2007-01-11

Winterlude: Three Ideas

It looks like Old Man Winter will finally show up in the nation's capital. I predict a fully functioning Rideau Canal skateway before Ground Hog Day. In the meantime, the NCC should work at some Plan B's -- which I believe they have already started, seeing that global warming is likely more than just a fad.

Here are some strategies in addressing this urgent matter.


Idea #1 – Physics 101 or Don’t Eat the Yellow Ice

Remember from your grade 11 physics class when that wacky guy at the front with the curly gray hair who claimed to be a teacher made that preposterous claim that hot water cools faster than cold water? And you thought, “Yeah. Right. Someone has been sniffing too much mimeograph ink in the teacher’s lounge.” Well, actually, it’s true – I’ve empirically tested it with martini ice-cubes. I won’t bore you with the details, but it is a scientific fact. Something to do with efficient heat transfer, thermodynamics, loss of mass, etc. Google it, if you don’t believe me. So all the NCC has to do is warm up the Rideau Canal, and then it will freeze faster. How to warm it up, you ask? Well, we could start by peeing in it. That’d work. Half the booze-hounds leaving the Byward Market on a Saturday night are already on-board.


Idea #2 – Swee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-p

If any of this global warming stuff is true we may as well give up on the whole outdoor skating thing. Of course, we have a winter tourism industry that’s largely based on those 50 days a year that one can skate on the World’s Largest Skating Rink® so we can’t just close up shop on this matter. Now that the LRT project is dead, we could try to get that $400 million from the government to fund the next big thing for Ottawa – the World’s Longest Curling Rink®. As for a space to build it, I suggest we erect a Quonset hut over the Canal between the National Arts Centre and the first bend at Concorde Avenue and then add some refrigerant pipes under the waterway. That’s roughly a mile in length. That surely must make it the World’s Longest Curling Rink®-- though I’d have to check with what currently exists in Saskatchewan – you never know. Ottawa could host some serious bonspiels. Real Men bonspiels. The Rideau Iron-Man Invitational Bonspiel: One skip, two sweepers, a paramedic and a heart defibrillator. Something like this could bring a newfound respect to a sport that for most of its history could be simultaneously played while smoking and drinking.

Idea #3 – Winterlude: Ottawa’s Annual Tulip Festival

Wouldn’t it be wacky if we celebrated our winter splendor with an aquatic theme? Bathtub boat races in the unfrozen canal. Polar Bear Swim-a-thons. A flotilla. Wait a minute --- we already have some of this. It’s called the Tulip Festival. But if I remember from a few years ago, we actually got snowed out for one of the concerts at Tulip Fest. Maybe that’s the problem: we’ve got things backwards. We need to keep the events but swap the dates. Though I heard recently that the Tulip Fest is bankrupt. That’s what they get for not having an ice carving competition.

3 comments:

Harmony said...

Well, "real men" curling would certainly be entertaining, at least, from my point of view. Personally, I prefer a mixed venue. If it ever freezes up, I'd like to extend a cheallenge right now to all the real curlers out there, for a good game. Maybe we could mix in some cribbage, too.

Agatha said...

I'm glad you're on the case, Chair. I'm surprised the NCC doesn't try to recruit you. These are the kind of imaginative ideas they need right now. I noticed that they also looking for "a structure to protect some of the ice-carvings from milder temperatures and ensure the unfolding and success of the 20th International Ice-Carving Competition." What kind of "structure" would that be? Just a big mother of a freezer?

Jono Cono said...

I love idea #2, absolutely brilliant, lol!