by Sean Orr | I’m going to open my own whinery: MLA who stepped aside for Clark to get a seat appointed trade commissioner. I know I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised by this, but I just wonder how the conversation actually went. “Ben, we want to say thanks but we don’t want to appear nepotistic.” “OK, boss, but maybe just wait six months when nobody will remember my name or care.” “Good call. Here’s 150 grand.”
There is no rape culture. Unprecedented police presence at UBC, one of North America’s safest universities. “This is one of the safest campuses in North America. There is not normally a climate of fear or of insecurity on the campus”. Hmm, is that why you made cuts to Safewalk three years ago?
Wave of mediocrity set to engulf nation of milquetoasts: Help The Tyee Go National. I don’t know why I’m so mean to The Tyee. It really is quite an ok publication, most of the time.
I’m sneaking a mickey into tonight’s game: More, harder booze at games is a bad idea. Right, because the riot was started by people inside Rogers Arena and not by suburbanites who were forced to binge drink after the VPD stupidly closed all the liquor stores.
Nothing tastes better than a freshly picked scab: Japadog closes Richmond Ikea stand after online shaming. But, but… “Japadog was very busy the whole day they were on site, and they really have nothing to do with the dispute”. Yeah, way to completely miss the point.
Vancouver company faces backlash after partygoers burned at Halloween bash. That’s horrifying! “Others said they had a great time at the party”. Oh, welll…never mind then.
Vancouver company wants to squeeze you into 100-square-foot micro-homes. I love the subtle suggestion – by a publication that relies on real estate marketing dollars – that the company is trying to force you into these homes.
5 Worst Things About Working at Aritzia. Guess what? Not being Chinese is one of them. “Given the high volume of customers that speak Mandarin and Cantonese, and the amount of employees that can speak these languages, it is SO easy to lose sales”. I feel, like, SO sorry for you.
Tweet of the day c/o Greg Eh: “Tourists just asked where bathrooms are in Waterfront station, so I had to explain to them why Canada hates public space and the homeless”.
by Sean Orr | Cheque your head: Conservatives gave Duffy more money than just $90,000 cheque, senator claims. The worst part about this scandal is not that it proves rampant nepotism at the highest level, but that it affirms our detachment from the political process. I wish I could be outraged by this…
The Canada Line: Canada now dominates World Bank corruption list, thanks to SNC-Lavalin. We’re really batting above our average!
Related: Taking the Canadian flag off our backpacks. I never had one on in the first place. I prefer to use a suitcase.
Police tackle caught on camera concerns witness. “What she captured on her camera’s video recorder sickened her and left her with serious questions about how police deal with agitated individuals”. Well, nothing tarnishes the reputation of the police better than the police.
Anti-density protests in Vancouver rooted in hypocrisy. And here I was about to agree with Mason until this unqualified statement: “People whine about affordability on the one hand and then rally against new housing initiatives that would help ease those cost pressures”. Until you can prove that condos are not just investment vehicles for the upper middle class I suggest you stfu.
Are women-only SkyTrain cars the answer to sexual harassment on transit? To answer this, I shall point you towards the urban morphology of pre-modern Islamic cities and cloistering of public space along gender lines. To wit, “religious law and decisions concerning the built environment are simultaneously a response to and record of inhabitants’ common social needs, values, and beliefs, in addition to a collection of prescriptive codes contributing to authorities’ regulation of the built environment”. - Simon O’Meara.
Quote of the week: “It looks like something they would build in Canada”. Banksy on One World Trade.
The Cambie, that beacon of good taste, decided it was a good idea to hold a Pimps and Hoes Halloween party not just a few blocks away from where 60 prostitutes disappeared. Stay classy!
It was nearly two years ago when UC Davis policeman Lt. John Pike calmly walked down a line of prone, peacefully protesting students and pepper sprayed each one of them in the face like he was refreshing so many hydrangeas on a Sunday morning. Well, he’s just received over $38,000 in worker’s compensation for the suffering that followed his actions (the poor dear received a lot of angry emails). The protestors settled their lawsuit against the university for a $1 million. After paying off their lawyers, each of them received $30,000, less than the “traumatized” Pike. Go justice!
by Sean Orr | Jon Ferry, who apparently doesn’t believe in global warming, touts the benefits of global warming, which he doesn’t believe in. No one talks about good warming news. He doesn’t mention all the free jellyfish we’re going to get from our highly acidic oceans. FREE JELLYS!
Nobody likes a rat: Mike Duffy claims Harper told him to repay expense money. But daddy, you said I could go to the foreign country all expenses paid. You said I could claim that house I didn’t live in. I’m telling mommy!
Maybe Timmy’s should take the reins. Tim Hortons key to our nationhood, not monarchy, say younger Canadians in poll. My country ’tis of doughnuts. [facepalm]
Angry commuter wants a refund for Tuesday’s SkyTrain shutdown. I want a refund for three decades of bad service. Oh wait, I never pay for the Skytrain, so never you mind.
New drug called Bath Salts rears its ugly head. New? No wonder you people are losing both the war on drugs and the war on newspapers. From Wikipedia: “Synthetic cathinones such as mephedrone which are chemically similar to cathinone, naturally found in the plant Catha edulis (khat), were first synthesised in the 1910s”.
Vancouver police arrest man at gas station and uncover ‘gasoline scheme’. It is unknown wether or not the man goes by the name of Mad Max.
Twilight of the Pundits. “In the age of Twitter, have journalists become too dependent on quote-for-rent academic pundits”? Who are these so-called “journalists” that you speak of?
No suspension for Frans Nielsen headshot on Kesler, because Kesler dove. Kesler’s next promotional adventure should be to make a smooth tasting kolsch called Keslerbier. Keslerbier- It goes down easy.
by Sean Orr | Premier makes pouty face: Christy Clark says she’s “not happy” with executive bonuses at BC Ferries. Not as unhappy as she would be if she was the leader of the opposition and the NDP was in charge. She’d be nailing them to the stake in the name of “reducing government excess”. Christy? More like Hypocritsty. Get it? Sorry, that was terrible.
Speaking of excess: Tsawwassen ferry terminal sale to Kinder Morgan recommended. And I counter-propose a massive, amusement park slide greased up with fresh bitumen that spans the Georgia Strait. Wheeee!
Chilliwack family wary after dog is brutally beaten, dumped on driveway when it escapes yard. Yeah, “wary” is a good word for it.
Remember the 2.9 million dollar McDonalds coffee lawsuit? It turns out there was more to the story.
Don’t make liquor laws too lax: Vancouver police. “Police concerned changes could lead to binge drinking, greater social problems and more trouble for law enforcement officers”. Yeah, because shutting down the liquor stores during the Stanley Cup playoffs worked out pretty well for you guys, eh?
I went to Edmonton and all I got was an oil spill: Another Canadian train derails, enflaming controversy over dangers of transporting crude. Yeah, I mean, the environment and stuff, but the real tragedy here is that because of the detour my my band had to forego the waterslides at the West Edmonton Mall.
Also, on our drive we saw Naheed Nenshi campaigning right next to where the Bow River breached. Smart guy. Why Didn’t Calgary Elect Larry Heather for Mayor.
Meanwhile, our guitarist, who had to sell his Kanye ticket to go on tour, still gets to see Kanye: The truth about Kanye West’s Vancouver concert cancellation. Oh man, that totally ruins my vision of a scared but exhilarated meth-head trying to find somewhere to stash a massive tour bus somewhere in Ballard, WA.
by Sean Orr | Throw me a frickin’ bone speech: Seven of the dumbest things said during the Throne Speech. “Canadians work hard to make ends meet, and every dollar counts”. Bloody logical positivists!
Spam from the Throne: Stephen Harper’s social media staffer oughta be reported for Twitter abuse. You know you’ve really screwed up when Brent Butt is outraged.
First among equals: If Elizabeth May was prime minister, this would be today’s throne speech. You had me at Runnymede.
Public service announcement: Way to cheat Translink’s Compass card system discovered. “There will continue to be some areas where fare evasion may be possible”. Well, at least they’re making it fun for us!
Problem homeowners could be forced to sell.”More than 11-hundred complaints over a five year period”. Wow, that really puts my neighbour’s penchant for rhinoceros impressions into perspective.
Sexy Halloween costumes are okay, now let’s stop mocking them! Featuring such subversive, radical feminist theory as “and, omg wtf yolo, women actually take this opportunity and run with it? I can’t see anything wrong with it.”
Cliche of the week: Fight over stolen bong ends in stabbing at Langley elementary school.
Local yelp review of the week year: Deedee does The Diamond: ”This place sucks more dicks than a machine designed with the sole intended purpose of sucking the most dicks possible in the shortest amount of time”. Don’t hold back or anything.
by Sean Orr | Rafe Mair: Finding truth takes work. I feel your pain bro. “The difficulty faced by bloggers and others who present their journalism exclusively online is that they’re hard to find. Unlike in the 18th century, most people don’t want to work at just getting the news. Just as in the world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Whatever is easily available trumps the harder to get”. Welcome to Tea & Two Slices (now available on papyrus).
Meanwhile, Keith “Breaking Bad Spoiler” Baldrey misses the entire point.
“We’re not against bike lanes, but…”: Kitsilano Beach bike route plan draws fire from critics. These so called critics are bravely and nobly taking up the mantle of protecting…two picnic tables. ”Kelsey, who is promoting a petition against the bike route, said many regular users of Kits Beach, including volleyball and basketball players, knew nothing about the plan.” As usual, people complain about lack of consultation after the consultation process. Fold your arms, stamp your feet, and appeal to emotion. Thanks for playing, Kitsilano!
I guess it could be worse. We could live in Toronto.
Just in case there’s even the slightest bit of ambiguity left, no transit for you. The Referendum: A Turning Point for the Region. “This thing is designed to divide us.”
A brief history of Vancouver gentrification: The drama of urban development. “We crowded into SFU Woodwards past hipsters in skinny jeans and vagrants with skinny legs…” I stopped reading after that opening sentence, which made the whole story about as useful as discussing the cultural conundrum of hippies with a totally wasted Jack Kerouac.
Related: Looking for Hipster Randy! “Randy is an outgoing, mature individual who’s the life of the party. He’s charming, witty, and creative. Some of his interests could include indie music, blogging, and movies. He’s stylish and shops at unconventional places such as vintage stores and thrift shops. He’s into independent culture and prides himself on this. His hobbies could include blogging, attending concerts, and watching movies. If you are professional and responsible and see yourself playing this role or even better if this is you, we encourage you to apply.” Oh, fuck it. Where’s my resumé?
Straight Surrey man gets savagely beaten twice ‘for being gay’. This appeared on my Facebook stream with the caption “hilarious”. Suffice to say, this is about as funny as a hole in the head.
Slightly funnier: Rogers bill ruins credit rating of man who doesn’t have Rogers account. “It’s almost like they’re playing a video game with people and they could care less about the consequences.”
Leaf it to Charles for a new VAG design. I have my money on a giant spirit bear design.
Icy veins of the day: Syrian state TV was in the midst of interviewing political analyst Hussam Shuaib yesterday when two huge car bombs went off within seconds of eachother, nearly blowing him out of his chair (see above). His reaction? “Please continue your question…”
Terribly fascinating: a day in the life of an American drone pilot.
The pizza cocktail, aka the latest death knell of Western Civilisation, sounds loud and clear in Pasadena, California. It’s “a scarily accurate drink that tastes as if your slice jumped into a Vitamix with a bottle of vodka. Tomato water, basil-infused vodka, ghost pepper–infused vodka, porcini powder and muddled basil are shaken together and topped with a Parmesan and mozzarella foam.” Shudder.
Brand-tweaking: How the The New Yorker went about getting a typeface upgrade.
Inside architect Norman Foster’s gorgeous, futuristic Philologische Bibliothek library in Berlin.
Schadenfreude of the day: Apple invites Blackberry workers to recruitment party.
This is what happens when the world’s most famous street artist, Banksy, hires an old man to sell his works – about $1 million worth of them – for $60 apiece from an unannounced, unmarked stall outside Central Park? Total sales for the day: $420. Estimated value of said sales: $225,000. When asked to comment, every New Yorker said “Go the fuck back to England you Limey jerk.”
by Sean Orr | I think they look more like the Petro-Can logo: Hockey Canada officially unveils Olympic jersey design despite murmurings that it calls to mind Nazi Germany. Well, Hitler had a big part in defining the aesthetic of the modern Olympics (the torch, for example), so perhaps it’s only fitting. What’s more outrageous is that they the NHL is sending pro-athletes to a country where it is now illegal to be gay, leaving every attempt made by the You Can Play Project a complete contradiction.
Petro Can’t: Pensioners will suffer if Canada’s oil is not shipped to world markets. In other news, this journalist has never heard of the word divestment.
Related: Building a Butter Pipeline.
Mann up: Bridge tolls: One for all and all for one? “It doesn’t make sense” to have tolls on some bridges and not others, said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson Tuesday. This person is a Mayor? I seem to remember running for MLA in the same riding as the Port Mann Bridge and saying things like “Peak oil” and “we can’t afford this”. But oh no, you people had to have your (not so) little bridge. And every time someone takes the bus in Vancouver, they are helping to pay for it, so don’t act like the financial burden is placed solely on those south of the Fraser.
Planners see problems with bridge proposed to replace Massey Tunnel. Can we just go back to the Oregon Trail days and have it so you have to ford the river yourself?
A tale of two Surreys: Mega-hotel project unveiled as residents of low-rent trailer park live without electricity down the road. Oh weird! So boosterism is only good for those doing the boosting? Who knew?
Efforts to house Vancouver’s homeless barely keep up with influx. So when Gregor Roberston said he was going to end homelessness, what he really meant was that he was going to keep it at the exact same level.
Vancouver retail rents cheap compared to New York’s record costs. Then why is everything so bloody expensive?
So the presidential election went down in Azerbaijan yesterday, but before the people even woke up to cast their ballots, the country’s Central Election Commission accidentally released the “results”. President Ilham Aliyev, who succeeded his dictator daddy President Heydar Aliye in 2003, won in a landslide “decision” with 72% of the vote. After excusing for the mishap, the embarrassed Election Commission raised Aliyev’s vote total to 80% like the gentlemen they are. True story.
The most curious exo-planet imaginable has just been discovered by an international team of astronomers (rendering shown above). What makes planet “PSO J318.5-22″ so fascinating isn’t that it’s six times the mass of Jupiter (that’s effing huge) or that it has a woefully unimaginative name, but rather that it’s not orbiting a star. It’s just floating out there, 80 light-years away from Earth, all alone, the first known “Lonely Planet” in a universe that doesn’t care.
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been convicted of 24 federal charges – you know, racketeering, extortion…the usual – and sentenced to 28 years in prison. Meanwhile, our Mayor walks free after asking “Which is better, Jazz or Jay Z?”
Sunscreen alert: In a new report cited by The New York Times, scientists say that by 2047, the world’s coldest years could be hotter than than hottest years of the past. Think about that for a moment…
Biblioporn in The New Yorker: Paris, City Of Bookstores. “Everywhere in the world may look more and more like everywhere else, but there are still a few proudly Gallic institutions that you can count on spotting in any city or town in France: cafés that thrive in spite of Starbucks, bakeries with their total indifference to things gluten-free, tabacs that keep hanging on as smokers turn to e-cigarettes. Most pleasing of all, in this age of Amazon, are the independent bookstores—around two thousand five hundred of them, all told.”
A group of major Japanese architects are rallying against Zaha Hadid’s design for Tokyo’s massive 2020 Olympic Stadium, which begs the question: where were our architects when Yaletown, False Creek and Coal Harbour were re-built?
“The Art of Improbable Coincidence” – some phenomenal travel and street photography by Mumbai-based Maciej Dakowicz. Bonus: the computer science PhD turned professional wanderer has one of the best Flickr collections – 5,500+ images – ever amassed.
by Sean Orr | Canada won’t fund abortion in cases of war rape, child marriage. “There are plenty of measures that can be taken and Muskoka demonstrated that and we’ll follow it in a consistent way with Muskoka.” So, as in the case of Muskoka, we can fund things like pudding cups, or band-aids with Canadian flags on them, because Muskoka. “Harper has said he does not want to re-open the divisive debate.” Or, as Oilers assistant coach Keith Acton so succinctly put it it the other night while visiting Vancouver…
Regarding the other divisive debate that Harper doesn’t want to re-open: Downtown Eastside crack kits working, says health chief. “But the report does not recommend what drug activists have requested for many years: a legal facility where crack smokers can smoke their drugs”. So harm reduction works. It’s just the we don’t want it to work too well.
In fact, Cutbacks to healthcare on Downtown Eastside. Remember that the next time you read a Postmedia Op-Ed describing the DTES as a “wasteland”.
Meanwhile, lost in Conservative clucking over heroin is a serious spike in prescription painkiller deaths. “Moralistic instance of single-minded ideology run amok” … “The neophyte minister may want to reset her public image”. Looks like we got a winner!
Speaking of winners: The cost of being a Canucks fan. Funny how the story doesn’t mention the extreme emotional and psychological costs.
Why Christy Clark’s bridge to Delta threatens the Agricultural Land Reserve. In the article, Richmond Councillor Harold Steves characterized what was happening as the “Richmondization of Delta”.
Related: Province tells transit riders where to get off. Also related: A fifth of transit riders fail to tap out in Compass card test. Also also related: New Westminster council to consider asking province to deter trucks from using Patullo. Gosh. How exhausting.
It happened in Yaletown: Woman arrested after accident sends 9-year-old cyclist to hospital. As a crowd of bystanders rushed to lift the other car off of the kid, she went home to chill at her “False Creek area” home? Wow.
by Sean Orr | Everybody knows what’s best for you: Ottawa overrules health officials on Vancouver heroin replacement study. So, it turns out that polarizing politicians know more about addiction than, you know, fucking doctors. And again, the ghost of Cory Monteith is invoked as an argument against harm reduction? Please.
Blurred Vision: Has Vancouver’s ruling party lost touch with its base?. Hey, isn’t that a Robin Thicke song? “Separated bike lanes, high-density spot rezonings, higher amenity fees from developers, low-income rental initiatives, transit-oriented redevelopments, urban farming, food carts or even retooling the building code for seniors, Vision Vancouver has worked hard to implement an ambitious agenda”. So we elected them to do stuff and now that they’re doing stuff we’re mad?
The horrors of charitable capitalism: How the Vancouver mayor’s BFF Joel Solomon is changing the way people do business:
It is the second-last day of summer and 150 small enterprise leaders and venture capitalists have gathered at the windswept beach retreat for the 18th annual Social Venture Institute (SVI), which is like sleep-away camp for grown ups who want to change the world through business, charities, and non-profits…
Sounds like a nightmare.
How green is “greenest city’s” pension plan? City of Vancouver staff recommends council action on city investments. Turns out it’s lightly green…sort of an olive colour really. Also, how great is the name Carrie Saxifrage?
Only in Yaletown: Wild cat tied up on supercar while owners wine and dine.
Yaletown 2: Concord Pacific and Concert Properties reveal big plans for two False Creek developments. And, if the artist’s rendering is anything to go by, they will be the only buildings with electricity in the entire downtown core. So that will be a huge selling point, I imagine.
by Douglas Haddow | Yesterday, the VAG revealed three possible plans for its redesign of the North Plaza and called for public input on the options it presented. One of the plans is called “WET”. And as the all-caps indicates, it’s totally wet, even wetter than normal Vancouver-grade wet.
The concept drawing (above) shows a group of children cheerfully playing in the pouring, freezing rain – a delightful, life-affirming vignette overflowing with a joie de vivre that has not once and never will transpire in this giant clammy cistern we call home.
As described in the document provided by the city: “Materially, [WET] is a large rectangle of special paving stones which would rest on hidden pedestals within a shallow void under the plaza. The paving stones would be carefully designed to have very slight variations in level – enough to create different patterns of water accumulation, while still maintaining a comfortable surface to walk on.”
Or in layman’s terms: there’s gonna be a bunch of puddles.
The design team also “imagines the inclusion of scattered misting spouts and small water jets within the paving field,” so that even when it’s not raining, it’s raining, just in case 161 days of rain isn’t enough for those citizens who prefer to be moist at all times.
This is either a brilliant, counterintuitive approach to an urban landscape famous for its glut of precipitation, or a rather crude joke slipped into the design process by some clever intern.
On the other hand, the sprinklers would provide the police with a convenient and non-violent method of dispersing protests, which should keep VPD overtime pay down; in turn providing much-needed funding for other unsheltered public space projects that are completely useless half the year.