Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 27, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
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THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2002That’s Life!
Trivia quiz your Canada Day guests
By Eric: SHACKLETON
TORONTO — It can be a daunting task to keep family and friends entertained on the Canada Day holiday weekend while the steaks sizzle on the barbecue.
Rut help is at hand — at the nearest bookstore or on the Internet.
For Canadian trivia fans, Alastair Sweeny’s CanQuiz, a nearly 170-page collection of quirky questions and even quirkier answers, recently rolled off the presses. There’s also a Web site to go with it named catiquiz.ca.
Take, for instance, question No. 36 in the history section: The first tourists to Canada were 30 London gentlemen who chartered a ship under the direction of Richard Hore in 1536 to “see the strange things of the world.” So what do you suppose happened to them?
Well, the party ran out of provisions in Newfoundland and the healthier men had to resort to cannibalism. A well-provisioned French fishing ship saved Hore and the surviving tourists. But they then callously took over the ship, left its crew to fend for themselves on the shore and sailed home.
“Chilling. . . the first tourists to Canada,” says Sweeny, but “very quirky.”
Other new Canadiana this year includes Bill Casselman’s Canadian Sayings 2, which is filled with witticisms, and Curious Canadians by Nancy and Ted Liss, a book that contains more than 30 illustrated stories of some of the country’s schemers and dreamers.
Sweeny says the idea for the quiz book grew out of the realization that Canadians really don’t know a lot about their country and its achievements, especially about our inventors, whose discoveries led to such things as television broadcasting.
His interest in hunting for “quirk” began in 1985, when he did background research for Peter C. Newman and his book on The Hudson Bay Co., Company of Adventurers. “He asked me to look for quirky details, and that kind of lit some lamps in my brain.”
“Ever since then I’ve been collecting quirky material,” Sweeny says, turning it into the quiz book, producing The Canada Channel, an online resource for facts about Canada, Canadisk, Canada’s first multimedia CD-ROM, as well as canquiz.ca.
School children between Grades 3 and 8 like to log on to canquiz, says Sweeny, where there’s a wide selection of 20-question
Here’s a Canada Day quiz, with answers to the right:
1. Where did the word Canada come from?
2. Where was the first permanent European settlement in Canada?
3. What was wampum used for by early First Nations tribes?
4. When and where was the first French settlement in Canada?
5. When and where was the first English settlement in Canada?
6. Where was Canada’s worst railway disaster?
7. What historic building burned down Feb. 3, 1916?
8. Name the British general killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights in 1812.
9. Who invented the first ice skate?
10. What was Canada’s first feature film, and when did it premier?
11. Who was the first Canadian to win Olympic gold?
12. Where and when was the first recorded game of baseball?
quizzes, some of which are also in the book.
“They love this stuff... It’s like a treasure hunt... They learn by making mistakes. . . when you do quizzes you make mistakes,” chuckles Sweeny, president of Ottawa Researchers.
Broken up into four sections — history, sports, geography and celebrities the CanQuiz book contains 22 sets of interesting questions and answers, ranging from Canada Discovered to Canada Laughs.
Sweeny’s favourite quiz concerns Canadian inventors. “One of the questions... is who invented the light bulb. And everybody when a light bulb goes off, it’s Thomas Edison,” he says. But in fact it was Henry Woodward, a University of Toronto student.
Woodward invented the first incandescent lamp and sold the patent to Edison’s company, where another Canadian Reginald Fessenden perfected it. Although it was a workable electric light, it contained platinum, making it too expensive to sell, says Sweeny.
After Fessenden was laid off by Edison, he went to work for George Westinghouse, where he came up with a way to fuse wire to glass that brought about a workable cheap light bulb. It was used to light the 1892 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Casselman, meanwhile, began collecting Canadian sayings “because these things are worth preserving... They’re punchy,” and witty. Fake for example, the river’s so winding, the fish have hinges. That’s not bad for a Quebec folk saying, says Casselman.
Then there’s Saskatchewan is so flat, you couldn’t find a tree to hang yourself, or, Is Vancouver wet? Well, the official city flower is mildew, and, I like the looks of Toronto — in my rear view mirror.
But reader beware. Casselman likes off colour sayings. “There’s still just a ferocious weight of censorship of the namby, pamby born again busybody kind, so I like expressions that are vulgar,” he says.
In Curious Canadians, you’ll find such gems as the story of funeral director David Brown of Boswell, B.C., who built his home in the early 1950s from 500,000 embalming fluid bottles. And, believe it or not, his family still uses the glass house today.
The structural strength of those bottles, and their insulation value, is estimated at the equivalent of 70 centimetres of Fibreglass.
“Weird maybe, eccentric certainly, but this fairytale glass castle is undeniably beautiful and elegant,” the Lisses write.
1. Kanata is an Iroquois word meaning village or community. Jacques Cartier is believed to have named New France Canada in 1536 from this word.
2. Port Royal, Nova Scotia, was established by Pierre de Monts and Samuel de Champlain in 1605.
3. Shell necklaces called wampum were used by early First Nations for trade and exchange. They have been found as far inland as the Great Plains.
4. In 1504, French Breton sailors built a fort called Brest on the north shore of the Strait of Belle Isle in Baie de Vieux Fort, Labrador.
5. England’s first colony was established in 1610 at Cupers Cove, Conception Bay, Nfld. Now called Cupid’s Cove, it was settled by John Guy and 39 colonists.
6. On June 29, 1864, at Beloeil, Que., a Grand Trunk Railway train ran through an open switch near St-Hilaire, killing 99 people.
7. The Centre Block of the Parliament buildings.
8. Sir Isaac Brock. He is supposed to have uttered the words “Push on, brave York volunteers!” as he lay dying.
9. In 1868, John Forbes, foreman of the Starr Manufacturing Co. in Dartmouth, N.S., and his assistant Thomas Bateman patented a self-fastening skate that attached tightly to a skater’s boot with a mechanical lever. The Acme Club spring skates met with instant approval.
10. Evangeline premiered in Halifax in 1913.
11. George Orton won gold in the 2,500-metre steeplechase at the Second Olympiad in WOO in Paris.
12. Beachville, about 40 kilometres east of London, Ont., on June 4, 1838. This first recorded baseball game took place a year before Abner Doubleday supposedly “invented” the game in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Source: Canquiz, by Alastair Sweeny (Key Porter Books), ww w. key porter, co rn.
Kidman to star in Cold Mountain
BUCHAREST — A bus owned by Nicolae
Ceausescu, the communist dictator executed 13 years ago, will serve as Nicole Kidman’s dressing room when she starts filming part of Cold Mountain in Romania next month, production company employees said.
Angeles, spokesmen for Miramax Films confirmed that Kidman was shooting part of the movie — a Civil War-era love story based on the Charles Frazier novel of the same name — in rural Romania, but couldn’t say whether she would use the bus as a trailer.
Bogdan Moncea, the marketing manager at Caste! Films, said Tuesday the bus has been
revamped since it carried Ceausescu around the country on working visits. It has solid wood furniture, a bathtub, a telephone switchboard with six lines and its own electricity generator.
Cold Mountain will be written and directed by Oscar-win-ner Anthony Minghella. The film, co-starring Jude Law, Renee Zellweger and Natalie Portman, is scheduled to open in December 2003.
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The CRTC will hold a public hearing commencing on 12 August 2002 at 9:30 a.m., at the CRTC Headquarters, 1 Prom, du Portage, Gatineau, Qc., to consier the following: 5. BRANDON, Man. ASSINIBOINE CAMPUS-COMMUNITY RADIO SOCIETY INC. requests authority to obtain a license to operate, on frequency 106.5 MHz, an English FM community-based campus radio station in Brandon. EXAMINATION OF APPLICATION: 1430 Victoria Ave. E. Brandon, Man. lf you wish to support or oppose an application, write the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ont., KIA 0N2. You may also file your intention by fax at (819) 994-0218 or by e-mail at: [email protected]
Your comments must be received at the CRTC on or before 18 July 2002 and MUST include the proof that you sent a copy to the applicant. For more information: 1-877-249-CRTC (Toll-free) or Internet: http://www.crtc.gc.ca. Reference document; Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2002-7.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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