Monday, October 24, 2016

Must Have: Vintage Typewriter-Inspired Wireless Keyboard

It’s been decades since you packed up your Smith Corona, plugged-in your PC, and never looked back.

Meet Qwerkywriter, the typewriter-inspired wireless keyboard. Tap into your creativity with bluetooth connectivity to any device you write on (phone, computer or tablet including iPad, iMac, MacPro, Macbook, Android tablet, Windows tablet, etc.).

slide-1-imageIt captures the function of a mechanical keyboard and typing on a traditional typewriter, down to the click of the stunning retro-styled chrome keys and the solid metal return bar.

Qwerkywriter retails for $39 USD


Queen’s Brian May Cancels Rest of 2016 Tour Dates: ‘Persistent Illness’

Brian May at the Isle Of Wight Festival 2016. Rob Ball/WireImage

Brian May has cancelled the rest of his 2016 concerts, citing an unnamed medical condition.

“I managed to complete the recent Queen and Adam Lambert dates in Asia but I have been increasingly battling with a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will,” May reported on his official website.

“I’m gutted to have to pull out,” Queen’s guitarist continued. “I hate letting our loyal fans down. But the advice I have had is that I must take time off to heal, rather than go out on tour again and risk falling down on the job, which would be much worse.”

May’s last live performance was Sept. 30 in Thailand, with Queen and Lambert.

In other Queen news, Queen on Air, a two-disc compilation, featuring 24 songs from the band’s BBC sessions, is due out November 4th. The collection will feature a previously unreleased “fast” version on We Will Rock You.

Gord Downie: If Secret Path Is The Last Thing I Do, I’m Happy

Gord Downie -- Secret Path [Arts & Crafts]

Knowing what we know about Gord Downie, and what has been happening in his universe, the Tragically Hip‘s Man Machine Poem tour was at the same time a joyous and heart-wrenching experience.  What may be his final creative project is, for the most part, one of those things.

Some of Canada’s best musicians — Dave Hamelin, Kevin Drew and Charlie Spearin of Broken Social Scene, the Barenaked LadiesKevin Hearn and SkydiggersJosh Finlayson — joined Gord in Peterborough recently to rehearse Secret Path, ahead of its first performance at the National Arts Centre.  The collection of songs was written by Gord, Kevin and Dave, and is accompanied by an animated film based on Leff Lemire‘s graphic novel.  The project recounts the impossibly sad tale of Chanie Wenjack, a 12 year old Ojibwa boy who ran away from a residential school in 1966 and died of exposure and hunger beside the railroad tracks — fifty years ago yesterday.  He had been trying to walk back to his family, having no idea that his home was 600 kilometers away.

Chanie Wenjack [Wenjack Family]

Gord’s brother Mike stumbled across the Chanie Wenjack story in a documentary about three years ago, and was stunned by it.  He was aware of residential schools, but, like most Canadians, hardly knew anything about them, and after he began doing some more research, he came upon a MacLean’s story from 1967 dealing with Chanie’s death, and related it to his novelist friend Joseph Boyden, with the aim of collaborating on a screenplay.  In turn, Boyden talked about it to his friend Gord, and the ball was rolling.

Gord began writing poems about Chanie’s long and ultimately doomed walk along the tracks.  Eventually they morphed into songs, were recorded by Kevin Drew and the band, and later were accompanied by Lemire’s graphic novel.  The whole package then led to an animated film version of the book.

Says Gord, “I didn’t know there were residential schools up there until 12 years ago.” As he dug deeper into the history, he began to question the fact that he didn’t know more about them, and why they weren’t part of school curricula.  As he puts it, one would think that a 10,000 year old indigenous culture would make Canada unique.  But rather, “we decided to put them away in a third-floor bedroom and lock it.  It’s just baffling to me. You start looking at all this stuff, and it does start putting a damper on all the stuff we’re doing to celebrate 150 years of nationhood.”

Secret Path is Gord’s effort to make a difference during the indeterminate time he has left.  “If this is the last thing I do,” he says, “then I’m happy.”  At this point, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel:  the path collected $3 million in major donations upon opening, and since the film’s premiere, it’s raised a further $100,000, with the average donation running around $8.

You can read more about Secret Path, hear and see some of it, and order it in various configurations, over here.  All proceeds will be directed to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation via The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at The University of Manitoba.

Love, Dr. Scott James
RSSSubscribe to Scott’s NOW posts via RSS

QMS audio-October24-016

Oct 24 – The Golden Beer Can.

Oct 20 – Wait…. Who Invented The Nacho?

Oct 13 – Ed Goes For A Walk One Fine Fall Day.

October 12 – Old Timer Forecasting.

October 06 – Phil, Mike And Our Mule “Nigel” Are Off To Oldchella!

October 05 – What A Great Wild-Card Game… Other Than That Meathead Who Threw The Beer.

October 04 – Rick Mercer On The Show.


Hey there!!! you could use an extra a $2,387.64 right? The Q!’s Budget Blowout is into the final week. Here are full contest details.


Win B.T.B.O tickets to Blue Rodeo from Monday, October 24th – Friday, October 28th by being caller #25 to 250-745-1003 when we play a Blue Rodeo song each morning between 5:30AM – 9:00AM.
blue-rodeo-band-3-dustin-rabin_2000x1333Fridays at 8:40am, get into our pool to win the lottery.  Sorry, no win on the Friday, October 21st draw :(


The new Bobble Eds are here!

 Luckiest diver ever!


100.3 The Q! Welcomes: Blue Rodeo.

With special guests: Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assasins.
Thursday, January 26th 2017 at Save on Foods Memorial Centre.
•Tickets on sale on Friday, October 28th at 10 AM via
•Tickets are: $33.50 | $63.50 | $83.50 plus applicable service charges.
In the thirty years since forming, Blue Rodeo has sold over 4 million albums, won countless Juno awards, been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, been named to the Order of Canada and have been honoured with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
Blue Rodeo will release their 14th studio album, 1000 Arms on Friday, October 28th. The group also announced that they will head back out on the road in 2017 performing news songs for fans with 30 concerts scheduled in 23 cities.
Here is the first release from “1000 Arms” called “Superstar”:

Win B.T.B.O tickets from Ed Bain and The Q! Morning Show from Monday, October 24th – Friday, October 28th by being caller #25 to 250-745-1003 when we play a Blue Rodeo song each morning between 5:30AM – 9:00AM.

Win beat-the-box-office tickets to Blue Rodeo at SOFMC in January!

They’re back! Well, they are coming back… Iconic Canadian rockers “Blue Rodeo” with special guests “Ron Hawkins” and “The Do Good Assassins” will be hosting a spectacular evening of music in support of their new album “1000 Arms” at Save On Foods Memorial Center on Thursday, January 26, 2017!

All this week ( October 24 – 28 ) on the Q Morning Show with Ed and Cliff, you can win a pair of beat-the-box-office tickets before they go on sale!

Tickets for the tour, and the album itself, will be available starting Friday October 28. As an added bonus, with every ticket purchase you can get a free digital download of their latest album! Find the details here.

The Q!’s 80s Weekend: Inside The Early Wild Years Of MuchMusic

On October 25, original Much VJ Christopher Ward will release his new book Is This Live? Inside the Wild Early Years of MuchMusic: The Nation’s Music Station.

For many Q! listeners, watching a new band’s video or catching an off-the-cuff “in the environment” interview was enough was enough to pique your interest to get you down to A&B Sound to buy their latest cassette or cd.

Today MuchMusic shows South Park episodes, teen dramas, and game shows. In it’s heyday, the 24 hour music station was the perfect companion to radio for millions of music fans in Canada.

o-muchmusic-vjs-facebookThe station launched in 1984 and on-air hosts (VJs) over the years included Christopher Ward, Steve Anthony, Laurie Brown, Jeanne Beker, Dan Gallagher, J.D. Roberts, Terry David Mulligan, Kim Clarke Champniss, Sook-Yin Lee and Erica Ehm and dozens of others.

Is This Live? by Christopher Ward is about the legacy of early music television and MuchMusic’s impact on music fans across Canada.

Check out the book’s video hub to watch some highlights from the glory days of MuchMusic.



The Q!’s 80s Weekend Flashback: ‘True Stories Behind Those Computer Ads’

Tech advertising in the 1980s tended to exaggerate the capabilities of their products. The following magazine ads show Mom, Dad, brother and sister (and various party crashers) going nuts over these life-changing systems. Here’s the true stories behind those over-the-top computer ads.

radio_shack_answers_1985-02-1985_0008aDad comes home from a crappy day at work pushing paper in the Wang Building on Carey Road (the original home of 100.3 The Q) expecting Chicken à la King on the table. Instead he sees his wife and kids going nuts over the new Tandy. Mom works part-time (5 hours a week) as a playground monitor at Sidney Elementary School. Yes, that’s Trick Shot Basketball that has little Jennifer in absolute awe. She hasn’t done her homework yet. She loves Math and Science, but hates recess and lunch hour because her Mom volunteers at the same school. Brother Billy was suspended from school earlier in the day for looking at Computer Language Magazine in class. Poor old Dad would have to put in many more overtime hours in the Wang Building to pay for the family’s new entertainment & education box; this Tandy cost $1199 U.S. in 1983. That’s $2877 adjusted for inflation.

1977-imsai-complete-control_000aLook at these people. Judging by the levels of shock, you’d think this man just turned water to Labatt 50. No. Recently laid-off from the Wang Building (“downsizing” was the official reason. But he was hired in error and generally creeped out coworkers), Michelangelo Smith hooked up a motherboard to a train and phone. Even the Island Farms milkman heard the commotion from down the block and had to check it out himself. Donny is the kid in the red baseball hat and likes to walk the family schnauzer, Patsy (not seen in photo) with a garden hose. Granny is so excited by all the noise in the kitchen, she’s had a hot flash and needs to turn down the thermostat.

078Uncle Garth had always been more of a jock than a technical kind of guy. When he was walking by his nephew Derek’s bedroom and heard the melody of “My Dog Has Fleas”, he just had to investigate. Garth was intriqued; maybe this music computer box could find him a date? He’d seen a story on CHEK 6 about computer dating and the future of robots as companions. Derek, an extremely uncoordinated boy, programmed his Texas Intruments TI-99/4 system to play “My Dog Has Fleas” in less than 300 hours. The Blanshard Elementary fourth grader previously had no purpose in life before his Times Colonist paper route earned him enough money got him this computer. Within a year, Derek had successfully programmed his computer to play several bars of “B-I-N-G-O”, “Ninety-Nine Bottles Of Beer On The Wall”, and an original composition titled, “Tilikum Lives In A Tank (at Sealand of The Pacific)”. A decade later Derek would be fired from his job in the Wang Building in a messy email scandal. But in 1981, Derek was his uncle’s hero, a computer genius from little old Victoria who might be his key to meeting chicks on the computer.

creative_computing_v09_n09_1983_september_0162aWhat exactly are these people and Mr. Dumpy-Doo (a hyper-intelligent but incontinent Cocker Spaniel) looking at that would simultaneously cause:

  • the boy in yellow to look afraid for his life
  • the lady in red to appear positively enamored
  • to make the man make a hand gesture like Borat
  • to make semi-mullet teen stick miss smoking cigarettes at Johnny Zee’s arcade
  • to make little girl show her tongue

1985-computingThe guy on the left (the other two aren’t real) work in an office in the Wang Building (again, on Carey Road and original home of 100.3 The Q) and the two Intellivision players from Central Saanich on the right (the poker dealer, ball player, golfer, spaceman, and a 4-foot-8 silky outfit goggles-guy aren’t real) are on the verge of hysterical. The office worker on the left rarely could get his computer box to shoot a green crooked laser. Most days he didn’t know where to start trying to program a green laser and spent most days reading the complicated manual before he was fired from the Wang Building and would collect U.I. (now knows as E.I.) for many years before getting job as a prep cook at Fuddruckers. The two youth on the right are babysitter Debbie (she was saving money to buy a bus ticket to go visit a hottie who lives in Duncan whom she met at a Styx concert at Memorial Arena), and a lippy 10 year-old named Matthew, from Keating Elementary. Matthew always was talking about voices in his head when he and his babysitter played SNAFU. Matthew would talk about hearing high pitched voices of a poker dealer, ball player, golfer, spaceman, and 4-foot-8 wearing a silky outfit goggles-guy. She never told Mathew’s mother about the voices in her son’s head.




Yep, You Were Right: Bots Ruined The Tragically Hip Ticket Buying Experience

Tragically Hip [Exclaim]

We all pretty well knew what was going on, and now spokesthings at Ticketmaster parent Live Nation have spoken up and confirmed that scalpers and bots did in fact dominate the ticket buying process during the Tragically Hip‘s swan song Man Machine Poem Tour.

About 66% of the tickets were vacuumed up by automated software and ticket brokers.  As a result, many fans were only able to buy the remainder at their original value, and scalpers even set up a ticket resale website, throwing a wrench into the band’s plans to encourage fairness with a ticket lottery system.

Live Nation CEO Joe Berchtold says, “The odds are absolutely stacked against the fan.   Probably a third of the tickets went to bots, another third went to brokers who were just like fans, pounding away at the keyboard, but better trained, more aggressive at it, and maybe a third of them went to fans.”

Berchtold figures resellers trousered between $25 and $30 million in markups; for the final show in The Hip’s home base of Kingston, tickets listed originally at $50 were being hawked for hundreds of dollars.  “There’s a big problem, and the big problem starts with bots.”

Hip Ticket Price Comparisons [MacLeans]

Partially as a result of all this, the Ontario government is eyeing legislation which would make it an offense for scalper bots to buy up large blocks of tickets automagically.  Liberal MPP Sophie Kiwala introduced a private member’s bill earlier this year which was ostensibly designed to put the hammer down on such activity.

Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi is not impressed with what’s been going on.  “What happened with fans wanting to go and pay their last respects to the band they love so much and wanted to get tickets and were not able to do so really bugged me.  We know that people are buying tickets online.  We know people are selling tickets online.  I don’t think we can move away from that reality because that’s just the practical reality of our lives.  You know there is no silver bullet, but we can’t just not do anything either.”

The next step is consultation with fans, lawyers and artists around the world who have also run into problems with ticket scalping after which Ontario may follow in the footsteps of Manitoba:  it’s already a crime there to resell tickets for profit; Winnipeg police collared a couple of Hip scalpers in a sting while the tour was underway.

Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer this year.  He released the Secret Path album following the tour, and is playing a live show in support of it tonight at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Love, Dr. Scott James
RSSSubscribe to Scott’s NOW posts via RSS