear actual confirmation, I shall assume that his name is Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K.

Congrats to the Deenster and Kiff, and welcome to the world, Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K!

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The "Seven Deadly Sins" Combo Chart

by Joey deVilla on January 30, 2007

Why commit just one of the Seven Deadly Sins when you can go for combinations?

Small version of the 'Seven Deadly Sins' Combo Chart.
Click the image to see it at full size. Picture courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.

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Photo: "Evolution: It’s Not for Everyone"

by Joey deVilla on January 30, 2007

'Evolution: It's not for everyone' featuring George W. Bush.
Click the photo to see it at full size. Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.

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Song of the Week: "Dragonflies" by Povi (1999)

by Joey deVilla on January 29, 2007

Cover for the album 'Life in Volcanoes' by Povi.

This week’s song of the week is the criminally underplayed Dragonflies by Povi.

It wouldn’t be technically correct to refer to Povi as a “group” or “band” — the term “long-distance collaboration” might be more apt. Povi is really two people: Los Angeles-based music producer/technical wizard Carmen Rizzo taking care of all the electronic instruments and Cristina Calero handling guitar, bass and vocals from a studio in Australia.

Povi put out only one album, but it’s a charming one: Life in Volcanoes, which hit the streets in 1999. The album navigates that territory between trip-hoppy chill out a la Morcheeba and catchy female-led alt-rock in the vein of Garbage. It’s definitely a product of its time: the sounds and production of the album evoke a time when one Fatboy Slim was eating up the charts and the songs would fit nicely in a Napster “makeout playlist” between Esthero’s Heaven Sent and Radiohead’s Paranoid Android.

(Now that I am a married man, I can neither confirm nor deny that I was ever in possession of said makeout playlists and will only state that I am speaking hypothetically. I can only say that I can imagine that you single kids might enjoy making the “hot sweaty pancakes” with those songs in the background.)

Dragonflies is the catchiest tune on the album, and as Christopher Thelen wrote in Daily Vault Album Reviews, “if there’s any justice in this industry, should be burning up the alternative charts in no time flat”. Alas, justice didn’t prevail, but that’s no reason that you shouldn’t enjoy this tune.

This song of the week has now expired, but you can always download it (and two other songs off the album) from the Epitonic website.

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Why Coachella?

by Joey deVilla on January 29, 2007

I have no idea why Leona is so excited about going to Coachella — most of the acts make it sound like my musical idea of purgatory…

Fake Coachella 2007 lineup.
What, no Nickelback?

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Toronto Transit Camp banner.

What is Toronto Transit Camp?

Toronto Transit Camp is a one-day unconference where people of all types who depend on and care about the TTC — designers, transit geeks, bloggers, visual artists, tech geeks and cultural creators — will gather to discuss, collaborate and brainstorm ideas about the transit system we know and, in spite of all its warts, love. Over the day, there’ll be a number of sessions in which you can participate and put forth your ideas for improving both the TTC website and the general TTC experience. All the ideas generated at Toronto Transit Camp will be delivered to the commission for their consideration.

“Unconference”? What’s that?

Didn’t you click on the “unconference” link in the paragraph above? Very well, then: consider what normally happens at a session at most conferences — you have a speaker who makes a presentation for anywhere from a half-hour to two hours, after which there may be a few minutes devoted to questions and possibly some time put aside to “break out into discussion groups”. The unconference concept turns this around by making sessions mostly about asking questions and discussion rather than a lecture. In such a setup, the “speaker” is more of a discussion facilitator or moderator. We feel that while the conference structure has value when you want to impart knowledge, we feel that the unconference structure works better for what we want to do: generate ideas, stiumlate discussion and build community.

Okay, I like the idea, but what makes you think that the TTC are going to listen to the ideas generated at this conference?

I don’t blame you for being cynical. The TTC commission has, for the past couple of decades, been old hide-bound Soviet politburo: a bunch of old guys, apparently out of touch with real world needs, making do with increasingly outdated equipment and desperate to maintain the status quo. However, with the installment of the new chair, Ward 18 councillor Adam Giambrone. He’s the youngest-ever ever chair of the TTC — a mere slip of a lad at the age of 29 — and quite receptive to new ideas. So much, in fact, that he put the question to the local blogosphere asking for input into how to improve the TTC’s rather dismal website. Think of it as a TTC experiencing their own version of glasnost, and think of Giambrone as a better-looking Gorby without the pigeon doo-doo or whatever that thing was on his head.

Furthermore, we organizers of this event are pretty persuasive people. We’ve gotten our foot in the door at city events, companies both small and large have offered to sponsor events we hold, and we’re already getting our press coverage for Toronto Transit Camp set up. We understand just what a well-organized, active, open and smart community is capable of, and we have the drive to kick-start it.

So when and where will Toronto Transit Camp take place?

Toronto Transit Camp will take place at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West, at Dufferin) on Sunday, February 4th, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

What?! Isn’t that Super Sunday?

Yes, but the game doesn’t start until 6:30 that evening. Perhaps you can live without seeing the pre-game stuff this year.

How much will it cost to attend?

It’s free. You’ll probably have to buy your own lunch, but there’s no admission charge for Toronto Transit Camp.

Who’s paying for it then? Is this coming out of my taxes, you socialist creeps?

Not at all, my free market friend. The Gladstone Hotel is giving us the space at a big discount, and a number of civic minded companies such as Radiant Core and my employer, Tucows, are sponsoring the event.

The only catch is that we can handle a maximum of 100 attendees. We ask that anyone who attends can be there for the full day and is ready, willing and able to contribute to the discussion.

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Where can I find out more?

The Toronto Transit Camp site has all sorts of information about the event and will be updated regularly both before and after the event. Check it out!

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