Morning Brew: Ford misses Mayor's Arts Awards lunch, meet the voices of the TTC, more on the Pusateri's infestation, talk of bike licences at Police Board meeting, and the Leafs tank in Boston

Rob Ford was a no-show at the aptly-titled Mayor's Arts Awards lunch yesterday. Ford, who had previously confirmed his attendance, was apparently held up by some "urgent business," according to councillor Gary Crawford. The response was met with the expected guffaws. The urgent business was apparently the last seasonal game for the football team the mayor coaches. The lunch went on without a hitch.

They are the voices you hear everyday but had no idea what they looked like, until now. Sue Bigioni is the voice you hear announcing every subway stop and she's a real person, not some robot. Bigioni, a TTC communications assistant, was selected back 2007 for the job. Cheryl Bome, an admin assistant at the TTC, handles the bus and street car stops. The biggest hang-up of the job: pronunciation.

Yesterday it looked like the Pusateri's location at Avenue and Lawrence was forced to close on account of a cockroach infestation and other sanitary failings. Today it gets better — or, more appropriately, worse — with news that the infestation also included rats. Insert joke about overpriced food here.

Will cyclists eventually require a licence to ride on city streets? They will if Councillor Frances Nunziata gets her way. "I think that is something that we need to look at because of the number of fatalities we have on the streets," she told the Sun after a Toronto Police Services Board meeting yesterday. Chief Bill Blair also noted what he thought might be some benefits to a bike licensing program in the form of fostering greater "accountability," aiding in enforcement of traffic violations, and retrieving stolen bikes. What no one mentioned is that it'd also likely be a colossal waste of money.

With all this talk about big corporate greed, you know there would have to be some discussion about generosity. Right? Anyway, apparently volunteering your time is good for you, and not just in that karmic way. It actually increases oxytocin levels and makes us better and happier people.

Do you tend to believe all those "end of the world" warnings we seem to get every few years? Well, according to U of T Astronomy PhD candidate Kelly Lepo, you shouldn't. Speaking at the Danforth/Coxwell library, Lepo dispelled any fears about an Apocalypse Now from happening, using — wait for it — legitimate research techniques.


Photo by celina laurette in the blogTO Flickr pool

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