Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Puffball Puzzle

Another sign of Fall - puffballs... but these were right next to this mushroom:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Green Glowing Plastic Skull Halloween Decoration

Cheap! Covered in Plastic Crystals! Powered by two AAA batteries. Does exactly what it's supposed to do, unlike the Mitchell-Hedges Skull of Doom

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Post election late thoughts

Yes, the CTV Stéphane Dion interview was bad journalism, particularly right before the election - the question that Dion stumbled over was hard to understand even in English, and it's not news that Dion doesn't speak English very well. I'd have explained the question in French and let him answer in English.

Friday, October 17, 2008

St. Raphael's Ruins

The stonemason's art laid bare.
Ruins of St. Raphael's Church, Ontario. Often used as a venue for concert - acoustics remain impressive.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Laying Cable

The Danish barge Henry P. Lading going upriver to lay 7.9 km of cable that will connect the Wolfe Island wind power project near Kingston to the main grid

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Josiah Henson House

Josiah Henson's house, near Dresden, Ontario. Henson escaped from slavery to Upper Canada, which at the time was the only territory where a former slave could not be captured and forcibly returned to a slave state. He founded a colony for freed slaves and was the model for the lead character in the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.

He was a Mason and belonged to the Detroit lodge - he made this chair. I don't know if the three links meant he was also an oddfellow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oil Wells that began well

These are the jerker lines that still drive the wells at the first commercially exploited oil field in the world - the oil is still used to make lubricants. The jerkers lines are logs or planks swinging from posts that radiate out from a central engine in the field - this was before it became possible to motorize each pump. The plant is supposed to be something that grows a lot in oily soil.
And in 50 years, the industry had grown to become the 20th Centuries dominant force. Now that it has reached the peak production stage, what will happen?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shorn Sheep Self Scratcher

Instead of lawn mowers at the Oil Museum of Canada they have sheep, who over the past 150 years have learned to use the jerker lines as power assisted scratching posts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

They give us free air time, let's make it look like they overcharged us.

These are two free airtime political broadcasts from the CBC for this year's federal elections:

Marijuana Party - Shouldn't he have been as high as a kite when he was reading a poem that compared Harper to Hitler and Conservatives to Nazis? It didn't have that much to do with the party's sole purpose, legalizing marijuana. Saying "Homeboys" sounds silly if you have a Canadian accent, even if you are black. They couldn't get Tommy Chong?

First People's National Party. First use of an exposed nipple in a campaign since Kim Campbell's memorable 'wardrobe malfunction' of 1993. (Sorry I cropped it - didn't want to flag for adult content)

The Conservative's ads, which they paid for, are pretty bad - the 'won't someone think of the children' mother with child praising Harper's tough-on-crime stance and the elderly man wearing what looked like a Royal Canadian Legion blazer and medals - that's something that implies an endorsement by the Legion, and it's not clear that they have taken any position on the elections.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Phallic Fungi, or the attack of the Dog's Dong

It did look like what would grow after it had been raining men for a while. These are from the stinkhorn family, probably the Mutinus ravenelii - they erupt overnight from the soil with slime bearing head that insects feast on, spreading their spores. They were gone the next day, when I came back with a better camera.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sign of Fall

Taken a few years ago, probably early September. The Monarch Butterfly will fly south to Mexico to lay eggs and then each generation of Monarch will fly a little further north until they get to Canada and do it again.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Livernois - 19th century Canadian photographer's carte de visite

Carte de Visite - the Livernois studio operated as a family business for more than a century in Quebec City - J.E. (Jules Ernest) Livernois was the son of the founder. I found one photo by him of the Prince of Wales when he visited Quebec City for the 300th Anniversary in 1908. He may have been appointed photographer to the Prince of Wales as the three feathers badge on the back of his card would suggest. Also I found this tintype of three women with this Carte de Visite but I don't know if it is from Livernois' studio. Click to see the enlargement to see the hand coloured pink on the cheeks.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

More like a tart than a pie!

These are candies I found at the Pacific Mall near Toronto. It says "Mandarin orange pie" from the Hyuga region in Japan - they really are pastries about two inches across. And it's educational!