[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca — Sunday Newsletter 2001-46Su
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Sunday Newsletter 2001-46Su.

November 18, 2001.

[Craig] Last year in this newsletter we had a joke poking fun at Americans. As some of our older (not in age) subscribers will remember, we lost a subscriber (an "insane" [her own description] ex-American married to a Canadian and living in Canada) over her perception that we are not very friendly to our southern neighbours. Strangely enough, we lost her over a joke that poked more fun at Canadians than it did at Americans, but I'm not going to rehash that debacle. Just to prove that we can poke as much fun at ourselves as we can at anyone else, we present to you this week's joke. I don't know where John got it, but I thought it was funny.

Although this week's newsletter is, for the most part, a re-run of the newsletter published at this time last year, the information on mailing dates for mail to arrive in time for Christmas has been updated and applies to 2001. (If you're a new subscriber and wondering what this "re-run" business is all about, please read the opening comments of FactsCanada.ca issue 2001-43Su.)


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\\ TABLE OF CONTENTS //

\ Question of the week
\ Biography — Holly Cole
\ Music trivia
\ Pet peeve
\ Joke for the week
\ This week's recipe — Diablo Cheese Bowl
\ Christmas mailing
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Preview
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information


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\\ QUESTION OF THE WEEK //

Which Canadian island is more than twice the size of Great Britain? Answer near the bottom.


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\\ BIOGRAPHY //

Holly Cole

Being born the daughter of CBC Radio personality Leon Cole and arts administrator Carolyn Cole (also both classical musicians) probably eased Holly's adventure into the world of entertainment. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on November 25, 1963, and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was a while until her musical talent began to mold her lifestyle, as she competed in equestrian sports as a teen. It was during these competitions that she first heard the voice of Sarah Vaughan and her life's direction was changed forever.

After that, even while engaged in her equestrian endeavours, she was always inspired to pursue a musical career. Cole moved to Toronto in 1982 and formed the band the Holly Cole Trio a few years later. This band consisted of Holly doing the vocals, Aaron Davis (from the Parachute Club) on piano and David Piltch performing on bass and percussion. They debuted at Toronto's Stage Door Cafe in 1986.

Quickly the trio became a permanent fixture on the Toronto jazz circuit and started to garner some label interest. This led to the 1989 release of a mini album entitled "Christmas Blues". In 1990 their full length debut occurred with "Girl Talk", which was a work of Cowboy Junkies' producer Peter Moore. After this release, noted jazz/blues executives at Blue Note records signed her to a contract in May 1991.

Virtually a "song interpreter", Cole takes material already written or recorded and rearranges it for her unique, sexy, and provocative style. Even her fourth major release ("Temptation") is a collection of songs written solely by Tom Waits.

Cole is very popular in Canada, having had many of her eight releases certified gold. However she has not succeeded yet in infiltrating the over-saturated American market. She is phenomenally successful in Japan (perhaps even more so than her native Canada), winning their prestigious Grand Prix Gold Disc Award.

Holly most recently released "Romantically Helpless" in February this year. I own all but two of her releases, and had the pleasure of seeing her perform during the Christmas season of 1997.

For further information on this very talented lady, please visit her Web site.


Holly Cole's Web Place


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\\ MUSIC TRIVIA //

This week we look at the songs that went to number one in Canada 11 years ago (1990). The year started of with a holdover from 1989. It was "Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers which held the number one position for the four weeks from December 25, 1989, until January 22, 1990.

"Blame it on the Rain", by Milli Vanilli.
"Back to Life", by Soul II Soul.
"Opposites Attract", by Paula Abdul.
"Let Your Backbone Slide", by Maestro Fresh-Wes. (This Canadian male rapper was born Wesley Williams in Toronto in 1968.)
"All Around the World", by Lisa Stansfield.
"Vogue", by Madonna.
"All I Wanna do is Make Love to You", by Heart.
"Step by Step", by New Kids on the Block.
"U Can't Touch This", by M.C. Hammer.
"Bird on a Wire", by The Neville Brothers.
"Unskinny Bop", by Poison.
"Vision of Love", by Mariah Carey.
"Release Me", by Wilson Phillips.
"Suicide Blonde", by INXS.
"Praying for Time", by George Michael.
"Something to Believe In", by Poison.
"Stranded", by Heart.
"Love Takes Time", by Mariah Carey.

The final week of 1990 and first five weeks of 1991 were dominated by "Wiggle It", by 2 In a Room — a one hit rapper wonder! The song that remained number one the longest in 1990 was Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract".


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\\ PET PEEVE //

This was sent in anonymously and is very simple and straight to the point. I will validate this peeve wholeheartedly, as will my wife.

"People talking at the movies. I mean, how ignorant of others can they be? Yet I feel like the guilty party in wanting to tell them to shut their traps!"

This does not include those equally obnoxious folks who need their cell phone turned on while in a movie, even after the opening blurbs ask you to turn them off!


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\\ JOKE FOR THE WEEK //

Canadians are finally going to help America with the war on terrorism.

Canada has pledged two of our biggest battle ships, 600 ground troops and six fighter jets.

After applying the Canadian/American dollar exchange rate, the US ended up with one canoe, two Mounties, and a flying squirrel.

Want to know what the joke was last year? Check it out at this link.


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\\ THIS WEEK'S RECIPE //

Diablo Cheese Bowl

"I got this recipe from a Mexican Cookbook called 'Fire 'N' Ice'. I bought the cookbook when I saw this recipe. I made it for a party and now people never stop asking for it!"

Preparation: Chop, shred and measure everything before starting to cook.

Ingredients:

Filling:

3-5 small jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (more to taste if desired)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup salsa (more to taste if desired)
1 1/2 cups shredded "old" cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss or mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp finely chopped dill weed
1 tbs finely chopped parsley
3-5 green onions, finely chopped
1 tbs butter or margarine
2 cups milk
2 tbs butter or margarine
3 tbs flour
2 eggs

Bread bowls:

2 round loaves of bread
4 tbs melted butter or margarine
6 garlic cloves, minced
Parsley for garnish

Method:

In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the 1 tbs butter and saut peppers, onion and garlic until onions are translucent — about 3-4 minutes. In a blender, puree sauted vegetables and milk.

In a saucepan over medium heat blend the 2 tbs butter and flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture beings to thicken. Remove from heat and put 1 cup of mixture into blender. Add eggs to blender and blend until well mixed. Return saucepan to stove over medium heat and very slowly pour in the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Continue whisking until mixture thickens. Add salsa, cheeses, dill, parsley and green onions, whisking constantly. When cheese is melted and thoroughly blended, reduce heat to low and keep warm while preparing bread bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the tops off of the loaves of bread, remove most of soft interior and tear it into bite-sized pieces for dipping later, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell. Brush inside of each loaf with the 4 tbs melted butter and 6 cloves of garlic. Bake, uncovered, until bread just begins to brown on inside — no more than 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place on serving dish.

Fill bread with warm cheese sauce. Let extra sauce spill over sides and onto plate. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately with torn bread pieces, sliced baguette and/or nacho chips. (The torn bread pieces are usually not enough, so extra dipping "material" is recommended.)

This recipe doubles or even triples well. It gets hotter overnight. It also freezes well, so you can make the cheese filling in advance and then heat it in the microwave.

Serves: 6.

From "The Fire 'N' Ice Cookbook: Mexican Food With a Bold New Attitude", by Linda Matthie-Jacobs, Sheri Morrish, and Richard G. Warren (photographer). Submitted (and slightly modified) by contributor-extraordinaire Cathy in Korea.


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\\ CHRISTMAS MAILING //

According to Canada Post it is already too late to send any packages overseas by surface mail to make it by Christmas, except for destination in the Middle East and the United States (the latter technically not overseas). Gifts sent by surface to the Middle East need to be mailed by tomorrow (November 19), and by November 30 for the USA. Air mail (letters, cards, small packets and parcels) can still get to where it is going if you meet the deadlines listed below:

Africa — December 3.
Central and South America — December 3.
Asia — December 10.
Australia and New Zealand — December 10.
Caribbean — December 10.
Europe — December 10.
Middle East — December 10.
United States — December 14.

Within the confines of this great land, Canada Post suggests three days (business days, I presume) for intra-provincial packages or letters, and four days for extra-provincial items. Since Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, you should start back-counting the dates from Monday, December 24. Therefore the dates would be December 19 and 18 respectively, but to be on the safe side I would recommend Friday, December 14 for any Canadian air mail shipments.

Remember the postal code, and make your writing legible!


Mail to Santa:

Again this year, postal "elves" (Canada Post employees and retirees) will answer hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa Claus from children around the world. Despite this daunting task, most letters that request a reply, get one. However, it's not a perfect world.

"It's especially heartbreaking to all of us, including the children, when there is no return address for Santa to send his reply," said one of the elves. "Santa recognizes children's homes when he's looking down from the sky, but the return address is important for letter carriers who deliver Santa's reply, from the street. We would like to remind all parents and friends who help children write their letters to Santa, to please include a return address and correct postal code, so all the boys and girls can get a reply letter."

There is still time to get your letters to Santa Claus and receive a reply, but hurry! Time is running out. The child should send a letter as soon as possible if they want a response. Please check your child's letter to ensure a return address is given. If, however, it is only their wish list, then December 14 would be a good date to keep in mind.

Letters to Santa should be addressed to:

Santa Claus
North Pole H0H 0H0
Canada

Apparently he even has an Internet connection up there at the North Pole. The wired generation can e-mail him, instead of using old-fashioned pen and paper, by going to the second link below.

There exists another address for Santa, but this is mainly for US residents. I won't give it out here, but the mail goes to a post office box (of all things) in the community of North Pole, Alaska.


Canada Post — Holiday Delivery Schedule
Canada Post — Santa's Home


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\\ ANSWER TO THIS WEEK'S QUESTION //

Located in the Arctic Archipelago, Baffin Island is more than twice the size Great Britain. Baffin Island is the world's fifth largest island, having a length of 1500 kilometres and a width varying between 200 and 700 kilometres. Its total area is 507 451 square kilometres, whereas Great Britain (whose full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), comprised of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, is approximately 244 819 square kilometres.


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\\ PREVIEW //

Next week we celebrate the first anniversary of the FactsCanada.ca domain. Yes, it was on November 26, 2000, that we announced the new domain for our Web site. In addition to that, I will ask a question about Canada's first nuclear reactor, profile Richard Caruthers Little (a.k.a. Rich Little), give you yet another installment of music trivia, review a few Canadian government Web sites, answer the age-old question about the differences between a fruit and a vegetable, and profile Flinton, Ontario.


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[John] Thanks again to all of you who write to us with words of encouragement or with contributions for the newsletter. We appreciate the input. Until next week....


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FactsCanada.ca — http://www.factscanada.ca
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