Geekin’ the 902: Nova Scotia, the Fourteenth ColonyPosted: October 12, 2012 Filed under: Deep ponderings, Rockin' the 902 | Tags: Atlantic Canada, geekery Leave a comment
There’s very little disagreement that Nova Scotia was very close to becoming the fourteenth colony of the U S of A. Many books and papers and websites have focused on it, but the one I’m reading now is “Canadian History For Dummies” by Will Ferguson.
Ferguson writes that as the American Revolution began, Nova Scotia’s population of 19,000 was about half made up of settlers from the colonies. The so-called “Yankee Nova Scotians.” The Brits thought they would join the fight for sure. But they didn’t. Not out of any deep abiding love for the Brits, but more out of ambivalence. Ferguson identified a few contributing factors:
- Nova Scotians were mostly scattered around the area, except for the city of Halifax which was a British military base. Communication and coordination was difficult at best.
- Colonial ships had a bad habit of plundering and privateering NS settlements. This didn’t earn them any love. (Even though the Brits were doing kind of the same thing: swooping in and forcing men into military service.)
- Ministers urged their flocks to stay “above the fray.” The battle between the Brits and the colonies was framed as the Armageddon, and if Nova Scotians could just stay out of it all their land was certain to become the New Jerusalem. Hey, you can’t lose hope.
- Governor Francis Legge (the Bossa Nova) made a couple of popular moves on the eve of the revolution. He canceled an unpopular tax and suspended compulsory militia service, two things the citizenry were rather unhappy with. Thus they felt like the Crown was somewhat on their side.
Note though that if NS had become the fourteenth colony, Cape Breton wouldn’t have come along for the ride. At the time it was the property of the French, who called it “Ile Royale.”
But if conditions had been slightly different, Betsy Ross would have had to sew on another star.
Rockin’ the 902: Like Lake Mille Lacs, with lobstersPosted: October 11, 2012 Filed under: Fave raves, Rockin' the 902 | Tags: Atlantic Canada, coolness, geekery 2 Comments
Bras D’Or Lake is an inland salt-water lake that sits right in the middle of the lower half of Cape Breton. Imagine Lake Mille Lacs with lobsters. It’s as important to the community as Mille Lacs is to central Minnesota.
“Bras D’Or” is French for “arm of gold.” The Mi’kmaq First Nation named it “Pitu’pok,” or “long salt water.” Four Mi’kmaq tribes maintain settlements around the lake: in Membertou, Eskasoni, Wagmatcook, and Waycobah.
The central town on Bras D’Or is Baddeck, also one of the main entry points to the Cabot Trail. Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel made their summer home in Baddeck and eventually retired there from Scotland. Bell set up a lab in Baddeck and along the way helped launch the plane that made the first manned flight in the British Empire.
The lake extends northeast to Sydney, the largest city in Cape Breton. Sydney recently resumed their long-dormant cruise ship harbor (harbour?), so they hope that passengers will traverse from the ocean down through the lake.
Like Mille Lacs, Bras D’Or relies on tourism, fishing, and farming. It’s fed both by the ocean and the streams from the south, so sea water and fresh water species are found in different places.
Yup. Lake Mille Lacs with lobsters.
Pics from me.
My family has a thing about owls.Posted: October 10, 2012 Filed under: Shenanigans and monkeyshines | Tags: Beatles, geekery, owls Leave a comment
Oh, this is too cool. Home brew being made at the White House.Posted: August 15, 2012 Filed under: Fave raves | Tags: coolness, geekery, refreshing adult beverages Leave a comment
My Prez is a beer geek!
Obamas tap White House home beer
President Barack Obama has become one of the first modern day US presidents known for enjoying a cold beer that is brewed and tapped right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Obama aides on Tuesday confirmed the small brewery during a three-day re-election campaign tour across Iowa. An official admitted the Obamas have their own alcoholic beverage made and kept in stock at the White House.
Revelations about the White House beer came to light after the president gave a bottle of it to a patron at a coffee shop he was visiting in Iowa.
The beer, named White House Honey Ale, comes in both a light and dark variety. The honey portion of the drink is taken from first lady Michelle Obama’s garden beehive.
Added a pic of the bottle!
I’m a font geek.Posted: March 6, 2012 Filed under: Fave raves | Tags: fonts, geekery 3 Comments
True, it’s unbelievably nerdy, but I’ve always been into them. Even as a kid I was aware of different styles of letters on packages or printed material (later I learned it was called “typography”). Tried to recreate them with pencil and paper. I RAWKED at graphic arts classes in high school, took calligraphy classes in college. My sister Mary shares this obsession: we sometimes find new fonts and send each other lists of sentences we’d cobble together that match them. (Yes, some phrases match some fonts. If you have to ask, you won’t understand.)
When I find a new font I’m stoked like when I would get a new 45 rpm record as a kid. Even now, for example, when I find a font that recreates a well-known icon, like the one of the Coca-Cola typography or Walt Disney’s “handwriting,” I’m jazzed up for the rest of the day. I don’t think I can vary fonts here on WordPress, but I can paste images of cool fonts that rock my world.
Bodoni is a serif font. Serifs are the little “tails” that extend out at various places on the letter, generally at a slight curve or “bracket.”
Clarendon is probably my favorite everyday “go-to” font. It’s called a slab-serif font, because the “tails” join on to the letters at pretty much a right angle.
Franklin Gothic is a sans-serif font; no tails.
Ademo is an engraved font, which as you’d expect has details that look like it was engraved by an artisan. Not all engraved fonts are this elaborate, though.
Old English is an antiqua or blackletter font, designed to resemble calligraphy. It’s famous for use in newspaper mastheads and Detroit Tigers uniforms.
Zaner-Bloser Manuscript is the font we all learned to write in grade one. Every classroom I ever saw had a chart of this along the front wall.
Helvetica is probably the most popular font in the world. It was designed specifically not to give an impression or have any inherent meaning, and as such was very popular in the late ’50s and early ’60s when many advertisers were seeking to remake their images. Most people encounter it at least a dozen times a day. It doesn’t show up on most computer word processors; instead they substitute Arial which is similar but not quite identical. Target Stores, for example, use Helvetica in their branding and signage.
Peignot is the font used for the credits on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Very ’70s.
Univers 39 Thin Ultra Condensed is the font you see at the bottom of every movie poster ever printed, just about.
That’s it for now. More cool fonts later.