Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Could Shakespeare Measure Up?

May 20, 2008 - Many advances in technology have happened south of the 49th parallel, but yet, in 1920 the first radio station to begin regular broadcasts in North America happened in Canada. The station, XWA, was in Montreal, and though it started broadcasting in December of 1919, it wasn't until May 20th that it began regular broadcasts - essentially becoming the first commercial radio station.1. I wonder if they were broadcasting hockey? Do you suppose those involved with the station then knew how prolific radio would be today? XWA is now a Corus Entertainment station, CINW, and broadcasts in English with a News/Talk format. Canada came up with the commercial media, the US exploited it. Canada developed Basketball, the US made it their own. And yet, they haven't picked up on the benefits and logic of the metric system.

In 1875, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) was created on May 20th in Paris.2. It was here that 17 nations created the Meter Convention and the Metric System was born and adopted, so today is Weights and Measures Day. The metric system makes sense. It makes so much sense that all but a few countries have adopted it for their weights and measures. Even in the USA, all science is done in metric, yet you need to drive in miles and directions are given in yards. Very confusing for Canadians driving south of the border. We are forever turning too soon, and driving too slow, but we do get there eventually. "Just you wait, Henry Higgins," we'll get there.

As the song goes, "Next week on the twentieth of May, da-da-da-da-da-da-DA,
I proclaim Eliza Doolittle Day!" - and so, the 20th of May is thus Eliza Doolittle Day. I'm not entirely sure how to celebrate this one... put marbles in your mouth and recite Shakespeare's Sonnets?

Shakespeare's Sonnets were first published on May 20th in 1609 by Thomas Thorpe. There is speculation that perhaps the book was published not from the original manuscript, but perhaps one obtained by less ethical means. I have several versions of Shakespeare's work - both plays and sonnets, but I can't help but wonder how much an original copy of the sonnets would be worth. Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Could an original copy make me a millionaire just in time for Be a Millionaire Day? Since one kilogram is bigger than one pound - we should measure wealth in metric - it's worth more.

1. CINW Montreal website
2. International Bureau of Weights and Measures website

1 comment:

  1. When is the official day for 'the ladies that lunch"?

    Loving your blogs........keep it up.


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