Arthur Heming, the Canadian painter who — having been diagnosed with colourblindness as a child — worked for most of his life in a distinctive pallete of black, yellow, and white. [more inside]
Linguists are now finally alerting the Canadian and world public to the Great Canadian Vowel Shift which noone in general had really noticed before
There are more than 285 competitive bagpipe bands in the United States, made up of thousands of pipers and drummers. Bands are divided into grades based on skill: Grade 5 is the lowest, akin to Little League; Grade 1 is the majors. In May 2014, the Massachusetts-based Stuart Highland Pipe Band was promoted to Grade 1, and next month they'll be facing off against other top-level bands in Glasgow at the annual World Pipe Band Championships. But first, the Stewies made their North American debut at the premier level at a competition in Ontario: Blowhards: On the road, down the bottle, and across the border with Boston’s greatest competitive bagpipe band. [more inside]
Many American, Canadian, and British military veterans opposed to the actions of ISIS in Iraq have been, individually, going over to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga for some time now, bringing thousands of dollars of military gear and irreplaceable training. There have been so many of them fighting that the Peshmerga are now actively recruiting military veterans online. Not to be internet-outdone, military veterans have begun investigating forming units of their own to fight ISIS -including notable and controversial science-fiction author John Ringo, who suggested trying to crowdfund for 'a brigade of soldiers'. [more inside]
Actor spouts extreme views about Muslims to gauge reaction of public. In an attempt to test whether Canadians feel safe in the presence of Muslims following the fatal shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo by an Islamic extremist last week, director Omar Al-Bach conducted the experiment in Cirillo's home town of Hamilton to see how many people would defend a supposed Muslim from verbal abuse. (link to The Independent)
GUTS is a new online feminist magazine. Topics from the first two issues include Canadian feminist documentary filmmaking; feminist strategies for commemorating gender-based violence; "postfeminist" parliamentary political discourse; Canadian novelist Sheila Heti's genre-bender on women's relationships, How Should A Person Be?; women's paid and unpaid labour; institutionalized gender inequality in organized sport; Indigenous women, decolonization, and institutionalized racism. There's also a blog.
Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games (28 min 33 sec; here's a pointer to the identical video at YouTube). Warning: contains graphic sexual and violent game footage. Presented by Anita Sarkeesian of the video blog, Feminist Frequency. The website version (first link) is annotated to include links and resources, an "about the series" section, games referenced in this episode, and a transcript. [more inside]
55 Canadianisms You May Not Know or Are Using DifferentlyA (non-scientific) survey providing a thorough & fascinating look at words in Canadian English [more inside]
"You've had me in a luge. You've had me on a Brahma bull, that thing with a big, big hump. Then you had me zipline on the world's fastest zipline. Then you had me walk on the lovely CN Tower." This week, Rick Mercer and Jann Arden's big date involves harnesses and winches and also donkeys, but not at the same time.
...sure gas is cheap but fuck if they don't even have all-dressed chips in that shithole. [more inside]
Canadian self-described "Freemen" in Alberta have recently attracted a great deal of public attention to themselves. The justice system generally takes a very dim view of their shenanigans, as laid out in one of the most comprehensively researched and bizarre judgment issued in recent memory. Here's a general overview and debunking of the arguments they use. [more inside]
Alice Munro Puts Down Her Pen to Let the World In: Accepting a literary prize in Toronto last month, Alice Munro, the acclaimed short-story writer — “our Chekhov,” as Cynthia Ozick has called her — winner of the Man Booker International Prize and just about every important North American literary award for which she is eligible, told a newspaper interviewer, “I’m probably not going to write anymore.”
What Does D-Day, MLK JR and Tennessee Williams have in common? NO, not that D-Day. The other D-Day. [more inside]
The criminally overlooked work of independent Canadian animator Myles Langlois has my vote for best thing on the internet right now. Specifically Apollo Gauntlet, the tale of a lone hero prone to quips and violence wandering an (imaginary?) wasteland in search of Dr Benign so he can return to Earth, and Superspace, the saga of two mounties, a woman and her son, a criminal, a pilot, a robot and a bald guy who find themselves trapped aboard an alien spaceship. The low-rent production style, like highschool binder doodles come to life, and hazy Sifl and Olly-style humour might take a little getting used to, but it's all part of the charm. Here is a teaser, a trailer, and a 1992 Sales Presentation for Apollo Gauntlet. [more inside]
Last fall, the Canadian Space Agency asked students to design a simple science experiment that could be performed in space, using items already available aboard the International Space Station. Today, Commander Chris Hadfield conducted the winner for its designers: two tenth grade students, Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner, in a live feed to their school in Fall River, Nova Scotia. And now, we finally have an answer to the age-old question, What Happens When You Wring Out A Washcloth In Space? [more inside]
"The stubby (or steinie) in many ways embodied all that was solid and stoic in the Canadian character. Think of the two adjectives most appropriately applied to it - "tough" and "squat" - and what it also brings to mind are the great goalies of that era, those stalwart unbreakable warriors who worked between the pipes." - Ian Coutts Brew North. [more inside]
Get your CanCon on! Buck 65 covers Leonard Cohen in a new video directed and choreographed by Jacob Niedzwiecki. The video for 'Who By Fire', inspired by the motion of a pendulum, just had its world premiere at New York's Lincoln Center as part of the 2013 Dance on Camera Festival.
This iconic photo of the first Aboriginal woman to enlist in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps was used as a recruitment tool, and "appeared all over the British Empire [in 1942] to show the power of the colonies fighting for King and country." Its original caption in the Canadian War Museum read, "Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war." Its current caption in The Library and Archives of Canada reads: "Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942." But as it turns out, the two people in the photo had never met before that day. They weren't from the same tribe or even related and Private Mary Greyeyes was not an "Indian Princess." 70 years after the photo was taken, her daughter-in-law Melanie made sure the official record was corrected. Via [more inside]
Sara White, Canadian blogger who recently moved to Rome, shares some thoughts about old world food cultures versus the American approach to cooking. One of the most interesting things to me about her post is the discussion about how having no limitations (many Americans can just waltz into a large supermarket and get almost anything from almost anywhere) can negatively impact culinary creativity.
A girl upon the shore did ask a favour of the sea;For nearly 20 years, Newfoundland group Great Big Sea have been creating acoustic Celtic folk-rock covers and interpretations of traditional Newfoundland and Labrador sea shanties, folk, fishing and party songs, which draw from the island's rich 500-year-old multicultural (Irish, English, Scottish and French) heritage. [more inside]
"Return my blue eyed sailor boy safely back to me.
Forgive me if I ask too much, I will not ask for more,
but I shall weep until he sleeps safe upon the shore."
So You Think You Can't Do That On Television? Interview with Geoffrey Darby, inventor of green slime and co-creator of a show that many 80's kids will remember.
The Seventh Art is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
The Man Who Lived on his Bike is a 3 minute short by Canadian filmmaker Guillaume Blanchet, who spent 382 days riding his bicycle through the streets of Montreal in order to explore what life would be like if he actually lived on a bicycle.
It Nova Scotian Rich Aucoin's video for "It" directed by Noah Pink. SLYT worth clicking on. You may recognize a few scenes.
Bluesy Canadian garage duo The Pack A.D. has put out four albums in like five years, the most recent in September of this year. [more inside]
Since the late '70s, Gordon Monahan has been making a career of extracting the unheard from pretty much anything he can get his hands on. Monahan's works for piano, loudspeakers, video, kinetic sculpture, and computer-controlled sound environments span various genres from avant-garde concert music to multi-media installation and sound art. Such pieces include long string installations activated by wind (Long Aeolian Piano, 1984-88), by water vortices (Aquaeolian Whirlpool, 1990) and by indoor air draughts (Spontaneously Harmonious in Certain Kinds of Weather, 1996). His work for electronic tone generators and human speaker swingers (Speaker Swinging, 1982), is a hybrid of science, music, and performance art, where minimalistic trance music based on the Doppler Effect contrasts with issues central to performance art such as physical struggle and 'implied threat'. John Cage once said, "At the piano, Gordon Monahan produces sounds we haven't heard before." [more inside]
Benjamin Darvill, a.k.a. Son of Dave, is a one-man band of sorts, combining harmonica, vocals, beat-boxing, a rattle and foot-stomping to create his own infectious form of blues. Darvill, a Canadian formerly with Crash Test Dummies, has released four albums to date as Son of Dave, his latest and best being 'Shake A Bone', recorded and mixed by Steve Albini in Chicago, the title track used briefly in an episode of Breaking Bad. [more inside]
Cédric Sam has released an updated version of his 2008 Google Maps and Google Earth layers showing Canada's 2008 federal election data in every riding across the country, accessible down to the polling district level. A great GIS data visualization tool for understanding how your riding or district may vote on May 2.
What does it mean to be Canadian? It isn't about an ethnicity, a religion, a language, or a shared heritage or history. From CBC's Ideas comes the two-part radio documentary, Being Canadian. "From east to west, public intellectuals and private citizens (both new and old Canadians), tell film-maker Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi about the concerns, the questions, and the challenges of living together in a multicultural and diverse society." It is also the story of how and why a Korean family became Canadian, first in the law, and then in their hearts.
The next day, Sunday, I spent almost nine hours immersed in Robert Lepage’s marathon play, Lipsynch, at the Bluma Appel Theatre, which was part of Luminato. You tell people you’ve just spent nine hours watching a play conducted in four languages (with projected sur-titles) and they think you’ve undergone an endurance test, made a heroic sacrifice for art. On the contrary. There was no suffering(5 minutes of [enthusiastic] standing and clapping). The time flew by. It was like taking your brain on a luxurious cruise. Or spending the day in an art spa, basking in mind massages and sensory wraps. Maybe it was high art but the ascent was effortless: because Lepage did all the work for you, it was experienced as pure entertainment. [more inside]
Canadian Jiffy Jeep Crews can completely disassemble and reassemble a Willys Jeep in less than four minutes.
Now that the Canadian Oxford Dictionary hasn't published an edition since the 2nd in 2004, there's a challenger to the much-desired title of standard dictionary of Canadian English: ladies and gentlemen, the 1st edition of the Collins Canadian Dictionary. There's even a short-story contest to promote it: in your 1,000 words you have to include at least 10 from the dictionary.
30 objects, 40 audio and videocassettes, and 1,425 photographs, among them a Polaroid snapshot of Terry Fox’s artificial leg - Douglas Coupland submits his personal objects to the University of British Columbia. [more inside]
Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine became friends in Canadian high school band. They now make up Dala, an accoustic folk pop duo who sing songs like the cutesy pop song Levi Blues, Alive about a hellish New Years Eve in an old cabin, Marilyn Monroe about coming of age, and the more serious Horses, a song dedicated to a paraplegic teenager. They have opened for Neko Case, Tom Cochrane, and Matthew Good and covered Neil Young.
Ivan Coyote is a Canadian storyteller. Here's Ivan's story about life in the North called "You are Here". Part 1, 2, 3 and 4. [more inside]
Canada was another country before it was born. In the fire of the battle of Vimy Ridge, people who were born in Canada, or who came to Canada, came together, as Canadians, in one of the defining battles of the the First World War. This is the 93rd anniversary of the greatest unifying event in Canadian history.
The Long. Strange. Never-Boring Journey of a National Treasure. Andrew Corsello has a William Shatner interview experience.
Norman McLaren's 1952 short film [Youtube version] Neighbours uses live actors in a stop-motion film, to great effect.
McLaren created the soundtrack by scratching the edge of the film, which was then read by the projector.
McLaren created the soundtrack by scratching the edge of the film, which was then read by the projector.
The Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau recently made its French/English/Spanish technical terminology database, Termium, free to access after over a decade as a subscription-based service. While off-the-cuff translations are often available from free services like BabelFish, Termium focuses on technical terminology such as scientific, medical and legal terms. [more inside]
Canadian actor William Shatner continues to diversify his cultural contributions in two recent documentaries making the rounds on the film festival circuit entitled: How William Shatner Changed the World (youtube trailer) and William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet (youtube clip).
Louie Palu is a Canadian Photojournalist. His series, Goodbye, Guantánamo, is up for some big awards.
Bill Orban developed the "Five Basic Exercises" or 5BX program for the Royal Canadian Air force in the late 50s. Apart from the primary aim of getting people into shape it was designed to be simple to perform, to work on all the body, to require nothing in terms of special equipment or large spaces, to accommodate enough progression to cater for reformed couch potato and budding athlete alike and to fit into a time slot of 11 minutes including warm up. [Women, for whatever reason, were prescribed 10 exercises in 12 minutes with XBX]. The book of the exercises was translated into 13 languages and sold 23 million copies around the world before falling into obscurity in the 80s. [more inside]
Nardwuar the Human Serviette is an interesting, abrasive and knowledgeable music journalist. Many of his interviews are on film and posted to youtube. Previously on metafilter. Warning: single link to a youtube user. [more inside]
Steroids Saved My Life. Enjoy watching ten episodes of a pasty, skinny Canadian gain 20+ pounds of muscle, a luxurious tan, a website and a new chemical habit.
The Most Serene Republic, quite possibly the most underrated of all the acts on the Arts & Crafts label, create music in a similar vein to fellow Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire, Stars, and Broken Social Scene. Experience their explosive, big-band, polyphonic, experimental flair by listening to their 3 releases in full: Underwater Cinematographer (2005), Phages EP (2006), and Population (2007). A few video music videos as well: The Men Who Live Upstairs, Oh God, Content Always Was My Favourite
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