Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

No, Japan did not have a Christmas display of crucified Santas in a department store.

During the years of the bubble economy in the 80s and 90s , when the Japanese economy was booming, a legend sprang up that some time after the war, in the 50s or just a few years ago a department store in Japan innocently put up Santa Claus on crosses, thinking that was appropriate for the season.
There are not a lot of Christians in Japan, but everybody there knows that crucifixion is a way of killing someone, not of honouring them - Christians were crucified in Japan in the 16th Century after the religion was outlawed, and POWs were crucified by the Japanese during WWII.
There aren't any news articles that support the crucified Santa claim, but one image I keep seeing is this one by Japanese photographer Yoshio Itagaki of an apparent department store window display of a crucified Santa - http://www.yoshioitagaki.com/2008/ul/slideshow/santa.html - it's really part of a series he is doing on urban legends

Snopes - Did a Japanese department store once display Santa Claus nailed to a cross?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

9/11 memories

I'd first heard the news on the radio and turned on the USB TV tuner connected to an antenna. Analog TV stations in the States were easy to get. Saw the buildings on fire in New York and Washington. I later learned that one of the victims had gone to my church Sunday school, but I didn't remember him. He worked for a bank and it was his first time in New York. He'd been in the second World Trade Building tower, had texted his wife to say he was all right, then the second plane hit.
The thing I remember the most was the silent skies when all air traffic was banned. I went out and lay on a sofa looking up into the sky at night and did not see a single plane - there is usually at least one flight or at least a contrail going across at any time.
The US radio station I was listening to went all news 24 hours - it was a few days before it got back to running missing dog notices.
I stopped driving to upstate New York very often - I used to go every week at least to get tax free gas on the reserve. Before 9/11 you barely had to stop at either the US or Canadian customs booth, but afterwards it could take half an hour or more to get across. Once there was someone in a military uniform with an M-16 at the US post standing behind the customs guy.
I also thought of the poem in Welsh by someone who was an officer in the UK army who entered Berlin in ruins at the end of WWII,  some of whom had been raped by the advancing Soviet forces. The poem ended with "All of our doomed cities are in the proud eagle's eye."

Monday, September 10, 2018

Souvenir from the powwow

I got a little plaque from the powwow. From Walking Eagle Crafts, Akwesasne - a plaque with Shekon on it -  Sekon or Shekon means Hello in Mohawk. The oldest radio station in Akwesasne uses the call letters CKON, which can be said the same way, although I've heard French speakers saying it like "C'est con" ("It's stupid") as a joke.

More roses

Formed a natural arrangement

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Just parsing this along...

"The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true, in fact it’s exactly the opposite..." John Kelly. Do you mean it's the opposite of 'not true' which would be...true?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Red top mushroom

Woods were full of these red topped mushrooms - they didn't look like Amanita muscaria. Summerstown Trails, near Williamstown, Ontario

Monday, August 20, 2018

American Groundnut

American groundnut, La patate en chapelet, Apios americana, root is potato-like and edible, as are the beans. Charlottenburgh Park, near Lancaster, Ontario

Friday, August 17, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Green Heron

Green Heron, Héron vert
Butorides virescens,
Cooper Marsh, Lancaster, Ontario

Monday, August 13, 2018

Telegraph, Rusty in Clover

I saw the open door exposing some kind of circuit board and worried until I saw all the wires were gone. Probably a telegraph.

Rusty in clover

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Painted Lady

I think this is a painted lady butterfly. Dottie the cat nearly ate it.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Moon, Mars and jet

Moon, Mars, Jet, post eclipse July 27, 2018, just found out my Nikon B500 has a specific moon setting!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Queen Elizabeth 2 receives call from World War II Queen Mary.

In his memoirs of his days as captain of Queen Elizabeth 2, Captain of the Queen, Captain Robert Arnott said that in 1978 the ship was near Tahiti when the radio room received  "...
a signal prefaced by the letters GBTT - the call signal of the Queen
Mary." p. 233, Captain of the Queen, New English Library Ltd; 1982, ISBN 978-0450048913, and said that the signal had apparantly been sent during the Second World War and had been travelling in space for almost 40 year.
 Maybe not. The first thing that I thought of was that the QE2 had the same call letters as the Queen Mary, GBTT, and that the radio room might have just gotten one of its own signals with a delay as it travelled around the world, which often happens to radio operators. Also, I'd imagine the Queen Mary would not have used its usual call signal during the war, since it was a troop ship and would have been a prime target. It would also have kept radio transmissions to as little as possible. And of course, 40 light years distance would make a ship's radio signal unable to be received.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba passes by Clark Island, Ontario, in the St. Lawrence on her way to Grand Haven, Michigan

Kite eating tree or tree eating kite?

Kite eating tree or tree eating kite?

Burdett upright piano

With fly on keyboard (thrift store)
Burdett Oshawa Canada - upright piano, c. 1900 - no info on google on this company - there was a Burdett piano company in Chicago but it doesn't say if this was a branch plant. There were piano companies in many towns across Canada in the 19th Century - I'd imagine the cost of shipping them made local manufacturing more attractive. People had to make their own music, then record players and radios came along....

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus carota, carotte sauvage

I like how there's one deep purple-black flower at the centre of Queen Anne's Lace. Spencerville Mill

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Red Tailed Hawk

Not interested in squirrel

Held its foot like this - didn't see any injury
Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Buse à queue rousse, June 23, 2018, Gray's Creek Marina Centre, Cornwall, Ontario - it let me approach quite close, not bothered - thought it might be stunned or something, but it flew off normally towards some blackbirds.
For scale - card marked 3 inches / 7 centimetres

Friday, June 22, 2018

Moon clouds

At Sidewalk Astronomy in Cornwall, hosted by Speaking of Space. They had a adapter to put a phone camera on the eyepiece of a telescope. Also saw Jupiter and four of its moons.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cottonwood snow

Cottonwood seeds cover the grass like snow. Probably Eastern Cottonwood, Populus deltoides, Peuplier deltoïde

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bear with me

Saturday, grocery parking. "Don't get out of the car!" shouted twice by a older woman. Out of the car gets...a teddy bear. Then head comes off and top down, grinning young woman in black bra gets back in the car with the older woman and man. Furry revolt? Abduction?

Sunday, June 3, 2018