On the Ice: The Story of Hockey

Singing “O Canada” at a Canucks game (Wpcpey / Wikimedia Commons)

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of ice hockey? Big, burly guys fighting for a piece of cylindrical rubber? Or being outside skating on a frozen pond, playing with friends on a cold, chilly day? Well, either one is right! 

Pond hockey in Quebec (Gilbertus / Wikimedia Commons)

Now if I ask you WHERE was it invented? You would probably say Canada. In this case, you are partially correct. Why do you ask? I’ll get into that as we learn about the history of hockey!

Games involving a stick and some kind of object (be that of a puck or any type of ball) can be traced back to ancient times. Such games were popular throughout Europe. In Ireland, the Irish had their own stick and ball sport, called Hurling. The game had full contact, a penalty box for players who broke the rules and two goal posts on either end of the field, guarded by a goalkeeper. The objective of the game was to hit the small ball called sliotar either over the crossbar for one point or under the crossbar into the net for three points. Hands were allowed in the game to catch and carry the ball for not more than four steps or hit the ball to pass it to a teammate. In the United Kingdom, another stick and ball game was also popular – the game of Field Hockey. Again, this sport involved goalkeepers guarding the goal post at either end of the field, sticks and a small ball. These sports would serve as precursors to ice hockey.

A game of Hurling (Ww2censor / Wikimedia Commons)

When British soldiers and immigrants from Europe first came to Canada in the early 19th century, they brought their stick and ball games with them. They played them on the ice and snow. This is the first instance of hockey being played in Canada.

Ice hockey, as a game, was thought out by James Creighton, an engineering and law student at McGill University in Montreal. Since James already had a side job as a figure skating judge at the Victoria Skating Rink, he played these “informal” games of hockey with the Skating Club members. They planned on March 3rd of 1875 to play a modified version of the game of Shinty, a Scottish stick and ball game, on ice. 

Portrait of James Creighton (File Upload Bot / Wikimedia Commons)

Wanting to expand the game even further, James put an ad in the Montreal Gazette to invite spectators to the game. He wanted the entire city to know about this new game. To prevent any injuries to spectators, he replaced a lacrosse ball with a circular piece of wood. The ad in the Gazette stated the following:

A game of Hockey will be played at the Victoria Skating Rink this evening, between two nines chose from among the members. Good fun may be expected, as some of the players are reputed to be exceedingly expert at the game. Some fears have been expressed on the part of intending spectators that accidents were likely to occur through the ball flying about in too lively a manner, to the imminent danger of lookers on, but we understand that the game will be played with a flat circular piece of wood, thus preventing all danger of its leaving the surface of the ice. Subscribers will be admitted on presentation of their tickets.

Victoria Skating Rink during a hockey game in 1893 (Voyager / Wikimedia Commons)

The game turned out to be a success. The Gazette reported that a large crowd gathered at the Victoria Skating rink to witness the first indoor hockey game. The players included James, his friends from McGill and some members of the Victoria Figure Skating Club. James’ team won the game.

The game ended in a fight. It was not between the players though but between the players and spectators and other members of the Victoria Figure Skating Club, who thought that the game was taking away their practice time and ruining the ice quality. Newspapers in Ottawa and Kingston reported that “shins and heads were battered, benches smashed and the lady spectators fled in confusion.” This was the first recorded hockey fight.

The Rideau Hall Rebels in 1889. James is seated third from left. (Hantsheroes / Wikimedia Commons)

In 1880, James graduated from McGill with a bachelor’s degree in Common Law. After moving to Ottawa to work as a lawyer, he became a law clerk for the Canadian Senate. It was during this time that James created the Rideau Hall Rebels, a team consisting of Parliamentary employees. It was around this time that James’ game was becoming well known in Quebec and Ontario. After playing some games around Ottawa and becoming well known, he befriended Edward and Arthur Stanley, sons of the Governor-General of Canada Lord Frederick Stanley. With James’ influence, both Edward and Arthur became avid hockey fans and players. Their parents, Lord Stanley and his wife supported their sons’ new hobby and soon decided to donate a new trophy in support of amateur hockey. After visiting the Montreal Winter Festival and seeing hockey being played for the first time, Lord Stanley purchased a silver bowl as a trophy and named it the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, which was to be presented to the best team in Canada. The Cup was later renamed as the Stanley Cup, which is now awarded to the winners of the National Hockey League (NHL) postseason.

A portrait of Lord Stanley of Preston (Materialscientist / Wikimedia Commons)

The Stanley Cup (Shizhao / Wikimedia Commons)

Around the turn of the 20th century, professional hockey started developing south of the Canadian border. Across Canada’s Lake Superior in the American state of Michigan, talks were being held to establish a professional league known as the International Professional Hockey League (IPHL) in the city of Houghton. Prior to these talks, professional hockey was generally frowned upon by hockey organizations, who favoured amateurism. Talks of professional hockey started when a team from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, playing in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), were caught paying their players. The OHA immediately banned all teams from the state of Pennsylvania. This caused teams in Pennsylvania, who wanted hockey as their full-time job, to talk with other American based teams into creating a league that paid their players.

After the formation of the IPHL in 1904, major hockey leagues in Canada started transitioning from amateur leagues to professional organizations, where players were paid. Many organizations (including the IPHL) folded due to the demands for players asking for more pay, leaving the Eastern Canada Hockey Association (ECHA) as the only professional league left. They were able to succeed due to a silver mine boom in northern Ontario. Mines in the area hired professional players to play on their teams and with the boom, they were able to pay their players.

By 1910, the mining towns had so many professional players on their teams and demanded to compete for the Stanley Cup. The Cup, however, was only awarded to amateur teams. The ECHA rejected this idea, so the mine owners, angry that their plan did not work, formed the National Hockey Association (NHA). It was during this time that, due to players wanting more money, teams implemented a salary cap. This resulted in disorder in the NHA, which led to most teams folding. 

Cyclone Taylor during his tenure with the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA (Kaiser matias / Wikimedia Commons)

Hugh Lehman during his tenure with the New Westminster Royals of the PCHA. (Fairhop / WIkimedia Commons)

With the NHA on its last legs, the Patrick brothers, who played in the league before its demise, moved west to form the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) in British Columbia. In doing so, many well known NHA players, like Cyclone Taylor and Hughie Lehman, signed with teams out west. With six teams left in the NHA, they competed with the PCHA for players to join their teams. Both NHA and PCHA teams met at the end of the season for the Stanley Cup Final, a tradition that started in 1915.  The NHA finally suspended operations in November of 1917. This led to owners transitioning to form what is known today as the National Hockey League (NHL). The tradition of a Western Canadian hockey team playing against an NHL team in the Stanley Cup Final ended in 1926 when the Western Hockey League (a league with both PCHA and Western Canada Hockey League teams combined) was forced to cease operations as many arenas were competing for players in the NHL.

During the Great Depression and the Second World War, the NHL lost many teams, reducing the league to what is known today as the “Original Six”. These teams are:

Toronto Maple Leafs (Sabbatino / Wikimedia Commons)

Montreal Canadiens (Sabbatino / Wikimedia Commons)

Detroit Red Wings (Sabbatino / Wikimedia Commons)

New York Rangers (Sabbatino / Wikimedia Commons)

Boston Bruins (Sabbatino / Wikimedia Commons)

Chicago Blackhawks (Corkythehornetfan / Wikimedia Commons)

During the 1950s, ice hockey games were being broadcasted on television in Canada. With Hockey Night in Canada on Canada’s public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the attendance of many small professional leagues’ attendance, including that of the QHL, dropped as more and more people preferred to watch the games on television. This forced many small professional leagues to fold. 

The Vancouver Canucks very first logo when they were part of the Western Hockey League from 1945 – 1970 (Stuart lyster / Wikimedia Commons)

Meanwhile, a minor hockey league, known as the Western Hockey League (no relation to the previous league that folded) was formed on the west coast. The Western Hockey League (new WHL) included teams like the Vancouver Canucks, the Tacoma Rockets, Seattle Totems, New Westminster Royals and the Los Angeles Blades. The players in this new league had the skill and talent as those in the NHL, thus making these teams seem important to many hockey fans with the hope that they might overpower the NHL team. Unfortunately, as the NHL increased the number of teams in its league, the new WHL lost the competition and had to fold. However, in 1970, just three years before that happened, the Vancouver Canucks moved to the NHL. 

The World Hockey Association (Connormah / Wikimedia Commons)

In 1971, Dennis Murphy and Gary Davidson, two American promoters, wanted to create a league that rivalled the NHL. They created the World Hockey Association (WHA), which had teams located in markets that did not have any NHL teams. Cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg, San Francisco and Quebec City were awarded teams. Unfortunately, the league suffered from many problems a year after it was founded. Many teams suffered financial hardships due to lack of funding and had to be relocated four or five times. Other teams, like the Jersey Knights, played in arenas that were not suitable to any professional sporting standards. For example, their arena, the Cherry Tree Arena in New Jersey, did not have dressing rooms. Players had to face the inconvenience of having to change in the Holiday Inn Hotel three kilometres away and be driven to the arena for games and practices. In addition to the inconveniences, the arena surface was built on a slope, so players had to skate upwards to score goals, making that terribly difficult especially on slippery surfaces.

With all these problems, the WHA closed down and a handful of teams joined the NHL. These included the Edmonton Oilers and the Winnipeg Jets. From the 70s all the way till today, the NHL would see growth with new teams entering the league. As time went on, the number of teams in the NHL grew enormously. 

Inspite of its growth, the NHL still faced problems. In 2005, the NHL was forced to cancel its season due to a labour dispute. For the first time in professional sports league history, there were no games played that year. Despite these downsides, the sport of hockey still grows in the culture of Canada. There are 621,026 hockey players in Canada. In 2021, the NHL will be welcoming its 32nd team into play, the Seattle Kraken. This goes to show how widespread hockey has become across North America. From Canada’s British Columbia down to America’s Los Angeles, California and all the way to Miami, Florida, hockey is everywhere! Hockey has developed to be a national pastime.

The logo for the National Hockey League’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken (Saucy / Wikimedia Commons)

The growth of hockey would not have been possible if it was not for a young man with a dream to play a modified traditional game on ice with his friends. Thanks to the brilliant ideas of James Creighton, many Canadians get to enjoy this national pastime now. The game of hockey fills people with exhilarating joy and excitement as they skate on ice with a puck. Nothing gets more Canadian than this! Like what Canadian author Roch Carrier once said in his iconic book, The Hockey Sweater:

The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places – the school, the church and the skating rink – but our real life was on the skating rink. 

Canadians has acquired a lifestyle as what the famous phrase say, “Eat, Sleep and Play Hockey”. Hockey, the Canadian favourite sport, pastime and life!

Watch Roch Carrier’s iconic book come to life in the video below!

The White Bear in the Rainforest

Along the north coast of British Columbia, there is a place where emerald trees extend their trunks towards the sky. Here, mountains tower over rushing rivers as the low-hanging clouds blanket them.

The Kitlope River, located in the Great Bear Rainforest. (The Interior / Wikimedia Commons)

This is the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the largest coastal temperate rainforests remaining in the world. Among the trees in this rainforest, bears with white shaggy coats roam freely, leading a reclusive life just “minding their own business”.

At first glance, you might think that this is a polar bear. But polar bears are found in the cold Arctic, and not in temperate rainforests. What white bears are living in this rainforest then? 

(MPF / Wikimedia Commons)

These are Kermode Bears, also known as Spirit Bears. They are a subspecies of the American Black Bear and live mostly on three islands in the Great Bear Rainforest, Gribbell Island, Princess Royal Island, and Roderick Island. Contrary to popular belief, Kermode bears are not albino, since they have dark eyes and noses. Scientists state that the Kermodes are the way they are due to a mutation of their DNA that causes their unusual colouration.

Kermode Bears (Ursus americanus kermodei, for all you biology geeks out there) were first coined by zoologist Dr. William T. Hornaday in 1905, the first director at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. He named the bear after his longtime friend, Frank Kermode, who was the curator at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. 

Portrait of Dr. William T. Hornaday (Remitamine / Wikimedia Commons)

However, the Indigenous Communities in British Columbia have known the Kermode bears for thousands of years. They call them moskgm’ol, or white bear. According to the Gitga’at and Kitasoo First Nations legend, the Raven (Goo-wee) was sent by the Great Creator to create the rainforest after the glaciers receded. As he did this, he decided to make 1 in 10 black bears white, so that people can remember the times when the world was covered in snow and ice. He wanted them to be thankful for the resources that they have today. In doing so, he set a large land for these bears to roam. Today, the land that Goo-wee set aside is now known as The Great Bear Rainforest. 

Although the Kermode Bears look different from their normal cousins, they still lead a normal life like other black or grizzly bears. When they are not hunting for food, these bears usually relax under a blanket of fuzzy green moss or explore the islands that they live on. Mothers usually look after their cubs and teach them how to hunt. They are omnivores, meaning that their diet consists of a large variety of foods from berries, to insects, plants, dead animal carcasses and salmon. Their white fur makes it harder for the fish to spot them. Thus, giving Kermode bears an advantage over other bears since their white coat camouflages itself in the cloudy sky making them more successful in catching salmon. 

You might ask, how in the world did these bears end up on these small islands scattered along the coast of British Columbia? According to Kermit Ritland, a population geneticist from the University of British Columbia (UBC), a population of black bears during the Ice Age made their way to the islands when they were connected by ice bridges. When the world started warming up, the glaciers and snow melted away and caused the water levels to rise. As a result, these black bears were left stranded on these small islands. It was around this time that the genetic mutation started and Kermode Bears were born.  

The Kermode Bears also have a positive impact on the ecosystem. After catching the salmon, they drag them into the forest to eat. The nitrogen-rich rotting flesh of the salmon remains then helps to fertilize the soil. Plants and trees benefit from these nutrient-rich soil, which in turn, gives nutrients to the snails, slugs and other insects that eat the plants. This creates a healthy “chain” whereby nutrients are passed down from one organism to another!

In a recent study by the University of Victoria, the Kitasoo/Xai’xais and Gitga’at First Nations, it was shown that the chances of a Kermode Bear being born are very rare. There are only 100-500 of them currently living in British Columbia. A majority of places where the Kermode Bears are common lie outside of The Great Bear Rainforest. Due to logging and other human activities, survival for Kermode bears becomes very difficult. Even though the provincial government has made it illegal to kill Kermode Bears, it is still legal to hunt Black Bears. Since Black Bears carry the genes that Kermode Bears need for reproduction, it makes it even harder for Kermode Bears to reproduce since 1 in 10 Black Bears are born with white fur.

Due to the effects of climate change, salmon populations are dwindling. Thus, in their hunger search for salmon, Grizzly Bears on mainland British Columbia make their way to the Great Bear Rainforest in search of food, creating fierce competitions for the Kermode bears. Due to their huge size, Grizzlies can easily overpower the Kermode Bears, making them more vulnerable as their resources get depleted by these empowering Grizzly bears. This issue, coupled with overfishing, has led to concerns from biologists for the survival of Kermode Bears.

The biggest threat to the Kermode Bear population was the now cancelled Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. This pipeline was going to run from Bruderheim, a small town outside of Edmonton, to Kitimat, a town close to where most Kermode Bears inhabit. Kitimat, which is located in a very narrow fjord, makes it very difficult for oil tankers to navigate to collect oil. The First Nations were concerned that this would lead to oil spills. Already in the region, there have been numerous spills around the BC – Alaska Area, which led to serious effects on wildlife both in water, air and land (one of the most infamous examples of spills in the area was the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill).

After major protests, the plans for the pipeline were mysteriously disregarded by Enbridge, causing many to assume that the project was cancelled. It was later revealed that the project was considered dead after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office. He imposed a ban on oil tankers navigating through the area. Even though it was a sigh of relief for many people living around the Great Bear Rainforest (and helping to save many of the Kermode Bears’ lives), the problems still continued. Since the ban only applied to large oil tankers, oil companies found a loophole by using tanker barges pulled by tugboats. In October 2016, a tugboat pulling a tanker barge close to the forest ran aground on a nearby reef. This resulted in litres of diesel fuel being dumped into the channel. After public outcry, the federal government passed the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, which prohibited any vessel transporting oil (large oil tankers or tugboats dragging tanker barges) from sailing or docking at any port along the coast of British Columbia.

Today, the Great Bear Rainforest is a thriving home for many Kermode Bears. In 2016, the provincial government recognized the importance of preserving the Great Bear Rainforest. They stated the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act, a law that protects a large majority of the Rainforest from logging. This was done in collaboration with conservationists, First Nations Tribes and the provincial government That same year, Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, unveiled a plaque in the forest, recognizing that it was part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. This was an initiative set up by the Commonwealth in protecting forests.

As the family of Kermode Bears sit by themselves elusively in this precious emerald rainforest, the birds chirp in the trees over them while the salmon-rich river rages on nearby. They close their eyes and nestle comfortably together, knowing that their homeland is safe.

All is well.

(MPF / Wikimedia Commons)

Craftsman Houses: The Architecture of the West Coast

Drive anywhere in the Metro Vancouver area (mainly in New West or the Vancouver neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant) and you might see these types of houses:

The Shirley Houses on E 27th Ave. (Kennethaw88 / Wikimedia Commons)

These are called Craftsman Houses. There are many types of Craftsman Houses, but the most common type that is found in Vancouver are known as Craftsman Bungalows. Bungalow houses had their start on the West Coast in the Los Angeles area, mainly in the city of Pasadena. These houses are iconic because of their low-pitched gabled roofs, overhanging eaves and large decorative porches. 

A Craftsman House in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Victoria Park. (Los Angeles / Wikimedia Commons)

The real origin of the Bungalow House comes from India. Originally created to shade individuals from the sweltering heat, the English, who were ruling India during the time, took the design and brought that idea to the East Coast of the United States as seasonal vacation homes around the 1870s.

However, the idea of a bungalow house as a year-long dwelling did not start until the 1930s. It was around this time that single families began moving into the resort city called Pasadena. Much like any other cookie-cutter, ready-made houses (such as the Vancouver Special homes), it was simplistic but at the same time had a fancy look. These houses could be bought from companies like The Aladdin Company, Sears or Eaton’s (in Canada) and delivered without having to build it from the ground up. This was inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement around the late 19th to early 20th century. It focused on minimalism, as opposed to the predominant Victorian Style of the time. Their fancy looks and affordable cost appealed to the middle class. 

One of the most iconic bungalow houses built in Pasadena was The Gamble House. Its first owner was David B. Gamble, who was one of the founders of the Proctor and Gamble company. It’s ornate architecture coupled with the fact that it was used as Doc Emmet Brown’s house in the movie, “Back to the Future”, made The Gamble House iconic.

The Gamble House (Cullen328 / Wikimedia Commons)

During this era, the bungalow house style ventured up north into the Metro Vancouver Area, British Columbia. Around the 1930s-40s, as families were moving into the city, these houses became popular as they did not need an architect. Their pre-fabricated designs made these homes all ready to move in and helped to cut cost. 

Today, Craftsman houses reflect the old style of the early 20th century. They are a staple in Vancouver along with many other architectural styles like the Vancouver Special or the Millennium Builder (seen below).

A row of Vancouver Special houses. (Magnus Manske / Wikimedia Commons)

 

A Millenium Builder house (Vancouver Heritage Foundation / Vancouver Heritage Foundation)

When you drive down any road in the Vancouver neighbourhoods of Kitsilano, Hastings-Sunrise or even Kerrisdale, you can see roads lined with Craftsman Houses. It takes you back to the simpler times when Vancouver was still in its infancy and roads were not that congested with cars or buses. Memories of those sweet by-gone days are reflected in these Craftsman homes and will always reflect the architectural masterpieces of the late 19th century.

The Wooden Roller Coaster – A Vancouver Landmark

(Leventio / Wikimedia Commons)

Standing tall on the grounds of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is the 62-year-old Wooden Roller Coaster. The entire roller coaster, made of wood, is now the oldest operating wooden roller coaster in Canada. The reason why it is a Vancouver landmark is an interesting story that needs to be told.

Since 1925, 33 years before the construction of the Wooden Roller Coaster, the original landmark coaster in the PNE was called The Giant Dipper. Located near the west side of the fairgrounds, near where the Pacific Coliseum is today, it was the staple of many Vancouverites. When King Edward VIII (then the Prince of Wales) and his brother Prince George (later King George VI) rode on it in 1927, they liked it so much during their visit to Vancouver that they returned later in the afternoon to ride it again.

View from the top of The Giant Dipper looking east. (Leonard Frank Studio / VPL Archives)

In 1948, with the expansion of the Hastings Racecourse, the City of Vancouver had no other option but to demolish The Giant Dipper. This caused some backlash in young Vancouverites. It was during this time that the original amusement park on the PNE Grounds, called Happyland, had to be torn down as well. 

After 10 years of waiting, many Vancouverites’ dreams of an iconic landmark roller coaster were fulfilled. With the cost of $200,000, a new roller coaster was going to be built on the east side of the park, where it stands today. The new roller coaster was designed by Carl E. Phare, a well-known roller coaster designer. This was one of his last designs before he passed away in 1962. Being that it was his last design, he said that “I know I’ll never build another so I put everything I have learned over the past 56 years into this one. There’ll never be another one as good.”

With a crew of 300 workers, including a team of Norwegian shipbuilders, the coaster was made of specially treated fireproof Douglas Fir woods and started its first ride in 1958. At the time of its opening, it was the largest roller coaster in Canada and one of the two highest roller coasters in the world. 

After another brief scare in which the city wanted to tear down the Wooden Roller Coaster, the city granted a historic plaque in 2009 and the American Coaster Enthusiasts awarded the coaster with the Classic Coaster Award and a Roller Coaster Landmark, the only coaster to win both awards. Today the coaster is an important icon of the Pacific National Exhibition and has even starred in movies like the adaptation of Stephen King’s book Riding the Bullet.

As more and more wooden coasters get torn down due to repair costs and the rise of steel coasters, PNE’s Wooden Roller Coaster has stood the test of time. It is no wonder why so many Vancouverites love to ride it when they are at Playland. 

Have a front-row seat on the Wooden Roller Coaster right below:

One Shining Moment – What’s up with this song?

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans before the 2012 NCAA Final Four (Arw63 / Wikimedia Commons)

The ball is tipped and there you are…

One of the most well-known lines in college basketball history. This is the opening verse of the song, One Shining Moment. It is commonly associated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Basketball’s postseason, also known as March Madness. But how could a simple song be associated with such a big event?

To answer the first question, we must go back all the way to the year 1986 in the state of Michigan. David Barrett, a singer-songwriter and composer, was sitting alone in a bar after seeing a basketball game on TV. After trying to talk about the game to an attractive waitress who was uninterested about basketball, he jotted down the song title on a napkin.

While waiting for his friend, journalist Armen Keteyian, the following day during breakfast, he wrote the rest of the song, recorded it and gave it to him. Keteyian then passed it to the CBS network, the broadcaster of the March Madness tournament, who loved it tremendously. Ever since the 1987 tournament, Barrett’s song has been the theme of the tournament. 

Okay, but why are people so excited to see this basketball game played by a bunch of college and university students (who are not paid by their academic institutions by the way)?

NCAA basketball has always been seen as a stepping stone for many NBA players, including Michael Jordan, Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash and Shaquille O’Neal! It’s during this tournament that they can prove themselves worthy to be drafted by any NBA team. The pictures below show some of today’s NBA players while they were in college!

Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers playing for San Diego State University in 2011 (Dudek1337 / Wikimedia Commons)

Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics playing for the University of Connecticut in 2011. (Steffaville / Wikimedia Commons)

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets playing for the University of Texas at Austin in 2007 (Corpx / Wikimedia Commons)

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors playing for Davidson College in 2008 (Ytoyoda / Wikimedia Commons)

While I am writing this article today (November 18th, 2020), this day happens to be the day of the 2020 NBA Draft. Many new faces will be selected and they will begin their careers as professional athletes. For many of these student-athletes, this is their shining moment. From waking up at the crack of dawn to going to practices for their high school and college teams, to balancing their academic life, these student-athletes have put in lots of sacrifices for them to be where they are today. 

Also, college basketball season begins next week! So for many NCAA basketball teams and current student-athletes, their long journey has just begun. Like what Barrett says in the second verse of the song:

But time is short

and the road is long

in the blinking of an eye

ah that moment’s gone

And when it’s done

win or lose

you always did your best

cuz inside you knew… 

that One Shining Moment, you reached deep inside

One Shining Moment, you knew you were alive

Chihuahuas – Pure joy or just plain evil?

(David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons)

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a dog owner. However, I do love dogs! Enjoy the article!

Of all the dog breeds in the world, the one that most amuses me is a chihuahua. It is the smallest of dog breeds, yet it can have the personality of a large dog. 

You see, Chihuahuas, trained and untrained, are VERY loyal to their owners. However, untrained Chihuahuas possess a split personality. When they are with their owners they seem cheerful, cute and calm. But when you leave them with strangers, they turn into evil demons, growling and baring their teeth at people not familiar to them. 

But why are they like this, you may ask? Why do they act this way? 

Chihuahuas, like most toy dogs, suffer from what is known as small dog syndrome if not trained properly. Most people assume that a small dog, unlike large ones, does not need proper disciplinary treatment. Due to the fact that these small dogs get pampered, they develop behavioural problems such as lashing out not only at other strangers but also other dogs when they are outside of the house. It is their way to assert their dominance over others, be it humans or dogs.

The best way to help a chihuahua NOT develop small dog syndrome is teaching it to socialize with the world. During the training period, Chihuahuas need to be on a leash to prevent them from bolting off to larger dogs or humans. Putting your small dog on a leash sends a clear message to your dog that you, as the owner, are in control. You can tug the leash if your dog lunges forward or misbehaves, and assert authority on the dog to stay by your side  This will also help your Chihuahua feel comfortable and confident walking on the ground while being friendly with other dogs and humans.

Another way you can help prevent small dog syndrome is by establishing yourself as a leader, just like parenting a child (for those who are parents). Set limits on what your Chihuahua can and can’t do and do not pick up the dog when it misbehaves. Always remember to reward only good behaviour!

A chihuahua probably isn’t the best breed to own if you have kids under the age of 6. This is due to the fact that kids under 6 years tend to get very excited and loud when they see such cute small dogs and they might start grabbing them. As a result, Chihuahuas might bite these kids to defend themselves. However, being of a loyal and entertaining personality, they do well towards elderly people living alone and are known as good companion dogs. 

In conclusion, Chihuahuas are still dogs with a small body but a big personality. I’m not a dog owner, but I have been fascinated by how Chihuahuas act. So to answer the question, is a chihuahua pure joy or just plain evil? That’s up to you, the owner! There is a saying there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. It’s like parenting. If you give a dog the resources and skills it needs, they will appreciate your company and be well behaved. Remember, before adopting a dog, always do your research! It will help you out in the long run!

An Ode to Surrealist Comedy – Eric Andre

(Cirt / Wikimedia Commons)

WARNING: This article contains some mature content. 

Comedian Eric Andre does things a bit differently. His form of comedy, which is  surrealist comedy, can be quite confusing for some. But that’s the best part! Because all of the jokes are not supposed to make any sense! Eric is the host of the late-night talk show, The Eric Andre Show, on Adult Swim. Unlike conventional late-night talk shows, which mainly focus on interviews between the host and the guest, Eric cranks it up a notch.

Every episode begins with the most iconic moment of the show, Eric’s entrance. After the announcer reveals the show’s name, Eric would completely trash the set. Some antics that he always pulls off are, breaking his desk, tackling the house band drummer and even destroying the set’s bookshelf. The chaos sometimes would have some celebrity cameos. Below is a 40-minute supercut of all of Eric’s Entrances. 

Eric is extremely nihilistic towards his former co-host, Hannibal Buress. During the opening monologue, Eric often struggles and is sometimes reluctant to speak. As the monologue goes on, he becomes defensive even going to the point where he makes fun of Hannibal.

Between the monologue and his celebrity interviews, Eric loves to prank unsuspecting New Yorkers. He’s known to play different characters on the street, including a ranch dressing obsessed stoner who makes people feel uncomfortable through his gibberish sayings and absurd antics. 

As for his guests, Eric would cause chaos on set and confuse his guests to the point that they think it’s all just a fever dream or be puzzled as to why their publicist even booked them to be on his show. Some notable guests on the show include Jack Black, Tyler the Creator, Queer Eye’s Jai Rodriguez and celebrity psychic Tyler Henry.

Besides his talk show, Eric is known for other outrageous stunts. One of the most infamous stunts was infiltrating the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. It resulted in him being kicked out by security and getting his press pass revoked.

 Even when being an interviewee, he is known for staying in character. During an interview with Larry King, he took the time to make the interviewer feel very uncomfortable and attempted to derail the interview. He explained to King that the same way he acts in his interview is how he acts in the show, making his viewers unsuspecting of what’s to come.

The subgenre of surrealist comedy, which most shows on Adult Swim fall under, is often seen by older generations as absurd. That’s because there is no answer to the joke or situations are just incomprehensible. Right now, internet culture is obsessed with randomness. Alex Prong, a sociologist at Western University, said that the show “can act as a motivator for [young adults] experiencing ‘dark times’ and embracing nihilism.” That’s what culture is all about right now! Just turn off your brain and enjoy the ride!

Season 5 of The Eric Andre Show available now on the Adult Swim channel and Amazon Prime.

EDIT: Due to copyright claims from Warner Brothers, the previous clips with the late Naya Rivera and the John Cena intro have been removed due to the channel associated with it being terminated.

 

New Music Now – The Tourist Company

(Wyder92/ Wikimedia Commons) The Tourist Company performs live at The Museum of Pop Culture during the 2019 Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle.

 

New Music Now explores what’s happening in the indie-alt/modern-rock scene here in Vancouver. In this episode, indie-alternative duo The Tourist Company (@thetouristcompany).

Hosted by Jonathan Chung (@JONOWES)

Songs used in Podcast in order of appearance: