I had to take my laptop to be repaired today, and stopped off at BCE place (between Yonge and Bay, south of King, in Toronto) and ate in the Movenpick there. When I came out, there was a photography exhibition there, in the Canada Trust (or whatever bank itis) part of the building.
You might expect something very corporate. It was called "Toronto, a celebration" or something. There were maybe 100 photos printed maybe 2 feet across, mostly showing events like the Jazz Festival.
There were some pretty neat photos. One (visible from quite some distance aay becuase it was on the end of the display) was of someone wearing very tight white undies or shorts with "gaypride" printed on them. It could have been in a beer ad or something... except I realised after a moment that the wearer had a beard.
Another was of two men wearing suits and ties, kissing, it was called just married. There were pics of the Hindu Festival, the Pride Parade, Caribana, Jazz Festival, and quite a few others I've forgotten now. But it was neat to see the ones I mentioned, in a context where you might expect controversy to be avoided.
Of course, gay marriage isn't all that controversial here :-) The exhibition has a web page, although I can't see it right now (using knoppix while I have no laptop, I should try gnoppix!)
Seaking of controversial, I've been playing with orkut too. It feels somewhat validating to get a message, so-and-so wanted to add you as a friend, but then there's pressure to get as many friends as possible (I'm resisting). I'd like to distinguish friends, co-workers, acquaintances, lust-bodies and so forth, but then, what's the point? You can do almost nothing with it.
I can see interesting possibilities if it's integrated with google's main search. For example, "weight my google search so that pages made by friends, or linked to by them, are higher in the results".
It doesn't have the focus of a community site like deviantart.com (that's a link to my page there if you care; follow the "Gallery" link there to see the pictures I put there) nor the shared interaction of Advogato.
I'm off to San Diego next week to speak at O'Reilly's Emerging Technology conference. I'm really not sure what the audience will be like; I'm guessing it'll be more analysts, consultants, people trying to decide if new technology is important to them, than programmers trying to learn it, compared to (say) OSCON, but I'll see. I'll be talking about XML Query, which is actually pretty cool despite being fairly large and complex.
I've been working on a search engine for my Pictures of Ruined castles and other engravings and woodcuts from old books. This uses XML Query and RDF and SQL and XHTML and XML and CSS and SVG all at the same time, so it's very Acronym-friendly. I'll share the URL after the conference, I need to do a bit more work on it first, to make it more useable. It's pretty neat to discover how much you can do with XML Query in an all-XML world.
By the way, I've noticed that people visiting my picture site from Advogato tend to be most interested in the Oratio Dominica, a complete scan of an 18th Century book giving the Lord's Prayer in over 100 languages and in lots of different scripts. Next most popular is Fry's Pantographia, another old book of scripts. Maybe geeks like languages?