Experts are calling a dinosaur fossil unearthed in northern Alberta this week one of the “most complete finds in this part of the world in a long time.”
Brian Brake, executive director of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, said the fossilized remains of a hadrosaur were discovered at an energy company’s work site near Spirit River.
Officials from the pipeline firm contacted the museum, which sent paleontologists to assess the find. “What we have is a totally composed tail,” Brake said. “It’s beautiful.”
(Image Courtesy Tourmaline Oil Corp)
Thornhill garden grows vegetables for Richmond Hill Community Food Bank
At the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank, Victor and Betty Mero take the canned goods they need from the shelves, then pause to gaze on the colourful display of fresh organic vegetables.
“Kale! Oh, I want some. I eat lots of kale and it’s getting expensive,” says Victor, 63, a retired cabinet maker living on a small pension. He adds a bunch of the broad green leaves to his bag along with peppers and a baggy of basil.
Betty talks about steaming the vegetables or making soup. Victor says he might eat the kale raw with a few drops of lemon.
“We’re diabetic,” he explains. “We like all these greens and it’s important to get them.”
The greens that the Meros took home had been picked by volunteers about 36 hours earlier at the Seeds for Change community garden tucked behind a fire hall, 11 kilometres away in Thornhill. A garden volunteer delivered the produce to the food bank early that morning.
Their stuff is top quality,” says manager Brenda Ewart, as food bank volunteers lay out the garden’s 22 pounds of zucchini, peppers, herbs, Swiss chard and other greens. The Richmond Hill food bank feeds about 1,000 people a month.
The bulk of the food bank’s fresh produce comes from a nearby farmers’ market, often the fruits and vegetables that didn’t sell. By comparison, the community garden’s donations are small. Its contributions, however, have been steadily increasing since the garden started three years ago with only three plots.
This summer, the garden has 17 beds, and, along with the earthy pleasures of digging, planting and tending comes the knowledge that the heft of the harvest goes to the food bank.
Dinosaur Feathers Found in Ancient Amber
Instead of digging through rocks and rubble to find fossils, a group of Canadian paleontologists decided to dig through museums’ amber collections instead. Their unique approach paid off when they discovered feathers and never-before-seen structures, which they think are something called dinofuzz. As described in Science Now,
Some of the structures embedded in the amber don’t resemble anything seen on any creature living today.
The researchers combed through thousands of minuscule amber nuggets from nearly 80 million years ago. Among them they found 11 M&M-sized globules with traces of ancient feathers and fuzz. A number resembled modern feathers—some fit for flying and others designed to dive. And unlike fossils, the amber preserved colors too: white, gray, red and brown.
But a few hollow hair-like structures stumped researchers. The unidentifiable filaments weren’t plant fibers, fungus or fur, so the researchers surmise that they are protofeathers (thought to be the evolutionary precursors to feathers). Discovery News explains:
The collection is among the first to reveal all major evolutionary stages of feather development in non-avian dinosaurs and birds.
A Clearer History
The results, published in Science this week, give researchers a clearer picture of which ancient animals were feathered and the various purposes those structures served. As described in National Geographic:
The unusual find suggests a wide array of plumed creatures populated the time period—sporting everything from seemingly modern feathers to their filament-like forebears—and that even by this early date, feathers had become specialized, for example, for diving underwater.
Stand-alone midwifery centre sensitized to native culture is a leap forward in health care for aboriginal and marginalized women, experts say.
Lac-Mégantic library to get donations from Maine libraries after explosion
Libraries across Maine are collecting donations to help rebuild the Lac-Mégantic, Que., library destroyed in the train derailment and explosion earlier this summer.
Farmington Public Library director Melanie Coombs launched the effort because the Maine community is the sister city of nearby Lac-Mégantic.
The July 6 train disaster killed 47 people and levelled the town core, including the library and its archives.
The derailment and explosion occurred just as the library was preparing to move into a new building for the fall.
Coombs told the Lewiston, Me., Sun Journal that the Canadian community’s library lost its collection of 60,000 books, except for the few that customers had borrowed. It also lost irreplaceable records and photos documenting the town’s history.
Coombs reached out to libraries across Maine, and they agreed to put donation cans at their circulation desks. [x]
Canada could be sending its first astronaut to the moon under an ambitious long-term plan being developed by a group of space agencies around the world.
A return to the moon within the next two decades is part of the recently updated Global Exploration Roadmap — a far-reaching plan developed by more than a dozen space agencies.
Researchers give Algonquin observatory a second life
In the wooded quiet of eastern Ontario, a long neglected giant is tilting its massive ear toward the heavens once again.
After years of inactivity and a crippling breakdown, the Algonquin Radio Observatory is at the forefront of a novel experiment that could transform the study of pulsars, collapsed stars that rotate at blinding speed and emit telltale radio pulses.
“Underground Railroad” church in Ontario named heritage site
Redditor Spends $535, Buys Coffee For 300 People In Line Behind Him
Last week, one Canadian man woke up on the right side of the bed and wanted to spread the good feeling around.
Yesterday Redditor JamesF4 posted a photo of his receipt for 300 large coffees from a fast food restaurant, 299 of which went to the people in line behind him.
The post currently has 1289 upvotes and 1001 comments.
It took a while to explain the order to the cashier, and by the time the manager had sorted everything out, a line had formed and people were growing impatient, JamesF4 explained in a comment. That is, until they realized that the reason for the wait was free coffee.
"My mother has always been extremely generous, even at times where she hasn’t had much to give," JamesF4 commented. "In a way it’s a tribute to her, and by posting it I’m hoping other people will think and maybe pay it forward in kind."
JamesF4 told HuffPost that his name isn’t really James at all, and that he’s purposefully posting anonymously to keep from getting credit. Pay-it-forward coffees have become something of a trend in Canada. CNN reported that customers at Tim Hortons restaurants across the country have paid for 500 or more coffees, on six separate occasions last week alone.
"I respect him," fellow Redditor beesh18 wrote, "Not because he just bought coffee for all those people, but a simple thing like this can turn someone’s day around and who knows, they could have turned around and done some good deed to another stranger after this." [x]
Totem pole marks return of ancient tradition to Haida Gwaii — with modern twists
For the first time in 130 years, a monumental totem pole carved by aboriginal artists is set to rise within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands.
It’s an event that’s not only reviving a deeply rooted cultural tradition but also one that’s preserving knowledge of happenings from within living memory — including an October 2012 earthquake that shook a site sacred to the Haida Nation, and the landmark 1985 logging blockade that ultimately gave birth to the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in the south half of the former Queen Charlotte Islands.
Wood Buffalo park now world’s largest dark sky preserve
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designated Wood Buffalo National Park as Canada’s newest and the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve on Friday.
Wood Buffalo National Park straddles the N.W.T./Alberta border near Fort Smith, N.W.T.
Previously, the world’s largest dark sky preserve was Alberta’s Jasper National Park.
According to Parks Canada, the designation will help preserve nighttime ecology for the park’s large populations of bats, night hawks and owls, as well as providing opportunities for visitors to experience the Northern lights.
The park will celebrate with a Dark Sky Festival Aug. 23-25 featuring camping, astronomical presentations, a planetarium experience, and night sky viewing opportunities. [x]
How farmers are saving seeds and building a Canadian collection
On Kim Delaney’s seed farm in Palmerston, Ont., the peppers, the tomatoes and the more than 100 varieties of vegetables she grows have had to cope with a lot of rain this season. That means at the end of the summer, the finest specimens she’ll choose to collect seeds from – that she’ll package and sell to her customers to plant next year – will hold the genes they need to thrive in rainy weather. And because she’s been growing seeds for the past 13 years, what she produces will also be primed to do well in other conditions, too – even droughts.
“Last year we had five and a half weeks without rain and this year we have rain every two days. So, the genes in the plant populations I am collecting are constantly adapting,” she says.
By going through her fields and selecting the seeds from plants that have the characteristics she’s looking for – including taste and colour – Delaney is building a truly Canadian collection. That is, vegetables that are adapted to the climate and geography here – and taste like they are grown in our soil, too.
This is incredibly rare.
Vancouver now home to North America’s largest urban orchard
East Vancouver residents now can line up to buy figs and persimmons where they used to purchase gas.
An acre of land that used to hold a Petro Canada station has been turned into what is billed as the largest mobile urban orchard in North America.
Situated at the corner of Main Street and Terminal Avenue, the old gas station site sat empty for over a decade. It was declared contaminated and virtually unusable by the city — that is, until the urban farming phenomenon grew.
“Most urbanized areas are either too contaminated to grow in, or real estate is too valuable to set up for long periods of time … so the work we’ve done here is totally and completely out of the box,” said Solefood founder Michael Ableman at the opening of the orchard Sunday.
Crowdfunding site Kickstarter to allow Canadian projects
Driving EV Range Anxiety Free Between Vermont, Québec
Electric vehicle charging networks are definitely on the rise at the moment. Whether it’s on a nationwide level or in individual states like Rhode Island, options are growing for those wanting to drive longer distances in electric cars like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S. Now those driving between Vermont and Québec will have options when traveling the the 138 mile international corridor between the United States and Canada, which includes I-89 and Highway A-10, Rte 104 and Rte 133.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s office recently announced the development of the Vermont-Québec Electric Charging Corridor, working in cooperation with Québec Premier Pauline Marois’s people. The route will will initially link Burlington and Montréal, with plans calling for a large number of chargers to be installed along the way. Expected to open this fall, it will consist of Level 2 chargers, which are said to offer [PDF] approximately 10-20 miles of added driving range for each hour of charging.