Thursday, 25 September 2008

Political Science

A couple of video clips that have greatly amused me of late. For those of us who are on the cusp between great hope and great dread in the lead-up to the U.S. election, the first clip will lighten the mood a little. Thanks Sher and her blog pal Nicole!

Secondly, Geneva and part of neighbouring France are home to the massive underground Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator built by CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research. In its' most simple terms, the LHC is attempting to unravel the science behind the big bang theory by analyzing how elementary particles acquire mass.

The only minor side-effect of said experimentation is the negligible risk of creating black holes in the process and sucking ourselves into oblivion. Ya well, I'll still take science over Jerry Falwell any day of the week. Enjoy these scientists rappin...

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Pumpkin King

How better to spend a cool, windy Sunday afternoon than by carving pumpkins? Let me check the date, oh yes, it's the middle of September and only six weeks to go until Halloween. Let's see six weeks multiplied by 'how many days till Halloween" asked by my 5-year old an average of 30 times a day makes.... Seriously, J is nothing if not a passionate creature. It has always been a trait that I have admired in him as I believe in life one should find the things that one loves and pursue them with passion. Whether it is flying an airplane, rock climbing, playing ringuette or reading name a few.

It is our great fortune to live adjacent to 3 football field sized pumpkin patches and in the last 3 weeks or so since the little gourds have begun to grow, J lives and breathes their progress and the sweet anticipation of Halloween. At least twice a day, we have to go and check if any pumpkins have come 'unattached' from their roots. He then believes they are his property fair and square. At least twice a week we have to go and look for the Great Pumpkin...C2 made the mistake of telling him the Charlie Brown classic, in which J now fervently believes.

We have a Halloween countdown calendar in his room and everyday J contemplates, with the effort I wish he would apply to his early reading, his costume choices - will it be a ghost, Frankenstein, a chevalier, or a dog. J has merrily told me that Halloween is his favorite holiday, more than Christmas, Easter, and his birthday all together. Now that is passion!

Admiring parent though I am, Halloween will have to be a father-son experience this year as as I will be consuming effervescent glasses of bubbly with my pal Mighty Mom while touring the region of Champagne. Ya well remember that passion thing?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Canada in Every Bite

Friends of ours just returned from spending the summer at their house in Vancouver. As a gift, they brought J a Inuksuk building kit. I have a handcrafted soapstone Inuksuk that my mum bought us last year in Victoria and I adore the compelling symbolism of this iconic Canadian symbol.

Inuksuk are stone landmarks used as signposts or directional markers by the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic. Dominated by permafrost, the Arctic Circle has few natural landmarks and inuksuk have been central to navigation across it. They vary in shape and size, and are an eternal symbol with deep roots in the Inuit culture serving as sentinels signifying safety, hope and friendship.

Inuksuk are increasingly serving as mainstream Canadian national symbols and it was lovely to explain their heritage and silent language to J. They are shown on the flag and coat of arms of the new Canadian territory of Nunavut, and are the logo of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games - an appropriate symbol of friendship and welcome.

My cherished soapstone Inuksuk should last longer than J's. His was made of maple shortbread and was dismantled as quickly as it was constructed.