Saturday, February 20, 2010

Democracy Café

Introduction to Voting Systems: Why do they matter?

Monday, February 22, 6-8 pm
University of Toronto, Koffler House, 569 Spadina Avenue, room KP108

This will be the first in an informal series of weekly talk and discussion sessions under the rubric Democracy Café, sponsored by Canadians against Proroguing Parliament (Toronto Chapter). The series is intended to help members of the group educate themselves on the mechanics of parliamentary process in Canada, and to be prelude to a more formal series of courses for the general public.

All are welcome.

Suggested reading:

Speaker: Wayne Smith, Fair Vote Canada

Wayne Smith is Operations Coordinator for Free Geek Toronto, a non-profit organization that teaches people to make new computers from old. He is a passionate advocate for human rights, with a special interest in economic, social and cultural rights, and is a former Chair of the Amnesty International Toronto Organization. He is also a Campaign Coordinator for Fair Vote Canada, a national grassroots movement for fair voting reform. Wayne is a former national President of Fair Vote Canada, and was the founding Chair of the Fair Vote Canada Toronto Chapter and founding Director of the Fair Vote Ontario Campaign. He has been working for fair voting reform for ten years and doesn't know when to quit.

See you there!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gordon's Acoustic Living Room at the Free Times Café 8-11 pm Sunday Feb 21

From Jonathan Rudin:

The singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III wrote a tune on his first album, released many decades ago, that included the lyrics:

Four is a magic number
But then again so is five.

(The song also included this great verse: “Every time I sit you down/To tell you what is true/For safety sake, remember please/I would shut up if I knew.” But more about that another time.)

I think what Loudon was getting at here is that we often invest numbers with more meanings than they might necessarily have.

Take for example, let’s say, the number seven.

We have the Seven Dwarfs (shouldn’t it be the Seven Dwarves?): Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, etc.

Then there are Seven Deadly Sins: Dopey, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc etc.

In film we have Kurosawa’s masterpiece (and my dad’s favourite film) “The Seven Samurai.” We also have the inferior American remake (when using the term “American remake” is the word “inferior” always redundant or implied?) “The Magnificent Seven.”

I could go on but this would require increased reliance on Google for searching things relating to the number seven and I would get caught up in all the trivia I was reading and probably not get back to this missive.

Where was I? Oh yes, the number seven.

While then not wanting to weight this number with undue and unwarranted relevance or meaning, I would point out that Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room is now in its seventh year of monthly shows at the Free Times Café at College and Major. I think that says something – I’m not sure what that is, but I think its something.

Anyway, this month we’re playing on February 21 at 8 p.m. As always, its free and there will be lots of good food and drink.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Found on Youtube

That's me behind the guy in the blue shirt.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Obama takes questions at Republican retreat

This is astonishing. Imagine Stephen harper taking questions at an NDP convention.