Canon Provides paper models for download

This afternoon, we spent some time at the Calgary Super Train show. What an awesome show!

One of the very cool activities they had for the kids was the chance to make paper model buildings. The show had these models printed and punched out for the kids to build. Short story was that we had a lot of fun.

This got me thinking about the punch out paper model books I had as a kid. They were a lot of fun to put together. Well, a quick search online turned up a few free paper models to try out! Anyway, here are a few cool ones, free from Canon (thanks Canon!).

Canon List of Paper Models


UPDATE: One thing I forgot to mention is paper size. It looks like they list the European paper size first (A4), if you’re in North America, look for the letter paper size (indicated by LTR on most of the models.


Nikko Toshogu Shrine (Yomeimon), Japan
Nikko Toshogu Shrine (Yomeimon), Japan


Florence Cathedral, Italy
Florence Cathedral, Italy


Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Russia
Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Russia


Sagrada Familia, Spain
Sagrada Familia, Spain

Hot Chill Tracks for our Warm Summer.

New music is good for the soul, especially when we’ve been having such a distinctively hot summer. While the good old standbys are great to have people by and  sing along to, it’s important to add musical diversity to your life. My wife is great at pushing me into this on our culinary adventures, be it at home or at a local trattoria. However it’s my job in our house to push the music boundaries. Lately we’ve been enjoying some amazingly warm weather here in Western Canada. The warmth and sun really moved us into a “chill out”  frame of mind this summer. We’ve enjoyed mojitos with mint from our garden, some cold lagers, amazing wines from the Okanagan and of course some backyard bar-b-ques. All this summer sun shine and goodness requires a fitting soundtrack, and with that, here are some suggestions for you to use to carry the warmth with you into fall:


Deadringer by RJD2  [typography font=”Droid Sans” size=”32″ size_format=”px”]Ghostwriter by Rjd2 [/typography]

[typography font=”Molengo” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]An interesting instrumental, this electronic song mixes in many instruments that traditionally aren’t expected in this genre of song. It starts “down homey” and progresses to a “big man on campus” chorus. The dichotomy of the bid-band style chorus and down tempo interludes is really interesting.[/typography]


 [typography font=”Droid Sans” size=”32″ size_format=”px”]The Wind Sings by Goldmund [/typography]

[typography font=”Molengo” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]This short bite is nice, quiet and cozy. You can almost hear the rain outside when you’re listening to it. I always imagine it would be a very cool soundtrack to a series of black and white cloudy day time-lapse images. [/typography]


Shrines Purity Ring [typography font=”Droid Sans” size=”32″ size_format=”px”]Fineshrine by Purity Ring [/typography]

[typography font=”Molengo” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]This Canadian duo from Montreal have started to gather attention with some of their interesting takes. This one is a nice mix of downtempo, but not at put-you-to-sleep speed. A great addition to a good meal. [/typography]


Off the Ground Lovely Laura [typography font=”Droid Sans” size=”32″ size_format=”px”]Beautiful Boy by Lovely Laura [/typography]

[typography font=”Molengo” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]Lovely Laura is probably best known for her work on various Hed Kandi albums, however she has her own jazz focused career as well. She’s an accomplished saxophonist and quite a good singer. This song, is definitely slow paced and reminiscent of a lullaby. Likely this is why I tend to nod-off listening to it. All kidding aside, I think it’s one of the best songs on her most recent album, “Off the Ground”. [/typography]


A Different Kind of Fix, Bombay Bicycle Club [typography font=”Droid Sans” size=”32″ size_format=”px”]Lights Out, Words Gone by Bombay Bicycle Club [/typography]

[typography font=”Molengo” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]A light an airy song to sing you into a blissful under-the-influnce afternoon chill out. [/typography]


Coexist by The xx [typography font=”Droid Sans” size=”32″ size_format=”px”]Angles by The XX [/typography]

[typography font=”Molengo” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]This enticing preview of the yet-to-be-release album “Coexist” is a soft, enchanting love song. The XX has shown a lot of diversity with their releases, and this preview song proves that their talent should carry them for quite some time yet. [/typography]


Das Gezabel by Paul Kalkbrenner [typography font=”Droid Sans” size=”32″ size_format=”px”]Das Gezabel (Radio Mix)  by Paul Kalkbrenner [/typography]

[typography font=”Molengo” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]This uptempo German track has an interesting take. It lays down a bassy, almost oom-pah band, bass line with a clear light melody on top. It’s not a typical chill track, but it adds some colour to this otherwise soft collection. Check it out… it may take a couple plays, but you will like it. [/typography]


I hope these tracks help you hold onto some of the warmth and sun we had this summer. I think I will have to be playing them well into fall to recall all the 30C+ days we’ve been enjoying.

If you have any additions you’d like to add I’ve love to hear them!


Yes, Ikea is making a TV… or something.


Ikea has decided they’re sick of coming up with solutions for us to store all our AV paraphernalia. The Uppleva is an interesting concept. It reminds me of the old Clairtone Stereo Cabinet that were 7 feet long and you could set things on.

Either way it should be interesting to see how the market takes to it.

Clairtone Stereo Cabinet

Read more about it on Engadet:

Have you seen the new Cadillac Ciel Concept?


Although this new concept from GM looks a little on the large size, I like that they are creating some interesting concept cars.


GM had lost it’s way. However they are coming back in a really big way.

It’s great to see North American industry develop these sorts of products/concepts. Local manufacturers now compete with global power house companies such as Tata (the current Range Rover and Jaguar owner). In this ever increasing competitive environment it’s innovative ideas that will drive sales and desire for product.


Good job GM!

Magazines on iPad

While books are a bit “touch and go” on the iPad ; it seems the eInk readers have them beat there due to the display, I think magazines are a great fit. Magazines are all about eye catching layouts, graphics heavy articles, and reader interactivity. All things that the iPad and other tablets excels at. These features take the form of videos, extra photos, web links and links to purchase items referred to in the magazine.[quote]While the digital versions of these magazine are every bit their print editions equal (or superior), it is the delivery mechansim which sets them apart.[/quote]

I’ve recently subscribed to a few magazines on iPad, Road & Track, Spin and GQ. All have print and digital editions. Interestingly, even though they are all available on the iPad, they all use different delivery mechanisms. While the digital versions of these magazine are every bit their print editions equal (or superior), it is the delivery mechansim which sets them apart.

So far I’ve been most impressed with Road & Track on the iPad. The most recent issue sports an animated cover which builds with sounds and motion to really bring the cover to life. Road & Track uses long time digital magazine publishing platform Zinio. Zinio has been around for a long time and is available on multiple platforms (iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac and PC as of this writing). Zinio also seems to have magazine delivery down the best. The magazines maintain all the interactivity features, but still seem to download in a reasonable time frame.

R&T Animated Cover 2
R&T Animated Cover 3












GQ has also been a good application. It provides direct links to the brands displayed and I’ve seen some interactivity to ads, which are engaging, fun and less like an advertisement. Of course you get the GQ content as well! One draw back to the GQ application is the downloader. You must keep your iPad awake and running the GQ program to download the magazine. In a time when Apple’s Photostream can work in the background this is unacceptable, especially when a single magazine edition is over 500Mb.

GQ Cover
App must be running and in the forefront to download.


[quote]Lastly, and certainly least is Spin Magazine.[/quote]

Lastly, and certainly least is Spin Magazine. I enjoy reading their Magazine to introduce me to new music. They also have some very creative perspectives, and band photo shoots. Unfortunately Spin has a nasty bug in their app lately, in that it doesn’t run. This has been the case for over 4 weeks now. In an age of immediacy, and when we look to subscribe to magazines on an iPad rather than go to the newsstand, the time it’s taking Spin to figure this out is unacceptable. Meanwhile, I’ve paid for a subscription which I can’t use. When Spin does work, I really enjoy the ability to play music from that edition while reading the magazine. If you decide you like the tunes there are direct links to purchase the music as well.

Magazines in Newsstand on the iPad


In closing, I clearly see the direction of magazines… and they are on tables such as the iPad. One thing that is painfully evident is that publishers need to not only focus on the typical content, layout and interactivity aspects, but that functionality of accessing the magazine seems to be overlooked, or not well addressed.

So far, my recommendation would be to stick to magazines on Zino, and subscribe to others based on other user’s reviews… they generally fairly accurate.

Happy Reading!


UPDATE – Mar 21, 2012

Since the writing of this article, SPIN magazine has fixed their app so it will now actually run again! Although there is a new layout, the magazine itself works technically the same. I’m quite happy about this, as one of my favourite features is the ability to play music associated with that issue of the magazine while you are reading! It really helps you get into the groove of the magazine! Now if there were just some way to sync those songs to the built in music app, we’d be off to the races!

New trojan variant found for Mac OS X

There is a popular believe out there that as the number of Macs and Mac users increase, the number of security threats will also increase. Well I don’t quite subscribe to that notion. As for threats to users, it seems of late Apple has been doing themselves a disservice with the performance of Mac OS X 10.7 more so than any security threats.

I digress…

Anyway, there is a new trojan variant that has been discovered that “threatens” Mac users. The reason I use quotes is because I don’t believe the there is much of a threat here.


Keeping your computer free of security exploits is the same as not wondering in shady neighbourhoods. Do the stuff that makes sense: only download software from reputable sources, don’t randomly give out your email address, and definitely be wary of emails asking for account information (even if they link you to a website… make sure you check out the URL).

Here is more information on the newest trojan discovered.

Apple is taking some steps to increase protection of their users with a new feature called Gatekeeper which will be added to their upcoming 10.8 software release. Let’s hope that there isn’t a trade off with features in 10.8 for performance challenges like we saw in 10.7.

Commercial Photography can be funny

I’m really starting to appreciate photography. Since I bought my little DSLR I’ve been trying to take good photos… that’s still a work in progress. However I now realize that post production plays a huge roll in getting the style you’re after. Something else I’ll have to save my pesos for and maybe some time too.

In the mean time, check out some of Christopher Martin Schmid‘s hilarious and stylish commercial photos.