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I was skulking about on the City of Toronto‘s website the other day looking for some information about our house and I came across their scanned image archives that have been made available online.

Queen West, looking East from James St. - Toronto - 1924

Queen West, looking East from James – Toronto – 1924

Now, it’s quite the hassle to view the images – so prepare yourself ahead of time.  Each link must be clicked, each image viewed on its own. It’d be great if these images would be added to Flickr’s The Commons or somehow made more readily available and easy to surf through.

Building the Subway and Streetcar system - Downtown Toronto

Building the TTC – Toronto

However, all that aside, the images (and there are a ton of them) are lovely to explore and I had a few little thrills when I spied some from just down the street that were taken near to the time our house was built. At least you can search by date and keywords.

If you live in Toronto and have an interest in how your neighbourhood looked many years ago, check out the Toronto image archives.

Here are a few I found interesting, all from around the time my house was built (1924).

Slum Lodging House - Toronto - 1924
Slum Lodging House – Toronto – 1924
The Beach - Toronto - 1924
The Beach in Winter, frozen – Toronto – 1924
Ladies at Woodbine Racetrack - Toronto - 1924
Ladies in furs at Woodbine Racetrack – Toronto – 1924
Looking East from the Royal York - Toronto - 1929

Looking East from the Royal York - Toronto - 1929

The Danforth lavatory - Toronto (corner of Broadview/Danforth) - 1924

The Danforth lavatory - Toronto (corner of Broadview/Danforth) - 1924

TTC Bus - Toronto - 1923

TTC Bus - Toronto - 1923

Building the Bloor Viaduct - Toronto - 1916

Building the Bloor viaduct - Toronto - 1916

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Here are a few of my favourite posts from the folks at Tiny Gigantic (the blog from the team at Language in Common).

I happened upon their blog when they posted a little comment about Idée and TinEye (they like us…whew!). Digging in a little deeper I found a number of posts that really spun the wheels in my head.

From “the elevator pitch is for people who don’t really care” to “generosity as strategy” and “personal branding is nonsense“, I think you’ll find plenty to noodle on over at TG.

Check out “How to Have a Conversation, or Tell Me About Me” as well; this isn’t new stuff really, but it’s well put and got me to thinking about my day to day interactions.

Tiny Gigantic – check’em out. The PDFs in the antics section are superbly done and worth a read too.

No dummies hanging around those halls.

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How big is the net?

Although you might guess that I’m talking about the internet, I was actually thinking about Guy Kawasaki’s recent post about golf, hockey and how imagination affects perception.

How big is the ‘net’ for your product or service? Entrepreneurship requires unscientific leaps of reasoning, Kawasaki suggests. So imagine the best possible outcome, the biggest market share, the community you want to see growing and adopting your awesome brand. Expand your success ‘net’ mentally and see where it leads you.

Game on!

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Matt Harding Being Good

Have you seen Matt dance? Matt only has one dance, but it’s taken him to almost 50 countries in the last five years and now he’s putting his dancing feet to a new cause – raising funds to put computers into the hands of disadvantaged youth in Africa.

In 2004 Matt Harding, then an unemployed video game maker, set off to travel the world and figured he would throw his little jig (the only dance he does) into the mix as he journeyed from country to country. His sister insisted he share his dancing with friends and family via the web, and wherethehellismatt.com was born.

Matt danced in 2005 and then, with help from generous corporate sponsorship, he made a second trip in ’06 and again this year. His 2008 video has been viewed more than 19 million times.

So what’s next for Matt?

He met United Nations officials this month and talked to the sponsor of his video, Stride, about raising money to buy and donate laptops to the poor in Rwanda where he danced with locals and plans to go to teach them himself.

“Laptops and access to the Internet can broaden horizons tremendously. I want to do it personally, so it won’t just be a care package,” said Harding.

I’m a geek and spend every day on my computer and online. I think kids should have access to information and learning and educational tools such as computers and Matt’s doing something awesome to help make this a reality for children in Rwanda.

If dancing has the power to put technology in the hands of youth around the world, imagine what we’re all capable of if we just go out and have some fun and try to be good to each other.

Catch out-takes from Matt’s dancing here. I might like them even more than the ‘offical’ video!

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I love TED, don’t you? Which one is your favourite?

So far both Jill Bolte Taylor‘s story and Ken Robinson‘s presentation have been particularly interesting to me.

Today I watched Lawrence Lessig’s talk on creativity and copyright. If it’s interesting to you I’d recommend also listening to Jim Goldstein’s podcast, his interview with Lessig is great.

I also had a chance to catch Gever Tulley’s “five dangerous things you should let your children do”, which (as a parent) I found quite amusing and enchanting.

David Gallo’s trip down to the depths of the ocean and exploration of what these ocean creatures can do is also pretty darn cool…

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Culling the Herd

So I’m moving the blog to my name domain (heatherwilliams.ca) hopefully this weekend but perhaps in the next week or two at some point before I’m dead.

I’ve removed a lot of the previous posts (sorry if you came by and the post you were looking for is no longer here!).

(And how are you today anyway by the way? Good? Yes? Great!)

It’s a little odd to take these moments in time, my random snippets of thought and just *click* them into oblivion, but no regrets here.

Clean, new and fresh – it’s time to start again.

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Photo of the Day

Snapped in our front garden on Sunday, April 13th.

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