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Sunday Newsletter 2001-17Su.

April 29, 2001.

Welcome back to another newsletter from the infamous team of Craig and John. While this week's newsletter lacks in the number of articles presented, it makes up for this in the quality of the information. I have also finally included an article below that I have promised for several weeks on the longest words in the English language. I hope you enjoy!



= Question of the week
= Correction
= Biography -- Maurice Frederick Strong
= Wonderful words
= Notes from the notable -- Carroll "Wayne" Harris
= Also born this week
= Place names -- Jogues, Ontario
= Humour for the week
= Quote of the week
= Answer to this week's question
= Preview
= Links and resources
= Legal and subscription information



This town is home to the largest community of Icelanders in the world, outside of Iceland. What is the name of this town?

As usual, the answer can be found near the bottom.



Last week I introduced an occasional new section entitled "Fast Facts". I received a few responses to one of my fast facts and I want to share a couple of these with you, followed by my comments.

The contentious fast fact was; "Regina, Saskatchewan, has Canada's highest murder rate of any city."

The first comment I received was from Cynthia: "While it is true that Regina has the highest murder rate in the country (and I believe in North America), it is misleading to suggest that the city is wrought with murders. In fact, it is [the fact that it has] the highest number of murders *per capita* that is its claim to fame. Furthermore, in a large number of these cases, the murderer and the victim were known to each other. I only mention this because the vacation season is approaching, and I would hate to think that your note will scare anyone off of visiting the very beautiful and friendly city of Regina."

From Rob I received: "Being from Regina, I have to argue your point about Regina having the highest murder rate. I believe that is true if you are speaking about the murder rate per capita!"

Here is an edited version of my responses to them, and the others who also sent in their comments:

I was going to include the phrase "per capita", but I briefly thought that if I did then I would have to explain that phrase, or at least expand on it a bit for our readers. Since this new section is called "Fast Facts" I took a look at the statement and saw it included the phrase "murder rate", which suggested to me that it was not the actual number of murders. It is true that most larger cities in Canada exceed Regina's total number of murders. (I had intended to provide some examples, but my research time is limited -- therefore I will save this for another week.)

I would like to close by saying that we at FactsCanada.ca certainly do not wish to scare anyone away from visiting Regina or any other place, this year or any other year. Statistics are just a bunch of numbers that we as humans have thrown together to help us try to understand the world around us. I encourage any new readers to read my article entitled "Political Commentary" in issue 2001-03Su. It roughly deals with what I have written about here -- that being that statistics can easily be misused and misinterpreted.

I will leave you with one more of Rob's comments: "Unfortunately, most of the murders in Regina are among one sector of the population and have a 'relationship factor'. It is a damn shame." Rob, I agree -- it is a damn shame. Thank-you both for sharing your comments.



Maurice Frederick Strong

The Web site at one of the links I have provided on this gentleman calls him the real "international man of mystery", following this up with the illustrative comment; "... nowadays you don't have to be a household name to wield global power." This just about sums up the extraordinary career of Strong, who has worn many hats during a lifetime which began in Oak Lake, Manitoba, on April 29, 1929.

He began a business career at the age of 15 as a trading post employee in the Arctic for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1944. His business talents developed rapidly, moving him many times. Within a year and a half he was an accountant for a mining group in Toronto. During the next 21 years he moved through a series of management and investment positions with various energy and financial corporations.

In 1966 he shifted his gaze to international affairs and later environmental affairs. He headed the Canada International Development Assistance Programme and its successor, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), until 1970, defining its long-term strategies. He was secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment, undersecretary-general of the UN Switzerland office from 1970 until 1972, and executive director of the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1973 until 1975.

Strong then returned to business as head of Petro Canada from 1976 until 1978, after which he became chairman of the International Energy Development Corporation between 1980 and 1983. During this time he also became chairman of the Canada Development Investment Corporation from 1982 until 1984, and again was an undersecretary-general of the UN from 1985 to 1987 and a third time from 1989 to 1992. As secretary-general of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Strong coordinated the historic conference on the environment held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. As chairman of Ontario Hydro (1992-1995) he is credited with stabilizing its finances. In 1997 Strong was named senior advisor on reforming the United Nations.

His numerous volunteer activities have included positions with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Council of Churches, the Society for Development, Justice, and Peace (with the Vatican), the North-South Institute, and the World Commission on Environment and Development.

Strong's numerous conservation and humanitarian awards include the Freedom Festival Award in 1975 and the first Pahlavi Environment Prize awarded in 1976. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976 and has to date received more than two dozen honorary degrees.

Maurice Frederick Strong may indeed be the real "international man of mystery".



Here it is -- the long-awaited, much-promised list of the ten longest words in the English language. I am far from a linguist, so my only comments on these words will be from what I know personally. I know that this list excludes place names, chemical compounds, scientific names, proper names (some people actually change and lengthen their name for the sake of notoriety) and other oddities, but include a couple of quasi-medical terms. I also know that this list is only my list of words that I collected from various sites, and there will be some differences from other lists depending on how the creators of those other lists have restricted their sources. This is by no means a definitive list. It is, however, my best interpretation of the many similar but different lists that can be found by snooping around on the Internet. Please have fun with it. The shorter of the words (numbers 5 through 10) can be found in most good dictionaries.

10. Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30 letters)
9. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian (30 letters)
8. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (34 letters)
7. Pseudoantidisestablishmentarianism (34 letters -- And I always thought that "antidisestablishmentarianism" was the longest.)
6. Praetertranssubstantiationalistically (37 letters)
5. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis (45 letters -- This is the longest "natural" word found in Webster's and the Oxford English Dictionary.)
4. Osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilagninonervomedullary (52 letters -- Coined by Thomas Love Peacock in his story from 1816 called "Headlong Hall".)
3. Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic (52 letters -- Invented by Dr. Edward Strother to describe the spa waters at Bath, England.)
2. Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilph-ioparaomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralek-tryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon (182 letters -- English transliteration of a 170-letter Greek word that appears in the Greek playwrite Aristophanes' comedy "The Ecclesiazusae".)
1. Orniscopytheobibliopsychocrystarroscioaerogenethliometeoroau-strohieroanthropoichthyopyrosiderochpnomyoalectryoophiobotan-opegohydrorhabdocrithoaleuroalphitohalomolybdoclerobeloaxino-coscinodactyliogeolithopessopsephocatoptrotephraoneirochiroo-nychodactyloarithstichooxogeloscogastrogyrocerobletonooenosc-apulinaniac (311 letters [I hope!] and arbitrarily hyphenated at approximately 60 letters [as with word 2] -- Found in Ripley's "The Omnibus Believe It Or Not", published in 1931, this word was used by medieval scribes to refer to "a deluded human who practices divination or forecasting by means of phenomena, interpretation of acts or other manifestations related to the following animate or inanimate objects and appearances: birds, oracles, Bible, ghosts, crystal gazing, shadows, air appearances, birth stars, meteors, winds, sacrificial appearances, entrails of humans and fishes, fire, red-hot irons, altar smoke, mice, barley, salt, lead, dice, arrows, hatchet balance, sieve, ring suspension, random dots, precious stones, pebbles, pebble heaps, mirrors, ash writing, dreams, palmistry, nail rays, finger rings, numbers, book passages, name letterings, laughing manners, ventriloquism, circle walking, wax, susceptibility to hidden springs, wine and shoulder blades." No wonder it was shortened to only 311 letters!

Some (like Craig) might be tempted to argue that "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" is not a real word, and therefore does not belong in the list (although the same could probably be said for words 1 through 4). However, it has appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary.



Name: Carroll "Wayne" Harris.

Date of birth: May 4, 1938.

Place of birth: Hampton, Arkansas, United States of America.

Vocation: Football player.

Claim to fame: Is regarded by many to have been the best centre linebacker in Canadian Football League history.

Outline: Played for the Calgary Stampeders for 11 seasons until a serious neck injury ended his career in 1972.

Accolades and awards:
- Three Grey Cup appearances and one victory for Calgary and Harris in 1971.
- Selected to 11 Western All Star teams, and nine All Canadian teams.
- Won four Schenley Awards (the CFL's most outstanding player) -- the most ever for a defensive player.
- Inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, August 5, 1976.



Hart Almerrin Massey, manufacturer, businessman and philanthropist, born in Haldimand Township, Upper Canada, April 29, 1823.

Paula Ross (ne Pauline Cecilia Isobel Teresa Campbell), choreographer and dancer, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, April 29, 1941.

Francois de Laval (n Francois-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval de Montigny), first bishop of Quebec, born in Montigny-sur-Avre, France, April 30, 1623.

Major-General Lewis W. MacKenzie, soldier and peacekeeper, born in Truro, Nova Scotia, April 30, 1940.

His Royal Highness Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, First Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, governor general of Canada (1911-1916), born the third son of Queen Victoria, in Buckingham Palace, London, England, May 1, 1850.

John Lambourne Locke, astronomer, born in Brantford, Ontario, May 1, 1921.

William Bell Dawson, surveyor, engineer and civil servant, born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, May 2, 1854.

Abraham Gesner, geologist, chemist, author and inventor, born near Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, May 2, 1797.

Samuel Black, fur trader and explorer, born in Pitsligo, Scotland, May 3, 1780, and died in Kamloops, New Caledonia (as British Columbia was formerly named), February 8, 1841.

Sir Charles-Eugene Boucher de Boucherville, doctor and premier of Quebec for two terms (1874-1878 and 1891-1892), born in Montreal, Quebec, May 4, 1822.

Sylvia Burka, speed skater, cyclist and coach, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 4, 1954.

Franklin Carmichael, painter and founding member of the "Group of Seven" artists, born in Orillia, Ontario, May 4, 1890.

Sir Louis Henry Davies, lawyer, judge and former premier of Prince Edward Island, born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, May 4, 1845.

Kathy Kreiner, alpine skier and Olympic gold medalist, born in Timmins, Ontario, May 4, 1957.

John Black Aird, lawyer, businessman and lieutenant-governor of Ontario (1980-1985), born in Toronto, Ontario, May 5, 1923.

George Arluk, artist, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 5, 1949.

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk, physicist, educator and lieutenant-governor of Saskatchewan (1988-1994), born in Canora, Saskatchewan, May 5, 1927.

Barbara Aileen Wagner, figure skater and Olympic gold medalist, born in Toronto, Ontario, May 5, 1938.



Jogues, Ontario

This unincorporated community of around 200 people is located in Ontario's Cochrane County. It lies 12 kilometres south-southwest of Hearst, Ontario, which is around 100 kilometres west of Kapuskasing, Ontario, along Highway 11. Originally named Stavert in 1915, Jogues was renamed in 1920 by the Holy Canadian Martyrs Parish which was established here in 1918. Isaac Jogues was a Jesuit missionary and martyr who worked with Huron and Iroquois in the area. He was murdered on a trip south in 1646 in an area now defined as New York State, USA.

I know, I know. Still no story on 100 Mile House. Sorry Michael. I do promise, though, to make no more promises!



Canadians have been secretly brainwashing Americans for years. We started by sticking extra vowels in our words, such as the letter "u" to words like "labour" and "colour" and adding an "eh" sound to the end of everything we say. The US retaliated by making everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line talk like a bunch of hicks so that Canadians could not understand them when driving through to Florida vacations each winter.

Thus the first infiltration was thwarted.

Then we started sending down our singers, actors, comedians and writers to Hollywood to take over the industry, the logic being that if we can control their media we can control their minds. So far they have been successful -- look at how California has been changed.

This has led to further inroads throughout the States using the National Hockey League's continued expansion as a front. Hockey's upper management, who make the expansion decisions, are mostly former National Hockey League players. These players disappear for a year or two when they retire (unless they have big television contracts to make commercials) and then suddenly reappear as coaches and general managers. Where they go for this period is a secret, but there is a reason that the people who control their careers while players are called agents... secret agents.



"In Canada, there are nine months of winter and three months of road repair." --Peter Hansen, Canadian physician and writer.



This town is home to the largest community of Icelanders in the world, outside of Iceland. What is the name of this town?

The answer is: Gimli, Manitoba.

Located within the Rural Municipality of Gimli, the town of Gimli, Manitoba, is located 80 kilometres north of the City of Winnipeg, along the west coast of Lake Winnipeg. The town's population is around 1580, with an additional 1200 or so making up the remainder of the municipality's population. A great many of the town's residents are descendants of immigrants from Iceland who founded the community in October, 1875, after landing their barges at Willow Point, a mile south of the present town. The settlers established the 1191-square-kilometre Republic of New Iceland which was an independent state inside Canada for 12 years until it was absorbed into an expanded province of Manitoba in 1887. Originally bordering Lake Winnipeg, New Iceland ran all the way from Boundary Creek at Winnipeg Beach to the Northern tip of Hecla Island. From the lake, it extended 24 kilometres inland.

With the dissolution of the Republic, the government of Manitoba created the Rural Municipality of Gimli, the council of which met for the first time on March 15, 1887. Although it ended up smaller than New Iceland, the municipality still retained nearly 34 kilometres of prime shoreline that today feature fine sandy beaches, marinas, docks, cottages, parks and wilderness trails. The area also caters to over 100 000 tourists each year, who keep the economy moving along nicely.

"Gimli" is translated from Icelandic as "home of the gods", and in Norse mythology, Gimli means "paradise" -- which, I suppose, is where I would live if I was a god.



This Friday is the first Friday of May, which means it is time for another of our monthly Friday Features. This Friday I write on the history of the Canadian film industry.


Congratulations! You made it to the end. That means you must have read at least some of the articles above. What I want to know is whether or not you tried to pronounce the 311-letter word I included in my list of the longest words. I tried, although I was only somewhat successful in saying it out loud. While typing the word, checking it and looking carefully at different sections of the word I could see many of the meanings hidden away in this relic. Like I said, I hope you had fun with it.



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