“We take turns drafting as we make our way south, like cyclists in the Tour de France or geese, changing positions every ten minutes or so when the leader grows tired. I am surprised how much easier it is to follow someone else’s lead in those conditions, stepping where they step, trusting that they know at least something about the way we are going.” —Michael Yankoski in Mapping the Sacred Year
Michael Yankoski reflected on “drafting” when writing about a pilgrimage he made with friends. The walkers took turns leading into the wind, making the way easier for those who followed behind.
Pilgrims draft for each other, cyclists too, and geese. And so do we.
I’ve been drafting the Famous Five my whole life. Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards were five Canadian women who sought to have women declared “persons,” so that women could be appointed to our Senate.
On this date 87 years ago, April 24, 1928, Canada’s Supreme Court summarized its unanimous decision that women are NOT such persons: “. . .Understood to mean ‘Are women eligible for appointment to the Senate of Canada’ the question is answered in the negative.”
The women kept walking into the wind, drafting for each other, trusting that they knew at least something about they way they were going. One and a half years later, that ruling was overturned on October 18, 1929.
Thanks to them, I vote and own property. Heck, maybe someday I could even be in the Senate.
Then again, with everything that’s going on there these days, maybe not.
The heat collectors at the top of the house were glass panels in front of metal plates. The sun’s heat waves went through the glass and heated the metal to a temperature as high as 150 degrees F.
Fans then blew the heat down through pipes storage cans filled with a sodium compound that soaked up and stored the heat.
Why didn’t this catch on?
The article, written on the cusp of the 1950s, promised that the sun-warmed house “could be the beginning of a big reduction in the approximately $3.5 billion the U.S. pays annually for household fuel.” At the time, architect William Hamby predicted that solar heat would replace all other types of home heating within 10 years.
In 1949 we didn’t foresee the oil crisis or believe that fuel resources would be finite. We didn’t foresee the environmental damage of fossil fuels. We didn’t foresee the number of human lives that would be lost because of wars that had the word “oil” at the bottom of the pile of reasons for their development. We were not nearly motivated enough to adapt.
Oh, scientists of today, how about now? Something to ponder on Earth Day Eve.
In the May 31, 1948 edition of LIFE, an advertisement encouraged Americans to visit Canada during their summer vacation. “Come north,” the ad read, “to fun in the sun at gay summer colonies.”
The phrase has a slightly different inference now.
And our global relationships evolve.
In 1948, American visitors could “. . . go places and see things in interesting ‘foreign’ cities . . . No passport needed.”
Ah, the age of innocence.
The ad was placed by what was then the Canadian Government Travel Bureau of the Department of Trade and Commerce and signed by none other than the minister, the Rt. Hon. C.D. Howe.
So Americans, come on up. Have a gay time. It’s sunny here now (finally).