Solids of constant width

A sphere is the same width, whichever way you turn it. If you rest a board on three equal size spheres and roll it around on a table top, the board remains parallel to the table top. Simple. Obvious.

But there ARE other solids that have the same property.

Click image to view 5 minute video

Reuleaux triangles can be generated geometrically. Gord Smith’s sculpture, the Superall is related, but he arrived at it intuitively, as part of his artistic process.

Superall bronze sculpture by Toronto sculptor Gord Smith

Plaque marks outstanding year

William Lyon Mackenzie should have known about this spot in 1832. According to Wikipedia, he was being pelted with garbage, beaten by thugs and nearly assassinated that year.

In 1832, 248 Woodbine Ave. was east of York (Toronto), in Uppity Canada

Meanwhile, in other news …

Purolator bicycle delivery has begun.

I know. It looks like a van, but it’s in the bicycle lane, so … Oh wait, I see. The driver must have been delivering a bicycle. Well, alright, then.

Camera zoom test

I went to Boot Hill at the foot of Beach Hill, to take some demo shots with my Sony HX80. The camera is resting on a tombstone to keep it steady. Zooming magnifies camera shake and I didn’t want that to blur my results.

The first shot has no zoom, the last one is max zoom. (30X) Click any slide to enlarge.

The next set is handheld and all are taken from the same position. I used the popup viewfinder to help me frame the thing I wanted to zoom in on. It certainly helped, but I struggled to compose the shot. None of these are cropped and edited in Photoshop, which is something I would usually do.

In the first slide, you can barely see the object that I want to pick out. By the time I was at maximum zoom, the image was still pretty good and even too big for the frame.

The Sony HX80 likes to have lots of light, so daylight is ideal. It does a respectable job in normal indoor light, though, and there’s a popup flash to help, if needed. I try to avoid flash and prefer to enhance dark shots with editing if I can.

For very low light situations, the HX80 has a Manual setting to permit long exposures. Obviously, fast moving subjects will not work with those.

From the Beach boardwalk … handheld. A tripod would have helped.

Making history at the Flying Pony

Andrew Horne and Rob Elliott making up history for mythical Gerald Street South. Embiggen.

It’s a bit early to be showing the work in progress, I guess, but the artists didn’t chase me away. There’s enough to see a great idea shaping up. A street map loosely related to Gerrard’s Bazaar strip already indicates a problem area … Bad Ideas Street. I expect considerable fun finding subversive factitious events and incredible landmarks. Follow up will follow.

“Gerald Street South” emerges over rubbed out lettering Andrew painted a while back.

Good while it lasted, Andrew’s hand-lettered Big Question is history, now.

Pay an educational visit to the Flying Pony Gallery/Café and try a Flat White while you are there.

Arts & Letters Club: Shawn Micallef

Photo policy behind this Elm Street door was not clear and since Danica and I were Ruth Colombo‘s guests, it was better to put my camera away.

My only photo for the evening

Ruth’s husband John, Ruth, Danica and I enjoyed a lovely dinner with other club members, seated at long tables in the Great Hall. Ruth succeeded in starting some animated discussions about topics like Jody Wilson-Raybould and Conrad Black. Great fun.

Great Hall photo of a similar event, pinched from the internet

Ruth recounted a visit that she and John once made to the Sutton Place residence of Barbara Amiel, Conrad Black’s wife. Chinese food had been ordered in and was late arriving, so John suggested to Ruth that she turn on the oven, to reheat the food, if necessary. Ruth went to the kitchen and experienced “a vision of Fahrenheit 451 “. The oven was full of books.

Mr Micallef received honorary Club membership for his talk.

Shawn Micallef, author, columnist and co-owner of Spacing magazine was our after-dinner speaker. Micallef is a flaneur who knows much more about Toronto than I will ever learn on my walks, but I recognized many of the places illustrated in his slides. Danica knew even more, thanks to of her working days in suburbia.

A major theme in the talk was “contrasts” … poverty and pest infestations inside sterile apartment towers, slummy shacks beside beautiful, natural ravines, unsightly strip malls serving delicious international cuisine.

Of course, societal divides between relatively prosperous old-towners and downtowners were contrasted with vast surrounding zones where car is king and neighbourhoods are severed by highways, parking lots and rail corridors. Ford Nation.

Micallef’s talk covered many points described in his book, Frontier City. It was a treat to hear his essentially optimistic but unflinching appreciation of Toronto.

Music to my ears

My sister Joni wrote with a good suggestion, to post about Jeremy Dutcher’s Juno Award this weekend.

CBC photo: Juno winner, Jeremy Dutcher

Dutcher’s acceptance speech was unwisely interrupted, but award-winning rockers, Arkells, turned over their time so he could finish delivering his short but impactful message.

Do check it out, both clips … and Arkells, you are a class act. Thank you for helping Jeremy finish saying things that need to be said to a national audience.

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