In preparation for tomorrow’s long weekend trip to Nawlins with my wife, I thought I would give myself some cultural education. I have spent a fair amount of time in New Orleans…it’s one of my favorite cities just about anywhere – in no small part because of the street culture, the music culture (whcih isn’t too far removed from the former), the food culture and the ghosts that remain for era upon era past. I don’t think I ever knew the difference between Cajun and Creole cultures so am pleased to find this blog. And also pleased to say I have learned something new about my Canadian friends and colleagues….especially my buddy Brian who hails from Acadian roots….

Cajun Food, Louisiana History, and a Little Lagniappe

Alligator ChefIf you’re reading or following this blog, you have probably picked up on a few subjects that recur throughout the posts. Two of them are fairly well-known, yet also widely misunderstood: Cajun and Creole. Both cultures have been associated with Ascension Parish, Louisiana since the early days of the colony. For those of you who haven’t grown up in, around, or with either culture, you may assume that they are both the same. Folks, these terms are not one and the same; they are two entirely different cultures that happen to reside in close geographical proximity to each other. Both cultures share some commonalities, which can confuse those who don’t fully understand them: they share the French language (although different dialects), have an affinity for spicy food (although Creole food has much more West African influence), and a joie de vivre not found in other parts of the United States.


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So you think houligans with tattoos are something new? Think again. Interesting article / perspective / antique book review from “across the pond” on body modification…

Special Collections and Archives / Casgliadau Arbennig ac Archifau

P1190836Those of us who have been left bemused by the sudden rise of high-street botox booths, tanning shops, nail salons and eyebrow bars can take some comfort from this curious work by John Bulwer which suggests that, even as far back in 1653, people have always been astonished at the lengths to which some would go to transform their bodies in the name of fashion.  

P1190832In Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d, or The Artificial Changeling, Bulwer’s aim, according to the full title, is to expose the “mad and cruel gallantry, foolish bravery, ridiculous beauty, filthy fineness, and loathsome loveliness of most nations, fashioning & altering their bodies from the mould intended by nature”.  Bulwer describes in detail how people around the world artificially modify their appearance, noting that every nation has a “particular whimzey as touching corporall fashions of their own invention.”

The book is divided into 23 sections covering all types of…

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Office Acculturation 108: Business Travel Rituals and Protocol

Part of the glamorous life of many corporate professionals is the business trip - pulling on your traveling pants and heading to client meetings, conferences, focus groups and other such adventures.  It's a life that young professionals aspire to and get tired of by the time they are in their late twenties.  Many people envision … Continue reading Office Acculturation 108: Business Travel Rituals and Protocol

A Sticky Situation Resolved: Score One For The Crime FIghters!

As a follow-up to my "Freshly Pressed" worthy blog on the Canadian maple syrup heist ( ), I am pleased to announce that case is CLOSED> Thanks to the Globe and Mail for so artfully covering the story below:   Suspects in sticky situation after police make arrests in Quebec maple syrup heist Ingrid … Continue reading A Sticky Situation Resolved: Score One For The Crime FIghters!

Crimes of Hilarity: What Makes Criminal Behavior A Big Joke?

THIS JUST IN OVER A YEAR LATER: SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR ANOTHER SHOCKING CRIME OF HILARITY! Last night after a very long day of dealing with the laughable nuances of client service work, an email came through from one of my Canadian coworkers with this headline:  Canadian crime story: Police probing Quebec maple syrup … Continue reading Crimes of Hilarity: What Makes Criminal Behavior A Big Joke?

Being a good sport is very VERY Canadian

I am not a huge sports fan.  Nor am I a hockey fan.  I but I did some work recently that made me appreciate the value of both from an anthropological perspective. I figured I should get serious every now and again.  Here's my first pass. When thinking about how people watch sports, context is … Continue reading Being a good sport is very VERY Canadian