Exploring 500px


500px.com is a photo sharing site for photographers (and aspiring photographers), offering a place to showcase and even sell their best work. The site is a Canadian startup that has been online for over 3 years. It has over a million and a half members now and accounts are free. It also has one of the easiest to read Term of Service pages I’ve seen. (Legalese on the left, plain English on the right)

If you are prepared to lose some time pleasantly, check it out. I did a search for Toronto, of course, to start my exploration.

Free apps are available for all popular operating systems, devices, etc.

Temporary nouns

I think there was a time when names were called proper nouns… you know, the kind of name that starts with a capital letter. When we were downtown yesterday, it occurred to me that “temporary nouns” might be a useful term for buidings and facilities that sell naming rights.

The notion popped up as we walked past the Sony Centre (formerly Hummingbird Centre and O’Keefe Centre before that). We had just left the SkyDome (named Rogers Centre at the moment), after having lunch at the former BCE Place, now called Brookfield Place. Hotels play the name change game with great frequency, too, as various chains swap real estate.

In like a lion

For many years, I thought that there was a predictive element in the phrase In like a lion, out like a lamb. I mistakenly inserted the notion that “if” March opened with particularly nasty winter weather, “then” it would end with benign conditions. But no. There’s nothing Farmers’ Almanacky here… just a saying that reflects March’s position in the calendar as a turning point for seasons.

I wonder why I never thought there was an “if” in April showers bring May flowers.

The endless grafitti struggle

This story about my local city councillor’s back fence illustrates the problem. Is graffiti public art, free expression or vandalism?

The fence features some child art that looks like typical “fridge art” that parents like to display. It’s in an alley, so not many people have to look at it, even if it is an eyesore and and old, undecorated fence might have been more picturesque. Toronto graffiti cops say it has to go, or fines and clean-up costs may be imposed. Appeal is possible, but wouldn’t that just be more time and money wasted on trivia?

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