Sunday, January 27, 2013

@Cmdr_Hadfield redux

Further to my previous post, if you'd like to watch the CBC's Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge's interview with Chris Hadfield from the ISS on the program "Mansbridge One on One", you can do so here. It aired today and was a really good interview.



Friday, January 25, 2013


Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is currently on the International Space Station. (As of March, he will become Commander of ISS Expedition 35, and the first Canadian to hold the position of Commander.)

In the meantime, he is conducting and participating in experiments and doing all the astronauty, sciency things that get done on the ISS. But he is also doing something really extraordinary. He is, for the first time that I am aware of, using social media to really interact with people on earth from space. He does the standard interviews and PR exercises that astronauts have always done since the Mercury days; but he keeps up a steady stream of brief messages - and even better, photographs, hundreds of photographs - to over 250,000 followers via Twitter, from the account @Cmdr_Hadfield.

I know most of you guys aren't on Twitter, but you don't have to be to look at the messages and photos - of earth from space, of life on the ISS - Hadfield is posting. They're all available for viewing right here. He has sent photographs from so many locations all over the globe  you are sure to find one that speaks to you, whether it's New York City or the Suez Canal or a corner of Australia he compares to a Jackson Pollock painting. Brian will probably like this one. Deserts, and the juxtaposition of deserts and habitations within them, particularly fascinate him.

And he should get some kind of award for this video alone.

He's also a musician and has his guitar with him on the ISS. He's done some recording up there, and is collaborating on a piece with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies for Music Monday, a project of the Coalition for Music Education.

Who says the Renaissance Man is dead?


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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

C'est froid, la, c'est froid. (updated with post script)

Seems like nobody's posting much these days. But we're still here! Including me.

Here, it's cold. Temperatures in the -20/-28C range, but the wind chill puts the actual feeling in the -30s. That's in the south of NB. Up north today in Edmundston, the actual temperature was -34C, not counting wind chill. At those kind of temperatures, this happens.

So, yeah, it's cold. Not -40C, which is extremely cold in most of Canada. (That's the point at which the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales meet up - -40C = -40F.) But cold enough that we're pretty miserable and just trying to keep our kids warm and ourselves warm and our cars and our water running, and make it in to work and make it home again.

Here's the conundrum: In Canada, in winter, it's either really really cold, in which case you are really really cold; or it is just normal-cold. Like, -10C. And when it's normal cold, it snows. A lot. So there's no winning, really.

I'm probably rambling at this point.

Punch-drunk and exhausted from cold.

Oh - Mojo? Thanks for asking. Better than ever. As happy and active as he's ever been in his life. The cold doesn't bother him much. The house is warm and cozy and he spends his days, while we're at work, rotating between his favourite spots: his little cat bed; on the red blankie on the Big Bed; and on his little plaid blankie on the sofa. I saw this on I Can Has Cheezburger today -

Nothing Good to Watch, Ugh!

- and I swearz it's true.

Edited to add: His favourite spots when we are home is on his Dad's lap, or on my lap. So, a wide variety of options for one small indoor black and white cat.


PS: I should note, for the record, that the morning after I wrote this blog post I woke up to an absolutely dead car and came home from work to find the kitchen pipes frozen and no water. Winter doesn't take kindly to published criticism it would seem!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

It came, it came, it came!

Waiting for me when I got home today in -20 temperatures (-30 with wind chill) and very welcome. A tiny bit bent (thank you USPS and Canada Post) but that just adds authenticity. AND with a Super Sekrit Bonus Suprise I didn't expect! Settling down to read it now.

These are handmade by Brian in the good old 'zine tradition and what a delight to hold a hand-crafted,  hand-stapled, hand-glued objet in your hands. I don't know if there are any left, but if there are, get yourself over to this blog post to get the background and order one.