How to Speak Canadian


Dan Nosowitz of Atlas Obscura has posted a pair of funny pieces on how to “speak Canadian.” I was reminded of this clip from comedy legend John Candy.

Canada RULES! I love swearing in Québécois. Also, I deeply respect Boing Boing's revered tech guru and sysadmin Ken Snider, who is Canadian.

Atlas Obscura's short guide to cursing like a French Canadian is fantastic. Basically you mutter a bunch of religious terms under your breath, like tabernak and callise!

Nosowitz also tackled one of the great mysteries of North American language, the Canadian “about”. I'm still not sure I can get my head around it.

Via Atlas Obscura:

The Canadian diphthong in “about” starts with something closer to “eh,” and migrates to a blank space on the American linguistic map somewhere between “uh,” “oh,” and “ooh.” That transition is actually easier on the mouth than the American version; our vowels go from low to high, and theirs from mid to high.

To say that Canadians are saying “aboot” is linguistically inaccurate; “ooh” is a monophthong and the proper Canadian dialect uses a diphthong. “A-boat” would actually be a bit closer, but still relies on a monophthong. Why can’t Americans get their heads around the Canadian “about”?

“What's going on is a compound of pronunciation and perception,” says Dailey-O’Cain. “The Canadians do pronounce it differently. Americans hear this and they know it's different—they're hearing a difference but they don't know exactly what that difference is.” Americans do not have the Canadian diphthong present in the word “about,” which makes it hard to understand.

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Delightful vintage bus spotted during unrelated event


A youngster somewhere in British Columbia was recording video of an unrelated event in a strip mall parking lot when he noticed a charming, red-striped vintage bus. It's not every day you run into a 1970s General Motors New Look! The exciting moment is at about 41 seconds in. Read the rest

Canada Post drops legal claim over crowdsourced postal code database


Canada Post claimed a "crown copyright" over the postal codes assigned to Canadian homes, meaning that Canadian organisations and businesses could only use this vital information if they paid -- that is, they'd have to pay to access something their taxes already paid for, and the richer you were, the more access you could afford. Read the rest

Canadian government thinktank warns that renewables will gut market for Canada's dirty oil


For a decade, Canada's previous petro-tory government prosecuted scientists who publicly reported their results without first passing them through the party's commissars, almost as though reality had a well-known left-wing bias and couldn't be trusted. Read the rest

Technology's "culture of compliance" must be beaten back in the name of justice


In 1989, Canadian activist, engineer and thinker Ursula Franklin gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the politics of technology design and deployment called "The Real World of Technology." Read the rest

Read: Strategic Dog Patterning, a story from "Why I Hunt Flying Saucers"


My latest book just came out: Why I Hunt Flying Saucers & Other Fantasticals. The title comes from the short story of the same name, which was nominated for an Aurora Award in 1991.

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We Stand on Guard: in 100 years, America seizes Canada for its water

Brian K Vaughan's varied career in comics has had numerous and diverse hits like Saga, the epically weird and sexy space-opera; Y: The Last Man, an end-of-the-world story; now, with We Stand on Guard, Vaughan dramatically ups his body count in a tale of an American resource war that's a lot closer to home than the invasion of Iraq.

Canada's Fort McMurray wildfire is so massive, you can see it from space

On May 8, 2016, the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite captured this image of Ft. McMurray Fire in Alberta, Canada.
[NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team]

The massive wildfire that continues to burn in the Fort McMurray area of Alberta, Canada has been captured from space by NASA imaging satellites.

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Petition to reassign head of Canada Post to deliver letters at $500k/year


Derryl Murphy writes, "Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra (I know) a new contract a month before the election when he still had time on his contract, and Chopra's working hard to pillage the postal system in Canada. So I did this up for a little fun, but the word needs to get out there." Read the rest

TPP is the 'worst trade deal ever,' Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says


Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, could be the worst trade agreement ever negotiated in history. In an interview with CBC News, he recommended that the government of Canada insist on reworking it.

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First-ever Tor node in a Canadian library


Library workers at Western University's Graduate Resource Centre in London, Ontario, had a workshop from Alison Macrina, the library organiser whose Library Freedom Project won a battle with the US DHS over a library in New Hampshire that was offering a Tor exit node as part of a global network that delivers privacy, censorship resistance, and anonymity to all comers. Read the rest

Guy who was hounded from work by homophobic "Valentine" gets a love-note from Justin Trudeau


Last month, an anonymous work-colleague at Alberta's Party City sent's Degas Sikorski a homophobic "Valentine" that he posted last week. Read the rest

50 reasons the TPP is terrible beyond belief


Michael Geist sez, "For the past two and a half months, I have been writing a daily series on the trouble with the Trans Pacific Partnership. The 50 part series wrapped up today with the case against ratifying the TPP. While the focus is on Canadian issues, the series hits on problems that all 12 countries face: unbalanced intellectual property rules, privacy risks, dangers to the Internet and technology, cultural and health regulation, and investor-state settlement rules that could cost countries billions of dollars." Read the rest

Canada's next bank notes will feature portraits of women

Rembrandt style portrait. Oil painting imitation texture

...instead of Spock's great-great-great-grandfather. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Twitter on International Women's Day, and invited the public to nominate women to appear on the new notes. Read the rest

Top porn search term in Quebec is "Quebec"


Not for the Québécois are such mundane sexual preferences as "lesbians" or "hentai" or "facesitting." No, the French-speaking Canadians search for themselves. [via Vice Canada] Read the rest

Trailer for a theoretical, hysterical comedy series about paramedics


Fab Filippo and friends have a new show, "Save Me," up for production on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is flush with cash now that the hateful Tories are out of office. Read the rest

BC town votes to install imaginary GPS trackers in criminals


The town council of Williams Lake, British Columbia has unanimously passed a motion to implant GPS trackers in "high risk offenders." Implantable GPS trackers don't exist. Read the rest

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