The History of Glue

All this week I’ve been writing about the history of specific foods, so today I thought I would write about every five year old’s favourite – glue. Whether it’s in stick form or liquid form, kids just can’t seem to keep it out of their face holes.

Glue actually dates back to pre-historic time, where cavemen would use simple bark of a Birch tree. Later in the life of glue (5200 BC) a tar based glue was developed with the use of heating up the birch tree bark.

Glue had a rough few thousand years, though it’s no big deal because if Big Sean has taught us anything it’s that if you take an L you have to bounce back, even if it takes 6000 years. In the sixteenth century the English began using and making glue for all of their trading needs, though it is unclear if kids were eating it at that point.

Glue as we know it today started being developed in the mid 1800’s where rubber based glues were developed in Holland, England, Germany, and the United States. Super glue was first developed in 1958 by Harry Coover Jr., who was probably sick of his kid eating glue and wanted to show them who’s really in charge.

Nowadays glue is used in a crazy amount of things like clothes, woodwork, and like everything actually. You should really appreciate glue for what it is. I’ve never tasted it personally but with the amount of kids eating glue it must have good stuff going on in it.

The History of the Strawberry

The least berry of all the berries is the strawberry. In my opinion I would deem it the most overrated fruit. It just doesn’t seem fair that something, like the strawberry, that isn’t actually a berry can be considered the best berry. It’s like calling Die Hard the best Christmas movie. Yes, it’s a movie set around Christmas but it isn’t actually a Christmas movie. That’s a #HotTake.

Now that the controversial opinions are out of the way we can talk about the history of the Strawberry. The first mention of the strawberry is in ancient roman literature, where they used it in medicinal treatments. The french later started moving the strawberry from the forest and moved it into their gardens so they could harvest them. Charles V actually had 1200 strawberry plants in his royal garden.

The brilliant idea to combine strawberries and cream was created by Thomas Wolsey for King Henry VIII. So we have our boy Thomas to thank for the delicacy. By the end of the sixteenth century the English had created 3 different kinds of strawberries, with 2 being used for medicinal purposes.

There is also a female strawberry species apparently. I’m not sure how they mate, but obviously they have some way to get it on. The female type of strawberry was first found in Chile, though apparently the female strawberry produced no fruit, so there really isn’t a point in that being a thing.

Nowadays the strawberry is consumed in a variety of ways, but as I said in the beginning, it is and always will be the most overrated fruit.

The History of the Lime

The lime has always been in the shadow of the lemon, but I am here to vault the lime to the top of your sour fruit list. Yes, limes are a fruit. There are actually seven types of limes, with the most popular being the Persian lime, which is mainly produced in Mexico. If you include all types of limes India comes out as the main producer globally.

Limes originate in Indonesia and Southeast Asia in 1000 BC. Later in the lime’s life (in the nineteenth century) British sailors used lime’s to prevent scurvy, and they were even given out as an allowance as they didn’t have an abundance of citrus. The use of citrus was actually a military secret, as many nationalities were dealing with an outbreak of scurvy, and countries that knew of the benefits of citrus had a heavy advantage over the other countries. It was also a great benefit for the countries if members of their navy were able to stay at sea for a longer duration of time without contracting scurvy.

Nowadays the lime is often associated with a shot of tequila. In Mexico, tequila isn’t taken with life or salt, as that is mainly an American thing and referred to as “training wheels” by some people. The main reason that people have been taking limes with tequila is because people believe that, along with the salt, that the flavour and sour of the lime balances the burn of the tequila.

So next time you’re doing shots make sure you share all this wonderful information with your friends. They probably won’t care but you’ll have a little flash of pride that you’ve never had before.

The History of the Pistachio

The Pistachio is one of the most enjoyed nuts in the world. There is nothing like breaking open that pistachio shell to find that little green crunchy part that envelopes your tongue in flavour. Much like the marshmallow I wrote about in yesterday’s blog, the pistachio has a rich history of being treated as a delicacy amongst royalty and not being a widely consumed product until later in it’s life.

Keeping with similarities to the marshmallow, the pistachio was considered to help treat ailments such as toothaches or sclerosis of the liver. Traders and explorers also used to hold the pistachio in high regard due to it’s long storage life.

This might ruin your day, but pistachios aren’t actually nuts. Pistachio’s are actually seeds from fruit that are processed to get the pistachio seed out. That’s the most day ruining fact you will read all day.

The main producer of Pistachio’s in the world is – you guessed it – Iran! Iran (who refer to the pistachio as “The Smiling Nut” as a country produces more than any other country, though California is the main producers of pistachios in North America, with 98% of all pistachios produced in North America being produced in the Golden State.

Pistachios are also one of the two “nuts” mentioned in the bible, with the other being the almond. So the pistachio is one of, if not the, most holy nut. Though it isn’t actually a nut but like, for the sake of making life easy we’ll just refer to it as a nut.

Today the pistachio is a food that is widely available, and has some pretty stellar marketing campaign.

The History of the Marshmallow

I know the topic that has been weighing heavy on your mind, a topic that is hard to avoid. The main cause of every controversy stems from this item. The famed marshmallow, and no, not the DJ Marshmallo.

Did you know that the gods used to eat marshmallows? Or Pharaohs? Turns out they were treated as delicacies and were a mixture of Mallow sap, honey, grains and baked into cakes. The Romans and the Greeks also loved Marshmallows as they believed that brewed mixtures of the Mallow sap cured soar throats and pains, which is something that may or may not work if you have a cold. I can’t guarantee.

Later in the history of the Mallow, during the 15th and 16th centuries marshmallow liquids were given as treatments for toothaches, coughs, sore throats, indigestion, and diarrhea. Historians are unclear on whether the Mallow worked or not, probably because they were focused on much more important research that isn’t related to Marshmallows.

The french were the first to not use the Marshmallow as a medicine but instead as gelatinous treat. We owe the french the largest debt for their contribution to society. In the 1900’s they became a more widespread phenomenon as they were marketed towards kids and sold in penny tins.

Today the marshmallow is one of the most popular treats, especially among campers. Because whether you like them burnt, semi-roasted, or just plain old white and cold, you can never say no to a marshmallow. Unless you don’t like them, which is totally cool, I guess.

The Golden Knights Can Thank Dale Tallon

The Vegas Golden Knights are the National Hockey League’s most interesting story of this season, but is it too farfetched to think the NHL helped them in some unknown way? It is probably out of the realm of possibilities but let’s look at the facts: Vegas paid a $500,000,000 fee just to get the team, the NHL seems to want the desert teams to have more success than others, and the expansion draft was weighed more in the favor of the drafting team than ever before.

People pointing to the fee as a reason they are winning are probably wrong, though that could be a reason for the weighted expansion drafted. A team that pays half a billion dollars should get a better team out of the gate, but the NHL may need to change the rules ahead of the next expansion draft. There really isn’t an excuse for how well the Golden Knights are doing, unless you’re really into conspiracies.

The real fact is other general manager’s overreacted to the thought of losing their sixth best forward or 4th best defenseman. Dale Tallon was one of the main GM’s to lose a lot for his Florida Panthers. Tallon traded away Reilly Smith, who ended up being the fourth leading scorer for the Knights, only for the Knights to take Marchessault, who is their second leading scorer for the knights.

These knee-jerk decisions from most GM’s are what made the expansion Vegas Golden Knights so good, and only two wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

Canadian Tennis Has Entered A New Age

For a long time Canadian tennis has been dominated by Milos Raonic, at least on the male side. A newcomer is taking over the scene. Dennis Shapovalov, or Shapo, is bringing a fresh energy to Canadian tennis. Raonic is only 27, which isn’t incredibly old, but at 19 Shapo is part of a new wave of tennis in Canada.

Tennis has never really been a mainstream sport in Canada, and was usually geared towards more wealthy families. Raonic debuted on the ATP World tour in 2008, and has since won 8 tournaments. All of Raonic’s wins from 2011 to 2016, and he has never really been a huge threat since 2016. The main issue Raonic has been struggling with is injuries. Milos Raonic peaked at third in the ATP rankings overall in early 2016.

In 2017 the current Canadian tennis Phenom Dennis Shapovalov broke onto the ATP scene. He didn’t have the same serve as someone like Raonic, but he does have a certain swagger that tennis hasn’t seen in a while. Be it the long flowing hair or the celebrations after a big point, or even just his nickname – “Shapo” really rolls off the tongue and gives you an idea of what kind of player he is.

Shapovalov is taking over tennis

In 2017 Shapovalov went into the US open with little to no expectations. He was an 18 year old just looking to make a name for himself, and boy did he. The 18 year old surprising made it to the round of 64, only to play Joe-Wilfried Tsonga, who was a formidable opponent. Surprisingly Shapo made it past Tsonga and made it to the round of 16 only to get beat by Pablo Carreno Busta.

Shapovalov should be a threat for years to come in the tennis world, and will continue to make Canada proud.

The Chris Tanev Situation

What should the Canucks do with Chris Tanev? The shutdown defenseman has been rumored to be on the move for over two years now and obviously nothing has come from the rumors yet. The d-man is one of few movable Canucks that has any actual value, and the re-building Canucks should be moving as many of those assets as possible.

Chris Tanev could potentially be on the move

The main problem with trading Chris Tanev is he does have a modified no trade clause, which means he can submit a list to the Canucks of 8 teams he does not want to be traded to, so Tanev does have some control over his destiny. If Tanev really wanted to stay in Vancouver he could very realistically hamstring the team by just putting the 8 teams he’s most rumored to go to on the list. Right now the main targets are Toronto and the New York Islanders.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are most likely to move pieces for Tanev as they are gearing up for long playoff runs in the near future, but their main deficiency is a main shutdown d-man on their blue line – a role Tanev fits perfectly. What most Canucks fans are expecting from the Leafs is either their first round pick or Timothy Liljegren, the 17th overall pick in the 2017 entry draft.

The New York Islanders are another team that is looking for more consistency on their defense, a role Tanev would obviously fill. The Islanders hold the 11th and 12th overall draft picks in this year’s draft, whereas the Maple Leafs hold the 25th. If the Canucks were able to secure one of the Islanders’ picks they would more than likely be able to pick a better d-man than Liljegren, though that would obviously be a tougher task than getting the pick from Toronto.

Regardless, the Canucks don’t seem to want to trade Tanev, but they should definitely explore available options.

The CFL is struggling

Do more Canadians care about the NFL or CFL? The answer is the NFL. Obviously. But do you know just how far down the CFL ranks when it comes to ratings in Canada? One report says the CFL ranks 10th on an average Sunday, behind non-traditional sports in Canada like Formula One and NASCAR, but why is the CFL so far behind?

Most people would say the talent level just isn’t as high as the NFL, which is undeniable. But how can an NFL game get nearly 300,000 more viewers on an average Sunday? It can’t just be the talent. The answer is that the NFL is just way easier to market. From the players, to the teams, to the atmosphere of the stadiums, the CFL just doesn’t stack up. The CFL doesn’t have players like Odell Beckham Jr. or Richard Sherman who can both talk the talk and walk the walk. They also don’t have teams that can play like the former legion of boom in Seattle, or the purple people eaters of the 70’s in Minnesota.

The NFL’s marketing strategy is aimed towards teenagers and people in their early 20’s The CFL needs to tap in that demographic because it seems like in every place other than Saskatchewan, teens in Canada don’t care about the CFL. There are talks about failed NFL stars like Johnny Manziel coming to the CFL, but even in that case it’s apparent that he doesn’t want to be here and would only be using the stage to get back into the NFL. This is an interesting strategy for the CFL, because if they can make a league of the NFL’s most marketable outcasts they could see a rise in viewership, at least in the short term.

Johnny Manziel on draft day

It will be interesting to see what the CFL does in the future as their viewership drops, but for now they have no way of getting close to the amount of viewers in Canada.

Should the Canucks explore trading the 7th Overall Pick?

What could the Vancouver Canucks get for the 7th overall draft pick this year? The topic of trading the pick is a touchy one but I believe the Canucks have more to gain than lose when it comes to trading the pick.

One avenue that would be interesting for the Canucks to consider are the potential RFA’s in the upcoming summer. The main option that springs to mind is Jacob Trouba of the Winnipeg Jets. The 24 year old defender is part of the jets stellar blueline, but is stuck on the right side behind Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers. This logjam of jets defenseman lends itself well to the jets trying to fit within the cap in the 2018-19 season. The Canucks major hole on the team is defense as well, and a younger defenseman fits the mould of what Vancouver needs.

One other option could be trading down in the first round depending on what other teams are asking for. The New York Islanders are currently holding the 11th and 12th overall picks. If the Islanders were to package one of those picks with a prospect for the 7th I believe the Canucks would have to take a serious look. If someone like Adam Boqvist is available at the 7th pick I would hope they would keep the pick.

Adam Boqvist is one of the most intriguing prospects of the 2018 NHL draft

The last option the Canucks could explore is trading Chris Tanev for a mid-first round pick. If they were able to get Trouba for the 7th and more they could recoup a first round pick.

The draft should be interesting and the Canucks are in a spot where they have a lot of options.

The Resurrection of the Canucks Goalie Graveyard

Goaltending has been the story of the Vancouver Canucks for almost two decades. In the early 2000’s they were considered a “goalie graveyard” and goaltending ended up being their pitfall for many west coast express led teams.

Dan Cloutier – who happens to be the current Canucks goalie coach – shouldered the majority of the games from the 2001-02 season until the 2003-04 season. Dan was prone to injury though, and through each of the seasons the Canucks never had less than four goaltenders on the active roster through the three seasons Cloutier was the starting goalie. The backup spot was a rotation of Johan Hedberg, Alex Auld, Peter Skudra, and Tyler Moss. Overall goaltending wasn’t in great shape heading into the lockout, and the revolving door of goalies didn’t lend itself to going far in the playoffs.

Dan Cloutier suiting up for the Vancouver Canucks

Following the lockout the Canucks had Cloutier for 13 games, and Alex Auld for the majority of the 2006-07 season. In the summer the team made a big trade though, bringing Roberto Luongo from Florida in exchange for a few pieces, the biggest being Todd Bertuzzi. Luongo changed the goalie landscape in Vancouver. He brought stability in the form of health and performance, and the Canucks finally had a goalie that could backstop them deep into the playoffs.

The Canucks also made a major addition to their crease in form of drafting Cory Schneider in the first round of the 2004 draft. Schneider didn’t stick in the NHL until 2010-11, where he played backup to Luongo in the Canucks Stanley Cup finals trip. In just 5 years since the Canucks had turned the goalie graveyard into a surplus of elite goalies.

As a team the Canucks were dominant in 2010-11, but without the stellar play of Luongo and Schneider they would not have made it to the finals, and may still be considered a goalie graveyard.

What is the Best Stanley Cup Finals Scenario?

What Stanley Cup finals scenario is the best? Would you want to see the Winnipeg “Canada’s team” Jets vs. the Washington “Get Ovi a cup” Capitals or the Vegas “What, they’re still in?” Golden Knights vs. the Tampa Bay “How are they the villain” Lightning.

I personally don’t like the whole “Canada’s team” angle for the Jets as most fans in Canada want their team to be the team to break the no cups in Canada curse. Though the story of the Jets coming from Atlanta and never having won a playoff series is an interesting one. Winnipeg is also a city that would appreciate a cup, probably more than any other city still in the playoffs.

Washington is a team that has also never won a cup, despite being in the league since 1974. The main reason hockey fans want them to win is to see Ovechkin finally get his cup, as some people still don’t consider him as one of the game’s greatest until he wins a championship. They are also beating the Lightning without their number one center, Nick Backstrom.

Ovechkin tucks one past Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy

The Vegas Golden Knights are also one of the most interesting stories of the playoffs, as they are doing the unbelievable as an expansion team. It’s really hard to believe in the Golden Knights but they keep destroying expectations.

The Tampa Bay Lightning seem to be the “villain” of the playoffs, probably because of their elite season and lack of a real storyline behind them. The Lightning are also the only team left in the playoffs to have won a Stanley Cup (2004). I believe the ideal matchup entertainment wise would be jets vs. caps, but this year should be exciting regardless of the matchup.

Can Vancouver Support an MLB team?

Vancouver loves baseball. We flock to Seattle for the annual Blue Jays series every year and the Vancouver Canadians are regularly beating their own attendance records. This begs the question, could Vancouver support a Major League Baseball team?

BC place hosting a baseball game

Vancouver is the second largest market without an MLB team in Canada or the United States without a Major League team, only behind Montreal, which is one of the cities rumored to be getting a Major League team very soon. The non-Canucks sports history of Vancouver is fairly rocky though. The Grizzlies weren’t exactly a hit in the NBA, but some would say they never had a good enough team to warrant a huge following, especially with the short tenure.

The MLB maybe a different story though, especially with the way leagues are trying to make their expansion teams successful in their first season, specifically the NHL with the Vegas Golden Knights. The main problem the potential Vancouver team would have would be finding a location for a 50,000 seat stadium. BC place is a suitable location and size, but the Jumbotron would impede any ball hit in the air. Nat Bailey stadium is also way too small to meet MLB standards.

Vancouver also has the reputation of being a fair weather sports city when it comes to fan support and may not be able to support a team for 81 games of the year, which is 40 more than the Canucks. One thing the MLB could explore is having the Blue Jays play a game or two in Vancouver during the pre-season, similar to what they do in Montreal every year. In the end there are a lot of obstacles in the way of Vancouver getting an MLB team, though I believe one could thrive given the right situation.