Heritage Toronto has curated a cool Instagram account (graffitialley.to) that documents Toronto's Graffiti Alley. It works best on a phone, but it's OK on other screens if you don't mind turning your head 90 degrees. Read the rest
The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party has issued an apology to attendees at a 3-day, $300-400 Conservative Leadership Foundation seminar where attendees experienced sexist epithets, thrown shoes, and denial of food and drink. Read the rest
The "In Canada lesbians are considered hot!" campaign is the brainchild of Robbie Picard, a tar-sands booster from Fort McMurray, Alberta. Read the rest
CETA -- the "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" is a secretly negotiated deal between Canada and the EU, mirroring many of the most controversial provisions in notorious deals like ACTA, TPP, and TTIP -- including the "corporate sovereignty" clauses that permit multinational corporations to sue governments in closed courts, and force them to repeal environmental, labour and safety rules (albeit dressed up in new clothes that make the provisions appear different, without making any real difference). Read the rest
Sulfur, useful as it is, is produced in such vast quantities as a byproduct of energy production that it is of little value. There's so much of it that Canadian oil company Syncrude's storage site is slowly turning into an enormous pyramid of sulfur.
Google Maps reveals that there are in fact three of them, a Gizeh of The North!
Here's a photo by Jason Woodhead, released under the Creative Commons.
If they keep going, it'll eventually be far larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
Kyle writes, "The Volt is a fully open source, arduino-based, handmade analog clock that tells time with meters. Available in a DIY install kit, 2 pre-made models, and a mix & match hardware option. The clocks are but with solid black walnut and maple, with faceplates produced in brass, copper, and steel. Only on Kickstarter!" Read the rest
It's hard to fund space exploration research -- the commercial applications are speculative and far-off -- but there's never been a better time to study super-efficient, closed-loop botany of the sort that will someday accompany human interplanetary missions, thanks to the need to develop better grow-ops for the burgeoning legal weed market in Canada. Read the rest
Toronto's public libraries have followed New York and Chicago's lead in offering wifi hotspot lending to low-income families, allowing them to "check out the internet" and take it home with them. Read the rest
Motherboard used public records requests to extract 3,000+ pages of court docs from a massive 2010 RCMP mafia/drug bust in Montreal, codenamed "Project Clemenza," which revealed the full extent of the Mounties' secret use of Stingrays -- AKA "IMSI Catchers," the fake cellular towers that let cops covertly track whole populations by tricking their phones into revealing information about them. Read the rest
Dan Nosowitz of Atlas Obscura has posted a pair of funny pieces on how to “speak Canadian.” I was reminded of this clip from comedy legend John Candy.
Canada RULES! I love swearing in Québécois. Also, I deeply respect Boing Boing's revered tech guru and sysadmin Ken Snider, who is Canadian.
Atlas Obscura's short guide to cursing like a French Canadian is fantastic. Basically you mutter a bunch of religious terms under your breath, like tabernak and callise!
Nosowitz also tackled one of the great mysteries of North American language, the Canadian “about”. I'm still not sure I can get my head around it.
Via Atlas Obscura:
Read the rest
The Canadian diphthong in “about” starts with something closer to “eh,” and migrates to a blank space on the American linguistic map somewhere between “uh,” “oh,” and “ooh.” That transition is actually easier on the mouth than the American version; our vowels go from low to high, and theirs from mid to high.
To say that Canadians are saying “aboot” is linguistically inaccurate; “ooh” is a monophthong and the proper Canadian dialect uses a diphthong. “A-boat” would actually be a bit closer, but still relies on a monophthong. Why can’t Americans get their heads around the Canadian “about”?
“What's going on is a compound of pronunciation and perception,” says Dailey-O’Cain. “The Canadians do pronounce it differently. Americans hear this and they know it's different—they're hearing a difference but they don't know exactly what that difference is.” Americans do not have the Canadian diphthong present in the word “about,” which makes it hard to understand.
A youngster somewhere in British Columbia was recording video of an unrelated event in a strip mall parking lot when he noticed a charming, red-striped vintage bus. It's not every day you run into a 1970s General Motors New Look! The exciting moment is at about 41 seconds in. Read the rest
Canada Post claimed a "crown copyright" over the postal codes assigned to Canadian homes, meaning that Canadian organisations and businesses could only use this vital information if they paid -- that is, they'd have to pay to access something their taxes already paid for, and the richer you were, the more access you could afford. Read the rest