Women are persons

Yow – it really is cold. I got out there though. Walked around Parliament Hill and admired the stunning views of the river and Gatineau and the Gatineau hills and the distance. Saw three of the Cats of Parliament Hill sunning themselves on their front porches. I also admired the ugly-beautiful crazily grandiose architecture, just as I admired that of Manchester Town Hall. Saw the mouth of the Rideau canal. Also the Women are Persons! monument. Yes, Virginia, it really had to be argued that women are persons, and there really were people (men, that is) who said no they aren’t.


  1. says

    Tabby – true, if you’re acclimated! I’m not. I saw a cop strolling along in a relaxed way in shirt sleeves, with no wool cap (here called a tocque, pronounced tuke). I didn’t see anybody else like that though. All tocques and scarves and big coats.

  2. says

    Ah, I was just doing the typical Canadian “It’s not that cold!” bluster. I can handle low temperatures pretty well, but it shocks me when I see how little clothing some people wear when it dips below zero. It’s worse in the spring, but that makes more sense when you’ve acclimatized over the course of the winter. -5 in March feels a lot warmer than -5 in October.

  3. says

    Cold weather PSA:

    Cover toes and fingers first, as a priority. They’re most vulnerable.

    Granted, you’re likely to notice this pretty fast, anyway, if you don’t, and as it is a city, you’re less likely actually to damage anything as just be inconvenienced, constantly sticking things in pockets and ducking into random shop X to bring your feet back to functional. But seriously, if you’re coming from out of town, and you still have time to grab them ‘cos you haven’t left yet, do try to bring mitts and warm footwear. Stuff to cover your head and ears especially, also good. Priority list I’d say roughly: fingers/toes, ears, neck, top of head (tho’ this goes before neck if you’re bald) then thicker bits.

    (/Protective grandpa mode off. And back to work. See everyone in a bit.)

  4. says

    Holy crap! Maybe I’d better go back there and get a ticket to go inside. I’ve already decided I have to go there for sunset anyway.

    No actually I didn’t mean that, which I marveled at from the outside. I don’t consider that ugly at all. I made up my mind at some point not to be a snob about imitation Gothic and just consider it beautiful if it struck me that way. Lots of it does.

    Like the John Rylands library in Manchester for instance, which is like a relatively modest version of the Parliament one. Totally fake but gorgeous anyway. Why not admire it? So I do.

    No I meant that very tall pointless absurd-but-charming tower on that building next to Parliament which I don’t know what it is…

  5. says

    Maybe I’ll see if I can wear 2 pairs of socks…

    Okay, now this is is where my Canadian bluster gets real. Unless there is deep enough snow, I’m usually fine with just one pair of socks and regular shoes.

    Not to say I don’t layer. The irony is, because of layering I tend to be warmer when it’s -30 than I am at -20.

  6. says


    Other fun Ottawa tower related trivia. The Museum of Nature where PZ’s saturday night talk is taking place was supposed to have a tower sort of mirroring the peace tower. But the foundation couldn’t support it and the building started to sink. So they took it down and then when they renovated the place they put a glass tower on it sort of replicating the original idea.

    @ Tabby
    My trick is terrible circulation in my feet ;p.

  7. says

    I meant the tower on what I now gather is the West Block – not the one on the Centre Block. I don’t know which of those is the Peace Tower. (I’m using that dopy little miniature laptop I got for travel & emergencies and it’s very slow, so I’m going to go see if I can look at the libary instead of clicking on links.)

    (It’s just that my feet have been getting cold.)

  8. says


    Having been going to that museum all my life (especially as a dinosaur kid) I can be a bit cranky about the changes since the renovations were done. I already mentioned some of it in the comments over at crommunist’s blog. Anyway I think I’m going to wander down bank street and maybe spend an hour or 2 in the sections of the museum that won’t be open Saturday. If nothing else I won’t be commenting so much here and pacing around the house :P.

  9. says

    I owe you, chigau – thanks to those pictures I went back to Parliament Hill and took the tour so that I could go inside the library, which you can’t do unless you take the tour. Also went on my own up the Peace Tower to gasp at the views. A very well-spent couple of hours.

    I take it back about the Rylands library being more modest though. The P. library is one room, the R. is a fairly large two-story building.

    Another nice thing about the P library is that it’s the only part of that building that survived the fire. It has iron doors, which the librarian cleverly closed as the fire broke out, and all was saved.

  10. chigau (無) says

    You’re welcome Ophelia.
    I have been in Ottawa only once but managed to take the tour that included the library.
    Missed out on the Tower, though.

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