Lucky Dip – Tuesday, September 10th


This giant piece of artwork is made up of thousands of potted flowers and plants arranged on an massive staircase in Sicily. Photo by Andrea Annaloro, via [Twisted Sifter]

I’ve posted this to Twitter already, but it’s worthy of many repeats. WalMart workers in North Carolina stage an in-store flash mob. Fantastic. [Dangerous Minds]

That RuPaul, always coming up with some creative and fun idea to express himself. Like an internet series called RuPaul Drives where he drives around with various famous people, in this case, Henry Rollins. [Rocker]

New York Times food critics share their horror stories, and disguises. [Work Fails and Job LOLs]

And finally, two different takes on the world in miniature; the first a guy who makes dollhouse scale models of New York City; the second, miniature clay artworks on the outside of Altoid tins. [Messy Ness Chic] [Twister Sifter]

Seeing Red

If you watched the last episode of Mad Men this season, you may or may not have noticed a trend towards the use of the colour red strategically throughout the episode.  An article on Slate works on the theory that the red, used at some point to costume each of the female leads, represents female power, as Joan, Peggy and Megan all wear red as they move on to achieve goals or more important roles in their respective careers.

Studies show, however, that the colour red works in a very specific way on men (but not women) to make them amorous. To men, red is the colour of love (which might explain the marketing machine that is red roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates on Valentine’s Day). Photos of women wearing red, as opposed to other colours, were thought by men in the study to be more attractive.

In the restaurant industry, female servers who wore red got better tips from male customers. There was no difference with female customers.

The initial study took place in 2008, and the restaurant study earlier this year. But the phenomenon likely started long ago.

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I Could Appreciate Art More if There Weren’t so Many People Standing in Foont of It

I guess I’m late to the party in posting Nuit Blanche photos. For those not aware, Nuit Blanche is an all-night art event in Toronto (copied from a number of European cities), where art installations, galleries and clubs are open from sunset to sunrise the next day, and it’s all free.

This year’s event supposedly attracted almost 1 million people over the course of the evening. The events were divided into three “zones” and since we live smack in the centre of one, we decided to stay close to home and only do what we could walk to.

It was an enjoyable evening, with only a few disappointments. We walked along Queen West, but didn’t go into any of the galleries that were open because they were all just too packed with people. We also didn’t stay out all night, although we did consider getting up early and returning to the nearby stadium for the mascot exhibit, just to see how many of them were still dancing 12 hours later.

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The New Neighbour

There’s a new guy, lives on the corner. He spends a lot of time outdoors. He’s pretty quiet, and has this aura of peacefulness that everyone in the neighbourhood is remarking upon.

The big Buddha is located at the corner of Dufferin and Melbourne, outside a high-end furniture store called Kuda. Kuda sells a lot of imported stuff from Thailand, Morocco, etc, and they’re big on Buddha as an icon, if not as a philosophy/spiritual path (they might well be Buddhists, for all I know, not making judgements one way or the other).

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When The City Finally Slows Down

Sometimes, this city just offers too much to do.

I’m not complaining, mind you. But it’s been an overwhelming summer. It’s said Toronto is a city of festivals and pretty much every weekend from late May until the end of September, there are multiple things to choose from. Just about every neighbourhood has a street festival now, there’s Caribana, Gay Pride Week, the Outdoor Art Show in Nathan Phillips Square, Doors Open, Taste of the Danforth, Taste of Little Italy, the Vegetarian Food Fair, piles of cultural events at Harbourfront, the Beer Festival, the CNE… it just goes on and on.

All of this culminates in one weekend of craziness. This past weekend saw two marathons (Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Run for the Cure), Word on the Street, the literary festival that takes over Queen’s Park, and Nuit Blanche, a 12-hour all-night art event that encompasses most of downtown. Pity the fool who tries to actually drive anywhere.

Nuit Blanche slipped under my radar last year, and I wasn’t super psyched about it this year, but as one of the 3 zones was in our neighbourhood, we wandered around to check out a few things. We watched parkour athletes climb and then descend the nearby train bridge, we wandered the Gladstone Hotel looking at the exhibits there. Then we headed east, stopping at galleries along the way until we got to the Great Hall where we stood amazed at what appeared to be a storefront filling with water and being taken over by giant fish. We picked up a chunk of carpet from where a group of artists covered a road on the CAMH property with the stuff, then headed to Lamport Stadium to see a giant inflatable locust. This was probably the most fun and interactive piece we experienced – kids were climbing all over the thing, crawling under it, bouncing against it. It was nothing more than a giant balloon, really, but people were truly having fun, including a group of drunk girls who repeatedly bounded into the face of the thing only to bounce back and end up on their butts on the astroturf.

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