Archive for September 18th, 2008



September 18, 2008

A sculptor from Argentina named Monique Rozanes Torres Aquero got off her flight from Buenos Ares Wednesday expecting to start her long-awaited holiday in Sydney, Australia.

But this didn’t look like Sydney. Didn’t look like Australia, for that matter. It was cool and breezy and the air smelled like lobster and lobster fishermen. There wasn’t a shrimp boat to be seen. If she spoke English, she might have noted the strange, but not Australian, accents around her (Maritimers talk funny, eh?), but she doesn’t, so she didn’t.

So she shrugged and carried on, fully expecting to find that famous Sydney skyline around the next corner. Soon she had boarded a smaller Dash-8 for the last leg of her flight, and it started to occur to her that she just might not be in Australia.

A local woman who took the visitor under her wing told The Canadian Press what happened next. “She was taking pictures out the airplane window and said to herself, ‘Something is not right.'”

Monique had landed in Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast. Her jet took her to Halifax, the major centre, and the Dash-8 took her to Sydney. A scenic place, to be sure, but not at all what she expected. It looks like this:

That’s Sydney, NS. If you had chosen Sydney, Australia, as your dream holiday destination, you probably would have at least a passing knowledge of what it looks like, right? How long would it have taken you to figure out you weren’t there?

Air Canada Jazz blamed her for the error, saying she bought her ticket online and didn’t know there was another Sydney out there. She apparently clicked away, happily booking her flight to the wrong continent. Hell, the wrong hemisphere.

All’s well that ends well, though. Monique couldn’t get another ticket to Australia, so she grabbed her camera and decided to stay in Sydney (Google it; it’s on Cape Breton and is a fantastic place).

Here’s the kicker: She isn’t the first person to make that mistake, Air Canada reports. And that’s okay. We’ll take them. Canada needs all the tourists it can get; we’ll even take the ones who come here by mistake.


Darwin FTW, The Sequel

September 18, 2008

This just keeps getting better. Now the Vatican is saying sure, there was evolution, and we’re sorry, Charles Darwin, for calling you a crackpot heretic and that sort of thing. As you can read here, the Catholics don’t consider the creation story to be literal, and the church has for decades agreed that evolution can be a part of faith. But this apology is significant. Good on ’em.

Now, there are some people who do think the creation story is literal. They don’t much like Darwin. You might know some of them; I know I do. I don’t expect them to apologize any time soon.


New Canada, eh?

September 18, 2008

There are certain jobs most journalists consider the top of the heap. The big guns of print, for instance: The Washington Post, the New York Times, The L.A. Times, the Globe & Mail, Time, etc.

Among these is The Wall Street Journal. More than a financial bulletin, it’s a daily newspaper that stands as the journal of record for American commerce. Young reporters fight their way through the system to one day land at the Journal. It’s one of the few publications in the world with a name that stands as a major brand of its own. Its reporters, editors and columnists are among the best and brightest in the world.

They just don’t know who lives north of them.

Consider this correction that just ran in the WSJ’s weekend magazine: An Aug. 9 essay on Jamaican runners in Weekend Journal that referred to Jamaican immigration to Canada in the 1960s incorrectly identified Canada as New Canada. Separately, an Aug. 16 Olympics article on Canada’s medal count incorrectly referred to the country as the Commonwealth of Canada.

Twice in the same month? Come on. We’re called Canada. It’s on your map. Look for Detroit, then look up. CANADA.

This correction and many others are available at one of my favourite websites, Regret the Error.