My God, but we were a disreputable bunch of gibbering, ink-stained hacks. Well hell, we were expected to be, and we worked very hard at it.
That tradition is long gone, of course, along with a lot of other newspaper eccentricities. I remember my…Continue
Red and I won't be attending the Remembrance Day ceremony in our small fishing village on Friday. It's likely we won't watch CBC's televised coverage from Parliament Hill, either.
Here it takes place around a small cenotaph in front of the library, one that has far too many names on it for a community that has never numbered more than 2,000. In Ottawa, tens of thousands will turn out in front of the Tomb of the Unknown and the awe-inspiring, yet…
(There's a suggestion that Tropical Storm Nicole may push Hurricane Mathew back to Florida. That's a real possibility -- it's happened before, although much farther north and west. This repost is about the events of Oct. 15, 1954.)
"For Lake Ontario and Niagara regions, Toronto and Hamilton cities: Rain tonight. Cloudy, with occasional showers Saturday. Little change in temperature. Winds north 40 to 50 mph (64 to 80 km/h)…
(This was originally posted long ago on another website far, far away, when I thought I'd go for funny, or at least wry. But you know ... really, it wasn't either of those things. And before you ask, yes, it actually happened.)
Knowing one is to be hanged in a fortnight wonderfully concentrates the mind, observed Samuel Johnson. So, I discovered, does staring down the barrel of a loaded gun.
The second time it happened, I was on…
Canadians, comedian Craig Ferguson once observed, are the nicest people in the world ... until someone hands us a hockey stick.
Well, to a certain extent that's true, because our sports are something of a metaphor for our national psyche. That is to say usually skilful, often blockheaded and sometimes brutal, whether it's hockey, lacrosse or football. When they're played by men, it's even worse.
But we can in fact be nice too, in our eccentric way.…
At 7:30 a.m. one hundred years ago today, British troops went over the top along the Somme River on the Western Front in France trying to break through the German trench system.
By noon, 20,000 of them were dead, and 40,000 wounded and missing. Too often,…
It's April 25 in Australia and New Zealand, and the two countries are locked in collective solemn remembrance of the fate of their First World War soldiers during the bloodbaths that began with Gallipoli in modern-day Turkey.
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) -- along with British, French and Indian troops -- landed at what is now called Anzac Bay on this day in 1915 in their first major campaign. When the Allies withdrew eight months later, the Anzacs left…
There are rules in life, you know.
I mean, there's heeding the social contract, being nice to dogs and cats, obeying the many and various laws of the land and so on.
One rule you never, ever break is asking Internet denizens a serious question.
In the beginning, the man who lit the fuse on the Cold War timebomb couldn't get anyone to listen to him.
Igor Gouzenko was a relatively low-level cipher clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa when, faced with an order to return to Russia with his family, he opted in September 1945 to defect instead.
Armed with more than 100 incriminating files…
We Canucks seldom, if ever, honour our heroes and heroines -- no Davy Crocketts or Jim Bridgers or Alvin Yorks here.
It doesn't matter much to us that we had a prime minister who won the Nobel Peace Prize or doctors and scientists who have achieved international…Continue
-- Imperial War Museum…Continue
It's a late fall evening on the depressing field where two semi-pro teams are squaring off. I've had to sign a waiver both to be on the sidelines and in the dangerously decrepit press box on the roof of the rickety stadium. Smoke from a foundry across the road belches yellow fumes; it stinks right out loud.
Armed with a Rolleicord twin-lens reflex camera and Graflex strobe, I stare down, following the…Continue
There are those who say that "Witch of November" is misspelled. I'm one of them.
It's nearly impossible for anyone who's not seen it to understand what it's like when the Great Lakes get angry. It can be unnerving to look at from the land; on the water,…
When James Chaney Palms showed up at the Essex Scottish Regiment's recruiting office one fine fall day to volunteer for the Second World War, he was wearing his riding boots.
It might have been expected from an irrepressible young man who was the offspring of a prominent and wealthy family, likeable, well-educated and, as they say, well set-up. He was eager to enlist, although as an infantryman, he wouldn't spend any time on horseback.
The Windsor-based regiment,…
On May 3, 1915, an exhausted and grief-stricken army medical officer sat in a Western Front dugout near Ypres, Belgium, and in 20 minutes produced probably the most famous poem of the First World War.
Maj. John McCrae, chief surgeon of the fledgling Canadian Expeditionary Force's First Brigade…
This is the 100th anniversary of the start of one of the bloodiest and most futile campaigns of the First World War. More than 100,000 Turks, Britons, Australians and New Zealanders died in the horror that was Gallipoli. Today, representatives of those countries will meet on the battlefields ... and remember their dead.
April 25 is pretty much like any other day in most of the world, but not in Australia and New Zealand.
So the grand experiment is over -- 404'd, as the computer wonks like to say.
Open Salon, in its heyday the greatest writers' colony on the Internet, is no more. In fact, if you try to access it, you're simply taken to Salon.com. Not even the "Page Not Found" remains.
Yes, it had devolved into something unrecognizable at the end, with a lot of name-calling and personal abuse clogging the feed, no changes to the front page, no new registrations, no oversight.
It's not much to look at on an army ordnance map -- a sort of whaleback feature in Nord-Pas-de-Calais that's less than…
Well, they finally did it.
Only 59 years too late, the Queen, at the request of Britain's justice minister, used the Royal Prerogative of Mercy to pardon computer genius and Second War codebreaking hero Alan Turing for the "crime" of being gay.
It has been said that Turing nearly single-handedly saved Britain from starvation by breaking the Enigma cipher used by the German navy to…