Friday, October 19, 2018

New York's Newest Monument - Vessel!

Vessel is a new project in New York - intended to be a stunning experience of space.  The YouTube article is HERE.  There are two immediate visual comparisons for me - the first is the idea of Tower of Babel.  The second is Floyd Elzinga's Pinecone sculptures.  But we'll stay with the Tower of Babel today.

Here's Vessel

Here's the Tower of Babel

The major difference is that New York's 'staircase' is an upside down structure - small at the bottom and large at the top.  The website has a great set of pictures and story describing what they call New York City's next public landmark.

Created by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio – Hudson Yards presents a uniquely interactive experience, a monument meant to be climbed and explored. Comprised of 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs—almost 2,500 individual steps— and 80 landings, the centerpiece will literally lift up the public, offering a multitude of ways to engage with New York, Hudson Yards and each other. This larger-than-life art piece will be New York City’s next public landmark.  

You can read about all of the Hudson Yards projects at their website - The High Line, the Public Square and Gardens, The Shed, and more.  

And what are today's photos?  The beautiful Gerbera flower in the commercial growing greenhouses in Grimsby. It came to North America in the 1920s. It was hybridized into a plant suitable for gardens and widespread commercial production in the 1970s.  Today it is a staple of the florist trade.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Chicken on Tap

Do you remember it was just last week and food would be scarce by 2050?  This week I saw a story on PBS about cultured meat.  This is synthetic meat that is produced by in vitro cultivation of animal cells instead of from slaughtered animals.

I turned to Wikipedia and found out that the formal name for this is cellular agriculture. And there is a lot happening right now in this area.  New Harvest is the world's first non-profit organization dedicated to supporting in vitro meat research. 
Jason Matheny authorized a seminal paper in the early 2000s and progress has been made ever since. Dr. Mark Post produced the first cultured beef burger patty that was eaten at a demonstration for the press in London in 2013.

How much did it cost the burger to be made in 2013 and how long did it take to produce it?  $300,000 and 2 years.

Now skip forward to February 2017.  How much did it cost to make?  $11.36.

Are you curious about what the experience was to eat it?  I certainly am. Here is critic Hanni Rutzler's experience in 2013:

"There is really a bite to it, there is quite some flavour with the browning. I know there is no fat in it so I didn't really know how juicy it would be, but there is quite some intense taste; it's close to meat, it's not that juicy, but the consistency is perfect. This is meat to me... It's really something to bite on and I think the look is quite similar."

Both fat and muscle cells are now produced, giving a closer result, and the prediction is that 'test tube burgers' could be on sale by the end of this year - 2018.  That would be in time for Christmas dinner, or perhaps celebrating 2019 with a 'clean meat' start on New Year's Day.

Here's the conclusion of a recent article at Fast Company HERE
“That’s not to say that there are not going to be specialty restaurants producing meat traditionally–more expensive restaurants–but I think the burgers that we’re going to put on the grill, and the chicken nuggets that we’re going to eat at McDonald’s, and the barbecued chicken that we’re going to eat in Chipotle is mainly going to be cultured meat decades from now,” he says.

Our picture today shows the Third Street Overholt orchard.  It has been demolished.  The same has occurred along a section of Victoria Ave in Vineland at the Cherry Lane orchard. They are planting new trees.  The Cherry Lane orchard across from the United Mennonite Home on Twenty-Third Street has also been demolished.  It is sorry to see the ancient, gnarled trunks disappear, though.  They do make great pictures in the spring with their wonderful blossoms.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hyphenated-Specialist or Chief Chatter Officer

We are in the age of creativity where convoluted jobs and job titles  are a mark of prestige.  What would you be doing if you were the Chief Chatter?  You'd be the Call Centre Manager.  What about an Animal Colourist - the person who dyes animals for movies and marketing campaigns. A Digital Overlord is a website manager.  A Cheese Sprayer - someone who sprays cheese or butter by hand on popcorn.

Here are job titles that the author could not figure out and labelled indecipherable:
43.  Under Secretary to the Sub-Committee – ?????
44.  Hyphenated-specialist – ??????
45.  Second Tier Totalist – ??????
46.  Actions and Repercussions Adviser – ??????
47.  Professionalist International and world-wide optical and vision-focused tenured professorship – ??????
50.  Chief Biscuit Dunker – ??????
An in-depth article comes from Fortune.  It identified 20 ridiculous job titles in well-known companies held by real people.  Here are a few in the article HERE
Paranoid In Chief  Company: Yahoo 
Description: Let’s be honest — Paranoid in chief sounds much more intriguing than plain old “chief information security officer.” And it makes sense: Yahoo’s entire cybersecurity division is known as “the Paranoids.” 
In-House Philosopher Company: Google
Description: This title is proof that your philosophy degree could land you a job at Google. Even the search giant needs someone to turn to when it has a question. The company literally employed someone whose job is to solve engineering problems using “a humanistic perspective.”
Chief Executive Unicorn Company: PowToon
Description: Because there aren’t enough unicorns, there’s one over at PowToon as well. Ilya Spitalnik is CEO (or CEU) of the company that sells software to make animated explainer videos. However, it looks like Spitalnik may have recently changed his title to “Chief Renegade Scientist.”

I wonder what Dezi's job title is in the vineyard at Legend's Winery, located on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

When I get to 99

How many things should I know today?  Is it five, six, seven, ten or 200?  The search list stops inserting a number after 10, so 200 things I should know today will retrieve 10 things. Of course some of the things retrieved relate to dates in the past July, September 2018 or even May.

As I moved up the numbers, I got to 26 and here are some of the 26 things you need to know about:
  • trucking 
  • foods to learn to cook
  • things to do on your birthday in Vancouver
  • old investing books taught me
  • swimming across the English Channel
  • and so on. 
I continued my retrieval game, and thought there was a strong preference for 26, but find there are 27, 28 and 29 things.  

We find a humorous moment at 29: Here's the picture for 29 things we do wrong every day. 

As we get into 30 things, we move into habits. And every year has # of things to do before you reach the age of #.  # should be the same number in the equation.

What would be retrieved with "66" - yes! it would be 66 things to do on Route 66!

Is 99 a special number? It certainly is.  Look at the quote it retrieves in proliferation.  I consider this a moment of pure cynicism.  Who would count 99 things they've done for something?  And so many presentations of the this pessimistic view.  Here it is:
"You can do 99 things for someone and all they'll remember is the one thing you didn't do"

And our pictures today show the autumn colours of Sumac, one of our native plants.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Exit Code for Autumn Leaves

Our fall colour is on track according to Ontario Parks.  The little map with the peak viewing tells us most of the province is at peak colour.

It is an impressive representation. You can find it at HERE.  Here is the entry for Killbear Park:

Killbear - Report Date : October 11, 2018
Dominant Colour : Yellow/Orange
Colour Change : 80 - Leaf Fall : 20
Best viewing : Yellow and orange are dominant with occasional splashes of brilliant red set off nicely against the dark green of our pines. The best colours are along the Recreation Trail, the Lookout Point Trail and near beaver ponds. Killbear should reach peak colour over the next week, but lots of fall colour (mostly shades of yellow) will remain until the end of October. Killbear is open for camping and Day Use until Sunday October 28th.

We're at the migration time here in Grimsby with the bird count taking place at It has a chart that shows the hotspots.  St. Catharines - Port Weller east pier has the highest species count at 249, with Beamer Conservation Area (that's us in Grimsby) at 227.  One of Dezi's favourite walking places is Happy Rolf's in St. Catharines and the count there is 92.

In total, there are 100 locations identified with bird counts. Yesterday's visit was to Charles Daley Park to catch a bit of the locust colour before the wind takes most of it away.  Being on the shore, these trees don't get to show off for long. I was happy to catch the colour that was there.  
The picture below is the interpretation from 2012.