Thankfulness, Columbus, and our Fresh Sheet of works

(000730-GSL06.jpg) L'ANSE AUX MEADOWS, NEWFOUNDLAND. 27JUL00 -- NEWFOUNDLAND VIKING FESTIVAL -- Peter Adrian, of Sweden, pilots his viking ship, the Thor Viking, in the waters around the Norstead viking encampment near the L'anse aux Meadows National Historic Site which is the only proven Norse settlement in North America and the site of a festival marking 1000 years since the settlement was founded by the Viking Leif Ericsson. Photo by GREG LOCKE. --COPYRIGHT (C) 2000. ONE TIME USE ONLY. NO ELECTRONIC ARCHIVING PERMITTED. NO THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTION.

On Columbus Day, may we recommend from our archives, The Vikings are Coming.  L’ANSE AUX MEADOWS, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA — Peter Adrian, of Sweden, pilots his viking ship, the Thor Viking, in the waters around the Norstead viking encampment near the L’anse aux Meadows National Historic Site which is the only proven Norse settlement in North America and the site of a festival marking 1000 years since the settlement was founded by the Viking Leif Ericsson. Photo by GREG LOCKE. –COPYRIGHT (C) 2000.

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada, where F&O is based and where many of our readers reside. Canada’s thanksgiving has nothing of the glitz and commercialism of America’s famous festival a month later. Here it is, perhaps like Canada itself, more moderate, a celebration of feasts and gatherings, rooted in the northerly harvest season. This time Canada is also in the throes of an angry, divisive and lengthy campaign for the federal election on October 19. Most Canadians will feel far more thankful on October 20, when the pain of the election subsides.  Watch this week for F&O’s Focus on Canada’s election.

Today is also known as Columbus Day, commemorating the date Christopher Columbus arrived on American shores and changed the world, forever. Those who still “celebrate” Columbus Day now seem embarrassingly out of touch, oblivious to the horrors visited on the people living in the Americas after his arrival –and to the evidence that the conquerers caught syphilis** in the Americas and carried the disease back to ravage European societies. And while recognition is due to Columbus Day as a historic landmark, can we please junk the myth that Columbus “discovered” the Americas? Many other peoples sailed across that ocean blue, or trekked to it on land bridges, long before Columbus.  To mark the day, I re-read a tale I wrote about Vikings in 1991, to find that it remains remarkably fresh. You might like to take a look at it: The Vikings are Coming: A 1,000-year-old Viking journey revisited.

In case you missed these on our Contents page earlier, here are the latest works from F&O, including from Jonathan Manthorpe* — whom we warmly welcome back after a period of travel and an injury.

*Please note that our paywall has been replaced with password-protected pages for some of our original works. If you have donated to support us, or are a paying subscriber, and our note with the password did not make it through to you, please email me at djones AT factsandopinions.com and I’ll send it. Thank you for your support; F&O is an ad-free and spam-free zone reliant on you, our readers, to continue. 

 

Schweizer Armee Füs Gr 2, by Wikimedia Commons user TheBernFiles

Schweizer Armee Füs Gr 2, by Wikimedia Commons user TheBernFiles

America’s gun cult, Switzerland’s firearms culture, by Jonathan Manthorpe, Opinion (*password needed)

In the ranks of “barbaric cultural practices” the results of America’s firearms addiction are of the same order of magnitude as world wide of terrorism. Why do the Swiss not massacre each other at nearly the same rate?

Waiting for America’s next mass murder, by Tom Regan, Opinion

We Americans won’t have to wait long. He’s out there right now, with guns. We don’t know his name, or where it will happen….

Singer, Songwriter … Novelist: Sylvia Tyson , Brian Brennan’s Brief Encounters (*password needed)

Sylvia Tyson was learning how to be on her own when I met her …  “What’s past is prologue,” she liked to say, quoting a favourite line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Love Canal: Utopia to Dystopia, a Thoughtlines column by Jim McNiven

A case study in entrepreneurship, and environmental good intentions: In the late 1880s, a mysterious stranger, said to have come from the West, appeared in Niagara Falls and began to scout the opportunities there.

Homage to Mad Max, by Mario Anzuoni, Arts/Photo-essay

Being a product of the seventies, my first post-apocalyptic vision of earth was the 1979 film “Mad Max”. So I was intrigued about attending Wasteland Weekend, a festival inspired by that dystopian vision.

Playing the market: China’s small investors. A Reuters photo essay

Millions of mom-and-pop investors – from pensioners, to security guards, to students – dominate China’s stock markets.

New conversation needed for complex GMOs. By Maya Montenegro

Some GM crops could have some benefits. What I object to is a lack of complex evaluations of the technology, the overzealous selling of its benefits and the framing of cautionary skeptics as anti-science scaremongers.

Syria: new weaponry test bed. By David Stupples

Syria is the new test bed for electronic weapons, in which the US, Russia and Europe invest billions, with Asian countries, led by China, catching up.

What Tibetan Buddhists, Andean Paqos, teach about climate change. Brian Bienkowski

Glaciers have for decades supplied crucial water to mountain communities worldwide—but they also quench spiritual thirst.

Gaumukh Gangotri glacier in Nepal. Atarax42/Wikipedia, Creative Commons

Gaumukh Gangotri glacier in Nepal. Atarax42/Wikipedia, Creative Commons

 

Bird watcher Lech Jedral photographs birds at Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula known as the Leslie Street Spit, in Toronto August 9, 2015. It was created over 60 years ago by the dumping of dredged sand, concrete chunks and earth fill, expanding what was once just a thin strip of land in the city's busy harbor. An unexpected urban oasis, the development brings marshes, lagoons and forests to the centre of Canada's largest city. REUTERS/Mark Blinch TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY PICTURE 15 OF 29 FOR WIDER IMAGE STORY "EARTHPRINTS: LESLIE STREET SPIT"SEARCH "LESLIE SPIT" FOR ALL IMAGES

Earthprints: Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit. Andrea Hopkins/Mark Blinch, Reuters

Like a rooftop garden in an overcrowded financial district, Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit is an unexpected urban oasis.

A barbaric cultural practice: using racism to earn votes, by Tom Regan

Canada entered “its dark night of the soul” this month, with a  Conservative party pledge for a snitch line to help people inform on their neighbour’s “barbaric cultural practices.”

In Arts:

The Brain-Injured Pop Star: Jimmie Rodgers, a Brief Encounter column by Brian Brennan (*password needed)

He had made his mark at age 24 when his first single, “Honeycomb,” sold a million copies in the United States. He quickly followed that with two more million-sellers, “Kisses Sweeter than Wine” and “Oh-Oh, I’m Falling in Love Again.”

*Please note that our paywall has been replaced with password-protected pages for some of our original works. If you have  donated to support us, or are a paying subscriber, and our note with the password did not make it through to you, please email me at djones AT factsandopinions.com and I’ll send it. Thank you for your support; F&O is an ad-free and spam-free zone reliant on you, our readers, to continue. 

**Wikipedia page for Syphilis

This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Gyroscope.

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