Visit the Montreal Biosphere to Explore Nature, History, and Architecture

The clear dome that forms the Montreal Biosphere is one of the most iconic sights in Quebec. Visitors to Canada’s second-largest province can immerse themselves in history, science, and architectural beauty at this unique attraction.  

History of the Montreal Biosphere

The Montreal Biosphere was originally built as part of the World’s Fair Exhibition in Montreal in 1967. Buckminster Fuller, an American architect, designed the structure, which he originally named the Geodesic Dome. The large dome was originally intended to be taken down at the end of the fair, along with many surrounding structures, but it ultimately became a permanent, highly-recognizable element of the Montreal skyline.

The aesthetic dome is famous for its ability to survive multiple disasters and remain an intact piece of Canadian tourism. Nine years after the fair, the structure caught fire as a result of a welding accident, and it was closed to the public until 1995. The dome was renovated and reopened as an environmental museum in 1995, and it was again damaged by an ice storm only three years later. 

Visiting the Montreal Biosphere

The dome has been repaired for a second time, and its museum remains open. Visitors to Parc Jean-Drapeau, the large park that surrounds the museum, can visit the only North American environmental museum to learn more about the history and importance of protecting the environment. Viewing the biosphere itself can also be breathtaking and inspiring for visitors of all ages. 

Admission to the museum is $15 for adults and $10 for college students, and children under 18 are free. The museum is open daily, except on many holidays, from 10am-5pm, and guests must arrive no later than 4:15pm. 

If you plan to take public transit to view the structure, it is located a short walk from the Jean-Drapeau station on the Yellow Line.

If you’re looking for something to do that combines beauty and education on your next trip to Montreal, look no further than the Montreal Biosphere. From the structure’s intricate architecture to its fascinating history, the biosphere is sure to appeal to a variety of visitors.   

Visit a Real Enchanted Forest in British Columbia

Enchanted forests have existed in childhood imaginations for centuries thanks to a myriad of fairy tales written and passed on from generation-to-generation. Visions of sugar plums aren’t just dancing in Christmas rhymes, hundreds of stationary fairy-folk, magical cottages, babbling brooks and slow-moving streams full of spawning salmon all come alive at The Enchanted Forest in Canada.

This isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen type of a theme park with stereotypical rides and carnival games intentionally designed to deny players a prize. Instead, visitor’s imaginations will go wild soaking in all of the magical sights and sounds at this truly out-of-the-ordinary destination that’s visually stunning found deep in the forests of British Columbia.

Lucious Location

The Enchanted Forest is located around 23 miles west of Revelstoke, another 275 miles west of Calgary or 420 miles northeast from Seattle, Washington. Basically, it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a positively breathtaking, beautiful location that was carefully selected as a remote location by the original creators of this magical dreamland.

The Labor of Love Behind a Dreamland

This wooded wonderland was the brainchild of Ernest and Doris Needham, a real-life fairy-tale couple from the middle of the last century. Doris was an artist local to Revelstoke whose muse was primarily fairy-tale figurines that were all hand-crafted without the use of traditional molds or conventional forms. Along with her loving husband Ernest, the duo searched for over two years to find the perfect, isolated home for hundreds of her one-of-a-kind creations and handiwork. 

The couple would spend their golden years of retirement clearing at least eight of 40 acres of the forest they leased and eventually purchased from the crown. They performed all of the clearings of trails and pathways entirely by hand using only shovels, picks and a crosscut saw. In a labor of love and devotion, Ernest constructed their unique home, the Candy Cane cottage with a gravity-fed water system from a nearby waterfall that’s still in existence today.  

Alluring and Amazing Attractions

The main trail through this fantastic forest is home to over 350 folk art figurines along with British Columbia’s tallest treehouse rising over 50 feet into the lush, green woods. There’s also a giant cedar tree stump-house, a castle complete with dungeons and a dragon. With surprises around almost every corner, this is a magical, must-see destination for adults and children of all ages. 

Do You Remember When the Internet and Gadgets Were Not Widespread?

It’s hard for many young people to imagine life without their smartphones, apps, and internet service. But before the mid-20th century, people did just fine without all the excess technology. If you wanted to communicate with loved ones or friends, you called or visited them in person in decades past. Handwritten letters were also popular and even taught as part of proper etiquette. For the kids who were bored back then, they used their creativity to entertain themselves. They played board games, went for long walks, played at the park, or read good books. Here is more information on a time when we didn’t have the Internet and why that was a good thing.

We Used Maps, Phonebooks, and Help From Others to Get Around

It is a little sad that today’s youth may not know how to understand maps, atlases, and phonebooks. But in decades past, this is how people learned how to find places that they were unfamiliar with. Or they may have pulled over at a gas station to ask others how to locate certain places if they got lost. Also in decades past, you had to write addresses, names, and phone numbers in a small book that you kept on hand. This enabled you to use your common sense more and it taught you to follow directions carefully.

Libraries Were The Main Sources of Research

Before you could find out anything on the Internet, there was a time when you had to visit the library to obtain the information you needed. You read encyclopedias, non-fiction books, old newspaper articles, journals, and magazines to gather research. It took more effort to find out facts in those days.

You Learned About The Latest Music From Radio

A long time ago, the only way you learned about the latest happenings in music was by listening to the radio. If you wanted free tickets to a concert, you would have to be the first or second caller to obtain them. When you listened to the radio, you heard fun interviews from your favorite artists and you could even record those interviews with blank cassette tapes.

Relationships Were More Meaningful

Nowadays, you can press some buttons and establish so-called relationships due to social media and online dating sites. But decades ago, people created relationships in more meaningful ways. Maybe you went to church with your neighbors and through real face-to-face interaction, all of you became friends. As a child, you learned proper conflict resolution strategies such as apologizing, extending forgiveness, not putting the other person down during disagreements, and working issues out calmly. Manners went a long way back then, and people exhibited more respect and empathy for each other.

Basic Life Skills Were Commonplace

Before the digital era, everyone possessed important basic life skills. These skills included sewing, how to prepare nutritious meals from scratch, knowing how to make minor home repairs, growing veggies, and fruits, knowing how to repair minor car problems, and how to manage money without relying on apps and finance blogs. Now there is a concern that future generations may not have those same skills or at least with the same capabilities as their grandparents from generations ago.

In conclusion, life was simpler in the days before the Internet and gadgets arrived on the scene. What would happen if we learned a few lessons from the past and incorporate them into our modern world? Maybe we might be happier, more self-sufficient, and even better spouses, friends, parents, and employees.

Cooking at Home: A Taste of Wellness

Cooking at home can be a great way to monitor exactly what you are eating. It can also be fun! You can experiment with flavors, prefect an old family favorite, or just make up something of your own. There are health benefits to cooking at home as well. You can turn cooking at home into a family activity that will help promote bonding. 

And Then There Was Fire

According to anthropologist Richard Wrangham, early cooking most likely consisted of throwing meat into a fire. Even after we progressed beyond that particular method, cooking still looked a lot different than what we think of today. Families had to keep a fire burning at all times because if it went out, there was a chance they wouldn’t get it going again. Mesopotamia, according to Did You Know Homes, brought a major advancement to cooking; caring for plants and animals. This would help increase the variety of foods eaten and also the availability of food. However, the lower classes still did not eat nearly as well as the wealthy. 

Become a Healthier You

Cooking at home increases your awareness of what you are eating. People that cook at home more often consume fewer calories even when they do decide to eat out, according to Harvard Health Publishing. An article published by Johns Hopkins corroborates that information and goes on to add that unhealthy eating habits can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Learning to cook meals at home is a big first step to living a much happier and healthier life.  

The Basics

When it comes to cooking you don’t have to jump into anything fancy. Start with the basics and move on from there. The Spruce Eats has a wonderful A-Z guide for cooking terms that can help you get started, and Morsel by Plated has a guide to basic cooking methods. The most important thing to remember about cooking is to have fun with it. Everyone learns at a different pace, and everyone has different tastes. If jumping right in makes you nervous, you can look for cooking classes in your area that can help you get started. You can even invite a friend over to enjoy a glass of wine (or a beer) while you learn to cook together. 

Serenity in the Sand

Beaches are a place of wonder, and not every beach trip is made equal. There are many different ways to enjoy a day (or a week) in the sand. Even the beaches themselves are different. Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan, for example, boasts beautiful dunes you can climb, trails to walk, and a beautiful view of the lake, which is a vastly different experience than a trip to La Chiva Beach in Puerto Rico. La Chiva sports crystal clear waters for snorkeling and water that is an awe inspiring blue. 

Origins of Beach Vacations

Beaches didn’t always promote feeling of relaxation and tranquility. In fact, it was quite the opposite! According to Smithsonian Magazine, beaches were feared as being wild and dangerous. They were a place of shipwrecks and natural disasters. That viewpoint wouldn’t change until the mid 1700’s. It wasn’t until the 20th century that beach vacations started becoming popular in the Americas, Paste reports. 

Tranquility of the Water

Walking slowly along the beach as the sand shifts between your toes and over your feet, while looking out over the small, blue, crashing waves can bring feelings of relaxation in a class of its own. And science can prove it! Inc discusses the calming effect the color blue can have on the brain activity as well as the benefits walking over sand has on pressure points in your feet. Going to the beach is proven to be good for your health. Start planning your beach trip now, it’s for your overall well being. 

Precautions

As relaxing as the beach can be, there are still times when it could be dangerous. Be sure to check with the correct local offices or authorities to determine if the conditions of the beach will be safe before you head out. Things such as high water levels, riptides, or other weather events could be a factor in determining the safety of the beach. 

Extreme Love

After some ups and downs in her life, Janet Blaser took a trip to Mazatlán, Mexico. She loved the beach, the people, and the culture so much she moved there! She now lives for about $1000 a month on the beach in Mexico, and can’t imagine being anywhere else. 

Learn about Aussie History at the South Australian Museum

The South Australian Museum, located in the heart of Adelaide, is one of Australia’s most popular museums among both Australians and international travelers. From biology and paleontology to Australian culture throughout the ages and other areas of humanities, this massive museum has something for everyone. 

History of the South Australian Museum 

The South Australian Museum has been home to a plethora of Australian artifacts for over 150 years. It was born out of the South Australian Literary Society, one of the first organized groups with an interest in collecting historical artifacts and using them for educational purposes. The museum’s approximately 90 staff members aim to preserve centuries of both cultural and natural history to keep both today’s and future Australians connected to the past. 

South Australian Museum Exhibits

Some of the South Australian Museum’s most popular current exhibits describe the history of women in science and photography by Mat Beetson, the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Other popular collections include ancient Australian culture, fossils, gems and rocks, and many more. 

Visiting the South Australian Museum 

The South Australian Museum is located on the North Terrace in downtown Adelaide, which is easily accessible by public transit, bicycle, or car. The museum is open from 10am-5pm every day except for ANZAC Day, Good Friday, and Christmas Day. While entry to the museum is free, visiting some areas may have an additional fee.   

Because the museum is so large, it can be a good idea to arrive early in the day. This makes it easier to avoid crowds and increases the amount of time that you have available to explore. Be sure to wear shoes that you will be comfortable walking in for much of the day. The museum includes a gift shop and cafe, and it is available for school groups and birthday parties. 

If you’re heading to Australia and are looking for a free and fun way to learn about Australian culture and history, look no further than the South Australian Museum. This museum introduces both locals and visitors from halfway around the world to nearly every aspect of cultural and natural history.  

Cards Anyone?

While it is difficult to calculate, some 1,000 – 10,000 card games have been developed through the years, according to the International Playing-Card Society. Not everything to do with cards is fun and games though. Fortune tellers use tarot cards in order to forecast someone’s future, magicians use cards to develop mind-boggling tricks, and history reveals some cards even being used as a form of currency.

How did cards evolve?

The precursor for playing a game of cards developed centuries ago in China, sometime around 1000 AD. They made their way through the Middle East and Egypt, reaching the European continent around 1360. Recorded in history was a Swiss ordinance banning cards in Bern in 1367. In Paris, a 1377 ordinance referenced the use of playing cards, showing that card games were catching on around the continent.

While ever-evolving, the idea of 52 cards in a deck seems to have come along from the Middle East, which was very active in the study of astronomy. The most prevailing concept is that the four suits represent the four seasons. Thirteen cards per suit, from the ace to the king, are thought to represent the nearly 13 lunar cycles of a year.

While the face cards continually changed from country to country, the idea of the king, queen, and jack undoubtedly developed in Europe. The joker came about later and is believed to be derived from the juker in the game Euchre, invented in 1860. The Euchre juker is the card that trumps all others, and the joker is similarly used in many card games today.

Game Cards Come to America

While card decks arrived with European settlers into the US, it was in 1885 that the first Bicycle brand cards were produced by Russell, Morgan & Co. Different types of games evolved including versions of poker which included gambling, family games, and, of course, solitaire.

The top three family card games, according to Bicycle cards, are Slapjack, Crazy Eights, and Play or Pay played with poker chips or candy, rather than real money. A ladies afternoon tea and game of cards often involves bridge or canasta. Some specialty games have warranted development of special decks for children such as Go Fish, and Old Maid, although regular decks of cards will also work.

Cards games have become an institution in everyday life for fun, relaxation, and skill. Few family households don’t have a deck of cards in a drawer, and few computer users don’t have at least one card game bookmarked on their favorites list.

Camping Under the Stars

There is nothing in the world quite like a hot cup of coffee, from an old fashioned percolator, first thing in the morning on a campsite. Surrounded by the sounds of nature waking up as the sun filters through the trees. Camping is a family tradition for a lot of families. 

Through Time in the Trees

Thomas Hiram Holding was the man to put camping on the map, so to speak. Britannica writes, Holding was moved by the experiences he had as a boy which lead him to write two books on the matter and create the first camping association (Association of Cycle Campers) in 1901. By 1932 the first international camping organization was formed (International Federation of Camping and Caravanning). According to CampTrip, the 1960s saw a large increase in the number of families that took to camping as a vacation. It was cheaper than the previous alternative and lent itself to more time with nature. There was a significant improvement in the quality of the gear and a reduction in its weight. 

Nature Heals

Both the Huffington Post and the National Parks Service agree that going camping is good for your overall health. Being in nature for even a few minutes a day can help relieve stress, but staying out in nature without any screens can improve your circadian rhythms (which can aid in a better night’s sleep), reduce depression, and allow you the ability to truly appreciate all the beauty there is to be had in the natural world. Bringing people you care about with you can help build relationships and give you even more memories to share. 

Getting Started

RootsRated has a very comprehensive list of what you need and how to decide which type of supplies are best for you. To add to that list, a wire rack to go over the fire can be a great cooking tool. It’s cheaper than a stove if you are just starting out, but it takes more practice to cook with. A kitchen tent (a tall screened-in room that can be assembled over a picnic table) can be very helpful to store food and provide a place to eat without as many bugs. A hatchet to split your own wood can also be a lifesaver. You can’t go wrong with some rope and clothespins for an easy clothesline. Water Jugs will be needed along with the water bottle because you will most likely need to walk to a water pump for water, and one bottle just won’t cut it. A tarp is also a good thing to keep around. The more you camp the more you will tailor your supplies to your needs. Camping truly is a wonderful experience everyone should have at least once. 

Enjoy a Classic Game of Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a fun game that has been played on playgrounds around the world for decades. It has also been used for other purposes such as military training. Hopscotch has a rich history and still enjoyed by many school children and adult alike as a fun activity that is simple to play. It can virtually be played anywhere and very few supplies are needed to play it.

History of Hopscotch

Hopscotch traces its origins back to the early days of ancient Britain during the days of the Early Roman Empire. Hopscotch used to be played on 100-foot courts and was used mainly for military training purposes. Roman soldiers would run the entire hopscotch court in full body armor with their packs on to improve their footwork, agility, stamina, and endurance.

Over time, Roman children were drawing smaller versions of the hopscotch course with 10 spots to hop as they imitated the regular exercise completed by the adult soldiers as they prepared for battle.

Hopscotch Goes Worldwide

Hopscotch spread in popularity and has since become a worldwide activity. Hopscotch is called “Marelles” in France, “Templehupfen” in Germany, and “Hinkelbaan” in the Netherlands just to name a few options of how popular the game has become. More variations of the game have become popular as well as children look for new challenges and fun new ways to play a long-time favorite playground game.

Hopscotch Today

Today, hopscotch is a game that you can see getting played on school playgrounds throughout the US. Many playgrounds areas have hopscotch courts spray painted onto the pavement for kids to play on. In driveways in neighborhoods throughout the world, it’s an inexpensive game to play that passes time for children. Children simply draw the court out on the sidewalk or street with a piece of chalk and they have hours of fun playing this classic game.

Sometimes, even adults enjoy a lighthearted game of hopscotch for fun. Clubs exist throughout the country and there are even 5K and 1K races that have hopscotch built into them. One of the most popular events of the sort is the Hopscotch Music Festival which next scheduled to get held September 5th to 7th 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Tossing markers (usually a smooth rock or stone) and having to pick them up while standing on one foot or “hopscotching” can make the game more fun and challenging for older children. If a player misses their marker, falters, or lets their foot touch the ground, they are effectively “out” of the game. The last person left wins.

Many children also play with more than 10 squares to make the game more challenging by making the course longer. Soldiers used 100 spots, but 25, 50, or 75 may be used by children who want to find a challenge that meets their needs. Variations of the game that children have created over time also exist, but the root of it is always a fun jumping and hopping game!

Conclusion

Hopscotch is a fun game that can be played almost anywhere and continues to keep children entertained for hours. Imagination and creativity can give children many variations of this game and make it a fun game to play alone or with their friends.

The Shopping Experience Now and in The Future

What are you doing this weekend? This is probably the most asked question on Friday afternoons. If you are like me, you probably look forward to partaking in fun and leisure activities during the weekend. For quite a number of people and especially women, shopping is a fun and therapeutic activity.

How Has Shopping Evolved Over The Years?

Shopping is an activity that people have engaged in since the beginning of civilizations. However, people around the world use a wide range of shopping methods depending on their culture and region.

From the developed world to the traditional village setting, every society has established a method(s) of exchanging goods and services. Most people are familiar with the typical retail shopping setting. However, shopping has evolved into the online space.

For a majority of the population, shopping entails buying food and necessities. But with increase in disposable incomes, shopping has become more of a social and leisure activity.

Shopping Gone Digital

The rise of the internet and the proliferation of mobile devices has disrupted traditional retail shopping and entirely changed the way we shop. Today companies are more interested in creating experiences for shoppers. Apps now afford you an opportunity to connect with retailers beyond the brick and mortar business.

Shopping in The Future

Mobile shopping is now an industry standard and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and chatbots present new possibilities for retailers to go above and beyond to create immersive, irresistible, convenient, personalized and connected experiences for shoppers.

Some aspects of shopping may never change like when you decide to visit local markets, bazaars, malls, and museums as part of your vacation adventure. However, whether you shop out of necessity, for leisure or just for the thrill, the future looks bright for shoppers.