One Quarter of Brits Surveyed Think Churchill Was a Myth

Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi

After watching Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (the one where we meet Anakin Skywalker), I remarked that in that movie, everybody knows that the Jedi are the powerful, guardians of peace and order in the Republic and wielders of the mysterious power called The Force. But by the time of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (the one where we meet Luke Skywalker), which can’t have taken place more than a mere thirty years later, almost nobody remembers the Jedi and the Force is considered to be myth. I remember joking with my buddies that it would be like someone in the 1970s saying “Hitler wasn’t real!”

Well, as I like to say, the satirist’s job is a hard one these days, because reality keeps one-upping you. I’m not sure how many people think Hitler was a myth, but according to this news story, one quarter of Brits think Winston Churchill was a fictional character.

Scissors (Churchill making the “V for Victory” sign) beats Paper (Hitler performing the “Sieg Heil” salute).

Also believed to be myths by the Brits surveyed:

Even worse, here are some mythical characters believed to be real by the Brits surveyed:

While some people — such as The View’s most moronic host (and she’s up against some stiff competition) Sherri Shepherd — would argue that this isn’t the sort of knowledge you need, I argue that you need some sort of historical context to understand the news and to vote. I am reminded of the Churchill quote: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter,” a telling quip from one of freedom’s most eloquent defenders.


Finding Common Ground

Comic: “I’m an Atheist. I’m a Christian. I’m a Scientologist.”
Click the comic to see it at full size on its original page.


TSOT Ruby/Rails Project Night: Tuesday, February 12th

TSOT Ruby/Rails Project Night 2

It’s a new month, which means a new Ruby/Rails Project Night at TSOT on Tuesday, February 12th!

The last one was a success — we had over 50 attend (you can see photos and a quick writeup here) and this one looks like it’s going to be as big a hit. Better still, based on feedback from the attendees, we’re going to delve even deeper into technical matters, because that’s what you asked for!

Several eager Rails developers have asked us about presenting their projects at our Project Nights, and next Tuesday, we’re proud to feature these presentations:

  • How to Avoid Hanging Yourself in Rails (or: Optimizing Your ActiveRecord Associations) by Rowan Hick
  • Helping New Businesses be Memorable with by Mike Bowler and Steve Vetzal
  • Clinical Research Management System (CRMS) by Luke Galea. CRMS is a Rails and Prolog/XSB application used to manage drug and procedure trials at the some of the biggest hospitals in the US.

TSOT’s Ruby/Rails Project Night takes place next Tuesday, February 12th at our development office at 151 Bloor Street West (just east of Avenue Road), Suite 1130. Doors will open at 5:30pm with presentations beginning some time between 6 and 6:30. This event is free but space is limited; reserve your spot today by emailing or

[This article was also posted at Global Nerdy.]


Facebook Developer Garage 3 Tonight!

Facebook Developer Garage logo

FacebookCamp Toronto logo

The third Toronto edition of Facebook Developer Garage/FacebookCamp (it goes by both names) takes place tonight at MaRS Discovery District (101 College Street, just east of University Avenue).

Here’s the agenda as of the time of this writing:

Time Event / Presentation
6:00 – 6:30 Social / Mingling / Registration
6:30 – 6:35 introduction and update from the last Facebook Toronto Gathering (Roy Pereira, Colin Smillie and Andrew Cherwenka)
6:40 – 7:15 Keynote by Dave Morin, Senior Platform Manager, Facebook
7:15 – 7:30 Website Marketing in Facebook case study (Tim Shore, BlogTO)
7:30 – 7:40 Facebook Pages case study (Andrew Cherwenka)
7:40 – 7:50 Bebo Facebook Application (Roy Pereira and Colin Smillie, Refresh Partners)
7:50 – 8:00 Facebook vs. OpenSocial (Jawad Shuaib)
8:00 – 8:15 Facebook Beacon (Jay Goldman, Radiant Core)
8:15 – 8:40 5-minute Demos:

8:40 and on Wrap-up and Social

If you were wondering what happened at the last Facebook Garage/FacebookCamp, you can see my notes at:

[This article was also posted on Global Nerdy.]


Welcome to the World, Poesy (and Congrats, Cory and Alice)!

Poesy Taylor Doctorow
Click the photo to see the birth announcement on Boing Boing.

Congratulations are in order — Cory just announced on Boing Boing that Alice gave birth to a healthy baby girl! Weighing in at 9 pounds, 6 ounces and bearing these names, in order:

A hearty mazel tov to Cory and Alice, and once again, welcome to the world, Poesy!



From the Tom the Dancing Bug comic, here’s a team-up featuring two superheroes: God-Man and Human-Man…

“God-Man and Human-Man” comic from “Tom the Dancing Bug”
Click the comic to see it on its original page.


If You Think You’ve Got a Bad Commute Tonight…

If you’re dreading the commute home in the aftermath of the bad weather all over the country, here’s a little something to keep it all in perspective: Guangzhou train station, during their bad winter weather:

Guangzhou train station
Click the photo to see a much larger version.
Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.