Saturday, September 30, 2006

Just call me Bom Long Horn Greenholm , Thain of the Shire...

... it's my hobbit name. It's either that, or Achilles the 2nd One, my Matrix name.

What are yours?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine is my going favorite comic strip. It first came to my attention when it appeared in the Toronto edition of the METRO daily, a commuter paper. It's got that occassional hint of the sardonic that I came to appreciate in Bloom County by Burke Breathed. Pearls might not be a classic like The Far Side or Calvin and Hobbes, but since they left the scene, it's the best thing going (imho).

Monday, September 11, 2006


A shot of NY as I remember it, from May 2000.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Black Coffee

I watched an excellent documentary this week on TVO. Black Coffee is the little known history of coffee, and it's impact on society from it's introduction to Europe in the 17th century to today.

Like millions of other java-addicted consumers, you probably
make a beeline for your local coffee shop every morning, and willingly shell out
as much as $4 for a tall, non-fat latte. But what you pay for your morning fix
equals a day's wages for the millions of workers who harvest the bean. Since its
discovery in the Ethiopian hillside in the sixth century, our beloved cup of joe
has been a dominant force in shaping the economic and social structures of
entire nations. Black Coffee provides an intriguing glimpse into the dark side
of the brew, which is the second largest trading commodity in the world after
oil, and like sugar, has been instrumental in promoting the slave trade. The
three-part series, from Montreal's Irene Angelico (The Cola Conquest) casts a
critical eye on its human rights and ecological record that remains dodgy at
best, and also links our morning ritual to the rise in the café culture and the
fair trade movement's efforts to guarantee small growers at least a decent

Utterly fascinating, and definitely worth a view if you get a chance.

The story of Starbucks inception and rise to the top of the specialty coffee market is interesting. My only complaints were the lack of detail provided about Tim Horton's chain and their success (it must be the Arabica beans...); they garnered a mention, but in an offhanded way that seemed incongruous with the series.