Sunday, March 13, 2011

Toronto City Council Channels Harry Potter, Graffiti Blitz, Tree House Cities, and Facebookville

In a long, torturous special meeting of council scheduled to decide whether to fire the rest of the Toronto Community Housing Corporations board members, it was ruled that speaking of the auditor general's report that had caused this whole snafu was out of order. This led to what can only be described as the Harry Potterfication of council as The-Document-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named became the preferred way of alluding to the forbidden report. Not allowing council to reference a report that was being used to fire board members is almost as ridiculous as not allowing them to talk about 2012 impacts of the 2011 budget at the 2011 budget meeting. If this keeps up, by the end of the year council will only be able to communicate in a combination of increasingly vague hand gestures and blinking.

Steve Kupferman over at OpenFileTO has done some investimagating and found out the incredible numbers of graffiti violations that have been issued under Rob Ford's reign. In fact, in a little over three months there have been almost the same number of violations issued as in the previous twenty months under David Miller, leading some to wonder about the clean-up costs associated with this for small businesses. But Shawn Micallef, over at Spacing, has found some graffiti that even Rob Ford may not want to scrub off.

Have you ever found yourself wandering the streets with a pen and notebook and way too much time on your hands? At least two people in New York City have, and they've decided to do something about it dammit. One is drawing every building in NYC while the other is drawing every person in NYC. Too bad by the time they finish, pen and paper will be a thing of the past and they'll have to complete their project by digitally downloading their drawings into their iPad 58 through Apple's new-fangled mind-reading app.

A Vancouver architecture firm is experimenting with the idea of wooden skyscrapers as the way to a sustainable future, sparking a furious debate over the gender equality of a future city possibly overtaken by No Girls Allowed boy's clubs.

Facebook as Urban Planning? A bunch of architecture students are rounded up to try to make Facebook's new digs feel more like a neighbourhood, with one student saying that they wanted to make the "edge of the campus more permeable and remove the line between public and private land". No word yet on how much control Facebook employees would have over these privacy settings.

And, the non-sequitur: a Chilean man who has 82 tattoos of Julia Roberts on his body, proving that, yes, you can have too much of a good thing.

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