Friday, June 28, 2024

Summer Olympics 2024 Quiz

The Summer Olympics will take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024.  As you prepare for the big event, why don't you try Number 16's quiz.  Test you knowledge of the Summer Olympiad with the following 11 questions.  Ready, set, go!

1.  Which of these statements is true?

A.  Paris has hosted the Summer Olympics three times in the past - 1904, 1920 and 1932.

B.  Paris has never hosted the Summer Olympics before.

C.  Paris has hosted the Summer Olympics twice in the past - 1900 and 1924.

D.  Paris has hosted the Summer Olympics once before - 1928

E.  Paris has hosted the Summer Olympics twice before - 1912 and 1924.

2.  At which Olympics did Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) win a gold medal for the United States in boxing?

A.  1960 in Rome

B.  1964 in Tokyo

C.  1956 in Melbourne

D.  1968 in Mexico City

E.  He never won a gold medal at the Olympics.

3.  In which Summer Olympics was Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci awarded a perfect score of 10.0?

A. 1968 Olympics in Mexico City

B.  1972 Olympics in Munich

C.  1980 Olympics in Moscow

D.  1976 Olympics in Montreal

E.  None of the above

4.  How many gold medals did American swimmer Mark Spitz win at the 1972 Munich Games.

Mark Spitz

A. Five

B. Seven

C.  Six

D.  Four

E.  Eight

5.  When did the tradition of awarding medals at the Olympics begin?

A,  1900 

B.  1916

C.  1904

D,  1908

E.  1896

6.  What country won the most gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing?

A.  Russia

B.  United States

C.  China

D.  Great Britain

E,  Germany

7.  Countess Hélène de Pourtalès, also known as Helen, became the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal at the 1900 Paris Games.  In which sport did she compete in?

Hélène de Pourtalès

A,  Gymnastics

B.  Track

C.  Sailing

D.  Tennis

E.  Swimming

8.  The oldest person to win a gold medal at the Olympics is generally considered to be Oscar Swahn of Sweden.  He won a gold medal at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.  Which sport did he compete in?

A.  Shooting

B.  Diving

C.  Rowing

D.  Judo

E,  Equestrian

9.  How many gold medals did African American Jesse Owens win at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, much to the consternation of host Adolf Hitler?

Jesse Owens

A.  One

B.  Three

C.  Five

D.  Four

E.  Two

10.  Who is the most decorated Olympian of all time in terms of total medals won?

A.  Mark Spitz

B.  Michael Phelps

C.  Paavo Numi

D.   Larisa Latynina

E.  Nikolai Andrianov

11.  Hoe many times have the Summer Olympics been held in North America?

A.  Four times

B.  Three times

C.  Seven times

D..  Five times

E.   Six times


1.  C.  

This summer, the French capital will host the Summer Olympics for the third time.  The Olympics were held in Paris in 1900 and 1924.  Paris will be the second city (after London) to host the Summer Olympics three times.  London hosted the Olympics in 1908, 1948 and 2012.

2.  A

Ali with gold medal in 1968

Ali won a gold medal for the United States at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.  Born January 17, 1942, he was 18 years old when he became an Olympic champion.  He almost didn't go to Rome because he was nervous about travelling by air. 

3.  D

Nadia in Montreal in 1976

Nadia Comăneci was awarded a perfect score of 10.0 at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.  On July 18, 1976, she made history when she received the first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics for her routine on the uneven bars during the team compulsory portion of the competition.  During the rest of the Montreal Games, Nadia was awarded six additional "10s."  She earned gold medals for the individual all-around, the balance beam and uneven bars.  She was only 14 years old.

4.  B

Mark Spitz won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

5.  E

The tradition of awarding medals at the Olympics began with the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.  The first-place winners received silver medals and olive branches, while runners-up received laurel branches and copper or bronze medals.  At the ancient Olympics, dating back to 776 B.C., the victors received olive wreaths instead of medals.

6.  C

China won the most gold medals at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, with 48.  Athletes for the United States won the most medals with 112. while China won 100 medals over all.  Russia earned 24 gold medals and a total of 60 medals.

7.  C

Countess Hélène de Pourtalès, the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal, competed in sailing at the 1900 Paris Games.  Born in New York City as Helen Barbey, she was a Swiss sailor aboard the boat Lérina, which won the gold medal in the first race of the 1-2 ton class.  Hélène was 32 at the time she was awarded the gold medal on May 22, 1900.  Her husband, Hermann, and her husband's nephew, Bernard, were also members of the crew of the Lérina, 

On July 11, 1900, England's Charlotte "Chattie" Cooper, became the first female to become an individual champion.  She won a gold medal in women's singles tennis.  She also won a gold medal in the mixed doubles.

Charlotte Cooper

8.  A

Oscar Swahn

Oscar Swahn of Sweden won a gold medal in shooting at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm.  He was 64 years and 280 days old.  A the age of 72 years, 281 days, he won a silver medal at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium.

9.  D

Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Nazi Germany.  On August 3, 1936, Owns won the 100 metre dash.  On August 4, he won the long jump.  On August 5, he won the 200 metre sprint.  On August 9, he won his fourth gold medal in the 4 x 100 sprint relay.

10. B

Michael Phelps

American swimmer Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, having won a total of 28 Olympic medals - 23 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze.

11.  E.  

The Summer Olympics have been held in North America six times - 1904 in St. Louis (USA), 1932 in Los Angeles (USA), 1968 in Mexico City (Mexico), 1976 in Montreal (Canada)1980 in Los Angeles (USA) and 1996 in Atlanta (USA).

- Compiled by Joanne  

Monday, June 24, 2024

Ontario Science Centre closing is heartbreaking


"The Ontario Science Centre is our education, our healthcare, it’s our infrastructure, which under this premier is being allowed to crumble"

- Don Valley East Liberal MPP Adil Shamjii, who represents the area where the centre located.

On Friday, June 21 the province of Ontario announced that  it was closing the Ontario Science Centre immediately.  The beloved Toronto landmark shut its doors permanently, with little notice, after an engineering report found that the building's roof  was in danger of collapsing this winter.  The Ford government plans to eventually build a new science centre at Ontario Place.  It claims that all the repairs and renovation needed at the current site would be too expensive.  The Ministry of Infrastructure says that fixing the roof will cost between $22 million and $40 million, and that the centre would need need to be closed for up to two years. 

The new Ontario Science Centre is set to open in 2028.  According to Lindsay Michael Robertson, the assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of Infrastructure, there will be no "immediate" job losses for current science centre staff.  The operative word, of course, is "immediate."  Furthermore, if you believe that the new science centre will be built on time and on budget, you may as well buy some swampland in Florida.  It will probably end up costing more to build than to upgrade the current structure.

The picture that the Ford government is painting seems so cut and dried.  The building is old and out of date.  It is a safety hazard that is too costly to fix.  The Progressive Conservatives will protect people from injury.  Just wait a minute, though.  There are other factors involved, other questions that remain unanswered.  Let's backtrack a bit.  In April of 2023, Premier  Doug Ford announced his intention to move the Ontario Science Centre and combine it with his government's controversial plan to overhaul Ontario Place.  The centre in Don Mills will be replaced with housing.

The decision to move the Ontario Science Centre from its current site has upset people from its Thorncliffe Park and Flemington Park neighbourhoods, communities with a high population of children and little recreational space.  

Josh Matlow, a Toronto city councillor Ward 12 (Toronto-St. Pauls's) has been vocal about his opposition to the Ontario government's plan to relocate the Ontario Science Centre.  He is concerned about the impact the move will have on nearby communities.  Yesterday, a rally was held at Wells Hill Park in Toronto.  Community members gathered to push for saving the Ontario Science Centre.  

At the rally, Matlow said, "I'm upset as a Torontonian , I'm upset as kid who my parents took me to the Science Centre over and over again."  "Leave the Science Centre where it belongs in community, in Flemington Park, in Thorncliffe Park," declared Toronto-St. Paul's MPP Jill Andrew.  

Floyd Ruskin,, of the advocacy group Save Ontario's Science Centre, stated that the engineering report isn't completely accurate.  "We've gone through the engineering report, and only one of those panels that they say is unsafe is in the critical stage," he said.  "Eighty-four per cent of those panels are at low risk."  

"Nobody is asking tor this closure.  If we were to actually prioritize the things that kids and people care about, we would reopen it absolutely," proclaimed Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles.  Ontario Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie didn't mince words either.  She said, "It's shocking, it's an institution!  They did it without consulting the community and frankly, it's just another symbol of neglect," 

I will also be blunt.  The closure of the Ontario Science Centre is is heartbreaking.  It's all about Ford's vison of Ontario, where developers reign supreme, and people come second to profit.  I would like to know why the Ontario Science Centre was allowed to fall into such disrepair over the years.  Why wasn't the money spent for renovations before now?

- Joanne

EDITOR'S UPDATE:  On June 25, 2024, the firm of the late Raymond Moriama, the architect who designed the Ontario Science Centre, said closing the building is not necessary.  In a bid to keep the Science Centre open, the firm offered its services free of charge to the provincial government for repairs.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Poem: A Salute to the Dandelion

 Number 16 is pleased to feature a poem by a guest poet today.  I hope you enjoy A Salute to the Dandelion by Theresa Dorothy Kindred.

- Joanne

                                                            A Salute to the Dandelion

                                                      amidst the foggy days of may

                                                      arose a flower by one name

                                                      its splendor catches all eyes

                                                      but no one ever praises its fame

                                                      so many mammas felt elated

                                                     when their youngsters brought it home

                                                     but papas only see its nuisance

                                                     that ne'er should escape their mower

                                                     why can't the beauty of its color

                                                     the hue that elevates the soul

                                                     be a factor in its survival

                                                     than just the plant that it grows on

                                                     I might not want it on my turf

                                                     and maybe even want it dead

                                                     but take a stroll out inn the country

                                                     and feed your eyes of its saffron bed

                                                     a flower should be rated

                                                     by the functions it performs

                                                     so raise a glass and cheer it

                                                     for its beautiful form


                                                   - Theresa Dorothy Kindred                       


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

If you've donated money to Trump,, you've been conned

Whenever I see a red MAGA hat, I cringe. "Make American Great Again" is really a dog whistle for "Make America White Again."  Those red hats are a chilling reminder of Hitler's use of  the swastika as a symbol of Nazism.  I truly believe that if Donald Trump returns to the White House, American democracy is lost.  On November 5th, 2024, the stakes couldn't be higher for America and the world.  America's democratic freedoms are in jeopardy if Trump is elected, and if he loses, he won't accept the results.  The former president refuses to acknowledge his 2020 defeat because he does not believe in the peaceful handover of power, which is one of the core principles of democracy. 

I will be blunt because it is necessary.  Donald Trump has never hidden his intentions.  He has stated that he would be a dictator on the first day of his presidency.  The man is a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic convicted criminal.  He is adored by white supremacists and neo-Nazis such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.  Trump considers them to be great patriots,  The ex-president has been twice impeached and criminally indicted four times.  In a civil case, he was found liable for sexually assaulting and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.  

P.T. Barnum said there was a sucker born every minute.  Donald Trump is following in Barnum's footsteps.  Trump is behaving like the stereotype of a used car salesman, shamelessly hawking sneakers, perfume, and even the Holy Bible.  Trump's conduct is unprecedented and undignified for a former American president and the Republican party's prospective presidential nominee for 2024.

P.T. Barnum

To those who have donated their hard earned money to the Trump campaign, I have one simple question.  Do you really think Donald Trump cares about you.?  The answer is a resounding NO.  Trump said so himself at a recent rally in Las Vegas.  He told the crowd, "I don't care about you.  I just want your vote.  I don't care."  I realize Trump's supporters simply ignore the facts, but their false messiah actually said those words.  They are on record in any video of Trump's Vegas speech.  

Do you really want your money going to pay for Donald Trump's legal fees?  Do you really want to fund a Trump private plane, or perhaps former First Lady Melania's hairstylist.  According to Federal Election Commission (FEC), Trump's Save America political action committee paid his wife's former personal stylist, Herve Pierre Braillard, $108,000 in the first six months of 2023 for "strategy consulting."

Speaking of Melania, she doesn't seem to care either.  Remember when she wore that infamous designer jacket with the words "I Really Don't Care, Do U."  At first, Trump officials claimed the words were meaningless.  Later, Melania told ABC that the message was aimed at her critics in "the left-wing media."  Even if that were the case, it was foolish for her to wear the jacket while en route to visit detained children who were separated from their families at the U.S. Mexican border.  What a poor choice!  What poor timing!  Could you imagine Jill Biden or Michelle Obama wearing such a jacket?  By the way, it was Melania's husband who cruelly detained those children and separated them from their families.  

Even the most ardent Trumper must be noticing how delusional and incoherent their messiah has become.  It's obvious that he is not a well man.  He's losing it.  He's slurring his speech.  In Vegas, he told his audience to "choose suicide over Biden."  He's been saying weird things about Hannibal Lector.  He actually told his Fox News friend, Sean Hannity, that he would imprison his political opponents without due process.   

Donald Trump is now a convicted felon.  He was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in a hush money scandal.  The documents were not falsified to spare the feeling of Trump's wife, Melania.  They were falsified to protect Trump's 2016 presidential campaign from more scandal after his infamous Access Hollywood interview.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is election interference.  

Trump constantly whines and complains.  He portrays himself as a victim.  The truth is that he has always been given special treatment.  Until now, he has never had to take responsibility for his actions.  The former president was found guilty by a jury of his peers.  The trial was not rigged by Joe Biden or Democrats.  

It is becoming more and more evident that Trump's behaviour is not normal, and should not be normalized.  He leads his MAGA followers in cursing chants.  Is that  dignified presidential behaviour? Furthermore, Trump is a pathological liar.  He said he never participated in the "Lock her up!" Hillary chants, when he is clearing seen in videos encouraging the chants and even revelling in them.  During his Vegas speech,, Trump did not talk bout his polices, how or how he intends to improve life in the United States?  No, he said he would rather be electrocuted than eaten by a shark. 

Do you really think that an unstable man, a man who appears to be slipping into dementia, should have his hand on the nuclear button?  Do you want a charlatan, a con man, a snake oil salesman to be America's president?  It's sad that so many of his followers have been programmed into a cult-like worship of Donald Trump. not fit to be president.  He is a sick man.

Trump supporter will say that Biden is old and senile (He's 81 and Trump is not much younger.  He'll be 78 on June 14th).  They will shout, "What about Hunter Biden!"  Those are all red herrings to take the spotlight away from Donald Trump's scams and his deceit.  Joe Biden is not responsible for everything his son has done.  Not only that, but Hunter Biden, holds no political office.  He has no political power and he is not running for president.  

Yes, Joe Biden is an octogenarian.  He has shortcomings, like any politician.  However, if you take a close look at the economic statistics, the American economy has performed well, and unemployment is low.  Biden does not give tax breaks to billionaires and he does not become buddies with dictators like Putin and Kim Jong Un.  He cares about climate change.  He cares about gun deaths.  Joe Biden will accept the results of an election.  He will not lead a mob in an assault on the Capitol in Washington.  Most importantly, Biden believes in democracy and the rule of law.  Donald Trump does not. 

- Joanne