In the News

Habemus papam! Ubi possum potiri petasi similis isti?

(Translation: We have a pope! Where can I get a hat like that?)

Congratulations to the man formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger, now

known as Pope Benedict XVI, or, if you’re into 1337-speak, P0P3

B3N3D1C7 0x10 (0x10 means “10” in hexadecimal, which is 16 in decimal).

I’ll confess to a little home-team favourtism and say that I’d have

preferred Jaime Cadrinal Sin of the Philippines, who played a pretty

important role in the People Power/EDSA Revolution of 1986, in which

President Marcos was ousted. He’s also a friend of the family, and it

never hurts to have a major religious leader on your rolodex.

I think AKMA (who, by the bye, will be one of the officiants at my wedding) said it best:

For clarity’s sake, I should say that he was very far from being my

favorite candidate, and the decision to elevate to the pontificate the

cardinal who was Rome’s point man relative to the priest-pedophilia

scandal in the U.S. strikes me as an indicator of the Vatican’s

characteristic deafness on this issue.

On the other hand, I’m a little perplexed that anyone feels shocked

at this turn of events. The Vatican is not a hotbed of liberalism, and

the cardinals whom John Paul II appointed reflect his characteristic

conservatism (if not his personal magnetism). If the world honored John

Paul II with weeks of attention and veneration, in what respect do we

anticipate that Benedict XVI — a personal friend and theological soul

mate to John Paul II — will be any less praiseworthy? I’m with Hans Küng,

who has as much reason as anyone to mistrust the new pontiff: “he

compared it to an American presidential election and said people

‘should allow the pope 100 days to learn’.”

Of course, the best solution would be that the next time

’round, they should elect me as “Pope Awesome I”. I’m not sure how the

church would fare under my leadership, but you can be damned sure it’ll

be fun and that the Catholic Church ad from The Simpsons [1.1MB, QuickTime] would become a reality…

Screen capture: 'Catholic Church' ad from 'The Simpsons'.

Click the picture to see the video.

It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

A Scene from the Podcaster Gathering

Last night’s podcaster gathering — see this entry and this entry in Boss Ross’ blog for details — was a rip-roaring success, with

considerably more attendees than we expected, good conversation and a

fair bit of drinking (as we used to sau at Crazy Go Nuts University: “If you’re not wasted, the night is!”). A filet mignon on a flaming sword to all who came!

I shot a video of the festivities [8MB, QuickTime] for you to see what you missed, even if you were there!

Screen capture: A still from the video I shot of last night's podcaster gathering in Toronto.

Boss Ross and David Janes (one of the hardest working men in software business). Click the picture to see the video.

(By the bye, if you’re looking for a new cocktail, may I suggest one

that David Janes recommends: the Yellow Menace, consisting of Smirnoff

Ice and a shot of tequila.)

In the News

Ann Coulter has Officially Jumped the Shark

If you are a reasonably intelligent person who has a little more

ambition in life than to just mark time and collect your bi-weekly

paycheque (or, as the case may be, monthly welfare cheque), “news” that

is generally — and often breathlessly — covered in Time magazine should be old hat to you. A journalist friend of mine who’s written for Time magazine came up with my favourite phrase to describe its preferred reporting style: sustained obviousness.

Inspired by this fact and so-looney-she-makes-The Shotgun-seem-sane

Ann Coulter’s appearance on the current issue, someone came up with the

parody shown below. You can click on the picture to see the graphic in

full size.

Photo: Parody of 'Time' magazine cover featuring Ann Coulter.


Podcasting Dinner Tomorrow!

…and it looks like lots of people will be there, including a number of Tucows folks (including Blogware product managers Kim and Rahat). It’ll be at the Lone Star Grill on Front Street tomorrow at 8 p.m.; see Ross’ blog entry for details.

In the News

The Contenders, Explained in Comic Form

John Allison’s webcomic Scary Go Round, which descended from his original webcomic, Bobbins, is currently running a storyline about a mayoral election in the fictitious town of Tackleford, England.

Strangely enough, the candidates seem rather like the parties that

could be vying for the Canadian federal election that could take place

soon  given how the current minortiy government is mired in

scandal (the current government is a minority government; a vote of “no

confidence” in parliament would result in a general election).

When reading this, please keep in

mind that: (a) this is just one ‘umble Canadian blogger’s view of

Canadian party politics; (b) on the average, said blogger is smarter,

better-looking and gets more pageviews than most.

Tackeford’s Mayor, Mayor Mayor, is rather reminiscent of the Liberal

Party (generally the party you vote for if you are the hard-working

accordion-playing immigrant high-tech industry son of hard-working

immigrant doctors, at least before the scandal…)

Comic: Panel from 'Scary Go Round', April 11, 2005.

Scary Go Round, April 11, 2005. Artist John Allison went back to his pen-and-ink style for a day. Click to see the full comic.

Comic: Panel from 'Scary Go Round', April 12, 2005.

Scary Go Round, April 12, 2005. Click to see the full comic.

Then there’s Mr. Quorn, who’s sort of like the Conservative Party,

recently reconstituted from the Progressive Conservative Party

(generally fiscal conservatives, but socially all over the spectrum)

and the Reform Party (a distressing number of whom see hard-working high-tech accordion-playing high-tech immigrant sons as hard-working salt-mining equipment)…

Comic: Panel from 'Scary Go Round', April 13, 2005.

Scary Go Round, April 13, 2005. Click to see the full comic.

…and finally, Tackleford’s Progressive Party sounds a bit like the New Democratic Party, for whom I shall refrain from comment for the time being:

Comic: Panel from 'Scary Go Round', April 13, 2005.

Scary Go Round, April 13, 2005. Click to see the full comic.

It Happened to Me

Lovely Weekend

I had a lovely weekend with Wendy — hanging out with Wendy’s friends on Friday night, going to Rachel Barenblat’s and Ethan Zuckerman’s gorgeous house in the Berkshires

on Saturday and dinner at Wendy’s parents’ house on Sunday (where I

gorged on Wendy’s mom’s delicious coffee cake, for which I must atone

at the gym this evening.)

Details later. Hope your weekend was just as fun!

It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Scenes from "Girlesque"

A couple of Friday nights ago, I attended Girlesque, yet another local burlesque/vaudeville show hosted by my friend, Mysterion the Mind Reader. Here are some photos from the event (they’re all safe for work):

Dancer at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

Ah, the dance of the seven veils!

Dancer at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

You can see video of the dance here [4.8MB, QuickTime].

Mysterion's 'PK touch' trick at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

This poor goth was a bit freaked out by Mysterion’s “PK (psychokinetic)

Touch” trick in which he touches her back while standing across the


Dancer at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

Mysterion was one of the finalists for a contenst held by the local

alt-rock radio station to find Toronto’s biggest freak. One of the

other finalists, a burly fella by the name of Professor Orbax put on a great show. Here he is, shoving a power drill up his nose:

Orbax shoves a power drill up his nose at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

Here’s Orbax, after havig been wrapped in Saran Wrap by a professional

dominatrix, announcing that he will now attempt to escape as

cross-dressin’ Chris holds the mic (yeah, we have a lot of odd people

here in Accordion City):

Orbax, having been wrapped in plastic wrap, proceeds to do his escape act at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

I’ve got two video’s of Orbax’s escape from the Saran Wrap:

And finally, the stomach pump trick. Orbax first drank some yellow

liquid then used the pump (which fed a tube running up his nose and

then down his esophagus) to inject blue liquid into this stomach. He

then used the pump to extract the liquids from his stomach (now a

sickly green) to fill two glasses — one for him and one for Mysterion:

Orbax shows the stomach pump for his gastric act at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

After the show, Mysterion came up to me, grabbed me by the lapels and screamed, “I drank some guy’s BILE, Joey!”

“Sounds like a typical Friday night for you, dude,” I said.

Dancer at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

The show was punctuated with some classic vaudeville humor by the

comedian known to most people only as “The Wolfman”. He’s hilarious,

and he greeted me with a hug after the show. Wolfie, we have to do a

song-and-dance routine for the next show.

Mysterion and Wolfman do the 'chicken gag' at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

Dancer at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

Curtain call! Here are two photos of all the performers taking a bow.

Mysterion was extra-kind that evening: during curtain call he said “I’d

also like to thank Joey deVilla, the Accordion Guy, for attending

tonight — he’s in the audience, but we hope to have him onstage for

the next show. Give it up for Joey!”

Thanks, Mysterion, and yes, I’d love to perform at the next one!

Curtain call at 'Girlesque' burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005, Toronto.

Curtain call at 'Girlesque'

  burlesque/vaudeville show, April 1 2005,