Sunday, March 29, 2009

Replacing landmarks with cheap souvenirs - reader submission

Back on October 23, 2008, I posted about a fun thing you can while traveling when taking a photograph of yourself striking an Elvis pose isn't enough (I think this could be my new thing): Taking creative, quirky pictures in which you replace the tourist attraction with a cheap souvenir. One of you loyal readers took this in Manhattan. Upping the ante, she used a postcard to replace the actual landmark. Check it out:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Aussie Rules!

Check out this pretty cool commercial for the Australian Football League:

Still, to paraphrase a former NHL ad campaign, Aussie Rules would be a lot cooler if it were hockey.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am SO over this winter... I should be on island time.

What is with this return of winter weather?! Enough already, I say. Given the return of the chilly arctic air it seemed like a good time to dust off this little ditty from the Supastar Collective archives....

Caribbean Dreaming

I've come into some money or, at least, dreamt that I did. Or will. Soon. And with money, thoughts quickly turn to paradise....

Who hasn't dared to dream? Perhaps even dared to dream the impossible dream? It is packaged and sold to us weekly and all it takes is a dollar or two of your hard earned cash, provided you can come up with the dream to go along with it. To be on island time now, tomorrow and forever. Vacations away from the sun to see the snow for a week at a time. Even though I would miss the four seasons I could get my head around it.

I could sell conch by the side of the road. I’d have to partner with some local kids who would fish it for me and I’d sell it. I’d be the moneyman and the salesman and they’d supply the merchandise. Life would be idyllic. I’d be a success and become famous on the island: The Canadian gringo conch salesman. “Oh yeah, you have to get your conch from him, it’s the best.” Then I could branch out, open more stands and hire people to work in them. I’d corner the market in one town and then move on to the next. And then the next. I would rule the island’s conch universe. I would franchise my stand and sell franchises to enterprising locals and Canadians looking to escape the true north strong and free. It would be a hit. An immediate, overnight success and I would be universally loved. I’d have business cards made up, saying “Murphy – Conch Salesman”, or should that be “Murphy – Conch Stand”? I’d give my business cards to my regulars and mail some home to friends and relatives. I even have the perfect name for my stand: Your Conch Connection. I’d be rich, rich beyond my wildest dreams. Rich far beyond simply in financial terms. I wouldn’t have to work anymore, but I would on Tuesdays to see my regulars who would know this and come on Tuesdays. I can even see the alliterative headlines in Fortune magazine: Canadian Conch Salesman Corners Caribbean.

Dare to dream.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Evil Fortune Cookies

Perfect for your next dinner party! These cookies tell it like it is.

Evil Fortune Cookies - "The Gourmet Flavored Fortune Cookie That Tells the Truth"

People have always talked about how it would be neat to receive a fortune that wasn't the same old piece of Chinese Wisdom and vague stuff you receive in the normal fortune cookies. Now here is your chance, plus they come in a variety of over 15 different flavors, each colored resembling their flavor.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Today's Something or Other #16

I was trying to be creative the other day (or I was bored and/or sleep deprived... both seem plausible) and I searched for "slightly worn" on Flickr to see what I would come up with. Here's the result. Pretty cool, actually.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today's Something or Other #15

Have you ever wondered about abandoned celebrity mansions?

Yes? No? Never until right now? No matter how you answer, take a few minutes and check out former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's old home.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The world's best customer complaint letter?

I meant to post this some time ago, but got bogged down with other things, then the link ended up a few pages deep in My So, without further ado, here is what might possibly be the world's best customer complaint letter (even better if you hate air travel and/or airlines).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy birthday, Toronto

Okay, so I'm a few days late. Friday March 6, 2009 marked Toronto’s 175th Anniversary. 175 years young and lookin' better than ever. I celebrated TO's big b-day in somewhat appropriate fashion by drinking a few of the locally brewed beers from the Mill Street Brewery. I enjoyed the Stock Ale this time, but if you're ever at the actual Mill Street Pub, be sure to try the Cobblestone Stout, it is fantastic. Mmmm... beer.

The Star has come up with a list of 175 Things to Love About Toronto.

In honour of Toronto's 175th, here are some random Toronto photos.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

You should have seen this

If you can't find a way to waste time at this website, you aren't really trying. This is, like, a crash course on internet awesomeness and stupidity since the dawn of time. Or, at least since Al Gore invented the internet and Scientology freed us from the tyranny of psychiatry. Or, more accurately perhaps, since broadband made video on the internet viable.

It is hard to pick out just one to highlight, but if you haven't seen Battle at Kruger you must watch it. It is hard to believe what you are seeing. Also, Best Man Ruins Wedding is hard to believe what you are seeing, but for different reasons.


Revenge, much like calamari, is a dish best served cold

There's been an ongoing Prank War between a couple of the staffers at College The one guy pulled the classic fake Jumbotron proposal on his buddy about 18 months ago (recaptured at the start of the video). Check out his prank response. These guys play for keeps.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Perfect for these recessionary times

I give you Null Stern Hotel, the world's first zero star hotel.

The brainchild of Swiss artists Frank and Patrik Riklin, Null Stern Hotel takes the concept of frugality and multiplies it by a million, or, more suitably, it takes the concept of luxury and multiplies it by zero. For a hotel to gain the dubious distinction of zero stars, it had better be pretty damn unaccommodating. And it is. Located in a converted nuclear bunker in Sevelen, Switzerland (population 4,000), the hotel offers no amenities, no frills, and no comfort. Sounds great, right?
Click here to read more.

Another Coxy Contribution

Another Wikipedia names your band submission. These guys seem like an Alsatian techno-pop band. Or Brooklyn scenesters.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hey, every little bit of knowledge helps....

This is now up on our fridge to help us prepare for the new reality.... Baby Rules.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

No Big Box in Leslieville!

From the Financial Post... In a stunning and long-awaited ruling, the Ontario Municipal Board yesterday rejected a developer's plan to build big-box shopping plaza in Leslieville.

Another take on the decision from Spacing Toronto (worth clicking through just for the lead picture).

Lots of NIMBY voices on this issue, but it is nice that they won't be adding a Walmart to the area. Not so much because I don't want a Walmart over here, but it would be such an uninspired use of the land. Hopefully they do something useful with it. The IKEA comment in the COMMENTS section of the Spacing article is very interesting, and the Canadian Tire complex is always busy....

The real question for me, is what will everyone do with the ubiquitous NO BIG BOX IN LESLIVEVILLE signs?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More Wikipedia Names Your Band

On February 23rd I wrote about the genius idea someone came up with about how to use Wikipedia and Flickr to come up with your band name, album title and album cover. (I read about it originally Buzzfeed as Wikipedia Names Your Band, and it has become one of their all-time most popular submissions).

My results are included in the February 23rd post. I'm pleased to be able to share a submission from one of you good people. Unfortunately he wasn't able to figure out how to add text to the picture so, Coxy, hopefully you won't mind my creative license.

Coxy's contribution:

Sounds to me like a departure - new Hip song

Have you heard the new Tragically Hip song on the radio, Love is a First? It is really good. Very vital and, dare I say, playful. I've been cranking it up for the past few days. Bob Rock has managed to capture some of their live feel with this song. The rhythm section shines early with a solid, driving beat, then you get the full Gordie and the guitar players are allowed to rock out with screeching guitars. If you've spent much time with their DVD That Night In Toronto you'll recognize the lyrics for Love is a First from one of Gord's rants (during Fully Completely, I think). It sounds great turned up loud. You can get it on iTunes if you pre-buy the new album (or download it as a single).

Interestingly, I think 'Love' is more of a primer than the first, official single, which looks like it will be 'Morning Moon' according to their website. (They did something similar with Butts Wigglin' off Trouble At The Henhouse). Morning Moon is streaming on their website. It is a nice, little ditty. Very melodic and quite different than 'Love'; more in the vein of Bobcaygeon or Ahead By A Century, although not as anthemic.

The Hip are playing 5 dates at Massey Hall in May. These are must attend shows (well, one show anyway).

UPDATE - The Hip's website says Love Is A First is the first Canadian single. So there you go.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Foreign Films - Part 2

As winter lingers on and on and on in Toronto, and with the Leafs hopelessly out of the playoffs, sometimes a good foreign film can be just the ticket for a quiet night in. Foreign films fit better in the winter, in my opinion. Who wants to read subtitles in the summer... especially when you're inevitably a few beers in after hitting the pub patio on your way home from work. Anyway, I've been fortunate enough to have seen some really good foreign language films over the last few years and thought I'd periodically post a couple of recommendations. [Note: this post - up to this point - is, word for word, the same post as from the same day last year. Funny how it goes.]

Last year we had a German theme. This March 1st I thought we'd go with an Asian theme:

1. Infernal Affairs - not to be confused with Internal Affairs, the Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia police drama. Infernal Affairs is an excellent, top-notch crime drama. It was remade as the Damon and DiCaprio movie The Departed, which finally won Scorsese his Oscar. This is the better movie.

2. Chungking Express - Wong Kar-Wai might be a genius. I highly recommend this film from the director of In the Mood for Love. This rare, charming, light comedy is a nice break from his more typically heavy material

3. Days of Being Wild / In the Mood for Love / 2046 - This is a very loose trilogy from Wong Kar-Wai. Watch them in order. These are all very stylish, atmospheric and moody. In the Mood for Love is the masterpiece. WKW's movies can be somewhat inaccessible - give in and enjoy the ride even if you aren't always entirely sure what is happening. You will be richly rewarded.

4. House of Flying Daggers - More of a love story than a martial arts movie. If you liked Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon you will like this one.