December 2011 Archives

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American Idiot Review
Published by Toronto Mike on December 30, 2011 @ 22:36 in Reviews

American Idiot ReviewI'm not really a Broadway guy. Musicals typically make me cringe. I liked the Lion King, but other than that I've always left the theatre pretty underwhelmed.

Tonight I saw American Idiot from the 2nd row at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. It was pretty damn good. Of course, it helps if you like Green Day's music, which I do, but even if you don't I think you'd enjoy this show. It looks and sounds great.

american_idiot-640x300

American Idiot runs through January 15, 2012. Back in December 2005, I dissected Jesus of Suburbia. It's a rather interesting entry in retrospect.

Update: There's a performer in this musical who loses his leg in war. I was ten feet from the guy and I couldn't tell how he was hiding his leg. There's one scene where he has a stump for a leg Lieutenant Dan style and another where he has a fake leg... I'm still scratching my head as to how they did it. If you know, please let me know in the comments.

Freezing Fog: What the Hell is That?
Published by Toronto Mike on December 30, 2011 @ 17:26 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

snowI'm about to head out to see American Idiot, so I checked the weather via my Ubuntu Linux desktop. Here's what I saw:

freezingfog

Freezing fog? What the hell is freezing fog?

According to the National Weather Service:

Freezing fog occurs when the water droplets that the fog is composed of are "supercooled". Supercooled water droplets remain in the liquid state until they come into contact with a surface upon which they can freeze. As a result, any object the freezing fog comes into contact with will become coated with ice. The same thing happens with freezing rain or drizzle.

That's some scary shit right there!

Humble and Fred's Big Announcement
Published by Toronto Mike on December 30, 2011 @ 12:45 in Humble and Fred

Humble and Fred's Big AnnouncementSome of you are fans of Humble and Fred's podcast (now at 50 episodes!) and will be interested in this sweet slice of Humble and Fred news.

Humble and Fred have a major announcement to make with regards to a multi-media conglomerate. I've seen the agreement, and it's pretty awesome for a couple of guys who couldn't get a gig on terrestrial radio and decided to roll their own. I'm damn proud I get to help with the rolling and got in on the ground floor.

I'll let Humble and Fred unveil the specifics, something they intend to do in the next couple of weeks. Rest assured it doesn't mean the end of their podcasts, merely a new beginning, and they'll continue to own their content and do their own thing.

hf

Feel free to guess what they'll be announcing. That's always fun.

North Korea Photoshop and the Giant
Published by Toronto Mike on December 30, 2011 @ 10:07 in Miscellaneous

kim jong-ilKim Jong-Il is dead, and they just had his funeral procession in Pyongyang. The North Korea state news agency has been caught manipulating photos from the memorial service, removing a few stragglers in order to restore order.

ap

That hardly seemed worth it. If I was going to Photoshop Kim Jong-Il's funeral procession, I'd add a giant or something. Oh wait... they may have already done that.

giant

giant2

Or that may be Ri Myung Hun, a 7'9" basketball star known as Michael Ri. Here's a doc on the guy who was never allowed to play in the NBA.

What say you? Photoshop or Michael Ri?

I Transferred My Domains Out Of GoDaddy
Published by Toronto Mike on December 29, 2011 @ 12:26 in Technology

webSOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, has me worried. In a nutshell, SOPA is a proposed bill before the US congress that would allow owners of intellectual property to block or disable any website that they consider infringes on their intellectual property. It's a frightening slippery slope that promises to curtail freedom of speech on the internet.

GoDaddy announced they support SOPA. In fact, they were pretty vocal about it until about a week ago. As a result, and because I always hated the GoDaddy interface and their ad campaigns, I transferred all of my domains out of GoDaddy on Christmas Eve.

It was very easy following this handy tutorial. Just make sure you unlock your domains in GoDaddy first and export your authorization codes to expedite matters.

I went to NameCheap.com, although I could have gone to local pals coreFusion (sorry guys!) NameCheap.com is offering transfers below cost ($6.99 per transfer) all day today using the coupon code SOPASucks. Additionally, for every domain transfer initiated today, they will donate $1 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to help them continue the legal fight against SOPA, PROTECT-IP, and other overbroad and ill-considered legislation.

gd

If you've still got your domain names with GoDaddy, today might be a good day to transfer them. I'm glad I did.

Top 20 Countries by Population
Published by Toronto Mike on December 28, 2011 @ 19:26 in Lists

earthAccording to Wikipedia, here are the twenty most populated countries.

Rank Country (or dependent territory) Population % of world
population
- World 6,984,300,000 100.00%
1  China[4] 1,339,724,852 19.18%
2  India 1,210,193,422 17.33%
3  United States 312,856,000 4.48%
4  Indonesia 237,641,326 3.4%
5  Brazil 192,376,496 2.75%
6  Pakistan 178,216,000 2.55%
7  Nigeria 162,471,000 2.33%
8  Russia 142,914,136 2.05%
9  Bangladesh 142,319,000 2.04%
10  Japan 127,760,000 1.83%
11  Mexico 112,336,538 1.61%
12  Philippines 94,013,200 1.35%
13  Vietnam 85,846,997 1.23%
14  Ethiopia 82,101,998 1.18%
15  Germany 81,768,000 1.17%
16  Egypt 81,309,000 1.16%
17  Iran 75,956,000 1.09%
18  Turkey 73,722,988 1.06%
19  Thailand 69,519,000 1%
20  Democratic Republic of the Congo 67,758,000 0.97%
Joe Bodolai, Dead at 63
Published by Toronto Mike on December 27, 2011 @ 13:33 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumJoe Bodolai was 63. He was best known for producing and writing such television shows as Comics!, The Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live. He also co-wrote the first draft of the film Wayne's World with Mike Myers.

Before he took his own life, Joe Bodolai published his suicide note on his blog. You really have to read his final entry.

Things I Regret

  • My inability to conquer my alcoholism
  • The things I did because of it
  • Leaving Canada
  • Moving to Los Angeles
  • Not fighting harder or making a better deal to stay with The Comedy Network I helped create
  • Not being able to live up to the helping hand so many wonderful people offered me
  • The hurt I caused in my family, friends, and maybe even strangers.
  • That I am no longer able to withstand any more of life’s pain
  • Most of all, the pain I have caused and am now causing my sons and the love of my life, my ex-wife Bianca, my love and connection with her is infinite
  • The fact I will never get to repay the love and generosity you all deserve
  • Lisa.

It's a fascinating read. He published this entry on December 23 and took his life yesterday. I'm going to paste down the entry entry in the comments, just in case it goes offline at some point.

Don Cherry's Piano Desk
Published by Toronto Mike on December 26, 2011 @ 19:18 in Humour

don cherryDon Cherry's piano desk helps emphasize his arguments.


Canada 8, Finland 1
Published by Toronto Mike on December 26, 2011 @ 18:08 in Hockey Canada

Canada HockeyWell, that was easy.

Most of the chatter heading into this tournament revolved around Mark Stone and he didn't disappoint, scoring a hat trick. It's too bad he's a Senators prospect.

Jonathan Huberdeau had a great game as well, scoring a goal and five points. We've got the Czech Republic next, Wednesday at 8pm.

My Boxing Day Tradition: World Junior Championship Hockey
Published by Toronto Mike on December 26, 2011 @ 11:36 in Hockey Canada

Hockey CanadaMy favourite Boxing Day tradition isn't shopping, it's settling in to watch the Canadian juniors open their World Junior Championship. The 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships take place in Calgary and Edmonton and we play Finland at 3:30pm.

Here's our team this year:

# Player Hometown/Country Team/Organization NHL Draft
Goaltenders
29 Mark Visentin * Waterdown, Ont. Niagara (OHL) PHX ’10 (1, 27)
30 Scott Wedgewood Brampton, Ont. Plymouth (OHL) NJ ’10 (3, 84)
Defense
2 Jamie Oleksiak Toronto, Ont. Saginaw (OHL) DAL ’11 (1, 14)
3 Brandon Gormley - A Murray River, P.E.I. Moncton (QMJHL) PHX ’10 (1, 13)
4 Dougie Hamilton Toronto, Ont. Niagara (OHL) BOS ’11 (1, 9)
5 Mark Pysyk Sherwood Park, Alta. Edmonton (WHL) BUF ’10 (1, 23)
6 Scott Harrington Kingston, Ont. London (OHL) PIT ’11 (2, 54)
27 Ryan Murray White City, Sask. Everett (WHL) 2012 Dft.
28 Nathan Beaulieu Strathroy, Ont. Saint John (QMJHL) MTL ’11 (1, 17)
Forwards
8 Jaden Schwartz * - C Wilcox, Sask. Colorado College (WCHA) STL ’10 (1, 14)
10 Michaël Bournival Shawinigan-Sud, Que. Shawinigan (QMJHL) MTL/COL ’10 (3, 71)
11 Jonathan Huberdeau St-Jérôme, Que. Saint John (QMJHL) FLA ’11 (1, 3)
12 Brendan Gallagher Tsawwassen, B.C. Vancouver (WHL) MTL ’10 (5, 147)
13 Freddie Hamilton Toronto, Ont. Niagara (OHL) SJ ’10 (5, 129)
14 Brett Connolly * - A Prince George, B.C. Tampa Bay (NHL) TB ’10 (1, 6)
15 Tanner Pearson Kitchener, Ont. Barrie (OHL) 2012 Dft.
16 Mark Stone Winnipeg, Man. Brandon (WHL) OTT ’10 (6, 178)
18 Ryan Strome Mississauga, Ont. Niagara (OHL) NYI ’11 (1, 5)
19 Mark Scheifele Kitchener, Ont. Barrie (OHL) WPG ’11 (1, 7)
20 Boone Jenner Dorchester, Ont. Oshawa (OHL) CBJ ’11 (2, 37)
21 Quinton Howden * - A Oak Bank, Man. Moose Jaw (WHL) FLA ’10 (1, 25)
22 Devante Smith-Pelly - A Scarborough, Ont. Anaheim (NHL) ANA ’10 (2, 42)

The IIHF World Junior Championship is our March Madness and I love it. Go Canada Go!

Flashback: I live blog the Canada-Russia gold medal game on January 4, 2005.

Wishing You All This Much Excitement
Published by Toronto Mike on December 25, 2011 @ 11:03 in Videos

Merry Christmas!

Daily Photo: Weir
Published by Toronto Mike on December 24, 2011 @ 13:55 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-24 12.54.06.jpg

I took this photo on a long, brisk walk by the Humble Humber River in Etienne Brulé Park, definitely one of Toronto's best kept secrets. These overflow dams, by the way, are called weirs.

Xmas Weekend Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on December 23, 2011 @ 09:01 in Open Mike

microphoneIt's Festivus. That means Christmas Eve is only a day away. That means Christmas is only two days away. That also means it's time for a traditional Holiday Open Mike.

Long Ago...

Use the comments of this entry to discuss anything you want. This is your space. What's on your mind?

Happy Festivus 2011!
Published by Toronto Mike on December 23, 2011 @ 08:47 in Miscellaneous

Snow FlakeI want to wish each and every one of you a very happy Festivus. For those who don't know what Festivus is, there are three easy to follow steps:

  1. "Get the pole out of the crawl space". Or go out and buy one. Remember, it should be aluminium, due to the "very high strength-to-weight ratio". Remember, "it requires no decoration". Tinsel is "distracting".
  2. "The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances... At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year."
  3. After dinner, it is time for the "Feats of Strength". Remember, Festivus is not over until someone is pinned.

The origin of Festivus was explained nicely by Frank Costanza in the Seinfeld episode "The Strike". Here's his exchange with Cosmo Kramer.

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born . . . a Festivus for the rest of us!
Cosmo Kramer: That must've been some kind of doll.
Frank Costanza: She was.

Here's everything you need to know. Happy Festivus everyone!


Top 40 Movies by Box Office in 2011 (And Which Ones I Saw)
Published by Toronto Mike on December 22, 2011 @ 20:30 in Lists, Movies

top 40Below are the top 40 movies in 2011 according to box office receipts.

Two things immediately spring to mind: hot damn that's a lot of sequels and I sure haven't seen many popular movies in 2011.

I'll bold the ones I've seen, since I know you're curious.

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
  4. The Hangover Part II
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  6. Fast Five
  7. Cars 2
  8. Thor
  9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  10. Captain America: The First Avenger
  11. The Help
  12. Bridesmaids
  13. Kung Fu Panda 2
  14. X-Men: First Class
  15. Rio
  16. Puss in Boots
  17. The Smurfs
  18. Super 8
  19. Rango
  20. Horrible Bosses
  21. Green Lantern
  22. Hop
  23. Paranormal Activity 3
  24. Just Go With It
  25. Bad Teacher
  26. Cowboys & Aliens
  27. Gnomeo and Juliet
  28. The Green Hornet
  29. The Lion King (in 3D)
  30. Crazy, Stupid, Love.
  31. Real Steel
  32. Battle: Los Angeles
  33. Immortals
  34. Zookeeper
  35. Limitless
  36. Tower Heist
  37. Contagion
  38. Moneyball
  39. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
  40. The Muppets
Kids Like Shite and That's Okay
Published by Toronto Mike on December 22, 2011 @ 20:07 in Music, My 2 Cents

musicMy buddy Pete was tweeting tonight about an 8-year old he caught singing "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5.

pk

I asked Pete what bugged him so much about what he witnessed, and he said it was that she was singing a shite song. I agree with Pete, Moves Like Jagger is a shite song, in fact, it's one of the worst songs I heard in 2011, but Pete and I aren't 8-years old. I remember being 8-years old, and I have both a 9-year old and a 7-year old, so I can state with some authority that kids like shite.

At that age, I was really into Duran Duran. Top 40 pop was my genre of choice. It was mostly crap, but I outgrew it. A few years later I discovered the Sex Pistols and the rest is history.

My kids seem to like Katy Perry and Usher and even the horrible Black Eyed Peas but they're kids, and kids like shite. This too shall pass.

What shite did you enjoy when you were a kid?

Johnny Bower's Honky The Christmas Goose
Published by Toronto Mike on December 22, 2011 @ 11:59 in Music

MP3Yesterday, I shared that sweet rendition of O Holy Night from Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Today, I'm going in a different direction.

Sung with Little John and the Rinky Dinks, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower's "Honky the Christmas Goose" was released in 1965 and enjoyed a significant amount of airplay, making it to number 29 on our Canadian music charts.

play Johnny Bower - Honky The Christmas Goose

bowerxmas

How to Stop the Slide
Published by Toronto Mike on December 22, 2011 @ 10:20 in Toronto Maple Leafs

leafsStopping the slide is easy. The Leafs just have to sign this kid.

bieber

That Lovely Christmas Song from Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Published by Toronto Mike on December 21, 2011 @ 09:22 in Music

MP3I share this MP3 every year around this time. It's from Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" which I actually enjoyed but you've likely never seen.

"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" is long gone, but five years later a song that aired on that series still makes my holiday playlist. There was a Christmas episode in which band members called in sick to create work for New Orleans musicians in need of cash. These musicians were given a spot on the show and they performed this fantastic rendition of "O Holy Night".

play Tipitina's Foundation - O Holy Night

Season's Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Joyous Kwanzaa to you all.

4 Chords from The Axis of Awesome
Published by Toronto Mike on December 20, 2011 @ 22:22 in Music

5 chordsAustralian comedy group Axis Of Awesome want us to know that lots of songs are based on the same four chord progression. G, C, F and A.

Songs in 4 chords:

  • SONGS in 4 CHORDS
  • Journey -- "Don't Stop Believing"
  • James Blunt -- "You're Beautiful"
  • Black Eyed Peas -- "Where Is the Love"
  • Alphaville -- "Forever Young"
  • Jason Mraz -- "I'm Yours"
  • Train -- "Hey Soul Sister"
  • The Calling -- "Wherever You Will Go"
  • Elton John -- "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (from The Lion King)
  • Akon -- "Don't Matter"
  • John Denver -- "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
  • Lady Gaga -- "Paparazzi"
  • U2 -- "With Or Without You"
  • The Last Goodnight -- "Pictures of You"
  • Maroon Five -- "She Will Be Loved"
  • The Beatles -- "Let It Be"
  • Bob Marley -- "No Woman No Cry"
  • Marcy Playground -- "Sex and Candy"
  • Men At Work -- "Land Down Under"
  • Theme from America's Funniest Home Videos
  • Jack Johnson -- "Taylor"
  • Spice Girls -- "Two Become One"
  • A Ha -- "Take On Me"
  • Green Day -- "When I Come Around"
  • Eagle Eye Cherry -- "Save Tonight"
  • Toto -- "Africa"
  • Beyonce -- "If I Were A Boy"
  • Kelly Clarkson -- "Behind These Hazel Eyes"
  • Jason DeRulo -- "In My Head"
  • The Smashing Pumpkins -- "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
  • Joan Osborne -- "One Of Us"
  • Avril Lavigne -- "Complicated"
  • The Offspring -- "Self Esteem"
  • The Offspring -- "You're Gonna Go Far Kid"
  • Akon -- "Beautiful"
  • Timberland featuring OneRepublic -- "Apologize"
  • Eminem featuring Rihanna -- "Love the Way You Lie"
  • Bon Jovi -- "It's My Life"
  • Lady Gaga -- "Pokerface"
  • Aqua -- "Barbie Girl"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers -- "Otherside"
  • The Gregory Brothers -- "Double Rainbow"
  • MGMT -- "Kids"
  • Andrea Bocelli -- "Time To Say Goodbye"
  • Robert Burns -- "Auld Lang Syne"
  • Five for fighting -- "Superman"
  • The Axis of Awesome -- "Birdplane"
  • Missy Higgins -- "Scar"
Daily Photo: Through the Looking Glass
Published by Toronto Mike on December 20, 2011 @ 11:45 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-20 10.39.07.jpg

If you're visiting Redfish Studios in Etobicoke, you can now peer through the looking glass and watch the recording of Humble and Fred's podcasts. Don't come tomorrow, though... they're recording from Wayne Gretzky's.

Don't Panic.... Yet
Published by Toronto Mike on December 20, 2011 @ 09:17 in Toronto Maple Leafs

don't panicYes, the Leafs have lost three in a row. We're on a 2-5-2 slide, one that feels awfully familiar at this time of year. But last I checked we were still holding down a playoff spot, and I last checked 2 minutes ago.

So don't hit the panic button yet. Don't do it. Reimer played a strong game and we did come back in the third to force OT.

panic-button

We'll be fine. Trust me.

Sit down, Douchebag
Published by Ryan G. on December 20, 2011 @ 09:09 in Guest Blog Entries

If you ever find yourself at a Leafs game, sitting on the side of the rink where the broadcast tv cameras are, perhaps about 3 rows from the ice, deep in the zone on either side near the nets, and you see Douchebag stand up and wave to the camera as the play comes by that area, please promise me you'll stab him, and stab him good.

Douchebag will sometimes be wearing a Leafs jersey, be about 23 years of age, and often for games in December, also sporting a Santa cap and holding a beer.

Douchebag may be the same Douchebag you see sitting behind home plate at Jays games, often on his phone, texting all his other Douchebag friends to turn on the game to see Douchebag on television.

So do your part, and stop Douchebaggery in all forms.
Your country thanks you for it.

Daily Photo: High Park Ice
Published by Toronto Mike on December 19, 2011 @ 23:14 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-19 19.51.55.jpg

It's that time of year. The boy practices on the big rink while we skate on the public side to keep warm. If you're looking for a public sheet of ice that isn't too busy, get your ass to High Park one evening.

Crazy Shit About Kim Jong Il
Published by Toronto Mike on December 19, 2011 @ 12:19 in Lists

newspaperKim Jong Il is dead. That's a great reason to dust off these 17 bizarre details about the Dear Leader's life, blatantly stolen from The Daily Mirror.

1. His official biography claimed his birth was foretold by a swallow and led to the appearance of a double rainbow along with the emergence of a new star in space. He went on to spread the myth among his subjects that his mood could control the weather.

2. You may not be aware of this, but Kim Jong-Il was the world's greatest golfer... According to an official government handout marking his 62nd birthday, Kim celebrated by demolishing a par 72 course in just 34 strokes, managing a world record five holes-in-one on the way. To top it all, the superhuman round was apparently the first time he had actually played the sport.

3. In 2006, German giant rabbit breeder Karl Szmolinsky was contacted by Pyongyang, asking if they could buy 12 of the bumper bunnies. Having seen the massive rabbits in a newspaper, Kim planned to set up a breeding programme to boost meat production in the famine-hit country. Despite Szmolinsky warning the rabbits would make the situation worse - they only yield about 15 pounds of meat and have a huge appetite for carrots and potatoes - Kim insisted the animals should still be sent. Szmolinsky claims once the animals arrived Kim ate them himself as part of his birthday celebrations.

4. In 2004, a former chef for Kim revealed the North Korean leader employed staff to make sure the grains of rice served to him were absolutely uniform in size and colour.

5. In 2010 Kim Jong-Il banned the World Cup from being broadcast in North Korea unless the national team won. The communist country's state-run TV stations were ordered not to broadcast live matches or games involving other nations, with only heavily edited highlights of North Korean victories permitted to be screened.

6. Hacked off by the lack of film-makers in his native land, in 1978 Kim arranged for two South Korean directors to be kidnapped from Hong Kong and brought to him. They tried to escape but eventually relented, making a string of movies for him including the cult Godzilla rip-off  Pulgasari.

7. After being told by doctor's to give up smoking in 2007, Kim quit then decided he needed to go one step further to protect his health and so outlawed fags for the rest of his compatriots with a nationwide ban.

8. According to Russian emissary Konstantin Pulikovsky, who travelled with Mr Kim by train across Eastern Europe, Kim had live lobsters air-lifted to the train every day which he ate with silver chopsticks. Where did all his food go? An official biography on the North Korean state website declared Kim Jong Il did not defecate. The biography has since been removed.

9. After suffering a back injury following a horse riding accident, Kim was prescribed painkillers. Fearful of becoming addicted, he ordered a half-dozen of his closest staff to receive the same injection under the logic that if he became dependent, he wouldn't be the only one. 

10. As well as being something of a foodie, Kim knew his booze. According to Hennessy, Kim was one of their single biggest customers, importing £350,000 worth of the cognac every year.

11. In 2004 he claimed to have invented the hamburger.

12. One of his unofficial titles was The Central Brain.

13. He once wrote six operas in two years.

14. He has collected more than 20,000 foreign films - with his favourites including Rambo and Friday 13th.

15. He was a keen roller-blader.

16. During a 2001 visit to Moscow by rail he had roast donkey flown to his train every day.

17. In the 1950s he built an entire city called Kijong-Dong that was designed only for propaganda. To this day it has no residents.

HEMEG

Note: outlawing fags isn't nearly as awful as you might think.

Update: The above list of 17 bizarre "facts" about the life of Kim Jong Il help explain the many tears flowing in North Korea right now. You'd be this sad too if you lost the guy who not only invented the hamburger but golfed a par 72 course in just 34 strokes.


Best Fails of 2011
Published by Toronto Mike on December 19, 2011 @ 09:19 in Videos

videosNow that we're all walking around with video capture devices, we're all videographers, prepared to capture the latest fail at a moment's notice.

That makes each year's collection of best fails better than the one before. Here's the collection for 2011.

Brought to you by the fine folks at TwisterNederland.

Kim Jong Il, Dead at 69
Published by Toronto Mike on December 18, 2011 @ 22:19 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumKim Jong Il was 69. He has been the leader of North Korea, an impoverished communist country if ever there was one, since the death of his father Kim Il-sung in 1994.

Daily Photo: Post-Apocalyptic Remains
Published by Toronto Mike on December 17, 2011 @ 16:35 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-16 15.53.39.jpg

They're filming Resident Evil 5 on a lot on Kipling just south of Norseman. I found this in the parking lot.

Here's the front view:

2011-12-16 15.52.54.jpg

Christopher Hitchens, Dead at 62
Published by Toronto Mike on December 16, 2011 @ 08:37 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumChristopher Hitchens was 62. He was a contrarian writer and public intellectual, whose targets ranged from God and Mother Teresa to Henry Kissinger.


The Worst Christmas Song Ever
Published by Toronto Mike on December 15, 2011 @ 22:45 in Humour, Music

christmasThe worst Christmas song of all time is Christmas Shoes by NewSong.

This is a great bit by Patton Oswalt in which he picks Christmas Shoes apart.

I dare you to name a worse Christmas song.

My Men in Black Secret
Published by Toronto Mike on December 15, 2011 @ 21:59 in Movies

moviesI just learnt Men in Black 3 is coming to theatres this summer. There's a new trailer for Men in Black 3 that the kids seem to be enjoying. Here it is:

I must confess, I've never seen Men in Black, nor have I seen Men in Black 2. I naturally gravitate away from the big blockbusters, and Men in Black failed to reel me in.

Did I miss anything?

Seinfeld Calls Out Facebook in the 90s
Published by Toronto Mike on December 15, 2011 @ 11:58 in Television

facebookThe classic Seinfeld episode "The Bubble Boy" originally aired in 1992. Below is the intro in which Jerry calls out Facebook.

Ok, so he's talking about the answering machine, but it might as well be Facebook. It's the same deal...

On Facebook, I'm down to a modest 56 friends. I'm also one of the remaining few checking Google+ every day and hoping you all buy in. On Google+ I'm here, and if you add me to a circle, I'll add you back.

TTC Commissioner Maria Augimeri Rides the Finch Bus
Published by Toronto Mike on December 14, 2011 @ 11:43 in Rob Ford Watch, TTC ~ Toronto Transit Commission

ttcHere's a little clip of TTC Commissioner Maria Augimeri riding the Finch bus. It's important public servants eat their own dog food to understand what regular folks have to put up with every day.

I'd like to see Rob Ford get himself from Etobicoke to City Hall via the TTC. From where he lives it's just a little walk, a bus to the Bloor subway line and then a transfer to the University subway line. I dare Rob Ford to try it once.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail (note, it's not just the Star) is reporting that Rob Ford's plan to cancel Transit City will cost us at least $65-million, and counting.

And I seem to recall his "guarantee" that there would be no service cuts with him as mayor, but the TTC is planning to reduce service on 62 surface routes. That certainly sounds like a cut to me. And of course fares are going up again, and that hike has nothing to do with the $65-million cost of killing Transit City.

One day, I hope to post an entry about Rob Ford riding the bus. As if.

Louis CK Follow-Up
Published by Toronto Mike on December 14, 2011 @ 09:54 in Miscellaneous

moneyOn the weekend, I wrote about Louis CK cutting out the middle men and selling his DRM-free performance directly to fans for $5. I coughed up $5 immediately, because we need this model to succeed. Here's the follow-up from Louis himself.

People of Earth (minus the ones who don't give a shit about this): it's been amazing to conduct this experiment with you. The experiment was: if I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?

It's been 4 days. A lot of people are asking me how it's going. I've been hesitant to share the actual figures, because there's power in exclusive ownership of information. What I didn't expect when I started this was that people would not only take part in this experiment, they would be invested in it and it would be important to them. It's been amazing to see people in large numbers advocating this idea. So I think it's only fair that you get to know the results. Also, it's just really cool and fun and I'm dying to tell everybody. I told my Mom, I told three friends, and that wasn't nearly enough. So here it is.

First of all, this was a premium video production, shot with six cameras over two performances at the Beacon Theater, which is a high-priced elite Manhattan venue. I directed this video myself and the production of the video cost around $170,000. (This was largely paid for by the tickets bought by the audiences at both shows). The material in the video was developed over months on the road and has never been seen on my show (LOUIE) or on any other special. The risks were thus: every new generation of material I create is my income, it's like a farmer's annual crop. The time and effort on my part was far more than if I'd done it with a big company. If I'd done it with a big company, I would have a guarantee of a sizable fee, as opposed to this way, where I'm actually investing my own money.

The development of the website, which needed to be a very robust, reliable and carefully constructed website, was around $32,000. We worked for a number of weeks poring over the site to make sure every detail would give buyers a simple, optimal and humane experience for buying the video. I edited the video around the clock for the weeks between the show and the launch.

The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we've sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.

I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have shitloads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn't many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it. And so now we all get to know that about people and stuff. I'm really glad I put this out here this way and I'll certainly do it again. If the trend continues with sales on this video, my goal is that i can reach the point where when I sell anything, be it videos, CDs or tickets to my tours, I'll do it here and I'll continue to follow the model of keeping my price as far down as possible, not overmarketing to you, keeping as few people between you and me as possible in the transaction.
(Of course i reserve the right to go back on all of this and sign a massive deal with a company that pays me fat coin and charges you straight up the ass.). (This is you: yes Louie. And we'll all enjoy torrenting that content. You fat sweaty dolt).

I probably sound kind of crazy right now. It's been a really fun and intense few days. This video was paid for by people who bought tickets, and then bought by people who wanted to see that same show. I got to do exactly the show I wanted, and exactly the show you wanted.

I also got an education. And everything i learned are things i was happy to learn.
I learned that people are interested in what happens and shit (i didn't go to college)

I learned that money can be a lot of things. It can be something that is hoarded, fought over, protected, stolen and withheld. Or it can be like an energy, fueled by the desire, will, creative interest, need to laugh, of large groups of people. And it can be shuffled and pushed around and pooled together to fuel a common interest, jokes about garbage, penises and parenthood.

I want to thank Blair Breard who produced this video and produces my series LOUIE, and I want to thank Caspar and Giles at Version Industries, who created the website.

I hope with all of my heart that I stay funny. Otherwise this all goes to hell. Please have a safe and happy holiday, and thank you again for all this crazy shit.

Sincerely,
Louis C.K.

It's no secret I've been involved with Humble and Fred's recent foray into podcasting. That's cut from the same cloth. Humble and Fred are providing content directly to the consumer without filtering it through conglomerates and CRTC regulations and distribution channels beyond their control.

Here's hoping the Louis CKs and Humble and Freds of the world remain empowered and can forever reach us directly, without need for mark-up, censorship and DRM bullshit. Amen.

Coolest Christmas Songs
Published by Toronto Mike on December 13, 2011 @ 18:24 in Lists

giftChristmas music is everywhere. You can't escape it, I think they're now piping it through the sewage system. Christmas music cannot be avoided at this time of year.

Most Christmas music is pretty awful. In fact, about 98% of Christmas music is terrible, which only leaves us 2%. Damn I'm good at math.

Here are the coolest Christmas songs you'll hear this season. If you've got a cooler tune, let me know in the comments.

Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis - Tom Waits

Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto - James Brown

I Wish It Was Christmas Today - Julian Casablancas

Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) - The Ramones

Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid

Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses

2000 Miles - The Pretenders

Fairytale of New York - The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl

You're Invited to Wayne Gretzky's on the 21st for Humble and Fred's Gift of Podcast Xmas
Published by Toronto Mike on December 13, 2011 @ 12:20 in Humble and Fred

humble and fredI'm going to assume you've checked out Humble and Fred Radio, because I asked you so nicely several times. Humble and Fred have been podcasting daily for a couple of months now, and we're going to celebrate with a good old fashioned Humble and Fred Christmas special.

It will be recorded live at Wayne Gretzky's restaurant on December 21st and you're all invited. That's right, you just have to show up at 99 Blue Jays Way at about 5:30pm and you can hang with all of us. Musical guests include:

  • See Spot Run
  • Shawn Brady
  • Alexander Quail
  • Spencer Glassman
  • Peter Cugno (a.k.a. Scary Pete)

There will be live streaming on Gretzky's site and we'll post the podcast, as usual, at HumbleandFredRadio.com.

Who's coming to Gretzky's on the 21st?

A Gift For Your Girl? Free $50 Dove Spa Gift Card For Ya
Published by Toronto Mike on December 13, 2011 @ 10:41 in Win Free Stuff

giftDove Spa Canada gave me a $50 gift card to give away to a reader, so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to ask that you leave a comment telling me what you're buying your significant other and I'll randomly pick one of you to get this $50 gift card. The deadline is Friday at noon.

The folks at Dove Spa just want me to tell you that Season's Treatings from Dove Spa make the perfect gift for her. Right now you can buy a $100 gift card, and get a $50 gift card for free. Blah, blah, blah... really Dove Spa? Season's Treatings? Eek.

Regardless, a free $50 gift card for leaving a silly little comment (make sure you include your email address in the email field so I can send you the card) is a pretty sweet deal and you could easily regift it and make your gal very happy, ya cheap bastards!

dovespa

They wanted this promotion to be for guys, but I won't discriminate. Just let me know what you're buying your SO...

Nissan vs. Nissan
Published by Toronto Mike on December 12, 2011 @ 13:30 in Miscellaneous

carIf you've ever been in the market for a Nissan, you've likely noticed that Nissan Canada can be found at www.nissan.ca but the American site is tucked away at www.nissanusa.com. Why doesn't Nissan own www.nissan.com?.

That's kind of a neat story, but before I share it, click on over to www.nissan.com. Go ahead, I'll wait.

As you saw, it's an awfully dated site, and obviously not at all affiliated with the car folks. It's safe to say the car Nissan peeps cringe every time someone visits nissan.com.

It seems a chap named Uzi Nissan started a company called "Nissan Foreign Car" in 1980, when the other Nissan was known as Datsun. He picked up nissan.com in 1994 and five years later legal action was instituted by Nissan Motor seeking the domain name and $10,000,000 in damages.

The whole story is here, but it seems the little guy is winning this battle. Nissan.com remains dated and horrible and in the hands of Uzi Nissan, its rightful owner.

nissan

Somewhere, the president of Nissan Motor continues to cringe.

Toronto Hacks
Published by Toronto Mike on December 12, 2011 @ 10:38 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

cntowerOver on Reddit there was a discussion about people's best Toronto hacks. Basically, any hacks for saving time, money or effort in Toronto.

Here's a few of the hacks posted there.

  • You can get a dozen free bagels on your birthday at What a Bagel
  • There's a change machine at the TD bank at Coxwell and Danforth. They take zero commission and you don't need to be a TD customer.
  • Morton's Steakhouse (on Avenue, just north of Bloor) has a bar where you can get free steak sandwiches if you're drinking. The drinks are fairly expensive but totally worth it for the sandwiches. They have a dress code though so you have to wear a suit.
  • Amsterdam brewery at Bathurst and lake shore is open till 11 every night and on holidays. Great for when you need to buy beer and the LCBO is closed.
  • Follow the GO bus. E.g. if a GO bus ahead of you decides not to take the DVP, you definitely don't want to take the DVP. Bail and take Don Mills instead. They have the advantage of radios and measurements, they know when things are bad enough to make alternate routes faster.
  • If you're getting on the subway at a stop where the doors are going to open on the other side for the rest of the line (i.e. getting on at Bloor, going eastbound) during rush hour/anytime when its busy, instead of trying to be one of the first on in hopes of finding a seat, be the very last to get on so you can have the sweet door spot. This works at Bloor, Bay, St. George, Union, Eglinton, Sheppard and I think a few other places.
  • Pretty sure this is illegal but you can actually very easily get behind the large Indigo sign at Yonge and Eglinton. You turn left onto the first street north of Eglinton. there is a stair well that is locked but the wall next to is super low hop over and push the door open. the stairs lead up and around behind the sign lots of space. Kinda a cool place to have a smoke.
  • Not really a hack, but in Scotia plaza on the corner of Bay and King I believe, there is an amazing little barbershop that is straight out of the 30's. It's called Truefitt & Hill and it's located inside the plaza. Great place to get an old fashioned cut, shave, and even shoes shined.
  • You know these corn beef keys? You can use them on the 25 cent carts if you happen to not have a quarter on you. I used to work at a grocery store and always spent my quarters that day and needed a few to bring all the buggies in. Just push the key into the slot with the round part going in, and once you hear the click just take it out.
  • Use Bayview/Pottery road/Mortimer rd. Best way to bypass Bloor for a quick trip from east to west end.
  • The Park Hyatt on the North-West corner of Avenue & Bloor has a tiny little lounge on the 18th floor that's open to the public and is absolutely the best place in the city to go with your laptop to spend a few relaxing productive hours. There's a small rooftop patio directly overlooking the ROM crystal and with a beautiful view of the core. Inside, there's a few small tables, a short bar, and a couple couches. For $5 you can get a coffee that they'll continue to refill for as long as you're there and they bring you free snacks (spiced olives, warm roasted almonds, and mixed crunchy snacks). If you get hungry for something bigger, there's a reasonably priced tapas menu (the oregano feta fries are great). There's free wifi, lovely decor, and the staff are super friendly.
  • You can get into the ROM for free on Tuesdays if you are attending a Canadian post-secondary institution.
  • I haven't done this in a couple years, but they almost never lock the pool at The Grande Hotel on Jarvis. After 11 pm, just walk in and take the elevator to the basement. The door is closed, but not locked. We use to swim, use the sauna, and just hang out. Hopefully it's still like this.
  • In the city and need a public restroom? Just make note of any nearby upscale hotels. They all have nice, clean spacious, private bathrooms off the lobby and no one ever looks at you twice. Everyone just assumes your supposed to be there or they don't care. I like the Royal York, the King Edward, the Sheraton, etc. Also, they're 24/7.
  • At the Inter Continental hotel by the Metro Toronto Convention Center on the 12th floor (or was it 8th...) there's actually a little cafe that serves light drinks and can serve various foods (though they do server a full breakfast in the mornings). It also has wi-fi and the staff is nice (since they probably don't see too many people I guess). There's free daily papers too.
  • Not really that secret, but if you are in the financial district and need to go north on the yonge line, walk to st patricks instead and you get a seat during rush hour.
  • The Beer Hunter compiles all the places to buy booze in Ontario, complete with hours and locations, usually open way later than the LC and Beer Store.

Do you have any good Toronto (or GTA) hacks to add?

Daily Photo: No-Touch Crossing
Published by Toronto Mike on December 11, 2011 @ 11:52 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-10 13.30.29.jpg

Walking the streets of north-west Mississauga, I came upon a touch-less street crossing button. You simply wave your hand in front of it, and it knows you want to cross.

Contagions be damned!

Louis CK Cuts Out Middlemen with DRM-Free $5 Download
Published by Toronto Mike on December 10, 2011 @ 21:56 in Humour

humourReaders of this blog already know I love Louis C.K., and now I have another reason sing his praises.

Instead of offering his Beacon Theatre performance as an overpriced CRM-loaded DVD, Louis C.K. is selling it as a $5 download. Fans can pay via Palpal at https://buy.louisck.net/purchase.

This is what it's all about. Talent like Louis C.K. can offer their material directly to fans at a very reasonable rate, and all middelmen can be completely cut out. I'm sure this performance is already on the Pirate Bay, but I'm giving Louis C.K. my $5 now, not only because I want this model to succeed, but because, as usual, Louis makes a compelling case against illegally downloading this video.

To those who might wish to "torrent" this video: look, I don't really get the whole "torrent" thing. I don't know enough about it to judge either way. But I'd just like you to consider this: I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without "corporate" restrictions. Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I'm just some guy. I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can't stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the video, and let other people find it in the same way.

And it's Louis C.K. and that means it's going to be funny. I like funny.

Protip: Use a Bigger Lock
Published by Toronto Mike on December 10, 2011 @ 19:29 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

city hallThe city had all those love padlocks removed from Toronto’s Humber Bridge yesterday. 40 or so of these symbols of eternal love got snipped with only a couple remaining.

This photo from the Toronto Star shows one of the survivors. It was simply too big for the clippers.

lock

Moral of the story: use a bigger lock

Daily Photo: MALE
Published by Toronto Mike on December 9, 2011 @ 17:00 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-09 13.52.04.jpg

I lunched at Factory Girl on the Danforth this afternoon, and this is how they mark their men's room.

The pulled pork sandwich was excellent and this photo of Steven Tyler was perfectly androgynous.

Leafs Sold to Rogers and Bell, No Longer Pension Plan Puppets
Published by Toronto Mike on December 9, 2011 @ 09:44 in Toronto FC, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus, Toronto Raptors

leafsSo this just happened...

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has sold its 79.53 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to Rogers Communications and BCE for more than $1.2 billion. BCE is fancy talk for Bell. That's right, Bell and Rogers now each own 37.5% of MLSE, which owns, among other things, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, TFC and the Toronto Marlies.

A couple of thoughts immediately spring to mind... These partnerships between Rogers and Bell make me very nervous. We need them to hate each other, right? It can't be good for the competitive landscape, for those of us who need Internet access and mobile talk and data plans and cable tv, when these telecom behemoths keep jumping into bed together.

unholy

And what will become of Pension Plan Puppets, the go-to Leafs blog in these parts? I hope they keep the name for tradition, the way we secular folks still call this Santa holiday Christmas.

But what matters most, of course, is will this help my Leafs win the cup? Since we've already given Brian Burke autonomy and let him spend the cap, I'm thinking it won't make a difference. At least it won't hurt...

What do you guys think of the sale of MLSE?

I Have Nothing To Blog About
Published by Toronto Mike on December 8, 2011 @ 19:11 in Miscellaneous

I-have-nothing-to-blog-about-The-Anti-Social-Media

[via Anti-Social Media]

Omnibot 2000
Published by Toronto Mike on December 7, 2011 @ 15:11 in Memories

rewindWhen I was the age my son is now, I wanted an Omnibot 2000. I don't think I bothered asking for it, I just passive aggressively yearned for it.

Watching the new Muppet movie with the kids the other night, I saw a new character called 80s Robot. 80s Robot looks just like the Omnibot 2000 I desired almost 30 years ago.

As I recall, the Omnibot 2000 didn't just play cassette tapes and talk, it also carried stuff and moved with a remote control. It was awesome!

Who else wanted an Omnibot 2000?

Harry Morgan, Dead at 96
Published by Toronto Mike on December 7, 2011 @ 12:17 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumHarry Morgan was 96. He was the the prolific character actor best known for playing the acerbic but kindly Colonel Sherman T. Potter, commander of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit in Korea, in the long-running television series "M*A*S*H."

Check out this great rant by Col. Potter.

"M*A*S*H" is one of my first favourite shows of all-time.

Dobie Gray, Dead at 71
Published by Toronto Mike on December 7, 2011 @ 08:59 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumDobie Gray was 71. He was the singer and songwriter who had a top 5 hit in 1973 with the song “Drift Away.”

I always liked that song...

New Google Bar: A Step In The Wrong Direction
Published by Toronto Mike on December 6, 2011 @ 19:23 in Technology

googleHas your Gmail updated yet to give you the new Google Bar? I have to roll over the Google logo to access other Google services, and I need to choose "More" or click "Even More" to get at some of my favourites.

Here's a screen cap of my Google Bar:

Google Menu

As it is, this Google Bar is a step in the wrong direction. Calendar and Reader, two of my most frequently used services, are a couple of hovers away.

Google needs to make the Google Bar customizable so we can choose the options available on the top tier. Until they make this customizable, I'm going back to good old fashioned bookmarks for my navigation.

Daily Photo: Mic
Published by Toronto Mike on December 6, 2011 @ 18:48 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-06 16.39.42.jpg

This is one of two guest microphones found inside the studio where we record the Humble and Fred podcast each day. This photo was taken after the boys had gone home just prior to Alan Thicke borrowing the space to record a radio ad.

NHL Realignment
Published by Toronto Mike on December 5, 2011 @ 22:19 in Toronto Maple Leafs

nhlThe NHL governors have approved a new four-conference format. The four conferences will be:

Conference A: Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver

Conference B: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg

Conference C: Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto

Conference D: Carolina, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

The playoffs would see 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 in each conference, and then I'm guessing they'll re-seed for subsequent rounds.

This realignment requires NHLPA approval before it can be officially implemented. I'm okay with it, what about you guys?

Daily Photo: Forgetful
Published by Toronto Mike on December 5, 2011 @ 21:48 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to try and take a photo every day, and share it here. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-05 21.46.06.jpg

Of course, I'm not sure that's such a bad thing...

Tiger Wins and Suddenly I Give a Shit
Published by Toronto Mike on December 5, 2011 @ 14:00 in Sports

golfI wrote this entry two years ago. I titled it "I'm Not a PGA Fan, I'm a Tiger Fan, and this is Crazy".

I've never been a golf fan. I don't play the sport at all and I don't follow the PGA. Having admitted that, I've been a big Tiger Woods fan since he was an amateur.

This is a quick update now that Tiger has actually won a tournament. I'm willing to bet you've heard more about Tiger today than you have in quite some time. I'll also bet most of you suddenly give a shit about golf after not giving a shit all year.

Admit it... you want Tiger to contend and win more majors. Like me, you're not a PGA fan, you're a Tiger fan, and you root for him.

tiger-woods-out-of-bunker

The Greatest Speech Ever Made
Published by Toronto Mike on December 4, 2011 @ 23:01 in Movies

greatest speechThis is Charlie Chaplin's final speech in The Great Dictator, a movie he made when Hitler was at the height of his power and America and Germany were still at peace.

Here's the transcript from what is possibly the greatest speech ever made:

Hope... I'm sorry but I don't want to be an Emperor - that's not my business - I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.

We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful.

But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say "Do not despair".

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish...

Soldiers - don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you - who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate - only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers - don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written " the kingdom of God is within man " - not one man, nor a group of men - but in all men - in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers - in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Look up! Look up! The clouds are lifting - the sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where men will rise above their hate and brutality.

The soul of man has been given wings - and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow - into the light of hope - into the future, that glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up. Look up.

Keys Wallet Cellphone
Published by Toronto Mike on December 3, 2011 @ 13:16 in Miscellaneous

welcomeWhen I head out, I quickly run down a mental checklist that consists of three items.

  • keys
  • wallet
  • cellphone

If I have those three items, I know I can safely leave without worry. I'm thinking I should invest in a welcome mat like this to ensure I don't forget, although I'd turn it around 180°.

keyswalletcellphone

[via The Awesomer]

Rob Ford vs. Toronto Star
Published by Toronto Mike on December 2, 2011 @ 11:22 in Rob Ford Watch, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

city hallI have one more photoshopped Rob Ford football kick that I'd like to share. This was emailed to me by Patrick Corrigan, editorial cartoonist for the Toronto Star.

ford-star

I agree with Torstar chairman John Honderich when he says the blatant attempt by the mayor to block the flow of public information to one newspaper cannot go unchallenged. The blackout on press releases and notifications of public events is a clear and blatant abuse of power.

Louie
Published by Toronto Mike on December 1, 2011 @ 21:01 in Television

tvI love Louie, Louis C. K.'s series that airs on the FX network in the States. It's just so damn interesting, and different. Sometimes, I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's brilliant.

I'm breezing through season 2 right now, and I've never seen this:

louie

That's right, during the credits for Louie, someone gives the camera the finger. By the way, if you want to read an awesome interview with Louis C. K. as he walks you through the second season, click here.

Daily Photo: Waiting For Santa
Published by Toronto Mike on December 1, 2011 @ 16:21 in Toronto Photo Blog

picturesI'm going to take a photo every day, and share it here. I can't promise I'll post one every single day, but I'll try. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-12-01 11.03.28.jpg

When I was a kid, you lined up to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what you wanted for Christmas. You didn't have to cough up a cent unless you wanted the optional photo they'd offer with the visit.

Nowadays, you pre-register weeks in advance for a photo session with Santa, and for your money you also get to sit with Santa and watch him put on a show. At least that's how it works at Sherway Gardens where this photo was taken. This is Santa's stage just prior to the next performance.

Rob Ford's Football Kick Photoshopped
Published by Toronto Mike on December 1, 2011 @ 10:00 in Rob Ford Watch, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

cityhallPrior to the Metro Bowl at the stadium formerly known as Skydome, Rob Ford kicked things off... literally. Here's the picture from the Toronto Star.

ford-orig

Over on Reddit, the redditors had some fun photoshopping Rob Ford all over the place. It sort of became a thing, so I thought I'd group a bunch of them here, for folks who actually know who Rob Ford is.

ford-hurdles

ford-ttc

ford-iceskating

ford-pepper

ford-300

ford-ballet

ford-kitten

ford-van

ford-dance

ford-wizard

ford-rockettes

ford-head

ford-cntower

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