PEIBlogs.com: the definitive Prince Edward Island blogroll since 2004.

Welcome to PEI Blogs, an aggregator of weblogs (blogs), news feeds, and tweets about or located in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. Email me (link below) to add or change sites. Click on the black subject link to expand an entry, or the red blog name link to go to the entry in the blog. Click on the Sources links below to view an entire blog.

PEI Blogs is provided as a public service on a non-profit basis. Information comes from individual websites, through RSS syndication, and from a Twitter list, 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 or post.

- Derek MacEwen, PEI Blogs Aggregator

PEIInfo PEIInfo, PEI's Community Website and Message Forums since 2002. Visit us at www.peiinfo.com.

Aggregation of selected recently-updated blogs, news feeds and tweets:

Tuesday August 23, 2016

19:00 Our Little Sister at Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 7:00 »Tonight at City Cinema
Only 4 days left to see this film.

Rated: Parental Guidance
Runs: 128 minutes
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Country: Japan
Starring: Haruka Ayase, Ryôhei Suzuki, Ryô Kase, Masami Nagasawa
Language: In Japanese with English subtitles
Awards: Japanese Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Director, and Cinematography

“This utterly enchanting tale of female family bonds (mothers, daughters, sisters) finds three twentysomething siblings travelling to the funeral of their estranged father, and meeting their 14-year-old half-sister for the first time. While Sachi, Yoshino and Chika live together with their shared memories, young Suzu seems all alone, until her new-found family invite her to come and live with them in Kamakura... Despite the melancholic old wounds which her presence reopens, Suzu proves an entirely positive presence in this lovely, generous, and touching adaptation of Akimi Yoshida’s graphic novel Umimachi Diary... As its magical spell takes hold, so the film’s true depths become apparent, each character dealing in their own way with the departure of a parent, and issues of love, loyalty and loss. A soundtrack of simple piano motifs with plaintive woodwind and strings emphasises the domestic milieu (the preparation and consumption of food is a key theme) and captures the ecstatic sunshine of a bicycle ride through a tunnel of pink cherry blossoms.” - Mark Kermode, The Observer

Advance Tickets ~ IMDB on Film ~

17:34 Sexual touching leads to guilty plea »The Guardian - Local News
An 18-year-old teenager has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual touching after a girl, who was five years younger than him, performed oral sex on him. Brendan Alexander Poirier was in provincial court in Charlottetown Monday where he pleaded guilty to sexual touching involving someone younger ...
17:16 Your Morning' has different look than 'Canada AM,' but who will watch? »The Guardian - Local News
“The studio has that new show smell.” So said Ben Mulroney as CTV premiered its replacement for “Canada AM” Monday. The new “YourMorning,” which originates from CTV's downtown Toronto studios, was fast-paced and pretty much mistake-free, if not especially memorable. Mulroney was joined by ...
16:57 Text with 911 coming to P.E.I. for hearing, speech impaired »The Guardian - Local News
Islanders with hearing loss or speech impairments will soon be able to simply text for 911 service. A new ‘Text with 911’ for emergency services will soon be available in P.E.I. “Text with 911 technology can help deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired Islanders communicate with 911 operators ...
16:53 Islanders staff decides to start training camp with an intra-squad game »The Guardian - Sports
No sense waiting around. The Charlottetown Islanders jumped right into an intra-squad game Tuesday morning during their first on-ice session of training camp. Head coach and general manager Jim Hulton said with 42 players in camp, the coaching staff decided to jump right into game ...
16:09 Lois Brown awarded Clair Mayhew Volunteer of the Year Award in Kensington »Journal-Pioneer Local
Lois Brown knew her son, Kirk, was coming to P.E.I. for a last-minute visit, but she didn’t realize it was for a special occasion.
16:05 Tuna Wranglers retain trophy »Journal-Pioneer Local
Tie-breaker decides tuna cup
15:23 George Wotton, known as “Mr. Sunshine,” dies »The Guardian - Local News
Beloved former photographer, master gardener, farmer's market supporter remembered as people person, arts booster
15:15 [PHOTO] Three photos from the Cavendish Road, Prince Edward Island »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The Cavendish Road, connecting North Rustico with Cavendish, can be exceptionally scenic, farmers' fields stretching to the shore and the Gulf picking up where the land leaves off.

  #pei #rustico #northrustico #gulfofstlawrence


Bales of hay on the Cavendish Road  #pei #rustico #northrustico #cavendish #bales #hay


IMG_0580[1]
14:30 Arsenault powers Chevys »Journal-Pioneer Sports
To road win over Sherwood-Parkdale
14:17 U19 United off to provincial final »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Gallant shines in goal
14:06 Canadian Blood Services workers' lockout ends »Journal-Pioneer Local
The lockout of local workers by Canadian Blood Services that lasted almost a year, has ended.
13:52 Summerside under-12 team off to semifinals »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Neill scores winner late vs. Stratford
13:45 Federal food safety inspection forces recall of P.E.I. oysters »The Guardian - Local News
Canadian Food Inspection Agency says no one made sick but Five Star Shellfish in Ellerslie must recall one-day's harvest following tests
12:32 Section of Ottawa Street in Summerside closed to traffic »Journal-Pioneer Local
The City of Summerside issued a notice this morning to inform the travelling public that Ottawa Street will be closed to traffic today while city crews are conducting work on a sewer line.
12:21 Ghosts in our midst? Shelburne resident shares story of unexplained happenings »The Guardian - Living
SHELBURNE, N.S. - It wasn’t my first ghost story. It probably won’t be my last. But it was the closest personal account I’ve heard of what could be a poltergeist.
12:07 Dangerous surf today in P.E.I. National Park »The Guardian - Local News
Parks Canada asking visitors to stay out of water due to high winds, pounding surf
12:00 Dave Gunning on P.E.I. stage Thursday for Close to the Ground concert »The Guardian - Living
Award-winning singer/songwriter joins Fiddlers' Sons and Keelin Wedge at the Kaylee Hall
11:55 How to Make a Book »ruk.ca from peter rukavina

Here’s a photographic journey through the process I took to set, print and bind a book of klischees. Making books, it turns out, is well within the realm of the possible for everyday people: all you need is paper, glue and patience.

Printing

I started by printing the signatures for the book. On standard letter-sized card stock I printed four klischees on each side. The setup in the chase looked like this:

Setup in the chase to print klischees

And a prototype of the finished signatures looked like this:

Prototype of Signatures

The printing took several weeks, off an on when I had time. I printed in batches of 2 or 3 pages a session, and ended up with seven pieces of 8-1/2 x 11 inch card stock printed double-sided. When I sliced these in half I had fourteen pieces of 4-1/4 x 11 inch card stock, ready for folding.

Scoring and Folding

I scored each of the 4-1/4 x 11 inch pieces:

Book of Klischees

Then folded each on in half along the score:

Book of Klischees

I then used a bone folder – an invaluable tool that only appears to have any utility once you actually use it for something – to enhanced the folding a little:

Book of Klischees

I ended up with a stack of folded signatures:

Book of Klischees

Which I then compacted with the bone folder (this turns out to be a key step: it’s what takes “ragtag collection of folded pieces of paper” and turns them into something book-like):

Book of Klischees

Next, I pulled two pieces of Japanese paper out of my paper closet and cut them to size (4-1/4 by 5-1/2 inches) to go at the start and end of the book:

Book of Klischees Book of Klischees

The finished product, before gluing, looked like this:

Book of Klischees

Gluing

With the book ready for glue, I clamped everything together with a binder clip; this is so helpful in keeping everything in alignment, and this kind of binder clip is much easier to manage than the more common “black with silver parts that fold back” kind, especially when it comes to removing it:

Book of Klischees

I slipped the clamped signatures into a book press (a piece of equipment helpfully left in my office by the previous occupants), and then clamp the whole thing tight in the press, while gingerly removing the binder clip:

Book of Klischees

I then used a cheap paintbrush to spread a thin layer of regular old white glue (I used Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, but I imagine any brand would do) along the edge of the book:

Book of Klischees

The brush is very useful for creating a really smooth layer of glue. I repeated this process again once the first layer of glue dried (this may not be technically required, but it afforded me some gluing-piece-of-mind):

Book of Klischees

Preparing the Cover

While waiting for the glue to dry, I took a piece of letter-sized purple card stock and trimmed it down to 5-1/2 by 11 inches, and then scored it 4-1/4 inches in:

Book of Klischees

Book of Klischees

I then added a second score, using the glued book block as a guide to the location. The result was a front cover, spine, and back cover; I left the back cover to trim after the cover-gluing:

 Book of Klischees

Gluing the Cover

I spread a layer of glue along the spine of the book block, put the cover in place, and then clamped the result into the book press (not so much for the pressure as to have it clamped in place so I could apply some pressure to the spine of the book with my thumb to remove glue bubbles):

Book of Klischees

Trimming the Cover

Once the spine had dried, I removed it from the book press and, using a straight edge as a guide (an excellent tip I picked up from a YouTube bookbinding video), I trimmed the back cover:

Book of Klischees

The Finished Book

The finished book looks remarkably book-like:

Book of Klischees

Book of Klischees

Book of Klischees

11:21 Police track down Charlottetown man for using false prescription »The Guardian - Local News
Officers arrest a 31-year-old Charlottetown-area resident who is now facing charges of forgery
11:04 Blood-worker strike in P.E.I. ends as staff plan return to work »The Guardian - Local News
Say proud of standing united as two sides meet half way, set Aug. 30 to resume normal operations
09:45 Sunshine expected over the next few days across PEI.. »peistormchaser
Tuesday August 23 9:45am.. A cold front swept across the island yesterday evening bringing the showers. You can really notice the change in air behind the front this morning. Classic cold frontal passage.  Winds now W/NW, Cooler air and no … Continue reading
09:31 Protecting migratory birds »The Guardian - Opinion
A century ago, many bird species threatened by fashion, especially hats
09:28 Inefficient ferries need replacement »The Guardian - Opinion
EDITOR: It has been several months since we first heard of Northumberland Ferries shocking announcement of taking the Holiday Island out of service for repairs at the most critical time of the operating season. Almost daily we continue to see reports of concerns being expressed in the media but ...
09:21 Habitat offers source for books »The Guardian - Opinion
EDITOR: My childhood home was situated opposite the town library where it seemed information of every kind was available just for the looking. Now I have found another wonderful source of books at Habitat for Humanity’s store almost at the end of Mount Edward Road where for $1 you can buy 5 ...
09:20 Premier should seek reference on court »The Guardian - Opinion
EDITOR: Premier MacLauchlan claims to support Atlantic Canada's right to have a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada. Can the premier walk the walk and seek a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada and challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau? Canada's claims the Gulf of St. Lawrence as ...
09:17 Wisdom suggests one way in, one way out   »The Guardian - Opinion
EDITOR: For nine months my flesh took shape in the blood of my mother’s womb. I came into the world like anyone else. I began to breathe the same air we all breathe. And like everyone else, the sound I made was a cry. I was wrapped in clothes and cared for. No king ever began life differently. ...
09:13 Hidden agenda in poetry contest »The Guardian - Opinion
EDITOR: Several months ago I entered a poem in a contest through the Poetry Institute of Canada in Victoria BC, with the first prize being $500. A nice enticement. I had totally forgotten about this until I received a letter this week from the Institute informing me that my poem has been chosen ...
09:13 ‘It just can’t help but make you feel like P.E.I. is an awful special place’ CBC Ignoring The Poor »redlikeme.ca
Obviously CBC ‘News’ anchor Bruce Rainnie cannot see past his nose. He returned from a five star visit to Rio Olympics concerned about the poor. Half of PEI makes minimum wage, 11% are unemployed, but everyone at CBC is paid over 100,000 per year. CBC lost its relevance as a news broadcaster years ago in … Continue reading ‘It just can’t help but make you feel like P.E.I. is an awful special place’ CBC Ignoring The Poor
09:11 Only growth after conception »The Guardian - Opinion
EDITOR: In her column (Guardian, 19 August, 2016) Marie ‘Cheverie’ MacDonald explains her opinion regarding abortion. She writes; “There is no evidence that anything except growth takes place from conception on.” Some people believe Mrs. MacDonald can actually ‘think’. Personally, I ...
09:09 Sensationalizing McKenna report? »The Guardian - Opinion
EDITOR: I’m a little surprised at your article in today’s paper (“Barb McKenna facing criminal harassment charges”). Very large type and a picture of Ms. McKenna ensure everyone sees it, but the article has basically no information. Yet, right beside this article are two small stories - “Man ...
09:00 Forged Prescription - Man Arrested »Charlottetown Police Police Reports
Charlottetown Police Services received a complaint yesterday from a Charlottetown Pharmacy regarding a forged prescription for a restricted drug. After an investigation police were able to identify the person responsible for passing the forged document. Subsequently police have arrested a 31 year old Charlottetown area resident.
08:11 Former chief of staff to P.E.I. premier gets court delay »Journal-Pioneer Local
Chris Alan LeClair, 51, was scheduled to be in court Monday on drunk driving charges but now set over to Friday
08:09 P.E.I. police cracking down on noisy motorcycles »Journal-Pioneer Local
Section 128 of Highway Traffic Act specfically prohibits any changes that would result in excessive or unusual noise
08:04 Unexpected hike pushes P.E.I. gas prices to $1 »Journal-Pioneer Local
Effective today, gas prices jump 2.6 cents per litre, pushing self-serve pump prices to between 99.9 and 101.1 cents per litre
08:00 Bonshaw teenager kayaks around P.E.I. in just 12 days »Journal-Pioneer Local
Takes with him a waterproof phone that floats, a diary, a waterproof bible
07:44 Former chief of staff to P.E.I. premier gets court delay »The Guardian - Local News
Chris Alan LeClair, 51, was scheduled to be in court Monday on drunk driving charges but now set over to Friday
07:42 Daily Specials for Tuesday, August 23, 2016 »Casa Mia Daily Specials

The Daily Specials at Casa Mia Restaurant for Tuesday, August 23, 2016 are:

  • Roasted Cauliflower Soup $4.99
  • Barbecue Chicken Club with sauteed onions and cheddar cheese on a baguette. Side bean salad $12.99

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

07:28 Attack near Alberton sends woman to hospital »The Guardian - Local News
Part of a busy weekend for Prince County police as they arrest drunk drivers, break and enter criminals
07:01 RUSSELL WANGERSKY: Ad mail ad nauseum »The Guardian - Opinion
When I was in my teens, we had a family dog that looked like a miniature Doberman pinscher and hated both the postman and the mail he delivered. (I think my mother got it because she lost a bet.)
07:01 Russell Wangersky: Ad mail ad nauseum »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
When I was in my teens, we had a family dog that looked like a miniature Doberman pinscher and hated both the postman and the mail he delivered. (I think my mother got it because she lost a bet.)
06:41 Unexpected hike pushes P.E.I. gas prices to $1 »The Guardian - Local News
Effective today, gas prices jump 2.6 cents per litre, pushing self-serve pump prices to between 99.9 and 101.1 cents per litre
06:35 EDITORIAL: Who is watching out for the smelt?  »The Guardian - Opinion
Earlier this month, the World Wildlife Fund issued a report on forage fish — the littler fish that often make up dinner for more lucrative species.
06:35 EDITORIAL: Who is watching out for the smelt?  »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
Earlier this month, the World Wildlife Fund issued a report on forage fish — the littler fish that often make up dinner for more lucrative species.
06:34 Bonshaw teenager kayaks around P.E.I. in just 12 days »The Guardian - Local News
Packs along a waterproof phone that floats, a diary, a waterproof bible
02:00 Back to school time at Summerside Rotary Library »Journal-Pioneer Living
Back to school means back to the library. A library card is your best free school supply. Your first library card is free and replacement cards are only $2.When items are returned on time there are no fees for borrowing. To register for a library card, just visit the library with ID with your ...
01:05 All the talk is about how badly Ben-Hur did at the box office »John Cairns Blog
So the story of this weekend at the box office was about how badly Ben-Hur did. It only grossed a little over $11 million this opening weekend, after being made at a price tag reported at over $100 million. Instead, Suicide Squad won the weekend. A lot of theories are going around as to why […]
00:58 [MUSIC] "The Tragically Hip August 12 2016 Live in Toronto Full Concert in HD" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)


Until I can find the Kingston concert someone--can anyone make suggestions?--this will do.
00:13 Free Press Is Essential In A Healthy Democracy And It Is Nearly Wiped Out In North America »redlikeme.ca
America and Canada have lost Free Press in recent years. Propaganda from the Ministry of Love, as George Orwell described it. The Collapse of American Free Press – It’s Just Over . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhkjYJAHCjM. Free Press loss is the biggest disaster of our time………redlikeme.ca  
00:02 Montague council may bring unsightly property to the Supreme Court »The Guardian - Local News
MONTAGUE An unsightly property here could soon find its way in front of Canada’s highest court. Council voted 4-1 vote last night to consider filing a Supreme Court application to have an order imposed for either the repair or, more likely, demolition of a house and detached garage at 9 ...
00:00 New technology helps Islanders with hearing loss communicate with 911 »Government of Prince Edward top news stories
Islanders who have hearing loss or speech impairments will soon be able to use Text with 911 for emergency services. 'Text with 911 technology can help deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired Islanders communicate with 911 operators through text message,' said Premier Wade MacLauchlan, minister responsible for Justice and Public Safety. 'Text with 911 technology will provide better access to emergency services for Islanders who have challenges speaking...
00:00 Petroleum pricing »Government of Prince Edward top news stories
The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission approved the following petroleum pricing decisions, effective 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, August 23, 2016: Gasoline prices will increase by 2.6 cents per litre (cpl); Furnace and stove oil prices will increase by 3.5 cpl; Diesel prices will increase by 3.5 cpl; and There will be no change in propane prices at this time.Including adjustments for taxes, pump prices for regular unleaded gasoline at self-serve...

Monday August 22, 2016

23:00 Cycling group »Pedaling PEI
22:56 [PHOTO] Eleven photos from the garden of the Dunes Studio Gallery, Brackley Beach »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
I have posted many photos from my 2016 visit to the grounds of Brackley Beach's The Dunes Studio Gallery, of statues and sculptures and glass cats. I even have pictures of the gardens from above. Only now are we coming to my photos of the grounds taken from ground level.

Garden of the Dunes (1)


Garden of the Dunes (2)


Garden of the Dunes (3)


Garden of the Dunes (4)


Garden of the Dunes (5)


Garden of the Dunes (6)


Garden of the Dunes (7)


Garden of the Dunes (8)


Garden of the Dunes (9)


Garden of the Dunes (10)


Garden of the Dunes (11)
22:55 KFC's new marketing gimmick: sunscreen that smells like chicken »The Guardian - Local News
KFC gave away 3,000 bottles of sunscreen that it said smelled like fried chicken to drum up buzz for its Extra Crispy chicken. Several Associated Press reporters who tested the sunscreen said the smell did not immediately bring to mind chicken, however. The stunt is another way for KFC in the ...
22:50 Fourth candidate, Jason Gallant, enters PC nomination race »The Guardian - Local News
Entrepreneur and youth mentor Jason Gallant is hoping to become the Progressive Conservative candidate in the upcoming byelection in Summerside-Wilmot. Gallant has already been working to earn the nomination, signing up members to support him in his bid. “I have been humbled by the outpouring ...
22:46 Joint sentence of 16 months in jail agreed to by all sides in sexual touching case »The Guardian - Local News
Steven Michael Provost of Kensington pleads guilty to sexual touching of a minor
22:30 Rollaway Boys, Phase II team up at Pig & Whistle »The Guardian - Living
Phase II and the Rollaway Boys will take the stage as part of the Pig Whistle dance band-o-rama on Thursday, Aug. 25, at the New London Community Complex, 10227 Route #6 in New London, 8-11 p.m. The Rollaway Boys consists of Gary Chipman, Niall MacKay, Doug MacEwen, Blair Coughlin, Bruce ...
22:17 Island Impact fielding younger team »The Guardian - Sports
Team P.E.I. not lacking experience
22:17 Island Impact fielding younger team »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Team P.E.I. not lacking experience
21:00 Flutterby 1 »justpictureit
photo - Flutterby 1

I have no identitification for the butterflies I might show over the next while. Anyone who can identify them, please do. This one looks like a Monarch but looks very pale.

20:59 McInnes Cooper Strategy Expert Chris LeClair Adjourned On Drunk Driving »redlikeme.ca
Chris LeClair facing criminal charges for driving while drunk or with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit of .08, was adjourned in court today until Friday. Fishing for the right Judge? . . drunk on power and entitlement in PEI…….redlikeme.ca
20:35 Acadian and Mi’kmaq relations further evidenced by archeological dig »Journal-Pioneer Living
Acadian and Mi’kmaq history is literally coming out of the woodwork for provincial archeologist Dr. Helen Kristmanson. To be precise, she is finding evidence of early Acadian and Mi’kmaq trade in the form of decorative beads that would have slipped through the floorboards of a Malpeque ...
20:21 COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS »Journal-Pioneer Living
See more Community Happenings listings in Events section at the bottom of the right-hand column of this page.
20:07 Fish kill reported in Roseville stream »Journal-Pioneer Local
Enhancement coordinator makes discovery while preparing for exercise to evaluate health of stream, fish
19:58 [URBAN NOTE] "Return of road hockey to Toronto’s streets brings echoes of childhood" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The Toronto Star's Jim Coyle describes street hockey as a rite of childhood in Toronto.

In the winters of our childhood, and late autumns and early springs as well, every day after school and all through weekends, our little street in Toronto’s east end might as well have been Maple Leaf Gardens or the Montreal Forum.

We were part of the ball-hockey legions who turned the cry “Car!” into as Canadian an icon as the call of a loon. Looking back, how innocent we were of all that we were learning while simply having fun.

What delightful news, then, to learn that Toronto city council decided Friday to alter rules that had threatened road hockey and, in contemporary times, basketball as well.

Play will be allowed on roads with speed limits of 40 km/h or less during daylight hours between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Nets will now be allowed on the road as long as they don’t block driveways or impede sightlines for cars and pedestrians. They must be removed when play is done.

None but the dullest of bureaucrats could ever have imagined that all that was going on in those games was play.
19:56 [URBAN NOTE] "Victoria mayor seeks power to tax empty homes" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The Globe and Mail's Ian Bailey looks at Victoria's efforts to curb real estate speculation.

The mayor of Victoria wants the B.C. government to give municipalities across the province what Vancouver is getting – the right to tax empty homes – as a way to help ease the housing crunch in their own communities.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said she’s concerned about a scenario in which investors simply buy up properties elsewhere in the province to escape Vancouver’s expected tax on vacant houses.

The B.C. government has announced a special sitting of the legislature next week to give Vancouver the power to tax empty houses, but the change won’t apply to other municipalities.

That disparity “creates an odd, unequal playing field that could exacerbate the problem in other municipalities at the same time as it attempts to solve the problem in Vancouver,” Ms. Helps said in an interview on Thursday after council debated the issue.

“The consequence could be that people stop investing in properties to flip or hold in Vancouver because they know they’re going to get taxed and they just buy properties in Victoria or Burnaby or West [Vancouver] and do the same thing, because that jurisdiction doesn’t have the same taxing powers.”
19:55 [URBAN NOTE] "Toronto’s Twice-Annual Avian Massacre Begins Now" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Torontoist's Mark Mann describes how Toronto's skyscrapers are starting to heighten their toll in birds killed.

It’s hard to know what to care about. Our terrible world offers plenty of options, and, considered all together, they are overwhelming and exhausting, which is maybe why most of us refuse to pay much attention to anything that isn’t directly in front of our faces getting in the way.

This sad fact of human limitation—our wilful confinement to the immediate and obvious—is bad news for animals, whose main skill sets are sneakiness and hiding (swaggering city raccoons not included). Among the all-time great hiders are the millions of birds that pass through the GTA twice annually, who fly by night to avoid detection.

Toronto lies at the confluence of two major flyways, making it a “bird super-highway,” according to Bridget Stutchbury, author of Silence of the Songbirds. Migrating birds should simply slip past us in the dark. But because they suffer from a condition called “fatal light attraction,” they get stuck on our street lamps and spotlights.

It’s not clear why birds can’t resist light bulbs, but one study suggests that artificial lighting interferes with their internal magnetic compass. So, technically, nocturnal birds aren’t attracted to light, but they reflexively switch to daytime travel mode and then can’t switch back.
19:53 [ISL] "Mining the Ocean Floor: Good Idea?" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Bloomberg View's Adam Minter wonders about the negative environmental consequences of mining the ocean floor.

While commodities traders still work their way out of a historic slump, Japan is looking ahead to the next boom. According to Bloomberg News, next year a group of Japanese companies and government agencies will start mining minerals at a site 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo -- and one mile beneath the ocean's surface. It will be the first large-scale test of whether mineral deposits can be mined commercially from the seafloor.

The project is fairly bold. The seafloor is home to priceless deposits of minerals such as gold, copper and cobalt. And thanks to new technologies, it might soon be exploitable. That's potentially good news for miners and commodity speculators. But it poses some alarming challenges for the marine environment -- and the economies that depend on it.

At least as far back as the 1960s, scientists have known that rich deposits of minerals could be found in metallic nodules strewn like stones across the deep seabed. In 1977, researchers discovered hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, along with some of the richest ore bodies in the world. In both cases, though, slumping commodity prices and high extraction costs doomed exploitation efforts.

China changed everything. As its economy picked up earlier this decade, and demand for commodities surged, the search for alternative sources of raw materials gained steam. Resource-poor Japan resuscitated its interest in seabed mining. China started building its own underwater mining capabilities, including a proposed partnership with India. Between 1984 and 2011, the International Seabed Authority -- which oversees seabed mining under a United Nations convention -- issued just six exploration permits. Since 2011, it's issued 21, covering nearly 400,000 square miles of ocean floor that could one day be mined.

Exploration isn't disruptive to the environment. But seabed mining will be. For one thing, it requires underwater harvesters that will suck up those valuable rocks -- and any organisms or habitats that get in the way. Some will recover, but others never will: Nodules, which support an abundance of organisms, require millions of years to form. Even worse, the harvesters will kick up huge sediment clouds that could spread over vast areas of the seabed, potentially ravaging corals and sponges.
19:51 [ISL] "Whale watchers spot battle between orcas, humpbacks near Vancouver Island" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The Globe and Mail carried this intriguing Canadian Press article.

A whale watching association says a battle between some of the largest creatures in the seas off the coast of British Columbia appeared to end with the human equivalent of fist waving and name-calling, although they can’t be sure of the outcome.

Several whale-watching boats at the western edge of the Salish Sea, off Jordan River on Vancouver Island, spotted a group of transient orcas surrounding two adult humpback whales and a calf on Sunday.

Mark Malleson, a whale-watching captain and marine researcher, witnessed the fight.

He says in a news release issued by the Pacific Whale Watch Association that encounters between humpbacks and transient orcas, also known as Bigg’s killer whales, rarely result in a kill.

Transient orcas eat marine mammals but Mr. Malleson says it seems as if the species “just likes bugging” the much bigger humpbacks.
19:50 [LINK] Two notes on tourism at the poles »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Chris Sorensen's "The one per cent are coming to Canada’s Arctic" in MacLean's describes a new cruise ship visit to the Canadian North.

Residents of Ulukhaktok, N.W.T., population 402, may feel as though New York’s tony Upper East Side has come to visit when Crystal Serenity steams into town later this summer. The towering cruise ship, the biggest to traverse the fabled Northwest Passage, will be carrying 1,070 passengers who paid between $25,000 and $155,000—and 655 crew members—for a 32-day trip that promises “intrepid adventure, the great outdoors and immersive cultural experiences.” Which is where Ulukhaktok comes in. Crystal Serenity is not the first cruise ship to visit the coastal hamlet, mind you, but it’s by far the largest. “There was one back in 2012 called the World,” Janet Kanayok, the local economic development officer, says of the privately owned luxury yacht that carries between 150 and 200 passengers. “But it wasn’t nearly as big as this.”

Nor is Crystal Serenity likely to be the last giant, gilded passenger ship to come calling. Rising temperatures and receding sea ice have opened more of the Northwest Passage’s interconnecting waterways in recent seasons. In 2013, MS Nordic Orion made history by becoming the first bulk carrier to make the historically treacherous trip, hauling a load of B.C. coal to Finland and shaving about 1,000 nautical miles off its usual route through the Panama Canal. The following year, the MV Nunavik, operating on behalf of a Canadian firm, sailed from the Hudson Strait through the passage to China carrying nickel concentrate. In all, there were 25 full transits of the Northwest Passage last season, according to data from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. That’s up nearly 40 per cent from five years earlier.

With the Arctic’s defences melting, Los Angeles-based Crystal Cruises is understandably excited about a huge opportunity to wow well-heeled cruise junkies who’ve grown bored of sand and sun. The company’s inaugural Northwest Passage cruise, from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York, sold out quickly, and tickets for next year’s trip are already on sale.


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