Tag Archives: Canada

Athabasca Sand Dunes

Stretching for approximately 100 kilometers along the southern edge of Lake Athabasca, in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, are some of the most northerly active sand dunes on Earth. Unlike most dunes, which are associated with dry and arid region, the Athabasca Sand Dunes are located in the middle of a wetland and a boreal forest, making it one of the most unique sand dunes and a geological oddity. The dunes are spread across more than 30,000 hectares, and due to their unusual ecosystem, they harbor an extraordinarily diverse biological life.

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Photo credit: Hidehiro Otake 

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Enormous Iceberg Stranded in Canadian Town

Icebergs are not a rare sight off the east coast of Canada. Indeed, there is an area stretching from the coast of Labrador to the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland that has been nicknamed the “Iceberg Alley” for the sheer number of icebergs that floats into the vicinity during spring and early summer. But even longtime residents did a double take when an astonishingly big one ran aground near the village of Ferryland, this week.

The big chunk of ice towers 150 feet. It’s the largest Iceberg Alley has ever seen.

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Photo credit: Greg Lock/Reuters

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Project Habakkuk: Britain’s Secret Ship Made of Ice

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and no time in history was as desperate as the time when the world’s most powerful nations were determined in destroying each other. It was time of the Second World War, and the allies were running out of essential resources needed to construct military and naval equipment. One of them was steel.

In the North Atlantic, the British fleets were taking a pounding against the German U-boats. Allied supply ships on their way across the ocean were being intercepted and sunk by German U-boats at an alarming rate. Planes could protect the ships, but they cannot be deployed in the middle of the ocean without aircraft carriers, and those things are massive and required enormous quantities of steel to manufacture, … Read the rest

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders (‘Snakes and Ladders’ in England, and ‘Hoses and Pickets’ in Canada) is fun to play for 5-year-olds, but it quickly loses its value once the players realize that the game is entirely deterministic.

Perhaps it is because we enjoy the illusion of choice and freedom of will that we prefer games that allow us to make mistakes in judgement, rather than simply following the directions from the omnipotent, yet random force of a die or spinning wheel.

So, to make the game more enjoyable, here are some variation that older players might enjoy.

Parcheesi Variation

This is the most crucial variation in that it adds the possibility of choice to each turn.

As in parcheesi (or Sorry!), on each turn, a player may … Read the rest

Ciao Italia

I was in Italy this past week and a half, so I got to miss out on all the freezing cold. I was in Florence, looking at museums and stuff. It was okay. Being in a town with thousand-year-old buildings was the best part.

I like traveling, except for the actual travelling part. Being in new places is great, but getting there isn’t half the fun – it’s none of the fun.

The trip ended up being quite a lot more banal than I expected, partly because it was off-season and the weather was cloudy and damp (not that I have anything to complain about regarding the weather), but also because Florence seems like a rather dull town. Once I got tired of the museums, which … Read the rest