Winter 2014

News just for the FUN of it! WINTER 2014

Director’s Cut

French novelist Georges Simenon wrote close to 200 novels. Many of them featured the detective Inspector Maigret, but he also produced numerous other stand-alone works among his 150 novels, 50 novellas, and scores of articles. The secret of Simenon’s success was his intense concentration and speed—he wrote many of his novels in just 11 days, often writing 60 to 80 pages a day.

Before beginning one of his marathon writing sessions, Simenon would go for a physical to make sure he was up for the task. Then he’d tackle the project with a fierce single-mindedness. He refused to take phone calls, spoke to no one, lived “like a monk.” Legend has it that Alfred Hitchcock telephoned Simenon with a project proposal. When the novelist’s wife answered, she informed the famed director that her husband was writing and couldn’t be disturbed.

Hitchcock replied, “Let him finish his book. I’ll hang on.”

I wonder how much I could accomplish with such fanatical focus!

A Wise Motto

A queen called her advisors together and asked them to come up with a motto for the nation that would help her people in times of distress.

“It must be short enough to be engraved on a ring. It must be as useful in prosperity as in adversity. It must be wise and true and endlessly enduring, words by which men and women could be guided all their lives.”

The motto they chose: “This, too, shall pass.”

Quiz Question

Q: How far do most continents move each year?

Everyone who texts, emails or calls in the correct answer by the last day of this month will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant Bistro 26


Previous Quiz Question

Q: What is the largest animal ever to have lived on earth?

A: Blue Whale is the largest animal that has ever lived.

Congratulations to:

Paul Dixon

Why St. Patrick’s Day?

Monday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. So what? Why do we bother to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day around the world? Obviously, you might say, the day is to honor Ireland's patron saint, who introduced Catholicism to the Irish and rid their land of snakes.

But that's not really what we're celebrating, is it? We're really using it as an excuse to wear green and throw a big party. Everyone knows the Irish love a good party. Our methods of celebrating might differ around the world, but the idea is the same. When you think about it, St. Patrick's Day is just smart marketing.

Irish bars exist in every major city, Gaelic football and hurling teams are now all over the world. There are Irish people in every nook and cranny on this planet. When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day they are all ready-made brand ambassadors. They will celebrate wherever they are, highlighting just how much fun the Irish are and make more people aware of St. Patrick’s Day.

Of course, not all Irish people can be bothered to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Even so, to some extent all Irish people everywhere enjoy the fruits of the holiday, which bring a positive spin to all things Irish.

Realism Vs. Art

According to a story, the artist Pablo Picasso was traveling by train one day when a fellow passenger struck up a conversation with him. As they chatted, the passenger told Picasso that his paintings would be better if he concentrated on realistic images instead of abstract art.

When Picasso asked for an example, the traveler took out his wallet and showed him a snapshot of his wife. “See? That’s exactly what she looks like.” Picasso held the photo in one hand. “She’s very small.”

Flowers Know When To Bloom

Scientists have known since the 1930s that plants sense the length of the days and, somehow, use that information to decide when to flower. Russian scientists back then speculated that a mysterious substance must be transported from leaves to shoot tips, stimulating the formation of flower buds. They called the mystery chemical “florigen.”

In 2005, a trio of new studies revealed how it works, including why flowers spring forth in certain spots on a plant. The findings were reported by the journal Science.

“We have now shown that a gene called FT, which is active in the leaf and whose activity is regulated by day length, produces a messenger molecule that is transported to the shoot tip,” said Ove Nilsson at the Umea Plant Science Center at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Separate research revealed how the messenger molecule works to activate the “gene programs” that lead to the formation of floral buds. In short, proteins are formed and they talk to other proteins that exist only at the future locations of buds, and flowers are born at just the right time in a preprogrammed location.

Daffodils bloom in spring as the days get longer. Roses wait until summer. Rice, on the other hand, flowers in the fall as the days shorten. Nature does fine, of course, but humans sometimes want to fool her.

“It is interesting to speculate that this finding could be used to make early flowering rice,” Nilsson said. “Since many of the high yielding varieties are late flowering this could in certain parts of the world allow the production of more than one harvest per year.”

What Are The Odds?

There’s a story about a Russian professor of statistics who lived in Moscow in WWII. During the many German air raids, he never took refuge in the local shelters.

When asked why he remained home, risking his life, his reply was always, “There are 7 million people in Moscow. Why should I expect the Germans to hit me?”

One night, though, he joined his neighbors in the shelter as the air raid sirens blared. Surprised to see him, a friend asked what had changed his mind.

The professor replied, “There are 7 million people in Moscow and one elephant. Last night the Germans hit the elephant.”

Barrie & District home sales post solid end to strong year

Residential property sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. numbered 201 units in December 2013. This was a rebound of 17 per cent from last year’s weaker December. Within the City of Barrie sales activity was up 22 per cent from a year earlier. The City of Barrie saw 118 residential sales in December. A total of 4,648 homes traded hands in the region in 2013. This was up by 1.6 per cent from 2012, marking the best annual sales figure since 2007 and one of the best years on record.

The annual average price for all homes sold via the Association’s MLS® System in 2013 was $317,883, up 6.1 per cent from 2012. The annual average price figure for homes sold within the City of Barrie was $299,782. This was a five per cent increase compared to the average selling price in 2012. The dollar value of all home sales in December 2013 was $58.1 million, up 13 per cent from year-ago levels.

Overall supply remains below levels seen in most of the past decade. Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 847 units at the end of December 2013, down four per cent from year-ago levels and the lowest December since 1999. New residential listings were down four per cent from a year earlier to 206 units in December 2013. This was the lowest level of new listings in a decade. This is adding to a stronger seller’s market.

Sales of all property types in the Barrie region numbered 214 units in December, up 16 per cent compared to December 2012. The total value of all properties sold in December 2013 was $61 million, rising 15 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Dave’s Home News

Century 21

B.J. Roth Realty Ltd.Brokerage

100 Lakeshore Road, Suite 300

Barrie, On L4N 0B4

Office (705) 735-2525 Direct (705) 794-9400

Dave Olston

Dave Olston

Real Estate Broker
CENTURY 21 B.J. Roth Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
Contact Me