Sunday, March 30, 2008
Thanks to its place of prominence in the capital, 24 Sussex Dr., the Prime Minister's residence, is always easy to spot. As Ottawa went dark last night for Earth Hour, it was even easier.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's lights stayed on.
Okay so earth hour was just a symbolic gesture but couldn't he have pretended to support it? He had nothing to lose but good will. Methinks the lights are on but there's nobody home, if you know what I mean.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The weather continues to be abysmal but I looked out my bedroom window and spied a harbinger of spring. No, not the winter aconites with their yellow flowers pushing up through the snow but trucks moving stuff into the Courthouse Theatre, which is virtually in my backyard. I guess the Shaw Festival is just around the corner along with lots of new faces in the Valu-Mart as the actors, technicians, etc. take up temporary residence in town again - sort of like a flock of birds returning from a winter down south.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Suspended animation — the state that space travelers are always put into in movies so they don't age while traveling for many years — may turn out to actually be possible, and it's a simpler process than you'd expect. Yep, all you need to fall into a deep sleep and not age is a good dose of sewer gas.
This is good news for me. We have a nasty sewer gas odour that oozes periodically from the kitchen drain at the National Historic Site where I work. The plumber, after several visits($$) hasn't been able to determine the source. From now on,when we have classy little hors d'oeuvres events, I'll just explain that breathing in the noxious fumes is better than a nip/tuck . We'd probably see a huge increase in visitors, noses pressed eagerly to the drain.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
In June a new law goes into effect that allows owners to take their dogs with them into art galleries, theatres, restaurants, cinemas, post offices, museums and beaches. In fact, the only place, dogs (and all pets) will be banned from is The Teatro del Maggio Musicale, the Florence opera house.
The law, passed in order to 'break down barriers that separate Man from his best friends,' accomplishes what to me seemed impossible; it makes Florence, one of the most magical cities in the world, that much more spectacular!
Max is packing his chew toys as I post.
The average dad has gradually been getting better about picking himself up off the sofa and pitching in, according to a new report in which a psychologist suggests the payoff for doing more chores could be more sex. The Associated Press
Mr. Nag's response to this was, " Yeah, with the vacuum cleaner."
Monday, March 24, 2008
A few years back, a portable jukebox that had once belonged to John Lennon, in the 60’s was discovered. On it were Lennon’s hand written labels for his favorite 40 songs. This documentary is about those songs.
Found this at Smashing Telly It's smashing! Watch it if you've got 48 minutes to spare.
Mike Harris and his slash and burn gang gutted the Ontario Ministry of Labour when they were in power. Unpaid wages were a major issue when I worked for an MPP and it seems that nothing has changed. McGuinty tore into the Conservatives when he was in opposition but it looks like this is another instance of him failing to do anything to rectify an unfair situation when he has the power to do so. These workers earned their wages; they deserve to be paid.
The other morning I had a scare when I logged in and couldn't read text on the screen of my MacBook. It's a tiny screen but I'd been able to read it the day before. I was convinced that I'd become blind overnight as punishment for my procrastination.
Just then Nag Jr. happened to walk by, pressed the F2 key and, hallelujah, I could see again!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Passion Fruit of the Christ Easter Soufflé
"Girls, the only ingredient that takes a bit of poise and wrangling to procure is, of course, the flesh of the Christ. But for Heaven's sake, don't order over the Internet or you are likely to wind up with something in an Igloo cooler that came out of a Chinese dissident! Instead, I have found, that Catholic priests are rather alacritous in their willingness to allow me to score a stack of freshly consecrated hosts for my Body of Christ Soufflé. But come prepared with an envelope full of crisp twenty-dollar bills and a comely young boy who gives off the vague impression of being up for almost anything."Read complete recipe here
Sacrilegious! But what else would you expect at Easter from an atheist who isn't particularly fond of chocolate?
Over the past few weeks I've received a few emails (3 to be exact) from folks requesting that I add comments to my blog. What do you think? Would you comment? Would you be civil? You can email me at the address in the sidebar and if there seems to be an overwhelming (I'll decide how many because it's my blog) demand I'll add comments.
Most people in Britain do not believe they could lead their lives enjoyably or successfully without alcohol - but don't consider this to be a problem either, according to new research.
The fear of a life without alcohol is so endemic that most adults say they are scared by the idea of socialising, relaxing, taking part in any celebration or trying to have a good night's sleep without drinking.
All I have to say about that is, judging from a get-together with a group old friends last night, Canadians also like to down a lot of alcohol when they socialize (in this case margaritas). I don't know if fear is the driving emotion here but we sure love us our alcohol. Luckily Mr. Nag had to get up at 4:30 this morning to go to work so we left before any real damage was done. I'm betting some of my compadres are wishing they'd left early, too.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
MANILA - Health officials in the Philippines warned the Roman Catholic faithful Wednesday that re-enacting the crucifixion could be bad for their health.On Good Friday, dozens of people, mostly men, will be nailed to wooden crosses, while hundreds more will strip to the waist and whip themselves until their backs are cut and bloody as a way of atoning for their sins over the past year.
The department of health advised people taking part in the rituals to have a tetanus injection and to check the condition of the whip they will use before lashing their backs. It said dirty whips "welcome all sorts of infections and bacteria like tetanus.
If I were inclined to atone for my sins I'd rather just say 2 Our Fathers and 6 Hail Marys.
Via Optical Poptitude
And in a related Gadling piece:
Lampered, a firearm training system, has patented a bracelet that delivers shocks when activated. What does the company see as the ideal use for such a bracelet? Aviation safety. Lampered proposes that the TSA require every passenger to wear one of the bracelets, and as soon as any safety related problems arise in-flight, flight-attendants can give a disabling electrical shock to a suspect passenger.
Years ago I knew a fellow who was 6'8" and shambled along in a distinctive fashion reminiscent of a certain Adams Family character; he also, I'm sad to say, bore similar facial features. He was christened with the obvious nickname and was seldom referred to, at least when he was out of earshot, by his given name. I knew the nicknaming thing had gone too far when I heard someone introducing the fellow to some colleagues as "Lurch".
I wonder what people call me when I'm not around? I shudder to think about it.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
World’s Most Expensive Foods
I wouldn't spend money on gold flake or hand painted bottles. That's not food. Nor could I tell the difference between $250 whiskey and $25,000 whiskey (although I could probably tell $25 whiskey from the$250 stuff). Maybe I'm just not a connoisseur. On second thought, there's no maybe about it.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
BERLIN–A long and unusual German love story is over.
Petra the swan and her swan-shaped paddleboat are parting ways.
Petra, a black swan, became a minor celebrity in 2006 when she became so attached to the boat – which is shaped like an oversized white swan – that she refused to leave its side.
Officials in the western city of Muenster decided to let her stay with it over the winter, bringing both bird and boat into a city zoo.
However, Petra met a live swan this winter.
Zoo director Joerg Adler says Petra and her new mate – a white swan – are building a nest together.
The boat is to be returned to its local owner on Thursday.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Like many people, I enjoy the moist aroma and sinus-soothing vapors from a pot of boiling water. But it is often difficult to get a roiling boil just the way you remember it as a child. More
Monday, March 17, 2008
watching the brothel across the street.
They see a Baptist minister walk into the brothel, and one
of them says, “Aye, ’tis a shame to see a man of the cloth
Then they see a rabbi enter the brothel, and the other
Irishman said, “Aye, ’tis a shame to see that the Jews
are fallin’ victim to temptation as well.”
Then they see a catholic priest enter the brothel, and
one of the Irishmen says, “What a terrible pity …one of
the girls must be dying.”
Read more excellent Irish jokes at Smoke & Mirrors
Baby blankets from Baby Leo Designs make me wish pregnancy on someone (definitely someone other than myself) just so that I can buy one of these as a gift. It was hard to choose a favourite among the skulls and robots and sock monkeys but I am quite taken with the vintage tattoo design above. I bet you-know-what still sticks to them though.
Creepy,yes, but I like it too.
This reminds me of the time my Auntie Sheila was in Cleveland, celebrating St. Patrick's Day, and her purse was snatched. When it was retrieved later that night all that remained in it was the "Kiss Me I'm Irish" button.
In case you're wondering:
Shane MacGowan- the most infamous walking dental disaster area in rock history - plans to address the appalling state of his teeth.
"I am going to get my teeth done - emergency dentures to stop my face falling apart," he says.
"It's not painful but your bone structure is kept in by your teeth, so I might get some dentures in and leave it at that, or get them done gradually. "
Sunday, March 16, 2008
"Are you dressed revealingly? Is there a large toy crocodile in your hand luggage? While on this flight, do you intend to read pornography, emit offensive body odour or perhaps sing a topical football-based ditty?
If so, the chances are you’re going to get slung off."
The Issue with This Year's St. Patrick's Festivities
In 2008, March 17 falls on a Monday - but not just any Monday. It falls on the Monday of Holy Week, the days that follow up to Easter. Holy Week is meant to be a solemn week reserved for prayer and remembrance of the week leading to the death of Jesus - a deep contrast from the usual festivities associated with St. Patrick's Day.
It was Irish bishops of the Catholic tradition who wrote to the Pope asking on what would be done.
The decision? St. Patrick's Day in 2008 would not be celebrated on Monday the 17th during Holy Week, but on the Saturday before on Saturday the 15th. This is the first time in almost 100 years (since 1913) that St. Patrick's Day has not been celebrated on March 17th. It won't be until 2160 that this uncommon occurrence of date and festival clashes will occur again.
I thought for a minute that I'd missed it but the Irish pub around the corner is gearing up for all day festivities tomorrow.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Agonizing over how to put down his ailing cat, Alexander Woollcott consulted Dorothy Parker.
She said, "Try curiosity."
I wish I'd read this yesterday! I could have offered some constructive advice rather than mere commiseration to a colleague who was bemoaning a $2500.00 veterinary bill after her cat ate something it shouldn't have.
Via Futility Closet
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
A recent poll conducted by Lavalifefound that on the sexiness scale, men rated doctors and nurses (50%) over athletes (21%), bartenders (17%) and firefighters (12%). Women clearly preferred firefighters, with an overwhelming 70% of women indicating firemen as their top pick. Women voted bartenders the least sexy (7%), followed closely byathletes (11%) and doctors/nurses (12%).
"We're not surprised by this result. There's something irresistible about a man in uniform with a big hose", says Lori Miller, Lavalife MarketingManager."
When I came home in the evening I found these wonderful French casserole dishes from another friend's shop!
Two big gifts in one day! My first thought was ,"What has he done now? Must be something pretty major."
I racked my brain (Though the phrase wrack your brain is in common usage, rack is the original form. It appears to be derived from the Germanic rak meaning to stretch or strain. wrack generally means something misery-related, such as destruction or wreckage.) but I couldn't nail him with any unusually egregious behaviour. Maybe it's a form of insurance, just in case he ever does transgress.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The Right Gift for Japan's White Day
Louis Vuitton... it's the one brand name status-seekers in Japan prize over all the others. On 'White Day' (when Japan's men buy their women, and female friends, bosses, co-workers and so on, something white, usually white chocolate) Louis Vuitton monogrammed roses will ensure that YOUR name receives the same appreciation.
Thanks Steve (I wish you'd have sent me a rose along with the link, though)
The photo above could do double duty as an illustration for my vegan strip club post.
Via Photo Basement
Monday, March 10, 2008
Failing to recycle plastic bags could find you spending eternity in Hell, the Vatican said after drawing up a list of seven deadly sins for our times.
The seven, which include polluting the environment, were announced by Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, a close ally of the Pope and the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, one of the Roman Curia's main court.
Recycling could save your soul from eternal damnation
Polluting the environment by failing to recycle is one of the new seven deadly sins.
Adding the accumulation of obscene wealth to this list is particularly galling when one considers the obscene wealth of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Mr. Nag had to dig out a toilet area for Max this morning. He's a huge dog but the snow comes up to his haunches, making it impossible for him to lift his leg to do what he has to do. We used to have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Violet who loved to chase snow flakes. This winter would have exhausted her and/or driven her psychotic.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Around-town errands become hop-skip-and- a-jump field trips with these hilarious Easter bunny ears and puffy pink nose that easily attach to your car or truck.
Via Blog on a Toothpick
If you're female and...
...you can vote, thank a feminist.
...you get paid as much as men doing the same job, thank a feminist.
...you went to college instead of being expected to quit after high school so your brothers could go because "You'll just get married anyway", thank a feminist.
...you can apply for any job, not just "women's work", thank a feminist.
...you can get or give birth control information without going to jail, thank a feminist
...your doctor, lawyer, pastor judge or legislator is a woman, thank a feminist.
...you play an organized sport, thank a feminist.
...you can wear slacks without being excommunicated from your church or run out of town, thank a feminist.
...your boss isn't allowed to pressure you to sleep with him, thank a feminist.
...you get raped and the trial isn't about your hemline or your previous boyfriends, thank a feminist.
...you start a small business and can get a loan using only your name and credit history, thank a feminist
...you are on trial and are allowed to testify in your own defense, thank a feminist.
...you own property that is solely yours, thank a feminist.
Canned food is being canned. Supermarkets are phasing it out in favour of food in cheaper-to-recycle tetrapacks. So to mark the end of two centuries of canning, I decided to eat nothing but canned food for seven days. To make it interesting, I procured the finest tinned treats from around the world, like canned cheeseburgers from Germany, canned fish from Sweden, canned intestines from Spain and canned bread from the USA. And with this intercontinental smorgasbord spread before me, I grabbed my can opener and dug in...
CHECK OUT THE CANIVORE DIET
Friday, March 07, 2008
I've worn saddle shoes, go-go boots, earth shoes (anyone else remember them?), airsick-making platforms and ankle twisting heels. Now I wear whatever won't give me blisters.
The Century in Shoes is like a footwear time machine.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Soda cans, beer cans, canned coffee... in Japan, it's not always easy to distinguish one from the other with your eyes closed. With that in mind, Japanese brewers have begun stamping patterns of raised dots on top of their beer cans.
Via Inventor Spot
Douglas Jones’ clients include the New York Times, Washington Post, Penguin Books, Fast Company and way more. But, these posters – which recontextualize Shakespeare against “the rural Canadian experience” – were made as a self-promotion piece (translation: for fun).
Via who else? The CANADIAN DESIGN RESOURCE