Band of the Month: Fire/Works

Good Friday, readers!
Today’s Band of the Month is Montreal’s Fire/Works. Motivated by the marriage of rhythm and ambiance, this French-Canadian progressive folk duo take a unique spin on organic acoustic instrumentation by adding a tasteful layer of patiently explosive effects to acoustic guitar and banjo. Lead by sweetly engaging vocal harmonies and backed by distant and pulsing drums, Fire/Works is a band perfect for kicking off those slow moving, long weekend mornings. You can listen to, and buy their album Grand Voyageur on bandcamp, and take a listen below.

Band of the Month by Greg O’Toole

New Look and Site Update

RespectYou are probably thinking that things look differently – well that’s because they do. I just updated the back-end of the site (it’s the database and WordPress by the way) and decided to install a new site theme on a whim.

As a neat benefit, all posts will now be publicized on Twitter and you can follow us!

Hope you enjoy the new, simple, look and if you notice anything wonky please leave a comment.

On a side note, I just looked through the archives and noticed that I change the theme every two years give or take a month. Neat!

People Recycle More in Green Buildings

Researchers at UBC have studied the recycling behaviour of people who work in green buildings to those who don’t and found that – regardless of their past habits – people in green buildings recycle more. This is really nifty because it proves that design of an interior space alone can impact how people recycle and the efficiency of waste management.

“Design can absolutely influence people,” Susan Gushe, a principal with the firm, told CBC News.

She says there are several things designers take into consideration when integrating recycling and garbage receptacles into buildings, such as:

  • Locating them in areas where people are likely to use them, such as the CIRS’s kitchenettes.
  • Making bins easy to access for patrons and maintenance staff.
  • Clearly labelling bins.
  • It’s also important to make the recycling hubs look good, she said.

“Do you want to see great big bins out in the corridor? No, not really,” says Gushe. “You want to integrate the utilitarian things in a building into the fabric of the building, so that you don’t have this really ugly stuff sitting out there.”

Read more at CBC.

Portable Planetarium Brings Space to Kids

Space viewer!

The Peterborough Planetarium has been started by just two people with the primary goal to bring an excitement of space and our global environment to kids in Ontario. Being a big fan of outer space and the planet Earth, I think this is great!

Their goal is to introduce kids (and hopefully adults too) to all the amazing things that a love of the stars can bring. From seeing comets to understanding what’s going on at CERN. Who knows, maybe one of the kids will grow up to be the next Neil deGrasse Tyson or Neil Turok?

While we might like to think we have time to learn every single constellation and operate advanced computer-controlled telescopes and other gadgets, most of us won’t get around to it anytime soon, even if the idea really excites us.

What we can get around to is learning a constellation or two, finding out where a cool planet is tonight, or discovering how to see the brightest galaxy through binoculars – things that the following pages can help you learn about.

Then, when a truly big sky event comes up – one that makes the evening news (think meteor shower or eclipse) – you’ll be all-the-more excited to take part.

Read more at the Peterborough Planetarium.

A Better Truck for Safer Driving

Trucks kill a lot a cyclists and that’s a problem. We’ve looked at ways we can make trucks more efficient, now London Cycling Campaign has found ways to make trucks safer. They have modified the layout of a truck to allow the driver to see more of the road – in particular cyclists.

London Cycling Campaign haulage expert and former lorry driver Charlie Lloyd said:

“Our Safer Urban Lorry design is a challenge to the construction industry to use vehicles that help reduce the terrible number of people on bikes and on foot who are killed by lorries.

“The restricted view from the cab of many of today’s construction lorries means the driver often has little or no idea who or what is in their immediate vicinity, which is totally unacceptable

Read more at London Cycling Campaign.

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