Sunday, August 2, 2009

Margin Notes: Caribana, Poutine Protein, Media

For the first time in recent years, the Jameson Avenue footbridge over Lake Shore Boulevard West was open during the Caribana Parade, resulting in views like this one on 1-August-2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - While the city workers strike in Toronto finally ended this week, the effects will last for at least a few more days, as the Simcoe Day celebrations in Toronto during tomorrow's holiday remain canceled. Meanwhile, the Caribana Parade yesterday went on as usual. More coverage will be forthcoming, but an interesting side note was that the Jameson Avenue footbridge was open for the first time in recent years during the parade. Police on either side of the bridge lined people up on one side and then allowed alternating traffic over the bridge every five minutes or so. The arrangement seemed to work well, and I give credit to the Toronto Police for running things efficiently.

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Canada Geese stayed in the shade along Lake Ontario in Toronto, Ontario on 1-August-2009

The weather was not particularly hot during the Caribana Parade, but apparently the Canada Geese though it was too hot. A group of them were found congregating in the shade along the shores of Lake Ontario, just meters from the parade, yesterday. I'd never seen this before--I guess this was cooler than swimming in the lake.

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The concessions at the Caribana Parade are always a great collection of spicy foods; one thing that isn't often found at this event is that Quebecois staple, poutine. A couple weeks ago, a caller to the Dr. Joe Schwarcz radio show out of Montreal, which airs here in Toronto Sundays on CFRB, called to ask about a particular diet. The caller had a bit of an accent, and "Dr. Joe" thought he was asking about a "poutine diet." After about a minute of confusion, it finally came out that the caller was asking about a "protein diet"--a different concept to say the least.

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Radio personalities sometimes make little sense themselves, or are asked to do strange things. Madeleine Brand is currently filling in as a host on NPR's All Things Considered, anchoring from NPR's western studios in Culver City, California. Yet, while regular host Robert Siegel introduces himself as being in "Washington" (as in the District of Columbia), Brand introduces herself as being in "California." For a network normally quite concerned with consistency, it is very odd that one host claims to be in a city, and the other claims to be in a state--and the nation's most populous state, at that.

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The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, soon to be renamed the PBS News Hour, started experimenting with its upcoming format by having Jeffrey Brown read the headlines at the beginning of the program, instead of having Jim Lehrer read it after the top story. As I have been outspoken that the headlines should start the show, I was pleased to hear it--but they returned to the recent less desirable format on Friday. I guess I just need to have patience; change will arrive soon enough.

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