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Oceans Edge
911685.  Fri May 25, 2012 1:52 pm Reply with quote

I have way too much fun with these....

The tale of a forgotten war with the Irish in 1866

911734.  Fri May 25, 2012 8:41 pm Reply with quote

I did not know that - thanks!

964339.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:11 am Reply with quote

Well, it had to happen.

With all the fanfare about these new plastic bank notes that Canada has issued, and some of the silly publicity that ensued, you'd think they'd get their national emblem right.

Well, no. It seems that some experts who have been looking at the bank notes have noticed that it looks more like the Norwegian maple leaf, and not the Canadian one.

It's an easy mistake for the untrained eye to make, and considering the Norwegian trees are widely available in Canada since their introduction, but you'd think they'd get it right :)

Personally I also hate the look of the "window" in the notes, the first time I saw some of the notes I thought they'd been burned.

964382.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:02 am Reply with quote

The official explanation is that the leaf on these particular bills is stylized, and isn't meant to be a true representation of any particular species of maple.

There are ten species of maple native to Canada, and the eleven-pointed symmetrical maple leaf on the flag was designed by an artist and does not represent any one species. There is not a species called anything like Acer canadiensis, and whose leaf looks exactly like that.

Yes, the maple leaf featured on these new bills has more points than eleven. But then so do other maple leaves used in Canadian symbolism. For instance, the Canadian version of the Royal Standard features three maple leaves, none of them symmetrical and with thirteen, fourteen, and thirteen points. The Canadian Army badge features a symmetrical 23-pointed maple leaf.

What is actually more of an issue with these new bills is that the vending machine industry was not given a precise specification in advance, and so they won't work in vending machines for a while.

Oceans Edge
964419.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:58 am Reply with quote

oh and they're most hideous to handle...

became familiar with polymer notes while in Australia - yes they do last longer, but the feel of them in the hand, they STICK together very easy to hand over 2 twenties instead of one, and once they've been folded the crease never ever goes away...

I much prefer the linen ones.

As for the vending machine companies - the $50's have been out for ages, while I don't know any machines that take $50's that should have been sufficient to give them what details they needed?

964425.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:19 pm Reply with quote

I have to agree that there's something about plastic banknotes that doesn't feel quite right. Were the traditional Canadian ones actually linen or cotton? I remember a longstanding half-truth that they were made of denim, which would suggest cotton, and both American and British banknotes are cotton.

Question for anyone who knows. Why is it that banknotes usually are made of a cotton-based paper rather than of woodpulp paper? I'm reading that Japanese banknotes are made of woodpulp (mulberry bark, to be precise), but not any other major nation.

Now, those vending machines. Most vending machines which accept coins establish that the coins are real by size and weight, rather than by scanning the design. But vending machines which accept bills do scan the design - and the claim is that the Bank of Canada wouldn't let the vending machine people have any that didn't have SPECIMEN stamped on. While it's possible to use software to recreate the look of the bill without that addition, it's i) technically illegal, and ii) not as good as having the genuine article to start with.

As you note, few if any vending machines take $50 bills. But rather more take $20s, and very many more still take $5s and $10s. Plastic $5s and $10s are to be introduced later this year, and the vending machine people say that they need the exact specifications pretty much now if they are to be ready.

Oceans Edge
964430.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:00 pm Reply with quote

A little further digging does indicate that Canadian notes were printed on pure cotton paper - the presumption of linen paper was my error.

Cotton (or cotton/linen) paper is used for durability reasons - wood pulp papers just disintegrate faster.

I would have thought that vending machine technology would just read the little hologram thingy that's been there since the 1986 Birds series. But (now I'm guessing again) that as most vending machines are made to accommodate the US market (who don't use the holo security thingy) and the Canadian market is only a small of that - scanning the design makes more sense.

Oceans Edge
977976.  Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:48 am Reply with quote

A few minor quibbles (the New Ireland should be in Newfoundland, not Labrador... but hey) but otherwise pretty spot on.

1099766.  Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:01 pm Reply with quote

Good to know that racism is not much tolerated in Hamilton, Ontario ....

1240125.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:14 pm Reply with quote

In honour of the solstice, Canada 150, and my memories of having my mind blown when last call was, er, called at a pub in the Isle of Skye when the sun was still out, here's a fact about Canada:

96% of Canadians live further south than London in the UK.

I am basing this on this post from a data scientist, and the fact that only two major cities in Canada (Edmonton, population just under a million, and Saskatoon, population about 250000) than London (51.5N). Let's say (less scientifically) that there are about 200000 in Cold Lake, Yellowknife, Iqaluit, and all the other settlements north of there. The Canadian population is currently approaching 36 million.

Edited because Calgary is on the cusp, I've just realised, so some suburbs might need to be included.

1240334.  Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:35 pm Reply with quote

I have been one-upped on imgur.

1240348.  Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:08 pm Reply with quote

While I knew that Middle Island in Lake Erie was the southernmost point in Canada, until I looked it up I hadn't realized quite how south it is.

It's at 41 41' N, which means that thirteen states of the US are entirely north of it, and so is Rome. Fourteen more states - including California, as noted in the link - are partly north of it.

Middle Island hasn't had a permanent human population since about 1500, when its indigenous population probably moved to Detroit.

But during Prohibition in the US in the 30s the island was bought by a crook named Joe Roscoe, who used it as the centre of his rum-running business. Once Prohibition was done, the house that Roscoe built for himself became successively an hotel, a casino, a restaurant (locally shot pheasant the house specialty), and a brothel.

It was abandoned in the 50s to become derelict, and is now reported as having almost entirely fallen down.

By the by, most British people probably didn't realize that the southernmost point of Alaska (Nitrof Point on Amatignak Island) is south of London.

1240357.  Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:07 pm Reply with quote

I just went to look up whether, if that proposal of days gone by to bring Turks and Caicos into the Canadian fold would have put all of the United States north of Canada's southernmost point, but Hawaii is still further south. Bah!

1240425.  Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:59 am Reply with quote

Is the plan still that if Turks and Caicos does ever become part of Canada, it will become part of Nova Scotia? The whole thing sounds a bit far-fetched, but there genuinely is a fair amount of support for the idea in Turks and Caicos.

Perhaps more far-fetched still is the notion of Barbados becoming part of Canada, but this one has been around for nearly 150 years and continues to resurface every few decades. Barbados lies some way south of Turks and Caicos, and its capital Bridgetown is at 13 6' N.

That is further south than Ka Lae, the southernmost point of Hawaii, and although they are on opposite sides of it, it's also closer to the Equator than any of American Samoa.
1250082.  Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:39 pm Reply with quote

Personalized number plates (or 'vanity plates' as they are known in Canada) are illegal in Newfoundland and Quebec.

There was talk a couple of years ago of legalizing them in Quebec but these plans were shelved over concerns citizens would use English phrases or swear words.



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