Time flies: In 1987, on June 30, the Canadian $1 bill was withdrawn, and the loonie made its debut. And those nasty rumours about the loon design being needed because the original was lost? Oh, right ... they're correct.
The Toronto Sun has a yarn today about a series of books for children on Canada's prime ministers:
[Author Jacqueline] Brown is particularly proud of the fact that all the books in the series will be written and illustrated by Canadians, and that the books are manufactured here in Canada, too. "The authors come from every province except Newfoundland, so if a writer in Newfoundland is reading this, step forward!" she says.
The newspaper "wars" in Toronto are one thing; the ones in London are quite another, with some rivalries going back generations. An interesting bit in the Independent sizes up the lack of venom in the Daily Mail (still controlled by the Harmsworth family, the ones who got Grand Falls-Windsor rolling 100 years ago) over the sale of the coveted Daily Telegraph to someone other than themselves.
Sure, the world is abuzz about Batman today … but mark my words: in six months, it'll all be about King Kong. How do I know? Well, the Kong Is King website helpfully counts down the number of weeks to world domination.
It also helpfully posts a weekly production diary from the inside. One reason why you might want to pay attention: the director is Peter Jackson, who brought us the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which (to use an understatement) worked out pretty well.
Jackson's fan base is legion, and I'm sure would follow wherever he might lead. For example, if he took a shine to Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, there would be a surge of interest in Belgian mustaches.
Jackson's post-Rings choice is King Kong. And with the opportunity to create knock-out special effects while adapting a world-famous story, how he could resist?
Here's what's interesting. Megabudget blockbusters are noted for secrecy ― you know, scripts that cannot be legibly photocopied and that kind of thing. With Kong Is King, Jackson is throwing out tidbits galore, via these very production diaries.
Fans, of course, are eating it all up. I'm sure there will still be plenty of surprises about the move, but this web-savvy marketing is priming the pump in a way that is thoroughly exciting.
Perhaps you're one of those rare citizens who has not noticed that Rick Mercer a) has opinions and b) is not shy about sharing them. In addition to prepping for the return of his show (except that CBC is putting the title of Monday Report in a fix, by moving the show to Tuesday nights in the fall), Mercer is also sallying forth on his own slice of the blogosphere.
There are plenty of ways of keeping up with the news; being both a news junkie and a waged news producer, I tend to have multiple browser windows open at a time, ready to refresh on my preferred sources. Ten By Ten offers a visually strong and undeniably elegant way to keep an eye on the world's top stories.
As the name implies, there are 10 rows and 10 columns, producing 100 keywords that are dominating the world's news that hour. After launching the program, glide your mouse up and down the list; click on your choice, and see the headlines making news right now. One hour this week, some of the top choices were Iraq, sugar, military, Rice and, um, sperm. (Science story about fertility, don't you know.)It's easy to use, and useful, too. Its Webby award this month in the navigation category is high praise for its clever and simple interface.
If you're living in St. John's ― and eligible to vote in this fall's municipal election, you might want to take a moment and verify whether or not you're on the voters' list. It takes a minute to do, and you can enumerate yourself online.
Not "my" 50 things … more like yours. This is a site through which you can compose a list, just for yourself, of all the wonderful things you plan to accomplish before you draw your last breath. I came across this site not along after having a discussion involving an acquaintance who was motivated (if not shocked ) into preparing just such a list some years ago, because she realized just how fragile life can be. Years later, she's still at work at it … but is consistently crossing off items, like travel in far-flung places, that you would be inclined to think were mere fantasies. Well, why not set some lofty goals for yourself? It's only the rest of your life, after all.
The Korean War began 55 years ago today. On June 25, 1950, the Soviet-fueled North Korean Peoples' Army swept through South Korea, setting motion the first war of the Cold War. This is a U.S. site created in 2003 to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.
Canadian Journalist is catching on, and then some. Greg Locke had a post yesterday that the new site has picked up 22,000 hits in its first month ... enough to have the limit on bandwidth capacity raised.
It should be regular reading for journos and otherwise, with postings by the never-asleep Bill Doskoch and a few other mainstays of the CAJ mailing list. This, for me, is a better format: it's on-topic, easy to access, and devoid of the clutter that prompted me to quit the mailing list for months. (I only meant to sign off for a couple of weeks, while I concentrated on a project. I simply forget to sign back on, once I realized I wasn't missing it.)
This weekend, weather permitting (and this has more to do with the weather over the ocean, rather than the always-pleasant weather over St. John's), the replica of the Vickers Vimy biplane will leave here to land there ... there being the other side of the Atlantic. I'm sure several hundred heads, at least, were turning upward yesterday as the Vickers Vimy did a wee tour over the city; I'm sure countless more will turn out for the launch.
There's plenty to read about the project, Alcock & Brown, 1919 and all that, and much else, on the official site. National Geographic also has constructed a terrific page on the Vimy project.
Sonic the Hedgehog is, believe it or not, 14 years old today. (If the name means little to you - hi, Mom and Dad! - don't worry about it.) On June 23, 1991, the littler critter made its debut. Click here to read an incredibly detailed Wiki article on the Sonic phenomenon, and then here to see how little resemblance Sonic bears to his real-life cousins.
The BBC sets a gold standard for documentaries; it also is keeping pace with technology and taste by making them easier to access, via podcasting-style methods. Download and savour while you're out for a jog or on the bus ... or lingering in a cafe.
Where were you, 15 years ago today? I was in the House of Assembly - as, it seems, was half the nation's press corps. June 22, 1990 was the day Clyde Wells cancelled a vote in the legislature on the Meech Lake Accord; hours earlier, Elijah Harper refused to give unanimous consent to extend the debate in the Manitoba legislature, effectively killing Meech Lake. For Wells, a vote would have not only been moot, but potentially harmful.
Quite the day. A moment I won't forget: taking the elevator up to the ninth floor of the Confederation Building (journalists were racing around the building that day), and finding John Crosbie - then the province's federal cabinet representative, and Wells' all-round bete noir - standing in the lobby, in complete silence, with dozens of journalists staring at him. Crosbie was in the midst of a double-ender. I held open the elevator door (there was not an inch of space available to enter the lobby) and listened as Crosbie answered questions from far away.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.