A Syrian Refugee's first month in Canada Vanig Garabedian, 47, was on board the first government-organized flight of Syrian refugees to Canada on Dec. 10. He came with his wife Anjilik Jaghlassian and their daughters Sylvie and Lucie, 12, and Anna-Maria, 10. The very first people to leave the plane, the family’s arrival in Toronto was widely photographed, as was their meeting with the prime minister. One month later, Garabedian, an obstetrician/gynecologist for 15 years in Aleppo, has settled into an apartment in the suburbs of Toronto.
For the past six years, cartoonist Dakota McFadzean (Twitter, Tumblr) has been drawing a comic strip a day. On January 10, he finally completed his required minimum of six years of daily comic strips as outlined by the Government of Canada’s Cartooning Standards Act of 1967 and recognized by the Canadian Ministry of Comics, Cartooning and Clock Repair. The previous sentence sounds almost plausible to me, but then, I've been attempting to read his mindbending comic from the beginning.
The Trans-Canada Highway spans the length of Canada with a route over 8000 kilometers long. This weekend, a new bridge crosssing the Nipigon buckled, severing the only road link between Eastern and Western Canada.
On an American road trip, Stephen Marche enters the fray with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in Iowa and gets a view of the campaign trail from the perspective of his whiteness. (SLGuardian)
Canada: A nation of winter wusses. by Aaron Hutchins [Maclean's Magazine] Canada used to pride itself on being the land of ice and snow. Now we avoid the outdoors—even when it’s not all that cold. [more inside]
Garth Turner, current real estate curmudgeon and former politician, makes his predictions for 2016. Some are genuine predictions, others not so much. Dear old Garth does this every year, with mixed results. (2014, 2013, 2012)
Spheres is a short 1969 animation by René Jodoin and Norman McLaren, soundtrack by Glenn Gould, published by the National Film Board of Canada. [more inside]
If one year during the Toronto International Film Festival you’re engaging a Hollywood producer in conversation and have only a few seconds to pitch your action script before the bouncers drag you out from under the door of her bathroom stall, just fire off a three-word description of the two unlikely antagonists. Hollywood loves oddball enemies even more than unlikely buddy cops: cowboys versus aliens, mercenaries versus dinosaurs, Predators versus future governors of American states. Yet, inexplicably, no movie has been made of Toronto’s contribution to the genre: clowns versus firefighters.
In death, Millar unleashed his biggest prank ever — a last will and testament that was basically a giant social experiment. By promising a vast sum of money to the Toronto family that could have the most babies in a 10-year period, Millar set off a race to give birth the moment he died.
The first official Canadian government flight carrying Syrian refugees touched down at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport late last night. [more inside]
On the heels of Canada's announcement of a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, CBC will be tweeting every 6 minutes over 24 hours the names, photos and cases of over 250 women under the hashtag #MMIW.
The Canadian Pacific Christmas Train is a rolling holiday party for a cause. Two beautifully lit trains - on a US Route and a Canada route - cruise through the Midwest, stopping in 150 towns along the way to present live music and light shows while bringing donations of cash and food to local food banks.
Because of ongoing problems with racism, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has temporarily closed comments on all articles about indigenous peoples. [more inside]
This animated short tells the story of a dapper young remittance man, sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching in 1909. However, his affection for [polo and] badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. A film about the beauty of the prairie, the pangs of homesickness and the folly of living dangerously out of context. [SLYT Canada NFB] [more inside]
Interesting infographic/flow chart shows how new Canadian prime ministers are sworn in. [more inside]
"Unknown even to the majority of parliament, by 1972 the CBNRC had grown to employ some 600 people—slightly smaller than the Department of Justice, and about half the size of the Canadian Forces unit for military signals intelligence. Every successive federal government vehemently denied that Canada engaged in any international espionage, while the CBNRC secretly helped to fight and even escalate the Cold War."
Claire Boucher / Grimes has released the first music video for two of the (relatively) guitar-heavy tracks from her upcoming fourth album, Art Angels: “Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream” (She has also been sharing cover art sketches for all of the album’s tracks on her tumblr.)
"We’re now in the home stretch of Canada’s federal election campaign — at seventy-eight days, the longest in modern Canadian history and the most important since 1988, when free trade with the United States was the defining issue. For the first time in Canadian history, it is a close three-way race between the ruling Conservatives, the centrist Liberals, and the social-democratic New Democratic Party (NDP)." [more inside]
At the beginning of October, the Toronto Blue Jays at long last clinched the AL East division, ending a record 22-year drought [prev.]. Meanwhile, after a disastrous, injury-plagued 2014 season, the Texas Rangers rebounded from a late-summer nadir to improbably win the AL West title. The two teams collided in a best-of-five series -- Texas won two, then Toronto. It all came down to Wednesday night's showdown. Tied 2-2 after six, the 7th inning proceeded to unravel over the next 53 minutes in increasingly bizarre and dramatic fashion. To wit: A freak accident. A controversial call. Roars and brickbats from the crowd. The mayor tweets for calm. A comedy of errors. A violent slide. An epic home run, and an even more epic bat flip. Benches clear. Players ejected. Fans arrested. And the slap-ass heard 'round the world. [more inside]
The Scotiabank Giller Prize presents its 2015 shortlist. The five titles were chosen from a longlist of 12 books announced on September 9, 2015. One hundred and sixty-eight titles were submitted by 63 publishers from every region of the country. [more inside]
A Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness is a limited-run, six-episode, serialized podcast (primarily conceived by David Wilcox and co-written with Johanna Hyman, but with a number of producers actors, and co-writers) chronicling the decline and fall of radio veteran Greg Willis, host of the eleventh most-listened-to, syndicated, smooth jazz/classic light R&B program on radio today. Take a trip to an alternate universe radio station with bizarre ad spots, musical numbers, call-ins, and an overarching narrative of a DJ gone power mad. Remember: when sneaking onto Sade’s estate, beware the Sax Wolves.
🎷 Smooth With A Silent E 🎸 Laser Vandross 🎷 Unexpected Robes 🎸 Camelot 🎷 The Request Hour 🎸 The Comfort Cruise [more inside]
🎷 Smooth With A Silent E 🎸 Laser Vandross 🎷 Unexpected Robes 🎸 Camelot 🎷 The Request Hour 🎸 The Comfort Cruise [more inside]
Stubborn goat arrested after refusing to leave a Saskatchewan restaurant: "RCMP said that employees initially 'asked' the goat to leave and tried to walk him outside, but the rebellious animal turned around and sauntered back through the restaurant's automatic doors." It turns out that the seemingly ornery creature had actually been kidnapped from a rodeo: team members are thankful it's back safe and sound, but Katie Dutchak, co-founder of the University of Saskatchewan rodeo team, reminds everyone that tampering with animals is not funny.
The story of Anabolic Frolic, the DJ name for Chris Samojlenko, tracks closely to the history of Happy Hardcore in Canada, if not North America at large, from the very first Happy 2b Hardcore mix released in the beginning of 1997, to the final Hullabaloo to mark the anniversary of the first Hullabaloo rave. [more inside]
"The Conservative government is not afraid to defend Canadian values." Welcome to the home stretch of the Canadian election! [more inside]
Blue Rodeo offers a modern day (anti-harper) protest song (And wins extra points for citing all the facts in the song and video with news links). [more inside]
With the Canadian election coming in under a month, it's time for some Super Gay Campaign Advice. (round 2)
In search of trifinia Even for geographical completists, visiting all of the United States' trifinia, or places where three states meet, is an often overlooked pleasure. [more inside]
Vanishing Canada: Why we’re all losers in Ottawa’s war on data. [Maclean's Magazine]
Stories about government data and historical records being deleted, burned—even tossed into Dumpsters—have become so common in recent years that many Canadians may feel inured to them. But such accounts are only the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg. A months-long Maclean’s investigation, which includes interviews with dozens of academics, scientists, statisticians, economists and librarians, has found that the federal government’s “austerity” program, which resulted in staff cuts and library closures (16 libraries since 2012)—as well as arbitrary changes to policy, when it comes to data—has led to a systematic erosion of government records far deeper than most realize, with the data and data-gathering capability we do have severely compromised as a result.
An 8:44 long timelapse in 4K resolution on Vimeo and YouTube. Includes Yosemite, Yellowstone, Olympic, Banff, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Acadia, Rocky Mountains, Mesa Verde, Arches, Mount Rainier, Mount Revelstoke and Zion. Also Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, St. Louis, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Plus Mount Rushmore, New Orleans, Toronto, Boston, Calgary, Springdale, Three Rivers, Pagosa Springs, Swift Current, New York, Niagara Falls, Lake Palourde, Keene Lake, Horseshoe Bend, White Mountains, Hobson and the Mississippi River. [more inside]
The Leap Manifesto was recently launched by a range of Canadian intellectuals, celebrities, and organizations as an attempt to combat catastrophic climate change by convincing Canadians that business as usual is not the only way. [more inside]
"The Franklin shipwreck is one of the biggest, most celebrated discoveries in 21st-century marine archaeology. It also cleaved open a nasty dispute over the facts of — and credit for — the historic find. As the news went public, the civil servants, researchers, and others who played major roles in the discovery said they found themselves elbowed to the sidelines as the political messaging machine kicked into gear." [more inside]
Tony Zhou is back with a love letter / lament for his cinematically ubiquitous hometown: "Vancouver Never Plays Itself".
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]
One person's harbinger of river health is another's slayer of kings is another's invasive species. Take, for example, sea lampreys. They are making a comeback in rivers around the UK thanks to conservation efforts. [more inside]
Former Vancouver Police detective Lori Shenher's book, That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer who Almost Got Away, is a memoir about investigating the disappearances of women who would turn out to have been murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton. The Globe and Mail has published an excerpt here. [more inside]
FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
Daniel Tomlin, a gardener from Kelowna, British Columbia, claims he has grown the world's longest cucumber. According to Guinness World Records, the cucumber that currently holds the world record for longest ever grown measured "107 cm (42.1 in) and was grown by Ian Neale of Wales, UK. It was presented at the Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK, on 26 September 2011." Tomlin's cucumber measures just over one metre (44.5 inches). [more inside]
Tony Turner worked at Environment Canada. After releasing his protest song Harperman in June, he was recently put on leave for impartiality. [more inside]
Wisconsin governer Scott Kevin Walker, currently the 3rd favorite to be the GOP 2016 presidential candidate, is said to have been approached by voters with the idea of building a wall between the USA and Canada. Walker claims some voters supporting a northern border wall worry that terrorists could cross from Canada to the USA. It is unclear what such a wall would look like; the U.S.-Canada boundary is the longest international border in the world at 5,525 miles long, which includes the Alaska/Canada bit, and has many crossing points. To complicate the issue, Canada and the USA are in (currently non-war) dispute over their border in several locations.
Superego's Mark McConville (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4) is making some very specific Top 50 lists:
Top 50 Nastiest Black Diamond Ski Runs in the World
Top 50 Retired Price Is Right Games
Top 50 Canadian Ghost Towns
Top 50 Vape Flavors in America for 2015
What B.C. Public School Classrooms Look Like Without Stuff Bought By Teachers (SLHuffPo, image gallery down the page)
The Walrus has published an article entitled "Dr. Shock: How an apartheid-era psychiatrist went from torturing gay soldiers in South Africa to sexually abusing patients in Alberta." "Dr. Shock" is Aubrey Levin, a psychiatrist currently serving a five-year prison term for sexual assault on three male patients. Prior to arriving in Canada, Levin was a colonel and psychiatrist for the apartheid-era South African Defence Force (SADF), which used drugs, electric shock torture and forcible gender reassignment surgery in "attempts to cure homosexual conscripts." [more inside]
Breakfast -- Eating the World Every Morning is a series of dispatches about breakfast around the world. [more inside]
Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education. But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.