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Morning Brew: January 7, 2009

Photo: "Nathan Phillips Square" by iliaa, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

The first big snowstorm of 2009 arrived and isn't planning to leave just yet. The snow and freezing rain are causing drivers all kinds of headaches, especially in the west-end, and west suburbs. I get that the snow and ice is notable and can be dangerous, but at this point in the season, we pretty much know the routine: let plows through, don't drive if you don't have to, drive with caution, etc. So do we really need the wall-to-wall coverage?

The lure of the iPhone is undeniable, and even though I still see more of them when I visit the States, Rogers was happy to announce they added 199,000 wireless subscribers in the last quarter. About 130,000 of those new subscribers were for iPhones, so it would seem despite declining economic conditions and high data rates the iPhone is the new iPod and eventually, everybody's gotta have one.

A slice of rural Indian life appears to have reared its ugly head in Peel Region's first homicide of the year. The father-in-law of the New Year's Day's stabbing victim has been arrested and will be charged with first degree murder today, in what the father-in-law appears to consider an honour killing. There are loads of (now illegal) Indian traditions that are still practiced, but usually in rural areas or amongst less educated Indians, neither of which are typical immigrant demographics. Goes to show how deeply rooted these traditions are, and like weeds, you can try to get rid of them but they keep coming back.

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Plenty of Torontonians advocate improvements to the city that would make us more European in style, but nobody meant this. Pearson Airport has been the target of a South American pickpocketing ring, to the tune of $500,000 last year. The new Terminal 1 is reasonably slick, but perhaps this is yet another reason to fly Porter.

Crappy situation for Toronto public works and the Don River: A significant section of the Coxwell Sanitary Trunk Sewer pipe is cracked beyond repair and could blow at any time. The plan is to spend $30 million over two years to build a 500m bypass. That or tell 750,000 residents from Scarborough to Downsview to not flush for a few days (or weeks, or months).

Two Toronto filmmakers are headed to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. Jason Gossbee and Ben Goldenberg created the five minute short film White Collar Criminals, claiming second place in YouTube's Project:Direct contest. Let's do some math: 3 hours to write + 3 days to film + $200 to produce = 2 tickets to Sundance + $2500 cash prize + a copy of their movie in every gift bag + 2 gift bags full of Hollywood swag. I think it's time to start making movies!

In other news, my dad turns 60 today. Happy Birthday, Dad!


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