Folding Chairs and Umbrella Hats

Folding Chair One of the fringe benefits of have our neighbourhood turned into a venue for a national rock concert is that sitting in our little vestibule on Prince St. we can get our finger on the pulse of suburban tourist chic. The Big Rage this year appears to be folding camping chairs that collapse into a tubular satchel. Many families are carrying a collection of 4 or 5 of these.

Backpack baby carriers are much more popular with the tourist set than they are with Islanders (I believe we may be the only Island family to own one, or at least it seems that way). They’re all over the place this weekend.

And the family dog seems more likely to be making the trip this year, and more likely to be stored inside some sort of car carrier than in previous years. Islanders, as a rule, do not use car carriers for their dogs, so this is an easy one to spot.

Thankfully the “umbrella as hat” device seems to be on the wane, although I spotted a couple of people wearing them this morning. Alas the temporary Canadian flag tattoo and/or temporary Canadian flag face paint have suffered no such fate and are in as much evidence as ever.

More fashion news as the masses pass by our door.

Popular CBC Personalities Deported

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — In a move that has rocked the Canadian public broadcasting host and performer community, Prime Minister Jean Chretien today announced that popular CBC personalities Jonathan Torrens and Ralph Benmergui are to be immediately deported to the small Island nation of Tuvalu.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office delivered the following brief statement from the steps of Parliament Hill early this morning:

After careful consideration to the needs of everyday working Canadians, the Prime Minister decided that the quality of life for all would be significantly improved if Mr. Torrens and Mr. Benmergui simply weren’t around anymore.
Neither Torrens nor Benmergui were available for comment.

Dork

I love this paragraph (which came from here):

I know I’m a dork, but at least I have the energy to be diverse. Other dorks geek out about one particular thing - you know, medieval war re-enactments, Heavy Metal Magazine, the band Rush – but I am more of a dilettante, slightly dorking out over 20 things or so. I spray a fine sheen of nerd over my interests, which gives me the appearance of being curiously well-rounded, rather than vaguely creepy. I also have a moderately well-sharpened fashion sense, and can put most strangers at ease with a well-placed bon mot.
We should all be so lucky,

The Acoustic Properties of a City

If nothing else this weekend, we are learning a lot about the acoustic properties of our small city. The Huge Stage at the waterfront is certainly capable of pumping out the most amount of sound that has ever been pumped out of our waterfront, and because of its orientation, pointing roughly exactly at our house, we’ve had a chance to experience what this means.

I’m not complaining. Really. Although I would rather they didn’t go quite so late at night and quite so loud, I was reminded by my friend Beth Cullen just now that there’s something neat about it all, despite all the loudness. And the weekend will eventually be over.

But it certainly is weird to ramble around the downtown when a Big Concert is in full swing. Right now, as I sit on my big comfy couch in my living room, roughly 5 blocks from the stage, the level of sound is approximately that I would hear if Oliver was blaring his stereo from his room upstairs (assuming that Oliver had a stereo, of course).

Walking along Victoria Row towards home just 10 minutes ago, I could have sworn that there was a rock concert taking place on the roof of the Coles Building. And then, 25 steps later, lots of sound appeared to becoming out of the document storage room on the second floor of the headquarters of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Most odd were the sounds of rock and roll bouncing off the sandstone of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church office — the sandstone’s acoustical properties are very different from the hard brick of the other buildings around, and produce a very different acoustical footprint.

More later from the sonic frontier.

Bush asleep... and we don't know why!

It says here (under the mysterious headline “Residents chased from mountain town by wildfire allowed to return home”) that “a sedative called propofol was administered to [President] Bush through an intravenous line” during his routine colonoscopy this morning.

And, curiously, it says here that “Propofol is a diisopropylphenol. This intravenous hypnotic agent produces rapid sedation with minimal excitatory activity, however it has no analgesic properties. The actual mechanism of action is unknown, but it is postulated that propofol mediates activity of the GABA receptors.” (emphasis mine).

So in other words, the President was put to sleep for an operation using a drug the actual mechanism of which we don’t understand.

Apparently this isn’t all too unusual, as it says here that “although researchers have tried, no single explanation for general anaesthesia can be agreed upon.”

Good to know that some things remain mysteries.