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Month: June 2010


Health File

Taking Your Mind Off Pain Struggling with pain? Meditation may help take the edge off. Researchers at the University of Montreal have discovered that Zen meditation thickens the region of the brain that regulates pain. “We found a relationship between cortical thickness and pain sensitivity,” says University of Montreal researcher Joshua A. Grant. For the study, researchers applied a heated plate to the legs of volunteers, half of whom meditated, half who didn’t. There was a difference of about 50 per cent in pain perception between the two. The meditators tolerated more heat before feeling moderate pain. When volunteers’ brains were scanned using an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine, the regions that regulate emotion and pain were significantly thicker in the meditat...
Air Force

Lancasters Hit Civvy Street: Air Force, Part 39

Many Second World War aircraft became object lessons in beating swords into ploughshares.  Once the Cold War developed, many such ploughshares were hastily reconverted to swords.  Such was the case of the Avro Lancaster in Royal Canadian Air Force postwar service. There was no shortage of Lancasters in Canada in the summer of 1945. Victory Aircraft in Toronto had manufactured 430, of which the last 25 had never gone overseas. Eight RCAF squadrons—some quickly converted from Halifaxes to Lancasters—had flown back to Canada in June 1945. In preparation for RCAF operations in the Pacific as part of a Commonwealth Tiger Force, 664 Wing was formed at Greenwood, N.S. The war’s end led to disbandment of the wing, even before its flying training had begun. Air Vice-Marshal C.R. Slemon, the ...

The Sheep Dog Navy: Navy, Part 39

Going To War With What You’ve Got American entry into the war in December 1941 promised eventual allied victory: Churchill claimed he slept well for the first night in years when he heard of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But it would be at least a year—and more like two—before America’s potential could tip the balance. For the moment, the Allies scrambled to contain Japan’s astonishing advances in Asia and the South Pacific. Only the British and Americans had the aircraft carriers, battleships and cruisers capable of stopping them. Moreover, this had to be done while holding off the still powerful German and Italian fleets in European waters. Not surprisingly, when Royal Canadian Navy planners looked at the prospects for 1942 they resigned themselves to a supporting role. But ...

Defence Conference Discusses Leaving Afghanistan

This year’s list of attendees was as prestigious as ever for the annual Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) event held March 3-4 at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa. While, no doubt, the headliner was General David Petraeus, the commander of the United States Central Command and the man widely credited with salvaging some kind of victory in Iraq for the U.S., there were many Canadian luminaries as well. Chief of the Defence Staff General Walter Natynczyk was on hand, as were the chiefs of the army, navy and air force. The CDA is an umbrella group of defence associations of which the Legion is the largest member. The theme of the seminar was Protecting Canada’s National Interests In An Uncertain World, and its opening address was given by Dr. Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins Un...

Bedlam At The Lamone: Army, Part 88

The original plan for 1st Canadian Corps’ Operation Chuckle, December 1944, called for the capture of Ravenna, situated along the Adriatic coast in northeastern Italy, and an advance beyond the Senio and Santerno rivers to the town of Massa Lombarda. If the Canadians succeeded, their thrust would outflank German positions at Imola and threaten the enemy’s hold on Bologna further to the west. While Ravenna was liberated on Dec. 4, the 1st Canadian Division suffered a serious reversal when a hastily prepared attack across the Lamone River failed, forcing a withdrawal. Two battalions of 1st Brigade, the Royal Canadian Regiment and the Hastings and Prince Edward Regt., suffered close to 200 casualties in this ill-advised, chaotic action. For the Hasty Ps, Dec. 5 was the black day when t...
On This Date

On This Date – June 2010

1 JUNE, 1876 The Royal Military College opens at Kingston, Ont. 2 JUNE 1916 The 3rd Canadian Division is mauled by a German attack in the Ypres Salient. 3 JUNE 1989 Toronto’s Skydome is opened. 4 JUNE 1944 The Canadian and American First Special Service Force leads American troops into Rome. 5 JUNE 1944 Stormy weather forces the Allies to postpone the massive invasion of Normandy. 6 JUNE 1944 Operation Neptune—the assault phase of Operation Overlord—begins in the early hours. Allied paratroopers, including approximately 450 Canadians, jump from aircraft or land in gliders behind German coastal defences. By evening, the Canadians, who landed on Juno Beach, are further inland than any other allied force. Approximately 14,500 Canadians are landed on the beach by the...

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