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BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE Last hike To the casual observer, the 110-year-old Canyon City site looks like nothing more than a pile of rusted cans and rotting shoes.

BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

Last hike

To the casual observer, the 110-year-old Canyon City site looks like nothing more than a pile of rusted cans and rotting shoes.

In actual fact, it’s a historically significant pile of rusted cans and rotting shoes.

All summer long, the Yukon Conservation Society has provided free twice-daily hikes of the Miles Canyon area.

Tomorrow, catch their swan song performance.

Until Saturday. Each hike is two hours. Meet at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. at the Miles Canyon Bridge.

Last chance to ogle phonebook art

Most phonebook covers feature either a landscape or a group of smiling multi-ethnic 20-somethings (I’m looking at you, Canpages).

Northwestel, in all its monopolistic wisdom, has instead chosen to use its phone books as vehicles for locally-devised art.

And in case you haven’t not years worth of the painting have been on display for most of the summer at the Old Fire Hall.

This weekend, don’t miss your last opportunity to take a trip down telephone directory memory lane.

Until Monday at the Old Fire Hall.

TRADITION

1,200 years of rules

The English haven’t got the only culture that constructed an elaborate ceremony around the now-quotidian task of drinking tea.

Across hundreds of years, the Japanese have carefully sculpted a tea-drinking ritual so complicated that it makes model-building look like a David Spade script.

Ceremony equipment can include more than a dozen implements, some to be handled only with gloved hands.

Dress, room arrangement and event sequence are all crucial

Tea ceremonies even have their own specific flower arrangement style, known as ‘chabana.’

In Japan, you don’t just come to a tea ceremony. You study the tea ceremony.

Japan’s relative dominance of consumer electronics innovation can be traced almost directly to 12 centuries of tea ritual.

When drinking some powdered tea takes up to four elaborately choreographed hours, drawing advanced circuitry schematics suddenly seems much less daunting a task.

Check out the MacBride Museum’s guided tea-drinking ceremony on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the museum.

MUSIC

Unkempt hick to perform country music

Eternally scruffy, (his 8×10 literally looks like John Dillinger’s death photograph), country singer Roger Marin looks the part of the mechanics and modern cowboys he eulogizes.

Marin’s backup band, on the other hand, looks like he stole them from the mosh-pit of a Gwar concert.

Buy a schooner of Yukon Gold and see them both this weekend at the Gold Rush.

Friday and Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. at Whitehorse’s Gold Pan Saloon

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Dawson City’s Westminster Hotel.

PLEIN AIR

Empty sherry bottle spectacular

After yet another season of riverside drinking and squatting, the shores of the Yukon River are once again littered with human refuse.

That is, until the Yukon Conservation Society has its way with things.

On Saturday and Sunday, volunteers will set out in a fleet of boats from Rotary Park and carefully float their way downriver – periodically stopping to gather shore waste into easy-to-pick-up piles.

Prizes may be awarded, promises the society.

Most volume extracted?

Oldest crap retrieved?

Yukon river cleanup awards are a must-have addition to any trash-related trophy case.

Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Become a volunteer by calling the society at 668-5678 or sending an e-mail to ycs@ycs.yk.ca.

FILM

Got something against giant lobsters?

Science fiction has always been good at abstractedly tapping into contemporary fears.

Afraid of atomic testing? Watch enormous mutated ants threaten civilization in 1954’s Them!

Worried about medical testing? See it cause zombie Armageddon in 2002’s 28 Days Later.

With racial tensions escalating in post-Apartheid South Africa, a sci-fi flick is definitely in order.

As District 9 opens, an alien mother ship appears over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Normally, humans or aliens would immediately declare total war on the other, but District 9 takes a more revisionist approach.

When humans board the ship, they discover legions of sick lobster-like creatures.

Rather than being destroyed, the aliens are taken into government custody.

In Johannesburg, they are housed in a segregated camp, where their presence is quickly resented by native South Africans.

A different premise on a old genre, and one that’s receiving wide acclaim from critics.

Show times at 7 and 9:15 p.m. at Fourth Avenue’s Landmark Qwanlin Cinema Centre.

POLITICOS

Scaring the Russians away

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s annual Arctic Sovereignty tour is once again bringing him through Whitehorse.

The Prime Minister will re-announce some funding and hobnob with some Rotarians before jetting back to Ottawa.

Public appearances are expected to be few, but if you happen to see a heavyset Albertan with a 1980s haircut, chances are it’s the man himself.

I was just in the neighbourhood and … Stephen Harper?

What a surprise!

Green Party leader Elizabeth May will also be in Whitehorse at exactly the same time as Harper.

The visits are “totally unrelated,” says an official Green Party release.

However, the prime minister has been invited to May’s Friday night discussion on democracy.

I’m no betting man, but the odds of Harper ditching his Arctic Sovereignty schedule to face a crowd of Yukon Green Party-ites is approximately 300 billion to one.

Friday at 7:30 catch May’s Real Democracy for Canada talk at the Old Fire Hall.

Saturday at the Mount McIntyre Arena is the Taste Globally, Eat Locally, fundraising dinner.

On Sunday, hit up May’s Rotary Park barbecue at 11:30 a.m.

HISTORY

DC ablaze

By 1812, it had been at least a few years since the US had gone to war with someone and the British were probably doing something “intolerable.”

As a result, within a few months, a US naval force had invaded what is now Toronto, and burned it down.

In modern times, such an event would have been universally heralded, but in 1813, the British deemed it was good cause for revenge.

By 1814, Britain had successfully wrapped up the whole “Napoleon” thing in Europe, and was now sending shiploads of seasoned red-coats to North American shores.

On August 24, 1814, a contingent of only 4,000 British troops marched into the American capital. (The modern-day District of Columbia police department, by contrast, has 4,050 officers)

British general Robert Ross knew he wouldn’t be able to hold the city, so he just decided to burn everything down.

As the Brits set fire to the White House and Capitol buildings, armed resistance was almost nil. Only one house full of partisans decided to take pot shots at the invading army.

Eventually, however, the forces of nature intervened on the side of the Americans. A massive hurricane swept over the city, forcing the British to retreat.

For allowing a foreign force to invade the US capitol unopposed and destroy its seat of government, US Secretary of War John Armstrong Jr. was fired.

Armstrong, his US forces and President James Madison may have left the British to their own devices, but hey, at least the “flag was still there.”

Anybody out there? If you have an events listing please contact Tristin Hopper at tristinh@yukon-news.com.

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