Posts Tagged ‘history’

My North York Public Library Card from the “Metropolitan Toronto” Days of the 1990s

October 22, 2013 2 comments

North York Public Library Card Metropolitan Toronto Front

This is my library card which I use every time I visit the Toronto Public Library to take out a book or 3.  It looks nothing like the current Toronto Public Library card and is from the early 1990s when North York was technically a city unto itself and a part of Metropolitan Toronto.  I am pretty sure this meant that I could use any library in Metropolitan Toronto but never really tried to because when Toronto amalgamated into the “megacity” and North York became fully a part of the city of Toronto it was 1997 and I was 15-16 years old. Still, I have kept this library card because Read more…

#MuseumSecrets Season 2 Premiere Tonight At 10pm On @HistoryTVCanada

January 12, 2012 1 comment

Museum Secrets Season 2 poster resize

Tonight I am heading to a party celebrating the Season 2 premiere of “Museum Secrets” on History Television Canada.The point of the show is to reveal the stories of 6 irreplaceable treasures (in each episode). As an example they give the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, and the golden mask of King Tut. Museum Secrets probes familiar legends and assumptions, using cutting edge research and technology to investigate the unknown. They get to (and bring you the viewer along) beyond the public galleries, into hidden places visitors are rarely allowed to see. When a story of an artifact moves outside the museum, the team – and by extension the viewer – follows. They have gone to the grounds of a medieval French chateau to recreate a fatal jousting accident, and down into a 50 foot hole in the Egyptian desert to stand inside the tomb of Ramesses the Great.

The show premiers tonight at 8pm on History Television Canada and they have told me to encourage tweeting using the #MuseumSecrets hashtag, which we at the party will also be doing. In fact, there’s already quite a bit of buzz going on around that hashtag so you can check it out right now.

The Museum Secrets team is using the twitter account @MuseumSecrets, and they told me they want to encourage chatter between them and the TV audience which I think is just awesome and forward thinking and such 21st Century amazingness. The show is produced by @KensingtonTV for @HistoryTVCanada and I have to find out if it is aired anywhere else (or if they make it available to stream online outside of Canada).

They told me to feel free to promote the upcoming episode, by embedding their behind the scenes vlog on my blog so here it is:

Looks cool but personally I was hoping for some cutting room floor footage of the museum – can’t have everything right?

The website for the show is and they assure me that soon they’ll have plenty of new webisodes like this one there: Ancient Tattoos. You can also check them out on Facebook at

This season, I am told, will include a trip to St. Petersburg with a young Canadian professor (from Toronto) as he completes his homage to ancient Scythian mummies’ body art, after reading of their discovery deep below the permafrost of Russia. One thing I am definitely looking forward to finding out about (and it will b in tonight’s episode) is about how one early technology* improved Catherine The Great’s sex life! Maybe she had an early variation of a telegraph hooked up so she could summon men for late night trysts? Hooray for historical booty calls! (I completely made that up with absolutely no research).

*To be revealed during the show, they wouldn’t tell me beforehand.

This whole thing looks very cool and I am pretty excited to see it as a history geek – I make no secret about that and you all already know the level of my history geekiness. But I want to be clear that although I had never heard of the show before they contacted me to attend their Season 2 Premiere Party if someone had told me about this just randomly I probably would have checked it out anyway. More than likely I would have eventually come across it flipping channels and been enraptured by it but I don’t want to pretend like I am pushing this show because I fell in love with it last season because I didn’t. But you’re reading the thoughts of a guy who reads alternate history, was a history major, and for a good couple of years spent the majority of his pleasure reading time reading biographies and auto-biographies. Also, I’ve seen pretty much every episode of Cities of the Underworld so this seems like a good natural step for me to go to.

Let me know what you think of the episode. I think I know what I’m going to be doing this weekend – watching Season 1!

My Mom’s TV, May 1979-January 2010 RIP

January 27, 2011 1 comment

Yes, you read that title correctly. My mom just told me she threw out the TV I have been urging her to get rid of for YEARS. She bought it in 1979 right before she and my Dad moved to Toronto from New York City, a few months after my older brother was born. She remembers this specifically because it was still in its box when they loaded it onto the moving truck.

So ya, basically this TV was my family’s middle child. Right in between me and my younger brother on one side and my two older brothers on the other. It was in the family longer than I’ve been. I will need another 2 years & 1 month to even have been in the family for as long as this TV.

Now you may be wondering why my mom, after all these years, threw it out? Not because she wanted to connect a coaxial cable to it – ya, it didn’t have a port for that. Or because she wanted to watch digital cable on it – she somehow managed to make that work too! But because the tubes in the TV were apparently so old it would literally stop showing a picture after it was on for 20 minutes of use!

It also makes you think of all the history that TV must have displayed: The Iranian Revolution and the American Embassy Hostage Crisis, the Meech Lake Accords, the time when MuchMusic launched and actually played music, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Soviet Union, the protest at Tiananmen Square, the Oslo Accords between Rabin & Arafat, the Prime Ministership of the first female Prime Minister of Canada, 9/11, the appointment of the first black Governor General of Canada, and the election of the first black President of the USA. Wow! The amount of history is astonishing and those are only some I picked which stuck out in my mind.

Also, there’s a well known saying: “They don’t make ’em like they used to.” Thinking about the “life and times” of that TV really brings that saying home to me. Do you think any piece of technology you have/use today will still be in use by you in 2041?


  • I changed the date on this post because I actually wrote it on the subway en route to an event last night with no reception and only remembered to actually send it to WordPress once the day was already officially over. I count that as it being qualified for my Post-A-Day post for when I wrote it not when it posted.
  • I fixed the spelling on Tiananmen Square – as I said above, the post was written with no Interwebs connection so I couldn’t look it up at the time.
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