Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It happened this day...

July 25, 1956

The Italian liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish ship Stockholm off the New England coast, killing 51 people.

In Canadian History...

July 25, 1759 - British capture Fort Niagara from French in the 7 Years' War

In European History...

July 25, 1938 - Jewish artisans not allowed in Germany. See this link Entartete Kunst the Third Reich's signling out of German artists they considered 'degenerate'

Marc Chagall

Paul Klee

Max Ernst

In American History...

July 25, 1972 - US health officials concede blacks were used as guinea pigs in 40 year syphilis experiment

Friday, July 21, 2006

Moon Landing Anniversary

I forgot to wish everyone a happy Apollo 11 walking-on-the-moon anniversary yesterday - July 20, 1969.

That was 37 years ago.

On July 20, 1969 I was 4 years old and camping with my family at Point Pelee National Park. Now that was a long time ago because public camping was stopped at Point Pelee not too long afterwards.

We had our monstrous blue army issue tent that reeked of smoldering canvas or mildew or both. We couldn't tell the difference anyway - canvas to us was the baked smell of mildew when heated in the sun. That tent was the kind with two rooms separated by large metal zippers. The front had a dining area as it had the large screened in windows. The back area had smaller windows that had flaps and canvas ties on the outside which we kids used to untie when our older brothers and cousins were changing into their swim suits.

Dad brought our little black and white T.V and my sister our pet raccoon - Racky, which she most likely named after the Beatles song. Dad and my uncle brought their cases of stubbies - Molson Canadian or Export and sat on their little foldable lawn chairs watching the moon landing.

Dad was always aware of the importance of history and duly documented historical events, either by keeping copies of the Windsor Star at the time of the Kennedy assassination, taking my older siblings to the edge of the Detroit River so they could watch the riots from the quiet Canadian side or take consecutive photos of the Edmund Fitzgerald as it passed between Windsor and Detroit.

On that black and white day Dad used his 8 millimeter to film our little black and white television as it televised the radio signals from the moon. We kids stared at the black and white for as long as our attention span allowed us, occasionally jumping up after sitting quietly cross-legged while remnants of pine needles, twigs, patches of grass and a member of an ant colony stuck to us.

I'm a fan of technology and of the space missions. I learned to read with Mr. Mugs, those grade school readers whose characters went to the moon and lived in space stations. Our grade one class painted a large moon mural and my best friend got to wear a space outfit and climb a ladder so our beautiful teacher - whom we all adored- took a short film of Ricky waving his arms and sending his greeting from our only satellite.

So I thought it was only fitting to celebrate this anniversary watching an Australian film about a radio telescope and it's nerdy heroes in a film called The Dish. It's subtle humour and innocent beauty gives a snap shot of day to day life during this time period in the '60's gives it it's endearing quality. A great 60's sound track completes the nostalgia.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Summertime hues

Update: here's a link to a very good article from yesterday's National Post on why the sky is blue in case one of your kids or grandkids ask...

Here's some pics from 50 Point Conservation Area heading towards St. Catherines and Niagara on the Lake.

This wasn't enhanced - the sky looked pretty well that colour and the grass was scorched from the heat of the last few weeks.

While my buddy streched out under a tree reading an Arabic version of Colin Wilson, I was preoccupied with my camera.

As this trip wasn't planned and my bathing suit at home, I was tempted to go down to the beach and swim in my underwear.

This is looking back towards Burlington and Hamilton. Notice the light house on the spit.
To the left is a large marina and boat launch.

The sky in southern Ontario is usually pretty hazy and grey - mostly from the smog combined with the level of humidity

Monday, July 10, 2006

Congratulations Italy...

Blog lite

Congratulations to Italy for winning the world cup. Here's a few pics to highlight the celebration in Hamilton's little Italy.

Those of use who have been hooked on football for the last month can get back to enjoying other things other than world cup - like the rest of the summer.

I'm going to blogging lite for awhile as I'm writing a very broad human systemic rights submission against a number of organizations, institutions and Ministries in Ontario.

Yeah well...Somebody's gotta do it...

Things to do

I'd keep an eye out for more documentaries about big pharma and big stocks in the MSN and if I can get distracted enough to right about it - it appears that RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli's 2000 news conference about organized crime infiltrating Parliament and the courts has it's first curious evidence of truth - the dropping of murder charges against a known biker leader and the possible reasons: see this and see this article from the Hamilton Spectator.

Don't get too cozy knowing that Hamilton is free from the political influences of organized crime. While trying to convince the rest of us that there is no connection to mob racketeering or Soprano type violence - Judy MacDonald Musitano is the only candidate running for Ward 2 counselor in the next Hamilton municipal election.

Yeah. Right.

Have a look at this link from the Niagara Falls Reporter and from laborers.com a website dedicated to fighting racketeering within the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA).

If your not sure who these guys are, here's a little backgrounder or here

Those links should keep you busy for awhile while I blog lite for the next little while. I'll post some pics from time to time on my adventures around Hamilton or other places in Ontario.

If not here are a few other suggestions:

On Friday July 14 there is another artcrawl in Jamesville from 7 to 10pm. This event there is a new gallery that focuses on film. There will be 10 minute short films run throughout the evening.

The Hamilton Waterfront Trust has come up with a great way to see some of Hamilton's prettiest nature areas. If your down by the bay area (north end of Hamilton) everyday in the summer you can catch a wheelchair accessible trolley that takes you from various points along the waterfront - all for $2 all day.

Yes that right. Two dollars. I'm not kidding!

So park your car any of the 12 trolley stop locations and hitch a ride. A round trip is an hour and a half but is worth the scenery and the relaxation. You can start off at Williams Coffee Pub at Pier 8 and take the trolley right to Princess Point where you can get off, hike the trails, have a picnic and then take the trolley back to your car. This is a great outing for families that is extremely affordable.

While your here check out the Van Gogh exhibit at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. It's a very small show - 5 pieces - but a very-oh-so-worth-it lesson on canvas into Van Gogh's artistic journey into Impressionism.

On August 11 & 12 Hamilton hosts its Carnival its version of Caribana. Like most events passing through Jamesville the parade makes it's way up James Street North and into Bayfront Park.

Some cities have to build their own lakes and waterfalls but Hamilton have these natural beauties given to them from mother nature. Be adventurous and check out the 32 accessible waterfalls this summer - or be adventurous and discover new ones this summer.

Ciao for now,


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day...

Happy Tax Cut Day

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has unveiled a new GST sign in Ottawa yesterday signaling the reduction of the GST from 7% down to 6%

That's his little gift to us Canadians for Canada Day.

Press Release from the PMO's office:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper marks GST reduction

June 30, 2006
Ottawa, Ontario

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper marked the lowering of the Goods and Services Tax today at a department store in Ottawa, Ontario, reminding all Canadians that they will pay less for everything they buy as of Canada Day.

"Canada's New Government is committed to lower taxes, and we are pleased that lowering the GST to six per cent is just one of the many tax cuts contained in Budget 2006," the Prime Minister said. "This single tax reduction will mean nine billion more dollars will be kept in the pockets and bank accounts of Canadians over the next two years."

Joined by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister unveiled a new sign that will appear in retails stores across Canada telling consumers the GST rate has been reduced to six per cent.

Today's announcement is but the initial step. The Government is committed to further cutting the GST to five per cent, which will result in more savings for all Canadians.

Under Canada's New Government, Canadians are saving more money. In Budget 2006, 29 separate tax cuts were introduced, representing more tax relief than in the four previous federal budgets."


You know I just realized that the feds have their signs all ready in order to introduce the tax cuts for today.

Now compare that to the Ontario government when they introduce new legislation - such as the Smoke Free Ontario Act - and they have nothing ready. No signs, no education of by-law officers and therefore, no enforcement.

The Ontario government does things so quickly they don't consider how to implement changes in law effectively nor do they consider how badly it's engineered when the laws are monitored by individuals who have no legal background and then arbitrarily change the law as they see fit.

They've done the same with the Personal Health Information Protection Act and I have a feeling they are going to do the same with the Persons with Disabilities Act that is supposed to have Ontario employers comply with these employment standards for persons with disabilities ten years from its enactment. (I wish I knew how to add a sound wave with a chorus of laughter)

Ontario employers are going to keep doing what they've been doing and not comply with any of the legislation and the government will continue to appoint incompetent friends and neighbours to enforce it and then sit on their arses and do nothing about it when it isn't enforced.