Posted May 17th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
The Victoria Day long weekend is here and people across Canada will be leaving the crowds of the cities to become part of the crowds on the highways so they can eventually join the crowds at the campgrounds. As the unofficial start to summer in this country, there seems to be two types of people in Canada. There are those who become part of the mass exodus into the woods and mountains and those who hide from them. Whichever one you tend to be (I’m the latter), please be safe.
No matter how many check-stops and police cars are out on the highway, no matter how many warnings and cautions are issued, there will be those who drive distracted, impaired and at excessive speeds, endangering themselves and everybody else on the road. Don’t be one of them.
Posted May 16th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
There seems to be a worldwide problem in the past decade with a rapid decline in bee populations. Speculation is that it could be pesticides, a parasitic infestation, climate change, or perhaps a devastating cocktail of many individual factors in combination. With so many people having a vested financial interest in it not being their particular fault or problem, few answers are forthcoming. As in all things, politics is a large factor in slowing things down to a crawl. But this is a very real situation. It even has a name. Colony Collapse Disorder.
What many fail to realize is that unlike climate change or pollution, which we can pretend to ignore for decades on end, this particular problem has a much shorter timeline before it reaches the point of no return. If the bees disappear, so would almost a third of global farms, since those crops depend on animal pollination. Fruit, nuts, and coffee are just a few of the many bee-dependent foods we eat daily and yet rarely give a thought to their origin.
Finding a solution will not be easy. What makes it more difficult is that not enough people are looking for one.
Posted May 15th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
Voters in B.C. gave the Liberal party their fourth consecutive majority, despite advance polls indicating that they were likely on their way out. It always surprises me that politicians and pundits say you can’t trust the polls, but then everyone references them to death throughout an election. And when the polls turn out to be as wrong as everybody says they are, people act shocked at the results.
It’s true what they say, you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Apparently the same goes for B.C. voters.
Posted May 14th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
Posted May 13th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
Astronauts Chris Hadfield, Tom Marshburn, and Roman Romanenko will board their Soyuz spacecraft this evening for their trip home to Earth after 146 days in space. They are expected to land in Kazakhstan at 10:31 EDT tonight.
In what could easily be called one of the largest boosts in PR and media attention since the early days of the Space Shuttle program, Hadfield has not only represented Canada better than anyone could have asked for, but he has been a catalyst in a global renewed interest in the space program. He has changed how many of us view the planet on which we live. Here’s hoping the things we’ve seen and the lessons we’ve learned from our daily view into life aboard the I.S.S. will resonate for years to come.
Safe journey, Command Hadfield.
Posted May 10th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
Commander Chris Hadfield was invited to be the Marshal of this year’s Calgary Stampede. The official invitation went out via Youtube and Twitter (of course) and Hadfield accepted from orbit. This will be his second time as marshal of the event, his first in 2001.
Posted May 9th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
Posted May 8th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
The Mars One project is a non profit organization that intends to establish a human presence on Mars by 2023. It is accepting applications for people that are willing to go on a one way trip to our closest neighbour. In the past two weeks, they’ve had over 78,000 applicants from over 120 countries.
It is the intention of the founder, Bas Landsdorp to land 4 people on the planet in 2023, then another 4 people every two years. Much of this project will be filmed as a reality TV series in order to fund it. To find out more, here’s a link.
In an era when the politics of most countries prevents many of our advances from ever getting off of the ground, private enterprise by tenacious individuals is how we will move forward. While this sort of project might seem like science fiction and fantasy, the same could be said in 1950 for the entire space program we take for granted today.
Posted May 7th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
Flooding either has hit or is about to hit many communities in quite a few parts of Canada. Spring breakup, ice jams and sudden high temperatures are contributing to many areas bracing for the worst as water levels rise.
Posted May 6th, 2013 by Patrick LaMontagne with Comments Off
Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield took some flak back in January when he held up a placard on the I.S.S. with a Toronto Maple Leafs logo on it, but all in good fun, of course. Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs are actually in the Stanley Cup playoffs, there is a little hope in Hogtown. In fact, the Mayor declared today to be ‘Blue and White Day’ to encourage folks to show their support. No matter who wins the Cup, this sort of rivalry and team spirit is a lot of fun and great for a city’s morale.
After five months in space, having given all of us the best view of our home that any of us have ever seen, this is Commander Hadfield’s last week on the I.S.S.