Recycle THIS!

Greenpeace activist dressed as recycling can taken off to be recycled by Eastern European police


“Owns Home Computer”: A News Report from 1981

This article also appears on Global Nerdy.

TechCrunch points to a news report from San Francisco-based TV station KRON that dates all the way back to 1981, when home computers were 8-bit wonders like the era of the Apple ///, TRS-80 and Atari 400 and 800. The piece on how some people are reading their newspapers by logging into Compuserve, and how someday, we’ll all be reading our newspapers and magazines on our computers:

Back then, a computer in the home was very unusual, hence their underscoring of this interviewee’s name with “owns home computer”. It seems quaint now, but back then, that was pretty 1337:

Still from news report: "Richard Halloran: Owns home computer"

The TechCrunch article points out a couple of lines in the piece that stand out given our 2009 persepctive. The first is from the San Francisco Examiner’s David Cole:

This is an experiment. We’re trying to figure out what it’s going to mean to us, as editors and reporters and what it means to the home user. And we’re not in it to make money, we’re probably not going to lose a lot but we aren’t going to make much either.

The other memorable line is from the reporter:

This is only the first step in newspapers by computers. Engineers now predict the day will come when we get all our newspapers and magazines by home computer, but that’s a few years off.

This is Joey deVilla, signing off from one of those Dynabook-style computers.


Oh, Japanese TV, I Will Never Understand You

Scenes from a Japanese TV talk show featuring a kitten beside an isopod.

In case you were wondering, the creature beside the kitten is a giant isopod.


Bacon Explosion!


The New York Times has a story on a tasty-looking dish called the Bacon Explosion, which is made by weaving strips of raw bacon into a mat, covering the bacon mat with a layer of sausage and then a crunchy layer of cooked bacon, then rolling it up.

It Happened to Me

Montreal Ice Sculptures

The first bit of the Gilles Vigneault song that every good Canadian high school student used to know goes like this: “Mon pays, ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver”. Translated from French, it means “My country is not a country – it’s the winter.” In Quebec, that’s very true.

The winter temperatures in Montreal dip considerably lower than they do here in Accordion City. Luckily for the Montrealers, their culture is descended from the one that invented joie de vivre, and as expected, they’ve managed to turn the cold into a party. In spite of the –25C (-13F) temperatures on Saturday night, Crescent Street had been closed to traffic for a street concert and dance party, which was shockingly well attended.

Another way Montreal took advantage of the cold was by putting ice sculptures everywhere. I took only a few pictures; had it been a little warmer – say a balmy –10C – I’d have taken more.

Here’s some corporate ice sculpting: an entire hockey game cast in ice, solely for the purpose of convincing people to drink Bud Light. I’m not so keen on the beer, but I love the statues:




One more pic: this guy and his crew were sawing large blocks of ice into bricks to form a wall around a restaurant not far from my hotel. They were doing all this at around 2:00 a.m. on a Saturday night, when the chill was so bad that every breath I took formed ice crystals on my beard.


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

Developer Lunch at Sky Dragon in Toronto Today!

Wooden steamers and plates full of dim sum dishes

Once again, it’s time for another Developer Lunch here in Accordion City! This is going to be the ninth in the series of lunches organized by Kristan "Krispy" Uccello, and it will be held at the usual location, Sky Dragon restaurant (on the 5th floor of Dragon City mall at the corner of Spadina and Dundas).

These lunches give Toronto-area developers and other techie types to get together for some delicious dim sum and conversation. I’ve been to several of these, and they’ve always been fun. The bill gets split on a per-table basis, and it’s typically worked out to about $12 a person, and everyone leaves full.

If you’re a developer – and that means anyone who practices or is interested in programming – you should come on over to Sky Dragon and join us for lunch! I’ll be there, and you’ can ask me about anything, whether it’s development, Microsoft, accordions, whatever!

The Developer Lunch takes place today (Tuesday, January 27th) at noon and runs until about 1:30 p.m.. Just look for the tables with the geeks!


Kung Hey Fat Choy! (Happy Chinese New Year!)

Before I forget, let me wish you all a happy Chinese New Year! This year, it’s the Year of the Ox, so it’s only fitting that I post a picture of him:

Black and white photo of Jon "The Ox" Enwistle of the Who in their earlier days
Jon "The Ox" Entwistle, bassist for The Who.

For more on the Year of the Ox and Chinese astrology, this article at should help get you started.