Kluckner on Vancouver’s History of Urban Planning

January 26, 2020

On 3rd March, Grandview’s own Michael Kluckner is presenting an illustrated lecture on the history of Urban Planning in Vancouver from 1911 to the City Plan.

“Over 90 years ago Vancouver hired Harland Bartholomew & Associates to create Vancouver’s first city-wide plan. Highly influential in the first half of the twentieth century, Bartholomew’s firm emerged as leading American urban planners starting in 1911 and pioneered methodologies for plans in many cities. The 332-page A Plan for the City of Vancouver saw several iterations completed in 1927-30 for the Vancouver Town Planning Commission. It provided an ambitious vision and specific concepts for the young city at the time when Vancouver amalgamated with two neighbouring municipalities to become the modern City of Vancouver, with automobile-oriented transportation demands and planning for industrial growth as priority considerations.

Bartholomew’s plans left a lasting legacy in how the city developed over the decades to come, including the Burrard Bridge and strict separations between apartment and detached home areas. Author Michael Kluckner will explore what was implemented, what worked and what did not, and track more recent changes in legislation and development, such as the vision for False Creek, condominium living and the push for compact communities in both the city and the region. As Vancouver enters a new phase of city-wide planning and an expanded regional context, a look back over the past century can provide insights on many aspects of the city today.”

Michael is really good on this stuff.  If you haven’t heard him before, he is an excellent relaxed speaker, always entertaining.

For registration details visit the Vancouver Heritage Foundation page.


Our Media Bubbles

January 25, 2020

The latest Pew Research reports include a detailed look at US Media Polarization. The divide in the trustworthiness of various media sources between those tending to the Republican side and those tending to the Democratic side is extraordinarily wide.

Select image for a better view.

As this survey looks only at mainstream media (newspapers, TV, radio), I would imagine that the functional divide is even greater once one factors in the noise from social media.

This is a worthwhile reminder to us all — as we all tend to be guilty of siloing — that the media bubble we choose to exist in is NOT the only one out there.


Densmore in Oz

January 22, 2020

On the always wonderful Public Domain Review I found a glorious essay on W.W. Densmore, the illustrator of L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books at the beginning of the last century.  Moreover, it has a collection of dozens of Densmore’s images.  I chose two early examples.

 

Well worth the time!


Gibran’s The Prophet on Eating and Drinking

January 22, 2020

Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.

But since you must kill to eat, and rob the young of its mother’s milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship,

And let your board stand an altar on which the pure and the innocent of forest and plain are sacrificed for that which is purer and still more innocent in many.

When you kill a beast say to him in your heart,

“By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed. For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.

Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.”

And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart,

“Your seeds shall live in my body,

And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,

And your fragrance shall be my breath,

And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”

And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyard for the winepress, say in you heart,

“I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress,

And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels.”

And in winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup;

And let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.


Grandview 21st January 1920

January 21, 2020

 

“Vancouver World”, 1920019, p.6


Changes to Grandview Community Plan

January 20, 2020

There is a public hearing at City Hall tomorrow evening (Tuesday at 6:00pm), item #6 of which of which concerns changes to the Grandview Community Plan.  Specifically:

“To rezone portions of the 2300-block of Charles Street and the 2300-block of Kitchener Street from RT-5 and RT-5N (Duplex and Multiple Dwelling) Districts to C-2 (Commercial) and RM-8A (Multiple Dwelling) Districts, and to rezone portions of the 2400-block of East 12th Avenue, the 2800-block of Nanaimo Street and the 2400-block of North Grandview Highway from RS-1 (One-Family Dwelling) and RT-5N Districts to RM-8A and RM-12N Districts. And to make related Referral amendments to the Grandview, BroadwayCommercial and Nanaimo sub-areas of the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan.”

The Staff Referral Report notes that a certain amount of consultation has been conducted for “the immediate neighbours”.  However, a number of folks believe that any changes to the long-fought-over Plan need to involve a much wider consultation in the neighbourhood.

This is a public hearing and so if you want to have your opinion heard, you can write to Council and/or book a spot to speak at the hearing.


Exercise For the Lazy

January 18, 2020

A couple of weeks ago I had to undergo some tests on my heart.  Part of the examination took place while I was “at rest” and a second part involved a “stress” test to see how my heart was working after exercise.  In my case, probably because I am an old fart, I didn’t have to do any real exercise (such as using a treadmill); instead, they inject you with a drug that apparently simulates the effects of exercise. It certainly felt odd.  Anyway, I joked with the technician that they should market the drug to lazy non-exercisers.

Today, I was looking up something else and happened to find that scientists are actually working on a drug to do that very thing.

“Michigan Medicine researchers studying a class of naturally occurring protein called Sestrin have found that it can mimic many of exercise’s effects in flies and mice …  [W]hen they overexpressed Sestrin in the muscles of normal flies, essentially maxing out their Sestrin levels, they found those flies had abilities above and beyond the trained flies, even without exercise … The beneficial effects of Sestrin include more than just improved endurance. Mice without Sestrin lacked the improved aerobic capacity, improved respiration and fat burning typically associated with exercise.”

A different “independent study again highlights that Sestrin alone is sufficient to produce many benefits of physical movement and exercise,” says [professor Jun Hee] Lee.”

Ain’t science wonderful?  I can see a huge black market potential for beefing up couch exercisers like myself!