Massive earthquake in Italy has added worrisome cracks to 2,000-year-old Colosseum, experts warn


ROME — The worst earthquake to hit Italy in three decades has added troubling cracks to the Colosseum, threatening the country’s most popular historic landmark. Francesco Prosperetti, the special superintendent for the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, said that every earthquake puts ever more dangerous strain on the 2,000-year-old arena. “With the earthquake, the cracks…

via Massive earthquake in Italy has added worrisome cracks to 2,000-year-old Colosseum, experts warn — National Post – Top Stories

 

Oh my!  Thankfully we were able to take the kids there last summer and have them experience the size and state of the Colosseum.

We did learn, that the Romans got the money to build the Colosseum from the spoils of the sack of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. A recently deciphered inscription on a large, altar-like stone with a chiselled Latin inscription, which tells how a senator, Lampaudius, had the Colosseum restored in AD 443.

Holes, however, still visible in the surface clearly corresponded to different lettering, this time in bronze, which had been previously fitted into the stone, read: “Imp. T. Caes. Vespasianus Aug. Amphitheatrum Novum Ex Manubis Fieri Iussit.” Translated, this says “The Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus had this new amphitheatre erected with the spoils of war.”

There is no doubt what war this was, the sack of Jerusalem, which occurred in Vespasian’s reign in AD 70, when a revolt by the Jews was crushed and Jerusalem was captured by Titus. The temple was destroyed and a million people were said to have died in the siege. The Arch of Titus, at the end of the Roman Forum nearest to the Colosseum, commemorates the victory, and bas-reliefs show Roman soldiers making off with the loot from the temple.

Halloween Safety Reminder from Health Canada (and from The Urban Daddy)


Halloween Safety

During the Halloween season it is important to keep your child’s safety in mind when planning costumes, decorations, treats and activities. Make sure that Halloween is a safe and happy experience for the whole family by preparing ahead of time.

Choose the right costume

      • Look for costumes and accessories such as beards, wigs, wings and tails that are labelled flame-resistant. Flowing skirts and capes, baggy sleeves and over-sized costumes can all be hazards around candles or flames.
      • Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.
      • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks – improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child’s vision or breathing. If you do choose a mask, make sure it fits properly and allows them to see and breathe easily.
      • Do not use contact lenses that change eye colour or create special effects because they can cause injury to a child’s eyes.

Avoid danger when decorating

      • To avoid injuries, let children draw a face or design on the pumpkin and then have an adult carve it.
      • Candles, jack-o-lanterns, lighters and matches are all fire hazards. Place lighted candles and jack-o-lanterns away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave them unattended.  Instead of candles, consider using a small flashlight or battery candle to light your jack-o-lantern.
      • Keep candles, matches, lighters and other fire hazards in a place that children cannot reach.
      • Check indoor and outdoor decorative lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Do not overload extension cords.

Stay secure while trick or treating

      • Go trick or treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend.
      • Give each child a flashlight to carry, to make them more visible to motorists and others.
      • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on.
      • Make sure they know never to go inside homes or cars.
      • Teach your children to be careful when crossing the street. Make sure they look both ways and only cross when no cars are coming. Cross streets at the corner, and never cross between parked cars.

For more safety tips, visit: 
http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/security-securite/home-maison/halloween-eng.php

Health Canada
Communications and Public Affairs Branch
Ontario Region

 

If you’ve made it this far, The Urban Daddy’s tip is this;  Trade the candy your children get for a toy.  Give out the candy you don’t want to eat (lol) and let them keep 5-10 pieces.

The candy will be long gone, but the toy will last until they lose interest in it.

 

Works like a charm!

Yes, We’ve Gotten Aboard The Pokémon Go Train Too…


When I first heard about this new game called “Pokémon Go”, it was in a context of a new natural selection of sorts where people who apparently never leave their houses or who are up all night and sleep all day are now venturing out into the big scary world – devices in front of their faces and are;

  • exercising
  • walking off of cliffs
  • walking into traffic
  • complaining about aches and pains from the exercise
  • venturing into restricted areas
  • catching Pokemon!

When the hype failed to die down, I sought out more information and I found out was that it was not available in Canada… yet, but I was already intrigued as to what kind of game could be THAT engaging to cause people to harm themselves in order to play.

Well, the game was made available for download here in Canada a few days ago, and now, we’ve caught quite a few of those little Pokemen (if that’s what one is called).

The first Pokemon was actually in our bed (insert comment here), but I’ve come to learn that once you install the app, the first Pokémon appears near where you are when you start the game. That makes me feel better knowing that over-exercised, under-rested kids won’t be trying to get into our bedroom to catch that little (I mean, big) Pokemon that was bouncing on our bed.

So now we have tried the game a couple of times, and it’s fun, I guess.  Nothing all that addictive, to be honest, although my youngest kids (the oldest is still away at camp) seem to enjoy it more that I do and I’m not sure if they like it more or less than my wife does…

But any excuse to get out of the house after dinner for a nice walk, to meet and speak to neighbours and friends under the guise of catching Pokémon is A-Okay for me!

Apparently, it’s not okay to capture Pokémon on military bases, in restricted areas and at any offices of PETA.

What I did not know about this thing named Pokémon is that in the original Pokémon narrative, a 10-year-old boy decides he wants to become a master of these creatures called Pokémon and to do that he must catch all of them.  To do that, a scientist has given him a “Pikachu” which is a temperamental electric rat.

This boy repeatedly orders Pikachu to fight wild Pokémon, weakening them until they can be captured. Once caught, the captured Pokémon are then re-trained to fight other Pokémon until there are no more wild Pokémon left.

PETA now has a campaign to free captured Pokémon (#GottaFreeEmAll), and they have banned fighting and catching Pokémon at their LA office (although I saw a wink in the notice which might mean they do not actually believe Pokémon Go is the same as cockfighting or dogfighting).

While some people have compared the catching of Pokémon to taking animals out of the wild and putting them in zoos, circuses, and other places that exploit and abuse them, I remind them that Bugs Bunny was REALLY violent and people don’t hate bunny’s as a result!

I have a feeling that somebody will draw a comparison to catching Pokémon with those kids who play violent videogames, get desensitized to the violence then act of in real life.  For those people the lines between reality and fantasy have been blurred and if it’s not the drugs at fault, it’s the parents who need to cut the cord on the remote and snap these kids back into reality…

But I digress.

Pokémon has been around for over 20-years, and I can’t say that there has been any indication that Pokémon players have evolved into sadistic animal torturers, or worse, zoo keepers, but if people who play Pokémon really are the lowest of the low on the human food chain, then let them play and this newest version of natural selection will weed on the bottom feeders and our medical system can fix the rest of them!

Let the people play!

 

Back From Vacation!


In case you were one of the MANY who email me trying to find out why there have not been any new posts in a month (or if you really don’t care – you’re going to find out anyways) but I’m back from vacation.

Yup.

Back from an amazing family vacation in Europe (again) and in need of another vacation.  LOL.

This thing called jet lag is kicking my ass… Hard.

I hope everyone has also had a wonderful summer and with 3 weeks still left in the summer, I hope the weather is great and I look forward to hearing about your family vacations as I outline mine.

Back from vacation and back to work!

The Urban Daddy aka Warren

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium in Auburn Hills, Michigan is open! Perfect for a Road Trip, eh?


Always looking for something new, fun and exciting to do with the kids on weekends and during the summer, I was tipped off about the recent opening of the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium in Auburn Hills, Mich., which happens to be a short drive from the Canadian border here in Ontario.

Having travelled to Rochester, New York to take the kids to their awesome Science Centre, Play Museum and Planetarium, the SEA LIFE Aquarium can be added to the list!

This new facility opened January 2015 and is beginning to ramp up for the spring and summer seasons, providing a great option for Canadian families to go for a road trip or weekend away.

Detroit Aquarium Ocean tank 1 Detroit Aquarium Touchpool2

NEWS RELEASE

Experience an array of exotic sea life at SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

Michigan’s brand new aquarium will transport you into an enchanting underwater world, bringing you nose to nose with sharks and igniting your passion for the sea.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April, 2015 – SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium, the 35,000-square-foot aquatic attraction at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, officially opened its doors to the public this past January, offering up close and personal experiences with sea creatures to visitors from across North America.

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium takes guests on an awe-inspiring, educational journey through an amazing underwater world featuring more than 5,000 incredible creatures such as sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, eels, sea horses, tropical fish, a Giant Pacific Octopus and fish native to the Great Lakes and surrounding waterways. Guests have the unique opportunity to get nose-to-nose with these creatures in interactive, engaging exhibits, including a dazzling 180-degree ocean tunnel, and a hands-on touch pool.

“Just a short drive from the Canadian border, our location at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets makes for the perfect family day trip,” says Debbie Gibb, SEA LIFE Michigan’s Marketing Manager. “Our state-of-the-art aquarium can be enjoyed by everyone – from a family trip, to a fun date night idea – and with our emphasis on fun education, when you visit SEA LIFE not only will you learn something new, but you may also be inspired to support our worldwide conservation efforts.”

Enjoy the beauty of the ocean and its creatures by holding a crab or touching a sea star at the interactive touch pool, watching the fun talks and feeding shows throughout the day, and taking in the experience of watching more than 5,000 sea creatures throughout the attraction.

Located 45 minutes from the Canadian border, the brand new SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium is also open for school and group tours seven days a week and birthday parties on weekends.

Annual passes and regular tickets are available online at www.visitsealife.com/michigan/buy-tickets.   Children under the age of three-years-old are always free.

About SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium is a 35,000-square-foot aquarium in Auburn Hills, Mich. based Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. As the 7th SEA LIFE location in the United States, and the 42nd in the world, SEA LIFE Michigan features engaging, educational and one-of-a-kind experiences that bring guests nose-to-nose with more than 5,000 amazing creatures, including sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, sea horses and much, much more. SEALIFE provides a glimpse of the diversity of marine life while also playing an active role in animal and environmental conservation. Visitors will see strong evidence of SEA LIFE’s Breed, Rescue and Protect activities around the world, including new projects developed locally.

For more information, visit www.visitsealife.com/michigan.