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Watch “RCMP releases surveillance footage of gunman rush…” on YouTube

RCMP releases surveillance footage of gunman rush…: http://youtu.be/eoHQpUAZles

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2014 in Canadian-related Links

 

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Watch “RCMP releases surveillance footage of gunman rush…” on YouTube

RCMP releases surveillance footage of gunman rush…: http://youtu.be/eoHQpUAZles

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2014 in Canadian-related Links

 

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Beautiful Joe

As an inspiration for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), in November, I would like to introduce you to a great author who has known success and is behind great works as a conservationist.

Margaret Marshall Saunders

Margaret Marshall Saunders. Source: Harkins and Johnstone (1902) Little Pilgramages among the Women Who Have Written Famous Books, L.C. Page & Co., Boston

Margaret Marshall Saunders was born on May 13, 1861 in the village of Milton, Nova Scotia; she died on February 15, 1947, in Toronto, Ontario. She is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto.

She was a teacher in Nova Scotia who thought something was missing in her life.  Her friends and family encouraged her to write a novel.  She did just that.  Her first published novel was a melodramatic romantic story, My Spanish Sailor. [A Tale.]. Afraid of how other women would react to this book, she published under the name Marshall Saunders. And so began her writing career.

A chance encounter with William Moore in Meaford, Ontario, inspired her to write his real-life tale of a dog rescued from a brutal owner who clipped his ears and tail. The book is Beautiful Joe. It told the story of an abused dog from his point of view. Not only did her 1893 story win first prize in an American Humane Society competition, but Saunders was the first woman – the first Canadian – to sell more than a million copies. Her book was also translated in over fourteen languages!

“I don’t believe that a dog could have fallen into a happier home than I did.”

How’s that for inspiration?

In 1934, Saunders was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Together with fellow Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Saunders co-founded the Maritime branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club.

Following the success of Beautiful Joe, Saunders wrote more than twenty other stories, a number of which provided social commentary on such things as the abolition of child labor, slum clearance, and the improvement of playground facilities.

In 1994, the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society was formed to celebrate the life and story of Beautiful Joe and the achievements of Margaret Marshall Saunders. A park dedicated to Beautiful Joe has been established in Meaford, Ontario, Canada.

2014 Participant of the NaNoWriMo challenge

Natioanl Novel Writing Month http://nanowrimo.org

 

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo

Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, image source Facebook

Canadians felt anger and sadness when Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo ( a reservist member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) was fatally shot while taking a turn as part of the Ceremonial Guard watching over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at 9:50 a.m. on October 22, 2014.

If there is a silver lining here, it is because of Kevin Michael Vickers, Canada’s Sergeant-at-Arms. Kevin Vickers came out of his office carrying a pistol, and shot the gunman.

Kevin Vickars, Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons
Image source: http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/2k0f0d/this_is_the_man_who_fatally_shot_the_terrorist/

But what of the National War Memorial (also known as The Response)?

It stands in Confederation Square, Ottawa, and serves as the federal war memorial for Canada.

National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)

H.M. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth unveiling the National War Memorial, Ottawa, Canada, May 21, 1939.

It commemorates the First World War, and was rededicated to include the Second World War and the Korean War. It symbolizes the sacrifice made by every Canadian who has died or may yet die for their country.

 

 

The contract for the construction of the arch was awarded in December 1937 and the entire cenotaph was completed on 19 October 1938, after which the landscaping surrounding the memorial was laid out and installed by Toronto contractors. On May 15, 1939, the Post Office Department issued a stamp called National Memorial.

On May 21, the memorial was officially unveiled by George VI, King of Canada, in the presence of an estimated 100,000 people, months before the Second World War began.

The memorial serves as the focal point of Remembrance Day (November 11) ceremonies in Ottawa.

A national scandal arose following Canada Day (July 1) in 2006, when a group of young men were photographed urinating on the memorial at night, after celebrating the national holiday. This incident prompted the establishment of a Guard of Honour at the site, though the soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard are only present between 9 am and 5 pm from June through August. The navy and the air force also do rotations here in the summer months.

Yesterday, a Canadian Forces soldier on ceremonial duty at the memorial was shot and killed by an armed man. The gunman then crossed the street and entered the Centre Block building of the nearby Canadian Parliament complex, where a firefight ensued between the shooter and members of building security. A security guard was wounded and the suspect was killed. The slain soldier was Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, from Hamilton, Ontario.

Whenever the monarch or another member of the Royal Family is in Ottawa, they will, regardless of the date, lay a wreath at the monument. Other prominent dignitaries who have laid wreaths at the memorial include President of the United States John F. Kennedy in 1961 and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990.

Let us never forget.

 

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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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