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Welcome to PEI Blogs, a list of weblogs (blogs), podcasts,news feeds and Tweets about or located in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. Use the Add and Change Site buttons to recommend links or changes. Sites with RSS or ATOM syndication will display the last 5 posts. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list of new additions. An aggregation of recent posts to selected sites is displayed on most pages. Click the subject to view the post description, or the blog name to go to it. Click on an entry's podcast graphic to play a podcast.

PEI Blogs is provided as a public service on a non-profit basis. Information comes from individual websites, through syndication, and from Twitter via Twitter Lists, and is displayed automatically by PEI Blogs, who have no control over information posted. Opinions expressed by posters are not those of PEI Blogs. Information posted will not be suitable for all readers, or all age groups. Sites may portray themselves as objective, but present a very biased point of view. Please make your own decisions as to the objectivity of any site.

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Aggregation of selected recently-updated blogs and tweets:

Thursday December 18, 2014

16:29 SIS becomes Whoville for a day »Journal-Pioneer Local
SUMMERSIDE –"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.”
16:01 Make the program fit the needs »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
15:59 21st Century Learning - 11-20-14 »EdTechTalk (Dave Cormier)
15:50 Did Geoff Townsend Cherry Pick BioVectra Jobs from PEI? »
The expansion of BioVectra in Nova Scotia provides ample evidence they are no longer an Island company. The company has been a great example of commercial spin offs from UPEI, which evolved under the careful eye of founder Regis Duffy … Continue reading
15:48 Productive meeting with minister »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
To the Editor, In a recent letter to Education Minister Alan McIsaac, I addressed information on issues that I see everyday that need to change.
15:31 Make the program fit the needs »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
15:18 Gail Shea to discuss political future with family over the holidays »The Guardian - Local News
Egmont MP and Fisheries minister says she will announce intentions early in new year
14:46 Evangeline student-athlete of the month »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Riley Arsenault has been chosen as the Greco Pizza/Capt. Sub student-athlete of the month for November at Evangeline School.
14:39 Ballum, Arsenault lead Summerside to first place »Journal-Pioneer Sports
In P.E.I. Peewee AAA Hockey League
14:24 Island speed skaters shine in Saint John »Journal-Pioneer Sports
CHARLOTTETOWN – P.E.I. short-track skaters won 15 medals, including three gold, at the recent Charles Gorman Memorial speed skating championships in Saint John, N.B.
14:16 Aces’ Dillon recognized as top offensive player »Journal-Pioneer Sports
CHARLOTTETOWN – The Razzy’s P.E.I. Junior C Hockey League has recognized Tignish Perry’s Construction Aces forward Connor Dillon.
14:07 [BLOG] Some Thursday links »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)

  • blogTO shares an amusing piece of guerrilla art in Toronto's financial district.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the shockl waves encountered by the Voyager 1 probe in deep space.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper wondering why planets have not been found orbiting contact binary stars.

  • Geocurrents looks at the fascinating connections between migration and northern California's marijuana industry.

  • Joe. My. God. notes a Florida judge who granted that state's first same-sex divorce, and in so doing also recognized same-sex marriage.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at what the United States can learn from Disneyland.

  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the delays in NASA's plan to capture a near-Earth asteroid.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer argues that the Nicaragua Canal is still not very likely.

  • Towleroad notes a mass ran in support for marriage equality and gay rights in Taiwan.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at a Belarusian desire for a national church more separate from Russia's, notes the potentials for separatism in Karelia, looks at the complexities of name changes in Kyrgyzstan, and shares a Ukrainian analyst's hyperbole surrounding a possible Russian collapse.

13:49 Island speed skaters shine in Saint John »The Guardian - Sports
Prince Edward Island short track speed skaters won 15 medals, including three golds, at the recent Charles Gorman Memorial Speed Skating Championships in Saint John, N.B. The Island team tied the host Saint John club for first in the medal count, ahead of six other clubs from New Brunswick and ...
12:32 A new "Random Demon" shoot. »The Monkey Rodeo
I got to do another "wandering about town" shoot with a random Demon the other day. I don't often get to do these kinds of shoots anymore since I live way outside of the city. Most of what I've been doing lately has been carefully planned out, the makeup, character and location, I used to do just this sort of makeup a lot. Just pick a piece, find a model, slap it on and make it all up as I got and we'd go for a walk around town. It's kind of nice doing that, less pressure and work.

I'm really happy with how this makeup turned out. It was a piece I made just do to a random demon shoot with this particular model. The ears I've used a couple times before as well, but the combination of the ears, the new face and the red makeup, with the contacts and fangs on this particular model - it turned out something that looks like a real solid character piece that looks easily like it could fit into any supernatural type TV show.

12:28 Shea to remain on-the-fence about political future through the holidays »Journal-Pioneer Local
TIGNISH -- The Christmas holidays loom large for Egmont Member of Parliament and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea.
12:09 Second edition of The Shortest Day offers free screenings of Canada’s best short films »Journal-Pioneer Living
CHARLOTTETOWN – The Shortest Day returns for a second year across the country on Dec. 19 to 21, with a program of new, classic, and award-winning shorts by some of Canada’s most talented filmmakers.
12:09 NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Voters lose in game of political musical chairs »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
In 2011, 22,684 voters in Sudbury - fully half of those who cast a ballot - chose a New Democrat named Glenn Thibeault.
12:04 Ten Strings and a Goat Skin help Santa’s Angels provide happy Christmas mornings »Journal-Pioneer Living
HUNTER RIVER – For the second year, the Island’s traditional trio, Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, will be providingproceeds from their Dec. 21 Harmony House Christmas concert to the Charlottetown Santa’s Angels organization.
12:02 Club Rollaway Dance at Charlottetown Legion on Boxing Day »Journal-Pioneer Living
CHARLOTTETOWN – The group endeavouring to re-ignite the spirit of the Rollaway Club in Charlottetown has set a date for their next dance. Gary Chipman, Marsha Weeks and Brian Knox will host a night of’50s and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll music on Dec. 26 at the Charlottetown Legion.The band consists of ...
12:00 World War 1 - The Girls we left behind but kept in our hearts »Robert Paterson's Weblog
30,000 Canadian women crossed the Atlantic to be with their men during WWI. But for the nearly 600,000 men who left Canada during the conflict, all left behind women and girls that they loved. It is no wonder that many...
11:59 Chipman and Mooney set to perform at Christmas gospel concert in Hunter River »Journal-Pioneer Living
HUNTER RIVER – An evening of Christmas and gospel music with fiddle and song is set for Sunday, Dec. 21, at the Central Queens United Church in Hunter River.
11:57 War of 1812-1814 exhibit continues at Eptek »Journal-Pioneer Living
SUMMERSIDE - Eptek Centre in Summerside continues to host the dual exhibition commemorating the War of 1812-1814. The travelling exhibition "1812: One War, Four Perspectives" from the Canadian War Museum explains the attitude of each of the four groups involved in this conflict - Americans, ...
11:44 Valleyfield shooting case adjourned until late January »The Guardian - Local News
GEORGETOWN — The man accused of shooting another man in the leg at a home in Valleyfield in November has had his case adjourned until the new year. Jerrod Greene, 26, is facing charges of assault with a weapon and aggravated assault after 25-year-old Jacob Johnston was shot in the leg on Nov. ...
11:16 New long-term care beds opening this week at Atlantic Baptist Home »The Guardian - Local News
Over the past year, 32 new long-term care beds were opened, including seven beds at the Margaret Stewart Ellis Home in O’Leary, 10 beds at Andrews of Summerside and 15 at The Mount. This week another 15 beds are opening at the Atlantic Baptist Home and an additional 15 will open at the Mount in ...
11:11 12 Days of Christmas Music – Blue Christmas »NJN Network
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to our readers, subscribers and everyone
10:56 Details Announced for Capital New Year Celebration in Charlottetown »City of Charlottetown
2014-12-18 The City of Charlottetown is gearing up to ring in 2015 at its Capital New Year celebration
10:56 Christmas Eve 2014 marks 100th anniversary of bishop’s cathedra »The Guardian - Opinion
Chair sits in sanctuary of St. Dunstan’s Basilica, symbolic seat of authority of Bishop of Charlottetown
10:53 Driver confusion may have contributed to Alberton crash »The Guardian - Local News
ALBERTON — Vehicle removal from a 4:15 p.m. two-car collision Wednesday forced a temporary closure of the Mill River East Road. The road was only closed for about five minutes, but it created a significant backlog of traffic as the Mill River East Road is currently being used as the main ...
10:49 Council agrees on opposition to mail changes »The Guardian - Opinion
Mayor, councillors strongly oppose loss of door-to-door delivery by Canada Post
10:42 Honorary degrees unnecessary bluster »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: Recently a notice in the Guardian under “P.E.I. Briefs” invited names of candidates for honorary degrees to be conferred at UPEI’s convocation in May. This notice stated that honorary degrees are intended to recognize outstanding contributions in any field of endeavour and that these ...
10:41 Wringing hands not nearly enough »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: I found that Minister Sheridan’s response to the recent price drop in crude oil exemplifies government’s inability to include the environment in its equations.Higher oil consumption is not simply a matter of short-term ease of pressure on the consumer or maintaining the flow of tax ...
10:39 Excellent care at city hospital »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: I have to share this experience with P.E.I. in general. The Emergency Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital may have changed my life forever.My name is Scott Mundell, and I come from a 100-year-old family funeral home business in Orillia, Ont., still owned and run by my oldest ...
10:37 Mankind devolving into mindless beasts »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: When studying the evolutional theory of human and animal development in school, I was under the impression that during this process we kept the good and useful attributes and came out as a better version of our ancestors. The murder of those innocent Pakistani children seems to ...
10:35 Political drivel from minister? »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: Reference Wes Sheridan’s usual baloney story (Guardian, 17 December, 2014) on the provincial debt and bond raters: Obviously just another one of his attempts to confuse anyone who might believe his homemade meaningless political drivel.Ivan Bulger,Charlottetown
10:06 A century of Callbeck entrepreneurism subject of new book »The Guardian - Living
Boyde Beck launches Callbeck’s of Bedeque: A Century of Island Enterprise
10:03 Fitzgerald has big night for Mooseheads »Journal-Pioneer Sports
HALIFAX – Cavan Fitzgerald had a big night for the Halifax Mooseheads on Wednesday.
09:49 Isles look to head into break on a high note »The Guardian - Sports
The Charlottetown Islanders aren't taking the Halifax Mooseheads lightly heading into the final game before the Christmas break. The Islanders host their Atlantic Division rival tonight at 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre. The Mooseheads played last night's game against Acadie-Bathurst without Zach ...
09:40 Is Your Android Digital Signage Player Rooted? »ScreenScape Official News
Digital Signage Security in the age of Internet Connected devices Here is ScreenScape CEO & Founder, Mark Hemphill’s, guest post on the popular industry blog Sixteen:Nine. If you operate a digital signage network, chances are you’ve been hearing about new Internet-connected devices. They are transforming the way digital signage networks are built and managed.   New Android-powered solutions […]
08:57 CBC Culture of Abuse Runs Deeper Than Ghomeshi »NJN Network
CBC Management tactitly endorses sexual harassment while cower in fear of losing their jobs
08:56 Minor injuries for Conway woman, passenger when car bounced in sinkhole »The Guardian - Local News
'I’m just glad to be out of there and alive,' says Emily Hardy, 21
07:54 Review: Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer »NJN Network
Reassessment of the life of Adolf Eichmann reveals his activities and notoriety among a global network of National Socialists after the collapse of the Third Reich
07:25 Start dreaming of a green Christmas »The Guardian - Local News
Climatologist says chances slim that Prince Edward Island sees much snow Dec. 25
07:20 Former employee suing RCMP over alleged abuses, harassment »The Guardian - Local News
A former civilian RCMP employee who claims she faced harassment and verbal abuse while working at a detachment in northern Alberta will have to wait to find out if her case will stay in the P.E.I. courts. Kimberly Sentner Martell was working as a clerk in an RCMP detachment in a First Nation ...
07:12 Daily Specials for Thursday, December 18, 2014 »Casa Mia Daily Specials

The Daily Specials at Casa Mia Restaurant for Thursday, December 18, 2014 are:

  • Potato red pepper soup $4.99
  • Eggnog French Toast with Maple-Peppered Bacon and Chantilly Mascarpone Cheese...$11.99

Casa Mia Restaurant
131 Queen Street
Charlottetown, PE
Telephone: (902) 367-4440

07:11 A refreshing reminder »Island Musings
The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.” –Thomas Jefferson
07:02 Interesting »Island Musings
From one of our close neighbours.  New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration said on Wednesday.
05:39 Goulet working hard at both ends of rink after not getting drafted »The Guardian - Sports
Twice now Alexandre Goulet has been passed over. Each time, the Charltotetown Islanders' winger shrugs it off and gets back to work. The first came during the 2012 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft. The second was this summer at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia. "It's almost the same ...
04:22 I am amazed at the honesty »Doug Hall's Innovation Engineering Leadership blog
Good Morning Innovation Pioneers, I’m on a very, very busy tour of London & Scotland – doing meeting after meeting.   As I sit here in Perth Scotland, watching the sun come up, enjoying a glorious coffee – I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned. The meetings have been as different as could be – with people […]
04:15 Introducing ScreenScape Connect, hosted by Mark Binns »ScreenScape Official News
Here’s a very quick primer for any business looking to engage audiences inside a place of business. ScreenScape Connect is the name of a new device-oriented solution developed by ScreenScape in partnership with Dell that turns any TV into a dynamic digital sign. By dramatically lowering the costs and the complexity around the technology ScreenScape […]
04:04 Laser Removal System (206 Words) » | New Topics
Laser hair removal has proven to be a very popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure. after hair removal processIt is a non-invasive, convenient way to permanently reduce unwanted facial or body hair . hair on face above lips before treatmentUnwanted or excessive hair is a problem for a long time, both for women and men.
Unwanted hair on chin , legs, chest , abdomen and an inappropiate pair of eyebrows or excessive hair growth in the underarms or hair growth on the upper back is unaesthetic and embarrassing. This can be quite jarring and can ruin an otherwise pretty women.

Nowadays a lot of men are opting for laser hair reduction as well on areas such as the chest and back. Other modalities like Plucking and waxing can be painful and there is a risk for scarring, swelling and skin darkening.

[url=]Laser hair removal Surrey[/url] has replaced painful electrolysis and waxing with techniques which are painless & much better.

This is a new generation laser that enables hair removal from virtually any part of body safely quickly and efficiently and permanently. LHE works on the principle of selective photothermolysis that uniquely utilizes Light and Heat energy that selectively causes permanent destruction of hair follicle....
02:00 Police investigating theft from car in capital »Journal-Pioneer Local
CHARLOTTETOWN – Police in Charlottetown are investigating the theft of a white iPod Touch from a motor vehicle parked on Queen Street near Fitzroy on Tuesday.
02:00 Scotchfort woman given five days for car theft »Journal-Pioneer Local
CHARLOTTETOWN – A 26-year-old Scotchfort woman was sentenced Wednesday in provincial court to serve five days in the provincial correctional centre for stealing a motor vehicle.The sentence was imposed in Charlottetown in the case of Sarah Lynn Bernard.
00:59 [DM] "On looking at peripheries" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
I've a brief note up at Demography Matters noting my upcoming series of posts regarding the demographic dynamics of peripheral regions.
00:45 [BRIEF NOTE] On how domestic politics in Russia have been hollowed out by trolling »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The multiply-authored article in The Telegraph "Russia hikes interest rates to 17pc to stop rouble collapse" came out yesterday, outlining the state of affairs in Russia as the ruble collapses and interest rates spike and capital is going everywhere and immiseration 1998-style beckons. My attention was caught by one passage.

The currency's collapse will feed into double-digit inflation in short order. “This is extreme central banking, and the question is, what are they trying to achieve?” said Tim Ash, from Standard Bank.

“Moves like this create systemic risks, the risk of panic among the general population, and surely risks major deposit flight. It makes you think whether they forgot to read the manual which came with the bazooka. But this is a really high-risk strategy from the central bank."

The Institute of International Finance says Russia's reserves are not as large as they appear, given the levels of external debt and a chronic capital deficit of 2pc to 3pc of GDP a year. It says the danger line is around $330bn, suggesting that the central bank cannot safely bleed its funds for long to stem the outflow.

Mr Putin has so far defended the central bank against accusations from populists in the Duma that it has betrayed Russia by letting the rouble crash, and is run by “liberal feminists” in thrall to the International Monetary Fund.

He has promised "harsh" measures against traders betting against the rouble, warning that “we know who these speculators are” and how to deal with them. Yet the Kremlin appears out of its depth and is struggling to keep up with events.

"Liberal feminists" are wrecking the Russian economy?

I've noted in the past that Russian officialdom seems to be cleaving closely to conservative, even reactionary, ideologies on gender and sexual orientation and human rights. But this last, if true, is a not-bad example of trolling, in the sense at least of being absurdly provocative while making no sense. Can any dialogue where opinion like this features prominently mean anything good?
00:32 [LINK] "9 Wildrose MLAs, including Danielle Smith, cross to Alberta Tories" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Wow. From the CBC:

Nine Wildrose MLAs, including leader Danielle Smith, have crossed to Alberta’s governing Progressive Conservative party in a move political observers are calling unprecedented.

Premier Jim Prentice made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon after a day-long meeting, where PC MLAs voted in favour of bringing the new members into caucus.

"This is not a merger of parties, let’s be clear about this," he said in a joint news conference with Smith. "This is a unification of conservatives as Progressive Conservatives."

[. . .]

Smith said she was joining the party because Prentice's values were similar to the Wildrose. She and the other 8 MLAs decided to cross after agreeing to a set of "aligned values and principles."

Alberta has had four premiers since Smith became Wildrose leader in October 2009: Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford, Dave Hancock and Prentice. She said Prentice is the first to meet with her.

"Past premiers have merely paid lip service to these issues, saying the right things and then doing the opposite," Smith said. "But Premier Prentice has shown me and my caucus that he is different."

[. . .]

In her resignation letter as Wildrose leader, Smith asked the party to hold a membership meeting and pass a reunification resolution. She had led the party since October 2009.
00:04 Last-Minute Christmas Wishes »Lot 65

Wednesday December 17, 2014

23:29 Big third period keys Commandos’ win over Caps »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Dieppe widens gap in Roger Meek Division
23:24 Big third period keys Commandos’ win over Capitals »The Guardian - Sports
SUMMERSIDE – It was a third period to forget for the Summerside Western Capitals on Wednesday night.The Dieppe Commandos scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Capitals 5-2, and open up a bit of breathing room in the Roger Meek Division standings of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.“It ...
22:57 Ellsworth preparing for final international events with Team Canada »The Guardian - Sports
O'LEARY - Jeff Ellsworth enjoys seeing the passion of new players as he enters the twilight of his softball career with Team Canada. "I know I was there years ago," recalled Ellsworth of his 2005 debut. "I still remember, in Mexico, when they announced my name for the first time. "Buddy pitched ...
22:55 Isles have trade in place for Friday »The Guardian - Sports
The Charlottetown Islanders have a deal in place as the trade window is set to open on Friday. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League general managers talk in advance of the window opening but deals cannot be consummated until Friday. Teams are also not allowed to speak about the players ...
22:51 Colonels victorious in Fredericton »The Guardian - Sports
The Colonel Gray Colonels used a big second quarter Sunday to defeat New Brunswick's top-ranked Fredericton High School and win the Rick Cotter classic girls basketball tournament. The Colonels led the host squad 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, but outscored then by nine to take a ...
22:00 Beach Bumps »justpictureit
photo - Beach Bumps

I love the sounds on the accompanying video.

20:03 [LINK] Two Bloomberg reports on Google and Apple leaving Russia, in different ways »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Bloomberg's Tim Higgins notes Apple's withdrawal from online sales in Russia.

Apple Inc. halted online sales of its products in Russia due to “extreme” ruble fluctuations, showing how the currency’s swings are rippling out to international businesses.

The iPhone and iPad maker stopped sales from its Web store as Russia’s currency lost as much as 19 percent today, with a surprise interest-rate increase failing to stem a run on the currency. The ruble briefly sank beyond 80 per dollar, and bonds and stocks also tumbled.

“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” Alan Hely, a spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company, wrote in an e-mail today. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”

The selloff in Moscow is spreading across the globe, prompting nervous investors to pull money from other developing nations amid concern that Russia’s financial struggles and the tumble in oil signal a global economic slowdown.

Bloomberg View's Leonid Bershidsky, meanwhile, observes that Google and other Internet companies are leaving Russia to avoid the risk of state censorship and interference in their affairs.

Google confirmed today that it would move its engineering office out of Russia. That makes it at least the third major tech company to scale down its presence in the country this year. Although none of the three companies explicitly tied the decision to Russia's increasingly oppressive Internet policies, the decisions to leave can hardly be a coincidence.

In April, President Vladimir Putin, who by all accounts isn't an Internet user, declared that the global computer network had "emerged as a special project of the U.S. CIA and that's how it's developing." A little more than two months later, the Russian parliament, always looking for creative interpretations of Putin's messages, passed a law banning the storage of Russian citizens' personal data outside the country. All Internet companies were required to move the data to servers within Russia by September 2016. Although the Internet community protested -- obeying the letter of the law would deprive Russians of the opportunity to use Facebook or even buy plane tickets from foreign airlines through their websites -- legislators toughened the ban in September, bringing forward its implementation to January 2015.

Even as that change made its way through parliament, Adobe Systems, maker of Photoshop and other popular software, announced that it was closing its Russia office. Adobe gave an innocuous business justification: It was moving its applications to the cloud, where they would be available by subscription, as part of the global fight against piracy. It no longer needed a physical presence in Russia or in a few other countries, such as Taiwan and Turkey. Yet unofficially, company representatives said that Putin's increasingly tense relations with the West were keeping it from winning contracts in Russia, and that it wasn't prepared to move its servers to comply with the personal data law.

In November, Microsoft shut its Moscow development office for Skype, moving some of the Russian engineers to Prague. The official reason was a restructuring of the video chat service's development arm to make its logistics simpler. Skype, however, is a product that has long interested Russia's intelligence services. Last year, the Moscow business daily Vedomosti reported that spies had found a way to eavesdrop on Skype chats. Skype also keeps its users' personal data on servers outside Russia. Since the service had no Russian presence apart from the development team, it made sense to get rid of the Moscow office and relocate the best programmers.
20:00 [LINK] "Alien Life on Mars? NASA Rover Spots Methane, a Possible Sign of Microbes" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
National Geographic's Dan Vergano writes about the recent discovery of methane spikes by the Curiosity rover on Mars. They might indicate life, but not necessarily.

On Earth, most methane, better known as natural gas, is released by microbes that belch out the gas as they digest food. The rover mission scientists hedge the new results carefully, saying there's no way to tell whether the methane spikes have a geological or biological origin.

"It is a very, very puzzling result," says planetary scientist Joel Levine of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, who was not part of the study team. "Either Mars is geologically alive, which would be surprising, or Mars is biologically alive, which would have profound implications."

Decades of up-and-down measurements of methane in the Martian atmosphere have intrigued scientists hunting for signs of life on Mars. So when Curiosity first recorded a sudden tenfold increase in methane in November 2013, scientists were startled.

"It was an 'oh, my gosh' moment," said planetary scientist Christopher Webster of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who led the study team. Reported in the journal Science and presented Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting, the spikes, he said, "disappeared only six weeks later."

Curiosity went on to record a total of four sharp jumps in methane concentrations in the Martian air during its travels. The pulses lasted only a few weeks and lingered over a small area, roughly 2,625 feet (800 meters) of the rover's path. That points to a local, concentrated vent as the origin of the releases, says team scientist Sushil Atreya of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, most likely to the north of the rover inside Gale Crater.</blcokquote>
19:57 [LINK] "Journalism ethics take a hit with Rolling Stone's unravelling rape story" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
CBC's Neil Macdonald argues that the search for clickbait is undermining journalism, as the Rolling Stone rape story suggests.

Rolling Stone accepted the vogue notion that the accuser should always be unswervingly believed — and that any skepticism "re-traumatizes."

That is a fine rule for people staffing rape crisis centres and phone hotlines. Women (and men; a significant percentage of sexual assaults on campus involve male victims) who say they have been raped should be treated with respect and trust.

But journalism is supposed to involve healthy skepticism and due diligence, no matter how strongly the winds of public opinion might gust on a particular issue.

In the case of Rolling Stone, a cynic might note that the climbdown and subsequent publicity resulted in another torrent of mouse clicks. (Nowadays, getting it wrong can be profitable.)

But that is increasingly the nature of postmodern journalism; facts matter less than trends. (Anyway, as postmodernists would ask, what's a fact, really?)
19:55 [LINK] "Angelina Jolie boycott brewing in Japan over war movie Unbroken" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
CBC carries the Associated Press report that some conservatives and historical revisonists in Japan are unhappy with an upcoming film's depiction of the Japanese military. The film, it's worth noting, is historically accurate.

The movie [Unbroken] follows the real-life story of Louis Zamperini as told in a 2010 book by Laura Hillenbrand. The book has not been translated into Japanese, but online trailers have provoked outrage. Zamperini, played by Jack O'Connell, survived in a raft for 47 days with two other crewmen after a plane crash, only to be caught by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Especially provocative is a passage in the book that refers to cannibalism among the troops. It is not clear how much of that will be in the movie, but that is too much for some.

"But there was absolutely no cannibalism," said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. "That is not our custom."

Takeuchi acknowledged Jolie is free to make whatever movie she wants, stressing that Shinto believes in forgive-and-forget.

But he urged Jolie to study history, saying executed war criminals were charged with political crimes, not torture.

"Even Japanese don't know their own history so misunderstandings arise," said Takeuchi, who heads his research organization, the Japan Culture Intelligence Association.
19:50 [LINK] "For aspiring Nepali migrants, the risks start at home" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Al Jazeera's Pete Pattisson notes the plight of migrant workers from Nepal, who seem to find themselves facing cheating by employment agents and dangerous work conditions at every turn. That their remittances play a critical role in the domestic economy makes things more complex.

Every day, almost 1,500 Nepalis join the long queues at Kathmandu’s airport to follow their dreams of a job abroad, typically in the Gulf or Malaysia. Over 525,000 Nepalis were issued permits to work overseas in 2013-14, well over double the number issued just five years ago.

According to an Open Society Foundations report on migrant workers, Nepal now sends the most workers abroad per capita of any country in Asia.

And for many, migration works. Official remittances account for over 29 percent of Nepal’s total GDP, and have increased by 400 percent between 2003 and 2011. At the arrivals gate of Kathmandu’s airport, dozens of migrants arrive off each flight balancing bulging bags and flat-screen TVs on their trolleys.

But wait till they have left, and another set of trolleys emerge from the terminal carrying a very different load — coffins bearing the bodies of migrant workers, like Umesh Pasman. Every day, three or four are flown back to grieving families in Nepal. In 2013, at least 185 Nepalis died in Qatar alone.

[. . .]

It usually begins with an introduction to a local recruitment broker, or agent. Typically, "the individual agent [is] someone personally known to the migrant worker... Consequently, migrant workers have great trust in their agents to look after their interests," said the Open Society Foundations report.
18:52 Charlottetown police send message - lock it or lose it »The Guardian - Local News
Police in Charlottetown are trying to break into vehicles in an attempt to educate the public. Charlottetown Police Services has teamed up with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to try and reduce thefts from motor vehicles in a campaign called Lock It or Lose It. Officers are going through ...


18:41 Somebody do something »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
For democratic governments, moving slowly is a matter of survival.
18:32 Detour road scene of collision »Journal-Pioneer Local
ALBERTON -- Vehicle removal from a 4:15 p.m. two-car collision Wednesday forced a temporary closure of the Mill River East Road.
18:16 Young driver haunted by hole-in-the-road incident »Journal-Pioneer Local
CONWAY -- Her car is ruined and her chest and back are still sore, but Emily Hardy says she considers herself lucky.
18:05 Snowfall warning remains in place across “westernmost part” of Prince County »The Guardian - Local News
Snowfall, with total amounts of about 15 centimetres, is expected
18:00 The Good Lie at Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 7:00 »Tonight at City Cinema
Only 4 days left to see this film.

Rated: 14 Accompaniment (Substance Abuse, Disturbing Content)
Runs: 110 minutes
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Country: US
Released: 2014
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Corey Stoll

“Just like the characters it portrays, the odds are stacked against The Good Lie. Its story could have gone wrong in so many ways that it's a surprise and a relief just how well director Philippe Falardeau and writer Margaret Nagle meet their goals. The story starts in a teeming refugee camp in Kenya, where survivors of a civil war in Sudan wait for somewhere to go. The plot singles out Mamere Deng, his sister Abital, and their brothers Jeremiah and Paul. They will soon become four of the 3,600 Sudanese who find homes in the United States. The movie then backtracks to 1983 and the tiny rural village where Mamere lives with his family. War splits the country in 1987. Soldiers attack the village, killing the adults and setting homes on fire. Led by Theo, the children make their way 260 miles to Ethiopia, only to learn that the border is closed. They must detour hundreds of miles to Kenya... This journey changes the children forever. Not everyone survives, and those who do are wracked with guilt. Falardeau maintains a delicate balance during this section, refusing to overdramatize situations and allowing the child actors to develop their own pacing and rhythms. The director is just as good at depicting how ill-equipped the Sudanese are for life in Kansas City. Transportation, schedules, even jobs are alien concepts, and bureaucracy proves overwhelming. The Sudanese face hard choices, and The Good Lie doesn't sugarcoat their experiences. The movie also avoids easy sentimentality and Hollywood-style happy endings, although Falardeau is quick to capitalize on the refugees' infectious humor... The movie really belongs to the actors who play the refugees. Ger Duany and Emmanuel Jal were both child soldiers who escaped to Kenya, while Kuoth Wiel was born in a refugee camp there. Along with Arnold Oceng, they are appealing and believable on screen. The Good Lie is not a typical message drama filled with big statements and teachable moments. But in its modest, quiet way, it shows some of the dignity and determination of the refugees it portrays.” - Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International

Advance Tickets ~ IMDB on Film ~

17:48 Summerside’s new fire hall does not qualify for money under Build Canada Fund »Journal-Pioneer Local
Council needs to find alternative funding sources to replace aging fire hall
17:45 Wellington man to be sentenced Friday for beating »The Guardian - Local News
Victim remains in hospital four months after attack
17:43 Mayor sees no change in Summerside property taxes »Journal-Pioneer Local
SUMMERSIDE – Summerside taxpayers will see no change in property taxes, at least in the short-term, says Summerside Mayor Bill Martin.


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