Monday, December 20, 2010

Pedal Power

Why can't the drivers of cars and bikes get along, as they do in the crowded cities of Europe?

From bicycle-mad Paris to rush-hour New York and the back alleys of Toronto, the CBC documentary Pedal Power takes a ride through the changing world of bike culture. Watch it online here. It's worth it!

Bicycles and automobiles have to share the same roads - a recipe for conflict - and many potential cyclists just won't ride in the city because they see it as too dangerous. Add in the plague of bike theft and a lot of cyclists are simply leaving their bikes at home.

In Canada, bicycles "don't get no respect." From the story of Igor, and the anatomy of the underground world of bike peddlers in Toronto, this film spins out to how other cities are making riding safe. Using innovative "bike-cam" techniques to convey, up-close, the sensation of bike riding, a series of character-driven mini-narratives propel the film through a study of what makes a city "bikeable". Whether it's the public bike program in Paris, bike mega-garages in Amsterdam, bike paths in Vancouver and Montreal, or the surprising leadership of New York City, we follow the story of this remarkable little conveyance as it wheels though the first decade of the 21st century.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Waste is a human-made concept

In nature, everything exists is a continuous cycles. There's no such thing as a landfill. Everything gets recycled. We need to remember this, and design our systems and processes like nature does, sustainably.

from Arthur Potts Dawson's Ted Talk on sustainable restaurants.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

They don't make 'em like they used to

Great toys are played with for months and even years. They engage the child's mind and imagination. And they get passed down for generations. I find nowadays, many toys are made of cheap plastic, shipped from China, require lots of batteries, and just don't have that sturdy and satisfying feel. They end up in the landfill too soon. My mom kept many of my toys from when I was a child, and my kids are now enjoying them.

Here's a list of some top kids toys

-Audubon birds by Wild Republic are stuffed plush birds that play their actually bird call when squeezed. Really cool.

-Grassroots store has some environmentally friendly toys and games

-wooden blocks

-wooden train set (planes, trains, and cars provide hours of enjoyment for my boys :)

-mini cars (the metal ones)


-sports equipment

-art supplies (kids love playdough.. you can make your own)

-create-a-design with felt


-tricycle (Noah loves taking his to the park)

Fisher price music box, c. 1980. Still works great, and no batteries!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fun at the Zoo

Recently, I had a great time with my family at the Toronto Zoo. During the winter months, it's far less crowded (and the best time to go, in my opinion). But the best part is seeing the reactions of my kids to the incredible biodiversity that we are privileged to have and enjoy on this earth. Zoos do important work with conservation and education.