But More Immediately, You Need Pants

Man holding up a “You need Jesus / It’s hell without him” sign in a park as he talks to an old nudist.
Click the photo to see the non-bowlderized version.
Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.

Judging from the background and what’s happening in the photo, my guess is that it was taken in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. When I lived there I spent at least some portion of every weekend biking through the park.

If you really must see the whole, unbowlderized version — perhaps you have a jonesing for an image of old guy cottage cheese butt — just click the photo. Don’t say I din’t warn you.

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Blast from the (Recent) Past: Queen Street Man

Stills from “Queen Street Man”
Click to see the video.

In honour of local hipsters and the lively discussion taking place in yesterday’s post, We Need More Toronto Blogs, I’m going to point to a video that was making the rounds on Accordion City blogs and discussion boards: Queen Street Man.

If you’ve got any more comments about yesterday’s article, please feel free to have your say. Be advised that any attitude will be met with at least an equal and opposite attitude.


Getting Started with Facebook Application Development

[This was cross-posted to Global Nerdy.]

Woman at vintage computer with 8-inch floppy disk Photoshopped to have a Facebook label

If you were looking for a quick and easy way to get started developing Facebook applications (perhaps you’re attending the upcoming Facebook Developer Garage/Camp in Toronto), you’re in luck: I’ve written the first of a number of articles that tackle that topic. Head on over to the Tucows Developer Blog and check out Getting Started with Facebook Application Development.

Geek Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Facebook Developer Garage/Camp: Tuesday August 7th

[This was cross-posted to Global Nerdy.]

Facebook Developer Garage Toronto
Click this logo to see the event’s Facebook page.

Facebook Camp Toronto
Click this logo to see the event’s wiki page.

It’s the event so anticipated that it had to have more than one name. Whether you call it Facebook Developer Garage Toronto [this links to its Facebook page] or Facebook Camp Toronto [this links to its wiki page], so many Toronto-based developers have expressed an interest in attending that they had to change to a larger venue.

Originally scheduled to take place at No Regrets Cafe and Restaurant (home of a number of DemoCamp Toronto events), Facebook Garage/Camp will now take place at the MaRS Centre (101 College Street, Toronto, just east of Queen’s Park subway station). The event takes place on Tuesday, August 7, 2007, formally starts at 6:30 p.m. and the schedule is listed below:

Facebook Garage/Camp Description and Schedule
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Please join us to thrash out Facebook Platform: share ideas, troll for partners on your latest project, check out app demonstrations, seek developer support direct from Facebook Developers, or just socialize with people like you.

The Facebook Platform Team will give an introduction to Platform, discuss best practices around product design & viral marketing techniques, and hold a technical Q&A.

Please come ready to share, participate, and absorb new ideas along with other Facebook app developers.

  • 6:00 – Social/Mingling
  • 6:30 – Introduction by Colin Smillie Roy Pereira and Andrew Cherwenka
  • 6:40 – Best Practices around Product Design and Viral Marketing (Meagan Marks,
  • 7:30 – Anatomy of a Facebook Application (Jay Goldman and Michael Glenn, Radiant Core)
  • 7:50 – FBML Overview (Sunil Boodram, Trapeze Media)
  • 8:10 – FQL Overview (Craig Saila)
  • 8:30 – Updating the Facebook Profile (Colin Smillie, Refresh Partners)
  • 8:50 – Demo: .Net Sample Application (Ricardo Covo)
  • 9:00 – Demo: Carpool by Zimride (Rajat Suri)
  • 9:10 – Demo: Ogrant by Shachin Ghelani
  • 9:20 – Wrap-up and drinks

The event is free to the public, but they do request that you sign up for the event. The problem is that there are currently two sign-up rosters — one on the Facebook page and one on the wiki page. If you’d like to attend, I suggest that you sign up on both.


Now I Know What the “Vaccuming the Kitty” Photo is All About

If you like checking out sites that feature interesting or humourous pictures, chances are you’ve stumbled across this photo:

La Shinda Clark’s photo of a boy vaccuming a cat with a Dustbuster
Click to see the photo on its source page.

I’ve always wondered what was going in the photo — often captioned in LOLcat-ese with something like “TIEM TO VACUME TEH KITTYNUTS” — and who took it. I had no idea that it was an award-winning photo:

La Shinda Clark, photographer at The Philadelphia Inquirer and 1995 Scholar, won third place for feature photos in the National Press Photographers Association 2003 Best of Photojournalism contest. In the photo, volunteer Cameron Tarzwell, 13, cleans loose hair that has been shaved from an anesthetized cat, Princess, in preparation for an operation. Tarzwell has been assisting a veterinarian for four years. The photo was one in a picture story on a spaying and neutering program in Chester County in Pennsylvania.

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

We Need More Toronto Blogs

Hipster woman in hipster dress on hipster bike.
BlogTO’s and Torontoist’s ideal reader. Image taken from The Hipster Handbook.

Differences in Perspective

While I agree with Torontoist writer Patrick Metzger’s statement that Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty’s refusal to “share any of the billions of dollars that the province sucks out of Toronto each year” is wrong, I think he’s out to lunch with his statement about the 2.8% rise in consumer spending:

The Canadian dollar rose to a 30-year high against the U.S. greenback yesterday, fueled by a 2.8% month over month rise in consumer spending. The numbers show that even with peak oil and climate change catastrophe just around the corner, we’re still willing to get out there and buy more unnecessary crap. Go, Canada.

Accordion Guy regular reader Chris Taylor called Metzger out on that statement:

Maybe they were out buying Energy Star stuff to replace their old, inefficient junk. Not that anyone has ever done that before.

And Metzger fired back with the stock sarcasm of someone who doesn’t work for a living:

It’s possible that the numbers reflect conscientious citizens buying solar powered cars, storm windows, and shopping bags made from organic hemp. However, the data shows it’s mostly SUVs, gas and Gucci handbags.

Ah yes, the old “money and progress are bad” canard. I’ll counter with this comic:

Comic featuring two cavemen. Caption: “Something’s just not right — our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exercise, everything is organic and free-range, yet nobody lives past thirty.”
Comic from Reason. Click to see it on its original page.


Back in the winter, I caught up with local tech community builder Will Pate for lunch. He was in the process of moving to Toronto and we were talking about the local blog scene.

One thing that came up in that conversation was that although the BlogTO and Torontoist served their demographic very well, their demographic was only a slice of the larger pie that is Toronto.

What is that demographic, you might ask? They’re mostly white, under 30, and only attend events that take place in an area bounded by…

  • Dupont on the north
  • The Distillery District on the east
  • The lake on the south
  • Roncesvalles on the west

(Here’s an idea: take the events listed in BlogTO and Torontoist for the past year and plot them on a map. I’m willing to bet that they’re concentrated in the zone I describe above.)

Hipster in work shirt, jeans and trucker cap
Another hipster, courtesy of The Hipster Handbook.

They can reply “Yeah, that’s me” to seven or more of the following statements:

  1. You graduated from a liberal arts school whose football team hasn’t won a game since Mulroney was Prime Minister.
  2. You frequently use the term “post-modern” (or its commonly used variation “PoMo”) as an adjective, noun, and verb.
  3. You carry a shoulder-strap messenger bag and have at one time or another worn a pair of horn-rimmed or Elvis Costello-style glasses.
  4. You have one Conservative friend who you always describe as being your “one Conservative friend.” [optional]
  5. Your hair looks best unwashed and you position your head on your pillow at night in a way that will really maximize your cowlicks.
  6. You own records put out by Matador, DFA, Definitive Jux, Dischord, Warp, Thrill Jockey, Smells Like Records, Drag City, Mint and Nettwerk.
  7. You bought your dishes and a checkered tablecloth at a thrift shop to be kitschy and often throw vegetarian dinner parties.
  8. You frequently complain about gentrification even though you are responsible for it yourself.
  9. You have refined tastes and consider yourself exceptionally cultured, but have one pop vice (Laguna Beach, either Idol show and and anything on Slice are popular ones) that helps to define you as well-rounded.
  10. You spend much of your leisure time in bars and/or restaurants with monosyllabic names like Plant, Bound or Shine.
  11. You have kissed someone of the same gender and often bring this up in casual conversation.

(If these look familiar, it’s because I took ’em from 11 Clues You are a Hipster from The Hipster Handbook).

My Modest Proposal

Now don’t get me wrong: I’ve got nothin’ against twenty-somethings who like hanging out in charming local dives, listening to indie rock and buying things at thrift shops. If you’re a reader of this blog, there’s a good chance that you are (or were) one of them yourself.

I just think that there’s room for other “What’s going on?” blogs. Even Will Pate, who’s part of the BlogTO/Torontoist demographic says “Dude, there’s got to be more” (not a direct quote, but that’s exactly the way he’d say it).

We need blogs that cover events in areas outside the hipster core, whether they’re in the near-burbs like Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough, or out in the 905 area code. Blogs for people who work in offices, drop their kids off at hockey practice and have Costco memberships. Blogs for people who don’t look as if they were descended from the Family Compact. Blogs for people who both buy fair trade coffee and Harry Rosen shirts. Blogs for people who work the night shift.

Who knows, if this tech evangelism/computer programming thing blows over, I might start one of them myself.


Middle Class Batman

Middle Class Batman
Click the picture to see it on its original page.

The image above is a creation of Mike Mitchell, who describes it as:

The idea is that this is a Middle Class Batman. Its still Bruce, and his parents were still murdered, but they were never rich, and he still ended up becoming Batman…but with a bit of a budget.