Tag Archives: travel

WATER BROTHERS BACK FOR 2ND SEASON! – TVO

 WATER BROTHERS1

Beach brothers back in the water for second season on TVO

This article, by Jon Muldoon, appeared in Beach Metro Community News, September 10, 2013
 

Alex and Tyler Mifflin star in The Water Brothers, which launches its second season September 10 on TVO. Photo courtesy TVOAlex and Tyler Mifflin star in The Water Brothers, which launches its second season September 10 on TVO. Photo courtesy TVO

Beachers Alex and Tyler Mifflin care mostly about three things – one is oxygen, and the other two are hydrogen. The Water Brothers, as the siblings are more widely known, are proud to launch the second season of their eponymous television show tonight, Sept. 10, on TVO.
The brothers sat down last week to talk about all things wet and adventurous, including learning to sail large boats, travelling to the largest festival in the world, ever, in India, and of course focusing on problems in our own back yard, such as the lack of clean drinking water in northern First Nations communities, a national shame in a country blessed with as much fresh water as Canada.
“There’s a vastly disproportionate impact on First Nations,” said Tyler.
So why focus on water to begin with?
“Everything is interconnected through water,” said Alex.
Even though social, environmental, economic and political issues all tie in to clean water, “we don’t see the connections. It’s not always obvious to us,” said Tyler.
While the brothers are passionate about water issues, they realize that working in television, they need to keep their message entertaining, particularly to reach a younger audience. That’s where the travel and adventure comes into play.
INDIA FESTIVAL   In one episode, the brothers travel to India for the Kumbh Mela Festival on the Ganges River, one of the most celebrated yet polluted rivers in the world.
On the same trip they carried on to Bangladesh, which Alex says is “the canary in the coal mine in terms of climate change.”
PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCHOne adventure sees Alex and Tyler sailing to a remote area in the Pacific ocean, to visit “the great Pacific garbage patch.”
On a related recent trip in Lake Ontario, the boys travelled with a crew to measure the amount of plastic debris in their home waters.
PLASTIC BOTTLES“We don’t have the capacity to filter out small pieces of plastic in our wastewater stream,” said Tyler. “It’s being produced even faster than we can figure out where it’s going.”
Another episode involves farmed fish in British Columbia, which might also hit close to home, at least with Toronto seafood lovers.
“Salmon is such an iconic species in Canada, especially on the west coast. It’s a keystone species,” said Tyler.
AlexSALMON agrees, pointing out that what we eat in Ontario creates a measurable impact on water quality in western Canada.
“We aren’t necessarily directly connected to the ocean, but we make food choices every day which do connect us to the ocean,” he said.
Both brothers agree that presenting solutions is a key aspect to their show. From large scale changes to individual choices, Alex and Tyler always try to present viewers with tangible actions they can take to effect change.
Although the brothers are already in the early planning stages for season three, the current season is set to premiere on TVO tonight, Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The episodes can also be streamed any time after broadcast at tvo.org and thewaterbrothers.ca.
QUENCH WATER FINDERAlex and Tyler are also working on redesigning and expanding Quench, their mobile app which offers users a map of the closest taps to fill up on clean water in the GTA, to help reduce reliance on plastic bottles. Quench can be downloaded for Android and iPhone.
Anyone interested in helping out directly alongside the Water Brothers can join Alex and Tyler, and many others, at Woodbine Beach on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 21 for the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

http://www.beachmetro.com/2013/09/10/beachers-alex-tyler-mifflin-care-oxygen-hydrogen-water-brothers-siblings-widely-known-proud-launch-season-eponymous-television-show-tonight-sept-10-tvo-brothers-sat-week-talk-wet-adv/

CHINESE “SNOW DRAGON” ICEBREAKER FIRST

Chinese icebreaker sails to Atlantic Ocean and back via Arctic route, marking first for China

 

In this photo, provided by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, is harbored in Shanghai, after an 85-day scientific quest across the Arctic ocean, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. The Chinese icebreaker has docked at Shanghai after becoming the first Chinese vessel to cross the Arctic Ocean. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Pei Xin)  

BEIJING, China – A Chinese icebreaker docked Thursday at Shanghai after becoming the first vessel from China to cross the Arctic Ocean, a landmark trip that is part of Beijing’s efforts to expand its presence in the Arctic.  With melting icecaps accelerating the opening of new shipping routes and the exploration of oil, gas and mineral deposits in the Arctic, China has been eager to gain a foothold in the region.   The icebreaker Snow Dragon returned to Shanghai after wrapping up a three-month mission that took it from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic via the Arctic, the Shanghai-based Polar Research Institute of China said in a statement. The vessel’s 119 crew members completed an oceanic survey in waters around Iceland with their Icelandic counterparts.  Though it has no territorial claims in the Arctic, China has been lobbying for permanent observer status on the eight-member Arctic Council in a bid to gain influence.  During summer months when they are passable, Arctic shipping routes between China and Europe are 40 per cent faster than travelling through the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.  The institute’s statement said Snow Dragon gained “first-hand information about navigation in Arctic sea lanes as well as the oceanic environment, and carried out useful exploration and practice for our nation’s ships that use Arctic passages in the future.”

The following excerpts are taken from ShanghaiDaily.com, ‘Bai steers a steady course to an Arctic first’, by Evan Liang, 9.27.12

A LOCAL university teacher has become the country’s first woman to have sailed across the Arctic Ocean.  Bai Xiang’en, 28, was one of four people at the helm of China’s only icebreaker Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, on an expedition from July to September… be part of the 90-day science exploration… “The journey has greatly improved my navigation skills,” she said… Bai was the only woman among four people selected due to her extensive knowledge and experience of sea travel… while teaching at the university’s Merchant Marine College… Bai said sailing in the East Siberian Sea presented an enormous challenge, with its floating pack ice and icebergs. She had to exercise extreme caution at all times to avoid hitting icebergs or getting trapped between sheets of ice.

Link ~  http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Chinese+icebreaker+sails+Atlantic+Ocean+back+Artic+route+marking/7305937/story.html#ixzz28Ab4d5rV

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/28/chinas-snow-dragon-icebreaker-makes-85-day-voyage-to-become-countrys-first-vessel-to-cross-arctic-ocean/

INCREDIBLE LAKES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Wouldn’t it be an awesome experience to be fortunate enough to relax by any one of these lakes surrounded by the magnificence of nature?  The natural beauty of these lakes is unsurpassed ~ an artist’s dream come true! 

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me!

I’ve created a video for you that I uploaded to YouTube ~ sit back, relax and enjoy ~ turn up your speakers!!!

 

 Five of my favorites are:

 PLITVICE LAKE

The stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park lies in the Lika region of Croatia. The park is surrounded by the mountains Plješevica, Mala Kapela, and Medveđak, which are part of the Dinaric Alps. The 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes, which are separated by natural dams of travertine, are situated on the Plitvice plateau. Waterfalls connect the lakes, and the tallest waterfall is Veliki Slap at 70 meters (230 feet) tall.

FIVE-FLOWER LAKE

The pristine water of Wuhua Hai, or Five-Flower Lake, is the pride of Jiuzhaigon National Park in China. This lake contains such auspicious colors of nature, such flourishing flowers and trees of various kinds that it gives a multi-colored exquisite grandeur. This is why the lake is also called the ‘five-flower lake’. The lake displays all sorts of colors but the main to be sighted are blue, dark green, pinkish red, even goose feather yellow and light yellow, etc. This lake is actually one of the dozen natural lakes. It is quite shallow, and its bottom, which is as clearly visible as through clear glass, is littered with fallen tree trunks. The water of this lake never freezes and never dries up.

LAKE BLED

Lake Bled is located in Slovenia in the region of  Upper Carniola. It takes it’s name after the Bled castle. The lake finds it’s beauty in the reflection of the marvelously beautiful castle standing magnificently on a rock overlooking the lake. It is a well known tourist attraction because of it’s mystic and royal appearance and cultural rooting of the castle.  The island on the lake has 99 steps and a beautiful and touching tradition is that groom carries his bride up these steps on their wedding day.

YUCATAN CAVE LAKE

Yucatan Cave Lake is yet another masterpiece of nature. The lake is considered forbidden though, but the lake itself is so beautiful, one can hardly resist the sight. It is found in Mexico, in the basement of Tiger Che in Yucatan peninsula. The lake consists of various caves in and around it, and they are the real amazing and delightful sight. One can hear deep and beautiful musical instrumental sounds, more like the sounds of bells, if any flat place there is struck hard with a fist.

LAKE TAHOE

At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), Lake Tahoe is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California.

~ AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST ~

Naturally I’d be remiss if I neglected to include one of our own beautiful Canadian lakes ~ Moraine Lake ~ located in Banff National Park, Alberta

Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet (1,885 m). The lake has a surface area of .5 square kilometres (0.19 sq mi).  The lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. The color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis.

Link ~

http://www.theworldgeography.com/2012/03/12-of-most-beautiful-lakes-in-world.html

NUDIBRANCHS UPDATE ~ INCREDIBLE FACTS AND VIDEOS

Since I first posted “NUDIBRANCHS – SAY WHAT?”,  May 14, 2012), I’ve found the time to delve further into these fascinating and exotic ocean creatures.  You will be thrilled and amazed with the facts shared on these YouTube videos and the awesome video footage from around the world (Indonesia, Philippines, Bali)

First a few very interesting facts:

Nudibranch ~ means “naked gills”
Nudibranchs ~ are sea slugs
~ are beautifully colored tiny vessels of danger
~ store toxins/stinging cells they steal from their prey
~ more than 3,000 species
~ range in length from 1/4 inch to over 1 foot
~ are hermaphrodites (meaning they have both male and female sex organs)
~ are found in oceans from Antarctica to the tropics

I won’t overload you with information, for as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

“Nudibranchs”, by Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ocean Adventures ~uploaded by on Dec 5, 2008 ~ “They might be tiny, but nudibranchs can pack a poisonous punch. Learn more about these extraordinary creatures”.

 

This next video is amazing ~ the music, “The Tahiti Trot” is very artistically adapted to the bizarre antics of the nudibranchs  ~ an award winner in my opinion!!!

Colorful nudibranchs in Lembeh Indonesia” ~ uploaded by  Delveroudis on Jul 5, 2010 ~ “… But they are the most colorful creatures on Earth and their body patterns exceed the imagination of the best designers on the planet.”

“Nudebranches of Amed – Bali Reef Divers – Dive Bali” ~ uploaded by on Nov 9, 2010 ~ courtesy of Hero Productions ~ “These nudibranches were seen around Amed and Tulamben this season… wide variety of nudibranchs species around here… Night dives at Jemeluk are also a great opportunity to see these creatures!”

http://www.balireefdivers.com

POURING WATER FROM THE AIR – NEW INVENTION

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR OUR ‘TECHIE’ FOLLOWERS – AN AWARD WINNING INVENTION FOR COUNTRIES FACING

WATER SHORTAGES:

For those facing water shortages, there is much to be thankful for when it comes to the inventive spirit. Thanks to young Australian inventor Edward Linacre, there may one day be no such thing as a water shortage for Australian farmers.

He recently won the £10,000 international James Dyson Award for a “low-tech” device – the Airdrop – that can draw water from the air, besting the work of 500 other inventors.

Linacre, a graduate of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, says he wanted to solve the drought problem afflicting farmers in parts of Australia suffering from drought conditions. His solution, Airdrop, can harvest 11.5 milliliters of water for every cubic meter of air in the driest deserts such as the Negev in Israel, which has an average relative air humidity of 64 percent. A small-scale prototype Linacre installed at his parents’ house created about a liter of water a day. Linacre will use his prize money for further testing on increasing the yield.

As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, instead of using complex, energy-intensive methods such as desalination, Airdrop’s source of water is abundant – the air – and so it can be used anywhere in the world.

Linacre’s Airdrop delivers water to the roots of crops in dry areas by pushing air through a network of underground pipes, cooling it down to the point where water condenses. The water can then be pumped to the roots of plants using drip irrigation methods.

This video interview,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cXe-4XE2QVI

posted by gizmag, helps explain the invention and the sound reasoning behind it. Linacre say he was inspired by the Namib beetle, which survives in landscapes that get just half an inch of rain per year by consuming the dew it collects on the hydrophilic skin of its back. Similarly, the desert rhubarb can harvest 16 times the amount of water than other plants in its region by using deep water channeling cavities in its leaves.

James Dyson, whose charity sponsors the award, said that the device is a low-tech solution that could be installed and maintained by the farmers themselves; it powers itself using solar panels. Dyson offered this insight into the clever invention:

“Biomimicry is a powerful weapon in an engineer’s armory. We chose Edward’s project because it was a very good and original solution to what has become a real problem.”

In addition to Linacre’s cash prize, a further £10,000 has been awarded to Swinburne University. Linacre said without the university’s help he would never have got his idea off the ground.

The James Dyson Award is run by the James Dyson Foundation and each year students of product design, industrial design or design engineering from around the world are invited to enter.

 
Image: James Dyson Awards

Source: EcoLocalizer (http://s.tt/15ngo)