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    Indians ask protection from wicked, drunken white men

    March 31st, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY CLIPPINGS: stories of life and times in Canada past

    The Mississauga Indians on the Credit River petition Upper Canada Lieutenant Governor John Colborne to protect their fishing grounds from the depredations of wicked, drunken white men. Read the rest of this entry »

    Why satisfaction fails, dissatisfaction succeeds

    March 30th, 2012

    Dissatisfaction is a powerful incentive to get things done, especially when it is tied to some goal. Read the rest of this entry »

    Women can’t pole vault—can they?

    March 29th, 2012

    Stacy Dragila was fascinated by the thought of soaring up in the air at the end of a pole. Read the rest of this entry »

    Debtors languish and die in the stink, starvation and suffocation of world’s worst jails

    March 25th, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY: stories of life and times in Canada past

    Debtors in Upper Canada languished and died in the stink, starvation and suffocation of what was said to be the world’s worst jails in the early nineteenth century. Women were not sentenced to debtors’ jail, but if your family was destitute, they joined you. Men, women and children, crowded the jails. If death seemed preferable, it was hastened by lack of sanitation and ventilation, overcrowding, near starvation rations of sometimes-rotten food, illness, and disease. At Niagara, a man confined to windowless, unventilated prison cell, eight-foot-square, died of suffocation when the summer temperature hit 105 Fahrenheit (41 Celsius). Read the rest of this entry »

    Public hanging proscribed for 230 crimes

    March 24th, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY: stories of life and times in Canada past

    Abolition of the death penalty follows half a century of reform

    For some two centuries, the death penalty hung over the parts of North America that eventually became Canada, before it was abolished—for all but military crimes.

    Under British law, you could be hanged for stealing turnips.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Secrets of a bestseller: write, re-write, re-write, re-write

    March 22nd, 2012

    How much re-writing does J.K. Rowling do? “Loads and loads and loads,” she tells the Toronto Star. “The worst ever was 13 different versions of one chapter (Chapter 9 in The Goblet of Fire). I hated that chapter so much; at one point I thought of missing it altogether and just putting in a page saying ‘Chapter 9 was too difficult,’ and going straight to Chapter 10.” Interview, Toronto Star, November 3, 2001.

    TAGS: Writers and writing, Rewriting, Repitition, Books, Literature, Best sellers, Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling.


    Aim for a big goal

    March 21st, 2012

    In his book, “The Spirit of St. Louis,” Charles Lindbergh recalls addressing a group of naval officers on the subject of long-distance aerial navigation. Read the rest of this entry »

    Self-improvement not exactly moral improvement

    March 20th, 2012

    We have elevated self-improvement to an unprecedented level, Read the rest of this entry »

    Gruesome public hangings fascinate morbid women

    March 18th, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY CLIPPINGS: stories of life and times in Canada past

    Women as well as men flocked to watch public hangings in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. That much is clear from photos and drawings of crowds of spectators, although the men seem to somewhat outnumber the women. None appeared more fascinated by the gruesome sight of death than the eager women who pressed in close for a detailed look at the death features of a pair of men hanged in Cayuga, Canada West (Ontario.) Read the rest of this entry »

    Public hangings drew big crowds of avid spectators

    March 17th, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY CLIPPINGS: stories of life and times in Canada past

    Public hangings were popular spectacles in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Crowds jammed public squares or prison courtyards to see murderers, thieves and rebels dangling from the end of a rope. When public hangings were abolished, avid spectators crowded rooftops, climbed telephone poles and attempted to batter down prison gates to see people killed.

    Spectators lined rooftops and climbed telephone poles to watch the hanging of Stanislaus Lacroix at Hull, Quebec, March 21, 1902. PAC C-10478

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Single parents, falling fertility: a global threat?

    March 16th, 2012

    If the 1960’s pattern of nuclear families—married couples with children—prevailed as extensively in 2012, in the United States there would now, each year, be:

    •750,000 fewer children repeating grades;
    •1.2 million fewer school suspensions;
    •500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency;
    •600,000 fewer kids receiving therapy; and
    •70,000 fewer suicide attempts.

    Nor are the claimed ill effects of the decline of two-parent families limited to the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

    Animal impersonations by a Mongolian comic

    March 15th, 2012

    He [a Mongolian standup comic who does animal impersonations] did a yak that had become separated from the herd, a cow stranded on the wrong side of a river, four different dog personalities, a newborn kid, a two-year-old goat, a four-year-old goat, an old goat, and a dying goat. He rounded off his routine with a camel that didn’t want to stand up and three sheep trying to negotiate a stream without getting their feet wet. The Mongolians were in stitches. For an encore he did a mare in heat.

    Stanley Stewart, British journalist and travel writer. The Empire of Genghis Khan: A Journey Among Nomads (2002).

    The gift of an egg

    March 14th, 2012

    “You must have a vision, to believe in something. You must also have perseverance. There were times when my better sense wondered whether I should be continuing Read the rest of this entry »

    Meals on wheels

    March 13th, 2012

    God is walking through heaven. He comes to the area of heaven where the mice are playing. Read the rest of this entry »

    The baggage of a jet setter

    March 12th, 2012

    International jet setter Baron Enrico di Portanova, grandson of Texas oil magnate Hugh Roy Cullen, and his wife travelled on their own private Lear jet. It wasn’t big enough Read the rest of this entry »

    The whitecapping heroes of Wheatley, Ontario

    March 9th, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY: stories of life and times in Canada past

    Whitecapping, a form of violent American vigilante justice, crept into southern Ontario early in the nineteenth century. Originating in Indiana about 1873, whitecapping dealt harshly with supposed village and small town miscreants, such as men who abused their families, drunks, idlers and women who had children out of wedlock.In southern Ontario, those who misbehaved were in danger of being dunked in a well, or walked in snow, and thrashed. Read the rest of this entry »

    Love and beauty in death

    March 9th, 2012

    “Living with people who are dying can be a remarkably rich time that yields valuable insights about the beauty and mystery of life and the things that are most important,” Read the rest of this entry »

    Love sayings, poems and songs

    March 8th, 2012

    Maya Angelou (1928- ), U.S. poet, author and political activist. Love life. Take great pleasure in small offerings. Believe that the world owes you nothing. Understand that every gift Read the rest of this entry »

    The limits of liberalism

    March 7th, 2012

    The late Huey Long… when he was governor [of Louisiana] and he was preaching his share-the-wealth plan, was out in the country one day at a little country crossroads. Read the rest of this entry »

    The TV news star who flubbed her trial broadcast

    March 6th, 2012

    When Katie Couric graduated from university in 1979, the 19-year-old headed straight for a career in journalism. A year later, Read the rest of this entry »