The river, which runs through the city of Langford, British Columbia, turned a fluorescent green on Dec. 30, when a passer-by captured stunning video of the verdant waterway. At first it wasn't clear what caused the river -- and the water in a nearby fountain -- to change color. But investigators now believe that the green hue was caused by the addition of fluorescein, a synthetic organic compound that is often used as a dye, or a "fluorescent tracer," in the testing of water systems.[Continues at Utica Daily News]
Tag Archives | Canada
This fifth grader is going to be getting a lot of extra credit in science this year. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada announced the little girl’s discovery of supernova in galaxy UGC 3378 on New Years Eve. Canada’s National Post reports:
Kathryn Aurora Gray is taking her new celebrity in stride after becoming the youngest person to discover a supernova.
The 10-year-old Fredericton girl’s phone has been ringing off the hook since the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada announced her find Monday.
But the amateur astronomer knows — better than anybody, perhaps — that her discovery is fleeting.
“It’s just a blowing-up of stars so eventually it will fade away,” she said of the supernova in an interview.
[Continues at National Post]
SPRUCE GROVE, ALTA.— A buffalo arriving at a bar in a convertible may seem like a figment of the imagination, but it actually happened. Bailey Jr. is a 1,600-pound male bison that last Saturday arrived at a Spruce Grove bar, about 30 kilometres west of Edmonton, in a convertible for a pint of ale, while a British camera crew from Animal Planet captured the barley lover chugging down a root beer and a bottle of beer. Not to worry, he had designated drivers with him — owners, Jim and Linda Sautner. The film crew from London, England's Oxford Scientific Films is part of a team that produces Fatal Attraction for Animal Planet. The documentary series looks at the psychological profile of people who have close relationships with big, dangerous and exotic animals.
Who would suspect an elderly white man? Nobody. At least, that’s what the young man from Hong Kong thought. While the facial disguise was quite impressive, he forgot to make his hands appear aged as well, which was what raised suspicion as he boarded the plane. CNN reports:
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Canadian authorities are investigating an “unbelievable” incident in which a passenger boarded an Air Canada flight disguised as an elderly man, according to a confidential alert obtained by CNN.
The incident occurred on October 29 on Air Canada flight AC018 to Vancouver originating in Hong Kong. An intelligence alert from the Canada Border Services Agency describes the incident as an “unbelievable case of concealment.”
“Information was received from Air Canada Corporate Security regarding a possible imposter on a flight originating from Hong Kong,” the alert says. “The passenger in question was observed at the beginning of the flight to be an elderly Caucasian male who appeared to have young looking hands.
Bryan Walsh writing for the Ecocentric Blog at Time Magazine:
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It’s used almost everywhere. It’s in almost all of us. It does weird things to rodents and it may be doing weird things to us—but it’s tough to be certain. Bisphenol-A (BPA) has become a litmus test for how people view environmental health and the risks of common household chemicals—as I wrote in a long story for TIME earlier this year. The chemical has countless industrial uses, most often in the epoxy liner of cans and in plastic bottles. But BPA is also an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it has the capacity to mess with our hormones and potentially impact health—especially in developing fetuses—even at relatively low doses. (Because they can mimic hormones—which cause enormous changes in our bodies even at relatively low amounts—the dose-response relationship used to evaluate traditional toxins like lead may not work with BPA.)
Green advocates like the Environmental Working Group have pushed hard to restrict and even ban BPA, citing the potential risk to human health, while industry groups like American Chemistry Council have fought tooth and nail to keep the chemical in use, casting doubt on the animal studies that have shown harm from BPA.
Canadian-born director James Cameron agreed Tuesday to help aboriginal communities with legal action against the Alberta and federal governments to stop water-borne pollution from the oilsands. The director, famous for movies such as Avatar and Titanic, met with community leaders and residents in Fort Chipewyan. The small town of 1,200 has been complaining for years about unusual rates of cancer and other illnesses among residents. The majority believe the disease is caused by air and water pollution from oilsands development, which they say also contaminates the wild foods they eat...
A group of Canadian companies have come together to design an electric car, dubbed the Kestrel, with a body sculpted from a super-tough composite produced from mats of hemp. A prototype is being tested, and the first 20 Kestrel cars will be delivered next year. No word on what sort of fumes are emitted by the tailpipe. Via CBC News:
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Automotive pioneer Henry Ford first built a car made of hemp fibre and resin more than half a century ago. “It’s not an original idea,” Motive Industries president Nathan Armstrong said.
The Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later in August by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc., a vehicle development firm focused on advanced materials and technologies, the company announced.
The compact car, which will hold a driver and up to three passengers, will have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour and a range of 40 to 160 kilometers before needing to be recharged.
Here we go again, another suspension of civil liberties as the elite nations of the world gather in Toronto. Why do we put up with it, and if Canada, usually a bastion of human rights, allows it, who’s going to call a foul? Report from the Globe & Mail:
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At City Hall, employees arrived at work to find a burly security guard demanding their access pass before they entered the normally unlocked doors. At a downtown law firm, lawyers were told to leave their suits and high heels at home and dress casual-like to avoid being set upon by anti-capitalist rioters. At one provincial government office, bureaucrats were told in late afternoon that the building was going under “lockdown” because protesters were in the neighbourhood. Many scooted for exits to avoid being trapped in the closed-up building.
All of a sudden on Monday, our calm, mild, pacific city took on a changed feel as the security noose tightened in advance of this weekend’s G20 summit.
Claire Sibonney writes in Reuters via Yahoo News:
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Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.
British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.
And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery. It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation.
CTV News reports:
Stephen Hawking’s warnings of an alien invasion have prompted a vigorous defence of extraterrestrials by their most prominent Canadian fan. Former federal defence minister Paul Hellyer, 86, believes not only that aliens have visited Earth but also that they have contributed greatly to human technological advances.
So he can’t quite understand why the world renowned astrophysicist views them with such trepidation; Hawking recently warned that malevolent aliens could lead to the destruction of humanity.
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The longtime cabinet minister accuses Hawking of spreading misinformation about extraterrestrials.
“I think he’s indulging in some pretty scary talk there that I would have hoped would not come from someone with such an established stature,” Hellyer said in an interview.
“I think it’s really sad that a scientist of his repute would contribute to what I would consider more misinformation about a vast and very important subject.”
Hawking speculates in a new documentary that most extraterrestrial life will be similar to microbes, or small animals — but he adds that advanced life forms may be “nomads, looking to conquer and colonize” new planets.