Every time I check Canada’s Olympic medal count, I feel a little more inept at math. And that’s quite the feat, considering I
was forced had to endure summer school for high school math not once, but twice.
As of 11:30 MST on August 4, CTV’s Olympic app listed Canada at 11th place in the overall medal standings. That’s a damn fine showing for us at the Summer Games considering our seasons consist of almost winter, winter, spring(ish), and road construction. Plus, we just earned our first gold in women’s trampoline so suck on that USA! (that comment isn’t really relevant here, but you have to give your country props when you can)
But all that joy is diminished if you check out Canada’s medal count via Google. In a cruel twist of unfortunate math, we somehow slip 10 spots in the standings and settle way down low at 21st place. Cue the sad violin music.
So what’s going on here? Is Canada relatively low in the overall ranking, are we doing fairly well, or is the Olympic medal count ridiculously arbitrary because there isn’t global agreement on the best measure?
As it turns out, all three of those options may be true. Here’s why.
Have you ever engaged in a late night drinking session that left you so hungry you would risk imprisonment to satisfy the craving?
Yeah, me neither…
Do you love a specific potato chip flavour so deeply that you would commit robbery to get your hands on a bag?
In all honesty this time, neither do I.
While we may be able to pat ourselves on the back for being upstanding citizens, at least two Canadian girls would have to answer “yes” to the questions above. Check out the ridiculously tasty details in this news clip: Continue reading
If you are anywhere near Calgary, Alberta right now you can’t help but be keenly aware that the Stampede is officially underway. Bales of hay dot nearly every doorway, red and white flags hang from most lampposts, fireworks dance in the sky each night, and C-Trains are being sullied by overindulgent partiers who can’t hold their booze.
If all those signs weren’t enough, the endless sea of cowboy-hatted heads should have given it away.
As someone who grew up in rural Alberta and has only missed attending the Stampede once (I was living in Australia! Get over it!), I can spot a wannabe cowboy from a country mile away. But advances in cowboy hat technology and denim fading techniques have made this much more difficult to do in recent years. Sigh.
Rather than forcing a potential cowboy to display their calf roping skills as evidence, here’s a short checklist that will help you spot those wannabes who are all hat and no cowboy: Continue reading
Posted in Calgary Quirks, Calgary Stampede
- Tagged Alberta, Calgary, Calgary Stampede, Canada, cowboys, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Fun, Rodeo, Stampede, Travel
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Since I’m not one to argue with people I don’t know (road rage doesn’t count in this instance), I’ll let them have that one. You can, however, get any number of free breakfasts if you follow a few simple rules. Here’s how it’s done: Continue reading
Posted in Calgary Quirks, Calgary Stampede
- Tagged Alberta, Breakfast, Calgary, Calgary Stampede, Canada, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Food, Pancakes, Stampede, stampede breakfast, Travel
Have you ever said a word one too many times in a row, and it totally lost all meaning? Meaning. Meeening. MeNING. Miiiinuuunggg. Ugh.
It’s jarring when that happens because you sort of lose the run of yourself for a second. The familiar word becomes foreign, your tongue seems to have a mind of its own, and your brain suddenly switches to a language you don’t know. You know what I mean?
It’s also unnerving when you really think about a word you’ve mindlessly repeated for years. For instance, have you every really thought about the name of the place you grew up? I mean really thought about it? On the one hand, the name means so much more than the actual word. But on the other hand the word is really quite meaningless, right? Weird.
I’m pondering this random topic because of a great post I recently stumbled on that takes Saskatchewan town names and turns them into a story. That doesn’t really make much sense without some context, so you should probably take a few minutes to read Shanomi’s “A Prairie Thing” post for yourself before I continue…
Okay, now that you’ve done the assigned homework, I must say that Shanomi’s post has me thinking about my home province of Alberta in a totally different way. While some of the town names I grew up around have always sounded ridiculous (Lacombe, for example, never fails to bring to mind a French hairdresser’s tools), her post really made me think about all the towns I’m most familiar with. So, in the spirit of Shanomi’s post, allow me to introduce a few of Alberta’s unique places.
I’m going to go out on a limb and start this post off with a blanket statement: everyone loves civic holidays. People who get the day off with full pay know there’s nothing better than making money while you sleep in. And for those who are employed in hourly positions, getting paid time and a half (or more) to do what you would normally do is always a good thing. Even the self-employed benefit from an easy commute to work and long weekend deals at bars. See? It’s a win-win-win!
In Canada, the most longed-for and anticipated of all civic holidays is undoubtably the long weekend in May. Getting New Years Day off is a nice bonus, and the August long weekend is guaranteed to be hot, but nothing beats May’s Victoria Day holiday because it’s the unofficial start of summer…or at least full-fledged spring.
Queen Victoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Royal Canadian Mint recently sounded the death knell for the penny. Production of the almost-useless coin will cease by the fall, and I’m assuming this news is being taken fairly well by Canadians as no one seems bothered at all by this decision.
It costs the Mint 1.6 cents to produce each penny, which means that every year Canada spends $11 million more than the coin’s face value to produce something most of us consider to be worthless. All other Canadian coins are worth more than their cost of production, so it’s no wonder the penny is getting axed. Continue reading
While doing some research for this post a few weeks ago, I stumbled on a few classic Canadian “Heritage Minute” videos on YouTube. I was thrilled to find out that they’re available for viewing online because these videos used to leave me transfixed when I was little…and apparently they still do today.
Heritage Minute videos first aired on television in 1991, and each one depicts a significant moment, person or event who influenced Canadian history. I know that Canadian history may seem like a really boring topic, but we’ve actually done some pretty amazing things over the years! From creating Superman and basketball, to our roles in Vimy Ridge and helping free American slaves through the Underground Railroad, these vignettes make your Canadian heart swell with pride.
Whenever a Heritage Minute would come on tv when I was a kid, I used to cross my fingers and hope it was a story I hadn’t yet seen. The minute-long videos were fairly frequently aired over the years, so it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a new one. But through the magic of the internet, you can easily access over 70 of them on the Historica Dominion Institute website.
Here are a few examples of the reasons Canadians have to be proud of our collective heritage: Continue reading
When you live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, it’s impossible to know what to wear on a given day. In Calgary you can wake up to 10 cm of fresh snow, eat lunch amid a hail storm, and drive home with your windows open wishing you’d worn flip flops to work. There’s a saying that if you don’t like the weather in Calgary, just wait five minutes. And on most days that’s fairly accurate. I can’t image being a weather forecaster here because the odds of you being correct for an entire day are about as good as you winning a Lotto 649 jackpot.
So as you can imagine, Calgarians are used to dressing in layers and preparing for all four seasons to bombard us within a 24 hour time period. Our closets and cars are filled with mittens, scarves, earmuffs, snow boots, blankets, jackets, sweaters, and a number of other items used to save us from the elements.
The image below gives you an idea of what the weather was like in Calgary today. For context, please note that this morning the streets were completely clean, and the grass was just starting to turn green… Continue reading
In this post and this post I briefly mentioned the Caesar without fully explaining either its origin or its virtues. I also posted a video about the Caesar here, but it only gives you a hint of the cocktail’s history. Considering the Caesar and I were both born in the same city, I’m feeling a little guilty for not giving Canada’s most beloved cocktail its due. So, without further adieu, the following post will be dedicated to the best use for clam juice ever invented.