Off to Calgary for a Week

Flight Notification SMSA curious set of circumstances will see me spending the next week in Calgary wearing two overlapping hats – Hacker in Residence and Reinvented – to engage in a rollicking good time amongst academics working in information visualization and surface computing, with an eye to developing collaborations around a number of projects, including the energy thingy that Scott Bateman has been developing for Reinvented, the Social Consumption Project that I’ve been funded by the City of Charlottetown to carry out, the Archiving Geopresence project that I’ve been working on for several years, and a variety of other projects and pipe dreams (including an idea that’s been floating around my head to someone illuminate the Samuel Holland township lot lines so that they can be seen from outer space: I’m pretty sure there’s a better approach than my “light a lot of bonfires” idea).

Two hats requires two business cards, so I’ve got the case packed with half of each. And which had I’m wearing at any given time – adventurous hacker or keen capitalist – will depend on the circumstance and my mood.

Business Cards Pile x 2

I’m taking the long way to get to Calgary, stopping in Toronto tonight, flying to Vancouver tomorrow and then immediately on to Calgary, and then, next Friday, flying back to Vancouver for a quick two-day stopover before arriving back in Charlottetown a week from Sunday.

Or at least that’s the plan: Air Canada has been sending me flight notifications all afternoon long moving the departure time for my flight to Toronto ahead. Projecting forward, at this rate I’ll likely be leaving after I come home.

How I used my geolocation archive to show AVIS that I couldn't possibly have been where they said I was...

A couple of days ago I received an email from AVIS car rental that pointed me to a website where they informed me that they had billed me $23.00 for passing through a Massachusetts Turnpike toll plaza on July 16, 2014:

I was, in fact, in New England that week, on business with Yankee Publishing, and I did rent a car from AVIS, so that much is true.

But I wasn’t in Massachusetts on July 16, and I know this because, since May, I’ve been archiving my “personal geolocation” to my own server, and looking at where I was at on July 16 you can see that my travels were limited to a triangle of Peterborough, NH (where my hotel was), Dublin, NH (where Yankee is) and Hancock, NH (where I had supper with my colleagues on the Yankee web team):

Map of southern New Hampshire showing my location on July 16.

If my own geoarchiving wasn’t enough. Google is keeping track of me too (and with even more resolution), and Google Location History clearing shows me in Peterborough, NH at midnight, which would make it impossible for me to be in Massachusetts 9 minutes later:

Google Location History for July 16.

None of this would likely hold up in a law court, but it was enough for me to be able to report to AVIS with confidence that the charge was spurious. So I called AVIS, and explained the situation. They told me that their records indicate that the charge was based on a photograph of a license plate, and that it was likely a mis-read, especially because the toll receipt shows me exiting the turnpike, but not entering it.

Not since the great Plazes geolocation event of summer 2005, which introduced me to Ton and Martin has having a device in my pocket keeping track of where I am been so much fun.


Remember Robert P. Haythorne, the most interesting Prince Edward Island premier you’ve never heard of? Well a bunch of modern-day Islanders from Haythorne’s stomping grounds in Marshfield are seeking to rectify this under the banner of PEI2014.

On Saturday, October 4 (rain date is Sunday), starting with a 4km walk on “Senator Haythorne Lane” at 1:15 p.m. and continuing with formal festivities at 2:00 p.m., the memory of Haythorne will be feted in the style he richly deserves:

  • A talk by Jim Hornby, “Poore by Name – Rich by Nature.”
  • Signing of a petition to name the trail right-of-way in honour of Haythorne.
  • Musical entertainment and refreshments.

It’s all hosted by the Hillsborough River Association, the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery Trust Fund and the Marshfield WI.

Confederation Country Cabinet: The Book

Remember the Confederation Country Cabinet project that I made a small contribution to this spring?

Well I was delighted to receive a copy of the book that Brenda Whiteway arranged to have produced by the talented Judy Gaudet that details the genesis and execution of the cabinet. As someone whose head was deep inside the project for many months, the greatest role the book plays is allowing me insight to the other artists who were busy making their contributions at the same time.

Like Joe McAskill, the woodworker who brought the cabinet itself to life:

The Cabinet (snippet of book)

And Brenda herself, who not only spun flax into linen, but who actually grew the flax herself:

Brenda (snipped from book)

There’s a story about each of the potters who crafted drinking vessels – one per Father of Confederation – along with a photo of each:

Some of the potters (snippet from book)

And an embarrassing number of photos of me at the printing press:

Me at the press (snippet from book)

The book is available for purchase online and you can also preview the entire thing there in its full-colour 30 page glory. Because it’s a “print on demand” project, there are absolutely no economies of scale to the printing, so it’s not an inexpensive tract. But as a result you can order it in any of hardcover, hardcover with dust jacket or soft cover.

May 3, 1922

Here’s what page 3 of The Charlottetown Guardian looked like on May 3, 1922:

The Guardian, May 3, 1922, Page 3, detail

In amongst the ads for “barefoot sandals” and an 8-year old Clyde Mare and Navy Cut Cigarettes was the end of the report from the Provincial Legislature that started on page 1 under the headline “Lively Debate on Women’s Franchise Resolutions.”

Those resolutions involved the extension of the right to vote to women, the heart of which came in the preamble:

RESOLVED – That it is expedient to introduce a bill to extend the franchise to women; And that the qualification of male and female voter should be the same.

After some of that “lively debate,” much of which appears to have been taken up with procedural questions cloaking misgivings by men about women have the right to vote, the resolution passed:

The Guardian, May 3, 1922, page 3, detail

And that was it. There was no further mention of this dramatic change in that day’s paper, nor in the next day’s paper nor in the day after that. “The motion was further suppored by Messrs. W.B. Butler, and W.H. Dennis, and carried.” That was it.