Bixi Montreal and public marketing.

(June 6th Update:  here’s a great article with what appear to be actual facts regarding the new bixi funding as opposed to my cries of corruption below.  Doesn’t change my feeling regarding public advertising I still hate it just as much.)

For those of you not familiar with the Bixi program It can be summarized as a bicycle rental program.  You can pay to rent bicycles for short trips or you can purchase a yearly pass at very reasonable rates.

The bixi program has been quoted as being quite successful and has since been duplicated in several other cities around the world.  The bixi stations are normally located in popular areas or near the exit of metro stations.  Launched in May 2009 it’s now in it’s 3rd year of operation.  Due to our harsh Canadian winters the bicycles are placed into storage over the winter months.  Here’s a picture of the typical bixi station courtesy of Wikipedia, taken by Yanik Crépeau.  Take notice of the rear wheel:

When the bixi bicycles came of out storage this year they had something “new”.  As far as I was considered the “new” feature was not an improvement. Continue reading

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Fate is tempting me & Dante Quincaillerie, Montreal

Randomly within a few days of each other I received two different books written by Anthony Bourdain, given to me by two different individuals.  Previous to reading his books all that I knew about the man and chef was that he had overcome a nasty drug habit at one point in his life, that he was a considered a good chef and that he could be “grumpy”.  Most of this knowledge having been pieced together in bits and pieces from various other sources (the internet, television shows such as top chef or through friends).

My coworker lent me a copy of “Kitchen confidential” while my brother sent me his “No reservations: Around the world on An empty stomach” (Thanks bro!).  I have to say that I did not use to “enjoy” food.  I used to eat because it was a necessity; I needed fuel.  Over the years this has changed a great deal and I now consider myself a lot more adventurous when it comes to trying new dishes or cuisines.  I tend to say “sure I’ll give it a taste” rather than “that doesn’t look appetizing”.  I like sitting around a table with a group of friends, drinking and eating the night away. Continue reading

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Salman Khan and the Khan Academy.

I’ve personally been using the Khan Academy for several years.  Salman Khan, the founder behind this amazing site used to work in the financial industry, making big bucks.  He’s an MIT graduate who was trying to help out his younger cousins by tutoring them.  You can hear the complete story in the video below, where he was invited to speak at one of the Ted talks.  I really recommend you take the time to watch the video, Bill Gates even stops by to ask Sal a couple of questions.

[A quick side note on the The “TED talks”.  They do a great job inviting leaders in their subject matter to speak in what feels like a more personal fashion.  The subjects range greatly from the social to the scientific and everything in between.  The stories and insights shared are truly worth taking the time to listen.  You’ll be a richer person for it.]

That being said what the hell is the Khan Academy?  Continue reading

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Memories of Korea.

This little blog has hit the one year mark.  That also means that this time last year I was in Korea.  To follow up with my “memories of Japan” post, here’s my “memories of Korea”.  The picture isn’t of the best quality but the faces and expressions leave no doubt as to how much fun we were all having.  The restaurant in the background is the same spot where I first encountered the dangers of soju:  And the rest as they say is history.

삼, 육, 구!!!


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Slackware LAMP howto and wordpress backup

It’s time for a geek related post!  As some of you may have read I recently modified the twenty ten default WordPress theme.  You normally don’t want to be working on a “live” website when trying to make changes to it.  Ideally you want a copy of your current blog so you can “test” different features before you place them on your live website.

I’m going to be walking you through the steps of setting up a Slackware 13.1 LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP) machine.  A Slackware lamp howto, so to speak.  I’ve always had a preference for Slackware Linux.  I was told (what seems like way too long ago now) that Slackware would allow you to get a better feel for administering a Unix machine than other versions of Linux.  What I did was setup a virtual machine running on my windows system.  This should also work on a local copy of Slackware (dual booting between windows and Slackware for instance). Continue reading

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