"In Vancouver, the humble doorknob is being phased out. Kind of. Effective in March, new housing will be required to install levers on doors and faucets, instead of the good-ol' round knobs of our forefathers."
More young Canadian kids smoke pot than any young kids from any other country, according to a recent Unicef study. This will not surprise anyone who remembers Len.
"This month, Americans are marking the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with a sense of profound introspection."
"Shoppers Drug Mart pulled Christmas music from its almost 1,200 stores across Canada at midnight Friday after hearing complaints from customers that they weren’t quite ready for the season to be jolly." —Okay, that "moving to Canada" thing finally makes sense.
"[A]fter months of searching, only one alien falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen has been caught, charged and convicted in Florida. It turns out he is a Canadian, a man who registered and voted in at least two presidential elections while masquerading as a citizen so he could also buy and 'bear arms,' that other right cherished by many Americans."
Black bears are doing bad things in Canada.
Vancouver, Canada is the only city in North America that provides a legal facility for drug addicts to push heroin and cocaine and other types of substances into their veins. It's called InSite, and it's both government-sanctioned and government-funded.
Located in Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside—often called Canada's poorest postal code—the supervised injection site opened as a 3-year experiment back in 2003 to curb the neighborhood's high levels of disease spread through shared needles and death from overdose. Now, after nearly a decade of academic research, political debate, public scrutiny and a Canadian Supreme Court ruling last September that stated InSite should remain open indefinitely, Montreal, Toronto, [...]
"Canada's largest city, where I grew up, is a sprawling, crowded, diverse, fabulously wealthy and increasingly exciting place. It's Canada's New York City (the nation's finance capital), San Francisco (technology) and Los Angeles (entertainment) put together, and is by almost every measure a world-class city. There's only one thing holding it back: An adolescent's obsession over what other people think of it." —Did you know that people who live in Toronto are called Torontonians? I mean, I guess it makes sense, but I never really spent any time considering the nomenclature, because, you know, it's Toronto. It may [...]
"Listening to great music is as good as sex, according to new research." This conclusion makes more sense when you realize that the study was conducted by Canadians.
"Contemporary teen soaps don’t pretend to have an educational mandate; they are as much works of fantasy as programs about vampires, werewolves, and witches. Yet they deliver a different kind of catharsis, trading education for escapism and reality for romance. Degrassi brought teenagers onscreen, but the shows that came afterward transformed them into creatures of television." —Apparently, 'Degrassi High' is "popular culture’s most honest depiction of teen life." Unrelated (OR IS IT?): it turns out that Canadians cannot get enough Kraft macaroni and cheese. They need it like air. I did not know this about Canadians! But it explains a lot.
1. Happy mobs are all alike; every unhappy mob is unhappy in its own way. This has been lost on a lot of journalists in the last few weeks as many Québécois1 have poured into the streets, banging casserole dishes and getting beaten up and arrested for the perceived threat they pose. Every American commentary I find on it is eager to relate this to Occupy Wall Street, conveniently excusing itself from learning about the culture of the place. Well, agitprop’s always been a lot quicker to write than history, I suppose, and maybe that is most of all true about a place like Québec, where people sing [...]
"Residents of an upscale neighbourhood in Ottawa have been spiriting unwanted squirrels across a river into Quebec province and dumping them there… Moving is stressful for anyone, but doubly so for these animals, as they are likely to be met in Quebec by angry squirrels defending their turf."
On July 2, 1776, in a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote: This second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.
As it turned out, Adams was nearly right about this, [...]
The 1990s came back last night during the Hurricane Sandy benefit concert, and everybody was so happy to hear about "grunge" again. What else is from the 1990s? How about the 1991 Gulf War? It seemed stupid at the time, but in retrospect it was kind of nice to have a very short American war in the Middle East, and also to win that war. Now a living memory (in the form of an inanimate piece of weaponry) is back in the news, bombing people in Syria. It's hard not to wonder if the return of the Scud missile will also mark the return of the [...]
"The Union Jack and the Maple Leaf may soon fly side by side at embassies and consulates around the world, as part of a new cost-saving foreign affairs agreement between Britain and Canada, prompting concern that a hybrid diplomatic channel could weaken Canada’s global standing." —This seems like the set-up for a hysterical sitcom in which the meek Canadian ambassador is constantly trying to avoid his drunken British counterpart, who manages to get them into all kinds of trouble every week. Also, each episode would have a different way in which the Canadian apologizes to the Briton for having been stabbed by him.