Candidates in York North, 1921

It seems that people have always named their kids after the celebrities of the day. The impulse is represented by thousands of young Britneys and Lindsays today, but celebrity was a different beast in the past. Take, for example, the list of candidates in the riding of York North for 1921, each named after a famous predecessor. But instead of teenybopper celebrities, their namesakes were a rebel (and grandfather), a prime minister, and a philosopher.

Related Google search a little too revealingUnrelated: Speaking of Britneys, if you search for ‘spears’ while assembling information for a quick post about a mostly-unrelated topic (because you know that you’d never search for it otherwise), Google is a little too helpful.

Untold has-bins

Toronto Sun article

Two things you can always count on the Toronto Sun to provide: great headlines and hyperbole. It’s hard to take any article seriously when the writer refers to “untold tens of thousands” of people, and then goes on to, well, tell us exactly how many tens of thousands (a mere seven and a half) in the very next sentence. And what great disaster has befallen these newly-told masses? Hurricane? Fire? Terrorism? No, it’s much worse: they don’t have new garbage cans. The horror!

Awesome headline, though.

Screen capture from the Toronto Sun web site.

Fruity billboards

Global’s Got It

ABC advertising on bananas, 1998My recent encounter with lolbananas reminded me of a brief craze a few years ago for third-party advertising on fruit. In the late summer and autumn of 1998, ABC ran ads on bananas (including ones destined for Canada), while Global covered the local apple market. CBS ran ads on eggs a couple of years ago but third-party advertising on food still seems pretty limited, especially considering how ubiquitous it is elsewhere in daily life.

Amusingly, “Global’s got it” has been immortalized as a brand of fruit on the web site of a German fruit sticker collector.

Incidentally, I regard the pictures in this post as perfect justification for being a packrat, both digital and analog. Somehow, I knew that I’d have some use for these dumb labels in the future. The scan of the banana label has migrated along with the rest of my data through ten years, having originated two scanners, four computers, and at least eight hard drives ago. Similarly, the negative for the apple picture has been sitting in my archives for all that time, waiting until today for me to scan it. But I don’t keep absolutely everything: Risa should be thankful that I don’t have the actual 10-year-old apples and bananas still hanging around in my collection.

Supermarket finds: lolbananas


If there’s one complaint I’ve always had with fruit, it’s that it just isn’t interactive enough. I mean, it just sits there on the counter for a day or two and then gets eaten. How boring is that? It’s so old fashioned. If only, I’ve frequently thought, my fruit not only nourished me, but entertained me too. My attention span has gotten so short that I can barely take one or two bites of even the best fruit before I drop it and go searching for some shiny baubles.

Chiquita to the rescue! With three simple letters and a domain name emblazoned across the label, they’ve put the URI back in fruit. This banana is my key to the fun and gut-busting laughter that I’ve always wanted fruit to provide. So it was with great joy and anticipation that I sat down with my banana and aimed my browser squarely at Sadly, there was not a single LOL to be found on the site. I couldn’t even find a snort, smirk, or meh. I guess I’ll have to stick with lolcats for my daily lulz.

I still don’t get how this is supposed to encourage me to eat more bananas in general, never mind Chiquita bananas specifically. My local supermarket doesn’t get it either: two days after I bought this bunch, all of the Chiquita bananas in the store had been replaced by Del Montes.

My search for a complete fruit experience continues.

Goin' down the road

Goin’ down the road

It feels like months since I’ve gotten out for a good ride but I was finally able to hit the (dirt) road yesterday, heading out into the farthest reaches of Scarborough. With the country roads, fields of corn, tangled meadows, and overgrown forests, you’d never know that you were still inside Toronto on the municipal street grid. But then you pass one of the familiar bike route signs (seen here at the rural intersection of Beare Road and the wonderfully-named Plug Hat Road) and you know that you’re still within reach of civilization:

Bikeway network signs at Beare and Plug Hat

This isolated corner of the city is plagued by illegal dumpers and it shows in the informal signage along the roads:

Informal signage on Reesor Road

In the last couple of years, northeastern Scarborough and neighbouring northern Pickering has become one of my favourite cycling destinations. The best thing about riding there (or almost anywhere) at this time of year and in cool, rainy weather is that you basically have trails and roads to yourself.

"Warranty void if removed"

Warranty void if removed

I picked up this shiny new hard drive (1 terabyte!)  yesterday and was a little perplexed to see Seagate’s new warranty terms on the static bag. It seems that if I remove the drive from the packaging to, you know, use it or something, I’ll void my warranty. Quite the conundrum.