Tuesday, July 31, 2012

World class sculptures on exhibit south of Sundre

Grace of movement captured in stone - exhibit at Morton Burke's "Bergen Rocks" sculpture park

Photo and article by Helge Nome

Beginning in 2008 and continuing in 2009 and 2010, local sculptor Morton Burke attracted world class sculptors to his acreage south of Sundre, near the Hamlet of Bergen, where they created marvels in stone that are currently on exhibit on the acreage. Each artist was given a stipend and stayed at the acreage for a month while creating the sculptures out of rocks brought in from British Columbia by Burke. In 2011 the work was carried out on the campus of Red Deer College. The results are impressive, to say the least. Go to Alberta West Photos here to see snapshots of the artists' work.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The battle of Damascus has begun

Western and Gulf powers have launched the largest secret war operation since the Contra war in Nicaragua.

The Battle of Damascus is not intended to topple President Bashar al-Assad, but to fracture the Syrian Army to better ensure the domination of Israel and the U.S. over the Middle East. While the city is bracing for a new assault by foreign mercenaries, Thierry Meyssan takes stock of the situation.

JPEG - 23.7 kb

by Thierry Meyssan 

Coming from abroad, the "Contras" started their invasion of Syria by taking border posts.
Over the past five days Washington and Paris have launched an attack operation dubbed “Damascus Volcano and Syrian Earthquake." It is not a new campaign of aerial bombardment, but a secret military operation, similar to the one used in Central America during the Reagan era.
Within a few days, 40 to 60 000 Contras, mostly Libyans, entered the country, most often via the Jordanian border. The majority of them are attached to the "Syrian" Free Army, a secret operations front for NATO under Turkish command. Some are affiliated with groups of fanatics, including Al-Qaeda, under Qatar’s command or factions of the Saudi Royal Family, the Sudairi. Along the way, they took some border posts, and then moved to the capital where they have sown confusion by attacking random targets: police groups or isolated military.
Read article here

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Vikings are coming!

The Vikings are coming to the Danish Canadian National Museum & Gardens August 18th & 19th!!! (0.8 km south of the 4-way stop in Dickson, Alberta)
Feast with the Vikings - Saturday, August 18th 5:30pm - 9pm. A prelude to Viking Day- limited tickets are now on sale at the museum for this special fundraising event. Take pleasure in an Authentic Danish Meal - Roast pork with crackling, red cabbage, new potatoes fried in butter and sugar, whipped potatoes and brown sauce and there's dessert too. Also take the opportunity to taste some mead (a wine made from honey), from Fallentimber Meadery. First wander through the Viking encampments and experience some Viking history and then see them demonstrate their renowned battle re-enactment. If you ask them nicely they might even join you for dinner! Tickets are $40- Contact Carol at the Museum -728-0019 or Joanne at 403-227-4917.

 Viking Day - Sunday, August 19th 11:30 am - 5:30pm. Vikings will be invading the gardens of the museum! Come and experience, through their re-enactments, the daily lives of Vikings a thousand years ago. Hear their stories, see their crafts and cooking methods, marvel over their armour and battle skills. See how the Vikings maintained their Ships. Lots to see for everyone. Special Event Admission: Adults $5.00 & Children (12 yrs and under) $3.00. Lunch is available in the restaurant by reservation only, so call 728-0019 and reserve your table. Two seating at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. There is also a concession available serving Danish hot dogs, desserts and drinks. Check out our website for more information: danishcanadians.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Europe is sleepwalking towards imminent disaster, warn top economists

The 17 economists said Europe’s political waters have been muddied by disputes over eurobonds, debt-pooling, subsidies and fiscal union Photo: Reuters


The euro has completely broken down as a workable system and faces collapse with “incalculable economic losses and human suffering” unless there is a drastic change of course, according to a group of leading economists. 

Europe is “sleepwalking towards disaster”, according to the 17 experts, who warned that over the past few weeks “the situation in the debtor countries has deteriorated dramatically”.
“The sense of a neverending crisis, with one domino falling after another, must be reversed. The last domino, Spain, is days away from a liquidity crisis,” said the economists. They include two members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts and leading euro specialists at the London of School of Economics, all euro supporters.
“This dramatic situation is the result of a eurozone system which, as currently constructed, is thoroughly broken. The cause is a systemic failure. It is the responsibility of all European nations that were parties to its flawed design, construction and implementation to contribute to a solution. Absent this collective response, the euro will disintegrate,” they added in a co-signed report for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
The warning came as contagion from Spain pushed Italy’s borrowing costs to danger levels, with two-year yields rocketing 40 basis points to more than 5pc. The Milan bourse tumbled 3pc, led by bank shares. Italian equities have been in freefall since it became clear two weeks ago that the EU’s June summit deal had failed to break the nexus between crippled banks and sovereign states.
The crisis is starting to ricochet back into Germany, where the PMI manufacturing index for July fell to its lowest since mid-2009. Doubts are emerging about the creditworthiness of the German state itself.
Read article here

News from the other side - in Syria

Editor: Check out this video from Damascus to get a very different story on what is happening in Syria at this time.

Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt

Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12.

July 24, 2012: For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its two-mile-thick center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists.

On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland's ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July.
Read article here

Monday, July 23, 2012

Scientists find medicinal plants caught in Neanderthal teeth

Researchers work inside Spain's El Sidron cave, where plaque scraped from the teeth of Neanderthals suggests that at least one of them was chewing medicinal plants.

Tooth scrapings from tens of thousands of years ago suggest that Neanderthals chewed on medicinal plants to soothe their upsets.
That's the conclusion drawn by an international team of researchers who conducted a chemical analysis on dental calculus from five sets of Neanderthal remains that were excavated inside El Sidron Cave in northern Spain. The calcified crud contained microscopic bits of plant material as well as chemicals associated with wood smoke.
The analysis indicated that the Neanderthals ate cooked plant food that was high in starch, and perhaps also nuts, grasses and green vegetables. One case was particularly intriguing: The scrapings from an individual known as Adult 4 contained chemicals known as azulenes and coumarins. Those are the sorts of chemicals that are found in yarrow and chamomile, two types of herbal remedies.

Yarrow is an astringent that's long been used to cleanse wounds when used externally, or counter internal bleeding when ingested. Chamomile may be best-known today as a soothing tea, but that's because it has a settling effect on colds, headaches, intestinal distress and menstrual cramping. Both plants have anti-inflammatory properties.
The researchers say this is the first molecular-scale evidence supporting the idea that Neanderthals ingested medicinal plants. Their findings — which are based on a high-tech method of analysis known as pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, plus the study of plant microfossils — were published online today in the journal Naturwissenschaften.
Read article here

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lies never die

Russian bears take a snooze

A wonderful thing, polar bears fall asleep listening to singing. Place of shooting: Russia, Chukotka, Mys Shmidta.

Sign of things to come?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Arghh! - Correlated Gravitational Wave and Neutrino Signals from Rotating Stellar Collapse

This movie shows the inner regions (roughly the inner 40x40 km) of a collapsing, rapidly spinning massive star. The colors indicate entropy (a measure of the order/disorder of the system that roughly corresponds to heat). Red regions are very hot, while blue regions are cold; other colors are in between. The black lines are density isocontours. The black arrows indicate the direction of the flow of stellar material. Superposed, moving from left to right, are the neutrino signal (top) and the gravitational wave signal (bottom). Editor: Please note timelines, the whole process takes 22 milliseconds! Article posted here

Chicken alert

Friday, July 13, 2012

Revealing our past - submerged city on Greek coastline

Editor: An interesting aspect of this archeological find is the fact that the harbor town discovered is below the present sea level, indicating a general rise in the water level over the last few thousand years. This would be consistent with a theory of glacial melting, releasing water locked up in glaciers.

Report states that Leslieville has development potential

Leslieville's busy community centre

Photo and story by Helge Nome

The Hamlet of Leslieville became an object of attention at the Clearwater County Council meeting on July 10.  Bill Shaw from BPS Consulting Ltd. presented his report on the growth potential of the two hamlets of Leslieville and Condor, that are under the jurisdiction of Clearwater County.

The impetus for the report came from Clearwater County's Municipal Development Plan which encourages development within and around existing hamlets rather than spurious development in the farmland areas. Of the two hamlets, Leslieville came in well ahead of Condor as a potential development target.

The  community came into being some 100 years ago as an agricultural service centre situated on the railway line running west to Rocky Mountain House and the coal mining town of Nordegg and has a lot of character, including a nearby lake and hilly wooded terrain in the surrounding farmland.

Leslieville, with its 200 residents, is well endowed with services and facilities: Elementary school, Volunteer Fire Department, Community Centre and Elks Hall. It sports an multi use outdoor pitch, playground and swing set, outdoor skating rink, basketball nets and ball diamonds.

Consultant Bill Shaw concluded that Leslieville and its surrounding area has good development potential and his report was well received by Clearwater County Council. However, no decision was made on follow-up action based on the report.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Canada Day 2012 Celebration in Red Deer

Video by Helge Nome

Manhattanhenge's sunset show wows New Yorkers

Julio Cortez / AP
Photographers aim their cameras as the sun sets through the buildings on 42nd Street in Manhattan during a phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge on July 11, 2012. Manhattanhenge, sometimes known as the Manhattan Solstice, occurs when the setting sun aligns with east-to-west streets of the main street grid.
Article and more photos here

Youth unemployment in Europe - canary in the coalmine

Please click on graph to enlarge
By David Ruccio

Youth unemployment, according to Eurostat, is now over 21 percent—21.4 percent for the euro area and 22.1 percent for the European Union. 
The youth unemployment rate ranges from a low of roughly 7.5-8.5 percent (in the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany) to 30 percent (in Slovakia, Portugal, Lithunia, and Italy) and a high of 45 percent (in Greece and Spain).
The youth unemployment rate in the EU-27 was around twice as high as the rate for the total population throughout the last decade. The EU-27 youth unemployment rate was systematically higher than in the euro area between 2000 and early 2008; since this date, these two rates were very close (see also Figure 5), until mid 2010, when the EU-27 youth unemployment rate started to increase more strongly than that of the EA-17. While youth unemployment thus increased in both areas during the crisis, the increase has been more relevant for the EU-27, despite the lower overall unemployment rate in that area.
Meanwhile, the overall unemployment rates for Europe continue to climb—to 10.3 percent for the European Union and 11.1 percent for the nations of the euro area. This means that 24.868 million men and women in the European Union, including 17.561 million in the euro area, were unemployed in May 2012. Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in eight member states, increased in eighteen, and remained stable in one (Hungary).
Unemployment for workers young and old is becoming a larger and larger problem in the Second Great Depression in Europe. Article source here

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer has arrived in Alberta

Youngsters from Camp Caroline head for the far shore of Birch Lake to set up camp for the night

Photo and story by Helge Nome

At last, the heat is here with daily temperatures between 25 - 30 degrees Celsius and no rain showers.
It is time to head for water and Birch Lake, hidden in the forest south-west of Caroline is an ideal location. That's exactly what a group of young people from a summer camp at Camp Caroline did on July 11, launching several canoes to ferry their camping equipment across the lake. It doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spruce View hosts Canada Day Parade

"Mr. Canada" took part in the parade which had a western theme

Photo, story and video by Helge Nome

The Hamlet of Spruce View, situated on Highway 54 west of Innisfail in Central Alberta hosted its annual Canada Day parade on July 1 in glorious summer weather. The spectator lined highway was closed for the duration of the parade which ran from east to west this year. One popular event following the parade is the annual mud bog competition in front of the arena where 4x4s slog it out.
For more parade photos, check out Alberta West Photos here

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hidden Doggerland underworld uncovered in North Sea

A map of the UK with Doggerland marked as red

Source: BBC News

 A huge area of land which was swallowed up into the North Sea thousands of years ago has been recreated and put on display by scientists.

Doggerland was an area between Northern Scotland, Denmark and the Channel Islands.

It was believed to have been home to tens of thousands of people before it disappeared underwater.

Now its history has been pieced together by artefacts recovered from the seabed and displayed in London.

The 15-year-project has involved St Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen universities.

The fossilised remains of a mammoth uncovered from the area
The results are on display at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London until 8 July.

The story behind Doggerland, a land that was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC, has been organised by Dr Richard Bates at St Andrews University.

Dr Bates, a geophysicist, said "Doggerland was the real heartland of Europe until sea levels rose to give us the UK coastline of today.

"We have speculated for years on the lost land's existence from bones dredged by fishermen all over the North Sea, but it's only since working with oil companies in the last few years that we have been able to re-create what this lost land looked like.

"When the data was first being processed, I thought it unlikely to give us any useful information, however as more area was covered it revealed a vast and complex landscape.

"We have now been able to model its flora and fauna, build up a picture of the ancient people that lived there and begin to understand some of the dramatic events that subsequently changed the land, including the sea rising and a devastating tsunami."
Read  BBC article here or related CBS article here

Editor: Here is some more information from Wikipedia on the area, which has been an important fishing ground for many centuries

Dogger Bank is a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea about 100 km (62 mi) off the east coast of England. It extends over approximately 17,600 km2 (6,800 sq mi), with its dimensions being about 160 miles (260 km) long and up to 60 miles (97 km) broad.[1] The water depth ranges from 15 to 36 metres (from 49 to 118 feet), about 20 metres (66 ft) shallower than the surrounding sea. It is a productive fishing bank. The name comes from dogger, an old Dutch word for fishing boat, especially for catching cod.

Geologically, the feature is most likely a moraine, formed during the Pleistocene.[1] At differing times during the last ice age it was land joined to the mainland, or an island. Fishing trawlers working the area have dredged up large amounts of moor peat, remains of mammoth and rhinoceros, and occasionally Paleolithic hunting artefacts. The bank was part of a large landmass, known as Doggerland, which connected Britain to the European mainland until it was flooded at the end of the last ice age.[2] In 1931, the largest earthquake ever recorded in the United Kingdom took place below the bank, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale. Its focus was 23 km beneath the bank, and the quake was felt in countries all around the North Sea, causing damage across eastern England.

Tornado destroys farm shed near Didsbury, Alberta

Photos and story courtesy of Dave Strang

Here's some pix from our local tornado on this past Tuesday afternoon. It first touched down 10 miles west of town and about 10 miles south (Didsbury highway) and proceeded in a northeasterly direction for another 4+ miles before dissipating 8 miles s/w of Olds. There was a lot of torn aluminum sheeting from farm buildings, shattered lumber and tree branches scattered throughout the affected area. Metal highway signposts were also bent over flat and power lines blown down. Luckily, no one was killed or injured.
For more images, go to Alberta West Photos here

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Aebleskiver day at the Danish Museum at Dickson

Welcome to Danish treats
You are cordially invited to "all you can eat" Aebleskiver and JAM (that means sticky stuff and music too!) at the Danish Museum at Dickson, Alberta on Sunday, July 15 from 11am to 5:30pm. Musicians are welcome to join in. Adults $8, kids 10 years and under, $5. You can also reserve a table for lunch by phoning 403 728 0019.
Photo collage from the museum is posted on Alberta West Photos here

Monday, July 2, 2012

Space tornadoes power the atmosphere of the Sun

Visualisation of a close-up region in our advanced 3D numerical simulations of a magnetic tornado in the solar atmosphere. The spiral lines represent the velocity field in the tornado vortex. The images contain the observed swirl signature (top, bluish) and the Sun's surface (bottom, reddish). Credits: Wedemeyer-Bohm et al. (2012).

The super tornadoes - which are thousands of times larger and more powerful than their earthly counterparts but which have a magnetic skeleton - spin at speeds of more than 6,000 mph at temperatures in millions of centigrade in the Sun's atmosphere. They are more than 1,000 miles wide - hundreds of miles longer than the total distance between Land's End to John O'Groats.
It is estimated that there are as many as 11,000 of these swirling events above the Sun's surface at any time.
Read story here

Space station trio gets down to Earth in Russian capsule

After six months in orbit, U.S.-Russian-Dutch crew lands in Kazakhstan
Mikhail Metzel  /  AFP - Getty Images
Russian space agency rescue team members carry U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit,center, shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule on Sunday.


After half a year living on the International Space Station, three astronauts safely returned to Earth on Sunday aboard a Russian-built space capsule.
The Soyuz spacecraft landed in the Central Asian steppes of Kazakhstan at 4:14 a.m. ET, returning NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers to their home planet.

"Everything is good, we feel great," Kononenko radioed Russia's Mission Control Center just before landing.

The spacefliers undocked from the space station several hours earlier in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft to begin the journey home. They landed upright under a blue sky dotted with some white clouds in Kazakhstan, where the local time was Sunday afternoon. Live video tracked the Soyuz's descent at the end of its parachute, right down to the ground.
Read article and view many photos here