(via) Do Communists Have Better Sex? is a fascinating 2006 documentary that looked at who was more sexually liberated, the seemingly repressed East Germans or the “free” West Germans.
The documentary proposes that, for all its deficiencies, the German Democratic Republic actually put forth a remarkably progressive set of policies related to such things as birth control, divorce, abortion, and sex education — a precedent to which some non-communist countries still haven’t caught up. However forward-thinking you might find all this, it did have trouble meshing with other communist policies: the state’s rule of only issuing housing to families, for instance, meant that women would get pregnant by about age twenty in any case. We must admit that, ultimately, citizens of the showcase East Germany had a better time of it than did the citizens of Soviet Socialist Republics farther east. And if the Ossies had a better Cold War between the sheets than did the Wessies, well, maybe they just did it to escape their country’s pervasive atmosphere of “unerotic dreariness.”
by Sean Orr | Our puritanical past future? Candidate for Burnaby mayor promises to ban kissing, holding hands in public. “Perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about, but once I’m getting in I have to figure it out…” Sounds like she’s already a seasoned politician! Best comment: “Our Grandfathers fought for us to have this freedom…” Yes, our grandfathers fought the Nazis so we could hold hands. That was pretty much it.
Oh, and they also fought so our children could wear sexy Halloween costumes: ‘Sexy’ Halloween kids costumes at Value Village anger mom. Almost as disturbing are the weird, free market mantras littering the story’s comment section, a la ”if parents didn’t buy these costumes they wouldn’t exist”.
Only 3% of Vancouver residents think they have reasonable rents or mortgages. We love Vancouver and are willing to pay through the nose to live here…er…we just don’t want to pay through the nose to live here…
Related: B.C. builds lots of housing. But you can’t afford any of it. “But how about rezoning Shaughnessy, where the average density is one-third that of Grandview-Woodlands?” Because Shaughnessy, that’s why.
I just worry that our Most City status will be affected: Vancouver ranked the most city in the world.
Never forget! This was actually the lede in one of our major daily newspapers: Heads up, guys: Those trendy man buns can cause the loss of your precious hair. Speaking of heads, that is the exact location I would prefer to be shot after reading that.
Related: Angry Yoga. “And discover the present moment, and don’t think about this town…”
And definitely don’t think about this: Vancouver residents speak out against homeless shelter. “Residents in the area say they’re going to fight what they see as a plan that transplants the Downtown Eastside to their neighbourhood”. We demand social mix in the DTES, but god forbid there be social mix in the rest of the city.
To borrow from Mark Twain: ”Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you complained about homeless shelters; but I repeat myself.”
Obviously, other jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland need to step up: Surrey soup kitchen shut down on Thanksgiving. Yeah, because if you just stop feeding the homeless then homelessness will disappear.
Meanwhile, as Burnaby takes the National Energy Board to court, Kirk LaPointe wraps his lips around their, um, pipe: NPA pushes for LNG jobs in Vancouver. What jobs? Bird cleaners?
Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan questions how much B.C. First Nation still eats fish. Or, how much do you really enjoy that Starbucks latte, Terri-Lee? Because I’m about to take a dump in it…
The real drug pushers: Safeway, London Drugs and other pharmacy chains threaten legal action if cigarette sales banned.
The bubble has popped: Canucks say their sellout streak is over. One. Single. Tear.
(via) Professor Nicholas Humphrey digs into the reality and purpose of human consciousness for The Royal Institute:
Consciousness is at the core of our very existence. An intangible constant that underpins our experience of the world. But for centuries it has been the frustrating source of a seemingly impenetrable explanatory gap – it is largely a scientific mystery.
As we interact with the world, stimuli trigger physical processes in our body. Nerve cells transmit messages around the body and through the brain. But how do these physical interactions give rise to the conscious sensations we experience? Can we get conscious sensation from nerve cells alone?
In this video theoretical psychologist Professor Nicholas Humphrey asks whether consciousness could all be an illusion. Could it be a mirage constructed in the theatre of our minds? Perhaps the questions we should ask are not centred on sensations themselves, but merely on the appearance of those sensations.
And why does consciousness, in any form, exist at all? How did it evolve? The answer might lie in our social interactions. Consciousness elevates our interpretation of the world and the people around us. It alters our psychological profile and breathes joy into our experiences, and makes us value life itself.
It is the gold standard of urban water supplies. The New York City watershed was assembled during the 20th century, and the system’s underground aqueducts are considered an engineering marvel.
by Sean Orr | Hooray! Vancouver wins injunction to evict homeless campers from Oppenheimer Park. So now they can go back to sleeping on benches and under bridges!
Update: VPD to wear body cameras when ensuring campers clear out of Oppenheimer Park. Let’s hope they have a livestream…
Dichotomy City: Vancouver’s real estate boom: The rising price of ‘heaven’. “The house prices are perfect…” As cringeworthy as that sounds, it’s nice to see some honesty from the rich.
Which leads to the Tweet of the Day:
— Michal Rozworski (@michalrozworski) October 10, 2014
To be fair however, the NPA’s affordable housing platform doesn’t mention renters once.
But hey, free parking, right? Promises, promises — main Vancouver parties ramp up their civic election campaigns. In a city that is next to impossible to find parking in, what difference does it make if it’s free?
From my cold, oily fingers: Kinder Morgan TV ads attacked as influencing city elections in BC. She obviously cares about the environment because she has dreadlocks.
RED ALERT: Guy at Fraser Institute is pretty sure he just debunked climate change science. Press Progress is my new favourite website.
Not a Nathan For You gag: Shell brings back 1984 gas prices to celebrate anniversary. You really have to admire this brilliant piece of participatory propaganda.
From the people that brought you the Hump Day Hottie: Vancouver men, please stop harassing women. Written by… a Vancouver man. I mention this because a woman on my Facebook says the exact opposite, and that complimenting a woman is not harassment. Vancouver is uptight enough as it is, we don’t need another reason to not interact with each other.
Also, it’s obvious that you should be handsome, be attractive, and don’t be unattractive.
Bonus: RBC Branch On Fire Painting Likely Won’t Win RBC Contest. Genius.
(via) Did you know that heads of cauliflower are naturally yellow and the white ones we prefer in our supermarkets are only white because farmers cover the growing flowers (aka “curds”) with their leaves – and so block out the sun – when they are just the size of tennis balls? Nicole Cotroneo Jolly tells us that and more about broccoli’s fascinating little brother…
by Sean Orr | Oh look, the people we elected to go and sit in a house decided they would actually go and do that: B.C. Legislature to begin rare fall sitting on Monday. What are we supposed to do, throw a fucking parade for them? I mean, in the words of David Cross… “I don’t cream myself when the guy at McDonalds gets my order right…”
Ante up: Christy Clark’s No Pro at LNG Poker. Just because she said LNG will be a windfall for BC in order to get elected doesn’t mean she actually meant it. I mean, Jeez. Stop taking everything so literally, Bill.
Where in Vancouver is Gregor Robertson? Opponents slam ‘transparent’ mayor for dodging debate. He’s so transparent that he’s disappeared, get it?! But seriously though, this is a stupid article and a non-starter of an issue. There are real issues, to be sure, but not showing up to a debate sponsored by the NPA’s biggest donor isn’t one of them.
That being said, maybe we’d see him better if he wore one of these: Should Politicians Wear Uniforms Like NASCAR racers?
More bad optics: Voter suppression on Vancouver’s East Side in lead-up to November 2014 election? Again, a total oversight. But comparing it to voter suppression by the Republicans? Come on now…
Youth tired of being “tokenized” in Vancouver municipal elections: COPE board member. Those youth! They really put the toke in tokenized, eh? Eh? Oh shit, I just tokenized them, didn’t I?
Dog bites dogma: Trinity Western grad ‘attacked’ for being Christian in job rejection. “I signed it God Bless probably partially because I knew it would irritate them…” Way to take the high road there. “If I met God I’d have sex with him…” Wow…I think I have a new hero!
I’m not sure why I decided to put this next link here: Dragon Boat Society canoes destroyed in early morning fire.
Bonus: Here’s how Mish Way ‘lost’ her virginity. Spoiler: who cares?
by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!
ORPHAN THANKSGIVING | Feeling down about the sad can of soup that’s starting to look like it might be your ThanksgivingDinner this year? Don’t. It doesn’t have to be like this! On Saturday, October 11th, our good friends at Here There are hosting Orphan Thanksgiving, a semi-secret dinner party dedicated to celebrating the ones who always get left behind. Dinner will be a big help-yourself-style spread of the Thanksgiving classics. Think roasted turkey, porchetta, autumnal roasted vegetables, sweet potato mash with candied nuts, gratin of blue russian potato and cauliflower, shaved apple and fennel salad, brioche stuffing, and two types of pie. There will also be a cash bar selling holiday cocktails and a stereo playing solid gold jams. It’s all going down in a fun, cozy, dinner party environment where all you’ll need to worry about is what you’re thankful for…
October 11 | 7pm | Undisclosed Location | $40 | DETAILS
CONNECT | The Sustenance Festival is a series of fantastic food-elated events held by the Vancouver Parks Board. They’re designed to connect local communities to the concept of food security. For Sustenance 2014, you can learn about wild and edible mushroom identification, take pickling and canning classes, attend gardening talks, sit in on cheese-making and gluten free baking workshops, dance a Harvest Dance, taste tea – the works. The theme for this year’s festival is “Making Connections and Building Relationships”, so expect to get social. Events go down at community centres all over the city.
Now – October 19 | City of Vancouver Community & Recreation Centres | DETAILS
GIG | Angus and Julia Stone take the stage at the Vogue this Friday. The brother-sister folk duo are swinging in to town from Australia. Fingers crossed that Angus throws in a track or two from his recent solo album, Broken Brights. Tickets are going quickly, so you might need to try Craigslist.
Fri, Oct 10 | doors 7pm, show 8pm | Vogue Theatre (918 Granville St) | DETAILS
KIDS | Racoons, owls, coyotes, bats, oh my! Racoons, owls, coyotes, bats – discover the critters who live in Stanley Park at night on a candle lit walk with Stanley Park Ecology Society peeps. This kid-friendly program departs from the Stanley Park Miniature Train park each half hour, 6:30-8:30pm on Thursdays and 6:30-9pm, Fri-Sun. Lanterns provided!
Now through October 31 | Various times, various days | DETAILS
LUNCH | Gastown’s much-loved L’Abattoir restaurant is now open for lunch, and there was much rejoicing. Chef Lee Cooper has put together a day time menu that offers two or three course tastings as well as a la carte choices. We recently sat at the bar for a mid-afternoon serving of pasta stuffed with squash, sage, mushrooms – a perfect excuse to skip out of work. Oh, and they do cocktails, like, really really good cocktails.
Lunch is available from Monday to Friday (11:30am – 2:30pm) | DETAILS
COOK | The Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, is coming up (October 17-16). You can get into the spirit by taking a South Asian cooking class at The Roundhouse in Yaletown. Expect to learn about traditional cooking techniques and where to source ingredients in Vancouver. Chipati, roti, lentils and stews – build up your dossier of comfort food recipes for the winter ahead!
Sat, Oct 11 | 2-4pm | Roundhouse Community Centre (183 Roundhouse Mews) DETAILS
OKTOBERFEST | Skip the cologne-soaked versions for authenticity’s sake and guzzle some German pints in celebration of Oktoberfest at The Alpen Club this weekend. They’ve always done it right. From classic German Schlager Songs to Bavarian Buffet and lounge, it’s just the real deal. The club’s slogan says it best: “Real Oktoberfest by Real Germans.” Jawohl!
Oct 10 + 11 | 7:30pm | Vancouver Alpen Club (4875 Victoria) | $30/$80 | DETAILS
FASHION | Lauren and Lyndsey of local clothing company Hey Jude launch their Fall/Winter 2014 pop-up this week. Veterans of the vintage pop-up scene in Vancouver, this pair owns the intersection of classic and contemporary, structured and bohemian. Expect to see silk and wool, rich tones, and monochromatic neutrals. This season of design-inspired vintage will include items for both men and women. The juiciest pieces always fly off the hangers first, so consider hitting the shop on opening night (Thursday, Oct, 8) for a shop + social (6-9pm).
Now – December 22 | 11-7pm Daily | 196 Kingsway (@ 10th Ave) | DETAILS
OCEAN | The Marine Biology team at Nature Vancouver have arranged for a few representatives from The Plastic Oceans Foundation to give a talk about the plague of plastics in our oceans on Wednesday night. We all know it’s a serious problem, but sometimes sitting down to listen to experts tell you just how serious it is can be the kick in the pants that jumpstarts some extra action. Get involved. Keep your beaches and the oceans clean!
Thurs, Oct 9 | 7:30pm | Unitarian Church of Vancouver (949 W. 49) | DETAILS
WATCH | This is the last week of the Vancouver International Film Festival. Screenings continue through Friday and there are still some great films to catch. Narrow things down by browsing by series (organizers have classified films into a number of series such as Cinema of Our Time, BC Spotlight, Nonfiction and Special Presentations) as well as by genre and venue. For a little more direction – have a look at Scout’s ”Nine Movies You Need To Catch At VIFF“.
Now through Oct. 10 | Various Times and Locations | DETAILS
Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.
by Sean Orr | Bad news: Postmedia strikes $316-million deal to buy Quebecor’s English papers. As reported by Canada’s other paper, which is owned by Bell. Have you never read heard about the media monopoly in the mainstream media? No, because of the media monopoly.
Watch Conservatives mount courageous defence of their right to talk gibberish. That’s not a clickhole article. This would be a clickhole article: 5 Ways ISIS Can Reduce Its Carbon Footprint.
Meanwhile, Godwin’s Law put into practice: Tory Senator Uses Nazis, Trudeau Sr. To Attack Liberals’ Iraq Stance. Oh, and because ISIS got most of its weapons from the US and its allies, here’s a petition: Do NOT bring Canada into the war against ISIS.
Why Alberta producers won’t feel the fallout of plunging oil prices until next year. Isn’t the war in Iraq supposed to raise oil prices? Hmm.
Red Herring on the menu: Olivia Chow Smacks Down Racially-Charged Question. “I don’t know what it has anything to do with me being an immigrant”.
Meanwhile, back in in Lotusland, the press is keeping our politicians honest: Gregor Robertson Likes It Spicy And Other Fun Facts About Vancouver’s Mayor.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco: Proposition G: Stop unfair evictions. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a civic party that took some sort of stand on this issue. Oh wait: “The Greens say they’ll protect apartment tenants from renovictions by strengthening the rate-of-change bylaw so all residents “have housing relocation plans for comparable or better accommodation at a comparable or lower rent before the building or demolition permit is issued…”
‘I’m ready to take on the $18-billion boys’: Vancouver’s cabbies take aim at Uber. Jesus Christ, what is wrong with me? I read that as “I’m ready to take on 18 billion boys…” and then I thought to myself, “C’mon now, that is way too many boys…” Some background via Jacobin: Against Sharing. Please do not share that article.
Meanwhile, in Gastown: Two men stabbed overnight at Gastown pub. Wow, Portside really does live up to its Snortside nickname (you know, because cocaine).
Also in Gastown, the neighbourhood gets even more interesting: Female models for Facesitting Videos. Shaun Layton, is that you?
Some background to the Satan Penis/Penguin Plinth: ARCHIVES: Memory loss — Clark Drive plaza sits forgotten and neglected.
In other really important art news: Joan Cusack replaces brother John Cusack as Vancouver graffiti artist’s favourite.
My building made it on to ScanBC:
#Vancouver Police are responding to 300 Water St. for a noisy party in an apartment. Caller reports they are playing Sir Mix-a-Lot too loud.
— ScanBC (@ScanBC) October 4, 2014
No, it wasn’t me. But I do on occasion enjoy a large posterior.
Bonus: Worst Cats.
As part of a clever ad campaign for Reviveaphone – a new product that apparently fixes soaked phones – this guy travelled from Montreal to Brisbane to buy the first iPhone 6 to ever be sold (for thousands of dollars) in order to drop it into a pitcher of beer.
“What they doin’ at 11 o’clock at night just walkin’ around? You know they don’t live here. They got money and they don’t know what to do with it so they come here to look for somethin’ to spend it on. If there wasn’t these lights, there wouldn’t be nothin’. It’d be another block”
Bonus: freaky baby.
(via) This time lapse from storm chaser Alex Schueth shows undulatus asperatus clouds rolling in spectacular fashion over Lincoln, Nebraska. The clouds’ name comes from the Latin, “roughened or agitated waves”. They’re are formed when “enough atmospheric instability, or rising air, is available to create widespread cloud cover, as well as wind shear and turbulence, which creates the wavy, rough sea-like visual effect.” Video of the same below…
by Sean Orr | Hate and Hateability: Blog Lists Reasons To Hate Vancouver, So We List Reasons To Love It. Hmm, I hate “I Hate Van” because I’ve been hating Van for so much longer, but I hate the Huffington Post’s weak, cheerleading response even more because I can’t stand smarm. Scamcouver might do it better, and though I think it’s a lot easier to hate on Vancouver than to actually go out and make it a better place, I do appreciate the author’s Sense & Sensibility-like stance on shyness being a cop-out.
‘Follow the money’: Hundreds of millions are spent in the Downtown Eastside every year, but where does it all go? Aw, isn’t this swell! Kirk LaPointe decided to grace the DTES with his presence. The neighbourhood shouldn’t be seen as an alien entity that needs more oversight than the rest. How about you follow the money from illicit drugs all the way to Kerrisdale, Coal Harbour, and Yaletown instead?
Or should that be, follow the fur? Dog on drugs is the talk of Yaletown. “Marijuana affects dogs differently, similarly to the range of effects experienced by humans…” Thanks for the heads up on that, Dr. Vancity Buzz!
I wouldn’t ignore foreshadowing from a man named Macbeth: Canada Housing Crash Could Hit Next Year: Hilliard MacBeth. Oh, next year, eh? As in, after the election? Best comment: “I predict that it will snow in at least one place in Canada this coming January.”
Speaking of foreshadowing: Does Twitter foreshadow wins for Gregor Robertson, Barinder Rasode, Jonathan Cote, and George Affleck? I’ve already referenced Nada Surf’s “Popular” once this month, so I’m clearly fresh out of ideas…
Elvis Everyone has left the building: Stephen Harper Mocked Over Photos Of Empty Seats At UN Address. But what about what he said? “Saving the lives of the worlds most vulnerable mothers, infants, and children must remain a top global priority…” Except, of course, you know, if they are dying because of climate change, because…er…that doesn’t exist. And definitely not if they’re being bombed by Israel…
Speaking of provocative: What is public art? If you have to ask, then you probably shouldn’t.
Romancing the stoned: Vancouver’s Underground Music. “Long besot by negative stigma from Vancouverites and tourists alike, the area possesses a seedy, oppressive mystique that permeates the rain-soaked streets…” Ooooh…
Craigslist of the Day: For sale: bullshit European baby scooter made of wood and smugness – $40 (west end).
Courtney Stevens digs into the history of how societies have viewed sadness and how melancholy can actually be construed as a positive, evolutionary advantage in this recent TED-Ed animation.