iPad news: Yes, it will blend

As if there was ever any doubt.

Cringe, fanboys, in naked horror before the awesome power of the Blendtec blender as it pulverizes the holy Pad of glory.

As you can see, the first challenge is getting it to fit in the blender. After that, it’s just a matter of RPMs over APIs.

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Olympic Torch Ride-Along Live (well, undead) Blog

Olympic Torchbearer

I’m being tremendously lazy today because I spent far too much time trying to get iTunes to do what I want it to do, which is move certain songs off my CD drive onto my iPhone without erasing every song on my iPhone right now or forcing me to upload to the iPhone all the goddam ABBA and crap that’s on the hard drive, but Nooooooooooooo, Steve won’t have it.

Seriously, you KNOW you’ve put your stamp on a company when even their smallest products reproduce your pathologies in perfect detail.

Anyhoooooooo… Today, thanks to Sam Macmillan at 6S and Michael Allison at the Wilcox Group, I got to ride in the convoy of the Olympic Torch today, although I did not actually see the flame, which is neither here nor there but somewhere else, which is where it would be if it was, isn’t it?

Now, perhaps we need a little background…

I live on the Downtown Eastside, and the Olympics have, for literally the past 2 years, been a huge political shitstorm of Katrina-esque proportions. That the Olympics would take place regardless of how popular the No Olympics movement became was clear from the beginning and if there’s one thing my time working at Greenpeace taught me, it’s that by participating in useless protests that will never result in change, people bleed off their urge to act and, thus, prevent themselves from changing the world.

And I have a problem with that.

So, surrounded as I have been for the past 24 months by nonstop political sloganeering from all sides of the issue, essentially all of the mindshare I’ve given the Olympics has been equal-opportunity pushback, as in “WILL YOU ALL SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE? AND YOU! THERE! SUCK IT UP, THE OLYMPICS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN WHETHER YOU WHINE ABOUT IT IN PUBLIC OR NOT! AND YOU! THERE! MY WHOLE GODDAM COUNTRY IS A FREE SPEECH ZONE SO SUCK IT YOU’RE NOT IN BEIJING ANYMORE!” and equally pointed words to those effects.

Although it was cool when my boy Bono said “No Olympics on Stolen Land” in the concert to which I didn’t buy a ticket to because I assumed, wrongly, that they’d be too expensive. Which they were not, and serves me right for not investigating, but oh well, such is the cost of pessimism.

So, as I remarked over at Trueslant, my ability to get past the politicking to connect emotionally with the actual sports and internationalism has been crippled (yes, deliberate word choice, suck it). Then again, apathy is a national characteristic, so maybe I’m just being a Good Canadian.

So, it was both nice and remarkable that, given all that backstory, Michael and Sam decided to pick me as one of the 2 bloggers to get a ride-along today (the other was the (in)famous John Chow) but they did (boy, I sure snookered them, didn’t I, and now I’m gonna hear from all the “billiards” PC-ists, aren’t I oh yes I am).

So, behold the live-tweeted timeline of a conversion. I’m really, truly grateful to them for inviting me along, because not even a cynic like me can resist seeing, say, 10,000 people in a single block in Deep Cove, all dressed in red and white and cheering their semifrozen faces off and freakin’ cowbelling like their lives depended on it.

Cherry Blossoms on the DTES

Stuck in traffic behind #Olympic torch on The Reservation in North Van can’t see a darn thing

@JohnChow we will see you soon. Why didn’t they pick speedy runners? Even I can run this fast!

Olympic Torch Traffic Dollarton Highway North Vancouver

Pretty thrilling, no? #Olympic #van2010 http://twitpic.com/12fbe0

@lussobaby yes the cherryblossoms behind Firehall Theatre are always the first in the city

Well @michaelallison says he can see the flame! Good eyes http://twitpic.com/12fd4n

Listening to thestory of how the #Olympic caravan saved a disabled driver who went off the road in Renfrew Ont thx to OnStar

RT @VANobserver RT @MargaretAtwood: Striking a blow for free speech: Vancouver Poet Laureate Brad Cran http://tinyurl.com/yek2qag Yikes!

Coca Cola is the longest running #Olympic sponsor

Convoy vehicles are called Happy1 Happy2 Loonie and Toonie. How Canadian is that? Kids are all cheering the Coke trucks looking 4 freebies!

2techs and 5 detailers 110 vehicles altogether, over half are GM #Olympic #van2010

We are rolling with the #Olympic #van2010 torch

Um we just passed the torch. Are we supposed to do that? http://twitpic.com/12fl1g

Olympic Torch Crowd in Dollarton, North Vancouver


Ha @johnchow is driving the crowd wild yelling “you’re on YouTube!” #Olympic #van2010

In Dollarton abt 5 minutes ahead of the #Olympic #van2010 torch. Now I know how U2‘s warmup act feels

[seriously, it’s like we know you’re wondering who the hell we are, but YAY, huh?]

Cowbell! #Olympic #van2010

Apparently schools go wild and so do some malls when they see the #Olympic #van2010 torch but Dollarton is too dignified

In Saskatchewan some ppl wheeled their granny out to see the #Olympic #van2010 torch and sstuck her right in the middle of the tracks!

3schools ina row coming up

I’m finally learning how this whole RELAY thing works #Olympic #van2010

Awesome job the announcers have whipping up the crowd for 110 straight days. WOO! Cowbell #Olympic #van2010 #olympics

@OkanaganWriting I’m riding with one of the GM guys and he says half [of the vehicles are GM]

Somebody is ringing the churchbell and someone else is waving a Molsons box! #Olympic #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fokt [missed the picture, sadly; t’was funny]

@busybeeblogger It IS fun, I’m really glad I got the chance

@jeremylim you can ask I guess. They picked me out of thinair as far as I know [in reply to the obvious “how do I get in on that ridealong action question]

@WoundedCrane are they fancy? [she said she wanted Swiss cowbells for her dogs; I thought maybe Swiss House had special commemorative cowbells, or at least commemorative cows]

Olympic Torchbearer Deep Cove

Torchbearer http://twitpic.com/12fpeu

Cheers #van2010 #olympics #olympics http://moby.to/rqf86o

More cheers and now Journey on the stereo. Hair bands ftw http://moby.to/3j7ce5

Holycrap people actually singing along. That never happens in Canada #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fqiw

Deep Cove on Olympic Torch Route

[another sunny day in Deep Cove]

Deep Cove #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fqtx

The royal bank was giving out noisemakers and boy howdy are ppl using them. But I do think cowbells win #van2010 (cont) http://tl.gd/87jop

Deep Cove Crowd on Olympic Torch Route


Cowichan Sweater

Somebody just yelled Nice Coat at me. Real Cowichan FTW! #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fs8t

@yurechko I’m with @michaelallison and @johnchow

@WoundedCrane deep cove [in response to “where are you that it’s raining?]

@jeremylim thanks you will get there [in response to “Nonsense. You’re highly prolific and very much loved. Wish I were the same so I could get in that van!”]

John chow says 300m is one Vegas block and I say 2 furlongs we all have diff frames of reference #van2010 #olympics

@WilcoxPR thx 4 the rt. 10,000 ppl in deep cove on just 2 blocks [the PR agency behind the ride-along starts contributing to the convo]

Explaining the Raven pub to my carmates for #van2010 [specifically, their Stupid Hot Wings. Story goes; they have 5 levels of heat, and if you can eat the Stupid Hot Wings plate, your whole meal is free. Nobody’s ever won. Waitress says “why do you think they’re called STUPID hot?]

raincoaster Art and John Chow from the Olympic Torch Ride Along

RT GM_ArtAndSerge @raincoaster and @johnchow with Art! http://tweetphoto.com/10968091

@WilcoxPR loved it, thanks 4 making the ridealong happen. Now I’m off to blog it

RT vanmediacoop upcoming – VIVO media arts “evening news” events to discuss Olympics, convergence, media & movements http://bit.ly/a2yrHt #report2010

Olympic Torch Coke Bottles

I have NO collector’s sensibility. #Olympic swag commemorative aluminum Caffeinated Swag cracked. I’m thirsty! http://tweetphoto.com/10980949

Eh Voila!

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Hymn to the JesusPhone: iPhone Taboo

apple tablets revealed

See how behind the times I am? The iPhone Taboo video was uploaded to YouTube just over a year ago and I only got my JesusPhone last month! Well, I’ve finally joined the 21st Century at last. While I’d love to have a bunch of clients who pay me with … you know … what do they call it, that stuff … MONEY! Right, right, “money,” that’s what it’s called.


While I’d love to have a bunch of clients pay me with “money” none of the people who currently beg me to work for them seem to have any of that, so instead we have regressed to a primitive barter system: you buy me drinks and you can ask me questions about WordPress until I’ve finished them. You let me stay in your house for a month at Christmas, eating your food, drinking your wine, and annoying your pets and I don’t make fun of the fact you’re still on Blogspot. You give me an iPhone and I will give your blog a good once-over and update things you never even knew you had.

Now all I need is somebody with a liquor store who wants a Twitter account and I’m golden.

All Hail the JesusPhone!

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Open House: BOB Coworking Space Saves Digital Nomad from Homicidal Rage

come to the dark side we have cookies

We also have an Open House this coming Friday, December 18th, from noon onwards
163 East Pender Street, Vangroover, BC
and yes, we DO have cookies. Or at least apple tarts.

Speaking of which:

Donations to the Food Bank encouraged.
There are some great suggestions for practical, welcome donations in my post at Miss604.
If I do say so myself.

Here’s Muskie’s much-more-dignified article on the new coworking space at BOB. If you prefer your news with a side of funky, read on here.

After months of digital nomadism (entirely overrated, thanks for the brainwashing, Fast Company!) bravely trekking my gear from web cafe to web cafe, always seeking that elusive chair with a view, a plug, free wifi, decent coffee, and at least one sturdy wall between me and any obviously dangerous lunatics, I’ve finally found a home.

And no, I won’t get Dooced this time. We already worked that out. “We don’t really care if you say anything nasty about us” is sort of a precondition of working with me, as some of you may have noticed.

I’ve found my new home just down the street from my house; in fact, it’s between my house and the Irish Heather, which pretty much guarantees I’ll drop in from time to time and get some work done. It’s on the ground floor of the offices of BOB, Building Opportunities for Business, which basically exists to attract and support business on the Downtown Eastside without displacing, well, the people who live here.

Like me.

So, BOB is my homeboy, and he could be your homeboy too, since there are 20 19 18 spaces left for people looking for a great place to work on their own stuff. In the tradition of the late, lamented Workspace, the BOB co-working space (which really needs a snappier name and I’ll get on that as soon as I’ve settled in) offers a variety of free-range desk space, a kitchen, a lounge area up front with a window seat (DIBS! DIBS!), some funky local art on the walls, secure bike storage, and all that a young genius might require in the way of whiteboards, projectors, inspirational company, etc. It’s fully accessible for the handicapped, and the ceiling is lofty enough that you could, without inconveniencing anyone on the ground level, comfortably house a family of tented Bedouin nomads on the ceiling, camels and all, provided they didn’t mind being upside-down.

I guess they’d have to be Australian Bedouins, then. But anyway…

The amenities, etcetera:

Access to the coworking space at all hours from 9am up until I decide it’s time for me to go home (and we all know that normally happens around sunrise) with a desk, wifi, and use of common areas like kitchen, bike parking and lounge: $200 per month. The layout was designed by grad students from Stanford, if memory serves, for maximum Satori-nosity and efficient use of space, which means basically if somebody sneezes no-one ELSE has to shower knowwhatimean?

It’s also available for meetings and special events, which is I believe $300 a day standard rate, or $200 for nonprofits, or if you’ve got a compelling reason for BOB to want your event in their space, pitch them. Or me. Because they are me and I am he and we are all together.

John Lennon i am the lolrus

We’re looking at installing lockers, which would be available for a small extra fee. There are no assigned desks; you move around to where you feel comfortable and there’s room on any particular day. And a coffeemaker is on the way, although buying the coffee is up to the coworkers: shall we collectivise? or shall I just take that over and call up Guido the Collections officer to make sure everyone puts some coins in the tin?

An espresso machine is being discussed, but no guarantees yet.

BUT…here’s the best part. Which is sort of the worst part, but bear with me.

The entire space is going to be taken over for an art project during the Cultural Olympiad. This means that working there will not be possible. So, why should you sign up now if you’ll have to go back to that crappy coffee shop for the entire month of February?

Because if you do sign up, you won’t be charged until March. And if there’s room for you upstairs during February, you can work at a spare desk in the BOB offices, just like a real BOBie. And if you do sign up for a 6-month stint, raincoaster here gets a small donation to the “anger management pharmacopia” and becomes, ever so slightly, more Sandra Bullock and less Joan Crawford.

So come by on Friday and say hi and eat all the free food and drop off your own donation to the Food Bank; cash or noms accepted.

funny pictures of cats with captions

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Streams of History: call for participants

Live on the Downtown Eastside? Artistic, trustworthy, and nice? Has Fearless City got a gig for you!

Streams of History

Streams of History

Mobile Media workshop, February 4-7, 2009

It’s often said that if we ignore our history we are doomed to repeat it. By recognizing and recording the stories of 20 sites in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, mobile videographers connect past to present, creating an opening for informed reflection on the future. This crossmedia exhibition and web project remixes Labour, Work, and Working People: A Working Class and Labour History Walking Tour using Web 2.0 strategies to expand the number of voices heard and stories told.

Using the latest in digital technology, live video streams tell tales of 20 DTES sites through enduring memories of Vancouver’s labour history. Videographers present the history and context of each site and reveal new relationships with contemporary players. Strikes, lockouts, evictions, state suspicion, attacks on working class movements…markers of a death – each site has a unique role to play in the story of the neighbourhood. New tools are being used to harness history and bring it forward with  mobile devices, wireless networks, live screens and video mixers.

The public is invited to interact with the installation throughout the month and add to the stories, while our collective knowledge of DTES history deepens as it is reinterpreted through a digital lens.


This project is based on the “Labour, Work, and Working People” booklet produced in 2002 by the Pacific Northwest Labour History Association. This brochure encouraged people to walk the streets of Vancouver and visit each site. In the foreword to the booklet, the author ends by stating “At the turn of the 21st century, this tour offers insight into the continued struggle by labour to democratize the workplace and the world. Please walk the tour and meet the working people who built the city of Vancouver.”

“Social gatherings, literature and art express feelings about work and community … Film and storytelling also allow artists to celebrate working class struggles and gains.”

Now in that 21st century, new ways of recording, commenting, involving and organizing are available to us. This is a digital updating and reinterpretation of these stories of Vancouver’s working class history.

Produced by:

Fearless City Mobile, in association with DTES Community Arts Network, Gallery Gachet, Mobile Muse 3, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.


•    To connect 20 Eastside mobile videographers with labour history sites in our community.
•    To establish relationships with these sites, researching and expanding their stories.
•    To compare, contrast and identify the relevance to today’s Downtown Eastside.
•    To convey the spirit of each site in under 5 minutes.
•    To use leading edge technology in retelling these stories.
•    To archive/make available these stories online so they may be added to and commented upon.
•    To test an interactive map that supports locative and mobile video.


Fearless City, yo!20 sites around the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver
Live event from the 20 sites on Saturday February 7th 2009 11am-12noon streamed online and as a remixed VJ installation at Gallery Gachet (88 E Cordova St., Vancouver, V6A 1K2, ph: 604.687.2468).
The outcomes remain in the gallery throughout the month to 28 February.
Online worldwide access via www.fearlesscity.ca and on a Community Walk map.


20 videographers
5 documenters (video-ing the videographers at work)
2 VJs handling the live stream
1 documenter recording the creation of the live streams at the Gallery Gachet
Pancake breakfast crew (shopping/gear/operating)


$20/compulsory training event plus $60 mobile streaming fee = $100/participant


As this is an outdoor event in early February, all participants should come prepared with wind and rain protection for themselves and the equipment; umbrellas are very useful here.

Connection, learning, the process

Participants will have two workshops to attend, on Wednesday, February 4, 6:30-8pm at 65 West Cordova (the Lore Krill Coop) and Friday February 6-8pm, Gallery Gachet

If you wish to participate but are truly unable to attend these sessions please contact Lani at (778.895.1939) and we will do our best to accommodate you.

The first workshop will give an overview of the project, and then offer a chance to select, be assigned, be told (depending on how effectively democracy works here!) which site each participant will cover. We hope the spirit of the project overcomes and possibility of fighting over favoured sites! Participants can research the sites

We may also wish to create pairs of first timers and more seasoned project participants.
So please come with flexibility around the sites you will be connecting with and the other member of your pair.

Having begun the connection to each site participants will then be introduced to the technical aspects of streaming video, and have a chance to see the hardware and software which will be used on the day of the event.

The second workshop will review the relationship with each site, offer guidance and suggestions and support as to film techniques which might be used, and also offer a chance to experiment with live streaming. The Friday evening will also provide us with a chance for meet ‘n greet with our technical partners from Montreal’s Society for Arts & Technology (SAT).

On Saturday February 7th all participants will gather at 9:30am at the Gallery Gachet, share breakfast and prepare for the day.


Each participant will be twinned with one other participant selected/ assigned by the geographical closeness to their own site.

In teams of two the 20 participants will station themselves at the first 10 sites for an 11 am start of streaming.

As each team finishes their first live stream the team then moves into position for their second stream.

Each member of each team will take the lead at ‘their’ site and then act as an assistant/ aide/supporter as their team mate then takes the lead at the second of ‘their’ sites.

11 am first set of five live streams – on ending move to third set of five locations
11.10 second set of five live streams – on ending move to fourth set of five locations
11.20 third set of five live streams – when done, free to return to the gallery
11.30 fourth set of five live streams – when done, free to return to the gallery
11.35 end of live streaming and all participants return to Gallery Gachet
11.50 assemble at Gallery Gachet
12 noon celebration and congratulations, and a chance to view the now archived event
12.30 event formally ends

The memory

The source streams will be archived and available online. The ‘VJ’-ing of the live streams will itself be recorded and archived.

All 20 sites will be added to a “Community Walk” map, with direct links to the videos of each site, and with interactive comments and additional historical detail added over time.


history, memory, connection, learning, labour, working class, digital, streaming, VJs, relevance.

Background Links:

The booklet online: Streams of History

The sites on our prototype Community Walk map

Three sites on video walls etc

Suez’s site with a video of VJ-ing in action

Six or seven sites connect with the relief camps and displacement during the depression (the former one….) This book with Vancouver connections is excellent source material*:  Bill Waiser* <http://homepage.usask.ca/%7Ewaw273/>casts our minds back to depression-era Saskatchewan in “Who Killed Jackie Bates?”

*A podcast interview with him is available here: (select January 24th)*