Previous month:
October 2008
Next month:
December 2008

Being an aggregator

There is so much information online that we now have aggregators, that will scan blogs, news feeds, web pages, for you, and collect in one place as a series of links. Some you choose by their stated slant, some you can customize yourself. Same as we do when choosing which newspaper of magazine or news station to follow. 

So I thought I would try something similar. My jam-packed retirement day starts with CBC 1 news, then a read of the Globe and Mail, and the Ottawa Citizen - in depth or not, depending on the content, brand of coffee, other activities planned. But I do often come across interesting things I would like to share with others. Sometimes it's family or friends, sometimes Facebook virtual friends.

So - here's a start ...

Continue reading "Being an aggregator" »

In Ottawa, whether graffiti is art is not the point

There was yet another case of this art/not art argument lately here in Ottawa, at Hot Peppers Restaurant, a Thai place on Somerset. Ottawa Bylaws decided something painted on a side wall was graffiti, removed it, and sent the owner a bill. The CBC news site has this article on it. 

According to the Ottawa Graffiti Management Bylaw 2008-01,

“graffiti" means one or more letters, symbols, etchings, figures, inscriptions, stains howsoever made or otherwise affixed to a property or other markings that disfigure or deface a property

So the decision the Bylaw Inspector is making is not whether it is art or not, but whether it disfigures or defaces the property.
What if the artist had done a blend of graffiti bubble letters and cartoon characters? What if it was just little cartoon food characters, in keeping with the restaurant theme? What if the wall was already disfigured and defaced with peeling paint, mismatched bricks, sloppy patches, pigeon droppings - whatever? And the "markings" the artists had added, even if "just" letterings, actually made the wall look better?
At what point is it decided by the bylaw officer these markings do NOT disfigure or deface? What if another officer has a different opinion, do they stand there and do "paper, rock, scissors" to decide who is right?


It's a gas

One good (?) thing about the droop in the economy is cheaper gas at the pump. A lot cheaper, it is 80 cents/litre now, was up to $1.40 not that long ago. Crude prices went from a forecast of over $200 a barrel to a reality of less than $70. It is good that it's cheaper to fill my car, but also means that all those SUV's and trucks that were supposedly being sold as gas guzzlers are on the market again. Not that gas prices have a huge effect on driving habits - we might downsize our car, or park the motor home, but I doubt most are willing to change their habits much. If gas bounces back up 50% to $1.20, I'm not about to buy half as much, or take the bus twice as much. 

Continue reading "It's a gas" »