The Wonder of Coastlines

The Wonder of Coastlines
A year ago, I travelled to southern France with my honey and some friends. As we visited Marseilles, a port town on the Mediterranean with a history stretching back some 2,600 years, we came to a plaque that commemorated the start of that history. Along the old harbour, the bronze reads “Here, in 600 BC, Greek sailors from Phocaea, a Greek city in Asia Minor, landed. They founded Marseilles, to serve as a beacon of civilization to the west.”

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Ethnic Canadians

Ethnic Canadians
I recently stumbled across this map of “Leading Ethnicity by Census Division,” based on the 2006 Canadian census (original on Wikipedia). Maps fascinate me and I thought this one was pretty cool. I thought I’d share a few thoughts, but first the map itself:

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Parking Meter — Photo 85 — Project 365

Parking Meter — Photo 85 — Project 365
So I found this parking meter one day exploring in France. Having studied a little about parking I was fascinated. One of the goals of parking meters is to encourage turnover to allow lots of people to visit the area. In France, you sometimes run into timed parking (limited to 1 to 4 hours) with a similar goal. The “old-school” way of doing that was to have a little disk you would put on your dash, showing when you showed up (and by extension, when you could park there till). It took me a while to figure out the system (they paint the lines green for those spots) and then once I had it figured out, I never had a disk with me. So when I spotted these machines, I thought they were genius! They tell you right away how long you can park in the spot and how much time you have left. As a “bonus,” it makes if far easier for the Meter Maid to see in a hurry who has overstayed their welcome.

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We Will Remember Them — Photo 84 — Project 365

We Will Remember Them — Photo 84 — Project 365

For Remembrance Day — Lest We Forget

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

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3D Printing and Model Trains

3D Printing and Model Trains
While in France, the combination of being somewhere near ‘church mouse poor’ and living in a small (32 square metres / 350 sq ft) 1 bedroom apartment, I looked for hobbies that took up little space and so settled on photography (i.e. my Project 365 here) and dabbling in computer programming and to a lesser degree, artificial intelligence (my WmDOT for OpenTTD). It was quite enjoyable, but on my return to North America, I found myself with a lot more space and more geographically stable. I wanted to make things that were a little more physical and so with the encouragement of my Honey, I started into Model Railroading, a childhood dream. One of my shocks was the cost of models! A regular-ish building, measuring maybe 2x3x3 inches would cost $60! There had to be a better way…

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Golden Coat of Arms — Photo 83 — Project 365

Golden Coat of Arms — Photo 83 — Project 365
My continuing adventures took me to London and to see the Queen! Actually, the Queen was nowhere to be seen, but I did see Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guards. On the square surrounding Buckingham Palace are gates recognizing the different British colonies and on the gates of the Palace itself sit the Arms of Britain itself. I thought the gold leaf was cool and it provided a nice contrast against the grey-green iron of the rest of the gate.

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Moving Day — Photo 82 — Project 365

Moving Day — Photo 82 — Project 365

In France, many people (including me when I was there) live in low-rise apartment buildings. Typically, they are three to six stories tall with the bottom floor as retail (I lived above an insurance agent and a restaurant) and those above as residential. Many of the buildings are fairly old and so have narrow staircases and a small, if existent, elevator. Day-to-day, this isn’t too bad, but when you go to move in or out, the stairs turn into a nightmare. So the solution is to bring your own “moving elevator” on moving day! Such a moving elevator can be carried nicely on a trailer behind the moving truck and unfolds at your soon-to-be-former lodging. Point it at a window, which can be as large as your front door and is never screened, and the moving begins!

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