Celebration of Lights, Astronauts Evacuated, Man Goes Over the Falls, and Harper Cuts Apostraphes

March 13, 2009 at 3:32 am | Posted in interesting (to moose) | Leave a comment

  • Keg Steakhouse saves Celebration of Light Fireworks:

    I CALLED IT ! I can’t link to it, because I never wrote it down, but when I heard that the Celebration of Lights was going to be canceled this year because of lack of funds I knew that someone would step forward to provide the funding. This has happened before.

    In 2001 (at that time event was known as the Symphany of Fire), new anti-tobacco-advertising legislation prevented major sponsor Benson and Hedges from sponsoring the event. The city and other sponsors, mainly HSBC took over and the event was rechristened the HSBC Celebration of Lights. HSBC is still a major sponsor, but now that the Keg Steakhouse has saved the day perhaps HSBC will have to share billing. Maybe from now on the event will be called the HSBC/Keg Assault on the Senses event.

  • Space debris threatened International Space Station; Astronauts temporarily evacuated:

    Hey, remember last month when two satellites collided in orbit creating a field of debris. At the time, NASA stated that the debris field probably would not pose a risk to the ISS because the collision occured at a higher orbit. However, the crew of the space station was briefly evacuated to a Russion capsule in preparation for a possible collision with debris. The collision didn’t happen and the crew was only evacuated for about 10 minutes.

    The Station itself can execute a collision avoidance maneuver and has done so on eight occasions. This time however, the debris was not detected early enough for the station to be moved.

  • Man survives plunge over Niagra Falls:

    There was no barrel. He was unprotected. In fact, he was so unprotected that he didn’t even have clothes on when he was rescued from the icy water. It’s not clear whether he was naked to begin with or if he lost his clothes during the fall.

    In October of 2003 Kirk Jones of Canton, Michigan became the first identified person to survive a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls without a flotation device. He survived the 16-story fall with battered ribs, scrapes, and bruises.

    In both cases, it has not been reported whether the falls were suicide attempts. Jones claims that it was a “spur of the moment act”.

    In 1960 an unidentified seven-year-old boy also survived the fall after the boat he was in capsized upstream. He was rescued by the famous Maid of the Mist boat tour.

  • Harper government cuts apostrophes:

    The Hook theorizes that the Harper Government has fired their web editor after finding several uses of Canadas _________ as opposed to Canadas _________ on the Canada’s Economic Action Plan website (now with apostraphes).

    It’s not like me to defend anything Harper, but since I’m a bit of a grammar geek I’ll point out that leaving out the apostraphe is sometimes grammatically incorrect, but only by convention. Apostraphes are not necessarily good; they’re just common. And they’re becoming less common every year.

    It doesn’t surprise me that whoever wrote the content for the action plan webpage left out apostrophes because a web page is a form of electronic communication, and electro-communications increasingly disregard the apostrophe as inconvenient and not necessary for understanding. If someone sent you a text message with the phrase Ill be there soon, as opposed to I’ll be there soon, you would understand the meaning of the sentence wouldn’t you.

    To get a little zen on you, let’s remember why grammar exists to begin with. The idea is to write in a way that will be understood by your intended audience, not necessarily to follow a strict set of rules. Like the Rules of Acquisition, English grammar is more of a set of suggestions that has gotten some misleading marketing attached to it. Splitting infinitives is just fine. Go ahead and end a sentence with a preposition. Those rules come from an attempt to make English more like Latin, which it clearly is not.

    Finally, I’ll point out that there is already a case in English were we do not use an apostrophe when adding possession to a word. Can you guess what the case is? Its usage is quite common.

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