Know Canada. Happy Canada Day!
Due to budget cuts, CBC's Radio Canada International has ceased broadcasting on shortwave; it is now Internet-only and therefore blocked by authoritarian regimes around the world. Mark Montgomery is somewhat emotional about being the last voice on the air
Rohinton Mistry's convocation speech to Ryerson [video - g&m, must wait for short ad) this link is to the text, with no ads, but hearing his reading is nice.
The British Columbia Supreme Court has struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide, in a whopping 1415-paragraph decision. [more inside]
“So if we continue voting like this in the (House of Commons), there’ll be no b-day for me this year?” tweeted NDP MP Hoang Mai.
It is still June 13 for the Parliament of Canada, where voting has continued overnight on the "omnibus budget bill" (previously), due to 159 separate amendment votes that have been forced by the opposition. None are likely to pass, but the arduous process is meant to function as a protest against legislation which many critics have argued goes far beyond the scope of a traditional budget. [more inside]
"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 and singer, he has also done heavy acting in On The Waterfront Again, Caesar, and The Poor Slob.
Body parts suspect the focus of international manhunt. [cbc.ca] The search for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the 29-year-old suspect in the grisly slaying and dismemberment of a victim whose body parts were sent in the mail, has now spread beyond Canada. [thestar.com] Who is Luka Rocco Magnotta? Luka Rocco Magnotta dated Karla Homolka (Canadian serial killer), police confirm. [nationalpost.com]
"The wide-ranging Forum Poll for the National Post sought the opinions of a sample of Canadians of voting age... The voting intentions, if actual ballots, would translate into a minority government for the NDP." The Canadian public is on a distinct tilt to the left, says a new national public opinion poll. Criticism of the Conservatives' spring budget, Bill C-38, continues: it is "anti-labour" (repeals The Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act; reforms Employment Insurance) and "guts the Fisheries Act"; a website protest against the bill is planned for June 4. [more inside]
A museum exhibit called Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition is drawing controversy. After running in Montreal and Regina 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]
"Scooby Doo can doo-doo, but Jimmy Carter is smarter." [a bale of detritus blows across the living room]
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]
Canadian Tire Company coupons, thought of by some as an alternative Canadian currency, may be on the way out. [more inside]
Canadian food chain Swiss Chalet decided to buy an entire cable channel devoted to 24 hour coverage of rotisserie chicken. That's it. Oh and dancing dipping sauce containers.
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]
The HemLoft 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?
...this symmetric aperture is called the "fenetre de breeze", roughly translated meaning the "zephyr window".
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.” [Getting Plowed]
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."
Today we learn that Neil Hope, popularly known as Wheels from Degrassi Junior High passed away - in 2007
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]
Canadian queer magazine Xtra! has found itself at the center of controversy after refusing to refer to certain transgendered interviewees by their preferred pronoun: "they." [more inside]
Taxali 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. via [Drawn]
Today on Rewind a remarkable historical piece that features two American icons who clashed over issues of corruption and misappropriation of funds in the 1950s and 60s. They are Robert Kennedy- former Attorney General of the United States, but at the time Chief Investigator of the Rackets Committee for the United States Senate, and James Hoffa- head of the Teamsters Union. (MP3) [more inside]
In July 2011, Uganda's Little League baseball team became the first African team to qualify for the Little League World Series, which was held in Williamsport, Pa., in August 2011. After beating the the 22-time World League qualifying Arabian American Little League squad from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the Ugandan team couldn't take part in the world series after their visas were denied (NYT; alt: HuffPo), due to concerns about birth certificate validity, but that's not the end of their story. The Canadian team from Langley raised funds to travel to Uganda, giving the Ugandan team the match they were denied. [more inside]
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]
Catch 167: Harper government pulls rug out from under non-Canadian gay couples who married here in good faith
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]
Canada declares its "canadacy" in the race for US President (The Canada Party on Twitter; also spotted on HuffPo)
The Montreal Screwjob (part 1, part 2, aftermath) - as remembered by Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels,and Vince McMahon (previously)
"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."
Grierson believed strongly that the filmmaker had a social responsibility, and that film could help a society realize democratic ideals. His absolute faith in the value of capturing the drama of everyday life was to influence generations of filmmakers all over the world. In fact, he coined the term "documentary film." [more inside]