Toronto Subway Station GPS Locations, now in GPX

TTC stations on Google Earth
Further to Toronto Subway Station GPS Locations, I now have them in GPX format: ttc.gpx. Google Earth reads GPX files, but loses some of the metadata.

It would seem that someone has done this before, but using a different approach. I did search the forums, but there were no stations in the community overlay — honest, guv.

Toronto Subway Station GPS Locations

After seeing the various nifty web-enabled transit maps, I realised I had the data handy to get things started. A while back, I georeferenced the TTC Ride Guide, and digitized all the station locations. I cleaned them up today, and in the hope of being useful, here are the files:

These are simple three-column CSV files, stating latitude, longitude, and station name. They should be in order of stations. Locations are probably within about 50m of real life, but don’t bank on it.

I’ll get these into more useful formats soon, like GPX and KML. For now though, if you can use ’em, go ahead and do something.

I (heart) languagehat

languagehat, on begging the question:

This is one of those issues that is catnip to the adolescent language-lover but which a sensible person grows out of. I too used to enjoy tormenting people with the “truth” about the phrase, but I eventually realized that, whatever its origins … I had never seen or heard the phrase used “correctly” except by people making a point of doing so (cf. “hoi polloi”); in current English usage, “beg the question” means ‘raise the question,’ and that’s that. I got over it …
[T]his … is a sign that the language has sailed on, leaving wistful archaists treading water and clutching at the stern.

the monopoly on free money

from a familiar note
It’s a licence to print money! Well, Monopoly® money, that is. But you can’t have everything; it doesn’t stop people from trying, though.

The above image is copyrighted, trademarked, service-marked and intellectually-propertized 15-ways-to-Sunday by Hasbro. I hereby acknowledge that I’m a very naughty person to have nicked it for my website, and have felt good and contrite for at least the last 5 (five) seconds. But then, since Hasbro own the rights to my earliest published writings (long story: they bought Database Publications, for whom I used to write) and are sitting on the goldmine that is the film rights to Stardodger (my first, and only, game), I think they’ve done okay from me.

EcoBunk Unplugged: the 15th Annual EcoBunk Awards

ecobunk unplugged 2005
TEA sez:

EcoBunk Unplugged
the 15th Annual EcoBunk Awards

For advertising excellence in confusing the public & compromising the environment.

Our annual fundraiser and comedy show pokes fun at the most outrageous corporate green advertising of 2005. Sometimes we even point the finger at ourselves. We present nominated ads under nine different categories and reveal the winner. The laughter lasts for two full hours.

Of course, we don’t actually send awards to the winning companies.

Come celebrate with us! Ecobunk is a popular and favourite event among the environmentally-minded in Toronto, Waterloo and points beyond.

Thursday, December 8th, 2005
Plaza Flamingo
423 College Street
Show starts at 8:00pm
Doors & Cash Bar opens at 6:30pm
Tickets: $20
To reserve your seat(s) call TEA 416-596-0660

*** Note we are asking for prepayment this year and can accept credit cards or cheques. ***

Don’t miss the event this year!

I’ll be there. Will you?

take yourself to Guelph!

We spent our anniversary weekend in Guelph, which is a nicer town than most Torontonians give it credit for.

(the title is Catherine‘s tourism slogan for the city.)

An evening with Mr Gosse

I’ve just been listening to BBC Radio 4‘s dramatisation of Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son. It’s rather good.

I think I can safely say that this household knows more about Edmund Gosse than any other in Scarborough. Catherine‘s PhD was based on on the Gosse family, and I’ve read the book and proof-read the thesis. I suspect we’re also the only household in Scarborough that relates episodes from the young life of Edmund Gosse as if they were family anecdotes.

I know, we must get a life …

What’s with the Council of Canadians, eh?

Every couple of months, the Council of Canadians sends me a large and visually unappealing (1986 called; they want their typewriter font back) mailing, ranting about how those pesky Americans keep stealing our water.

Close reading of the mailing (which is hard, given the woeful typography) shows that the initiatives being railed at are either:

  1. run by Canadian companies, or
  2. are part of legislation voted for by Canadians.

Like most environmental things, Canada has an appalling record of looking after its abundant water. I think we think that the rest of the world thinks better of us than they do, or maybe even frankly cares about Canada.

I’m a bit worried by the CoC’s use of the n-word — nationalist — since it has unpleasant connotations, like the BNP and SNLA. Also, at least half of the mailing could be summed up as The Maude Barlow Fanzine, with only slightly lower production quality than the average zine.

And anyway, pesky Americans haven’t been stealing our water. Catherine hasn’t been sneaking any more out of the house than usual …

decemberists

The Decemberists were as great as ever last night. We snagged comfy sofas up on the balcony at The Phoenix, so it made up for the usually dire venue.

I’m definitely showing my age, though. When they played a demento-rock version of ELO’s Mr Blue Sky, I was about the only person who could sing along.

Hope that Derek got his laguiole back; it was confiscated at the door …

timely quotation

Anent George W. Bush’s “God Told Me To Do It …” revelation, was it purely coincidence that the week’s quotation in Catherine‘s Women Artists Datebook is:

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

 — Susan B. Anthony
?

Mozilla Update :: Extensions: New Tab Homepage

Ah, New Tab Homepage brings happiness to this Firefox user. I rather got to like the lightweight Epiphany browser during my mini-itx odyssey. When you opened a new browser tab in Epiphany, it loaded your home page. The supposedly more advance Firefox never did this.

New Tab Homepage fixes this, and doesn’t add any other tab-related cruft that I couldn’t use.

dvds by mail

I’m thinking of subscribing to zip.ca, the Canadian DVD-by-mail company. I’ve browsed their catalogue, and they have some good things. But they’re not very clueful with computer security — they just sent my trial password in plain text back to me over e-mail.

1/9/XX, and the smell of new pencils

Although school in late August for us I always derived the tiniest bit of pleasure from writing the date today, and seeing that it was the same as the year. This shows I was educated in the last century.

As it was the start of the schools year, I was writing with new pencils, and summer holidays were long enough for me to forget their wooden smell. So I remember writing the date, and simultaneously, the smell of new pencils.

dealbreakers

Okay, so if I were to buy an iBook, I must be able to:

  • have virtual workspaces, like X11
  • use a compose key for accented characters
  • be able to do my usual Perl/Bash things in the terminal
  • get basic, useful applications for free.

Since I can do these things on Linux now, there’s no point in me switchin’ in the kitchen.

my lappy is not well

My ThinkPad T21 is dying. Well, its processor and interfaces are fine, but its backlight is erratic, the battery lasts about 20 minutes, and the case is badly cracked. Because it takes so long for the screen to come on, it’s almost no use as a portable computer.

It’s a shame; it has been a nice machine. I’d prefer not to have to buy a new machine — it’s a toss-up between another used ThinkPad, or a new iBook — but this gets me very frustrated. Catherine has been complaining about how tetchy I am about it.

I’ve probably been very bad at responding to e-mail over the last few weeks because of this. Apologies.

The demented mind of Adam Elliot

a scene from Adam Elliot\'s Harvie Krumpet
I like animation more than Catherine does, so last night while she was teaching, I rented Harvie Krumpet. It’s a series of shorts by Australian animator Adam Elliot. All of them are poignantly strange. The main feature follows Harvie from his birth in Poland in the 1920s to his dotage in Australia. Bad things happen to him, but he abides.

If you can imagine Wallace & Gromit on mogadon, and imagine liking it, you’ll know how I feel about Adam Elliot’s work.

Why I’m Allergic To ‘Cradle To Cradle’

I’m reading McDonough & Braungart’s book Cradle To Cradle, and it makes me sneeze.

Not that the content is to be sneezed at — it’s a very sensible treatise on a zero-waste, EPR-based society. It’s not the polymer that the book is made from, either. It’s the fact that the a previous borrower of the book from the Toronto Public Library was the owner of a probably very attractive grey cat.

I’m allergic to most cats. And this isn’t usually a problem with library books, as paper doesn’t attract hair. But the polypropylene pages of Cradle To Cradle do, and so reading this book makes me itch. I guess this wouldn’t be a problem if I’d bought my own copy, but it’s a deal more environmentally responsible to share a few copies amongst the thousands of library patrons than keep one for myself.

I don’t necessarily agree with some of the arguments made about the upcyclability (that is, a product that can be recycled into something of an equal or higher quality) of the book. Basic entropy tells you that you can’t reform a product without losing something of the original. Some of the material will evaporate, or the filler will degrade somewhat, or some additional colourant will be required to restore the original tone.

Some other things that don’t jibe:

  • The book is a surprisingly dense chunk of polypropylene. Polypropylene is made from non-sustainable fossil resources. This is a case of doing less damage than the status quo, which Cradle To Cradle decries as being insufficient.
  • The ‘paper’, while very smooth, isn’t fully opaque, so the text from the other side of the page is distracting. That, and the cat-hair attracting static issue …
  • The book’s printed in China. At the very least, it has been shipped half way around the world, again using a wad of fossil resources. Knowing a little of the publishing industry, it wouldn’t surprise me if the raw materials were shipped to China, printed and bound, and then shipped back for the North American market. And this is a good thing how?

In fairness, mad props for McDonough’s work on green roofs, and to Melcher Media for giving the plastic book a try. But thinking that a few polymer pages will change the world is pushing credibility to its limits.

[And I really should temper the madness of my props to Melcher, as it would appear that they’re trying to patent the plastic book. I’m sure there’s some iota of novelty in replacing the form-factor and access methods of a cellulose polymer book with a hydrocarbon polymer, but for the life of me, I can’t find it.]

and the groundhog shall lie down with the cat

groundhog_cat.jpg
A sign of peace, or something, at the Parliament Hill Cat Sanctuary in Ottawa. We went up with Paul and Caroline. We stayed at the Auberge des Artes again. We ate too much. It was good.