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Posts Tagged ‘Canada

“When in doubt, go to the library”*…

 

libraries

 

Two great champions of reading for pleasure remind us that it really is an important thing to do – and that libraries create literate citizens: “Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell on why we need libraries – an essay in pictures.”

* J. K. Rowling

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As we browse in bliss, we might recall that it was on this date in 1779 that Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor of Quebec, asked British dramatist Richard Cumberland to select books for the first subscription (public) library in Canada.

bibliotheque-de-langue-anglaise_mod

The library of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, which incorporated the collection of Haldimand’s library in the mid-19th century.

 

Written by LW

September 13, 2018 at 1:01 am

“The best blood will at some time get into a fool or a mosquito”*…

 

Woman dressed as a mosquito at the Russian Mosquito Festival

Nine year old Irina Ilyukhina earned the title of “tastiest girl” last month at the Russian Mosquito Festival, an annual event held in Berezniki, a town in the Ural Mountains.  She and other contestants stood in shorts and vests for 20 minutes in a bug-infested wood; Irina’s winning total was 43 bites.

In 2013, the winner collected more than 100 mosquito bites; but unusually hot and dry weather in Berezniki diminished the insect population this year. Most years, attendees can participate in a mosquito hunt that rewards whomever can collect the most bugs in a glass jar; this year’s festival had to forgo the event.

More at “9-year-old wins ‘tastiest girl’ competition at annual Russian Mosquito Festival.”  C.f. also, The Great Texas Mosquito Festival, held annually in Clute, Texas.  (One notes that, Russia has confirmed just five cases of travel-related Zika in recent months, Texas has reported 125, and the United States as a whole, over 2,500.)

* Benito Mussolini

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As we slather on the DEET, we might spare a thought for Fredrick Kenneth Hare, CC OOnt FRSC; he died on this date in 2002.  One of Canada’s leading climatologists and environmentalists, he led both academic and political efforts to measure and stem the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide, to mitigate climate change, and to prevent drought.

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Written by LW

September 3, 2016 at 1:01 am

“In a magazine, one can get – from cover to cover – 15 to 20 different ideas about life and how to live it”*…

 

Magazine publishing is a dark art. But the world of niche publishing—people who create magazines for necrophiliacs or donkey hobbyists, or for those of us who like to ride really small trains—features its own requirements…

See for yourself: “Brief Interviews With Very Small Publishers.”

* Maya Angelou

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As we turn the pages, we might recall that it was on this date in 1981 that the first issue of The Record, Canada’s music industry magazine of record, was published.  For two decades it provided the canonical sales charts for the Canadian music business both directly and as part of Billboard‘s “Hits of the World” section.  It ceased print publication in 1999, surviving as a website for another three years before closing altogether in 2001.

The Record’s founder, David Farrell (left) announcing NewCanadianMusic.ca in 2012

source

 

Written by LW

July 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated”*…

 

Picnic season is upon us.  One might wonder whither the ubiquitous design, illustrated above, adorning paper cups and plates in parks and backyards across the nation– Solo’s highest-grossing design ever…  In fact, many did wonder, and took to the web to investigate.  The crowd made some headway– they discovered it was created by a designer named “Gina”– but it took an intrepid reporter, Thomas Gounley of the Springfield (MO) News-Leader, to get the whole (and fascinating) story.

Read it at “The Internet is looking for who designed this cup. What does Springfield have to do with it?

* Paul Rand

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As we have some more potato salad, we might recall that it was on this date in 1880 that O Canada, the song that would become our northern neighbor’s national anthem (de facto by 1939; officially in 1980) was first performed, in French, at the the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français.  Commissioned by Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Théodore Robitaille for the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony, Calixa Lavallée composed the music, after which words were written by the poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier.  English lyrics were created in 1906; but the second English version, created in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir, were more popular and became the official English lyrics.

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Written by LW

June 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

I dream of genre…

 

Used to be, a listener had pretty simple choices; record stores and radio stations were organized into a just a few genres:  pop, rock, country, jazz, classical…  Now, of course, new musical styles and movements emerge seemingly daily.  Glenn McDonald is here to help the poor fan navigate the confusion.  His interactive “map” of music (a small section of which, above), Hear Every Noise, lets one move through genres– clustered in ways explained here— hear examples of each, then click through to the artists playing under each banner…  hours of listening pleasure (and an education in the metastasizing music scene).

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As we tap our toes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1859 that an American settler on San Juan Island, near Seattle, shot the pig of a (British) Hudson’s Bay Company employee and ignited The Pig War, a dispute rooted in the confusion over the boundary between the U.S. and Canada (specifically, the status of a group of islands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca).  Militaries from both sides were invoked and the situation escalated so that, by August 461 Americans with 14 cannon stood opposed by five British warships mounting 70 guns and carrying 2,140 men.

The governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island ordered British Rear Admiral Robert L. Baynes to land marines on San Juan Island and engage the American soldiers there under the command of Brigadier-General Harney.  Baynes refused, declaring that “two great nations in a war over a squabble about a pig” was foolish.  Harney had given his men essentially the same orders: defend yourselves, but do not fire the first shot.  For several days, the British and U.S. soldiers exchanged insults, each side attempting to goad the other into firing the first shot; but discipline held.  Ultimately the powers-that-be in Washington and London reached a compromise…  and the Pig War was resolved with only a single casualty– the pig.

The red line represents Britain’s pre-war boundary claim; the blue line, that of the U.S. The green line is the compromise reached.

 source

 

Written by LW

June 15, 2013 at 1:01 am

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