March 27, 2009

Maple in the County

I am not sure how many folks in the Kingston region know how blessed we are to have Prince Edward County just an hour away.  For a long time a best-kept secret, the County has become one of Canada's notable food and wine destinations. Many famous chefs (including Jamie Kennedy and Michael Potters) have decamped from Toronto to call the County home. This compact peninsula is becoming stuffed with boutique wineries, artisanal cheese, delectable restaurants, and one-of-a-kind stores. Some 23 of the County's businesses have banded together to offer a sumptuous "Taste Trail", a drive through the very best the region has to offer. But this weekend it's a new culinary adventure called "Maple in the County", a celebration of that sweet gift from our humble maple tree, syrup. Not sure who first figured out that if you boil sap from maple trees you get liquid nirvana but bless them all the same! We'll be heading over to the County tomorrow with four other friends to enjoy the food and hospitality of our favourite day-trip destination.

March 24, 2009

Meet the Claw

On Friday March 20, U2 set a concert ticket sales record by managing to shift 650,000 tickets for their U2360 tour in seven hours – that's an average of 112 a second. 

Attached is a graphic highlighting their 164-foot stage dubbed "The Claw". Wow!! 

Alos, I've scored tickets to the Toronto show at Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome) in September. I can't wait!!

March 20, 2009

Mission Marred

Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war.

Today marks the 6th anniversary since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. reports that there have been 4,259 American military personnel killed and some 31,089 wounded. JustForeignPolicy, meanwhile, estimates that over 1.3 million Iraqis have been killed. As for another important cost, reports that "USD $656.1 billion dollars have been allocated to the war in Iraq". 

So, here's the Iraq war in a nutshell, according to libertarian website Serendipity: "The main reasons for the US invasion of Iraq were to gain control of Iraq's oilfields (so as to keep the oil in the ground and drive up oil prices), to establish military bases in Iraq from which to dominate the Middle East and eventually (by controlling oil supply) to establish control over all countries dependent on oil, and (most important to the neo-cons Wolfowitz, et al.) to remove the threat to Israel posed by Iraq."

A typical conservative response would be (care of Fred Soto): “Our nation is safer because we elected George W. Bush, liberal allegations of impropriety in the White House amount to propaganda that has inspired paranoia and fear over non-issues (see FISA, Kucinich Impeachment, water-boarding).  Our efforts in Iraq must continue or we’ll have to fight the terrorists at home or worse, head back to Iraq to finish the job.  Further, if we do not ‘get the job done’, all credibility will be lost".

I like Tom Matzzie's thoughtful reflection on this sad anniversary: "It will be easy to thrust responsibility on to the hawks and warmongers, but those of us who opposed the war--and the politicians we supported--are essentially running the country now. This is our challenge. We have obligations both to our veterans and to the Iraqi war victims. It will continue to cost tens of billions in the years ahead but that is the necessary cost of our irresponsibility as a country getting into Iraq. And while we focus on healing those in the war we should also seek to heal the first casualty of this and every war--the truth. There are still questions that haven't been answered about how we got into the war and what happened once we were in it. We deserve answers."


March 17, 2009

The 90s. Understood.

Mission: Italy

I am so thrilled to share that we have booked our apartments in Italy for our upcoming honeymoon in August. For our first week we will be in a lovely studio in Rome, just two blocks from the Colosseum. For our second week we have booked a gorgeous apartment in Florence that features a terrace. We are getting very excited about our Italian adventure. We expect to do some day-trips out of Florence to see parts of Tuscany. I think we also will hop on the train to Venice... 

March 12, 2009

Manifest Destiny

The Edge: Gee, Bono, what are we going to do tonight?
Bono: The same thing we do every night, Edge - try to take over the world!

U2 appear to well on their way to yet another global domination as Nielson SoundSource reports that "No line on the Horizon" is #1 in 30 countries. Here is the list so far: UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerlandan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland. 

Technicolor Dreams

It turns out that Queen's is connected to Herbert T. Kalmus, one of the most important contributors to the development of motion pictures. Who knew the principal founder of Technicolor was at Queen's? Like only a handful of technological innovators, Kalmus deftly blended a shrewd but charming business sense—which was instrumental in attracting investors and Hollywood studios—with a probing and imaginative scientific mind. Were it not for Kalmus's persistence and vision, not to mention his business acumen, the industry-wide adoption of three-color processes for shooting films in full color would have occurred indefinitely later. The man who became synonymous with Technicolor thus changed the course of film history. 

Like synchronized sound, color required an industrial overhaul of every phase of movie making, but what tested the resolve of Dr. Kalmus and his company was the need to enhance and improve the process until Hollywood would start making the switch to color movies—a period lasting some three decades.

Orphaned at a young age, Kalmus worked his way into and through Massachusetts Institute of Technology (then called Boston Tech). There he met the school's only other physics major at the time, Daniel F. Comstock, who would become his business partner. After graduating from M.I.T. and then, in 1906, receiving their doctorates in Europe, the pair of young physicists returned to the United States. Between 1910 and 1915 Kalmus worked at Queen's as a physics professor, where he performed his first research on the Technicolor process. In 1912, when they teamed up with W. Burton Wescott, an "engineering genius" in Kalmus's estimation, the trio started a patent company called Kalmus, Comstock, and Wescott (KCW). The young firm made several profitable inventions, but it was not long before Technicolor was its exclusive focus.

As early as 1915 KCW took out patents (mainly on special equipment for color cinematography and projection) for the first Technicolor process. Within two years they were shooting their first color film,The Gulf Between (1917), with a special Technicolor camera that used a beam splitter to simultaneously expose two different strips of film, one sensitive to the green spectrum and the other to the red spectrum. However, the procedure was imperfect and costly, and it was not until the fourth Technicolor process, patented in 1935, that they were successful. The first of Technicolor's three-strip processes, it was used with enormous success in films such as The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Gone with the Wind(1939). Later, after inventing a mono-pack color process, which could be shot with a standard one-strip, black-and-white motion picture camera, Technicolor briefly cornered the market and initiated the industry's full conversion to color.


March 9, 2009

U2 announced the first few stops on their upcoming world stadium tour, coined "U2360". It features an innovative 360-degrees stage design that provides unobstructed views to all fans and tiered ticket prcies for all budgets.  In a first, the tour is sponsored by Blackberry. Check out the cool design and other info at U2360.

March 2, 2009

Well, after a few months of revisions, I am delighted to anounce that my paper "Private Money for the Public Good: Higher Education Philanthropy in Canada and the United States" was just published today in the Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education. Since you have just been waiting so eagerly (riiiight) you can read my paper here