Mardi Gras: Purple, Green and Gold

This year's Mardi Gras falls after the BC Family Day on February 13 2018. The Beacon Team got the chance to travel to New Orleans last June and discovered a city that has suffered by means of elements and history. New Orleans teems with history, music, food and the transportation itself is an attraction. 

Access to the French Quarter was simple and walkable, especially when the weather was forgiving. Purchase a jazzy pass and with a portable battery you are ready to navigate all the colourful districts of this gem of a travel destination. The Beacon Team experienced Tropical Storm Cindy - the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Louisiana since 2012's Hurricane Isaac. With a combination of broken sidewalks, sideways rain and flash flooding, waterproof gear was far more effective than any umbrella. The heat was a new factor when drying off wet clothes during breaks of cover. 

On day one of our travels, and the first day Cindy made her visit to downtown New Orleans, we noticed how the water could impact activities. For safety of tourists and employees, businesses would shut down when confirmed weather reports rolled in. Buses and trams would experience overcrowding and delays. 

The buildings in New Orleans are built for this weather, and the sidewalks have plenty of shelter to offer depending which district you are moseying around in. Galleries (initially created to avoid certain taxes) allow living space outdoors and buildings are designed with windows on both sides of the building to create a natural cooling system. During Mardi Gras, this galleries offer a bird's eye view of the world-famous parades!

Now folks who have gone to Disneyland and Disneyworld may have tried the Mickey beignets, in the NOLA section of the theme park. This is not a coincidence. Walt Disney always had an incredible love for New Orleans, so much so he attempted to bring to NOLA a Disney Theme Park. This was never realized, but perhaps it was for the best. The impending storms that would have happened over the following two decades would have brought the parks to the ground. Walt's adoration of the city can be seen in the Haunted Mansion: it is actually inspired by a Garden District home. 

 Note the beautiful iron detail on the fences. Homes sport beautiful colours on their exteriors and require regular maintenance.

Note the beautiful iron detail on the fences. Homes sport beautiful colours on their exteriors and require regular maintenance.

As we pressed forth through the rain, we made it to Cafe Du Monde. No matter how miserable the weather became, you knew you were experiencing something incredibly special: live jazz, delicious coffee, quick service and fried dough covered in mountains of sugar.

If you did brave the wind and rain, you just had to be aware of your surroundings and when you got to your destination safely, rewards would await!

After you experiencing sufficient food and drink, enjoy a spot of history in this old city. For an informative tour about the progress made in medicine, visit the Pharmacy Museum in the French Quarter. With the same seedy undertones that make NOLA the intriguing and exciting place it is, be prepared to learn a great deal about what it took to save a human or animal life hundreds of years ago while also understanding all the stubborn choices people made that contributed to their imminent doom.

Pro Tip: If you plan ahead and get there at 1pm, they include an awesome guided tour with your regular admission. The exhibits are eerily authentic and interesting to look at on your own but the gentleman with a moustache has so much fascinating information about how far technology and sanitation has contributed to medical treatment - his presentation is an attraction unto itself. 

As a tourist-driven city, New Orleans has hundreds of tour guides and tour services. One particularly successful vendor remains the "Pay-As-You-Wish" Free Tours by the Foot. Exuberant and knowledgable tour guides share family-friendly and spooky stories about the history rich neighbourhoods on a number of diverse topics: Ghosts of New Orleans, Cemeteries, Garden District, Voodoo and even Jazz!  

When Atlanta and New Orleans have so many movies shot here, you can see why. The backdrop of this beautiful city and its beautiful homes have a distinct sense of character that you never experience in larger cosmopolitan cities. 

One stop we wanted to make was the Buckner Mansion. As a beautiful 1850s Louisiana home, it played the Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in American Horror Story: Coven. As a 20,000 square foot landmark, it has galleries on all three sides and used to be the prestigious Soule Business School. Built in 1856 by Henry S. Buckner of cotton fortune, it sits proud amongst the multiple other movie locations in the Garden District.  

As NOLA celebrates its 300th birthday, and the respectable New York Times names it the travel destination of 2018 there is no better time than now to visit! Though the Beacon Team made its way to New Orleans during the summer, one of the most popular times to visit would have to be during Halloween or during Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras celebrations have already started as the Krewes have made their way down each district. 

Now if this is too short of a notice, there is no need to fret because Mardi Gras World keeps the festival alive year-round. One of the most sought-after float builder would be Kern Studios has been a family-run business since 1932: see their craft at the Mardi Gras World and make a quick pitstop at Southern Food and Beverage Museum. 

With our fascination with colour, we could not leave without learning from the locals the significance of the Mardi Gras Colours: Purple, Green and Gold. You could see it in the King cakes, the beads and felt instinctively religious. Though there is one story that simply states it was the King's choice on 1872 and it was done to honour visiting Russian Royals. 

Good Fact: Since 2006, the New Orleans carnival crewe started a focused community service after Hurricane Katrina designed to support the police and first responders (as Operation Pro Bono Publico). The Rex motto: Pro Bono Publico - for the public good was adopted since its founding in 1872 and has always been committed to a tradition of public service. 

Twenty years later, The Rex Parade (Rex=King in latin) spotlighted the theme "Symbolism of Colours" to give meaning to the colour choices. However, researchers found that the three colours were elected to mirror the tri-colour flags found in France, Great Britain and even the US. As a King with a Kingdom, he had ordered all balconies to be draped in these three colours. 

With a peculiar relationship with the sense of royalty, Purple represents justice, Green represents faith and Gold - power. The carnival had been derived from Christian practices when the French Explorers came (with their casket girls) and religious practice of consuming rich and indulgent treats before Ash Wednesday and lent began. 

Fun Fact: the two universities in NOLA complete the colours of Mardi Gras with their school colours. Legend states that LSU had purchased all the purple and gold from stores during and after Mardi Gras and Tulane had no choice but to move forward with green.

Take a stroll down Frenchmen Street and learn from our mistake: be sure to pick up some Peychaud's to crush your Sazerac craving when you get back to Canada. The food souvenir we would recommend picking up would be a room - temperature muffuletta from Central Grocery. Brought over by the Italian immigrants, the massive sandwich travels well but definitely packs a hefty mass. If you do not get a chance to visit Treme, be sure to visit Dooky Chase in the Louis Armstrong Airport.

In a city where excess is joyfully celebrated, music and art thrive and history echoes in the bones of the landmarks New Orleans deserves a spot on everyone's bucket list. 

Modern Day Bladesmith: Operator Safety and a Perfect Design.

“A warrior today is not a soldier, but a thinker and doer. It is about mindset, resiliency, and anti-fragility. Overcome hardship, always.” In an industry where flash and aesthetic is priority, Kos seeks to provide for imperfect heroes. His mantra is about overcoming hardship, traditional weakness and obstacles. The broken teeth pictured in the LBC logo are a nod to that exact characteristic

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Red Rock Canyon - Las Vegas

The Beacon team recently came back from Las Vegas, Nevada where we took a hike around Red Rock Canyon. Our original plan was to drive to the Grand Canyon – in Arizona - and do some hiking. However, with so many things to cross off our checklist we decided to go to Red Rock; definitely the better decision.

Red Rock Canyon was approximately 30 minutes from our hotel, compared to the 1.5 hours it would have taken to drive to the Grand Canyon. It was a blistering 43°C - 109°F for our American neighbours - that day and the sun was out in full force. We made sure to pack plenty of fluids with us.

It cost $7 to get in and there was a nice observation area where you can look at the whole landscape; it was quite beautiful. The park even offered little buggies that people could rent and drive around.  We saw a family rent out a bunch; it was funny sight to see 6 different coloured buggies around the canyon. If you did not want to drive around yourself, Red Rock also offered a tour where they would take you to different stops and show you around.

We geared up and decided to choose our own adventure. There were many different stop areas where people could get out take pictures or go for a hike. The hiking trails ranged from easy-hard difficulty. We hiked along a few easy and medium trails. What I liked about Red Rock was that it provided different landscapes for its trails. Some trails were very steep and rocky while others were more flat, and others where you could do some bouldering.

We at Beacon truly enjoyed walking the trails of Red Rock Canyon, even in the blistering heat wave. We also took some pictures of our paracord bracelets.

Stay tuned; I will go over gear that I brought with me next time. 

Click here to see more pictures

The Beacon Project 2015: Project Dreamer

Dreamer – The Beacon Project 2015

This limited edition collection is a pet project of our team here at BCC. We have always been inspired by the biggest festival in the world, the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). EDC in Vegas is a colourful artistic experience and this collection will be given away to five very special people. 

Our creator was first inspired by HARD festivals’ recent banning of kandi. Since then, ULTRA has also banned kandi, of one of the more innocent parts of the culture, along with everything else "except for clothes". Clothes are currently still marginally acceptable. This is kandi you can wear to every festival and every day.

The origin of kandi and the kandi kids who choose to spread joy through an inexpensive icebreaker often found in electronic music festivals and we would like to think - daily life. To capture the intention behind a kandi exchange, pieces from this line are loud in colour with a subtle message for peace and unity. All pieces are made with the same love and respect Beacon has for all its products and those who wear it. Intended for functioning style bands that can be used to attach a water canister to a belt loop or fanny pack or simply retain that same kandi message and exchange in an alternative style choice.

What: We would like to hear your story so send us a brief message and let us interview you. We want to feature how the same accepting and positive spirit you have at EDC carries through to the rest of your daily life. 

 #DoYouEDC ? Each and every piece is created with positivity, integrity and care. PIcture here Neon Yellow from our Explorer collection.

#DoYouEDC ? Each and every piece is created with positivity, integrity and care. PIcture here Neon Yellow from our Explorer collection.

Where: We gifting a Beacon Survival package to help 5 Headliners get ready for EDC. We would like to meet you in person in Vegas and give you a great big hug, but if you request it, we will mail it to you before we all leave for the event. Each of our plur packages will come with a custom piece from Beacon Concepts that you can wear everyday when you are dealing with EDC withdrawals come June 22nd.

Whether it is chapstick to help you through the heat or "wipeys" as our favourite old candy momma and poppa from Under the Electric Sky would recommend, the purpose of our collection is to achieve exposure for the positive influence electronic music and its culture can have on daily life.

 Wear our NEON collection this year Under The Electric Sky // These are our brightest lights here at Beacon Concepts Co. 

Wear our NEON collection this year Under The Electric Sky // These are our brightest lights here at Beacon Concepts Co. 

If you have a story, about how EDM has impacted your life in a positive way, let us hear it because we want to tell your story. Better yet, if you can demonstrate how sometimes EDM has some of the most classically musical elements of music, we want to know. 

Give us the chance to tell your story // we hope to give you something special in return you can wear everyday. Wear it like a badge of honour because that is what we want to gift you. 

Electric Blue > PEACE 

We will send you a paracord bracelet in electric blue along with some treats to relax before, during and perhaps after the weekend event. We are thinking of bath bombs and potentially Icy Hot.

Acid Purple > LOVE

With this set, we will be making a matching set from the Parallel line. We are looking for couples with a story of how our culture of free and limitless love can be encouraged and strengthen all relationships. 

The Beacon team believes that the couple that raves together does stay together. 

 Explorer in ACID PURPLE

Explorer in ACID PURPLE

Neon Yellow > UNITY 

Whether you brought like-minded people together to make a difference or you have helped mend a broken relationship in the past. The mark of quality paracord is when threads are all tightly woven together so you can trust that unity is a core value for all of us here at Beacon.

Neon Orange > RESPECT

We know that one point or another you went out of your way to give and earn respect for the world around you. This can be the most universally lacking value and when we are at EDC, we feel we can change the world. Let us change the world together.

 Explorer in NEON ORANGE

Explorer in NEON ORANGE

When: DEADLINE FOR ENTRY June 5 @9PM EST

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Email us about this contest because more than anything we want to hear from you! 

#HELPTHEYDESERVE // AN INTERVIEW

Beacon Rhetoric had the privilege of interviewing a part of the team at Many to One to discuss some of the challenges surrounding posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their instrumental efforts towards creating a global database and becoming an information resource for anyone impacted by PTSD.

Visit Many to One's Official Website in our link above for more information about Many to One PTSD Foundation.

Read on for our interview with Brent and Renee.

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Marsala // Pantone Colour of 2015

Marsala Pantone 18-1438 was selected as the colour of the year for 2015. Pantone publishes colour intelligence on an annual basis and has done as such since 2000 They forecast the colour trend in fashion, beauty, home decor and industrial design. This year, they elected to name this colour after spices and fortified wine. Marsala has red-brown roots and is a unisex natural colour. We have found it to appear rather expensive while remaining understated and stylish. Its subtle nature has been a choice of luxury as seen pictured here with the Tudor Heritage Black Bay.

Marsala is a warm wine colour that adds a sophisticated pop of colour to any ensemble, urban or otherwise. This alternative to red is flattering for many skin tones. Experts are noting how many more variations of this colour we are seeing in both fashion and beauty.

Fashion Houses are revitalizing this colour with more pinks and purples to allow everyone to introduce it to their personal wardrobe and style. This can be seen in Bobbi Brown's lip colour in both "Blackberry" and "Spiced Wine."

Our Marsala red is offered in Mil-C-5040 and the ID marker for that class of paracord is the yellow and black thread that runs through the length of sheath as an inner thread. Other Mil-C-5040 colours Black and Tan work as complimentary colours if you are looking to balance the colour out with a parallel band.

Marsala Red is the ideal choice for the individual just starting to add some colour to their personal style. The colour has been acceptable in professional environments and can be a welcome splash of colour against an otherwise black outfit.

Though the sun is shining a little longer during the days and the temperature is rising, do not put this colour away just yet. This spring, we anticipate an emphasis on cooler and softer colours but bold colours should still be a part of your rotation as an accent. What better way to wear your heart on your sleeve than a Marsala Red survival band offered in all our collections?

Marsala Red Paracord Fast Rope
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Explorer: Marsala
45.00
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Sources

Pantone website: http://www.pantone.com/pages/index.aspx?pg=21167

Tudor Heritage Black Bay: http://www.tudorwatch.com/en/heritage-black-bay/#/past-and-present/

Bobbi Brown's Lip Color in Blackberry http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com/product/2342/7524/Makeup/Lips/Lip-Color/Lip-Color

Top 15 Things that Should be in Your Survival Kit

This Saturday, MARCH 21 2015 there will be the Annual Gathering of Airsoft enthusiasts, Airsoft guns, gear and accessory vendors and swap meet // Toronto's only Airsoft Convention. Guns and gear, Teams and attractions, open range, Gear and accessory swap.

$10.00 entry fee @ 2220 Midland Avenue, Unit 76AP Toronto, ON

You can enjoy convention prices with our unreleased survival bands and bracelets and meet the team. In honour of TAC15: Toronto Airsoft Convention we have elected to build some emergency kits with some basic gear everyone should have. Visit us for deals and enter our raffle for a custom piece made on-site.

Your kit should be wind-resistant, waterproof and protect against shock (clanging against packed gear) and clumsy friends. You can use a metal pencil case from grade school or maybe a tackle box. Sometimes small works best and the bigger you build your kit, the less likely you will have it at all times. 

1) Pencils: The ink in pens can freeze and run out where pencils are dependable and can be sharpened with a knife. With a pencil, you can write down information, use as breadcrumbs for a trail, draw a map, or leave a note for your companions.

2) Cue cards: (in the same breadth) can be used for this purpose and it can also be used for kindling to start a fire. You will not be writing any speeches or presentations, but fire and having the ability to orient is definitely helpful. 

3) Matches: we bought strike-anywhere matches and you can get waterproof matches as well. In a pinch, wrap matches with tin foil and pop it in a ziploc bag.

4) Birthday Candles: The birthday candles are meant to help start a fire as it gives you the ability to hold a flame. Perhaps it will bring some good cheer in a less than joyful situation. More importantly, the wax will help keep a fire if you drip it onto kindling. This allows you a few more moments which can make a difference in an emergency situation. 

5) Cotton balls: These can be used to help start a fire or to keep a wound from bleeding.

6) Vaseline: Moisturizing chapped lips and dry skin are a need in embarking on any urban adventure. A small container of vaseline can meet both of those needs. You can fit a small travel sized package in our tins and we would throw this in a backpack any day. When you soak cotton balls in vaseline, you are creating some amazing tinder that aims to give you 2 minutes of reliable flame. Packing a kit where size and weight is always impactful, it is about combining items that can be dually used.

7) Safety pins and buttons: Safety pins can be used to pin a tourniquet together or to hold torn clothes together. It can be used to hold a poncho for cover or even help build a tent.

8) Dental Floss = about 20 inches of floss can be used for a fishing line or sew up torn clothes. You can use the terrible kind that comes in heavy thick rolls. We are looking for the unscented kind folks. The inner threads of paracord can be used similarly. I would think if you needed floss in a pinch, the inner threads seem smoother than the terrible floss we have suggested above. What's lovely is when you can keep a small collection in a sheath that seems cleaner than the paper we have folded into an envelope. Hygiene is a luxury in survival situations but maybe you can go ahead and afford it.

9) Adhesive bandages or bandaids: We have chosen the stuffs that you cut into. You can control the length of your bandage depending on the needs of your wound. If you have a bigger container than our tin, I would recommend a roll of duct tape. 

10) Tin foil: Tin foil can can be used to make a container to catch rain and keep water. You can also use it as a wind break for your fire and it will function as a heat reflector too. We have packaged most of the items on this list for organization purposes but also to waterproof them as much as possible. If you fold up some of it, it can make cooking possible as well.

11) Alcohol cleansing pads: My dad keeps these on him at all times, and he advises against flying with them. The metal that keeps the pad moist will set off the detectors - so will some of the other things on this list. This can be used to sterilize a needle or wound if stitches need to be made. You can also use this for tinder to start a fire.

12) Crayon: This is a nifty little gadget. A crayon will burn for 30 minutes and in a pinch, they are fairly effective for writing as well.   

13) Fishing Hook - with something to act as a weight, you can fish! One of the brilliant ways to use paracord in a survival situation is using the inner threads as a fishing line. You can use your safety pin as a hook if you do not want to go out to grab one of these but we can get a handful for a dollar. 

14) Garbage bags - This can be to hold your belongings, provide water protection and even provide warm if worn between layers. Hypothermia is the fastest way you can die and shelter can be one of the most important factors in any survival situation. If you carry some clear ziploc bags, you can leave bags of water in the sun and have the UV rays kills any bugs in there. This will take a full day of exposure but provide fairly portable water source allowing you to travel.

15) Tea candles - can be used to start a fire. The flame is a bit too small for cooking or even boiling water but it is effective lighting for a short period of time. When wax melts, the top surface is the only part exposed to fire, like the crayon, the wax helps the fire burn longer. It's small and cheap so throw a few in the car along with the duct tape.

Check out our booth this Saturday March 21 2015 @ 10am-5pm

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Toronto-Airsoft-Convention/160304134119411

Functioning with Style

Our mission statement is inspired by the designer's sense of fashion. Style is ultimately about personal confidence and a bird's eye sense of choice. When making a decision regarding colours and textiles, Beacon is defined by maintaining clean and minimalist look. 

We do not fear colour, rather we embrace the accents that have run the gamut of our recent fashion trends. Since Italian fashion houses such as Blumarine splashed neon all over runways in 2012, bright colours dominated street wear, nail art and athletic gear. 

Acid Purple // Neon Orange // Electric Purple // Neon Orange all add a bright and spunky accent of colour to any outfit: we have worn it in the office, with formal wear and travelling chic. 

What our certified paracord promises is 100% nylon content. US military Mil-C-5040 requires nylon because it is more elastic and doesn't mildew. Our 550 Type III is also 100% nylon as well and what that means for us is every Beacon piece is compact, comfortable and durable. We have washed stains off pieces ourselves and we promise the colour will always shine just as bright. 

Imperial Red // Kelly Green // Marsala Red 

Add a definitive colour to ever ensemble and could be a great way to add some variety to an otherwise black or dark monochromatic outfit. 

 Beacon Concepts Co. was created with function and style in mind. We have also set out to remain current and active. 

The rest of our Mil-C-5040 paracord fills our roster of utilitarian colour choices  

Black // White // Camo Green 483 // International Orange // Tan 498

Whether you are wearing it on the field or in the office, most of these colours are understated and subtle. Like all Beacon products, trust it will get the job done. 

We have sourced titanium and stainless steel shackles and clasps for all our survival bands and bracelets. Our creator is always experimenting with new knots and patterns and both the Expedition and Explorer collections are meant as statement pieces for the fashion forward individual.