As is often the case when this happens, the resulting news coverage was succinct (to say the least) and mentioned the death as "resulting from a collision" before stressing that the cyclist was going the wrong way and was not wearing a helmet.
Last week was my friend Larissa's 10th year anniversary at the Concordia University Community Solidarity Coop Bookstore. Congratulations Larissa! The first time I met Larissa was the first time I went to the coop bookstore. It was after a so-so job interview and I was feeling slightly dejected. So I decided to go in there and look for Pat Califia's Public Sex: Speaking Sex to Power. As Larissa likes to remind me, I was wearing a yellow shirt that day and a World Wildlife Fund tie with pandas on it. At the time, the coop bookstore was in the basement of the Concordia Hall building and I remember feeling that mild aprehension I would (and still) get when trying something new. It didn't help that I was the only customer at the time but Larissa made me feel right at home and we chit-chatted about a number of things (including my tie and Pat Califia) and I had a feeling we'd become friends.
On the heels of my recent post about Mondo 2000 comes yet another fantastic post on omnireboot.com--this one dealing much of Mondo's truth-is-stranger-than-fiction history. Authored by Mondo founder R.U.Sirius (Ken Goffman), much of this fantastic post is, I suspect, pulled from work done for Goffman's much celebrated, but slow-to-complete 'Mondo 2000: an open source history' kickstarter project.
For the past two weeks, filmmaker and York University professor John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have been imprisoned in Cairo while they were on their way to Gaza with medical relief. The two are long-time anti- Palestinian apartheid activists with ties to Montreal organizing (years ago, Loubani was involved with Israel Apartheid Week in Montreal).
The other day, my fried JP of Ottawa doom metal band Loviatar posted a link to this Calgary Herald article about changes to federal regulations related to foreign performance artists planning on entering Canada. And it's scary insane. Without getting hyperbolic about it, I actually echo JP's concern that this just might send Canada's indie arts scenes back to the dark ages.
MIT students Robert Morris and Dan McDuff have found a cure for Facebook that utilizes an arduino micro-controller, a conductive keyboard pad and moderate electrical shocks to ween people off of Facebook and other unproductive online activities. They call it the Pavlov Poke. An alternative version of the Poke automatically posts a job to Amazon's mechanical turk service thereby hiring someone to call you up at a predefined telephone number and scream at you.
Noam Chomsky will be speaking in Montreal on October 26 at a talk put on by Canadian Dimensions Magazine. He'll be introduced by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois who made headlines as a result of his dedicated contributions to the Quebec Maple Spring movement when basically everyone I know went to the streets and got teargased at one point or other during the course of several months of sustained protest against student tuition hikes.
In a letter to Concordia student Yuliya Manyakina, asking his opinion about the strike against tuition fee hikes, Chomsky responded “High tuition is not an economic necessity, as is easy to show, but a debt trap is a good technique of indoctrination and control. And resisting this makes good sense.”
Last year, I had the opportunity to interview Montreal author Kathleen Winter for the podcast we were doing back then. I'd brought her a kombucha mother, I left with some amazing kimchi kale which she felt was too sharp-tasting but which in fact was delicious. It was a sweet, awesome time, spent with her at her house. We started in the kitchen surrounded by the wonderful smells of the apple pies she'd just baked and eventually moved to the living room when her plummer came by to fix the sink. We spoke for about an hour about her personal blog and artistic practice, her thoughts on file sharing, her return from an epiphanic trip in northern Quebec and her novel Annabel - the story of a child with both male and female sexual characteristics, growing up in late 60s Labrador. And guess what - Annabel has just been translated into Hebrew!
Having recently taken a basic blacksmithing workshop, I've been on the hunt for videos demonstrating master artisans at work with the forge and hammer. Tony Swatton is one such master. In this video he folds steel into 148 layers before hammering together a better-than-the-original replica of Gimli's 'Bearded Axe' from Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' movies. Pretty sure even Christopher Tolkien would approve of this one.
Just a few weeks into the reboot and the new OMNI is doing its forbearer proud with insightful fiction and this great article about the persecution of hackers by Pablo Garcia.
"We need to reinvent our cultural imagination of the hacker. Being a student of history, I propose we start looking further into the annals of the past, all the way back to the Renaissance, to find our hacker forebears. Four centuries ago, information was as tightly guarded by intellectuals and their wealthy patrons as it is today. But a few episodes around 1600 confirm that the Hacker Ethic and its attendant emphasis on open-source information and a “hands-on imperative” was around long before computers hit the scene."