August 2006

Cup of Soup

Wed, Aug 9, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Last night I saw An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's slideshow movie on Global Warming. It was a very informative film, and highly recommended. Light on scientific detail that the average person would not understand anyway (he leaves the balance of evidence to the experts, merely summarizing their findings), the movie focuses on the effect Global Warming would have on us and our planet, and what can be done about it. He is not simply another politician with an opinion handed to him by a poll. He knows the material, the theory, and the findings. He's been there, under the ice caps, in the desert, at the symposia. He does this because the evidence has convinced him beyond a doubt, he recognizes the severity of the situation, and knows that we need to recognize it too, lest our children and our grandchildren pay the price for our obtuseness.

Along with the catastrophe that Global Warming could cause, another facet of the film struck me deeply. This man, passionate about his cause, acting on the ethics of the matter, was a hanging-chad-in-Florida away from being President of the United States. Now consider the man who was given the seat of power instead, and the atrocities he's commanded while there.

How different would the world be if the better man had won?

Thu, Aug 17, 2006

A Taste of What Could Be

Today I went to the waterfront to see Quay To The City, a temporary exhibit of part of the waterfront revitalization plan. As a sample of things to come, they've closed off half the lanes of Queen's Quay and converted it to a wide bicycle path bridging the gap in the Martin Goodman trail, a wide "green line" lawn, and a 1km-long "red line" of potted geraniums. They've also gone and added a rock-balancing exhibit, sandboxes for children's sandcastles, muskoka chairs, and a victory arch of bicycles.

The effect, I must say, is astounding. On the surface it seems like a simple change: reclaim a waterfront street from the automobile and give it back to the people. The result is an injection of life.

With the street taking up much of the space, the area normally feels perpetually cramped. There is little room on the sidewalk for pedestrians, bikes are perilously close to passing cars, and there is little feeling of being welcomed, even though this should be the "front lawn" of the city, so to speak. A pedestrian on the narrow sidewalk feels compelled to keep moving, lest he cause the ire of those behind him.

Introduce an expanded bike path, a wide lawn, and a pleasing garden separating the path from the streetcar, and suddenly people have room to live. The area is full of folks enjoying themselves. Cyclists speeding through to their destinations, others casually gliding along on a pleasant summer's evening, people standing on the lawn engulfed in conversation, children building sandcastles as their parents marvel at the rows of balanced rocks standing before them as they lounge in muskoka chairs.

Since the last time I biked through there, the change can be described simply by "Welcome". Suddenly, the waterfront becomes a place not just to eat, sleep, and work, but to actually live, to enjoy, and to use, by residents and visitors alike.

This is just a taste of what is to come, should the governments actually continue with the plan. The only bad thing about it is that this preview won't be around for very long.

Support the waterfront! View the winning waterfront design plans, check out Quay to the City and tell them what you think!

Tue, Aug 22, 2006

Merry Noodlemas!

Somehow, among the mess of life, Spudles' Cup of Noodles went and turned six years old!

As we reflect on the noodle year passed, the smiles, trials, and intoxications of the previous 12 months, we wonder, "What ever happened to the State of the Noodles Address?"

Well, consider this the "summer" of the first Noodle era. They're in reruns. They'll return in the autumn years. In the meantime, go and reread one of my travelogues. They're workdays well wasted.

Wed, Aug 30, 2006

The Ex(treme)!

Last night, as our weekly Man Night escapade, we went to the grand old fair that is the Canadian National Exhibition. Since I now live across the street from it, I figured it would be sacrilege not to go. I hadn't been to The Ex in years, so this would be a trip down memory lane.

It may not be what it once was back in its glory years, but it was still a great time. This may have actually been the first time I've gone and ridden the rides, since my previous visits have been with family that prefers to just walk around the midway. The rides may not be the calibre of a big theme park, but that was part of the fun. When you're riding the scrambler at Canada's Wonderland, you're strapped in tight with no possible movement. You feel safe as you turn, twist, and tumble. The carnival scrambler adds a touch of excitement, because you're not strapped in so tightly, and as the ride gets under way and you notice the single, rusty, rattling lynchpin holding the entire contraption together, you realise that the next turn, twist, or tumble could be your last. What a rush!

Toss in some repetitive Harold and Kumar "EXTREME!!!"s, some cotton candy, and plenty of eye candy, and it made for a Grand Night Out at the Grand Old Fair.

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