Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Canada's First Public Radio Broadcast


Today in 1927 CKUA radio signed on air from the University of Alberta in Edmonton with a 500 watt signal making it Canada's first public broadcaster. With a $700 grant, two engineering students used two windmill towers to broadcast the signal.


The stations first announcer and program director for the station was H.P. Brown.


The station is still in operation and has many firsts including broadcasting the play by play of a  Western football game in 1928 and in 1996, the first Canadian station to stream online.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The 1929 Newfoundland Tsunami


Today in 1929. an earthquake which measured 7.2 on the Richter Scale erupted under water 65 kilometres south of Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula. The quake created a Tsunami wave which struck the Burin Peninsula in the evening at about 40 km/hr.


27 people were killed or drowned by the wave in Newfoundland plus another person in Nova Scotia. Hundreds of people were left homeless and many left destitute as their way of life was destroyed. Schooners and other vessels were swept out to sea. The wave destroyed stages, flakes, damaged wharves and fish stores. Approximately 127,000 kilograms of salt cod that were to be used for winter food and sale to other parts of the world were washed away.


To make matters even worse, all communication lines to the outside world were lost so nobody outside of Burin knew of the disaster until the SS Portia made a scheduled stop in the harbour three days later.

The ship's captain, Westbury Kean told of the sight that greeted them when then entered the harbour: “Imagine our wonder and surprise on turning the point of the channel to be met by a large store drifting slowly along the shore seaward; then a short distance another store or a dwelling house until 9 buildings were counted, strewn along the shore before the harbour was reached. On reaching the harbour even a worse spectacle greeted the eyes.

The loss in dollars was estimated at $1 million which converts to $13.8 million in 2017 dollars.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Canadian William Hall Becomes First Black Person to be Awarded Victoria Cross


Today in 1857, former slave William Hall was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery for his actions during the Relief of Lucknow, India during an attempt by mutineers to overthrow British Rule. His ship, The HMS Shannon, despite the destruction on board, fired it's cannon until the only one remained, that of William Hall and Lieutenant Thomas Young.

Young was badly injured, but he and Hall continued working the gun, firing, reloading, and firing again until they finally triggered the charge that opened the walls. “I remember,” Hall is quoted as saying, “that after each round we ran our gun forward, until at last my gun’s crew were actually in danger of being hurt by splinters of brick and stone torn by the round shot from the walls we were bombarding.”

Captain Peel recommended William Hall and Thomas Young for the Victoria Cross, in recognition of their “gallant conduct at a twenty-four-pounder gun... at Lucknow on the 16th November 1857”.

Hall received his Victoria Cross aboard HMS Donegal in Queenstown Harbour, Ireland, on October 28, 1859.


His Victoria Cross was the first one ever awarded to a black man, a sailor and a Nova Scotian. He was the third Canadian to be awarded the honour.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

First International Telegraph Office Opens in Halifax Ending Pony Express Service


Today in 1849, after telegraph lines are completed in Halifax which connected Europe, the US and Newfoundland, the first telegraph office there opened for service. This brought about an end to the Nova Scotia Pony Express.

The Pony Express only missed only one ride from it's first one from Halifax to Saint John on February 21, 1849 (about 27 hours) till it's last ride which left Halifax at dusk on November 8, 1849 and arrived the next Morning in Sackville

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Canada Launches World's First Non-military Use Communications Satellite


Today in 1972, NASA launched Canada's Anik A1 communications satellite (Anik is the Inuit word for 'little brother') from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was the worlds first non-military use communications ever launched.

It was designed to fly in a geostationary orbit, in which the satellite orbits the earth at the same speed as the earth rotates so it maintains the same location over land at all times. The Anik A1 was designed to relay telephone calls, data and television signals on 12 channels for a period of seven years but was not retired from operation till July 15, 1982.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Black Woman Viola Desmond Arrested for Sitting in Movie Theatre's White section


Today in 1946, black businesswoman Viola Desmond was on route to Sydney, Nova Scotia from Halifax when her car broke down in New Glasgow. Having a few hours to kill, she decided to take in a movie at the Roseland Theater.


Desmond requested a ticket for a seat on the main floor. The ticket seller handed Desmond a ticket to the balcony instead, the seating generally reserved for non-White customers. Walking into the main floor seating area, she was challenged by the ticket-taker, who told her that her ticket was for an upstairs seat, where she would have to move. 

Thinking that a mistake had been made, Desmond returned to the cashier and asked her to exchange the ticket for one downstairs. The cashier refused, saying, “I'm sorry but I'm not permitted to sell downstairs tickets to you people.”

Realizing that the cashier meant black people, and that blacks were relegated to the balcony, Viola took a seat in the 'whites only' main floor. When the manager told her she had to leave, she refused. A police officer was called in and Viola was dragged away injuring her hip and knee.


Although she ultimately lost her case before a judge and was fined $26 ($6 went to the movie theaters manager), it was the start of the civil rights movement in the Maritimes. In 2011 Canada Post issued a stamp in her honour for Black History Month and on March 8, 2016 it was announced that she would be the first Canadian woman to appear on a Canadian banknote. The new $10 bill will be issued in 2018.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The White Hurricane of 1913


Today in 1913 what came to be known as the White Hurricane began to blow on the Great Lakes. When it was over three days later, twelve ships had sunk, thirty four more were cripple and over 300 people drowned. At it's peak the storm 140 km per hour winds (85 mph) winds created 10 meter (32 feet) high waves.

Book Review - The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

I have been going through some medical issues and while on a hospital stay, I was talking with a fellow patient who had just finished The Secret. He said it was quite helpful and after I flipped through his copy of the book, I thought it could be helpful.

In 2006, a groundbreaking feature-length film revealed the great mystery of the universe—The Secret—and, later that year, Rhonda Byrne followed with a book that became a worldwide bestseller. 

Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it. 

In this book, you’ll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life—money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You’ll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that’s within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life. 

The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers—men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

I have heard and do believe that people use only a small percentage of their brains and that there is so much yet to discover about it. Also, I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking and that we can assist our bodies through visualisation. The Secret delves heavily into these aspects.

There are things that I do have issues with, however. The book seems to say 'believe and it will happen.' It suggests that we need to do nothing to bring on wealth or happiness except to just think about it.

Also it speaks of people as a transmission tower.

"The law of attraction says like attracts like, so when you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you.

Thoughts are magnetic and thoughts have a frequency. As you think thoughts, they are sent out into the universe and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source - you.

You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts. If you want to change anything in your life, change the frequency by changing your thoughts."

I can't buy the idea of our thoughts sent out into the universe as a frequency. What I can get behind is that those positive thoughts will keep you positive and moving forward in a positive manner.

The Secret did make me think deeper about a few things. As I said earlier, I use visualisation daily and found the book helpful in this area. I have slightly modified my nightly affirmations and visualisations and believe they are working.

When you read the book, take from it what you can. There are some very useful positive ideas that you can take from it.

Your power is in your thoughts, so stay awake. In other words, remember to remember.” Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Whenever you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right. (Henry Ford) ” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret