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And it works!

You’ve got to give Frank Buckley credit. This savvy Canadian came up with one of the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) marketing slogans.  William Knapp Buckely moved to Toronto from Nova Scotia in 1914, where he worked as a pharmacist.

Bottle of Buckley's Cough Syrup

 

During the flu epidemic in 1918, he invented a cough remedy called Buskley’s Mixture.  It included herbal ingredients such as ammonium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate, camphor, menthol, Canada balsam (Abies balsamea), pine needle oil, and a tincture of capsicum. It is promoted for relief of coughs and sore throats for up to six hours.

He set up the W.K. Buckley Ltd company in 1920 and, within 20 years, went global with its marketing. When senior Buckley died in 1978, son Frank became president of the company and came up with the slogan, “It tastes awful, and it works!” When asked about the famous concoction, Frank admitted they “can’t get rid of the taste. If we do, we will be just another ‘me too’ cough medicine.

It has been rumoured to sell on Amazon for ten times the original price.

 

 


 

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Canadian Cuisine Intro

Canadian Food DrawingWhen you think of Canada, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? If you are like most people, you think about the ice and snow in the winter, large cities such as Vancouver or Toronto or perhaps the majestic Canadian Rockies. In any of those cases, you would be correct but if food doesn’t come to your mind, you are really missing something special. The fact of the matter is that Canadians are responsible for many culinary inventions and it offers a rather unique fare, if you take the time to look below the surface.

First of all, Canada covers a rather large area of land and water and the cuisine is going to be slightly different, or perhaps even completely different, depending upon where you happen to be standing. It can really be broken up into several different sections, each of which brings something rather unique to the table.

Pacific Northwest – This area of Canada, which stretches from Oregon and Washington up into Alaska, is well-known for its foods that contain an Asian flair. In addition, there are many Native American additions to the food that you will find in this part of the country.

Rocky Mountain – The food from the Rocky Mountain area is a convergence of many different types of cuisines, as much of it came from outside areas as the railways crossed the Rocky Mountains. In addition, mountain guides from around the world brought their own unique cuisines to the area and blended it with the native tribes.

Toronto – This culturally diverse area offers you almost any type of cuisine that you could possibly imagine. Regardless of whether you are looking for authentic Chinese food or something with a Caribbean flair, you will be able to find it in the Toronto area.

Quebec – The unique food from this part of the country tends to stem from the fur trading industry and includes many high fat, meaty foods with plenty of flavor. In addition, sap from the sugar maple flows freely at certain times of the year so you can always find a sweet snack that includes plenty of maple syrup.

Maritimes – Some rather unique dishes can be found in this eastern part of Canada which includes Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. You can enjoy anything from a seaweed dinner (dulse) to homemade potato chips and of course, plenty of maple syrup.

Anywhere you look in Canada, you will find unique culinary inventions that are a blend of the many cultures that visited the area. It offers some of the most delicious foods in the world and more than likely, you have had something on your dinner table that stems from Canada. So the next time you think about the country of Canada, make sure that the first thing that comes to your mind is food.

For the next couple of posts, I will be guiding you through our country’s unique cuisine.  There are certainly going to be a few surprises, and some reminders.  Hopefully, it will be “fruitful” (sorry) and entertaining.  I saw a notice which said 'drink canada dry' and I've just started.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2015 in Canada, Canadian, Entertainment, Food, Native

 

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101 Facts About Canada

Canada is interesting. I’ve said that many times. Some have asked me “in what way?” So here are a few ways:

 

  1. 10% of the world’s forest is in Canada
  2. 15.9% of the population is 65 or older. 68.5% are between the ages of 15 and 64.
  3. 17% of Canadians are daily smokers.
  4. 280,681 new permanent residents were welcomed to Canada in 2010. That number does not include temporary workers or foreign students.
  5. A 9.3 kg lobster is the largest documented lobster caught. It was caught in Nova Scotia in 1977
  6. About 90% of Canada’s population is concentrated within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of the Canada/U.S. border.
  7. Canada became a country on July 1, 1867
  8. Canada birth rate is 10 births/1,000 population
  9. Canada features the longest coastline in the world, stretching 202,080 kilometers (125,570 miles).
  10. Canada fertility rate is 1.59 children born/woman
  11. Canada has 198 jails.
  12. Canada has hosted the Olympic Games 3 times; 1976 in Montreal, 1988 in Calgary and 2010 in Vancouver.
  13. Canada has over 30,000 lakes.
  14. Canada has six time zones.
  15. Canada has ten provinces and three territories.
  16. Canada has the 9th lowest population density on the planet
  17. Canada highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m
  18. Canada infant mortality rate is 5 deaths/1,000 live births
  19. Canada is home to 15 million cattle, 9 million of which live on the Prairies.
  20. Canada is home to about 55 000 different species of insects.
  21. Canada is rich in resources such as zinc, nickel, lead and gold.
  22. Canada is the largest producer of uranium in the world.
  23. Canada is the second largest country in the world by total area (Russia is the largest).
  24. Canada officially got its own national flag on February 15, 1965 — almost 100 years after it became a country (in 1867).
  25. Canada population growth rate: 0.77%
  26. Canada shares the longest land border in the world with the United States, totaling 8891 kilometers (5525 miles).
  27. Canada’s literacy rate is over 99%.
  28. Canada’s only desert in British Columbia is only 15 miles long and is the only desert in the world with a long boardwalk for visitors to walk on.
  29. Canadian sports icons include Wayne Gretzky (hockey), Steve Nash (basketball), Mike Weir (golf) and Cassie Campbell (women’s hockey).
  30. Canadians call the one dollar coin the loonie. When in full production, 15 million loonies can be produced per day.
  31. Canadians can deduct a number of things from their tax software, but I bet you didn’t know that dog food is tax-deductible in Canada.
  32. Canadians generate 640 kilograms per person per year of waste.
  33. Churchill, Manitoba sees one of the largest annual polar bear migrations.
  34. Daylight savings time does not occur in Saskatchewan.
  35. Despite being a huge country, Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world, with only three people living per square kilometer! Almost half of the population in Canada were born in other countries.
  36. Fifty percent of the world’s polar bears live in Nunavut.
  37. Graeme Ferguson co-invented IMAX. There are over 500 IMAX theaters in 45 countries.
  38. Half of the country is covered with forests, which should come as no surprise considering one-tenth of the world’s forests are here.
  39. Ice hockey, football and baseball are Canadians favorite spectator sports.
  40. In 1576, Martin Frobisher discovered the strait that bears his name.
  41. In 1792-94, Captain George Vancouver painstakingly surveyed the west coast of Canada.
  42. It wasn’t until 1610 that Henry Hudson sailed through Hudson Strait into Hudson Bay.
  43. Its population density is 8.6 people per square mile, making Canada the ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world.
  44. John Cabot was the first explorer to reach Canada in 1497.
  45. Mackenzie River is the Longest River in Canada
  46. Navigation of the north-west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific was first achieved by the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen in 1906.
  47. Newfoundland didn’t become a province until 1949.
  48. Newfoundland is nicknamed “The Rock.’
  49. Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans
  50. No cows in Canada are given artificial hormones for milk production.
  51. Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province is only 225 kilometers long and 56 kilometers wide.
  52. Second-largest country in world.
  53. Six cities in Canada have a population of over 1 million: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.
  54. Some of the world’s largest wheat fields are found in Saskatchewan.
  55. The 2 main languages spoken in Canada are English and French.
  56. The Bank of Canada opened its doors in 1935 and issued its first bank notes.
  57. The CN Tower in Toronto was the world’s tallest free-standing structure until 2007.
  58. The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means “From sea to sea.”
  59. The Northwest Territories is called The Land of the Midnight Sun because the sun barely sets around the summer solstice.
  60. The Royal Montreal Golf Club, founded in 1873, is the oldest golf club in North America.
  61. The S&P/TSX is the fourth largest exchange by market cap in the developed world.
  62. The US buys more oil from Canada than any other country.
  63. The US, the UK and Mexico are the top countries visited by Canadians.
  64. The West Edmonton Mall is the largest in North America
  65. The age at first marriage for men is 29 years, 27.4 years for women.
  66. The average Canadian watches 21 hours of television per week. 128,000 Canadian households have TV’s in the bathroom.
  67. The average household size in Canada is 2.6 people.
  68. The average life expectancy at birth is 81.16 years – the sixth highest in the world.
  69. The baseball glove was invented in Canada in 1883.
  70. The capital city of Canada is Ottawa.
  71. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was -63C (-81.4F) on February 3, 1957 in Snag, Yukon.
  72. The east coast of Canada was settled by Vikings in about 1000 AD. It’s definitely worth a visit to L’Anse aux Meadows.
  73. The first indoor ice hockey game took place on March 3, 1875 at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal.
  74. The highest mountain in Canada is Mount Logan, Yukon Territory, 5959 meters (19,551 feet).
  75. The intersection of Portage and Main Street in Winnipeg has been called the windiest place in Canada.
  76. The largest non-polar ice field in the world can be found in the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory. It covers an area of 40,570 square kilometers of which 16,900 square kilometers are in Canada, the rest being in Alaska.
  77. The license plate for cars, motorbikes and snowmobiles in Nunavut is in the shape of a polar bear.
  78. The longest highway in the world is the Trans-Canada Highway which is over 7,604 kilometers (4,725 miles) in length.
  79. The median age is 41 years.
  80. The most popular sport in Canada is ice hockey.
  81. The name Canada comes from the word ‘kanata’ which means ‘settlement’ or ‘village’ in the language of the indigenous St Lawrence Iroquoians.
  82. The official languages of Canada are English and French.
  83. The population in Canada in 2011 was about 34.3 million.
  84. The regent of England, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the Canadian head of state.
  85. The world’s most northerly sand dunes are in Athabasca Provincial Park in northwest Saskatchewan. They are 30 meters high.
  86. There are 459 cars for every 1000 people.
  87. There are about 200 species of mammals in Canada.
  88. There are diamond mines in the Northwest Territories.
  89. There are nearly 2.5 million caribou in Canada.
  90. There have been 10 Nobel Prize laureates in Canada.
  91. Thirty two percent of Canadians are very happy, 55% are quite happy
  92. Thomas Ahearn invented the electric cooking range in 1882.
  93. Wasaga beach is the longest fresh water beach in the world.
  94. Whistler, British Columbia is consistently ranked as one of the best places in North America for downhill skiing.
  95. Winnie The Pooh Was Based On A Canadian Bear
  96. Winters can be very cold in Canada with temperatures dropping below -40 °C (-40 °F) in some parts of the country.
  97. You can swim with beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba.
  98. You’ll find about 630 bird species in Canada.
  99. Recognised regional languages include Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłı̨chǫ.
  100.  Currently, the Governor General is David Johnston, and the Prime Minister is Stephen Harper.
  101. The Vikings were the first Europeans known to land in Canada, in what is now Newfoundland, led by the Viking explorer Leif Erikson.
 

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My Top 5

It is said that the weather is something Canadians talk about a lot.  I find myself counting the weeks left to see Spring temperatures.  For today’s post, I decided to describe my top 5 weather stories of 2013.

Photo of a street in Alberta during the floods of 2013

Alberta Floods in 2013

 

1.  Alberta’s super flood of May/June washed across one-quarter of the province and through the heart of Calgary – the fourth largest city in Canada.  The damage losses and recovery costs from the flood to exceed $6 billion, including a record $2 billion in insured losses. Trees were literally skinned of their bark 10 metres above the ground by gravel and boulders barrelling along in rushing waters. In Calgary’s downtown, 4,000 businesses were impacted and 3,000 buildings were flooded. Water rose at the Saddledome up to the 10th row. In Stampede Park, stables and barns were under more than two metres of water.

2. Toronto’s Torrent of July  when the city faced two separate storm cells – one on the heels of the other – that slowed then stalled over the city. The one-two weather punch delivered more rain in two hours than Toronto usually sees during an entire July. Exacerbating the storm’s impact was the 38 mm of rain that had fallen on the city the day before. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimated the July 8 storm costs at close to $1 billion in damages – the most expensive natural disaster ever in Ontario. Videos captured cars bobbing up and down on streets and highways, sinkholes opening up and snakes swimming inside stalled commuter trains. Thousands were stranded, necessitating rescue by boat in some instances. About 500,000 households were without power for as much as days.

3. February Fog on Fogo. No one got off Newfoundland’s Fogo Island for five days at the end of the month because heavy ice conditions and dense fog shut down ferry and air travel. The Island’s school closed, stores ran low on supplies and residents were unable to attend off-island medical appointments. Feelings of isolation and frustration only increased as strong winds blew more fog in on the Island instead of blowing it away.

4. The Nightmare during Christmas, happened the weekend before Christmas as a vigorous winter storm coated parts of eastern Canada with a thick mixture of snow, ice pellets, rain and freezing rain that plunged large parts of the region into days of cold and darkness. Thick glaze left roads and sidewalks slick and dangerous and knocked down power lines, leaving over 500,000 people without electricity. Though

Downed trees on a road

Nightmare During Christmas

picturesque, the Christmas storm created extremely dangerous conditions as fallen power lines intertwined with broken tree limbs dangled across streets and property. The affected area extended from Lake Huron, across the Greater Toronto Area, east along Highway 401 to Cornwall, through Quebec’s Eastern Townships and across the central Maritimes centred on the Bay of Fundy. The epicentre of the freezing rain was in southern Ontario between Niagara and Trenton where between 20 and 30 mm fell – more than two-year’s worth in two days. It crippled North American transportation at one of the busiest travel times of the year.

5. Prairie Perpetual Winter. Environment Canada considers the months of December through February as winter. Tell that to Canadians on the Prairies, where cold, snow and ice went on for seven months from October 2012 to April 2013, inclusive – the longest and coldest period in 16 years. Snows came early, stayed late and never disappeared. As a result, it felt and looked like winter from before Thanksgiving to a month after Easter. And with deep snow on the ground any warm-up was stalled until late May. Persistent cold – between March 1 and April 30, the average temperature in Regina was -8°C; eleven degrees colder than the previous year and the coldest period in 113 years. The prolonged winter was especially costly for governments. By the end of January, Saskatchewan had already spent $6 million more than usual on snow and ice control with much more to come.

I guess this year’s winter isn’t so bad after all.

 

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Montgomery’s Anne

So many people around the world are familiar with Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.  It doesn’t need much introduction, but maybe I can remind some of you about the story and the author herself.

Photo of Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery in a photograph believed to have been taken when she arrived in Halifax to work at the Echo. (1897)

This Canadian literary classic is the story of 11-year-old orphan Anne Shirley who is sent by mistake to live at Green Gables in Avonlea with a brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The Cuthberts were ready for a boy to help out with the daily chores at the farm. But within a few days Anne has fallen in love with the Cuthberts and Green Gables and wants it to be her permanent home. Matthew and Marilla are quickly drawn to Anne in return and cannot envision life without her, despite all the awkward situations this scrappy, talkative, red-haired child gets into.

The traditions and lifestyle of Prince Edward Island where Avonlea is situated are based on Montgomery’s own experiences growing up in this unique place. She also includes descriptions of its beautiful landscapes.

Since its first publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. Numerous sequels were penned by Montgomery, and since her death another sequel has been published, as well as an authorized prequel. The original book is taught to students around the world.

It has been adapted as films, made-for-television movies, and animated and live-action television series. Anne Shirley was played by Megan Follows in the 1985 Canadian produced movie. Plays and musicals have also been started, with annual productions in Canada since 1964 of the first musical production, which has toured in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. Others have been produced in Canada and the United States.

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on November 30, 1874 in Clifton, P.E.I., and died on April 24, 1942 in Toronto, Ontario at the age of 67.  She was called “Maud” by family and friends and publicly generally known as L. M. Montgomery.  The first story was published in 1908. Anne of Green Gables was an instantaneous success.  Perhaps a not so well-known fact about Montgomery is that she went on to create 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays. The majority of the novels were set on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and places in the Canadian province became literary points of interest. She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.

Mindful of her fame, by 1920 Montgomery began editing and recopying her journals, presenting her life as she wanted it remembered. In doing so certain episodes were changed or excluded.

Freckles was popularized in the book ‘Anne of Green Gables’ in which Anne Shirley has freckles over her face.  Freckles, also known as sun’s kiss.  It is often said of freckles that they give that ‘girl next door’ look.  At the time, many young girls became proud of their freckles.

There are so many links I can offer you about the book series and about Montgomery, but allow me to offer you a select collection. You can get free audio readings of her books at Librivox; Ryerson University has created the Anne of Green Gables Centenary; the University of Guelph has put together the L. M. Montgomery Research Centre; I also suggest the The L. M. Montgomery Literary Society.

“You’re not eating anything,” said Marilla sharply, eying her as if it were a serious shortcoming. Anne sighed.
“I can’t. I’m in the depths of despair. Can you eat when you are in the depths of despair?”
“I’ve never been in the depths of despair, so I can’t say,” responded Marilla.
“Weren’t you? Well, did you ever try to IMAGINE you were in the depths of despair?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Then I don’t think you can understand what it’s like. It’s very uncomfortable feeling indeed. When you try to eat a lump comes right up in your throat and you can’t swallow anything, not even if it was a chocolate caramel. I had one chocolate caramel once two years ago and it was simply delicious. I’ve often dreamed since then that I had a lot of chocolate caramels, but I always wake up just when I’m going to eat them. I do hope you won’t be offended because I can’t eat. Everything is extremely nice, but still I cannot eat.”

 

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Making Do …

In the tough Depression years, a newly hired 16-year-old working at Dare’s Kitchener factory was paid 17 cents an hour. Ontario’s minimum wage for adults was 22 cents an hour!

Photo of a food line in Toronto during the Great Depression

Food line at the Yonge Street Mission, 381 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada, during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The worldwide Great Depression that started in the United States in late 1929 quickly reached Canada, and was hit hard. Between 1929 and 1939, the gross national product dropped 40% (compared to 37% in the US). Unemployment reached 27% at the depth of the Depression in 1933. Many businesses closed, as corporate profits of $398 million in 1929 turned into losses of $98 million as prices fell. Farmers in the Prairies were especially hard hit by the collapse of wheat prices.  The Depression ended in 1939 as World War II began.

Denyse Baillargeon, historian and author, uses oral histories from 30 women to discover how housewives in the depression handled shortages of money and resources. Often they updated strategies their mothers used when they were growing up in poor families. Cheap foods were used, such as soups, beans and noodles. They purchased the cheapest cuts of meat—sometimes even horse meat—and recycled the Sunday roast into sandwiches and soups. They sewed and patched clothing, traded with their neighbors for outgrown items, and kept the house colder. New furniture and appliances were postponed until better days. These strategies, Baillargeon finds, show that women’s domestic labor—cooking, cleaning, budgeting, shopping, childcare—was essential to the economic maintenance of the family and offered room for economies. Most of her informants also worked outside the home, or took boarders, did laundry for trade or cash, and did sewing for neighbors in exchange for something they could offer. Extended families used mutual aid—extra food, spare rooms, repair-work, cash loans—to help cousins and in-laws.  Half of the Catholic women defied Church teachings and used contraception to postpone births—the number of births nationwide fell from 250,000 in 1930 to about 228,000 and did not recover until 1940.

If you would like to read Baillargeon’s book, click here, Making Do: Women, Family and Home in Montreal during the Great Depression.

 

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Not a Good Compromise

Air Canada DC 8

An Air Canada McDonnell Douglas DC-8 similar to the aircraft that crashed.

On July 5, 1970, an Air Canada plane crashed while landing in Toronto, (Ontario).  All 108 passengers and crew died.

Captain Peter Hamilton and First Officer Donald Rowland had certainly flown together before.  But they disagreed on when to “arm the ground spoilers.”

I’m not a pilot, so the exact procedure for this manoever is not something I totally understand.  But from what I was able to learn, arming the ground spoilers is executed just above the runway, causing the aircraft’s nose to rotate up. That ensures the nose wheel does not contact the runway first, and it also reduces the rate of descent so that the main wheels will not impact the runway too hard. The thrust of the engines is reduced at the same time, causing the speed of the aircraft to slow significantly.

They both agreed they did not like arming them at the beginning of the final approach, fearing it could lead to an inadvertent spoiler deployment. The captain preferred arming them on the ground, while the copilot preferred arming them during the landing flare.

So they compromised.  When the captain was piloting the aircraft, the first officer would deploy the spoilers on the ground, as he preferred, and when the first officer was piloting the aircraft the captain would arm them on the flare as copilot preferred.

On July 5, there was a miscommunication.  The pilot said, “All right. Give them to me on the flare,” and then said, “Okay.”  The copilot immediately deployed the spoilers on the flare, instead of just arming them. The plane began to sink heavily, so the captain had to pull back on the control column and applied full thrust to all four engines.  The copilot realized his mistake and apologized.

The nose lifted, but the aircraft continued to sink, hitting the runway with enough force that the number four engine and pylon broke off the wing.  The captain managed to lift off for a go-around, but was unaware that the lost fourth engine had torn off a piece of the lower wing plating and the aircraft was now trailing fuel, which ignited.  They requested from the tower to land on the same runway, but were told that there was too much debris and were given another runway.

Two and a half minutes after the initial collision, the right wing above engine number four exploded, causing parts of the wing to break off, and six seconds after this explosion, another explosion occurred in the area of the number three engine, causing the pylon and engine to both break off and fall to the ground in flames. Six and a half seconds after the second explosion.  After that, a third explosion occurred, destroying most of the right wing, including the wing tip. The plane then went into a violent nose dive, striking the ground at a high velocity of about 220 knots (407 km/h) and killing all 100 passengers and the nine crew members on board.

The mishap was the first Air Canada accident involving fatalities since November 1963, when another DC-8, Flight 831 crashed with a loss of 118 lives.

For more info I suggest History.com, and Aviation Safety Network where you can also get a flight Voice Recorder Transcript. You might also enjoy reading the Official Accident Report.

 

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