Roman Concrete

I remember some about this story a few years ago.  I don’t think the formula for the Roman mix was well understood at that time. Portland Cement doesn’t cut it. Glad they made this breakthrough, it should help build more durable structures.

 

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STC Bus Shut Down By Callous SaskParty

Today is a terrible day in Saskatchewan history. The Brad Wall government has ended public transportation to most Saskatchewan communities. There is tomorrow no bus service between Saskatoon and Regina, a sort of event you’d expect after a major natural disaster, not an incompetent government decision poised to directly harm thousands of people, and inconvenience tens of thousands more.

Cody, who served as the minister overseeing STC back in 1978, argues the decision to shut the bus service down was philosophical, not economical.

“There’s no such thing as a profitable transportation system,” he said. “It simply isn’t there. They tell us you can’t afford $15 million or so over the next five years. If that’s the case, then why would you sell SaskTel, which makes $130 million? There’s a philosophy here and I don’t think it really has anything to do with the money.”

CBC Interviewed a Gunman?

This is a wee bit outrageous.

On March 21, 1977, Robert McLagan held 11 employees at Toronto’s Banque Canadienne Nationale hostage for nearly 12 hours.

Frum and her producers were able to get McLagan, one of his hostages and a police officer on the line as the situation was unfolding — even giving CBC Radio listeners the chance to hear the beginning of a negotiation that would eventually end in a peaceful surrender.

“I’ll maybe release them a little bit later,” he says. “But I see your boys out here getting a little bit psyched up, but the front door’s unlocked and I’ve got a damned good vantage point where I can see the door and I can see the stairwell. So outside of a gung-ho charge or anything, there’s not really a hell of a lot you can do.”

The interview ends there, but according to the Toronto Star archives, the suspect eventually surrendered quietly and nobody was harmed.

The new Canadian $10 Bill

Canada is finally putting a woman on the front of a bank note (other than the Queen, of course). The first will be Viola Desmond, who will replace Sir John A. MacDonald.

Asked by one young student why more women couldn’t have been represented on money, Morneau said it was important to pick just one single woman so their story will be remembered, and serve as an inspiration to all.”

An excellent article written earlier this year explains why that’s a bit of a silly answer. There’s bigger fish to fry though, and more women should appear on currency in the coming years.

Gull Lake Hotel Fire

I didn’t hear until last week that the town of Gull Lake, on the Trans-Canada Highway, lost its Hotel building on Thanksgiving weekend. It was arson.

This Summer we spent a night in Gull Lake on our way through to Alberta on vacation, so I got some photos of the town, including the Hotel.

Gull Lake Saskatchewan

Gull Lake Saskatchewan

The Story Of Human Voice Recordings

For the longest time, historians thought they knew Edison was the first to record the human voice. Then a team of researchers realized there were earlier recordings that were made by a Frenchman without any expectation that they could be converted back into sound. Our advanced scanning and computer equipment was able to do it with some inventive solutions, in 2008.

Learn all about an interesting aspect of our audio history, and hear sounds from the 19th Century.