5 Random Things I Learned In the Last 48 Hours

  1. “O Canada,” as we know it, isn’t the original song. There have been different version and the line that was recently brought into question (i.e., “in all thy sons command”)1 wasn’t always in there.  Other lines have included “May stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise,” and “”thou dost in us command.”
  2. You can build a computer on Apple.com that costs more than $125,000.
  3. Canada will be getting plastic money (instead of the paper we now use) by next year.
  4. Flu viruses can last on paper money for up to 17 days!
  5. No matter how many bowls of water you have sitting around the apartment, cats prefer to drink out of your water glass.
  1. though I heard on the radio that the Government of Canada, who proposed changing it, has already backtracked and said they won’t change it []

11 Replies to “5 Random Things I Learned In the Last 48 Hours”

  1. Kalev points out that our paper currency is technically cotton (actually cotton plus linen, iirc). The English word "paper" comes from the Greek word "papyrus" which was used to describe the Egyptian, uh, paper — which was actually made from papyrus leaves. One of the better grades of cotton is Egyptian cotton — so we have now come full circle.

    For many years (may even be true today) Canadian Tire money was made by the same company that manufactured Canadian currency.

    The "plastic" money that is proposed is already in use in several countries. I still have a few Aussie plastic dollars left over from my trip there.

    Political interjection: the Conservative government said, in their Speech from the Throne, that they will be working to create jobs to help Canada out of the recession. Virtually all the jobs that will be created to handle the manufacturing of the new currency will be created in Australia.

  2. There was another version of "O Canada" – pre-1980 – which did not reference God and also had us "standing on guard" like 6 more times. Apparently, we cannot stop tinkering with the English version (the poem on which the French version is based – while not using all stanzas – has not been altered).

    The next time you are in town, we'll take you to the Canadian Currency Museum at the Bank of Canada. It is one of my favourites in town – it's FASCINATING and best of all – Free!! Seriously – the to do list includes the Diefenbunker (especially if Tod comes too) and the currency museum. No, we're not nerds…

  3. Revealing my ignorance here: I'd always assumed that bills were made the Mint, but I just looked it up (since JohnB said the new bills will be made in Australia) and found that the Mint only makes coins. Which, now that I've read that, I feel like I should have known. Then, while I was reading the Wikipedia page on Canadian money, I noticed that it said our current banknotes (a.k.a., bills) are made out of "paper composed of pure cotton." Which then made me think "well, what's the definition of 'paper'?" since I generally think of paper, as Kalev puts it "in the traditional sense" as being made of wood (though, of course, I'm familiar with hemp-based paper too). So then I looked it up and apparently paper is defined as "a substance made from wood pulp, rags, straw, or other fibrous material, usually in thin sheets, used to bear writing or printing, for wrapping things, etc." (Dictionary.com). Anyway, all that to say, I've learned a bunch more stuff now!

    @Sarah – I need to book at trip to Ottawa soon, as I totally want to see the Canadian Currency Museum AND the Diefenbunker! And go to that restaurant we wanted to go to after we couldn't go to the Diefenbunker but the restaurant was closed the last time I was there. Seriously, trip needed soon!

    Also, Taiko is also a fan of drinking from the tap, but, mercifully, he does it when I'm brushing my teeth and not at 4 a.m.!

  4. Revealing my ignorance here: I'd always assumed that bills were made the Mint, but I just looked it up (since JohnB said the new bills will be made in Australia) and found that the Mint only makes coins. Which, now that I've read that, I feel like I should have known. Then, while I was reading the Wikipedia page on Canadian money, I noticed that it said our current banknotes (a.k.a., bills) are made out of "paper composed of pure cotton." Which then made me think "well, what's the definition of 'paper'?" since I generally think of paper, as Kalev puts it "in the traditional sense" as being made of wood (though, of course, I'm familiar with hemp-based paper too). So then I looked it up and apparently paper is defined as "a substance made from wood pulp, rags, straw, or other fibrous material, usually in thin sheets, used to bear writing or printing, for wrapping things, etc." (Dictionary.com). Anyway, all that to say, I've learned a bunch more stuff now!

    @Sarah – I need to book at trip to Ottawa soon, as I totally want to see the Canadian Currency Museum AND the Diefenbunker! And go to that restaurant we wanted to go to after we couldn't go to the Diefenbunker but the restaurant was closed the last time I was there. Seriously, trip needed soon!

    Also, Taiko is also a fan of drinking from the tap, but, mercifully, he does it when I'm brushing my teeth and not at 4 a.m.!

  5. There's another part of the lyrics that's more politically incorrect: "Our true and native land". That's not cool for an immigrant country like Canada. I for one wasn't born here, and the same goes for half my colleagues at work.

  6. Actually, the lyric is “our home and native land…” and in addition to being, as you say, pretty problematic given our immigrant nature (I’m 2nd-gen myself), one can’t help but imagine what anyone aboriginal thinks of that particular appropriation.

    (in other news, gods-damned IntenseDebate not loading on my iPhone!)

    1. Oh and now it's working!

      The extremely annoying thing about the anthem "kerfuffle" is that the lyrics totally do need de-sexistifying and de-religionizing but now the f'ing Conservatives* have gone and not only distracted everyone from more pressing issues but they've also made it seem like wanting a gender-neutral and areligious anthem is somehow petty. I guess you have to give them credit for being master strategists–and recognizing just how fucking
      stupid the Canadian electorate is.

      1. All other problems having been solved, then (and only then) should anyone worry about the lyrics of the national anthem regarding sexism, and-all-the-other-isms. While some worry about the symbols, I prefer to look at the substance — things like decent mat/pat leave — one of the things which we do seem to have got right.

        As for the "f'ing Conservatives", I'm not sure that epithets add anything to the conversation. Citations (such as this one: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c… ) may possibly be more appropriate.

        1. I'm wondering if you realize the irony about claiming to be about substance over symbols and then chastising me on my use of epithets when they are, more than anything, simply symbolic. I could have said "odious Conservatives," which would have had approximately the same substance as what I did say and only would have differed in terms of the symbolic representation I chose to employ, language being nothing more than a system of symbols.

          Be all that as it may, I believe very much in the power of symbols, so taking out ridiculous things like "in all thy sons' command" appeal to me and strike me as useful even if they don't have a tangibly measurable impact. I don't, of course, think these types of changes should eclipse or replace more material improvements, however, and Harper and his cronies managed to play on that sentiment marvellously.

          Plus, our parental leave pales in comparison to some Western European countries IIRC, so I don't really think it's something we should be patting ourselves on the back for. And until women's earnings approximate men's (rather than being at about 73 cents on the dollar and worse now then they were 10 years ago), any claims that Canada is doing something "right" with respect to women's equality is pretty delusional.

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