Bing bong

January 25, 2012

Bing bonged

On Monday the search engine Bing sent 1,259 people to my blog based on the search “lotus seed pod” but sent them to the homepage and not the Trypophobia post which actually has the lotus seed pod images.

What they saw instead was the obligatory Wikipedia black-out / SOPA post. Way to go Bing.

Only 1 person went on to find the article and I suspect they were one of the people who searched for it via Google.

In other news: 1,259 people actually use Bing.

The image to the right is courtesy of my friend Steven who does not want to change his search engine to Bing, thank you very much.


January 18, 2012

Will all the Wikipedia-styled internet black-outs help? Or will slacktivism rear its ugly head and people will simply let Jimmy Wales do all the work? Time will tell.

For now watch this video and, if you’re an American who doesn’t like what SOPA/PIPA are all about, please write your congressperson and tell them so. Since I’m Canadian, all I can do is urge others to act.

EDIT: I just found out you can go here—

—to sign a petition if you’re not a U.S. citizen (about half way down the page).

Melting Mosaic

January 5, 2012

When I first moved to Toronto my impression of the city was that it seemed to be the living embodiment of Canada’s cultural mosaic.

Unlike the American melting pot—where cultures are assimilated into a single nationalistic vision—as a country we pride ourselves on creating a rich, ever-changing tapestry made up of thousands of distinct colours and textures. And on the surface this is how the city appeared.

But the more I looked at it, the more it seemed like the mosaic wasn’t a rich tableau of people from all over the world working, playing, loving and living together, it was more like the rigidly geometric divisions of a Mondrian.

Red here. Yellow here. Blue here. White here. And thick black lines to separate them all.

And, for a while, for a few years, this seemed to me to be a pretty accurate description of Hog Town’s stratified neighborhoods and communities isolated form one another by our sprawling urban geography.

But then I began to see that the city isn’t a mosaic at all. It’s not a work in progress, not a work that’s been abandoned, it’s not incomplete—it’s a mosaic that hasn’t even been started.

Toronto is just piles of coloured tiles on the floor of an artist’s studio waiting to be glued into place. Stagnant heaps of culture jumbled together. And slowly, as the piles shifted and settled over time, they’ve sort of bled together at the edges. Occasionally, as the artist walked around the studio procrastinating, waiting for inspiration, making tea, a few tiles have been kicked across the room into other piles.

A yellow square lost in a heap of blue triangles.

A sprinkling of green rhomboids in among the red hexagons.

And it seems like the artist is paralyzed, unsure of what what kind of mosaic they even want to create. There’s no vision so they just continue to make tea and browse the Internet and read books and wait for inspiration to hit them while the piles continue to settle and spread and bleed as a layer of grey dust  settles on everything.


January 4, 2012

What kind of monumental douchebags do four people have to be that, in the very first second the elevator door opens, I actually consider not getting on?

Since I was looking at something in my hand, I hadn’t even seen their faces. All I’d glimpsed in that split-second was their coat-hanger thin frames from their pricey footwear up to their expensively clad shoulders. I decided the three blondes and the one young man were various forms of EA either from the 17th floor law firm or the media network advertising offices up on the 21st.

If they held positions higher than EA, they wouldn’t have exuded that uniquely sketchy form of bravado that’s entirely devoid of self-confidence yet they hope to pass off as self-confidence. They psychically reeked of the despair that comes from living in fear that others might smell the fear and despair on them.

They bragged about holidays in a slightly aggressive manner that made it sound as if they didn’t really enjoy themselves and made mean-spirited jokes about people they knew in common. The guy actually slapped his knee as he laughed a little too hard.

Being in such a confined space with them for no more than 20 seconds was intolerable. I never did see their faces because I couldn’t bring myself to look up from my shoes as I tried to squeeze myself into invisibility in the car’s mirrored corner.

I don’t think they saw me.

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