Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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BC Premier#10 – John Herbert Turner is not PM John Turner

After a break from the series last week due to my attendance at the pig party, this week’s installment of my BC Premierial series brings us the 10th Premier of the Province of British Columbia: John Herbert Turner.

John Herbert Turner.png Name John Herbert Turner
Born: May 7, 1834 in Claydon, Suffolk, England
Died: December 9, 1923 in Richmond, England
Party: none
Held Office: 4 March 1895 to July 1898
  • was not Canadian Prime Minister John Turner.
  • 1856: came to British North America from England (first to Halifax, NS then to Charlottetown, PEI)
  • 1860: went back to England to marry, Elizabeth Eilbeck, who he then brought to PEI
  • July 1862: reached Victoria, BC, having been attracted to the west by the gold rush, but decided to work as a merchant, which was what he had done out east, rather than as a miner, as was his original intention
  • 1869: was appointed to the tariff commission
  • 1872: was named as a trustee of the Ogden Point Cemetery
  • 1876 to 1879: served as an alderman
  • 1879: acclaimed as mayor of Victoria, a position he served in until 1881
  • 1882: after many years of involvement in the militia, he retired with the rank of lieutenant-colonel
  • June 1882: went to England for an extended stay
  • July 1886: entered BC provincial politics by winning an election as an MLA, representing Victoria City
  • 8 August 1887: became minister of finance and agriculture under Premier A.E.B. Davie, posts he would retain under Premiers Robson and the other Davie
  • 4 March 1895: became Premier when Davie resigned
  • Apparently, he was not so good with money: “Throughout the period that Turner was minister of finance (1887–98), the provincial budget was in deficit each year and by the time he left office the gross public debt had climbed to nearly $7,500,000, a sevenfold increase from 1886.”1
  • He was also criticized for using his political position for personal gain, being involved in a number of business enterprises during his time as Premier; for being at the “beck and call of powerful corporations”1 and for refusing fair representation of the mainland (especially Vancouver)
  • He lost power in July 1898 in a controversial election – the election appeared to be a draw between Turner’s non-party government and the non-party opposition; Lieutenant Governor Thomas Robert McInnes demanded Turner’s resignation, which he didn’t want to give at first, but then gave, making him the leader of the Opposition against Premier Semlin’s government
  • June 1900: was reinstated as the minister of finance and agriculture under the newly elected Premier Dunsmuir
  • 3 September 1901: resigned from provincial politics and became the agent general for BC in England, a post at which he served until he was removed in 1915 to be replaced by recently retired BC Premier Sir Richard McBride, who died in 1917, at which time Turner was re-appointed to this post; Turner then resigned from this post in 1918
  • 9 December 1923: died in Richmond, England

In summary, he was bad with money, seems to have been using his political power for personal financial gain. Otherwise, pretty boring.

Image credits: Accessed from Wikipedia. In the public domain. w00t!

References:
Wikipedia, the reference that has virtually no information about John Herbert Turner either
1Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

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Photo Meme

Raul tagged me with a meme and this gives me an easy out for today’s post (thanks Raul!). For this, I have to post the 6th photo on page 6 of my Flickr photostream.  Unfortunately, this picture is BO-RING!

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It’s a picture of my shoe.

Now I’m supposed to tag 6 people. But… meh.  Feel free to do the meme if you want.  I leave it up to you, yo.

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I’m Sick. And Check Out This Video About How Hockey Sticks Are Made!

It seems that every time I go to Ontario, I come back with the plague.  On the day of the pig party, my sister was totally wiped out by a nasty, nasty cold.  Like, so sick that she went to bed immediately after everyone left (about 5:30 p.m.) and slept through ’til the next morning.

Now I appear to have come down with the same thing.  Sore throat1, headache, runny nose, achy sinuses. My apologies to all the people on the bus yesterday when I had a sneezing fit.

So, since I’m not capable of writing anything coherent today, I give you this video: How Hockey Sticks Are Made:

I hadn’t realized how much of the process was done by hand.

1though not as bas as the sore throat I had last month.

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And speaking of Prime Ministers…

… could we possibly have a new entry in my Prime Ministerial series soon?  You would think, given that we had an election just over 6 weeks ago, that such a thing would be very unlikely.  But, according to the Globe & Mail1, we might be getting one sooner than you think.

Opposition parties are mad that Harper’s government has put forward a fiscal plan that (a) “offers no stimulus package to deal with the economic crisis” and (b) contains “a vow to scrap public subsidies for political parties that would financially cripple every party except the Tories.”  So they are talking about bringing down the Harper government with a  vote of non-confidence.

By putting this plan forward, Harper and the Conservatives* are betting that the opposition parties won’t dare force an election so soon after the last one, especially since the Liberals are still being led by lame duck Dion2.  But it sounds like the opposition parties are saying “hey, wait a minute.  There are more of us than there are of them.  Coalition anyone?” Apparently3 if the opposition parties can form a coalition, they could take control of the government without an election.

The plan goes to a vote on Monday.  Can the opposition parties form a viable coalition by then?  Will the threat of his enemies uniting against him to take his job scare Stephen Harper into changing his plan?  Stay tuned4!

Update #1 (28 Nov 2008): I just read in the Vancouver Sun that Harper’s plan “limits public sector wage increases to 1.5%, with the right to strike suspended.” They are going to take away people’s right to strike? How is that even legal??

Update#2 (28 Nov 2008): The Vancouver Sun now has an article on their website saying “The Conservatives don’t plan on backing down from a controversial proposal to eliminate subsidies for federal political parties, but the government says the measure will not be part of a confidence vote on Monday.”  This is really, really lame.  They ARE backing down if they are making it not part of a confidence vote!!  If they were to truly stand behind it, then why not leave it as a confidence vote??

1Props to Kalev for bringing this article to my attention!
2Apparently, “sources say former prime minister Jean Chretien has been approached for advice on how to massage Mr. Dion’s early exit.” Which is a little rich, given that Chrétien was “massaged” out of office himself.
3and I’m hoping Resident Historian and Chief Political Correspondent Sarah will pop by to explain to us exactly how this works
4Isn’t this way more fun that an system where the leader of the government only changes, predictably, every 4 years?

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Represent!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Canada has never had a non-white Prime Minister (and nor have we ever had a contender for PM who wasn’t white) and it prompted discussion, some of which can be summed up by “Who cares what race/gender politicians are? I only care that politicians are capable.”  I argued that if all (or the vast majority of) our politicians are white and male, doesn’t that mean that there must be some kind of barriers in the way of non-white and female candidates becoming politicians?  And doesn’t it mean that we are missing out on people who would be amazingly capable politicians, if we are only drawing from the white male pool, leaving all the other pools virtually untapped?

Well, I just listened to this podcast, where philosopher Anne Phillips does a much better job of discussing this whole issue than I do.  Give it a listen!

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My Review of 24 Redemption

Finally got around to watching 24 Redemption.  My review goes something like this: what the hell?

First, there didn’t actually appear to be a plot.  Second, how can it be 3 p.m. in both Washington AND a country in Africa1? Third, why did it look so warm in Washington on the day of a presidential inauguration? Don’t presidents get inaugurated in JANUARY?

The only good thing about this was the movie was the ad for the upcoming season, which featured zombie Tony.

1They were in a fictional African country. Perhaps in this fictional country they operate on Eastern Standard time?

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My Terrible Memory

Exhibit A:

I appear to have forgotten both my blanket (which I brought to keep me warm on the plane) and a jar of honey (from the bees that live on the farm where my dad keeps his birds) at my sister’s place. I realized that I forgot my blanket in the car on the way to the airport yesterday (it was too late to turn back to get it), but I have only just now discovered the missing honey.  I remember wrapping the jar in a plastic bag (just in case it broke in my luggage), but it is most definitely not in my luggage now. I’m sure it’s sitting on the coffee table at my sister’s place.

Exhibit B:

Today at work, I was chatting with a co-worker in her office about logic model development and I told her that, having just recently created an evaluation plan using a logic model, I had a few documents that I could send her to give her a bit of an introduction to the topic.  But I was on my way to go grab a cup of tea, so I said, “I’ll email those when I get back to my office.” And then I switched my ring from my middle finger to my index finger.  It’s sort of like the old tie-a-string-around-your-finger to remember something trick.  I knew that if I didn’t have my ring on the wrong finger, emailing those documents would completely slip from my mind before I even got to the caf to get that cup of tea.

Exhibit B:

Tonight while cooking dinner, which consisted of French fries and a wrap with refried beans/tomatoes/green onions/lettuce/yogurt, I decided that I would also roast a squash for my lunch tomorrow.  So I put the fries in the toaster oven and the squash in the real oven.  The fries needed to cook for 20 mins, so I set the microwave timer to beep for that.  And then I set my stopwatch function on my watch to time the squash, which needed about 45 mins.  In retrospect, I should have set the timer function on my watch to beep after 45 mins, rather than setting the stopwatch to count up, thinking “oh, I’ll look at my stopwatch and once it gets to 45 mins, I’ll remember to take the squash out of the oven.  After 20 mins, I ate my delicious dinner while watching clips of the Colbert Report on the Comedy Network website AND PROMPTLY FORGOT I WAS COOKING THE SQUASH.  An hour and 45 minutes later, I was wondering why my apartment still smelled like French fries. And then I went into the kitchen to wash the dinner dishes and make some tea.  Once there, I wondered why it was so damn hot in my kitchen.  And then I yelled, “Oh my god, I forgot the squash!!”  My apartment didn’t smell like French fries, it smelled like cooking squash. Poor, poor burnt squash.

On a related note, researchers at UBC have recently discovered a new brain disorder called “developmental topographical disorientation,” in which people have trouble orienting themselves in an environment (also known as topographagnosia) despite any apparent brain damage or other cognitive impairments.  It means they get lost really easily.  I’m pretty sure I have this, as anyone who has ever been with me on a trip will attest.  And by “trip”, I mean pretty much anywhere outside my house.  The researchers have created a website and I was going to take their “Test Your Skills” test to see if I have D.T.D., but it’s not up on their site yet.  It says to come back in a few weeks.  I intend to, but I’m pretty sure I’ll forget before then.

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The ridiculously cute things my niece has said on this trip

“It’s as clean as a button”1.

“She’s so tired that her head could pop off!”

“Mommy says a lot of bad words.”  To which my dad asked, “Does Aunt Beth say bad words?” To which my niece replied, “No. Only your other daughter.”

And my personal favourite was this conversation that we had while she was painting and I was uploading pictures to Flickr:

“Lugubrious,” she said, pretty much out of nowhere.

“What’s that mean?” I said, thinking that it was a word she’d made up, sort of like the name Sposheila2.

She looked at me very seriously: “Lugubrious3 means miserable. My teacher taught me that.”

1Apparently she likes to attempt similies, but doesn’t always get them quite right. My sister tells me that one day she walked into the living room, which had just been cleaned and said, “This living room is as clean as a horse in a living room!”
2Her toys are often named Sposheila. Or Sholo.
3Pretty much everyone I’ve told this story too has said, “Lugubrious is not a word.” But it is. I looked it up.
2I love that “miserable” is the word she uses to dumb down the other word to explain it to people. Because “miserable” is a pretty big word in itself. Especially when she could just say “sad.”

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Pig Party!

Today was the day of my niece’s pig-themed birthday party!

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The menu included “pig slop” (a.ka. soup) and pigaroni and cheese.

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with a pig-in-the-mud cake for dessert:

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The birthday girl blowing out her candles!

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And gets to enjoy the pig cupcake!

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Happy birthday, little piglet!

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My First Book!

Just received this in the mail the other day1:

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That sounds like an interesting book, yes? I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about prenatal alcohol and bone development?

And wait, what is that there?

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That author’s name looks awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

Yup, that’s my thesis2, in handy book form!

Back in the summer, this publishing company contacted me about publishing my thesis (which they’d found online). At first I thought it was some sort of scam (like they’d require all my banking account and credit card numbers, my passwords, my PINs, my SIN3 and my first born), but I checked into it and it seemed legit. They are a print-on-demand publisher and if anyone buys it4, I get royalties and I also retain the right to publish up to 80% elsewhere5. You can even buy it from Amazon. For the low, low price of $107.53. Seriously.

1Before I left for my trip. I didn’t have time to blog about it, but did have just enough time to snap the pics.
2Technically, it’s my “doctoral dissertation.” I’ve been given hell for referring to it as a thesis before, but I just can’t bring myself to say “dissertation.” It just sounds so snooty.
3for my non-Canadian readers, that means my “Social Insurance Number.”
4Which I am 99% sure won’t happen.
5And since I’ve already published all of my thesis data in scientific journals, I’m not anticipating being able to re-publish anyway.