August 31, 2018

  • Thought

    The air show is happening in Toronto which means it is VERY noisy right now.

April 16, 2003

  • The Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic

    A fascinating recounting of a classic example of mass delusion known as The Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic.

    While the story is important as an example of mass delusion, it is also interesting to note the lack of scientific awareness shown by the public and media.

    While SARS is real, I felt an eerie connection between what is happening in Toronto with SARS and what happened with windshield pits in 1954. Of course, I’m not saying that SARS is a mass delusion, only that the public reaction to an(as yet) minor threat is out of proportion and unscientific.

    Isn’t it hard not to have a moment of panic when someone coughs near you? Or when you shake hands with a stranger?

    [via the always wonderful Boing Boing]

April 10, 2003

  • Thought

    If you search on SARS Virus on Google today you will notice the a “Google Public Service Announcement” at the top of the page linking to the CDC SARS page. Another indication that Google gets that it isn’t like other companies and needs to consider the overall “ecology” of the Net in which it increasingly plays a central role.

    Of course all the sponsored links are to hucksters selling masks and sterilization kits. Ugh.

October 3, 2002

  • Thought

    If you’re not from Toronto you may not know that our “New York City run by the Swiss” is often used as a body double for major US cities, particularly NYC. In fact over 1,365 films were shot in Toronto in 2001.

    One of the more disconcerting aspects of Toronto substituting for NYC is that it is not uncommon to be driving down the street and see a classic NY Yellow Cab driving down the street followed by an NYPD cruiser. Occasionally you’ll step onto an otherwise ordinary street in Toronto’s financial district and see street signs in MPH instead of KPH, or USA today newsboxes on the corner.

    For those of us who have spent any time in New York, this can cause a bit of vertigo. There are times where you have to stop and think why what you see isn’t quite right.