Look kids: annotating

By , November 16, 2017 9:55 pm

I was at the Canadian Museum of History tonight in Ottawa. OHASSTA conference attendees got a special tour of the new Canadian History Hall. I loved it – so much amazing stuff.

I wanted to share this photo of a document that John A. Macdonald was doodling on during one of the constitutional conferences leading up to Confederation in 1867.

2017 Anniversaries

By , November 12, 2017 6:03 pm

2017 is an incredible year for historians with so many anniversaries to celebrate, commemorate, and ponder.

Other than Canada 150+, for me, the most significant are the Russian Revolution and Martin Luther’s writing of his 95 Theses.

My interest in Russian history goes back a long time. In university, I studied Russian history and Soviet politics. In fact, the Soviet Union broke up during my Soviet politics course in 1991. It was very dramatic for the students! I’m sure it was overwhelming for the people of the crumbling Soviet Union as well.  There is no longer a place in my grade 12 history course for the Russian Revolution, sadly. For those who are interested, check out the Economist‘s lead article on the continuities between Vladimir Putin and tsars of Russia’s past: A Tsar Is Born.

The Economist, Oct. 26, 2017


Though I am an atheist, I am very interested in the character of Martin Luther. He was a complicated and often cruel man. Five hundred years ago Luther caused a major rift in western European Christianity with his posting of his 95 Theses, or complaints, against the Roman Catholic Church. The rest is history, as they say. One of my favourite PBS history series is Empires. The multi-part story of Luther is very compelling: Empires – Martin Luther


PBS, Empires: Martin Luther


For other anniversaries, see this article in Newsweek (from an American perspective), or this one from Maclean’s (from more of a Canadian/international perspective).

Commemoration is one of the hottest topics in history today. How do we mark? How do we remember? Do we celebrate? Do we learn from the past? Judging from Canada’s experience during our 150th, these are all complex questions well worth studying.

Richard and the Giant Cat Wheel

By , November 2, 2017 10:17 pm

We have four cats. Yes, we are crazy. But Richard, our newest, is crazier. He eats dry wall. He terrorizes one of our other cats, Bailey. He is OCD and ADHD.

To use up his energy, we got him a giant cat wheel. Basically it’s a hamster wheel writ large.

See Richard run!

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