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I Am Canadian … more than beer!

I’ve recently come across the Molson’s “I Am Canadian” printed ad.  Such genius advertising!  So for those who aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about, here it is; oh, and if you do know what I’m talking about, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this!

Lyrics to Molson's I Am Canadian

Molson’s I Am Canadian

It was an extremely popular ad campaign centred on Canadian nationalism, the most famous examples of which are “The Rant” and “The Anthem”, and then there was Canadian William Shatner’s version.

In March 2000, using nationalism as a platform, the ad starred a man named Joe: an “average Canadian”, standing in a movie theatre, with a cinema screen behind him showing different images relating to Canadian culture. Joe proceeds to give a speech about what is it to be a Canadian and what it is not to be a Canadian.  It was performed by Canadian actor Jeff Douglas and directed by an American, Kevin Donovan, but written by a Canadian, Glen Hunt.  Interestingly, this commercial premiered during the Academy Awards, which, in that year, included Robin Williams singing the song “Blame Canada”, a satirical song from the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.   The commercial won an advertising industry Gold Quill award in 2001.

The first one is Joe’s “I Am Canadian” on Vinko’s YouTube channel, who has quite a collection of ads:

The second is William Shatner’s “I Am Canadian” on BuryMeInGames’s YouTube channel:

The third and last one is Molson’s “Canadian Anthem” on cymbaline’s YouTube channel:

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post!

 

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Ride the Lobster!

Have you ever heard of the Ride the Lobster race? No matter what you envision, it’s not even close .

Ride the Lobster was the world’s longest unicycle race. This was an 800 kilometre international relay race around the roads of Nova Scotia. It was first conceived by Edward Wedler. He gave the race its unusual name because he thought the roadways around Nova Scotia resembled a lobster.

The five-day race had five stages, composed of four legs winding around the province of about 200 km each and one day of time trials. The first stage was from Yarmouth to Annapolis Royal. The second stage went to St. Margarets. The third stage was composed of two-time trials, Hubbards in the morning and Truro in the early evening. The fourth stage was from Truro to Antigonish. The final stage went from Port Hawkesbury to Baddeck. The event co-ordinator, Heather LeBlanc, intentionally made early stages easier for the contestants and the final stretch difficult.

Originally the race was meant to be held annually. After the first race in 2008, the organizers have not arranged subsequent races. I’m sorry to say I don’t know why.

Each team was composed of four people—three riders and one support person. The support person was not allowed to ride. The three riders took turns completing the distance of the race. The rider was not to be switched over for the first 10 kilometres of each race day. After that, the team had full discretion about how often they want to switch riders.

In 2008, the inaugural race began on June 16, with 104 riders (124 had qualified) on 35 teams from fourteen countries.

The race concluded in Cape Breton with contestants reaching the finish line between 5–7 pm on June 20. The winning team was awarded $5,000 in cash and prizes.

You can watch some of the event in these two YouTube videos. It’s pretty awesome!

1st place: Germany (Jan Logemann, Johannes Helck, Arne Tilgen, Holger Summer) in 36:17:47
2nd place: New Zealand (William Sklenars, Ken Looi, Tony Melton and Véronique Grégoire) in 36:35:46
3rd place: U.S. (Kevin Chang, Corbin Dunn, A.J. Greig and Sondra Grisham) in 37:17:18
4th place: U.S. and Canada (Roland Kays, Vincent Lemay, Steve Relles and David Kays) in 37:29:38
5th place: Australia, U.S. and U.K. (Geoffrey Huntley, Chuck Edwall, Sam Wakeling and Jonathan Marshall) in 37:52:05

To read more details about this, I highly recommend visiting The Cape Breton Post.

 

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It Began with Station XSW1!

Are you a fan of science fiction?  Do you like the ones, especially tv or movie format?  What about the early ones in the 50s?  Even if you answer no, I expect you will enjoy today’s post; if you said yes, you are in for a treat.

Space Command was a CBC original Canadian children’s science fiction television adventure series.  It aired beween 1953 and 1954, making it the first time the network aired its own dramatic series in Canada. The program presented a depiaction of life on the fictional space station XSW1 operated by the worldwide Space Command, featuring the activities of Frank Anderson (Bob Barclay).

Another character on the show,  Phil Mitchell, was portrayed by James Doohan (born on March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia, who gained international attention as a regular on the 1960s television series Star Trek as Chief Engineer Scotty. He died on July 20, 2005 at the age of 85).

William Shatner (born on March 22, 1931, in Côte Saint-Luc, Montreal, Quebec) the leading actor on Star Trek as Captain James Kirk, also appeared on episodes of Space Command.

Early Photo of William Shatner

Promotional photo for the aborted 1959 CBS television series Nero Wolfe
Source
Self scan of CBS promotional photo appearing in the January 1968 issue of Movie Life magazine (Vol. 31, No. 1), page 35

Another cast member was Austin Willis. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917, and died on April 4, 2004. An interesting note is that he achieved attention for his appearance as Simmons, the man whom Auric Goldfinger beats at cards in the opening scenes of the James Bond film, Goldfinger. Originally he was to have played Felix Leiter but at the last-minute, fellow Canadian Cec Linder switched roles with him.

Yet another cast member you might know, especially if you are a sci-fi enthusiast, is Barry Morse who went on to be a part of the TV series The Fugitive and Space: 1999.

The series taught about topics such as asteroids, space medicine, meteorites and evolution.

Unfortunately, we can’t see the episodes online.  Nova Scotia media historian Ernest Dick lamented the loss of recordings of nearly all the series episodes, despite the production of kinescopes for distribution to CBC stations across Canada. The only known extant recording is that of one November 1953 episode. You can read his thoughts with the .pdf: Vanishing Media: Space Command

 

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Image

… the end of the world …

"Edmonton isn't really the end of the world -- although you can see it from there".

 

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Image

The Heart Never Knows …

The heart never knows the colour of the skin."

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Canadian-related Links, Native, Quote

 

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Halifax’s Worst Explosions, Tsunami and Snow!

Prior tо thе invention of nuclear tесhnоlоgіеѕ, the wоrѕt man-made еxрlоѕіоn occurred іn Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 6, 1917, at roughly 8:45 am.   Dеѕtrоуіng thе еntіrе district of Richmond, thе еxрlоѕіоn wаѕ саuѕеd whеn a French cargo ship, SS Mont Blаnс, саrrуіng wartime wеароnѕ collided wіth a Nоrwеgіаn ѕhір, SS Imo.  

Map of Nova Scotia and area

Nova Scotia and area. Source: http://pcmha.com/page.php?page_id=5991Pictou County Minor Hockey Ass’n.

Ships carrying dangerous cargo were not allowed into the harbour before the war, but the risks posed by German submarines had resulted in a relaxing of regulations.

The collision caused a fіrе to brеаk out, which in turn іgnіtеd thе еxрlоѕіvеѕ оn bоаrd. A huge еxрlоѕіоn wаѕ саuѕеd, killing 2000 people and injuring 9000 from fіrеѕ, fаllіng dеbrіѕ, and collapsing buіldіngѕ.  The out-of-control fire aboard Mont-Blanc set off her highly explosive cargo. The ship was completely blown apart, and the remains of her hull were launched nearly 1,000 feet into the air.  The blast travelled at more than 1,000 metres per second. Temperatures of 5 000 °C and pressures of thousands of atmospheres accompanied the moment of detonation at the centre of the explosion.  White-hot shards of iron rained down upon Halifax and Dartmouth. The Mont-Blanc’s forward 90 mm gun landed about 5.6 kilometres north of the explosion site near Albro Lake in Dartmouth, while part of her anchor, weighing half a ton, landed 3.2 kilometres south at Armdale.

Halifax explosion blast cloud

View, of the column of smoke raised by the Halifax Explosion. One of only a few photographs of the blast itself. 6 Dec. 1917 / Halifax, N.S.; 6 December 1917 Source: Library and Archives Canada/PA-166585

The shock wave from the blast travelled through the earth at nearly 23 times the speed of sound and was felt as far away as Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island.  An area over 400 acres was destroyed by the explosion, while the harbour floor was momentarily exposed by the volume of water that vaporized. A tsunami was formed by water surging in to fill the void, which rose up as high as 18 metres (60 feet) above the harbour’s high-water mark on the Halifax side.  Imo was carried onto the shore at Dartmouth by the tsunami.

The disaster had damaged buildings and shattered windows as far away as Sackville and Windsor Junction, about 16 kilometres  away. Buildings shook and items fell from shelves as far away as Truro and New Glasgow, both over 100 kilometres  away. The explosion was felt and heard in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, roughly 215 kilometres  north, and as far away as North Cape Breton, 360 kilometres  east.

Relief efforts were hampered the following day by a blizzard that blanketed Halifax with 16 inches  of heavy snow.

Robert Borden, Canada’s prime minister at the time, was in Charlottetown at the time of explosion and he also heard it along with many of his officials. He arrived and toured Halifax two days later to oversee and organize the recovery and rescue efforts.

Thе еxрlоѕіоn also wiped оut the еntіrе lосаl соmmunіtу оf Mі’kmаԛ First Nаtіоnѕ реорlе that had lіvеd in thе Tuft’ѕ Cоvе аrеа fоr generations.

The last body, a caretaker killed at the Exhibition Grounds, was not recovered until the summer of 1919.  An additional 9,000 were injured, 6,000 of them seriously; 1,630 homes were destroyed in the explosion and fires, with 12,000 more houses damaged.

Many of the wounds inflicted by the blast were permanently debilitating, with many people partially blinded by flying glass or by the flash of the explosion.  With the recently formed Canadian National Institute for the Blind, they managed to greatly improve the treatment of damaged eyes.

The death toll could have been worse if not for the self-sacrifice of an Intercolonial Railway dispatcher, Patrick Vincent (Vince) Coleman, operating at the Richmond Railway Yards about a quarter-mile away from Pier 6 where the explosion occurred. He and his co-worker, William Lovett, learned of the dangerous cargo aboard the burning Mont-Blanc from a sailor and began to flee. Coleman remembered, however, that an incoming passenger train from Saint John, New Brunswick was due to arrive at the rail yard within minutes. Coleman sent his Morse code message and left with Lovett. For unknown reasons, he returned to his post alone and continued to send out urgent telegraph messages to stop the train. Several variations of the message have been reported, among them this from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic:

“Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys.”

There are a number of books written about this event.  A few notable ones are:

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917,

Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Explosion 1917,

Dear Canada: No Safe Harbour: The Halifax Explosion Diary of Charlotte Blackburn, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1917,

and Dear Canada: No Safe Harbour: The Halifax Explosion Diary of Charlotte Blackburn, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1917.

 

 

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Bennettville: A Vancouver Story

tkmorin:

Bennettville, B.C. Here Seeker tells us of a time gone by … – tkmorin

Originally posted on The Seeker:

False Creek

Today, looking southwest from the dock of Bridges Restaurant, you see commercial wharves, and office and residential buildings. Sixty-three years ago, this area was a tidal flat rising to an elevation of 20 feet at the railway tracks, which were 300 feet from the shore. In 1933, it was known as Bennettville, and it was a collection of shacks and float houses built by squatters and the unemployed who were not on relief.

The name was derived from R.B. Bennett, Canada’s Prime Minister at the time. Needless to say, Bennettville was not recognized by city hall as a district of Vancouver. There were no roads, no services, and garbage and sewage went directly into False Creek. It was also home to small fishermen who caught fish from the Capilano River run, and between the Point Grey bell buoy and the mouth of the north arm of the Fairview slopes and…

View original 161 more words

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Canadian-related Links

 
 
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