analogue wednesday #155

home sweet home.


you see the name jumbo everywhere — from planes to supermarket chains… but do you know where the name comes from and how it came to signify something huge?

as the logo of brands sometimes hint, jumbo was a big elephant claimed to be around 4 meters tall and marketed as “the biggest in the world” at the time. he was born in sudan in 1860, taken to a zoo in paris, then transferred to another zoo in london and from there bought by an american showman in 1882 to join his circus. the toured the US by train, earning a lot of money to the circus company.

sadly, he died just 3 years later, in the town of st. thomas, ontario, after being hit by a passing train one night. one hundred years passed and the name stuck around, so the town made a life-sized statue of jumbo to commemorate the centenary of his death. it’s still there, a roadside attraction that helps us remember this giant and his sad story.

walking on history XVI: sidewalk date stamps

i’m a bit behind on posts around here, but now that we’re back home, i plan to catch up with all our adventures in the land of maple syrup. these posts will be backdated, so that hopefully they’ll more or less match our time in canada.

so first up, here’s something cool that you don’t see much of in europe — sidewalk stamps.

the concept of cement sidewalks and driveways feels like a very north american thing to us. sure, we have them here as well, but more often than not there’s also stone pavements, calçada, or small blocks that fit together to create a pattern. and when we do cement for sidewalks, we don’t much care who put it there — probably the municipality, who will have to repave everything when it cracks.

but in north america, cement comes with these “stamps” that let you know which company paved that bit you’re walking on, and when it got done. i find it sort of poetic, as if pavements were masterpieces being signed by their artists.

they’re also a good way to see history right under our feet. many of these pavements (though not the ones i photographed in central toronto) have been around for over 100 years and are still being used. sometimes, footprints (or paws!) get embedded there and are still visible, long after their owners grow up or move away.

all around us, people are making things and leaving dents in the world, and sometimes, whether they meant to or not, these marks stay around for a long time — and i kind of like knowing that. :)

hank has a whole video about this and he explains it better than i do, so go watch it!

one second everyday — july 2018

so… july was eventful!

the first half was filled with work and fixing stuff at home. then we drove north for some family time, and finally flew to canada, where we’re slowly exploring ontario with friends. :) hurray for traveling again!

analogue wednesday #154

beautiful hanging signs, from a roadtrip in bavaria.