As if being the first Canadian to walk in space wasn’t enough, astronaut Chris Hadfield has become a social media phenomenon, amassing over 912,000 followers on Twitter and over 311,000 Facebook fans, all while making the Magnum P.I. moustache cool again. To celebrate his return to earth last night after 144 days on the International Space Station, we count down the eight coolest, weirdest and awesomely-nerdiest things Hadfield did while in orbit.
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In May, a self-professed Samsung fanatic from London, Ontario, named Shane Bennett fired off a message to Samsung Canada’s Facebook account, politely asking if they’d give him the then still unreleased Galaxy S III phone for free (hey, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, right?). In case being an ardent Samsung fan wasn’t enough to persuade the company to dole out the pricey phone (similar models retail for around $800), Bennett attached a homemade drawing of a green dragon emitting a cute and fiery “Rawr.”
At some point, most drivers have wondered whether they really have to pay parking tickets on private property—it turns out, probably not. The Toronto Star looked into the case of Jonathan Sutcliffe, who was hit with a $250 “parking invoice” from something called the Parking Control Unit after leaving his car in a Tim Hortons lot in Scarborough. The invoice looked like the yellow tickets issued by the City of Toronto, save a few details: the fee dropped to $25 if paid within 10 days or to $50 if made within 28 days, and there was no information about how to contest it. Sutcliffe did some research and took to Reddit with his findings. His police division told him to rip up the ticket, saying, “It’s a scam, take it easy and have a great day.” Apparently, according to Toronto’s bylaw, only municipal enforcement officers are allowed to issue parking tickets on private property. (The only exception is Impark and other lots that are clearly commercial.) If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s Google first, pay later. [Toronto Star]
A sharp-eyed Redditer spotted a model of a very familiar-looking building in Max Payne 3, the third title in the game franchise about the police officer/vigilante/extreme introvert (just try to ignore that bleeding guy on the floor). Sure, the towers appear to have been switched, and the square is a heck of a lot greener than Nathan Phillips, but we’re pretty sure that’s Toronto’s city hall—especially since Rockstar Games, the company that developed the game, has a studio in T.O. (Incidentally, there were also some prime Toronto shots in the 2009 Max Payne movie starring Mark Wahlberg. And who could forget this?) [Reddit]
After his transit plan was defeated at yesterday’s special council meeting, Rob Ford hopped on the TTC and rode straight into the open arms of his supposed supporters: the good people of Scarborough. According to some late-night tweets from a Ford staffer (who else?), the mayor was riding the Eglinton SRT until 1 a.m., followed by a ride on an Eglinton bus around 2 a.m. We know talking to the people—and occasionally moving their sand—energizes Ford, so perhaps this is his photo-friendly way of licking his wounds (hey, it’s better than pounding back a bottle of Wild Turkey in his undies). Or maybe he’s trying to rally his Scarborough troops while he “forges ahead” with his defeated transit plan—for some reason, there’s already talk of a referendum. Either way, we like the good folks at Reddit’s idea for his next transit trip: a ride on the Finch bus during rush hour. Read the entire story [Toronto Sun] »