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Not a Number
100959.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 pm Reply with quote

This thread is dedicated to interesting facts about Canada and generally praising its greatness. Deviants may have their heads chewed off by a beaver. Here are some facts you may or may not know about my lovely country.

Home to the longest national highway in the world (the Trans-Canada Highway-7604 km), the longest north to south highway in North America (Highway 97 - 3200 km- of course, we share it with the US), and the longest street in the world (Yonge Street in Toronto - 1900 km). *

Two national sports - ice hockey and lacrosse

Until Hiroshima, the largest man-made explosion occured in Halifax, when two ships collided (one with 2621 tons of highly explosive or inflammable substances) and decimated 1/3 of Halifax and 2000 people.

The name, Canada, comes from the Iroquoian word 'kanata', meaning 'village'. Another, less commonly accepted theory is that it is a derivation of the Spanish phrase 'aca nada', meaning 'here, nothing'. This supposedly refers to Canada's lack of rare minerals - which disappointed Spanish explorers.

Mi'kmaq Creation Myth of Newfoundland: When Manitou, the Great Spirit, was making the Continent of the New World, he found that he had much material left over in the shape of rocks, swamps, and useless trees. So he formed a big rubbish heap by casting it all into the sea to the north-east, and called it Wee-soc-kadao. (this is just one, condensed, version of a creation myth)

Canadians consume more macaroni and cheese than any other nation in the world.

Victoria, BC is home to the world's largest totem pole

50% of all polar bears live in Nunavut

Saskatchewan uses Central Standard Time, not Daylight Saving
Time

70% of the world's maple syrup is produced in Quebec

As a general rule, Canadians kick ass.

Ok, that should be enough to get you started. It's not mind blowing but . . . it's late!

*Most likely by 2008, Russia will have the longest highway in the world, at 10,000 km


Last edited by Not a Number on Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Jenny
101276.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:11 pm Reply with quote

Has NAN found all the interesting things there are to know about Canada? Eh?

 
Not a Number
101293.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:35 pm Reply with quote

The well of Canadian interestingness does not run dry. This is but a drop within a great sea factoids.

 
Jenny
101317.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:13 pm Reply with quote

That sounds like a cue to link to an excellent Canadian band from Newfoundland, called Great Big Sea:



http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/CAMBRID/great.htm

 
Not a Number
101361.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:26 pm Reply with quote

They did 'Home for a Rest', didn't they? I love that song.

 
Crunchy
101777.  Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:18 pm Reply with quote

....and now my Brother lives there. What's more interesting than that then. In fact, now the average IQ has risen too 2 (;

 
Jumper
104082.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:33 pm Reply with quote

I wonder if they are still chasing me in Toronto for my unpaid parking ticket from 1987..???

 
suze
104127.  Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:27 am Reply with quote

Oh very probably - you know what the movies say about the Mounties ...

(Yes it would actually be the Toronto Police Service, but hey.)

 
cabs
104130.  Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:07 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Oh very probably - you know what the movies say about the Mounties ...

(Yes it would actually be the Toronto Police Service, but hey.)


I remember a cartoon where Droopy was a Mounty and was very persistent in his pursuit of a nasty felon. So I reckon you're for it, Jumper.

 
Not a Number
104261.  Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:31 pm Reply with quote

cabs wrote:
suze wrote:
Oh very probably - you know what the movies say about the Mounties ...

(Yes it would actually be the Toronto Police Service, but hey.)


I remember a cartoon where Droopy was a Mounty and was very persistent in his pursuit of a nasty felon. So I reckon you're for it, Jumper.


*shriek!* I loved Droopy! My favorite WB characters. Coincidentally, Pajamas was my favorite dog in the funnies. Actually...maybe not coincidentally, but perhaps a clue to my personality.

*ahem* Perhaps I should make this also relevant to the thread.

The North West Mounted Police (predecessor of the RCMP) was created on May 23, 1873, by Sir John A. Macdonald (our first PM, FYIYIB*). That's not very QI, but the reason for their formation may be: American whisky traders were causing many disturbances on the civil side of the 49th. I've heard some people think they were created to control the Aboriginal populations, but quite the opposite was true. Sir John (AKA, Big Mac) was especially careful to keep the NWMP from being too military. It is surmised that their efforts to keep the law on behalf of the natives was significant in improving and keeping good relations with them.

- The red outfits were modeled after British military uniforms
- Charles Dickens' son was a member of the NWMP
- The last dog sled patrol was in 1969 (no jokes, please)
- During the 1950s and 60s, Canada produced a homosexual detector in order to remove them from the military, police, and civil service. It was part of a whole campaign to rid the government of gayness. To quote 'Damn Interesting' (a damn interesting site):
Quote:
It resembled a dentist's chair, but it also had various sensors, a camera to monitor the pupils, and a black box situated in front of the subject to display pictures. Subjects were told that the machine was used for measuring stress, yet its purpose was something else entirely; it was intended to identify whether the subject was gay.

See http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=225 for more info.
- Something to redeem ourselves from the above: the RCMP is one of the few policing forces in the world that allows religious and indigenous traditions) to be blended with the uniform (e.g. braids, turbans)

Here's a recruiting song popular during the 1885 rebellion:
Quote:
Being out of work while down below,
I had no other place to go;
Friends and pals not on the increase
So I went and joined the Mounted Police.
We shipped on board the C.P.R.
Each one thanking his lucky star,
The medical test successfully passed,
Each with a government job at last.

At Regina we arrived one noon
And learned to use the shovel and broom;
Then they hustled us out upon the square,
The balance or goose-step to prepare.
‘T’would curdle the milk in any churn
To hear Pat Mahoney’s* “Right about turn,”
And ‘Point your toes, hold up your head.”
Till all the men wished they were dead.

At the riding school we fared as bad
Without saddles we wished we had.
While veterans looked on with satisfied sneer,
To see some recruit pitched on his ear.
We’d ride a broncho that would buck and jump,
With a shoulder stick set to straighten our hump.
The boys all cried, “Stay with him Pat;”
“Get on there coyote, I’ll hold your hat.”
All this for fifty cents a day!


That's all I got for now, kids. Hope there was some QI stuff in there (the homometer caught me off guard!)

 
Not a Number
104262.  Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:36 pm Reply with quote

Oh, also:
The RCMP motto is not 'They always get their man' or anything similar and it never has been. It is 'Maintiens Le Droit' (Uphold the Law). Hollywood popularized the 'Aways get their man' slogan, but it can be traced back to 1877, when the Fort Benton Record (Montana) published this story:
Quote:
Thanks to the vigilance of Major Irvine and the energy of Captain Winder, of the N.W. Mounted Police, another attempt to smuggle whiskey has been frustrated by the arrest of three men, who were tried, found guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of five hundred dollars each or be imprisoned for the minor period of six months. They preferred the former. Horses were sacrificed for the arrest, but the M.P.’s are worse than bloodhounds when they scent the track of a smuggler, and they fetch their men every time.

 
dr.bob
104285.  Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:29 am Reply with quote

Not a Number wrote:
the RCMP is one of the few policing forces in the world that allows religious and indigenous traditions) to be blended with the uniform (e.g. braids, turbans)


So do the metropolitan police in the UK:





Just thought I'd mention it. You may now return to your Canadian related chat.

 
suze
104419.  Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:22 am Reply with quote

I'm actually finding it quite difficult to say anything QI about my native land - I suppose because I'm not sufficiently detached to know precisely what is interesting about it.

Your actual everyday RCMP officer doesn't normally wear the Red Serge and the stetson of course - these days, they only come out for ceremonial events. On normal duty, the uniform is grey shirt, navy blue trousers (with a bit of gold braid), and a cap similar to that worn by American police. Except in those parts of BC where the climate doesn't really warrant them, fur caps are worn in winter.

And since we've had one song sung by Mounties, here's part of
another ...

"He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch
He goes to the lava-try
On Wednesdays he goes shopping
And has buttered scones for tea"

 
Not a Number
106125.  Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:36 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for your input suze. Most enlightening. If you'd like a visual, you may check our National Mounties Choir (NMC) here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO1HEyxjlNA

 
Not a Number
106685.  Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:19 pm Reply with quote

If anyone's interested in looking at more Native Creation Myths, I found this interesting site:
http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/myths.html

Another myth is that Canadians have pet polar bears (propagated by certain people. I won't say who, but they live below us and above Mexico). As any competent individual knows, we have pet beavers. Here is one of our representatives with her pet beaver Pookie:

 

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