Artificial Lightning in Philadelphia

Created by none other than streetcar drivers dealing with an ice storm.

This intriguing video shows how light rail vehicles in Philadelphia dealt with an ice storm in their town, coating the overhead wires in ice. First, they would back up, using their poles to clear ice off the wire, and then they’d gun their vehicles, and try to travel as far as they could until they lost power.

Ingenious. Though I have to wonder if the nearby residents appreciated it.

Even though it’s been a week, I’d like to mention that, last Thursday, Erin and I attended the awards gala set up by Toronto Dominion Bank and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to mark the end of Book Week. This bankers’-style gala, which contrary to what Stephen Harper might tell you, is something most authors are not familiar with, is a wonderful party, and it is really quite a treat for members of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to meet with fellow authors as well as representatives of the publishing industry.

The event was held at the Carlu, a restored auditorium and gathering space on the seventh floor of College Park — the old Toronto Eaton’s store. This space (the second year in a row they’ve used it) is really impressive, even though it’s hard to hear yourself speak in the reception area when it’s full of people. Erin and I dressed up, had a wonderful dinner, met with old friends and new (Hi Deborah! Hi Helene! Hi Marina! Hi Margaret!), and cheered on the award winners.

None of this would have been possible, of course, were it not for my mother-in-law Rosemarie’s willingness to take care of our two kids — one of whom was very excited to be in a hotel, and the other of whom has significant separation anxiety. But we ordered pizza, and little Nora seemed quite happy to wave us bye-bye, now that the question of who was going to feed her had been settled.

So, I’d like to thank everybody involved in setting up this event, from the sponsor TD, to the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, to Rosemarie. A fun time was had by all.

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