Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reward for return of recorder

On Friday, Sept. 12, someone came up on my front porch at 7:30 in the morning and took my bag. The black handle-bag said What's the Word on it, and it also contained my new black fanny pack style leather purse, and also a cloth fanny pack with some audio recording equipment. The equipment was outdated, but I need it because I have discs recorded with it that won't play in other machines. Here are pictures of the recorder and the microphone:

If you have found or acquired any of this stuff, or have news of its whereabouts, please reply to this blog with a way to get in touch, to claim the reward. More info on request.

New Mural

Catch the new wall painting on the northeast corner of Fraser and Broadway. It depicts a scene that is more or less patterned after the False Creek area looking north towards the Science World geodesic dome. I saw three women working on it a couple of weeks ago but did not have my camera with me. The colours are more pastel than the one a block away at Prince Albert and Broadway. I hope this one, too, will be respected by the local taggers. Anyone with a picture of this mural, please post a link in the comments section.

Plant symbiosis

Sometimes when I walk around the neighbourhood, I see what I call "plant friends" - plants that seem to have established a friendly symbiosis with each other. There's an example of this just east of the southern end of North China Park. A very big tree in front of that blue house with purple trim seems to be something like a locust tree, with long compound leaves, but growing right out of it are well developed limbs of both a maple and something that appears to be a cherry tree.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tai Chi resumes at Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House

Tai Chi/Chi Gong classes resumed last week at the Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House (Broadway at Prince Albert - 1 block east of Fraser). They are weekly from 10:30 to 11:30 am. $3 per lesson, drop-in fee is extremely reasonable. Instructor is Lyla Yip, a well known Tai Chi practitioner in Vancouver and also a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Doc Yip is one of the models even for a tai chi sculpture group being planned for one of the Vancouver parks.

The basic version of Tai Chi taught in this class is "24 steps," a short form in the Yang style tradition. However, the class also includes a smattering of whatever will be good for our health or what Doc Yip is learning in her own Tai Chi studies - so, sometimes we work with fans, or sticks, or we "do the bear."

First time tai chi people are welcome as well as those with experience, and all ages can attend. I myself have studied off and on for about 8 years and while I am not by any means skillful, I've gotten a lot of enjoyment and much improved my balance, both physical and mental.

This class is one of the hidden treasures of Mt. Pleasant. It could use up to 3 or 4 more regulars before it becomes too full for the room, so please come on down.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Vitamin D you can get for free

Recently someone told me you can't get your vitamin D from sunlight if the sun is coming through glass. I looked this up online, and according to this site only about 5% of the Vitamin-D-forming UV-B form of ultraviolet light makes it through a pane of glass.

UV-B is also filtered out by the angled sun slanting through more of the atmosphere, so that it's really only possible to make much vitamin D through sun exposure if you go out in the direct sun between 10 am and 2 pm. (The source didn't say if this was standard or daylight time!) You should also expose as much of your skin as you can on this walk, to give more of your skin a chance to do the job. If you expose 85% of your skin, basically, go out in a bathing suit, you can pick up about 4000 international units, which is good. The darker your skin, the more sun time you need. And the oilier your skin, the more D you make and absorb (so all this bathing probably really does weaken us).

So, the dogs are right when they nag me to go for a walk in the middle of the day. We should all be out taking the sun - like "Englishmen" - around lunchtime. Then, you can eat some D-bearing foods for lunch, like egg yolks, shellfish, oily fish, organ meats, menudo and insects (so, don't throw away the worm!).

Not getting enough Vitamin D can cause lots of problems, and is suspected as the reason that MS (multiple sclerosis) is so much more prevalent in northern latitudes than farther south.

See ya in the park! Wreck beach, anybody?