Saturday, February 23, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
|A Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, the first silver dollar struck by the United States Mint, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 24, 2013.|
Read article here
Posted by Helge at 12:15 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2013
January 2, 2013 by Adam Day
PATROL BASE KHIAM, SOUTHERN LEBANON.
JULY 25, 2006, 19:10 LOCAL
Two nights ago Wolf dreamed he would die in this bunker. He dreamed he was going to burn as the metre-thick concrete walls collapsed on top of him. And though he was now calm, Wolf was still pretty sure he was going to die and nothing happening at the moment could have changed his mind. The shells and bombs were right on target; the last wave had landed inside the small white UN compound and blew the door off the underground bunker, the last refuge of the four peacekeepers now under siege. Across Lebanon and across the world responsible people were trying to stop the attack: “You’re killing my people,” they yelled into phones and radio handsets. They were trying to save Wolf but something had begun and it wouldn’t be stopped so easily. Wolf tried to call his wife in Kingston, Ont.; the phone rang but all she heard was static. “I love you. I love you,” she yelled into the static. The peacekeepers called for help but there was no help. They were alone, trapped and unarmed in the middle of a Middle Eastern war zone, supervising a truce that didn’t exist on a mission that didn’t make sense.
This is the story of how Wolf–Canadian Army Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener—came to be in that bunker and who killed him and why, which remains an unanswered question. It is also the story of the world’s oldest peacekeeping mission, the lost organization in charge of that mission and the failed dream behind it all.
Read moving story here
Posted by Helge at 7:30 PM
Monday, January 14, 2013
By Bashar al-Assad
Editor's Note: This is a long speech made by Syrian President Assad just a few days ago.
You will not see this kind of material published in the western mainstream media who has branded Assad as a murderer of his own people. Judge for yourself.
"Mr. Primer, Ministers,Heads and members of the leaderships of popular organizations and trade unions,
Sisters and brothers,
Today I look at your faces and the faces of the people of our country as they are covered with sorrow and pain. I look into the eyes of Syria’s children and I don’t see an innocent laugh shinning, nor do I see toys that draw a smile on their faces. I watch the hands of elderly people and see them open to prayer for the safety of a son, a daughter or a grandson.
We meet today with suffering prevailing over Syria’s land leaving no room for joy in any corner of the homeland. Safety and security have been absent from the country’s streets and alleys.
We meet today and there are mothers who lost their sons, families who lost their breadwinners, children who became orphans and brothers who have been parted from each other, being martyred, displaced or missing.
If pain is pervading like a dark cloud over the country, the emotional state, though sublime, is not enough to compensate for the loss of the loved ones or the restoration of security and peace to the country or for providing bread, water, fuel and medicine nationwide.
Out of the womb of pain, hope should be begotten and from the depth of suffering the most important solutions rise. As the dark cloud in the sky conceals sunlight, it also carries in its layers rain, purity and hope of welfare and giving.
Read full speech here
Posted by Helge at 11:52 AM
Thursday, January 10, 2013
The Chinese are running away with thorium energy, sharpening a global race for the prize of clean, cheap, and safe nuclear power. Good luck to them. They may do us all a favour.
Princeling Jiang Mianheng, son of former leader Jiang Zemin, is spearheading a project for China's National Academy of Sciences with a start-up budget of $350m.
He has already recruited 140 PhD scientists, working full-time on thorium power at the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear and Applied Physics. He will have 750 staff by 2015.
The aim is to break free of the archaic pressurized-water reactors fueled by uranium -- originally designed for US submarines in the 1950s -- opting instead for new generation of thorium reactors that produce far less toxic waste and cannot blow their top like Fukushima.
"China is the country to watch," said Baroness Bryony Worthington, head of the All-Parliamentary Group on Thorium Energy, who visited the Shanghai operations recently with a team from Britain's National Nuclear Laboratory.
"They are really going for it, and have talented researchers. This could lead to a massive break-through."
Read full article here
Read full article here
Posted by Helge at 11:13 PM
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
|These six extreme UV images of the sun, taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, track the rising level of solar activity as the sun ascends toward the peak of the latest 11-year sunspot cycle. More|
By Dr. Tony Phillips
Jan. 8, 2013: In the galactic scheme of things, the Sun is a remarkably constant star. While some stars exhibit dramatic pulsations, wildly yo-yoing in size and brightness, and sometimes even exploding, the luminosity of our own sun varies a measly 0.1% over the course of the 11-year solar cycle.
There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), "The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate," lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that solar activity can make itself felt on our planet.
Read full article here
Posted by Helge at 12:55 PM
Friday, December 28, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
|Volunteers prepare Christmas hampers from donated food|
Photo and story by Helge Nome
Caroline's Church of the Nazarene is the venue for putting together Christmas hampers for local people. Volunteers have been engaged in setting out donated foods and preparing hampers that are taken to needy individuals and families in the area. Bread, milk, cheese and other perishables are purchased with donated money at the local grocery store just prior to delivery.
Again, people in the Caroline area have proven themselves to be part of a caring community for those that have hit a bump in the road.
Posted by Helge at 8:26 PM
|Seniors' Drop In December birthdays: Noel Delorme, Ed Loomis, Barb Proudler, Joyce Pengelly, Chris Orr|
Photo and story by Helge Nome
As always, seniors in the west country enjoyed their monthly pot luck supper with a very short meeting and a long meal of great variety, including the obligatory Christmas turkey. 75 people partook in the meal and Don Bouvette led the singalong of Christmas carols, as well as playing some of his own compositions with a Christmas theme.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
9:37PM GMT 18 Dec 2012
“Coal met nearly half the rise in global energy demand during the first decade of the 21st Century,” said the International Energy Agency (IEA). Wind, solar, and gas have yet to change the overall picture.
The IEA said “insatiable demand” from Asia’s rising powers will gobble up a further 1bn tonnes each year by 2017, equal to the entire consumption of the US and Russia today. “If no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade,” it said.
By a rough rule of thumb, coal produces 238 tonnes of carbon per gigawatt hour (GWh), compared with 207 for heavy oil and 99 for gas. The IEA says coal already accounts for 43pc of global CO2 emissions.
“The situation is utterly dire,” said Jeremy Leggett, head of the UK Task Force on Peak Energy and Climate Change. “The window over the next decade is absolutely crucial. The danger threshold is a two-degree rise in average temperatures above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. We’re currently on track for a rise of six degrees. The cognoscenti in the scientific world are terrified,” he said.
The great hope of carbon capture and storage (CCS) has yet to materialise, at least at viable cost. “CCS technologies are not taking off as once expected, which means CO2 emissions will keep growing substantially,” said the IEA’s Maria Van der Hoeven.
Thoughtful article continues here
Thoughtful article continues here
Sunday, December 16, 2012
The helicopter is the first of two new AW139 helicopters purchased by STARS for service in Alberta, with the second Calgary dedicated AW139 arriving in 2013. “The significant financial capital needed to purchase the Alberta-based helicopters initiated the largest fundraising campaign in STARS history, raising over $26.5 million,” said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson. “We have now completed the vision of bringing this new helicopter to Alberta thanks to the incredible support of our donors, and partnerships with the provincial government, Alberta Health Services, and emergency services.”
The AW139 medically equipped helicopters will enhance access to emergency pre-hospital critical care through more rapid response, an expanded service area, a larger medical interior, more powerful lift capacity, and a de-icing system that will enable flight during adverse weather conditions. “This new helicopter will ensure that patients, even those far away from a critical care centre, will still receive the intensive medical care they need,” said Fred Horne, Minister of Health. “
The Alberta government recognizes STARS as an important part of our health care delivery system, one that is responsive and provides excellent patient care regardless of location.” A third AW139 will be put into service in Saskatchewan thanks to support from PotashCorp. It will be based in Saskatoon and is anticipated to arrive in late 2013.
Eurocopter BK117 helicopters will continue as the aircraft for the STARS Grande Prairie, Regina and Winnipeg bases. STARS is a non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization that provides rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. Our doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS operates from bases in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.
STARS Media: email@example.com www.stars.ca
Posted by Helge at 9:00 PM
|Clearwater Councillors pose with Pamela Ison Reilander from STARS: Case Korver, Jim Vandermeer, Patrick Alexander (Reeve), Jim Duncan, Dick Wymenga, Earl Graham, Bob Bryant|
|Detail of plaque presented to Clearwater County|
Photos and story by Helge Nome
Clearwater County councillors were pleased to be recognized by the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service at the December 11 County Council meeting. Pamela Ison Reilander from STARS presented a plaque to Clearwater County, recognizing its annual contribution of $6000 to the service. Reilander also informed Council about a new helicopter, an AW139, being put into service at this time.
(See separate article adjacent).
Posted by Helge at 8:51 PM
Sunday, December 9, 2012
|The Church of the Nazarene in Caroline|
Photo and Story by Helge Nome
"A new kid in town" is the theme for this year's carol fest in Caroline. The event will take place at the Church of the Nazarene at 7pm on December 16 and is supported by four church communities in the area: Living Faith, the Cowboy Church, the Church of the Nazarene and the Garrington Community Church.
The Caroline Family Singers and many other musicians from the area will participate and there will be a collection for Gail and Dean Wahl who recently lost their home and most of their possessions when their house burnt down. Look for posters.
Posted by Helge at 7:27 PM
Friday, December 7, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
By Helge Nome
The two photos above have one thing in common: The undercarriage of each flying machine is a tricycle. The top photo depicts a small clay chariot from prehistoric Yugoslavia. It bears a goddess with a bird's head, attended by three aquatic birds . From Duplyaya near Vrsac, c. 1500-1200 BC. (Information source: Mythology An Illustrated Encyclopedia edited by Richard Cavendish, Orbis Publishing London, ISBN 0 85613 447 3). The photo underneath shows an airborne ultralight tricycle, 2012 AD.
Now, it so happens that the tricycle is the ideal wheel configuration for the landing of aircraft of all sizes and shapes, because of the stability it confers on the airborne vehicle when it makes contact with the ground during a landing approach. So the question that comes to mind is this: Does the top photo depict a real flying machine, "mythologized" by human observers on the ground in awe of what they saw?
Posted by Helge at 8:33 PM
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Photo and story by Helge Nome
Caroline's Shepherd Food Bank received a welcome boost at the Legion Hall in Caroline on Monday, December 3. Local singer/songwriter Cheyenne Larson presented a cheque for $460, along with a considerable quantity of food to a very happy Nancy McLean from the food bank. Cheyenne's grandfather Teekie Mason was pleased to assist.
The donations were made at a family social jam session at the Legion on the preceding Saturday where Cheyenne was a prominent player. The Shepherd Food Bank is located in the basement of the Nazarene Church office building, administered by Nancy McLean and supported by many local volunteers.
Posted by Helge at 7:41 PM
Monday, December 3, 2012
|Record of sunspots since 2009|
By Helge Nome
This chart is significant, indicating sunspot activity well below that of the previous 11 year cycle which peaked in 2000 at about 120 sunspots in the most active months. Historical data indicates a correlation between observed sunspot activity and weather on the Earth: "The little ice age" in Europe between 1645 AD and 1715 AD coincided with low observed sunspot activity by early telescopes developed around that time. The river Rhine in Germany still had ice on it in June!
Coinciding at this time with reduced economic activity and greenhouse gas generation on the Earth's surface, reduced solar activity points to cold times ahead. Rug up!
More detailed information from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology available here
Posted by Helge at 9:57 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2012
There appear to be many misconceptions about banking out there. A gross one is that a 10% reserve requirement means that a bank can lend out ten times more money than it has on deposit from customers. The idea of a 10% reserve is that the bank is required to have that amount of money on hand to satisfy any depositors that might want to withdraw their deposits at any given time. That, in theory, should mean that the bank is authorized to lend out an amount equal to 90% of its deposits, withholding 10% to cover statistically predictable depositor demands with a safe margin in most circumstances, (except for a bank run).
That's the theory, and that's where it gets sneaky: A bank's consolidated balance sheet will show, as an example (for ATB Financial here in Alberta in 2008) outstanding loans as assets of $19,443,917 thousand ($19 billion) as against deposits (liabilities) of $21,175,716 thousand ($21 billion). This gives one the impression that from $21 billion in deposits an amount of $19 billion has been re-lent to borrowers. However, and this is important, double entry accounting used by the bank to generate its balance sheet records each loan made as both an asset and liability (i.e. deposit).
So, an average Joe, like me, looking at the balance sheet believes that a bunch of people dropped off $21 billion of their money in the bank so as to earn some interest, and that the bank re-lent $19 billion of those deposits to borrowers at a somewhat higher rate of interest, thus covering its costs and hopefully some profit for the shareholders on top of that. But as we can see, that's all smoke and mirrors.
In reality, the bank needs to have money-numbers recorded at the central bank to cover any transactions it makes with its customers because virtually all those transactions involve other banks. In reality, also, the "fractional reserve" idea only exists in textbooks and has never really been practiced. Rather, central banks have made money available to the banking system dependent upon demands from that system at any given time.
So, in times of economic slowdown, one would expect a bank to make less money than during boom times? Right?
Wrong!! These are today's numbers from the Royal Bank of Canada as per an article from CityNews in Toronto recorded here:
"The Royal Bank says it had a record annual profit in 2012, including $1.9 billion of net earnings in the fourth quarter. The quarterly profit amounted to $1.25 per share of net earnings, or $1.27 per share of adjusted diluted earnings. For the full-year ended Oct. 31, RBC had $7.5 billion of net earnings. That's up 17 per cent from 2011 and equal to $4.96 per share of net earnings or $5 per share on an adjusted basis."
What is going on here? The economy is stagnant and the bank is making a pile of money! The only explanation I can see is that the money is being made in the "paper" (financial) sector and is not generating any real wealth other than numbers in computers.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
|November birthdays: Bob Hall, Maria Hall, Ruth Barrer, Ruby Scott, Rita Stewart, Cliff Stalwick|
Report and photos by Helge Nome
The Caroline Seniors Drop In Center was the venue for the monthly pot-luck supper and meeting on November 19, the third Monday of the month, at 6pm. Having enjoyed a hearty meal members settled down to the monthly meeting, chaired by Dwight Oliver, and discussed the issues of the day:
Members chose not to accept an offer from Clearwater County to go under its insurance umbrella, in spite of some cost savings compared to the existing insurance policy. It was felt that the deductible of $5000 under the proposed new insurance plan was rather high.
Members were made aware of the need for assistance to the Shepherd's Food Bank in Caroline where donations are made to needy individuals and families both at Christmas time and during the year.
So far, no one has come forwards to volunteer for the position of Trip Coordinator. A motion to cancel the contract for the $50/month phone line to the Drop In Center was carried as this phone never gets used. $5 membership fees for the new year are now due.
The annual Christmas dinner will be held at the Drop In Center in Caroline on Monday, December 17, at 6pm. It is a Pot Luck with the Drop-in supplying the turkey and ham. The cost is $5.00 to help with the purchases of meat and other expenses of the Drop-in. Food for the food bank would be appreciated.
On the 20th of December there will be a special social at the Drop-in for Seniors. It begins at 12 noon with a bowl of Friendship Soup, buns, bread and a tasty dessert. Games of choice begin at 1:30 p.m. If you just want to come and visit, you are welcome. A loonie covers coffee and a treat. Come for an enjoyable afternoon. If there is enough interest this program will continue in the new year.
Membership is open to anyone 50 years of age and over. Dues are $5.00 a year.
|The Bystrom Family Singers entertained at the Seniors Drop In: Sharmane, Sharlene, Shawna, Sheryle and mother Louise|
New Drop In members' program introduced by Barb Proudler:
On Thursday, November 22, members are invited to a noon bowl of beef stew and biscuit, cake, ice cream and strawberry topping. A variety of games will start at 1:30pm. Joan from Unicorn will demonstrate Swedish weaving. Come join in the fun or just come and visit. The coffee is always on.
Posted by Helge at 8:50 PM