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Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy


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These are a few of my favorite tweets

I didn’t get Twitter for a long time. I’d go there and not really see the point. In practical terms, I didn’t really understand how anything of value could be provided in 140 characters. And there was all that talk of people just tweeting about what they had for breakfast.

Now, though, I’m addicted.

I initially signed on based on a friend’s advice to do so just to get a good Twitter-name, even if I didn’t do much with it right away. Turned out she had a point; most variations of my name and my most commonly used web pseudonyms were already in use by others. But I did find an available combination.

Twitter has a bit of learning curve to it. I started by just following a small number of people and trying to figure it out from there. I soon learned that a lot of power is in the link; sure, you can’t say that much in 140 characters, but you can link to those details. (And to photos. And to videos.)

But when I’m say addicted, it’s not to tweeting itself, which I remain a little gun-shy about. (Apparently I have tweeted 28 times in total.) In fact, I’m still not completely clear on who sees what when it comes replies, direct replies, direct messages, retweets, private message… ? All in all, it’s easier to just listen, most of the time.

Currently I follow 59 accounts, some of whom haven’t tweeted in two years, some of whom tweet so frequently, I don’t know how they stay employed.

Among my favorites are the following.

@Elizabeth May:  A lot of the politicians I follow tweet mostly dull platitudes, toeing the party line. Elizabeth May (federal leader of the Green Party, but you knew that) tweets more like a real person would. I particularly enjoy her tweets from Parliament Hill, which give insight into things that wouldn’t necessarily make the media:

I had planned to make a statement marking Remembrance Day. I am shocked the CPC has blocked my chance to speak.

They didn’t like the point I was making. 40 years 1913-1956 closure used 10x; in last 40 days, 7x

Conservatives keep limiting debate. They have the votes. Not sure why everything has to be forced thru.

Ban asbestos motion. First vote to keep asbestos trade, our PM.

John McCallum asked Tony Clement about an answer by tweet! Twitter seems to be Clement’s only forum 4 G8 $ Q’s. Baird takes all Qs in QP.

Though must say it’s not exactly improving my opinion of the Conservative Party of Canada.

@simont400000: He being Simon Townshend, the much younger brother of one Pete Townshend, and who also tours with Roger Daltrey. Been kind of fun “following” him on tour:

Great show in Vancouver. Smokin’ crowd! Two shows left on tour and the TCT charity gig in LA. Come along… 2.5k a ticket. Rock n’ Roll!

And his random tweets are also kind of funny:

@Kimmittable: I’m a real fan of your earlier work.” I said that to Joni Mitchell once and she told me to Fuck off. True!

And if you’re wondering what it’s like to not be famous yourself (though he is himself quite a talented composer and musician), but hanging with the very famous:

Getting home from tour is strange… no daily sheet, no room service, no living from suitcase or doing laundry – no gigs. Not being a pop star

@dizzyfeet: This being the moniker of Nigel Lithgow, producer of American Idol and judge on So You Think You Can Dance. It’s in the latter capacity that I’m interested, but I don’t follow anyone else connected with that show. Nigel’s feed is just hilarious as he so frequently engages in public battles with those who reply to this tweets. There’s a whole “Moron” meme running through his feed that you’d have to read back on to completely understand.

RT @Clamanity: @izzyfeet Emmy voters are morons. [I KNOW. I’VE BEEN HANDING OUT #MORON NUMBERS ALL NIGHT. HA, HA!]

He’s also satisfyingly blunt (not mean) in posting his opinion. He’s recently been listed on “Recommend people to follow on Twitter”, so I’m not the only one to notice the fun to be had here. His response:

Welcome to all my new followers. Thank you#NewYorkPost I felt truly proud. Bring on the#Morons.

Of course!

@karenscian: Who? Right! She makes Simon Townshend seem famous. She’s my city councillor. Who has actually gotten in trouble for tweeting during council meetings.

But her feed covers a great deal more than the goings-on at Waterloo City Hall. She comments on Waterloo news in general, federal and provincial politics, food, family… An eclectic mix that very often seems to jibe with my own interests.

And I’ll leave the last tweet to her.

Oh Twitter, you are such a procrastination-enabler.


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Is it just me, or does the redesigned Globe kind of suck?

The Globe and Mail has spent a fortune redesigning itself—again. And certainly, I have no problem with the smaller page size, the increased colour, the glossy pages. But the content…?

The rumor was that, in trying to attract a younger audience (or something), there would be more “fluff”. But really, I find it’s in the “fluff” — the arts, the life stuff — that have been downsized the most.

The 7-day TV listings on Friday I used to program the PVR to? Gone.

Rick Salutin’s always interesting Friday column? Gone.

Tabitha Southby’s often hilarious Saturday column? Gone.

Movie reviews? Greatly reduce. Book reviews? Ditto.

The Style section, which I used to generally love its seemingly being aimed primarily at rich Torontonians, is barely worth looking at anymore. Pictures of expensive clothes. Repeats of the Style emails I already get. Russell Smith’s column reduced to a paragraph. Wine reviews now in list format, with rating numbers. So easy to scan–I sometimes miss it completely!

I’m starting to feel like I should be getting a discount, I’m getting so much less that actually seems worth reading. For the first time in many years, I’m actually think of cancelling my subscription.


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Unequal access to information

I’ve been noticing this trend…

On the one hand, it seems, corporations feel they can use our personal information for whatever purpose. For example, Facebook declares that privacy is so passé, and why should anything stand in the way of them selling us stuff? And insurance company decide they can run credit checks on their clients, and raise their house insurance rates accordingly—without any prior consent.

On the other hand, governments and related agencies have to be fought tooth and nail to release information in the public interest:

  • The Conservatives would not release files on Afghan detainees to members of Parliament, our representatives, until ordered to do so by the house speaker.
  • All media coverage of court appearances related to Victoria (Tori) Stafford’s murder trial has been banned. (Apparently, even commenting on stories about the ban has been banned. So don’t comment on the ban here, please. I guess.)
  • Though ordered to disclose the files on Ashley Smith, the young woman who killed herself as guards at the correctional institute watched, Corrections Canada has refused, saying they will appeal. In this case, note that Ashley Smith herself first requested her own files, and was supposed to get them within 30 days. Corrections gave themselves a 30-day extension from that, but didn’t meet that deadline, either. 123 days after the request, Ashley Smith died.

So corporations can use our personal information however they see fit, but we are not allowed to know what is being done in our name by our politicians, military, courts, and corrections.

Seems like someone should get upset about this, or something.