Thursday, 26 January 2012

Luiza Esta No Canada

"Luíza não está mais no Canadá e voltou ao Brasil fazendo sucesso. Tudo começou com um comercial de TV, estrelado pelo pai dela, que é colunista social. Foi o suficiente para a filha cair na rede e virar destaque nos buscadores de notícias."

Luiza Rabello was an au pair in Barrie, Ontario when her father, Gerardo Rabello said “except Luiza, who is in Canada” during the production of a commercial selling condos in the Brazilian north-eastern state of Paraiba in which he, his wife and two of his three children were present. He wanted to explain the absence of his 17 year old daughter in the video. The remark became a cultural meme in Brazil in less than two days and spawned a musical parody, a  Hitler parody and an interview of Luiza by a national TV network as well as a website, a face book page and many tweets.
As you can see from the Google trends graph below, this is a transitory meme which never expanded beyond Brazil and ended within four days.

Compare this with a sustained meme like Duck Face which is an English translation of the Japanese word "Ahiru-guchi" and originated as a Japanese meme for a facial expression which women in Japan use to attract men. The Google trends graph below tells the tale.

This Japanese meme post is still in the top five posts which I've done on this blog. Why do some memes die out quickly while others transcend their cultural and linquistic boundaries to become part of the global cultural environment? Is it the size of the population, the number of International speakers of the language or the global awareness of the country's cultural interests? Brazil should have the advantage over Japan in all these areas. Brazil has 192 million people to Japan's 127 million people. More folks speak Portugese than Japanese. Does the global community consider Latin America to be a cultural backwater and doesn't pay attention to events in this part of the world?
Memes do seem to have a threshold level beyond which they are self sustaining and are maintained within the specific culture even if they aren't global. For example:
Take the Russian acronym, ОБС (short for Одна Баба Сказала), in translation “A foolish girl said” for an expression implying the spread of rumors by mouth or the press.  This is a local meme which has never travelled beyond its origin.

How memes replicate and propagate in the Internet age is something which I haven't explored but might be applicable to several threads that I've explored lately in comments on other blogs.

Ice Fishing

A Short Film About Ice Fishing from Jason Shahinfar on Vimeo.

Normally I would be ice fishing on Lake Simcoe at this time of the year but it has been unseasonally warm this year with most of the days this month above freezing so I'm still waiting. The video above is about how not to ice fish and shows the unfortunate consequences. The location of Lake Simcoe is on the map below and is sixty miles north of Toronto.

View Larger Map

The picture below was taken approximately where the marker in the map is placed.

by Scaturchi lic. cc by nc-nd-2.0
 You can see the ice huts in the picture which are the high end of ice fishing. There are also nylon ice fishing tents as well as just sitting out on the ice with a cold weather suit. With a wind chill of minus 30 degrees Celsius on Lake Simcoe at night, I prefer a hut with a heater and lots of beer. Maybe a fish finder and fish cam for help. The video below is without doubt the low end of ice fishing.

Shopping at Canadian Tire for supplies.

Ice fishing rods. Shorter for fitting inside an ice hut.

An essential piece of equipment for gutting fish.

The fishcam so you can see what`s happening below and used with the fish finder. Notice the fake fish.
Hut or tent heater

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Coleman coffee maker

Sometimes life is a little less calculated and you have to make an igloo.

Myself Entering an igloo

Me inside an igloo - lots of light

Me dog sledding up north

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Toronto Boat Show 2012

Direct Energy Building - Site of the Boat Show
Last weekend I went to the Toronto Boat Show, the site of which is located on the map below.

View Larger Map

The inside of the Direct Energy Building can be seen in this 360 degree photo.

Direct Energy building at CNE in Toronto

As usual, the show was massive and packed with people. In 2010 10.2 million Canadians went boating according to a survey. Ontario has the world's largest group of fresh water lakes as well as the thousand islands in Lake Ontario and the ten thousand island area in Lake Huron. There is also the Trent-Severn waterway:

The total length of the waterway is 386 kilometres (240 mi), beginning at Trenton, Ontario, with roughly 32 kilometres (20 mi) of man-made channels. There are 45 locks, including 36 conventional locks, two sets of flight locks, hydraulic lift locks at Peterborough and Kirkfield, and a marine railway at Big Chute which transports boats between the upper and lower sections of the Severn. The system also includes 39 swing bridges and 160 dams and control structures that manage the water levels for flood control and navigation on lakes and rivers that drain approximately 18,600 square kilometres (7,182 sq mi) of central Ontario's cottage country region, across four counties and three single-tier cities, an area that is home to more than a million Canadians.
It reaches its highest point of 256.3 metres (840 ft 11 in) at Balsam Lake, the highest point to which a vessel can be navigated from sea level in the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River drainage basin. ...

The Trent–Severn Waterway is managed by Parks Canada under the statutory authority of the Historic Canals Regulations (which outline and delegate the responsibilities for navigation, resource protection, dredge and fill operations, the operation of boater campgrounds, etc.). The 386-kilometre navigation corridor includes over 4,500 kilometres (2,796 mi) of shoreline and over 500 square kilometres (193 sq mi) of water. More than 125000 private and commercial properties abut the navigation corridor of the Trent–Severn Waterway. The Trent–Severn Waterway also has regulatory responsibility and authority under the Dominion Water Power Act for the 18 hydroelectric generating facilities located along its route.(Wikipedia)

Ticket booth
 The parking cost $13 and the entrance fee was $17.

Most folks went for the power boats. There were 550 exhibitors in the show. They also have a 5,000 gallon fish tank filled with various fresh water marine life where they demonstrate how to cast for fish.

Of various sizes as well as smaller non powered types.

and others

There were bikes to store in your boat for shore trips.

And an indoor lake to test smaller boats. Also a children's boating area.

Lots of state of the art onboard displays for those with technolust.

 As well as the ubiquitous snowblower. I think that people on my street compete for having the most bad assed one.

Tug boats...

and inflatable ones

as well as vintage boats

I always head for the sailboat section and my favorite was the 44DS. Three cabins and two heads.

Here's a video about it.

And here's a  close up of the display panel - GPS, depth display, radar, autopilot, etc.

And one of the two heads

And the dining area

French Children Don’t Throw Food

"Whispering" by Thibault Foubert from OhMyProd! on Vimeo.

The video is about Isaac, a young American journalist in Paris who has problems meeting women. Tonight, however, he was set up on a blind date with a young French actress by a co worker and the action in the video takes place in a Parisian restaurant.
As you know the best women in the world are French women. Ask any Frenchman. Full disclosure – I had a Montréal girlfriend when I was young who I met in the Winston Churchill pub on Crescent Street in downtown Montréal. At the time, I was trying to seduce expat American transfer students from McGill University posing as an exotic Coureur de Bois spouting Sartre and Proust while sipping Absinthe in the smoky environs of the bar and keeping an eye out for spies from the Office Québécois de la langue Française, the little Canadian brother of the French, Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie who were watching for Anglo predations on the language of Molière.
Mireille Guiliano  cooking by Barry Jan lic. 2.0 creative commons
Anyway, we’ve already had a book called “French women don’t get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano, a French citizen who moved to the States in the wealthy Boston suburb of Weston as a student for a year and put on 15 lbs before she returned home and regained her gamine form and now there is a new book titled,” French Children Don’t Throw Food” by Pamela Druckerman ,an American mother of three who lives in Paris with her English husband and three children. According to this book, French women make Amy Chua’s Tiger Mom look like a wimp. They have rules such as letting the baby cry for awhile and insisting on children having at least one bite of a new food even if they refuse – “c’est moi qui decide.”
Guiliano was raised in Alsace and Provence, Sorbonne educated and is now married to an American. Spending most of her time in New York, she teaches the virtues of portion control, fresh food and variety of meals. Now French women are not only trim but also master mothers whose well behaved offspring are a joy to behold. This book answers such questions as why French babies sleep through the night, why do French children eat what they are given, how French mothers chat while their children play quietly and why French mothers wear skinny jeans instead of tracksuits. This is the latest in a long line of perfect French women books. For a reality check, you might want to read this post on Sarah Hague’s blog.  Sarah is a British woman who lives with her children in Montpelier, France and writes about her life in France on her blog.

Update Feb. 12, 2012:  Here's a video from the Wall Street Journal interviewing Pamela Druckerman.

by NowSourcing via