East Van Panto

During the holidays, my family and I went to the East Van Panto at the York Theatre. For you who don’t know what a panto is, it’s basically a play where the crowd gets to participate: you cheer for the hero, you boo and hiss at the villain and you get to sing along.

This particular panto was not the usual English panto. Although it was based on Jack and the Beanstalk, there were loads of jokes about East Vancouver. The story takes place in East Van and refers to a lot of East Van culture.

The York Theatre itself is 100 years old and was recently renovated after being used as various venues. It was saved from being demolished.

The playwright is Charles Demers often on the Debaters on CBC Radio, which I listen to. After the panto, there was a question and answer period. The audience asked questions and we learned about the backstage activities and the actors.

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People Who Said No: Courage Against Oppression

People Who Said No
A couple of days ago I was spending an afternoon at the library when I suddenly came across The People Who Said No: Courage Against Oppression by Laura Scandiffio. The first thing that I read was the contents and it contains everything from the White Rose to the recent uprising in Egypt.

Along the way it shows courage by small groups of people to a much larger majority. Some people took peaceful measures while some people decided to act non-violently but in a way that they could be heard such as protesting.

The book includes 7 stories about different people and groups of people who decided to say no to all sorts of things. Here are some groups and people that you may not have known about but they really bring light to those who stood up to injustice:

  • The White Rose was a group who distributed leaflets that told people not to believe in the Nazis.
  • Andrei Sakharov was a scientist who helped with the Russian nuclear weapons program. He realized when he was testing the nuclear bomb that it could kill more people than ever imagined. He decided to stop this by speaking about it at meetings of military officers and scientists.

I found this book very inspirational. It made me think about how I can change injustice in my every day life and around the world. It’s inspirational because such a small number of people stood up to hundreds or thousands of people and that they continued this even if they were arrested, jailed, put under house arrest or have their lives threatened.

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Secret Pocket

If you’ve ever put your bag down and  *bing* it’s gone with your valuables, you know it’s really inconvenient. But do not fear! You can prevent this by sewing a secret compartment inside your pocket to put your valuables.

When I first saw this idea on the Instructables website, I thought it was a good idea. Sew, I sewed a secret compartment. It works really well. The only problem is that you can’t take things out in public because it’s inside your pants!

Secret pocket

You will need:

  • 1 pair of pants or shorts with hip pockets
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • piece of fabric the same size as the pocket
  • pins
  • scissors
  • a pen

Step 1: Turn the pants inside out.
Step 2: Trace the outline of your pocket onto the piece of fabric.
Step 3: Cut it out and pin it to the pocket.
Step 4: Start sewing. Just make sure you don’t sew your pocket closed!
Step 5: Stop sewing when the opening of your pocket is not too big and not too small.
Step 6: Use the secret pocket to hide your valuables!!

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Summer Reading 2013

9346947747_cc70b55db9Summer’s here, finally! After all the excitement, what are you going to do when it’s time to rest? READ! These are some of the books I’m reading this summer.

The How-To Handbook: Shortcuts and Solutions for the Problems of Everyday Life by Martin Oliver and Alexandra Johnson. The title says it all: from how to brush your teeth to how to pack the notorious suitcase.

Sherlock Holmes: The adventures by:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes is set in Victorian London where he and his assistant, Dr. Watson, help police solve mysteries. It’s not the type of book that you’d expect huge action, but it’s the type of book that you’d expect strange plots.

Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans by Terry Deary and Martin Brown: This series covers a wide range of ancient and modern history. Ruthless Romans covers the entire history of the Roman Empire. Warning! There’s some gross humour!

Histoires  inédites du Petit Nicolas by René Goscinny et Jean-Jacques Sempé: one of the funniest French books I’ve read. It’s a collection of many stories about a little boy and his friends at school and out of school. The author wrote the stories for the Asterix comic.

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Reasons to get outside

These are the reasons that everyone should get outside!!!!!!

  • Instead of being bored inside, have fun outside!
  • You are not staring at a screen all day.
  • You get much better exercise than if you’re inside.
  • You feel good.
  • There’s a whole bunch of activities you can do outside.
  • You’re breathing in fresh air.
  • You can relax quite easily.

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Odd Bits

You walk into a typical supermarket meat section and you see the prepackaged pork, beef and chicken.These may seem like the only options but they are only a small fraction of parts of animals you can eat!!

oddbitsOdd Bits by Jennifer McLagan brings to light the parts of an animal that you don’t always think of eating. It may seem strange, but until recently, lots of people ate other parts of the animal. Parts such as tongue, tails, kidneys, liver, heart, whole heads, bone marrow…. Odd Bits says that if you kill an animal, you should eat all of it to respect it because it would be a waste to just eat the “prime” parts.

It teaches you how to prepare all sorts of parts, from making headcheese to roasted bone marrow. And it also has many articles about different cultures and different times in history when people consumed these parts.

My favourite “variety meats” are tongue, ears, oxtails, beef shanks, beef cheeks. I have yet to try more!!

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Notes from UBC Farm

This past week I was at summer camp at UBC Farm. UBC Farm is special because it is a farm quite close to the city. Here are some notes from the camp.

  • They have an apple orchard that has a lot of historical breeds (quite interesting!). One of the types of apple that I saw was originated in the 1600’s.
  • They have chickens! They sell the eggs at the UBC farmers market.
  • They have a children’s garden which is a place for children to plant and learn about plants.
  • They have many honey bee hives and several mason bee hives.
  • They have many fields with all sorts of vegetables from lettuce to squash. We picked and ate lettuce, different greens and raspberries from the children’s garden while I was at camp.
  • I learned that hoophouses are different from greenhouses. Hoophouses are built right on the ground where greenhouses have foundations.
Aboriginal garden

Aboriginal garden

Cob oven

Cob oven

They have a farmers market every Saturday morning. I hope you will go there and enjoy it as much as I did.

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