by Diana Filer
1. The Canadian Victoria Cross was created in 1993. The only difference between it and the first Victoria Cross is that ours says ‘For Valour’, where the original says that in Latin: ‘pro valore’. So far none has been awarded. The total of Canadians awarded the VC is 99, from before the Crimean War through WW1 and WW2. By far the most Canadian awards were 73, in WW1.
2. American engineer George Westinghouse invented the air brake, making braking safer for railroading and allowing trains to travel at a faster speed.
3. Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Zanzibar-born Tanzanian, is this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is currently a professor at the University of Kent in England.
4. Iceland has no standing military of any kind, although it does have a Coast Guard.
5. In 1884, Montrealer Marcellus Gilmore Edson patented peanut paste. made from roasting peanuts between two hot surfaces.