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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back off China and Russia!

The Chinese have indicated that because they have 20% of the World's 
population they are entitled to 20% of the oil found in the Arctic! I 
say, Good luck in getting it! What gives the Chinese a right to suggest that any of
the oil in the Arctic is the their's??How much money have the Chinese contributed to
 finding oil in the Arctic? Why should they get 20% of the area's oil when they have not aided in the drilling and research costs relating to finding and extracting the oil in the Arctic? If the Chinese are
entitled to 20% of the Oil found in the arctic than Canada is entitled to its share of the oil
in territory which China claims as its own.

Instead of demanding oil that may not legally be theirs, why doesn't the Chinese Government think of ways to cut back  on their consumption of oil! Look at how much oil the people in China use:


"In China, demand for oil is grew at 2.7% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) during the 1980’s and increased to 7.6% in the 1990’s. Since 2001, the demand for oil in China is growing at an 8.1% CAGR over the last five years. The strong demand for oil from China is remains unabated and is driven by growing motor vehicle usage. In nine years, at its current growth rate, China’s oil consumption will exceed the level of oil consumption the U.S. had in 1991 and in twelve years exceed our current level."
-alternative-energy/historic-energy.html )  "At current current production rates China's oil reserves  
are likely to last for less than two decades!! (source:

I suggest it is time for China to invest money in public tranportation and in finding alternative
source of energy besides oil!

 And  now this week we hear that  Russian Bomber had to be escorted
out of air space near Canada the other day by Canadian jets which had to be scrambled from their bases.
Ottawa had not received any warning that the Russian aircraft would be coming close to Canadian territory, as is always requested.

Why are the Chinese and the Russians acting so aggressively?
What if this aggression leads to an unfortunate incident which involves the loss of life of residents of our planet?  World Wars have been started by incidents like these. How should Canada and
 her allies respond to this aggressive behavior of the Chinese and the Russians?
 If diplomatic actions on the part of Canada are not effective then what should our Government do in
regards to the happenings of this week?

"Russia and Canada are competing with The United States, Norway, and Denmark 
(through Greenland) to claim the wealth of resources in the frozen territory"(source: The politicians
of these countries better come to some sort of  agreement as to how to determine where the boundaries
of one country begin and end up North, otherwise I fear the aggressive actions of the Russians and
the threats of the Chinese may lead to a serious military confrontation up there in the near future!

"Canada's claim to its North rests first on the charter granted to the HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY by Charles II in 1670, giving the company title to RUPERT'S LAND (the watershed of Hudson Bay, or about half of present-day Canada). To this in 1821 was added the rest of the present-day Northwest Territories and Nunavut south of the arctic coast. Thus when in June 1870 the HBC transferred title to its lands to Canada, the new Dominion acquired sovereignty over all of the present-day Northwest Territories and Nunavut except for the arctic islands. This sovereignty has never been questioned."

"Where doubt has risen over Canada's claims to arctic sovereignty is in the islands north of the Canadian mainland. Some of the early explorers here were British (Martin FROBISHER, 1576, John DAVIS, 1585 and 1587, and others) but many of these islands were discovered and explored by Scandinavians or Americans. In July 1880 the British government transferred to Canada the rest of its possessions in the Arctic, including "all Islands adjacent to any such Territories" whether discovered or not - a feeble basis for a claim of sovereignty, since the British had a dubious right to give Canada islands which had not yet been discovered, or which had been discovered by foreigners."

 "The first vigorous assertion of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic came with the establishment of a NWMP post at HERSCHEL ISLAND in 1903; set up to control the activities of American whalers in the Western Arctic, it enforced Canadian laws and showed the flag in the region, making Canada's sovereignty there unquestionable."

"After WWI the Americans and Danes showed signs of ignoring Canada's claims to the High Arctic, particularly to Ellesmere Island, which the Danish government stated in 1919 was a no-man's land. This was a direct challenge to Canada's arctic sovereignty, and was met by a plan for effective occupation of Ellesmere and other islands. In 1922 an RCMP post was established at Craig Harbour and at the south end of the island, and at Pond Inlet on Baffin Island. In 1923 another detachment was placed at Pangnirtung, and in 1924 at Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island. In 1926 the Bache Peninsula detachment was established on the east coast of Ellesmere Island, at 79° N latitude."

" Current controversy arises from 2 causes. First, though Canada's claim to its arctic land area is now secure, the fact that large areas are uninhabited and virtually undefended raises the possibility that it may not be secure forever. Second, and more important, is that there is international consensus only about the land area; the channels and straits - particularly the NORTHWEST PASSAGE - are not universally recognized as Canadian.."

"Canada regards the channels and straits as internal waters through which foreign vessels must request permission to pass. With the prospect of bringing home oil from arctic discoveries off Alaska, the US has increasingly seen them as international waters, open to all, and has demonstrated this belief by sending the oil tankers Manhattan (1969) and the Polar Sea (1985) into Canada's Arctic without permission. There is a legal case to be made on both sides, and Canada has offered to submit the matter to the International Court of Justice." (source:

Why has our Canadian Government during this time been unwilling  to commit itself to the North and its
resources? If ever there were a time to commit to the North and its resources it is now!

Chemicals and the feminization of fish present in two Alberta rivers

ScienceDaily (2010-07-30) -- "Chemicals present in two rivers in southern Alberta are likely the
cause of the feminization of fish, say researchers."

To read the entire article which I created this blog entry from click on the folllowing link or
click on the title to this blog entry:

To read a CBC news article about this finding click on the following link:

Here is an interesting video I found about this topic at Youtube. Thanks to
Youtube member CSPH MAPERC for alllowing me to use this video on my blog:

Resting brain activity associated with spontaneous fibromyalgia pain

The images show the anatomical localization of peak significant differences between brain SPECT of patients with fibromyalgia and healthy subjects. Patients with fibromyalgia exhibited posterior hyperperfusion (red), including of the somatosensory cortex, and hypoperfusion (green) of frontal, cingulate, temporal, and cerebellar cortices. Images courtesy of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine

ScienceDaily (2010-07-30) -- "A recent study provides the first direct evidence of linkage
between elevated intrinsic (resting-state) brain connectivity and spontaneous pain intensity in
patients with fibromyalgia. This research shows an interaction of multiple brain networks, offering greater understanding of how pain arises. To read an entire article about this topic please click on the
following link or click on the title to this blog post:

Eight percent of human genetic material comes from a virus

Image: Scientists have uncovered a host of human genes used by
 the Dengue virus when it hijacks our cells. (source of image: )

ScienceDaily (2010-01-08) -- "About eight percent of human genetic material comes from a virus and not from our ancestors, according to a new study. The research shows that the genomes of humans and other mammals contain DNA derived from the insertion of bornaviruses, RNA viruses whose replication and transcription takes place in the nucleus."

To read more about this fascinating discovery please click on the following link:
or click on the title to this blog entry.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Zedonk - zebra or donkey? video

To watch an interesting video entitled, "

Zedonk - zebra or donkey? please click on the following link:

Source of image:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Biologist believes Alberta oilsands are a constant source of low-level pollution

 "An independent scientist says an extensive search of hard-to-get government records
suggest Alberta's oilsands are a constant source of low-level pollution.
And Kevin Timoney, a biologist who has criticized the oilsands before,
 says the vast database he has compiled on the industry's environmental
performance suggests the province isn't doing enough to enforce standards."

To read the remainder of t his news article please click on the following link:

© 2010 CTV

Dr. Kevin Timoney has been in the news before regarding his mentioning of pollution problems
in Alberta. For instance, he was quoted in the following article as having conducted
 his own research into health issues raised by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
 in northern Alberta concerning their water supply.
11/08/water-study.html ) He was also in the news when he told his wife they should move
from their residence in Strathcona County, near Edmonton, because the air quality was 

In addition Dr. Timoney was subject to  defamatory staments by the Government of Alberta, after
Dr. Timoney concluded that "the Oil Industry in Alberta were threatening ecosystems and 
public health" .

Dr. Timoney was also quoted as part of an article entitled "Canada's Dirty Oil Challenge",

Dr. Kevin P. Timoney,  is an ecologist with Treeline Environmental Research. It certainly is 
wonderful that someone like Dr. Timoney is looking out for the health of the people of Alberta!

Here is a video in which Dr. Timoney is  speaking in Fort Chipewyan about the Alberta Cancer
 Board Health Study of 2009 which found an elevated incidence of several types of
cancer in the Fort Chipewyan area: source of video:

Dr. Timoney, on behalf of all Albertans I would like to thank you for all the time and energy you have
spent trying to ensure that the health of your fellow Albertans is not threatened by  the actions of Big Oil
 and our lax  Government in the Province of Alberta!

Palmyra Atoll: Why so many predators?

Palmyra Atoll
Source of image:

To read an interesting article which discusses why there seem to be so many predators
in the  Palmyra Atoll (which is located here):

 please click on the following link:

I have done some research online to determine in my own mind why Palmyra Atoll has more
predatory species existing there than in nearby areas. Here is what I have discovered:

What is an atoll?
An atoll  is an island of coral that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. Charles Darwin
classifyed "the atoll" as a unique type of island, Darwin understood the creation of an atoll as having
 its roots in volcanic activity. The basis for his theory came from personal observations that Darwin
made during a six-year voyage around the southern section of the Pacific Ocean.
According to Darwin, the atoll was the result of the gradual sinking of a volcanic island that has long since cooled, leaving behind an open crater in the middle section of the island. As the island begins to sink, the surrounding territory of the island falls beneath the surface of the water. At the same time, the coral reef that is found around the fringes of the island remains and gradually is built up through the natural practice of the accumulation of marine organisms that become part of the reef. This creates a barrier reef around the remaining section of the island, forming the perfect conditions for the development of a lagoon. Once the lagoon is formed and is more or less encircled by the barrier reef, an atoll is the final product of this gradual metamorphosis."(source: )

Facts about the Palmyra Atoll:
"About halfway between Hawai‘i and American Samoa lies Palmyra Atoll. Palmyra consists of a
circular string of about 50 islets nestled among several lagoons and encircled by 15,000 acres
 of shallow turquoise reefs and deep blue submerged reefs. It is the northernmost atoll in the
 Line Islands in the equatorial Pacific." (source: )

" an incorporated atoll administered by the United States federal government.
The atoll is 4.6 sq mi (12 km2), and it is located in the Northern Pacific Ocean. Geographically,
 Palmyra is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef and north of
Kiribati Line Islands), located almost due south of the Hawaiian Islands, roughly halfway between
Hawaii and American Samoa. Its 9 mi (14 km) of coastline has one anchorage known as West
 Lagoon. It consists of an extensive reef, two shallow lagoons, and some 50 sand and reef-rock
 islets and bars covered with vegetation—mostly coconut trees, Scaevola, and tall Pisonia trees."

"Palmyra was first sighted in 1798 by an American sea captain, Edmund Fanning of
Stonington, Connecticut, while his ship the Betsy was in transit to Asia, but it was only later—
on November 7, 1802—that the first Western people landed on the uninhabited atoll. On that
date, Captain Sawle of the United States ship Palmyra was wrecked on the atoll..In December
 2000, most of the atoll was purchased by The Nature Conservancy,"

"On January 18, 2001, the  U.S. Secretary of the Interior signed an order designating
Palmyra’s tidal lands, submerged lands, and surrounding waters out to 12 nautical miles
 from the water’s edge as a National Wildlife Refuge.

According to the document :

"On coral reefs in Palmyra—a central Pacific atoll with limited fishing
pressure—total fish biomass is 428 and 299% greater than on reefs in nearby
Christmas and Fanning Islands. Large apex predators –groupers, sharks, snappers, and
jacks larger than 50 cm in length- account for 56% of total fish biomass in Palmyra on
average, but only 7% and 3% on Christmas and Fanning."

"With minimal historical and current population (two resident refuge managers and up
to ten visiting scientists or volunteers), Palmyra has never had the extensive local
fisheries of the more populated Line Islands."

"The shallow reefs at Palmyra Atoll (2-10 people, no fishing allowed on
reefs because of marine protected area status) sustain 428% and 299% more fish
biomass per 200 m2 than Christmas"

According to the document: "Trip Report from December 2008 Pangaea Research

"Our findings to date have helped to describe the
dynamics of this unique ecosystem, which is relatively free of human influences"

We determined bonefish at Palmyra to have much higher natural mortality rates compared
 with other locations that have been investigated (Friedlander et al.2004, 2007), most
 likely a consequence of the large number of apex predators at Palmyra (e.g. sharks and jacks).
These predator-dominated ecosystems are rare owing to the extirpation of 
large apex-predators from most reefs worldwide
(Friedlander and DeMartini 2002, Sandin et al. 2008)."

"Understanding the role that sharks and other apex predators play is becoming even more
 important due to recent reports that predator populations are declining due to over-fishing,
and it is unclear what effect this may have on prey populations and other dynamics of the
 marine communities (Baum et al., 2003)"

"In addition to bonefish, we have intensively studied movements and feeding habits of the
most common predator in the lagoon ecosystem at Palmyra, the blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus). Our data indicates that blacktip reef sharks show site fidelity to certain lagoon areas,
 and that movements are focused along the edges of the sand flats (Papastamatiou et al. in press).
 Using fractal analysis, we surmised that blacktips patrol these edges to intercept prey species
that may move to and from the lagoons and sand flats with the tides. The only other study of movement patterns of blacktip reef sharks, at Aldabra atoll, Indian Ocean, also suggested that blacktips
 showed site fidelity to core areas of a reef, and that movement patterns were influenced
by tidal currents (Stevens 1984).

So  I  come to  the following conclusion which seem to indicate why there are more predators
 in Palmyra Atoll than in surrounding atolls and areas :
The atoll has limited  or no fishing pressure from humans, partially due to the fact that no fisheries are
present in this area and  due to the fact that no fishing is  allowed on reefs because these areas
have been designated as having  "marine protected area" status. The fact that the United
States Government has also designated Palmyra’s tidal lands, submerged lands, and surrounding
 waters out to 12 nautical miles  from the water’s edge as a National Wildlife Refuge is another reason
why there are more predators found in this atoll.

Because more fish exist, this means that predators have a larger food supply in this
area, which they have come to know, and therefore they will obviously continue to reside in
 an area where their dietary needs can be fulfilled. Because the predator fish and animal species
 in this atoll have not been over-fished by humans, this means these populations of these fish
 have been allowed to increase in size.

In the following video
Senior Scientist and Cultural Advisor for the Nature Conservancy Hawai'i, Sam Ohu Gon,
 shares why Palmyra is so special and why Hōkūle'a was allowed to visit this protected atoll:

Here is a video which shows some pictures taken of Palmyra Atoll from Google Earth
by Youtube member Tautvis17 source of video:

The "Nature Conservancy created  this next video of the waters off of Palmyra Atoll

Lastly, here is a website which gives you more information about the Atoll:

Here is a webpage devoted to discussing this area:

I hope you enjoyed learning about Palmyra Atoll and also learning why more predatory life-forms
are found in this Atoll! I sure have!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zebra-donkey mix born at Georgia preserve -

Zebra-donkey mix born at Georgia preserve -
To read a news article which concerns the birth of a baby zedonk (which is part Zebra and
part Donkey) please click on the link above this line. A photo of the baby zedonk can be
viewed at the link I have posted above.
Apparently when a baby is born to  Zebra and Donkey parents it is also called a "zonkey".
You can learn about zedonks (zonkeys) by going to the following website:

Source of image:

Phytoplankton in decline

Image:The image above is a copepod, family Eucalanidae
[Scottish Association for Marine Science image]

"Microscopic marine algae called phytoplankton that produce half the world's oxygen and
 support most ocean life have been declining dramatically over the past century,
Canadian researchers say."We should be very concerned … it's extremely disturbing,"
said Daniel Boyce, lead author of the study published Wednesday in Nature."
"The study found that the world is losing an average of one per cent
of its phytoplankton each year  and the northern hemisphere has lost roughly 40
 per cent since 1950."

The link to the study at is

Here are some of the key facts about phytoplankton:

Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of the plankton community. The name comes
 from the Greek words φυτόν (phyton), meaning "plant", and πλαγκτός (planktos), meaning
 "wanderer" or "drifter".
(source: ).Phytoplankton account for half 
of all photosynthetic activity on Earth.Thus phytoplankton are responsible for much of 
the oxygen present in the Earth's atmosphere – half of the total amount produced by all 
plant life.[3] Their cumulative energy fixation in carbon compounds (primary production)
 is the basis for the vast majority of oceanic and also many freshwater food webs
Phytoplankton serve as the base of the aquatic food web, providing an essential 
ecological function for all aquatic life (source: )

Phytoplankton "are the producers in a food chain, Autotrophs can reduce carbon dioxide
 (add hydrogen to it) to make organic compounds. The reduction of carbon dioxide, a low-energy compound, creates a store of chemical energy."Autotrophs are fundamental to the food chains of all ecosystems in the world. They take energy from the environment in the form of sunlight or
 inorganic chemicals and use it to create energy-rich molecules such as carbohydrates. 
This mechanism is called primary production. Other organisms, called heterotrophs,
 take in autotrophs as food to carry out functions necessary for their life. Thus, heterotrophs — 
all animals, almost all fungi, as well as most bacteria and protozoa — depend on autotrophs
 for the energy and raw materials they need."

Phytoplankton are called "the great meadow of the sea." Billions and billions of 
very small living cells  floating near the surface of the ocean where they use
 sunlight to make 
molecules of stored energy and building material for themselves and for animals
 to use. These cells are
 mostly algae and blue-green algae."

"Plankton, both plant (phytoplankton) and animal (zooplankton) are at the lowest level
 of the food chain in marine ecosystems, and constitute a vital food-source for
 higher-level organisms."

What are the implications of the loss of Phytoplankton in the Earth's oceans?

Firstly, according to the article which was posted online at The Globe and Mail  Website:

 while I was writing this blog entry:

"Curtis Suttle, a professor of earth and ocean sciences at the University of British 
Columbia. “Undoubtedly, (the decline in phytoplankton populations in the 
world oceans)  have implications in terms of how oceanic food webs
 are structured, and that could have impacts on fisheries).”

Secondly, “This is a definite wake-up call that our oceans are becoming increasingly
 stressed and this is another indicator of that,” said lead author Daniel Boyce,
 a marine ecologist and doctoral student at Dalhousie. “It’s quite shocking to think 
that there’s been a 40-per-cent decline at the base of the food chain over the past 
50 years. I think it’s absolutely cause for concern."

Here is an interesting 6 minute video which discusses what Phytoplankton are,
what their requirements are, and how they survive:
source of video:
Thank you to the Open University for posting this video to Youtube and thank
you for allowing me to use this video on my blog!

Here is a link to a short video entitled,
"Phytoplankton Makes Life Possible on Earth":

To see a  4 minute and 44 second video entitled:
Ways to Save the Planet: Phytoplankton Video at
click on the link above this line.

In the following video which is 5 minutes and 52 seconds in length,Dr. Jeffrey Krause explains the potential effect of global climate change on the ocean's phytoplankton during the CLIMECO Summer School, Brest France 2008 

Let us hope scientists can determine why a decline in Phytoplankton in the Earth's oceans is occurring,
and if this decline is linked to human activity, that we all are willing to change our behavior to prevent
this decline from occurring. We better or our species and all life on the planet may be irreversibly
and adversely affected!

PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER Don’t be Scared by 'Scareware'

To read an informative  article I found at the FBI website, entitled, "PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
Don’t be Scared by 'Scareware'" please click on the following link:

Past Decade Warmest on Record:2009 State of the Climate report

"The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators
that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable."
...the report defines 10 measurable planet-wide features used to gauge global temperature changes.
The relative movement of each of these indicators proves consistent with a warming world."

“For the first time, and in a single compelling comparison, the analysis brings together multiple observational records from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

Despite the variability caused by short-term changes, the analysis conducted for this report illustrates why we are so confident the world is warming,” said Peter Stott, Ph.D., contributor to the repor
t and head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution of the United Kingdom Met Office Hadley Centre.

“The temperature increase of one degree Fahrenheit over the past 50 years may seem small, but it has already altered our planet,” said Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report and chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “Glaciers and sea ice are melting, heavy rainfall is intensifying and heat waves are more common. And, as the new report tells us, there is now evidence that over 90 percent of warming over the past 50 years has gone into our ocean.”

The full report can be read by going to the following website:

Source of image and text:

For more information visit:

To watch a short video about the State of Climate report please visit:

CBC News - Technology & Science - Abandoned 1854 ship found in Arctic

HMS Enterprise (1848) and HMS Investigator (1848) in the ice

(source of image:
and_HMS_Investigator_%281848%29_in_the_ice.jpg )

"The discovery of a British ship in Northern Canada is an "essential" part of Canada's Arctic
sovereignty, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice says."

"A Parks Canada research team has located the HMS Investigator, a vessel that has
 been trapped in ice in Mercy Bay, located in Aulavik National Park in the Northwest Territories."
"The Investigator was a British merchant ship and its crew, led by Robert McClure, is credited with discovering the Northwest Passage. It became trapped in ice in 1853 and hasn't moved since."

(Source: )

HMS Investigator was a merchant ship purchased in 1848 to search for Sir John Franklin's
lost expedition. She made two voyages to the Arctic and had to be abandoned in 1853 after
becoming trapped in the ice. Built at Scott's of Greenock and running 422 tons, she was purchased
by the Admiralty in February 1848 and was fitted for Arctic exploration the Blackwall yard of Greens.

To read  a CBC news article about the finding of this ship please click on the following link:

CBC News - Technology & Science - Abandoned 1854 ship found in Arctic

It is interesting to note that according to a news article at:, "is a historic find and one
 that may help bolster Canadian claims to Arctic sovereignty." According to Mary Ormsby a
 a writer at

Parks Canada is going to map the
" virgin ocean floor" (around the  the HMS Investigator), "which may also bolster Canada’s
 push to assert sovereignty over its Arctic waters, a politically charged area with claims from countries including Russia and the United States."

I found this map which shows where the wreck of the HMS Investiagator was found
(look for the arrow in the map):image courtesy Google Maps:

Here is a video I found in which The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister responsible Parks Canada, 
 announces the discovery of the HMS Investigator:

source of video:

Here is another Government of Canada video I found which relates to this blog post of mine:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CBC News - Technology & Science - Monarchs migrate over mountains: study

Monarch Butterflies wintering in the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California

CBC News - Technology & Science - Monarchs migrate over mountains: study

To read a news story which discusses new research concerning Monarch butterfly migration,
please  click on the link above this sentence.

Source of image:
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.
Photographer: A. Gunther

Here is a 3 minute video slideshow of the El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico; photos by T
om Seliskar; slideshow by Kay Seliskar 
Thank you to Kate and Tom Seliskar for allowing me to use their video on my blog.!!

Alberta First Nations demand Federal Government protect Caribou

To read an article which discusses why Alberta First Nations demand protection for caribou in Alberta please click on the following link:

Alberta First Nations demand caribou protection from federal government

Source of image:

According to the website:

" Woodland caribou inhabit the boreal forest of northern Alberta and mixed coniferous
 forests and alpine regions of west-central Alberta.Recent assessments estimate that
 Alberta's woodland caribou inhabit about 113,000 square kilometres (43,630 square
 miles) of the northern and west central parts of the province.Caribou distribution has moved 
northward from southern habitat limits where human encroachment has been greatest."

 "In Alberta there are two ecotypes of woodland caribou that differ primarily in their
 migration habits:Mountain ecotype (west-central Alberta) - undertakes long migrations 
of 80 kilometres (50 miles) or more (straight line distance) between its forested foothills
 winter range and mountainous summer range Boreal ecotype - may carry out long
 or short seasonal migrations ranging from 15 to 80 kilometres (9 to 50 miles)
 but remains within forested habitats throughout the year."

 Most important is the following fact: "a caribou cow does not mate or breed 
until she is two-and-a-half years old, and will  usually produce only one calf a year. 
 Caribou productivity is low compared to other members of the deer family, 
which breed at a younger age and often produce twins.
Woodland caribou are classified as At Risk in the General Status of 
Alberta Wild Species report."
"The distribution of Woodland Caribou in Alberta has experienced a reduction due to
 the rapid decrease in their available range-land. As a result of this increasingly shrinking
 range, many populations have been fragmented, particularly in parts of Alberta's
  Rocky Mountains
In an attempt to protect the caribou populations, resource extraction companies such as 
petroleum and natural gas, timber, peat mines are all asked to follow specific
 land-use guidelines for operations within caribou management zones."

"The Alberta Caribou Committee formerly known as the Boreal Caribou
 Committee (BCC)  is a community of Government, Industrial, and Academic
 partners. Together, they have worked for over a decade to integrate
 industrial activities in northern Alberta with the  conservation of caribou
 and caribou habitat." The Committee's official website is at:

Clearly, if caribou populations in Alberta have experienced a decline, this is bad news not only
for the caribou but also for the species which are predators of the caribou,:such as wolves and bears.
The Federal Government of Canada and the Government of the Province of Alberta need to listen
to what the Alberta First Nations are saying about the Caribou in our province!!

To see a map which outlines boundaries created to preserve Alberta Caribou click on the 
following link: 
(you need a program installed on your computer which can read PDF files)

What I find really alarming about the caribou is the fact that the  it seems
that the Alberta Government has no reliable and up-to-date information
concerning population levels of caribou in our province.
You will understand what I mean when you see how dated research data in the
 following document:

In addition, no Government of Alberta data exists relating to population levels of Caribou in our
Province for the years 2009-2010. Why is this? The latest data is found in this document online:

Here is a  short but very informative video I found at
Teachertube concerning Alberta Caribou:
___Alberta_Tomorrow&video_id=76858 )

At least the Government of  Alberta has created an  Alberta Caribou recovery plan in 2004
which covers management of the caribou for the years 2004-2011 (which you can read in PDF
form by clicking on the following link):

However, what about the Government of Canada? I found the following website which may 
interest you:

What is really disturbing about the Government of Canada's reaction to this situation with
Canada's caribou is the following:

"Environment Canada assembled some of the world's top woodland-caribou scientists
 for advice on the habitat needed to save the threatened animals,
 and then it rejected their suggestions!!."
"The scientists' conclusions, released in a report last week, say that development should
 be tightly controlled in about half the northern boreal forest, to give caribou a better shot at
 long-term survival. The report also estimated that 30 of Canada's 57 woodland-caribou
 populations have shrunk to such low levels they are probably no longer self-sustaining.
In response, Environment Canada added an unsigned preface, or qualifier, to the report,
saying the scientists didn't provide enough information on how much caribou habitat can be
disturbed through development to still maintain sustainable herds. The department said it will
study the issue until December, 2010, effectively putting off for several years any formal plans
 to protect the species."
(source: )

The Government of Canada needs to get its act together quickly if the caribou of our country
are going to be saved from becoming extinct!

What role do caribou play in the ecosystem? To learn about their role please visit the following
"Only after the last tree has been cut down;
Only after the last fish has been caught;
Only after the last river has been poisoned;
Only then will you realize
that money cannot be eaten."

- Cree Indian Prophecy

Penguins of the Antarctic ~ Video: Penguin Paso Doble | Nature

To watch a short video which shows an interesting mating dance of Penguins please click on the following link:
Penguins of the Antarctic ~ Video: Penguin Paso Doble | Nature

Monday, July 26, 2010

Boat made of plastic bottles ends 4-month ocean sail

"A sailboat largely constructed from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles has completed a 4-month
journey across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness about the perils of plastic waste."


The  sailboat, named "Plastiki" is a , a 60-foot catamaran, and had six crew members
who traversed 8,000 nautical miles at sea.

"The Plastiki — named after the 1947 Kon-Tiki raft sailed across the Pacific by explorer
  Thor Heyerdahl— is fully recyclable and gets its power from solar panels and windmills."
(same source as above)

A website devoted to the expedition and the boat can be viewed by going to:

Congratulations to the crew of the Plastiki! What a great message you are sending, which is:

It’s about recognizing that waste is fundamentally a design flaw (it does not appear in nature)
It’s about a better understanding of the lifecycle’s  and materials used in our everyday lives.
 It’s about being curious and open, being prepared to  let go of assumptions in order to
undertake a new ‘Planet 2.0’ way of thinking and acting....
It's about re-integrating back into the web of life by recognizing and reducing our
 human fingerprints on the natural world. It’s about moving on from just articulating
the problems and inspiring action of the solutions. It’s about encouraging the world to reduce,
 reuse, recycle and rethink more of the planets natural resources. It’s about delivering a
spectacular global “Message in a Bottle”"

Why was this project undertaken? According to the official website for the "Plastiki" the
reason for this project was to try and raise awareness for the need to recycle out plastics,
these people decided to engage in this project after they learned:

"It is estimated that almost all of the marine pollution in the world is comprised of plastic
 materials. The average proportion varied between 60% and 80% of total marine pollution.
- "In many regions in the northern and southern Gyres, plastic materials constitute as much as
90 to 95% of the total amount of marine debris".
- "Scientists estimate that every year at least 1 million seabirds and 100,000
 marine mammals and sea turtles die when they entangle themselves in plastic
 pollution or ingest it."
-" According to Project Aware, 15 billion pounds of plastic are produces in the U.S. every
 year, and only 1 billion pounds are recycled. It is estimated that in excess of 38 billion plastic
 bottles and 25 million Styrofoam cups end up in landfill and although plastic bottles are
100% recyclable, on average only 20% are actually recycled."

 (source: )

Source of image:

Here is a link to a ABC news story about the Plastiki:

Here is a video about the Plastiki I found at
Thanks to Nathan Friedkin for posting the video at!

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:
Chess needs more women and girl participants and administrators!

Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.