Monday, January 31, 2011

Pen Meets Paper Jan.31'10

Opinion by Helge Nome
The world’s attention is now focused on a rapidly developing situation in the Arab world. The spark that ignited the fire that is now spreading from one Arab country to another occurred in Tunisia where a street vendor set himself alight after having been denied the right to earn a livelihood from his business. Fires can only start if conditions are right at the time of ignition, and that they are: The combination of oppressive regimes and marginalized educated young people has created a highly combustible witches’ brew in the Middle East.
The other troubling trend,from the point of view of the Western Oligarchy, whose subjects most of us are - including our elected politicians, is the rise of Islam in the Arab world. Amidst all the confusion now reigning in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere, highly organized Islamic groups are now stepping into the fray to become catalysts for change amongst bewildered populations that have no specific direction in which to go, other than wanting to get rid of existing oppressive leaderships.
Another troubling factor is looming food shortages that have their roots in crop failures in various parts of the world: Some nations are now hoarding grain for themselves, sending up prices of same, and so encouraging speculation by international gamblers who care nought about the well being of millions of people that live on the brink of starvation. In the chaos that can potentially develop in the wake of food shortages and political upheaval, militant Islam will find an ideal medium for growth, galvanizing local populations against the predatory practices of the Western Oligarchy’s financial system.
What we are learning from events in the Middle East at this time is that things can happen very quickly when a certain tipping point is reached. And the potential for spontaneous destructive activity is considerable: I watched online video coverage of events in Cairo on Aljazeera Live which showed demonstrators trying to rock a bus used by security forces back and forth with the aim of dumping it into the river next to the bridge where it was parked. However, a guardrail prevented them from managing to do this. The problem was quickly solved: A demonstrator hurled a burning rag into the driver’s compartment and within a few seconds it was engulfed in flames.
The criminal element and opportunists are now out in force in Egypt and people are reportedly guarding their properties with baseball bats, and whatever weapons are handy until some kind of order is restored. All this should be a lesson for governments in North America: Having an educated young population marginalized by the inability to find meaningful employment and without an income is a recipe for disaster.

U.S.A. - The land of the free?

Al Jazeera English Blacked Out Across Most Of U.S.
WASHINGTON - Canadian television viewers looking for the most thorough and in-depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt have the option of tuning into Al Jazeera English, whose on-the-ground coverage of the turmoil is unmatched by any other outlet. American viewers, meanwhile, have little choice but to wait until one of the U.S. cable-company-approved networks broadcasts footage from AJE, which the company makes publicly available. What they can't do is watch the network directly. Article posted here

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Breaking" news - Norwegian Icebreaker heads up the Mississippi River

You may have seen on the news that it's been very cold. In fact, Old Al Gore may have to once again cancel his annual Global Warming Summit due to blizzards and snow.
It's been so cold in Iowa, that the US Corps of Engineers has subcontracted a Norwegian Icebreaker to clear the Mississippi River for freighter traffic. The Icebreaker started near Davenport and is working northward. Here is a remarkable picture as the hard work of ice breaking begins. Impressive!

Latest from Egypt

Violence is escalating in Egypt. At the root of this violence is a disenfranchised educated younger generation. This could be the beginning of something much bigger.

History of the Bank of North Dakota

A unique bank in the United States, serving the needs of North Dakotans.
There are similarities with our own ATB Financial that was established by the Aberhart Social Credit Government in the 1930ies. Some unique historical footage included

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Art in space

The blue star near the center of this image is Zeta Ophiuchi. When seen in visible light, it looks like a relatively dim star, surrounded by other dim stars and no dust. However, in this infrared image taken with NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, a completely different view emerges. Zeta Ophiuchi is actually a very massive, hot, bright blue star plowing its way through a large cloud of interstellar dust and gas. Article here

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Fizzy Ocean on Enceladus

January 26, 2011:
For years researchers have been debating whether Enceladus, a tiny moon floating just outside Saturn's rings, is home to a vast underground ocean. Is it wet--or not? Now, new evidence is tipping the scales. Not only does Enceladus likely have an ocean, that ocean is probably fizzy like a soft drink and could be friendly to microbial life. The story begins in 2005 when NASA's Cassini probe flew past Enceladus for a close encounter. "Geophysicists expected this little world to be a lump of ice, cold, dead, and uninteresting," says Dennis Matson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Boy, were we surprised!" Story here

Monday, January 24, 2011

Congratulations Aina!

Congratulations to our daughter, Aina, who has earned her designation as a Chartered Accountant (CA). It has been a long journey which began at Red Deer College in January 2003. At that time, Aina was a single mom with a two-and-a-half year old daughter, Madison. Aina studied Business at RDC for two -and-a-half years, then moved to Lethbridge University to complete her degree. She graduated with a Bachelor of Management, Accounting Major in April 2007. Her first job was with Meyers Norris Penny in Peace River. After a year she transferred to MNP Red Deer, where she is currently employed, and working on a tax specialty. We are so proud of Aina who has not only achieved her educational goals but also taken time to be a good parent to our granddaughter Madison, who is now ten years old.
Elaine and Helge Nome

Pen Meets Paper Jan.24'11

Opinion by Helge Nome
One fundamental operating principle in nature is what we call “trade”. Individuals exchange something for something else in return. It happens within species and across species from the highest to the lowest life forms: Birds eat berries from trees and bushes and spread the seeds around in the process. A win-win situation for both. Humans living in mountainous metal-rich regions trade metal tools and ornaments with plains people who have an abundant supply of agricultural products. The list is endless.
But what about trade where the gains are consistently made by one party, at the expense of the other? I‘m referring to the burgeoning gaming “industry” which has grown up around the world and is invading every community in the form of casinos, and variants thereof. What is it of value that is exchanged here? The tokens used are directly convertible to currency in the casino and so represent access to goods and services in the real world outside the casino. As it turns out, the flow of money is mostly from casino patrons to the casino with mostly broken dreams supplied in return by the casino. Here in Alberta, community groups are co-opted to legitimize this process in return for a 15% cut in the profit made that night, while the volunteer group hangs around in the back room. The government then gets its cut and the private casino owners walk away with the rest of the money. In addition to gaming tables, the casino is filled with row upon row of video lottery terminals where seemingly mindless patrons sit and feed them with tokens and hit the “spin” button, listening to mindless “music” while the symbols flick in front of them on the screen.
The net result of all this activity is a continuous stream of money going one way, out of communities with a few crumbs left behind for the peasants. Problem gamblers then find innovative ways to access more money to feed their addiction(s), causing untold problems for people that share their lives, be it family, employers or employees.
In short, large scale gambling has nothing to do with productive activity and everything to do with predation. It is a one way street down the tube to a place where you don’t want to be. In spite of this fact having been known for thousands of years, it is being ignored by most people today.

China preparing for armed conflict 'in every direction'

China is preparing for conflict 'in every direction', the defence minister said on Wednesday in remarks that threaten to overshadow a visit to Beijing by his US counterpart next month.
"In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction," said Liang Guanglie in an interview published by several state-backed newspapers in China. "We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away," Mr Liang added. Article here

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More flooding, this time Brazil

Mudslides and floods in Brazil have claimed the lives of over 511 people in areas just north of Rio de Janeiro over the past two days (January 12-14, 2011), and more rain is expected over the weekend, according to several news outlets. Flood waters swept through many homes and buildings near steep-sloped hills, as the first-hand video below shows. Article here

Beautiful new image of Orion Nebula

Here is the famous Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42, captured using the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Article here

Palestinian Loss of Land 1946-2005

A picture is worth a thousand words. Full article here

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Caroline Colts Novice team

Ready for the first game against the Sundre Vipers. It was a round robin tournament between the Airdrie Canadians, Bowden Blades, Cochrane Jaws, Caroline Colts, RD Money Mart Nachos and the Sundre Vipers. Caroline Colts team members are: Jagar Thompson, Lane harder, Wyatt Ditchuk, Logan Cooke, Toran Thompson, Rheanne Cooke, Jared Foesier, Jolie Nafziger, DJ Heyland.
Caroline Colt Logan Cooke moves the puck towards the Sundre net in the Novice tournament on Saturday, January 15.

Caroline Open Bonspiel

A Event Winners, standing: Ross Harder (Skip), Gerald Willsie (3rd), Cathy Schryvers (2nd), Ron Gutek (3rd). Runners up: Ralph Pedersen, Ralph Johnson, Eleanor Pedersen, Karin Johnson.

B event result

Winners, standing: Mathew Rauch, Sandra Gerdung, Donna Gustaw, Lisa Mercer. Runners up: John Senkyr, Bob Senkyr, John Black, Jane Senkyr

C Event result

Winners, standing: Buff McLellan, LanceDichrow, Roy Follis, Earl Graham. Runners up: Ari Hahmo, Harvey Barrer, Candace Klatt, Mark Sutherland.
Sandra Gerdung tracks her newly launched rock in the B event final of the Caroline Open Bonspiel on Sunday, January 16.

McCarthy Bill Would Ban Common Self-Defense Magazines

Friday, January 21, 2011
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 308, the "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act." The bill would ban the manufacture and importation of new magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Unlike the magazine ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004, her new bill would also make it illegal for the tens of millions of Americans who already own these magazines to sell or otherwise transfer them, even through inheritance.
In a letter to her colleagues, Rep. McCarthy claimed, "The only reason for the existence of these devices is to be able to shoot as many people as quickly as possible." Yet her bill would allow the continued acquisition and possession of these magazines by law enforcement officers, who carry firearms to defend themselves and the public. It would even allow these magazines to be transferred to law enforcement officers upon retirement, even though a retired officer's right to use firearms for self-defense is the same as any other private citizen's right.
With H.R. 308, Rep. McCarthy is pursuing the agenda of banning guns and magazines that she brought to Washington 14 years ago. In 2003, 2005 and 2007, Rep. McCarthy introduced bills that, like H.R. 308, would have banned magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Those bills would also have banned all firearms that were subject to the federal "assault weapon" ban of 1994-2004 and all firearms made specifically to comply with the 1994 ban. They would also have banned all semi-automatic shotguns, commonly owned semi-automatic rifles that don't use detachable magazines of any size, and other commonly owned firearms.
Article source here

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beware the feedback loop, says Bank of Japan

January 17, 2011 6:50 pm by Emma Saunders
Research from the Bank of Japan argues that we are seeing a multiplier effect in capital flows between emerging markets and the US, and its reversal could cause a very sudden upward correction in US government bond prices. The argument runs along these lines: investors seeking high returns have caused large capital inflows into emerging markets, causing forex intervention and leaving governments with stockpiles of US dollars. Those dollars are then invested in US treasuries, reducing the yield and making it cheaper for US investors to borrow – and to seek high returns in emerging markets. Repeat. Read article here

Pen Meets Paper Jan.17'11

Opinion by Helge Nome
The latest issue to hit the airwaves here in Alberta is carbon capture and storage, or CCS for short. The idea is to pump carbon dioxide generated by large oil and gas extraction projects into the ground instead of releasing it into the atmosphere where it is believed to be a cause of global warming. The first question that comes to mind here is: Where is the global warming? We in the northern hemisphere have been shivering since the beginning of winter. That aside, do we know whether the carbon dioxide being pumped into the ground is going to stay there, under very high pressure? Early indications are that the stuff wants to come back out again, based on a report from a Saskatchewan farm where something is bubbling out of the ground near a carbon storage project. It is generally agreed that we are dealing with a totally unproven technology here and the Alberta Government, on behalf of taxpayers, has generously committed $2 billion to develop the technology and reportedly has also underwritten future costs of potential negative consequences of same. So, the bottom lines of oil and gas company balance sheets are not negatively impacted. How very convenient; and blatant.
And to top it all, CCS is likely nothing more than a political stunt to appease rhetoric about greenhouse gases. It will cost taxpayers a lot of money just like the proposed carbon credit trading schemes. Here, emitters of carbon dioxide are supposed to buy carbon credits from those that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A whole market system is to be set up to facilitate such trading. This would be very profitable for one group of people: The traders. The pattern here is: Create a bogey man (global warming), then create a method of rescue from this hypothetical calamity (carbon storage and trading in credits), and voila! You have a fail safe money making scheme. Or: “Make ‘em scared and make ‘em pay” Isn’t that what Chicago mobsters used to do?

New Legion Executive

The Caroline Legion Branch #177 executive for 2011 was installed on Monday January 3 by Installing Officer Marg Schrader. Front: Helen Willigar (Service Officer), Darlene Houlton (Secretary), Charlette Harris (President), Donna Kanten (Treasurer). Back: Mary Bugbee (Member at large), Pirkko Van Dijk (Past President), Terry McGuire (Sgt. at Arms). The Caroline Legion promotes the importance of national defense, encourages volunteerism and makes generous donations to the local community. Members of the Legion also participate in important events at Caroline School.

Literacy in focus in Caroline

The Rocky Community Learning Council brought together a number of interested local people to an information/discussion session on literacy at the Church of the Nazarene in Caroline on January 5. In her presentation Literacy Coordinator Pat Warkentin clearly demonstrated a relationship between low levels of literacy and a general lack of well being. And on a scale of 1 - 4, approximately one half of the population of Clearwater County, including Caroline, score at level 2 or below. This is a fairly typical number for the rural prairie regions of Canada. Participants went on to learn about the Rocky Community Learning Council’s current literacy projects which include family literacy, adult tutoring, english language classes and the “Plug Into Learning “ project which is available at Caroline Neighbourhood Place for individuals that are interested. The group went on to explore ways of making learning available to the local community. One challenge is to engage local people. Those who become interested will discover a whole host of new opportunities.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stone age man used dentist drill

The researchers studied the drilled areas using an electron microscope. Stone age people in Pakistan were using dental drills made of flint 9,000 years ago, according to researchers. Teeth from a Neolithic graveyard in Mehgarh in the country's Baluchistan province show clear signs of drilling. Analysis of the teeth shows prehistoric dentists had a go at curing toothache with drills made from flint heads. The team that carried out the work say close examination of the teeth shows the tool was "surprisingly effective" at removing rotting dental tissue. A total of eleven drilled crowns were found, with one example showing evidence of a complex procedure involving tooth enamel removal followed by carving of the cavity wall. Four of the teeth show signs of decay associated with the drilled hole.
"In all cases, marginal smoothing confirms that drilling was performed on a living person who continued to chew on the tooth surfaces after they had been drilled," the reserchers reported. The form of dental treatment seen at Mehrgarh continued for about 1,500 years, before the practice was stopped in the area. Flint drill heads are found abundantly at the Mehrgarh site, among assemblages of beads made of bones, shell and turquoise. Writing in Nature, the authors suggest that skills developed by bead craftsmen also worked well on teeth. Mehrgarh straddles a route between Afghanistan and the Indus Valley to the south.
The researchers, led by Roberto Macchiarelli of the University of Poitiers, France, said it was an early site for agriculture, where barley, wheat, and cotton were grown.
Article source here

Friday, January 14, 2011

India silver imports soar on rising gold price

MUMBAI (Commodity Online): The historic high price of gold is driving investors in India to take solace in silver. Demand for silver is surging in the country as investors, traders and families are shifting to the white metal thanks to the soaring prices of gold.
“Demand for silver products like silver coins, jewellery etc has soared in India as many people in rural areas cannot afford to think of buying gold at these high prices,” Suresh Vaid, a bullion dealer in Mumbai said.
India is the largest consumer and importer of silver in the world. According to commodities brokerage Karvy Comtrade silver imports by India soared more than six times to $1.7 billion in the first-half of 2010.
Vaid says rising gold price is certainly one reason why silver imports are going up in India. “People in rural India are these days buying more silver than gold because they can not simply afford to buy gold,” he said.
India is the largest importer of the silver in the world and the country consumes more than 4000 tons of silver annually with the bulk of sale being made in rural areas. India has emerged as the third largest industrial user of silver in the world after US and Japan. Article published here

China reigns in the speculative dragon

News item from the People's Bank of China
The Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China (PBC) held its fourth quarterly meeting of 2010 in Beijing days ago.
The Committee held that recovery of the global economy was likely to continue in 2011, although with a lot of unstable factors and uncertainties. The positive momentum in China’s economy has been further consolidated and the financial system has functioned in a stable manner, but the country faces tough tasks in controlling money, credit and liquidity growth as well as warding off financial risks.
It was noted at the meeting that efforts should made to implement the prudent monetary policy, make the financial measures more targeted, flexible and effective, and give more priority to stabilizing the general price level in 2011. In accordance with the principle of keeping a prudent stance, making proper adjustment and optimizing structure, a mix of monetary tools will be adopted to control liquidity and bring the monetary and credit conditions back to a normal state. More credit will be channeled to the real economy, especially to support agriculture, the countryside, farmers and medium-sized and small enterprises, so as to help promote the strategic and economic restructuring. Efforts will be made to improve a multi-layer capital market system, increase the share of direct financing, and maintain a reasonable scale of total financing. Efforts will be made to improve the RMB exchange rate mechanism and keep the RMB rate basically stable at an equilibrium and adaptive level.
Mr. Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor the PBC and Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee, chaired the meeting. Ms. Hu Xiaolian, Mr. Yi Gang, Mr. Du Jinfu, Mr. Liu Minkang, Mr. Shang Fulin, Mr. Wu Dingfu, Mr. Jiang Jianqing, Mr. Zhou Qiren, Mr. Xia Bing, and Mr. Li Daokui attended the meeting. Mr. Li Yong provided written remarks. Mr. You Quan, Mr. Zhu Zhixin and Mr. Ma Jiantang were absent on business leaves. Presidents of the PBC Nanjing Branch, Wuhan Branch and Beijing Operations Office also joined the meeting as observers. Article source here

Five reasons silver glitters more than gold

By Jeff Reeves
ROCKVILLE, Md. (MarketWatch) — There are several reasons to love gold right now. From the twin specters of a weak dollar and commodity inflation, to the recent all-time highs north of $1,430 an ounce, to returns that doubled the broader market in 2010.
Yet investors who focus on gold and ignore silver could be missing an even better bet. Demand and performance numbers show that silver is beating gold handily right now and has been for a while. What’s more, a look at the uses and possible supply bottlenecks of silver shows that this metal could have an upside gold may not enjoy in the new year.
While both gold and silver have rolled back recently — a 5% decline for silver and a 3% decline for gold since Dec. 31 — there’s no doubt many investors are considering the drawback little more than a pause before the commodities skyrocket once more.
Don’t be fooled by gold’s glitter —- here are five reasons silver may be a better play for your portfolio — and several investments to capitalize on the metal’s run. Read full article here

Now this is scary : Automated killers

John Roach writes:The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has sharpened its focus on a future where machines do most of the dirty work — and a good deal of the thinking, too.
Last week, the military think tank kicked off a program called Mind's Eye, which is aimed at developing "a visual intelligence capability for unmanned systems." This week, it sent out an announcement that hints at the agency's plans for a mathematical language that would give data-collecting sensors the ability to speak to each other, think for themselves, and take action with scant human interference. Article here

An indicator of underlying attitude. Morale: "Watch the watchdogs!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hot (and cold) spots of the cosmos

Alan Boyle writes:It'll be another couple of years before the European Space Agency's Planck probe delivers its baby picture of the universe, but in the meantime, the long-wavelength surveyor has pinpointed thousands of hot spots (and cold spots) worth watching.
The hot spots are huge galaxy clusters — including one cluster that holds the equivalent of a quadrillion stars, making it one of the most massive structures ever seen in the universe. The cold spots are clouds of chilly gas and dust within our own galaxy that are on the verge of forming their first stars.
Identifying these spots isn't the main reason for the billion-dollar Planck mission, which was launched in May 2009 along with the Herschel Space Telescope. Planck's main goal is to chart the cosmic background radiation in unprecedented detail, in wavelengths ranging from the infrared to the radio spectrum. The mission is expected to produce a map of the cosmic "afterglow" from just 380,000 years after the big bang, at a resolution that's three times bettern than the map produced by NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe in 2003.

The Herschel and Planck spacecraft lifted off atop an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Space Agency's launch center in French Guiana at 9:12 a.m. ET on May 14,2009, and within a half-hour ground controllers reported that both probes had separated successfully from the Ariane. Article here

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More Queensland flood footage - cars floating and tumbling down the drainage channel beside a building

Pen Meets Paper Jan.10'11

Opinion by Helge Nome
There is currently a referendum taking place in the African state of Sudan. After a prolonged civil war between predominantly African people in the south and Arabs in the north, a point has finally been reached where people are prepared to go to the ballot box to decide whether two independent states should be created. And, just over 10 years ago, a Parliament of Scotland was re-established after an absence of some 300 years.
Canada is famous for its regional tensions, with people in the predominantly French speaking Province of Quebec being the most vocal group in this respect. Possibly less known, but very much alive, is also a sense of Western alienation from what is perceived to be an effective dictatorship by Central Canadian political/economic interests. Westerners are fully aware of the fact that they were politically manipulated by the establishment in Ottawa when the four western provinces were established about 100 years ago, ensuring a fragmented western voice in the Federal Parliament. The result of this has been that the huge natural resources of the west have been milked by the Central Canadian establishment for a very long time. And now the mega corporations have moved in, playing one province against the other in getting good deals for themselves, exploiting the region’s natural resources. Here in Alberta we now even have sovereign wealth funds (i.e. funds controlled by foreign nations with their own objectives) buying control of Alberta resources in the ground. Albertans are watching foreigners hijacking their resources with a nod of approval from the Central Canadian establishment.
Meanwhile, the Alberta provincial government is desperately trying to appease the big energy companies in order to stay in office. And the two main contenders for being the next Alberta government, the Progressive Conservatives (currently in power) and the Wild Rose Alliance, are competing for the crumbs from Big Energy that would give one party the edge over the other. The underlying problem is political apathy by Albertans, a very understandable sentiment in light of lackluster performance of elected politicians.
The net result of all this is the handing of the West to the highest bidder. The logical response would be for the people of the West to gather under one banner and take charge of their own affairs.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Caroline - 2010, A year in review

After some 18 months of planning the shovels went into the ground in the field behind Caroline School on Thursday, June 17. The formal beginning of the work was made by volunteers Bruce Johnson (black hat) and Jim Bystrom (white hat). Also in attendance: Caroline School Principal Nathan Moore, Village Councillor Bob Pryor and Wild Rose Public Schools Superintendent Brian Celli. Nathan Moore said that a football field will be created with provisions for other sports such as soccer and a track around the field. Most of the materials and labor will be donated by individuals and organizations to an approximate value of $100,000 by the time the job is done.

Clouds over Caroline's fire service

Small communities across North America are facing the challenge a lack of available volunteers for fire and rescue services. Caroline has now arrived at the crossroads where decisions have to be made in order to avoid a potential tragedy in the future. As older members have retired from the service new and active members are hard to find. And many have commitments that take them away from home on a regular basis. This is an issue that has to be faced and resolved in 2011.

Caroline Community Medical Clinic Grand Opening

After some 10 years without medical service, Caroline area residents can, once again, see a doctor in their own community. The clinic, located in the southernmost bay of the mini mall where the local motor registry office is located, opened its doors for the first time on September 7. Caroline's Mayor, Laura Cudmore, was instrumental in getting the initiative off the ground some 16 months ago and enlisted the help of the Caroline and District Chamber of Commerce in bringing the project to its fruition. Major factors helping things along were the arrival in Rocky Mountain House of new doctors and the willingness of the Clearwater County Council and the Village of Caroline Council to financially support the establishment of the new facility.
Community donations to the clinic to date are $47,977, broken down as follows: Clearwater County $15,000, Village of Caroline - $10,000, Alberta Health Services - $9,133, Cash donations - $7,175, Goods and services donated - $6,669.
The new medical clinic is open every Tuesday, with both medical and chiropractic services offered. Bookings can be made through the Rocky Medical Clinic at 403 845-2815 or by contacting the Caroline Clinic directly on Tuesdays
at 403 722-405

Edna Topp Park, looking east

Completed in September 2010. The playground is in the background with landscaping at the center of the park. A modern outdoor skating rink occupies the western part of the park.
Yet another modern facility created for the benefit of Caroline area residents.

Action on Caroline's new sport field

On September 17 the Caroline Cougars faced Sedgewick as its first opponent on brand new home turf. The new sportsfield, entirely built with financial and labor contributions from volunteers, was still muddy from a wet summer, but usable. A gravel track is still to follow in 2011.

2010 - Year in review.

As years go, 2010 was a mixed one for the Caroline community with mostly positive developments all around. Caroline itself is the hub of an area with some 5000+ people from all walks of life, some raising young children and others in retirement. To service needs of everyone, multiple organizations have come into being ranging from a pre-kindergarten association to a seniors drop in center and everything in between.
Caroline School is at the very center of all this activity and has in later years adapted itself very well to the prevailing area culture which tends to be focussed on sports. To that end a group of area people, in cooperation with the school administration took on a major project this last year: The construction of a new sports field behind the school involving a football field with a track around it. This proved to be a bigger job than anticipated with drainage becoming a major problem during a wet summer, but the goal of hosting the first football game in September was met. And it was all accomplished with community donations of labor, materials and earth moving machine time with some help from Clearwater County trucks.
In the village itself the surface of several gravel covered streets were upgraded with a cold mix of gravel and tar in order to render potholes and dust a thing of the past. Again, Clearwater County came in to help with machinery and materials. Water meters were also installed in all village residences, a process that has been in the works for several years. So now a leaky toilet will severely hurt the back pocket of the unfortunate owner.
Another positive development in the village was the grand opening of a new medical clinic in September, open every Tuesday of the week and including chiropractic services. Caroline lost its previous medical clinic some 10 years ago, as the Innisfail based physicians at that time decided to focus on their local practice. The doctors in the present clinic come from Rocky Mountain House.
And construction of the Edna Topp Park on 52nd. Street was completed in 2010. This park project, which has been in the works for some 8 years, now has a playground, an outdoor ice rink/basketball court and a central picnic area with attractive landscaping included.
On the challenge side, Caroline currently suffers from a shortage of fire fighters for its volunteer based fire department. This is a North American phenomenon which leaves smaller communities very vulnerable to fire because of the long response time to fire emergencies from larger community based services. The fire hall in Caroline contains top quality modern fire fighting and vehicle extrication equipment and offers a great opportunity for would-be professional fire fighters to learn their trade at no cost to themselves.

Overheating East to falter before the bankrupt West recovers

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from The Telegraph
From the overheating East to a troubled West, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard offers his predictions on the global economy next year.

This bear is not for turning. It would be joyous indeed if a fresh cycle of global growth were safely underway, but I don’t believe it. Sorry.
Policy levers in the US, Europe, and Japan remain set on uber-stimulus with the fiscal pedal pressed to the floor and rates near zero everywhere, yet OECD industrial output has not regained the peaks of 2007-2008 by a wide margin. Leading indicators are tipping over again. We are one shock away from a liquidity trap.
The East-West trade and capital imbalances that lay behind the Great Recession are as toxic as ever. Surplus states are still exporting excess capacity with rigged currencies -- the yuan-dollar peg for China and, more subtly, the D-Mark-Latin peg within EMU for Germany.
Dangerously high budget deficits of 6pc, 8pc, or 10pc of GDP in countries with dangerously high public debts near 100pc may have prevented an acute depression, but they have not prevented the weakest rebound since World War Two, and they cannot continue, whatever the assurances of New Keynesians and pied pipers of debt.
Cyclical bulls may see the surge in 10-year US Treasuries -- and therefore mortgages rates -- as a sign that growth is about to blast off: structural bears suspect it may be the first convulsive shudder of bond vigilantes dismayed at the easy willingness of Washington to spend $1.4 trillion above revenues next year, with no credible plan to contain the monster thereafter.
Read the full article, published in The Telegraph here
Conclusion of article: Head for Norway, folks.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It’s the Producers, Stupid!

A new perspective by Chris Cook

For some time now the conventional wisdom has been that commodity market ‘speculators’ are to blame for current high prices across precious and base metals; in most energy markets; and of course in the sensitive agricultural commodity markets where high prices are in many countries a matter of life and death.
This has been propagated by lurid and ill-informed articles in the Press – most notably ‘Daily Mail’ images of tankers full of oil moored off the UK coast. This greedy speculator myth has been taken up by politicians who have driven almost entirely useless action by US regulators in particular.
While the blame for high prices correlated across commodity markets is being firmly ascribed to greedy speculators intent on making transaction profits I do not believe that they are to blame. Read article here

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

World food prices hit record high in December

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Global food prices reached a record in December, above a previous high set in 2008, according to the monthly Food Price Index published Wednesday by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The FAO’s food price index, which monitors the monthly change in international prices of a basket of commodities including meat, dairy, cereals, oils and sugar, rose for the sixth month in a row to 214.7, a record for data going as far back as 1990. Article here

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Flooding in Queensland, Australia

Nogoa river and bridge to Emerald business area from Springsure side 15.5 meters above normal level. Emerald is currently being supplied with food and water by army helicopters working with local volunteers.
Article courtesy of Ian Wake:

----- Original Message -----
From: Ian Murray Wake
Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2011 3:30 PM (East Australian time)

Hello all,
Bit of an update from Emerald South side of river, north side a disaster zone only accessible by helicopter. We are OK as we are on some of the highest ground. Murray and family have been staying with us. The company flew Murray and Alison in chopper over river this morning so that they can start cleaning up their house. Where we went to one of the local chopper businesses, there were 11 choppers on the ground from as far away as Darwin. At our house sounds like a war zone with choppers going over. RAAF have Blackhawks here also and ferrying food from two B-doubles that managed to get to Capella 60 km to the north as well as other work. There were hospital evacuations to other centres with choppers. They transferred Alison’s mum to Springsure by Blackhawk. Murray has had 30 cm of water in the house which is nothing compared to hundreds of others.
Sewer system in town was out, don’t know the present situation. Water has stayed on throughout. The flood peak has now passed, hope the hell we get no more big rain in the catchment or what is happening now will be nothing.
Heard the dam yesterday at 176 percent full was holding 4 times Sydney harbour. Dam peaked at just over 5.5 meters over the spillway. Nogoa at the bridge peaked at 16 meters.
Comet River
Peaked at 16 meters over the Comet weir and is now 14 meters and falling but there is still another surge to come . All of the Morawitz properties cropping land under meters of water, all crops probably lost. Robyn has been flood bound for close to three weeks. Their house was still clear by about 4 meters at the peak. Robyn and Carl flew over the properties this morning, the rail line from the Comet bridge to the rise at Sandhurst creek is still there but large portions of the supporting bank have been washed away.
Already a disaster with highways about to close. Airport expected to be closed to fixed wing aircraft today. May be the biggest flood for Rocky on record.
Ian and Jan

PS Late info.
Emerald rail bridge may be open for shifting people and supplies tomorrow. Woollies may be back in business tomorrow, was flooded to 1 meter. Jan just flew over in chopper to help clean up the shoe shop.

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