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Rick Mercer reports on our Canadian para-Panam/para-Olympic athletes with a vivacious gusto and aplomb that leaves one smiling and quite pleased to be Canadian. I am very glad the CBC exists and can provide a platform for the likes of Mercer and the good, often funny, work that he does.
Ah, the wonders of travelling abroad. Signage, as much as designers would like us to believe it to be true, is hardly universal. In my own voyages, most recently Iceland, exit signs look like this:
I have to admit, from an ‘objective’ perspective, the sign makes complete sense. Person walking toward door = exit. However, not what my Canadian brain is used to. My brain was like, WTF is does that mean, green is not the colour of exit, not now and not ever!
Oh yah, that is what I’m talking about. Red and with words and stuff! Brain Happy! Everything is normal and well! At least from a Canadian point of view. Recently, CBC hosted and article about American tourists on their trip to New Brunswick and their experiences with Canadian signage.
“What began as a minor puzzlement for my wife and me bloomed over the course of a few days into a full-on obsession,” he wrote of the various signs they encountered. “What in the name of Rob Ford were the road signs trying to tell us?”
Burr’s friends and family on Facebook were equally confused by a photo he posted of a green-and-white River Valley Scenic Drive signpost. None of the 2,845 people who weighed in on his post could reportedly identify it.
“The signs of New Brunswick’s highways and byways aren’t exactly done wrong, but they seem to require a cognitive leap of which our American sensibilities, enfeebled by reality TV shows and Katy Perry songs, are incapable,” he explained. “My wife and I found ourselves gazing across a semiotic void, one that necessitated a more elusive process of conversion than miles to kilometres, English to French, or American quarters to Canadian dollars.”
His interpretations are amusing. Here are some gleaned from the article.
I have my own to add to the list. I saw this on an elevator in Iceland:
Sign universality – one day it will happen I’m sure. :)
I’m a ardent fan of birdsrights.. :)
Who knew that fonts could create so much hate? :)
It must be a slow news week for JO and the Last Week Tonight Show as they spend a segment describing our Senate expense scandal. Is it surprising that people with access to public funds are behaving irresponsibly, not really – but unlike JO, I think the money spent documenting our free-wheeling senators is a good thing. I believe it sends a small message to our elected public officials that they, like the rest of Canadians, are responsible for their actions.
The clip in question: