A province that is not a province, but an agency of the federal government…”

This CBC television documentary hosted by Linden MacIntyre, shot in 1978 on Prince Edward Island, focuses on the “Development Plan” and especially the “Joint Advisory Board,” a 10-member federal-provincial committee that managed it and that, MacIntyre suggested, “works in secrecy” and was an affront to democracy. Regardless of how you view the issue, this is a fascinating at Prince Edward Island 35 years ago.

Note that the audio and video are out of sync for the first few minutes – until the introductory sequence – and then improve.


You know how Radiolab has Radiolab Live and This American Life has The American Life Live?

Well, I don’t have David Sedaris nor Neil deGrasse Tyson in my Rolodex, but all the same it occurs to me that it would be interesting to marshall the forces that keep this here ruk.ca in the air to produce a ruk.ca live. There would be 3D printing and artisanal coffee and letterpress demonstrations and Finnish anarchists and live-action role playing. And no face painting.  It’s not like I don’t have a theatre at the ready mere steps from the centre of my digital life.


Nørd Camp

Nørd Camp (“Geek Camp” in Danish) is a project of the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. In poorly-translated-from-Danish it describes itself as a summer camp where:

Every day is a new day filled with new challenges, tasks and not the least knowledge of the real Big Nerd spirit. Participants are involved in building projects, shaping them and test whether they work in the end. This will bring participants through many different things - everything from chemical reactions to build soapbox cars and final competition.

But it’s best understood through this video:

In short, it looks like the greatest camp on earth.

My Sexy New Firefox

I updated my Firefox Nightly and, blamo, this ye olde UI:

became this sexy new UI:

It’s called Australis and you can read more here and watch a video introduction here.

On Target

Oliver in New Coat, LoopingSo the new Target store opening here in Charlottetown last week, taking the place of the old Zellers (which, in turn, took the place of the old Towers and the old IGA).

Target, for we here on the fringes of North American geography, has always held a certain magical allure: when we’d visit a Target on trips to the United States everything would seem so bright and roomy and exotic compared to the grungy old Zellers here in Charlottetown.

Oh look, it’s a Michael Graves egg spatula!”

And there’s no doubting that a purpose-built Target, architecturally, is an impressive building. It’s still a discount store, yes, but a discount store with white space.

Here in Charlottetown, alas, there was little white space to be had, as the new Target had to be shoehorned into the old Zellers née Towers.

And so no matter how much money they spent repaving the parking lot and putting up the colourful red bollards and extinguishing the clock and the pretzel place and the engraving kiosk from the main entrance hall of the Charlottetown Mall, Target, in the end, is still a Zellers-in-Target-clothing.

The space will never be able to fully shake its history, even if the Zellers cafeteria is now a Starbucks and we “customers” are now “guests.” It still feels like they took the IGA and the Towers and mushed them together. The ceilings are too low, the entrance is in the wrong place. The aisles are too narrow.

That said, we did find an awfully nice winter jacket for Oliver at Target on Saturday, a snazzy Champion-brand model in green. It was 40% off. It’s a men’s small, and fits very well.

On the way in to the store we saw the line at the checkouts was 50-people deep and so I thought twice about the ROI on getting in line, but then I saw that there was a cash register in the TV department and I asked the cashier (“team member?” “service concierge?” “betterment consultant?”) if I could pay there and they cheerfully agreed so we were in and out in 5 minutes.