Boing Boing 

Jamaican bobsled team's 8-bit style music video

As usual with these things, it's really 16-bit style, but it's fantastic, so who cares? [YouTube]

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford declares "Bob Marley Day"

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford declared yesterday to be "Bob Marley Day." It's hard to read the tea-leaves on this one: is it a wink-wink reach-out to the stoner vote from a mayor who admitted to smoking crack and who has been accused by his staff in sworn affidavits of both smoking weed at work and offering weed as a ransom in exchange for the return of his lost mobile phone? Is it a charm offensive aimed at Toronto's large Jamaican/West Indian population, many of whom were offended by the mayor's drunken impression of an angry, ranting patois-speaker? Is it a totally non-ironic celebration of a great musician and great political thinker (albeit one whose politics ran totally contrary to the mayor's own)?

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Excellent signs from K.L. Rankine, a gentleman sign painter in Jamaica

Click to view large. Photo: Jeff Simmermon.

Boing Boing pal Jeff Simmermon sends us some wonderful snapshots of a local Jamaican artist who lives and works in Treasure Beach, "a very sparsely populated rural beach town in Southern Jamaica," where Jeff and his bride are celebrating their honeymoon (congrats, you two!). I saw these photos on Facebook, and asked Jeff if he wouldn't mind sharing them with Boing Boing, too.

Jeff obliged, and says, "This guy's sign painting business is somewhere near Black River, but nowhere near anything at all. He's got a lot of bible verses and wise sayings, and a few pieces that are INTENSELY anatomical."

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Jamaica's new PM vows to ditch royal rule

Jamaica's new Prime Minister -- who won by a landslide -- has vowed to turn the island into a republic, eliminating the Queen as the head of state. This may seem pretty pro-forma, but in the past few years, Canada's royal representative, the Governor General, has allowed the Prime Minister to suspend parliament for highly politicized reasons, at one point leaving Canada without government in the midst of the financial crisis. The Commonwealth bargain is meant to be that the Queen's rep acts as a non-political, sober oversight of last resort. But in Canada, the GG let the Prime Minister shut down Parliament to avoid a no-confidence vote and to shut down an embarrassing Parliamentary inquiry about Canada's complicity in the indefinite detention, torture and murder of Afghani war prisoners. Against this backdrop, it seems to me that getting rid of royal "governance" can only be a good thing.

"I love the Queen; she is a beautiful lady," Simpson Miller said, before declaring to the audience in Jamaican patois: "But I think time come."

Simpson Miller said she could replace the privy council in London with the Trinidad-based Caribbean court of justice as Jamaica's highest court of appeal. She said this would "end judicial surveillance from London."

She vowed her government would "ease the burdens and the pressues of increasing poverty, joblessness and deteriorating standards of living" while also pursuing a tight fiscal policy and forging strong partnerships with the private sector and international partners such as the International Monetary Fund.

Jamaica will become a republic, new prime minister vows