Canada: The Great Grey North

Canada growing old; who’s going to take care of them?
Rahman Mohamed

On May 3, 2017 Statistics Canada released the facts: Canada’s grey.  In 2016 there were more people on the ice that were losing their hair than growing it.

The comb-over generation (age 15-64) was still the largest (59%), controlling the puck, but the baldies outnumbered the babies, the seniors (65+) had a larger team than the juniors (under 15).  23.5% of males were 65+; 16.6% were under 15.  There were more oldies dying their hair (25.4%, women 65+) but fewer women than boys combing (15.3%, girls under 15).Canada population pyramid 2016

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Northerners Laugh, Not Howl

April Fool, a Canadian love
Rahman Mohamed

The laugh.  No historian has confirmed but it’s likely our human ancestors had a sense of humour, the ones who invented paper in China around 500 BCE but didn’t think of toilet paper for another 2300 years, 1857 CE.  It’s been reported that Chimpanzees, the ancestors of our ancestors, have been observed laughing.  If they can laugh at each other for dropping a banana it’s likely our ancestors laughed at each other for burning themselves while cooking a bunny or stubbing toes on the beta wheel.

It’s widely known many consider that “laughter is the best medicine”.  What many don’t know: Canadians are not just polite, they’re funny.  (It’s true.  They’re not always smiling at you to be polite.  In the future it might be smiling because they’re high.)

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The Syrup Secret

Marking Winter’s end
Rahman Mohamed
Updated April 8, 2017

SunThe start of Spring is often marked on March 20; it’s usually the time of the Spring Equinox; day and night are of equal length.  Because the Earth is tilted the length of all days and night aren’t the same year-round.  After the Spring Equinox the days get longer until the start of Summer on June 20, the Summer Solstice; the Summer Solstice is the day of the year the Earth sees the most sunlight.  After that the Earth sees less daylight.  On the Fall Equinox, September 22, day and night are again of equal length; Fall begins.  Nights then start to get longer until the Winter Solstice, the day of the year with the least daylight, December 21 when Winter begins.  The dates of the solstices and equinoxes aren’t always the same but the season starts are.

Maple Syrup bottleSome mark the start of spring on March 20.  Others mark it on Nowruz, March 21.  In Canada Nowruz is celebrated but the start of Spring is more often marked by the maple harvest.

Many believe Canada only has two seasons but it does see all solstices and equinoxes.  To mark the start of spring and fall (the end of winter and the approaching winter) there are harvests.  The Fall Harvest includes wheat, potash, corn, and other common agriculture.  The Spring Harvest is start of the creation of maple syrup.  In Canada if you’ve never tasted maple syrup on pancakes you’re not Canadian.
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