The wait is almost over…

Image by davedehetre via Flickr

With just 20 days left to wait, I have to admit that I’m starting to get really excited for the Calgary Stampede! Those 10 glorious days in July are when Calgary is at its best, and I am definitely one of those Calgarians who eagerly anticipates the Stampede from pretty much the moment it ends.

Anyone who has been within 10 blocks of the Stampede when it’s in full swing knows that the event has a smell all its own. You’ll catch a whiff of manure from the livestock and a hint of diesel from the rides, but the top note is always the unmistakable scent of midway food. Continue reading

You’re Not Crossing the Border with Me, Kinder. Surprise!

Image by Dmitry Valberg via Flicrk

Surprise, indeed!

Aside from all the melting snow and pothole-riddled roads, one of the best ways to determine if spring is its way to Canada is the inevitable return of Easter-themed Kinder Surprises.

Enjoyed by children and adults alike, Kinder Surprise is a two-in-one treat that consists of an unassembled toy contained within a hollow chocolate eggshell. You never know what kind of toy your chocolate egg will reveal, and half the fun of getting a Kinder Surprise is in trying to figure out how to put all the pieces together. Continue reading

Get Your Green On

Everyone knows no one parties like the Irish do. That’s why it’s impossible to walk past any pub on March 17th without stumbling across a group of happy revellers celebrating whatever tiny claim they have to Irish ancestry.

But if you thought St. Patrick’s Day was becoming a global phenomenon before today, wait until you see what’s been cooked up for this year’s celebrations.

Knowing how to capitalize on a good thing when they see it, Tourism Ireland has launched a ‘global greening’ marketing campaign. The result? Some 70 global landmarks will be turned green this year in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Some of the monuments and sites that have joined in on the fun include Niagara Falls, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Burj al Arab in Dubai, and the Las Vegas sign.

Here’s a shot of Sydney’s Opera House getting in on the celebrations: Continue reading

Happy Pi Day!

Apple Pi

This is just a short and sweet post to say Happy Pi Day to all of you who participate in such events!

No idea what I’m talking about? Click here and find out.

And even if you do know what I mean, here’s a crazy little graphic you might not have stumbled across yet:

Image by jasonham via Flickr

Only in Vegas: Curing Hangovers Via Bus

I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.

Frank Sinatra

Since the day after the first person realized ingesting rotten food could lead to euphoria, the search has been on for a way to ensure a smooth ride the morning after.

Each alcohol-loving culture has developed their own folk remedies for the common hangover, and I have to admit that some of the cures sound worse than the illness itself. For instance, Romanians apparently swear by the healing properties of sour soup featuring tripe (aka cow stomach) as the main ingredient, and Russian overindulgers somehow gulp down pickle or sauerkraut juice to get through the day after. Eek.

With global alcohol consumption rates on the rise, it should come as no surprise that more and more companies are out to lighten the wallets of those who have overindulged. Of all the cities where you can acquire a hangover, it seems obvious that people suffering in Las Vegas would be most willing to fork out some serious cash to get rid of their pain. Afterall, the whole point of leaving your hotel room in Sin City is to engage in the serious business of enjoying the hell out of yourself. Right? Continue reading

Canadian History is Cool Again

A few months ago I wrote about having the great fortune to discover that Heritage Minutes are available for viewing online. Canadians of almost any age will remember this series of history videos that began airing on television in 1991. Each Minute depicts a significant moment, person or event that influenced Canadian history and they left many a viewer (including yours truly) transfixed back in the day.

If you didn’t grow up watching Heritage Minutes, you likely a) are not Canadian and b) have no idea that history can be interesting enough to make you anticipate commercial breaks. If either of those options apply to you, dear reader, I am truly sorry. While I can’t help you with the first issue, you should check out this post to resolve the second issue. I’ll wait for you to come back…

…okay, now that we’re all on the same page about history commercials being cool, you should brace yourself because Continue reading

A Virtual First for Women’s Hockey

If you live in North America and have been following the news at all in the last month, you’ll be well aware that the National Hockey League (NHL) is in the midst of a lockout. The labour dispute has left hockey fans scrambling to find alternative forms of entertainment while the NHL’s players and team owners squabble over how to divide more than $3 billion in revenue between themselves.

As the 2012-2013 season slips away, many fans who miss watching their beloved hockey team while sipping heroin beer have turned to video games to help ease their pain. Lucky for them, Burnaby-based EA Sports released NHL ’13 last month to help fill those hockeyless nights.

Normally, I would never ever take the time and energy to write a post about a video game. Don’t worry, this is sure to be a one-off topic. No need to stop following me now.

But here’s the thing: NHL ’13 is kind of a big deal when it comes to gender equality. Continue reading

Only in Vegas: Pancakes with a Side of Matrimony

We’ve all heard the saying “opposites attract” attributed to any number of situations, but I’d be willing to wager that statement is at its most accurate in Sin City. Nowhere else will you find a single boulevard packed with such random mash-ups as a rollercoaster that dips through a casino, gondolas (complete with singing gondoliers) that float you through the heart of a shopping mall, and an 8.5 acre dancing water display that laughs in the face of its desert locale.

As the city that pretty much invented one-upmanship, it’s no wonder Vegas is about to become home to what is arguably the most random mash-up of all.

Continue reading

All Hat and No Cowboy

If you are anywhere near Calgary, Alberta right now you can’t help but be keenly aware that the Stampede is officially underway. Bales of hay dot nearly every doorway, red and white flags hang from most lampposts, fireworks dance in the sky each night, and C-Trains are being sullied by overindulgent partiers who can’t hold their booze.

If all those signs weren’t enough, the endless sea of cowboy-hatted heads should have given it away.

As someone who grew up in rural Alberta and has only missed attending the Stampede once (I was living in Australia! Get over it!), I can spot a wannabe cowboy from a country mile away. But advances in cowboy hat technology and denim fading techniques have made this much more difficult to do in recent years. Sigh.

Rather than forcing a potential cowboy to display their calf roping skills as evidence, here’s a short checklist that will help you spot those wannabes who are all hat and no cowboy: Continue reading