This retired surgeon turns classic paintings and N.L. landscapes into rugs like it’s no big deal

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If it wasn’t for Twitter, nobody but a lucky clutch of close family and friends would ever know about Alan Kwan’s astonishingly intricate hooked-rug renderings of classic French paintings and Newfoundland scenes.

« I just thought, ‘This is amazing, people need to see this, » said Nikki Gagnon, Kwan’s daughter-in-law.

So she posted a pic of a rug he made from a picture of the north shore of St. John’s, taken from Signal Hill, to Twitter.

Alan Kwan holds up his masterpiece. (Submitted by Alan Kwan)

« She didn’t tell me, » Kwan said, laughing, adding that he was fine with it.

« But I just do it for a hobby. »

Kwan is remarkably nonchalant about his « hobby, » saying the work ethic, perfectionism, steady hand and excruciating attention to detail each of his works demand all come naturally — he was a surgeon for 35 years, arriving in St. John’s in 1975 after training in New York City and Montreal.

« I guess it fits my personality, » he said.

A hooked-rug rendering of George Seurat’s 1884 classic painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte looks almost like an early Regatta day on the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake. (Submitted by Alan Kwan)

But his inspiration for taking up rug hooking in the first place also has a connection to the medical profession.

A few years before he retired, he visited St. Anthony and saw some of the hooked rugs made during the mission established by Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell. He even bought a few of the rugs he found in antique shops in the area.

« I thought that I could do it, I could try it. » 

Kwan says rug hooking suits his personality. (Submitted by Alan Kwan)

So when he retired in 2010, his wife enrolled him in a few courses at the Anna Templeton Centre in St. John’s.

« It was a retirement project, really, » he said.

Rug hooking is the ideal retirement project, he said, because it doesn’t cost much money — he uses burlap and yarn made of wool — but it keeps him creative and gives him something to do.

Making intricate hooked rugs like this copy of Claude Monet’s The Poppy Field Near Argenteuil is just a hobby for retired surgeon Alan Kwan. (Submitted by Alan Kwan)

He figures he spent about four or five months on the St. John’s hillscape, noting he didn’t work on it every day.

Though rug hooking aligns well with his disposition, he said, he still learns a lot from it.

« When I started … I wasn’t sure I could finish it, I wasn’t sure I could do it. But you keep on plugging at it, and making mistakes and changing it and correcting it and all that stuff that goes on and you’ve finished it, » Kwan said.

« It takes time, that’s all. »

Pitcher plants, rendered in yarn. (Submitted by Alan Kwan)

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La collab Reebok Classic x The Animals Observatory

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The Animals Observatory signe avec un Reebok une collab qui devrait être sold out en quelques clics. Disponibles des pointures 17 à 39, ces modèles iconiques de Reebok – La Freestyle Hi et la Workout Plus – à l’ allure rétro et aux couleurs irrésistibles vont séduire parents et enfants. Laia Aguilar, créatrice de TAO, nous explique comment ces objets du désir ont vu le jour : ” les modèles The Animals Observatory x Reebok Classic sont un hommage rendu à la marque. Mon intention était de susciter un sentiment de fierté à son égard, avec une idée simple et un design personnel pour encourager les gens à faire partie de la tribu Reebok”. Nous qui étions déjà de la team The Animals, on a juste une envie être de la team Reebok en les mettant à nos pieds !


Disponibles sur reebok.com et theanimalsobservatory.com

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Dunlop Sport Classic, des pneus pour les anciennes

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NOUVEAUTÉ – Bonne nouvelle ! Dunlop commercialise une nouvelle gamme de pneumatiques destinés aux voitures anciennes et youngtimers des décennies 1960 à 1980.

Pour le possesseur de modèles des années 1960, 1970 ou 1980, chausser sa voiture de collection des pneumatiques de dimension d’origine s’apparente souvent à un parcours du combattant. L’augmentation du diamètre et de la largeur des pneumatiques a fait quasiment disparaître des étagères des modèles de 13, 14 et 15 pouces. Trop souvent, le possesseur d’une automobile ancienne est obligé de se rabattre sur un substitut quand il ne se retrouve pas face à une impasse. Pour nombre de possesseurs de GT ou de voitures de prestige des sixties et de seventies mais aussi de youngtimers, le calvaire touche à sa fin. Sous le label Sport Classic, le manufacturier de pneumatiques Dunlop vient de lancer une gamme de pneumatiques adaptés aux besoins et aux exigences de ces anciennes. Réputé pour équiper les voitures de grand tourisme et les sportives dans les années 1960 et les voitures de course avec ses gommes Racing (section «L» ou «M»), Dunlop était parfaitement légitime pour développer la famille Sport Classic. Le principal atout de cette famille de pneumatiques est d’avoir préservé le design vintage de la bande de roulement tout en se pliant aux exigences d’un pneumatique moderne. Gage de qualité, ces gommes profitent des 130 ans d’expérience du manufacturier dans la conception des pneumatiques. Et elles ont subi une campagne de tests de 150 000 km en laboratoires et 5 000 km sur circuits et routes.

Les pneumatiques Sport Classic recourent aux technologies les plus récentes de construction et de mélange de gomme, à base de silice. Les techniciens assurent avoir particulièrement soigné le freinage et l’adhérence sur le mouillé. La nappe supérieure de la carcasse est ainsi de dernière génération. Elle renforce la stabilité du pneu et la précision de conduite. Si le dessin de la bande de roulement reste d’époque, les nombreux blocs et la bonne répartition des rainures facilitent l’évacuation de l’eau et diminuent les risques d’aquaplaning.

La gamme Dunlop Sport Classic comprend 10 dimensions de pneumatiques. Selon les dimensions, voici une liste de véhicules concernés.

Dimensions de pneu

– 165/80 HR15 87 H: Porsche 356, 911, 912, 914 ; VW Käfer, Karmann ; Volvo Amazon, PV 544

– 185/80 HR14 91 H: BMW 2000 CS ; MB W108, W116 ; Opel ; Triumph Stag

– 185/80 VR15 93 W: Aston Martin DB5, DB6 ; Bentley S1/S2 ; MB 300 SL ; Jaguar E-Type ; Mk 2

– 195/70 VR14 91 V: Alfa Romeo Montreal ; BMW 2,5-3,3L ; Chevrolet; Ford USA ; Glas 2600 ; MB /8, W 123 ; Pagode W113, Opel Commodore, Monza, Senator ; Rover Vitesse, 3500 ; Ferrari Dino essieu avant

– 205/70 VR14 95 W: BMW CSI ; Bitter CD ; Chevrolet ; Ferrari Dino,308 ; Fiat Dino ; Ford USA ; MB: SL R/W107, W108, W116, W126 ; Opel Diplomat

– 185/70 VR15 89 V: Austin Healey ; Jaguar Mk2 ; MG A ; Porsche 356 ; 911 ; 924 ; Triumph TR ; VW Käfer

– 205/70 VR15 96 W: Ferrari 250 GT ; Jaguar Mk II, E-Type, XJ ; MB 300 SL ; Rover 3,5

– 215/70 VR15 98 W: Aston Martin, Ferrari 365 GT, GTB, GTC ; Jaguar Double Six, Jensen Interceptor ; Maserati Khamsin

– 205/60 VR13 86 V: BMW 02, E21 ; Ford Capri, Escort ; Opel Ascona, Manta ; VW Golf I, II

– 215/60 VR15 94 V: Porsche 356, 911 (HA) ; Audi Quattro 100, 200 Typ 44 ; Jaguar ; Volvo

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Classic Cannoli Recipe | Bon Appetit

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Line another rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Fry shells with tubes, gently encouraging them to move around in the oil to color evenly, until deep golden brown, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Let cool slightly, then slip shells off of tubes. Let tubes and shells cool completely. Repeat process 2 more times, frying 4 at a time, to yield 12 cannoli shells total.

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This Syrian refugee is living the classic Canadian dream. ‘We are so proud of Canada and want to make Canada proud of us’

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Three years after Canada opened its doors — and heart — to almost 60,000 Syrian refugees, Yaseen Alshehadt has a job he loves, his wife is learning English and their children are getting “the world’s best education.”

He’s living the classic immigrant’s dream.

Syrian refugee Yaseen Alshehadt, 44, is a manager at an Oakville shawarma shop. “We are so proud of Canada,” he says.
Syrian refugee Yaseen Alshehadt, 44, is a manager at an Oakville shawarma shop. “We are so proud of Canada,” he says.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star)

Although settling in a new country can be difficult, Syrian newcomers who were sponsored by the federal government and community groups are slowly setting down roots in their adopted country, according to a new survey by COSTI, the agency tasked by Ottawa to settle government-sponsored Syrians in the GTA. The survey found many are thriving, with a third having found jobs and some 87 per cent reporting they feel happy.

“I can speak English now and have a job. My kids are in school. We feel 80 per cent Canadian,” said Alshehadt, 44, whose family fled Daraa in 2011 when the Syrian civil war broke out. They spent five years in Jordan before coming to Canada in January 2016 under a government sponsorship.

“We are so proud of Canada and want to make Canada proud of us, but we need some time to grow.”

“As a settlement sector practitioner who has been working at this for 30 years, I believe this particular group, which is (so early) into their settlement, is ahead of the integration process,” said Mario Calla, executive director of COSTI.

“Half have had paid employment and many are still committed to their language training. They have made friends with non-Syrians and are not just retreated to their own community, which slows down their integration. These are all very good signs.”

Millions of Syrians have fled their homeland since the start of the bloody civil war that has left more than 350,000 people dead. Since November 2015, Canada has welcomed 58,650 Syrian refugees, about half sponsored by the Canadian government and others sponsored by community groups who came together in response to the massive humanitarian crisis.

The integration of government-assisted Syrians has always been more difficult because this group faces greater barriers due to lower education, poorer English and larger households. A previous study by the immigration department found a higher proportion of government-assisted refugees relied on food banks and were unemployed compared to their privately-sponsored peers, who have a social support network to ease their integration and settlement.

In the fall, COSTI interviewed 351 families — about 80 per cent of the Syrian refugees it has assisted. They were asked about their language acquisition, employment, housing, health, children’s education and civic engagement. Participants responded to 61 questions in Arabic. The surveyed households represented some 1,755 Syrian adults and children.

Among the findings:

  • 33 per cent of the heads of households are employed, up from 12 per cent in a similar survey done a year after their arrival. Previous research found that six out of 10 government-supported refugees were employed after five years.
  • 63 per cent of adults are enrolled in English classes, down from 86 per cent in the previous survey. Many quit after they felt their language skills had improved and that they were ready to work full-time.
  • 21 per cent have moved from their first homes in Canada, with most wanting to be closer to friends, and others requiring a bigger unit or less expensive housing.
  • 87.3 per cent reported that their family feels happy or very happy in Canada, but 9.4 per cent expressed sadness while 3.4 per cent said they feel depressed, with many citing family separation as the cause.
  • 92 per cent of children participate in sports or after-school activities. About 25 per cent are involved in soccer, 35 per cent in swimming, 10 per cent in hockey, football or gymnastics and 30 per cent in other activities.
  • 100 per cent said they plan to become Canadian citizens in the future.

An experienced chef, Alshehadt, the self-proclaimed “shawarma master,” began working on the serving-line at Adonis, a retail grocery chain, shortly after his family moved to Mississauga in the spring of 2016 from temporary shelter at the Toronto Plaza Hotel. He worked part-time while studying English during the day.

When the one-year government financial support ran out, the family was forced to go on social assistance for about a year while Alshehadt continued to work and improve his English as his wife, Iklhas, stayed home to look after their five kids — a boy and four girls, all under 11.

After the stint at Adonis, Alshehadt worked at two restaurants, including one where he helped develop the menu and train its franchised cooking staff. Earlier this year, he quit his English class and began working full-time, recently landing a job as the manager of a shawarma restaurant in Oakville.

“I finished at level-4 in my English. The classes are good for the grammar and basic, but I needed to go out and practise my English through work,” said Alshehadt, who should make just short of $60,000 a year in his new job.

Yaseen Alshehadt, 44, with son Mohammad, 11, and daughters, Lemar, 5, far left, Salsabil, 9, Miral, 4 and Noorseen, 18 months, in the father's arms.
Yaseen Alshehadt, 44, with son Mohammad, 11, and daughters, Lemar, 5, far left, Salsabil, 9, Miral, 4 and Noorseen, 18 months, in the father’s arms.

“We are all happy being here. We all feel safe. We come here for our children and we know they will have a future here.”

Alshehadt said his children are enrolled in sports and other after-school programs, interacting with other kids through soccer, dancing and swimming classes. He says the family loves socializing with their non-Syrian neighbours. His wife restarted English classes in September after they found a daycare space for their 18-month-old Canadian-born daughter, Noorseen.

“The Middle East is a very closed society. In Canada, I get to know how big the world is and I love meeting people with different experience. We meet people from other religions and learn from each other. Everyone lives in peace,” explained Alshehadt, whose family attends a mosque in Mississauga.

“This still feels like a dream. I tell my children they have to work hard and give back to Canada. Everything is possible here. Even if they want to become the prime minister, they can.”

While his immediate goal is to help his family and his wife’s family — still living in limbo in the Middle East — be sponsored to Canada, Alshehadt said he hopes to save enough money and one day open a fusion shawarma restaurant as a tribute to Canada.

Nicholas Keung is a Toronto-based reporter covering immigration. Follow him on Twitter: @nkeung

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Nintendo nie vouloir bientôt lancer une N64 Classic

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« Je n’exclurais jamais quoi que ce soit, mais ce que je peux vous dire, c’est que ce n’est certainement pas dans notre horizon de planification », a indiqué le haut gradé de Nintendo.

Les rumeurs soutenant le contraire étaient pourtant fortes, après l’obtention d’un brevet au Japon en mai dernier par Nintendo. Les documents accompagnant le brevet mentionnent une « machine de jeux pour téléviseur », des « jeux vidéo » et une « manette pour machine de jeux » et le mot « N64 » y apparaît, selon TechRadar.

Quelques mois plus tard, l’Office de l’Union européenne pour la propriété intellectuelle approuvait l’inscription d’un logo représentant l’iconique manette de la Nintendo 64.

Nintendo a déjà tiré profit de la vague de nostalgie qui frappe l’industrie du jeu vidéo depuis quelques années en lançant des rééditions miniatures de deux consoles rétro : la NES en 2016 et la SNES en 2017. Ces deux consoles ont connu un succès monstre auprès du public, causant dès leur lancement des ruptures de stock mondiales.

Beaucoup d’observateurs et de joueurs estimaient que Nintendo récidiverait cette année avec la suite logique : une console Nintendo 64 miniature.

Reggie Fils-Aime soutient toutefois que les consoles NES Classic et SNES Classic sont apparues sur les tablettes pour redonner un élan aux affaires de Nintendo, qui s’essoufflaient rapidement en 2016 avec le déclin de sa console Wii U. « C’était la raison très stratégique derrière le lancement de la NES Classic [en 2016] », a expliqué M. Fils-Aime à Kotaku.

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Voici les 20 jeux installés sur la PlayStation Classic

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La liste comprend des titres qui ont atteint le statut de légende dans l’industrie, dont Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid et Resident Evil.

Sony a visiblement fait un effort pour inclure des jeux tirés de différents genres, allant des jeux de casse-tête aux jeux de tir à la première personne en passant par les jeux de sports, afin de plaire au plus grand nombre de joueurs possible.

Voici la liste complète des jeux qui seront installés sur la PlayStation Classic :

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

La PlayStation Classic sera lancée le 3 décembre 2018, 24 ans jour pour jour après la sortie de la PlayStation originale au Japon. La console miniature sera livrée avec deux manettes semblables aux premières lancées sur le marché, c’est-à-dire qu’elles sont dépourvues de manches analogiques. Son prix de vente suggéré est de 129,99 $ au Canada.

Sony n’est pas la seule à surfer sur la vague de la nostalgie des vieilles consoles. Nintendo en a aussi beaucoup profité, ces dernières années, avec des rééditions miniatures de la NES et de la SNES, affublées du suffixe Classic Edition. SEGA compte de son côté lancer un modèle réduit de sa Genesis en 2019, et une entreprise du nom de Retro Games a présenté cette année un petit ordinateur Commodore 64.

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Classic Herb and Fennel Stuffing Recipe

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Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook onions, fennel, and celery, stirring often, until softened but not yet browned, 8–10 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Add butter and cook, stirring, until melted, about 3 minutes. Scrape vegetable mixture over bread in bowl and mix in parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.

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Kimchi Toast Is Our New Breakfast Classic | Healthyish

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Let’s get this out of the way first: Kimchi toast is not health food. “It’s definitely on the ish side of ‘healthyish’,” says senior food editor Andy Baraghani, who tried using yogurt as the creamy base for this kimchi toast before admitting that nothing but full-fat cream cheese would do. He was right: the kimchi cuts through the creaminess of the dairy with a zing of funk and brightness, making for a breakfast condiment that rivals any of the flavored cream cheeses in the deli case.

And not all is lost on the health front. Kimchi is a fermented food, full of good-for-you probiotics. Andy likes Sunja’s kimchi, which he says has the right amount of gochugaru (red pepper flakes) and a pleasingly crunchy texture that’s never too soggy. If you have another favorite (or perhaps a homemade jar knocking around in your fridge), go ahead and use it.

Kimchi Toast Healthy ish 1

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou

Avocado toast better watch its back.

This toast is excellent for an on-the-fly breakfast or midday snack, because the recipe is more “assembling” than “cooking.” It starts with good country-style bread, grilled if you have the patience and toasted if you don’t. It’ll be delicious either way, but make sure those slices are thick enough to support the toppings.

Once the toast situation is handled, it’s time to make the cream cheese mixture. Think of it as veggie cream cheese, only laced with funky kimchi and thus infinitely more interesting. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature, then mix it with finely chopped kimchi in a medium bowl until a smooth spread forms. This kimchi-cream cheese mixture can hang out in the fridge for a couple days, but it’ll get more and more potent over time.

The herb salad on top is a classic Baraghani move. Toss thinly sliced scallions and tender-stemmed cilantro leaves with lime juice and salt, then spread the kimchi cream cheese on the toasted bread, top with a generous heap of herb salad, and finish with a drizzle of chile oil if you have it and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. The tangle of herbs and seeds is pretty, but it also keeps the dish balanced. “It would have been pretty one-note if it was just the cream cheese and kimchi—delicious, but a little too heavy—and I needed something that would bring it back to life, » says Baraghani.

Once assembled, this toast is more than the sum of its parts. It hits high on the creamy-tangy-crunchy matrix, and the herb salad makes it feel fancier than a five-minute toast deserves to be. It’s a great brunch addition or impromptu snack, and we suspect it would make for an excellent hangover cure. Not that we’ve ever had one of those.

Get the recipe:

Kimchi-Toast-Healthy-ish-recipe-16x9-12102018.jpg

If we had to give this toast a bunch of random personality traits, we’d describe it as a rule-breaking hothead with a softer side. Spicy, pungent kimchi plus smooth cream cheese, topped with a scallion salad—on toast. Weirdly, it works.

SEE RECIPE

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