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Month: February 2010


Health File

Smog And Appendicitis Already recognized as a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and cancer, air pollution is now also being linked to attacks of appendicitis. “Appendicitis is one of the most common reasons for North Americans to have surgery,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Gilaad Kaplan of the University of Calgary’s Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences. Appendicitis, an inflammation of the appendix which is found between the small and the large intestine, is a disease that accompanies industrialization, and until now it was blamed on lack of fibre in modern diets. “But that doesn’t explain the drop in rates in the mid- and later 20th century. If anything, our fibre consumption was even worse,” he said. Cases dropped by 36 per cent in the United Kingdom between ...
Air Force

The Roar Of The Meteor: Air Force, Part 37

Although the first flights of German and British jet engine test beds occurred 21 months apart, the two nations introduced jet fighters into service at almost the same time—July 1944. But both the Me.262 and the Gloster Meteor commenced by making only a modest splash. The prototype Meteor was so underpowered that it barely staggered into the air on July 22, 1942, in a hop that was so brief it was not even considered a flight, something that was achieved with more powerful Rover engines on March 5, 1943. Development went forward using a bewildering array of engines, and one lesson learned was that on-the-ground care had to be exercised when pointing the aircraft in any direction. This was shown when an engine had to be written off after ingesting somebody’s overcoat. By July 1944,...

The Stuff Of Victory: Navy, Part 37

Naval historians tend to focus on action at sea, and in the early period of the Second World War they typically find much that is wrong with Canada’s burgeoning wartime navy. There is ample evidence—as we have seen in this series—that the fleet was unprepared for war, and that the operations of Newfoundland Escort Force left a legacy of bungling ineptitude that haunted the Canadian navy for generations. However, the distinguished British naval historian Sir Julian Corbett once opined that historians focus on battles and “forget that naval history is not made up of them.” For Corbett, the key to success in maritime war was sound strategy and solid administration.  If this is so, then the Royal Canadian Navy’s contribution to Allied naval control of shipping during these troubled ear...

Cold October Rain: Army, Part 86

After the capture of Rimini, Italy, on Sept. 21, 1944, 1st Canadian Division was withdrawn into 8th Army reserve to rest, reorganize and retrain while absorbing hundreds of replacements. Since Operation Olive, the battles for the Gothic Line had begun and the division had suffered 2,511 battle casualties, including 626 killed in action. More than 1,000 other men had been evacuated as “sick,” including over 400 evacuated for “battle exhaustion.” These psychiatric casualties had proved to be a major issue in all of the Allied armies, accounting for 20 to 25 per cent of casualties. The Canadians had long since determined that the large majority of men who broke under stress of battle could not be safely returned to combat units, so Special Employment Companies were created to provide ...

Saskatchewan Command 45th Convention

Delegates Show Support For Sports Events Many of the 175 Legion delegates gained first-hand experience of an issue that weaved through many challenges on the agenda of Saskatchewan Command’s 45th convention, Oct. 17-19. The host town, Nipawin, population 5,000, is about a five-hour drive from Regina, 379 kilometres to the south. Long-distance travel, coupled with aging members and shrinking budgets, has contributed to cutting attendance at meetings, rallies and sports events. Sports Committee Chairman Brent Wignes said it has become an issue for the beleaguered sports program. “We must continue…to develop a program that is appealing and financially viable,” he said. Members have complained about not getting timely information, the length of cribbage playoffs, decreased participation...

Casualties At Home

Sitting in a dentist’s chair, Susan Binnie asks if she can stay after the dentist is through—just so she can soak up the peace. She lives near St. Albert, northwest of Edmonton with her two daughters, aged nine and 14, and her husband, a veteran who has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for 15 years. Binnie has discovered if one person in the family has PTSD, the whole family suffers. And so she takes her peace where she finds it. Angelle Peacock, a mother of two small boys, lives in Morinville, Alta. She is also coping with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her husband Ted, a serving member of the military, is in treatment, and at times it has been like she has three small children, especially when her husband has had to be reminded to eat or to shower. ...

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