Posts filed under ‘culture’
Hey…psssssst…come here. I want to tell you something.
Yeah, you. I hear you’ve been asking about Canada.
Yeah, I have!
Great! Well you’ve come to the right place. I can answer all your questions.
That sounds good.
Not only does it sound good, it will also feel good.
Oh, that’s nice…wait, what exactly do you mean by feel good?
Never mind that. For now. The first thing you want to know about Canada is that it’s big.
Bigger than Australia and Perez Hilton’s ego combined.
I know! It’s unbelievably big.
If it’s that big, then the people who live there must be giants.
That’s a reasonable, yet crazy assumption. People in Canada are normal sized.
Hmmm. Well, if it’s that big then there must be billions of people living there.
Not at all, my ignorant friend. Canada actually has one of the lowest population densities of any nation.
It’s true. That’s because most of the space in Canada isn’t readily habitable by sane people.
Not even remotely, but here is something that is interesting. Canada is the world leader in the production of maple syrup.
That’s not interesting either.
If you like pancakes and waffles it’s very interesting.
Fattening breakfast foods are OK. What else do Canadians eat?
For the answer to that question, you will have to wait for the next edition of So, You Want To Know About Canada.
Crap! What if I don’t want to wait?
The first thing that non-Canadians ask me when they find out that I am from Canada is: “Tell me about the sport of curling because in my country we do not play, but it is a very fascinating sport to us and we must learn all we can about your culture.” This is what they ask unless that person is from one of the following countries that has an official curling association (list from Wikipedia):
- Andorra – Andorra Curling Association
- Australia – Australian Curling Federation
- Austria – Austrian Curling Association
- Belarus – Belarusian Curling Association
- Belgium – Belgium Curling Association
- Brazil – Brazilian Ice Sports Federation
- Bulgaria – Bulgarian Curling Association
- Canada – Canadian Curling Association
- China – Chinese Curling Association
- Croatia – Croatian Curling Association
- Czech Republic – Czech Curling Association
- Denmark – Danish Curling Association
- England – English Curling Association
- Estonia – Estonian Curling Association
- Finland – Finnish Curling Association
- France – French Curling Association
- Germany – German Curling Association
- Greece – Hellenic Curling Association
- Hungary – Hungarian Curling Association
- Iceland – Icelandic Curling Association
- Ireland – Irish Curling Association
- Israel – Israel Curling Association
- Italy – Italian Ice-Sports Federation
- Japan – Japan Curling Association
- Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan Curling Association
- South Korea – Korean Curling Federation
- Latvia – Latvian Curling Association
- Liechtenstein – Liechtenstein Curling Association
- Lithuania – Lithuanian Curling Association
- Luxembourg – Luxembourg Curling Association
- Netherlands – Netherlands Curling Association
- New Zealand – New Zealand Curling Association
- Norway – Norwegian Curling Association
- Poland – Polish Curling Association
- Russia – Russian Curling Federation
- Serbia – National Curling Association of Serbia
- Slovakia – Slovak Curling Association
- Spain – Spanish Ice Sports Federation
- Scotland – Royal Caledonian Curling Club
- Sweden – Swedish Curling Association
- Switzerland – Swiss Curling Association
- Chinese Taipei – Chinese Taipei Curling Federation
- Ukraine – Ukrainian Curling Federation
- United States – United States Curling Association
- United States Virgin Islands – US Virgin Islands Curling Association
- Wales – Welsh Curling Association
Since I played curling for a few months back when I was in high-school, and I’ve watched a couple of games on T.V., I figure myself to be something of an expert. Therefor I will explain all you need to know about this sport. Once again the amoebas have agreed to assist in the explanation:
Teams are made up of 4 people, making a total of 8 players participating in each game. Competitors like to get together before a match to have a celebratory drink to the game that is about to take place.
The Canadian Amoeba Curling Club has won the World Amoeba Curling Championship the past three years.
The game begins. The blue team shoots first this round. Next round the brown team will shoot first. Play continues for a total of ten rounds. With the first shot, Team Blue will try to set up a guard. A guard is a rock that sits before the house (the coloured circles) but after the Hog Line (black line you see in the image).
The first shot was perfect! Everyone, including the opposition, celebrates the shot with another drink.
Team Brown has the next shot. They decide to try and get a rock into the house. Unfortunately the shooter put too much pepper on the shot, and the stone goes all the way down the sheet and out of play. The players decide to have a commiseratory beer.
Curlers tell non-drinkers to “go play hockey”. This is considered a major insult in the world of curling.
Play continues with players on opposite teams alternating their shots. After all the shots are taken (sixteen in total for each end), points are awarded. Points are scored by having one or more of your team’s rocks closer to the center of the house (circles) than your opponents. If your team has two rocks closer to the center than any of the other team’s rocks, then your team will score two points. If neither team has a single rock in the house at the end, neither team receives a point.
In this case the brown team scores two points since they have two rocks closest to the center of the house. Only one team – or neither team – can score points each end. Everyone celebrates Brown Team’s points.
Play continues like this over ten ends. At the end points are tallied and the team with the most points wins. After the game everyone gets together and has “one for the road”.
Games sometimes end before ten ends are played, due to excessive alcohol poisoning.
And that is pretty much curling in a nutshell. If you are interested in some actual curling information, I recommend checking out Curling Basics. It’s a really cool site, with lots of good, and…er…relevant information.
Whew. I’ve just spent an exhaustive five-minutes researching the bounty that is the webernet to bring to you, Dear Reader, a history of Great Canadian Moustaches.
I know! I’m very excited as well.
Let’s get to it:
Coureur des Bois:
The Coureur des Bois were French fur traders in 17th century North America. They began to disappear in the early part of the 18th century due to being over trapped for their luxurious moustaches, which brought in great sums of money on the European market.
Sam Steele was the most rugged of men, in an era when rugged men were a dime a dozen, which was actually considered expensive back in the late 1800’s. Steele was one of the original North West Mounted Police, and he could subdue bad guys by a quick moustache upside the head. Steele is credited with maintaining a high level of peace during the Klondike Gold Rush, mainly due to his no-nonsense attitude, and threat of irritated skin due to moustache rubbing.
As the leader of the Guess Who, Cummings and his moustache took the music industry by storm with the song, American Woman. Even Americans enjoyed the song, proving that they can take a joke.
Lanny, you may have won a Cup with the Calgary Flames, but you will always be a Maple Leaf to your Toronto fans. Calgarians never appreciated your moustache as much as we did in Toronto. Oh, the things that must have gotten caught in your moustache! Immaculate.
Where would Leaf fans of the 80’s and early 90’s have been without Wendel Clark? Drunk in the gutter, I’m sure.
He could score, he could fight, and his body checks were always the most spectacular. Wendel’s moustache was just icing on an already delicious and hairy cake.
The King of Trivia used to have a different title: King of Hairy-lipped Men. Unfortunately he shaved his moustache in 2001, and now he is only the King of Non-moustached Trivia.
The only reason Jack Layton is as popular as he is in Canada is due to his moustache. It is a well known fact that he made it to the top of the NDP by throwing his moustache shurikin style at his opponents. Eventually no one wanted to debate him, and thus he was elected leader of his party. True story.
It is universally acknowledged that Canadian Amoeba has the greatest Amoeba-based moustache in the history of Amoeba moustaches. And, yes, he does wax it.
I recommend reading this piece that appeared in the Toronto Star today. It’s by Eric Weiner, an American, who writes about U.S opinion of Canada with regards to Obama’s upcoming visit, and brings the funny. You can read the entire essay here – it’s a short, easy read.
He starts off by telling us why American takes no interest:
“It’s not personal, really. It’s geopolitical. You’re just too … nice. Nice doesn’t get our attention. Threatening gets our attention, and you, Canada, are anything but threatening, except on the hockey rink, of course, but we don’t take hockey all that seriously.”
But eventually he reveals the truth. America is jealous. They realize our superiority in being Canadian, but can’t bring themselves to appreciate it, being so tightly wrapped in their own essence.
“The truth is we envy you, though of course we never admit that to anyone, not even ourselves. We envy your health-care system. We envy your prudent, sober banks. We envy your restraint on the international stage. We envy your very happiness. We envy everything about you. Except your weather, of course. Nobody envies that.”
How can we blame Americans for being jealous? Well, Americans, you can come and visit us anytime you like. Bring lots of money.
(When will the jealousy end?)
The recent death of a Senior A hockey player in Ontario as the result of a fight gone wrong (the player hit his head on the ice at the end of the fight) has sparked a lot of discussion about the role of fighting in hockey. Fight apologists claim that it is an important part of the sport, while the anti-fighting contingent claims that hockey would be an even better game without fisticuffs.
As a service to the public I have undertaken to explain the reasons why fights happen in hockey. Using amoebas, of course.
(The International Amoeba Hockey League hosts some of the most competitive protist hockey in the world.)
Hockey is played at a great speed and body contact is inevitable. This coupled with a high level of intensity can lead to fights, even amongst players who don’t usually drop the gloves and exchange knuckle imprints. Fights of passion usually occur in the corners of the rink, or in front of the nets, as these are the areas where the most intense contests for puck possession happen.
(Fights often occur when too many players try to squeeze themselves into a small space.)
Revenge fights happen when a member of an opposing team has injured or tried to injure one of your teammates. The next time you play against the offending party, it is expected that a member of your team – usually one of your enforcers – will exact revenge.
(Revenge fights can be nasty.)
3. It’s a Dirty Job.
Many teams will employ a player whose main role is that of the enforcer, or goon. These players excel at fighting and, usually, little else. Their sole purpose and reason for being on the team is to fight the other teams enforcer when needed.
These players are considered protectors for the more skilled players – exacting revenge (see above) if an opposing player tries to hurt one of their team’s stars. Enforces will also engage the other team’s tough guys in fights if their team’s energy is low. Some pundits believe that this kind of fight can reinvigorate a team that is losing and help to change the momentum of the game. Other people think that these people are nuts.
(Enforcers tend to be big.)
Back to the roots of Canadian Fermentation! I have recently started some exhaustive research into the history of Canadian Prime Ministers. This has led to some interesting discoveries! I’ve included some of the more interesting and strange – as well as some of the more infamous – examples of Canadian Prime Ministers. I hope you enjoy it.
Please feel free to leave a response and share who your favourite Prime Minister is.
Sir John A. McDonald:
- Served two terms; the first Canadian Prime Minister from 1867-1873, and a second stint from 1878 – 1891.
- One of the Fathers Of Confederation.
- Enjoyed drinking. Heavily. Often. Sometimes naked, when he would yell to his enemies, “Bring it, bitches.”
- Born in Scotland, which may explain the drinking.
- Progenitor of the trans-Canada railway.
(Sir John A. McDonald enjoyed sunsets, long walks on the beach and parties.)
Sir John Abbott:
- 3rd Prime Minister of Canada.
- Nobody fucking cares about John Abbott.
(Who is this guy?)
- Little known fact that Marx was Prime Minister in 1933. Ruled under the name Rufus T. Firefly.
- Changed the name of country from Canada to Freedonia.
- Forced Freedonia into a war with fictional country, Sylvania. Hilarity ensued.
- Wields a mean Stradivarius.
- Excerpt from cabinet meeting:
- Minister of Finance: Here is the Treasury Department’s report, sir. I hope you’ll find it clear.
Rufus T. Firefly: Clear? Huh. Why a four-year-old child could understand this report.
[to Bob Roland]
Rufus T. Firefly: Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can’t make head or tail of it.
(Mr. Marx had the reputation that he would do anything, or anyone, for power.)
William Lyon Mckenzie King:
- Served as Prime Minister on three different occasions; 1921-1926, 1926-1930, 1935-1948, thus winning the Triple Crown of Canadian politics. His award was a free extra large double-double at Tim Hortons.
- It’s good to be king.
- Introduced old-age pensions.
- Prime Minister during WWII. Claims he single-handedly beat Hitler at a game of crokonole, thus ending the war.
(The Lyon King also wore a crown as World Crokonole Champion from 1941 – 1946)
Lester B. Pearson:
- Prime Minister from 1963-1968.
- Won Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for role in ending the Suez Crises by introducing crokoonole to the Middle East.
- President of 7th session of the United Nation’s General Assembly.
- Brought many programs to Canada, including; universal health care, Canadian pension plan and full nudity strip clubs.
- Approved the current Canadian flag.
- Created world’s first race-free immigration system, leading to the establishment of a UFO landing dock at St. Paul, Alberta.
(Lester Pearson established the first inter-galactic immigration system.)
- 1979-1980 (9 months)
- Joe who?
(Historians remain baffled.)
- 1993 (4 months)
- First woman Prime Minister.
- Last woman Prime Minister.
(Kim Campbell once said that she only served as Prime Minister for four months because she was able to accomplish everything she set out to do in that time. It might be true.)
- Has served as Canadian leader intermittently, according to hard-core religious American conservatives.
- Dresses exclusively in red. Obvious sign of communist leanings.
- Allows gay rights. Plans to introduce inter-species marriages.
- Free medical care is just a scam to bankrupt the country as well as the citizen’s morals.
- Wants to change name of country to Kanuckistan.
(Satan often gets a bad rep, but he has quality leadership capabilities. He’s not afraid to get the job done, by any means necessary.)
As previously mentioned, in celebration of the upcoming one-year anniversary of Canadian Fermentation I have decided to edit and reintroduce some of my favourite early posts. This was the fifteenth Canadian Fermentation post. It helped define the future direction of Canadian Fermentation.
I’ve edited the intro to the experiment, but the body of the text remains the same, since I wrote it while actually conducting the experiment. Editing the text would invalidate the important scientific findings. I have also added a picture.
To Canadians, especially stereotypical Canadians, beer is more precious than ambrosia. We like to think that beer from Canadian companies – whether or not they are owned by Canadian interests – is superior to the beer of other countries, particularly American beer. Although this may be true in a general sense – who could argue that Labatt’s product isn’t better than Bud? – these rules are thrown out when we talk about microbrews.
For many Canadians our national identity is tied to our appreciation and production of beer. This fact led me to the question: Can drinking Canadian beer make a person feel more Canadian?
There was only one way to find out: experimentation. For purely scientific purposes I acquired a six-pack of Molson Canadian, and, by drinking it, would discover if I felt more Canadian. Here’s a beer by beer summary of my findings.
(Is there anything more beautiful than a bottle of beer with a picture of a red maple leaf on the label?)
Beer 1: Due to some previous experience with beer, I didn’t expect much after Beer 1. My expectations were met. I’m not a big fan of Molson Canadian in the first place, it’s an OK lager, but I’m not a big fan of lager in the first place. I wasn’t feeling very much more Canadian after my first beer. I wasn’t feeling any less Canadian either, though, so all in all the first beer has to be considered a success.
Beer 2: Beer 2 proved to be just as bland as beer 1. On the other hand I did start to feel…something. A slight thrill? A movement towards joy? A full bladder? All of the above, actually. Beer 2 was a good step, and I felt I was on the path towards feeling something, whether or not it was a feeling of being more Canadian was yet to be determined. On to beer 3.
Beer 3: Beer 3 was pretty kick-ass. Not only was I able to drink another beer, but Frosty the Snowman was also on T.V. That’s what I call ‘win-win’ — the best part was when the policeman swallowed the whistle. Also, in ‘Frosty’ there is a reference to Saskatoon. How cool and particularly relevant is that? After beer 3 did I feel more Canadian? I think so. My head was feeling a little lighter, and I started to care a little less about what people thought about me. No, wait, that sounds like I’m a little less Canadian. Crap. Never mind, let’s see what happens after Beer 4.
Beer 4: Before I realized it Beer 4 was gone. What the hell happened? Where did it go? Well, I know where it went, into my belly. And then my blood stream. But another great surprise was that Team America World Police was on TV, a movie I’ve been wanting to see for awhile. Sweet. So, do I feel more Canadian after drinking 4 Molson Canadians? Maybe slightly. I’m feeling a little more euphoric and quite proud, since Team America makes fun of American bravado and since according to some being Canadian means that you are NOT American. So maybe I should ask myself do I feel less American? Do I? Do I feel lucky, punk? Sure, what the hell.
Beer. 4.5: ‘Malignant narcissicm. hahahah.
Beer 5: The whole experience was great….until I saw the vomiting scene in Team America. Damn. Way to kill my buzz….
Beer 6: My bladder is full and I need to go pee but I’m still watching Team America. How long can I hold it for?? Wait, wait, pull it together. OK OK, let’s get focused and relevant. Does drinking Molson Canadian make me feel more Canadian? After six beers, I’ll have to say no, my bladder is full and that’s all I can think about. So, no. I’m not more Canadian. Unless having a full bladder makes you more Canadian, and I haven’t seen anyone claim that before.
I consider this experiment to be a success. It took considerable toll on my body, but for the sake of science it was worth it. I conclude that drinking Molson Canadian does not make me feel more Canadian, and since this is the most Canadian of beers — sort of since Molson is now Molson Coors, an American company — no matter how proud a Canadian is of his or her ability to drink a lot of Canadian beer that it does not make one feel more Canadian.
Here are some recommendations for future research: Imbibing a 12 pack of Molson Canadian. trying different brands of Canadian beer. Try a different form of alcohol, such as Canadian whiskey.