gor[b] Paul Gorbould: Words and Pictures

10Dec/083

Exam Night in Canada

There are times when I miss being in university.

I'm currently reading (among other things) Studs Terkel's Working, and the first chapter involves a steelworker lamenting how his life turned out. When asked what we dreams about, he says: "You know what I'd like to do for one year? Live like a college kid. Just for one year. I'd love to. Wow! (Whispers) Wow! Sports car! Marijuana! (Laughs.) Wild, sexy broads. I'd love that, hell yes, I would."

Now, I did my undergrad at Trent, which wasn't known for sports cars or wild, sexy broads (my wife excepted.)  But I do look back with some nostalgia at the experience.

Except for the exams part. I don't miss that. And I can only imagine what it feels like to be at a much bigger school, taking exams in a setting like this:

Exam Night

That's the scene happening right now in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where Ryerson students are stacked up in the hundreds to panick and scribble silently in something that resembles nothing more than a Chinese factory floor (more pictures here and here). I can't imagine a more stressful setting, and let's hope none of these kids experience such a setting again (unless they are studying to work in a Chinese factory.)

And you know, I'll forgive them if they need a little spin in a sports car afterward. After the ice clears.

Filed under: Rants, photos 3 Comments
26Jun/087

Beer graffiti walls

A few weeks ago I attended the first Technology in the Arts conference in Waterloo, Ont. It was an interesting mix of geeks, artists and cultural curators, all boning up on the latest innovations.

Some interesting sites to check out - such as how the Textile Museum has cloth artists creating virtual pieces... Or how the Group of Seven's secret spots have been located online. Or how plague doctor puppets and feral robots are sniffing out pollution in our neighbourhoods. We even had a live performance of a Brahms waltz by pianist Alessandro Marangoni (as Benito Flores) from Italy via Second Life.

I was particularly interested in the new breed of ad hoc public art - graffiti, installations and guerilla art enabled by inexpensive technology. In one workshop we made our own LED throwies. In another we watched videos of "projection bombing".

This sort of thing appeals to me on a bunch of levels - I like the gadgetry, and while I love the spontaneous creativity and wit that graffiti often generates, I don't really care for the uglifying vandalism aspect of some graffiti. (It's the reason I'd rather post my attempts at witticism here, instead of on bathroom stalls.)

The tipping point for me was last year's "Gustav Mahler" tagging of Toronto's east end. Like many, I was amused at first - the message was so incongruous with the message! - but when it irreparably defaced a public art mural on the side of my local community centre, I got seriously angry. Others did too, apparently.

There are some great exceptions, of course, and I remain a fan of Posterchild's efforts here in Toronto.

And once in a while I must tip my hat to the truly creative graffiti artist. A while back, a colleague pointed me toward Muto - "An ambiguous animation painted on public walls", which was created in Buenos Aires and Baden.

This, you've got to see (if you haven't already.)

Filed under: Rants 7 Comments
16Jan/083

It’s “arrr”, matey.

With a kindergarten teacher for a wife, plus kids in JK and Grade One, I'm constantly tidying up photocopied sheets on letter shapes and sounds.

Occasionally, my wife tells me, she has to discard sheets from British primers (aside: I still can't bring myself to pronounce this word properly, as "primmer"). You see, the English don't just speak funny by accident. They painstakingly learn it!

Both my parents are English, so I feel justified in making such comments. My mom's been in Canada for more than 30 years now, but I still enjoy posing questions to her which require the past tense of eat: "Well, Paul, I et it." Priceless!

Anyhow, last week I discovered this sheet, which purports to teach kids how to make the "Ahh" sound. You can do it three ways:

“Aw” sound worksheet

Yep, that's "ahh", as in "Drive your cahhh," "wish upon a stahh" and wave your "ahhm".

Action: Open your mouth and say WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TEACHING THESE KIDS?!

Filed under: Kids, Rants 3 Comments
17Jul/072

East end stink

That stinks!For the past few days, my Leslieville neighbourhood in Toronto's east end has been stinking to high heaven.

It's a familiar sewage smell that until recently was sometimes associated with the otherwise posh Beach area. The culprit: the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant, said to be the largest secondary wastewater treatment plant in Canada. It has an odour problem, and (unlike a few guys I know) it admits it.

Now, Beach residents pay too much property tax to put up with nasty odours, so there's been a plan in place for several years to contain and scrub away the stink. I'm not sure how you scrub stink away - bathe it in tomato juice? - and I'm not sure I want to know. (Read this .pdf or this one if you really care.)

Anyhow, I'm not sure what the status of that work is - the plan was completed five years ago, and presented (again) two years ago, but there's no update on the City's website since then. However, my family was down in the neighbourhood yesterday (letting our lowlife children play on the expensive playground equipment while nobody was looking) and it smelled just fine.

But now OUR neighbourhood smells - and we're a few miles further away from the treatment plant!

My wife, seldom one for conspiracy theories, is convinced that the "treatment" plan consists of just piping the stench to less well-to-do neighbourhoods to the west.

Now, none of the neighbours had mentioned it, and there's nothing in the papers or on the internet - not even the blogosphere. At first I thought we were going crazy, but then I got an e-mail from a CBC colleague who lives near us:

Have you noticed the vile sewage smell wafting off the (I assume) treatement plant? I've lived here for eight years and have NEVER noticed it this bad. The other day I could smell it clear to Broadview.

Ashbridges Bay treatment plantShe has more gumption than I do, and took the initiative of calling our local city councillor, Paula Fletcher.

And no, we're not crazy: her office said that have received about a dozen calls today and they are looking into the matter and have already contacted the ministry of environment.

So, we're not imagining things. Something's broken, and it stinks.

Beaches, come get your odour. Not in our backyard! We have bad smells of our own!

(There's quite an olfactory battle going on in my block already... we're equidistant between the lovely wafts coming from Weston bread factory, and the place the City parks its garbage trucks.)

So, what does your neighbourhood smell like?

Filed under: Rants, Toronto 2 Comments
18May/073

The sky is falling

Did someone adjust gravity without telling me?

On Sunday, a half-metre chunk of concrete fell from a Montreal overpass (initial reports said it was a piece of the roof of the Lafontaine tunnel, which runs under the St. Lawrence River.)

On Monday, a concrete gutter fell off a Montreal highway overpass, reminiscent of the Concorde overpass collapse that killed five people last September. (It's not just Montreal - two weeks ago, chunks of Toronto's Gardiner Expressway fell - again. And who could forget March's CN Tower icefall?)

On Tuesday, I got stuck on the King St. streetcar for about half an hour. Eventually, a bus came along to get us, and when I got home I found out what the holdup was: one block ahead, a 250-pound slab of concrete had fallen 50 storeys and crashed onto a rooftop.

On Wednesday, Satan rested.

On Thursday, it was pipes. A two-tonne pipe rolled off a truck on a Montreal overpass, killing two construction workers. And in New York City, a 15-foot pipe fell from a skyscraper near the World Trade Center site, plunging through the roof of a firehouse.

On Friday, I learned that Toronto's new soccer stadium is raining bolts and fasteners during games. "We have found a total of six objects which fans have turned in to stadium staff," Bob Hunter says. See, no need to worry. It's only six measly bits of metal stuff that stop you from falling to your doom. And nothing ever really goes wrong with soccer stadiums, right?

I think I'm going to wear my bike helmet all day today.

Chicken Little under the overpass

Psst. Vote on my new Sky Is Falling poll in the sidebar over there and down a bit -->

Filed under: Rants 3 Comments
26Jan/073

Bum deal

For the past couple of days, CBC's Toronto HQ has been invaded… by the competition.

Canadian Broadcasting CentreIf you've ever seen the Canadian Broadcasting Centre on Front Street (across from the Skydome Rogers Centre) you might have noticed a huge red cube on the roof. That's Studio 40 (but nowhere near the Sunset Strip.) It's a 13,000 sq. ft. high-end television studio, which gets rented out to film and TV shoots when CBC isn't using it.

Of course, you might recall CBC's desire to ditch in-house production, meaning that CBC won't be using the Big Red Box much.

So, Studio 40 is for rent.

This week, it's rented out to a very high profile operation: Deal or No Deal Canada.

Which is, of course, not CBC's show. It belongs to Global TV, our competition, who plan to air the first episode at 10:00 p.m. on Feb. 4, 2007, right after the Super Bowl.

I call that the competition, but it's not much of a contest really. CBC-TV will presumably be on air then, wowing the post-Super Bowl crowd with CBC News: Sunday Night. But, thanks to our fabulous facilities, Carol and Evan can look forward to an ass-kicking courtesy of Howie and the folks at CanWestGlobalAllianceAtlantisGoldmanSachs.

I know, I know. If we said "No Deal", they'd have just rented some other studio, and we wouldn't have all those howiebucks to "put back into high quality Canadian programming." We know the drill; it's the same reason we let them remove the cafeteria and outsource the publicity department and "compress" our office space. Who'd say no to programming dollars? (Even if they come via another network's programming dollars….)

Anyhow, the prospect of 26 semi-clad models showing briefcases to a bald ex-pat has the press drooling on their laptops. They haven't had this much imported star enjoyment since Conan O'Brien dropped by to insult Quebecers, or Keith Richards was told he couldn't bring heroin unless he promised to play guitar.

Anyhow, the whole town is atwitter. You can't escape it, unless your brain is frozen.

And oh, how I've tried to escape it. Daily, actually - but the CBC has apparently rented out all the elevators to Deal or No Deal.

The astute reader will recall that the Green Monster, formerly known as the "public access elevator" has been usurped by the International Academy of Design and Technology, and that a quarter of the remaining elevators are offline while Star Fleet Command installs airlocks. (It should be noted that this vast renovation does not include state-of-the-art features like stairs.)

On top of that, union agreements dictate that two elevators must be under repair at all times. That leaves a single elevator shaft for CBC employees to throw themselves into.

Yesterday, while waiting on the second floor as dozens of full elevators passed us by, my coworkers discussed alternative arrangements to reach the atrium below. A fireman's pole was suggested, as was an inflatable yellow slide like those seen in downed aircraft (remove your shoes first, please.) If it were of sufficient height, we could probably charge a fee for the ride of a lifetime. The Barbara Frum Memorial Waterslide had a certain appeal as well.

Barbara Frum Atrium Waterslide (artist’s rendering)

Fortunately, we received an e-mail today from the Manger of Independent Productions (huh?) thanking us for our (assumed) patience. Best of all, it gushed, if we remain patient, they may do this to us on a regular basis!

The ability of the Toronto Production Centre to successfully negotiate the production of Deal or No Deal by using our top-notch facilities and experienced, professional personnel has brought us tremendous exposure and high praise.  We hope to capitalize on this positive word-of-mouth in order to seek and attract additional television production for our studios. We thank you again for your patience, understanding and cooperation.

Dandy.

Anyhow, since there is no way of escaping the building in the foreseeable future, I thought I'd go exploring the 10th floor, to see if there were any of those briefcases full of money lying around unattended.

No luck there, but I did see several nine-foot-tall supermodels flouncing about in bathrobes, looking cold and resolutely ignoring the lunch table. I heard mobs of people behind a steel door, chanting either "Howie" or "Zowee!", but they sounded a bit rabid and I ran away.

I did see something of interest as I fled, though. The hallway is lined with pictures of comedians from past CBC shows, and here's the framed image right outside the Studio 40 control room:

How Mandel at Junos

Howie. Back when he had hair. Back when he worked for CBC, not Global. Zowee!

Before Deal or No Deal, before The Howie Mandel Show, before St. Elsewhere and the Muppet Show, there was “Howie Mandel’s Sunny Skies” (CBC, 1994-1996).

Howie used to be ours, freaks. So, cut me a deal on waiting for my own elevator?

Howie Says No Deal (artist’s rendering)

Filed under: Rants, Television 3 Comments
21Dec/061

Christmas Parking

A friend of mine from Journalism School had a theory that I've always wondered about at this time of year.

The theory goes like this:

If the parking lot you are trying to use is completely full, you have just as much chance of finding a spot right up front as at the back.

The reasoning seems sound enough. Once the lot is full, someone will have to leave for you to get a spot. And where they leave from is random. Even better, it might even be more likely that they were parked at the front, because they arrived earlier and therefore finished earlier than those at the back.

It's an appealing theory, and I'd love to verify it - but part of me just isn't buying. Seems too good to be true.

For starters, lots are seldom completely and utterly full. At this time of year, they are usually 90 per cent full, meaning that your spot is probably waiting for you way back there by the overpass.

Second, this season also brings out a breed of aggressive chauffer dads, who drop off their charges and circle the prime spots like barracudas. You don't really want to challenge these alpha male minivans. At best you'll be stuck behind someone who's staked out what he feels is an impending opening. Worse are the ones who smell blood, burning rubber to "claim" a parcel-laden shopper, then creeping along behind them like a lioness on an elderly wildebeest. It's the law of the jungle, and you'd be better off taking the long walk and arriving alive.

Still, I hold out the tantalizing hope that my buddy is right (he now works at a major newspaper, and if he ever reads this blog, hopefully he'll say if he still supports his thesis.) Somewhere out there, right across from the mall entrance and right beside the handicapped spaces, there's a nice, wide parking spot with my name on it.

And when I find it, I'll appreciate it. I'm gonna buy someone the biggest, heaviest present in the mall just because I can. 'Tis the season.

Christmas parking lot mayhem

Filed under: Rants 1 Comment
14Dec/0610

WhoseSpace?

MySpace logoI wasn’t looking for another reason to hate MySpace, I really wasn’t.

In fact, I had rather hoped to avoid all contact with the wretched thing.

For those of you (mom) who don’t know, MySpace is a “social networking” website that people use to blog, as well as to cultivate friends/contacts/etc. for chatting, sharing music, etc. With over 100 million accounts, MySpace just overtook Yahoo for U.S. web traffic. It’s the sixth-largest website in the world.

It’s also the first-largest collection of gomers in the world. Although the site is a wonderful tool for artists and musicians who want to network, it’s also the network of choice for pubescent ramblings and sleaze.

Kids as young as 14 can sign up, and that usually sets the tone. The default blog design is hideous and choked with ads that you cannot remove. It rates poorly for accessibility, and user-customized design frequently can be described as “a teenager’s bedroom after a tornado” or worse, “design that can make elves go blind.” And I've never seen more horizontal scrolling in my life.
Oh, and it’s owned by News Corp, so all those irritating ads line the pockets of Rupert Murdoch.

There are plenty of people I like and respect with MySpace accounts. Fellow CBC blogger Laurence Stevenson has one; so do George Stroumboulopoulos and Gillian Deacon. And all the cool bands are on MySpace. And there's Justin Beach's CBClove, a nice tool for newtorking the corp's supporters.
But that still leaves about 99 million accounts for teenagers to act like preteenagers, wankstas to talk like gangstas, and predators and spammers and gossipers and identity thieves to do their thing.

All told, plenty of reasons to steer clear. But the more people start using MySpace, the harder it is to avoid. You can’t communicate with a MySpace blogger, or even leave a comment, without having an account. For months I decided Laurence, Gill and Strombo could do without my witticisms. But then a well-meaning and intelligent MySpace user posted a CBC question on my blog, and asked me to respond on hers.

So I decided to finally bite the bullet, and sign up for a MySpace account. And that’s where this adventure begins.

-------------------------------

Creating an account should be painless enough, I told myself, figuring that I was probably at least as smart as 100 million teenagers.

I should have known right away that this was not, in fact, the case, right after I typed in http://www.myspace.ca/- which turns out to be some guy’s blog, and a WordPress one at that. MySpace may be a worldwide phenomenon, but not enough to make it worth registering or buying out a Canadian domain name. Heck, that could cost tens of dollars, and it’s not like Mr. Murdoch is made of money.

As it turns out, the whole “Canadian” thing is a bit beyond the great minds at MySpace.

To get an account, you must first tell Rupert where you live. This is common enough on sites where registration is required (though not, I should point out, when you sign up for superior blogging sites like Blogger and Wordpress).

MySpace locations drop-down menuSo, you head to the drop-down menu to select your country. You'll notice right away that the list is ridiculously long. In fact, there are more options (228) than actual countries in the world (192).

United States comes up by default and in the middle of the list, so you'll have to go hunting for Canada. Don't worry, it's right there between all those bloggers from Cameroon and Cape Verde.

Once you select Canada, a brand new question pops up:

State/Province: -Please select a Prefecture-

Prefecture? Really? Has nobody at MySpace even traveled to Canada?

Now, if you are from almighty America, you don't have to pick your state. In fact, almost none of the 200+ options require this level of specificity, and those that do seem completely random. The United Kingdom doesn't ask for your county, but Ireland does. You'll also need a Prefecture if you are from Japan… or Australia. Or Denmark (where the only Prefecture to select from is "All".)

OK, so we select Canada, then the Prefecture of Ontario.

MySpace - Canada

Next box is Postal Code. By this point I wasn't terribly surprised to find that my postal code didn't work here, with or without capitals, with or without a space in between. So I reverted to my old standby, "90210". Worked.

Sort of. At that point it added this new line:

Please enter a valid Postal Code for Canada

Which was nice, in that it acknowledged that they had at least heard of Canada. And once again, no post code variant would work. So, as I often do, I simply picked a different country.

I was torn between Antarctica (penguins!), Vanuatu (looked nice on Survivor) and Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (sounds dangerous) but eventually went for Bouvet Island, one of the dozens of island options that I'd never heard of.

Yesterday I got around to looking it up:

Bouvet Island: This uninhabited volcanic island is almost entirely covered by glaciers and is difficult to approach.

Cooool! Sounds like Skull Island from King Kong, or maybe the place where Happy Feet comes from.

Bouvet IslandApparently the place is now a nature preserve run by Norway; its sole feature is an automated weather station. Which, perhaps, has a computer on the internet, so in theory I could blog from there. Except that it's inaccessible.

So, to recap: while it's nearly impossible to register on MySpace as a resident of Canada, it's a breeze to register as someone from a completely uninhabited, glacier-covered, inaccessible volcanic island.

A MySpace search for "bouvet island" reveals 1,050 fellow liars. From perusing their falsehood-ridden profiles, I've learned that Bouvet Island was Picard's intended destination for Starship Enterprise evacuees in First Contact (so they wouldn't muck up Earth's history). It may also be "just a piece of shit landfill right off the Jersey Shore."

There are a few other skill-testing questions, and one of those colourful "verification key" images of psychadelic Scooby Doo letters that you have to type in to prove you aren't stoned. Then you get to the "profile stuff".

There's an opportunity to post a picture of yourself or someone who is better-looking, and to lie about your other physical and mental traits. The defaults are a little odd, even offensive to a father of two like me:

Paul's Details:
Children: I don't want kids
You have 1 friends

That one friend is the omnipresent and irritating Tom, who I guess founded MySpace and no doubt got filthy rich, as evidenced by his shiteating grin leering at me under "Paul's Friend Space".

That's about all that you can find on Paul's MySpace now, apart from ads for the University of Phoenix, Capital One and free horoscopes. Using the default layout, they take up a whopping 75 per cent of the above-the-fold screen real estate. Man, I'm gonna get rich from those, no?

Paul's default MySpace

Now that my account has been created, I can go back and enter a few other spurious details about me. For example, I used the dropdown to set my height to the default, which is 1 cm tall.

Though MySpace members have to be at least 14, that's actually the size of a six-week-old fetus.

However, it does go all the way up to 230 cm, which is 7.5 feet tall. Does Yao Ming have MySpace?

Well, there is in fact one guy who claims to be Yao, but I'm slightly skeptical of his profile comment, "I don't have to suck Larry Bird's dick for a spit up chocolate covered gummi bear and a pile of lost tube socks." Wouldn't pass the Chinese censors, or Reebok's.

That said, the real Yao isn't much of a blogger either - his last official blog entry was March 28th, 2005.

(Oh, and 7'6" doesn't actually cover everyone on earth - the tallest man ever was 8'11". UPDATE: Tallest living man is 7'9", and just saved two dolphins!)

So, now that the physical business is out of the way (I'll be damned if I'll put in my ethnicity or other unecessary tidbits) you can put in stuff to make people think you are interesting: people you'd like to meet, books you claim to have read, your heroes, etc.

But really, I'm exhausted and just can't be bothered. If you want, you can send me your suggestions and I'll put them in my profile. They'd be just as accurate as the rest of MySpace.

MyCBCSpace

GASP!

It just occurred to me… I hope MyCBC isn't going to be like MySpace! The similar nomenclature can't be a coincidence...

(click to enlarge)

10Nov/062

Inside, Outside, CBC

Inside the CBCI guess I forgot to mention here that I've finished my stint as the CBC's official blogger.

Tod Maffin is back in action (hooray!), and took back the keys to Inside the CBC a little over a week ago. He came back with a vengeance, actually - he's posting as many as 10 items a day, which makes my 1-3 posts/day look pretty weak.

Still, it wasn't bad work for an hour or two a day. And I think our styles are a little different - Tod's an absolute monster for churning out stories faster than anyone else (which, after all, is one thing blogs excel at); I go for more contemplative pieces. Perhaps that's why I've always worked on documentaries and features rather than news.

I have to say I miss the gig - it's a great way to communicate with CBC producers, insiders and fans, and it was great being in the loop. But staying in the loop takes a lot of energy, which I can now devote to my day job, and my own blog, which had certainly been neglected. Tod and I have discussed creating an ongoing role for me, perhaps a weekly bit like Blake Crosby's excellent Under the Hood. I just need to find something I'm qualified to talk about...

Too much talk?

I was delighted to see tonight that Inside the CBC will be receiving some space on CBC's intranet. Funny, actually, because I've had six conversations on the subject this week. It's a bit of a sticky wicket, though: what's the relationship between the blog and the voice of the corp?

See, a year or two ago, CBC's internal communications got spanked on an employee survey - it turns out just about everyone felt out of the loop. The lockout didn't help, except insofar as the locked-out employees found plenty of new ways to talk to each other without using official tools. Management has been trying to keep up ever since.

We've come a long way to counter the lack of information - maybe too far. Now we've got:

  • Inside the CBC (the official blog - whatever Tod thinks is interesting)
  • The intranet (internal services, notices, policies, HR, archives, telephone directory, press releases, stats, etc.)
  • "Net Pub Eng" (all-staff e-mails: hirings, retirements, new shows, obits, awards won)
  • The Grapevine (weekly e-mail .pdf newsletter - staff events, awards, regional happenings)
  • Other weekly e-mail lists (NT Review on technology, Prime Picks on CBC shows to watch, Audience Reaction reports, etc.)
  • Press clippings about CBC (generally only managers get these, on paper)
  • "Click" (I never did figure this one out - a CBC.ca intranet, with style guides and stuff)
  • A new Drupal site under development for internal communications
  • Several wikis built by shows and units to do their own communications and project management
  • IRC/MSN/IM within certain groups (even though IT pooh-poohs such things)
  • External stuff (personal blogs like this one, Teamakers, CBC Love, alt.tv.networks.cbc, CBC Watch, Our Public Airwaves, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, etc.)
  • and so on...

And none of these really work - yet - as a tool to let employees talk to each other. There's overlap, but not so much that you can ignore any of them.

Not that it isn't tempting. In the past 24 hours, here are some headers from separate Net Pub Eng e-mails to all employees, in English and French:

  • Important Follow-Up on Password Security
  • Upcoming Security Projects at the Broadcasting Centre
  • Meet the cast of Rumours
  • Corporate Plan Summary Now Available
  • Satisfaction Survey - Thank you!
  • RCI viva: Radio Canada International’s New Web Service
  • Compelling reasons for a robust Canadian English Television Service
  • CBC TELEVISION EXCELS AT COLUMBUS, FREDDIES, GEMINIS AND OTHER FALL AWARDS

And these are actually interesting ones. Most days tend to include retirement announcements for people you've never met, self-congratulatory messages from departments that figure they've done something special, and so on.

Don't get me wrong, it's good to be informed. It's bad to learn about your job in the newspaper first. But at some point the signal-to-noise ratio becomes a problem - your inbox overflows, and you tune out. Before the internet, they didn't phone every employee to tell them each new piece of information as it became available. But we got by. E-mail and the web make the sharing of information easier, but they don't make it relevant.

None of the e-mail messages above are urgent - could they be collected on a one stop shop, such as the intranet? How about combining them into a daily e-mail roundup? Maybe an RSS feed of all of the above?

Oh, and about those e-mails... a colleague tells me other corporations don't have anywhere near this level of internal messaging flying around. She also says there's a suspicious amount of personalization in the messages, leaving the impression that some people enjoy seeing their name in print. (It has been suggested that unless it's the CEO, nobody should have their names attached to announcements. It's nice to know who's responsible for policies, but I don't need to see messages signed by the Executive Vice President of Snow Removal, Wellington Street Division.)

The good news is that there are some smart people looking into this very problem. They know we've got an overload, and I'm sure someone will figure out how to keep us informed yet sane.

In the meantime, I sincerely enjoyed writing for Inside The CBC, and now I enjoy reading it. In two places!

Filed under: Blogging, CBC, Rants 2 Comments
6Oct/060

Zero tonne challenge

Remember that One Tonne Challenge thing that Rick Mercer was pimping?

It's over. Killed a few months ago.

The program was part of the Government of Canada Climate Change program, which has been disappeared. Try their site:

Climate Change site

The Government of Canada Climate Change site is currently unavailable.

We appreciate your interest in the important issue of climate change and suggest that you visit the following sites for more information:

Let's do that…

OK, so here's what we find at the Green Lane link:

The Government of Canada is committed to the development and implementation of a Made-in-Canada plan for reducing greenhouse gases and ensuring clean air, water, land and energy for Canadians. The Made-in-Canada approach will be effective, realistic and focus on achieving sustained reductions in emissions in Canada while ensuring a strong economy. The Government will develop solutions that have clear environmental benefits to Canada and improve our ability to market new technologies around the world.

That's it. That's our government's total plan for battling climate change.

Translation: "We're working on it, honest. It's all good. Under control. Fuggedaboutit."

The Natural Resources Canada link has nothing about climate change.

I see from that rather stark "unavailable" announcement (the governmental equivalent of a 404 error) that the site was last updated in June... meaning it took our government less than six months to lick that pesky global warming thing!

Nicely done.

Filed under: Rants No Comments