Awesome # 152: Funny Video Montages

When I was a kid, my family and I watched America’s Funniest Home Videos quite regularly. My favourite part of the show were the video montages of animals doing funny things – especially cats doing funny things. Funny video montages are awesome because they, in their ceaseless hilarity, come with a domino-effect of laughs.


Awesome # 151: Hope

This morning, I received a response regarding something that I really, really wanted to have happen. The response was disappointing. However, with hope, I can pick up and keep working toward this thing, because this is something I’ve wanted to have happen for years. This particular disappointment is really just another way of preparing me for the thing when it does happen.

“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”
-Robert Kiyosaki 

Awesome # 150: Haida Art

Haida are an indigenous group of people from the Pacific coast of North America – from the Haida Gwaii archipelago of British Columbia and Southern Alaska.

Haida art is the highly stylized form of art originating with the Haida people. I find it beautiful, and fascinating.

The following is an excerpt from the Canadian Museum of Civilization website about Haida art:

The Haida fashioned for themselves a world of costumes and adornments, tools and structures, with spiritual dimensions appropriate to each. The decorations on the objects they created were statements of social identity, or reminders of rights and prerogatives bestowed on their ancestors by supernatural beings, or of lessons taught to them through mythic encounters with the animals, birds, fish or other beings whose likenesses were embodied in the crests passed down through generations.

The abstract concept of art for art’s sake had little meaning for the Haida, but they had exceptionally high standards of craftsmanship and the desire to constantly improve their skills. As inhabitants of an archipelago that lacked many of the prized natural resources available on the mainland — such as mountain sheep or goats, major runs of eulachon fish, mineral pigments, and specialized stones and metals for tools — the Haida began about 2,000 years ago to trade in order to maintain status among their neighbours. What they offered in exchange were products of skilled workmanship, especially their exceptional canoes, but ranging over a great variety of objects such as carved and painted chests, as well as other furnishings appropriate to the potlatch feasts of all the other north coast tribes.

They imported the raw materials that they lacked and processed them into highly refined products that they then exported to other tribes on Vancouver Island and the mainland. Such items included copper shields, silver and copper jewellery (after the late eighteenth century), as well as horn bowls, ladles, spoons, and possibly goat’s wool blankets. The Haida excelled in making and engraving copper shields, and examples of their work have been collected from the Tsimshian, Tlingit, Kwakwaka’wakw (or Kwakiutl) and most other peoples of the coast.

From the first days of contact, the Haida tailored their production of art to European and American requirements. Just as the traders catered to the Haida by setting up the shipboard manufacture of iron and copper implements and even items of clothing, the Haida developed art and crafts that appealed to the traders. Most popular were small carvings made of argillite (a soft black stone), items of ivory and silver, as well as a wide variety of wooden and basketry “souvenirs.” Literally thousands of such items, collected before the end of the sea otter trade in the 1830s, have turned up in the New England states and the British isles. Numbers of them have found their way into museum collections.

Robin RorickSacred Four

Awesome # 148: Quinoa

Referred to as “the gold of the Incas” or, by the Incas as “the mother of all grains”, quinoa is an Andean pseudocereal, originally harvested in Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru thousands of years ago.

I fell in love with quinoa during my travels in Peru for its delicious taste, as many of the meals I’d eaten on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu entailed quinoa. However, it was only recently that I’d learned of its nutritional value. Very high in protein content (18%), high in dietary fibre, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, quinoa is also gluten free and easily digestible.

And currently, I am eating leftover quinoa salad, cooked by me, yesterday.

Awesome # 147: Sleep

With last night’s raging winds, whipping snow and the howling of the unhappy sled dog team tied up outside my bedroom window, lying in bed in a house that felt like a boat on a stormy sea, I’ve been wide awake since 3:30 AM.

Sleep is an awesome I often don’t fully appreciate until a night comes during which it is lacking. And, needless to say, sleep is an awesome I wish I’d experienced. I love sleep.


Awesome # 146: The Silver Lining

If you’d have asked me a month ago what good would come out of a very difficult situation, I would probably have laughed at you. But now, the silver lining is (pardon the cliché) shining through, vibrantly and vigorously. The silver lining not only is awesome, it is, in my particular experience, illuminating and inspiring awesome left, right and centre.