Firefox Isn’t in Canadian English, Yet

Dear Firefox,

Thank you for an update to the Firefox web browser. I am downloading it even as I type, actually it just finished. When I first went to the link I was offered to see the page in my language. That’s nice, I thought. Only… you skipped my language. I can understand having English (US version) and it is nice to offer English (UK or British version). What happened to English, the Canadian version? Why offer my language when it’s been skipped over?

I’m not complaining so much as just asking. Canadians, we politely protest and moderately complain. No all out war, I’m not having an 1812 about it. There’s no need to stock up on white paint and I’m not going to make cold tea in your harbours. But, you did make a point of offering my language and left me disappointed.

openlanguage

firefoxenglish

C is for Canada

ascii art canada

 

I may be the only one who gets the idea behind my design. But, here it is. I wanted to do something fresh because I started the A to Z Blogging Challenge to help get myself back on track. I used to post daily, then I got too many other sites and put that extra pressure on myself. Blogging became a chore and I lost track of the elements I really like about web publishing. One of them being creating my own images whether my own photos, hand drawn cartoons or ASCII art (like this).

Writers Needed for Christmas in Canada

EXCITING NEWS FOR WRITERS!
From Janet Matthews

Canadian Co-author of
Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul

We need your stories for a brand new Canadian title…

Chicken Soup for the Soul
Christmas in Canada!

101 Stories about the Joy and Wonder of the Holidays, Canadian Style!

I’m very excited to let you, as writers, know about this great opportunity to get published. I’m hoping you will forward it to your members, include it in your newsletter, and/or post it on your website. Here’s why:
In October we released O Canada The Wonders of Winter,and the publisher was so pleased they’ve asked us to create another Canadian title for Christmas 2014! We received submissions from writers across Canada that belong to groups like this, and many of them were published!

We need true, dramatic stories, 1200 words or less, that take place at Christmas time in Canada. (Yes, you get paid!) Here are just some examples of topics:
• Festivals of lights, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, New Year’s and other holiday traditions and events that come with a great story
• Creches, passion plays and church events
• The fun – or challenges – of winter weather at Christmas
• Adapting your celebration when the weather gets in the way (like the 2013 ice storms – we KNOW there are some great stories out there – do you have one?)
• The tree… and other decorating traditions
• Love and Romance at Christmas
• Acts of kindness and generosity – in the true spirit of Christmas
• Hockey!…and all winter sports at Christmas
• Family ties and reunions, children, and friends old and new
• Heroes in our midst – at Christmas
• Neighbours and Community, and Christmas in Canada for new Canadians
• Animals at Christmas
• Family lore – those stories you tell over and over again!
• Christmas in the north – First Nation stories

Our publication date is October 2014, so the deadline for stories is May 30th.
For full writers guidelines and how to submit your story, visit my website, www.janetmatthews.ca or www.canadiansoul.com.

I wish you great success, and I really hope to hear from you!

Love to you,
Janet Matthews
Co-author of
Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul &
Chicken Soup for the Soul O Canada
The Wonders of Winter
janet@janetmatthews.ca
PS: One more thing. It would be so great if you could pass this message along to your friends and family and other writers…who may have a story! EVERY bit of help is really appreciated!

Toponymy

Toponymy is, by definition, the place names of a particular region and the study of those place names. It is derived, in fact, from the two Greek words topos – meaning place and onoma – meaning name. A toponymist will look at not only the surface meaning of the name in question, but also at the history of the area.

via h2g2 – Canadian Toponymy.

Toponymy is a new word to me. I like the idea behind it. What writer doesn’t love words and word lore and history?

A Facts and Arguments Essay

This comes from the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail. These are the points they make for anyone to submit an essay to the newspaper. Good points to keep in mind for any writing you are working on. Consider writing an essay for your own local newspaper(s) – get paid for it!

So what makes a good Facts Essay?

A few things we look for are: an original voice; an unexpected view; an unfamiliar perspective; humour; vivid details that show us rather than tell us; anecdotes that illuminate a wider theme.

A successful Essay may be funny, surprising, touching or enlightening – or all of these. It may present a slice of life or a powerful experience that changed you in some way. It may be a meditation on something that matters to you. It goes beyond a rant, and it is deft in moving from the particular to the universal.

Above all, an Essay should be personal rather than political. It must be true, not fictional.

via Submit a Facts and Arguments Essay – The Globe and Mail.

Home Keeping and Homemaking as a Profession

I don’t like the leftover attitude about stay at home Mothers or housewives and the idea that women should be homemakers who look pretty for their man and do what they are told to do. It’s a small minded and ignorant way to treat something which is so much bigger and more important.

The world needs homemakers. Whether the person who looks after the children and the home is a man, woman or a couple, it’s a vital role. It’s a profession really. I wish it was given more credit and taken far more seriously than it is.

Being a Professional Homemaker

Homemaking is Important for the World and our Future

Years ago my Mother told me about a new TV show she had begun watching while she was in Florida. (My Mom is a Canadian snowbird). She said the show was really good, all about how to do the regular kind of things a lot of people have stopped doing, forgotten how to do or just never knew the right way to do them. That TV show was, The Martha Stewart Show. I still think about that when I see the Martha Stewart magazines in the book store and the grocery store aisle. (We don’t get the TV show here in Canada any longer.)

There are a lot of little homemaking skills which people don’t seem to know any more. How to clean things and how to place things and how to keep things run well.

All these skills used to be the work of women mainly. As my Mother said about my Grandparents, he works outside and she works inside. That was how they did it too. Rarely were there ever any cross-overs. But, later in life there were times my Grandmother wanted to garden and my Grandfather was happy to give her garden space in his garden. But, she wanted to plant potatoes and he didn’t. Of course, it was complicated by the fact that she insisted on planting her surprise potatoes in his rose garden. But, that was just an extra wrinkle to the tale.

Small things, the working together of people. So complicated and yet so very important.

Stay at Home Dads

Stay at Home Moms Too

My Mother was (mostly) a stay at home Mom. At times she would go out to work part time. She worked at a Tim Horton’s donut shop, hospital admissions and drove for Honda as a test driver too. Later, when my little sister was in high school my Mom got into real estate – and did well, she liked it too.

Things are changing from the old days and that’s a good thing.

Modern Families Take Care of the Family, Together

Why are home making and housekeeping still so strongly associated with women? Yes, it’s a traditional thing for the women to stay at home with the children and look after the home. But, that was a role outdated at least twenty years ago. Men can be at home looking after children and the home now. But, more often couples work together. Men and women take on the care of children and the usual skills, crafts and work of making a home and housework.

Are people still so deeply caught up in the past or do we just not give men any due credit? I know men who do a wonderful job with their children. I know couples who work together to get everything done, after their standard 9 to 5 work day.

What to do With Your Old Cookbooks

blowtorchI like cookbooks but in the digital age they seem to be taking up space and not really being used any longer. Most of the time, when I think of something I want to make I find a recipe online. It’s fast. It may not be the best way to get a really good, reliable recipe, but they usually work out.

Anyway, I’m not a rule abiding, strict recipe follower. I tend to add and subtract to my own tastes and depending on what I have available. This is another reason I like finding recipes online, I can look through a lot of similar recipes and find one which works for the ingredients I have on hand and my food style (I really don’t like mushrooms and onions make me sick).

A cookbook can’t compete against finding a recipe online in that way. But, I still have several cookbooks around. Some are vintage and I can’t quite part with Aunt Emma’s Ukranian cookbook, which includes her personal notes. I’ve also got the old cookbook which may have been my Great-Grandmother’s. All the family cookbooks come with notes from past women (and the odd man too) in our family.

Still, I have a dozen or so cookbooks which I bought many years ago and have not looked at in several years now. I don’t have a really good reason to keep them.

Why Keep or Collect a Vintage Cookbook?

As I mentioned, family history, is a big reason for keeping an old cookbook.

An old cookbook also gives us a taste (literally, if you follow the recipe) of what people made and what they ate in another time. As long as you can understand the language and measurements, anyone can get the old ingredients and try making a dish from hundreds of years ago. By cooking an old recipe you can have a real taste of history. (Or as near as we can get to it with modern ingredients which are chemically infiltrated/ enhanced).

People may collect cookbooks in a specific genre as well. If you grew up in an area or knew your family originally came from another country you would be curious to know what they ate and how they ate it. Cookbook collectors keep books with cooking from regional and ethnic time periods. Or, you may have heard about southern deep fried cooking for years and never tried anything, except in a restaurant. An old cookbook lets you do-it-yourself.

Collecting Old Cookbooks

Could you eat Like Your Ancestors?

What Can you do with an Old Film Camera?

oldcameraI still have my 35mm (analogue) camera from college. I began using it about 20 years ago. It was a big purchase at the time, my Mother helped me pay for it when I was starting college and needed the camera for the Photography part of Corporate Communications at Centennial College (Warden Woods campus, which is now gone).

I can remember the teacher in the class talking about the future of film and photography. Computers were still pretty new then. Most offices had them for word processing but they were many years from being used in every home. The Internet existed, but almost no one knew anything about it. I can remember thinking how great it would be to have a camera which did not need film to be developed. The camera itself had been expensive but it was the cost of developing film and buying more film which was really making it hard to keep from falling behind in the class work.

Even though I have not used that old film camera for many years, I can’t quite let it go. I still have it in the case with the Canadian flag decorated camera strap. I could re-use the old strap for my new bigger digital camera but that just seems so wrong. Like deconstructing an old friend. I did let go of my old photography text book a few years ago. But that is as far as I have gotten to leaving behind the age of film.

What can you do with an old film camera, assuming you get the point where you can let it go?

There are a few people who still use the old film cameras? You could look for them (groups of them) and see if your camera is collectible or worth saving for posterity.

You may find a charity which will take them and be able to find people who will still use them. Or, an artist who wants to work with retro or vintage cameras.

Look for ways to repurpose them. Can parts be salvaged for other projects or for use with your new digital cameras?  A repurposed camera could be an interesting steampunk project.

Curating Cuteness: Building an Affordable Camera Collection for the Analog Enthusiast

Toronto Star: A Nerd’s World reclaims beguiling visions of our lives from old cameras

Atomic Vision: The Pleasure of Collecting Old Cameras

Camera Mods –  Take a vintage film camera that no longer works and convert it to digital.

Photocopy Art

From an original post on Suite101 by Jo Murphy. The post and Jo Murphy’s bio link are gone since Suite101 revamped the site.

Copy Art Pioneered in Canada
Centre Copie-Art Opened in Montreal in 1982 by Jacques Charbonneau

Although it was an international art movement, Canada is recognised for its major contribution to the art form called Copy Art.

According to the Encyclopaedia of Twentieth Century Photography, Copy Art or Xerography was pioneered in Canada, where it is still popular today. Copy Art, uses the photocopier to create artworks by reproducing and multiplying images. The artists play with the process of transformation of graphic images. They experiment with the metamorphosis brought about by the alchemy of light at the heart of the reproduction technology.

Origins of Copy ArtThe electrography process was developed in the USA and Germany in 1938. But this technology became freely available by the year 1960. Copy Art began to appear as an art form by about 1970, and the first exhibition of this kind of art called “Rochester” was held in 1979. Other exhibitions of this type were held in Canada in the same year.

After making its first appearance in France in 1975, copy art became more accepted. By 1983, an exhibition called “Electra” was held in the Musee d’Art de la Ville de Paris. The gallery devoted considerable space to the art form.

Copy Artist Pati HillArtist Pati Hill exhibited in the “Electra” exhibition, working with shadows, grains, and contrasts of black and white as well as textures and micro textures. To create this work, Hill created imagery from feathers, flowers fabrics and plants, says de Meridieu. In a chapter about innovative pioneers in the book called Digital and Video Art, de Mèredieu goes on to talk about Hill as a contemporary experimentalist and her work as extravagant. An example of Hill’s technique, she explains, was to photograph every possible (visible, invisible, obvious and unexpected) of the Palace of Versailles.

Centre Copie-Art of Canada

Copy Art continues to thrive in Canada today. The founder of the Canadian movement was Jacques Charbonneau. After discovering the technique, when he was on holiday, he returned to Canada where he opened Centre Copie-Art in Montreal in 1982.

Body Art and Other Offshoots of Xerography

Practitioners of body art, such as Amal Abdenour and Phillipe Boissonnet, reproduced different parts of the body using photo copiers. They were exploiting variations of colour and the effects of contrast and solarisation. Much of this work was achieved by using overlays of transparencies.

Because it so versatile, there have been many different developments and innovations that have evolved from Copy Art. According to de Mèredieu, magazines and fanzines sprang up around artist centres such as art schools and colleges. A centre recognised as famous for encouraging this type of art form was Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon.

de Mèredieu points to the importance of this movement, when she mentions that Klaus Urbons founded a museum of photocopying in Mulheim an der Ruhr in Germany. Here there are displayed old machines, documentation and artist’s work. Another example of the value of the body of work, the style and the method, is the opening in 1990 of a major international museum of electrography in Cuenca in Spain.