Posts Tagged "Canada"

How April 18 Helped the Revolutionary War

Dear Kid,

If you’d happened to be alive in 1775, and if you’d been paying attention to politics, and if you were in Boston hanging with your friends Adams and Hancock and company, you might have been part of History.

Really, we’re all part of history, but History was happening back then in the Colonies.

One if by land, two if by sea. DearKidLoveMom.comMore specifically, the British troops got the notion (and by “got the notion” I mean were ordered) to grab the Patriots arsenal in Concord (and maybe grab one or two of those patriots in the process). On April 18, the troops began their march. (Yes, marching in April. I get the irony.)

Paul Revere and William Dawes were tasked with alerting the Minutemen. Back in the Old North Church, the Patriots waited to send Revere and Dawes a text about what to expect. They hung two lanterns (One if by land, two if by sea) to signal that the British were crossing the Charles River into Cambridge.

Revere and Dawes (who had taken separate routes, the better to ensure one of them got through) put spur to horse (neither horse appreciated it) and rode like crazy yelling, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” and wishing more people had satellite TV so they wouldn’t have to yell as much.

They both made it to Lexington (MA not KY) and warned Adams and Hancock before continuing to Concord (MA not plane).

Along the way they were joined by Samuel Prescott who’d been out sowing a wild oat or two.

By this time it was April 19th, the Minutemen were busy arming themselves, Dawes lost his horse (there has got to be a good story in there), and Revere was captured. Prescott zigged and zagged and made it through to Concord (MA not grape). Revere was questions (and by “questioned” I mean beat up) and then released.

By 5am (have I mentioned that nothing good happens at 5am?), Major John Pitcairn and 700 of his troops (soldiers not Boy Scouts–and enough of them to make one really good agent) arrived at the Common to find 77 militiamen.

I know you haven’t studied warfare strategy extensively, but back in the day, numbers mattered (just as they do in a bar fight these days). And just in case you think you might not have read the previous paragraph correctly, let me assure you that 700 is a great many more than 77.

There they were, standing around, wondering if anyone was going to invite anyone else to dance when Pitcairn the Major ordered the Patriots (he probably didn’t call them that) to disperse. After a moment or two of sullen looks and wishing for a light saber, the Patriots began to leave the green.

Suddenly, the “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired (forensics were unable to determine who fired that first gun). “Bang. Bang. Bang.” said the Revolutionary War as it battled its way into existence.

Eight Americans died during that battle; 10 more were wounded. Only one British soldier was hurt. The Americans immediately signed up for target practice and it was only a matter of time before the country was born and the world thought of us as Canada’s obnoxious neighbors.

Happy April 18!

Love, Mom

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Swimming the Channel | The First Hashtags

Dear Kid,

If you happened to be around on this day in 1875, you might have noticed something interesting in your Twitter feed. Like that you had a Twitter feed. #TimeWarp

Sea Turtles eat jellyfish and are great swimmers. DearKidLoveMom.comYou might also have noticed that the Big News was that Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel. #ChannelSwim

Training in Those Days was different than it is today. Webb drank brandy, coffee, and beef tea during his 21 hour and 45 minute swim. #SwimDrunk

He also smeared himself with porpoise fat for insulation. #WetSuitsAreBetter

This story does not have a happy ending. #FairWarning

After surviving jellyfish (long live sea turtles!!) and whatnot, Webb was celebrated as a hero. Not too long after that, Webb discovered that his accomplishment was “so yesterday.” #NoOneCares

But Webb liked being in the spotlight #BadChoices and decided to be an inventor. #NoOneCaresAgain

Eventually, Webb came to the US because we love crazy people. In order to prove himself hashtag-worthy (#NotSoMuch), Webb decided to swim a treacherous part of the rapids at Niagara Falls (a part known for its people-eating whirlpool). #CrazyStoopid

The locals #PeopleWhoKnowOfWhatTheySpeak told him it was suicide because over 80 people had died there. #NotAPopularTouristAttraction Webb declined to decline and 5 days later his body was found. #WeToldYouSo


Love, Mom

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Running of the Bulls, Tour de France, and Other Moving Events

Dear Kid,

All sorts of moving sporting events are happening. And by “moving” I mean motion not e-motion.

The bulls have started running in Pamploma. This is possibly one of the stupidest events in the history of stupid events. I am not referring to the intelligence level of the bulls. The running of the bulls lasts for a week and sends a lot of people to the hospital.

The Tour de France has started. In France. This is possibly one of the dopiest events in the history of dopy events. And by “dopy” I really mean dope-ed. Yesterday there was a huge crash forcing a number of riders (including the guy wearing the yellow jersey) out of the race. The Tour last 21 days and generally doesn’t send this many people to the hospital this early in the event.

The World Cup is moving out of Canada now that the women have agreed that the USA women are the best. Now eyes are being cast in this direction in preparation for the All Star game next week. Since the entire world was watching, a violent fight broke out on Fountain Square on the 4th. Lovely. Usually the 4th of July doesn’t send this many people to the hospital for non-fireworks related injuries.

Makes you want to vote for the bulls.

Love, Mom




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Horses, Sports, Canada, and Chocolate (Yes, Really)

Dear Kid,


Much good has been going on in the world.

American Pharoah did the near-impossible and won the Triple Crown in glorious style and will presumably pass on the trip to Disney (isn’t that where all major sporting event winners go?), hang up his racing shoes, and go on to become a gigolo stud. Because like all major sports, horse racing is about money, and one doesn’t want one’s star stud getting hurt or – God forbid – losing (which would drop his stud fees like the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square).

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 soccer ball for $160. What a steal... DearKidLoveMom.comCanada celebrated Sepp Blatter’s resignation and the start of the women’s soccer world cup by beating China in the first game. Talk to Dad about the officiating. He has Opinions. Other Countries play today and the US enters the fray tomorrow. Dad will doubtless (without a doubt) provide me with more details than necessary which I will probably not pass along to you.

Yesterday was National Yo-Yo Day which had its ups and downs (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

Today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day which seems a bit redundant (isn’t every day chocolate ice cream day? Who needs a declaration?).

And tomorrow is Best Friend Day. For the record, you can have more than one best friend at a time. I know this flies in the face of “best”-ness, but for once I believe we should use a looser interpretation of the word. (Yes, it’s still me writing.)

Have a great day sweetie.

Love, Mom

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Basketball Invented Here

Dear Kid,

In 1891, James Naismith was sitting around watching clouds and butterflies in the Springfield, MA sky and decided to invent basketball. Actually, I’m not sure there were clouds and butterflies. And there wasn’t any sky because Naismith was inside.

Not exactly what Naismith envisioned. DearKidLoveMom.comaThe real story. Naismith went to college at McGill (in Canada) where he played pretty much every team sport, including gymnastics. Then he graduated and became the director of athletics at McGill and eventually moved to Springfield, MA, to be a physical education teacher (that was in the days when it was called physical education because we hadn’t invented the word “gym” yet) at the YMCA International Training School (now Springfield College).

In case you hadn’t thought about it, I should point out that it is not tropical in Springfield, MA, in the winter. In fact, it is downright cold. And up to that point, indoor games were not physical enough to burn off the energy Naismith’s class brought to the Y every day.

The head of the Physical Education department told Naismith to invent a game (in 14 days) that would “provide a physical distraction.” The game also had to 1. Not take up too much space, 2. Keep the track athletes in shape, and 3. Be fair and not too rough.

Naismith got to work and poof! basketball was invented. As he created the new game, Naismith wanted a game that didn’t have the hazards of a small ball or puck (so he used the big, soft soccer ball). He decided passing was the safest (there was no such thing as dribbling at that point—players had to pass the ball from the point at which it was passed to them). And he reduced body contact by nailing the baskets (peach baskets at the time) over player’s heads so that the goal was unguardable.

Clearly modern day basketball has poo-pooed the no contact part of the original rules.

The first game of basketball was played December 15, 1891. During the first game “Most of the fouls were called for running with the ball, though tackling the man with the ball was not uncommon.”

In 1904, basketball became a demonstration sport at the Olympics in St. Louis, and in 1936 became an official sport in the 1936 games. Cool note: Naismith got to hand out the medals: US (gold), Canada (silver), Mexico (bronze) and was named the honorary president of the International Basketball Federation.

Love, Mom

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