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John’s Believe It Or Not… June 30th

In 1973 – John F. Fioravanti married Anne D. Runstedler. In 1934 “Night of Long Knives” – Hitler stages a bloody purge of the Nazi party. In 1936 Gone with the Wind published. In 1859 Daredevil crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In 1971 Soviet cosmonauts perish in reentry disaster.

It’s Friday – TGIF! Did you know…

* 1973 – John F. Fioravanti married Anne D. Runstedler. (On this day, 44 years ago, John & Anne were married in Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Waterloo, Ontario. They met at St. Jerome’s College, University of Waterloo in the fall of 1969, began dating in February 1971, and became engaged in April of 1972. They went on to raise three children, Dianna, Daniel, and Dominic.

John pursued a career in education and taught high school history for 35 years. In 2002 he became a published author with the educational title Getting It Right In History Class. In 2007, Iceberg Publishing published John’s inspirational memoir A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching. John retired from teaching in 2008 and began his second career as an author of non-fiction inspirational books and futuristic dramatic novels.

Anne began a 39-year career in the insurance industry with Economical Mutual in 1972 upon her graduation. She held positions of responsibility in accounting, underwriting, and as a business analyst in their Information Technology department. As well, she became an instructor with the Insurance Institute of Ontario, teaching several different insurance professional courses. After retiring for a few years, Anne accepted a contract position with the Accessibility Department at the University of Waterloo, directing the implementation of a new software application used by students, professors, and Accessibility staff.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 30th”

Thursday – A Little Personal – Bailey

Author/Blogger John W. Howell blesses us with another fantastic conversation with his pets – this time it’s with Bailey. I’m thinking this is the best one yet and the last frame… Oh My!!! Please, read on!

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“Hello, reader.”

“Hello, Bailey. Nice to see you.”


“Can I confide in you for a minute?”

“Why sure you can.”

“The Boss is coming home tomorrow and I have some things on my chest that I need to confess.”

“You can tell me.”

Bailey and Lucy

“Lucy and I got on the bed while he was away.”

“Well, I’m sure that’s not a big deal.”


“I went swimming right after I ate.”

“You are still here, right? No harm done.”


“Lucy and I went gopher digging.”

“I’m sure that was okay.”

“You really think so?”

“Yes, I do.”


“Maybe I worry too much.”


“I’m going to tell John when he gets home.


I’m out of the country but will try to get to your comments. I apologise if my response is delayed.

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John’s Believe It Or Not… June 29th

In 1613 The Globe Theater burns down. In 1990 World’s first female diocesan Anglican Bishop – Dr. Penny Jamieson is appointed in New Zealand. In 1995 U.S. space shuttle docks with Russian space station. In 1972 US Supreme Court strikes down the death penalty. In 1966 Vietnam air war escalates.

It’s Therapeutic Thursday! Did you know…

* 1613 The Globe Theater burns down. (The Globe Theater, where most of Shakespeare’s plays debuted, burned down on this day in 1613.

The Globe was built by Shakespeare’s acting company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, in 1599 from the timbers of London’s very first permanent theater, Burbage’s Theater, built in 1576. Before James Burbage built his theater, plays and dramatic performances were ad hoc affairs, performed on street corners and in the yards of inns. However, the Common Council of London, in 1574, started licensing theatrical pieces performed in the yards of inns within the city limits. To escape the restriction, actor James Burbage built his own theater on land he leased outside the city limits. When Burbage’s lease ran out, the Lord Chamberlain’s men moved the timbers to a new location and created the Globe. Like other theaters of its time, the Globe was a round wooden structure with a stage at one end and covered balconies for the gentry. The galleries could seat about 1,000 people, with room for another 2,000 “groundlings,” who could stand on the ground around the stage.

The Lord Chamberlain’s men built Blackfriars theater in 1608, a smaller theater that seated about 700 people, to use in winter when the open-air Globe wasn’t practical.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 29th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… June 28th

In 1981 – Terry Fox Dies in Vancouver. In 1953 Workers assemble first Corvette. In 1914 Archduke Ferdinand assassinated. In 1919 Treaty of Versailles – ending WWI and establishing the League of Nations is signed in France. In 1969 The Stonewall Riot.

It’s Hump Day Wednesday! Did you know…

* 1981 – Terry Fox Dies in Vancouver. (Thirty years ago today, Terry Fox began his inspiring “Marathon of Hope”, with the dream of running across the country and raising what was then a staggering $1 million for cancer research.

Three decades later, more than $500 million has been raised in his name since his story of courage and determination became the stuff of Canadian legend.When Fox began his run on April 12,

When Fox began his run on April 12, 1980, by dipping his foot into the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s Harbour, he said he wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people battling cancer.

His mother, Betty, says it was the time her son spent in the hospital while he battled his cancer that forged his resolve to do something more that just survive.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 28th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… June 27th

In 2003 – Canadian Multiculturalism Day First Celebrated. In 1950 Truman orders U.S. forces to Korea. In 1976 Ebola breaks out in Sudan. In 1922 First Newbery Medal for children’s literature. In 1829 Smithson’s curious bequest.

It’s Tuesday… Phew! Did you know…

* 2003 – Canadian Multiculturalism Day First Celebrated. (Multiculturalism, as a term, first came into vogue in Canada in the 1960s to counter “biculturalism,” popularized by the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. It has to a considerable extent replaced the term “cultural pluralism,” although that term is still used in Québec. Its use has now spread from Canada to many countries, notably Australia.

In many ways a contested concept, multiculturalism is used in at least three senses: to refer to a society that is characterized by ethnic or cultural heterogeneity; to refer to an ideal of equality and mutual respect among a population’s ethnic or cultural groups; and to refer to policies implemented by the federal government in 1971 and subsequently by a number of provinces.

The federal government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau declared its commitment to the principle of multiculturalism in 1971 and in so doing formalized a policy to protect and promote diversity, recognize the rights of Aboriginal peoples, and support the use of Canada’s two official languages. This led to the establishment in 1973 of the Ministry of Multiculturalism as well as the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism.

The concept was again acknowledged in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982, which states that the Charter itself “shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.” On 21 July 1988, the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney passed the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which formalized the government’s commitment to “promote the full and equitable participation of individuals and communities of all origins in the continuing evolution and shaping of all aspects of Canadian society” by establishing legislation to protect ethnic, racial, linguistic and religious diversity within Canadian society.

On November 13, 2002, the Government of Canada, by Royal Proclamation, designated June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and our commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect and to appreciate the contributions of the various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 27th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… June 26th

In 1959 – Queen Elizabeth II officially opens 318 km long St. Lawrence Seaway with US President Eisenhower. In 1948 U.S. begins Berlin Airlift. In 1807 Lightning strikes in Luxembourg. In 1945 U.N. Charter signed. In 1993 Clinton punishes Iraq for the plot to kill Bush.

Oh-Oh… It’s Monday! Did you know…

* 1959 – Queen Elizabeth II officially opens 318 km long St. Lawrence Seaway with US President Eisenhower. (The St Lawrence Seaway (Great Lakes Waterway) is the system of locks, canals, and channels linking the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence River with the Atlantic Ocean. The construction of progressively larger canals along the St Lawrence River began as early as 1783. By 1900, a complete network of shallow draft canals allowed uninterrupted navigation from Lake Superior to Montréal.

The waterway, some 3,700 km long from Île d’Anticosti to the head of Lake Superior, permits vessels of up to 225.5 m long, 23.8 m wide and a maximum draft (i.e., the distance between the top of the water and the bottom of the ship) of 8.1 m to sail from Montréal to Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior. The majority of the cargo moving through the Seaway is iron ore, coal and other mine products, followed by agricultural goods, other bulk cargo (e.g., petroleum products and cement) and finished goods (e.g., iron and steel). Approximately 44 million tons of cargo moves through the Seaway annually, in contrast with the annual average of about 11 million tons in the 1950s.

Between 1913 and 1932, the Welland Canal (between Lakes Erie and Ontario) was rebuilt, but the United States was reluctant to enter a larger scheme, that is, to rebuild the Montréal–Lake Ontario channels. A threat by the Canadian government in 1951 to build a seaway entirely within Canadian territory resulted in a final agreement in 1954. Construction on the St Lawrence Seaway and Power Project began on 10 August 1954. In addition to the building of seven locks and deepening navigation channels to a depth of 8.2 m, the project also included the construction of the 2,090 megawatts Moses-Saunders Powerhouse near Cornwall, Ontario. The Seaway was opened to commercial traffic 25 April 1959. The official opening on 26 June 1959 was attended by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Queen Elizabeth II.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 26th”

Views of the Neighborhood – Edinburgh Neighborhood

Author John W. Howell is visiting Scotland and his family roots – these are shots of Edinburgh. Please, enjoy the tour…

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Today’s views are of the neighborhood that I have been in since Monday.  There have been so many things to see and here is a sample of the city.


The requisite view of the surrounding countryside as we come in for a landing.


This is a shot of street where the apartment we stayed is located. The entrance is below grade through the gate which is just after the stairs.


This is a view of Edinburgh taken from Calton Hill. It was taken at 9:45 pm and the sun was just beginning to set.


This is a photo taken at Edinburg Castle. The young, serious, well dressed, military man is in charge of shooting the 1:00 cannon (which is done daily) which you can see in the background. The other guy looks like a writer or homeless person to me.


This is a shot of the castle. The day was…

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John’s Believe It Or Not… June 25th

In 1968 – Pierre Trudeau wins a majority in the 28th federal general election. In 1678 Venetian Elena Cornaro Piscopia is the 1st woman to receive a university doctoral degree or PhD. In 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn. In 1950 Korean War begins. In 2009 “King of Pop” Michael Jackson dies at age 50.

It’s Sunday! Did you know…

* 1968 – Pierre Trudeau wins a majority in the 28th federal general election. (Trudeau, who was a relative unknown until he was appointed to the cabinet by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, had won a surprise victory over Paul Joseph James Martin, Paul Hellyer and Robert Winters in the party’s leadership election earlier in 1968. The charismatic, intellectual, handsome, single, and fully bilingual Trudeau soon captured the hearts and minds of the nation, and the period leading up to the election saw such intense feelings for him that it was dubbed “Trudeaumania.” At public appearances, he was confronted by screaming girls, something never before seen in Canadian politics.

The Liberal campaign was dominated by Trudeau’s personality. Liberal campaign ads featured pictures of Trudeau inviting Canadians to “Come work with me”, and encouraged them to “Vote for New Leadership for All of Canada”. The substance of the campaign was based on the creation of a “just society”, with a proposed expansion of social programs.

This was the first Canadian federal election to hold a leaders debate, on June 9, 1968. The debate included Trudeau, Stanfield, Douglas, and in the latter part Réal Caouette, with Caouette speaking French and Trudeau alternating between the languages. The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy three days before cast a pall over the proceedings, and the stilted format was generally seen as boring and inconclusive.

The results of the election were sealed when on the night before the election a riot broke out at the St. Jean Baptiste Day parade in Montreal. Protesting the prime minister’s attendance at the parade, supporters of Quebec independence yelled Trudeau au poteau [Trudeau to the gallows] and threw bottles and rocks. Trudeau, whose lack of military service during World War II had led some to question his courage, firmly stood his ground and did not flee from the violence despite the wishes of his security escort. Images of Trudeau standing fast to the thrown bottles of the rioters were broadcast across the country and swung the election even further in the Liberals’ favor as many English-speaking Canadians believed that he would be the right leader to fight the threat of Quebec separatism.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 25th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… June 24th

In 1497 – John Cabot From Bristol Claims America for England. In 1509 Henry VIII is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. In 1997 U.S. Air Force reports on Roswell. In 1675 King Philip’s War begins. In 1901 Picasso exhibited in Paris.

Yay! It’s Saturday! Did you know…

* 1497 – John Cabot From Bristol Claims America for England. (Italian sailor and explorer John Cabot was born Giovanni Caboto around 1450. In 1497, Cabot traveled by sea to Canada, where he made a claim to land for England, mistaking the North American land for Asia.

Cabot was the son of a spice merchant, Giulio Caboto, in Genoa. At age 11, his family moved to Venice, where he learned sailing and navigation from Italian seamen and merchants. In 1474, John Cabot married a girl named Mattea and eventually became the father of three sons: Ludovico, Sancto, and Sebastiano. Sebastiano would later follow in his father’s footsteps, becoming an explorer in his own right.

In 1476, Cabot officially became a Venetian citizen and began conducting trade in the eastern Mediterranean. Records indicate that he got into financial trouble and left Venice as a debtor in November 1488. During this time, Cabot became inspired by the discoveries of Bartolomeu Dias and Christopher Columbus. Like Columbus, Cabot believed that sailing west from Europe was the shorter route to Asia. Hearing of opportunities in England, Cabot traveled there and met with King Henry VII, who gave him a grant to “seeke out, discover, and finde” new lands for England.

In early May of 1497, Cabot left Bristol, England, on the Matthew, a fast and able ship weighing 50 tons, with a crew of 18 men. Cabot and his crew sailed west and north under Cabot’s belief that the route to Asia would be shorter from northern Europe than Columbus’s voyage along the trade winds. On June 24, 1497, 50 days into the voyage, Cabot landed on the east coast of North America, though the precise location of this landing is subject to controversy. Some historians believe that Cabot landed at Cape Breton Island or mainland Nova Scotia. Others believe he may have landed at Newfoundland, Labrador or even Maine.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 24th”

“Glimpses Across The Barricades” #Poetry in progress. ‘In Dreams of A Perfect World’ by Suzanne Burke.

Author and poet Suzanne Burke gifts us with another poetic gem born of her life experiences, blooming in her heart, and emanating from her soul. Please, read on…

Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke.

Welcome to ‘Glimpses Across the Barricades’ This poem was included in the epilogue of my book “Faint Echoes of Laughter”.

In A  Perfect World


Suzanne Burke


Dreams of aperfect world image

As I lay snugly warm and safe
Within my families womb
My heart begins a slow sad ache
For another child will cry tonight
Another child will die tonight
What was once their home
will become their tomb

Anger tears me as I read
The desperate plead of a child in need
How can we continue to ignore
The deafening cries from every land?
Can the balance be restored or
Are we so desensitized to pain
That we can’t give
Without thought of gain

If I had but one wish to make
Then that wish would surely be
That when my own sweet child has grown,
and if fate so decrees

I’ll hold her own children on my knee
And when I lay…

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