Local filmmaking savant Stephen Dunn’s TEDx Talk: Redefining Magic

    Posted on: Friday, January 7th, 2011

Stephen Dunn, a rising-star filmmaker from St. John’s whom we’ve praised here in the past, recently gave a magical talk at TEDxRyersonU that I won’t spoil any further. Enjoy.

McBride’s Hill closed: “Could be months.”

    Posted on: Thursday, December 30th, 2010

McBride’s Hill has buckled under the pressure of all that rain we’ve been getting this month. No longer safe for motorists and in need of a considerable amount of work, the road has been closed until repairs can be made.

How long will those repairs take? The city official I spoke with couldn’t give me anything decisive, but when I probed as to whether it could be days or maybe weeks, she told me without hesitation, “it could be months.”

The effect this will have on downtown traffic remains to be seen, but I expect the intersections where Water and Duckworth meet Prescott are going to feel the pinch most of all.

St. John’s gets Boing Boing’ed

    Posted on: Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Boing Boing is arguably one of the most popular blogs on teh internetz. Their refreshing blend of geek culture, science, politics and goofy news from around the globe attracts a wide and varied audience. From one post to the next, you never know what you’re going to get apart from that it should be interesting on some level.

Like one of this evening’s posts, for example, about an attempted robbery in a Super 8 motel by way of a musket.

Yes, that musket motel robbery. The one that took place here in town last Saturday as seen in this RNC-released video:

Boing Boing’s David Pescovitz’s take on it was short and sweet:

Now these are some classy robbers. On Saturday, two young fellows in St. John’s, Newfoundland attempted to rob a Super 8 Motel using a musket. They split before getting their loot.

Props to the unfortunately anonymous first commenter for their take on the situtaion: Lord Tunderin’ Jesus almighty!

Hey, Metrobus

    Posted on: Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

One interesting thing to come from the Metrobus strike is that the only real rumble of complaint is coming from the students. The interesting point isn’t that it is the students, but rather that it’s just the students. No one else really seems to care.

What does this tell us? Well for one it shows how poor the bus service is to begin with — that so few non-students rely on it — that it doesn’t matter to the general public that they’ve cut their service entirely. It needs improving. Secondly, it also shows us that we need a bus service specifically for Memorial University. A bus service that’s never going to go on strike. I realize the latter is probably never going to happen, though it should as “The Metrobus Strike” is a routine occurrence.

Just imagine, a night on George with your friends and having to pay just $2.25 to get home. Likely, you’d visit downtown more often.

But the former, the fact that so few non-students rely on Metrobus hints at something larger. The fact of the matter is if you live anywhere outside of the city center of St. John’s, your bus service is poor to nil. Live in Mount Pearl and want to take the bus? Hey, it’ll be back in one hour… one, frigging, hour. In Torbay? Want to ride the bus downtown? Best get to hitchhiking up Torbay Road, you can hop on at Stavanger Drive… about 6 kilometers away.

There’s more. I’ve not visited a city in the world that doesn’t have bus service to it’s main airport. Not once. I don’t understand this…  except I do. A cab company, to remain nameless, has a contract with the airport. They get prime parking along the curb, right at arrivals, ready to ream freshly landed legs for upwards of $40 a cab ride depending on your destination. Just imagine if these people were given the opportunity to ride the bus for just pocket change.

Imagining yet? I am, and I’ll tell you what I’m seeing: a cab company not all that thrilled, that’s what.

Given that there’s been charges of both bus companies and cab companies colluding over the past years, I’m not shocked that there’s no Metrobus service at the airport. Nope, not shocked, just impressed. Given that Metrobus are starving for bucks, I’m impressed they’ve managed to stay afloat all the while without a real bus service to the airport or say, downtown.

Ahh downtown. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a night out with your significant other. As everyone in attendance for a night on the town would like to enjoy a drink or two (or seven), you’re commonly faced with the issue of “getting home” and “who get’s to drink” as someone has to drive. This is because Metrobus doesn’t have a night bus. There’s no 3am last call bus service, running from downtown to the major hubs: Avalon Mall, Village, Stavanger Drive, etc. Keep it simple, get us to the hubs and people can walk, get picked up or even take a cab, a significantly cheaper cab it should be noted. A night bus would be a major source of revenue for Metrobus, but again the cab companies have a monopoly. Just imagine, a night on George with your friends and having to pay just $2.25 to get home. Likely, you’d visit downtown more often, with the pubs, clubs and surrounding shops benefiting from customers not faced with the burden of a $20 cab ride home. Oh and now there’s no need for a designated driver, everyone can enjoy themselves equally, all the while minimizing the possibility of a drunk driver. Why isn’t M.A.D.D. up in arms about this, requesting no, demanding public bus service from the downtown core from 12am to close?

Even if Metrobus charged more money for the night bus, it would still be cheaper than a couple going out for a night on the town and having to get home via taxi.

So hey Metrobus, there’s how you fund another 15.5% over the next four years.

This one’s for the kids at MUN

    Posted on: Friday, December 17th, 2010

School’s out. Go nuts.