Archive for the ‘information’ Category

Put Toronto First: A New Website

Put Toronto First is a new initiative by the National Citizens Coalition that has just gone live. The NCC are the ones who put that big billboard up of Bob Rae back during Rae Days. Rumour has it they’re planning on doing the same to David Miller. I cannot wait!

Before they put up this new website, they spent April querying the person-on-the-street about what bugs them the most. They have a nifty little pie chart that shows that taxation is the number one priority. I wonder though how well informed people are about all the ways City Hall takes their money.

I had a couple of interesting conversations over the weekend, and despite the plethora of news reports last summer and the recent flurry of info from City Hall, I discovered that usually well-informed people are completely oblivious to the fact that they’re getting a SECOND garbage bin, to match the new blue bin. In addition, THIS ONE they will have to pay for…unless they get a “small” one, which most people I know won’t be able to because of their household size.

Remember big families get dinged the most under this new tax plan. So you would think if people are miffed about taxation and the misuse of tax dollars, they’d be up in arms about this stealth tax in the guise of cleaning up our environment. You’d think.

Garbage Bin Information Events

If you want to learn more about the new garbage bins, you’re too late if you live near Castlegrove Blvd., Summerhill Ave., Wellesley Street East, but for the rest:

  • East York Community Centre at 1081 Pape Ave., you have less than an hour to get there by 8:00 pm today
  • Rosedale Park — Mayfair Event at Scholfield Ave., from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sat. May 10
  •  Parkwoods Village Mall at 1277 York Mills Road, from noon to 4:00 pm on Sat. May 10.

For full list, visit target70.

The Hassle of Rating and Commenting on Metblogs

Metblogs is looking better and better, now that they’ve fixed that really-really-wide banner. It’s so much easier for us bloggers to use, and I think it’s nicer for blog visitors to read. But there’s one problem: it’s a bitch to leave a comment.

Oh, it’s no problem if you’re a Metblogger or a WordPress user, but what happens if you’re just Joe Blow who wants to leave a comment? Who wants to set up a WordPress account just to do that? I wouldn’t. It seems strange to me that the designers were unable to devise a sign-in sheet as easy for a commenter to use as Blogger’s or the old Metblog’s.

So for all you kind readers who would like to leave a comment, but understandably don’t need the hassle: rate it! Um, well, that’s what I thought….

Down at the bottom right of each post are 5 grey stars. You’ll notice as you mouse over them that they turn green. Just click on the desired star and boom, you have your desired number of lit up stars. Try it — when you move over the stars until you get to the fourth one, click it! (After all, doesn’t this post deserve at least 4 stars?)

Even if a comment is out of the question, at least we will know what you think of our opinions and writings. And isn’t that worth clicking a star?

You’d think so, or at least I did. After all, don’t we want to encourage some interaction between bloggers and readers? But after I wrote all that star stuff, I went hmmmm…..maybe I should sign out and see if a non-WordPress, non-Metblog user can rate it too. Nope. Heck no. Like way nooooooo.

Sorry folks, if you want to comment or rate a Metblog, you’re just going to have to become a WordPress user. Sucks, I know. But I don’t have control over the admin interface. Personally, I’d use anti-scam guns, of which there are plenty, and allow legit humans easily (the emphasis on easily) to leave a comment or rate a post.

Hot Docs – 15th Anniversary This Week!

It all kicks off this Thursday. Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary festival and runs from April 17-27, 2008. The festival strings together amazing selections (more than 100 cutting-edge documentaries) from Canada and around the world, past and present. 2008 marks marks its 15th anniversary.

From the photography of Edward Burtynsky, the lives of Carnies, to a Toronto family’s challenge to NOT throw out their garbage. A whole spectrum of interesting and cutting edge documentary films to choose from. Forget reality TV and catch reality on the big screen.

Daytime/Matinees shows (before 6pm) are $10, evening shows are $12 and late night shows (after 11pm) are only $5!

April 17 – 27, 2008
Tickets are available at the DOCUMENTARY Box Office, 87 Avenue Road (2 blocks north of Bloor), Hazelton Lanes (Upper Level) by phone at 416-637-5150, or online.

SWERVEDRIVER to play Toronto…

Loaded up my mp3 player of choice with some tunes and came across a reunion tour of epic proportions.  SWERVEDRIVER are touring after a 10 year pause.  So happy that they will be playing Toronto!!!  Ah, but not until June 13th (at Lee’s Palace)…

Never lose that feeling… 

FLAP Makes Things Clear

FLAP volunteers look for and save migratory birds that have flown into buildings and fallen to the ground. This is an excellent video of the problem and their work. Sorry, the friggin’ thing just won’t embed. So here’s a link.

Earth Hour T.O. Style

Lights at St Patricks'Tomorrow, Saturday, March 29, at 8:00 pm ET, the lights will be going out in Toronto, and hopefully the computers and radios and TVs too, but not the fridges or freezers. That might be going a bit too far. This time city goes black, it will not be because of an unforeseen power disruption, but because Torontonians, including City Hall, will be deliberately turning off the lights as a gesture of solidarity against climate change.

I’m not sure how one can be against climate change — it’s happening — but more accurately to protest the lack of change to protect our climate and thus ourselves.

Earth Hour runs from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and to get in the mood, City Hall is hosting an acoustic concert, starting at 6:45 pm, with Nelly Furtado, the Philosopher Kings, and Fefe Dobson, which will end at lights back on: 9:00 pm. How does one hold a concert sans power, even an acoustic one where sound cannot project far in an open area? The answer is Bullfrog of course. They will be the power behind the musicians.

Man-Made Nature

Birding Place

Photo by Points North

It’s hard to believe that this large geographical feature in the east end of Toronto was built by a long line of trucks dumping clean rubble from various construction sites around the city. Since it was just a pile of fill, nature has slowly but tenaciously taken over and created a green space at the bottom of our city.

It has become a favourite place for birders, and remarkably, one can find exotic plant life there as well, plants such as cacti. In the cold days of winter, it seems hard to believe that this bleak place harbours so much life. But even when the wind blows snow across this headland, colloquially called the “Leslie Street Spit,” birds gather to sing and feed. And birders and photographers gather to watch and shoot.

The Music is So Close But… soooo far away!!!

One of my favourite times for live Music in the city is here. CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK! Ah but work, school and life conflicts will mean I will miss all of this years shows. Such is life (even when I’ve busted out hard cash for a wristband to catch the action during the fest)…

Well if I can’t see some of my favourites like Julie Doiron, The Besnard Lakes, Sloan or The Breeders I can only encourage you NOT to do the same.

Of course there are 500 Canadian and International artists playing at 41 venues in the city. Best pick at least one and hang on for the ride. You may not get back in if you leave. Trust me.

Not sure where to start? My choice picks during the CMW (that I have to miss…GRRR… but you don’t) are Burlington’s Saint Alvia Cartel, Montreal’s SoCalled, Raised by Swans, Volcanoless in Canada, Toronto’s own Colin Munroe, and Grand Analog.  Even Jenny Omnichord (just because I miss Lederhosen Lucil)…

Canadian Music Week – March 5th – 8th

HDTV – The Beginning or the End of the Age of Television

Like the advent of the CD and DVD, HDTV promises to surpass the sound, resolution and clarity of its predecessor, traditional analog TV. Ah but quality is a matter of personal taste. The sorry state of most Pop music’s one hit wonders are recorded in pristine digital surround on hundreds of tracks vs. the Beatles catalogue recorded on tape (for the most part using 4 Tracks!). A case of SONGWRITING over studio auto-tuning, reverb and effects.

Day by day we creep closer to the rabbit ear doomsday. In 2011 , well August 31, 2011 to be exact, analog over-the-air broadcasts will be shut off and replaced by digital TV. Is the sky really falling that fast? Are the estimated three million Canadians that still rely on rabbit ears or other antenna for their TV signals doomed? The average Joe and Jane have more than 3 years of Survivor, American Gladiators and other quality educational programing to lust over in inferior analog bliss. What are they thinking?

Will the government subsidize set boxes or will the TV be shut off forever? Will free TV go the way of the the dodo? I think more of the later will be true. People are more prone to turn off than tune in. More and more people are programing their own entertainment. YouTube, the local video store, or personal content (home video/digital cameras are taking off these days even on cell phones!). Writers strikes and reality TV overload are making more and more people ditch the TV habit. Low budget straight to DVD movies are not exactly packing the theatres right? Sure there are those who spend more than $4,000 to sit on their butts and watch TV or spend $50 for a night at the movies but this is not the majority.

The bidding war is officially on as Toronto business big wig John Bitove has already proposed a plan to kick off a station. My guess is that it will be all for nothing (or nearly nothing).

TV becomes irrelevant more and more each day. Google was smart to gobble up YouTube. Yahoo would be a sweet take over for Microsoft as they would grab Flickr. The next wave of media appears to be self created media. Doesn’t fair well for TV. What? I can hear you over my radio…LoL

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