So here’s the question of the month…ok, so maybe just of the day…but, where in the world did DST come from and why the heck to we still live by it? We were contemplating this over pints (which of course is the ONLY way to contemplate things rationally) and Moira and I were convinced it dated back to the day of farmers and something to do with the fact that they needed more afternoon sun (for some unknown reason). And then the point was made that Saskatchewan (aka Farm Central) is the only province that doesn’t switch their clocks, so that sort of kiboshed the “farmer theory”. So back to my old trusted friend I went…Mr Wiki: (and i quote…)

Daylight saving time (DST) is the convention of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. Modern DST was first proposed in 1907 by William Willett. Many countries have used it since then; details vary by location and change occasionally.

The practice is controversial. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farming, entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun. Extra afternoon daylight reduces traffic fatalities; its effect on health and crime is less clear. An early goal of DST was to reduce evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity; modern heating and cooling usage patterns can cause DST to increase electricity consumption. 

Origin: 

Although not punctual in the modern sense, ancient civilizations adjusted daily schedules to the sun more flexibly than modern DST does, often dividing daylight into 12 equal hours regardless of day length, so that each daylight hour was longer during summer. For example, Roman water clocks had different scales for different months of the year: at Rome’s latitude the third hour from sunrise, hora tertia, started by modern standards at 09:02 solar time and lasted 44 minutes at the winter solstice, but at the summer solstice it started at 06:58 and lasted 75 minutes. After ancient times, equal-length civil hours eventually supplanted unequal, so civil time no longer varies by season. Unequal hours are still used in a few traditional settings, such as some Mount Athos monasteries.

During his time as an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin, author of the proverb, “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”, anonymously published a letter suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. This 1784 satire proposed taxing shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise. Franklin did not propose DST; like ancient Rome, 18th-century Europe did not keep accurate schedules. However, this soon changed as rail and communication networks came to require a standardization of time unknown in Franklin’s day.

yadda yadda yadda…so there you have. Nothing much to do with farmers…in fact, sort of hinders them it would seem. Ah well, I learn something new every day! 🙂

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Signs and symptoms

February 27, 2008

I was driving home yesterday, on yet another gorgeous spring-like afternoon…smiling at the flowers starting to come up, the odd robin that’s made it’s way back, the buds on the trees, and as I pulled up to a stop sign, at a random pair of shoes thrown over the telephone wire. We’ve all seen it right? I’ve always had a little chuckle about who does that and HOW in the world do they do it, never really knowing if it had any significance of any kind. (Although, assuming it didn’t and that it was just some randoms having fun with too much spare time.) But my curiosity was really peaked this time as I sat and stared, maybe moreso this time because of how rediculously high these wires were and right smack dab in the middle of the intersection. So to Google I went….and this is what I found:

Shoes hung from overhead wires (“shoefiti”)

A number of sinister explanations have been proposed as to why this is done. Some say that shoes hanging from the wires advertise a local crack house where crack cocaine is used and sold (in which case the shoes are sometimes referred to as “Crack Tennies”). It can also relate to a place where Heroin is sold to symbolize the fact that once you take Heroin you can never ‘leave’: a reference to the addictive nature of the drug. Others claim that the shoes so thrown commemorate a gang-related murder, or the death of a gang member, or as a way of marking gang turf. A newsletter from the mayor of Los Angeles, California cites fears of many Los Angeles residents that “these shoes indicate sites at which drugs are sold or worse yet, gang turf,” and that city and utility employees had launched a program to remove the shoes. These explanations have the ring of urban legend to them, especially since the practice also occurs along relatively remote stretches of rural highways that are unlikely scenes for gang murders or crack houses.

Other, less sinister, explanations have been ventured for the practice. Some claim that shoes are flung to commemorate the end of a school year, or a forthcoming marriage as part of a rite of passage. In Scotland, it has been said that when a young man has lost his virginity he tosses his shoes over telephone wires to announce this to his peers. It has been suggested that the custom may have originated with members of the military, who are said to have thrown military boots, often painted orange or some other conspicuous color, at overhead wires as a part of a rite of passage upon completing basic training or on leaving the service.

In some neighborhoods, shoes tied together and hanging from power lines or tree branches signify that someone has died. The shoes belong to the dead person. The reason they are hanging, legend has it, is that when the dead person’s spirit returns, it will walk that high above the ground, that much closer to heaven. Another superstition holds that the tossing of shoes over the power lines outside of a house is a way to keep the property safe from ghosts.

So the moral of the story…goodness know why “shoe flinging” exists…make up your own reason, and I’m sure it’s about as accurate as all the other possibilities…but if nothing else, add it to the list of “Things that make you go hmmmmm….” 🙂

As a 20-something independant single female, I seem to constantly be bombarded by the infamous question: “So Cor, how come you’re not married yet??” (I’m HARDLY getting a complex) The solution?? Get a dog!! Just kidding. But the truth is, I’m actually on the lower end of the age scale these days. I read a stat the other day that the average woman in today’s world isn’t married until 32 years of age. Whew! I still have time! Anyways…I digress…I’ll get back to the REAL topic of this blog.

 I was watching the View this morning, which pretty near drives me insane, but this time it caught my attention. They were talking about a women who posted on Craig’s List about trying to find a husband. The gist of it was, she was a stunning 20-something woman and all she wanted was a wealthy man. (That’s all???) lol Anyways, she wanted advice of other CL’ers as to why she seems to keep maxing out at $250K. Where were the REAL (wealthy) men..and why can’t she catch one. So, she got a response…from a man….who made over $500K! Of course, I’ll have to paraphrase. He told her that he though it to be a VERY poor proposal; For at least one obvious reason that in time her looks will fade, and his money would most likely continue to grow. And I quote, “By the time you’re 35, stick a fork in it!”  And to top it off, if she would just figure a way to make her own money, they wouldn’t have to be having this awkward conversation. He concluded by saying even though it would clearly be a very poor business offer to buy into, but he wouldn’t mind leasing it for a while!!!

So there you have it. Chivalry is indeed dead. Now relationships are merely a business proposal! LOL

Ah, the world we live in…

Practice makes Perfect?

August 23, 2007

 

I came across a quote that intrigued me the other day.  It simply stated “Find contentment in less than perfection”.  Is there some truth to this? I think generally people range from being laid back and not really caring to being, what we refer to as, “perfectionists”. Is there a right or a wrong?

Think of general day to day accomplishments and one could argue that it’s never quite good enough unless you’re striving for excellency or perfection in everything you do or try. But will you ever arrive? It think we can all agree, regardless f your beliefs, that no one is perfect. Does it just end up adding too much stress to the situation by never being fully satisfied with your work? There’s generally a standard by which everything is to be done…why not just be content with meeting the standard? After all, there is a reason that standard was created. But somehow, society has taught us to believe that if we aren’t shooting for the stars, we aren’t trying hard enough. Hence the out of control levels of stress in those around us.

And what about relationships? Is there really that perfect man or women out there for us? Or do they just end up being perfect for us individually. I feel like the older people get in single life, the more they claim they “need” in a partner. She’s just not quite this or just not quite that. When in reality, are we just becoming too set in our own ways and therefore becoming all around less compatible with anyone else. Now don’t get me wrong, I will never condone “settling”, as some like to call it. But I see some individuals who I plain old cannot understand why they are still single. They are attractive, talented, established, independant, and never more ready to move on in life. And yet, they just cannot find that perfect mate, despite endless attempts.

So maybe “perfection”, as we describe, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe it’s merely a form of disillusionment that keeps this rat race of life going full tilt.

Winged Pleasures

July 9, 2007

This was a classic moment that happened this weekend. My dad and I had done the Grouse Grind then hit the the wonderful Savary Island Pie Company for breakfast. Now for those of you not familiar with Vancouver, this great little cafe is in West Vancouver, one of the most prestegious, pretentious and wealthy parts of Vancouver, proven by the over abundance of Ferrari’s, BMW’s, Mercedes etc. So of course, right outside the cafe was a beautiful new Mercedes with its top down. I’m not sure who the owner was, but this crow had definatly claimed ownership for the time being. He was busy walking around on the hood, his claws making a nasty scratching sound comparable to nails on a chalkboard. Can’t imagine how the paint was holding up. I caught him playing king of the castle…somehow this whole ordeal struck me as very funny and ironic. Besides the fact it looked cool with the black crow on the black sports car….riiiiight…. lol

crow-on-car.jpg

The Naked Truth

June 7, 2007

Ok, so, I understand some people are VERY comfortable with their nakedness, and I’m cool with that. But honestly, do we ALL have to be comfortable with YOUR nakedness too??

There’s this “trend” going on these days (and I use that term VERY loosely) with the naked bike riders around Vancouver. I’m aware this isn’t necessarily new, but just first heard it on the news not too long ago sort of blew it off but clearly it’s not even close to being a fading trend.  I was having a beautiful relaxing breakfast this morning with my mom down in Yaletown at Provence. It’s this gorgeous little cafe resturant right on the harbour. Couldn’t have been a more serene picture this morning as the rain was lighty drizzling outside and we were sipping our hot coffees inside. And then they arrived. The infamous Naked Bike Riders. Apparently, according to “Wiki” the first naked bike ride in Vancouver happened in the winter of 2002. Of course, this is one of those freedom rights things where “we should be proud of our nakedness”, “our bodies are nothing to be ashamed of”, “be proud of who you are” and so on. And you know what, I appreciate that for what it is. But honestly! I really have no desire to see a bunch of naked dudes and chicks riding around in the pouring rain as I’m trying to enjoy my coffee and the scenery…which, I might add, does NOT include breasts and penises, pardon my blatentness. This is right up there with gay rights activists. I have absolutly nothing against homosexuals. It’s a personal choice, that’s the beauty of the country we live in. But don’t force it down my throat. I don’t advertise being heterosexual, it’s just the way I am. Anyways, I digress.  So we had the privilege of these lovely “free living” folk bike by our window at breakfast this morning. Now, it’s not so much that they just biked by, but they continued to circle around the round about for the next half an hour, letting it ALL hang out. Hardly appetizing. Now I don’t want it to sound like I’m prejudice because I’m all for being who are and not letting anyone convince you otherwise. But do it with tact and with respect for those around. Take for example smokers. I don’t condone smoking, but I don’t judge people who smoke. Just try to respect those you’re around. Don’t blow smoke in the faces of people walking by, don’t smoke in enclosed areas, etc. It’s not a hard concept to grasp. I feel the same about these lovely nakes riders. If you’re comfortable with your body, great! I think that’s amazing…there’s far too many people who are overly self conscience about themselves. But you can be proud of who you are, naked, and not have to make us look at you to advertise it. Anyways, on the light hearted side of things, when they were done riding circles for attention the proceeded to dismount and return their bikes to the bike rental  place across the street!!! Note to self: don’t rent bikes from the rental store on Marinside in Yaletown!

I’m curious, after my big rant letting you all know how I feel, what are your opinions on these matters?

So I’ve just recently reached 6,000 views on my blog since I started it 4 months ago. It’s not that this is a particularly impressive number, but I’ve always wondered who it is that’s reading, or maybe merely just “clicking” my blog. I know a very small handful of committed readers…some definatly more committed than others, but I have recently *mark* become aware of a closet *mark* reader who shamlessly admitted to *mark* frequently reading and possibly even *mark* (dare i say it) enjoying some of my musings! GASP! I wouldn’t *mark* want to mention any *mark* names, because anonymity is of utmost importance of course! *wink* Anyways, it just made me wonder how many more of you there are out there that keep jacking up my stats and remain silent!? Wow…that was cliche! Well, please feel free to “come out of the closet” in whatever sense you feel comfortable…and comment away. I know you’re out there…humor me! I need motivation to continue to humor you!!

A Smokin’ Good Time

May 18, 2007

I was sitting at my most favoritist cafe this morning drinking my coffee in the sun and enjoying the newspaper when I spied an advertisement that absolutly FLOORED me. I honestly had to read it about 3 times over, unconvinced that what I was seeing was really published in our local newspaper. Check it out…

pot-ad.jpg

So yes, as I’m sure you’ve figured, those ARE pot plants, and it IS advertising a “Mary-Jane Party”! The best part, is the small print that you probably can’t read. (Pardon the poor graphics on my camera ph) It says: “Speed Joint Rolling, Biggest Bong Hit & More”. SERIOUSLY!!!! I’m pretty sure only in Vancouver (and maybe also San Francisco) would you be allowed to post a Marijuana party. Last I checked, pot was illegal. So how is it, our paper will publish such an ad? Well, it’s not really your standard paper. It was the Georgia Straight, which, for you non locals is more a local advertising paper for restaurants, concerts, events….and yes, Pot Parties!

Who’da thunk?

You’ve been poked by…

You know how they say it’s the MSG in junk food that just makes it impossible to stay away from it and stop eating it? I wonder what additive is in Facebook that makes it just so darn irresistable. And for those scoffing at me, I KNOW I’m not the only one who has this problem.  But, be what it is, there are clearly some moral issues that come with it.  Now, I know this is nothing new with these online networking and profiling site, but a good friend of mine sent me this link today and it’s kinda creepy.  I always take this stuff with a grain of salt, and also, I’m not dumb enough to put real personal information online, but still makes you wonder…is Big Brother REALLY watching??  Check out this link and see how you feel about Facebook afterwords! (and any other site you partake in for that matter) oh, and make sure you have sound.

A couple posts ago, Damon made some comment in his blog about his shampoo graveyard in his shower.  It reminded me of a graveyard I have come to own over the past decade. (I feel old by being able to refer to the past “decade” of my life…) I, my friends, am the proud owner of a cell phone graveyard.  Now, a little background on myself… I find I’m the kind of person that gets bored easily…especially with my technology.  If it doesn’t challenge me anymore, there must be something better to move on to that’s more exciting and more challenging!!  So it all started off, oh probably MORE than a decade ago when my parents got their first cell phone.  We were AMAZED by the advancement of our world of technology.  Yes folks…we had the grand “car phone, cell phone“, the “bigger than your head” cell phone….we thought we were pretty special!!  Little did we know what was to come.  Then, when was old enough, and mature enough (at least by self-diagnosis) I got my very OWN cell phone.  The good old original Nokia.  NOW I was important, cuz I had a cell phone.  Larger than life, in retrospect, wouldn’t fit in a pocket, hardly in a purse…they actually made purses with holders cuz the cell phones took up too much space other wise.  Then I started getting bored…  Time to move on.  So sticking with the Nokia trend, I moved up in life…I was lusting after everyone’s progressively smaller phones so I bought the smallest one I could find.  It was great…it was so small, I would now LOSE it in my purse, so it took up permenant residence in my pocket without creating that embarassing bulge most old phones did.  So now I was cool…I had the teeny-tiny, lose it in your ear, no antenna cell phone. (sorry…this phone was SUCH a hit, i couldnt even find a pic of it) lol  I was set.  For a year.  Then I got bored.  The truth is, Rogers Wireless is not my friend.  I spend waaaaay too much money with them so as a “valued customer” they would send me offers for free phones.  So I took the bait.  But I decided it was time to get away from Nokia…I felt like I was getting stuck in the dark ages.  So many other manufacturers has much funner (word??) fones. (i love “fonetics”)  So I moved on to Samsung…now THAT was moving up in life.  I got my very first Samsung flip phone.  Now this phone was fun for a bit, but the things it lacked I realized were the THING to have.  You MUST have a camera phone, and it MUST have a front display.  Who wants to have your phone ring and have to open it just to see who’s calling.  Sheesh.  The time you waste!!  So yet again, a mere year and a half later, I moved up even higher. I now had the Samsung Camera Flip Front LCD Color Display Phone. (say that 10 times fast..then backwards…) lol  I had become a picture taking, texting sending maniac!  It was a blast!  But about 9 months into my entertainment, I was yet again enticed.  This time, not by my wireless company, but by some “other” company I was keeping.  This individual had, what was in my mind, the next step of technology…not only was it a black berry, it was a BlackBerry Pearl!!!  WOOOWWW!!!  It could do so many things….camera (that actually had a flash and took good pics), email, blackberry messenger, full address contacts, fun color screen, multimedia perks…and the list goes one.  I was SOLD!!!  But the problem was, I wasn’t due for an upgrade for another 3 months.  How in the WORLD was I gonna put up with my old piece of junk camera flip phone for another 3 MONTHS?!?!?  Well, I did. It was painful, but I got thru.  And now, yes folks, I am the proud owner of the new BlackBerry Pearl!  And the other phones are happily laid to rest.

Anyone putting bets on how long the Pearl lasts….???