Monday, July 6, 2009

Margin Notes: Garbage, Fireworks, News Hour

The strike by city workers in Toronto, Ontario affects both the primary topics in this photo taken on 1 July 2009--garbage is not being collected, and the ferries to the islands being advertised are not running

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The city worker's strike continues in Toronto. Talking to friends, it is affecting more than just the garbage collection pictured above and the cancellation of city events written about here on Canada Day. City inspectors are not inspecting buildings, parking tickets cannot be paid, and pretty much everything the city does except transit is affected in some way. It looks like it's going to be a long summer here as no movement has been reported in the ongoing talks.

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Hearts were coordinated with the "I love you" lyrics in "What a Wonderful World" during the Festival of Fire in Toronto, Ontario on 4 July 2009

One of the signs of a normal summer is the Festival of Fire over Lake Ontario. The Festival of Fire generally features the most innovative fireworks seen around Toronto in the summer. While I found the accompanying soundtrack broadcast on CHFI quite unimaginative this year--what place does "Mambo Number Five" have in a fireworks display ten years after it was a hit?--I must give them credit for nice coordination of heart-shaped fireworks with the lyrics "I love you" from "What a Wonderful World" as sung by Ray Charles in the middle of the 4 July 2009 show.

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Unusually-shaped fireworks were included in the Festival of Fire presentation over Lake Ontario in Toronto on 4 July 2009

On the other hand, I couldn't figure out what the fireworks shown above were supposed to be during the Festival of Fire. Were they supposed to be a human face? A baseball? One set was fired off during Elton John's "Circle of Life," so maybe they were just supposed to be circles.

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The "Roundhouse" sign was erected on the coaling tower at the John Street Roundhouse in Toronto, Ontario on 3 July 2009

Not a circle but a half-circle was the shape of the new "Roundhouse" sign that was erected on the coaling tower of the John Street Roundhouse on 3 July 2009. The sign joins other signs advertising the Leon's furniture store that is scheduled to have its opening ceremonies in the higher-numbered stalls of the roundhouse on Wednesday.

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That event will likely receive some local press coverage, but it certainly won't appear on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States. Traditionally, the News Hour opened with a news summary. Sometimes, during a crisis covered for most of the show, it would move these headlines to the end of the show. For the past few months, it has moved the headlines to random times in the middle of the show after the lead story. I don't understand this practice--the top story is no longer in the context of the rest of the news of the day, it's not possible to tune in for the headlines specifically, and the show generally feels like it has no flow on many broadcasts. They should drop this practice and either air the headlines at the beginning of the show (my preference) or move them permanently to the end of the show. That formatting would at least make some sense.

1 comment:

Wilson L said...

Bob and I were discussing the "Roundhouse" signage and are concerned that it is difficult to read, especially compared to the Leon's logo. The letters are relatively small compared to the bars holding up the letters, and smaller than the Leon's logo.