Smoke Break #826: The Joy Of Destruction And The Human Appetite For Schadenfreude

GOODS: The West End’s “Tavola” Launching New Family-Style Suppers This Week…

Tavola is located at 1829 Robson St. in Vancouver's West End | 604-606-4680 |

The GOODS from Tavola

Vancouver, BC | Beginning this week, the West End’s Tavola restaurant will start hosting a “family meal” on their 16 person long table seven days a week starting at at 6pm sharp(ish). The special menu – tweeted every day at 4pm (@tavolavancouver) – will see three courses and a drink, changing every day with an appetiser, a selection of pastas, a dessert and a paired glass of white, red, bubbles or beer. The price is $30 per person. Learn more about Tavola after the jump… Read more

GOODS: Kitsilano’s “Bistro Pastis” Bound To Casablanca For The Month Of April

Bistro Pastis is located at 2153 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver BC| 604-731-5020 |

Bistro Pastis is located at 2153 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver BC| 604-731-5020 |

The GOODS from Bistro Pastis

Vancouver, BC | From April 5th through May 1st get in touch with your inner Ilsa and Rick and join Bistro Pastis for a journey to Casablanca to explore the cuisine of Morocco. Briefly a French protectorate (1906 – 1956); Morocco’s cuisine reflects the cross-pollination of flavours and ingredients acquired through a culinary history that includes influences taken from Arab, Iberian, Berber, Jewish, Ottoman, Spanish and French culinary traditions. Read more

Smoke Break #825: Are Terrifying Robotic “SmartBirds” Poised To Take To The Skies?

This makes me ever so seriously anxious. I can deal with regular robots, no problem, but I draw the line at flying ones…

Robotics company Festo has presented numerous ingenious flying machines inspired by nature, but they have reached new heights with the SmartBird. Weighing a mere 450 grams and with a wingspan of 1.96 meters, the SmartBird mimics bird flight with surprisingly natural ease and grace. It can also takeoff, fly, and land autonomously, all while making in-flight adjustments. This robot also shirks plane-like control surfaces like flaps, instead using its flexible body to control its direction in flight.

Via Max Eddy at Geekosystem:

Seeing this, I can’t help but think of Leonardo da Vinci and how he labored to create a mechanical device that would mimic bird flight. A shame that he never could see the amazing creations we’re now capable of.

Nevermind da Vinci. What would Alfred Hitchcock say?

Seen In Vancouver #284: A Sneak Peek At The Upcoming “Ki” Restaurant’s Interior…

It may look like a hive of construction mayhem on the outside, but the interior of Ki Restaurant appears to be very nearly finished (shot taken this morning). This is the bar/lounge area at the building’s glass prow that juts toward Market in the Shangri-La.

Foreign Intelligence Brief #365: On Neon Green Oceans And Killing Moammar Gadhafi

With NATO considering a broader role in Libya, Obama maintains that an assassination of Moammar Gadhafi is out of the question. Too bad that intransigent, decades-old dictatorships only ever topple when the dictator in question is either dead or given safe passage to a Venezuelan lap dance. With the latter out of the question (hello criminal court, frozen assets, etc), it makes me wonder what NATO’s “larger” role will be. Get ready to be an accessory to murder, Canada! 

The immorality of state-sanctioned killing juxtaposed, just when you thought you couldn’t loathe him and his thugs any more.

But wait? Why did the US hurl over a hundred cruise missiles into Libya at $1 million apiece, killing soldiers and airmen just following orders, when a two buck bullet would have accomplished exactly what it was that they really wanted in the first place, ie. regime change? Good ol’ Gerald Ford and his 1976 Executive Order #11905, Section 5, Article H:

No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.

Isn’t it just astounding that George W. Bush didn’t rescind that!?

When asked for his position on killing Gadhafi, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “Can I do it?”

I made that up.

Meanwhile, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad does his best to do his worst. Sigh.

Ashamed of last night’s drunken social media performance? There’s an app for that.

The thing that you never want to stop working stops working.

On paywalls and the economics of modern reporting.

Lastly, and I don’t mean to scare the living shit out of you, but radiation has spiked 1,250 times higher than normal in the waters off the Japanese coast. The story goes on to say that there is no cause to worry, so…er…don’t worry?

Opening Soon: First Look Inside Dale Mackay’s New “Ensemble”

To follow up on the news that Scout broke last week on the coming of Ensemble, I met up with Dale Mackay off Robson yesterday at the location in the old Corner Suite space at 850 Thurlow (I realise the brand is spelled with a lower case “e” -  as in ensemble – but I reserve the right to sanctimoniously ignore that in the dickish name of the English language).

He and his crew were already hard at work at the 115 seater. Take a look… Read more

Zulu Report: Everything That You Should Listen To This Week

Our friends over at Kitsilano’s Zulu Records once again present their weekly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, staff from the West 4th music store provide The Track, the song that is on heavy rotation that week; The Playlist, which is pretty self-explanatory; The Gig, the must see show of the week; and The Glance, a view ahead to music on the horizon. From their ears to yours, enjoy…

The Track

Black Night live at Bonnaroo by The Dodos, from their fourth album No Color (Frenchkiss)

For their fourth outing the once three man team of The Dodos are stripped back to the two man magic that made us fall in love with their breakout album Visiter back in ’07. A lot of people had a problem with Time To Die, and I hate to lay the blame but it seems like somehow vibraphonist Keaton Snyder might have ruined the delicate chemistry of this idiosyncratic folk-wha? group. No Color benefits from a focus on memorable acoustic melodies, as well as Neko Case lending her vocals to several songs. Call it a return to form or call it a further progression down the twisted road to wherever The Dodos call home. Either way, the boys are back. Read more

Seen In Vancouver #283: Hotel Georgia & Hawksworth Still On Track For May Opening

This morning I beheld the Rosewood Hotel Georgia and its adjacent mixed use tower rising in the sun. Both are nearly complete. The hotel, not incidentally the future home of David Hawksworth’s eponymous Hawksworth restaurant, will sport some 155 guest rooms and suites when it opens on May 7th. Check after the leap for a look at the rooftop as well as a graphic rendering of the Prohibition Jazz Lounge (latter reminds me of the basement bar under the Old Seelbach in Louisville, Kentucky)… Read more

Smoke Break #824: Getty’s John Moore On Epic Battles In Libya And The Arab Revolts…

Via Nerdcore:

Photographer John Moore is no stranger to combat. As a member of an Associated Press team in 2005, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for coverage of the war in Iraq and he’s done extended stints in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, Mexico and Nicaragua and elsewhere in the last 20 years.

Yet despite his relative comfort with being on the frontlines, Moore told the NewsHour from his hotel room in Cairo that his latest assignment -a six-week trip that took him to the uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya – might have been his most dangerous. Moore recorded the interview for us after sneaking out of Benghazi, Libya en route back to his home in Denver.

Tea & Two Slices: On The Many Things That Taxes Do and Election Season Madness

by Sean Orr | Newly minted B.C. Conservative candidate fired. And they’re off!

Meanwhile, a vote for Harper is a vote for Nickelback! Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to be a huge deterrent for most people.

Don’t let fat tax expand gov’t waistline. Maureen Bader is a waste of space. Why the fuck wouldn’t you tax things that are bad for you and cost the health care system billions of dollars? She’s so anti-tax that she’s forgotten what taxes are for.

Victims of fatal police shootings may have been suicidal: expert. You could just tell that he wanted that bullet by the way he dressed, man. He was asking for it: expert.

Fort Nelson residents keen to see ‘town bully’ get his day in court. When photos on news articles accidentally double as contemporary art.

Pro tip: If you’re going to make a satirical news story, try and make it more unbelievable than “Republicans Introduce Legislation Redefining Pi as Exactly 3“. Why? Because the majority of internet commenters think it’s real.

Actual headline: ‘Sexy noises, too much, all the time’.

Open Letter to Globe and Mail. Oh snap!

Another one bites the dust: A Vancouver nightlife institution (Lotus Hotel) is set to close. Plus W2 Storyeum closes on May 1st. So that sucks…

GOODS: Georgia Straight Readers Name “JoieFarm” Best BC Winery for White Wines

JoieFarm is located in beautiful Naramata, BC | 250-496-0073 | Toll free: 1-866-422-5643 |

The GOODS from JoieFarm

Naramata, BC | JoieFarm is proud to announce that we have been chosen by the readers of the Georgia Straight as the “2011 Best BC Winery for White Wines” in their Golden Plates issue available on Vancouver newsstands today. The choice of JoieFarm as the 2011 winner, despite our limited production and distribution channels, speaks to the increasing sophistication of the BC wine consumer. We would like to take this moment to acknowledge the tremendous job done by the restaurant trade, private retailers and supporting media throughout Canada in telling our story on our behalf to the public. We would also like to thank our supporting clients and the readers of the Georgia Straight for their consideration. Read more

Smoke Break #823: “Vigilante Vigilante” Documentary On The Battle For Expression

Check this trailer for Vigilante Vigilante, and upcoming film that documents the struggle between street artists and the few who take it upon themselves to blot out their work in Frisco/Oakland, CA.

A new breed of crime-fighter now stalks the urban landscape: the anti-graffiti vigilante. These dedicated blight warriors stop at nothing to rid their neighborhoods and cities of street art, stickers, tags, and posters. Yet several of these vigilantes have become the very menace they set out to eliminate. In their relentless attempt to stamp out graffiti, they’ve turned to illegally and destructively painting other people’s property. VIGILANTE VIGILANTE is the story of two filmmakers who set out to expose these mysterious characters and discover a battle of expression that stretches from the streets to academia.

Cool Thing We Want #266: “Chukka” Style Converse All Stars At Main St.’s Eugene Choo

Converse All Star Mid-Cut Sneaks | Eugene Choo | 3683 Main St | $80

I thought they were just regular Chuck Taylor’s until I gave them a second glance. Check the matching toe and the mid-cut on the ankle. They’re like Vans’ old school chukka boots, which means I Must Have Them…

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