Sunday, May 23, 2010

Margin Notes: Lower Bay, Google, KIRO-FM

This view was obtained as a detouring Bloor-Danforth subway train pulled up to a red signal at Lower Bay in Toronto, Ontario on 22-May-2010

TORONTO, ONTARIO - It may be the first long weekend of the summer in Canada, as we celebrate Victoria Day tomorrow, but TTC subway crews are at work all weekend. Serious track work is taking place on the Bloor-Danforth line which is causing a weekend-long diversion of that subway line through the long-closed and usually bypassed Lower Bay station. I couldn't resist trying to get some photos while riding a detouring train, but they didn't turn out nearly as well as when Lower Bay was open during Doors Open 2007... and as a reminder, Doors Open in Toronto is next weekend.

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One of the famous adjustable-arrow Canadian traffic signs was noted on the Bloor Street bridge over the Humber River on 21-May-2010

Another local transportation project that is just getting underway is the refurbishment of the Bloor Street bridge over the Humber River, originally constructed in 1924. As I walked across the bridge on Friday, I noted the adjustable-arrow sign used by construction crews, and realized I'd never commented here about these signs. There is no such thing in the United States--people would change the direction of the arrow. Here, I've never of that happening, and few construction signs don't have an adjustable arrow.

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There used to be a real distinction between the US and Canadian Google home pages. After the recent overhaul of the Google interface, the "Search Only Pages from Canada" button on the version of the home page disappeared. Sure, the option is still available through the left results menu, but I rather liked the old arrangement, where I could easy pick whether I wanted the world or just Canada before executing the search. I guess this way they receive more ad revenue.

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Anyone that doubts Google's Stanford heritage needs to look no farther than the code name for the latest Google cell phone operating system (Android 2.2), Froyo. Anyone at Stanford in the 1990's and beyond will remember having FroYo (frozen yogurt) at the CoHo (Coffee House). It may be a Google convention to name their operating systems after desserts, but I'm sure they could have found something with less Stanford connection (Fondue comes to mind as a potentially more direct successor to Eclair).

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One person likely not thinking much about dessert right now is KIRO-FM's Gregg Hersholt in Seattle. According to his Facebook page, this will be Hersholt's last week with the station after 26 years, and it wasn't voluntary. I first heard Hersholt as the news anchor with Dave Dolackey on the afternoon news, and remember him making a comment in the early 1990's when working Christmas day about "troopers like us being rewarded some day." Hersholt was eventually rewarded by becoming the morning anchor upon the retirement of legend Bill Yeend. Considering that Yeend ended up un-retired on KOMO and the revolving door that seems to exist between KOMO and KIRO right now (Hersholt's former co-host Jane Shannon is now on KOMO), don't be too surprised to find Hersholt show up on the KOMO staff before too long. As to what will happen with the KIRO-FM morning show, I'll go out on a limb and predict that it goes all-talk (Kirby Wilbur is available and experienced in the time slot, amongst other possibilities)--which would be a sad day for those who remember the quality news blocks that used to be a staple of the station in the 1980's.

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