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Sunday Newsletter 2001-33Su.
August 19, 2001.
[John] While making a delivery a few days ago (I am a courier by trade), I noticed a truck belonging to a recycling company with which many of us are familiar (I won't mention any names) and which has been in business for many years. The logo and slogan, however, had changed. Now painted on their five-ton truck is a picture of Earth, surrounded by the colour green (defining their "environmental friendliness" I presume), the slogan "We Care", the words "we recycle" and "environmental services", and, of course, the company name. All of these words address issues with which, to my knowledge, the company has always dealt. Looking around I notice that the trucks of similar companies look almost the same, projecting the same image.
So what's their point? What's my point in describing the branding of a five-ton truck? What thoughts crossed my mind that day? Trying not to be a cynic, but wanting to examine all sides of an issue, it occurs to me that more and more advertising is designed to make us feel guilty -- in this case if we don't recycle. It tugs at our hearts and implores us to lighten our wallets and purses in the name of saving humanity. What happened to merely offering us a choice -- better features, better price, better quality, etc.?
Don't get me wrong. I am an avid believer in (and practitioner of) recycling, and the efforts of nations to try and undo the damage caused by the rapid industrialization of the modern world during the last century. What confuses me is the conflicting message -- if these companies are out to save Mother Nature now, what is it they were doing before? Like any other business, their main goal is to turn a profit. However, it also seems to me that they are doing it on the backs of consumers. On top of the guilt the companies and governments peddle us, governments dig further into our almost-empty pockets and impose non-refundable "user fees" on products purchased, the packaging for which we turn around and recycle -- consuming valuable quantities of our dwindling and precious leisure and family time, I might add. The big boys in the recycling business then turn around and sell the recycled material to manufacturers who then produce new goods.
Something is wrong with the cycle in recycle. If governments are really concerned about the average family (as parties of all political stripes claim they are), should they not be paying us (or at least giving us tax breaks) for all the recycling that we do? Either that or they should be forcing manufacturers to make and package their products in a more environmentally-friendly fashion, not charging the consumer for the excesses of industry. If this were a different period in history we might even consider revolting but, no, we are too consumed with going to our movies and playing with our electronic equipment. We all need to look around us occasionally and think about what we see.
\\ TABLE OF CONTENTS //
\ Question of the week
\ Biography -- Edwin Headley Holgate
\ Geek report
\ Joke of the week
\ Music trivia
\ Canadian trivia
\ Place names -- Minnedosa, Manitoba
\ Also born this week
\ Movie review -- "The Score"
\ It happened this week in history
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information
\\ QUESTION OF THE WEEK //
Of the numerous premiers of Manitoba, starting with Alfred Boyd in 1870 and up to the current premier, Gary Doer, the first three "premiers" (Alfred Boyd, Marc Girard and Henry Clark) did not actually hold the title "premier" (except now in today's history books). What was their title within the Manitoba Assembly before it changed?
As usual, the answer can be found near the bottom.
\\ BIOGRAPHY //
Edwin Headley Holgate
Holgate was born in Allandale (now Barrie), Ontario, on August 19, 1892. His father was an engineer and, at a the very young age of three, Holgate was relocated with his family to Jamaica where his father pursued a career. Two years later Holgate and family relocated to Toronto, and he began his schooling.
In 1901 the family was on the move again, this time to Montreal where, in 1905, the 13-year-old Holgate became a part-time student at the Art Association of Montreal studying under William Brymner, who has become known as Canada's first great art teacher. In 1909 Holgate took a course with Maurice Cullen, who had etched out quite a portfolio for himself, was an expert at depicting snow on canvas, and is today remembered as a "romantic" painter. From 1912 until 1915 Holgate travelled and learned, visiting France, Japan and Ukraine and developing his own style in the process. In 1915 he returned home to enlist in the army, having seen the atrocities of war in Europe first hand. He served with the 5th Canadian Artillery Division in France during this, the First World War.
In 1930 he was invited to join the elite troupe of painters and artists calling itself "The Group of Seven". His tenure was short-lived, however, as the group disbanded in 1933. Holgate was known primarily as a portraitist -- he completed many works in a series of female nudes, usually in outdoor settings, distracting the viewer's eye from the always subtly-drawn bodies which actually did not reveal too much of a controversial nature. In 1935 Holgate was elected to the position of associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. When World War Two arrived, Holgate was commissioned as an official war artist with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
He continued to be an active painter until the time of his death in Montreal on May 21, 1977. In 1999, the popular oil on canvas entitled "The Great Bug Pond, Cache River" by Holgate sold for an astounding $121 000. You can view this painting through one of the links below.
Virtual Museum of Canada, Holgate Gallery
Short biography of Edwin Holgate
"The Great Bug Pond, Cache River"
"The Cellist" and more on Holgate
FactsCanada.ca map of Barrie, Ontario
\\ GEEK REPORT //
As some of you (or maybe none of you -- I aim to find out) will have noticed, we have not included links to books in our newsletters or on our Resources page for several months now. We initially chose to use the affiliate program of Indigo because, even though their Web site was certainly lacking in comparison to that of Chapters.ca, their affiliate agreement was not as restrictive on our business activities as that of Chapters.ca. A few months ago the two companies merged, something that seems to be a fact of life in Canada these days as de facto monopolies emerge in several industries. In doing so the new conglomerate abandoned the Indigo affiliates, leaving them (including FactsCanada.ca) with hundreds of dead links on our sites.
For the simple reason that I had no time to pursue it (and because I was cheesed off [as I acknowledge the possibility of a younger segment of our readership]), I did nothing about joining the new Chapters.Indigo.ca (CI for short from here on) affiliate program. I'm glad I didn't, as CI has again pulled the rug out from under their affiliates (all of them this time) and chosen to outsource their affiliate program to a third party. In doing so they have cut in half the commissions paid -- they used to pay a higher commission for links to specific books, and a lower commission for links to their home page. On top of all that we have no idea how much they owe us, and it appears there is no way to find out. If there is, CI is certainly keeping it a secret.
What I would like to know is this: Did you find these links to specific books on each of our published topics of use? Would you find them useful if we started publishing them again? Would you support the continued existence of FactsCanada.ca by purchasing books through these links? Please share your thoughts with us by sending them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks a bunch.
\\ JOKE OF THE WEEK //
There are three engineers in a car; an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer and a Microsoft engineer. Suddenly the car just stops by the side of the road, and the three engineers look at each other wondering what could be wrong.
The electrical engineer suggests stripping down the electronics of the car and trying to trace where a fault might have occurred. The chemical engineer, not knowing much about cars, suggests that maybe the fuel is becoming emulsified and getting blocked somewhere.
Then, the Microsoft engineer, not knowing much about anything, comes up with another suggestion; "Why don't we close all the windows, get out, get back in, open the windows again, and maybe it'll work?"
\\ MUSIC TRIVIA //
Here is this year's fourth installment of music trivia from years gone by. In issue 2001-22Su I presented to you the music that reached number one in Canada in 1986. Now, As promised, this fourth edition of this ongoing feature highlights the songs from ten years ago, 1991.
In 1991 we began the year with a run from the American dance duo known as 2 In A Room and their hit "Wiggle It". This ditty finished off 1990 and remained in the top spot until February 4, 1991. From this date forward here are the remaining songs that climbed to number one in Canada:
"Gonna Make You Sweat", by C&C Music Factory (also known as C+C Music Factory).
"Sadeness Part 1", by Enigma. It was also known as "Sadness Part 1" in certain parts of the world. Please see the accompanying link.
"I've Been Thinking About You", by Londonbeat.
"Joyride", by Roxette, a Swedish pop duo.
"More Than Words", by Extreme.
"Not Like Kissing You", by West End Girls, who were formed in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of their members, Camille Henderson, is the daughter of Bill Henderson, front man for the rock group Chilliwack, formed in Vancouver in 1964.
"Rush Rush", by Paula Abdul, former Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader.
"(Everything I Do) I Do It For You", by Bryan Adams.
"Enter Sandman", by Metallica.
"Life Is A Highway", by Tom Cochrane.
"Black Or White", by Michael Jackson.
Definitely the shortest list so far, with only 11 tunes reaching number one in 1991. Many of these songs remained number one for between four and eight weeks, but none beat the number-one song of the year, Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You", which remained at number one for 12 weeks.
Enigma's "Sadeness Part 1"
\\ CANADIAN TRIVIA //
Bungee -- Most of us are familiar with this word from its reference to the sport of bungee jumping, or to the bungee cord used for the jump or the smaller ones used to quickly secure items for transport. The word "bungee" comes from the bangi gum tree in Malaysia. What most don't know is that Bungee is also a dialect of English that was spoken first in the Red River valley, north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The language had its roots in families of mixed Metis, Cree, Orkney, Scottish and Saulteaux/French descent, who were homesteaders there in the early 19th century. Although rarely used today, some small communities in the woodlands west of Hudson Bay still speak a variation of Bungee, sometimes referred to as Bungi. The word itself probably has Ojibwa origins, and may be from the word "panli", meaning "a portion of something".
Research on Canadian English
A definition of "Saulteaux"
\\ PLACE NAMES //
This Manitoba town of about 3100 people is located some 200 kilometres west and slightly north of Winnipeg, directly north of Brandon, Manitoba, and on the east side of the Little Saskatchewan River. The settlement began around 1870 and was initially called Tanner's Crossing after ferry operator John Tanner, who established a toll ferry and later a bridge across the river. The post office for the area was called Hallsford, and in 1879 its postmaster, J.S. Armitage, suggested calling the community Minnedosa. This name was derived from the Sioux phrase "minne duza" which means "fast water" -- not to mention that his wife's name was Minnie. The following year a daughter was born to the Armitage family and was named Minnedosa. In 1911 the river's name was changed to the Minnedosa River but, through local appeals in 1978, the Manitoba Names Authority restored the original name of the Little Saskatchewan River.
FactsCanada.ca map of Minnedosa, Manitoba
"The Minnedosa Tribune"
\\ ALSO BORN THIS WEEK //
Allan Monk, opera singer (baritone), Officer of the Order of Canada (1985), born in Mission, British Columbia, August 19, 1942.
Mario Bernardi, symphony conductor, Companion of the Order of Canada (1972), born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, August 20, 1930.
Amor de Cosmos (né William Alexander Smith), newspaper editor, photographer and premier of British Columbia (1872-1874), born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, August 20, 1825. His adopted name loosely translates to "order, beauty, the world and the universe", and he used this moniker from 1854 onward.
Cynthia "Cindy" Nicholas, marathon swimmer and Member of the Order of Canada (1979), born in Toronto, Ontario, August 20, 1957.
Patricia Rozema, filmmaker, born in Kingston, Ontario, August 20, 1958.
Hector "Toe" Blake, NHL Hockey Hall of Fame member (1966), player, coach and Member of the Order of Canada (1982), born in Victoria Mines, Nova Scotia, August 21, 1912.
Edward Barron Chandler, judge and lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick (1878-1880), born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, August 22, 1800.
James De Mille, professor and novelist, born in Saint John, New Brunswick, August 23, 1833.
William Melville Martin, lawyer and premier of Saskatchewan (1916-1922), born in Norwich, Ontario, August 23, 1876. He died two months shy of his 94th birthday.
Gary Albert Filmon, engineer, businessman and premier of Manitoba (1988-1999), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, August 24, 1942.
Rene Levesque, journalist and premier of Quebec (1976-1985), born in Campbellton, New Brunswick, August 24, 1922.
Carol Bolt (née Johnson), playwright and founding member of the Playwrights Union of Canada, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, August 25, 1941.
\\ MOVIE REVIEW //
Well, not really a review, but just some general feelings. I didn't realize at first that this was a Canadian movie. I mean, Canadian movies are all set in Newfoundland and are depressing things produced by the CBC which never see the light of day -- right? Wrong! There we were at SilverCity Riverport (a Famous Players facility) in Richmond, British Columbia, watching a Canadian movie directed by Frank Oz and starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett. If you're familiar with Montreal (I'm not, but it was still cool to see the Canadian flags), you'll recognize the city in this thriller -- right down to the Quebec licence plates. It even involves Canada Customs although, strangely I thought, I never got to see anyone wearing a Customs uniform. (Probably another damn rule against it or something.)
Anyway, go and see this movie. I sat on the edge of my seat all the way through, something I find I never do at supposedly "thrilling" movies these days. Not only will your heart be in your throat for the whole movie (and I mean from start to finish, even during apparently quiet scenes), but you'll never be prepared for the ending. Go see it. Trust me.
\\ IT HAPPENED THIS WEEK IN HISTORY //
August 19, 1942 -- Operation Jubilee, better known as the raid on Dieppe (a small port on the French coast), was a disaster and cost over 900 Canadian lives.
August 19, 1809 -- The first successful steamboat built entirely in North America was launched in Montreal. Its name was "The Accommodation".
August 22, 1919 -- After two fatal building delays, the Quebec Bridge was finally opened.
August 25, 1928 -- Now referred to as Canada's first major air disaster, a B.C. Airways Ford Trimotor flew into Washington State's Puget Sound in bad weather, killing seven people.
August 25, 1873 -- The Great Nova Scotia Cyclone finished its devastation. Actually a hurricane, it claimed about 500 lives as it swept across Cape Breton Island. The storm also destroyed some 1200 marine vessels, 900 buildings, and numerous bridges before dying out.
August 25, 1906 -- The Saskatchewan coat of arms was granted by King Edward VII of England.
\\ ANSWER TO THIS WEEK'S QUESTION //
The question posed to you this week was:"Of the numerous premiers of Manitoba, starting with Alfred Boyd in 1870 and up to the current premier, Gary Doer, the first three "premiers" (Alfred Boyd, Marc Girard and Henry Clark) did not actually hold the title "premier" (except now in today's history books). What was their title within the Manitoba Assembly before it changed?"
Answer: Chief Minister of Manitoba.
Although I stumbled upon this oddity, almost all book references and Web sites refer to these gentlemen as "premiers". The following link is one of the few that supports my find in the Canadian Encyclopedia.
List of Manitoba premiers and chief ministers
\\ PREVIEW //
Next Sunday I bring to you the life and times of paleontologist Alice Evelyn Wilson, profile Pilot Butte, Saskatchewan, bring you more information on Canadian awards and prizes, and ask you a question about the music group 54.40.
[Craig] I've already had two spots in this week's newsletter (three if you count John's editorial, which he told me to tell you I "recycled" for him from his original draft), so it hardly seems fair that I should hog more space here. So I won't, except to say that I was sure I had something extra to say here. Oh, I remember. Please note that we are on-time this week. Awesome!
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FactsCanada.ca -- http://www.factscanada.ca
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