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Some big healthy buildings on Broadway


Here’s a panorama photo taken on Willow Street on the south side of West Broadway Avenue, looking west.

We’re looking straight at the Willow Medical Building and by reflection the 14-storey Fairmont Medical Building at 750 West Broadway, a 14-storey office tower built in 1960 — which I think is a most beautiful slab of a building.

The tall pointy building on the right side of the image (north side of West Broadway) is 805 Broadway Centre, a 19-storey office tower built in 1974 in the Brutalist architectural style (brrr!).

What we’re looking at are several hundred offices full of health care providers: doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, what have you. Not to mention many healthcare-related businesses at street level.

All because on the next street south of West Broadway is the several-blocks-square Vancouver General Hospital. Click the image to enlarge it.

Why panhandling isn’t for the birds


Trying something new for a change, A seagull today trying to work coin tubes.

I really thought raccoons would figure it out first — or crows. But it appears the race to be the first non-human species to panhandle may have been won by seagulls. Well, this seagull — and with predictable results.

The panning itself isn’t the problem. It’s dealing with all the coins afterwards.

It’s hard enough some times for human panhandlers to convert the coinage they receive into bills. Birds will have it that much harder. Read more…

New concrete needs rest and plenty of fluids


This concrete floor looks fine to me. It looks, in fact, like a healthy dog’s nose — wet and shiny.

However the floor is being “cured” — and don’t expect any wisdom from me on that subject. Until recently I took cement to be a synonym for concrete, when in fact cement is one of the ingredients in concrete. I would guess though, that curing a concrete floor is not the same as curing a patient, any more than fixing a car is like fixing a cat.

That said, it appears that curing concrete requires patience. This South Granville property was left open at both ends all night to facilitate the process. Read more…

How to make powdered alcohol


Turning fire water into fire powder. What could go wrong? — public domain photo.

News about the American company planning to bring powdered alcohol to U.S. store shelves in the fall isn’t so good.

Time magazine and others are reporting that Palcohol’s federal approval for the sale of powdered alcohol in the U.S. has been withdrawn — that it was granted in error. Palcohol’s Website is sticking by its statement of yesterday (April 21) that the product is still approved — it was just thw company’s labels that weren’t. In fact media reports do seem to be referring to the rejection of labeling as though it was synonymous with rejection of the sale of powdered alcohol itself.

But does it really matter? Either way we won’t be getting Palcohol in Canada. If we want powdered alcohol — and I think we do — we won’t get it by relying on our American cousins…we’ll have to make it ourselves!

How hard could it be? Read more…

Caution — copyright trolls at work


Thanks to changes two years ago in Canadian copyright law, so-called “copyright trolls,” working for American movie companies, are now able to directly put Canadians on notice when they catch them allegedly sharing copyrighted content.

Thousands of such notices have already been emailed to Canadian Internet users. A street person I know received one from Shaw Cablesystems two weeks ago. It began in part as they all do:

…We have been notified by a content owner that your Internet Protocol (IP) address has been associated with copyright infringement…we are obliged to forward to you the attached copy of the content owner’s notice…

They are obliged by provisions in Canada’s Copyright Modernization Act — Bill C-11 — passed into law at the end of 2012.

The email explained that Shaw was simply acting as a messenger and proceeded to deliver the message:

We are writing this message on behalf of [Big American Studio].

We have received information that an individual has utilized the below-referenced IP address at the noted date and time to offer
downloads of copyrighted material [emphasis mine].

The title in question is: [film you would never pay to see in a theatre].

The rest of the message was aimed at Shaw and implored the company to take steps to stop the subscriber from engaging in the unauthorized downloading or uploading of copyright content belonging to [Big American Studio].

So what does this mean for my homeless buddy and for the thousands of Canadians who have received identical notices? What can they expect? Read more…

How to tell Kiesza didn’t shoot her video in East Van?


I know she looks like she’s in pain but trust me she’s probably just homesick for Calgary.

Kiesza is a mystery to me — a Canadian pop singer I was unaware of until I tripped over a reference to her two days ago.

A few Websites, one Wikipedia entry and a music video later I understand she’s originally from Calgary, Alberta, and that she was codebreaker for the Royal Canadian Navy before she switched to a career in music. Also her debut single Hideaway entered the UK singles charts at No. 1, knocking a single by someone else I’ve never heard of down a notch to No. 2.

I enjoyed the video for Hideaway. It’s bright, upbeat and in constant sinuous motion — just like the song. The entire video is a continuous tracking shot. From the moment Kiesza emerges from a taxi cab she walks, skips and dances down the streets of a clean, bright, industrial neighbourhood, the camera always one step ahead of her. Along the way an ensemble of dancers pop in and out of the frame until, just like that, she gets into another cab. Read more…


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