On Feb. 24, 1918, the Florizel was wrecked off the coast of Cappahayden, killing 94 people. Cassie Brown told the story of the disaster in A Winter's Tale, a book well worth reading. The famous Peter Pan statue in Bowring Park (one of a handful of statues around the world) was dedicated to the honour of Betty Munn, the godchild of Edgar Bowring.
On a decent day, a few hundred visitors come to Dot Dot Dot. A good few of you are regulars, but a lot of the traffic is sheer happenstance. I wrote about some of the search terms that led people to me before; here's an update with some search queries from the last day, exactly as they were typed:
Sideways Oscar acting
Royal St. John's REgatta
map St. John's nfld
dot to dot fish
food guide pyramid that dominates the breakfast suggested in the research for better brain function
the ocean ranger
information on SNOBS-Julian Fellowes
calories in craft singles
landmarks Toronto Peter Pan
connect the dot game papers
dot hack town music
Newfoundland Music Painting Art
peter calamai toronto star email address
john gushue dot
world fair 1904 factoids
famine Ethiopia 20 years after Brian Stewart
"gina mallet" pepper
Most of these things I've actually discussed, or at least mentioned. I love the serendipity, though, of misspellings and random words.
Not that long ago, the details of the federal budget were among the best-kept secrets in the land. Ask Doug Small, who was charged in 1989 for getting the leak of his career.
Not so anymore; plenty of stuff is released well in advance (the provinces know much of what they need to about transfers) and plenty of more stuff is strategically leaked. Still, I'll be watching the whole thing, and not just for professional reasons. The budget, for political junkies, is the feast of the year.
The Scott Tournament of Hearts has been underway in the city since Saturday, and downtown, it's hard not to notice: curling fans and memorabilia are all over the place. I'm taking in the activities, from the comfort of the beer lounge, on Thursday night.
Hunter S. Thompson killed himself Sunday, with a gun. Like a great many aspiring writers who grew up in the Seventies and Eighties, I read Thompson voraciously, and got a giggle out of the Uncle Duke persona in Doonesbury. Thompson was a stunningly original writer, and likely a very influential one, although it's a shame his most pervasive legacy was giving headline writers the "fear and loathing" cliche. What a tragic end.
The New Yorker's mascot is a dandy named Eustace Tilley, a dandy from another era (even when the magazine launched in the modernist fervour of the 1920s), and a confused bit of an emblem, right to this day. The New Yorker has a history of Eustace Tilley in honour of his 80th anniversary (and the New Yorker's, too); look for the pop-up slide show to see how R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman and many others have recast him over the years.
Smokey Robinson turns 65 today, old enough to be undeniably considered a senior citizen. Hmmm. I was curious to find the composer and singer of Tears of a Clown shares his birthday with Dave Wakeling, who covered (and credibly, too) that tune with the (English) Beat.
Keep this page on hand for future reference ― unless, that is, you have immediate need to look up the major communities in the province. Do take time to explore the rest of the Atlas of Canada site, including a curriculum guide divided by jurisdiction (including this province) and grade.
Want to know about a specific place in Canada? This is my starting block: a very helpful service from Statistics Canada, which lays out basic details on all communities (including many unincorporated places) in the country, and with a locator map should you choose to see it. Information is based on details from the 2001 census.
From London's Globe Theatre to Rome's St. Peter's Cathedral to Sydney's Opera House, this site collects many of the best-known (and best, period) examples of architecture. Some (the Golden Gate Bridge, for instance) may not strike you as buildings in the conventional sense, but they are certainly feats of architecture, imagination and execution.
One of the primary functions of e-mail, of course, is to send hilarious jokes, pictures, videos and audio clips to everyone you know, and, heck, even to people you don't … not that I'm accusing anyone of anything. Here's an option: to cut down on e-mail bandwidth, direct your friends and coworkers to this site instead. Every posted item has a distinct web address, so you only need to copy that and send that eensy bit of data through cyberspace, instead of bulky attachments that can tie up servers needlessly. Trust me, your IT folks will smile with approval, and everyone you know (and the people you don't) will still get a kick out of you.
Information is power – yada, yada, yada – but fast (if not immediate) access to power is so much cooler. That’s the advantage of PubSub, or least its advertised edge. PubSub whizzes through a bazillion blogs (well, eight million, anyway), some newsgroups and various business filings. Finally: a service that satisfies both hardcore investors and American Idol fanatics.
Every weekday afternoon (at 3:30 p.m., St. John's time), World Café broadcasts from a U.S. public radio station, with an eclectic mix of music … the sort of stuff that doesn't get played on Top 40 radio much these days. Check out the playlists to see if recent shows suit your tastes, and log on if you please.
Comic book fans (even lapsed ones, like me) admire Frank Miller, who reinvented the Batman franchise years ago, saving it from the cheesy dreck that had swamped Gotham. Miller's name is highly promoted for the upcoming April movie Sin City, which looks ― no surprise ― stylish, noirishly, Millerishly appetizing. As does the companion website. (Mickey Rourke returns; who saw that coming?)
A tip of the hat to two of my CBC colleagues, Christine Davies and Kathryn King, who created this terrific page featuring some of the best-loved work of Ted Russell. Fifty years ago, Russell created Uncle Mose and his neighbours in Pigeon Inlet for the Fishermen's Broadcast; I wonder what Mose ― who used to note that he didn't yet have television, you know ― would make of his listeners' grandkids playing his yarns over the web. I think he, and Ted Russell, would be very pleased indeed.
There are not too many journalists still working in Newfoundland who have covered every premier from Joseph R. Smallwood through to Danny Williams. John Murphy is one of them ... or has been. Murph signed off Thursday evening as host of the Fisheries Broadcast, and as a broadcaster with 35 years under his belt. Good luck, Murph!
She was proud of her status. She cited the pinnacle she reached in 1972: a separate credit in "The Elements of Style," the hugely popular text written by William Strunk Jr. and revived by E. B. White. The citation, which says, "The co-author, E. B. White, is most grateful to Eleanor Gould Packard for her assistance in preparation of this second edition," recognized her as the linguistic equivalent of the Pope's confessor.
The article reminded of Bright Lights, Big City, based not-so-loosely on Jay McInerney's stint in the fact-checking department of the New Yorker. Different from the copy-editing end of things, but I'm sure with the same relentless eye for detail and for getting it right.
The History Channel site has an interesting bit of reading on the first use of "trial of the century" ... that is, in the last century. Pinkertons, bombs, unions, Molly McGuires, the Kremlin ... sounds like quite the story. Has this been a book?
I can't forget the sinking of the Ocean Ranger; no one who lived through it could. I recall the night before, and trying to walk home from a downtown rehearsal in the worst blizzard I ever encountered. It never occurred to me that the storm would claim so many lives.
One consequence of getting up early is that I get to hear some of the overnight programming on CBC Radio, including a healthy helping from Radio Australia. ABC covers many of the international stories that dominate the news in this hemisphere, but from different perspectives, and of course concentrate on places and issues beyond the scope here.
George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue was performed for the first time on Feb. 12, 1924. An advance notice had described the concert as "An Experiment in Modern Music," which is fair comment given that nothing quite like it (or Gershwin himself) had come down the pike before.
I love Rhapsody in Blue, and feel lucky to have seen it performed, in full, by a full orchestra. However, whenever I think of its key phrases, Woody Allen's Manhattan always comes to mind - cinema at its fullest.
Bought more than four years ago, our desktop computer at home is cranky in its relatively old age. It functions well enough, but its sluggishness becomes clear every time we rev up its much younger, much speedier laptop sibling.
Poor thing. It is, after all, ladled to the brim with programs and files. In addition to everything practically everything I've written, it also has quite a few other things ― including many, many photos.
How many? Well, well into the hundreds. I didn't get quite a handle on just how many until I downloaded Picasa, the much-ballyhooed Google offshoot that organizes your pictures, "even," as its blurbage puts it, "ones you forgot you had."
Here's the deal: all that ballyhoo is definitely warranted. Picasa 2 (the second generation version was released last week) takes a few moments to download, and it rolls up its sleeves and gets to work straight away.
The irresistible function, of course, is that initial scan, in which Picasa searches every single folder on your computer, searching for any image that may be tucked away inside.
And, yes, there were plenty I had forgotten I had.
Within a couple of minutes, I was tooling away, adding tags to describe what some of the those mystery images were. It's like being able to attach an entire caption ― with as much detail as you like ― to every picture, which as you might guess will make finding, organizing and sort your digital collection that much easier.
I happen to manage images as part of my daily working life, so you can imagine the implications for someone like me. However, my home computer will do just fine with Picasa, too. The vast majority of the images I have are scans from old-fashioned analog photos; I now feel like I've brought some order to my recent photographic history.
Picasa, incidentally, is free to use. (Google gets its dollar later, if you choose to order prints.)
Here are two blogs with a Newfoundland focus, and with some things in common, and some things not so much in common. Kevin McCann and Ed Hollett started their respective sites during the Atlantic Accord fuss a few weeks back; McCann’s earned some national attention for delivering more than 50,000 e-mails to the In boxes of Paul Martin and Ralph Goodale. Hollett, a former aide to Clyde Wells, has a different take on the issue, but with plenty of material to read. Since the deal was completed, both gentlemen have kept their sites operating, with a broader focus, and an intelligent commentary on regional politics.
Open source is a public-access code for the masses; consider Open Sauce the culinary equivalent, I guess. This is a new, reader-driven site originating in New Zealand. With fewer than 1,000 recipes (at least as I write this), Open Sauce is literally in the early prep stages of what ought to be a fine dish. Anyone can send in a recipe; anyone can pull one out. This is reminiscent of early recipe sites on the net, but the shiny polish on the site's design brings the concept very much up to date.
Sure, we got to watch the Super Bowl up here in Canada (yay, Pats!), but we don’t get to participate in the other, non-pigskin part of the pastime – all those high-profile ads that get launched at the media event of the year. (Unless, I'm told, you watch on high-definition TV.) Numerous sites will show you what you missed; USA Today’s also lets you vote on which you prefer.
Nothing like a little sinusitis to get you going in the morning ... or not. A few days ago, I came down with an infection I've known well over the years. Anyway, antibiotics are kicking in, and my head feels slightly lighter now than a bowling ball.
The Uncle Mose: A Timeless Legacy website got a formal and proper launch Tuesday evening, with - appropriately - the Fisheries Broadcast turning over its whole show to a special program celebrating Ted Russell and his work.
Kudos to my colleagues Christine Davies and Kathryn King for building the site, which is terrific. Pay a visit if you have time. Twelve of Russell's Chronicles of Uncle Mose are available to play.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.