The Current Situation

The Barack Obama Conspiracy Photo

It’s been circulating around the net for some time, but just in case you hadn’t yet seen it, here it is:

Barack Obama Conspiracy Photo
Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.


Poster of the Day: “A Suffragette’s Home”

Archaic and benighted as this old-school conservative poster may seem to us, it would probably be acceptable in some parts of “flyover country” and much of the Middle East:

Antique “A Suffragette’s Home” poster
Poster courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.


TSA Gangstaz

In just over a week, I’m going to have to face off against the TSA Gangstaz (warning: It’s a rap video — contains some not-safe-for-work language)…

[Thanks to Jeff “Coding Horror” Atwood for the link!]

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Funniest Line About Bill Buckley I’ve Heard All Day

The “giant douche” from “South Park” with William F. Buckley’s head

A wag who goes by “monobrau” said: “He was a douchebag, but the current crop of conservatives are colostomy bags.”

Second funniest line: “Gore Vidal Wins!”

The Current Situation

R.I.P. William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley, Jr.

In this present time, when “conservative” and “intellectual” are increasingly less likely to be used in the same sentence, I have to note the passing of William F. Buckley Jr., who has been described as someone who (as Weekly Standard editor William Kristol puts it) “legitimized conservatism as an intellectual movement and therefore as a political movement.”

Here’s a snippet on the Associated Press article on his passing:

Fifty years earlier, few could have imagined such a triumph. Conservatives had been marginalized by a generation of discredited stands – from opposing Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to the isolationism which preceded the U.S. entry into World War II. Liberals so dominated intellectual thought that the critic Lionel Trilling claimed there were “no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.”

Buckley founded the biweekly magazine National Review in 1955, declaring that he proposed to stand “athwart history, yelling `Stop’ at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who urge it.” Not only did he help revive conservative ideology, especially unbending anti-Communism and free market economics, his persona was a dynamic break from such dour right-wing predecessors as Sen. Robert Taft.

My favourite Bill Buckley moment is a minor one. Back in the early nineties during our days at Crazy Go Nuts University, my old pal George and I used to laugh at his appearance on TV ads for his magazine, the National Review in his “Thurston Howell the Third” accent. We especially loved the bit where he said it was “quite possibly the best magazine”, do a little sideways glance and then finish the sentence with “…in the world!”, after which he’d put a couple of fingers over his mouth, as if he were amazed by his brief insouciant moment.

I may have not agreed with all his stances in the National Review or on his public affairs television show Firing Line, but I always found the man thought-provoking and entertaining, whether in his own forums, or outside them, such as his numerous appearances on the Tonight Show during Johnny Carson’s era.

I remember reading an article in Spy magazine that asked who could take over for Buckley once he stepped down or passed away. The candidates all seemed to be pale imitations of Bill (with the possible exception of P.J. O’Rourke, whose writing I quite enjoy).

As a technical evangelist, I have to credit Buckley’s work as a political evangelist — I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t borrow from his bag of tricks. As an accordion player, I must also tip my hat to Buckley for taking up an offbeat keyboard instrument with a bad reputation: he plays the harpsichord.

Besides, any man whose mere presence could make Ayn Rand stomp out of the room in a huff had to have been all right.

Requiescat in pace, Mr. Buckley.


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

DemoCamp 17 Covered in the National Post

I am extremely pleased with the way DemoCamp 17 went. We had some great demos and Ignite presentations at the Toronto Board of Trade dining room, followed by one of the best post-DemoCamp after-parties at the Duke of Westminster. My thanks to all the attendees, the presenters, Jay Goldman for doing a lot of the heavy lifting and the very kind folks at the Toronto Board of Trade.

Pema Hegan of GigPark sent me a scan from today’s National Post, which appears below:

Article on DemoCamp 17 in the National Post.

I transcribed the article about DemoCamp:

DemoCamp Warms Up to Toronto Tech Crowd

More than 400 people packed the Toronto Board of Trade conference hall on Monday night for DemoCamp, a loosely organized gathering of Web entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and technology enthusiasts.

Startup companies that made an impression on attendees included Kaitlyn McLachlan’s AskItOnline online survey Web site and Alain Chesnais’s SceneCaster 3-D embedded imaging application.

But the real crowd-pleaser of the night had to be WirelessNorth webmaster Tom Purves’ fast-paced Ignite presentation on why the Canadian wireless industry “sucks.”

Although he was preaching to the converted, Mr. Purves spent just over five minutes pointing out the high price of Canadian cellphone service and compared different price plans from around the world. For example, did you know that Rwanda has better cellphone plans than Canada? Or my favourite stat of the night: According to Mr. Purves, one megabyte of wireless data transfer on Rogers’ network costs $50, a measurement not seen since the early 1990s, when relatively minuscule hard drives cost upward of $1000.

For his efforts, Mr. Purves was rewarded with a standing ovation.

Needless to say, Monday’s DemoCamp was the largest turnout in 17 different meetings. With the Toronto Board of Trade firmly on board (no pun intended) with DemoCamp’s main intention — to foster and develop new Canadian tech talent to the global market — there’s a good chance we may see a local success story sooner than later.

Or maybe cheaper cellphone plans. The jury’s still out on which will happen first.

David George-Cosh


Do This! (or: Make Your Own Limoncello)

Limoncello is an acquired taste, but if you’re like me and like it, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s a liqueur that’s easy to make. Here’s a comic that explains how to make your own Limoncello, courtesy of Chad Essley’s TabletPC Sketchblog:

Limoncello recipe comic by Chad Essley
Click the comic to see it on its original page.