Fun with Photoshop in London

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It is either the stupidest mistake ever made or the most elaborate troll in the history of London. I am, of course, referencing the recent discovery that some photo peon inserted a poorly photoshopped image of Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag skating into the 2011 London Annual Report (as seen on LFPress).

Doctored photo used in the 2011 Annual Report

Seems legit, I see them at the market all the time.

I am honestly completely and totally baffled by this decision. I have no words to explain this, but I think John Flemming, quoted city planner, is on to something here. He said the image was to be “a visionary image of what could be the possibilities.” That is a brilliant strategy to attract people to London. What is possible? Everything is possible with a little Speidi!

So in that vein I’ve decided to do some free photoshopping for London City Council. Feel free to use any of these, free of charge, in the 2012 Annual Report, guys. Please leave your own contributions below and I’ll insert them into the post.

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London is the city of (photoshopped) opportunity

It is either the stupidest mistake ever made or the most elaborate troll in the history of London. I am, of course, referencing the recent discovery that some photo peon inserted a poorly photoshopped image of Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag skating into the 2011 London Annual Report (as seen on LFPress). I am honestly completely […]

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Don’t Ignore the Invisible Gorilla

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Humans are crap at multitasking. There I said it. I’m not talking chewing bubble gum and walking at the same time, but the real stuff–like trying to talk to someone while you’re reading a book. People chortle on about how great they are at multitasking but, believe me, they are lying to themselves (and, more importantly, you).

Cover of the Invisible Gorilla

And the Gorilla was like: “Huh. Did you know they sell bananas at the JLC now?” And Chris Moorhead was like: “My lawyer told me not to talk about it.”

In fact, a study was done by two professors at the University of Illinois into our ability to process information, in an experiment now dubbed “The Invisible Gorilla,” to show how people can miss important information if they’re too focused on one specific task. Essentially, participants were asked to watch a video of people dressed in white shirts and black shirts and to count how many times people with white shirts passed a basketball. About halfway through the video, someone dressed in a gorilla suit walks through the screen, thumps their chest and growls, finally exiting stage left. When asked afterwards, participants could normally tell you how many passes were made, but over half the participants had no idea a gorilla had walked through the stage. More importantly, when the tape was shown to them again they couldn’t believe they’d missed something so obvious. I’m going to be honest with you, I totally missed the gorilla too when I watched the video the first time.

This might seem like just a kooky psych experiment, but I think it holds particular import right now as we close in on October 6th. Here in Ontario, there is a gorilla beating his chest in the middle of the screen and, somehow, a ton of us have missed it.

Let me take you back to the 90s. Remember those times? The Leafs weren’t terrible yet, Saved by the Bell and Fresh Prince were still on TV. Life was pretty good. Except there was this man named Mike Harris in charge. A man who thought it was a dumb idea to provide funding for things like schools and hospitals, so he chopped and slashed and closed a bunch of them down. Remember that guy? Remember how we promised ourselves we would never, ever vote for the party that gutted our social services? If so, why are some 34% of Ontarians considering voting for the Progressive Conservatives next week?

Tim Hudak's face on a gorilla

The size of his cranium indicates he’d make a good leader. Either that or he’s ready to mate.

Despite what you think of Dalton or Andrea, the most terrifying proposition here is Tim “I Love Mike Harris” Hudak. If you can believe it, before being elected the head of the PC Party in Ontario, Hudak’s platform was essentially that he was a proud Harrisite. Oh good gravy, Mike Harris is back and he’s wearing a Tim Hudak suit.

Through the constant “We Can’t Afford Dalton” commercials, to the conservative candidates not showing up to local debates, the Conservatives are clearly running a pretty simple campaign–don’t look at the man behind the curtain.

My only hope is that when Ontarians step into the voter box on the 6th they aren’t so busy counting how many passes are made to miss the man in the Hudak suit, thumping his chest directly in front of us.

Two gorillas fighting with light sabers

Humans are crap at multitasking. There I said it. I’m not talking chewing bubble gum and walking at the same time, but the real stuff–like trying to talk to someone while you’re reading a book. People chortle on about how great they are at multitasking but, believe me, they are lying to themselves (and, more importantly, you). […]

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Western Fair Access Program

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Ensuring the Western Fair is accessible for people with disabilities has been a big problem, specifically a decision made last year to begin charging individuals with disabilities entry (which you can read about here). While I fully endorse PWDs paying full fare for entry, I do believe it’s unfair to ask the same of their support workers. As it turns out, Western Fair is taking steps to overcome this barrier by developing an “access card” which will allow people with disabilities to bring a support worker with them to the Fair for free.

Check out a recent visit to the London Accessibility Advisory Committee for more information about the Western Fair Access Program, courtesy of Greg Fowler from From My Bottom Step:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaquNDROnOg

Ensuring the Western Fair is accessible for people with disabilities has been a big problem, specifically a decision made last year to begin charging individuals with disabilities entry (which you can read about here). While I fully endorse PWDs paying full fare for entry, I do believe it’s unfair to ask the same of their […]

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A fitting celebration for 1 year online

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A year ago today, May 1st 2010, Cripz: A Webcomic went online with its first comic (which you can see here). One of the main questions Clara and Jeff get about the comic is “Why did you decide to make a webcomic about disability?” While there isn’t any one answer, we felt it was an opportunity for us to present a progressive and satirical representation of disability to combat the largely negative (and bizarre) representations of disability in the mainstream media. Beyond that though, we see Cripz as an opportunity to educate and motivate people (both disabled and otherwise) to actively resist the structural, attitudinal and political forces working (actively and otherwise) to oppress and suppress the disabled population in both Canada and America. Deep down, we hope the readers might be inspired to fight with the same tenacity of Rhett while understanding it’s okay to be a big goof too, like Griff.

Over the past year, lots has happened (both online and offline) and Clara and Jeff have had an awesome time and hope you’ve enjoyed the strip thus far. We thought one fun way to celebrate the first year anniversary was to develop a list of our TOP 5 Comics of Year One. After counting up the page views and shares, here are your favourite comics of the last year:

Without getting too gushy, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank some special people who have helped us launch Cripz over the last year, specifically (and in no particular order) Hunter Forman, Jason Strauss, Derek Silva, Corey Downie, Jen Brewe, Ron Brown, Dan Harvey and Orpheum Hosting. Also, thank you to everyone from the London Free Press for being good sports and putting up with our criticism. You guys are aces in our books.

Also, of course, a huge thank you to everyone who comes back week in and week out to read our goofy new comics and send us lovely messages. Without you none of this could be possible!

But it wouldn’t be a birthday without a party, would it??

To celebrate the first year appropriately, we decided to take a page out of Rhett’s book and do a little stairbombing. We had a really, really good time and you can check out some of the awesome photos on our new Operation: Stairbomb facebook fan page. Thank you to EVERYONE who came out and keep an eye out for our next attack.

And the cherry on top?

Ed Holder Campaign vehicle illegally parked in a handicapped parking spot

There was no permit, we checked.

After noticing that someone had stairbombed Jim Bob Rays, a local bar/meat market, Clara and Jeff didn’t think the night could get any better…until they discovered a local MP candidate had parked his campaign vehicle in a wheelchair parking spot. Yep, that’s the same parking spot that also held a cop car and city vehicle several months ago. While the driver of the vehicle has apologized publicly and removed the vehicle, note that Jeff actually told the driver the vehicle was parked illegally and the driver denied it, then attempted to blame it on another candidate (who was parked behind him legally), and finally gave in when he was shown the photographic evidence on Jeff’s iPhone.

It’s not nice to be told you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to accessibility and you’re in a wheelchair. But then again, we guess it’s not nice to have a photo of your mistake retweeted over 50 times on twitter over the course of the night…so we’re even now?

What’s perhaps most disturbing is that some have reacted to this photo on twitter by accusing it of being a “smear” or being exclusively about our dislike for the candidate or the party — this has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the law. Illegally parking in a handicapped spot is a $300 fine, regardless of your party affiliation. This isn’t about ideology, it’s about accessibility.

So in honour of today, which also happens to be Blog Against Disablism day, we’d like to welcome any photos of other candidates illegally parked in handicapped parking spots to be sent in and we’ll be sure to post them right away. No one is allowed to park in these spots without a permit. Period.

Thanks everyone for the great year and hope you’re excited for all the great stuff we have planned for year 2!

Cheers,

– Clara & Jeff

A year ago today, May 1st 2010, Cripz: A Webcomic went online with its first comic (which you can see here). One of the main questions Clara and Jeff get about the comic is “Why did you decide to make a webcomic about disability?” While there isn’t any one answer, we felt it was an opportunity […]

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Operation: Stairbomb London

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Caution tape with a sign attached reading "Sorry, no access. Stairs Out of Order"

Let's shut'um all down!

To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of Cripz: A Webcomic going online, we’re asking everyone to grab their caution tape and shut down as many stairways as possible.

What is Stairbombing?
Stairbombing was invented to help people understand (and empathize) with why accessibility is important, by “closing down” stairways with caution tape and a snarky “Out of Service” sign commenting on how annoying it must be to not be able to access a place they really want to go.

Why are we stairbombing?
Because, quite frankly, we’re tired of not being able to go anywhere! One of the biggest challenges for someone with a physical disability is the lack of accessible public spaces. From restaurants to schools, London is woefully inaccessible. The result is that people with disabilities are one of the most marginalized populations in our community simply because they can’t go to the same places as everyone else.

How can you help?

  1. Check out the Facebook event here.
  2. Invite all of your friends to the event and give us a few shout-outs on your social media (facebook, twitter, friendster, icq, etc)!
  3. Write a blog about the event and why you feel accessibility is important.
  4. Form a team of friends, bring a camera and meet us at the band shell in Victoria Park at 7pm on the 30th! We’ll provide you with all the supplies you need.
  5. Head out into that big bold world and shut down as many stairs as possible!

If we all work together, we can shut down a critical mass of stairs and show the people of London just how inaccessible this city is!

Stairbombing

To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of Cripz: A Webcomic going online, we’re asking everyone to grab their caution tape and shut down as many stairways as possible. What is Stairbombing? Stairbombing was invented to help people understand (and empathize) with why accessibility is important, by “closing down” stairways with caution tape and a snarky “Out […]

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Go see “Time To Put My Socks On” or else!

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Just a heads up that a fabulous show starring disabled comedian Alan Shain is on TONIGHT in Ottawa at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre studio. The show is apparently fantastic, so says a savvy reviewer here. If you’re in Ottawa and looking for a gay ol’ night on the town, head over and see a professional at the top of his game.

Just a heads up that a fabulous show starring disabled comedian Alan Shain is on TONIGHT in Ottawa at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre studio. The show is apparently fantastic, so says a savvy reviewer here. If you’re in Ottawa and looking for a gay ol’ night on the town, head over and see a […]

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Make Yourself Miserable or Make Yourself Useful

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“The truth is, if I actually spent my days actively paying attention to every example of misogyny around me, I would be a profoundly unhappy woman. Not bitchy or grumpy or short-tempered, but paralyzingly depressed. Women have to train themselves to avoid consciously reacting to every bit of misogynistic detritus permeating the culture through which we all move, lest they go quite insane. I write about the things I can’t not write about. If I wrote about all the examples of sexism I see every day, I’d never sleep.”

Melissa McEwan

This quote sums up some pretty sad stuff about the world in which we live.  Replace misogyny with racism, classism or ablism – especially ablism, the most vastly ignored of all the “ism”s – and it still stands true.  It’s sad, sure, but to look at it a little more optimistically, it’s also a challenge.  Beause we actually are able to move forward on these things (remember when I wasn’t allowed to vote, and Rhett & Griff & Jeff were all confined to institutions?), even when there’s still so much that needs fixing (like how I can’t parachute on Sundays in Florida or Jeff can’t legally go into certain washrooms without being pointed at at length first).  So never be bored, because if this, this, this, this and this are any indication, we’ve all got a bunch of world-changing to do.

“The truth is, if I actually spent my days actively paying attention to every example of misogyny around me, I would be a profoundly unhappy woman. Not bitchy or grumpy or short-tempered, but paralyzingly depressed. Women have to train themselves to avoid consciously reacting to every bit of misogynistic detritus permeating the culture through which […]

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Wheelchair, engage!

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Wheelchair controls come in all shapes and sizes. My electric chair is controlled through a pretty traditional joystick system, but I have friends who control their chairs with things like sensors on their headrest or a straw that controls the chair through blows and sucks. But apparently the people at MIT are working on a voice-controlled wheelchair. Apparently it will work a little something like this,

This wheelchair is intended for those who may not have the physical mobility to utilize a standard joystick, and as well for those who may have progressive muscular diseases.  Not only will it operate from voice commands, because it is a robot it can learn the common routes a person takes throughout their day and carry them out via commands.  David Hatch, one of the designers and a retired engineer coping with Multiple Sclerosis says, “I like the idea of telling my chair where to go.” (via EmpowerAbility, LLC)

It all sounds very cool, except I’m a little concerned what might happen if I was in one of these chairs, got upset with someone and said “Screw off!”

Wheelchair controls come in all shapes and sizes. My electric chair is controlled through a pretty traditional joystick system, but I have friends who control their chairs with things like sensors on their headrest or a straw that controls the chair through blows and sucks. But apparently the people at MIT are working on a […]

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Dating Advice…!

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So, I’m toying with the idea of starting a mini dating advice column here.  Depending on the response, of course.  So if you’re sick of posting on Craigslist and following girls into alleys to no avail, and you want some dating advice, disability-related or otherwise, email me at clara@cripz.ca.  I’m an expert, you see, because I have no qualifications whatsoever to be answering your questions and was in fact mostly pressured into it by Jeff.   To christen this little column, I’m going to start by giving some advice to these fellows right here:

?

Point One: Honesty is key, Boys on Wheels.  Did you really hear the doctor say that the moment you were born?  I really don’t think you did.

Point Two:  Kare Conradi reference?  Who ARE you?

Point Three: Wind machine at 1.03 and 1.22.  What is this, Total Eclipse of the Heart?  Just…no.

Point Four:  For real now.  Rule number one of like, life: show, don’t tell.  If you are greeting women by assuring them your balls are okay, the rest of you is probably not okay.  If you are assuming romantic interest will not garden in someone who thinks your balls might not be okay, then you are selling yourself short.  Act confidently–because you can do that, because you, and not just your balls, are probably ok (unless you are this)–and forget about your balls for a while.  Because someone who won’t give you the time of day based on a slim possibility that you have inferior gonads isn’t worth your time.  And a confident attitude, in actions, which speak louder than words, which are cheap, will hint at a functional pair of cajones anyways, hopefully.

So, I’m toying with the idea of starting a mini dating advice column here.  Depending on the response, of course.  So if you’re sick of posting on Craigslist and following girls into alleys to no avail, and you want some dating advice, disability-related or otherwise, email me at clara@cripz.ca.  I’m an expert, you see, because […]

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Seat-Robbers!

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Yo.  Clara here in Jeff’s stead (he’s off hanging with Rick Hansen, f’realz).  Just stopping in to let all two people reading this know that this exists.  Like people of WalMart, but featuring people less innocently pathetic and more willfully jerkish.  This guy‘s by far my favourite.  He looks like he could just move right in and live there.

Yo.  Clara here in Jeff’s stead (he’s off hanging with Rick Hansen, f’realz).  Just stopping in to let all two people reading this know that this exists.  Like people of WalMart, but featuring people less innocently pathetic and more willfully jerkish.  This guy‘s by far my favourite.  He looks like he could just move right […]

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