February 19, 2010

Bosworth Field, real location now made public

Filed under: Britain, History — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:12

As I mentioned back in October, archaeologists have located the actual site of the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Now that they’ve had time to do more research and examination, they’ve gone public with the location:

The true site of one of the most decisive battles in English history has been revealed.

Bosworth, fought in 1485, which saw the death of Richard III, was believed to have taken place on Ambion Hill, near Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire.

But a study of original documents and archaeological survey of the area has now pinpointed a site in fields more than a mile to the south west.

A new trail will lead from the current visitor centre to the new location.

[. . .]

The original announcement was made in October but the exact location was kept a secret until now to protect it from treasure hunters.

Researchers also believe they have identified the medieval marsh where Richard III was dragged from his horse and killed.

Canadian dominance of hockey at the Olympics

Filed under: Cancon, Sports — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 09:37

The men may be struggling (just scraping through against the Swiss yesterday), but the women are doing their best juggernaut imitation. It’s getting lots of attention, but not always the kind the organizers were hoping for. After their 18-0 demolition of the Slovak team to open the tournament, they’ve handily beaten the Swiss (10-1) and the Swedes (13-1).

I don’t follow hockey at all, but I’ve been trying to catch these games, as Elizabeth’s god-daughter is Cherie Piper:

One sign of just how dominating Canada has been in the preliminary round of the Winter Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament is that Scarborough native Cherie Piper has nine points in three games — and she’s only in fifth place in scoring. And that’s just on her own team.

Canada rolled through their opposition, like a hair dryer through snow, outscoring their opposition 41-2, defeating, in order, Slovakia 18-0, Switzerland 10-1 and Sweden 13-1.

And through that the Scarborough native contributed a ‘modest’ four goals and five assists.

Piper already has two Olympic gold medals to her credit, including the last time around in Turin where she was co-leader in goals-scored and second in total points for the tournament.

Their preliminary round is over, and they’ll be facing the 2nd place team from the other pool (either the US or Finland). Sweden, the other team to advance will face the 1st place team.

Update: It’ll be Canada vs Finland, US vs Sweden. Winner of each game goes to the gold medal match, losers go to the bronze medal match.

Quebec and Canada: the never-ending tension

Filed under: Cancon, Politics — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 09:34

I have to admit that I’m mostly in agreement with Lorne Gunter on the eternal question:

I have long had a sort of hands-off approach to Quebec sovereignty. Let them stay or let them go, it’s their decision, just so long as they appreciate the consequences of either action.

Last weekend, after it was reported that several Quebecers complained to the federal language commissioner about the perceived lack of French at the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics, there were scores of nasty posts made on major newspapers’ websites by English Canadians wanting the ingrates tossed from Confederation. “Evict Quebec, then all of this crying, whining and nonsense will stop,” was typical.

Evicting Quebec, under duress, would pretty much guarantee huge disruptions in life for most Canadians, dragging on for years (or decades). It risks serious damage to the economic wellbeing of all Canadians and Quebecers. Getting rid of a minor irritant can’t possibly be worth the political and economic upheavals that would accompany the “divorce”.

It’s a different matter if Quebec chooses to leave: Canada doesn’t have the military might to force Quebec to stay, and I doubt that Canadians as a whole would support any move to force Quebec to stay. A negotiated divorce would almost certainly be less disruptive than any other option . . . except carrying on in the “loveless marriage”. Or, as Lorne Gunter puts it, the “dysfunctional family”:

. . . I look on Confederation as a more of family. Just as it would be unwise to try and force an independent-minded young adult to keep living in the basement when what he wants is his own apartment, it would be corrosive to insist Quebec stay in Canada if at some point it wants to be its own state.

However, just as the stay-at-home offspring may chafe at the optics of having to live just off the rumpus room at his age, I think that Quebecers have come to understand that for all the perceived indignities they must endure as a province, rather than an independent nation, their lives are pretty good. Their lives would be tougher on their own.

The family’s a little dysfunctional, but it’s not any worse than any other on the block and, besides, the lifestyle is pretty good. Moving out would mean smaller accommodations, no access to family assets, the end of home cooking and free laundry and, above all, no more money.

Quebec could survive as an independent country: there are lots and lots of examples of small countries (more since 1991), and not all of them are pocket dictatorships or economic basket cases. Quebec would eventually be able to negotiate admission to the NAFTA agreement (although I think it would take longer than Quebec politicians think it would, and there’d be much more internal resistance at least in the beginning). And they’d probably try to stay out of NATO and NORAD, at least to begin with.

Quebec, as an independent state, might have difficulty supporting their current level of social programs — which would not go down well with the citizenry. But that’d be an internal matter for a future government to handle. It could be done, but Quebec wouldn’t be a major player on the international stage (neither would a Canada-without-Quebec), which appears to be a dream of many Quebec sovereigntists. How would they handle the disappointment of those unrealistic hopes?

Another tale of Canadian retail online follies

Filed under: Gaming, Gaming, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 08:45

The most recent season of The Guild got released on DVD this week. I’m certainly going to be ordering a copy, but there appears to be a hitch: it’s not (yet) being carried by my usual online suppliers. Amazon.ca doesn’t have it listed yet, and Chapters/Indigo says it won’t be available until May 25th.

Amazon.com says it’s shipping right now.

And this will be another case of “nobody wants it” in Canada when it finally does become available through Canadian channels because anyone who wanted it already ordered it from US sources.

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