Boardwalk light-up

From today until Valentine’s Day next year, 15 trees along the Beach boardwalk will end their lazy ways and get to work. This year, the sponsor pays the City over $4,000 plus HST for the privilege.

Bodega reminder

Karen Franzen said hi to Danica and me when we stopped into Bodega Henriette for coffee this afternoon. We got this reminder that her studio will be open December 8th to 10th. There are two locations this year … and two Karens, I see.

Opening Party Friday Dec. 8th, 6 – 9 pm, then Saturday & Sunday 10 – 5 pm.

Studio 1:
3 Wembley Drive: Karen Franzen, Fred Franzen, Helen D’souza, Berna Kilic
Studio 2:
43 Robbins Avenue: Karen Leslie Hall, Sandra Clark, Kate Macmillan

Admission is free.

Sliding back in time

I suppose everyone knows by now that Google Street View provides its old images as well as its most recent. (On desktops only, for now) We can use the little clock icon in the upper left corner (if it’s there) to slide back as far as 2007, sometimes. I tried 2012 on Ben and Lisa’s coffee shop.

At present, there is no sign over the front door, but there it is in 2012, before a worker accidentally spilled paint on it. Bye bye, sign.

Google’s Street View pasts have only been around for a couple of years, but the Wayback Machine has been taking snapshots of websites for a lot longer. If you ever wonder what a website looked like years ago, dump its URL into the Wayback Machine.

Could be PRESTO time

Clairvoyant logo designer anticipated the situation

Now may be the time for bargain hunters to get Toronto Transit Commission PRESTO cards, not because they are working reliably, but because they aren’t.

It costs an extra 6 dollars to become a PRESTO card user. Apparently, odds are good that out-of-service card readers will deliver free rides worth more than that. TTC estimates that 8% to 10% of the readers are broken at any given time.

Carry backup tokens or tickets.

Apple embarrassment

The current OSX version for Macintosh, High Sierra, will allow anyone to access a Mac without a password. I tried it and if you change the login name to “root” and leave the password field empty, you can login with full administrator privileges.

A quick fix for this glaring security faux pas is to simply create a user account named “root” and assign it a password. Apple will probably want to wipe the egg off its face quickly, so a patch is probably on the way.

[UPDATE] Patch arrived, shortly after I posted this. 😉

ReBlink at the AGO

ReBlink needs a rethink. The Art Gallery of Ontario attempts to Augment Reality (AR) by doing goofy things to some of its paintings when people view them through the cameras in their phones or tablets.

A volunteer blamed the AGO’s weak wifi signal when we couldn’t get the app to work, even on my new iPad Pro. No loss. I tried it on a hardwired tablet they keep on hand and what I saw was Diminished Reality (DR).

Guillermo del Toro at AGO

We wanted to get out and enjoy the warm, sunny weather today, so where did we go? The Art Gallery of Ontario’s horror movie exhibits in movie-dark, red rooms filled with creep show stuff.

 There are many large rooms, full of movie props, costumes, special effects paraphernalia and related drawings, etchings, storyboards, paintings and sculptures. Too much stuff, really, but over-the-top is the goal, so maybe too much is just right.

Like most people, I found such entertainment fascinating as a child and teenager. The admiration has passed, I’m afraid, but I still respect the craftsmanship that mostly unsung artists have poured into their work.

The quote above struck me as an admission that monster material is fairly easy to come up with (“right at hand’) and most of the imagery you will have seen, one place or another. Dramatizing, theatrical techniques that have been developed by artists over the centuries are picked up and pushed to extremes. Subtlety is not wanted. For all the Victorian and medieval motifs, the taste is very much in line with present thirsts for hype.

A school teacher taking his class through asked, “Do you like the show?” A girl replied, “I’m not sure”. Good answer.