Sunday, December 31, 2006


For all of you Newfoundland Labrador DIY'ers

Here is a way to have your cake and eat it too.

Islanders will have the opportunity to invest in a “green” province as PEI Energy Savings Bonds go on sale Monday, December 11.

Premier Pat Binns and Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Jamie Ballem launched the PEI Energy Savings Bonds program today at Province House. The savings bonds program will allow Islanders to invest in the Eastern Kings Wind Farm.

“Islanders can put their hard-earned dollars in a safe and reliable investment with a good return. And that money will stay right here in Prince Edward Island to support a project that’s good for the environment and good for the province,” said Premier Binns.

PEI Energy Savings Bonds have a guaranteed return of 5% annually for five years. Either the purchaser or the owner of the bond must be a Prince Edward Island resident, business or organization. The minimum purchase is $500 and the ownership limit is $10,000 per calendar year.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


A change in life style/diet just in time for your new years resolution

Fish oil helps world's fattest man lose 158 kilos
Published: 22 December, 2006
Manuel Uribe

THE world's fattest man just got lighter by 158.75 kilos, all thanks to a celebrity diet that includes guzzling fish oil.

According to, Manuel Uribe hit his, and the world's, highest weight when he tipped the scales at a massive 596.90 kilos, equalling that of five baby elephants put together.

Unfortunately, no diet seemed to help the 41-year old Mexican, who even turned to a quack who advised him to spray himself with lambs' blood.

Thankfully for Uribe, help came in the form of The Zone, a diet devised by American Dr Barry Sears, which is regularly followed by stars such as Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston.

The celebrity diet involves eating a lot of chicken, vegetables and salad, as well as a fish oil supplement that reportedly speeds up weight loss by activating fat-burning enzymes.

Uribe now weighs in at 438.15 kilos.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


An Inconvienient Truth/Ommission

I finally got to watch the Al Gore move An Inconvienient Truth thanks to Sinter Klaus.

Two things troubled me about the movie.
When Gore extrapolated the CO2 emmissions into 2050 and used a scizzor lift to show how high CO2 emmissions would go he did't do the same for the temperatures which was the corresponding line on his graph?

The other conundrum which always seems to get second scrift is the supposed rise in sea level. According to Mr Gores projections, sea level is projected to rise 40 feet in the coming years if we don't stop global warming. Now here is where I'm confused. Since the earth is covered by 75% water and the polar ice caps are probably only in the 1-10% range of that a good part is already sitting in the water so that would negate the rise in water because although ice floats it only floats 10% above water so that amount of melted ice is negated. Then there is the physical property that water expands when frozen so once again less water as compared to what actually appears in glaciers which is compacted snow.

I guess one could do a simple experiment with ice cubes land mass and such to scale to prove the point. Would make for an awesome school experiment.

Don't get me wrong I think we need to address global warming what ever the cause but to have glaring ommissions and underhanded presentations like this doesn't do anything to lend credibility to ones arguement.

There are a multitude of different causes of Global warming proposed out there unfortunately there are only a few which we actually have the means to address. So I guess yes we do need to address CO2 because it is one of the few we can actually address all of the others are out of our control and may end up being our final demise but at least if we address CO2 we can say we tried.

All the rest of the evidence and presentation seems to jive but these two certainly detract from the validity of the entire arguement IMO.

Other than that it is time to start looking for a new planet.

I'll guarantee you, Whoever gets Al Gores approval on a climate change policy will win the next election. That is a powerful message he puts out there in that video. It has enough truth backed by enough scientific evidence that it is irrefutable even for the nay sayers.

Even if you don't want to be associated with wing bat blah blah he identifies towards teh end of the movie areas to be addressed and highlights with a graph where it would go if done. From memory here so forgive sketchyness. Appliances, CO2 capture, Efficiencies, renewable energies. According to his projections addressing these particular causes of global warming with technologies which alreadt exist should get us back to 1970 levels of CO2 emmissions.

If you haven't watched An Inconvienient Truth yet I highly recommend it. The DVD even has updates as an extra.

Peace making on earth and good will to Afghanistan

Soft approach working in Operation Baaz Tsuka
"The overall operation has been unfolding exactly as per the plan,'' Lt.-Col. Omer Lavoie, commander of the Canadian Battle Group, said Friday.

"As far as the Canadians are concerned it was considered to be, as much as possible, a non-kinetic operation."

"In other words, we were not going in hard in a way characterized by combat operations, but certainly characterized by a lot of combat power if we needed it."

Taliban boxed in by coalition forces
he Taliban are hemmed inside 10-square-kilometres of mud fortresses and walled farm compounds, terrain that is well-suited to their guerrilla tactics but which also makes it difficult if not impossible to escape.

As Lavoie noted with satisfaction, British and American troops sit approximately 10 kilometers south of Howz-e Madad.

More British soldiers line the west, sealing that corridor, and Canadian combat teams rolled on Wednesday through Howz-e Madad.

About 30 vehicles and hundreds of soldiers now hold the northern flank. Canadian tanks and light armoured vehicles are spread out there, in a giant circle, ready to attack fleeing insurgents. The vehicles and weaponry are a menacing presence that can be seen for several kilometres, in all directions.

To the east, running in a straight line to the Arghandab River, is impenetrable Route Summit, the 4.5 kilometre roadway established in September, during Operation Medusa.

Reconstruction proceeds in Afghan district
It's Canada's first offensive since the Canadian-led Operation Medusa in early September. NATO claimed hundreds of Taliban militants were killed in that operation.

Behind the scenes, food and medical supplies are being sent to villages in the Panjwaii and Zahri districts. And portable checkpoints are being brought in as part of the ultimate goal of putting Afghan government forces in control of the area once effective held by Taliban rebels.

"Afghan security forces are now forming an inner cordon in Howz-e Madad," Lavoie said.

Sgt. Nathan Ronaldson, in charge of the provincial reconstruction team in Bazar-e Panjwaii, attended a shura - or meeting - with local leaders on Friday to discuss land claims related to the construction of a highway, Route Summit, through the region.

Before the meeting began, he told Bismallah Jan, the police chief for the Panjwaii district, that several containers had arrived with portable vehicle checkpoints.

"There's going to be a variety of checkpoints put out throughout the district. It's designed to be a 'sea can in a box,' sort of an Ikea concept," said Ronaldson, 34, from Scarborough, Ont. "You drop off two sea cans and it's everything you need to construct a vehicle checkpoint. It's designed to be temporary, around six to 12 months."

There will be 11 of the checkpoints constructed in Panjwaii district alone as NATO forces attempt to eventually put the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Auxiliary Police in charge of security in each district.

Ronaldson has been meeting village elders for the past month trying to reach a compensation package for the construction of Route Summit. Then suddenly it was done. The elders agreed on a price for the lost grape vines and land appropriated.

"Did we just close the deal?," a disbelieving Ronaldson asked his interpreter as they left the shura.

Negotiations in Afghanistan are usually intense with a lot of bargaining, theatrics and mock exhibitions of rage. That was the case until Friday.

"You know it kind of went out with a whimper and not a bang," Ronaldson said. "I was expecting a much worse meeting, some dissension, some hand throwing, some yelling and they just said OK."

Sweet now were talking. I just hope they had enough sense to put an OP (Observation Post) on top of these Sea Can check points with a mount for a heavy machine gun. Nothing like having a birds eye view and good fields of fire.
Previous post on this sea can prefab acommodation in a box.
Hopefull all of my observations were taken into account. IE: fill walls with water or sand to improve armour capability, Water storage capability, some form of electrical generation wind solar, Composting toilets, good communications, templated for artillery support.

There looks to be hope in handing over afghanistan to the afghanistan people once and for all.

General Hillier serves up Christmas
Canada's top military officer admitted in an interview later that he is aware some of his soldiers question the mission's viability and the so-called "soft knock" strategy being used in the latest phase of the campaign, which is dubbed Operation Baaz Tsuka.

"I think it's entirely natural that some soldiers would say 'Well, this is not the way to do it,'" he acknowledged.

Operation Baaz Tsuka launched ten days ago in and around the village of Howz-e Madad. It is meant to separate "Tier Two" Taliban fighters from hard-core extremists, and persuade them to help with the reconstruction of Kandahar province, which has experienced decades of war.

Canadian soldiers have been instructed that violence and "kinetic engagement" with the enemy is not the preferred method of achieving operational objectives.

The "soft-knock" approach has reaped benefits, the General said, but Operation Baaz Tsuka is not over. Taliban fighters remain in the area and will inevitably be confronted as the campaign continues this week.

"I think you will see a hard knock and a soft knock approach," said General Hillier. "Both methods will be used."

Aren't these soldiers from the same base Petawawa that killed that young Somolia kid and got that mission disbanded along with Kim Campbell ousted. Ok that was the Airborne but changing the name didn't change their attitudes obviously it just sent alot of it underground. God damn gung ho no minds.

Pakistan says it will fence, mine parts of Afghan border to stop militants
Maybe they should talk to the US about those monitoring towars the yare supposed to put up along the Canadian border and Mexican border. Would make for a good trial for the US towers and help in Afghanistan. Take it to them now close our own borders so to speak. Would need to be bullet proof over there LOL.

Well deserved praise from the MSM.
'Canadian Soldier' voted 2006 Newsmaker
Now if the MSM would just contribute in Afghanistan in helping counteract the Talibans' propaganda campaign. Good job for the CBC if they want to continue sucking at the tax payers tit.
It is a given that the CBC will support the Liberals because by definiton the CPC wants less govt and increased private enterprise so by supporting the Liberals the CBC is only doing like anybody and performing acts of self preservation. But there is still a role within canada Isolated and northern areas and even more so internationally once our population and markets are developed to an extent where the cbc is no longer required.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


A Christmas in Kandahar

A Christmas in Kandahar
Charla Jones/Toronto Star
Canadian coalition soldiers rest within the dirt walls of a vineyard in the village of Musham in Panjwaii district. The soldiers overtook the Taliban stronghold, Musham, on Dec. 23. Although the operation was deemed successful, members of the Taliban are presumed to continue to live within these areas.

PATROL BASE WILSON, Afghanistan–Sudden as a desert sunrise, Christmas came calling for the stouthearted men of Battery E.

One moment, they were firing 5.56-mm automatic-rifle rounds on a practice range adjoining their base here in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. The next thing they knew, Santa Claus had come and gone – several days early and a long, long way from home.

"Well, I'll be darned" – or words to that effect – said Bombardier Josh Erling, 24, of Ottawa, as he stared wide-eyed at the stacks of elaborately wrapped boxes heaped upon his camp cot in the tent he shares with the other members of his small artillery unit. "I don't know where to start."

He wasn't alone.

The other cots in the tent were all in a similar state, buried beneath mounds of Christmas bounty, when only an hour or so earlier they were merely army-issue camp cots, plain and simple, burdened with nothing more remarkable than army-issue sleeping bags.

But, on their return from rifle practice on the 35-metre firing range set up behind this Canadian-run forward-operating base in southern Afghanistan, the artillerymen of Battery E suddenly found themselves confronted by something that looked an awful lot like Christmas. Presents – lots and lots of presents, all packed and sealed and dispatched to Afghanistan by family and friends back home in Canada.

"This is awesome," exulted Bombardier Ed Hoszko, 23, also from Ottawa.

Like the others, he hovered near the tent's low entrance, peering inside as if it contained the world's largest and most brightly illuminated Christmas trees, surrounded by heaps of the planet's largest conglomeration of gifts.

And then, for a short while, these youngsters on the cusp of manhood seemed to remember themselves.

For a brief time, they tried to be nonchalant, tried to act as if this were no big deal, as if they were a group of typically jaded, world-weary adults, for whom the prospect of tearing open bundles and boxes containing treasures from loved ones back home were just another mindless chore in a long list of mindless daily chores, something that could wait for, oh, some other day – such as, let us say, tomorrow.

But they weren't fooling anybody, much less themselves. Pretty soon the Canadian troops in this particular tent had reverted to a rambunctious state any impartial observer would immediately identify as "boyhood."

Making straight for their respective cots, they proceeded to burrow through these surprise stashes of Christmas loot, even though the big day had yet to formally arrive.

"I'm gonna have to do one package a day," said Erling, in what might have been a fit of conscience.

But he was kidding himself.

Like the others in Battery E – like any youngster anywhere in the world faced with such an overwhelming temptation – he just dove straight in and kept right on going, all the while keeping up a running commentary on his progress through this unexpected abundance.

"It's a scarf!" he announced at one point, and later: "Truffles!"

The members of Battery E of the Royal Canadian Regiment are among roughly 2,400 Canadian military personnel currently stationed in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar in order to battle Taliban insurgents.

After ruling the country from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban are waging a campaign of intimidation and terror aimed at driving foreign troops from the land and perhaps one day restoring their radical and intolerant brand of religion-based rule.

Officially an artillery battery, Erling and his confreres shipped out to Afghanistan several months ago to engage in their specialty – the operation of unmanned small drone aircraft for the purposes of reconnaissance and espionage.

Unfortunately, as soon as they got here, they discovered there were some technical problems with their Israeli-built drones, problems yet to be resolved.

So the airplanes are grounded now at Kandahar Air Field, and the officers, enlisted men, and gentlemen of Battery E have been dispatched to this small forward-operating base located a two-hour drive to the west, where they have been assigned to security detail.

It doesn't sound very glamorous, and maybe it isn't, but none of them seems to be grumbling at his fate.

"This troop has been spectacular," said Master Bombardier Rick Atkinson, 37, who commands the battery. He was diligently dismantling and oiling his C-7 rifle while his much younger charges swooned over their gifts.

"This troop is every troop leader's dream. Everybody gets along."

But it isn't easy being halfway around the world at Christmastime and that is as great a challenge for Atkinson's charges as it is for all the other Canadian soldiers now about to celebrate a familiar holiday in less than familiar surroundings.

"The 25th will be a hard day, especially for the ones with kids," said Atkinson. "There'll be all sorts of jokes, weird jokes, just to put up a wall of humour." He shrugged. "That's normal, though."

No doubt tomorrow will have its wistful interludes for many of the Canadians stationed in Afghanistan, but you wouldn't necessarily know it by talking to some of them.

"The closer you get to Christmas, the more it feels like just another day," said Corp. Kathy Chase, originally from Fredericton, who was pulling sentry duty the other day on a rooftop at Patrol Base Wilson. In fact, she said, she doesn't like to be reminded of the date. "Sometimes, when Christmas carols come on (over military-band channels), you feel you just want to shoot the radio."

Corp. Alex Poirier of Montreal, who is single and does not have children, said he actually prefers the idea of spending the festive season in a distant land.

"In Quebec, I know what's going to happen every year," he said. "Here, I don't know what to expect."

If that's a brave front he's putting up, it could all come tumbling down pretty quickly, just as it did for the members of Battery E the other day, when they suddenly stumbled upon their gift-laden cots.

Take Bombardier Chris Tietz, the sole reservist in the unit and, at 44, roughly twice the age of most of his mates.

"Ah ... family, " he declared with a sigh as he pored over a photo album sent him by his wife, whom he finally got around to marrying, just three weeks before shipping out for Kandahar. The couple have two young children. He turned another page and shook his head. "Wow."

Later, he shuffled about the tent, sharing the homemade fudge tarts sent to him from Simcoe, Ont., by his mother.

"Come on," he urged his fellow artillerymen. "You've got to have fudge at Christmastime."

Another beneficiary of the early arrival of Father Christmas at Patrol Base Wilson was none other than the camp mascot, a two-month old, mixed-breed puppy, also named Wilson, whose moniker, like that of the base itself, commemorates Master Corporal Timothy Wilson of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, one of the 44 Canadian combat fatalities suffered in Afghanistan since 2002.

Wilson, the puppy, has the run of the base but chooses to spend almost all of his time with the members of Battery E.

Hoskzo's wife in Ottawa hadn't forgotten to send gifts of a canine nature, including a red dog-sweater, a burgundy dog-hoodie, a supply of kibble, as well as other treats suitable for an Afghan-born but now thoroughly Canadianized mutt.

By now, Hoszko had opened most of his presents. He headed out to a small, canvas-roofed alcove that adjoined the tent, where he fired up a camp stove and proceeded to cook an impromptu brunch of almost pure cholesterol – scrambled eggs and fried potatoes – for himself and his mates.

Meanwhile, the other members of Battery E huddled on their cots and poked through their spoils.

"Hey," said a surprised Tietz, who normally earns his livelihood making drywall in Hagersville, Ont.

"I still have stuff I haven't opened yet!"

Music to any youngster's ears – or to any soldier's.

Merry Christmas in Viganella this and every year to come

Viganella is a small town in Italy whose inhabitants dreaded the arrival of the winter season.
The reason being that each year for 84 days in a row the sun would not shine in the town as it went behind the 1,600-Meter high mountain that covered the town. The 197 inhabitants were plunged into a near darkness and just waited for the 84 days to pass so that they can once again feel the heat of the sun.

With the sun not shining in the town the inhabitants lived a depressed life a scenario which docs call the “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD.

But finally their pain has been heard of and the authorities have just installed a 8-meter wide and 5-meter tall mirror that has been installed on a mountain so that it can reflect the sun’s light on to the town for approximately 8 hours every day.

Space mirror.

Yet we can't get an infeed into Newfoundland Labrador or a fixed link.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Deer Lake initiatives

Some of the initiatives I would like to see Deer Lake take on would be.

A fish ladder up to Grand Lake to rectify one of the biggest and most devastating enviromental travesties ever perpetrated against the enviroment.

Develop the Deer Lake beach front by trimming and thinning the tree line along the beach to make it more visible and accessible.

Planting of trees along the TCH which runs through Deer Lake to cut down on road noise and beautify the area running through Deer Lake along the TCH.

Do something with the closed Penticostal highschool which was closed due to amalgamation of the schools. Some ideas would be flea market, Farmers market, Youth centre etc. AS I understand it there is a dispute there because the Penticostal still own the building in conjunction with the school board.

A marina on Deer Lake as well as one in the Main Dam canal for access to Grand lake, Sandy Lake and birchy Lake.


Circumnavigation of Newfoundland in a Kayak in 2007

The Israeli team of Hadas Feldman(This is the Sea fame...among other things) and Tomer Sabag will start their Circumnavigation of Newfoundland in May of 2007. They will depart from the capital city of St. John's. They plan to travel 2700-kms in 80 days. That's headland to headland. As the tenth largest island in the world, the actual shore line area is over 9600-kms. It's quite a challenge they've one never really knows what the weather pattern will be from summer to summer. One thing is for sure, while sea kayaking this place...they'll experience their full share of whales, seabirds, seals, surf, fog and gorgeous coastline...maybe some icebergs too. I wish them all the luck in the world. I suspect they will have the time of their lives.
Here is another good NL kayaking site.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


New electronic automatic shellfish sorting and grading technology to double Mussel production
Aussie ingenuity to revolutionise shellfish processing
A new Australian-built electronic shellfish grader promises to double production at a Tasmanian marine farm and provide a significant economic boost to the State's aquaculture sector, the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Judith Troeth announced today.

Launching the grading machine at a special field day at Moulting Bay Pacific Oysters and Mussels marine farm in St Helens, Senator Troeth said its purchase was made possible with a grant from the Commonwealth's Agriculture Advancing Australia (AAA) - Farm Innovation Program.

"The new post-harvest cleaning and grading machine is the first of its kind in the world," Senator Troeth said.

"The machine grades and packs shellfish such as oysters, scallops, mussels and clams according to weight and size, helping to ensure much greater product uniformity. Even more impressively, it has the potential to double Moulting Bay Pacific's production - from 153,000 dozen to 350,000 dozen by 2003-4.

"It can accurately grade five shellfish a second - 1,800 dozen per hour - and can do in a day what it would take manual grading nearly five days to complete. This represents a new industry benchmark in shellfish pack-house efficiency."

I first heard about this new breakthrough on
Electronic Shellfish Grader

A new Australian-built electronic shellfish grader, the first of its kind, grades and packs shellfish such as oysters, scallops, mussels and clams according to weight and size, helping to ensure much greater product uniformity and output.

Science and Technology:Research
Contact: Craig Lockwood
Moulting Bay Pacific Oysters & Mussels, Shed 2, Binalong Bay Road, St. Helens. TAS.7216
International Telephone: +61 3] 6376 1736; +61 3] 6376 2579

BLANCH : Finally, a new electronic shellfish grader has recently been installed at a Tasmanian marine farm. The new post-harvest cleaning and grading machine is the first of its kind in the world. The machine grades and packs shellfish such as oysters, scallops, mussels and clams according to weight and size, helping to ensure much greater product uniformity. According to Craig Lockwood of Moulting Bay Pacific Oysters of St Helens in the north east of the island state, the oyster-sorting device has the potential to double the company’s production over the next twelve months.
Habitat and biology
Perna canaliculus is endemic to New Zealand. It occurs throughout the country but it is more common in the warmer North. It prefers moderately exposed situations and full salinity. Mussel farming is restricted to areas that are suitable with respect to its biology (high subtidal) and the sea conditions (sheltered in-shore areas). The major growing areas are Coromandel, Marlborough Sounds, and Stewart Island. In New Zealand's moderate climate, P. canaliculus grows to 90-100 mm (normal harvest size) in 18-24 months.
Ongrowing techniques
The siting of mussel farms is governed by several factors. Clean unpolluted water is the most essential consideration, followed by the need to site farms in areas of relatively calm sea conditions and out of the effect of ocean swells. Care has to be taken not to site farms where they will interfere with or impede the passage of vessels of all types. Water depth is also important, with most farms being in depths of 5-30 m.

Mussel farming in New Zealand is carried out on longlines. A longline is typically 110 m long and consists of two strong parallel ropes separated by plastic floats that are about 1.2 m long. The longlines are anchored at both ends on the seafloor with concrete or screw anchors. The cultivation rope hangs in loops of 5-10 m depth from the longline. A typical cultivation rope is 3500 m long and carries 40 tonnes of mussels at harvest. As the weight of the crop increases during the growth of the mussels, more floats are tied between the longline 'backbone'. The average area is between 3 and 5 ha, although farms may vary from 1 to 20 or more hectares. The shape of the boundary is determined by the geography of the area and water depth. Much bigger farms are currently planned. Where necessary, navigational channels are provided between farms to give ready access to and from shore.

After 3-6 months growth on the nursery rope, the juveniles (10-30 mm) are stripped from the ropes and seeded at a rate of 150-200/m onto a thicker rope, using a larger diameter cotton stocking to once again secure them until they attach to the rope of their own accord. This rope is then fixed in loops to the surface longline where it will remain until harvest time. As before, the cotton stocking is biodegraded after the mussels have firmly attached to the growing rope.

The duration of the growing cycle varies from site to site and depends on the number of mussels per metre of rope, food concentration (plankton, detritus), temperature, and water movement. It takes 12-18 months from final seeding to achieving 90-120 mm mussels. Farmed mussels reach market size about twice as fast as wild mussels growing in close proximity, and they retain the green shell colour. Low-intensity monitoring of crop and installations is required during the ongrowing period.

The vessels used for New Zealand mussel farming today are a far cry from those used in the days of development in the 1960s and 1970s. The first boats were small launches or fishing vessels which were used for every phase of the job, from spat collecting through to harvesting and delivery. The use of these small boats meant that the work was very labour-intensive, physically demanding and time-consuming. The rapid increase in production over the past three decades, coupled with an obvious need for innovation, has seen the development of a new style of fleet in the mussel industry. Today's vessels are highly specialised.

Harvesting techniques

Harvesting, which was originally carried out by hand and then largely by towed barges, is now done by specially designed large harvesting vessels. These are fitted with a complex array of efficient purpose-designed labour-saving equipment. A series of in-line mini-cranes progressively raise the heavy mussel-laden longline to where the hydraulic stripper pares the mussels from the culture rope. The rope is automatically fed into a container bag for cleaning ashore and later re-use. The mussels are stripped from the ropes and then pass into a revolving drum. This drum, with its high pressure water jets and revolving action, both cleans and de-clumps the mussels. They are then deposited onto moving belts for sorting. Broken shells are discarded. The clean live mussels are packed into specially designed one tonNE transporting bags or 25 kg wholesale sacks for the local market. The vessel's on-board crane is used to stack the full sacks along the deck as they are progressively filled. These self-contained harvesting units employ a crew of three to six people depending on size. The larger vessels can harvest >100 tonnes of washed, separated, ready-for-processing mussels in a day's work. As they are self-propelled, it never takes long from the farm site to delivery at the nearest unloading point. These specialist vessels are all of shallow draught so that the state of the tide will not unnecessarily delay access to wharves or slow the delivery process. The combined use of shore facilities and the vessel's own crane ensures that the unloading process is swift.

The size of the mussels largely determines the harvest time. Different markets demand specific sizes, or product forms, or both, and accordingly size is often an important consideration when deciding when to harvest any particular crop. Mussels destined for the half-shell markets are generally harvested earlier than those required for use as whole individually quick frozen (IQF) mussel meat.

Because there is no set season when mussels might spawn, care is taken to harvest them at their peak condition. Before harvesting a line, samples are inspected to ensure that the mussels are fat and succulent and not thin from having spawned in the days preceding harvest. Contract harvesters are experienced in making these judgements and inform growers accordingly. The industry is careful to ensure that only mussels in top condition enter the processing chain and go on to the marketplace, whether it is domestic or international.

Harvesting is carefully synchronised with factory production schedules in order to maintain top quality and comply with hygiene standards. Even though the mussels can stay alive for several days out of water, the time from harvesting to processing is kept to a few hours. The transport chain from harvesting on the farm through to the factory is carefully organised so that processing capacity matches the harvesting rate on a day-to-day basis. Mussels are harvested into 1 tonne synthetic bags on board the harvesting vessels. These specially designed bags allow the mussels to breathe during transport and provide a very efficient means of handling. All mussels must be alive before entering the processing phase.

Then there is us.
Government’s Market Development Program Helps Burin Peninsula Companies

Companies on the Burin Peninsula are making use of government’s Business and Market Development Program (BMDP). BMDP, a program of the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, provides small sums of strategically-aimed funding to help companies to pursue new markets and develop new business ideas.

South Coast Aquaculture Ltd. of Little Bay, Fortune Bay, has been approved for $6,219 from BMDP to investigate new skills and technologies in mussel growing and harvesting in Ireland and Scotland. The U.S. market for mussels is expanding and there is a need to increase production capacities while maintaining quality. The company hopes to create two new jobs as a result of this initiative and increase hours of work for production employees.

Other posts I've done on this opportunity.
Here is a water quality map of the waters in and around NL for your consideration.

Ahh but then there is the "Society for the preservation of the most Scenic Ghetto in Canada" objection to ruining their view from their cabins to contend with.

Bc Shellfish

Then there is the Marine plant aquaculture which hasn't even been discussed let alone pursued in NL.

UPDATE: Hot of the press. It looks like we are finally going to identify oportunities in the Mussel farming industry.
Government to Assess Infrastructure Needs of
Mussel Aquaculture Industry Along Northeast Coast

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


How to Select an Inverter for Your Needs

Great article here on how to select your inverter needs for renewable energy applications.

All inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity. That's where the similarities end between inverters. These days, a huge number of brands and options are available to consumers. The correct choice depends on how you intend to use the inverter. Options range from small mobile power units to mid-sized stationary inverters for powering homes in either remote off-grid or urban on-grid locations, to magnum-sized inverters and groups of inverters networked together to run large businesses and even small communities.
It is much better to go with this type of power back up than a gas generator because in times of disaster gas is one of the first items to become scarce and rationed from my experience. I have a small set up like this for my sump pump combined with one of those mobile battery packs and a solar panel.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Planes fly under the radar

Canada's New Government Signs on to Phase III of Joint Strike Fighter Program and Secures Access to up to $8 Billion in Possible Contracts for Canadian Industry

OTTAWA, December 12, 2006 — The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence and the Honourable Maxime Bernier announced that Canada's aerospace and defence industry will have access to billions of dollars in industrial opportunities following the signature of Memorandum of Understandings regarding Canada's participation in Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.

Monday, December 18, 2006


How Becoming a Volunteer in FINALY Changed My Life by Brook Biggin

Here is a wonderful little note by a young Newfoundlander Labradorian who got involved in the future of this province and is all the better because of it as is the province and it's people.

There is hope and it is through wonderfully organized and involved organizations like FINALY (Futures in Newfoundland and Labrador's Youth) that we will realize our true potential either in or out of this federation.

How Becoming a Volunteer
Changed My Life
by Brook Biggin

Before becoming involved as a volunteer, I had no initiative, at all.
I had rendered myself completely inactive, planning to simply coast
through the rest of my high school career and then take the first
plane out of Newfoundland. I hated it there.

As far as I was concerned, it was nothing more than a memory of
what was once a prosperous land that had long ago lost all hope. I
looked around me and saw nothing but despair.
There weren’t any jobs. Socially, I felt that we were stuck back in
the 1950’s. The few industries that did seem to have any sort of life
did not interest me in the least bit.

It was hopeless, as far as I was concerned. There was no point to
care. What could I do, after all? I was only one person; a sixteen
year old guy that in no way fit the mould of a young radical.
Then, one day, I attended a RED (Regional Economic
Development) Ochre Youth Forum. I wasn’t there to become involved.
I didn’t really plan on learning anything. Instead, it was a
day off school.

However, as I was listening to what it was all about and saw young
people who were making a difference somehow, I was intrigued. I
began to think that perhaps this was something I could involve
myself in.

So, I jumped for it. Before the day was out, I was elected to the
RED Ochre Youth Council as the School Representative for
Roncalli Central High School in Port Saunders.
It was that day that I felt alive. I didn’t know why but I knew I felt
different. I was excited. A new day had come, for lack of a better

I didn’t know how but I knew that I could cause change. I decided
then that I would cause change. I didn’t realize then how right I
actually was.

At our first meeting, I came in with anticipation. I wanted to jump
aboard. I wanted to find out how, in all the negativity, we, as the
RED Ochre Youth Council, could make a difference. Before that
meeting was over, I was elected Chair of the Youth Council. It was
an exciting and daunting task all at once.

Today I look back on the RED Ochre Youth Council and find
myself only beginning to truly appreciate what an amazing
experience it was for me. I was given the chance to create change
when I thought there was nothing that I could do - when I thought
there was nothing that anyone could do.

There was change in others. Through the initiatives that the Youth
Council took on, many youth were able to see a truer view of what
Newfoundland and Labrador is. They were able to see that there
ARE opportunities in the province, even in their own local area.
Then, there was also a change in me, as an individual. I obtained
many skills that aid me even today in every aspect of my life. I
grew as a public speaker and a facilitator. My analytical skills
became more heightened. I became a leader.

Before I knew it, I was being struck left, right, and centre, with
opportunity after opportunity that I was able to take advantage of
because of my involvement with the Youth Council: I was elected
the Western Representative on the Board of Directors for FINALY!;
I was appointed to the Newfoundland and Labrador Youth
Advisory Committee by the Minister of Human Resources, Labour,
and Employment; sure, I even won a Youth Ventures Entrepreneur
of the Year Award!

All of these things came my way because of my involvement with a
Youth Council. The same can happen to you too.
If you choose to become involved, whether with a Youth Council or
another group, I feel confident saying that you will not regret it. If
you come in with an open mind and the approach that you will see
a change in the future of our province then you will not be

Above all, just realize: you all have the ability, to a much higher
degree than you may ever realize, to dictate what your future and
the future of those around you will look like.

Do not take that lightly. For, one day, you will have to look back at
your life and what you’ve done to contribute to your own personal
growth and to the growth and benefit of those around you.
Whether what you see fills you with joy and fulfillment or sadness
and regret is up to you. Just do something!

Now, as for me, I’m pursuing the dreams that have been laid in my
heart by someone much greater than myself. It’s an amazing thing.
I’ve been so blessed, with a very hefty scholarship (much due to
my work with the Youth Council) and with a reliable network of
people all across the country.

I look forward to continuing to impact the world so that it may
become, in some way, a little bit better than when I entered it. I
hope you do the same.

~ Brook Biggin
P.S. I would do it all over again, twice.


Conservative promises made and broken

Payment In Lieu of Taxes/Grants In Lieu of taxes

PILT by Province for 2005 Province $ Millions

New Brunswick 19.0
Newfoundland 3.5
Nova Scotia 20.4
Prince Edward Island 2.9
Quebec 117.6
Ontario 207.1
Nunavut 0.6
Alberta 21.1
Manitoba 20.5
Northwest Territories 2.3
Saskatchewan 11.7
British Columbia 39.3
Yukon 0.9
Total PILT 466.9

PILT by Custodian / Agency for 2005 Custodian/Agency $ Millions (rounded)
HEALTH CANADA $5,740,000
OTHER $4,260,000
PWGSC $152,200,000
Total PILT $466,960,000

When is a service not a service? When it is being supplied to the federal administration in Newfoundland Labrador.

While many NL'ians may be disappointed with Ottawas stance towards NL'ians with reference to the Gander Airport Authority's call for payment for services rendered. I am equally disappointed with the way in which the GAA has actually handled this file.

First of from my cursorary research on this topic it would seem the GAA is totally uninformed on the topic of Grants in Lieu of taxes because it hasn't been called that for quite some time. It is now known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes. I know it is a mute point but it makes one wonder if the GAA has even applied for PILT or if they are just running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut of crying foul.

I haven't heard any discussion about why they were turned down for their application for PILT, that is if they even applied for PILT?

If you look at the above charts and numbers from the PILT site you will see NL receives very little by way of PILT in part because of the fact that there is very little federal presence in NL. Even though we guard the majority of the eastern flank of canada there is very little by way of operationally manned bases in NL. The ones we do have are in name only and even that is distorted in that they aren't bases but rather more like outposts who's only purpose is to give an early warning as they fall and the main defence is maintained in original canada.

You can read more on the PILT program here
And the above charts were gotten here.

Another Conservative promise made to NL, another CPC promise to NL broken. I guess OTT only honors 2% of their promises to this province in keeping with our value as canadians.
A Conservative pledge to cover some of the costs for military landings is being welcomed – albeit cautiously – by officials who manage Gander International Airport.
The Conservative party says it will extend a grant to Gander's airport authority, in lieu of direct fees.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Air Labrador and Mr's Claus to give away Turkeys at Black Tickle Newfoundland and labrador

Just heard about the great "Turkey Trot Festival" give away in Black Tickle this year. I only caught a part of the media coverage. It would seem Mr Pike from Air Labrador is coordinating the turkey give away and Mrs Claus set it up.

Listen to the Turkey give away at Black Tickle by Air Labrador here.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy the tukey :)

PS: While I don't live in NL I do clean out my cupboards this time of year and usually buy some Purity products to donate to food banks to promote NL products and allow others to enjoy the exceptionally good products produced in NL. It has gotten alot easier to get purity products over the years it used to be I had to find specialty stores which stocked European products to find Purity products but now even Zellers stocks purity products.

The math Plague How to Survive School Mathematics by Sherry Mantyka

A new book released by a MUN professor Sherry Mantyka called the Math Plague just in time for Christmas.

Book Description
Every year, hundreds of graduates from Newfoundland schools who are admitted to Memorial University with acceptable grades in nathematics, have a math skill of Grade 6 or below.

The Math Plague is not written for mathematical gurus. It's written for under-achievers who feel disconnected from mathematics.

Themes of The Math Plague include athletics, literature, the visual and performing arts, lifestyle issues, leadership and more.

While The Math Plague acknowledges problems in the school system, the focus is on how the individual can adapt his/her learning strategies to counteract these stumbling blocks.

According to Dr Mantyka this Quote isn't meant to be dreogatory but rather an eye opener and sensationalism publicity stunt. Paraphrased.
“Because of its climate and
geography, Newfoundland is ideally
suited for the production of
alcoholics, royal commissions, snow,
unsolvable enigmas, self-pity,
mosquitoes and black flies, inferiority
complexes, delusions of grandeur,
savage irony, impotent malice,
unwarranted optimism, entirely
justified despair . . .”

- Quote by Wayne Johnston from his book,
Baltimore’s Mansion (1999, p. 123)

You can buy the Book here.
Some excerpts from the book can be read here.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Thems fightin words

I must say I have to agree with Mr Hickey. If you have nothing good to say Mr Russell say nothing.

I'm not even going to put excerpts of this one on here. You've gotta read the whole thing to get a real feel for the article.

And here is what Mr Hickey was reacting to in part.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


We are paying $1,000,000,000.00 BILLION interest on our debt

Ok according to the auditor generals report we pay $947,000,000.00 Million on debt expenses. Not quite 1 billion but close enough.

The government's net debt, which includes unfunded pension liabilities, is now $11.7 billion. On a per capita basis, that means each man, woman and child in the province is on the hook for about $23,000 — the highest in Canada.

As well, Noseworthy noted the government spent $947 million last year on debt expenses.

In a statement, he said debt servicing means the province "had fewer resources to allocate to programs and services as a result of the 'interest bite.' "

Noseworthy's report said that while the surplus — the first one reported in eight years — is good news, the provincial government would still need to produce an annual surplus of $300 million for 40 years to eliminate its debt.
Noseworthy, who called for a debt reduction strategy, said the government should make tackling its $2.2-billion debt in unfunded pension liabilities its greatest priority.

Liam from does a good job of tearing past present and future NL governments a new one for not tackling this issue before and continuing to ignore it on the basis of getting re-elected.

He even makes a few suggestions where we could better improve our economy by welcoming private enterprise and deregulation.

The government of this province can and should start cutting. No, not hospital beds and teaching units first. Start by scrapping the dept of business. Move on to some pairing down in other departments at the centre. If the government wasn't so hell bent on a socialistic system of state ownership in industry and didn't suffer from such an allergy to free enterprise, I bet they might consider doing something smart like examining the Australian and New Zealand corrections systems. Some of the contracted-out correctional work is saving those governments more than 30%. Privatized Liquor Stores in Alberta and elsewhere have led to more variety & availability of product, more employment, and more revenue for that government. In fact, they had to lower taxes at one point just to stay revenue neutral.

I really like the privatizing Liquor stores. What with our small population spread out over such a vast expanse of land and sea this would only seem logical.

Oh to have a Ralph klein in NL, the status quo is no longer not only acceptable it is down right ignorant to even consider maintaining it.

Mussel Farms to clean up Salmon farms act.

Here is an interesting rebuttal by the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) in the Indy to a previous negative OP/Ed piece on Aquaculture. He makes some really interesting and strong points for increasing aquaculture.

I'm glad someone did a rebutal of the letter to the editor by Lloyd C. Rees as it was ill informed and espoused what Mr Harry Tucker talked about as the Victim Mentality of NL'ians.
It is attitudes like Lloyd C. Rees espoused in his letter to the editor that makes NL the most scenic Ghetto in canada and will continue to be with attitudes his.

‘Fish farming
is anything but stupidity’

Dear editor,
I am writing in response to a letter
published in the Dec. 1 edition of The
Independent by Lloyd C. Rees headlined,
Cooke Aquaculture proposal
ultimate in stupidity. Mr. Rees is
incorrect in stating that Norway and
the United States are turning away
from aquaculture. Norwegian aquaculture
continues to grow and is the
third largest component of the economy
of Norway. The U.S. has passed
legislation to increase fish farming at
least five fold in the next decade to
counter a huge trade deficit on fish
imports. Fish farming accounts for 40
per cent of global fish production (80
per cent in China) and there are no
other sources to increase healthy fish
protein for human consumption.
Mr. Rees’ facts are confused. Cooke
Aquaculture proposes to produce
17,000 tonnes per year of salmon —
not 50,000 tonnes. He predicts this
will require 150,000 tonnes of raw
fish for feed from wild fish sources.
The reality is the fish he mentions are
not used in feeds, nor are they even
sourced in Canada. In fact, wild fisheries
have grown in all areas of
salmon and mussel farming across
Atlantic Canada, most notably the
lobster fisheries, according to two
independent studies from Atlantic
About 50 per cent of world fishmeal
is used to produce poultry and
pork and the other 50 per cent to produce
fish such as salmon. Pork and
poultry require three to four kilograms
of fish feed to make one kilogram,
whereas the ratio is about one-to-one
for fish farming — much more efficient
and environmentally sustainable
conversion of feed by most accounts.
Up to 99 per cent of the fish meal
used in fish diets comes from fisheries
certified as sustainable. According to
the United Nations, global fisheries
presently discard 40 per cent of the
fish caught at sea, so there are large
untapped sources of fish protein out
Lastly, I hope that your readers can
read beyond Mr. Rees’ comments and
see that, in fact, fish farming is anything
but “stupidity” and that Premier
Danny Williams and Cooke
Aquaculture should be commended
for supporting such initiatives to revitalize
our province’s economy.
Cyr Couturier,
President, Newfoundland
Aquaculture Industry Association

I'd be curious to know if Mussel aquaculture has ever been located in conjunction with Salmon aquaculture to help filter the water and improve or maintain water quality in and around salmon aquaculture ventures due to the water filtering properties of mussel aquaculture?

Especially when you consider the opportunities available for expanding Mussel aquaculture in our province and some of the problems currently being experienced in the bay of fundy in and around salmon aquaculture sites, causing sea lice and bottom pollution.

Here is an interesting article that highlights some of the problems and lessons learned from other Aquaculture ventures.

I'll post the whole thing because Trans continental only archives for a couple of weeks:(

Twenty years in the making

Greg Knott
The Coaster

Today, approximately 20 years after the birth of aquaculture industry in the Coast of Bays region many feel with recent large investments by outside companies, the industry has arrived and begun to mature.

“We recognize and have identified for sometime that aquaculture can provide some very meaningful employment for us as we diversify our economy here in the Coast of Bays region,” said Tracey Perry, executive director of the Coast of Bays Corporation (COBC).

Ms. Perry said the region is at a point now where it needs to begin assessing what infrastructure needs participating communities need to help the industry grow and flourish.

She explained they are currently arranging a meeting with all stakeholders including municipalities, companies involved in the industry, and representatives from both the federal and provincial governments.

“The more people that are informed about the types of issues we now need to address, the better job we’ll do at getting it done in short order.”


There are a number of issues Ms. Perry noted stakeholders need to examine to help the aquaculture industry.

One of those things is the availability of landfill sites suitable to accommodate the volume of feed bags used by the aquaculture sites. According to Ms. Perry, if a farm is growing three million fish, they will be consuming approximately one million dollars in feed each week.

“We have to have proper disposals sites for these feeds bags and we really need to get this in place relatively soon.”

The cost and manner of offal disposal must also be addressed to minimize the cost to growers and have no environmental impact. Offal is the discarded portion of fish after it has been processed.

Industry and the various stakeholders have to also look at the water treatment facilities located in each community.

“Where there is going to be processing for the aquaculture industry, we have to ensure we have sufficient water quality and water supply. We need to minimize sewage outfalls, and get into treated water and sewer facilities wherever aquaculture is being done as much as possible.”

They need these facilities to handle and pre-treat the harvest water and the processing water.

“Any processing facility where farm fish is being processed must have this water treatment facility. Being in a region that has traditionally processed ground-fish, this is also a new infrastructure need.”


A few years ago, in New Brunswick, there was an outbreak of an infectious disease among its farmed fish population that landed a huge blow to that province’s aquaculture industry.

“What they learned from that experience is that there should be more site separation. Sites should be rotated and fallowed on a regular basis. So if you use it for a year then you fallow it and give it a break for a year.”

Another big piece in bio-security is having separate in-flow and an out-flow wharfs. Ms. Perry said it is important to have one wharf dedicated to everything going out to sea, including small baby fish and feed, and one wharf dedicated to everything coming in from the sea, such as mature fish.

She said in some communities wharfs are used extensively and some communities need more room to accommodate everyone.

“They’re being used for the traditional fishery, they’re being used for aquaculture, they’re being used for ferries, and they’re also being used by recreational boaters.


For years the COBC has known about all the issues the growing aquaculture industry would face, but they could never justify the need for the construction of these wharfs and landfill sites to government until recently.

But now large scale companies such as Cooke Aquaculture and the Barry Group have arrived. Ms. Perry said the region needs extensive infrastructure improvement and now they can look toward funding agencies to help upgrade the facilities currently in the region to accommodate the growing aquaculture industry.

She credits the work done in the past done by the aquaculture pioneers in the region with helping to bring a meaningful and sustainable industry to the area for many years to come.

While the industry has come a long way since its early days, Ms. Perry said there are a number of challenges which must be met.

“These are all wonderful challenges that come with growth but it means that a significant amount of planning and prioritization will need to be done by all stakeholders in the region. Of course as we go forward we’re really going to need to do a lot of work as a region to put this infrastructure in place.”

Here are some more links for further study and review on this topic.
New Fisheries Research Centre Opens at
Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute

Water quality maps

Really like this one a high school class did an aquaculture project.

Isolated Diesel generation perfectly suited for Wind generation

I think we have a very unique position to develop alot more wind power generation in this province. Since there is only a certain amount of wind generation which can be seemlessly integrated into a connected system before there can be trouble. But our abundance of isolated diesel generated electricity affords us a great opportunity to develop more wind power than would normally be afforded if we were all on a interconnected system.

Wind generation is probably very comparible in cost over the long run compared to diesel generation and the diesel generators have the capacity to pick up any drop any wind generation deficiencies very quickly which is one of the main problems with wind generation through the governing ability of diesel generators.

Review of Wind Power for the Province of Ontario.

Public Private South Shore road wind generating project

With the propensity of the present CPC administration for Public Private partnerships I was thinking a south shore highway PP partnership could and should be looked into. (Read Advantage Canada)

The Private part would be along the lines of Aquaculture, Wind generation, and tourism. Opening up the south shore.

Wind generation since it isn't a reliable source of electricity by itself would have to be tied into a national power corridor in conjunction with the Upper and Lower churchill hydro power projects. Since we don't have the requirement for such a large amount of wind electricity in that normal grids can only accommadate somewhere in the range of 10% or less of wind generation due to the start up time required for Nuclear, Coal, Oil generation. Hydro is well adapted to work in conjunction with wind generation.
Read about the recently announced wind project for fermuse. There are lots of stats in there explaning how much wind generation could be seemlessly introduced into the Islands connected system before a outfeed to the mainland would be required to build more wind generation.

Wind generation would be the primary market to target for this kind of initiative due to the fact that they would require roads to build and access their towers.

Maybe if the public portion covered the bridging since this would be a very expensive part of such a project and would probably be the most prohibitive part of such an initiative.

Even one lane ACRO bridges built by the 56 field engineer squadron in St John's could be looked into.

It could be done in three parts PH-I From Burin peninsula to Connaigre
PH-II Port Aux Basques to Burgeo and PH-III from Burgeo to the Connaigre Peninsula.

There I one thing I would like to see included in such a deal and that is that all wind turbines be placed on the inland side of the road so as not to obscure the view.

UPDATE: Here is a Power Point presentation done by Labrador Coastal Equipment LTD on developing wind energy in the province.

Sentinel, Tourism, Food and sport fishery to set commercial quotas

After watching the recent Senate committee meetings on the fishery. It occured to me that the best way to set quotas would be to have a sentinel, tourism, sport fishery first and set commercial quotas depending upon the catches in those fisheries as a percentage of the catch.

Not only would this give value added to the fish caught by involving more people in a sport, tourism, and sentinel fishery but it would have a built in sustainable quota system in that the TAC of the commercial fishery would depend upon the catch of the less damaging less impact sentinel, tourism, and sport fishery each and every year.

Some more changes that should be considered can be found in the AIM's Ideas matters articles on the fishery and aquaculture.

What to do if the ballon goes up.

This is a term from the cold war and all of the protocols and expectations if the cold war became the hot war.

Now at the time satellites and GPS Global positioning systems weren't as prevelant as they are today. Today Missiles and what not use GPS as one of their main targeting sources. Even hunters and woodsmen use GPS's today.

So what if a rogue nation or group gets their hands an a missile and program it's targetting using a over the counter GPS are there any protocols or measures in palce to shut down all of the satellites up ther from the different countries so that GPS's won't work for these rogue nations and or groups.

This is something that needs to have a set in stone protocol and flick the switch type of decision making protocol to be of any use. I would also imagine that it would have to be world wide and have some sort of treaty so that everyone is on the same page and everything gets shut down at once with a minimum of communication to implement it.

GPS is a very benign technology in the hands of peacefull people but in the hands of extremeists and disidents it could be devastating and the difference between a direct hit and or a miss. I'm thinking of North Korea, Iran, and the Muslim extremists.

Maybe a protocol exists to shut down all of the worlds GPS satellites so that this technology can't be used against us. I know civilian GPS's don't have the same accuracy as Military GPS's because there is a code required to get that kind of accuracy but even that is only something like 100 metres discrepency and wouldn't do much to mitigate a direct hit.

OMG the sky is falling, Relax just bend over and kiss your ass good-bye.

It's kinda like the answer my mother got from one of the Marine Atlantic Workers years ago when crossing on the Sir Robert Bond chasing our eggs across the table.

She asked where the life jackets where, LOL. he told her where they were, but he also told her where the hot showers were.
His thinking was that it was better to scald to death than freeze to death.

Rehabilitated rough necks

I recently heard a story about where Poland or one of those EU countries up there was tackling their worker shortage by training and utilizing inmates to address their worker shortage.

In this particular story the inmates were trained and would go out and work during the day then return to their cell at night.

It struck me that this was a really good way of rehabilitating and reintroducing criminals back into the general population and giving them training while at the same time filling a void in our worker shortage out in Alberta.

I hate to generalize even with criminals but it would seem that oil rig worker training would be right up the alley of most criminals. Now I doubt that the same scenario of letting the inmates out to work during the day and returning to their cell at night would work for the tar Sands worker shortage but training inmates to work in the Tar sands as rough necks would go along ways towards giving these destitute and fringes of society people towards meaningfull employment and hence become contributing members to society and away from theri past transgressions into the criminal element.

In fact there are already some programs similar to this in some of our northern penal institutions. Where-by the inmates are encouraged to learn how to carve and create native art.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Andrew Coyne's take on Harpers senate reform proposal

Harper's Senate gambit
The initial response to Stephen Harper’s Senate reform gambit was one of bewilderment. That’s it? An eight-year term limit? And the current inmates of the Red Chamber are, you should pardon the term, grandfathered? Huh?

Was this a wave of the white flag, some wondered, a sign that the Prime Minister had all but abandoned the pursuit? Or was it, as a Globe and Mail editorial pronounced, little more than a disconnected policy fragment, “piecemeal fiddling” in place of genuine reform?

Read the entire piece to see his full speculation and where he speculates it will go.

While it isn't equality the path to equality is being laid. I don't know if I will change my mind about spoiling my federal ballot by writing Triple E senate across it yet.

CAP kuts nd lateracy kuts by Ron from Ron's box of soap

I asked Ron from over at Ron's box of Soap what his thoughts on the recent cuts to literacy and CAP (Community Access Program) sites was.

I figured since he works in a library he would know more and have a more informed opinion than I would on what the effects of such a cut would be. I wasn't wrong, read his response and break down of what these cuts will mean to our communities and libraries here.

Here is an excerpt.
Monday, October 23, 2006

Greg asked me to comment on this which is a link announcing Library Week and the utility of Libraries in our communities. I would prefer to comment on this related issue as it is somewhat close to my heart. There are 96 branches of the public library system across the province and about 90% of them are Community Access Sites. For those of you who don't know the Community Access Program (CAP) is a joint Federal-Provincial Program to provide Internet access to all Canadians irregardless of their age, location, physical/mental ability and income level. All these factors combine to create what has been called the "Digital Divide". For the past 10 years CAP has been funding CAP sites across Canada to help overcome the divide. They also hire trainers to teach the public how to use computers and the Internet. In Newfoundland and Labrador CAP is the main reason we have decent computers for the public in all our public library branches along with High Speed Internet and in some cases wireless access aswell. The program has also provided us on a regular basis with funding to extend branch hours and provide computer training for local seniors etc.

Thanks for the response Ron.
Now the question is what are we going to do about it?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


GTL-fuelled cars on display at City Center Mall

Doha • Qatar Petroleum (QP) and its partners Shell and Sasol Chevron, opened an exhibition showcasing the characteristics of gas to liquid (GTL) fuel at the City Center Mall yesterday in continuing with the activities associated with the recently launched campaign to promote Qatar as the GTL capital of the world.

The exhibit features two unique GTL fuelled vehicles including the Oryx, a Toyota land cruiser, which participated in Sasol Chevron's GTL challenge, an 11,000km symbolic journey from south Africa to Qatar, and the Audi R10 TDI, which won the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race in June 2006 using Shell V-power diesel containing GTL fuel.

GTL fuel is produced from natural gas. It is colourless, odourless and virtually free of sulphur and aromatics, and can play a significant role in reducing local air pollution in major cities.

The fuel can also be used in conventional diesel engines without any need to modify the engine, or to make changes to the existing fuelling infrastructure.

Opportunity is knocking.

The ABC's of Biofuels from

This site has a list of definitions concerning biofuels. Along with videos of testimonials and explanations of how to produce your own biodiesel.

One source of Biofuel that caught me unawares was raw sewage.

I found this especially poignant what with the recent provincial announcement that
"The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) is inviting municipalities and key stakeholders to provide input on a Canada-wide municipal wastewater effluent management strategy during a provincial consultation process that begins Friday in St. John’s."

"The objective of these consultation sessions is to present the options identified in the national strategy for information and discussion with key stakeholders," said the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Environment and Conservation. "I encourage municipalities and other interested stakeholders to attend as this will be your opportunity to seek clarification, ask questions and provide input on the strategy options."

Schedule of Consultation Sessions

Date Location Venue Time

Friday, December 15 St. John’s Best Western Travellers Inn 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Friday, January 5 Marystown Hotel Marystown 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 11 Corner Brook Pepsi Centre Meeting Room #1 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Friday, January 12 Stephenville Holiday Inn 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 16 Grand Falls-Windsor Mount Peyton 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 17 Gander Hotel Gander 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 18 Clarenville Clarenville Inn 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Monday, January 22 St. Anthony Haven Inn 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 23 Happy Valley-Goose Bay Hotel North 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 25 Labrador City-Wabush Two Seasons Inn 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Composting toilets should be delved into more deeply IMO especially in and around water supplies.

There was also another initiative that was recently started to look into this new emerging market for biofuels as well by the Prov and Fed govt in NL.

New Fisheries Research Centre Opens at
Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute

An official opening was held today to celebrate the Atlantic Canada Fishery By-Products Research Centre at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute.

"Canada’s new government is committed to investing in innovative initiatives that help create economic and job opportunities in our communities," said the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). "The Atlantic Canada Fishery By-Products Research Centre reflects a new approach in helping a traditional industry to capitalize on the full utilization of fish resources and be more competitive."

The Atlantic Canada Fishery By-Products Research Centre addresses key opportunities and constraints to using by-products in both the fishing and aquaculture industries. Research is focused on opportunities that have commercial and socio-economic benefits for the region. Biochemists, process engineers and lab technicians at the centre are developing extraction, isolation and concentration processes for marine bioactive compounds. One of the initiatives is a study on which current fishery waste products could be used for their recoverable oils to be converted into biodiesel.

Awesome Labrador

Awesome labrador!

Here is a tourism commercial for Labrador along the lines of the Recent Newfoundland Labrador tourism initiative, specifically "The Flat Earth Society says this is one of the four corners of the world.". Only this one is done by an individual I think.


Sunday, December 03, 2006


Canada has failed miserably

WELFARE INCOMES 2005 (updated 2006) page 98.

The National Council of Welfare has consistently called for major improvements in welfare and related programs. Provincial and territorial governments need to commit to adequate levels of income support. There needs to be an enhanced federal financial arrangement for welfare. The clawback of federal child benefits needs to end immediately.

In June 2006, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
criticized the canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments for failing to live up to their
commitments under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Article 2 of the Covenant refers to state parties “achieving progressively the full realization of
the rights recognized in the present Covenant”. In this context, Canada has failed miserably in
ensuring Canadians’ rights to an adequate standard of living and the right to social security.
The continuing decline of welfare incomes for most households represents a failure on the
part of federal, provincial and territorial governments to respect their commitments.

Along the same lines Hunger Count.

Newfoundland and Labrador
In 2006, Newfoundland and Labrador show a marginal increase in the number of food bank clients compared to last year (1.6%). Child food bank recipients consist of 38.4 % and the province has the highest percentage of families with children visiting food banks among all the provinces, at 65.1%. Newfoundland and Labrador assist the greatest proportion of welfare recipients in the country at 78.4%.

With one of the highest levels of poverty in the country, Newfoundland is only the second province in Canada to actively implement a poverty-reduction strategy.24 In its recent budget, the province announced significant investments in its social safety net, moving forward on its ten-year commitment to become the province with the lowest rate of poverty.25

It is hoped that the goals outlined in the province’s poverty reduction strategy will eventually bring about a notable drop in the number of people needing emergency food assistance. The province still has a long road ahead regarding the latter as it continues to have the highest per capita food bank use for the ninth consecutive year.

Eg Walters, Executive Director of the Community Food Sharing Association in St. John’s and Provincial HungerCount Coordinator, reports on various circumstances in the region affecting food bank use:

“Many challenges continue to face food banks throughout our province as they try to meet the ever constant demands placed upon them. The economic climate of the Eastern Avalon Peninsula continues to be driven by the offshore Oil and Gas Industry. Some uncertainty, however, has developed in recent months due to an impasse between the provincial government and the consortium developing the Hebron Field. Stalled negotiations have resulted in layoffs in this sector combined with business expansion being placed in a holding pattern.

“Rural sectors of our province continue to be impacted by uncertain fish stocks and fish plant closures. Last year’s flooding on the west coast, combined with the closure of the Abitibi Paper Mill, have placed some strain on the ability of food banks to keep up with the demand.”

Along the same lines again Royal commission on renewing and strengthing our place in canada.

Along the same lines again community income.

Along the same lines again Poverty.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]