The game is six degrees of Canadian history. Take two seemingly unrelated pieces of Canadian culture and connect the dots through various people, places and events to discover how they’re distantly — or maybe not-so-distantly — related. Along the way, we visit the quizzical and curious, the tragic and comic, and everything in between.
Every year, approximately 470 Canadians are infected with E. coli bacteria, which can cause severe illness and, in a small minority of cases, death. Though the illness has been called “hamburger disease,” based on its association with ground beef patties containing infection-causing E. coli, it can be transmitted through a variety of other foods, untreated water and contact with the fecal matter of infected people and animals. Several deadly, high-profile E. coli outbreaks have occurred in Canada since the 1980s. They have resulted in greater public awareness, as well as changes in regulations and health practices.
The Canadarm was a remote-controlled mechanical arm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS). During its 30-year career with NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, the robotic arm deployed, captured and repaired satellites, positioned astronauts, maintained equipment, and moved cargo.1
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impaired social communication and interaction, as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities. Sensory sensitivity and more extreme responses to sensory stimulation are also commonly associated with ASD. The spectrum encompasses three previously separate disorders: autistic disorder, or classic autism; Asperger syndrome (also known as Asperger’s syndrome); and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), or atypical autism. The prevalence of ASD has been steadily increasing worldwide in recent decades. In Canada, the current rate of diagnosis is 1 in 66 children. Public awareness and advocacy surrounding ASD have gained momentum in Canada since the early 2000s, with a landmark report from the Senate leading ongoing calls for a national autism strategy.
Pipelines are systems of connected pipes used to transport liquids and gases — namely oil and natural gas — across long distances from source to market. More than 840,000 km of pipelines criss-cross the country, part of a larger oil and gas sector that employs between 100,000 and 200,000 Canadians. According to Natural Resources Canada, the sector earns the government an average of $19 billion in royalties, fees and taxes each year. It also contributes nearly 8 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. Yet pipelines have also been controversial in Canada over fears that the fossil fuel use they facilitate could be significantly contributing to climate change. In recent years, Indigenous groups, environmentalists, municipalities, mayors and labour unions have opposed numerous pipeline projects they believe could contaminate local waterways through spills and leaks.
An astronaut is an individual involved in flight beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Since the Canadian Space Agency held its first recruitment campaign in 1983, 14 Canadians have completed astronaut training and eight have participated in 16 missions to space. Specifically, they have flown as payload specialists, mission specialists, and flight engineers on NASA shuttle flights and expeditions to the International Space Station (ISS). Canadian astronauts have played key roles in repairing satellites and building the ISS using the Canadarm and Canadarm2 robotic technologies, and have advanced scientific knowledge by conducting a variety of experiments in space.
In 1970, the Canadian government introduced guidelines for the development of a pipeline corridor south from the Mackenzie River delta to Alberta and the United States. Energy companies have since proposed three separate projects to transport natural gas by pipeline along this route — the Arctic Gas Pipeline, the Foothills Pipeline and the Mackenzie Gas Project — with an oil pipeline likely to follow in the first two cases. However, due to high costs, engineering challenges, environmental concerns, Indigenous land claims and changing markets, none of these pipelines has been built.
The fossils from Burgess Shale are more than 500 million years old. About 140 species of marine invertebrates have been discovered. They include sponges, sea worms and tiny "sea monsters" such as the 5-eyed Opabinia and the Hallucigenia with its 7 pairs of stilt-like spines and 7 tentacles.
IT TOOK just nine seconds to turn the clock back a century. A voltage fluctuation in some Ohio transmission lines. Then, at 4:11 p.m. n a muggy August Thursday, a faster-than-you-can-blink reversal in the flow of current, suddenly sucking away a city's worth of power from the eastern half of the continent.