Social Connections


As today is Canada Day, I thought I'd pay homage to the Great White North with some facts on what Canada means to me...and the world.

With 35 million people, Canada is not the world's most populous country, but it is the second largest land mass, which means lots of open space and plenty of opportunity to see a moose without getting too close.

Canada's national sport is hockey...I mean lacrosse...and we love to play outdoors until all our extremities freeze (which usually takes only a few minutes).

We have two official languages in Canada; French, and English, eh? The French we speak will get our butts kicked in France, and the English we speak will get us laughed at in the U.S. Perhaps that's why Canadian television programming is kept pretty much in-country.

Canadian entertainers can have very successful careers (provided they relocate to the States). From Jim Carey to Pamela Anderson to Mike Myers to William Shatner, they all are proudly Canadian (while on tour in Toronto). And our singers make us proud. Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber, and Shania Twain will belt out 'O Canada' with the rest of us, provided their fully stocked jet is gassed up and ready to take them back to Nashville or LA as soon as they're done.

The weather in Canada is very diverse. We get all four seasons. However, they're not always equally distributed. I've always said that Summer in Canada is two of the nicest weeks of the year! Winter lasts from October until May, but that just means you get your money's worth from the chains on your snow tires.

But Canadians are a special people. We live our lives with huge inferiority complexes, which only serves to keep us humble. When I travel the world, I am quick to tell people where I'm from, as it really does make me less of a threat, and usually gets me the direct taxi ride to my hotel, rather than the 'grand tour' other foreigners get. The Dutch absolutely LOVE us, and show it with their special gift of tulips every Spring. The Australians treat us like mates...and the Americans think we're actually one of them, just from the Northern state.

I like being Canadian. We don't win all the medals in the Olympics, but we do pretty well at important sports like curling, so it's okay. I like the wide open spaces and low crime rate. I like the mix of cultures. I like the humble, friendly attitude. I don't mind getting up at 6am for hockey. It's got all the benefits of a world leader, without all the stress. And best of all, it just feels like home to me. Thanks Canada!

Happy Canada Day!



Wilt's 100 Point Game

Every once in a while, when the stars align properly, the world is treated to a magical moment in sports. You know, those moments that leave you shaking your head in wonder. Such was the case 50 years ago today, in Hershey Pennsylvania, when the world was treated to one of the most dominant moments in professional sports history.

Wilt Chamberlain was a phenomenon, no doubt about it. His size and reach were basically unmatched in his era. Add to that, his incredible athletic ability, for a man of any size let alone a seven-footer, and the combination was deadly in the NBA of the 1960's. While he averaged an unheard of 50+ points per game, this night would prove to be something special. The one and only time in NBA history that a player has reached triple digits.

Let's put it all in perspective. Sure, he played the entire game. Sure, the offence was centered around him and tossed him the ball whenever possible. But to actually score 100 points, WITHOUT the aid of the 3-point line, is still mind boggling!

Is it a record that will forever remain unbroken? Perhaps. The most recent assault came from Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, who scored 81 in 2006, leaving him a distant 19 points behind. Even Wilt himself couldn't come close again, although his totals of 78, 73, and 73 fall in behind Kobe's as the most ever. It might take a freak-show style game lasting several overtimes to ever ascend to those heights again, and today's basketball is simply too well rounded to allow for it. Kobe currently leads the NBA with just over 28 points per game. That's a long way from a 100-point performance.

I would love to have seen it. Unfortunately, not a single video recording can be found. Perhaps that adds to the mystique. Some might say it never happened and that it was all a hoax. Of course, those are the same people that believe the moon landing was filmed in a recording aliens.

So, congrats to Wilt on this amazing accomplishment! And thanks for this special moment in sports history 50 years ago today. And in case you were wondering, Wilt's Philadelphia Warriors won the game, beating the New York Knicks 169-147.



February 29th, The Extra Day

The 'glass half full' part of me declares that today is an extra day. Sure, it's part of the regularly scheduled Gregorian calendar, but February 29th (or should it be March 0th?) still feels somewhat different to me.

This extra day, occurring only during a Leap Year, helps adjust for the difference between a normal 365-day year and a solar year (which accounts for the earths placement relative to the sun). That difference is almost six hours, which is why it is needed every four years (give or take).

So, what does this extra day mean to us? Well, a few things, I suppose...

If you were born on February 29th, you can actually celebrate your Birthday without being either late or early. And if you can only celebrate once every four years, I give you my full permission to make it a doozy! Montreal Canadiens legend and winner of the most Stanley Cups in history, Henri Richard, will celebrate his 19th Birthday today. Happy Birthday Henri! Save me some cake.

If you are a salaried employee, you may choose to look at this extra day as a day you aren't being paid for. An annual salary rarely takes Leap Years into account, so you are effectively working gratis today. Thanks for your contribution.

If you write computer software date algorithms, this is the day you get to experience the joy of having your work triumphantly correct itself for the anomaly...or watch in horror as everything crashes and burns. I've written those algorithms. I won't tell you on which side of the fence I landed. ;-)

But, of course, there's always one more way to look at this day. It's all about how you choose to look at it. Why not think of February 29th as a day to catch up in your personal world? Why not use it to re-synchronize with the universe around you and make an impact. That might mean cleaning up a task on your plate. It might mean cancelling meetings and spending the day advancing a project. It might mean reaching out and helping someone. It might mean telling your family and friends that you truly appreciate them, and that you're there for them as well.

Whatever you decide to do with your extra day, try and make a statement with it. It can be as special as you make it.