Toronto Bird Photo Booth is a Storytelling Exercise, A Friendly Match for Businesses

2014 Toronto Bird Photo Booth Business Challenge is the original bird ‘selfie’ portrait contest that was made back in May 2014 to showcase custom loyalty program software through storytelling, and is not a true photo contest, but more like a friendly match between businesses hosting the booth.

Emma from Spectacle Loves U aims Toronto bird photo boothWhat is the Toronto Bird Photo Booth? If you don’t know already, a bird photo booth is a feeder attached to a digital camera, triggered by a motion detector. Its a wonderful piece of technology that makes art to serve nature.

There are two cameras here – one is an iPhone 5C purchased by John Conn of Standard Telecom, office phones service in Toronto who hosted Week Three,  and the other is the WIngscapes BirdPro trail cam which is a handy back-up unit.

Would you like to host the Toronto Bird Photo Booth for a week on your GTA business property?

The rig is programmed to take pictures of any wild birds that land at the feeder. The idea is to see who has the best wild birds. Businesses hosting the Toronto Bird Photo Booth can enter their pics into the friendly bird portrait photo contest for prizes.
Image
SMOJoe launches Birds of Toronto, and now I chronicle developments on the blog and also write weekly Bird Photo Booth updates for Toronto is Awesome magazine.

Look below at this English sparrow that thinks its a terrifying huge hawk; its emulating some larger bird of prey as it tries to scare away another fellow from the feeder.   
Scary Sparrow 2Like any playground, It isn’t long before an even meaner House sparrow with a distinctive white stripe on his wings appears to scare everyone away for a spell. You’ve never seen these tiny birds up close like this! I’ve gained a new appreciation for these sparrows by seeing them so close and full of emotion, and I imagine these birds are reacting the same way humans would fight over a big pile of cash left in the street.

House Sparrow, Birds of TorontoThese birds really do have lots of have personality ! See again how white stripes simply refuses to share the bowl.

white strips at feeder dish, dominatesThis storytelling started back in June and the photography is getting better each week.

The Toronto Bird Photo Booth Challenge was on Bird Canada, last week. This story is where tech meets nature and the arrangement yields visually stimulating content. Each update chronicles the last host’s contributions, and features a new competitor’s story alongside their gallery of pictures.  At the end of the summer, Judges will review the best photos and reward the best ‘birders’ among the people who positioned the cameras . And there will be prizes. TBD

Advertisements

West40, Toronto Movers Help Clean St Marys of the Virgin Church at 40 Westmoreland

Its a sign of the times that churches are now going condo all over downtown Toronto.  West40 is a loft conversion by Dog Day Developers in what was once St Marys the Virgin Church at 40 Westmoreland Ave.  This stunning example of Neo Gothic architecture stands out as being ultra unique in an age of steel and glass condominium towers. This is living in history.

Toronto movers at West40Architects Asen Vitko and W. A. Langton have combined history,  grand architecture and urban living into this unique project. West40 has been designed with attention to brick detailing, a stunning bold tower and Tudor-arched openings.who was recognized for his attention to brick detailing has clearly demonstrated his flare on this century-old church.

Other key elements include a stunningly bold tower and Tudor-arch openings all of which will be restored to its original glory.

The style was distinguished from the late 19th century Gothic Revival by its reduced scale and more restrained interpretation of design elements associated with early medieval English architecture.

Seventeen one-of-a-kind residences will be carved from the church, each one incorporating the beautiful interior details that include soaring cathedral ceiling with heights up to 21 feet

Toronto movers are clearing out the appliances found in the makeshift worker’s Kitchen as the property gets another overhaul by the sandblasters who are due to arrive

moving fridge, Toronto movers, automatic tailgate on truck

YELP Josephson Opticians is a neighbourhood optical shop ; buy glasses in Toronto

In the 1920s and early 1930s there was reknown Anglican ministers who made St. Mary’s Church popular with the people of the city. The church always had a rich Music Ministry, and was known for some measure of Liturgical Reform.

St Mary’s Parish remains at 130 Bathurst St, Toronto Ont.

Ornilux Bird Friendly Glass Fosters Bird Friendly Building Trend in Toronto

Do you have many bird friendly building examples in your city or town?  What is it in particular that makes them bird friendly? Please answer in comments. The  trend has other elements like decoys and disruptive lighting and audio discouraging elements.  What do you do ?

Ornilux glass if ornithologically superior glass, birds see spiderwebs over reflection of skyWhen birds strike office tower windows at great speeds, it’s not because they want to get inside these places, or because they’re out of their minds on toxic chemicals, but rather its because they see a reflection of an open sky and believe they have clear passage.   Autopsies on bird carcasses taken from city streets often show perfectly healthy animals that simply cracked open their skulls like egg shells in a high impact collision with a plate glass window.

Ornilux glass is ornithologically superior glass. Bird friendly glass has evolved from innovations in glass making since 2nd century AD. The first stain glass windows for churches appeared in 6th century ad but were very crude and often composed of thinly sliced alabaster. After Rome was sacked by the Goths in 465 AD glass making went into decline for almost 800 years until it was revived in Venice Italy.

Cristallo is a glass which is totally clear (like rock crystal), without the slight yellow or greenish color originating from iron oxide impurities and so it was the first truly reflective glass that even sparkles like a gemstone in certain lighting conditions.  You can understand how blue and red Cristallo could mimic rare gemstones!   This effect is achieved through small additions of manganese oxide – an improvement on pyrolusite recipes.  Often Cristallo has a low lime content which makes it prone to glass corrosion (otherwise known as glass disease).

how Geber made red glass

Persian alchemist, Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, known simply as “Geber” or Jabir recorded dozens of formulas for the production of glass in specific colors.  Geber was Arabia’s most prolific chemistry writer and thinker at the head of one of the world’s foremost academic intuitions in Persia.

Jabir’s writings describe methods, for evaporation, filtration, sublimation, melting, distillation, calcination and crystallization. At least two treatises attributed to him lay down the basic rules for conducting, recording and verifying experiments.

How to Make Fake Ruby Red Glass

Jabir was also the first to describe the preparation of cinnabar, arsenious oxide, alum, alkalis, antimony, saltpeter, mercury oxide and lead acetate. He also determined that a mixture of sulfuric and nitric acid (aqua regia) would dissolve gold. His acid was key to making red glass.  Cranberry glass is made in craft production rather than in large quantities, due to the high cost of the gold. The gold chloride is made by dissolving gold in a solution of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid (aqua regia). The glass is typically hand blown or molded. The finished, hardened glass is a type of colloid, a solid phase (gold) dispersed inside another solid phase (glass).

Today, most tall buildings in North America have highly reflective windows that trick birds’ vision, and what these creature’ brains perceive as the open sky, is instead a 3/4 inch thick wall of glass.  Dead birds liter the sidewalks in big cities.  Residential sunrooms and conservatories are equally deadly.

There’s discussion about bird friendly building trends on urban Toronto and a similar conversation about the need to recognize bird friendly building practices in Canadian Content environmental science forum and both are designed to raise awareness for the problem of modern glass creating such perfect reflections of the sky, and thereby causing bird strikes which are now, over time, having a drastic negative affect on the population of migratory birds all over the world.

Ornilux is ornithologically superior glass which birds perceive as shifting thick spiderwebs and something to be avoided.  The Arnold Glass co innovation comes at the end of along line of advances in stained glass windows propel glass making technology, but this breakthrough alone is not enough – the architects and engineers have got to want to make change. They have to want to seek out special glass that’s expensive and hard to find.

Name:  good_bird_friendly_building3.jpg Views: 0 Size:  89.8 KB

What are some known bird friendly buildings in your area? what makes them so special?  What else can we do to raise awareness to help prevent bird strikes?

Stand Up Paddleboarding Tours of the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto

SUP in Scarborough Bluffs So it turns out that taking Stand Up Paddleboarding tours on Toronto east lake shore at Brimley Marina (Paddleboard Addict) is the very best way to see the Scarborough Bluffs !
The bluffs are timeless. They are full of beautiful wild birds and animals. The bluffs were mentioned in the letters sent back to England by Elizabeth Simcoeoomers, the wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada. The bluffs along Lake Ontario shores reminded her of the limestone cliffs in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England.   In her diary, she wrote, “The shore is extremely bold, and has the appearance of chalk cliffs, but I believe they are only white sand. They appeared so well that we talked of building a summer residence there and calling it Scarborough.

Stand Up Paddleboard Tour on Lake Ontario

paddleboarding stand up Toronto
SUP Tours are perhaps the fastest growing water tourism industry in the GTA, but is it sustainable?
The calm waters around the Brimley Marina are perfect for spectators who seek a closeup view of the beautiful Scarborough Bluffs in summertime.
The sensation of walking on water with unobstructed views is unforgettable.
Imagine doing this while getting physically fit in an amazing full body workout.?!

 

Smojoe writes about Taking Stand Up Paddleboard Classes in Toronto and paying only $50 per lesson.

The son of a beekeeper blog describes with elation the exercise of taking stand up paddleboarding lessons in Toronto at the Brimley Marina for the betterment of health and body.

What about this picture of SUP yoga on Zoomers magazine which shows a young woman with terrific balance against a serene empty background

To Help Urban Fitness Events Make Leaders in Toronto

As time goes by, I tend to venture out too far ahead of myself until all my new ideas seem unrealistic.  So it helps to take a day off and travel around and clear my head.  On such occasions I pursue my hobbies, and my passion for history and my love of finding rare antiques and collectibles (while digging in old dumps, or rummaging through cluttered antique shops) are my primary escape mechanisms.  As the author of Dumpdiggers antiques blog I often get invited to speak on camera or contribute some ideas to the nature and evolution of collecting antiques on the web.

Rob Campbell getting interviewed for TV showSo I ventured outside my apartment on Monday March 12 2012; I left my 565 sq ft condominium apartment in The Distillery District of downtown Toronto, which is literally a glass box. This is the place where I spend most of time , a prison of my own making. Some days the only things I produce are original thoughts, and I’m always working on improving the packaging.

digging and finding treasure in Toronto

Dumpdiggers blogger Rob Campbell discusses what makes an old thing into an antique, and what makes an antique thing worth buying. Antiques as an investment = a terrible idea.

To my great satisfaction, my capacity for clever notions has not diminished over the years, and other people are now starting to take notice and listen to my ideas.  Some of them are veteran TV producers.

Here I am getting interviewed for a television show;  truth be told its an audition, and if I get the part it could be good fun.  The guy running the camera is a big TV star himself,  and he was coaching me and that always helps.

After that bold performance, which honestly I hope I never see, I had a Chester Chicken dinner from the Crossways Mall at Dundas St and Bloor which I ordered to go.

Urban Warrior Race on 8th Sept 2012, is Toronto Half Marathon with Obstacles

So I ate that boney fried Chester Chicken at my next stop, and the smell must have certainly impacted the generic aroma of the otherwise sterile offices of DEVAN atmospheric marketing in west Toronto.

At approx 12:45 pm I met Joshua Turnbridge and Cathy Muffolini on the third floor of 1345 St Clair Ave W.  These folks are part of the organization that’s managing and promoting this year’s annual Urban Warrior run Toronto , which is a unique extreme fitness competition that will take place on Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Toronto, half marathon, urban fitness, competition, runUrban Warrior is a sporting event focused on challenging individuals of all fitness levels to perform under ‘abstract’ conditions. This years’ race involves climbing, jumping, sprinting and crawling will bring on hard sweat, athletic camaraderie, bursts of laughter and a few tears!  This is premium leadership development with its own risks and rewards.

One attractive reward is the Warrior After Party! All participants will gain free access with their race VPN security system passes, along with one free beer ticket.

Josh Turnbull, Rob Campbell, Cathy Muffolini, Urban Warrior, obstacle course, fitness event, competition race in TorontoIts a fun teaching people what they really want to learn and I look forward to working with these people on making this unique project a huge success. My passion for antiques has helped me over the tipping point and I’m really findable in that niche – these people, like everyone else on planet Earth, can do the same things with the same tools.

Would you like to sponsor this urban fitness event? please get in touch, @roberrific

Why I will NOT vote for Stephen Harper

Here in Canada we have a federal election on May 2, 2011.  Here’s some important old information to help readers make a more informed decision before voting in what appears to be a very important Federal election.

There is no doubt, this election will be a ‘game changer’ in Canada. Here are some very good reasons not to vote for Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada during this 2011 election:

The Conservative government is the first government in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to reveal the cost of its planned crime bills,

Conservative minister Bev Oda has admitted that she lied to Parliament, and narrowly escaped being found in contempt of Parliament.  Harper Government stops funding CAIROS

Harper’s G20 Summit wasted 0ne billion dollars; Canadian democracy vanished for three days and there still hasn’t been a full public inquiry!

Internal government directives insist that the Government of Canada be referred to as the “Harper Government”:

The government is spending millions of dollars on Economic Action Plan ads, which are thinly disguised partisan advertising. More taxpayers’ money has been spent on ads in three months than major advertisers normally spend in a year.

The Conservatives are proposing harsher punishments and more prisons, even though the crime rate is falling and “tough on crime” measures have proven ineffective

Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament in 2009 to avoid questions on the Afghan detainee issue.

In recent campaign speeches, Harper has repeatedly raised the spectre of a “Bloc/NDP/Liberal coalition”, and has implied that a coalition not containing the first-place Conservatives would be illegitimate.

The Conservatives claim that the new fighter jets that they plan to purchase will cost $15 billion. The Parliamentary budget watchdog says that the cost is actually $29.3 billion.

Here are details from Wikipedia on the “in and out” election scandal, which may have made the difference in the 2006 election:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_and_Out_scandal

The government lobby in the House of Commons now contains far too many photographs of Harper.

In the current election campaign, Stephen Harper is limiting the press to five questions per campaign stop.

In Parliament, Conservative cabinet ministers are often not allowed to answer questions:
http://bit.ly/c6m9Uj

The view from Australia (written by a Canadian): “Canada watches its democracy erode”:
http://bit.ly/fJ0OZE

2011 Antique Bottles Show and Sale in Toronto

The history of the industrial age is written in glass. The ‘slug plates’ that make the embossed labels in Canadian whiskey, soda, dairy, liquor and medicine bottles, read like pages in a book.  The names of the merchants and the contents of the vessels are from a simpler time of men and machines.

There is no better place to study this history then at a large bottle show in an urban center. The area’s most valuable glass is on display and the dealers are storytellers with lots of rare and precious knowledge locked up in their heads.

The annual Toronto Bottle Show, was Sunday April 17th 2011.

Dwight Fryer, UK and European poisons at the bottle show

The annual Toronto Bottle Show event is produced by the Four Seasons Bottle Collectors, one of Canada’s oldest and most respected clubs.  On this wet and rainy Sunday afternoon, more than forty antiques dealers tables proffered over 5,000 glass bottles, crocks, jugs, cans, cards, comics and period advertising pieces on tables inside the Humber College gymnasium.

In the picture above you can see Dwight Fryer sitting behind a massive collection of pretty blue and green ‘window bottles’.  These are actually poison bottles and he’s one Canada’s foremost poison bottles experts – almost all of the very pretty cobalt blue and green and amber glass you see here was priced to sell quickly between $30 and $50 each, and Dwight was selling off these gorgeous glass bottles hand over fist. It was a moment in time.

If you study glass bottles you’ll find there’s no better place to see such a huge assembly of everything that’s decent and worthy of display in the antique glass bottle collecting discipline.  Here’s some of the great stuff.torpedo bottles and terry matz on display at 2011 Toronto Bottle Show

These are absolute treasures – look here at the aqua green and cobalt blue torpedo bottles in Terry Matz display case . These are all dated between 1855 -1885 and they are all super rare. The average price for any bottle in that display case is approx $1200.  The guy sitting behind all those pretty torpedo bottles is Terry Matz, and he’s an expert and very passionate storyteller.

Dumpdiggers like Newf have large collections of salt glazed stoneware

salt glazed stoneware 2 gallon jug - merchant J.Steele, Brantford Potterymetal signs at the 2011 Toronto Bottle Show, Ed LockeThere not making anymore of these salt glazed stoneware jugs.

A real sweet spot for buying antique bottles,

Old advertising signs are growing harder to find and more valuable because they look great in modern offices and condominiums. The contrast between the new building and old signs is cool. The white walls need old paper posters, framed glass pictures and painted metal panels , and two or three colour wood or good condition cardboard advertisements. There are a lot of freshly painted white walls in our society that need embellishing with antique signs

People generally bring really rare, one-of-a-kind pieces to the bottle show.

The fellow named Ed Locke, seen in the photo to the right, brought in a Solnhofen Stone printing slab which was used in the early days of lithographic printing – $150 this piece shows an early advertisement for a Brandon Manitoba brewery which is also extremely rare.seen below

Solnhofen stone, lithographic printing, advertism,ent, Brandon, Manitoba, brewery

This is real early lithographic printing technology with a period  advertisement stamped on the surface of the limestone.  The piece stands as a reminder of how far we have come; there is a lot of water under the bridge in the evolution of this platform to the digitally replications done today. Our modern printable coupons have barcodes and expiry dates. To make such a system in the 1800s would mean hand carving a new stone for every coupon issued  Yet there are examples of the world’s first discount media buyers doing exactly that in the early 1900s. This exremely fine limestone block may only be obtained from one quary in Solnhofen Germany.

The history of pop bottles and beer bottles is another fascinating chapter in this Canadian history book. The screw cap is a very recent invention, and today’s most dominant closure method.

H. CHRISTIN stoneware ginger beer bottle, crackled glaze, OttawaThe closure mechanisms slowly evolved from simple corks to cod stoppers and complex ‘gravitating stoppers’, hinged plugs and Charles G. Hutchinson’s five bottle-stopper patents.

Here’s a cream and tan stoneware ginger beer bottle from a proprietor named H. Christin who was a brewer in Ottawa in the 1880s. This vessel was made by Brantford Pottery right here in Ontario, or  ‘Upper Canada’ as it was then known.

This bottle had a cork stopper and from this point forward there would be many different closures vying to be the dominant method. The crown cap became industry standard for this type of beverage in the 1920s.

Sharpen your eyes for cottage kitsch

Cottagers know that Kitcsh is King and the most simple furnishings and colourful trappings look great in cottages. The bottle show has lots of stuff with charm and character like some Mennonite furniture and folk art,

The chemistry of our culture dictates that cottages needs campy collectibles to feel cozy.

Modern muskoka cottage needs kitsch to look more like a cottageThe modern Muskoka cottage suffers from being too sophisticated, clean and culturally void of character

Each new domicile in the Muskoka Lakes needs large amounts of kitsch to look and feel more quaint. So many of the million dollar mansions that border Lake Muskoka are ultra modern constructions. They’re not made of pine or poplar anymore – they’re not timber frame houses at all, but rather insulated concrete forms , steel and glass monstrosities.  They lack the quaint charm of a cottage and often feel too sanitary. They dont have the charm of a family cottage, but rather feel like a house in the suburbs.

Things that look great in new cottages include,  utilitarian items like 1950’s 60s and 70s kitchenware and beer coolers, antique fishing lures, vintage boating equipment, art deco furniture and native crafts. These items find ready buyers in antique markets and in online auctions

I wrote a longer and more detailed account of the 2011 Toronto Bottle Show on Dumpdiggers blog; it’s about ten pages of text with over twenty pictures. The piece profiles 15 of the 35 dealers present at the show.