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Sunday Newsletter 2000-21Su.

November 19, 2000.

I had big plans for this week's newsletter, but do you know what happened? I'll tell you anyway. I was two (maybe three) lines from ending this current newsletter and I did a boo-boo. I think we all know this technical computer term, also sometimes referred to with a little less subtlety! Well I certainly pulled a big boo-boo and lost the whole newsletter. Even my crafty friend, Craig, could not help me in my time of need. After performing the computer recovery stunts that he talked me through (steps that would put NASA to shame), the info was simply not there. Thus, I am re-doing this entire newsletter, with mostly new material. I tried to re-write some of the articles, but they simply did not seem right. Hence, I have to delay some material I wanted to share with you, our avid reader, and hope you enjoy this issue regardless. So here we go with issue 21.



= Question of the week
= Biography
= New contest details
= Music trivia
= Pet peeve
= Joke for the week
= This week's recipe
= Christmas mailing
= Answer to this week's question
= Links



Which Canadian island is more than twice the size of Great Britain? Answer near the bottom.



Holly Cole.

Being born the daughter of CBC Radio personality Leon Cole and arts administrator Carolyn Cole (also both classical musicians) probably eased Holly's adventure into the world of entertainment. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on November 25, 1963, and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was a while until her musical talent began to mold her lifestyle, as she competed in equestrian sports as a teen. It was during these competitions that she first heard the voice of Sarah Vaughan and her life's direction was changed forever.

After that, even while engaged in her equestrian endeavours, she was always inspired to pursue a musical career. Cole moved to Toronto in 1982 and formed the band the Holly Cole Trio a few years later. This band consisted of Holly doing the vocals, Aaron Davis (from the Parachute Club) on piano and David Piltch performing on bass and percussion. They debuted at Toronto's Stage Door Cafe in 1986.

Quickly the trio became a permanent fixture on the Toronto jazz circuit and started to garner some label interest. This led to the 1989 release of a mini album entitled Christmas Blues. In 1990 their full length debut occurred with "Girl Talk", which was a work of Cowboy Junkies' producer Peter Moore. After this release noted jazz/blues executives at Blue Note records signed her to a contract in May 1991.

Virtually a "song interpreter", Cole takes material already written or recorded and rearranges them for her unique, sexy, and provocative style. Even her fourth major release ("Temptation") is a collection of songs written solely by Tom Waits.

Cole is very popular in Canada, having had many of her eight releases certified gold. However she has not succeeded yet in infiltrating the over-saturated American market. She is phenomenally successful in Japan (perhaps even more so than her native Canada), winning their prestigious Grand Prix Gold Disc Award.

Holly most recently released "Romantically Helpless" in February this year. I own all but two of her releases, and have had the pleasure of seeing her perform during the Christmas season of 1997.

For further info on this very talented lady, visit her Web site at this link.



I think that we at FactsCanada have a treat for you this week. We are giving away the book "Star-Spangled Canadians", by Jeffrey Simpson. Not only is this publication an informative read, but it has been autographed by the author.

Mr. Simpson is Canada's pre-eminent political commentator, and he reveals why more than 660 000 Canadian have relocated to the United States. Who are they? Why did they leave? What have they found? These are but a few of the questions asked, and answered, by Simpson. In researching this book, he travelled across America interviewing more than 200 Canadians, including Washington State's death row inmate Michael Roberts, crime novelist Sparkle Hayter, and ABC news anchor Peter Jennings.

All you need to do to win this book is be the first person to send a message to craig@factscanada.com (not me) with the correct answers to the five questions listed below. Please also see the contest rules.

Contest questions:

1. Was Sir John A. Macdonald considered a "father of Confederation"?

2. Which former Canadian Prime Minister appears on our fifty dollar bill?

3. What was the disaster that began 590 kilometres off Newfoundland's coast on April 14, 1912?

4. What is the capital city of Prince Edward Island? (Yes, spelling counts.)

5. Many Canadian cities and towns were once known by a different moniker. Can you match the old name with the current name?

Current place names:

a. Quebec City
b. Thunder Bay
c. Cambridge
d. Kenora
e. Ottawa
f. Vancouver
g. Winnipeg
h. Kitchener
i. Regina
j. Toronto

Old place names:

k. Fort Rouille
l. Rat Portage
m. Gastown
n. Bytown
o. Galt
p. Fort William
q. Berlin
r. Stadacona
s. Fort Garry
t. Pile of Bones

You can give your answers to question 5 in any way that makes sense to you, but it must obviously make sense to Craig too. Examples include: "Ottawa was Pile of Bones", "Pile of Bones is now Ottawa", "e=t", or even "t=e". No hints! Except that the example is not a correct answer.



This week we look at the songs that went to number one in Canada ten years ago (1990). The year started of with a holdover from 1989. It was "Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers which held the number one position for the four weeks from December 25, 1989, until January 22, 1990.

"Blame it on the Rain", by Milli Vanilli.
"Back to Life", by Soul II Soul.
"Opposites Attract", by Paula Abdul.
"Let Your Backbone Slide", by Maestro Fresh-Wes. (This Canadian male rapper was born Wesley Williams in Toronto in 1968.)
"All Around the World", by Lisa Stansfield.
"Vogue", by Madonna.
"All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You", by Heart.
"Step by Step", by New Kids on the Block.
"U Can't Touch This", by M.C. Hammer.
"Bird on a Wire", by The Neville Brothers.
"Unskinny Bop", by Poison.
"Vision of Love", by Mariah Carey.
"Release Me", by Wilson Phillips.
"Suicide Blonde", by INXS.
"Praying for Time", by George Michael.
"Something to Believe In", by Poison.
"Stranded", by Heart.
"Love Takes Time", by Mariah Carey.

The final week of 1990 and first five weeks of 1991 were dominated by "Wiggle It", by 2 In a Room -- a one hit Rapper wonder! The song that remained number one the longest in 1990 was Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract".



This was sent in anonymously and is very simple and straight to the point. I will validate this peeve wholeheartedly, as will my wife.

"People talking at the movies. I mean, how ignorant of others can they be? Yet I feel like the guilty party in wanting to tell them to shut their traps!"

This does not include those equally obnoxious folks who need their cell phone turned on while in a movie, even after the opening blurbs ask you to turn them off!



In a train car there were four oddly mismatched persons in one berth. A Canadian, an American, a spectacular looking blonde, and a frightfully awful looking old lady who resembled the wicked witch of the west. Several minutes into the trip the train happens to pass through a dark tunnel, and the unmistakable sound of a slap is heard. When they leave the tunnel, the American had a big red slap mark on his cheek.

The blonde thought, "That American wanted to touch me, and by mistake he must have put his hand on the old lady, who in turn must have slapped his face."

The old lady thought, "That dirty old American laid his hands on the blonde and she smacked him good."

The American thought, "That damn Canadian put his hand on that blonde and by mistake she slapped me."

The Canadian thought, "I hope there's another tunnel soon so I can smack that American again."

Our thanks to Derek for his contribution of this joke.



Diablo Cheese Bowl.

"I got this recipe from a Mexican Cookbook called 'Fire 'N' Ice'. I bought the cookbook when I saw this recipe. I made it for a party and now people never stop asking for it!"

Preparation: Chop, shred and measure everything before starting to cook.



3-5 small jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (more to taste if desired)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup salsa (more to taste if desired)
1 1/2 cups shredded "old" cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss or mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp finely chopped dill weed
1 tbs finely chopped parsley
3-5 green onions, finely chopped
1 tbs butter or margarine
2 cups milk
2 tbs butter or margarine
3 tbs flour
2 eggs

Bread bowls:

2 round loaves of bread
4 tbs melted butter or margarine
6 garlic cloves, minced
Parsley for garnish


In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the 1 tbs butter and saut peppers, onion and garlic until onions are translucent -- about 3-4 minutes. In a blender, puree sauted vegetables and milk.

In a saucepan over medium heat blend the 2 tbs butter and flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture beings to thicken. Remove from heat and put 1 cup of mixture into blender. Add eggs to blender and blend until well mixed. Return saucepan to stove over medium heat and very slowly pour in the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Continue whisking until mixture thickens. Add salsa, cheeses, dill, parsley and green onions, whisking constantly. When cheese is melted and thoroughly blended, reduce heat to low and keep warm while preparing bread bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the tops off of the loaves of bread, remove most of soft interior and tear it into bite-sized pieces for dipping later, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell. Brush inside of each loaf with the 4 tbs melted butter and 6 cloves of garlic. Bake, uncovered, until bread just begins to brown on inside -- no more than 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place on serving dish.

Fill bread with warm cheese sauce. Let extra sauce spill over sides and onto plate. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately with torn bread pieces, sliced baguette and/or nacho chips. (The torn bread pieces are usually not enough, so extra dipping "material" is recommended.)

This recipe doubles or even triples well. It gets hotter overnight. It also freezes well, so you can make the cheese filling in advance and then heat it in the microwave.

Serves: 6.

From "The Fire 'N' Ice Cookbook : Mexican Food With a Bold New Attitude", by Linda Matthie-Jacobs, Sheri Morrish, and Richard G. Warren (photographer). Submitted (and slightly modified) by contributor-extraordinaire Cathy in Korea.

See today's resources for links to this book.



According to Canada Post it is already too late to send any packages overseas by surface mail to make it by Christmas. Air mail can still get to where it is going if you meet the deadlines listed below.

Africa -- November 27 for both letter and parcels.
South America -- November 27 for both letter and parcels.
Australia and New Zealand -- December 4 for both letters and parcels.
Other South Pacific locations -- November 27 for both letter and parcels.
Western Europe -- December 8 for letters and December 4 for parcels.
Other European destinations -- December 4 for letters and November 27 for parcels.
Japan -- December 8 for letters and December 4 for parcels.
Hong Kong -- December 8 for letters and December 4 for parcels.
Other Asian destinations -- December 4 for letters and November 27 for parcels.
Caribbean -- December 4 for letters and November 27 for parcels.
USA -- December 12 for both letters and parcels.

Within the confines of this great land, Canada Post suggest three days for intra-provincial packages or letters, and four days for extra-provincial items. Since Christmas falls on a Monday this year, you should start back-counting the dates from Friday, December 22. Therefore the dates would be December 18 and 19, but to be on the safe side I would recommend Friday, December 15 for any Canadian air mail shipments.

Remember the postal code, and make your writing legible!

Mail to Santa:

Again this year, postal "elves" (Canada Post employees and retirees) will answer hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa Claus from children around the world. Despite this daunting task, most letters that request a reply, get one. However, it's not a perfect world.

"It's especially heartbreaking to all of us, including the children, when there is no return address for Santa to send his reply," said one of the elves. "Santa recognizes children's homes when he's looking down from the sky, but the return address is important for letter carriers who deliver Santa's reply, from the street. We would like to remind all parents and friends who help children write their letters to Santa, to please include a return address and correct postal code, so all the boys and girls can get a reply letter."

There is still time to get your letters to Santa Claus and receive a reply, but hurry! Time is running out. The child should send a letter as soon as possible if they want a response. Please check your child's letter to ensure a return address is given. If, however, it is only their wish list, then December 15 would be a good date to keep in mind.

Letters to Santa should be addressed to:

Santa Claus
North Pole
H0H 0H0

There exists another address for Santa, but this is mainly for US residents. I won't give it out here, but the mail goes to a post office box (of all things) in the community of North Pole, Alaska.



Located in the Arctic Archipelago, Baffin Island is more than twice the size Great Britain. Baffin Island is the world's fifth largest island, having a length of 1500 kilometres and a width varying between 200 and 700 kilometres. Its total area is 507 451 square kilometres, whereas Great Britain (whose full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), comprised of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, is approximately 244 819 square kilometres.


Thanks again to all of you who write to us with words of encouragement or with contributions for the newsletter. We appreciate the input. Until next week....



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