Sunday, 26 August 2012

Hula Hoop

Hula Hoop
The hula hoops exact origins are unknown. Many hold the mistaken belief that it was invented in the 1950’s, as mass marketing gained it international popularity at that time. It is a popular toy, typically measuring 71 cm or 28 inches in diameter for children and 1.02m or 40 inch for the adult sizes that is twirled around the waist, neck or limbs.
 Hula hooping has actually been in use as a form of exercise going back as far as 5th century Greece. Back then the traditional materials used for the construction of hoops included: willow, grapevines, stiff grasses, flexible rattan and strong vines. Hoops in the present day, however, are usually constructed of plastic tubing and often filled with rocks or materials that serve as weights to carry the hoop around the body. In 13th Century in Scotland hoops were in use by adults as a popular recreation or in religious ceremonies. According to their medical records, the doctors back than utilized this as recuperative treatment for patients with dislocated backs and those that had suffered heart attacks. Then in the 19th Century, the term “hula” was added to the toy name, drawing upon the similarities of the movement of the hips in the traditional dances of the Hawaiian Islands and those of the hooping enthusiast.
In recent years there has been a re-emergence of hula hooping, hoop dance or simply hooping. An international Holiday of World Hoop Day has become the celebrated event worldwide. On World Hoop Day, when the year, month and day all share the same number (2007-07-07 to 2012-12-12) hoopers dance in every city and country to raise money and donate hoops to others who can’t afford them. Many modern hoopers make their own hoops out of polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, high-density polypropylene, or polypropylene tubing. The polyethylene hoops, and especially the polyvinyl chloride hoops, are much larger and heavier that hoops of the 1950’s. The size and the weight of the hoop are specific for the individual use. Heavier, larger hoops are more often used for slow hooping and body tricks while lighter, thinner tubing is used for quick hand tricks. These hoops are usually covered in a fabric or plastic tape to increase traction and ease the amount of work in keeping a hoop twirling around the dancer.  To make it colourful some use glow-in-the dark, patterned, or sparkling tape, or have the clear tubing filled with plastic balls, glitter, water and such to produce delightful visual and audio effects.  LED technology now allows hoops to light up at the flick of a switch, delighting audiences worldwide.
Here are some interesting facts from Wikipedia: “The record for the most hoops twirled simultaneously is 132, set by Paul "Dizzy Hips" Blair on November 11, 2009.”
“The longest verified record holder is Aaron Hibbs from Columbus, Ohio who broke the record at 74 hours and 54 minutes between October 22, through 25, 2009”

Click to see a video of The Yate Dance and Acrobatic Team from Shenzhen, China performed at the International Stage at the CNE on Aug 21, 2012, Toronto:

Enjoy the Summer. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Rural Vistas

Rural Vistas
Most North Americans live in antiseptic climate controlled environments inset into vibrant concrete jungles that meet all our needs: education, livelihood, and entertainment. To gratify our insatiable need for the nature we miss, we crowd into cars that take us to the carefully designed and strategically placed recreational facilities where we may purchase simulations of aquatic or land-based nature. Or we seek a measure of solitude by walking, running, rollerblading, biking or hiking within the secure environment of the manicured urban parks. We follow along on deliberately pristine, snaking trails, feasting our eyes on the variety of fauna dotting the path, the bushes trees and flowers on the periphery as well as ponds or trickling streams that intersect our sojourn. When we tire we take respite under a gigantic tree and chew on a nature bar before heading back to the car and home, back to our concrete, steel and wood layered habitats furnished with electronic gadgets that allow us to forget time, entertained by flat representations of nature and a one dimensional imitation of interaction with other human beings.
Then, occasionally, we brave the countryside; taking refuge at the cottage or some other wilderness retreat. Half the fun is getting there for along the way our eyes are treated to marvellous open spaces as far as the eye could see, odd farm buildings, silos, tractors and combines, colourful fields with hay-rolls and a variety of live animals; cows, ponies, sheep and horses. At times we crinkle our nose when the smell of fertilizer wafts through the air. We quickly close the window and turn the air-conditioning on until we feel adventurous enough to try breathing this strange country air again.  That is, if we don’t fall prey to the video games or movies on those ever so convenient tablets, iPhones or handheld gaming consoles.  Hah, those pervasive electronic gadgets still follow us here to countryside; for some of us would be lost otherwise. It takes a conscious effort to put all that aside and enrich our experience by observing firsthand the natural wonders that surround us.
Some Artistic Impressions of the Countryside may be instrumental in demonstrating this vast open space we are missing in our urban lives:

Wishing you good times for the rest of the summer.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

BoSt Galleries- A Day at The Beach

Modern Art Series

A Day at the Beach
Summertime is when the temperatures are sizzling and the sun is a big ball of fire in an azure sky. For cooling off there is nothing better than escaping the bustling metropolis and spending time at the beach. Far from the noises, the daily grind of work and transport, or the endless hours spent in front of the computer, cell-phones, tablets or TV, we are like the castaway sailors staking our spot on the expansive sands. Sparing an occasional look at the fluffy clouds sailing on by overhead, we take refuge under the beach umbrella, allowing the cooling onshore breeze to caress our faces.  Comfortable in our colourful beach chair we lazily fall asleep, leaving the cares of the world behind.  Then, occasionally waking up, we partake of the cold refreshments neatly stored in the cooler or digest some delectable fruit, barbecued meat or other such treat. Energized, we then rush into the embrace of waters. We swim about, submerge, or take a brief dip pretending to be fish and not land dwellers.  
Still restless, we take a good long walk on the soft sands and the shallow strand, watching our steps all the while as we take in the delightful view of the happy, frolicking beach-goers. Our ears are treated to the cacophony of cheerful sounds as we dodge the sandcastles of happy children and cooperative adults alike.
This is a sure piece of Heaven on Earth, claimed unfailingly every summer by us all during the precious summer months.
Have a fun filled summer.

Friday, 3 August 2012

BoSt Galleries- Impressionist Water Lily Series

 “Reversion is the action of Tao.
Gentleness is the function of Tao.
The things of this world come from Being,
And Being (comes) from Non-being.”