1 December 2014

buying local makes $ense

"If you spend $100 at a local business, $46 of it stays in your local community, versus $18 if you shop at a large corporation.. "

"There's $1,500 being spent by the average Canadian during the holidays," Robinson notes. "Even if B.C. consumers shifted one per cent of that spending, $15, to a local business, that would generate $94 million for B.C. workers and 3,400 jobs. Most people can think about it in terms of a $15 purchase. That's one bottle of B.C. wine."
By Jesse Donaldson, Dec. 1/14, TheTyee.ca

The Christmas season is almost upon us, and with it a slew of turkey dinners, Christmas carols, figgy puddings, and of course that most beloved of holiday traditions, spending approximately $1,500 on your friends and loved ones.
But the first week of December is also the time for a more recent seasonal tradition: the third annual Buy Local Week. This celebration of community asks the question: rather than spending your holiday dollars to make Walmart or Sony's season a little jollier, why not make your purchases at your favourite local businesses?
"Local businesses are the heart and soul of our communities," notes Maureen Cureton, Vancity Credit Union's energy and environment/local economy manager. "If we all recognize the value they bring socially and economically, and shift some of our spending this holiday season (and throughout the year), collectively we could make a very big impact that strengthens our local economy and the communities in which we live and work."
This year, Buy Local Week has increased its scope across the province, both in terms of the number of business groups involved as well as the number of cities, including Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby and Whistler. The goal of the initiative remains the same: to foster increased awareness of local business and local producers, to strengthen local communities and to create sustainable local economies.
"When you buy from a locally-owned business, money circulates in your community 2.6 times more than it would with a chain," explains Amy Robinson, founder and co-executive director of LOCO, the business alliance behind the initiative. "If you spend $100 at a local business, $46 of it stays in your local community, versus $18 if you shop at a large corporation. We want to keep that money in the community as long as possible."
So, before you start dashing through the snow in search of seasonal necessities, take a moment to peruse The Tyee's guide to key holiday staples and their local alternatives...

read the full article here

10 November 2014

Canada and the Netherlands - Remembrance

from Veterans Affairs Canada:

"The liberation of the Netherlands, from September 1944 to April 1945, played a key role in the culmination of the Second World War, as the Allied forces closed in on Germany from all sides. The First Canadian Army played a major role in the liberation of the Dutch people who had suffered terrible hunger and hardship under the increasingly desperate German occupiers...

...More than 7,600 Canadians died in the nine-month campaign to liberate the Netherlands, a tremendous sacrifice in the cause of freedom. "

 Read the full article here: Remembrance - Veterans Affairs Canada

8 October 2014

Walhachin: Birth of a Legend

WALHACHIN: Birth of a Legend
A new by Larry Jacobsen

Perched on the narrow lacustrine (lake-bed silts) flats overlain by unfriendly, bony topsoil, high above the Thompson River lies the remains of a hamlet known as Walhachin. It is wedged between the river and the sagebrush-covered southern uplands midway between Savona and Ashcroft and was aptly named for, in the Skeetchestn language, Walhachin meant stony ground. It might as easily have been called Hell’s Kitchen, for its late-May (1969) temperatures, when I twice checked them around 7:00 p.m., hovered at a hellish 104° F in the shade. I don’t know how hot it got out in the direct sunlight in the quarry. I do recall that I became thoroughly dehydrated every day and suffered from unquenchable thirst every evening.

Walhachin (pronounced: wal'-ha-sheen) was a Utopian orchard community, of more than 4,000-acres, situated in the Thompson River valley between Ashcroft and Savona. Conceived, planned, and built by Charles E. Barnes, an American Civil Engineer, relying on the financial backing of the British Columbia Development Association (BCDA), a British company, which marketed it to wealthy English families.

After a grand beginning it looked as though the project would live up to all that had been expected of it. A trickle of immigrants arrived in 1909, and by 1914, 180 enthusiastic residents and a labour force of similar size swelled the ranks. The Ashcroft and Kamloops news media forecast a glowing future for the village.

Utopias have had notoriously short shelf lives. They are created with the seeds of destruction inherent in them. In the legend of Camelot it was intrigue and treachery that did in King Arthur's court. At Walhachin it was in large part loyalty to the empire that, draining the village of manpower at a crucial time, sounded its death knell.
ISBN 978-09781640-3-4 204 pages - 9" x 7" landscape, hard cover (case bound)
Nearly 150 century-old photographs (50 full-page) plus many newer ones. Retail price: $24.95

Also by Larry Jacobsen: 

*Leaning Into The Wind: Memoirs of an Immigrant Prairie Farm Boy - 2004 (Authorhouse)
*Jewel of the Kootenays: The Emerald Mine 2008 (Published by the author and the Salmo Museum)
*Salmo Stories: Memories of a Place in the Kootenays, 2014 (Published by the author)

 Contact: Larry.Jacobsen@gmail.com

17 September 2014

the Great Canadian Shore clean-up is back

WWF and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, is Canada’s largest community-led, volunteer-powered conservation program.

find a Clean-up near you here

13 September 2014

random sounds 69: Ganja by Iida Homebrew

Iida Homebrew is:
Yoshinori Kinoshia, Drums / Makoto Kanada, Bass / Jason Guitar J, vocals & guitar

contact the band: iidahomebrew@bandcamp.com
Video by Storm in collaboration with Iida Homebrew

12 September 2014

Canada-China Investment Agreement a sell-out of Canada

Harper sell out to China will be locked in  

(excerpted from a media release by Elizabeth May, MP, Friday, September 12th, 2014)

" ...Tabled in the House of Commons on September 26, 2012, quietly and without any briefings or news release, the treaty was never subjected to study in any committee, other than one hour before the trade committee. Ratification involves a vote of Cabinet, not Parliament."

“ ...Once ratified, the Canada-China Investment Agreement will bind Canada, including future governments, for a minimum of 31 years. Unlike NAFTA, with an exit clause of 6 months’ notice, this agreement, also called a FIPA (Foreign Investor Protection Agreement) cannot be exited for the first 15 years. After 15 years, either country can exit on one year’s notice, but any existing investments are further protected for another 15 years. Despite some claims by other politicians that the treaty could be voided by a future government, that is not the case.”

“ ...Cabinet’s signing of this deal behind closed doors, instead of giving Parliament a say, is not just undemocratic in itself,” added Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer. “It is also a profound attack of Canada’s sovereignty as a nation, and an erosion of the rights of all Canadians to make democratic decisions about our economy, environment, and energy. The Conservatives have now allowed for secret tribunals that will work to re-write our laws in order to protect Chinese interests.”

concerned about the agreement? Sign the petition here

full article here
backgrounder on treaties here
Elizabeth May home page here

10 September 2014

random flower post


 ^^hardy hibiscus, double

 ^^hardy hibiscus, single

^^ blue flowered morning glory species

 ^^water break
 ^^ pink flowered morning glory species

  ^^a different hardy fuchsia

 ^^temporarily unidentified

16 July 2014

spring green

^^ licorice fern, Polypodium glycyrrhiza on a horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum
^^sheild fern, Dryopteris sp.
^^painted fern, Athyrium niponicum, probable variety 'pictum'

^^maidenhair fern species, probably Adiantum aethiopicum
^^tree fern, not strictly Cyatheales, genus and species unidentified

Wikipedia here and here

13 July 2014

YouTuber shout outs: Captain Andy

"I like to talk about politics and religion... especially in polite company. I draw things with crayons. I make music... though I promise I'll never ask you to vote for me in anything. I eat vegetables... "

one more, just 'cause...

5 July 2014

guardians of the garden: ladybugs

Ladybug (Coccinellidae sp.) on Rubus armeniacus
^^Ladybug (Coccinellidae sp.)
Ladybug larvaes (Coccinellidae sp.) on Maple leaf plant 1 
^^two larva and a pupa (centre)
Mating ladybugs (Coccinellidae sp.) on Mirabilis plant 2
^^Notice that the female is happily munching on an aphid while mating.


27 June 2014

Everyone I love knows how to bleed with me

If Men Could Menstruate
by Gloria Steinem
(c) Gloria Steinem, from: Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. NY: NAL, 1986.
originaly published in Ms. Magazing, 1978 /other articles by Gloria Steiman here

Living in India made me understand that a white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking a white skin makes people superior, even though the only thing it really does is make them more subject to ultraviolet rays and wrinkles.

Reading Freud made me just as skeptical about penis envy. The power of giving birth makes "womb envy" more logical, and an organ as external and unprotected as the penis makes men very vulnerable indeed.

But listening recently to a woman describe the unexpected arrival of her menstrual period (a red stain had spread on her dress as she argued heatedly on the public stage) still made me cringe with embarrassment. That is, until she explained that, when finally informed in whispers of the obvious event, she said to the all-male audience, "and you should be proud to have a menstruating woman on your stage. It's probably the first real thing that's happened to this group in years."

Laughter. Relief. She had turned a negative into a positive. Somehow her story merged with India and Freud to make me finally understand the power of positive thinking. Whatever a "superior" group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever and "inferior" group has will be used to justify its plight. Black men were given poorly paid jobs because they were said to be "stronger" than white men, while all women were relegated to poorly paid jobs because they were said to be "weaker." As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, "Oh no, that's women's work." Logic has nothing to do with oppression.

So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.

To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali's Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- "For Those Light Bachelor Days."

Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.

Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation ("men-struation") as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat ("You have to give blood to take blood"), occupy high political office ("Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?"), be priests, ministers, God Himself ("He gave this blood for our sins"), or rabbis ("Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean").

Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights ("Everything else is a single issue") or self-inflict a major wound every month ("You must give blood for the revolution").

Street guys would invent slang ("He's a three-pad man") and "give fives" on the corner with some exchenge like, "Man you lookin' good!"

"Yeah, man, I'm on the rag!"

TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still "The Fonz," though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)

Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at "that time of the month." Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.

Medical schools would limit women's entry ("they might faint at the sight of blood").

Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics-- or the ability to measure anything at all? In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?

Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that "these people" have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. ("The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month": Phyllis Schlafly)

In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here's an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)

The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.
If we let them.

Dominique Christina - "The Period Poem"

F-bomb warning

Dominique Christina on Facebook

18 June 2014

civic pride: plant theft

 ^^voodoo lilies (are a highlight of the Donald Street Walkway. 
With an inflorescence (what we see as the flower) over 30 cm or1 foot they make for a striking display. 
Sadly for the many who come to see and photograph the lily, this one was stolen a few days ago.
^^The thieves left a few small bulbs. The theft of plants is an ongoing problem for civic gardens.

14 June 2014

random science 32: Inge Lehmann

“the master of a black art for which no amount of computerizing 
is likely to be a complete substitute.” 

Inge Lehmann was a Danish seismologist who discovered the Earth's inner core in 1936. She postulated, correctly, that an inner core exists which has physical properties that are different from those of the outer core. Earth sciences have never looked back. Lehmann is also highly regarded for her studies of Earth’s mantle. She lived to be 105.
^^ Lehmann interpreted the seismic data correctly and discovered that Earth has a 
solid inner core surrounded by a liquid outer core. (image from: Penn State U./ Inge Lehmann)

American Museum of Natuarl History/Inge Lehman
Penn State U. Inge Lehmann
UCLA/Contributions of 20th Century Women To Physics
Encyclopedia Briantica/Inge Lehmann
Wiki page