Great shot!

20130603-182951.jpg
I swiped this from Bill Byres’ Facebook page. Rebecca Staton caught the moment perfectly. Bill is so well known and trusted by High Park birds, they come out of the trees to sit on his hand. Here, a red winged blackbird approaches for a handout.

Auto-spell humour

This review appears in a product listing for a gadget that extends home wi-fi signals.

“bought this because i could not get a strong reception in my bedroom; now i can get wife everywhere”

It pays to check and see what our auto-completing word processors are “helping” us say.

Thank you, Dr. Morgentaler

20130529-163334.jpgMy choice in the Greatest Canadian poll has died at the age of 90. I admired Henry Morgentaler’s courage and determination. He put his personal freedom on the line to help win the right of Canadian women to choose medically safe abortion of unwanted pregnancies. His efforts are now enshrined in Canadian law.

A Harper I could respect

20130520-001807.jpg

Elijah Harper had a lot of guts. In 1990 he held out as the only member of the Manitoba legislature to refuse the unanimous consent needed to fast track the Meech Lake Accord through the house. Imagine the pressure to conform. But no one had thought it important to consult Canada’s aboriginal people about that Accord. Big mistake.

One lone figure, holding his famous eagle feather, stood firm and the Meech Lake Accord died.

Now Elijah Harper has died, too. He lies in state in the Mantoba legislature where he made history, receiving the honour that is his due.

Canadian earthquake humour

20130517-100812.jpg

I thought I felt a little earthquake shudder here in Toronto this morning, so I checked Google for news. Yup…there was a little one, centred in Braeside. But that was less interesting than the photo that turned up as part of my quick search. Nice one, Montreal.

Two walks today, one Jane’s, one not

Today’s Jane’s Walk was the first one ever conducted for the Birchcliff neighbourhood, in Scarborough, along Kingston Road and down to the bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario. Sometimes it felt more like a Jane’s Talk, rather than a Jane’s Walk. Maybe next year they’ll cut back on some of the less interesting credit-giving and political speechifying… but it was a first effort, after all.

birchcliff-gangWe met Danica’s cousin Neda, her husband Richard, daughter Nicole and son Matthew on the Walk. They live in the neighbourhood. Kathleen came along with Danica and me.

The turnout was excellent and the neighbourly feel was very pleasant. Water was provided… very thoughtful on a warm day… and auxilliary police were on hand to assure safe passage across busy, noisy Kingston Road. Tour guides had microphones, which was also helpful. The 2 hour walk finished on schedule and refreshments were provided at the finish line. In short, the event was well planned and executed.

In the morning, before the Birchcliff walk, I had a look at the bluffs from the shoreline, down at Bluffer’s Park. A bit further east than Birchcliff, but in the same neck of the woods, Bluffer’s Park is a twin of The Ashbridges Bay park in our neighbourhood… but it has the cliffs!

bluffers-park

What I learned today:

  • Don’t forget your hat like I did for Bluffer’s Park. The sun is HOT and the trees aren’t offering shade yet.
  • The area between Kingston Road and the water’s edge is a hidden gem. Green and peaceful. You’d never guess, fighting your way in commuter traffic along busy, potholed Kingston Road, that serenity was just a few metres away.
  • Said area is a real neighbourhood, with a stable population that values what it has.
  • Real estate values are climbing fast, as newcomers renovate old homes or demolish and infill.
  • The Scarborough Bluffs are one of the city’s best assets and the lake views are gorgeous.

Saying NO to DRMers

If private companies want to hobble their products with Digital Rights Management code, that’s their business. I just won’t buy their stuff. I like products I can move from one device to another without having to pay again.

But putting DRM into the World Wide Web’s fundamental language (HTML)? I say NO, that’s going too far and invading the public space.

Stop the Hollyweb! No DRM in HTML5. Click the graphic if you’d like to sign the petition.