Angry Robot

Tron Legacy soundtrack leaked (Daft Punk)

probably not the whole thing

BitTorrent Releasers Are The New Kids On The Piracy Block

inside baseball with the movie bootlegging crowd

End of the line in Ford City

photo essay on Drouillard Road in Windsor

The end of a shift at GM, the end of an era in Windsor

New Amazon Kindle announced: $139 WiFi-only version and $189 3G model

coming in late august, to Canada as well. Essentially: smaller, lighter, better screen (still monochrome), better battery life, available in dark grey body, and CHEAP. $140 is getting down there.

Disputed chemical bisphenol-A found in paper receipts

in surprisingly high levels. Mother of F%$#

Great Job, Internet!: The secret of the Inception soundtrack

Set Out-of-Blog Response to "On"

You know, whenever I post one of these “I won’t be posting a lot” posts, I wind up posting a lot. But be prepared for a lack of such ironies – for a cold, hard, earnest absence of posts. Milady and I have purchased a house, and there are a lot of house-related-type-stuff things to do, and I don’t think they will be particularly fascinating to write about. (Also, the internets aren’t hooked up in the house yet.)

See y’all in a bit.

Weekend Box Office: Nolan's dreams are Bruckheimer's nightmare

Yay! I never know what’s going to be a hit, so I’m certainly happy the excellent Inception beat the Nick Cage wizard movie.

Cup and Ball

“Over the last few years Russell and I have been inventing the sport of Cup and Ball … Most of the Cup and Balls that I have seen are poorly designed and could not do most of the tricks that Russell and I enjoy thanks to our high performance Cup and Balls … Cup and Ball is an ancient game and people have literally had centuries to develop moves and other ideas. These players might be like advanced extra-terrestrial civilisation that had a billion year technological head start … The search for distant Cup and Ball civilisations is the main purpose of this blog and I hope to find them.” Guys, you have my vote for best cup and ballers on the internet.

A Conversation with Dawin Meckel

who did a photo series of Detroit that stayed away from the ruin porn. (via Funkaoshi)

The Top 25 specialty channels in Canada by profit

this is a little inside baseball, but it’s interesting – the top is W, number 25 is much.

Storefront Success Stories and Free Gazpacho

Tom’s writeup of recent events at SRSI.

SRSI, the Final Week

So, a lot has happened. Perhaps I won’t try and record everything here – I have 500 gigs of video that serves that purpose – but start talking about the overall feeling, as there are only a few short days left and then SRSI is over.

I haven’t mentioned The Department of Unusual Certainties in a manner that befits them. They are doing a project called Storefront Success Stories that is fairly fascinating – sort of an attempt to do urban design consultation properly, from the ground up. It’s a tricky project to pin down, in part because there is little visible about it yet (their process looks like regular office work mostly), and in part because the boys like to prevent easy explanations of things. But suffice it to say that I’ve had many fascinating conversations with them.

Lee Rodney has decamped her Border Bookmobile and set up a temporary position in the storefront. The contents of the bookmobile (besides the beautiful Chrysler Crimson seating) are a collection of books about Windsor, Detroit, borders, and more. Among the books was a volume of Shrinking Cities which Chris of The Department had mentioned to me, so I was excited to check it out of Lee’s library and get right into.

That’s the thing, those two words: shrinking cities. Cities that are getting smaller, but also cities plural. You might think at first it’s Detroit that’s this stunning historical phenomenon, then you might realize the problems are shared across the rust belt (Cleveland, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Baltimore), and then you might realize the problem spans the goddamned world. East Germany after reunification was a particular hotbed, but it’s happened many times before and will happen again. Your city could shrink. Perhaps it already is. You can’t help but look at the outsourcing of manufacturing to China and the outsourcing of knowledge work to India as harbingers of a whole lot more shrinkage to come.

So it’s important to look at these cities, not just for the sake of the residents of these cities (good enough reason right there of course), but also for everyone else. It’s important to look at the cities as distinct places each with their own set of intersecting problems, but also to find out about the common issues, and about the solutions that have already been attempted. Some have worked. Some have not.

I’m not going to pretend to have any answers myself, so I want to switch gears and think about Windsor. It’s a strange place. We went on a bike ride last night and Michelle took us to the west side, past the ancient Sandwich Town, through slums, past a quick succession of naturalized field / apartment building / giant heaps of salt / school. It’s not a landscape as desolate as Detroit by a long shot, but it’s unlike anything in my Toronto world. It’s beautiful, lively, friendly, diverse. You get the impression that it is a tough town populated exclusively by grumpy auto workers. But the other day I enjoyed Pho at one of many Vietnamese restaurants as I listened to the enormous family seated near me speak Spanish. The pho was a bit greasy but very flavourful.

How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late

looks at the decline of US manufacturing from the point of view of Silicon Valley. Obviously related to the shrinking cities kick I’ve been on lately: the cities shrinking are the industrial centers, and the jobs have moved to Asia. There is something cruel about the idea of a North American economy with no manufacturing (“we used to make shit in this town” – The Wire). via Funkaoshi

When Less Is More: Eastern German Project Provides Hope for Shrinking Cities

City Islands: “Buildings will be cut out and in the empty spaces we will insert countryside”

Shrinking of cities catches traction

“The reinvention starts by recognizing the city’s dramatic loss of population and deciding to consciously and intelligently shrink.”

SRSI: Goals, Pasta, Casino

Originally my goals for this project were to complete a short documentary, post small segments online, daily blog posts, do workshops etc. etc. Best laid plans and suchlike. There is no way I will get this thing edited by the end of the residency in 10 days. The problem is I am shooting too much. You can’t just go in like a news crew and say, I need an interview and 5 minutes of b-roll and I’m out. A lot of the best stuff comes from hanging around with the camera, sort of like a hunter. You capture the little details, the surprises, you get to know people, and you earn trust. But it takes a ton of time. And there are always a few artists here simultaneously, so I’ve already missed a lot because I was shooting somewhere else.

So, revised goals. Some segments before the end of the project. Some blog posts. No finished film, that will come months later. Luckily Michelle will help with the editing, which is a huge, huge help.

What’s happened since saturday? It’s all a blur.

Sunday I mentioned, here’s Chris and Michelle making pasta.

Making Pasta

Here’s Norman monitoring some dweeb filming his camera.


I followed Lea as she gathered plants for her project, the garden party. She goes up to houses with nice gardens and chats with the owners about Windsor, and asks if they’d like to contribute a plant. The plants get set up as a garden in the storefront. She invites the contributors to the garden party. Here’s her with Nadia, who is an amazing woman.

Lea and Nadia

Went to the casino with Robin.

Robin at Caesar's

I gambled for the first time, on slots. I lost $9.90. I loved all the bizarre themes to the slot machines – there are Star Trek and Jaws machines, plus off brands like Pirates and Wild Panda. You can’t shoot anywhere near them though.

And you got to love the Walker Power Building, it’s hard not to take pictures of it.

Walker Power Building

Walker Power Building 2