The game is six degrees of Canadian history. Take two seemingly unrelated pieces of Canadian culture and connect the dots through various people, places and events to discover how they’re distantly — or maybe not-so-distantly — related. Along the way, we visit the quizzical and curious, the tragic and comic, and everything in between.
Influenza, often referred to as the flu, is a common, contagious respiratory illness. There are four types of influenza viruses: A, B, C and D. While influenza A, B and C viruses can infect humans, influenza D is believed to primarily affect animals such as cattle and pigs. Influenza C is rare in comparison to influenza A and B, which are the main sources of the “seasonal flu,” or the viruses that circulate in Canada and other countries each winter. Influenza A is also the source of flu pandemics. Canada has experienced five influenza pandemics since the late 19th century, in 1890, 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009. In Canada, influenza causes an estimated 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year.
The aerospace industry includes the development and production of aircraft, satellites, rockets and their component parts. Aerospace is a major component of Canada's economy, employs tens of thousands of Canadians, and accounts for a large part of Canadian trade with foreign markets. Canada boasts a diverse aerospace sector and is one of just a few countries that produce airplanes. Through close partnership with the United States space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Canada has also launched satellites as well as built sophisticated components used on the International Space Station.
The Canadarm was a remote-controlled mechanical arm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS). During its 30-year career with NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, the robotic arm deployed, captured and repaired satellites, positioned astronauts, maintained equipment, and moved cargo.
Palaeontological and geological studies of these deposits go back about 130 years. These include work carried out by George Mercer Dawson in 1890 as part of his survey of British Columbia for the Geological Survey of Canada, with occasional research published in the 1920s and 1930s.
High Arctic Weather Stations, managed by the Monitoring and Science Division, Prairie and Northern Region of Environment Canada, began as the Joint Arctic Weather Stations. The plan for a network of Arctic weather bases was approved by the US on 12 February 1946, and on 28 January 1947 Cabinet formally agreed to participate. Between 1947 and 1950, five sites were selected and built jointly by Canada and the US (at Eureka, Isachsen, Mould Bay, Resolute and Alert) to provide the data required for the understanding and prediction of meteorological phenomena on a hemispheric scale and, more specifically, to improve weather predictions for North America. The meteorological data collected is also used by forecasting offices, airlines, northern shipping, climatology studies and research.
Most Indigenous ethnology collections found in Canadian museums today were gathered (and sometimes confiscated) by missionaries, government agents, amateur and professional collectors and anthropologists such as Edward Sapir and Marius Barbeau during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today, many Indigenous nations are requesting that these items be returned to their true home.
We celebrate the heroism and mourn the sacrifices of our military through two world wars, and assorted other foreign conflicts and peacekeeping missions. Yet less attention has been paid to the related efforts of women — in particular, the nurses who have built their own proud tradition of service and sacrifice.
Anthropology is the comparative study of past and contemporary cultures, focusing on the ways of life and customs of people around the world. Subdisciplines have developed within anthropology, owing to the amount of information collected and the wide variety of methods and techniques used in research. The main branches are physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, ethnology (which is also called social or cultural anthropology) and applied anthropology. In Canada, early anthropologists included missionaries, explorers and traders who documented the lives of the Indigenous people they encountered. Later, the Geological Survey of Canada played a significant role in the development of Canadian anthropology.
The Royal Society of Canada is the oldest bilingual organization of Canadian scholars, artists and scientists in the fields of humanities, social sciences and sciences. Created in 1883, the Royal Society of Canada included more than 2,000 members in 2017, approximately 20 per cent of whom had French as their mother tongue. Members are elected for their remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life. The Society’s headquarters are located in Ottawa, Ontario.
Abortion is the premature ending of a pregnancy. Inducing an abortion was a crime in Canada until 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the abortion law as unconstitutional. Since then, abortion has been legal at any stage in a woman's pregnancy, and is publicly funded as a medical procedure under the Canada Health Act. However, access to abortion services differs across the country, and abortion remains one of the most divisive political issues of our time.