Momento: 1

When the buzzing finally woke Terry from his vodka-fueled slumber, he was not amused. Each successive ring, 7 in a row now, acted like a drill, probing his heavily-cocooned consciousness, until it hit pay dirt and Terry’s his eyes shot open. Confused, nauseous and grappling with what felt like a small rodent, furiously scratching at the middle of his forehead from the inside out, Terry struggled to comprehend the source of the sonic torment, emanating off the walls of his cousin’s tastefully designed apartment. Terry’s ‘aha’ unfolded on the 8th shrilling buzz; it came from downstairs he thought… the front hallway?… the doorbell!

He rolled out of bed and shuffled toward the bedroom door, eyes half shut, intending to politely shoo away the Jehovah’s Witness, or UPS dude, or whomever had forced this far-to-early-in-the-morning reckoning with his hangover. As he caught his reflection in the mirror on the wall opposite the bed on his way out, though, Terry immediately surmised two factors that would temporarily impede his forward mobility: 1) He was completely nude 2) His cousin’s wife lay sleeping in the bed.

Olde T Dot’s First Cemetery

_DSC0049
Photo by Dave Carpenter

 

I like to walk through this section of downtown Toronto, usually after lunch, between Bathurst and Spadina just north of Front. There’s some great architecture, where ad agencies and cafes have taken up residence in old garment factory buildings, while the business core’s skyscrapers looming over to the east.

But there’s this small park, Victoria Memorial Square, that I like the most, partly as an oasis in a busy stretch of town, but also for the really old headstones (in north american terms), running parallel to Portland st.

_DSC0046
Photo by Dave Carpenter

 

You don’t see headstones this old in Toronto; in fact, they are the oldest in downtown Toronto, restored by the neighbourhood’s association and city council to commemorate what was once the burial site of Toronto’s first European settlers.

Dating back to 1793, I like how the headstones symmetrically line up in one, discreet section of the park, both perfectly restored yet with inscriptions slowly fading from historical record. The deceased include Governor James Simcoe’s infant daughter and a sailor who drowned on Lake Ontario.

 

Buzzfeed: The Shape of Things to Come

You can forgive yourself for writing off Buzzfeed’s content as uneven at best, what with coverage from the flames of Ferguson sharing close quarters on its homepage this morning with Baby Alia and her best friend Daisy the sloth. At least Buzzfeed is covering some real news, and reporting on it it quite well, with live updates throughout the night from Buzzfeed reporters on the ground in Ferguson. There’s also their recent, doozy-of-an Uber exec scoop. Both good signs that young folk, despite ‘conventional wisdom’, don’t exclusively obsess on french poodle GIFs and listicles. The Buzzfeed staff know this , because their user analytics play a big role in Ferguson coverage occupying the top slot right now, if not 15 minutes from now.

Maybe Buzzfeed covers real news now more than I give them credit for. I only really drop in to the site occasionally to try and steal glean a bit of youthful zeitgeist, mostly for my job. Yet only after reading this Business Insider article on Buzzfeed’s release of its latest user numbers did I appreciate Buzzfeed’s potential to shape the future of content consumption, and the economic implications therein. Not surprisingly, Buzzfeed’s monthly millennial reach (again, caveat, according to  Buzzfeed) easily outstrips traditional media, such as FOX, CBS and MTV. What’s more interesting, is its out-of-the-gates success in original video content via Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, with average monthly video views growing to whopping 500,000,000 in a year with help from syndication on the usual suspects, including Facebook and YouTube. Further, half of its users watch Buzzfeed’s ad-supported video content on mobile devices, with video views peaking in the evening, aka, traditional TV viewing hours, aka prime TV advertising hours.

Of course it’s in Buzzfeed’s interest to paint a picture of a future media universe with them at the centre. Millennials still likely watch their fair share of TV, but it does seem to ring true that a lot of them are probably doing it while keeping an eye on their phone, on sites like Buzzfeed, especially during TV ad breaks, enjoying Buzzfeed content supported by Buzzfeed’s display and video ads, instead of that 30-second spot on the boob tube. More at Business Insider.

 

 

The Tower That Looms

Hogtown has endless interesting vantage points on the CN Tower. I also work pretty much right under it, so maybe that’s why it seems to watch me  follow me wherever I go. It’s easy to forget what an amazing structure the C.N. Tower is when you live here, but I find myself seeing it with fresh eyes these days with a renewed interest in photography. It manages to maintain a modern feel while still reminding me of 1977 (or 1987, 2nd shot below), around when it first rose over a more quaint Toronto ‘The Good’.

I don’t know for how long though, all the condos going up downtown look intent on consuming even this grand lady.

A photo posted by Dave Carpenter (@davercarp) on

A photo posted by Dave Carpenter (@davercarp) on

A photo posted by Dave Carpenter (@davercarp) on

Let Them Eat Cake

If we can make your audio and video files smaller, we can make cancer smaller. And hunger. And… AIDS. Gavin Belson, CEO, Hooli, HBO’s Silicon Valley.

Okay, massive editorial swing today from the warm and fuzzy, to mad-as-hell tech industry truther! At least I’m not writing it from my mother’s basement. This is pretty juicy though:

Uber (synonyms ‘above’, ‘superior’), the extremely well bankrolled Silicon Valley startup car service is in more hot water, now approaching a boiling point. Today news broke on Buzzfeed that one of Uber’s senior executives and advisor to the Pentagon mused openly to a Buzzfeed editor about spending in the six figures to hire a team of ‘opposition researchers’  tasked with personally smearing media members not on their BFF list, namely, popular PandoDaily tech writer Sarah Lacy – and her family.

When confronted with a wave of backlash (check out #uber for a sample), the exec explained that the conversation was supposed to be off the record and didn’t reflect his or his company’s views.

Can we please move on now? Uber is in business of making the world a better place that includes partnering with french escort services and steamrolling local taxi services

This reminds me of an extreme version of the kind of vibe I’ve felt in dealing with some folks at big silicon valley companies, who brim with the sanctimonious corporate kool aid.

Hubris at the height of another tech bubble, or the shape of things to come? Either way, it feels like a creepy technological aristocracy forming in a place that still prides itself as revolutionary.

The Space in Between

So I’m back after a mere 2,000 day (give or take) vacation from Carpendium. Much has happened.

My sweet kids, between toddler and tweendom, now function with fewer tantrums but more complexity .

The ‘silver’ hair atop my head and upon my chin no longer expresses itself subtly.

I am in better shape than my younger, minus 2,000 days self, what with a few marathons and triathlons under my belt.

I am less well read though. Thank you Netflix.

My wife is still the same beauty, as always.

I started to get more into photography, found here, here, and in storyform here.

I think photography is going to play a part in this space, and written bits floating around my cranium.

We’ll have to see; a lot of space in between.

On the bike trail, Martha’s Vineyard, summer trip 2013.