Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada designs, builds, and shares

Today is the July 1 Canada Day holiday where I live. In a departure from the bulk of my posts, I'll celebrate, in a small way, Canadian achievements based on the design/build/share theme of this blog.

Design: Not only did Canadians at de Havilland Canada design the DHC-2 Beaver, they also built hundreds of examples of it for use around the world. It's arguably the greatest bush plane ever, and even has the distinction of appearing on a 1999 commemorative Canadian 25-cent piece. That's distinct from the beaver that appears on our 5-cent piece!

Build: We build a lot of things, and do it well. One that's close to home for me is the Toyota Corolla. Yes, it's a Japanese car, but thousands of them have been assembled just down the road from Waterloo, in Toyota's Cambridge plant, and the build quality is outstanding. Corollas are built to last; my family's is 12 years old and still going strong.

Share: The Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics here in Waterloo exists because Mike Lazaridis, co-founder and co-CEO of RIM (makers of the Blackberry), decided that he wanted to share his wealth by funding basic research. He supplied a large seed in the form of $100 million. The result, with a lot of help from others, of course, is a world-class research facility. It's not the only example of his sharing, but it's one from which I get direct benefit as a result of living here in Waterloo.

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