Earthquake in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

June 23, 2010

Epicentre near Ottawa (just above centre on this map)

Ontario experienced an earthquake today at around 1:42 pm. My house (downtown Toronto, near College and Spadina) just shook for about 10 seconds.

I won’t lie, at first I thought my neighbours were indulging in a particularly vigorous bout of afternoon delight, but then I realized could feel and hear the whole house shaking, not to mention my own intestines. And my cats looked like their little eyes were gonna bug out. Woulda had to be a pretty mighty performance from Mr. Neighbour. So, earthquake. CRAZY!

More crazy? I decided blogging and twittering about it was more important than leaving the house.

This post got 1400 pageviews in under 10 minutes- clearly y’all felt it too.

UPDATE: I did some research for you!

The Canadian quake we just had affected Southern Ontario, parts of Quebec, and parts of New York State and Michigan. The epicentre seems to have been near Ottawa.

It registered about a 5.5 on the Richter scale, which ranks it as “moderate”. According to Wikipedia, this means it would be capable of causing major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions, but would cause only slight damage, if any, to well-designed buildings.

For comparison, the Nagasaki atom bomb caused a 5.0 quake (plus a buttload of radiation fallout and etc), and this year’s Haitian quake was a 7.0, which is fifty times stronger than what just totally made my guts crawl into my throat. (Here’s the Wikipedia page on the Richter scale).


Inside, crouch under a table or in a corner- away from exterior walls and windows. Cover your head with your arms. Wait.
Outside, go to open ground and hang out. Stay away from trees, buildings, streetlights, and electrical wires.
In a car, pull over and stay in the car. Try not to stop under overpasses, wires, buildings, trees, or utility poles.
Drink a stiff scotch, if available.


Robot Unicorn Attack Game

June 22, 2010

If there was a contest for Gayest Best Videogame, Robot Unicorn Attack would win a trip to Sandals Jamaica and bring along its new interns Justin and Christopher.

This game is ridic. Basically you’re a unicorn robot and your job is to run through a purple world of sparkly rainbows and fairies, and smash through giant stars in an explosion of pretty. There are only two buttons to press and it gets faster and faster, and a dolphin cheers you on, and if you miss, you explode in a hot mess of dead robot unicorn head.

Oh also, did I mention the whole thing is set to an Erasure song sung entirely in male falsetto? Yeah, exactly. You’re welcome.

I had one particularly good run and made a crazy high score on a single life: but then my cat started chewing my power cord and I got distracted and my robot unicorn face blew off. Anyway consider this screengrab my version of slapping your cheek with a glove and issuing a challenge for highest score on a single life:

You can play it here. And there’s an iPhone version on there, too, in case you were tired of relating to other humans with eye contact.

Thanks to Bryan and Helder for putting this song into my head for the past four days straight.

Mario violin

June 21, 2010

Here’s a nice serious Japanese man playing through the demo of Mario Bros. on the violin. This is the perfect intersection of high and low art.

Via BoingBoing.

How to annoy your supergeek slightly less

June 21, 2010

Maybe you’re like me and you have a few friends who are computer wizards. And maybe you’re also like me in that you ask them inane intelligent computer questions all the time. “Hey, how do I export audio out of a Quicktime to make it into an mp3?” I you might say. “Bonus points if I don’t need to download any new applications to do it,” I you might add, “because I’m already sending this reel in late!

Well, your geek probably needs to know what applications you already have. Here’s how you show them. (well, for Macs. If you’re on a PC you probably have bigger problems than this, anyway.)


Click on your hard drive, then on your Applications folder.

Click the little “Settings” gear thingie at the top and select “Show View Options”.

Adjust the view options to display all your applications in Icon mode, then use the sliders to make the icons as small as possible.

Put the labels to the right of each icon, and futz with the grid spacing until all the icons and their labels are easy to see.

Take a screengrab. (on a Mac, this is SHIFT + COMMAND + 3)

Trim the screengrab and attach it to your whiny, desperate email.

Yay! (Also, I would be a bit of a heel if I didn’t end this by saying thank you to Nick, Reub, Elliott, and Ramón for solving all my interweb problems, again and again and again).

Finding Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks

June 18, 2010

Blogger Jeremiah Moss investigates the histories of various Manhattan street corners, trying to find the exact location of the diner in Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting Nighthawks. It’s a neat series in four parts, and I’ve always liked this painting; it was up over my couch all through university.

Here’s another nice piece of Hopperama: every year, the Washington Post runs a Peep (ie. Easter candy) diorama contest. The 2009 winner was Melissa Harvey, whose diorama was a bunny Peep version of Nighthawks. She describes the piece in this audio slideshow.

edward hopper peeps rabbits bunnies diner diorama nighthawks melissa harvey

Via MeFi and Kelly M.

Scott Pilgrim Trailer

June 18, 2010

The movie looks great (so much new dialogue! so many new visuals! casting looks off the hook!) and we already know the books are fraggin’ awesome.

I don’t usually tell people where to spend their money, but you should really run to your local indie comic store (Torontonians: this one), and buy the first book immediately (and later that week I betcha you’ll be back for the other volumes). Or you can ignore me and then you’ll just be super-embarrassed when everyone else knows how good these are ‘cepting you.

I have lent my set of Scott Pilgrim books to no fewer than 8 people and they have all read them ravenously and then called me to yell SO GOOD, right in my ear, which I hate on account of I’m sensitive to loud noises, but which I love on account of SO GOOD!

Chloe Sevigny has a lot to talk about

June 17, 2010

Oh man.