The Deadliest Weapon…

…remains our very own words.

It’s been that way from the beginning, but with the popularization of the Internet and ancillary developments such as instant messaging and especially blogging, search engines like Google and AllTheWeb and archives like The Wayback Machine or Google’s Usenet archive, our words as weapons now have greater range, firepower and fallout than ever before. Exercise your right to free speech by all means (if and while you have it), but remember that freedom untempered by responsibility is a sham.

In the Philippines, you can’t go very far in a major city without running into a sign showing the Rotary Club’s “4 Way Test”, which is how I became familiar with it. Written in 1932 by Rotary Club member Herbert Taylor, it is a twenty-four word code of ethics — complete with some rather regrettable CAPITALIZATION — that he wanted his employees to follow in their business and professional lives. Rotary International adopted the 4 Way Test in 1943, and it has since been translated into over 100 languages.


1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Learn it. Live it.

Food for Thought

This posting was partially inspired by Objectionable Content’s

quoting of Sai Baba:

Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true? Does it improve on the silence?

(Yes, I’m aware that there’s something sketchy about Sai Baba)

Thou can’st not joke an enemy into a friend, but thou may’st a friend into an enemy.”

— Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac



The new iMac makes a pretty decent hat, too…


Apple’s New Thingy

There’s nothing like press lead-time to spoil an much-hyped product announcement. Here’s the cover of the January 14th edition of Time Canada:

Here’s another picture:

And here’s a snippet:

The new iMac, which Time took for an exclusive test run recently and which will be unveiled at the annual Macworld convention in San Francisco this week, could be just the thing. Like many PCs today, the new iMac is built around a flat-panel display. But instead of taking up precious desk space like a typical flat monitor, the iMac’s screen floats in the air, attached to a jointed, chrome-pipe neck. It’s also rimmed by a “halo,” a translucent plastic frame that makes you want to pull it toward you-or push it out of the way. Jonathan Ive, chief of Apple’s ID lab, says he designed it so that you would want to touch it, want to “violate the sacred plane of the monitor.” The chrome neck is articulated and bends while maintaining the angle of the screen; it connects to the computer, an improbably small hemisphere at 26.4 cm in diameter-somewhat bigger than a halved cantaloupe. The machine bears an uncanny resemblance to Luxo Jr. – the fun-loving, computer-animated swing-arm lamp that starred in a short film by Pixar, the fabled computer-animation studio that Jobs runs. (Pixar creative chief John Lasseter has also made the first new iMac ad.) “It looks a little cheeky,” says Ive. It looks alive.

So there you have it — the iMac, Mark II. Unfortunately, Time doesn’t have any specs for the machine. I suppose we’ll all have to visit Apple’s tomorrow to see what’s inside. But what’s outside is very nice (and yes, in my not-so-humble opinion, while what’s under the hood is important, style does matter), and it looks like it would look very sharp on my desk.


Chicks Dig It!
(and I dig it too)

Late 1998/early 1999 marked the start of a very good period of my life, especially as far as music was concerned. For the first time in about four years, I started playing musical instruments again — first, my trusty Korg Wavestation synthesizer and later that year, a dusty old Titano piano accordion given to me by my friend Rob. I also did more clubbing back then, and one spot I hit often was We’ave. We’Ave was an unusual club. It was in a little brownstone located not in the club-and-bar district, but near University and Dundas: an area where downtown Chinatown meets with an older residential neighbourhood, across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario. In addition to its unusual location, it also had an unusual night called Chicks Dig It.

Chicks Dig It was a showcase of women DJs that took place every Monday night. Being a Monday, the evening would start out a little more slowly, but as it got later in the evening, the place would be almost full enough to convince you it was Friday night. The crowd was a friendly mix of students, bar staff and DJs (who work weekends and often go out on Monday night), people with flexible working hours (such as me) and those who just didn’t give a rat’s ass about sleep. The tunes were good dance club fare, naturally, but an even spread of the sub-genres: drum and bass, house, upbeat electronica, ambient, funk and hip-hop provided by DJs Chocolate, Freedom, Denise Benson, my friend Lady P, and the incredibly cute AMtrack. I went there often with those friends of mine whom I could drag out of the house on a Monday night. I’ve had really great times there, and one bizarro date that ended with her curled up in the fetal position screaming at me (hey, it never occurred to me to demand Rorschach and urine tests before the date, okay?).

With the demise of We’ave came the demise of Chicks Dig It. They tried a change of venues — Beat Junkie on Richmond Street, deep in clubland — but that didn’t work out because the roster of Chicks Dig It DJs had grown to an unmanageable number, among other things. However, Chicks Dig It is returning, not only to the scene, but to its old formula of a smaller DJ roster and the use of a club that’s slightly off the beaten track: Temple Bar (King Street west of Spadina, in the alley with the glowing red cross). It happens every Monday starting January 7th (that’s only a couple of days from now, folks). DJs Freedom, Chocolate and AMtrack will be there, and I believe I will too.

Recommended Reading

The eye magazine story on Chicks Dig It. eye also ran a review of Chicks Dig It in its earlier incarnation here.

Sister SF: Women DJs and MCs in San Francisco and beyond. Here’s a story about them that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

pinknoises: “The one-stop web resource on women + electronic music”.

Spinsters: A documentary film on Toronto women DJs and their experiences. Featuring DJ Wasabi, DJ Heather, Misstress Barbara and the legendary Denise Benson.

Going Illbient Underground with NYC’s Women DJs: W.i.g. magazine’s coverage of the other cool city’s women DJs.

Goddesses of the Turntables: Jive magazine’s story on women DJs.

sisterdjs: A mailing list and DJ Dazy’s “safe place to ask questions about DJing will help the growth of women dj’s out in the world.”

Bozhe moi! Women DJs are all over the world, even in St. Petersburg, Russia!


It’s not a real profession until it has its own magazine

Speaking of dropping leaflets in Afghanistan, there’s a magazine called Falling Leaf, “an invaluable source of news, articles, and information about aerial leaflet propaganda.”


Photos I Found While Waiting For My Programs to Compile

Osama’s Makeover,
or “I Kiss You!!!”

CNN and ABC news are talking about the US armed forces’ latest psyops action: flying over The ‘Stan and air-dropping leaflets sporting a Photoshopped image of a clean-shaven, Westernized bin Laden with the text “The murderer and coward has abandoned you.”

Looking at the photo, the muderer and coward has run away and turned himself into Mahir “I Kiss You” Cagri!

Quite a likeness, eh? And don’t you just love the Ricardo-Montalban-from-Fantasy-Island suit?

You know that some kind of donut-holder accessory is coming soon…

While New Year’s Eve is still topical, take a gander at this photo of Boston cops trying out their brand new toys while keeping the peace at the First Night celebrations:

Personally, I think the last thing the officer in the middle needs is some machine that’ll do the walking for him.


Nerdity Quotient: 57.4%

That’s what this test says. This score may be distressingly high for some people’s tastes, but I’m relatively Shaft-esque compared to say, this guy.

It doesn’t tell me where I am on this hierarchy, though.