I promise, no more link roundups for a while as soon as I kick this illness that has taken over half of Vancouver. In my case, it feels eerily familiar to the laryngitis I had in ’06, topped off with a cold and some hard-to-breathe-ness. I’m heading to the doc to make sure it isn’t something more serious but until then, here’s a little link fest on this gorgeous Friday morning.
Update: It *is* laryngitis. I won’t be able to talk for the next few days. Good times.
- Apparently the concept of gigantic animatronic Dinosaurs in Stanley Park was a bad idea.
The Vancouver Park Board has shelved a proposal to bring in up to 30 of the animatronic critters in a bid to attract more tourist dollars.
The idea was first announced in September and was met with almost universal ridicule.
- During yesterday afternoon’s commute you could only pay cash for the Skytrain due to vandals disabling validation lines for debit and credit transactions (at every station apparently). Conveniently enough, they also affected the customer service centre so you couldn’t call in if you had an inquiry. [CKNW]. I’m having troubles getting updates this morning from i-move.ca.
- Don’t want to wait until mid-week to celebrate Halloween and run around the city in your costume? BR’s got a modest round up of events slated for tonight and tomorrow. For a more detailed list try ClubVibes.com or head to the website of your favourite watering holes to see when they’re having their costume night or pub crawl.
Proof that “Mean Girls” was right… … at least with regard to Halloween when Cady said “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” You know what she’s talking about. The Cop becomes the Slutty Cop, the Nurse becomes the Slutty Nurse, and the Sheep becomes the Slutty Sheep. [Metroblogging Atlanta]
- Finally, News1130 reports that a recent poll showed 14 should be the ‘cut off’ for trick or treating, “I was planning on going this year, but I don’t know how much candy you’d get if you have a beard.” 14? Hm I guess that’s about right but I swear people still did it when we were 17.
- On top of being home of the Best Island Life in North America, Vancouver Island has also just received top marks from Conde Nast.
Vancouver Island has been named North America’s best island for the sixth year in a row in a CondÃ© Nast Traveler readers’ choice survey that also awarded sixth-place honours to P.E.I.
Vancouver Island, renowned for its beautiful beaches, has been named the best island in North America for the sixth consecutive year.Vancouver Island, renowned for its beautiful beaches, has been named the best island in North America for the sixth consecutive year.
The November issue of the magazine, which was released to newsstands Thursday, also ranked B.C.’s Gulf Islands the third-best North American Island. [CBC]
John and I don’t get to the island(s) nearly enough but it’s definitely a getaway we cherish. The ladies in my family all head to Victoria once a year and when I was little we’d often camp at Englishman River, on Saltspring Island or visit relatives in Parksville. For more insight into island life, just check out the ‘island girl in the city world‘ blog – with which you’re probably already familiar.
No, this isn’t another report on Pimma, this is far more nauseating. As a person who eats at “Rotten Ronny’s” maybe once a year, this seriously turns my stomach but also makes me drop my head and giggle.
The last time John ate at McDonald’s he was violently ill for a few days. He then did some research and discovered that the McNuggets he ingested contained dimethypolysiloxane, which can also be found in things like sunscreen.
A former co-worker sent this link my way. It’s a pizza, covered entirely with ingredients from McDonalds.
The thing is, I would totally eat it. You would, too, stop lying. The cheeseburger parts, the McNuggets â€” you know thatâ€™d be tasty. The fries might be the sleeper hit. If this thing were in my house, Iâ€™d totally roll my eyes and groan and make a big stink. Then my curiosity would get the better of me and Iâ€™d sneak a bite when nobody was around. And I mean, you can tell it tastes pretty good. [AndIAmNotLying]
The post is by someone who was passed the photos online, not the original creator of the “masterpiece”. You can view all of the original photos on Flickr and as Keira would say, “I think I just thew up a little in my mouth.”
After being slightly disconnected yesterday, here’s a news and commentary roundup for your morning reading enjoyment.
Terry Fox Secondary students, parents and teachers have been upset over a recent move by the school board to severely restrict use of the school’s theatre in favour of rental revenue.
Student Tess Speller attended the latest meeting, “They are going to try and get a third party. The third party can, like, see what’s happening without any some sort of, like, ties to parties or an emotional connection.”[CKNW]
I’m not sure if this is the same deal that’s happening with Sullivan Heights‘ Bell Centre for the Performing Arts, or the Michael J Fox Theatre at Burnaby South. But I’m pretty sure the Massey Theatre at NWSS operates separately, or at least “at arms’ length” from the school. It would still be a shame to limit the students’ access to the venue. I went to schools whose stages were walled up in exchange for more classroom space, I can only imagine what our drama productions would have been like in a ‘real’ auditorium.
My grandfathers both fought in WWII, on opposing sides. I lost my great grandmother in The Blitz in London and several great uncles in Eastern Europe. This reminds me of a post of Matt’s that I linked to last year, “Lest We Not Profit” – here’s an excerpt:
Despite the humility and reverence that we reserve for [Remembrance Day] each year, the truth is that the two great wars of the last century, three if you include the Cold War, did nothing to promote the peaceful coexistence of nations and peoples. If anything, despite the sacrifices made by those courageous enough to believe something better possible at the outcome of hostilities, the very principles and freedoms that those individuals fought to protect have been either endangered or altogether lost by the sheer magnitude of our perpetual love affair with destruction.
Heck if someone wants to come up with a blue poppy that also means all this, I’ll wear it too, or maybe I should just get a tattoo… hmmm. At this point I don’t think we should be fighting over which colour of plastic (and slightly fuzzy) poppy we should be displaying on our lapels. But if you’d like to get something going in the comments, you’re more than welcome to discuss.
Although I’d rather hear about how to survive this wicked cold, I got a shout out on Digg this morning from Darren regarding the latest video from Common Craft. Lee and Sachi LeFever create these simple and “in plain English” demos (see my write up about Lee in the BarCamp live blog) for anything from wikis and RSS, to client-specific productions.
Since ’tis the season, they’ve just posted “Zombies in Plain English“. It’s rather amusing, especially if you’re familiar with their other work, and since I pretty much feel like a zombie today, it just fits. Enjoy!
Welcome to the Official Vancouver Facebook Garage Live Blog! As previously announced, events will be underway at 5:30pm but here are a few shout outs before we get started:
Big thanks to the Official Live Blog sponsor, Communicate.com. Also thanks to Techvibes.com for being the media sponsor (including Flickr shots by Kris Krug that I will be using throughout the evening) and Vancouver Film School for offering up the venue. Of course we cannot forget Facebook, who has officially sponsored this event as well (thanks for the swag!)
Here’s a rundown of the schedule:
5:07pm: Just getting setup at VFS. Once again BIG thanks to them for accommodating our group. Shout out to official photographer Kris, who apparently is stuck in an elevator somewhere and to my pals John Biehler, and Duane Storey who are unable to attend. Duane’s developed his own Facebook app featuring Matt Good’s CD release and concert dates.
5:29pm: Kris is here and photos are coming shortly. The video feed should be setup soon and every seat in the house is taken. I won’t have time to attribute the pics with captions on the fly, just know they are all credited to kk+ on Flickr.
5:45pm: Starting off with demos in anticipation of a Skype video chat with a representative of Facebook. Each demo presenter will have about 5 minutes to present their Facebook App. First up… Up4 (Social Planning Helper) Built By ActiveState. What are you up for? Up4 is designed to let your friends know in a very casual way (with no specific times etc) what you would be up for doing. You can select specific friends to notify or send to your entire list.
Using tabbed browsing in the application, you can block times for events and activities you would be willing to do, and also see what your friends could possibly want to do. It’s sort of like the pre-event stage. It’s if you’re interested, you like the idea, etc. without any real commitment off the bat. What’s next? They’ll be launching a skinned version of the app in time for the holidays.
5:50pm: Up next is Are You Normal Built By Kinzin. It’s a social survey app for Facebook that was actually featured on the cover of Vancouver’s 24 Hours newspaper this morning. Answer the questions, see how your friends answered and find out just how normal you are.
6:00pm: Third demo is NoteMix – Create courses and collaborate on notes with other course members, presented by Colin Kierans. NoteMix is for collaborative note taking in your courses (college etc.) enter your school, the course code and edit summaries on the go. Your classmates can log into Facebook, fire up NoteMix and collaborate summaries and notes with peers, sort of like a wiki but with a friendlier and Facebook-y interface. Notifications are given for most recently updated courses.
6:05pm: Handi Mobility is up next with MyBus. If you attended the most recent DemoCampVancouver or happened to see my blog post you’ll know this is one handy and incredible simple tool for catching the bus on time… as long as it is on time. They’re also working on the iPhone version.
6:10pm: The call from Facebook headquarters has just come in over Skype, the auditorium is chatting (one way) to David Morin, Senior Platform Manager in Palo Alto, CA.
6:20pm: The connection was lost so we’re getting a mini demo of Hockey Pools. Greg is just leading us through the app, which he personally has installed, even though Ben Nevile cannot be here to officially present it.
6:22pm: Opus “Mixx” Music Player and Social Playlists presented by Jeremy Lim from Donat Group. Basically it’s a mix tape creator that always starts with the statement… “I want music that…” You can then rely on friends’ recommendations for tunes, whatever you’re in the mood to listen to. Since the app functions by uploading mp3 files to the Opus servers there are several skeptics in the audience mentioning the legalities of the player. There’s also the subject of quality of files uploaded, duplicates and copies but they are still working out some kinks. Mixx music player is based on php and Drupal.
6:36pm: Green Gifts by Social Signal (for BC Hydro) is up next, presented by Rob Cottingham. “How does an organization dip its toe in the online water, especially when it’s a public organization.” The idea of gifts on Facebook really appealed to Social Signal’s client so together they created Green Gifts – a fun and entertaining way to promote sustainability and energy conservation. Each free ‘Green Gift’ comes with a PowerSmart tip as well.
18:52pm: Scratch and Win by Backstage Technologies will be the last demo before a small break. It’s an image, a prize icon and a score tally that goes up. You have credits, buy scratch tickets, and win prize tokens. Earlier in the evening someone else brought up the concept of gambling on Facebook (during the Hockey Pools segment) and if it’s banned, which it clearly is as stated in their terms of service. New users get 10 credits and the choice of 4 different tickets when they sign up. Complete with scartchy sound effects, 95% of tickets are winners. “Facebook is about wasting time”, so Backstage has done exactly that, built an app to help people just play and have fun… but of course with a little competition hence the ‘rankings’ page. “Your app must let you do something to someone”, so with Scratch and Win you can send tickets.
7:30pm: Final demo of the evening is ClassTalk built by PeerGlobe. Born out of a now-extinct social networking platform, ycas, Class Talk generates new conversations within Facebook with its own applications. You can register your courses at major educational institutions around the world, schedule, discuss and even sign up if you’re the teacher. It’s like a giant (as in complex and multi-faceted) Facebook group, filled with classmates in which you can share documents, leave notes and comments and connect with others.
7:48pm: Big theme on the night being, how can we compete with zombie and food fight applications?
7:52pm: Jason Bailey from Kick In The Nuts Media is presenting on monetizing your Facebook app – making $$ money $$. Valuating applications for purchase by investors based on install numbers. Trip Advisor is an example of a million + installed application that’s built for branding and is making money. Pay Per…. impression, click, action, sale. Another example of an app that is making a LOT of money is one of the Pink Ribbon/Breast Cancer awareness campaigns which encourages a toolbar download through a ‘free causes’ website. For every member that downloads and installs the toolbar, they will donate a certain dollar amount to the cause. With the money they’re making from toolbar referrals… it’s quite a healthy sum they can scrape off the top. Facebook is full of these applications that only need member clicks and installs in order to make a nice chunk of change. The point? Developers have the ability to jump on this monetary bandwagon as well. Best way to get people to click through? Ask a question, have a poll, request an opinion and offer a “free” offer.
8:15pm: Presentation are over. Side note, Roland’s active on the Jaiku Channel for the Vancouver Facebook Garage.
8:20pm: Last but not least… Boris and Johnny are here to talk about the FUTURE of Facebook and not locking your app inside. Johnny leads off introducing OpenID – build your apps for everyone, there are many options although they’re not always simple to implement. Boris refers to Facebook as a “giant walled garden, we’ve seen this before ie. with AOL,” let’s open things up. During Q&A the audience mentions there’s a new app for Facebook that allows you to download your friends in a CSV. The examples at this point are referencing monkeys and the ownership of monkeys. I’m no longer able to focus on the big screen but I’m sure glad these guys are still on track, talking about the concept of an “open web”.
I’ll be heading home as I’ve been fighting off a cold for the entire day, and I might just let it take over soon. As I am heavily air conditioned and neck-kinked at this point, all the best to those going to the after party. Have fun guys, take pics! And anyone who DID tune into my live blog… please let me know what you think/thought. Thanks!
The smell of roasted nuts and hot chocolate mixed with exhaust is what I would experience every morning at Harvard Square T station. Sweetness combined with mechanics mmmm good morning!. A friend of ours who just recently moved to Canada from England pointed something out on her blog:
One thing we have noticed, bus stations and sky train stations donâ€™t have any shops or news agents. [MapleMole]
I assume this is what you can find at Tube stations in London. However, as you head out into the suburbs, Skytrain stations like King George and Scott Road do have little shops where you can get a bottle of water, a pack of gum, and a daily read down on the street. But the thing I know for sure about Harvard Square, Downtown Center or Gov’t Center stations in Boston was that on track-level there was usually a Dunkin Donuts kiosk. Just grab your coffee and a paper and jump on the train.
I’ve always wondered, in this caffeine-crazy city where you can’t go half a block without bumping into a cafe, why don’t we have a mini Starbucks say… at the bottom of the escalators on Burrard? Is there some type of by-law that prevents it? Vancouverites love their coffee, but would something like that just get in the way?
To view and vote on past polls, visit the Miss604.com poll page.
We are so busy this week I think come Saturday I’ll either be sick or my head will fall off. Here’s what’s coming up this week in the land of Miss604.com:
Quick site note… I’m currently writing a little mini-story and I’d like readers’ opinions on where I should publish it, if anywhere. Should I keep it in a Word doc on my computer for my eyes only or should I post it somewhere on my blog, on a new sub page? My only fear with posting is that it might get ripped off. Not that it will be that fantastic, but you never know these days, eh. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated.