Toronto’s Nuit Blanche Takes Place Tonight!

Accordion City’s seventh annual Nuit Blanche (Literally “White Night” in French) takes place tonight. This all-night arts festival/urban party started in Nantes, France in the early 1990s and has since been held in cities all over the globe. Starting at 7:03 p.m. — sundown — and ending around when the sun returns, it’s a night where public space is used for displays of contemporary art: displays, installations, interactive and performance art.

Click the image to see the official Nuit Blanche event map

Nuit Blanche will take place in three zones in the downtown area:

If you’re having trouble picking out what you’d like to see, here are some guides:

Here’s a sampling of the videos showing what you’ll see at this year’s Nuit Blanche:


Another Client Meeting, Another Chance to Go in “Corporate Drag”

When I wear a tie for work purposes, I call it “going in corporate drag”. Jesse and I had another client meeting yesterday morning that called for business non-casual. We followed it up with a debrief over lunch at a nearby restaurant.

The hostess called over someone to seat us, saying “Could you please take these businessmen to their table?”. I started to look around for the businessmen to whom she was referring and realized a moment later she meant us.

I’m no businessman; I work for a living!


American Voters: Vote for Canada!

We’ve been your neighbour since the beginning, your biggest trading partner and the Simpsons to your Flanders. Maybe you’d like to put us in charge this November. Vote for the Canada Party!

Found via George “Ol’ Pal Hotchner” Scriban.


Why Airplane Windows Don’t Open

Mitt Romney Asks: Why Don’t Airplane Windows Open?

Here’s a video featuring the now-infamous Mitt Romney quote about windows on airplanes:

“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem.”

Watch Romney’s facial expressions. Looking at him, I’m inclined to believe the follow-up reports — even the one from The Blaze, the conservative news site owned by Glenn Fucking Beck — that he was attempting to tell a joke. Actually, I’m quite flabbergasted that he can even tell a joke; in so many public appearances, he’s so stiff that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is downright charismatic next to him.

While I think that making light of your wife being in an airplane that was in an emergency is a bad idea, it’s worse to perpetuate the falsehood that Romney didn’t know why airplane windows don’t open.

Still, that’s no excuse not to show some videos why airplane windows don’t open. Who’s with me?

Warning: If you’re going on a flight very soon and have some fear of flying, skip the rest of this post. Trust me on this one.

Mayday: United Airlines 811, February 24, 1989

This episode of Mayday is about the February 24th, 1989 flight of United Airlines flight 811, a Boeing 747-100. As it was flying above the Pacific Ocean, an electrical short caused a cargo door to open. It caused explosive decompression, ripping off part of the fuselage and ejecting nine passengers. The pilots managed to land in Honolulu without any more loss of life.

Mythbusters: Explosive Decompression on a Plane

The Mythbusters pressurize a decommissioned DC-9 so that the difference between the inside air pressure and the outside ground-level pressure is equivalent to the pressure difference between the inside and outside of a plane at cruising altitude. Then they start making holes of varying sizes in the fuselage to see what happens…

How to Kill a Human Being: Hypoxia

In the documentary How to Kill a Human Being, we see how hypoxia — oxygen deprivation — affects former British Conservative MP Michael Portillo, who’s looking for a humane way to execute people. In this experiment, he sits in a chamber where the air pressure is reduced as if he were at a high altitude. Long story short: first you get dumb, then you get dead, and you don’t feel any pain along the way.

When Pilots Experience Hypoxia…in Flight

Here’s a recording (with captions) of pilots who are having trouble flying their plane because of a loss of cabin pressure leading to hypoxia. Luckily, the air traffic controllers realized what was going on and managed to talk them into descending to where the air was thicker. There’s a simultaneously frightening and hilarious moment when the pilot says, without any intended irony or sarcasm, “Unable to control altitude. Unable to control airspeed. Unable to control heading…Other than that, everything A-OK.”

Airport: The Decompression Scene

And last but not least, the “decompression” scene from the 1970 film Airport. You’d think that letting Dean Martin be a pilot would be the worst thing that could happen, but you’d be wrong. It’s explosive decompression, caused by a demolitions expert whose family needs the money — he thinks that if he dies in a mid-air explosion, his loved ones will get the insurance money.


The Middle Eastern Math Lesson, Explained

I’m often asked “Where do you get those funny photos for your blog?”. I often reply “I’m at the point where those pictures find me.”

Case in point: Three different people whom I know only via the internet gave sent me a copy of the image below:

Two of them added “You were a math guy in school, right? How does this work?” One of them threw in “OMG” and “WTF” for good measure.

I’m a little short on time today, and formatting math problems for a web page is a bit of a pain, so I simply did the math by hand on paper and scanned it:

I hope this explains things. If not, let me know in the comments and I’ll go into more detail tomorrow.


What I’m Wearing Under My Business Attire

Gangnam socks!


For Me, Today is “Business NON-Casual”

I’ve got a big meeting today with a very corporate client, which means full-on business attire. Even my usual blazer/dress shirt/jeans combo, considered “overdressing” by many people in my line of work, isn’t going to cut the mustard for the pow-wow. It’s a business non-casual day, which means I need to dress like the folks pictured above, not the folks pictured below. Enjoy the photos!