Archive for February, 2007

Day of Action: student fees are too high


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Having dealt with the Canadian Federation of Students for several years as a student and a student journalist, I don’t have a lot of good things to say about them as an organization. I do however support their call for lower student fees. In fact I agree 100% with them that post-secondary fees should be free for all Canadian citizens.

As someone who paid for several years of university, and is looking at paying for a few more in the future, I know how much the typical student has felt the money pinch since the provincial Liberals came to power and removed the NDP’s tuition freeze, and frankly the rates that the NDP froze tuition at were too high as well.

Yesterday was the CFS’s nation wide Day of Action [cfs] in which they called for:

– reducing tuition fees by 10% in 2007-2008;
– increasing funding for all post-secondary education institutions;
– making adult basic education tuition fee free;
– reinstating student grants for those in need, including graduate students
– increasing funding for trades and apprenticeship students

Though they’re making their case against the wrong government, funding for post-secondary education is a provincial issue not a federal one, their goals are good. If you happen to know an MLA, why not give them a poke about student fees?

Conceptual Dining

Red Onion BurgerApparently as a result of eating far too many peanut M&M’s, I started thinking about high-concept restaurants in Vancouver.

Well, maybe I’m abusing that term. But so what. We’re talking about what thematic restaurants would be if they were either completely serious or just took the idea way too far. You know, we’re talking Elbow Room Cafe rather than Hard Rock Cafe. Japadog, but not Tsunami. The Kolachy Shop? Maybe.

Warning bell


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

It’s a sign of how blase we are about alarms that when the fire alarm started to go off in the building where I work it took about twenty minutes for anyone to leave the building. By that point the fire alarm had changed pitch and frequency several times, and two fire trucks had arrived. Still like good employees we stayed in our glass bubble serving the customers while the people from the government offices and ESL schools in the tower above us peered in after having made their trek to the street so as not to burn to a crip.

Or recieve a scolding from the fire marshall.

We finally left the store about ten minutes after the rest of the building about half an hour into the alarm. We moved more out of annoyance at the ear shattering alarm than because we were respectful of humanity’s age old foe fire. The building did not burn down, and so we’re all just that much more blase for next time.

Want to hear how annoying the alarm got? Video after the jump.


Indian Metblogs get some love, why none for us?

New Indian Express on Metblogs

Originally uploaded by seanbonner.

The Indian Metroblogging cities have been getting a bit of press love over the last few days, including this nice spread in one of the English dalies. My question is why haven’t Vancouver’s city blogs gotten as much, or any, attention from the local media?

With great sites like Beyond Robson, Urban Vancouver, The Vancouverite and not to forget us. Our only press mention came out of Ontario about a year ago, and since then there’s been no mainstream media love. Unless I’ve missed something.

Are blogs just not cool in Vancouver anymore? I blame the Olympics.

Update: Just to clear up, I’m not asking why we’re not getting as much press as new technology or media forms like YouTube, or events in the real world, but Vancouver’s got a real vibrant web culture and the fact is that it’s getting more love from the national media than local media.

Having said that it’s been clear that The Province and Sun are totally clueless about the world online for awhile, as evident from their fairly terrible websites.

If I were Prime Minister, I’d get paid better

Vancouver environmental hero David Suzuki has challenged Canadians to contribute their own ideas to the fight against global warming in his “If I were Prime Minister” project. Basically, he’s going around the country trying to get some ideas to present to the people we elected to actually get things done. I thought that’s what we had elections for, but whatever.

But there’s no need to wait until David comes knocking to give your two cents. A lot of people are heading directly to Youtube to post their own 20-second proposals about how Canadians can save the planet. So far, a disproportionate number seem to be coming from this city, like Todd Allen or Michael Wolfe (technically Richmond, but whatever). My own proposal can be found here.

Help save the planet while you still can.

Coquitlam Ikea vs. Richmond Ikea

Coquitlam Ikea

Having experienced both Ikeas this weekend, the results of Ikea vs. Ikea have been tallied and the winner of best Lower Mainland Ikea are in.

Earthquake update: don’t panic

According to our scientific community, there’s a chance an earthquake could be heading our way in the next week or so. Given that the recent flooding, wind storms, power outages and lack of clean running water caused some real problems in this city not too long ago, here’s a friendly reminder to stock up on batteries for your flashlight, bottled water, non-perishable food and the like… just in case.

Have a nice, non-shaky day.

Toque Tuesday

toque.jpgThis Tuesday, Feb. 6th is Toque Tuesday. To all those non-Canadians out there you could also call it “Knit Cap Tuesday”, “Beanie Tuesday” or “Stocking Cap Tuesday”.

The Toque Campaign is a national campaign that gives people from all walks of life the chance to raise funds, raise fun and raise awareness in the fight against homelessness in Canada. This year, Raising the Roof celebrates the 10th anniversary of this popular fundraiser. Since 1997, Raising the Roof has sold close to 500,000 toques to Canadians wishing to demonstrate their support for solutions to homelessness!

Warm your head and your heart! Buy your special Raising The Roof toque — available in winter white, bright red or classic black — in exchange for a minimum $10 donation to support programs and initiatives which help make a difference in the lives of thousands of men, women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Then, proudly wear your toque on Toque Tuesday – February 6th, 2007 – to show that you care about Canada’s homeless. []

You can pick up your toque at any Home Depot location in Canada, or online and help support a cause with a HUGE need in this city.

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas

OMG it's bright out!

Weather blogging = boring.

Still anyone else freaked out by the sudden apperance of a giant firey orb in the sky this morning? I know I’ve managed to develop a headache because I’ve had to squint all day, what with working in a giant glass bubble. It’s still a bit cold, except in my glass bubble office, but OMFG does looking up from the cracks in the pavement end in blindness. I’m sure we’d all be well pleased if Vancouver was defended by Superman, whose powers are derived from the rays of our yellow sun, but since we’re currently without any solar powered superheroes I think we’d all prefer being able to see.

Urban Outfitters opening on Granville Street


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Unless it’s some kind of early April Fools’ Day prank cookie cutter hipsters throughout the lower mainland will be rejoicing at the sudden arrival of an Urban Outfitters [wp] store on Granville Street. Granted it’s not open yet, but now we no longer have to drive down to Seattle to get our fix of ironic pop culture t-shirts (all made to look like they’ve survived several trips through the wash machine already) and cool retro home decor.

Personally I’ve never been able to decide whether or not I hate Urban Outfitters or love it. Some times I go in there and find something so blissfully perfect and other times I just stand around getting angry at the commodification of hip.

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