Laurel L. Russwurm's Free Culture Blog

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

Archive for the ‘Special Event’ Category

Arresting Images at The Waterloo Museum

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Arresting Images poster

As an author of crime fiction, I’ve been trying to get to the City of Waterloo Museum to see the to see their true crime exhibit “Arresting Images: Mug shots from The OPP Museum.”

The tiny museum gallery is housed in Conestoga Mall, with an entrance from the food court, as well as exterior entrance.

Admission is free, and the exhibits I’ve attended have been well worth it.

This exhibition includes 100 framed reproductions of mug shots selected from the from the OPP collection of spanning the late 19th and early 20th century people arrested, as well as selected blowups of what are essentially portrait photographs taken by the same professional portrait photographers who photographed our law abiding ancestors.

There is a post card circulated to identify a suspect,and mug shots not only from Ontario, but including suspects from cities in nearby New York.

The origins of the mug shot

The mug shot as we know it, had it’s beginnings in the early days of photography. In 1841, just two years after the invention of the daguerreotype, the Paris Police began to include daguerreotype portraits in their criminal files. In England, the Bristol gaol staff adopted the practice of photographing prisoners in 1848. American and Canadian police and detective agencies were quick to follow suit. The mug shot was born

23 year old Lillie Williams arrested on "Suspicion"

In order to display both the front (photograph) and back (arresting information) of the images, faithful reproductions of both sides of 100 mug shot cards have framed for the exhibit.

19th century handcuffs

The exhibit also includes physical memorabilia, so visitors can see early handcuff styles, a section devoted to Waterloo policing, as well as an interactive area where children of all ages can experiment with disguises, find out how big a jail cell was, or take your own mug shot.

Early 20th century Waterloo Police Chief's hat

My favorite part was the informative display covering early photographic methods. I was surprised to see just how small actual daguerreotypes were.

camera display

Since visiting the exhibit, I have a couple of questions, so I might just pop in again before the exhibit closes, on Friday (May 9, 2014).


I’ve posted a few more photos from the show on my Tumblog, GrandSocial, Twitter and techDITZ.

Tonight is Christmas Eve…

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Merry Christmas wreathI wish you a safe and happy holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate.

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

December 24, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Posted in copyright, Special Event

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

October 14, 2013 at 1:30 am

Posted in Life, Special Event

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The End Is Nigh?

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dramatic mushroom cloud

I grew up under the shadow of potential thermonuclear war that could have wiped out all humanity and turned planet earth into a radioactive wasteland. When the Berlin Wall came down it seemed as though maybe humanity had become clever enough not to do anything so foolish.

[Of course now that we’re left with only a single superpower, instead of getting “On The Beach” recent events appear to be propelling us toward Nineteen Eighty-Four instead, but that’s another story.]

I’m not quite sure why, but we keep having periodic “end of the world” scares.

It isn’t as though humanity doesn’t have scientific mojo these days; I can attest to the fact that weather forecast  accuracy has improved during my lifetime. Not only that, I can watch an approaching wave of precipitation on the Environment Canada radar web page. How cool is that?

Moon ~ cc by laurelrusswurm

We know more than ever before in history.

We’ve gone further than ever before ~ to the moon! ~ and we’ve even  sent space probes further still!

Improvements in our nutrition and strides in medical research mean we’re living longer than ever before.

So what’s with our apocalyptic fascination?

NASA is skeptical —  they don’t think the world will come to an abrupt end today.

Impressive ruins still stand in the world the Maya once ruled, Mayan descendents are scattered here and there, and undoubtedly there are still some Mayan archeological treasures waiting to be found. The Mayan calendar was certainly an achievement, particularly when you consider it outlasted Mayan civilization.


Meanwhile, many people choose not to believe the mounting scientific evidence that indicates unchecked climate change could bring about the end of life as we know it on earth.

Why is it easier to believe long dead Mayans than modern day scientists?

Every year my wall calendar comes to an end, but it doesn’t mean the sky is falling…
Calendar End (cc by laurelrusswurm)

Image Credits

The moon and both calendars are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license by laurelrusswurm.

“…an atmospheric nuclear test carried out by the U.S. on 1 March 1954 at Bikini Atoll, Marshal Islands. It was the third largest test ever detonated by the United States the first deployed thermonuclear device.”
Castle Romeo: Mushroom Cloud photo published to the Public Domain by the US Government.

If you want to read some great apocalyptic fiction, why not try Eric Swett’s new novel, “Apocalypse Rising

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

December 21, 2012 at 2:41 am

Happy Hallowe’en

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Have a safe Hallowe’en, and please remember to keep your cats indoors to keep them safe, too.

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

October 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Special Event

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Since I’ll be busy doing a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner on Monday, I thought I’d take this opportunity to wish you all a “Happy Thanksgiving” today.

(And if you’re driving anywhere, drive safe!)

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

October 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Special Event

Tonight: Internet Democracy Café

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TransitionKW and The Upstart Collaboratory for Collaborative Culture Designing have partnered again!

This time they have organized an Internet Democracy Café to consider and discuss  the loss of a democratic Internet, and look at what is needed to move toward a place where computer networks are free of undesirable government surveillance and unfair corporate control.

Tonight: September 26 (7-9:30 pm)!

Queen Street Commons – 43 Queen St. S., Kitchener (map)

multicoloured Internet cables plugged into jacks

There will be a short panel followed by a conversation café involving the audience. With this event, we want to connect people and resources to launch an ongoing process to ask:

  • What about the Internet is demanding attention and care from us all?
    To raise our awareness together among the widest possible demographic of the crucial role of the Internet in the lives and well-being of all of us as citizens of local, national, and global communities.
  • What’s going on with the Internet?
    To understand together more about where and how this Internet world is moving, changing, and being potentially constricted.
  • What can we do now?
    To create pathways of continuing dialogue, information and expertise exchange, and leading-edge cross-sectoral responsiveness in order to support the future of a democratic Internet and access to a shared citizen-driven knowledge base for everyone.

drawing of computers in chains used in Day Against DRM posterSpecific areas of focus could include, but are not limited to:

  • Internet-related legislation
    (e.g. Bill C-11, Lawful Access legislation), and
  • trade agreements
    (e.g. Trans-Pacific Partnership),
  • Internet connectivity issues,
  • Internet information filtering
    and sharing bans, and
  • Internet information storage
    and control issues.

Democracy Café Panel

The canadian Flag flies against a blue skyJames Howe,  the driving force behind the Social Media Breakfast in Waterloo Region

Alisa McClurg,  interested in the linkages between Internet democracy and resiliency, TransitionKW,

Paul Nijjar, on Internet connectivity issues, from The Working Centre

Kirk Zurell, proponent of the “Robot’s Rules of Order” and the “Digital House”

Jean Robertson, from the Upstart Collaboratory for Collaborative Culture Designing, will be facilitating.

This is a FREE community event, no registration is required.
Click for More Details
Check the Facebook page or follow the Twitter at #internetdemocracy hashtag.

I hope to see you there!


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