Friday, January 27, 2012

Ice Day - School is Cancelled

Photo courtesy

This photo shows what the roads looked like this morning. They were covered with ice and were very slick.

School buses were cancelled today, and the kids have exams. Fun! Not a snow day, but an ice day. There was a scramble to find out what was happening with the exam schedule, which will be shifted forward a day and the teacher training day next week will be cancelled. I’m glad that’s sorted out.

The temperature has been hovering around freezing, and what happens is you get a mix of sleet, ice, and a covering of snow on top to disguise the ice. This is what makes it so treacherous. Just give me snow, rather than all this ice. Kids can’t sled, not enough snow. I’ve fallen several times. Hint: don’t tread on a sidewalk that looks wet, it’s probably black ice.

This has been the weirdest winter. I know I’ve been gone a few years, but I’ve never seen grass in January. I thought last winter was really mild, but this year we have had hardly any snow.  In Autumn trees are shades of yellow and green, and hardly red and orange like they used to be. Climate change exists.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Secret Life of Books

This is what happens in bookstores when you are asleep. Thanks to Laura K of wmtc.

Clever video made by owners of Type Bookstore in Toronto. It took the owners 4 nights to make this video. If you listen, you can hear a typewriter in the music. Very clever.

I agree that there’s nothing like a real book. Electronic readers are ok, but I prefer the feel and look of a book.

I'm definitely visiting this bookstore next time I'm in Toronto.

Here is an interesting article about the video in The Torontoist.

"Making His Ode to Joy of Books

A Toronto ad man devotes over 50 hours of physical labour to bring the magic of books to life in a stop-motion viral sensation.

At a time of e-books and rising rent, Toronto is mourning the loss of independent bookstores. Book-lovers were in need of a miracle-maker like Sean Ohlenkamp to bring the city’s love of books back to life.Okay, Ohlenkamp may not actually be a magician or a protege of Dr. Frankenstein—in fact, he’s an associate creative director at the Lowe Roche advertising agency here in Toronto—but with the help of his camera, 15 to 20 volunteers, four nights of after-hours physical labour at Type Books in November, and months in the editing room, his stop-motion video titled The Joy of Books is the closest thing to movie magic we’ve seen in a while.

“From the moment the doors locked at 6 p.m. we started working, arranged and rearranged, shelved and re-shelved…it took about fifty-odd hours of heavy lifting,” Ohlenkamp told Torontoist. “The first night I was there until twelve or one putting all the books back, went home and slept for a few hours, and then came right back.”

Finally finished last weekend, Ohlenkamp uploaded the video to YouTube on Monday. In the scant two days since it has garnered nearly 27,500 views and the attention of the Washington Post, BoingBoing, the Spectator, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and many others. Not to mention, lots and lots of love for books and independent bookstores everywhere.

“I feel amazing, it’s really nice because I’ve been a little desensitized to it,” he said. “It was a very private process, me staring at the screen over and over again and no one else seeing it. But putting it out there and seeing the very positive response renews my appreciation for the time that has gone into this.”

It was a combination of friends, students, and colleagues who donated their evenings to the project (they are all listed on the video’s YouTube description), committing anywhere from a few hours to a full night. But Ohlenkamp and his “very, very loving and forgiving” wife Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp were there for the entire filming process. Ohlenkamp provided the vision, but it was a group labour of love: Tom Westin of Grayson Matthews Music + Sound composed the original score, and Blonder Ohlenkamp created the green crocheted monster named “Oog” (seen chasing salt and pepper shakers at around 1:00) as well as a clock (at 0:35).

Now that the project is finished, Ohlankamp admits he’s “done moving books for quite a while.” But he’s hopeful that the video can at least convince a few others to pick up one or two."