[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca -- Sunday Newsletter 2001-04Su
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Sunday Newsletter 2001-04Su.

January 28, 2001.

Time continues to fly by and here we are, already at the end of January, I certainly hope things slow down a bit. If not, it will be 2002 before I know it. Today is Super Bowl Sunday and, although we Canadians have the Grey Cup to whet our national pride in the sport of football, statistics show that we watch this American version of our game in greater numbers. Therefore I hope you enjoy the game between the Ravens and the Giants. I will go out on a limb and call the Ravens by four points. Do you know that there are more parties on any given Super Bowl Sunday in Canada than there are on New Year's eve? Additionally we consume more food on this day than on any other day of the year except Thanksgiving. Anyway, here is this week's newsletter. Read and enjoy.



= Question of the week
= Biography -- Sarah Ann McLachlan
= Contest winner
= Quote of the week
= Celebrity news
= Humour for the week
= This week's statistical facts
= The world above our planet
= Place names -- Manilla, Ontario
= Medical terminology
= Recipe of the week -- Baked Garden Pasta
= Words of the week
= Answer to this week's question
= Preview
= Links and resources
= Legal and subscription information



Midale, Saskatchewan, and Snag, Yukon Territory, each hold a record. Do you know what these records are?



Sarah Ann McLachlan.

This Nova Scotian-born chanteuse found her way into the world through the city of Halifax, being born on January 28, 1968. She and her two older brothers, Ian and Stewart, were brought up under the care of adoptive parents Jack and Dorice McLachlan. Some have wondered who her birth parents are, and whether or not she shares the same birth parents with her brothers. Sarah, having done some research herself, determined that her probable birth mother is an imitation-jewellery maker by the name of Judy James. This claim has been kept fairly quiet, more than likely due to a mutual agreement between Ms. James and Ms. McLachlan. I found no references to her biological father nor to the parentage of her brothers.

Sarah studied classical guitar, piano and voice at the Nova Scotia Conservatory of music. Pop and new wave seemed more to her liking though -- as she admitted, "I was your average teenage rebel with a skateboard and a bad attitude." She was much more than average though, debuting at the age of 17 with the new-wave rock band October Game. Already Sarah had come a long way by this point -- from her humble musical beginnings, playing the ukulele (the only stringed instrument small enough for the then-petite child of four to play), to encompassing rock's established format. Rumour has it that she was discovered at her very first performance with October Game. Whether this is a true story or just the stuff of legend it doesn't really matter. It was very soon after this debut that Mark Jowett from Nettwerk Records attempted to sign her to a contract "on the spot" (as they say). He had already convinced his label to have her be the lead singer of the group Moev, who they were trying to establish.

At the insistence of her adoptive parents, Sarah turned down this offer in 1985, finished her schooling, continued to hone her craft and by 1987 was ready for the signing and the possibility of "the big time". Nettwerk's president, Terry McBride, offered her a new contract, this time to become a solo artist and in 1988 her debut album "Touch" was released.

Nettwerk Records, even at that time, was recognized as being a forerunner of interactive technology. When her fourth production was released (the 1994 live-in-studio recording of "Freedom Sessions"), Nettwerk were the first to release a compact disc with extra CD-ROM bonus material included.

Sarah has continually contributed to various benefit albums for causes near and dear to her heart. These include "No Alternative" for AIDS research, "Lit From Within" supporting the Canadian rape crisis centres, and several others. Some of the organizations that Sarah supports can be visited through today's resources page at this link and include the Breast Cancer Fund, the National Organization for Women and the National Coalition against Domestic Violence.

Sarah is also the "founding mother" of the Lilith Fair tours. The name of this all-female music festival is based on a character from Jewish folklore -- Lilith was Adam's first wife, preceding the better known Eve. In the tale she was rejected by Adam by refusing to be submissive. Lilith Fair became the most successful concert tour in North America of 1997, with a constantly changing line-up that included Jewel, Tracy Chapman, Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega and Fiona Apple, to name but a few of the star-studded female cast. Lilith Fair has been running for quite a few years now, but will probably end due to Sarah's domestic desires unless taken up by one of her supporters.

Sarah married drummer and Calgary native Ashwin Sood on February 7, 1997. Sood, a drummer in her band, and the Canadian superstar were married in a Caribbean ceremony. Sarah, the singing voice for "Jesse the Cowgirl" in the mega-hit movie "Toy Story II", gave over the speaking role for the character to actress Joan Cusack. Sarah and her husband plan to start a family soon, and have recently released a cookbook called "Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan's Favorite Recipes".



Thank-you to everyone who entered the latest FactsCanada.ca contest. There were a number of entries -- even a few with the correct answers -- but unfortunately there can be only one winner this time around.

The winner was Mike of Richmond, British Columbia, who was the first to correctly answer the question; "What two sports (other than ice hockey) did Wayne [Gretzky] pursue and enjoy immensely while he was growing up, one of which he also played quite a bit as an adult?" The correct answers are baseball and lacrosse. Those who answered golf, horse racing and bowling have been singled out for remedial Canadian history lessons!

You can see a picture of Mike receiving his prize at a lavish awards ceremony put on by FactsCanada.ca. It's at this link.



"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." --Charlotte Whitton, former mayor of Ottawa, Ontario.



Singer Celine Dion is a new mom, her spokeswoman said Thursday. The pop star delivered a baby boy early Thursday morning at a Florida hospital, according to a spokeswoman for Dion and her husband, Rene Angelil.

The couple's son, Rene-Charles Angelil, weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces when he was born at 1:00 am ET. Spokeswoman Francine Chaloult said both baby and mom are "doing absolutely well and are in perfect health."

This is the couple's first child, and his birth follows several highly-publicized fertility treatments.



Best Comeback Line... Ever.

In summary, the police arrested Ward Branham, a 22-year-old white male, resident of Lethbridge, Alberta, in a pumpkin patch at 11:38 pm on Friday. Ward will be charged with lewd and lascivious behaviour, public indecency, and public intoxication at the Calgary courthouse on Monday.

The suspect explained that as he was passing a pumpkin patch he decided to stop. "You know, a pumpkin is soft and squishy inside, and there was no one around here for miles. At least I thought there wasn't," he stated in a phone interview.

Ward went on to say that he pulled over to the side of the road, picked out a pumpkin that he felt was appropriate to his purposes, cut a hole in it, and proceeded to satisfy his alleged "need".

"I guess I was just really into it, you know?" he commented with evident embarrassment. In the process, Ward apparently failed to notice a police car approaching and was unaware of his audience until officer Brin Taylor approached him.

"It was an unusual situation, that's for sure," said officer Taylor. "I walked up to, (Ward) and he's... just working away at this pumpkin." Taylor went on to describe what happened when she approached Ward. "I just went up and said, 'Excuse me sir, but do you realize that you are screwing a pumpkin?'"

He froze and was clearly very surprised that I was there, and then looked me straight in the face and said, "A pumpkin? Damn. Is it midnight already?"

Thanks again to Derek for sending this one in!



Here is a decade-by-decade listing of the population of this nation, starting with 1901 and moving forward. 2001 is an estimate.
1901 --  5 371 000
1911 --  7 207 000
1921 --  8 788 000
1931 -- 10 377 000
1941 -- 11 507 000
1951 -- 13 648 000
1961 -- 18 238 001 -- The first time I was included in the total
1971 -- 21 568 000
1981 -- 24 820 000
1991 -- 28 031 000
2001 -- 31 050 000
Note the "baby boomers" who appeared on the scene between 1951 and 1961.



Canada has had a total of ten astronauts over the years, starting with Marc Garneau, whose biography was featured in Sunday Newsletter 2000-02Su. They have been:

1. Marc Garneau
2. Roberta Bondar
3. Steven MacLean
4. Robert Thirsk
5. Bjarni Tryggvason
6. Ken Money
7. Chris Hadfield
8. Mike McKay
9. Dave Williams and
10. Julie Payette

Currently Canada is represented by six active astronauts, as Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar, Ken Money and Mike McKay have retired from the program. Garneau is the only Canadian to visit space more than once (three visits), although Chris Hadfield is scheduled for a space walk on his second voyage scheduled for April 2001. Ken Money and Mike McKay, although designated as astronauts, never made a voyage into the "void".

The term astronaut was first used in the science fiction novel "Across the Zodiac", published in 1880 by British novelist Percy Greg. He presented one of the first accounts of interplanetary travel using the space ship "Astronaut". By the early part of the 20th century the term had come to mean space traveller, rather than the name of a ship. Once the space program began it made sense to call the adventurers "astronauts". The Soviets call their space travellers "cosmonauts".



Manilla, Ontario.

Located right on the border of Victoria and Durham counties in Ontario, this unincorporated town has a population of around 448. The nearest large community to it is Lindsay, Ontario, some 30 kilometres to the east. The post office at this station was called Mariposa from 1836 until 1851, when the name was changed to Manilla, probably in tribute to Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The alternative spelling was used likely to achieve some sort of uniqueness for the community. The town is most noted for its golf course, the Crestwood Golf Centre, and the Lattimor House and its collection of fine reproductions of early Canadian heritage pine furniture. Lattimor House is located at 12 Station Road. You can phone them at (705) 357-3810, or e-mail them at jonathan.dart@sympatico.ca.

Now for a challenge. Although the names are spelled slightly differently, and Manilla is a namesake for a city outside of Canada, I want to challenge each and every one of you, our readers, to come up with names found within Canada that are spelled exactly the same. I will also do my research and reveal my findings in a future issue. All those providing "duo-community" names will be honoured with their first name, community and contribution listed for all to see. Good luck!



Lymphatic System.

The lymphatic system is a complex of capillaries, vessels, nodes, ducts and organs that help maintain proper fluid levels within the body. This system protects the body by producing the substance called "lymph" and dispatches it around the body. Lymphatic capillaries converge to form lymph vessels, which in turn have numerous valves to control lymph flow and nodes with which to filter it. The lymphatic vessels lead to two large vessels: the thoracic duct and the right lymphatic duct, both situated in the neck, and from which the lymph drains into the bloodstream. Some specialized lymph organs are the spleen, the tonsils and the thymus.


The thin fluid that bathes the tissues of the body, circulates through lymph vessels, is filtered in lymph nodes, and enters the blood system through the thoracic duct at the junction of the subclavian vein and jugular vein. Its composition is similar to plasma but contains chyle and leukocytes.


Chyle is a cloudy fluid product of the digestion process and is found in the small intestines, and is made up of emulsified fats. It is absorbed through lacteals into the lymphatic system and from there passed into the blood.


Leukocytes are basically white blood cells, hence the term "leukaemia", also known as "cancer of the blood".


The thymus is a doubled-lobed gland situated below the thyroid gland and sits behind the sternum. Its major functions continue to develop until puberty, whereupon it then begins to decrease in size and activity.



Baked Garden Pasta.

Serves: 6 to 8.


1 pound (454 grams) penne pasta
1 can (10 3/4 ounces or approximately 300 ml) condensed cream of asparagus soup
1-1/4 cups (286 ml) milk
1 package (0.7 ounces or 20 grams) dry Italian dressing mix
1 container (15 ounces or 425 grams) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 packages (1 pound each or 454 grams) frozen mixed vegetables


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Coat a 9 x 13 inch (230 x 330 millimetres) baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the soup, milk, and dressing mix. Add the ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese; mix well. Add the cooked pasta and vegetables and toss until well coated. Spoon into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until heated through.



By Craig.

First I'm going to say something about the sources John (and Mike and I) use for some of the information you read in our newsletters. The three of us have had many (many!) discussions about when and how to credit various sources. Some of what we write about is general information that is in the public domain, or is simply opinion (on rare occasion, since we are about facts) that does not require any single source to be credited. On the other hand, the definitions I give below (and the medical definitions John gave above) are from a specific source, and that source should be credited. These sources will be listed on our resources pages, and in the near future we will standardize the way in which we cite sources.

On with today's words. This week one of our readers sent an e-mail to John and I which featured an "urban legend" about what flag is supposedly flying about the parliament buildings on the now-discontinued two-dollar note. (More on that in another issue.) In my response I referred (jokingly of course) to the "brain trust at FactsCanada.ca." Coincidentally, while trying to corroborate some information in the latest Friday Feature, I came across one of John's original, unedited Sunday Newsletters. In it he defined the term "brain trust", but for some reason (probably an oversight on my part) it was never published. I have included it here today.

Astronaut -- (noun) a pilot or member of the crew of a spacecraft; a person who travels in outer space.

Brain trust or brains trust -- 1. a group of experts acting as advisers to an administrator, a political leader, or an executive. 2. a group of experts in various fields who discuss on the radio or television problems sent in for their attention.

Chanteuse -- (noun) French. a female singer.

I just have to add this little piece from the "National Post", dated Thursday, January 25, 2001. "'If' is a complimentizer that introduces a conditional subordinate clause that puts a rider on the rest of the statement that the statement is only true under a certain condition. His apology is really an evasion. It's a way of avoiding apologizing." So explained Jack Chambers, professor of social linguistics at the University of Toronto, in attempting to interpret the recent so-called apologies of two politicians (Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition Stockwell Day, and Quebec Deputy Premier Bernard Landry), and the not-so-recent one of a third (Prime Minister Jean Chretien). All implied that it was the fault of the offended party for being offended, not their own fault for offending them.



Midale, Saskatchewan, and Snag, Yukon Territory, each hold a record. Do you know what these records are?

These are the places that have recorded both the highest and lowest temperatures in Canada. Midale once reached 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), and Snag recorded the low at -63 degrees Celsius (-81.4 degrees Fahrenheit).


I hope you enjoyed the newsletter this week. Join us again next week when you can hear John say, "ARGHHHHHHH!" Craig will probably say something profound and Mike will be heard uttering the words, "What year is this?" Until then....



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