Nov. 11th, 2008

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Veterans Day (or Armistice Day)

Today, of course, is the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I, the "war to end all wars."

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Nov. 11th, 2007

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Veterans Day (or Armistice Day)

Today, of course, is the 89th anniversary of the end of World War I, the "war to end all wars."

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

May. 11th, 2006

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A.M. Rosenthal (1922-2006)

The New York Times is reporting that former editor A.M. Rosenthal has died. (Times article; registration required)

I don't have much to add to his obituary, which reads in some ways like a history of the 20th century. This was the editor who created the New York Times that, frankly, I grew to love. I tend to think he did his best to make the Times a world-class paper and one that would also be appealing.

Rosenthal attended DeWitt Clinton High School around the same time as my Dad, so it's possible they knew each other, but I'm honestly not sure. However, given that they were both newspapermen, I'm sure they must have met at some point.

Nov. 11th, 2005

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Veterans Day (or Armistice Day)

Today, of course, is the 87th anniversary of the end of World War I, the "war to end all wars."

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Sep. 29th, 2005

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This Day in History, 1962: A Jaunty Alouette

This one's for my Canadian friends.

Forty-three years ago today, NASA launched Alouette 1, Canada's first satellite. Alouette studied the ionosphere for ten years and took over one million images before being switched off. John Herbert Chapman, the director of the program, received many awards for his work in aerospace technology.

For more information:
Canadian Space Agency - Alouette I and II
Wikipedia: Alouette I

Jul. 1st, 2005

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Happy Canada Day!

Today our friends to the north are celebrating Canada Day, the anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Our own independence celebration takes place on Monday, of course, but I have a soft spot for Canada and Canadian culture, and so to all my Canadian friends, happy Canada day!

To all my American friends who have talked about either immigrating to Canada or pretending to be Canadian when traveling abroad:

Have you heard of Stockwell Day? Have you ever experienced the humor of Rick Mercer and his Monday Report? Do you know which hour contains only 22 minutes? Can you name Canada's ten provinces and its Prime Minister? Can you identify your favorite hockey team? Can you name a Canadian's favorite place to get donuts?

If not, consider reading camwyn's essay How To Pass For Canadian. It's an excellent primer on the sort of things you ought to know about if you want to make someone think you're Canadian, or at the very least, give our northern neighbors the respect they deserve by knowing something about their country.

May. 20th, 2005

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This Day in History, 1980: Quebec Referendum

(Dedicated to zmook)

Twenty-five years ago today, on May 20, 1980, Quebec held its first referendum on whether Quebec should consider secession from Canada. The vote was defeated by 59.56% to 40.44%.

The exact phrasing of the question on the ballot was as follows:


"The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in other words, sovereignty — and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic association including a common currency; any change in political status resulting from these negotiations will be effected with approval by the people through another referendum; on these terms, do you give the Government of Quebec the mandate to negotiate the proposed agreement between Quebec and Canada?"


Quebec voted on sovereignty a second time, on October 30, 1995. The vote was much closer, but the supporters of secession still ended up losing. Since then, the issue has once more become dormant, and for the foreseeable future, Quebec will continue as one of Canada's ten provinces rather than an independent state.

Want to learn more?

Wikipedia entry on the 1980 Quebec referendum

Wikipedia entry on the 1995 Quebec referendum

And, hey, if you're an American and need even more context:

Wikipedia entry on Canada

Dec. 6th, 2004

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This Day in History, 1917

For my Canadian friends out there, a sad day in World War I:

The Great Halifax Explosion

At 9:05 a.m., in the harbor of Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, the most devastating manmade explosion in the pre-atomic age occurs when the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship, explodes 20 minutes after colliding with another vessel.

Read more...Collapse )

The massive explosion killed more than 1,800 people, injured another 9,000--including blinding 200--and destroyed almost the entire north end of the city of Halifax, including more than 1,600 homes. The resulting shock wave shattered windows 50 miles away, and the sound of the explosion could be heard hundreds of miles away.
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