Photo of the Week – Colosseum

This photo was taken, as my travel partner and myself set off on a quest to find a refreshing lemon gelato.

Up the hill we went, and as I peeked back behind me to catch a last glimpse of amazing historical architecture, I snapped this photo.

Sigh – take me back!

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Quote for a Sunday – Peace

Relating to my Fantasy Friday post 🙂

If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Hans Island: Canada vs Denmark

Savory Saturday – Go Canada!

Yesterday, I declared my fantasy destination as Han Island.

A tiny little guy, about the size of my condo who’s fate has been debated between a tug-of-war between Canada and Denmark.

Not to smack talk Denmark – I can’t wait to go there! But why not make my meal today something very tacky – Canadian Beaver Tails (NOT made from real beavers!!). And tackily get the “gourmet” recipe from ehow.com.

Not tacky is how gooooood they taste (especially with coffee)!

Beaver tails are Canadian donuts shaped in the form of a beaver tail. They’re very popular in Ontario, Canada during the winter months and are served at the Rideau Canal, the longest skating rink in the world.

Ingredients

How to make true Canadian Beaver Tails:
  • 1

    In a large bowl, stir in the yeast, water and a pinch of sugar. Allow to stand for a few minutes to allow the yeast to expand and dissolve. Stir in the remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, salt, oil and a majority of the flour to make a dough. Knead for 5-8 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl.

  • 2

    Place bowl in a plastic bag and seal. Let the dough rise for about 30-40 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough if you like. Gently deflate the dough. If you do put it in the refrigerator, allow it to warm to room temperature for about 40 minutes before moving any further with the recipe.

  • 3

    Once the dough is ready. Pull off a golf ball sized piece. Roll it out into an oval and place onto a towel while you get your fryer ready.

  • 4

    Add about 4 inches of oil to a fryer. The best temperature for frying the beaver tails should be about 185 degrees. You can test the oil by dropping in a pinch of the dough. If it sizzles and enlarges immediately, the temperature is just right.

  • 5

    Continue to pull more golf ball sized pieces of the dough. Stretch out the ovals into a tail shape, thinning and enlarging as you do so. Add the beaver tails to the fryer, 1-2 at a time. Fry until the deep undersides are brown and then flip just once to repeat. Lift out the beaver tails and place onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

  • 6

    Fill a bowl with granulated sugar and toss beaver tails into bowl, you can add cinnamon as well if you like, and shake off the excess. Enjoy your beaver tails!

Fantasy Friday – Hans Island

This story is hilarious – just the way the author writes about it, really.

Hans Island – perhaps the dispute between Canada and Denmark will endure time…


Noted Arctic historian and published author Kenn Harper walks us through Hans’ past so we may understand its possible future.

By Kenn Harper

The island is barren and steep-sided. No-one lives there. No-one except scientific parties ever have. The question one is inclined to ask is not, “Who owns it?” but rather, “Who would want it?” But this island is different from other interruptions in the surface of the Arctic sea. This is Hans Island, two square kilometers of rock situated at 80° 49′ N and 66° 26′ W, smack-dab in the middle of Kennedy Channel, mid-way between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. It has become the focus of a bizarre border dispute between Canada and Denmark, an issue that has simmered for three decades and finally boiled over in 2005.

CANADA’S CLAIM

Canada showed Hans Island as Canadian territory on a map for the first time only in 1967. Six years later, during negotiations on a Danish-Canadian agreement over division of the continental shelf, Canada voiced its claim to Hans Island but efforts to reach a solution regarding ownership were unsuccessful. Both parties agreed to stop the median line referred to in that agreement at the low-water mark on the south coast of the island and start it again at the low-water mark on the north shore. Because these lines reach the island, the agreement noted that “the island has no territorial sea.”

In 1983, both countries signed an agreement on co-operation in marine environmental matters. They also considered a reciprocal arrangement for processing applications to conduct research on and around Hans Island. Although that agreement was not signed, the respective ministers reaffirmed their common interest in avoiding acts prejudicial to future negotiations. But the unsigned agreement had already been violated.

That year I met a scientist from Dome Petroleum in Resolute, Northwest Territories. Embroidered in bold letters on his knitted Inuit-style hat was the name HANS ISLAND, N.W.T. I asked him about his sartorial claim to an island that I regarded as part of Greenland and was surprised to learn that he had just spent the summer on the island doing ice research.

Dome Petroleum, it turned out, had been doing research on this tiny island for some years. It planned to build offshore artificial islands on which to position drilling rigs in the Beaufort Sea, 1,700 kilometres away. Hans Island was a surrogate for an artificial island. Huge ice floes, some several kilometers in diameter and up to eight metres thick, flow southward each summer through the large funnel that is Kennedy Channel. The first obstacle they meet is Hans Island. With its steep sides, it provided a perfect location in which to determine how strong an artificial island needed to be to withstand the force of multi-year ice coming down from the Arctic Ocean.

Read more on this HUGELY fascinating island at Canadian Geographic

My favorite quote from this article:

The question one is inclined to ask is not, “Who owns it?” but rather, “Who would want it?”

Hey – you know what? Why not.

Why not make this my fantasy for the day. How many people can say they have been to THE Hans Island? Home to one of Canada’s most intense fighting matches.

Canadian Dollar go forth!

Ohhh Stephen Colbert. So funny!

Read this article from National Newswatch if you wish to laugh.

Stephen Colbert warns Americans of poutine-sucking Canada’s audacious currency coup

Published On Wed Apr 25 2012
Stephen Colbert warns Americans of Canada's audacious currency coup, from Iceland to glow-in-the-dark dinosaur coins.Stephen Colbert warns Americans of Canada’s audacious currency coup, from Iceland to glow-in-the-dark dinosaur coins.

Screengrab

Niamh Scallan Staff Reporter

Funnyman Stephen Colbert poked fun at America’s “poutine-sucking, healthcare-addicted” nemesis to the North during an episode of The Colbert Report Tuesday night, pointing to recent news that economically beleaguered Iceland considered adopting the Canadian loonie.

Read more: Iceland and the loonie

“The U.S. dollar remains the global currency standard. You can use it all over the world from buying sushi in Tokyo to prostitutes in Cartagena. There are no challengers to America’s currency domination, until now,” Colbert said.

“Everyone knows George Washington should be the only icon recognized by the world’s market. Not Canada’s first president, Featherford Beloon.”

Iceland’s government has floated the idea of replacing its weakened krona with a more stable currency since three of its banks were crippled by the global financial meltdown in 2008. Earlier this year, Canada’s ambassador to Iceland, Alan Bones, took to the airwaves on Iceland’s national broadcaster and said Canada would be open to the idea of sharing its currency with its Nordic neighbour.

Read more: Iceland’s yen for loonie causes diplomatic embarrassment

But hopes that the loonie would line Icelanders’ pockets were dashed in late March when Iceland’s minister of economic affairs told Dow Jones the idea was “theoretical speculation more than practical realities” — and replacing the krona with the loonie was “not on the table.”

Still, Colbert warned Tuesday night, “this is just the beginning of Canada’s currency coup.”

Perhaps more concerning for Americans, Colbert said, is the Canadian Mint’s glow-in-the-dark Alberta dinosaur coins — 25-cent coins that reveal a dinosaur skeleton when placed under the light.

“Folks, Canada’s coming after our young people. What do you think they’re going to prefer: a glow-in-the-dark dino quarter or this green rectangle?” he said. “Nation, we must fight this before we lose a generation of young Americans to the scourge of Canadian politeness and fiscal sanity.”

“As for you, Canada,” he ended, “you keep your dinosaurs where they belong — liquefied in your tarsands and pumped directly into our gas tanks.”

With files from Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew

Go Canadian currency in Iceland!!

I am so happy the USA (and the world now) knows that our first president president, Featherford Beloon condoned glow in the dark coins.

Photo of the Week – The Hawaiian Flounder

I had a free pass to the Maui Ocean Center a few years ago, so I decided to pop by to see what was happening in the world of Hawaiian fish.

It was quite entertaining and colourful, that’s for sure!

Garden Eel - so strangely funny!

Another reason for going there was to learn a bit more about the sea life I might encounter when I was set to go snorkeling the next day.

I really loved the garden eels, but also this little flounder seemed quite cool as well!

Aside from these quirky little guys, the hammerhead shark – my all-time favorite shark was the ultimate spot. They were all over the place! Just glad I didn’t bump into them while snorkeling.

Not The Little Mermaid styles - that's for sure!

What in the %!*# Weather?

I had to take these screen shots yesterday when I glanced outside and saw SNOW FLAKES!

What the bleep is going on, end of April?

Here is Toronto this week:

And then let’s compare this to a few places I would like to be instead!

Vienna, Austria

 

The Settlement, Christmas Island (especially because I love thunderstorms!)

Beirut, Lebanon – with plenty of sunscreen!

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Come on Toronto, smarten up and take a page from the book of these countries (aka screenshot from The Weather Network).