I’m sure they’re tasty, but the name is terrible

dump cakes

I saw this book while out and about last weekend. “Dump Cakes” would be a terrible nickname for your sweetheart, but it might be a good name for a band. And “Just dump and bake!” sounds like a stoner’s battle cry.


Toronto Life’s very dickish take on “scut work”

twit life

Comic by Brett Lamb for Torontoist. Click to see the source.

If you live in Toronto and wore a uniform to school, chances are that you’re part of Toronto Life’s target demographic. It’s the Toronto version of that sort of city magazine for people in six-figure-income households who like reading about First World Problems as seen from the corner table at Daisho. I find it a generally interesting read, but every now and again, its Upper Canada/Trinity College/Crazy Go Nuts University/Western-bred prejudices rear their ugly head, as it recently did in an article on the new blitz on illegally parked cars during rush hours.

toronto towing

As a long-time resident of Toronto, and having travelled through it for decades on foot, bike, transit, and in my car, I’m pleased to see that the city is finally enforcing these laws. Many of the biggest offenders, if you look at the “See who got towed today!” photos on the city’s @TrafficServices Twitter feed, are service or delivery trucks. The Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington has written that while the blitz will help smooth Toronto’s serious traffic problem, the people paying the price are the small businesses whose lifeblood is these service trucks.

Philip Preville, the Toronto Life article author, counters with this Mitt Romney-esque paragraph:

scumbag toronto lifeIf those businesses want to stay downtown, they will have to adjust. As I parsed the logos of the offenders last week, one infuriating question rose to the surface: What are any of these trucks doing anywhere near downtown during rush hour? The services they offer are all forms of provisioning or disposal. It’s scut work, the back-room support that allows the more important, economic-engine-of-the-nation work to proceed efficiently. In many cases there’s no good reason any of it should be done during daylight hours, period.

“How dare these people, who would be cleaning the king’s chamberpots in a more civilized age, do their work at a time that inconveniences us economic engines (which presumably includes smug arts majors doing magazine writing for the country club set)? Can’t we simply time-shift them out of our way? We’re the makers and they’re the takers, after all!”

There’s no attempt in the article to find a win-win solution — the only proposed one is “kick the 47 percenters to the night shift.” What. A. Dick.

The best response to this I’ve seen comes from Edgar Dennehy, a friend of my friend Jess Wood and it can be summarized as this: If it’s the work that makes the other work possible, how the fuck is it not equally important? As for there being “no good reason any of it should be done during daylight hours, period”, how about health, safety, and social mobility? When you work nights only, you’re ghettoized because you can’t engage the world and its “economic engines” in the same way.

Steven Hilton reminded me that this scene from Fight Club exists. I’m posting it to remind Toronto Life and Philip Preville:

Thanks to Jess Wood for the find!


Whoever did this is my next electrician

amazing wiring job

I’m in awe of this person’s work.


We’re now just two years away from “The Running Man”

Yes, we’re all excited that we’re finally at the year when Back to the Future 2 takes place. But watch out, because another movie happens just two years later…

2015 - 2017

For old times’ sake, here’s the original trailer for The Running Man:

Here’s the film’s — and Arnie’s — worst one-liner. My guess is that Arnie ad-libbed it on an off day, and the people in the editing suite said, “Oh, what the hell, let’s keep it”:

“Here is Sub-Zero…now, plain zero!” Mathematically speaking, plain zero is greater than sub-zero. It would’ve been more scientifically and mathematically correct — and (ahem) cooler — if he said “now, ABSOLUTE zero!”

This fact was not lost on the Cinema Sins people when they put The Running Man under their microscope:

And finally, a gem from 2013 — the Running Man/Hunger Games Musical Spectacular. Be warned, there’s swearing galore and Arnie-style singing that’ll stick in your head:


Videos of men doing “Sailor Moon”-style transformations

man dressed a sailor scout

Posting cat pictures on Saturday (“Caturday”) has been done. Let’s post videos of men doing Sailor Moon-style transformations instead!

Here are the originals, for reference:

I’ll start with Iron Moon, which has Tony Stark putting on the Iron Man armor Sailor Moon-style!

If your Saturday isn’t weird enough, let me point you to Evan MacIsaac, hard-core Sailor Moon fan, who’s made a whole series of videos of him transforming into various Sailor scouts. Here’s one of his videos, titled Moon Crystal Power, Make Up! It’s amazing what you can do with video editing software, construction paper, and the power of Just Not Giving a Fuck:

He’s even made a music video, titled Sailor Amazing:

If you like your male Sailor scouts a little chunkier, here’s Rainbow Princess Kasumi Transformation Sequence by the comedy band The Axis of Awesome:

And finally, my favorite of the bunch: a Sheridan College animation school project titled Laundry Day:


Jimmy Kimmel asks people on the street for their passwords; security hilarity ensues

If someone walked up to you on the street and asked you what your password was, would you say?

The TV show Jimmy Kimmel Live sent an interviewer out on the street to ask (presumably) random people on Hollywood Boulevard what their passwords were. As you might expect, they showed only those people who gave away their passwords (and of that group, only those who signed a release form to appear on the show), but the fact that anyone did so shows that we’ve got a big security problem, and it’s us. A couple of them simply gave them away without question, while a couple of others has to be conned — very easily — into divulging.

This is the technologist’s nightmare. For all the security measures we put into our applications and devices, they can easily be undone by the users. That’s why I often make use of this cartoon when talking about security:

and in this corner we have dave

The article also appears in my tech blog, Global Nerdy.


What’s on my camera roll #1: Wedding stuff

Here are a couple of shots from my phone’s camera roll related to our upcoming wedding:

wedding shadow box

This is an early wedding present from Diane, a long-time friend of Anitra’s family. She took our invitation, used its beach-turquoise-tangerine theme and made a gorgeous shadow box out of them. It’ll go up on our staircase wall.

an invite for the prez

The odds of the President and First Lady coming to our wedding are pretty much nil, but it’s been a long-standing tradition for them to send you an official White House reply card, so why not invite them?


The palm trees above mark the start of what will be our wedding “aisle”. It’s just under two months to go!