I’m probably showing my age, but I’m relieved that the grownups have intervened and cancelled a planned rave in the old Don Jail. The new owner’s site had the wrong tone, and something like this was probably inevitable. More here and here.

The old jail could be used as a performance art venue, but in all decency it has to be in a context that works with themes around suffering and despair, both experienced by the inmates and by their victims, and by the people who worked in the building before it was a Doors Open curiosity.

The place has a dark history – not playfully Gothic dark, but really seriously dark, and I don’t think that’s registered with the people offering ‘ghost tours’. More below the fold.

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Strangely fascinated by fire

From Mrs. Simcoe’s diary: Saturday July 7, 1792 “I walked this evening in a wood lately set on fire by some unextinguished fires being left by some persons who had encamped there, which in dry weather often communicates to the trees. Perhaps you have no idea of the pleasure of walking in a burning wood,continue reading


This does help explain why dump truck drivers blow red lights so ruthlessly: “Our trucks are supposed to carry 21 tonnes. But every time we are pulled on a scale, it’s around 28, 29, sometimes 30 tonnes in there. “That’s dangerous, not only for the driver, but for everyone else on the road. The brakecontinue reading

On the bright side …

Afghanistan’s opium crop is forecast to fall by up to a half this year after 2007’s record harvest, counter-narcotics officials in Kabul said, as evidence emerged that some poppy farmers are switching to legal crops because of rising food prices. “Anecdotally, a lot of farmers have calculated that, with wheat prices being what they are,continue reading

Okay, that’s pretty helpless.

HT to Val Dodge’s blog: I first saw Beyond the Orchard apple slices in the local Sobeys in early January, but didn’t see it again until mid-March. They’ve been in stock steadily since then, so presumably people are buying them. This package­­­­—a plastic box containing five individual sealed wrappers—contains just 285 grams of sliced apples,continue reading