Tag: Toronto

Yet another dog lover!

The Dodo has a brilliant story.

There are so many kind people across the world and so many of those people are kind towards dogs.

Take this story for instance. It is about a Canadian woman who had placed dogs at the top of her care list and had been doing it for a number of years.

It was an article recently published in The Dodo and republished here.

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Woman Builds The Most Adorable Café For Her Neighborhood Dogs

“This is something they can do to bring a little joy to their day” ❤️️

By Lily Feinn

Published on 23rd April, 2021

Kaya Kristina lives right next door to High Park, one of Toronto’s most popular public gardens. Six years ago, the animal lover noticed that many of the pups in her neighborhood looked like they could use a little pick-me-up after running around outside. 

“On hot days, I noticed some of the dogs coming home from the park looked thirsty and tired,” Kristina told The Dodo. “I thought I should put out some water and a sign that said, ‘For thirsty dogs.’”

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Her act of kindness didn’t go unnoticed for long. “One day, I got a card from someone in my mailbox,” Kristina said. “It had a pic of their dog on the front and it was written from the point of view of the dog saying thank you for the water. I put the pic up on my fridge and it made me really happy.”

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For years, Kristina continued to supply local dogs with water and she continued to receive little messages in return. Then, when the pandemic struck last year, Kristina decided to up her game. She decided to leave some treats on her front lawn for all her furry neighbors to safely enjoy during lockdown.

And StarPups Coffee was born.

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“I made a bunch of mini treat bags, made a little menu so people knew what they were giving their dog and put a little stand out with options,” Kristina said. “It was so cute seeing the dogs go by and pulling their owners to my house to go get a snack.”

Kristina provides water, Milk-Bones and specialty all-natural treats made in Canada. And the parade of dogs enjoying them has provided hours of entertainment for her while being cooped up inside.

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Regular visitors began swinging by the café every day, so Kristina started an Instagram account as a way to build a little community around the watering hole.

“I thought of all the people living alone during COVID and how their mental health was suffering,” Kristina said. “I thought, ‘Most people are complaining about their husbands and kids driving them nuts being home all together. But do they think about their single friends who only have pets?’ I wanted to give those people something to look forward to and make them feel special.”

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One day, Kristina went outside and found that her entire café setup was missing. Someone had stolen StarPups overnight, and Kristina was heartbroken. She posted about it on her Instagram — and, to her surprise, the community she had fostered over the months and years stepped up to help.

“That evening, when I got home, my mailbox was full of cards, notes, photos of people’s dogs, Pet Valu gift cards and even a sweet drawing of my dog,” Kristina said. “It turned out to be a good thing, because I had felt so isolated all year with COVID, and now I felt like I had an army of friends.”

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Encouraged by the show of support, Kristina built another StarPups Coffee for the neighborhood dogs to enjoy. And Kristina is currently working on building a more permanent setup on her lawn, which will be weatherproof so that no dogs will have to walk away disappointed when it rains or snows.

Now that Ontario has entered back into lockdown, the little front yard café is doing more business than ever before. “One of the few things that’s still allowed is walking your dog,” Kristina said. “So many people are struggling mentally and physically, so this is something they can do to bring a little joy to their day.”

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This is a very beautiful story and just goes to show that Kristina rose to the occasion with returns and rewards far beyond what she may have anticipated. I have said it many times before but nonetheless will say it again: Dogs are the most delightful of animals. They form bonds with us humans that is unmatched by any other animal. Let’s just let this story above sink into our deeper selves.

More than that, they bring out the very best in people!

Hubble into music.

Back to the space telescope!

I cannot stop engaging in Hubble stories and republishing them in this place.

The latest is an account, published here, of how scientists turned an image of a galaxy into music! Or rather added music to the video.

Here it is!

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Cool! A Hubble photo translated to music

Posted by in | May 10, 2020

There’s no sound in space. But – working with NASA – musicians and scientists turned a Hubble Space Telescope image of a galaxy cluster into music.

We stumbled on this video via a May 3, 2020, re-post at ScienceAlert. Matt Russo and Andrew Santaguida of System Sounds in Toronto – which calls itself “a sci-art outreach project” – created the video. It’s part of NASA’s Astrophysics Visualizations series. NASA explained the video this way:

Space becomes sonified in this visualization of a cluster of galaxies imaged by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Time flows left to right, and the frequency of sound changes from bottom to top, ranging from 30 to 1,000 hertz. Objects near the bottom of the image produce lower notes, while those near the top produce higher ones. Most of the visible specks are galaxies housing countless stars. A few individual stars shine brightly in the foreground. Stars and compact galaxies create short, clear tones, while sprawling spiral galaxies emit longer notes that change pitch. The higher density of galaxies near the center of the image – the heart of this galaxy cluster, known as RXC J0142.9+4438 – results in a swell of mid-range tones halfway through the video. Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3 acquired this image on August 13, 2018.

Cool!

Here’s the original Hubble image of galaxy cluster RXC J0142.9+4438, later “sonified” by Russo and Santaguida. NASA wrote: “Galaxies abound in this spectacular Hubble image; spiral arms swirl in all colors and orientations, and fuzzy ellipticals can be seen speckled across the frame as softly glowing smudges on the sky. Each visible speck of a galaxy is home to countless stars. A few stars closer to home shine brightly in the foreground, while a massive galaxy cluster nestles at the very center of the image; an immense collection of maybe thousands of galaxies, all held together by the relentless force of gravity.” Read more about this image, which is via ESA/ Hubble & NASA, RELICS.

Here’s the original Hubble image of galaxy cluster RXC J0142.9+4438, later “sonified” by Russo and Santaguida. NASA wrote: “Galaxies abound in this spectacular Hubble image; spiral arms swirl in all colors and orientations, and fuzzy ellipticals can be seen speckled across the frame as softly glowing smudges on the sky. Each visible speck of a galaxy is home to countless stars. A few stars closer to home shine brightly in the foreground, while a massive galaxy cluster nestles at the very center of the image; an immense collection of maybe thousands of galaxies, all held together by the relentless force of gravity.” Read more about this image, which is via ESA/ Hubble & NASA, RELICS.

Bottom line: Musicians and scientists turned a Hubble Space Telescope image – of galaxy cluster RXC J0142.9+4438 – into music.

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That is so lovely.

It’s only just over half a minute long but is still precious!

And I learnt a new word: sonification!

Your call is so, so important to us!

A delightful trawl by Neil Kelly through the call centre industry.

Picture by Neil Kelly

Are there any more annoying phrases in the English language than “your call is important to us“, or “we are experiencing particularly high call volumes“?

In 2007 companies worldwide spent some $280 billion on outsourced call-centre services, according to NASSCOM, a call-centre trade group in Delhi. Much of India’s call-centre industry, which employs roughly 300,000 agents, is located outside the ring road that encircles Bangalore, in a string of smart new business parks with tidy lawns and private security. Were it not for the stray dogs, a visitor could be forgiven for mistaking the area for Silicon Valley.

Meanwhile in Australia …

Meanwhile …… back in Wales in the United Kingdom … listen to this call centre handling a complaint from an ASDA customer – listen right to the end!

Thanks to David from neatorama.com I was able to put together a medley of hold music and without resorting to The Four Seasons!  Hope to have The Top Twenty Hold Music Songs out in time for Christmas.

Click on this link hold music medley to listen to that medley.

Finally, you may be interested in reading Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth about Bullshit by Laura Penny which is available as a free eBook here.