"For the last 20 years, the huge rock has lain in the museum's interior courtyard
, its many petroglyphs slowly disappearing under a layer of moss and lichen. Next week, it will be repatriated to Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nations and taken back home to the Fraser River at Churn Creek Protected Area, about two hours east of Clinton." [more inside]
Poor potato crop leaves processors short of spuds
Canada is facing a potato shortage, mainly because of poor growing conditions last summer. That has sent wholesale prices for some spuds soaring and forced processors such as Toronto-based McCain Foods Ltd. to temporarily close some plants.
In all seriousness, although Bobby Bittman (né Herschel Slansky) is famous as a funnyman
, he has also done heavy acting in On The Waterfront Again
, and The Poor Slob
A museum exhibit called Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition is drawing controversy.
After running in Montreal
with no complaints, the exhibit was criticised by the Heritage Minister when it came to Ottawa for being too lurid and being outside the mandate of the Science and Technology Museum
. [more inside]
RCMP eyed philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre during tense Quebec political upheaval. [theglobeandmail.com]
Canadian spies closely eyed existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, tracking his planned trip to Quebec in support of people arrested during a crackdown on separatist threats, newly released documents show.
The declassified Royal Canadian Mounted Police dossier on Mr. Sartre also reveals that Mountie intelligence officers pored over translations of the French writer’s pronouncements, monitored his links to the peace movement and noted the academic rebel’s brushes with the law.
The Canadian oil sand mines refused us access, so we rented this plane to see what they were up to
: A slideshow of oil extraction from above Alberta's tar sands fields. (Warning: surreally-coloured pools of water inside) [more inside]
On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was asked in the House of Commons whether he intended to keep Canadian troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Harper tried to deflect criticism from New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair by saying that "Unlike the NDP, we are not going to ideologically have a position regardless of circumstances. The leader of the NDP, in 1939, did not even want to support war against Hitler
." Members of the NDP were quick to reply that the NDP did not oppose Hitler in 1939 because the NDP was formed in 1961
. [more inside]
is an egg-shaped treehouse that Joel Allen built over three years
on an imposing hemlock tree he found on crown (government owned) land near Whistler, British Columbia. Until recently, Allen kept the beautiful, illegally-built structure secret, but now that it's been shared with the world, what will happen to it
The Great Crepitation Contest of 1946
[mp3 at bottom] lingers on in the memories of record collectors
, radio historians
, and a generation of post-war vulgarians from Dr. Demento to Howard Stern
. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's vivid recording of the contest (conceived at a company stag party) inspired legions of LP cover artists: an early public airing was encased in a sleeve
designed by one of the earliest proponents
of the illustrated album cover. Later editions were adorned with shockingly detailed renditions of the Great Contest, created by a variety
of anonymous geniuses
. (Speaking of art, it was also a rumored favorite
of Salvador Dali). Though it has inspired various lurid myths
, we've learned a little bit about the deepest roots
of the contest right here on Metafilter
. [more inside]
A new initiative recently proposed by the Royal Canadian Mint proposes to create the MintChip, a digital currency that’s similar (to BitCoin), but is backed by the Canadian government.
Aiming to become “the digital equivalent of the coins we use every day,” in the Canadian Mint’s own words, the MintChip will target micro- and nano-transactions conducted both online and offline, whether at the physical point of sale, on mobile devices, or among peers. Via
Collusion, vandalism and violence—all for something as banal as snowplowing. If you think it seems too extreme, you don’t understand how public contracting in Montreal works, said the former employee of the major company. The same tactics are used throughout the city, even in the tiniest industries; it’s a culture, a way of life. “I have seen a guy get threatened when he bid on a grass-mowing contract in Ville St. Laurent. They don’t care. It’s just about maintaining control over those areas,” he explained. “The people that talk about corruption in the construction industry don’t realize it’s not just construction. It’s everywhere in public works.”
Canada marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights.
The charter is credited with advancing gay rights and reproductive freedom, reducing police powers and increasing judicial activism. And of course, trudeau's famous pirouette
behind the Queen's back after she signed the charter.
The anniversary brings a flash mob of lawyers
, a tepid celebration from the conservative government
, and some reflection on rights and, of course, hockey!
Is Danielle Smith Alberta's Sarah Palin or the Future of Canada?
Ms. Smith is widely thought to be on the verge of unseating the Progressive Conservative regime that first took office only five months after she was born on April 1, 1971. [more inside]
Timelapse Intersection Articulée à Montréal
In October, 2011, the Contemporary Museum of Monteral presented "Intersection Articulée", an interactive installation from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. It was composed of 18 projectors of 10k watts each, visible from ~9 miles (15km) away. Here's some time lapse video results, with music.
5 years after a think tank study
(PDF) recommended its retirement, Canada says goodbye to the penny
Previous penny pinching 1 2
Iceland eyes loonie, Canada ready to talk. Iceland, still reeling from the aftershocks of the devastating collapse of its banks in 2008, is looking longingly to the loonie as the salvation from wild economic gyrations and suffocating capital controls.... The Canadian government says it’s open to discussing the idea. [more inside]
Verisign today seized control
of a .com domain belonging to a Canadian online gambling business
operating in Canada (inasmuch as an online business can be said to be operating in Canada), on behalf of Federal Authorities. [more inside]
"Canada exists for no natural reason.
... [This] is not to say that no significant differences exist between Canadians and Americans — just that our shared national border, unlike those of Europe, was not shaped by linguistic and ethnic variations. The War of 1812 made all the difference here. A complicated and unpleasant struggle, mostly forgotten, sundered our two countries. And that struggle is now 200 years old, which makes this as good a time as any to start remembering."
The true name of the man most famously known as Lord George Gordon Gordon
will likely never be known. His name, though false, will nevertheless live in history for pulling one of the great advance-fee cons of all time, swindling in 1872 over a million dollars out of Jay Gould, most unscrupulous of all the robber barons and no stranger himself to a long con
. Gould's quest for revenge would nearly lead to a military invasion of Manitoba by the Minnesota state militia. [more inside]
About 13 km (8 miles) north of the US/Canada border is Spotted Lake
(Google Maps/streetview), a endorheic basin
, or terminal lake. In wetter times, the lake is full, but spots are visible
. During the summer months, the water level drops, leaving spots of mineral-rich water
. The waters have long been considered therapeutic, and one story cites a truce in a battle to allow both warring tribes to tend to their wounded in the lake
. Though a sacred medicine lake of the Okanagan People
, the lake and the land around it were privately owned for 40 years
. Mineral-rich salts were harvested during World War I for munitions, and decades later, the land owners were looking to mine the mud to sell for use in therapeutic spas. In 2001, the land was finally purchased by the The Indian Affairs Department and the Okanagan Nation Alliance
. kłlil'xw is property of the Okanagan Nation
once more. [more inside]
Canada's attempts to alter its Copyright bills over the past 7 years have all failed,
often dying when an election is called. Attempts at implementing so called "Lawful Access" legislation have also previously died
in the House of Commons. Yesterday, Bill c-30,
"the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act" was introduced by Vic Toews,
Minster of Public Safety, accompanied by one of the harbringer states of the "Four Horsemen of the Infopocolypse"
, "[one] can either stand with us or with the child pornographers."
The interent has a history of responding poorly to politicians trying to limit online freedoms and didn't respond to nicely to Vic Toews wanting to know more about your life. Meet @Vikileaks30
, a twitter account exposing portions of Vic Toews acrimonious divorce proceedings, adultery, and public accounts bills. [more inside]
Through a Glass, Smartly
Larry Sherk is one of the world's foremost brewerianists, a collector of beer stuff who over 40 years has amassed the country's second-largest private collection of beer labels (about 3,000), many of which date to the late 1800s. [more inside]
is not my original last name. It was changed 300 years ago to Taxali
by a Maharaja in India. My ancestor invented a coin that was difficult to counterfeit and was subsequently knighted Taxali by the Maharaja. It means, "Maker or Steward of The Mint". How serendipitous!! Here I am, 300 years later, honouring my ancestor's achievements and mine and my sister's family name.
In an editorial (PDF)
in the Canadian Medical Association Journal this week, interim Editor-in-Chief Rajendra Kale suggests that the sex of a fetus, determined by ultrasound, should not be revealed until after 30 weeks of pregnancy to prevent the selective abortion of females, common in other countries and taking place in some immigrant communities in Canada. [more inside]
Ottawa does about face on same-sex marriage for non-Canadians. The Harper government has served notice that thousands of same-sex couples who flocked to Canada from abroad since 2004 to get married are not legally wed. The reversal of federal policy is revealed in a document filed in a Toronto test case launched recently by a lesbian couple seeking a divorce.... The government’s hard line has cast sudden doubt on the rights and legal status of couples who wed in Canada after a series of court decisions opened the floodgates to same-sex marriage. The mechanics of determining issues such as tax status, employment benefits and immigration have been thrown into legal limbo. [The lesbian couple's] divorce application will be considered next month by an Ontario Superior Court judge. They are asking the judge to either craft an exemption allowing them to divorce or to strike down any legislative provision that has the effect of preventing them from doing so. [more inside]
"In 1999, Toronto-based photographer Jeff Harris
began taking a photo of himself each day as an alternative to all those diaries he started but couldn't keep up. But what began as a self-portrait project has evolved considerably in its 13 years. Harris' photographs aren't the typical, self-portrait vanity projects that crop up on YouTube now and again. Instead, he used the project to inspire him in his daily life, to go out and do something that would get him off his couch....This story becomes even more incredible as it progresses, but it's difficult to explain without cheapening it."*
So watch it now
[video || 05:26].
Garth Turner, former Member of Parliament and current entertaining, curmudgeonly, and well-informed Greater Fool blogger about Canadian real estate -- and the world economy generally -- gives his predictions for 2012
. The main one, IMO, is the one that he talks about relentlessly in his postings: "Most people won't get it."
Mark Carney: the man who speaks the truth
. Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson
recommends a recent speech by Bank of Canada head Mark Carney
. "Most fundamentally, current events mark a rupture. Advanced economies have steadily increased leverage [i.e. debt] for decades. That era is now decisively over. The direction may be clear, but the magnitude and abruptness of the process are not. It could be long and orderly or it could be sharp and chaotic. How we manage it will do much to determine our relative prosperity." [more inside]
CN Turbo Train Part 2
, part 3
, 1970 Film.
Canada Off the Rails
: You know the story of the Avro Arrow, now discover how Canada fell from leader to laggard in another
cutting edge, vastly profitable, globally relevant transportation industry, where Canadians had held a strong lead, until this Canadian homegrown industry was derailed; high-speed de
CN Turbo Train - "3:59" - The Lost Film
(the high speed rail flickr pool is recommended viewing)
. [more inside]
Canada is planning to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty. CBC
. The Herald Sun claims that this is to allow shale sands oil extraction.
Keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city — that ain't legal, either. But in the outskirts of Calgary, that's just adorable
The history of Toronto in photos
is 90 some odd posts linked to provide a thematically organized visual overview. The vast majority of the photographs featured derive from the Toronto Archives. Should you be interested in a less visually oriented take on Toronto history, there is also the Nostalgia Tripping series
, which was designed to be a bit more about storytelling than just the photos.