Updates from February, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:14 on 2011/02/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Spacing has a fascinating comparison of city council numbers in different cities and finds a cultural divide about the philosophy of what a city council is for.

  • Kate 08:55 on 2011/02/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga looks at the crumbling concrete of our highways with a blog sidebar showing details of the reinforcing process used by Transport Québec.

  • Kate 08:49 on 2011/02/09 Permalink | Reply  

    One of Metro’s bloggers deplores the disappearance of the snowman on the streets of Montreal. I’ve seen a few here and there this year, but the snow’s been alternately too wet and mushy, then too cold and hard to make good ones, I think.

    • Stefan 10:44 on 2011/02/09 Permalink

      yes, temperature needs to be around 0 (can be a bit lower with the sun out) so that it gets sticky. this is not often the case, mostly it’s too cold here. and the up and down makes the wet snow freeze to ice, then it’s over and you need to wait for fresh snow. it’s easier in warmer climates (or in colder ones: you can sculpt from sawed-out blocks).

      last sunday and monday was perfect though to sculpt out a few figures, now they are perfectly solid frozen.

      also i guess now there’s probably an ipod app for the kids to build snowmen so they don’t have to go outside ;-D

    • Richard 11:21 on 2011/02/09 Permalink

      I think people, kids included, are too busy fingering their cellphones to be bothered with such trivialities as making snowmen.

    • Stefan 12:40 on 2011/02/09 Permalink

      but i’m sure there some artists left on the plateau which don’t have one yet … ;-)

    • Shawn 16:37 on 2011/02/09 Permalink

      Actually, in all seriousness, in response to Richard’s post: I’ve read studies which state that kids don’t play outside as much as they used to.

    • Kate 09:06 on 2011/02/10 Permalink

      I’m pretty sure that’s true. Parents are happier when little Olivier or Zoé is safely inside, studying or playing on the computer. Rumbling in the alley is so déclassé.

    • Kate 13:54 on 2011/02/10 Permalink

      I played on a city street and a rough concrete alley when I was a kid. It was easy to take a tumble in the alley and, like most of the neighbourhood kids, I had permanently scabby knees in summertime. There was no park nearby. Our street was a shortcut between two main drags, and one of my early vivid memories is of seeing a friend get struck down by a speeding driver.

      But all the kids played outside without direct parental supervision. Another factor you don’t mention is that a few decades ago more mothers stayed home, so there was the knowledge that even if no parents were actively watching the kids, there were responsible adults around in a pinch. When my friend was hit by the car, I yelled for my mom and she dashed out of the house with a blanket to cover him till the ambulance came.

      I don’t think I suffered too much from playing in the city. Everything was interesting to me and you learn pretty quickly how to deal with strangers, how to make friends, what you can get away with and what you can’t.

      Where I live now there are kids who play outside. Our alley is narrow: a few vehicles use it in summer, mostly repair or delivery guys, but in winter someone plows up a snow hill halfway down so it becomes impassable and the kids use it for fun. This is great because back yards in this bit of Villeray are tiny or nonexistent. But in general the parents seem to hover more than I remember from my childhood and playtime seems to be more limited too.

    • Stefan 13:44 on 2011/02/10 Permalink

      one of the reasons might be that outside is not a nice environment anymore as it used to be: lots of cars (=danger), pollution and not much public space left to play, aside from the alleys which are mostly crumbling concrete. parks are small islands surrounded by car noise & pollution, usually cut in half by a street. psychologically a human being just can’t feel well in that kind of space.

  • Kate 08:46 on 2011/02/09 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse finds that some tenants are living in mold-encrusted flats yet the city hasn’t penalized the landlord in any way.

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