At least one bright light in retail

“While sales at most stores plummeted last month, the teenage retailer Hot Topic enjoyed a 6.5 percent gain, thanks mostly to brisk sales of gear inspired by “Twilight,” the teenage vampire movie.” (NY Times) Enjoy MC Lars’ “Hot Topic is not punk rock“

VW’s new challenge is beating itself

Forget all the electro-pop music. Forget the puns, the in-jokes, the blunt comparisons with other auto manufacturers. The new VW ad, to launch on Saturday, lays the challenge squarely on the shoulders of VW’s own designers. And rips off the Keanu Reeves oeuvre in the process.

You had me at hellloooo!

In the New York Times, a short Style article about No. 6, a boutique run by Karin Bereson and a partner that is influencing “a new post-1980s, post-grunge look developing down in Little Italy.” “I walked out in a wrap-dress I’d call “June Cleaver Like You’ve Never Seen Her Before.” “It’s way more than just […]

Quirky t shirts and music video

It’s like Daft Punk or Kraftwerk had written a paen to me! From the quirky I Am Colin site and shop – home of ironic t shirts and a flickr gallery of crap caravans.

Nerd Acronym Affection Zone

I am a giant technology nerd. And an old one at that. When I spotted this poster at the corner of Bay and Wellington in Toronto, I had two thoughts:  “Is this a WiFi hotspot? Out here?” and “What’s so special about Personal Digital Assistants that they need a designated zone?” And then I realized […]

Is Tomorrowland experiencing technical difficulties

“Disney’s Tomorrowland is deeply, thoroughly, almost furiously unimaginative. This isn’t the fault of the “Disney culture”; it is the fault of our culture. We seem to have entered a deeply unimaginative era.” (PJ O’Rourke in the Atlantic) Obviously, O’Rourke has some significant issues with the redesign of the venerable park, inflamed by an Associated Press […]

Be nice, clear your ice

Can I just say, Retrontario has a fantastic YouTube channel? Wendel Clark and Lloyd Moseby pass along a typically Canadian wintertime public service announcement.

The composer for moustaches and aliens

That’s Gary Schyman, folks.  He’s composed snippets of music for video games like Resistance:Retribution and my favourite, Destroy All Humans. He’s also worked on the sound for classic television shows like Magnum P.I, the “A” Team, and Greatest American Hero. Ah, the irony. The only person whose career survived and even flourished after that swath […]

A holiday lingonberry showdown

Ooooh, lingonberry. You tart little condiment. Most people know you from the lunchtime special at the regional IKEA, but you’ve become a shorthand reference for nearly anything Scandinavian (witness this article from the NYT: “Death Metal Sweetened by a Taste of Lingonberry“). In my cupboard, I have two varieties of lingonberry jam: one from IKEA, […]

Anticipating Xmas Melancholy

Yeah. Christmas not looking like a big family day for you this year? Anticipating being kicked out of the dinner festivities and wondering where you can get something to eat? Or maybe you expect the turkey to be dry and inedible, just like every year? Don’t worry – McDonalds is making plans just for you. […]

the schoolteacher that swings a little

As the NYTimes notes in its obituary, Bill Drake introduced innovations in radio formatting that now seem commonplace. A profile first run in Time Magazine’s August 23, 1968 edition gives us an idea of how ground-breaking his innovations truly were: “Once new jocks are hired, they are drilled for a couple of months in the […]

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