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Today's fact about Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by sly_karma, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    When I studied the Inuit in middle school, way back in the 1960s in the U.S., we learned that "Inuit" was what the members of that group called themselves. I went to a private school. The 7th graders were testing out a curriculum that included films and games based on how the Inuit hunt and fish.

    The term "eskimo" came after Europeans spread to N. America, although the source seems unclear from an article I found called "Why You Probably Shouldn't Say 'Eskimo'" on NPR.org (U.S.).

    " . . .
    It's a commonly used term referring to the native peoples of Alaska and other Arctic regions, including Siberia, Canada and Greenland. It comes from a Central Algonquian language called Ojibwe, which people still speak around the Great Lakes region on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. But the word has a controversial history. (Editor's note: And that's why it's not used in the stories on Greenland that NPR has posted this week.)

    People in many parts of the Arctic consider Eskimo a derogatory term because it was widely used by racist, non-native colonizers. Many people also thought it meant eater of raw meat, which connoted barbarism and violence. Although the word's exact etymology is unclear, mid-century anthropologists suggested that the word came from the Latin word excommunicati, meaning the excommunicated ones, because the native people of the Canadian Arctic were not Christian.

    But now there's a new theory. According to the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, linguists believe the word Eskimo actually came from the French word esquimaux, meaning one who nets snowshoes. Netting snowshoes is the highly-precise way that Arctic peoples built winter footwear by tightly weaving, or netting, sinew from caribou or other animals across a wooden frame.
    . . ."

    EDIT: change reference
     
    #451 MarzNC, Jun 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's like calling the Pre-Pueblo people of the Southwest USA Anasazi. No one knows for sure what they called themselves. Anasazi is an Navajo word meaning ancient enemy (or something like that).
     
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  3. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wiki is your friend @gareth_oau

    Etymologically,[4] the word Eskimo comes from Innu-aimun (Montagnais) 'ayas̆kimew' meaning "a person who laces a snowshoe" and is related to "husky" (a breed of dog), and does not have a pejorative meaning in origin.[5][6][7][8]

    In Canada and Greenland, the term "Eskimo" is predominantly seen as pejorative and has been widely replaced by the term "Inuit" or terms specific to a particular group or community.[9][10][11] This has resulted in a trend whereby some Canadians and Americans believe that they should not use the word "Eskimo" and use the Canadian word "Inuit" instead, even for Yupik people.[12] Section 25[13] of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 35[14] of the Canadian Constitution Act of 1982, recognized the Inuit as a distinctive group of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

    Under U.S. and Alaskan law (as well as the linguistic and cultural traditions of Alaska), "Alaska Native" refers to all indigenous peoples of Alaska.[15] This includes not only the Iñupiat (Alaskan Inuit) and the Yupik, but also groups such as the Aleut, who share a recent ancestor, as well as the largely unrelated[16] indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and the Alaskan Athabaskans. As a result, the term Eskimo is still in use in Alaska.[1] Alternative terms, such as Inuit-Yupik, have been proposed,[17] but none has gained widespread acceptance.
     
  4. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting. So there is no catch-all term for the Asiatic descended Arctic peoples with related cultures and language? Personally, I can think of far worse insults than calling someone 'a snow-shoe maker'. :eek: Years ago I met a snow-shoe maker selling his products and he seemed to be quite proud of his trade.

    As someone who reads a lot of history, I have noticed that older English language texts use the semi-French spelling of Esquimaux, so I suspect the Anglicisation of this to Eskimo may be a post war spelling adaption?
     
  5. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes I looked up wiki but
    1/ it doesnt really explain why the Canadians have deemed the expression to be inapprpriste
    2/ cant always believe what you read in wiki; and
    3/ my use of wiki wouldnt generation discussion and opinion here
     
  6. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  7. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Simplest answer is the term Inuit is what the people call themselves. Impolite to use another term when they already have given themselves a name. Now I know that doesnt parallel when you come to the term "Indian", which paradoxically actually is commonly used by many individuals of indigenous extraction. And "First Nations" is a government construct. But it has general acceptance. "Eskimo" surely does not.
     
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  8. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The last part of the article I posted in Post #451 has an explanation as to why "Inuit" is not favored in Alaska over "Eskimo." Turns out there is more than one language across the northern regions.

    Why You Probably Shouldn't Say 'Eskimo' (this link should work)
    ". . .
    But the correction to the etymological record came too late to rehabilitate the word Eskimo. The word's racist history means most people in Canada and Greenland still prefer other terms. The most widespread is Inuit, which means simply, "people." The singular, which means "person," is Inuk.

    Of course, as with so many words sullied by the crimes of colonialism, not everyone agrees on what to do with Eskimo. Many Native Alaskans still refer to themselves as Eskimos, in part because the word Inuit isn't part of the Yupik languages of Alaska and Siberia.

    But unless you're native to the circumpolar region, the short answer is: You probably shouldn't use the word Eskimo."
     
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  9. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    An online dictionary mentions a Danish word, as well as the French one. The Algonquian nation lived in Québec, Ontario, as well as farther south in what became New England. From what I remember learning about traditional Inuit food, I can understand Algonquians thinking the Inuit were a bit odd because they sometimes ate raw meat and stayed out on the snow all winter.

     
  10. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just to add to the mix: although most non-native Canadians won't use the unadorned word 'Indian', they do refer to people from the subcontinent as 'East Indians', or the more politically correct South Asians.
     
  11. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    What's wrong with calling people from India Indians? They come from a place that has been called India for quite some time. People from the West Indies may have a better argument except that the Spanish did quite an efficient job on the Caribs, and most West Indians are descended from relatively recent arrivals.
     
  12. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well nearly half the people of "sub-continental appearance" are not actually Indian, they are also Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepali, etc., plus millions more whose ancestors came from that area, were born in the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.

    The term "Indian" was probably quite okay and accurate in the times of the Raj, but since the breakup of the Indian Empire into different states in 1947, as the well as the huge diaspora from that part of the world, it would be a bit rude to ignore the many nationalities that the people we might think of as "Indian" now represent.

    Personally, I use the term "sub-continent" as a broad, cover all term, but I will readily acknowledge that it's a bit awkward, so I would happily adopt a better term if I knew of one.
     
  13. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Which bit of "people from India Indian" is confusing you?
     
  14. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    a friend of mine is of negroid race. He hates being called African American. He has been to neither of these places. He is in fact born and bred in Australia

    I still argue that a word itslef isnt necessarily offensive, it's the way a person chooses to use it
     
  15. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    For so long indigenous people were referred to as Indians, so it was confusing to have a different ethnic group with same name. 'East Indian' was the one that stuck. But times move on and the media these days likes to refer to 'the south Asian community'. Of course it would be better if we dropped the whole concept of labeling people based on ethnic appearance and just went with 'Canadians' or 'British Columbians'.
     
  16. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    British Columbians???

    that's racist!!!!
     
  17. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I grew up watching Sgt Preston of the Yukon
     
  18. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Canada's national day is July 1st. Canada Day is the anniversary of the proclamation of the British North America Act in 1867 that created the legal entity then known as the Dominion of Canada.
     
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  19. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The oldest brewery in north america was started in Montreal by John Molson in 1786, and continues to brew on the original site to this day. The Molson family diversified their business greatly over the years, at various times owning and operating a network of steam ships, banking operations (merged into the Bank of Montreal in 1925), sports teams and their venues (most notably the Montreal Canadiens hockey team), and hardware and building supplies. Today, through mergers and acquisitions, Molson Coors is the largest brewer in Canada and the fifth largest in the world.
     
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  20. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Easi Ski..... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looks like a lager..
    [​IMG]
     
  21. SnowRabbit

    SnowRabbit Addicted

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    Happy Canada Day to all our Canadian Friends
     
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  22. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    So what happens on Canada Day? What is the standard Canada Day Celebration?
     
  23. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    They have politeness contests. No one ever wins because they all insist on each other going first and nothing ever happens.
     
  24. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Music, giant Canada birthday cake, face painting for the kiddies, pancake breakfast. Public holiday of course, observed on July 1 itself, rather than nearest Fri or Mon to make it an automatic long weekend. And definitely fireworks after dark, 10 PM here only 60 km north of the 49th parallel. Not sure what they do about that way up north where there is no night at this time of year.
     
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  25. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Happy Canada Day Sly :thumbs:
     
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  26. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  27. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  28. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  29. Chalkie

    Chalkie One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We just watched 4 sets of Canada Day fireworks from our rooftop deck in Vancouver - West Van, Canada Place, somewhere out east and the local fireworks at Riley Park.

    Happy Canada Day!

    This photo was taken on a recent visit to Toronto. Has the flag flying in it!

     
  30. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You folks do have a nice flag.
     
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  31. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Vancouver is the youngest of Canada's major cities. In 1881, it was known as the town of Granville and had a population of 1000, mostly loggers and sawmill workers. The CPR established its Pacific coast terminus there in 1886 and incorporated the City of Vancouver. Things changed rapidly: by 1899 the population had grown to 20,000, and the city passed the 100,000 mark in 1911. Vancouver was and is the nexus of transport for the entire west coast: sea routes from Asia, coastal shipping through the Puget Sound/Inside Passage, rail routes to eastern Canada and the Prairies, land and river routes into the vast interior all meet at this sheltered deep water port on Burrard Inlet. Today, Port Metro Vancouver is the busiest in Canada and third busiest in north America, recently surpassing New York. Regional population has exceeded 2.5 million and the area is a hub for finance, transport, forest products, tourism, film/TV/video game production.
     
  32. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The cruise ships headed to Alaska start from Vancouver. Doing sightseeing in the city for a few days is a bonus.
     
  33. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cruise ships have to visit at least one "foreign" port due to a 150 year old American law which requires ships on journeys that only dock at American ports to have 100% American nationals as crew. This was designed to promote employment in the USA and stop Europeans being employed as officers and "Lascars" (sailors from countries bordering the Indian Ocean) being used as crew. Because American wages are so high, no cruise line ever operates trips between solely American ports, they always stop at Vancouver, Bahamas, etc. to allow them to employ much cheaper foreign crews on cruise ships.

    Ironically this archaic law creates jobs in places close to the USA and effectively bans USA only cruises (like between Hawaiian islands or Seattle direct to Alaska), thus reducing the cash flow into American ports. But obscure vested interests have prevented the repeal of the law, even though it never really boosted American jobs in the first place.
     
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  34. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Vancouver is an attraction in its own right, though. A cruise ship outbound from Seattle could easily stop in Victoria, it is just as convenient to the inside passage as Vancouver. (And some do indeed stop in the BC capital). The number of people coming in for Rocky Mountaineer, Alaska cruises, Rockies bus tours etc is just mind boggling. And of course the major entry point for all the Whistler traffic both winter and summer.
     
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  35. Summit

    Summit Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  36. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Halifax Explosion of December 1917 was for decades the world's largest non nuclear explosion. It was the result of a collision between two ships, one of which was fully laden with explosives bound for the western front in northern Europe. The blast was about 2.9 kilotons and caused 2000 deaths, 9000 injuries and the destruction of about 6000 homes and buildings.

    A massive tsunami was generated, with water level changes as great as 18 meters causing great destruction in foreshore areas and grounding numerous ships and boats. This was magnified by the location of the collision - in the narrowest portion of the approaches to Halifax's main harbour.

    The blast was so powerful that it was felt 300 km away in Cape Breton and New Brunswick. Parts of the explosives ship such as a defensive gun and its main anchor were found more than 5 km away from the site. The blast blew out tens of thousands of windows, resulting in thousands of eye injuries. Many oil lamps and heaters were overturned, causing fires across the city that burned for days. A day after the disaster, a heavy snow storm hit the area, hindering rescue efforts and restricting outside aid to the stricken city. Many people made homeless by the blast died of exposure. Halifax's capacity as the main assembly area for convoys and naval operations base were both significantly reduced for the remainder of the war.
     
    #486 sly_karma, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  37. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Wow! I've visited Halifax a couple times but had never heard of the explosion. Ultimately both captains were at fault. Discovered why tourists were unlikely to learn about the disaster on Wikipedia:

    "Having affected virtually every family and working collective in Halifax, the event was incredibly traumatic for the whole surviving community, so the memory was largely suppressed. After the first anniversary, the city stopped commemorating the explosion for decades. The second official commemoration did not take place before the 50th anniversary in 1967, and even after that, the activities stopped again."
     
  38. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Someone has been reading my posts, because 22 hours after I posted that, this snappy short video was uploaded which explains the situation far more eloquently than I did... and yes, Vancouver and Victoria B.C. are mentioned.

     
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  39. Chalkie

    Chalkie One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow. I'm going to Halifax in October - will be sure to read up more about this.
     
  40. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The cruise ship rule explains why cruises in Hawaii are so expensive just for one to the other islands.
     
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  41. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeh, those bloody yanks paying proper wages to the crew!
     
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  42. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    There was a fair bit of activity marking the centenary of the explosion in 2017, although I'd read of it before that. It really must have been a traumatic time for the region: try to imagine 11000 casualties and 6000 homes gone in a city with only 65,000 people at the time - very few families would not have been directly impacted. And then the onset of winter, and all on top of the tragedy, rationing and austerity built up over three years of war.
     
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  43. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's not quite like that. People on ordinary wages have to pay for things like rent, food, entertainment, etc. A ships crew have everything included plus airfares back to their home country. Their only minor expense is duty free booze at the crew recreation lounge. Most of the modern day 'Lascars' are from corrupt third world countries where the money a cleaner or kitchen assistant makes on a ship is a fortune, so even unskilled cruise ship jobs are highly sought after.

    It's really a case of everybody wins, the crew like the high wages (by their standards) with no living costs, the cruise line likes the cheaper labour and the tourists like the cheaper fares.
     
  44. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    and the need to send money back home for the wife and family (or parents or whomever) to live off.
     
  45. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Every body? Shame about someone wanting a job within their own country
     
  46. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Meanwhile back in Canada...................................
    Many are nursing hangovers, and if not they are checking out amazing scenery. GO Canada.
     
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  47. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another famous Canadian explosion: the destruction of Ripple Rock. The Seymour Narrows is the most dangerous part of the Inside Passage between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland. Ferociously fast currents are created in this narrow channel, as much as 12 knots when tides are at full springs. Making things even worse was the feature known as Ripple Rock. This reef is situated almost exactly midstream and its twin points were just 9 and 21 feet below mean low tide, causing a deadly hazard for commercial shipping. Vessels with smaller draught were also at risk due to the powerful whirlpools and eddies created by the Rock. Until the mid 20th century, the only way to ensure safe passage through Seymour Narrows was to wait for low slack when the reef was fairly visible. This wait was of course quite inconvenient - sometimes impractical - and over the years some 120 ships and smaller craft were wrecked here with much loss of life. Captain Vancouver, who made the first detailed survey of the BC coast, called it "one of the vilest stretches of water in the world".

    European settlement brought much boat traffic to the area, since the extremely mountainous terrain on both sides of the inside passage prevented meaningful land transport routes (even today, there are no roads on the mainland side). There was discussion about dynamiting Ripple Rock in the early 1900s, but also much resistance to it, as there were plans to use it as a bridge support for a rail crossing to Vancouver Island. Eventually, these plans dwindled away to nothing as the overwhelming cost of railway construction in the BC Coast Range became apparent. Attention turned again to marine safety.

    The first efforts involved a drilling rig anchored over the reef, held in place by the largest chains that could be commercially procured. These broke at least once week, no match for the immense force of the Narrows currents. The project was abandoned.

    In 1955, a new project was started. This time, the approach was from underground. A shaft was sunk and then a lateral drive was run some 700 m out beneath the narrows until surveyors determined that two upward shafts could be made, penetrating into the peaks of Ripple Rock itself. Lastly, a series of smaller 'coyote' holes were made to disperse explosive charges outward for maximum effect. The drilling and tunneling took two and a half years in the hard coastal granite with a team of up to 500 men working in shifts. The shafts were filled with 1270 tons of high explosives, all laboriously transported across the 700 metres below the strait and packed in the shafts by hand. Roughly ten times more explosive was needed compared to an above-water removal of a similar quantity of rock.

    In April 1958 came the big day. The whole thing was shown coast to coast on the new CBC television service, one of the first ever live TV events in Canada. The blast was successful, increasing depth over the reef by about 45 feet. The Seymour Narrows is still nonetheless a treacherous piece of water, as the currents run at high speeds and with unimaginable volume. Alaska Cruise ships must pass through here and all of them time their passage to go through at a slack tide. Even then, there is very little maneuvering room for these huge vessels.
     
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  48. aazz

    aazz One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I found that very interesting @sly_karma. I had a look to see if it was on Youtube and it was.

     
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  49. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Canada's highest peak, Mt Logan (5959 m), is also the second highest in north america after Denali. Situated in Yukon's Kluane National Park Reserve, its summit is just 40 km from the border with Alaska. The St Elias mountains form the border in this area. Large icefields on the upper parts of the Mt Logan massif are over 300 m thick in places. The first expedition to climb the peak was in 1925. The nearest town was 200 km away and there were no alternatives other than to walk to the mountain and back. The entire trip including the climb took 65 days.
     
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  50. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The theme song for the hit TV sitcom "Big Bang Theory" was written and performed by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. They've been together since 1988 and have long been a fixture on the Canadian music scene, with hit songs such as "If I Had $1,000,000", "One Week", and "Pinch Me". An early self-published independent demo tape ended up becoming a platinum seller, and they have sold over 15 million records during their career to date.