Uncle Fester


In 2016 the Vancouver Parks Board acquired a botanical oddity native to Sumatra, Indonesia. On June 21, 2018 horticulturalists at Vancouver’s Bloedel Conservatory spotted a 28 centimetre bud on titan arum, the world’s largest and rarest flowering plant. commonly known as corpse or carrion flower. Over a 40 year lifespan this prehistoric behemoth might bloom 3 times for 24-48 hours. Bloom characterized by the stench of rotting meat, mother nature’s ruse to trick carrion eating beetle and insect pollinators. Gardeners at Bloedel dubbed their prize Uncle Fester.

Barely 6 years old, Uncle Fester wasn’t supposed to bloom for several years. Fester’s petals started to open Sunday, for 2 days public frenzy to catch a whiff of Fester meant waiting in line for several hours. A five minute walk from home, I considered joining the queue last night. A co-worker’s text – “waited an hour and fifteen, petals closed, no smell” – kept me home. All the same, putrid or not, Fester is a natural wonder.

The lineup to see (and smell) the flower, which is expected to emit its stench for up to 48 hours, stretched out front of the Bloedel Conservatory on Monday morning. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/corpse-flower-begins-emitting-putrid-smell-1.4748375

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Night And Day


“Night and day” is an expression of vast differences, a term used to punctuate opposites and vocalize obvious chasms of separation. Every so often I use the term to illustrate radical improvement or to qualify observations of change. It never occurred to me night and day inhabited a realm between robotic utterance and practical reference to light in the sky.

After work this afternoon, night and day revealed another dimension. Not so much another dimension as a shared reality emanating from a handful of my husband’s photographs .Opposite as night and day may be, both are exquisite, textured and revealing. Ponder night and day with fresh eyes –

https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/with/42259365585/

Positivity


https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/

Our Canada Day began with a freeway jaunt out to Cloverdale, ended with a 40 kilometer detour to Steveston on a circle route back home. Two festivals in one afternoon, two demographically opposite communities, two experiences evoking the same impression – Canada is a positive nation.

A photo my husband took last night featured the word “positivity” screened on the t-shirt of a young man. Canadian values make positivity possible. Separation of church and state, inclusiveness, gender equality, gay rights, universal healthcare, anti hate legislation and absence of fake news allow positivity to flourish.

Canadians don’t declare ours the greatest nation on Earth, identify as patriots, tolerate partisan propaganda under the guise of free speech, sleep with a gun on the nightstand, live in fear of racial/faith based violence or impose mandatory quotas on number of detained refugees.

Canada is considered a polite nation. This Canadian wants you to know, good manners are born of positivity. Happy one hundred and fifty first birthday Canada.

Hot Dog Water


It’s street festival season in Vancouver. Yesterday, 17 blocks of Main Street welcomed thousands to annual Car Free Day celebrations. Hundreds of vendors marked twelve feet of curbside real estate with colourful tents. Block after block of inexpensive dresses made in India, food trucks, jewellery, yoga classes, political action groups, straw hats and local crafts. Lavender Kombucha in one hand, bacon raspberry chipotle jam sandwich in the other ( don’t judge me 🙂 ), an eager young man in a hot dog costume drew my eyes to the “Hot Dog Water” tent.

Image result for hot dog water car free day

Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans, mustered his inner Gwyneth Paltrow to proclaim –

“We’ve created a recipe, having a lot of people put a lot of effort into research and a lot of people with backgrounds in science really creating the best version of Hot Dog Water that we could,” “So the protein of the Hot Dog Water helps your body uptake the water content, and the sodium and all the things you’d need post-workout.”

A sign breaks down the “health benefits” of Hot Dog Water.

Scores of festival goers lined up for free samples of chilled hot dog water. Move over Gatorade, there’s a new boss in town. Hot dog water is the future of weight loss, vitality and brain function. Still skeptical? Rest assured proof is in the cost – one bottle of hot dog water sells for $37.99,  two for the Father’s Day special of $75.

Image result for hot dog water car free day

Bevans won’t say how much hot dog water he sold, but cheerfully points to a statement clearly displayed at the booth –

“Hot Dog Water in its absurdity hopes to encourage critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it can play in our purchasing choices.”

From Global News –

Bevans, a tour operator by trade, is also an artist, and said the Hot Dog Water concept was actually dreamed up as a commentary on what he called the “snake oil salesmen” of health marketing.

“It’s really sort of a commentary on product marketing, and especially sort of health-quackery product marketing,” he said.

“From the responses, I think people will actually go away and reconsider some of these other $80 bottles of water that will come out that are ‘raw’ or ‘smart waters,’ or anything that doesn’t have any substantial scientific backing but just a lot of pretty impressive marketing.”

Vancouver festivalgoers invited to enjoy a cool glass of… hot dog water?

Kudos to you Douglas Bevans – well played.

 

Ponder Fox News


By virtue of proximity and despite two dedicated news sources of our own, Canadian businesses favor CNN. Without exception, hotel bars, financial institutions and corporate offices display muted CNN backdrops. Fox is a non-issue, Canadians shun twisted babble contrary to the fibre of our collective identity. In 2010 while working at a Hilton hotel two American businessmen entered the bar. Immediate disdain for CNN enveloped the room, protestation vocalized as “Communist News Network” preceded their first sip of Jack Daniels. As manager on duty it fell on me to politely explain Fox wasn’t an option.

Communist News Network, a disquieting statement spoken with ease of a baseball score. Right wing America had my attention, those three words delivered a epiphany – dismissive scorn for all things Fox was lazy, conduct no different than knee jerk conservative condemnation of CNN. Distasteful as it might be, Fox loomed as a necessary evil. The only way to defeat an adversary is to know them.

Thus began sporadic exploration of the world according to Fox. Not for the faint of heart, Fox immersion requires fortitude.

Image result for fox news

Tonight, ten Fox minutes was all it took to glean the following –

Democrats are the bane of America. By refusing to work with Trump on issues of commonality, the left undermines America’s future. Democrats are behind the “war on culture” – despite Trump having the highest approval rating of any president in U.S. history, left wing cultural attacks such as Stormy Daniels erode the institution of democracy. Democrats had the audacity to think a sex scandal could crack Trump support.

Trump economic reforms have resolved race issues in America. Al Sharpton is a publicity seeking headline hunter whose appearance at Stephon Clark funeral in Sacramento proves a desperate attempt to fuel racial discord.( Clark was a unarmed black man killed March 18 by Sacramento police, officially in self defense. Clark’s family hired an independent pathologist, that report stated he was shot 7 times in the back and an 8th time in the thigh after falling to the ground )

Hillary is crooked as ever. Crooked as they come for fees related to speaking engagements.

AR15 rifles are no different than shotguns, both fire precisely the same way. March For Our Lives student activists are puppets of bleeding heart Hollywood elites.

Fox commands propaganda. Much as revulsion calls for snickering guffaws, each and every one of us needs to suck it up long enough to experience first hand manipulation of collective sentiment. Trump’s America is a reality, Fox propaganda aims to keep it that way. Stop laughing at absurdity, it isn’t funny anymore. Scrape your mind off the wall. Fake news is alive and well at Fox – experience it, acknowledge it, call it out, demand legislation to regulate it.