October 2009

Algoma University’s Unusual Ads

by Joey deVilla on October 31, 2009

I saw these posters for Algoma University yesterday:

algoma posters

There’s always been an implicit promise of freedom in going away to university, but this is the first time I can recall where it’s been used as an actual selling point.

I don’t think that this campaign is a good idea. Algoma’s got some things going for it – as a techie, I’m aware of their $6 million technology wing and game development courses. I think that any good qualities that Algoma may have are tarnished by these ads’ “Live the dream — No curfews! Dress like a skank!” message. In trying to hit 18 or 19 year-olds yearning to break free from their parents where they live, they’re cheapening the school’s image and the value of an Algoma degree.

What do you think?


Beware the Groin Kicker: Woman in pink 1980s Danskins kicking a man dressed for golf in the midsection.

There’s a woman in or around the area of Langley, British Columbia who’s going around kicking men in the groin. One was hurt so badly that one of his testicles had to be removed.

This case will probably spark two types of conversations, editorials and online commentary:

  • One will be some persecution fantasy among men who think we’ve ceded too much ground to women
  • And the other will be that sort of toxic combo of “Too many womyn;s studies courses, too few brain cells” rhetoric along the lines of…

Woman from "SuperFriends": "I think it's empowering!"


Very True

by Joey deVilla on October 30, 2009

Here’s a piece by the artist known as 9 0 0 0 that I rather like:

No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget

You can see the original (and more) in 9 0 0 0’s Flickr photostream.

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Halifax Bound

by Joey deVilla on October 30, 2009

halifaxTechDays, Microsoft’s cross-Canada conference for developers and IT pros took a break in October, but returns in November to complete its tour of the five remaining cities. As leader of one of the conference tracks it means that I’ll be on the road, hitting these five cities over the next couple of months:

  • Halifax: November 2nd and 3rd
  • Calgary: November 17th and 18th
  • Montreal: December 2nd and 3rd
  • Ottawa: December 9th and 10th
  • Winnipeg: December 15th and 16th

If you’re a programmer or IT pro who works with Microsoft tools and technologies or is thinking about doing so, you’d do well to check out TechDays. You can find out more at the TechDays site, or you can always drop me a line.

If you’re in Halifax and would like to catch up, I’ll be holding a Coffee and Code at Just Us Cafe (1678 Barrington) on Wednesday, November 4th from 2 to 6 p.m. Come by, have a coffee and a chat!

I’ll be landing in Halifax this weekend, and chances are I might be looking to do something on Saturday night…

This article also appears in Coffee and Code.
Related articles appear in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.


“Hey Jude” Flowchart

by Joey deVilla on October 29, 2009

The lyrics to The Beatles' "Hey Jude", in flowchart form.

…and if you were wondering: oh yes, I do own the deluxe edition of The Beatles: Rock Band:

Photo: My little red accordion, dwarfed by the box for the deluxe edition of "The Beatles: Rock Band"


Spider-Man on Chat Rooms

by Joey deVilla on October 29, 2009

Spider-Man: "I get into costume and boom, I'm the snarky wise-guy. Anonymity's liberating. There should be rooms where people could go to chat using fake identities. They'd spend hours being jerks to each other."

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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R.I.P. Hank Young, the “Gladstone Cowboy”

by Joey deVilla on October 28, 2009


Hank Young, country-and-western musician from Halifax turned Gladstone Hotel character-at-large, died of a stroke this past weekend at the age of 68. I first met him at the Gladstone during its grungy pre-renovation days at its karaoke night, where he was known for his rendition of Hey Good Lookin’. When the hotel underwent its transformation from fleabag to boutique, the management made him the operator of its antique elevator and his enthusiasm made him the hotel’s unofficial historian and tour guide.

In addition to his better-known work at the Gladstone, Hank also did a fair bit of community work. He opened a centre to help teenage kids off the street, volunteered at a program to feed the homeless and advocated for his neighbours at City Hall.

Hank always had a smile for anyone who passed by and a hearty “Hey, Accordion Man!” whenever I dropped in. He was one of Parkdale’s finest characters-at-large, and the neighbourhood was a little bit better thanks to his presence.

R.I.P., Hank.