Wednesday, November 30, 2016


A Territory in northwest Canada, YUKON is wild, mountainous and sparsely populated.

It's known for dog-sledding, canoe expeditions, hiking, salmon-fishing and other outdoor well as for the colourful Northern Lights sometimes seen in the night-time sky. Kluane National Park and Reserve includes Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak 5,959 m (19,551 ft) well as glaciers, trails and the Alsek River, renowned for rafting.

Yukon is the smallest of Canada's three federal territories. Whitehorse is the terratorial capital and Yukon's only city. The territory was split from the Northwest Terratories in 1898 and was named the Yukon Territory. Yukon is from the native word 'Yu-kun-ah' meaning 'great river'. Population in 2010 was estimated 33,992.

Geography: The territory is about the shape of a right-angle triangle, bordering the American state of Alaska to the west, the Northwest Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south. Its northern coast is on the Beaufort Sea. Its ragged eastern boundary mostly follows the divide between the Yukon River Basin and the MacKenzie River watershed to the east in the MacKenzie mountains.

The southwest is dominated by the Kluane icefields in Kluane National Park and Reserve, the largest non-polas ice-fields in the world. Kluane National Park also contains eight of Canada's highest mountains, including the five highest, all in Saint Elias Mountains. A number of glaciers flow out of the icefields. Permafrost is common...throughout Yukon, especially the northern part.

Two major faults...the Denali Fault and the Tintina Fault have created major valleys called trenches (the Shakwak and the Tintina). The Haines Highway and the Alaska Highway north of Haines Junction are built in the Shakwak Trench. Its edges have rich mineral deposits including Klondike gold and the lead-zinc deposits near Faro.

The volcanoes in Yukon are part of the circle of volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean...known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Yukon includes more than 100 separate volcanic centres that have been active.

The Saint Elias mountains are part of the Coast Mountains which range from southern British Columbia to Alaska and cover the southeastern Yukon. There are numeous mountain ranges in the far north, the northeast, central Yukon and north of Dawson City and along the Dempster Highway.

Most of the territory is in the watershed of its namesake...the Yukon River which flows into the Bering Sea; the Southern Yukon is dotted with a large number of large, long and narrow glacier-fed alpine lakes which flow into the Yukon river system. Other rivers flow directly into the Pacific Ocean or directly into the Arctic Ocean.

The long sunshine hours in the short summer allow a profusion of flowers and fruit to blossom. Most of the territory is boreal forest, tundra being the main vegetation zone only in the extreme north and at high elevations.

Climate: Most of Yukon has a sub-arctic climate, characterized by long cold winters and brief warm summers. The Arctic Ocean coast has a Tundra Climate...generally very dry, with little precipitation, but is wetter in the southeast. Precipitation is much greater in the mountains...and the snowpack continues to melt well into summer, resulting in high water in July and August.

Natural Resources: Mining was the mainstay of the economy until recently. Abundant gold was found in the Klondike region, leading to the Klondike Gold Rush in1898. Other minerals actively mined include copper in the Whitehorse area...with lead, zinc, coal, gold and silver in other areas. The world's largest known deposit of tungsten is in the MacKenzie Moutains. Non-metallic minerals mined have included jade and barite.
The fur trade was very important to the Yukon First Nation economy, but low prices
and the impact of 'animal rights activists' have devastated the traditional economy.

Klondike Gold Rush was the seminal event in the Yukon's history. Led by Skookum Jim Mason, he and his party discovered gold in Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River in August 1896. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people braced numerous hardships to reach Klondike gold fields in the winter and spring...after the discovery became known in 1897. With the influx of American stampeders,
the Canadian government decided to create a separate territory to better control the situation.

History of Yukon: Human habitation dates back to the Ice Age...the original inhabitants are believed to have arrived over 20,000 years ago by migrating over the land bridge from Asia. In the 18th century, Russian explorers began trade withe the First Nations people along the Alaskan coast, beginning the establishment of trade relations throughout the region. The famous Klondike Gold Rush began near Dawson City in 1896. Due to the influx of people, Yukon was made a separate territory. The second major event in Yukon's history is the construction of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War, for the transportation of war supplies. Eventually, Whitehorse became the largest city in the Yukon.

Yukon First Nations: Estimates show that by the 1,830th year, the number of indigenous people made 4,700 people. The main part of the territory of modern Yukon was occupied by various Athabaskan tribes. The Arctic coast of modern Yukon, including Herschel Island, there lived Inuit (Eskimo)...and in the south, lived continental Tlingit whose language together with Athabaskan languages were included into Na-Dene language family.
Covered with snow, Mount Elias in the extreme southwest of Yukon was unsettled.

Nineteenth Century: Fur trade began in the first half of the 19th century. Hudson Bay explorers and traders from MacKenzie River trading posts used two different routes to enter Yukon and created trading posts along the way. FortYukon was established in1847 at the juncture of the Porcupine and Yukon Rivers. In Alexander Hunter Murray's journal, he gave valuable insight into the culture of the local Gwich'in people in 'First Nation' at the time. While the post was actually in Russian Alaska, the Hudson Bay Company continued to trade there until expelled by the American traders in 1869, following the Alaska Purchase. A new trading post, Rampart House was established along the Porcupine River, but it also proved to be inside Alaska's boundary. Gwich'in people played off the Hudson's Bay Company against American traders from the Alaska Commercial Company.
Anglican and Roman Catholic missionaries
followed in the wake of the fur trade.
In 1894, concerned about the influx of American miners and the liquor trade, the Canadian government sent inspector Charles Constantine of the Northwest Mounted Police to examine conditions in the role in the acculturation of the people in the Yukon districts.

Twentieth Century: After the Gold Rush, the population declined precipitously reaching a low of 4,157 in 1921...and remained steady until the 1940's. The next important event in Yukon's history was the construction of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War, opening up the territory to road traffic. The war also saw the construction of a number of airfields as part of the Northwest Staging Route. Unfortunately, the influx of construction crews had a devastating effect on some First Nations, who suffered from a large number of deaths from diseases to which they had no immunity.

Other highways built during the 1950's and 1960's resulted in the decline of the riverboats that had provided the main means of transportation until the 1960's. In the 1950's the White Pass & Yukon Route pioneered the use of intermodal containerized shipping. Mining activity also revived. Gold mining came back to the Klondike and other areas with the large rise in gold prices in the lat 1970's.
Today the Canadian Government is investing in clean energy research and environmental protection of the territory...with the goals being the increased involvement of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in the northern economy.

Animals: The large mammals found througout the territory include caribou, wolves, grizzly bears and American black bears. Higher elevation have Dell sheep and in the south, Rocky Mountain goat. Polar bears are found on the Arctic coast. The mule deer and its predator, the cougar are becoming increasingly common in the south...and coyotes are increasing their range in the northern Yukon. Elk and bison have been introduced.

Many species of rodents inhabit the areas: squirrels, lemmings, porcupines, pikas, beavers,various voles, porcupines, muskrats...wolverines, martens, ermines, weasel, American mink, lynx, Arctic fox and river otters. More than 250 species of birds have been sighted in Yukon.

Various fish are found in rivers and streams. There are no reptiles inYukon...but a few frogs.

Flags and Symbols: Motto (on licence plate) The Klondike
Flag: By order of the Terratorial Council, it was assented to December 1, 1967.
Coat of Arms (topped by a Husky dog) was approved by Queen Elizabeth II, February 24, 1956.
Flower: Fireweed...a magenta-purple, which by late July covers the hills and roadsides.
Bird: The Raven became its official bird in 1986...sometimes referred to as 'the crow'. It's an intelligent bird...been known to open boxes, use tools and communicate with other animals.
Tree: The Sub-Alpine Fir is found in most areas of Yukon...the territory adopted the tree as its symbol in part because of its fame among the Aboriginal people for its healing powers. Medically, they would boil the needles to make a cold-fighting-tea rich in Vitamin C...and also to use the sap to treat lung ailments.

Experiencing rapid growth in the 19th century due to the Gold Rush,
the peoples living in The Yukon, realized they needed governmental representation.
As a result, the Yukon Act in 1898 designated YUKON
as a separate territory with Confederation.

Information compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...July 1, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

How the Internet Started, According to the Bible

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com
did take unto himself a healthy young wife by the name of Dorothy (Dot for short).
Dot Com was a comely woman...
large of breast...broad of shoulder...and long of leg.
Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “Why dost thou travel from town, to town, to town with thy goods, when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?”

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags
short of a camel load, but simply said, “How Dear?”

And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all the towns...and drums in between, to send messages saying what you have for sale...and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums...and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS).

Abraham thought long and hard...and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures ~ Hebrew to the People (HTTP).

And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites...or NERDS. And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought out every drum maker in the land. Indeed, he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say, “Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others. “And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel”, (e-Bay as it came to be known). He said, “We need a name that reflects what we are.”
And Dot replied, “Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators.”
Abraham 'got it' and said, “YAHOO Dot Com!”

Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE). That's how it all began!
And today, we know it as BIOTI...Best Info On The Internet!

(The foregoing sent to me by a friend, Jeanne)

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 25, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Biblical Renditions

A recent news clip from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan states:
Developer Wants Biblical Park with Noah's Ark.
This prompted me to assemble the following article about interpretations
and imagination from both old and young.

A Chinese businessman wants to build a Biblical theme park in southern Saskatchewan complete with a massive replica of Noah's Ark. The yet-to-be-named park...will feature a 3-storey boat containing animal reproductions. Workers from China would be brought over to spend 4 years building the park at a cost of about $1.2 million.
Noah Today
(with thanks to Jeanne for this submission to me)

In the year 2012, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in New Brunswick and said, “Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated...and I see the end of all flesh before me.
Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing
along with a few good humans.”
He gave Noah the blueprints saying, “You have 6 months to build the Ark after which I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.” Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard...but no Ark. “Noah!” he roared, “I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?”

Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah, “but things have changed.
I needed a Building Permit.
I've been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.
My neighbours claim that I've violated the neighbourhood By-Laws by building the Ark in my back garden and exceeding the height limitations.
We had to go to the Local Planning Committee for a 'variance'.
Then the Local Council and the Electricity Company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions to clear the Passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us...but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting trees in order to save the Great Spotted Barn Owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood and would save the owls...but no go!
When I started gathering the animals, the SPCA took me to court! They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive...and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
Then Environment Canada ruled that I couldn't build the Ark
until they conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.
Immigration are checking the Visa status of most of the people who want to work.
The Trade Unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.
To make matters worse, the Canada Revenue Agency seized my assets...claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
So forgive me, Lord,
but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.”

Suddenly the skies cleared...the sun began to shine...and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Looking up in wonder, Noah asked, “You mean you're not going to destroy the world?”
No,” said the Lord.
The Government beat me to it.

(Throughout the foregoing conversation between God and Noah, colour photos accompanied their discussion...beginning with a peaceful ocean...then a dark overhead cloud begins to cover the sky...tumbling waters begin to roil with the winds and lightning strikes the ocean...more darkening clouds is a heavy sky creating almost darkness...streaks of lightning attack the nearby coastal town...and Nature has taken an evil turn...trees sway and buildings are damaged...the rain falls in diagonal sheets as it hits the ocean waters...followed by more lightning-strikes.
When the skies clear, a tree-winding roadway comes into view
and Lo and Behold: a glorious rainbow fully arcs over the horizon!)

Book Report on the Entire Bible
(submitted to me by Meg)
This one is priceless, especially when you know the Bible well enough to recognize all the 'word play'.
Enjoy this Book Report on the entire Bible by a Grade 6 requested by the classroom teacher.

In the beginning, which occurred at the start, there was nothing but God...darkness...and some gas. The Bible says, “The Lord, thy God is one,” but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, “Give me a light,” and someone did. Then God made the world. He split Adam and made Eve.

Adam and Eve were naked...but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon, all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something. One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah, came Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat. Another really important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharoah after God sent then plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them his Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance or covet your neighbour's stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humour thy father and your mother. One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them. After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always sayaing to me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, “As a matter of fact, I was!”

During his life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named him a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on the trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyway, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven, but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the Book of Revolution.

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...September 23, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Englishman's Tribute to Canada

Salute to a Brave and Modest Nation
by Kevin Myers (The Sunday Telegraph, London)

Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan,
probably almost no one outside their home country
had been aware that Canadian troops are deployed in the region.

And, as always, Canada bill bury its dead, just as the rest of the always will forget its sacrifice...just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does. It seems that Canada's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers...and then, once the crisis is be well and truly ignored.

Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall...waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out...she risks her life and limb to recue her fellow dance-goers...and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired..and the dancing resumes, there is Canada...the wallflower still...while those she once helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent
with the United States....and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two global conflicts.
For most of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions: It seemed to be a part of the old world...yet had an address in the new one...and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude it deserved.

Yet, its purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of Canada'sentire population of seven million people served in the armed forces during the First World War...and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops...perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle.

Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect..its unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular memory, as somehow or other, the work of the “British.”

The Second World War provided a 'rerun'. The Canadian navy began the war with a half-dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the Atlantic Ocean against U-boat attacks. More than 120 Canadian warships participated in the Normandy landings...during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.

Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy...and the fourth largest air force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had the previous time.

Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film...only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in the campaign in which the United States had clearly NOT participated ~ a touching scrupulousness, which of course, Hollywood has since it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.

So it is a general rule that actors and film makers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality ~ unless that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, DavidCronenberg, AlexTrebek, Art Linkletter, Mike Weir and Dan Aykroyd...have in popular perception, become American...and Christopher Plummer, British.

It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose...or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.

Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements
of its sons and daughers as the rest of the world is completely unaware of them.
The Canadians say of themselves ~ and are unheard by anyone else ~
that 1% of the world's population has provided 10% of the world's peacekeeping forces.

Canadian forces in the past half century have been the greatest peacekepers on Earth. ~ in 39 missions on UN mandates...and 6 on non-UN mandates...6 on non-UN peacekeeping dutes...from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

Yet, the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia, in which out-of-control paratrooopers murdered two Somalia infiltrators.
Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace:
a unique Canadian act of self-abasement for which
naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

So, who today, in the United States knows about the selfless friendship
its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan?

Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac, Canada repeatedly does honourable things for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remains something of a figure of fun. It is the Canadian way...for which Canadians should be proud...yet such honour comes at a high cost. Over several years, more Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

Lest We Forget:
For anyone who is proud to be Canadian,
this is a wonderful tribute for those who choose to serve their country
and the their own quiet Canadian way...
100% Canadian!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 17, 2016
Comments appeciated: or

Monday, November 14, 2016

Canadians Are a Rare Breed!

The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart

50 Degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees C.):
Californians shiver uncontrollably...Canadians plant gardens.

35 Degrees F (1.6C.):
Italian cars won't start...Canadians drive with the windows down.

32 Degrees F (0 C.):
American water freezes...Canadian water gets thicker.

0 Degrees F (-17.9 C.):
New York City landlords finally turn on the heat...Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

-60 Degrees F (-51 C.):
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole...Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

-109.9 F (-78.5 C):
Carbon Dioxide freezes and makes dry ice...Canadians pull down their ear flaps.

-173 Degrees F (-114 C.):
Ethyl alcohol freezes...Canadians get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg.

-459.67 Degrees F (-273.15 C.):
Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops...Canadians start to say, “Cold, eh?”

-500 Degrees F (-295 C.):
Hell freezes over...The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup!

28 Things You Never Knew About Canada

Canada consumes more macaroni and cheese than any other nation in the world.
Canada ~ the world's most educated country by percentage; over half its residents have college degrees.
Police departments in Canada give out 'positive tickets' when seeing people doing something positive.
Canada's lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees fahrenheit (-63 celsius) in 1947.
Canada is the second largest country in the world, right after Russia.
Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world's lakes combined.
Residents of Churchill, Manitoba leave their cars unlocked to offer escape for pedestrians who might encounter polar bears.

Licence plates in the Northwest Territories, are shaped like polar bears.
In 2010, a Canadian man rescued a newborn baby from a dumpster, only to discover he was the father.
Canada has the largest coastline in the world.
Sometimes in Newfoundland, the Atlantic people play hockey on it.
The Mall of America is owned by Canadians.
The US/Canada border is the longest international border in the world & it lacks military defence.
The first Canadian casualties of the Afghanistan war were from an American pilot bombing a training exercise.

Prostitution is legal in Canada. Buying the services of a prostitute is not.
Americans have invaded Canada 1775 and 1812. They lost both times.
Canada” is an Iroquoian language word meaning, “village”.
Canada's official phone number is 1-800-O-Canada.
In Canada, Mexico, India, Russia & Israel, bank notes have Braille-like markings on them.
Canada has fewer people than Tokyo's metropolitan area.
Large parts of Canada have less gravity than the rest of Earth; this phenomenon was discovered in the 1960's.

The Eiffel Tower was almost temporarily relocated to Canada in 1967.
Canada has the third largest oil reserves of any country in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
After the attack on Pearl Harbour during WWII, Canada declared war on Japan before the US did.
Canada has no weapons of mass destruction since 1984 and has signed treaties repudiating their possession.
The third country in space, after the US and USSR, was Canada
which was considered to have the most advanced space program in 1962.
During WWII, Canada gave out buttons to people who tried to enlist,
but were refused due to medical reasons to show their willingness to fight.
Until 1999, Guinness Book of Records considered Yonge Street running northward from Toronto, Ontario, as the longest street in the world at 1,896 km (1,178 mi).

Is Canada in Trouble?
(submitted to me by Jeanne)

The population in this country is 33 million.
16 million are that leaves 17 million to do the work.
There are 8 million in school...which leaves 9 million to do the work.
Of this, there are 5 million employed by the
Federal, Provincial & Municipal Governments...leaving 4 million to do the work.
200,000 are in the armed forces preoccupied with killing terrorists...leaving 3.8 million to work.
Take from that total, the 3 million people who live on social benefits and that leaves 3 million.
At any given time, there are 18,000 people in hospitals...leaving 782,000 to do the work.
Now, there are 82,998 people in prisons and 699,000 unemployed and wandering the streets.
That leaves just 2 people to do the work:
You and Me!
And there you are...sitting on your `rear end`at your computer reading jokes!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 9, 2016
Comments appreciated: or

Friday, November 4, 2016

Province of British Columbia

Rugged British Columbia, Canada's westernmost province
stretches along the Pacific coast,
with the vibrant City of Vancouver at its south border.
Dominated by mountain ranges, it's a major skiing destination and home to Whistler, co-host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Hikers, campers and anglers are drawn to its sprawling parks and reserves including Glacier National Park and the Pacific Rim National Park.

On July 20,1871, British Columbia entered Confederation as its sixth province...
extending the young Dominion of Canada to the Pacific Ocean. The Government offered that a transcontinental railray would penetrate the Rocky Mountains and join British Columbia to the east within 10 years. It was a massive, expensive undertaking... most of the land between British Columbia and Ontario was barely inhabited.

Geography and Climate:
Bordered by the Pacific Ocean on its west, by the American state of Alaska on its northwest...and to the north by the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, on the east by the Province of Alberta and on the south by the U.S. States of Washington, Idaho and Montana, British Columbia's rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres (16,780 miles) including deep mountainous fiords and about 6,000 islands (most of which are uninhabited).

British Columbia's capital is Victoria, located at the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. BC's most populace city is Vancouver, located in the southwest corner of the BC mainland which comprises several other major cities. Prince George is the largest city in the northern part of the province.

The Coast Mountains, the Canadian Rockies and the Inside Passage's many inlets provide some of BC's renowed spectacular scenery, which forms the backdrop for growing outdoor adventures and eco-tourism industry. 75% of the province is mountainous (more than 1,000 metres...3,280 feet) above sea level...60% is forested and only about 5% arable. The Okanagan area is one of only 3 wine-growing regions in Canada. The Fraser Canyon towns have some of the warmest and longest summer climates in Canada where temperatures often surpass 40C (104F).

Much of the western part of Vancouver Island and the rest of the coast as far north as the Alaska Panhandle to northern California, is covered by temperate 'rain forest'. This overall region is one of a mere handful of such temperate rainforest ecosytems in the world. The mainland (unmoderated by the Pacific Ocean) range from desert and semi-arid plateau to mountain range and canyon districts of the interior plateau. However, a few interior valleys feature snowy, cold winters while those in the Cariboo are as cold as anywhere else in wintertime Canada due to altitude and latitude.

Parks and Protected Areas: There are 14 designations of parks and protected areas...141 ecological Reserves...35 provincial marine parks...7 Provincial Heritage Sites...6 National Historic Sites...4 National Parks and 3 National Park Reserves. These designations incluce over 800 distinct areas.

The Great Bear Rainforest... home to Spirit Bears, grizzlies, black bears and wolves
is the largest intact rainforest in the world.

British Columbia contains seven of Canada's National Parks: Glacier National Park...Gulf Islands National Park Reserve...Gwaii Haanas National Part Reserve and Haida Heritage Site...Kootenay National Park...Mount Revelstoke National Park...Pacific Rim National Park Reserve...Yoho National Park. Also, over 4.7 million hectares of arable land are protected by the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Recreation: Given its varied mountainous terrain and its coasts, lakes, rivers and forests, BC has long been enjoyed for pursuits like hiking and camping ,rock climbing and mountaineering, hunting and fishing. Water sports, both motorized and non-motorized are highly enjoyed: sea kayaking abound on the coast, white-water rafting and kayaking on inland rivers, sailing and sailboarding.
In winter, cross-country skiing, telemark skiiing downhill skiing, snowboarding are highly popular.
Ample opportunities are offered for joggers, bicyclists and cross-country bike touring, horse-back riding. British Columbia also has strong participation levels in other sports: golf, tennis, soccer, rugby, softball, basketball, curling, figure skating and professional teams of the NHL and CFL.
Consistent with both increased tourism and diverse recreations...
has been the proliferation of lodges, chalets, bed and breakfasts, motels and hotels,
fishing camps and park-camping facilities in recent decades.

Wildlife: Much of the province is wild or that populations of very many mammalian species that have become rare in much of United States, still flourish in BC...including a very wide range of birds (including Canada geese, swans, loons, hawks, ravens, ducks and smaller birds)...bears (grizzly, black and the Kermode bear or 'spirit bear' found only in British Columbia) live do deer, elk, moose, caribou, big-horn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, beavers, muskrats, coyotes, wolves, wolverines and badgers, mountain lions, eagles, ospreys, herons.

Many sorts of fish are found in the waters...salmon, trout, char, halibut, bass and sturgeon. Harbour seals and river otters are common along the coastlines. Native to Pacific waters are Orca, Gray Whale, Harbour Porpoise, Pacific White-Sided Dolphin and Minke Whale.

Culture and History: Since the retreat of the great glaciers 10,000 years ago,
Aboriginal populations have inhabited the BC landscape.
BC's first people may have journeyed to the region from Asia via a land bridge across the Bering Sea. As the ice receded, forests advanced and fluctuating sea levels exposed the temporary land passage linking Asia to the New World. It is thought that BC's coastal region became one of the most densely populated areas in North America. Prior to European contact, BC's first nations populations may have numbered 300,000. The Aboriginal way of life would continue undisturbed for thousands of years until the arrival of the British in 1778.

European Arrival: When British explorer Captain James Cook reached the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1778, he was eager to trade with the Nootka people. In his wake, waves of European settlers arrived carrying smallpox and other diseases that decimated Aboringal populations in the late 1700's. Nearly a century later, British agent James Douglas was searching the Pacific Coast for a new Hudson Bay Company headquarters. He was welcomed by the Lekwammen, whose villages dotted the shores of what is now 'Greater Victoria'. A year later, in 1843, Fort Victoria was built in the heart of Victoria's known as 'Old Town'.

Gold Rush in BC: The discovery of gold in the Fraser River and the Cariboo, brought a rapid infux of prospectors, merchants, pioneers and other colourful figures to BC in the 1860's. They came from around the world, arriving from as far away as China. It was a time of rapid expansion; sleepy hamlets became bustling cities...and new roads, railways and steamships were constructed to carry the extra load. Boomtowns were born and legends made...but not all experienced good fortune. The Aboriginal peoples lsot most of their ancestral lands...and in 1876, First Nations populations were made subject to the federal Indian Act which regulated every aspect of their lives.

Rapid Expansion in BC: Transportation and development marked another period during the 1950's and 1960's. Massive building projects changed the shape of the BC Landscape. Expansive damming projects turned rivers into lakes; giant turbines powered dozens of new pulp mills and smelters; and the Trans Canada Highway was completed, while bridges, railways and BC ferries linked land, people and technological progress.

Symbols of British Columbia
Name origin ~ 'British' (it was a British colony in 1858); 'Columbia' refers to the Columbia River.
Flag ~ The Union Jack is set above the province's shield. Below is a half sun on blue waters. Waves are for the Pacific Ocean off the BC coast. The setting sun represents the most westerly province.
It became the official provincial flag in 1960.
Flower ~ Pacific Dogwood which grows best in the southwestern forests, along the Fraser River and on Vancouver Island. Flowering in April and May, it has many white blossoms and in the fall, clusters of bright red berries are produced.
Tree ~ Western Red Cedar which grows up to 60 metres on the list of provincial plants protected by law.
Mammal ~ 'Spirit Bear' (with white fur) living in the Great Bear Rain Forest.
Bird ~ Stellar's Jay
Gemstone ~ Jade (a green gem used for jewellery and scupltures)

Information compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr