Almost 7 years ago, while going through some personal issues, I made a terrible mistake and ended up being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of California. It was a dark period in my life, but I have moved on and learned my lesson. This spring, however, my intoxicated driving conviction […]
An additive can make cardboard suitable for roofing in poorer nations like India.
Urine and defecation around fox dens adds nutrients to the soil, which promotes vegetation.
Cephalopods have biological traits that make them adaptable to changing oceans.
Tiger moths make a noise for bats to hear in order to warm them they taste nasty.
Exercise can slow eyesight function.
Meerkats understand that their size is related to their hierarchy.
A link has been found between helplessness in infants and intelligence in parents.
The red knot has become 15% smaller over the past 30 years because of a warmer Arctic.
A new species of horned dinosaur found in Montana.
The invasive red fire ants in the southern US is gobbled up in the billion by the Purple Martin.
Particles from a fairly recent supernovae have been captured by a NASA satellite.
Canadian politics has apparently entered its silly season just before everyone takes the summer off and goes to the lake. While Canada discusses Sophie’s workload and “elbowgate” — both such important news stories! — in the United States we see Hilla…
Plankton behave strangely after consuming toxic algae in algal blooms.
A robotic surgical assistant makes perfect stitches.
Human activity has been identified in pre-Clovis America 14,500 years ago.
The giraffe genome includes genetic changes but few innovations.
Saturday past Theresa and I attended a wedding for our Grand daughter and her new partner Jamie. It was a family get together like few from the past. One hundred and sixty people who came together to celebrate this special day. We met people that we ne…
The last two weeks has seen a magical transformation in our area. Our trees budded and blossomed and right during this time the birds came back in large numbers. Our two apple trees were stressed this year from unseasonal weather during January and Feb…
Kepler has confirmed nearly 1300 planets, many in the habitable zone.
Earthworms are eating and moving seeds around resulting in a lack of diversity in some forest areas.
Flowering plants provided dung beetles with more nutrition in the form of dinosaur poop.
Humans have greater energy needs and higher metabolism than apes.
Chytrid fungus may have turned up in Africa.
Early modern humans in Europe were displaced several times.
Every year when Mothers Day comes around I have memories that pop up to keep Mom alive in my life. It is 42 years since Mom passed away but it does not seem that long ago. When I talk on the phone to my siblings our conversations usually get around to …
This just infuriates me.
A volunteer group organized through Facebook is ready, willing, able and on the spot to rescue the Fort McMurray pets.
Instead of helping them, some bureaucratic RCMP officers are preventing them — they’re not “official”, you see. Its actually some municipality job or maybe the SPCA — though neither have bothered setting up any rescue yet, but they’re getting to it any day now, yes siree! And its just dogs and cats anyway, so who cares….
Sam Sansalone, who’s based out of southern Alberta but has taken on a leadership role in the Facebook group Fort Mac Fire – Pet Rescue, where many of the efforts are being co-ordinated, said group members rescued about 230 pets on Wednesday and Thursday.
But on Thursday, and again on Friday, police kicked them out, he said.
He said authorities told them that the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo was taking over pet rescue duties, and there was a risk that people working independently might loot houses under the guise of attempting to rescue pets.
Sansalone said he understands that concern, but that official resources are spread too thin, and civilians should be allowed to help.
Plus, Wood Buffalo’s rescue effort didn’t start until Saturday. Sansalone said he was worried that would be too late for many of the pets.
“This is a mass grave, in basements, in crates,” he said.
And The Globe and Mail carefully titles its story “SPCA asking evacuees to register pets left behind in Fort McMurray” when the story is actually about the volunteer group — they’re the ones who set up a facebook group and they’re the ones who are organized already to rescue the pets. The SPCA could have done this. The Municipality of Wood Buffalo could have done this. The RCMP could have done this.
But they didn’t.
Instead, they seem to be putting their best efforts into preventing the rescue of animals that dying as we speak.
I’m sure every one of the thousands of Fort McMurray families has their own story of what happened to them during the evacuation, but here’s one of the most thrilling stories of courage that I’ve seen so far:
If Cora Dion only needed transport for two horses as she fled Fort McMurray with her twin 15-year-old daughters, three dogs and a cat, the family’s escape from Alberta’s worst wildfire in years would have been fairly straightforward.
But she had four horses. And a trailer for two….
So they joined the vehicular torrent on Highway 63 — Dion, the dogs and the cat in her truck; two horses in the trailer; and Gwen and Carly riding the two remaining horses.
They didn’t even have time to saddle them both: Carly rode bareback; Gwen took charge of Addie, a six-year-old thoroughbred who, as a racehorse, is high-strung by nature.
Sometimes they took the shoulder, Dion driving slowly alongside. Where there was no shoulder, they were on the road, in traffic. …
“Seriously, for my daughter to jump on a six-year-old thoroughbred and ride down the highway, that takes guts,” she said. …
“We had Harleys driving right behind. Normally a Harley would cause great stress, especially in a really young horse like Addie.”
“My horse, she’s very much the leader of our little herd there, and you could tell she was very visibly trying to suppress her stress. She was pretending to be calm, but when we pulled her off she was drenched with sweat.” …
As Dion and her girls waited for their next ride at the junction of highways 63 and 881, a stranger with a four-horse trailer pulled up beside them.
“I don’t know who you are, but load in — let’s get going,” she recalls him saying.
“He literally put my horses in his trailer and we were on the road in five minutes.”…
They’ve no idea when they’ll be able to go home or what will be left when they do. (So far, from what they hear, the house is still standing.)
Especially painful is the thought of the animals they left behind: a corn snake, a bearded dragon, and a ball python named Demetrius who probably won’t make it without carefully controlled heat and humidity.
Hunter, their 10-year-old cat, was nowhere to be found when they left. Dion hopes he can take care of himself for a little while.
“Honestly, now that I look back, it was pretty terrifying,” Dion says.
But at the time, she was in survival mode.
“I was just, OK, this is what we have to do.”
Other families evacuated included Syrian refugees who had only arrived in Fort McMurray four months ago:
As members of Fahed Labek’s family from war-torn Syria fled the inferno engulfing their adopted Alberta hometown, he recalls them staring back at the flames in Fort McMurray.
“They said, ‘OK. We left the fire and now we saw another fire. From fire to fire,’ ” said Labek, 43, who fled the approaching wildfire on Tuesday.
Labek lives in Fort McMurray with his wife and two children. He helped relocate his mother, sister, brother-in-law and their two children to his home in late February.
They are among about six families of Syrian refugees that resettled in the city in recent months….
Labek and his family left in a rush for oilsand workers’ camps to the north of the city, expecting a 45-minute drive. Instead they drove for eight hours and when they arrived, apologetic aid workers told them no beds were available.
The family, including his 68-year-old mother who is in a wheelchair, set off again for Edmonton.
When their car broke down they were picked up by other evacuees in two different vehicles. Labek was awake for 42 hours before everyone reunited in Edmonton at about 6 a.m. Wednesday.
“Now we have another story. I have to find a place to stay, I have to find some food,” Labek said Thursday.
“We don’t have clothes for my kids, we don’t have milk. For my kids, we don’t even have diapers.”
The evacuation order happened so quickly that people couldn’t fill up their tanks — now hundreds of cars are abandoned on the highways, and the government has sent tanker trucks and set up mobile gas stations to allow owners to get their vehicles moving again.
Here are before and after photos from The Weather Network:
Nobody has died so far, and two babies have been born during the evacuation.
I think Canada has had quite enough of Mike Duffy.I know I certainly have.Apparently we aren’t supposed to hold this grown man responsible for understanding such complex rules as:1. If its not Senate business, don’t ask for reimbursement; and,2. …
So Saskatchewan NDP leader Cam Broten has resigned after losing his seat, and federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair was voted out – though apparently he still wants to hang around embarrassing the party for the next two years until they finally elect a new le…
My granddaughter Darcy is the coach of an elite midget hockey team in Guelph. This weekend her team won the gold in a tournament representing her large area. It is the Lower Lakes division and it is an excellent division for future elite women hockey p…
Most people believe that they have friends. Most of the people believe that they are a friend to several acquaintances. I have several friends or used to have several friends. As I age the number diminished to a very few. Today I lost a dear frie…
Lynda invited some of her friends and family for dinner and was surprised that the whole gang were free to come. Only Dar and Mitch were unable to come from Ottawa. Twenty three of us came on a wintery day when we had power outages, ice rain and a coun…
Looking at what has happened so far, and at the contests coming up, here’s my unscientific view of what is going to happen over the next two months:
First fact: the total number of delegates needed to win is 2300. As of yesterday, Hillary needed about 700 more delegates, and Bernie needed about 1400 more.
Second fact: From now until the end of May, there will be 13 primaries and caucus, awarding about 1,100 delegates.
Based on results so far with Bernie winning the smaller caucuses and Hillary the larger primaries, I think Bernie and Hillary will continue to split many of these votes. But I believe Hillary is on track to achieve significant wins in the closed primaries in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, while Bernie’s only large blowout will be today’s open caucus in Washington.
As a result, over the next two months, I think we will see Hillary gain maybe 600 to 700 delegates — which brings her pretty close to the goal — and Bernie gain maybe 400 to 500, which leaves him still about a thousand delegates short. And there are only about 700 delegates remaining in all of the June primaries. So even though he gained about a hundred at the Saturday caucuses, which is cheering to his supporters, in the long run these delegates aren’t going to help.
I must say now that its becoming clear that Hillary is going to win — because millions of Democrats actually like her a lot — I’m glad to see more people pushing back against some of the Hillary hatred which has polluted blogs like Daily Kos for the last several months. In refuting Matt Taibbi’s incoherent Clinton trashing, Kevin Drum goes point by point while Booman gives everyone a valuable history lesson in what happened during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Booman concludes:
The choice between Clinton and Sanders is not a choice between today and 1992; it’s a choice about who you think is best prepared to be president and who can win by the biggest margin. It’s also a bet, or a gamble on how much change you think the system can bear. And it’s a guess about which candidate can get more out of a reluctant Congress.
It’s no easy choice, and I don’t want to pretend that it is, but it’s not a choice between good and evil, and it’s not obvious who is right.
The more I see of Bernie, the less I think of him. As Kevin Drum puts it:
Bernie Sanders too often lets rhetoric take the place of any actual plausible policy proposal. He suggested that his health care plan would save more in prescription drug costs than the entire country spends in the first place. This is the sign of a white paper hastily drafted to demonstrate seriousness, not something that’s been carefully thought through. He bangs away on campaign finance reform, but there’s virtually no chance of making progress on this. The Supreme Court has seen to that, and even if Citizens United were overturned, previous jurisprudence has placed severe limits on regulating campaign speech. Besides, the public doesn’t support serious campaign finance reform and never has. And even on foreign policy, it’s only his instincts that are good. He’s shown no sign of thinking hard about national security issues, and that’s scarier than most of his supporters acknowledge. Tyros in the Oval Office are famously susceptible to pressure from the national security establishment, and Bernie would probably be no exception. There’s a chance—small but not trivial—that he’d get rolled into following a more hawkish national security policy than Hillary.
I’m old, and I’m a neoliberal sellout. Not as much of one as I used to be, but still. So it’s no surprise that I’m not always on the same page as Taibbi. That said, I continue to be surprised by the just plain falseness of many of the left-wing attacks on Hillary, along with the starry-eyed willingness to accept practically everything Bernie says without even a hint of healthy skepticism. Hell, if you’re disappointed by Obama, who’s accomplished more than any Democratic president in decades, just wait until Bernie wins. By the end of four years, you’ll be practically suicidal.
Finally, here’s Hillary’s latest speech, on terrorism and how she intends to deal with it — hint: she’s not carpet-bombing ISIS, or closing the borders, or patrolling Muslim neighbourhoods. As well as laying out her own positions, she is also testing out the attack lines she intends to use during the election campaign against the Republicans.
LYING LIBERALS ON POT REFORM NOW !! – ‘Keep busting them’ says Trudeau!!!Justin Trudeau has advised the nations police to continue to harass and arrest Canadians for simple possession of marijuana. What a lying bunch of opportunists you guys are:Straig…