Monthly Archives: November 2012

THE BIZARRE AND COLOURFUL WORLD OF SEA STARS

Starfish, also known as sea stars are a ubiquitous ocean species, with around 1,800 living species occurring in all the world’s oceans, and can be found at ocean depths greater than 6,000 meters.

“The Sunflower Sea Star”  is one of OceanFutures Society’s many videos ~ Uploaded on Oct 27, 2009 – When people think of sea stars, they don’t typically think of voracious predators scouring the seabed, leaving carnage and fear in their wake, but this may simply be a matter of perspective. To the scallop or clam, this sea star is a pure nightmare. This whimsical look at one of the ocean’s less known predators may change your perception of sea stars forever. For more unique insights into the ocean realm, watch America’s Underwater Treasures, a two-hour episode of the PBS series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures

Some 2,000 sea star species live throughout the world’s oceans. Some weigh as much as 11 pounds (5 kilograms) and stretch more than 2 feet (65 centimeters) across, but others are only half an inch (1 centimeter) in diameter. These animals reproduce prolifically, and some sea stars can release millions of eggs into the water for fertilization at the same time.

Starfish can go from soft (able to squeeze into small spaces) to rigid in a split second. In fact, their entire anatomy is surprisingly complex, including their nervous system.

The undersides of starfish have many tube feet capable of grasping on to things with amazing force. They work on a hydraulic water vascular system which aid the starfish’s movement – some species very slowly while others can move up to 9 feet in one minute. The tube feet are also used to grasp and deal with food.

Uploaded by on Mar 13, 2011 ~ This star fish is walking around my tank all the time, it just cruises the entire tank. Excellent to watch.

Secondly, the underside is where their mouth is located. They can swallow their prey whole and down it goes in a short esophagus to a cardiac stomach, and then on to a second pyloric stomach. But they don’t have to swallow… when dealing with prey larger than its mouth, many species of starfish can also spit out their stomachs to engulf the food and begin to digest it before pulling everything back into its body – eueew! (In this photo the sea star is eating a clam!)

Green Brittle Star at feeding time ~ Uploaded by on Nov 8, 2008.  This is my 2 year old green brittle star at feeding time.

Starfish species don’t all come with five arms. Several species have 10 to 15 arms, and some other species have as many as 50.

These bottom-dwellers play important roles in the ocean ecosystem, including keeping populations of shellfish in check, and, according to recent studies, absorbing large amounts of carbon in the world’s oceans.

Ever wonder what happens to a starfish when it is flipped upside down? ~ Uploaded by on Jun 8, 2010

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GREAT LAKES ~ COOPERATION ACROSS BORDERS

Great Lakes United’s John Jackson on Ontario’s proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, by Meirav Even-Har of Water Canada November/December 2012 issue ~ excerpts ~

With the amended Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) recently signed between Canada and the United States …Ontario’s proposed Great Lakes Protection Act (Bill 100) comes at a crucial time… The ambitious goal to restore and protect the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin is no easy task. This proposed legislation is meant to enable the revision and implementation of the now expired Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem to execute the Province’s obligations under the GLWQA. It’s also meant to build on current work and existing laws and regulations to create a new set of tools that will be driven, to some extent, by a local, community based approach to protection.
As an enabling act, the GLPA will allow for the creation of regulations and specific actions based on consultation with stakeholders, government bodies, First Nations and Métis, as well as the public. According to the draft Great Lakes Strategy—a guiding document to accompany the Act—the key elements
to the proposed legislation include setting a direction on Great Lakes, establishing a Great Lakes Guardians’ Council, identifying priorities for action in a strategy, building on existing tools by establishing clear targets, and taking phased, targeted action with geographically focused initiatives… Water Canada: Is this the right time for a Great Lakes Protection Act? John Jackson: The value of a piece of legislation is to draw attention to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River as needing broad serious attention,  not just as part of the overall environmental programs. It recognizes the special importance of the Great Lakes and helps draw attention to them. This legislation should not, however, be seen as the answer to all of the problems in the Great Lakes. The government must still focus on making sure it  implements the already existing legislation and Agreements such as the Water Conservation Act and the Great Lakes-St Lawrence River Water Sustainability Agreement with the U.S. Great Lakes states. How will the proposed Act work with current binational management of the Lakes? The Bill commits Ontario to participate in the binational activities and to play a leadership role. This is a very important step forward, since, with the  exception of the Water Sustainability Agreement, the provincial attendees at binational meetings tend to take more of an observer role rather than being active participants. This is a problem that I hope this will help us overcome. What lessons, if any, have we learned? What needs to happen to protect and restore the Great Lakes? We need new long-term  financial commitments by the federal and provincial and state governments to implementing Great Lakes programs and to monitoring and assessing progress. Instead we are confronted by all governments making promises while reducing the amount of staff and scientists working on the issue, et cetera. The new Ontario bill makes no financial commitments. This is a  serious problem. We need commitments by all governments to strengthen legislation and regulations if needed. Unfortunately, all levels of government are now stepping back from strengthening anything that is a non-voluntary program. We need more serious engagement by the government of stakeholders and the public in decision-making on Great Lakes matters. This bill includes components that, if properly implemented, could be important steps forward on this matter.

Meirav Even-Har is a sustainability consultant and writer. She is also 3RCertified program manager at the recycling Council of Ontario.

Link ~ http://watercanada.net/

http://www.ec.gc.ca/stl/default.asp?lang=En&n=F46CF5F8-1

OTTAWA CONCERT AND CAROL SING SUNDAY

5th Annual Community Concert & Carol Sing

 St. Timothy’s Presbyterian Church

2400 Alta Vista Drive

Sunday, Nov 25th, 2:00 p.m.

    ~ Presented by ~   

Garth Hampson
Dominic D’Arcy
ByWard Brass Ensemble
Linda Major
The fiVe Woodwind Quintet
The Emmanubells
St. Tim’s African Chorus
St. Timothy’s Choir
Louise Thompson

   Come join us for an afternoon of Christmas music

and carol singing ~

a wonderful way to ‘sing in’ the Advent season

   Refreshments following  

   Free will donations in aid of the Heron Emergency Food Centre

   Come Celebrate with us

   Plenty of parking ~ Handicap accessible.

Five years ago, as Music Director of St. Timothy’s Presbyterian Church, I organized our first Christmas Community Concert and Carol Sing in aid of the Heron Emergency Food Centre.  Now I’m so pleased to be able to invite you to our ‘5th’ concert this weekend. 

                        Hope to see you there!   

 

T.G.I.F. ~ 10 BETS YOU’LL NEVER LOSE!!!

Once again your friends from Rainsoft Ottawa are bringing you some Friday fun to last you through the weekend ~ lots of fun tricks to play on your family and friends ~ and who knows maybe make a bit of money in the process!

YouTube video, “10 Bets You’ll Never Lose” ~ Published on Jun 10, 2012 by  ~ almost 5 million hits!

 

Here’s a second set of tricks for you ~ “Curious Psychology # 12 ~ 10 More Science Studies for Parties” ~ Uploaded by on Dec 6, 2010

 
On these web sites you’ll find many other videos about tricks that you’ll want to try out in the near future ~ good luck and have lots of fun entertaining your friends.
 
 Follow Richard Wiseman on Twitter ~

STOP OBAMA ~ KEEP WHALES & DOLPHINS SAFE

I am forwarding information I received from Victoria Principal for Oceana wavemaker@oceana.org

Unless the Obama administration reverses course, the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to the New Jersey border will be opened up to high-intensity seismic air gun exploration for offshore oil and gas.

This means that dolphins and whales will be subjected to constant dynamite-like blasts about every 10 seconds, 24-hours a day, for weeks and months on end.

Even the government admits that the industry’s airguns could injure hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and disrupt marine mammal feeding, calving, breeding, and other vital activities more than 13.5 million times.

There’s no time to waste. Urge the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior to abandon the government’s proposal to allow seismic air gun testing in the Atlantic!

Dolphins and whales rely on sound for feeding, communication, and navigation. If we don’t act now, these sensitive creatures will be exposed to an intense acoustical assault.

Seismic exploration involves arrays of high-volume air guns that are towed behind ships, continuously firing intense impulses of compressed air — almost as loud as explosives.

Opening up the Atlantic Ocean to seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas would cause incredible harm to ocean wildlife like whales and dolphins and to multi-billion dollar fishing, tourism, and recreational industries that support hundreds of thousands of American jobs. All of this just to make it easier for oil companies to find new sites in our oceans for offshore drilling.

Please do your part to stop this devastatingly harmful act and sign the petition!!!

We simply cannot allow it. If you live in the United States, click below to tell the Secretary of Interior to abandon plans to allow seismic testing in the Atlantic.  I am writing to Oceana to ask if they will amend their info fields in the petition to allow people from other countries to help.

http://act.oceana.org/letter/l-seismic-vp/?akid=2584.962452.8zJuCr&rd=1&source=mailing&t=2&utm_campaign=seismic&utm_medium=mailing&utm_source=advocacy

UNBELIEVABLE! NOAH’S ARK BUDDIES ~ LION, TIGER, BEAR

If we could all just get along like these three unusual friends: Leo the lion, Babloo the bear and Shere Khan the tiger, our world would be a much better place in which to live.

YouTube video, “Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center (Noahs-Ark.org / Locust Grove, GA)”, uploaded by 4444Jama on Dec 9, 2009 ~ Lions, Tiger, and Bear living together. Watch as 3 three play and give each other affection. Please visit their website and help them raise money for the other animals to eat. Any size gift would be appreciated and is tax deductible, visit http://noahs-ark.org/donate.html

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=515ejIas544?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Uploaded by on Dec 16, 2009 ~ Lion, Tiger and Bear Stay and Play !

~ Noah’s Ark of Locust Grove Georgia Promo ~

“Bringing children and animals together for the purpose of providing unconditional love, unconditional service, and a future full of hope”

Noah’s Ark is a rehabilitation center for animals and a group home for children from birth to 18 years old. The non-profit facility is home to over 1,000 animals and is licensed by the State of Georgia to provide residential care for up to 24 children.

Without a doubt you will all be as deeply touched as I was watching this incredible account of the caring dedication of the staff and volunteers as they provide sanctuary to hundreds of injured or abandoned animals, birds and reptiles, and of the unconditional love they give the children in their care as they nurture them through rehabilitation using their remarkable animal therapy  

To all our readers ~ I hope that you will make a donation to Noah’s Ark and help make all of Jama’s dreams become a reality by visiting http://noahs-ark.org/donate.html!

Here is a link to a series of videos uploaded by on Apr 17, 2009

Join Aurea McGarry as she travels through a wondrous place in Locust Grove, Georgia called
“Noah’s Ark Animal And Children Rehabilitation Center.”
Founder, Jama Hedgcoth, had a dream when she was four years old and never let go of it. A non-profit organization that has helped over three hundred abused and abandoned children and over 1000 animals find love and comfort during their darkest days. The only place where a lion, tiger and bear live together as family in the same den. Filmed on location, Aurea has the time of her life being kissed by a monkey named Clark Gable and a 1000 pound bear named Baloo. A show the entire family can enjoy together. Find out how you too can visit them and see first hand what the dream of one small child can do to help the lives of so many.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxoFS_e9Yp8&feature=bf_prev&list=ULgLlFq1UyHOo

Read more at http://planetsave.com/2009/12/21/friendship-between-lion-tiger-and-bear-video/#pT4LoYCGAXsQcM9c.99

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN?

Watching and listening to a summer’s gentle rainfall on the lake is so restorative.
Children around the world take great delight in splashing through puddles during a rainfall.
To many people rainfalls are uplifting, invigorating and soothing.

I uploaded the following video to YouTube on November 2, 2012 for this blog ~


There have been hundreds of popular songs written about the rain – for example: ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head‘; ‘Dancing In the Rain’ and most recently “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” performed by Phillip Phillips on American Idol.

 ~ Do you know how rain actually is formed? ~

The drops or ice crystals, in the form of cloud, become so heavy that the air cannot hold them up and they fall to the ground as rain… Since rain provides fresh water making the rivers flow, filling lakes and keeping plants alive, it is very significant. We cannot imagine our life without water ~ excerpt from The Benefits of Rain by Michael C Miller ~ http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Benefits-of-Rain&id=4795042

 ~ Interesting Cultural attitudes towards rain ~

Rain can bring joy, as some consider it to be soothing or enjoy the aesthetic appeal of it.
In dry places, such as India, or during periods of drought rain lifts people’s moods.
In temperate climates, people tend to be more stressed when the weather is unstable or cloudy.
In Botswana, the Setswana word for rain, “pula”, is used as the name of the national currency, in recognition of the economic importance of rain in this desert country
People find the scent during and immediately after rain pleasant or distinctive. The source of this scent is petrichor, an oil produced by plants, absorbed by rocks and soil, and later released into the air during rainfall –   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain

I know you’ll enjoy the following rendition of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”, performed by Phillip Phillips, American Idol’s 11th season finale winner this year.

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The following comments are from http://www.lacarte.org/songs/rain/

  Take along stroll down memory lane, no matter what your era or your preferred style of music, browsing almost 800 song titles relating to rain and rainy things, including over 50 named just ‘Rain.’ You will  probably be surprised how many of these songs from American popular culture you know.
.
This is not an attempt to catalog every possible song that merely happens to make a passing reference to rain, as so many do apparently because it’s the first thing the authors think of to rhyme with ‘pain.’ There are, in fact, according to off siteThe Muze (muze.com), over 5,000 albums containing at least one song with the word ‘rain’ in their title, just since 1960. The Virtual Flood, by contrast, hopes only to cover those songs which are likely to be known by wide audiences, and are significantly involved with rain, whether the word is in their title or not.