Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31 - What You Think Upon Grows Day

Today is "What You Think Upon Grows Day", selected in honour of the birth of Norman Vincent Peale, born on this day in 1898. Mr. Peale was an author, speaker, and pastor, ministering at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan for over 50 years. He is known as one of the pioneers of modern positive thinking.

We've all experienced the effect of a negative attitude, just as we've experienced that of a positive attitude. Your outlook on situations greatly impact their effect. If you go into a situation believing it will end badly, it probably will.

That being said, merely focusing on a positive outcome doesn't guarantee its success. You can will yourself to lose weight, but if you don't put in the time to exercise and eat healthy, you may never achieve your goal. The two go hand-in-hand.

Today we celebrate the power of positive thinking, while knowing that action and determination are just as important.

Today is also World No-Tobacco Day!

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- Rome captured the 1st wall of the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
- Clarence Chant, notable for his development of Canadian astronomy, was born in Hagerman's Corners, Ontario in 1865.
- About 800 Fenians crossed the Niagara River at Buffalo into Canada in 1866, occupying Fort Erie.

- E. J. DeSemdt patented asphalt pavement in 1870.
- Madison Square Garden opened in 1879.
- Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented "flaked cereal" in 1884.
- The doomed R.M.S. Titanic launched in 1911.

- German occupiers forbade Jews access to beaches & swimming pools in 1941.
- Ernest Charles Manning succeeded William Aberhart as Social Credit premier of Alberta in 1943.

- Corey Hart, popular Canadian singer/songwriter, was born in Montréal in 1961.
- A third level of the Order of Canada, Member, was created in 1972.

- A tornado hit Barrie, Ontario in 1985, in the worst inland storm since Hurricane Hazel. Roughly 300 houses were destroyed, at least 8 were killed, and thousands were left homeless.
- Seinfeld debuted on NBC as "Seinfeld Chronicles" in 1990.
- Usain Bolt broke the world record in the 100m sprint in 2008, with a wind-legal (+1.7m/s) 9.72 seconds.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30 - Loomis Day

In the age of technology we live in, it is pretty hard to imagine a world without cell phones and wifi connection, yet less than 150 year ago, wireless communication was just a wild dream of dentist Mahlon Loomis, whose accomplishments we celebrate today. He believed it was possible to harness the upper atmosphere's electrical currents to successfully transfer telegraph messages without wire.

He first tested his hypothesis with 2 kites tied to copper string, which were in turn attached to galvanometers atop Virginia's Massanutten Mountain. He flew the kites 14 miles away from one another, and during his experiment, he discovered that he could use one kite to move the other's meter - the first known form of wireless communication.

He patented the idea, labeling it, "An Improvement to Telegraphing", and tried to cinch government funding to further his studies, though he was denied in the end. He is rumored to have continued his work into the 1870s prior to his death, and was accused by his peers of being a crank and a fraud.

150 years ago, the idea of wireless communication was considered foolhardy and "crazy". Today, we've all-but become zombies to technology. What would Loomis's peers say about us, I wonder?

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- 19-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal in Rouen, France in 1431.

- Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel in 1806, after Dickinson had accused Jackson's wife of bigamy.
- James Boyd patented the Rubber Fire Hose in 1821.
- John Francis attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria in 1842.
- William G. Young patented the ice cream freezer in 1848.
- The Hudson's Bay Co. charter to what is now mainland British Columbia was revoked in 1858.
- Memorial Day was 1st observed in 1868 when 2 women in Columbus, Mississippi placed flowers on both Confederate & Union graves.
- John Stuart Foster, physicist who made important contributions to the study of the "Stark effect," was born in Clarence, Nova Scotia in 1890.
- The British Citizenship Act conferred the status of British subjects on all Commonwealth citizens in 1948.
- An intense storm struck Buffalo Gap, Saskatchewan in 1961, pouring 250 mm of rain.
- Beatles' single "Love Me Do," went to #1 on the charts in 1964.
- Robert "Evel" Knievel jumped 16 automobiles with a motorcycle in 1967.

- Sixteen-year-old David Milgaard was arrested in Prince George, BC in 1969 for the murder of Gail Miller in Saskatchewan.
- "Nightline" extended from 4 nights to 5 nights a week in 1981.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

Greatest Books of All Time
Week 18

100 Greatest Books
of All Time.
What is your favourite book of all time? Cast your vote by commenting here at the bottom of this post, posting a note on our facebook page or adding it to our in-house ballot box.
Each Friday we will tabulate the votes and post them on our
Facebook, Twitter and Blog accounts.
One vote per visit please.
The final Top 100 will be announced at the end of December.
The Stand by Stephen King
is still in the lead with nine votes.

This week's nominees: 

Each Friday we will tabulate the votes and post them on our
Facebook, Twitter and Blog accounts.

One vote per visit please.
The final Top 100 will be announced at the end of December.

The Big Read 2013- Update

The Big Read 2013 - May- Heather
The month of May was better numbers wise for me, I had 10. I have now reached over 50 books. Yah!! For the bad news, most of them were not stellar. Oh well, win some lose some.

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza. This one caused a lot of conversation in the office. What/when is someone a human? When/do they have rights? Between this one and Partials, questions were raised. YA novel.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver. This was the final book of the Delirium trilogy. Meh, was ok but not great. YA novel.

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris. The final book of an excellent 13 book series. It was not a great send off but I guess she needed to wrap everything up.

Boundless by Cynthia Hand. Another final book of a trilogy. The ending was a bit of a turn from the usual. YA novel.

Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley The usual paranormal love story, only the weres wear dog collars?!

Unbound by Elizabeth Norris This is an ebook of short stories set in the Unraveling series.
book cover of 


Darkness Arisen eBook CoverDarkness Arisen by Stephanie Rowe. This was an ebook read that is not available in our system. Another of the Order of the Blade series. It is a weak knockoff of the Brothers of the Black Dagger.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. This the beginning of a new YA series for Gail. It is steampunk with paranormal. It was a very good read and I look forward to reading more. It is set in the same world as her Parasol Protectorate series that has come to an end.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff  YA novel with an anorexic heroine who falls for her first cousin as they live through an uprising with no parental supervision! It is a bit disturbing. 

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells. Paranormal with a hint of romance. In this world, if you are a ginger you are a vampire! It is the start of a series. I'm going to try the next one and see how it goes.

That's it for May. 
How is your reading going? Feel free to comment at the end of the post. Add what you're reading and if it is any good. We love hearing from you!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29 - International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

The General Assembly designated May 29th as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers (inaugurated in 2001), the same date in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission, the "United Nations Truce Supervision Organization" began operations in Palestine. This is a day to pay tribute to the professionalism, dedication, and courage of all the men and women serving in the UN peacekeeping operations, and honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the quest for peace.

Since 1948, more than 2980 military, police, and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents, and disease. On this day, UN offices alongside Member States and non-governmental organizations hold solemn events to honour fallen peacekeepers.

UN Peacekeeping operations use this day to strengthen bonds with the local populations they have been deployed to serve; they hold sporting events, school and orphanage visits, art and essay competitions, photo exhibits, neighbourhood clean-ups, tree plantings, concerts, and conferences and workshops on peace issues.

The 2013 theme for this day is "Un Peacekeeping: Adapting to New Challenges". United Nations peacekeeping has adapted its policies, revised its structures, and developed new practices and training to better perform its life-saving work.

Today is also Learn About Composting Day, National Senior Health & Fitness Day, Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day, and World MS Day.

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- Champlain reached the mouth of the Ottawa River in 1613. On June 4 he noted the mouths of the Gatineau and Rideau rivers at the present site of Ottawa.

Champlain's Astrolabe

- An English & Dutch fleet beat France in the Battle at La Hogue in 1692. Also in 1692, Royal Hospital Founders Day was 1st celebrated.
- Patrick Henry made his historic speech against the Stamp Act, answering a cry of "Treason!" with, "If this be treason, make the most of it!" in 1765.
- Lincoln quoted, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." in 1849.
- 15 young women were fired by Curtis Publishing in 1912 for dancing the "Turkey Trot" during their lunch break.
- The CP steamer Empress of Ireland collided with the Norwegian ship Storstad in fog in the Gulf of St Lawrence near Rimouski, Québec in 1914. The Empress sank in only 14 minutes, causing the death of 1014 souls.

- Roy Bonisteel, host of the internationally acclaimed CBC Man Alive television series, was born in Ameliasburg, Ontario in 1930.
- The RCMP ship St. Roch reached Halifax after passing through the Panama Canal from Vancouver in 1950. It was the first ship to circumnavigate North America.

- Edmund Hillary & Tensing Norkay became the 1st to reach summit of Everest in 1953.

- The Hudson's Bay Company head office moved from London, England, to Winnipeg in 1970.

- Québec banned fishing off Gaspé Peninsula due to low fish stocks in 1972.
- Janet Guthrie became the 1st woman to drive in the Indy 500 in 1977.
- Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the Russian republic in 1990.

- In 1996, RCMP officers boarded the Taiwan-registered ship Maersk Dubai and arrested the captain on charges of murdering 2 Romanian stowaways.
- Space Shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station in 1999.
- International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was inaugurated in 2001.
- The World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. in 2004.
- The National Gallery of Canada celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2005 by opening the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28 - Slugs Return from Capistrano Day

Today's event is short and sweet, and one I never knew anything about - Slugs Return from Capistrano Day! Until today, apparently slugs have been vacationing in Capistrano! Those slimy and slow gastropods like to leave trails of slime and feed on flowers and vegetables. Keep a sharp eye for these slimy little suckers - they like to hide during the day!

Today is also Sierra Club Day, and Ascension of Baha'u'Llah!

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- A solar eclipse occurred in 585 BC, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes battled Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
- Samuel de Champlain left Québec and arrived at Lachine in 1611; he named the island in the middle of the St Lawrence River St. Hélène for his wife.

- All Hebrew books in Papal State were confiscated in 1731.
- Albert Rogers, railway surveyor and discoverer of Kicking Horse Pass and Rogers Pass, was born in Orleans, Massachusetts in 1829.

- Outlaw William Johnston seized and burned the steamer Sir Robert Peel in the Thousand Islands in 1838, carrying off $175 000 in cash and plunder.
- The Sierra Club was formed by John Muir in San Francisco in 1892, for the conservation of nature.
- John B. Gruelle patented the Raggedy Ann doll in 1915.
- The House of Commons approved the old-age pension plan in 1927.
- The Dionne Quintuplets - Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile, and Marie - aroused worldwide attention after their birth in Corbeil, Ontario, to Oliva and Elzire Dionne in 1934. They were the only quintuplets to survive for more than a few days.

- The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened to vehicular traffic in 1937.
- Foundation for the Tel Aviv harbor was laid in 1938.
- Cartoonist Lynn Johnston, author of the daily comic strip "For Better or For Worse," was born in Collingwood, Ontario in 1947.

- BC's worst flood on record caused 10 deaths and $300 million in damage along the lower Fraser River in 1948. 200 families were left homeless, rail service was disrupted for 2 weeks, and more than 80 bridges were washed away.

- The women of Greece won the right to vote in 1952.
- Monkeys Able and Baker zoomed 500 km into space on Jupiter missile in 1959; they became the 1st animals retrieved from a space mission.
- Wide World of Sports with Chris Schenkel premiered on CBS radio in 1962.
- Alberta premier Harry Strom opened the Alberta Resources Railway in 1969, a 378-km line from Grande Prairie north to Solomon.
- White House "plumbers" broke into the Democratic National HQ at Watergate in 1972.
- Pitseolak Ashoona, Inuk graphic artist known for her lively prints showing "the things we did long ago," died in Cape Dorset, NWT (now Nunavut) in 1983.

- Civil War warship Monitor was discovered by a deep sea robot in 1987.
- Bob Dylan was hospitalized in England with histoplasmosis in 1997.
- Patrick Roy, one of the NHL’s premier goalies, retired after 18 seasons in 2003. He won 551 games during the regular season and 151 in playoffs.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27 - Cellophane Tape Day

On this day in history, cellophane tape was patented by Richard Drew, a banjo-playing inventor! In 1921, he went to work for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, known as 3M, which at the time only manufactured sandpaper. He was product testing for Wetordry brand sandpaper at a local auto body shop when he noticed the auto painters were having a hard time making clean dividing lines on two-colour paint jobs. This dilemma inspired him to invent masking tape in 1925.

"Scotch" tape got its name when, upon testing his new masking tape to determine how much adhesive to add, the body shop painter grew frustrated with the sample and told him to "take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it"!

Scotch brand cellulose tape was invented five years later. Without this man, we'd still be tying our Christmas presents with string! (Maybe some of us still do!)

Today is also Whit Sunday, Memorial Day, and Prayer for Peace Memorial Day.

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in 1703.
- James S. McLean patented his piano in 1796.
- The Ontario government created Algonquin Park in 1893, Canada's first provincial park.

- William Arthur Irwin, former editor of Maclean's magazine was born in Ayr, Ontario in 1898.
- Editor Francess Halpenny, who was general editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, was born in Ottawa in 1919.
- Afghanistan achieved sovereignty in 1921, after 84 years of British control.
- Piccard & Knipfer made the 1st flight into the stratosphere, by balloon, in 1931.
- Walt Disney's "3 Little Pigs" was released in 1933.
- The Golden Gate Bridge was dedicated in 1937.
- Dorie Miller was awarded the navy cross for deeds at Pearl Harbor in 1942.
- Folk singer Bruce Cockburn was born in Ottawa in 1945.

- The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) opened in Edmonton in 1963.
- Montréal was awarded a National League baseball franchise in 1968, to be known as the Montreal Expos.
- Construction on Walt Disney World began in 1969.
- In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition in 1995. After vigorous physical and respiratory therapy, in December of 1995, he was finally able to breathe without a ventilator for a period of 30 minutes. On October 10, 2004, Reeve died of cardiac arrest at the age of 52.

- Oklahoma City bombing: Michael Fortier was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000 in 1998 for failing to warn authorities about the Oklahoma City bombing.
- Canadian astronaut Julie Payette took part in a space shuttle mission in 1999. She and a co-worker repaired faulty parts in the Russian space station Zarya's battery pack.

- Legendary Montreal Canadien and Hockey Hall of Famer Maurice "Rocket" Richard died in Montréal at age 79 in 2000.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!