Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I was not nicknamed 'Gas' for my diet but for brother Eras and I instructing ourselves in chemistry using a shed in the garden as a lab. Following William Brande’s Manual of Chemistry we explosively deprived ourselves of eyebrows on a number of occasions. - Charles Darwin's blogVia
Here are eight really cool gadgets that any aspiring secret agents or James Bond admirers should check out. With this gear, you can actually turn yourself into a real spy.
If you don't succeed as a spy several of these gadgets (like the Bullet/Stab Proof Jacket or the Lock Gun) would come in handy if you opt for a life of crime instead.
Anonymous Treehugger Buys Eco-House For $15 Million:
Orchid House is a home shaped like a bee orchid that should produce more energy than it consumes thanks to an underground pump and geothermal heating.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
The sufi jazz in the video below is really interesting:
Find out more about the hang here.
Expo 67 opens to the public
With the dazzle of lights on the midway, Expo 67 by night is a "carnival atmosphere with class." The world's fair in Montreal has thrown open its gates to the public, and visitors are thronging the site to get a first-hand glimpse of the pavilions and exhibits. But when the sun sets, the main attraction is the thrilling La Ronde amusement park. This CBC special goes live to La Ronde as opening day draws to a close.
It's 2008 and our space hero, Dan Dare, has made a rare return to Earth to the Science Museum's new exhibition in London. Back from battling the power-mad Mekon, our Pilot of the Future explores the role played by technology in creating post-war Britain.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Canadian Paintings in the Thirties is a film based on the exhibition organized by the National Gallery that toured Canada in 1975. The paintings are juxtaposed with black-and-white newsreel footage of the more obvious social realities during the years of the Depression. The film shows that the artists of the day, in spite of economic setbacks, produced an inspired body of work.
Closing Time documents the last month of the oldest store in the little Italy section of New York City. It is a portrait of the Rossi family, of the neighborhood that used to be and of the way the city changes in a blink of an eye.
Page 4 features the Cote Vermeille and has this to say about Banyuls where we hunkered down for 10 days recently:
The village of Banyuls is as sweet as its wine, with a harbour full of palm-shaded cafes, wine caves in the old streets, and roads leading up the wine terraces and over the mountains to Spain.
It was definitely all that.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Global Voices Advocacy
The Map does not aim to index all kinds of web filtering, but rather to provide an overview of online censorship efforts related to the social web and major web 2.0 websites. This project will also track and explore the relationships between anti-censorship groups in different parts of the world who are collaborating to defend the right to access web 2.0 tools and websites.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I came across an article in the St. Catharines Standard about a local woman who adopted four Potcakes. I had never heard about these indigenous Caribbean dogs but found a wealth of information about the breed at sites like Potcake Place and Royal Potcake Rescue.
Although officially considered mixed breed dogs, the Royal Bahamian Potcake is a recognized breed in The Bahamas. They have distinct characteristics of size and temperament. This is because, until very recently, all island dogs shared the same isolated gene pool. This makes the Potcake an extremely unique species of canine.
Here's a flickr set of Potcakes. They sure are cute.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Creatures of the wind:
Meet Animaris Rhinoceros, a new species created by Dutch scientist turned artist Theo Jansen. This amazing-looking being is a wind-powered walking sculpture. The Rhinoceros is a 2-ton transporter intended for crossing the tundra. Someone has to pull it to set it in motion, then it's up to the wind to carry it along. There's also room inside it to sleep.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
What, a 58 year old radio for an iPod? yeah, thats right.
There are a few of these old radios kicking around in the back shed (aka Mr. Nag's House of Horrors). I'm inspired to do something creative with them. If that doesn't work out I'll install some speakers in Mr. Nag who is of a similar vintage.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It's a good move (lawn care companies may disagree) but we are leagues behind the Europeans, environmentally speaking. For instance many EU supermarkets do not give out disposable bags, either paper or plastic. In many large stores you must remember your panier à provisions or you are forced to either buy a cloth bag or carry your baguette, olives, wine etc. in your arms. Lights in hotel rooms turn off automatically when you leave your room, recycling is comprehensive, more solar power is used and there is better public transit. Overall the cars they drive are smaller and use cleaner diesel. The little Peugeot we rented for 10 days used less than a tank of diesel and we did a lot of driving.
Want to do more to change the environment? Check out The Nag (no relation) and find out you what you can do to live greener and cleaner.
For a more comprehensive history of these events go to the French Archives site. Lots more there.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Back to the wine. A miraculous event has occurred. Mr. Nag bought a box of cheap wine that we are using as a supplement to the good stuff. No matter how much we of it we drink we always have more. This would be a Nag's dream come true if it were good wine but it's not and, more to the point, it doesn't get me nearly as intoxicated as I like to be.
Friday, April 11, 2008
George Clinton on Smashing Telly
I was never a big fan but I watched this great little video and I'm thinkin' maybe I should've given them a little more respect back in the day. Frankly they just freaked me out. It's worth a look.
We arrived at Banyuls along the coastal road, many kilometers of hairpin turns up and down the mountains with no shoulder and no rails to keep the car from hurtling over the cliffs into the Mediterranean. It reminded me of our drive through Sicily last year. Once again I could feel the perspiration shooting out of the palms of my hands like some sort of superhero's acidic superweapon. I could aim my palms at a villain and threaten, "Back off Skeletor or I'll blind you with my stress sweat!". The idea of the Pyrenees coming right down to the sea appealed to me once. Now, not so much.
It was 29 and sunny when we drove up from Spain yesterday. Today it is 11 with intense wind and rain. Nonetheless hearty Catalans were seated at outdoor tables drinking cool, refreshing glasses of white wine and beer. I got chills just watching them from my cozy interior table. I took a couple of pictures that make it look like the weather is pleasant - it is not.
Wifi seems to be iffy here so if you don't hear from me for awhile don't feel you have to call the cops.
The view (below) from our terrace is super despite the foul weather:
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
A big surprise was the large colony of wild parrots that we've seen all over the place. They add a certain exotic touch but unfortunately they moved too quickly for me to get any pics.
Here's a little of what I've seen so far - make sure to click on them to biggify:
Do you like the dog with the mohawk? The owner had another dog that was shaved like a lion but it preferred running on the beach to posing for photos.
It's adios to Barcelona tomorrow when we travel up the coast to Banyuls in France where we've rented a house for 10 days.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Long time passing?
Where have all the dictators gone
Long time ago?
Here's an interesting map that shows you which destinations to avoid if you don't want to bump noses with deposed dictators. (Not that I'd let the risk of a chance encounter with Baby Doc deter me from visiting Paris.)
Though the immediate future of Zimbabwe remains uncertain following its presidential election , chances are growing that President Robert Mugabe could join the ranks of other fallen rulers who have gone into exile. From Mobutu to "Baby Doc," here's a look at some of the bolt-holes favored by dictators past.
Get your kilts on laddies! It's Tartan Day, the one day of the year that crossdressing guys can wear a little something that lets the breeze up and no one will bat an eye. You can send a photo of yourself to Real Men Wear Kilts. Don't have a kilt? No problem, you can weave your own.
Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.
Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.
Weight loss? I wish.
Friday, April 04, 2008
I was totally surprised to see that my silly little blog received mention in Chatelaine magazine. When I received an email from a friend I was sure it was an April Fool's joke but she sent along the scanned article above. In case you can't read the text, it goes like this:
An eclectic mix of current events, pop culture and personal posts by the self-deprecating Niagara-on-the-Lake based "Nag".
They forgot to mention superficial, self-absorbed and unoriginal.
Pedestrians in the city often find themselves walking in deep thought. A routine trip can prompt reflections on everything from future goals to last night’s dinner conversation. As people sacrifice personal time for hectic schedules, these casual occasions for reflection become all the more important.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
This award originated here and, curiously enough, ended up here.
By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded…
First let me thank my nominator The Reluctant Housewife , a really cool mum with a really cool masthead.
- Blort, the cadillac of linkbloggers
- Lori, the lady on a train who nails absurdity
- Raincoaster, a tentacled linguist
- Karen, a cunning linguist.
- Uncorrected Proofs, a left wingnut and a good friend
- Hanan, a big blogger with a kind heart
- Tokyofan, a blogger buddy from Quebec
- Polly-Vous Francais? , makes me miss Paris every time I read her
- Squandrous, a new discovery
I know spring is right around the corner when I see the spring aconites. After yesterday's warm weather there are other interesting things popping up through the snow as well. I see a dinosaur, a Santa, a gutted panther and a red plastic porcupine. Max is holding his monster and The Daily Growl in his mouth. Out of sight is a little soldier. I often wonder who designs dog toys; some of them are a little bizarre.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Why do people steal birds' eggs? Why indeed? Just when I was becoming increasingly jaded and thought I'd heard it all - a crime I never knew existed!
To most of us, eggshells are the remnants of an English breakfast or something to paint on Easter morning. But to a small group of collectors, they are a dangerous and unlawful obsession. Why do they steal rare birds' eggs?