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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A singular discovery provides clues to whale sharks breeding - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A singular discovery provides clues to whale sharks breeding - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

To read about an important new discovery regarding whales sharks which could help scientists increase their population levels in the World's oceans please click on the link above.  

"The whale shark has a very widespread distribution, occurring in all tropical and warm temperate seas, except in the Mediterranean. During the day, they spend most of their time feeding near the surface, preferring sea surface temperatures around 21-30°C, they often go deep at night and when traveling, reaching depths of more than 700 m."

The whale shark is a filter feeder sieving enormous amounts of plankton through its gills as it swims. After closing its mouth, the shark uses gills rakers, thousands of bristly structures about 10 cm long, that clean the captured prey from its gills. Anything that doesn't pass through the gills is eaten. (source: 

"Some biological characteristics, such as large size, slow growth, late maturation and extended longevity, probably limit recruitment and make whale sharks susceptible to overexploitation. These characteristics also suggest that populations are slow to recover from any overfishing. The whale shark is listed as "Vulnerable" with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) [a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the conservation status of species]. The whale shark is listed by the AFS (American Fisheries Society) as conservation dependent (reduced but stabilized or recovering under a continuing conservation plan) in both the U.S. Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. However, it is considered not at risk in the Gulf of California. In the Maldives and Philippines there is legislation banning all fishing for whale sharks. This protection was introduced because of the possible serious impact that the fishery may be making on whale shark stocks. "

Source:   Source of image:

Here is a short video about Whale Sharks which was produced by the National Geographic Society: source:

Fifth of world's plants endangered: study - The Globe and Mail

Fifth of world's plants endangered: study - The Globe and Mail

To read an article which discusses the fact that human behavior is most responsible for the endangerment of one-fifth of the plants on our planet please click on the link above. As this article states: "“The single greatest threat (to plants) is conversion of natural habitats to agricultural use, directly impacting 33 per cent of threatened species,” the report said.

A BBC video about this situation can be viewed at:  At this BBC link I found the following statement:

"Researchers have sampled almost 4,000 species, and conclude that 22% should be classified as "threatened" - the same alarming rate as for mammals.
A further 33% of species were too poorly understood to be assessed."

I found another video about this situation at the following website: 

Clearly human behavior has to change if this situation is not going to get worse. Ironically, these species are being lost in order to feed our species on the planet,which creates another problem:how will the production of this food by agriculture, which is causing these plants to become endangered, be produced in the future if at all?

Source of image: 

CBC News - Edmonton - Oilsands water concerns focus of panel

CBC News - Edmonton - Oilsands water concerns focus of panel

It is nice to see the Federal Government of this country stepping in to look out for the people near the Athabasca River,it seems the Provincial Government of Alberta simply is uninterested in ensuring the people near this river are safe from possible health-effects related to the Alberta Oil Sands and the Athabasca River. Click on the link above to read about this situation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trudeau’s impact is obvious. It’s also mostly bad

To read an article at the National Post online written by Lorne Gunter, and entitled,

"Trudeau’s impact is obvious. It’s also mostly bad"

Please click on the following link:

Source of image: 

Most Earth-like planet yet spotted in a habitable zone

Photo: Gliese 581  source:

One of six planets found to be orbiting Gliese 581, a cool red dwarf star located approximately 87 light years away from the Earth, has been found to have earth-like qualities.

According to an article which you can read at: ,

"What makes this planet particularly significant is that it orbits squarely in the middle of the star’s habitable zone – the narrow range of orbital radii where the glow of the star is just warm enough (but not too warm) for liquid water to be stable."
“Hauntingly, this system reminds us of our own solar system in many ways,” says co-discoverer Steve Vogt of the University of California, Santa Cruz, at a news briefing today."

You can read a scientific paper concerning this discovery by clicking on the following link: (you have to have a program that can read PDF files to access this

It certainly would be kewl if this planet had some sort of  life on it! In October 2008, members of the networking website Bebo beamed A Message From Earth, a high-power transmission at Gliese 581 c, using the RT-70 radio telescope belonging to the National Space Agency of Ukraine. This transmission is due to arrive in the Gliese 581 system's vicinity by the year 2029; the earliest possible arrival for a response, should there be one, would be in 2049.

You can read three  other  news articles concerning this discovery by clicking on the following links: 

Space Photos This Week: Mars Wrinkles, Titan Equinox, More

Space Photos This Week: Mars Wrinkles, Titan Equinox, More

Analysis of Bluvshtein-Topalov. 2010 Chess Olympiad round 7

I have analyzed the round 7 game from the 2010 Chess Olympiad

between Grandmaster Mark Bluvshtein of Canada (pictured above)

and the second-highest-rated player in the World, Grandmaster Veselin Topalov
(pictured below)

and posted this analysis below at the bottom of the first page of my blog using the program Chessviewer Deluxe. I allowed the World's strongest chess program, Deep Rybka 4x64 to analyze the game for 3 hours on my quad-core computer. I hope you enjoy this analysis! This is game number 16 in the Chessviewer Deluxe game index. The opening played in this game was the King's Indian Defense:classical variation.

Source of image of GM Bluvshtein: 

Source of image of GM Topalov: 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A great day for Canadian Chess! GM Bluvshtein defeats Topalov at Chess Olympiad

Wonderful news for fans of Canadian Chess. In a game from round 7 of the 2010 Chess Olympiad Grandmaster Mark Bluvshtein of Ontario has defeated Grandmaster Veselin Topalov! The opening of the game was a King's Indian Defense, with Grandmaster Bluvshtein playing
the White pieces.

You can play through the moves of this game directly below:

Here are the moves of this game in PGN format:
[Event "39th Olympiad Men"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2010.09.28"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Bluvshtein, Mark"]
[Black "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[WhiteElo "2583"]
[BlackElo "2803"]
[ECO "E90"]
[Opening "King's Indian"]
[Variation "5.Nf3"]
[WhiteTeam "CAN"]
[BlackTeam "BUL"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 Na6 7. Bg5 c6 8.
Be2 e5 9. d5 h6 10. Be3 Nh5 11. dxc6 bxc6 12. Qd2 Nf4 13. O-O f5 14. Bxf4
exf4 15. exf5 Bxf5 16. Rad1 Rb8 17. Nd4 Bd7 18. Bf3 Qb6 19. Nb3 Be5 20. Ne4
Rbd8 21. Qe2 c5 22. Rd2 Rfe8 23. Rfd1 Bf5 24. Nxd6 Bxd6 25. Rxd6 Rxe2 26.
Rxd8+ Kf7 27. Bxe2 Ke7 28. Bg4 Bxg4 29. hxg4 Qxd8 30. Rxd8 Kxd8 31. Kf1 Ke7
32. Ke2 Kd6 33. a3 Nb8 34. Kf3 Ke5 35. Nxc5 g5 36. Nb3 Nd7 37. Ke2 Kd6 38.
f3 Ne5 39. Na5 Kc5 40. b4+ Kd4 41. c5 Kd5 42. Kd2 1-0

Update: I have analyzed this game using the World's strongest chess program, Deep Rybka 4, and posted this analysis on the first page of my blog using the program Chessviewer Deluxe. You can find this analysis in the games list in the program.

Studying Storms: NASA Looks For Hurricane's Secrets : NPR

Studying Storms: NASA Looks For Hurricane's Secrets : NPR

Colony Collapse Disorder - the Declining Honeybee Population - Associated Content -

Colony Collapse Disorder - the Declining Honeybee Population - Associated Content -

Study: Bees impacted negatively by climate change

Study: Bees impacted negatively by climate change

New Mexico Daily Lobo :: Nicotine a killer for worldwide bee population

New Mexico Daily Lobo :: Nicotine a killer for worldwide bee population

The Mystery Of Vanishing Honey Bees |

The Mystery Of Vanishing Honey Bees |

Super-bee no quick fix: expert |

Super-bee no quick fix: expert |

Wasps Wage War on Behalf of Wiliwili Trees / September 27, 2010 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

Wasps Wage War on Behalf of Wiliwili Trees / September 27, 2010 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

What Are Species Worth? Putting a Price on Biodiversity by Richard Conniff : Yale Environment 360

What Are Species Worth? Putting a Price on Biodiversity by Richard Conniff : Yale Environment 360

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet the mimic octopus:Thaumoctopus mimicus

I just read a fascinating article at the Mother Nature network which I wanted to share with you. The article is entitled, "Meet the mimic octopus: Cephalopod can shapeshift into a fish" and is written by Bryan Nelson. In this article Mr. Nelson discusses the fact that mimic octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus has been found to be able to change its shape into many different forms, which resemble other sea life: flatfish, venomous sole, stingrays, flounders, giant crabs, sea shells, mantis shrimp, and even jellyfish and sea anemones,sea snake and lion fish!! How amazing and kewl is that?

As you can imagine there are many possible reasons this octopus octopus may change into different shapes and different forms of sea life
As Mr. Nelson states:

"By mimicking venomous creatures such as a poisonous flatfish, the octopus is able to scare many cautious predators away. Not only can it shape-shift, but it can also change the patterns of its skin to that of the creatures it mimics (notably, the zebra sole has a black and white striped pattern which helps it stay camouflaged against the sandy ocean bottom). Lastly, the octopus' complicated display may serve as an honest warning sign of its unpalatable flesh."

To read Mr. Nelson's entire article please click on the following link:

This certainly is a fascinating discovery and a fascinating form of life! According to the website: 

" It grows up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length. Its normal colouring consists of brown and white stripes or spots.Living in the tropical seas of South East Asia, it was not discovered officially until 1998, off the coast of Sulawesi. They use a jet of water through their funnel to glide over the sand while searching for prey, typically small fish, crabs, and worms.

  "The mimic is able to imitate a sole (fish) by pulling its arms in, flattening to a leaf-like shape, and increasing speed using a jet-like propulsion that resembles a sole. When spreading its legs and lingering on the ocean bottom, its arms trail behind to simulate the lion fish's fins. Raising all of its arms above its head with each arm bent in a curved zig-zag shape to resemble the lethal tentacles of a fish-eating sea anemone, it deters many fish. It imitates a large jellyfish by swimming to the surface and then slowly sinking with its arms spread evenly around its body."

Source of image: 

You can learn more about this amazing life form by going to the following websites:

Here is a video I found on Youtube which discusses Thaumoctopus mimicus:


Electric car use beats wind to cut oil use: study | Reuters

Photo: The Elettrica, the first production electric car on the UK market with the option of a lithium power supply which came out in 2007 Source of image:

To read an article at the website which discusses the fact that electric cars would be superior to renewable power sources such as wind and solar in reducing the demand for oil by the United States, please click on the following link:

Electric car use beats wind to cut oil use: study | Reuters

St. Petersburg Philharmonic celebrated Shostakovich's birthday

According to an article I found online the St. Petersburg, Russia, The St. Petersburg Philharmonic  celebrated Dmitry Shostakovich’s birthday this last Saturday .Dmitry Shostakovich was born on September 25th, 1906. He is one of my favorite composers. To read the article I mentioned above please click on the following link:

St. Petersburg Times

Here is a video of a performance of Shostakovich's second waltz. The conductor in this performance is Andre Rieu with the Johann Strauss Orchestra

Source of video:

Source of image:

Chinese to add telescopes to World's highest observatory

A fully robotic observatory, dubbed PLATeau Observatory or PLATO, is predicted to result in new insights into the universe once possible only from space. (Credit: Image courtesy of PLATeau Observatory)

 According to an article entitled, "Major Telescopes Added to Highest Observatory", which you can read at the following website:

the Chinese Government is going to place telescopes in the Antarctic. These telescopes will be placed in the thin air at 4093 meters above sea level.
According to the article mentioned above, at a workshop last month, astronomers unveiled plans to build two major telescopes at Dome A during the Chinese government’s next 5-year plan, to start in 2011.

Dome A or Dome Argus
 " is an Antarctican plateau located 1200 kilometres inland. It is thought to be one of the coldest naturally occurring places on Earth, with temperatures believed to reach -90 °C to -100°C or below -100°C.(nearly -102°C). It is the highest ice feature in Antarctica, comprising a dome or eminence of 4,093 meters elevation above sea level. It is located near the center of East Antarctica, and approximately midway between the head of Lambert Glacier and the South Pole.

"Dome Argus is the summit of the massive East Antarctic Ice Cap, and is not really a mountain in the conventional sense of the word (though it should be pointed out that there is no international consensus on the exact definition of a mountain). However, the East Antarctic Ice Cap is itself considered to be part of the East Antarctica Ranges, and therefore Dome Argus is considered to be the highest point in the East Antarctica Ranges."

"The name "Dome Argus" was given by the Scott Polar Research Institute from Greek mythology; Argus built the ship in which Jason and the Argonauts traveled."

"The Polar Research Institute of China deployed a robotic observatory called PLATO (PLATeau Observatory) on the dome in January 2008  PLATO was designed and built by the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia to provide a platform from which astronomical observations and site-testing could be conducted. Various institutions from Australia, US, China and the UK provided instruments that were deployed with PLATO, these instruments included CSTAR, Gattini, PreHEAT, Snodar, Nigel and the PLATO web cameras. "

(source: )

You can read more about the PLATO observatory by visiting the following website:

Cassini spacecraft begins its new adventure today -- the Cassini Solstice Mission

This is an artist concept of Cassini flying past Enceladus. Image credit: NASA/JPL

"NASA's Cassini spacecraft begins its new mission extension -- the Cassini Solstice Mission -- today. The mission extension will take Cassini a few months past Saturn's northern summer solstice (or midsummer) through September 2017. It will enable scientists to study seasonal changes and other long-term weather changes on Saturn and its moons."

"The Cassini Solstice Mission will enable continued study of these intriguing worlds. It will also allow scientists to continue observations of Saturn's rings and the magnetic bubble around the planet, known as the magnetosphere. Near the end of the mission, the spacecraft will make repeated dives between Saturn and its rings to obtain in-depth knowledge of the gas giant. During these dives, the spacecraft will study the internal structure of Saturn, its magnetic fluctuations and ring mass."


Learn more about this mission by going to the following websites: 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alberta still lacks a wetland wildlife policy

 Source of image:
Used with permission
Copyright © 2010 Canadian Wildlife Service & Canadian Wildlife Federation

According to the article: "Alberta needs wetland policy that holds water", written by Pat Kehoe of the Calgary Herald newspaper,

"In September 2008, the Alberta Water Council submitted to the government of Alberta its recommendations for a new provincial wetland policy and implementation plan."

"Today, Albertans still do not have a province-wide wetland policy. And wetlands continue to be degraded and lost throughout Alberta. "

(source: )

The question is why is this the case in Alberta, and why is it that we can visit an Alberta Government website at , which suggests that
the Government of Alberta at least seems to be interested in creating this policy?

Why hasn't the Province released this policy? On the above-mentioned website the phrase, "soon to be released" has been used in reference to this situation. When can the citizens of the Province of Alberta expect to have a Wetland Wildlife policy in place in Alberta?

"Wetlands provide substantial ecological services that would cost billions if we had to achieve them through other means. Wetlands store and purify supply freshwater; act as carbon sinks; and, support plants and wildlife.i Wetlands can filter out from 80 to 770 kilograms of phosphorus per hectare per year. They can also filter out from 350 to 32,000 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year.ii It is estimated that Alberta’s peatland-wetland systems store up to 13.75 billion tonnes of carbon. (source:—-leaked-policy-document )

"Although close to 21% of the province is covered by wetlands, over time wetlands in Alberta have been significantly altered or destroyed by urban sprawl, expanding agriculture and other human development." (source: ).

Albertans deserve a Comprehensive wetland policy which will ensure that this important aspect of our province is preserved and carefully monitored and  maintained!

 Source of image:

It is time for a B.C. and Alberta to both have endangered-species law

The Burrowing Owl is one species-at-risk in the Province of British Columbia.
 Source of image:

The Wolverine is one species-at-risk in Alberta.
Source of image: 

According to a news article entitled, "Report Calls for A B.C endangered species-law" , which you can read by clicking on the following link:

 "more than 1,900 species are at risk of extinction or extirpation (local extinction) in B.C. because of a lack of protection." ......B.C. and Alberta are the only provinces that do not have stand-alone species-at-risk legislation, even though B.C. is the most biodiverse province in Canada..."

It is time that the Provincial Governments of British Columbia and Alberta stop their ignoring  the need for Species-at-Risk legislation and realize what all the other politicians in this country apparently understand, that some species in these two provinces need protection if they are to continue to exist in  British Columbia and Alberta!! I suggest you write the British Columbia Minister of the Environment Barry Penner and the Alberta Government Minister of the Environment Rob Reiner
and tell them personally that this law is needed.

This information will allow you to contact both Ministers:

The British Columbia Ministry of Environment's mailing address is:

Barry Penner

Telephone: 250 387-1161
Fax: 250 387-5669

The Alberta Minister of the Environment,
Rob Reiner can be contacted using the form at
the following website:

I suggest if you want these species to continue to be found in your province that you contact the Minister in your respective province and indicate how important it is for the Provincial Government to create and enact   Endangered  species law in your province!

The following website will inform you about the species in British Columbia which are at risk: 

These websites indicate which species in Alberta  are at risk:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

State of Sharks in the World

                                  Blue Shark

Hammerhead shark 

                                White-tipped reef shark

To see an animated map which indicates the status of all 400 species of sharks in our World please visit the following website:

Source of images: 

5 most endangered sharks:Video

                                Photo:Zebra shark with a remora attached to it

Here is a link to a short video which discusses the 5 most endangered sharks in the World. Before you watch the video can you figure out which sharks are most endangered?

Source of image:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Views of Saturn's Aurora, Captured by Cassini - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The ultraviolet image above of the southern polar region of Saturn with its aurora was taken on January 28, 2004 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Imaging Spectrograph. (source:  )

To see new images of Saturn's Aurora taken by the Cassini spacecraft  (which are much more spectacular and detailed than the image above) please click on the following link:

New Views of Saturn's Aurora, Captured by Cassini - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

You can watch a short video about Saturn's Aurora by clicking on the following link: 

(In order to view this video you need a program on your computer which can play .mov files such as Quicktime (see: )

Scientific beliefs vary by culture, says global poll

To read an article at the Edmonton Journal website entitled:

Scientific beliefs vary by culture, says global poll

please click on the link above.

Source of image of Stephen Hawking: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Aviation holds ‘critical keys’ on climate: UN climate chief

Aviation holds ‘critical keys’ on climate: UN climate chief

EEye Digital Security launches web site that lists current zero-day vulnerabilities

"EEye Digital Security launched a Web site yesterday that lists current zero-day vulnerabilities in our computers,and offers an archive on ones that have been patched." The Zero-Day website

catalogs the latest Zero-Day vulnerabilities and provides detailed analysis of each, including affected software, severity level, potential impact, and mitigation and protection procedures.

What is a Zero-Day vulnerability you ask?
 "A zero-day (or zero-hour or day zero) attack or threat is a computer threat that tries to exploit computer application vulnerabilities that are unknown to others or undisclosed to the software developer. Zero-day exploits (actual code that can use a security hole to carry out an attack) are used or shared by attackers before the software developer knows about the vulnerability."
"The term derives from the age of the exploit. When a developer becomes aware of a security hole, there is a race to close it before attackers discover it or the vulnerability becomes public. A "zero day" attack occurs on or before the first or "zeroth" day of developer awareness, meaning the developer has not had any opportunity to distribute a security fix to users of the software."

I suggest you visit it often to keep up with potential vulnerabilities to software which exists on your computer. You can read more about this website by going to the following link:;snav#ixzz10OP61ydL

Source of image:

CBC News - Technology & Science - Water supply won't dry up: Canadian scientist

Photo:Edmonton's water treatment plant in Rossdale

To read an article which discusses the fact that Canadians should not be worried
about our country running out of water, but "rather we should be concerned about the fact about  the vast amounts of energy used to treat water and pump it to  our taps," please click on the following link:

CBC News - Technology & Science - Water supply won't dry up: Canadian scientist

I found the following facts about Canada's water supply online:

"On an average annual basis, Canadian rivers discharge close to 7% of the world's renewable water supply. This water is vital to navigation, recreation, fish and wildlife support, and waste dilution, and so sustains the lifestyles of large and small communities across Canada."

(source: )

According to the website: ,

" It may come as a surprise to some within the water industry, but the practice of water reuse and recycling has been around for about a century.  
Reclaimed water is former effluent water such as stormwater, greywater, and domestic wastewater that would have traditionally been disposed of, but instead is treated (at varying degrees, depending on the location) and reused for varying purposes (depending on the level of treatment)."
"Water reuse generally refers to the beneficial use of reclaimed water. Oftentimes, reclaimed water is used for irrigation purposes, but in some locations the treatment of reclaimed water produces better-quality water that can be used as potable water."
"Water recycling means treating water and returning it back into the same process. Industrial water recycling is fairly common in Canada with many industries recirculating cooling water and boiler feed. It has been estimated that industry accounts for 80 per cent of Canada’s total water intake. Of this intake, approximately 40 per cent is typically recycled."
"The reuse of water has become commonplace for some countries and cities in the world due to the freshwater scarcity. The greatest use of reclaimed water is found in the Middle East, Australia, the Mediterranean, and the southwestern United States. "
"In Canada, there are some locations where the need for water has outstripped the freshwater supply. Some municipalities, such as those in Southern Alberta, experience shortages and are faced with the task of providing water to a growing population and meeting the demands of industry and the agricultural sector.
 Although there are dozens of possible uses for reclaimed water, the more popular ones include agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial reuse, groundwater recharge, and recreational/environmental. The popularity of water reuse is the inverse if there’s the possibility of public contact and use."

 "Using reclaimed water for agriculture is well established in Western Canada. One of the oldest water reclamation projects in Canada can be found in the City of Vernon, British Columbia. For over 30 years, treated water from the City’s wastewater treatment plant has been pumped seven kilometres to a reservoir. The water in the reservoir is subsequently used to irrigate 970 hectares of agricultural and recreational lands."

 "The oil and gas industry is a leader in Canada with respect to research and development of water reuse. In the Alberta oilsands, up to four barrels of water is required to process one barrel of oil. There is intensive public, political, and environmental pressure on the industry to reduce this ratio."

 "Municipalities and industries that reclaim water generally do so for practical reasons. The added benefit of the practice is that it promotes environmental sustainability and protects receiving waters from potential contaminants."
This is good news that we have an abundance of water in our country. And now that experts are aware that experts are aware of the fact that too much energy is being used to treat our water and to pump it in our taps, these experts can set out to create solutions to these two problems.  One possible solution I read about online is to use solar energy to treat our water.

According to the document:

"It is it interesting to note that one of the largest uses of water in Canada is electricity production. Water is used in thermal, nuclear,and hydroelectric power generation. To produce one kilowatt-hour of electricity requires 140
litres of water for fossil fuels and 205 litres for nuclear power plants . Every year almost two-thirds of generated power in Canada is produced via hydroelectric generation.This electricity is then used to treat, pump, move, and heat water (among other things). Thus, the nexus comes full circle; water is used to produce the electricity which is used to consume water."

"Canadians consume more water than most other countries: Americans ranking first and Canadians ranking fourth highest consumers of water out of 29 countries in the Organisation for Economic overall residential water use increased by 21% during the 1990s [11]. In part, this is because of demographics: our growing population places steadily increasing demands on water supplies, even if per-capita
consumption is stable or decreases."
"Based on the example set by European countries, it is possible to have a high standard of living and consume less water. The average Dane uses eight times less water than a Canadian . And yet we chronically over-use water."

"Canada has a long held the belief that it is a water abundant nation, and therefore does not need to worry about consumption rates. This is reflected in Canadian policy and consequently supply-side driven management of water
resources. However, we are finally beginning to realize that we can no longer afford such careless attitudes towards our resource use."

 "One in four communities in Canada experienced water shortages in 2002.
If the demand for water can be reduced, then energy used to pump and treat water will decrease.Additionally, if we can limit the amount of waste water that flows to treatment plants, this will further reduce the energy requirements Canada’s energy production, which is primarily hydro-electric will be impacted particularly as precipitation, and consequently river flows, decrease due to climate change, ultimately increasing energy costs."

In Canada, the largest uses of municipal water are residential (52%) and leakages (13%). Thus, tackling these uses would target 65% of water use, and the incumbent energy use. Many low-cost, easily implemented technologies have been developed in the past two decades. Of the global water available, 70% is used in agriculture . Generally, agricultural use of water is perceived as very inefficient and is often under scrutiny as it competes with other sectors . Irrigated land makes up 2% of Canada’s total cultivated land and 13% of the USA’s .Over 70% of irrigation in Canada occurs in the Prairie provinces  where precipitation is
expected to fall with impending climate change . As water resources dwindle and energy costs rise, farmers will feel the pressure to adopt more efficient water use practices."

"Our use of water, and consequently energy, makes our lives more comfortable in the short-term,but is causing a great deal of harm in the long-term. Not only are we degrading the quality of our water resources and drawing-down aquifers, we are also destroying valuable habits. Furthermore, due to our reliance on electricity to treat, move, pump, and heat the water we use, we are mining non-renewable fossil fuels and contributing to climate change via greenhouse gas emissions. The
energy-water nexus perpetuates wasteful use of natural resources. We are creating the challenges that are limiting our access to water and energy resources. Change is needed."

"While much of this change can take the form of water conservation in the home or more efficient practices in the agricultural and industrial sector, new policies from governments are needed to incite the adoption of these options."

It is great to learn that Canada has enough water for all of the needs of our residents. As individuals we have an obligation I feel to learn about ways we can conserve water in our daily life activities, and in doing so we will cut down on the need to use non-renewable fossil fuels, and reduce Canada's production of greenhouse gases!   

"Canadians use an average of 329 litres of water each day for household and gardening purposes.
  • Only 10% of our home water supply is used in the kitchen for drinking, cooking and washing dishes.
  • About 65% of indoor home use occurs in the bathrooms.
  • Toilets use 40% more water than needed.
  • The greatest water use occurs in the summer when about half to three quarters of treated water is sprayed on lawns." (source: )

Canadians need to cut down our use of water in our bathrooms and on our lawns!

CBC News - Health - Mentally ill prisoners 'warehoused': report

 Source of graph :

CBC News - Health - Mentally ill prisoners 'warehoused': report

How appalling is this statement made in the article which I linked to above?

"Currently, these offenders are often managed in segregation units where they can be isolated for prolonged periods of time, a practice that is "unsafe and inhumane," Saper said."

 Read more at:

These are the facts about the mentally ill in Canada!!
The Likelihood that people with mental illness will commit violent acts:
No greater than the general population

The Likelihood that people with mental illness will be victims of crime:
2.5 times that of the general population.

 Percentage of Canadians who will experience a major depression in their lifetime: 8%

 Percentage of Canadians who will experience an anxiety disorder
in their lifetime: 12%

Number of suicides in Canada every year: Approximately 4000

 Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among Canadians aged 15 – 24 and 16% of all deaths for the age group 25 – 44.

Age with the highest rate of depression symptoms: Under 20 years of age

Unemployment rate among people with serious mental illness: 70 – 90%

Percentage of Canadians who will experience depression in their lifetime: 7.9 – 8.6%

Percentage of inmates under psychiatric treatment prior to incarceration: 14%

Percentage of inmates who had attempted suicide in the preceding
five years: Women (21%), men (14%)

Percentage of women offenders with a substance abuse problem: 43%

Percentage of women offenders who say alcohol or drugs played a role
in their crime: 69%

Percentage of women offenders who self-harm (cutting, burning or
otherwise violating the body): 59%


 Why aren't all  the levels of Government in Canada more concerned with these disturbing statistics?

Sharks photographed eating a whale - Telegraph

Source of image:

Sharks photographed eating a whale - Telegraph

It seems Great white sharks get along with each other, even when they have to share a large meal,such as a dead Whale! Read about this discovery by clicking on the link above.

We humans don't seem to be able to get along like we should, what does that say about us in comparison to Great White sharks? Maybe we can learn from these amazing animals?

Here is a video of some sharks sharing another dead whale which occurred a few years ago! The announcer actually says in this video that the sharks line up" to wait their turn to feed on the carcass! Source of video:Youtube


Destination Mars - Arts & Culture -

To read an article at the Macleans Magazine website which discusses the future possibility of Humans setting foot on the planet Mars, please click on the following link:

Destination Mars - Arts & Culture -

Source of image of the surface of Mars: 

Another deadly challenge for the sea otter -

Scientists have determined that sea otters in  all areas of the planet are being poisoned by an ancient microbe — a type of cyanobacteria — that appears to be on an upsurge in warmer, polluted waters around the world. The otters are being poisoned because this microbe is found withing shellfish which the otters consume as part of their diet.  To read an article about this situation please click on the following link:

Another deadly challenge for the sea otter -

"Cyanobacteria  "are aquatic and photosynthetic, that is, they live in the water, and can manufacture their own food."Because they are photosynthetic and aquatic, cyanobacteria are often called "blue-green algae" " (source: )

Cyanobacteria can be found in almost every conceivable environment, from oceans to fresh water to bare rock to soil. (source: )

 "People may be exposed to cyanobacterial toxins by drinking or bathing in contaminated water. The most frequent and serious health effects are caused by drinking water containing the toxins (cyanobacteria), or by ingestion during recreational water contact."

"Cyanobacteria have been linked to illness in various regions throughout the world, including North and South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia and China. There are no reliable figures for the number of people affected worldwide. The only documented and scientifically substantiated human deaths due to cyanobacterial toxins have been due to exposure during dialysis. People exposed through drinking-water and recreational-water have required intensive hospital care."

If you read another article about this situation at:

you will also notice that humans may be suspectible to being poisoned by this microbe if we eat sea  consume shellfish harvested near river mouths, especially during or after periods of freshwater runoff. According to an expert, though, the toxin should not be a concern for commercially harvested shellfish, which come from areas unlikely to be contaminated by the toxin.

This is a very sinster manifestation of global warming (more specifically the warming of freshwater systems on our planet!)  As the article at states:

"Exposure to low levels of the toxin can damage the liver and other organs and may promote the development of liver cancer. The authors noted that no formal surveillance or regulatory system exists for microcystin detection in water or shellfish in most countries, including the United States."

This situation is what happens when wastewater disposal systems  are

not regulated and monitored properly and also when a lack of  control of pollution by fertilizers (including manure) from agriculture occurs in a water system!

Photo by Mike Baird/flickr/Creative Commons

Comodo Challenges Symantec to Antivirus Showdown | News & Opinion |

Comodo Challenges Symantec to Antivirus Showdown | News & Opinion |

CNET TechTracker and Advance system care: great free programs

I just found a great free program you can download online. The program is called "CNET TechTracker" and what it does is allow  computer users to check if they  have the most current updates for software on their computer. By using this program you can get updates to popular programs which may have been found to have updates, bugs or even exploits which could allow hackers to damage your computer system. You can download this program by going to the following website:

Another great free program I use is called Advance System Care. This program is made by IObit. This program  remove spyware and adware, prevents security threats, helps you retain privacy online, fixes registry errors, cleans up temporary files , cleans up your start up files, repairs Windows,  and speeding up  your system with a one-click mechanism. You can download it from You can also buy a more advanced version of the program, which you can read about at the following website:;lst 

You will be amazed at all the features of Advance System Care Free and Advance System care Pro!

Wind may explain Red Sea parting | Crave - CNET

Wind may explain Red Sea parting | Crave - CNET

Volcanoes Killed Off Neanderthals, Study Suggests

Volcanoes Killed Off Neanderthals, Study Suggests

To read about new research which suggests Neanderthals were killed off by the eruption of Volcanos please click on the link above,which will take you to the National Geographic website.

Titanic Steering Error May Have Sank Ship Per... | Gather

Titanic Steering Error May Have Sank Ship Per... | Gather

A fascinating new theory as to why the Titanic sunk can be read by clicking on the link above,which will take you to the news community website.

Source of image:

Time Magazine's 50 best websites

Time Magazine has come up with a list of what it considers to be the 50 best websites on the Internet. To see the list click on the following link:


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Full Moon falls on this year's Autumnal Equinox

This year's Autumnal equinox has another special feature,that being the fact that a full moon will fall on this day.

"The moon is set to rise on the autumnal equinox at 6:27 p.m. ET, won't officially be full until 5:17 am ET on September 23, a handful of hours past the start of fall."


Let us review what an equinox is.

"An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equally long. It may be better understood to mean that latitudes +L and -L north and south of the Equator experience nights of equal length."

"An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location on the Earth's equator where the center of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead (in astronomical terms, the subsolar point), occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year."

The September equinox marks the first day of the fall season for us. I hope you have a great fall season!

(source: )

Here is a video from the National Geographic website which explains what an equinox is: (source: )


Aurora Photos:National Geographic

Robert Snache
 Location:Rama, Ontario,Canada
source of image: 

Some spectacular photos of the recent Aurora have been posted to the National Geographic website. To see this photos and an article about the Aurora please click
on the following link:

As far as I am concerned, Robert's image (above) is certainly as spectacular as the images at the NG website, if not more so!!

Queen's team finds area of brain that controls impulsive behaviour

Queen's team finds area of brain that controls impulsive behaviour

Researchers at Queens University in Ontario say they have been able to locate the part of the human brain which causes us to exhibit impulsive behavior in our daily lives,that being the frontal lobe of the brain.Prior to this research scientists ascribed to the believe that those of us who exhibit impulsive behavior, did so do to personality factors. However, this new research suggests that impulsive behavior is due to two factors:impulsivity itself is a failure of memory as well, a failure of a memory for inhibiting or for impulse control." It must be pointed out that this research was not a result of the scientific study of humans, but rather involved the study of lab rats,which means that these findings need to be duplicated on human subjects before these findings are reliable and valid for us.

Read more:

As far as I am concerned, the problem with this new research is that a few months ago other scientific researchers suggested that people who are prone to impulsive behavior, are in this state because "Impulsivity has long been linked to the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is involved in learning and reward."A team of researchers led by Joshua Buckholtz, a PhD candidate in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, proposed that people who were more impulsive might have less active dopamine receptors in their midbrain but their brains would be more likely to fire off large quantities of the neurotransmitter when stimulated."

"To verify their hypothesis, the researchers used PET scans to watch the brains of 32 healthy and psychiatrically normal test subjects ages 18 to 35 (who had no history of substance abuse) while they were taking a classic test to measure impulsivity. Before the first testing round, subjects had taken a placebo pill, but before the second, they were given an oral dose of amphetamine, which can stimulate the brain's reward pathways, mobilizing dopamine."

"People who had the higher impulsivity scores had the lowest activity in the midbrain D2/D3 autoreceptors, which are in charge of receiving dopamine. But under the influence of the amphetamine, these impulsive individuals released much more dopamine than those who were less impulsive."

"To see how these changes might be related to substance abuse—which has also been linked to dopamine abnormalities—the researchers polled the subjects about how much they wanted more of the amphetamine after the experiment ended."

"The people who had the highest levels of dopamine release reported subjectively stronger cravings after we gave them the drug," Buckholtz says. These findings "suggest a neurobiological link between human impulsiveness and drug abuse vulnerability," the researchers noted in their paper.

"But what causes these individual differences? "Our best guess is that perhaps there's some inherited or environmentally mediated predisposition to having lower midbrain dopamine autoreceptor availability," Buckholtz says."

"The evidence for genetic inheritance is strong, and another recent study, published earlier this month in Psychological Science, found people with a certain dopamine receptor type—known as DRD4—had different drinking habits than those without it. Specifically, test subjects with this variant were more likely to drink heavily if they had seen others doing the same while those without that variant kept their drinking moderate even when surrounded by heavier boozers."


 Because different conclusions have been reached concerning why some humans are prone to impulsive behavior, this suggests more research must be done to see if these research findings can be replicated. Finding the area of the brain responsible for impulsive behavior may be useful in the future in terms of possible intervention with medicine, however  based on the things I remember when I was in college training to be a teacher, these conclusions do little to help a person who is impulsive,especially children. This is why educators and psychologists use other techniques to help children who have been found to be impulsive. One of these techniques is to have a child use self talk. For example,
" “Telling yourself, ‘Stick to that diet, stick to that diet’. . . that kind of self-talk actually contributes to self-control,” said Michael Inzlicht,  “When we don’t have the ability to engage in this kind of self-talk, we have less ability to control ourselves.”  (source:

It will be interesting to see if some actions of humans which may have their root in the impulsivity (such as criminal or self-harming behavior), can now be treated due to these new findings. ) These findings also do not consider the role of social and psychological elements in the impulsive behavior of a person. For instance, if a child is in a family where a parent is modelling impulsive behavior, then how does knowing the part of the brain in which impulsive behavior is controlled, help teachers,counselors or psychologists, plan an intervention to reduce the impulsivity of a child?

Source of image:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A question for visitors to my blog:Does my blog load quick enough for you?

I would like to ask a question to all of you who read my blog. Could you please indicate to me whether my blog pages load quickly enough for you? You can leave a response to this blog post as a way of answering  this question. Alternatively you can
please answer "yes" or "no" to the survey question I have created on page one of my blog. I would prefer you leave a "comment" as a response to my question,which you can do by clicking on the "comment" link which you see at the bottom of this blog nexxt to the time I posted this blog entry ie: 10:38 PM I am asking you this question to make your time at my blog as trouble-free as possible. Thank you for your assistance  in this matter.

A Hundred Men:a song about peace

I found another song which I believe has a very powerful message concerning how each person on our planet can contribute to a World in which peace dominates our interactions with others.This is another song which indicates how one person can make a change in the World, especially making a change to create a World in which Peace is one of the key principles ascribed to by all of  us to live by.

The most famous version of this song was performed by "The Limeliters ",
 (the song was written by a member of the Limeliters, Alex Hassilev)

A Hundred Men"

Written by Alex Hassilev

A hundred men went off to war
... a hundred men.
Their hearts were heavy, their heads were high
As they kissed the ones they loved goodbye.
Some were eager, some were scared,
Nobody knew, and nobody cared
When a hundred men went to war.

Then a thousand men went off to war
... a thousand men.
And a few now said that it wasn't right,
And a few said prayers in their beds at night
For the hearts so heavy, the heads so high
Who kissed the ones they loved goodbye,
For those so eager, and those so scared,
A few now knew, a few now cared,
When a Thousand men went off to war.
... Ten thousand men.

Then a million men went off to war
... a million men.
Now fear came a creepin' down many a street,
Borne on the dust of a million feet,
And many now said that it wasn't right
And many prayed in their beds at night
For the hearts so heavy, the heads so high
Who kissed the ones they loved goodbye,
For those so eager, and those so scared,
For many now knew, and many now cared,
When a million men went to war.

Then all mankind went off to war,
... Yes, all mankind.
And the people fought, and the people cried,
And the people prayed, but the people died,
And fear like a flood covered every street
And mixed with the mud of a billion feet
And all now said that it wasn't right
And prayed as one to the fiery night.
Their hearts were heavy as they watched the sky
And kissed the ones they loved goodbye
Now none were eager, but all were scared
Now they knew that they should've cared.
When a hundred men went off to war,
... a hundred men.

Here is Euan Morton singing this song at "The Metropolitan Room (which is located at 34 West 22nd St Betw. 5th & 6th Ave. - New York, New York.
(source of video:  )

I hope you have a day of peace, and take every opportunity you obtain in your life to foster values of peace and harmony in people you interact with each day (especially children,who are our future).

Here are some quotes about peace which I hope you find uplifting
and  practical, so that you  gain more inner peace and more peace with others.

A smile is the beginning of peace.
- Mother Teresa

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by
which we arrive at that goal.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those who are at war with others are not at peace with
- William Hazlett

 If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. ~Mother Teresa

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The pacifist's task today is to find a method of helping and healing which provides a revolutionary constructive substitute for war. ~Vera Brittain, 1964

Five great enemies to peace inhabit with us: avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride. If those enemies were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace. ~Francesco Petrarch

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind. ~Mahatma Gandhi

A warless world will come as men develop warless hearts. ~Charles Wesley Burns

I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.
Albert Einstein

 If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.
Mohandas Gandhi

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
Eleanor Roosevelt

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Peace is our gift to each other.
Elie Wiesel

Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.
Maria Montessori

Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.
Jawaharlal Nehru

Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
Baruch Spinoza

We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
William E. Gladstone

Peace be with you my friend!

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.