Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Victoria Day Weekend

This weekend was a long weekend, one of the very few in Canada, for Victoria Day. Victoria Day is in honor of both Queen Victoria’s birthday, and the current reigning monarch’s, that being the Queen of England, birthday. It is celebrated on the last Monday of May on or before the 24th. Canada officially recognizes May 24th as the Queen’s birthday, which began in 1854, on the day of Queen Victoria’s 35th birthday, around 5000 citizens of Canada West gathered in front of the government house to give cheers to the Queen. After Queen Victoria in 1901 May 24th was declared Empire Day throughout the British Empire, imperial decree.

End result is another official holiday and a long weekend. Official holidays don’t really have an exact date, but they usually make the holiday on a Friday or Monday, closest to the actually day. Most people can’t wait for these long weekends to pack up their gear and head up north for their summer cottages.

As part of the celebrations, there was a Circus festival at the Harbourfront in Toronto, plus fireworks show at night.



Balancing Act



Stilt Walker

Juggling Stilt Walker

Living Statue


Friday, May 21, 2010

Meet Wenlock and Mandeville

Wenlock (left) and Mandeville (right, and NO, not the kid :D )

These are the new mascots for the 2012 London Olympics, who were officially introduced to the world on 20th May 2010. My initial reaction was WTF? That reaction was not unique to me it seems. The general reaction seems to be the same. It’s difficult to understand what they were aiming for. They look like some one-eyed, alien/monster blob crossbreed. The London Organizing committee is opting for the Futurama look, first with the bizarre looking logo, and now with these guys. The target audience is supposed to be kids, but seriously?

Their names however have some historical background to them. It comes from two villages in England. Wenlock, who is the Mascot for the Olympics is derived from “Much Wenlock” and Mendeville, who represents the Paralympics is derived from “Stoke Mandeville”. Much Wenlock is considered as the birth place of the modern Olympics. It seems that a Doctor in that town had been organizing annual games to promote physical health of the people in the area. These games had given inspiration to Barron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympics Committee, when he visited in 1890. Stoke Mandeville’s claim to fame is the Spinal Injuries unit where the Paralympics movement began.

One reason given for the design is their flexibility it seems. Blobs can be morphed into anyone. After all, this is the digital age and kids seems to fascinated with all things futuristic.

I guess it finally boils down to the taste of the people. Some may like them, while some will not. I certainly am not a fan. On the other hand I thought the Beijing mascots were quite ok, while some people disagree.

I guess time will only tell if Wenlock and Mandeville can bring in the bacon, 15 million pounds worth in merchandising income that the organizers are banking on.

Beijing 2008 Mascots, The Fuwa

Images thanks to

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Made another trip to High Park last weekend and took some pics. Both Saturday and Sunday mornings were raining and still gloomy in the evening when we went. Didn't do the whole round this time since it was getting late. Planning to get more pics some other time.