beyond the front page

“Random portraits of the situation gleaned from twitter.”

That’s how BitchslappedByLogic begins their Reddit post on the shootings on Danzig Street in Scarborough over the weekend. To belabour the metaphor, the post is a vivid self-portrait of the community, as opposed to the rougher sketches produced by more traditional news outlets. The colours are richer, the lines are finer, and most importantly, the community is at the centre of the canvas.

The post collects tweets from members of the community, starting before the shootings took place.

the invite.

The post is well-written and riveting. Is it fact-checked, balanced reporting? Nope. But neither are a lot of the stories that pass for “journalism” in the mass media these days. Accuracy and balance should be the hallmark of any media report, but with any big story you always have to go to multiple news outlets to get the full(ish) picture. The media is the lens through which we view the world outside our immediate environment — and BitchslappedByLogic widens the scope of what we, as outsiders, can see.

Since the shooting, Mayor Rob Ford has said that Toronto is the “safest city in North America” — but some people living in Scarborough might beg to differ. This post gives voice to those who don’t have the platform to give press conferences, and actually connects the reader directly to the people who live in the neighbourhood. Everyone on Twitter knows, or should know, that social media is a public forum. But what someone says on their Twitter account can be very different from what they’d say in an interview with the news media, and interviews are almost always edited and condensed — meaning the reporter gets to frame the content that an interviewee provides. This post is a great example of how technology can put peoples’ stories into their own hands, and let them frame the narrative, too. Does it replace the traditional news story that holds up to the standards of journalistic rigour? No. Does it add to it? Absolutely.

Thanks to B. for bringing the Reddit post to my attention. You can read one journalist’s take on the Maclean’s blog. Canada.com and Toronto Life have also posted pieces.

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petits gamins

I was going to post about pulled pork tonight.

But. I am bad at timing. It won’t be coming out of the oven until 1:45 am.

So instead I am listening to country music and eating fruit. See?

this particular variety of fruit is rich in “sirop de glucose,” “sucre,” and “gelatine amidon modifié de mais” — all of which I am assuming are French vitamins.

In French, apparently, these are called petits gamins… or “little street urchins.” Really, French?

please, help yourself to some more orphans. (is this just a Quebec thing?)

Oh hey, also, cool thing I came across when uploading those photos: I caught a bass. Like, a fish.

AND THEN I ATE HIM. (but actually.)

So, sorry. That’s all I have for you. (Please don’t unsubscribe.)

meanwhile in europe

One of my best friends is bumming around Europe for the summer. Just because. Check out her blog and join me in my envy. It’s ok to hate her, just a little bit.

yeah just hanging out at a French castle built into a cliff.

And of course, when I say “bumming around Europe” I clearly mean “eating her way across the continent”:

uh, yum.

greek-ish salad, sort of

This isn’t exactly a Greek salad, so let’s call it… based on a Greek salad. Inspired by a Greek salad? Whatever you want to call it, it is summery, healthy, and delicious.

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • italian herb mix
  • agave syrup (or if you don’t want to be a pretentious brat, maple syrup or honey or another sweetener)
  • salt and pepper

Combine everything in a bowl. For the olive oil, balsamic, herbs, sweetener, and s+p, you kind of just have to eyeball it… add a bit of everything, taste, adjust, taste again, repeat.

Stir it up and, if you have time, put it in the fridge for an hour or two to let the flavours come out. Then devour with something BBQ’d. (My favourite thing about this salad is how the avocado breaks down a little and coats everything, so it is a creamy dressing but still totally good for you.)

it is really hard to get fat eating this, but you can try.