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Happy Birthday Hockey!

March 3, 2011 1 comment

While the exact origins of the greatest game on the planet (and Canada’s national game) are very much disputed, the very first organized hockey game took place 136 years ago today!

According to a media missive written by Earl Zukerman in The Globe and Mail today, the  first game was played at Victoria skating rink in Montreal on March 3, 1875.

Fancy Ball at the Victoria Rink, Montreal, 186...

Fancy Ball at the Victoria Rink, Montreal, 1865 - Image via Wikipedia

It was also the very first game which used a wooden puck instead of a rubber ball. Yet another claim to fame of the game is it was the first instance of a hockey brawl, at least according to Wikipedia:

This fighting was not between the on-ice combatants, rather, it was between the hockey players and spectators and members of the Skating Club. Members of the Skating Club were opposed to the use of the skating rink for hockey as it took away hours from other skating activities and it damaged the ice quality.

Whenever I write about a topic that is not quite science related, I find a very vague way to link it to something scientific; because science is, of course, all around us! (possibly the nerdiest thing a person can say). So I actually found this article published today that does a pretty decent job explaining some of the physics of ice skating. It’s actually quite a complicated system, with many different concepts playing a role.

Regardless of when and where it originated exactly, hockey remains Canada’s undisputed national pastime.

Go Leafs!

Congratulations to The Arcade Fire

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

The Arcade Fire, winners of the 2010 Grammy for Best Album entitled "The Suburbs"

I’m digressing from my usual science-y content, but in my internet travels it has been brought to my attention that even though they won the Grammy for Best Album, many people have never heard of the Arcade Fire.

Ok, not just Rosie O’Donnell, but others as well. (This Tumblr page made me want to bang my head against the wall)

The consensus of these people seems to be: “I have never heard of them, therefore they suck and I hate them!”

Whoa there, let’s all just relax.

Now, since The Arcade Fire are from Canada (you can listen to many of their songs for free on CBC Radio 3), I have been a fan of them for several years. But I guess they don’t get the exposure from Ryan Seacrest and Top 40 stations in order to break into the American music scene.

Just because you haven’t heard of them, doesn’t mean they aren’t great. In fact, isn’t one of the best things about music is the discovery of a new band that you enjoy?

So hopefully you will give them a chance. I’m sorry if you haven’t heard of them before, but there’s a lot more to music than Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.