Boing Boing 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's polls go up after he's caught lying about crack-smoking video

Back in August, Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford was caught smoking crack. Now he's been caught lying about smoking crack -- and smearing his critics with still more lies, and his fixer/drug dealer has been charged with extortion in the attempt to suppress the evidence.

So, naturally, his approval rating is up.

The old city of Toronto -- a political boundary that was abolished by Conservative premier Mike Harris in 1998 -- still hates Ford; he barely registers there. But the city's surrounding suburban sprawl is has a large cohort of foolish people who are only too delighted to cram their lying, drunken, stoned, incompetent top choice down the city's throat.

Toronto doesn't have the government it deserves: it has the government its worst neighbours deserve.

Read the rest

Rob Ford-o-Lantern

Toronto's fun-lovin', crack-smoking Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford is having an exciting Hallowe'en, which Robbo Mills's wife has commemorated with a very special Jack-O-Lantern.

Teh Missus made a pumpkin to celebrate!

Spycraft, Bumblef*ck-style

Hot on the heels of the news that Toronto cops have video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, the Toronto Star reports on the spycraft deployed by the wily mayor in his contact with his fixer Sandro Lisi, including the old gas-station Gatorade caper:

Read the rest

Toronto cops confirm video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack and making racist and homophobic remarks

The arrest of Sandro Lisi, Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford's driver/fixer/muscle, has led to Toronto police uncovering a copy of the notorious crack-smoking video reported on by the Toronto Star and Gawker. Lisi has been charged with extortion, though it's not clear whether he was extorting the mayor (because Lisi had a copy and threatened to release it) or extorting someone else (who had a copy, but wouldn't release it as a condition of the blackmail). The whole thing is tied up a wider investigation into local gang violence.

When asked to comment on the upcoming police announcement, Mayor Laughable Bumblefuck literally screamed at reporters to get off his lawn (well, technically his driveway). Literally.

Read the rest

Lesbian Feminist Haunted House: Kill Joy's Kastle

Toronto artist Allyson Mitchell has erected a "Lesbian Feminist Haunted House" called Kill Joy's Kastle. It's a response to the evangelical "Hell Houses," put up to scare people away from "sin" (especially teh gay).

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Harvard Business Review to universities: your subscription doesn't include classroom use

The University of Toronto's School of Business has advised its faculty to avoid assigning articles from the Harvard Business Review to their students. Though the U of T library has a digital subscription to the Review, Harvard has put it -- and other schools -- on notice that they will be billed separately if they are caught assigning, suggesting, or referring to HBR articles in classrooms. That's because the license agreement for academic HBR subscriptions forbids using HBR in coursework, and Harvard is now enforcing those terms, and hoping to extract rent from universities where the profs assume, foolishly, that just because a scholarly journal is in their library on a paid-up subscription, they can tell the students to go and read it.

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Toronto cops bust Mayor Rob Ford's fixer/muscle/driver/dealer

Sandro Lisi is a fixer for Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford -- the crack-smoking, racist, homophobic, distracted-driving, publicly drunken, ass-grabbing embarrassment who rules Toronto with a sloppy fist. On Tuesday, Toronto cops arrested Lisi for "marijuana trafficking, possession of the proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence"; he was arrested with Jamshid Bahrami, charged with "possession of cocaine, three counts of trafficking in marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence."

Lisi reportedly boasted of selling drugs to the mayor, and he drives a black Range Rover acquired from an ex-drug-addict whom he reportedly supplied. Lisi, who has a history of arrests for violence against women, worked as a part-time driver and security guard for the mayor, and had been tasked by the mayor with seeking out the notorious video that showed the mayor smoking crack and uttering racial slurs about the kids on the football team he coached.

Read the rest

Kids' toy hacking workshop at Toronto Maker Faire

Andy (from Toronto's excellent Makerkids) sez, "Toronto's Mini Maker Faire is back on after a 2 year gap! MakerKids is very excited to be a part of it, and we're running Toy Hacking all weekend and a Robot Battle Arena on Sunday. Bring your own battle robot, or customize one of ours on site! There are all kinds of other maker activities and projects on display at the Faire, come check it out!"

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Kids in the Hall to do five reunion shows in Toronto

Tavie sez, "Legendary comedy troupe (and troupe of my heart), Kids in the Hall, have put together old and new material for a limited reunion engagement in Toronto this December. This may or may not lead to another North American tour, so smart people are hightailing it to Toronto to see them perform in Toronto Sketchfest December 4 - 7:"

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Toronto's Hacklab raising money to help it move into larger space

Nicholas sez, "Toronto's oldest hackerspace just turned 5 years old, and with about 50 active members (not to mention all the folks who attend workshops and events), we desperately need to move out of our 600 sq.ft. space into something larger. We've secured space, and plan to have a larger general-purpose 'lab' area, a kitchen/classroom area for holding workshops, and a modest shop area with heavy power tools. Having a larger space will let us accommodate all of our members, provide a place to house versatile tools and will simplify workshop logistics. HackLab Toronto is a community space with a diverse membership, including artists, computer programmers, web designers, and hardware hackers. We collaborate on projects, hold free workshops for the community, promote STEM, and cook free vegan meals at our Tuesday night open-houses. Help us grow!"

Read the rest

Toronto's Honest Ed's will go

John sez, "Honest Ed's, the iconic Toronto discount store ('There's no place like this place. Anyplace') is up for sale and will be closing. You may know it from its appearance in the Scott Pilgrim comic and film, but it's been a landmark in Toronto for decades. Not a surprise, of course, since it doesn't really fit in to today's retail landscape (they have real hand painted signs for all their prices painted by real honest to god sign painters that they employ full time) but of course, that's why it's such an amazing place. It will likely be replaced by yet another condo with ground floor stores that could be in any city in the world and a little bit more of Toronto's personality will be gone."

I had an office facing Honest Ed's for a while -- I finished Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town there, and that building has always been an integral part of the neighborhood for me. My grandparents shopped there. My parents shopped there. I shopped there. Toronto, like all the world's cities, is being crushed into a bland, multinational corporate sameness that makes us all poorer, except for a few shareholders.

Honest Ed's is up for sale

(Image: Honest Ed's, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from scruss's photostream)

Flooding in Toronto

Toronto experienced 100mm of rain yesterday, resulting in widespread flooding. 300,000 people were without power for a time, and a GO commuter train had to be evacuated. Edward Vielmetti has rounded up some of the most dramatic photos tweeted by people on the scene.

July 8, 2013 Toronto flooding (via Interesting People)

Stay Mayor: free Android game based on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's scandals

Stay Mayor is a free Android game based on the horrifying, hilarious misadventures of Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford. In order to win, you play the mayor "as he flees from reporters, avoids crack pipes, and tries to pick up as much cash as possible in order to buy the alleged video before Gawker gets it. The player can pick up footballs along the way and lob them at nasty cameramen who try to get in the mayor's way."

And what happens if the mayor run into too many cameras or crack pipes?

“He slows down, then eventually the media scrum overtakes him. The metaphor is that he has to deal with the media now, which is probably his worst nightmare,” Mr. McEvoy said.

The player then sees a sad screen that says "bunch of maggots," he added.

Cheeky video game takes on troubles of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford [Ann Hui/Globe and Mail] (Thanks, Jonny!)

Frequent caller to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's radio show is secretly guy now on the mayor's payroll

Toronto mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford -- the man accused of smoking crack with gang-members, and whose family are alleged to have ties to the KKK and organized crime -- has made a career out of avoiding answering serious questions posed by the press, preferring to address the public via the talk-radio program he and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford (accused to being west Toronto's hashish kingpin in the 1980s) host.

Now, the CBC reports that one of the longtime callers to the show was, in fact, a paid employee of Rob Ford:

In March of last year, “Dave from Scarborough” called in to say that LRT stood for “left-wing redundant transit,” as opposed to light-rail transit.

The next month, the same “Dave from Scarborough” slammed the proposal from the city’s medical officer of health to reduce speed limits.

That May, a “Dave from Etobicoke” offered his take on stores charging for plastic bags:

“That, in my humble opinion, is fascism, and it's ludicrous that comrade [former mayor David] Miller and his merry band of big-brother, I know better than you, paternalistic, heavy-handed, Looney Tunes socialists should be setting the agenda of this great city of Toronto,” the caller said.

"Dave" is David Price, the mayor's director of operations and logistics (also alleged to have helped run Doug Ford's hashish empire in the 1980s).

Rob Ford's friend 'Dave' made calls to mayor's radio show [Jamie Strashin/CBC]

(Thanks, Dave!)

Men in Toronto Mayor Rob Ford photo arrested in gang sweep

Toronto police carried out a series of dramatic raids on alleged gang-members across the city in Friday. They raided 15 Windsor Rd, a run-down and notorious bungalow that is also noteworthy for providing the backdrop against which Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford was photographed, arms around three men -- two of whom were arrested in the sweep, the third of whom was murdered in an apparent drug-related slaying. The photo of Ford was provided by the now-unlocatable gentlemen who offered to sell the Toronto Star and Gawker a video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack.

The mayor reportedly told his staff that he knew where the video was, and gave an address in a high rise in the suburb of Etobicoke (that unit was also raided in the sweeps), but insisted to the press that the video didn't exist at all. Many have speculated that the mayor or his representatives arranged to have the video deleted. However, given that at least one computer was seized in the raids, it's possible that the may yet surface.

In the meantime, we're left with the mayor palling around with men whom the police consider to be members of organised crime; a Globe and Mail investigation that accused the mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, of having served as one of Toronto's top drug dealers in the 1980s, and a mayor who refuses to directly address important questions about his conduct:

Kassim, 20, was arrested in the raids Thursday and has been charged with trafficking in weapons and drugs (cocaine and marijuana) for the benefit of a criminal organization. He also faces charges of conspiracy to commit unauthorized possession of a firearm, breach of house arrest, and theft under $5,000.

His longtime friend, Muhammad Khattak, also flanking the mayor in the photo, was charged with participating in cocaine trafficking for the benefit of a criminal organization and trafficking in marijuana.

Police officers carried evidence bags, including what appeared to be a Toshiba laptop, out of the 19-year-old’s home on Mercury Rd. Thursday.

Khattak was wounded in the same March shooting that killed the third man in the photo, Anthony Smith.

Dixon Road raids help complete infamous Rob Ford photo


Dave Groff sez, "TONIGHT city planners will be holding a community consultation on the re-zoning applications, this will be one of the few opportunities at which the public can give input to the planners on a project that could profoundly change our neighbourhoods."

Date: **TONIGHT** Thursday, June 6, 2013
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00 pm
Place: College St United Church, Sanctuary / Auditorium, 454 College Street, northwest corner, College and Bathurst

Kensington is the best neighbourhood in Toronto and practically the last one untouched by rampant condo-ization and chain-storification.

Petition: Don't Let Wal-Mart and a shopping mall destroy Kensington Market

Rob Ford crack-smoking video is "gone"

Gawker's John Cook has finally gotten in touch with the guy who offered to sell him a video of Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford smoking crack. Bad news: the guy says the video is "gone":

But I have heard independently from others familiar with the goings-on in Toronto that leaders in its Somali community have determined who the owner is and brought intense pressure to bear on him and his family. Toronto's "Little Mogadishu" neighborhood is located in the ward Rob Ford represented when he was a city councillor; though he is a conservative and a racist buffoon, I am told he has long-standing connections to Somali power brokers there.

Which brings us to this past Friday, when the intermediary called to tell me that he had finally heard from the owner. And his message was: "It's gone. Leave me alone." It was, the intermediary told me, a short conversation.

"It's gone" could mean many things. It might mean that the video has been destroyed. It might mean that it has been handed over to Ford or his allies. It might mean that he intends to sell or give it to a Canadian media outlet. It might mean that the Toronto Police Department has seized it and plans to use it as evidence in a criminal investigation. It might mean that it has been transferred to the custody of Somali community leaders for safekeeping. It might be a lie. The intermediary doesn't know. Neither do I.

The Rob Ford Crack Video Might Be "Gone"

Toronto mayoral disaster: illegal deletion of staffers' email?

More news from the embattled mayor of Toronto, Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford: after two of his senior staffers walked out on him following questioning by Toronto homicide detectives, it appears that someone illegally ordered the destruction of their archived city emails and call-records -- as well as the archived electronic communications of Ford's former chief of staff, whom Ford fired under mysterious circumstances.

The Star heard concerns at city hall Wednesday afternoon over the potential destruction or hiding of the records of three staffers who resigned or were fired during the ongoing crack cocaine scandal. Sources told the Star the records were in danger after city employees were directed to delete them.

The Star sent a request late Wednesday to the city asking for email and phone records of the three staffers in question for the time period during which the video at the heart of the scandal has been discussed.

Emails sent by city employees, including political staffers, are automatically preserved by the city, though emails related to “personal” business are exempt from freedom of information requests.

Two people familiar with the system said the emails of specific political staffers cannot be permanently erased from the system.p

Rob Ford video scandal: Concerns raised over safety of email records

Toronto cops hospitalize hotel guest who recorded them arresting another guest

A man staying at Toronto's Sheraton Centre Hotel used his Blackberry to video-record police who were arresting another guest. The police objected and several of them piled onto him, beating him savagely while screaming "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!" They broke two of his ribs. The whole thing was captured on the man's phone and on hotel CCTV. He's suing.

After being notified this month of the arrest and injuries by Andrus’s lawyer Barry Swadron, the province’s Special Investigations Unit is also now looking into the arrest. The unit probes police incidents that result in serious injury or death.

With smartphones everywhere, police should be getting used to the fact that citizens are going to record police operations, says Swadron.

“On the one hand, the police are frequently seeking images from surveillance cameras and personal recording devices in an effort to uncover illegal activities,” Swadron said in an emailed statement to the Star. “On the other hand, the police do not seem to look kindly when someone is recording the conduct of police officers.

St. Catharines resident Karl Andrus is arrested on Aug. 29, 2012, by Toronto police while filming arrests of fellow Sheraton Centre Hotel guests. Andrus, 35, is suing police, alleging his rights were breached. Andrus begins filming at the 1:10 mark.

In an interview with the Star, Andrus, a 35-year-old dispatcher for an IT company with no criminal record, said he had been out for a couple of drinks at a bar across the street from the hotel late on the night of Aug. 29, 2012.

Exclusive: Toronto police arrest man, take phone after attempt to film takedown at Sheraton [Jim Rankin/Toronto Star]

Infographic: the Laughable Bumblef*ckery of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

(Click to embiggen)

If you've been finding it hard to get your head around all the scandals, awfulness and pure shitshowery of Toronto mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford, look no futher: Hilary Sargent has composed a handy reference in infographic form.

Toronto mayoral car-crash: homicide detectives search mayor's office after tip on crack-smoking video; top staffers quit

More drama from the world of Toronto Mayor "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford -- first, reporters from two rival news entities independently verified the existence of a video showing the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine and passing racist remarks about the kids on the football team he coached.

The mayor was told by the Catholic high school where he coached football that he was no longer welcome around their boys. The mayor's chief of staff, Mark Towhey, was escorted out of the building by security after the mayor fired him, allegedly after he told the mayor to go into rehab, and insisted that it would be a bad idea to take back the athletic equipment he'd given to the school that had just canned him.

Then, after the mayor and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, pursued an approach of near-total silence (apart from some perfunctory denials), the Globe and Mail finally ran an investigative piece on the mayor's family that it had been working on for 18 months, detailing extensive familial connections to unsavory criminal drug-dealers (and the KKK!) and alleging that Councillor Doug Ford had been one of the top hash dealers in Toronto's western suburb of Etobicoke. This prompted the Ford brothers to finally break their media silence and go on a mini press-tour, calling reporters "a bunch of maggots" and Globe editor-in-chief John Stackhouse "a disgusting human being," denying everything. They especially denied that there was a video smoking crack, leading some to speculate that the wealthy Ford family had bought off the video from the drug dealers who'd been shopping it around.

Then Toronto homicide detectives raided the mayor's office, following a tip that the mayor's staff knew the where the video was.

And now, finally, the mayor's press secretary George Christopoulos and his assistant, Isaac Ransom, have both quit.

Mr. Ford told a scrum of journalists outside his office that the pair had “decided to go … down a different avenue.” He said he was told of their departures around noon.

“I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours and I want to thank them for working hard in this office,” he said, flanked by his brother Councillor Doug Ford.

Mr. Ford declined to say why Mr. Christopoulos and Mr. Ransom had quit, but said he never wants to “hold anyone back from moving on for future endeavours or opportunities that they may have.”

Mr. Ford announced that Amin Massoudi, Doug’s executive assistant, had agreed to become his new communications director. An earlier statement said Sunny Petrujkic would be interim press secretary.

The mayor also responded to a Globe and Mail report that a senior member of his office was interviewed by police last week about a tip linking the alleged crack video to a recent Toronto homicide.

“Everything’s fine. I have no idea what the police are investigating,” Mr. Ford said.

Two senior members of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's staff resign [Elizabeth Church and Jill Mahoney/Globe and Mail]

$200k raised to buy claimed video of Toronto Mayor smoking crack

Gawker hit its target with hours to spare, but have already warned readers that the ne'er-do-wells in possession of the alleged evidence might not be willing or able to do business. In that case, the funds will go to charity. Previously.

Globe and Mail: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's family are, variously, a drug kingpin, a gangster, and affiliated with the KKK

The Globe and Mail, a respected national Canadian newspaper, has run an absolutely sensational and jaw-dropping investigative story chronicling the shady lives of the immediate family of Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford, including his brother, City Councillor Doug Ford.

The Globe piece details how Doug Ford was allegedly one of the top drug traffickers in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, supplying the lower-level dealers in the region and running with a notorious gang, many of whose members ended up junkies and were arrested for habit-feeding property crimes.

The piece also discusses Randy Ford, who was also allegedly in the drug trade, and who was arrested for his part in a kidnapping, allegedly over a drug deal.

Ford's sister, Kathy Ford, is alleged to have ties to the Canadian chapter of the KKK, and to have been involved in spectacular, drug-related violent incidents.

Finally, the Ford brothers' close advisor, David Price (heretofore known as Rob Ford's former coach), is described a Doug Ford's former drug-dealing partner.

Rob Ford has been in the news since last week's revelation that both the Toronto Star and Gawker claimed to have been shown a video in which the mayor of Canada's largest city smokes crack cocaine, passes racist remarks about the kids on the football team he used to coach (he's been fired from that job) and calls Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (son of Pierre Trudeau), "a fag."

Ford has been refusing to speak to the press or answer questions -- apart from a few cursory denials -- ever since, and I think this prompted the Globe to go digging in his past to see if there was anything in his history or family that suggested he might be involved in hard drugs. I'm guessing Ford wishes now that he'd just had a press conference.

Update:: I stand corrected: the Globe has been working on this story for 18 months.

In recent years, the Ford family home has become known for the annual barbecue, attended by hundreds of neighbours and a Who’s Who of Conservative luminaries – including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. But in the 1980s, the finished basement at 15 Weston Wood Rd. was one of the many places Doug Ford did business, the sources said.

“Justin” recalled descending to the basement on one occasion to buy hash from Mr. Ford, and on numerous other occasions watching as it was sold.

He said he couldn’t recall exactly how much hash he purchased that day, but that it was enough to require a triple-beam balance scale – the kind used in most high-school science classes. Normally, street-level dealers in that era relied on Pesola scales, the compact tubes often used by fishermen to weigh their catch. “If you went over [a quarter-pound], you had to go up to the three beamers – because you could get up to a few pounds on it,” he explained.

As a dealer, Doug Ford was not highly visible. Another source, “Tom,” who also supplied street-level dealers and has a long criminal record, said his girlfriend at the time would complain, whenever he was arrested, that he needed to be more calculating “like Doug.” Mr. Ford’s approach, sources said, was to supply a select group that in turn distributed smaller amounts across Etobicoke.

Globe investigation: The Ford family’s history with drug dealing [Greg McArthur and Shannon Kari/Globe and Mail]

(Thanks, Charlie!)

Black Code: how spies, cops and crims are making cyberspace unfit for human habitation

I reviewed Ronald Diebert's new book Black Code in this weekend's edition of the Globe and Mail. Diebert runs the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto and has been instrumental in several high-profile reports that outed government spying (like Chinese hackers who compromised the Dalai Lama's computer and turned it into a covert CCTV) and massive criminal hacks (like the Koobface extortion racket). His book is an amazing account of how cops, spies and crooks all treat the Internet as the same kind of thing: a tool for getting information out of people without their knowledge or consent, and how they end up in a kind of emergent conspiracy to erode the net's security to further their own ends. It's an absolutely brilliant and important book:

Ronald Deibert’s new book, Black Code, is a gripping and absolutely terrifying blow-by-blow account of the way that companies, governments, cops and crooks have entered into an accidental conspiracy to poison our collective digital water supply in ways small and large, treating the Internet as a way to make a quick and dirty buck or as a snoopy spy’s best friend. The book is so thoroughly disheartening for its first 14 chapters that I found myself growing impatient with it, worrying that it was a mere counsel of despair.

But the final chapter of Black Code is an incandescent call to arms demanding that states and their agents cease their depraved indifference to the unintended consequences of their online war games and join with civil society groups that work to make the networked society into a freer, better place than the world it has overwritten.

Deibert is the founder and director of The Citizen Lab, a unique institution at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. It is one part X-Files hacker clubhouse, one part computer science lab and one part international relations observatory. The Citizen Lab’s researchers have scored a string of international coups: Uncovering GhostNet, the group of Chinese hackers taking over sensitive diplomatic computers around the world and eavesdropping on the private lives of governments; cracking Koobface, a group of Russian petty crooks who extorted millions from random people on the Internet, a few hundred dollars at a time; exposing another Chinese attack directed at the Tibetan government in exile and the Dalai Lama. Each of these exploits is beautifully recounted in Black Code and used to frame a larger, vivid narrative of a network that is global, vital and terribly fragile.

Yes, fragile. The value of the Internet to us as a species is incalculable, but there are plenty of parties for whom the Internet’s value increases when it is selectively broken.

How to make cyberspace safe for human habitation

Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace

NMA on Rob Ford's crack video

Taiwan's Next Media Animation -- basically, news-of-the-weird, made weirder with instant machinima-esque videos -- weighs in on the allegation that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught on video smoking crack.

Crack smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford caught on tape!

The Rob Ford files

In handy spreadsheet form! (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

A timely and topical single-serving site

Has Rob Ford Resigned Yet? (Thanks, Ryan!)

3D printing for kids, this weekend in Toronto!

Back in January, I blogged my visit to Toronto's MakerKids, a wonderful makerspace for kids. Now, MakerKids is running a 3D printing weekend for kids at Toronto's Harbourfront centre. Andy from Makerkids writes, "This weekend, at the 11th annual Toronto International Circus Festival (from May 16th-18th at the Harbourfront Centre), MakerKids will be helping kids to do 3D printing of circus creatures! At our station at this free event, kids will design fantastical animals and characters they'd like to see in a circus using the 123D Creature app. The crowd's favourites will be 3D printed for their designers to bring home!"

MakerKids 3D Printing at Harbourfront this Weekend (Thanks, Andy!)

Gawker reporter claims to have seen video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack

Gawker's John Cook was contacted by a tipster who offered to sell him a video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack for more than $40K. As proof, the tipster provided a photo of Ford posing with Anthony Smith, recently murdered in a gang-style shooting. The tipster claimed that Ford buys his crack from a dealer who services many of Toronto's elite, including "Ford's longtime friend, people on his staff, his brother, a prominent hockey analyst, and more."

Gawker didn't want to spend the $40K to get the video, though they did send Cook to Toronto, and he claims to have seen it. A CNN source tipped off the Ford people that the video is in circulation, and there the story stands:

Here is what the video shows: Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, is the only person visible in the frame. Prior to the trip, I spent a lot of time looking at photographs of Rob Ford. The man in the video is Rob Ford. It is well-lit, clear. Ford is seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe. The kind with a big globe and two glass cylinders sticking out of it. In the other hand is a lighter. A slurred voice off-camera is ranting about Canadian politics in what sounds like an attempt to goad Ford. "Pierre Trudeau was a faggot!" is the one phrase the lodges in my mind. Ford, pipe in one hand and lighter in the other, is laughing, and mildly protesting at the sacrilege. He seems to keep trying to light the pipe, but keeps stopping to laugh. He is red-faced and sweaty, heaving with each breath. Finally, he finds his moment and lights up. He inhales.

In one move, the owner stops the video and draws the device back into his pocket.

"You took this?" I ask.



"Within the last six months."

"You're sure it's crack?"


"You've seen him smoke crack before?"

"Yes. Gotta jet."

And he is gone.

Cook reports that someone with a Hotmail account identifying himself as Dennis Morris and claiming to be Ford's lawyer sent him an email threatening to sue him if he publishes. I'd be interested in knowing whether "Dennis Morris" is registered with the Law Society of Upper Canada, but they don't appear to have an online registry.

Rob Ford is one of the worst politicians in Canadian history (really saying something). My nickname for him is Mayor Laughable Bumblefuck. He's weathered some severe scandals during his tenure in office, but I think that this one would be terminal, and may even take down his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, a guy widely held to be the brains in the outfit.

For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack Cocaine [John Cook/Gawker]

Update: dsac86 says in the comments: "The Law Society of Upper Canada has an online directory, and there is a Dennis Morris registered []. Dennis Morris has also represented Ford on a couple of other legal matters."

(Thanks to the dozens of people who suggested this, emailed/tweeted about it, left me voicemails, and shouted it to the heavens)

Toronto mayor sprints out of community council event to stick fridge magnets on cars in the parking lot

Rob Ford, Toronto's laughable bumblefuck of a mayor, attended a community council meeting in the district of Etobicoke on Tuesday night, but didn't stay. After a few minutes, he "sprinted" down the aisle and ran into the parking lot, where he compulsively began slapping "Rob Ford Mayor" fridge-magnets on the cars of the people attending the meeting. When a reporter asked him if this was strange behavior, he responded that "some people find the reporter strange." When his aide and director of operations and logistics David Price was asked about why the mayor's wasn't inside the meeting, he snorted derisively at the idea that the mayor might want to "[sit] and [listen] to those deputations."

Price, Ford's former high school football coach and his recently named director of operations and logistics, put magnets on cars before Ford arrived. He stood between Ford and the reporters after the mayor said he would take no more questions.

Price scoffed at the suggestion that Ford should be attending the meeting-in-progress rather than circling the parking lot.

“He can do whatever he wants. Putting magnets on a community event — what do you expect him to be, up on stage?” Price said. When a reporter said the mayor might be expected to at least sit in the audience and listen, Price said, disparagingly, “Sitting and listening to those deputations?”

Ford, who speaks often of his love of campaigning, spent more than 15 minutes in the church lot. He eventually spotted an acquaintance who uses a wheelchair, calmly wheeled the man in, and returned to his seat deep in the crowd.

He later gave an impassioned speech in opposition to the Humbertown proposal, then stayed to cast a vote against it. It is rare for the mayor to attend a cmmunity council meeting, and several members of the council thanked him for his presence.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford bolts from meeting to put fridge magnets on cars [Daniel Dale/Toronto Star]

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: downsized thumbnail cropped from a larger image by Daniel Dale)