Toronto Mayor Rob Ford demands removal of Pride flag from City Hall


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford -- who has steadfastly refused to attend the city's massive, economically vital and glorious Pride parade -- has pitched a tantrum over the decision to fly a rainbow flag from the auxiliary flagpole at City Hall. The flag was raised in solidarity with LGBT activists and athletes in a project led by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam at the request of Pride House TO. Ford says he tried to get the flag removed, and has pasted Canadian flags over his office window and the doors of city hall.

Wong-Tam characterises this as evidence of Ford's long-suspected homophobia, which strikes me as extremely plausible. The article in the Globe and Mail points out that Ford recently told reporters that he would not attend Pride festivities even if he was not away with his family, this being Ford's usual excuse for missing it.

Wong-Tam hypothesizes that Ford has "let it all hang loose" and other councilors agree. I wonder if he thinks a dog-whistle for the city's bigots will win him votes come election day.

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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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Toronto's reference library gets a makerspace


Toronto's Metro Reference Library has unveiled its new makerspace, which sports 3D printer and scanners, Arduino and Raspberry Pi kits, and digital AV production gear. They've also lured the Toronto Mini-Maker Faire into relocating to their space. The library's makerspace will over classes and workshops on programming, hardware hacking, and repairing your electronics. It's a great all-ages/all-comers complement to Toronto's existing makerspaces, including Hacklab, Site3, and Makerkids.

The location couldn't be any better, either. I love Metro Ref. When I was 14, I dropped out of high-school without telling my parents and started taking the subway down to Yonge and Bloor every day, spending all day at the reference library, spelunking in the shelves, subject indices and (especially) the newspaper microfilm, which was amazing. And I've always loved the idea of makerspaces in libraries: as I wrote during last year's Freedom to Read week, "We need to master computers — to master the systems of information, so that we can master information itself. That's where makers come in."

In a brief interview with Torontist, Toronto City Librarian Jane Pyper explains why the library's opened a makerspace:

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Rob Ford's re-election campaign

Kelly Manchester put together this brilliant video, suggesting designs for some of Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford's re-election posters for the next Toronto mayoral race. All are real quotes from the real mayor, who is a really, really bad person.

Video imagines nightmare Rob Ford re-election posters (Thanks, Mom!)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ticketed, allegedly for public intoxication, in Vancouver

More news of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's disastrous car-wreck of a life. After swearing off drugs and alcohol (and insisting that he didn't have a problem with either), he's not only been getting so loaded that he finds himself transformed into the lead in a terrible one-man amateur production of "The Harder They Come"; he also was allegedly so drunk after a family funeral in Vancouver that a cop gave him a ticket for public drunkenness and jaywalking. You'd think a man devoted to ending the "war on cars" would be more deferential to their place in the road.

Ford claims he wasn't ticketed for public intoxication, and that all he'd drunk was a "diet Coke."

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Bieber and Ford as Gilligan and the Skipper

Here's this week's unidentified bit of net.clever seeking reidentification: a photoshopped Gilligan's Island image with Justin Beiber as Gilligan and Toronto's crack-smoking, Bieber-defending mayor Rob Ford as the Skipper -- found in Steve Silberman's Twitter stream. Do you know who made it? Weigh in in the comments and I'll add attribution to the post.

Rob Ford Valentines

$8 gets you six of SScotty 2 Naughty's Valentines cards themed for Toronto's crack-smoking, drunk-driving, thug-beatdown-commissioning lout of a mayor, Rob Ford. They sport slogans like "I must have been in one of my drunken stupors when I fell for you" and "I refuse to resign my love for you." Genius! And romantic.

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Free curriculum for maker-kids: toy hacking, 3D printing, Arduino rovers and more!


Andy Forest from Makerkids, a Toronto makerspace for kids, writes, "Together, Kids Learning Code, MakerKids, TIFF and the Toronto Public Library have just finished developing 7 comprehensive maker curriculum modules for libraries, schools and other organizations who want to get kids started being Makers. The Mozilla Hive Network Toronto provided funding support. The modules are designed for a non-technical audience and contain all the information needed to teach these topics:"

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Rob Ford sued for jailhouse beating of his ex-brother-in-law

Here's a new turn in the saga of Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford, the mayor of Toronto: a lawsuit alleges that he had a couple of his former football team proteges beat six kind of hell out of his estranged brother-in-law in jail. The brother-in-law is suing Ford, saying that when he was in jail, a couple of Ford's former players broke his leg and shattered his teeth as a warning to stay silent about the mayor's drug problem. Cory 30

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford curses in a jafaican accent when he's loaded

A video of Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford drunk and bellowing obscenities in a jafaican accent has surfaced. Ford, a luminously white and privileged man who was born into millions in a quiet suburb of Toronto, affects an embarrassing West Indian accent as he thunders to a captive audience at a west-end steak joint.

The subject of his rant was Toronto police chief Bill Blair, who instigated the long-running investigation into Ford's association with drug-dealers and gangsters, and which surfaced evidence that the mayor had smoked crack, driven drunk, and lied to the public and to council. In the video, Ford calls Blair "Cocksucking fucking Chief Blair."

He also says "bumbaclot." A lot.

When the scandal broke, Ford admitted to his drug use and swore he'd gone sober. But he told reporters who questioned him about this video that he was drunk, and that the events depicted in it were his "my personal life, with my personal friends, that's up to me. This really has nothing to do with you guys."

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Ralph Steadman draws Rob Ford for the cover of this week's Now Magazine


Toronto's free alternative weekly newspaper Now Magazine commissioned Ralph Steadman to draw Mayor Rob Ford for this week's cover. It's a great choice for a political year that was marked by so much fear and loathing (and an abundance of drugs). The issue also features Rob Ford's 50 stupidest quotes of 2013 (let us take a moment to admire the restraint of the Now staff in limiting themselves to a mere 50 here).

Rob Ford implies journalist is a pedophile

Just when you thought Toronto Mayor Rob Ford couldn't sink any lower, he implied that a Toronto Star reporter was a pedophile. The reporter he targeted is a particular thorn in the mayor's side, having gone to the mayor's house to investigate an adjacent property that he'd pulled strings to buy. Cory 32

Rob Ford police document: allegations of heroin use and more


Another tranche of police documents on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been released [474 page (!) PDF]. Despite the mayor's insistence that all of his secrets were now out in the open and he had nothing more to hide, the new materials contain several bombshells, including allegations of heroin use, bribing crooks with marijuana, and lying about the infamous crack video.

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Florida sheriff arrests mayor on drug charges: "This isn't Toronto"

Barry Layne Moore, erstwhile mayor of Hampton, Florida, has been arrested for possessing and selling Oxycodone. Upon arresting him, Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith quipped:

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Rob Ford gets a New Yorker cartoon

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has distinguished himself again, becoming the first mayor in Toronto history to be the punchline of a New Yorker cartoon. In Paul Noth's cartoon, two fellows at a bar watch Ford on a TV, and one says to the other, "Finally, a politician with the courage to take on Big Sanity." Though, (as Accordion Guy points out), you can always just caption it, "Christ, what an asshole."