Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Poor Forgotten Blog

Someone just asked me why I don't have my other blog listed on my blogroll. Search me... I'm sure it was there at one time. Poor little blog, no wonder it only gets double digit hits.

I was not nicknamed 'Gas' for my diet

This is a great little blog:
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 blog

The name is Lake, Nag on the Lake

8 Essential Gadgets For a Secret Agent
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.
Via Coudal

Wanna be green? It'll cost you.

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.


I think a paternity test is in order

I can't help myself - I'm drawn to this site like Amy Winehouse to crack.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Getting the hang of it...

We saw this guy (Leonardo Trincabelli) playing in this very spot in Barcelona and were so impressed we bought his CD. I'd never heard hang music before - it's amazing that such incredible music can come from what looks like an upside down wok.

The sufi jazz in the video below is really interesting:

Find out more about the hang here.

The Price of a Pint

Pint Price is a database of World Beer Prices.
Via Optical Poptitude

What candidate talks the toughest?

Take Radar's quiz


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.

Day of Mourning

Sufferin' satellites! We've built the future!

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 art of the depression era

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.


The end of an era

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.


20 Mediterranean Holidays

The travel section of today's Guardian has an article touting jewels of the Mediterranean just waiting to be discovered .
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

iPhone unpacking

iPhone unpacking - a set on Flickr
via Squandrous

Max's Halloween transformation kit

This is not a costume. This is a kit to completely transform your beloved pug or beagle from a cute canine to the ultimate unicorn.

I wonder if they come in XXL...
Via Plime

Access Denied Map

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.

Via Plep

Uno dopey looking bike

Uno - tomorrow's transportation
That's tomorrow for someone, maybe, but I can confidently say never for me.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Not for acrophobics

My dad sent me this today. He must know that my always severe fear of heights has been cranked up a notch and is now a full blown phobia. Mr. Nag deserves a medal for putting up with my gasping, clutching at the seat and stamping on a non-existent brake pedal when we drove along the Costa Brava and the Pyrenees. I lost it at one point when we were descending from the hill town of Castelnou. We were in the outside lane on a winding road with nothing but a 12 inch strip of gravel between us and a steep cliff. A large Mercedes came around the corner and forced our little blue Peugeot onto that gravel strip. I felt the crunch of gravel under the tires and I started moaning and squealing, convinced that we were about to topple into oblivion. I now know the meaning of sheer terror. This video made my stomach churn.

My blog is good clean fun

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

12 Crazy Old Ads

I was raised thinking this stuff was normal. That explains a few things about my character.
12 Crazy Old Ads

What is a potcake ?

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

Retirees' Drill Team

Retirement is just around the corner. I think it's time for Mr. Nag to adopt this regimen...


Animaris Rhinoceros

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.

Via Been-Seen

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Retro iPod speaker

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.

Via Notcot

Fashion of the future

Yeah, I looked like this in 2000 but I've moved on.


Indian Street Graphics

A super collection of Indian Street Graphics
Via Blort


Luis Ramos does beautiful Neo-Classical Paintings of Your Pet

Patti Smith and Ralph Nader rock

I hadn't seen this before. Come to think of it I haven't seen or heard much of anything from the Nader campaign.

Via Art Threat

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The sad truth behind The Nag's prolific blogging

Via Bits & Pieces

A design for life

Cold War Modern: Design 1945-70 opens at the Victoria and Albert in September. It looks at the rise of consumerism and how Europe rebuilt itself after the second world war.

Happy Earth Day

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty will mark Earth Day this morning by announcing a province-wide ban on the sale and use of lawn and garden pesticides.

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.

Bicycle Frame Chandelier

This fantastic chandelier lives at The Drake Hotel in Toronto. I found it at The Canadian Design Resource.

Paris Mai 1968

Interactive audio tour of Paris 1968
In Paris in May 1968, massive confrontations between police and students brought workers out on a general strike and brought the government to the point of collapse. This podcast takes you to the streets in Paris where it all went down.
For a more comprehensive history of these events go to the French Archives site. Lots more there.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Engineers love cats


Still on European time

Up at 4am. What else is there to do but organize photos? Banyuls, Collioure, Port Vendres, Perpignan, Elne and Castelnou are here. Barcelona is here.

Granta covers

Thirty years of Granta covers
A great collection of covrs from one of my favourite literary magazines.

Kitty playing the theremin

Here's a new addition to my theremin post collection (see here and here)

Via Clusterflock

Mama Wants A New Pair Of Boobs

My Beautiful Mommy is a picture book about plastic surgery that aims to explain why mom is getting a flatter tummy and a 'prettier' nose.
Am I the only one who is made uncomfortable by this?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stencil Graffiti

Blek le rat - my vibe
Mr. Nag saw this guy at MACBA today and asked me to google him (only he says "goggle" just to annoy me). This artist has been around for a long time but hasn't got the profile Banksy has. I like his stuff.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Nag's Progress

I'm trying to finish this post before my temperamental wifi dies yet again. We've been taking day trips around the Cote Vermeille, eating some fabulous food and drinking far too much red wine. Some highlights have been the medieval village of Castelnou, Collioure, home of the Fauves, Port Vendres, a busy fishing village and the walled town of Elne with its cathedral and cloister. Nag Central is a house in Banyuls-sur-Mer, a charming town at this time of year but probably crawling with tourists in the summer months. Right now we are able to wander through all the sites in the region and have them virtually to ourselves.
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

13 Fabulous Photos of a Rainy Day

These Photos of a Rainy Day are much better than the ones I took today so I'll post them instead.
Via Plep


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.


It's great to be back in a country where I can understand the language. I didn't realize how good my French is until I tried to speak Catalan - so many x's that I didn't know how to pronounce. When we were in Spain Mr. Nag tried to communicate in a language I call Catalian - a bastard child of Catalan and Italian that only he can understand. I used the wee bit of Spanish I've picked up from old American westerns. It's amazing that we managed to get ourselves lodged and fed.
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


I'm loving Barcelona. It's a very pedestrian friendly city with lots of streets closed to cars. The architecture is stunning. When I was a teenager I had a boyfriend who introduced me to Antonio Gaudi - not in the flesh of course, I'm not that old - and I've wanted to go to Barcelona ever since . I've dreamed of seeing his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia . I knew it's been under construction forever but I had no idea the interior remained so undone. The target date for completion is 2030 so it's unlikely I'll ever see it finished. I enjoyed the tour of his Casa Mila much more. Like all the other gawking tourists I'm getting a stiff neck from craning to see all the interesting spires and chimneys on the rooftops.
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

Somewhere to Run To, Baby, Somewhere To Hide

Where have all the dictators gone
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.

Via Reddit

I find proof by terror to be very effective

36 Methods of Mathematical Proof:
If the proof of a theorem is not immediately apparent, it may be because you are trying the wrong approach.

Thanks Presurfer

Plaid Perfection

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.

Death by blogging

In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop

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

Chatelaine can't resist The Nag

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.

No time for the 50 minute hour?

Sidewalk Psychiatry:
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.

Via Presurfer

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I am definitely losing it

I know it's time for a vacation when I inadvertently press Publish instead of Save. I did a nice little post on Tartan Day which is coming up April 6. I figured I might not have time on the day itself as I will likely be suffering from climate shock in Barcelona. Then I pressed Publish Post. Some of you may think you were imagining this post or that I was teasing you or even that I bowed to the anti-Scottish lobby. You weren't. I wasn't. I didn't. I'm an idiot, that's all. I put it back in Drafts where it belongs and you'll just have to wait until April 6 to see it again.

Excellent Blog Award Meme

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.

Dare I hope?

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?

Lawrence Welk, hardass

This illustration of Lawrence Welk on I'm Learning To Share! made me laugh. He was so not all that!


Homeless ad found at the always thought provoking Marketing Alternatif