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moving

Visit my new blog: Metropolitan News.

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Filed under Don't mind me, Me, Montreal, Montreal News, Montreal Sites, The Montreal Gazette

ha ha! your medium is dying!

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As a print reporter, it’s depressing reading the web some (most?) days.

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Filed under News, News Media, TV

goodbye (again) facebook

Steve Faguy has a story in today’s Gazette (and more on his blog) about how difficult Facebook makes it for users to extricate themselves from the “social-networking” site. It’s about Montrealer Steven Mansour, who has documented his efforts to delete his personal information from Facebook’s database. Why anybody would put all that personal information on Facebook in the first place, I’ll never understand. Anyway, just more reason to avoid Facebook.

Also today, on Radio-Canada’s Je l’ai vu à la radio, another Montrealer, Jessica Barker, was a guest, talking about how it’s much better to have real friends than Facebook ones. Her $23 “fuck facebook” t-shirts (pictured above) are proving very popular, she says.

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Filed under Facebook, Montreal, Montreal Sites, Technology

st. paddy’s day “too english”

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I had a story in today’s paper about complaints by a new sovereignist group, the Réseau de Résistance du Québécois, that Montreal’s St. Patrick’s day parade is too English. The RRQ plans to crash take part in the parade even though organizers say the group is not authorized. RRQ members will be distributing leaflets and waving Quebec and Patriote flags.

Here’s a response from a reader who describes himself as a “bitter Irish man living in Montreal.”

Too English….I agree.
It should be Irish….. it makes me sick when I see a bar by the name of Sir Winston Churchill advertising their events for the celebration.
A good read…. thanks.

Eddie (bitter Irish man living in Montreal)

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Filed under Humor, Language, Montreal, Montreal News, My Articles, News, Quebec, Quebec Politics

summing up the internet in 43 seconds?

From Californication:

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Filed under Technology, TV

no junk mail, please

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Not sure why this is news but someone has set up a website — Red Dot Campaign – to help Canadians say no to junk mail. The site has a sign you can print out and slap on your mailbox.

Two weeks ago, someone left a comment (scroll down to the 10th one) on a previous Don’t Mind Me posting, suggesting people take the advice of Dear Bulk Mailer. That U.S. website suggests you get back at junk mailers by using their no-postage-necessary return envelopes to mail them bricks. The idea is you’ll hurt their bottom line because they’ll have to pay for shipping the heavy packages.

Well, according to the the Red Dot Campaign FAQ, that won’t work in Canada. It says: “If the post mark states ‘Return Postage Guaranteed’ the company has paid to get the letter returned at a cost of about $1.25.”

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Filed under Junk mail

reinventing the chain

Lee Valley Tools 

It’s a first for me: a follow to a story that has appeared in the Lee Valley Tools newsletter and on the Home Improvement Show with Jon Eakes show on CJAD. But this school project was too cool to pass up. Here’s the top of the story:

Reinventing the wheel

Teen builds fully functional bicycle made entirely of wood – even the chain

By Andy Riga, The Gazette

Most kids listen absent-mindedly to their grandparents’ childhood stories.

Not Marco Facciola.

Inspired by his grandfather’s tales of life in Holland during the Second World War, the 16-year-old designed and built a unique school project: a fully functional bicycle made entirely of wood. Yes, even the chain. He used a bit of glue but no metal, plastic or rubber.

The bike is making him the toast of woodworking, cycling and environmental websites and may earn him an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

“I’ve ridden it only once for 15, 20 feet – I just wanted to make sure I could hand it in as a fully functional bike,” said Marco, a Grade 11 student at St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire.

“It was a bumpy ride because there are no shocks and it’s not like a regular bike where the air in the tires absorb the bumps. But the seat’s comfortable – I carved it to make it fit me.”

Marco’s maternal grandfather, Case Vandersluis, often spoke of how as a teenager in Holland he had to build wooden wheels for his bike because tires were scarce because of a wartime rubber shortage.

Vandersluis went on to become a mechanical engineer.

The rest of my story is here.

For more pictures and Facciola’s first-person account of building the bike, read the Lee Valley Tools newsletter article. Or click here, to listen to Facciola on the Jon Eakes show.

Speaking of Eakes, back in prehistoric times when I covered technology for The Gazette, I wrote about his very helpful home-improvement website. He still has it and it’s still very helpful.

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Filed under Bicycling, Montreal, My Articles, Woodworking