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Sunday Newsletter 2000-19Su.

November 5, 2000.

November 5th today and guess what? Only 49 shopping days left until Christmas. At one time we would have had only 41 days but today, like everything else, the world is all about retail. How to get you to spend those hard earned bucks, and how to arrange this so we can shop on every single day of the year! Anyway, if you are like me, you wait until the very last minute. Then I am forced into getting something or nothing for everyone on my list. This forces me to compress my decision making -- either I buy it or I don't, and the happy recipient either loves it or doesn't. "But," you say to yourself, "isn't it the thought that counts?" So as long as I thought about getting someone a gift, I technically really don't have to buy one and I can rest with a guilt free conscience. Happy shopping.



This week's question is doled out using a series of hints. By the time you get to the last one I hope you get the answer. If not, you can always see the answer near the bottom of the newsletter.

Hint 1 -- What Canadian entertainer was born Roberta Joan Anderson?

Hint 2 -- She celebrates her 57th birthday this week.

Hint 3 -- She was reunited with a daughter, Kilauren Gibb, she had given up over thirty years ago -- courtesy of that much-publicized catalyst of reunifications; the Internet.

Hint 4 -- She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Hint 5 -- She was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta.

Hint 6 -- Some of her most popular albums are titled; "Court and Spark", "Ladies of the Canyon" and "Hejira".

Who is she?



Continuing along with my recent listing of hit tunes gone by, here is a list of the songs that made it to number one here in Canada fifteen years ago.

"Do They Know It's Christmas?", by Band Aid.
"Like a Virgin", by Madonna.
"Easy Lover", by Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey.
"I Want To Know What Love Is", by Foreigner.
"Shout", by Tears for Fears.
"One Night in Bangkok", by Murray Head.
"Tears are not Enough", by Northern Lights, a Canadian ensemble of 56 celebrities raising money for famine relief in Ethiopia.
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World", by Tears for Fears.
"Sussudio", by Phil Collins.
"Never Surrender", by Corey Hart, a Canadian, born in Quebec.
"Every Time You Go Away", by Paul Young.
"We don't Need Another Hero", by Tina Turner.
"Part Time Lover", by Stevie Wonder.
"Money for Nothing", by Dire Straits.
"Separate Lives", by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin.
"Live is Life", by Opus.

Corey Hart's "Never Surrender" spent the most weeks in the number one position in 1985, at nine.



Dr. James A. Naismith.

Believe it or not, Michael Jordan owes a lot to this not-so-famous Canadian. For it was he and he alone who invented the game of basketball, back in 1891!

In all major sports there is no single origin, no undisputable inventor, except that of basketball. Most sports evolve over decades, generations or even centuries. Even Abner Doubleday, who didn't actually invent baseball (although most people have come to believe this), has more notoriety than Dr. Naismith. This is mostly due to the kind, gentle, humanitarian ways of Naismith, who came to hardships young and education late, but always remained a man with a huge heart. Never earning any money, except his salary, for the invention of basketball, Naismith even lived long enough to see the sport introduced at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Shortly afterward he was offered a substantial amount of money (some sources put the value as high as $500 000, in depression era dollars) for his endorsement from a tobacco company. Even then he was a man ahead of his time, as he turned down the offer because his commitment to health among young people and his belief that tobacco was harmful would have been in conflict with such an endorsement.

Born in Almonte, Canada West (now Almonte, Ontario), on November 6, 1861, Naismith became an orphan before his ninth birthday when both his parents died within weeks of each other of disease. Left on his own in the world he did not continue his education until he was 20, when he returned to Almonte High School to complete his early education. After successfully accomplishing this he went on to McGill University in Montreal, excelling in athletics and studying theology (the study of nature and God and its relation to humankind and the universe), and developing his keen belief that the youth of the world should always be provided for, protected and guided.

Upon leaving McGill, Naismith (who by this time had adopted the middle initial "A", although he had no middle name and it was not short for anything) was offered a job in 1890 at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Massachusetts, USA. Now simply known as Springfield College, it was there that Naismith invented basketball under an unorthodox demand by his superior.

That next fall, Naismith was asked to create an indoor game that would provide an "athletic distraction", for students during the brutal New England winter. Under orders from Dr. Luther Gulick, head of physical education at the school, Naismith had 14 days to create a game for 18 students, the usual size at that time of each class. This game was to fill the void winter forced between the sports of football and baseball. Naismith delivered, and on December 21, 1891, the first official game was played.

This new game was governed by 13 basic rules and was played with a soccer ball. Peach baskets attached to the edge of a ten-foot-high elevated running track and situated on either end of the gymnasium where used for the cohesion of the thirteen rules and the use of the soccer ball. One of the most important rules Naismith instituted was the elimination of body contact between players. This was prompted by the fact that there were originally nine men on each side and the skill developed in not contacting another player was almost as important as the other athletic feats needed to perform in the game. Safety was also a major concern for Naismith, for this was a crowded playing area -- present-day basketball only uses five players per side on the court.

Naismith continued to watch his game develop over the years while studying and received his medical degree from Gross Medical College in Denver, Colorado, in 1898. From that year until 1937 he was chairman of the physical education department at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, where he also coached basketball for ten years.

Dr. James A. Naismith died at the age of 78 on November 28, 1939, in Lawrence, Kansas. The Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, honours this man, with its official name being the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Visited annually by hundreds of thousands of fans, it was officially opened on the 20th anniversary of his death in 1959. Even in Almonte, despite its rural location, over 12 000 fans arrive every year to visit the Naismith Foundation Tribute.



Some humorous points to ponder for Vancouverites:

- Your co-worker tells you he has eight body piercings, and none are visible.
- You make over $250 000 a year, and still can't afford a mortgage in town.
- Your child's 3rd grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Breeze.
- You've been to more than one baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
- You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown and can taste the difference between Sumatra, Ethiopian and Estate grown.
- You also know which Yaletown restaurant serves the freshest arugula.
- A really great parking space can move you to tears.
- The guy at Starbucks at 8:30 am wearing the baseball cap and sunglasses who looks like George Clooney, *is* Clooney, but once again you don't notice.
- Your car insurance costs as much as your monthly house payment.
- The gym is packed at 3:00 pm... on a work day.
- Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay.
- The weatherman talks about the weather in other parts of the country, as if we really care.
- You pass an elementary school and the children are all busy with their cell phones.
- You pick up a newspaper, read the weather page which accurately describes today's weather, and then realize the paper is a month old.
- The driver in front of you puts on his left hand turn signal and you subconsciously change into the left lane knowing that they will ultimately be turning right.
- You know 22 different excuses not to give spare change.
- On Fridays the work day ends at 5:00 pm... Toronto Standard Time.
- Buying a condominium is considered "home ownership".
- You think Vancouver is the greatest city in the world, though it only has 105 days of sunshine a year, has one of the highest violent crime rates in North America, is a key hub for organized drug rings, and is in one of the highest taxed jurisdictions anywhere in North and South America.

Thanks to Angie for sending these humorous renderings to me.



Hepworth, Ontario.

This village (established 1907) is located in Ontario's Bruce County, north-west of Owen Sound. Situated at the juncture of provincial highway 6 and county highway 8, Hepworth is the usual place where summer tourists turn west to head to the resort area of Sauble Beach. Travelling north you would run into Wiarton, home of Canada's famous Albino groundhog, Wiarton Willie, making its annual spring arrival prediction every Groundhog Day, February 2.

Hepworth was actually named erroneously due to then-prominent resident William Plow's misunderstanding. In 1866 the Reverend Josias Greene proposed naming the community Epworth, celebrating the birthplace of the founder of Methodism John Wesley, who was born in Epworth, England. Plow thought he had said Hepworth and the name has remained since.



Joni Mitchell is the name of the lady I was looking for and her birthday is this Tuesday, November 7th.

Birthday greetings also go to rocker Bryan Adams, who turns 41 today, November 5th.

I could have featured either one of these entertainers in today's biography, but chose Mr. Naismith for historical reasons.



So what is the "arugula" mentioned above in the humour section? I thought it was a type of pasta. Wrong was I!

Arugula (arrugula) is a tangy mustard green, also known as Rocket, Mediterranean Salad, Rucola or Roquette in Europe, and as Gharghir by people in the Middle East. Arugula is now popular as a gourmet salad green.

All right ladies. I know, you all knew, but remember I am just a humble male who is still experiencing difficulties with the colour magenta!


This Saturday is Remembrance Day. Mike will try to explain some of the history of this date in the next Friday Feature, due November 10. Please watch for that.



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