What’s green and orange and hopes to live only 4 years?
What’s green and orange and hopes to live only 4 years?
If you recognize this image of the school house fireworks, you were not born in this century, and you definitely spent part of your childhood in Eastern Canada.Trust the New York Times and Ian Austen to explore Victoria Day, and some of the customs around this holiday.
Canada’s Victoria Day is unique in that it marks the birthday of Queen Victoria. She was the Queen when Canada became a country 150 years ago. She was born on May 24 and the Province of Canada (at that time what is now Ontario and Quebec) marked her birthday. And it was a great moment when parliament in 1952 made a long weekend for everyone by making Victoria Day the Monday before May 25. Brilliant move.
In the last century people toasted the Queen, and if you lived in Eastern Canada there were buckets of sand at the end of driveways and people burned paper school houses in the evening. They were not that exciting to watch. Once lit they did burn, but without any fantastical experience that children would remember. There were however, other noisy fireworks and hand-held sparklers.
But back to those burning schoolhouses. Why did we burn them? As Austen notes “While Canada Day has more or less taken over in terms of fireworks, during my childhood Victoria Day was also Firecracker Day. Family fireworks shows traditionally ended with the Burning Schoolhouse. Apparently a creation of a Canadian fireworks company and largely unknown outside Canada, the blue and red cardboard buildings perhaps reflected the holiday’s proximity to the end of school. Or maybe just general juvenile animosity.”
Austen suggests that Victoria Day is the day that people with summer cottages and shacks open them-I think Victoria Day is also generally the day where you are finally safe to plant those tender annual plants that you bought at the local plant sale, and send your houseplants out to the balcony for a summer holiday. It’s also the true start to being outdoors, biking more, and enjoying long sunlit evenings. A true Vancouver tradition.
Vancouver’s Official City Bird is Anna’s Hummingbird. With 3,450 out of 8,259 votes (42%), Anna’s Hummingbird flew past the Northern Flicker, Varied Thrush and Spotted Towhee.
Although this seems lighthearted (and it is) birds are an indicator species for the health of the city, and play many roles: pollinators, seed distributors and insect eaters.
Vancouver is among birders’ favourite destinations, bringing tourism business. Around 370 species having been recorded in Greater Vancouver. Notable, too, is the upcoming 27th International Ornithological Congress August 19-28 2018. Vancouver will host around 2,000 bird scientists.
The announcement event at the VPL was fun and fittingly lighthearted, featuring giant “birds”, mercifully short speeches and newly-commissioned music for brass quintet.
Thanks to the Globe and Mail for this look at postmodern crime, when ransoms and hacking and phishing (oh my) are no longer satisfying to the bot-mind.
As a heavy-handed demonstration of the awesome power inherent in City government, here’s a so-called “coincidence“.
You be the judge.
The May 15 introduction of 2107 watering restrictions. Why this date, of all dates?
Just a coincidence (??). May 18’s Vancouver forecast from Environment Canada, after months of cold wet weather:
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting concerned, and am seriously thinking of getting my tinfoil hat out of the closet.
One-of-a-kind signage in the West End of Vancouver (Harwood & Bidwell). The tree that has prompted this warning is an ancient beauty that captures my attention and admiration each time I pass by.
The Vienna Model exhibition, curated by Wolfgang Forster and William Menkins, explores housing in Vienna, Austria, through its portrait of the city’s pathbreaking approach to architecture, urban life, neighborhood revitalization, and the creation of new communities.
Vancouver is consistently ranked alongside the Vienna as one of the world’s most livable cities. Vienna has a stable housing market, with 60% of the population living in municipally built, owned, or managed housing. By comparison, Vancouver is undergoing a housing crisis. Vienna’s housing history and policies provides alternative approaches for British Columbia.
As Vancouver embarks upon a community engagement process revolving around housing, The Vienna Model expands discussion about urban planning options and encourages dialogue and debate on the future of the city.
Another intro is HERE, but you need to scroll down the page a bit. Some of Vienna’s designs are whimsical, colourful and arresting (see below). Maybe a bit too whimsical, a bit too colourful for Vancouver. Oh well. We can dream.
The Hundertwasser-Haus in Vienna, designed by the expressionist painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Joseph Krawina. Credit: Isik Mater.
This 49 minute video explores a 3200-unit residential development in Vienna.
Oh my. I haven’t made any progress in understanding Vancouver at all. There are byways and back eddies that I’ll never penetrate or understand. Depressing. Totally.
Thanks to Councilor Andrea Reimer for this tweet.
Yacht owners, it seems, had an affordability problem at some point that called them to action. I do know that “BOAT” is an acronym (“Bring On Another Thousand”). And that such boats are often described as holes in the water that you throw money into.
But forming a low-cost alternative yacht club?? It seems we were a much different but still very first-world city way back then.
Here’s the hash tag for collecting further hilarious examples. #AltYacht
Walking near Nelson and Howe (808 Nelson St., Nelson Square) and discovered this fun showing. Dozens of reproductions of a comic strip character called Tian Tian, in various sizes, altered by artists.
Tian Tian is the creation of Hong Kong’s Danny Yung. The exhibit is one of those things that makes a city a stimulating place, when serendipity meets cross-cultural fun.
Click any image to see a large version slideshow of them all.
The Blank Boy Canvas collaboration has been brought to North America in an exhibit designed to stimulate conversation about creative reasoning and the individual approach to creative execution. The three-dimensional, nearly 2 ft. casting has been given to selected artists to freely express, create or alter while exploring the theme of infinite possibilities. This cross-cultural collaboration transcends language and denomination. Explore each artist’s creation, and learn more about them!
Remember when you got your first bike? The BBC reports on an eight year old that skipped the training wheels and went straight to driving the family car to McDonald’s, with his sister in the passenger seat. It was a surprise when police started receiving calls that a small boy was driving a vehicle through town. “The boy drove 1.5 miles (2.4km), covering four intersections, railway tracks, and several turns, Police Constable Koehler told Cleveland news outlet Fox8.”
The kid drove right up to the drive through window of his local McDonald’s and asked for cheeseburgers and chicken mcnuggets while his parents were asleep at home. Staff thought it was a prank. While witnesses pointed out that the young driver obeyed all traffic laws and lights, the eight year old said he had learned to drive by watching YouTube videos. No charges were laid.
Yes, folks, the dope-smoking HIPPIE has returned from its societal graveyard to menace our land. Perhaps you thought this anarchy-promoting villain had died a merciful death in the ’70’s, along with tie-died t-shirts, bell-bottom jeans, communes, peace, love and flower power.
But here they return in a classic PostMedia headline. Ripped from the dusty cobwebbed vaults of yesteryear.
When it comes to riling up the readers of PostMedia’s Vancouver Sun newspaper, it looks like a return to these happy journalistic memories for Matt Robinson. It’s sure to induce a suburb-wide wonderful glow of nostalgia and a cozily familiar frenzy of pearl-clutching, tut-tutting and sharp intakes of breath.
Here’s two photos from the 2016 event.
For those interested, here’s a report from the GM of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (March 1, 2017) on the permit application from the Vancouver 420 Events Society for the April 20, 2017 event at Sunset Park. It’s dull as day-old dishwater, of course, with no warning of the insidious resurrection of HIPPIES. There is mention of Park Board bylaw problems (yawn): smoking in the park, selling stuff. Plus concern for health, safety and so on.
While both groups acknowledge the challenging aspects associated with the 420 celebration and protest, they also recognize that the event will occur regardless. Further, with the impending federal legalization of marijuana, there is recognition that in the foreseeable future, the 420 initiative will likely shift from being a protest to a legal celebration. . . .
. . . CONCLUSION Staff are aware that the 420 celebratory and protest event will be occurring at Sunset Beach Park regardless of whether the Park Board approves the special event permit and by-law exemption that has been requested by the organizers. As such, the Working Group and Steering Committee continues to refine operational plans that are informed by past learnings. While taking a provisional approach may provide more mechanisms to regulate the event, staff will use whatever tools are available to ensure that public health and safety is the first priority and that impacts to the park and local community are mitigated to the greatest extent possible.
Personally, I see the recent 420 events as a shrinking protest or celebration, and a growing marketing event at which proto-businesses vie to create and elevate their consumer brands in the impending post-legalization marketplace. There are major fortunes waiting out there for those who make it to the top of the heap brand-wise. Not to mention behind-the-scenes business opportunities (see below).
Brands getting major visual space in 2016 included: The One Stop Shop, Dirty’s 100% Organic, Dab City, Mary Jane’s, CCHQ (Cannabis Culture Headquarters: “head”, get it?), CannaBliss.
Behind-the-scenes businesses are moving right along:
Invest In Cannabis (articles on Marijuana ETF’s, US Sales figures, VC-backing opportunities, and so on)
Hill and Gertner Capital Corp:: a merchant bank with design and brand experience, and active involvement in rising brand Tokyo Smoke. A fascinating read.
Is a Dot.Bong Bubble In the Air?: warns the Globe and Mail about marijuana industry investors, and the usual scam companies:
The hype surrounding this new sector has seen junior mining companies rebrand as medical marijuana firms almost overnight. Amid a flurry of press releases from companies touting future production, stock regulators in Canada and the United States took the unusual step of warning investors to tread carefully around medical marijuana stocks, fearing a bubble is forming and that stock manipulations among small companies on venture exchanges and over-the-counter markets may be taking place.
To round out the breadth of the scene:
From Global News: The cannabis industry is sparking an interest among investors.
Connor Cruise, CEO of Brassneck Capital Corp., invested in a licensed cannabis company and helped take it public.
“There’s a lot of upside to this,” he said, adding spin-off industries could also thrive as Canada cultivates its pot industry and the government moves to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
“Everything from lighting to fertilizers to technology companies,” he explained. “A lot of larger companies haven’t touched this space because it’s been a grey or black market. But now with it getting legalized, you’re going to see more of that come into it and I think that’s great.”
Marijuana growing companies are also proving to be a safer bet than some more traditional resource investments.
“If you take a look at the stock markets, oil has gone down, but all the marijuana stock have held steady .. last six months,” said Justin Dhaliwal.
For those interested in social satire, here’s a free idea. A piece on the total corporatization of a future 420 Event — sort of a Car Show or Boat Show or Home Show for the cannabis industry. Imagine the hilarious dislocation and conflict between the marketing crowd (grinning cubicle drones) and the hard-core pot underground holdouts. Hours of fun.
Oh yes, and a chance to put HIPPIES on display again.
Its seemed like a simple thing, but became a icon in Los Angeles without really trying. When British designer Paul Smith opened up shop on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood 11 years ago he painted the concrete wall a very very bright pink. Originally thinking that this would attract passing motorists, this wall has become the message for thousands of Instagram photo takers with over 44,000 posts on the tag #pinkwall.
Paul Smith’s Pink Wall has even been featured in Fashionista.com where Dani Mau noted “One visitor I spoke to even referred to it as a “landmark,” and as of a few months ago, it has its own security guard tasked with preventing cars from colliding with photo-takers and attempting to enforce the no-professional-cameras rule.There wasn’t one moment during my time there that the wall wasn’t at least 70-percent occupied by friend groups, couples and even entire families taking photos without any detectable shame or embarrassment.
Visitors tended not to take a quick shot and leave, but rather spend upwards of 10 minutes crafting the perfect photograph, pausing to look at the results, giggle, and start over with a new pose. The scene was more reminiscent of what might go down in front of Niagara Falls or the Eiffel Tower than your typical Instagram wall. “
Now Paul Smith’s products are not cheap, and certainly many of the folks taking photos with the pink wall may not be able to afford his products-yet. “While knowing about a brand doesn’t translate to sales now, that doesn’t mean it can’t in the future…Well, perhaps 20 years from now, when they’re celebrating a recent job promotion by treating themselves to a new work outfit (Paul Smith) or cocktail dress (Dolce), they’ll remember the brand that provided so many exciting Instagram moments during their youth.”
Lots of things change when big things change for the better.
Here at Point Grey Road and Collingwood, you will find “The Haiku Hedge”, installed as part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.
Click an image to get an expanded slideshow of them all.
Would anyone have stopped to look at these, or even made the effort to put them up, when PGR was a noisy, nasty roaring arterial?
From the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival site:
Vancouver loves its flowering cherry trees, all 40,000 of them! While they bloom from March through May, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival invites you to celebrate their beauty with your haiku.
The ephemeral nature of the blossoming of cherry trees teaches us all to celebrate life now. Similarly, haiku captures a fleeting moment in time with deep awareness and subtle appreciation.
We encourage both budding and seasoned poets to join other poets from around the world (past submissions have arrived from as faraway as Australia, Bangladesh, Croatia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom) in honouring our awe-inspiring cherry trees.
The festival welcomes haiku submissions that capture the essence of cherry blossoms while honouring our relationships to each other and the natural world.
Now that hot yoga has cooled off as the fad de jour, here comes the next big furry one.
Yes. Cute little baby goats frisking around while you do the dog.
From the Bangor Daily News: It’s catching on, and the farm owners are now scrambling to keep up with the viral sensation.
Farm owner Peter Corriveau says they just started classes a week ago, and are already booked through June.
“Who doesn’t love baby goats? There’s nothing cuter than a baby goat”, Corriveau told WGME. “There’s just something about them, their nature.”
Design Boom describes the whimsical and interactive piece designed by Florentijn Hofman of the Netherlands which is a centrepiece of a public park in Shenzhen China.
This artist is well known for whimsical animal sculptures, located throughout the world. The concept behind the octopus created in Shenzhen is to create a space that can be explored and enjoyed by kids and adults. “Hofman worked closely alongside the team at UAP throughout the design, development, and fabrication of the project, investigating the materials required to bring ‘kraken’ to life. providing an imaginative space for families to explore, visitors enter the playscape through the character’s tentacles, where they climb through a netted abyss. upon arrival to the top, a large playable space awaits within ‘kraken’s’ rounded head.”
The sculpture is well-integrated in the site, and its effective adoption by the community is evident in the photos-everyone wants to interact with this wonderous creature.
Amid the furor over United Airlines’ recent behaviour, the tone-deaf communications continue:
In this SUMMARY, see what 2,348 people said about their Vancouver. Talk Vancouver put the survey together as a way to celebrate Vancouver’s anniversary on April 6.
Sample question with breakdown of answers:
Or here’s a video if you prefer:
Russian Gov’t automated phone menu system – please listen (Russian, then English) Your opinion?
It’s easy to forget how important motordom was to the 20th century and how it was really seen as the progressive way forward to modernity.
This 1955 film clip from New Zealand is a four-minute feature on safety improvements for the one hundred mile highway between Porirua and Wanganui. Looking to eliminate road accidents, the Transport Department and the National Road Board experimented with several novel ideas-like putting a stripe down the highway to delineate which sides the car should travel on, measuring curves for speed and using “microwave” radar detectors. Take a quick drive down the “guinea pig highway” when the car was king by accessing the video here.
A video making the rounds — now here on PT. Runs 1:39.