B.C. bars open extended hours for men's gold medal hockey game (4 a.m. Feb 23)

The B.C. government has done hockey fans a favour and allowed pubs and bars to extend their opening hours so fans can watch the Olympic men’s hockey medal games live from their favourite bar stools. There’s just one catch: No beer.

The bronze medal game starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. Bars and pubs can open as early as 6 a.m., but they can’t serve alcohol until 9.

The puck drops for the gold medal game at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23. Bars will be able to stay open all night long on Saturday through to the end of the game on Sunday morning, but they’ll have to stop serving liquor at the usual time. And if you’re thinking you’ll just load up at last call, think again – staff will be required to take any unfinished alcohol away from you 30 minutes after the end of liquor service hours.

So, will the games be the same with a seltzer water instead of a beer? As long as Canada’s playing for the gold, you can bet there will be plenty of fans decked out in Canada hockey jerseys who settle in for a long night (and early morning) of cheering on the boys in red. Go Canada Go!

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South Walton Beach Food and Wine Festival hosts Emeril Lagasse

For years, South Walton, a 26-mile stretch of Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, has been quietly growing as an epicurean magnet. Award-winning chefs with a penchant for 100-mile-radius cooking have been attracted to the area for its exquisite day-boat seafood, local organic purveyors, inspiring natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. Serving some of the freshest and most inventive Gulf-and-farm-to-table fare in the Southeast, the area’s culinary stature is on a national rise with a series of growing wine and food festivals – including one featuring Chef Emeril Lagasse.

South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
The South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will be taking place April 24-27 in partnership with Visit South Walton, Wine Enthusiast Magazine and the Lagasse Foundation. Chef Emeril Lagasse, winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award, and a local South Walton resident, will make a special appearance at the festival on April 26 to help benefit children’s charities in Northwest Florida.
The signature four-day festival, celebrating South Walton’s 16 distinct beach neighborhoods, will feature dozens of celebrity vintners, with over 800 world-class wines available to taste. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village will offer seminars on pairing food with wine, craft beer and spirits, while a Nashville songwriters showcase and an auction, named a “Top 10 Charity Wine Auction in the U.S.” by Wine Spectator, round out the program.
Chef Lagasse, who recently relocated his family fulltime to this beautiful stretch of Gulf Coast after vacationing there for 25 years, will entertain South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival attendees with a lively informal interview with Christina Mariani-May, co-CEO of Banfi Vintners. The floor will then open to audience questions.
Tickets are now on sale through the festival website at www.sowalwine.com. The official lodging partner for the event is Wyndham Vacation Rentals.

Federally funded anti-smoking ad proves effective

Have you seen the recent anti-smoking ads featuring former smokers and the possible (or inevitable) affects of smoking? Many people have and a study published in The Lancet on Monday revealed that the ads are working.

In March 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an aggressive anti-smoking campagin called Tips from Former Smokers (Tips) with the aim to motivate smokers to quit. Every year, smoking kills more than 5 million people globally, including over 400,000 in the US. But for this new campaign the CDC focused not on mortality, but on quality of life. The advertisements are emotionally charged and thought provoking. They show real people with smoking-related illnesses or after affects.

“Hard-hitting campaigns like ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ are great investments in public health,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, and lead author of the study. “This study shows that we save a year of life for less than $200. That makes it one of the most cost-effective prevention efforts.”

According to the study, the ads may have prompted more than 100,000 Americans to give up smoking for good. The initial projection was 50,000 quits and 500,000 attempted quits–the study projected that 1.6 million smokers attempted cessation.

The CDC encourages people to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or visit a quit-assistance website.

Source: CDC, US Department of Health and Human Services.

Taliesin West: arrogantly, stubbornly very much Wright

Each year just after Thanksgiving, Frank Lloyd Wright departed Taliesin, his summer home in Spring Green Wisconsin for the warmth of Scottsdale Arizona. The famed architect built Taliesin West in 1937 and journeyed there every winter until his death at age 91. Today, the property houses the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Wright was a consummate entertainer, especially at his winter home where through the years he added a music pavilion, a cabaret theatre and other entertainment venues. Each room harbors a heavy stone fireplace.

Wright marries the land to his living spaces

The various structures that comprise the compound are built of natural materials – wood frames filled with concrete, desert rocks, quartz and large boulders. Wright treasured the area’s near-endless horizons and wanted his structures to complement the land.

A dominant shape that’s often repeated through the National Historic Landmark is the triangle – found among eaves, frames and various other supports and decorative elements. Wright felt it mimicked the surrounding mountains, along with the desert, forever full of sharp, pointy things.

The property is continually under restoration, including the recent replacement of redwood beams that suffered dry rot. The supports were replaced with Douglas Fir painted red, but increasingly, steel is being used to further strengthen the buildings.

Wright’s choices may seem odd to some modern architects

The property’s centerpiece is the sloping, airy living room, filled with signature, Wright-designed furniture. The room is suffused with natural light, with one wall sloping dramatically, forcing visitors to sit on angled chairs to enjoy a garden view.

Not all of Wright’s choices make sense, including the redwood beams which were known to eventually suffer dry rot in the intense desert heat, and the thirsty, emerald carpet of grass that fronts the property. Visitors may find the property both beautiful, ugly, harsh, stunning and sometimes just wrong – as well as arrogantly, stubbornly very much Wright. The lesson? Damn the critics. Build your vision.