When I was in Miami Beach recently I flew in and out through Miami International Airport aka MIA and when I was going in and out of the airport I noticed their “Enter” signs on the airport doors were different than any I had ever seen before. Usually this is unremarkable and I wouldn’t think anything more of it aside from mentally acknowledging which was the correct door to enter/exit as I was walking. The difference here was that unlike most other “Enter” signs I have seen in my life, this sign was an almost exact opposite version of the “Do Not Enter” sign we are all familiar with from all over the world. Read more…
A problem that people have been having with over the air transmissions since they first started using them is that they refuse to respect international boundaries. Be they radio waves, satellite signals, TV broadcasts, or cell phone signals/networks they just don’t seem to like the idea of abiding by the imaginary lines that humanity has drawn up on maps to indicate where one territory ends and another begins. This worked out quite well for many Canadians in the 1990s when they would be able to pick up American satellite TV signals using gray market boxes beyond American legal jurisdiction and the Canadian government would do next to nothing to stop it from happening because as far as they were concerned they Americans shouldn’t have been broadcasting their signal into Canada. Of course, the Americans had no control over how far that signal bled into Canada because if they could control it they definitely would have!
Today though, I’m referring to a different kind of situation, one that works out way less advantageously for Canadians and Americans alike as well as anyone else in any other country who is visiting a border city/area. The situation is cellular network signals bleeding from one country into another and causing one to roam even when you’re in your home country. I have seen it happen numerous times when in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada which I often end up visiting during the summer months. You’re walking along on vacation without a care in your mind and suddenly your phone notifies you of an incoming text message that look something like these:
“Roaming? I’m roaming?!?!” is probably your reaction when you unsuspectingly see this message appear on your phone’s screen. As your brain tries to process this new, strange, and unexpected information your mind races at what kind of Twilight Zone you just unwittingly dropped into. You’re sure you haven’t been drinking and heck, you don’t even have your passport on you! How can you possibly have crossed an international border without noticing? Not to worry, you haven’t done anything of the sort! You have just become victim of those darn radio waves not respecting human lines on a map. The first time it happened to me was when I was walking in the pedestrian skywalk between Niagara Fallsview Casino and the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview. Read more…
I know that I have no right to do this and my blog is not widely read enough to do this but it is Anti-SOPA Day when many sites are doing something to protest the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act aka Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011) laws in the USA.
Wikipedia shut down for the redirecting people from the regular homepage which looked like this (notice the notification at the top?):
That’s awesome and I fully support their protest of it because those laws are just plain silly but I think The Oatmeal with its usual irreverence totally won the explaining what SOPA & PIPA are and why they suck game with this animated GIF (a type of image) – also available at http://theoatmeal.com/sopa – on their page:
Wikipedia: You did a damn good job! You made it extremely noticeable and had sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sorry though, Oatmeal totally won. Mainly because they used humor for their awesomeness and because they encouraged people to share the humor. I mean that literally, at the bottom of The Oatmeal’s page it says “P.S. Please pirate the shit out of this animated GIF.” Therefore, I think I am doing my part for the move against SOPA and PIPA by putting that image of awesomenss up for all y’all to grab.
If you want to know a bunch about SOPA and PIPA check out this TED Talk below by Internet writer and NYU professor Clay Shirky called “Defend Our Freedom To Share (Or Why SOPA is a Bad Idea)”:
Here is the direct link to it http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1329.
I was running around Toronto today with a friend trying to look for a specific type of drink mix – we were unable to find it – but in our travels I was very happy to find something which I have never seen before in Canada: AriZona Blueberry White Tea!
This specific flavor can be found on their American site here but if you look on the AriZona Canadian site it is nowhere to be found! In case you are wondering why I am so excited about this – and why I am kissing the bottle in the picture above – let me tell you the lengths I have gone through to get this stuff. Whenever I have a friend who comes in from the USA one of the things I ask him or her to do is pick me up some of this magic elixir. One of the weirdest conversations I have ever had with a Canada Customs was when I once was driving back to Toronto from New York and they asked me if I had anything to declare. My response was 15 bottles of iced tea. The customs officer looked at me like I was insane and I pointed to the bags in the floor area of the passenger side. I explained to the officer that you couldn’t get it in Canada and when I stopped for gas I had bought all bottles that the store had. I think they were so flummoxed that I was declaring bottles of iced tea that they had to inquire further. They didn’t, however, give me any more trouble than some surprised questioning.
AriZona is on Twitter at @DrinkAriZona and on Facebook here. I am totally planning on messaging them asking if it is to be found anywhere else in Toronto. However, I have a feeling that the store somehow has it here somewhat illegally because there’s no French anywhere on the label. Even though they charged me $2.50 for the bottle, I will still be happily going back to this store on a regular basis simply to buy this deliciously flavored white tea. Thankfully, the store is relatively close to where I live and isn’t in the middle of Scarborough or Mississauga…although I would probably still drive out there for it!
I wonder why it isn’t available in Canada. What products, if any, can you not get locally in your city and you look forward to going somewhere specific so you can grab it?