Monthly Archives: March 2013

IS YOUR ATTITUDE CONTAGIOUS? ~ INSPIRATIONAL!!!

ATTITUDE 2ND

“ATTITUDES ARE CONTAGIOUS.
IS YOURS WORTH CATCHING?”

YouTube video, “Attitude is Everything” by Vicki Hitzges, uploaded on March 22, 2011.  Music “Free As a Bird” by Omar.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”
Three of my favorite quotes from this video are ~

ATTITUDE IMAGE WARD

 KEEP AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE ~ “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

ATTITUDE IMAGE BOOKERJOY BOOMERANGS ~ “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” Booker T. Washington

ATTITUDE IMAGE VISCOTTSURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE  ~ “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” David Viscott

This fantastic book is available from Simple Truths ~ click here to learn more about the book: http://bit.ly/dLbqOS

 

Do you think your attitude is making a difference in your life and the lives around you???

Let us all count our blessings ~
and jot them down.

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Best wishes for a great weekend
now that spring is finally here
from your friends at

 RAINSOFTHOUSEWITHLOGO     

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AMAZING QUEST ~ INCREDIBLE ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!

         WATERTON NAT1

The following excerpts are taken from, “Survivor raises money swimming in 158 Glacier, Waterton lakes”,  by Tristan Scott of the Missoulian

MARK BEST PHOTOMarc Ankenbauer’s aqueous obsession has lured him into the frigid waters of exactly 158 lakes in Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks.

MARC SWIMMING2Marc Ankenbauer swims through frigid waters on his quest to plunge into all 168 named lakes in Waterton-Glacier National Parks as part of a 12-year project to raise money for the nonprofit organization Camp Mak-A-Dream, which provides wilderness experiences for children and young adults diagnosed with cancer…

MARC SWIMMINGThere are 168 named lakes in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and, having dived into all but 10, this summer Ankenbauer will become the first person known to bathe in them all… Since beginning his project 12 years ago, Ankenbauer, 36, who survived a brief bout with cancer as a teenager, has been raising money for the … Camp Mak-A-Dream’s mission struck a chord with Ankenbauer, who since 2001 has spent his summers working as a backcountry ranger in Glacier Park, and is passionate about outdoor experiences and exploring western Montana’s vast open spaces…

He launched a website, glacierexplorer.com, and created an online donation program, setting an arbitrary goal of raising $5,000. Last week, a donation from a family friend in Cincinnati pushed Ankenbauer past his goal…
imagesCAA2ICVQ34The project also has given Ankenbauer incentive to explore Waterton-Glacier’s 1.2 million acres, and to set out for lakes that most people have never visited. It also entails long, arduous, off-trail hikes, as well as bushwhacking through dense thickets of alder.  “One of the reasons this has taken so long is that it is challenging to access some of these remote spots,” he said. “I bet I have averaged about 20 lakes a year, but last summer I only got seven, and the summer before that I only jumped in 12. But they were a tough, burly 12.”

Images of some of the National Park‘s inhabitants that I think Mark would likely come across &/or see while trekking to his next lake destination in the park.  A few of these encounters would be hair-raising to say the least!!!

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Ankenbauer estimates that half of the lakes require off-trail travel, and their remoteness has offered numerous opportunities to observe wildlife. 

SNYDER LAKECROPPEDAfter jumping into Snyder Lake, a grizzly bear began lumbering toward Ankenbauer and a companion, and once, after hiking 10 miles to

AURICE LAKEAurice Lake, a spooked sow grizzly and her cubs forced Ankenbauer to abort the jump and turn around.  “I’ve jumped into two different lakes that had moose in them at the time,” Ankenbauer said.

FISHERCAP LAKEAll but one of Ankenbauer’s remaining lakes are located in remote and off-the-grid areas, and he’s saving the easiest one for last. He’ll conclude the project with Fishercap, a lake that is about a five-minute walk from the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn in the Many Glacier area.

“I decided to save that for the absolute end so my mom can come and watch,” he said. “So many people have been so incredibly supportive of this project that I owe it to them, especially my family and my wife. I could not have done this without her support and understanding.”

Many of the park’s glacier-fed lakes are a crystalline blue,
JOHNS LAKE BESTbut others, like Johns Lake, are as stagnant as pond scum.  “There are some really rough, rank bodies of water that are named,” he said. “I basically had to lower myself into Johns Lake and hope that I didn’t get too many leeches on me. It’s not all fame and fortune.” 
GREEN LAKEGreen Lake had so little water that Ankenbauer’s swim trunks didn’t get completely wet, even after he lay down in it.

 When the project is finished, Ankenbauer isn’t worried about his life lacking adventure. He’ll continue working for the park, and may return to Antarctica, where he worked this winter as a camp host for scientists and researchers at McMurdo Station. He’ll also spend more time with his wife, who Ankenbauer is living with in Missoula while she completes her nursing degree. The couple will return to East Glacier this summer.

MARC ANKENBAUER2 “I’ve been given one of the greatest luxuries in the world. I get to live in one of the greatest places on Earth,” he said. “I’m not out to conquer some unattainable goal. I’m more like the average, everyday guy adventurer. At times, it has been epically difficult and mentally tedious. I’ve thrashed around in alder thickets for so long that I just had to start laughing. But it has breathed a lot of adventure into my life. It’s a celebration of life.”

http://missoulian.com/lifestyles/hometowns/man-raises-money-by-swimming-in-glacier-and-waterton-parks/article_84ccdd48-8934-11e2-838a-0019bb2963f4.html

 

WASTEWATER AND THE CANADIAN ARCTIC ~ DO THEY MIX?

   BREAKING THE ICE

The following excerpts are taken from WaterCanada’s magazine article, “Breaking the Ice” – The trouble with implementing national wastewater standards in our country’s coldest climates, by Rob Jamieson and Wendy Krkosek

Managing sewage in Canada’s Arctic communities is very different than in the more populated southern regions of Canada. Arctic communities tend to have small populations of 100 to 2,000 people and many can only be accessed by air or by sea during the brief summer season. The cold climate and permafrost conditions generally prevent the use of underground pipes for transporting sewage from homes and buildings to a centralized sewage treatment plant. Therefore, people living in the Arctic often have to rely on a trucked system for water delivery and wastewater collection. Homes and other buildings are often equipped with two tanks: one for potable water, the other for wastewater. Drinking water deliveries and wastewater collection are usually conducted around every one to two days.

[Here is a very short YouTube video featuring the Sewage Lagoon and Windmills at Hooper Bay, Alaska, uploaded on Mar 18, 2010 ~ Temps +8F and 15 kt wind. 360 deg panorama of sewage lagoon and windmills, cemetery, and parts of Old Town.]

BREAKING THE ICE15In the majority of communities in the Canadian Arctic, the collected sewage is then transported to lagoons (or waste stabilization ponds) located on the outskirts of town. The lagoons are typically designed to hold a full year’s worth of sewage and are frozen for approximately nine months of the year. The lagoon contents thaw during the short summer season, which is approximately two to three months long. At the end of the summer, around early September, the water in the lagoon is pumped out into a natural tundra wetland, or directly into a lake, a river, or the ocean… The main advantages of these types of systems, and the reasons why they are used in small Arctic communities, are they are simple to operate and maintain, do not require energy inputs, and do not use mechanical equipment that would be susceptible to malfunction and failure in extreme cold climates. The problem, however, is that while these types of treatment systems have been well studied and tested in temperature climates, very little research has been conducted on how they perform in extreme arctic climates.
The impact of new regulations  Environment Canada has recently implemented new Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER). The regulations include National Performance Standards (NPS) for municipal wastewater facilities, and specific timelines for upgrading facilities based on an environmental risk assessment framework. However, Environment Canada has specifically acknowledged the challenges that remote, northern communities will face in complying with the WSER. It was recognized that little information exists on the performance of wastewater systems operating in Canada’s far north, and the risk they pose to human and environmental health (CCME, 2009). Therefore, the regulations do not immediately apply to wastewater systems located in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and north of the 54th parallel in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. A five-year grace period (ending in 2014) was provided to conduct research on northern wastewater system performance, and to propose alternative effluent quality guidelines….

BREAKING THE ICE18In response to the impending federal wastewater regulations and the need to identify cost-effective approaches for sewage management, the Government of Nunavut and Dalhousie University have developed a long-term research program focused on municipal wastewater management in Nunavut. The goals of the five-year project, currently in its third year, are to characterize the performance of existing lagoon and wetland wastewater treatment systems in Nunavut, assess the risks these systems pose to both human and environmental health, and identify and test strategies for improving the performance of passive treatment systems in Arctic climates. This work is also meant to provide the information needed to develop appropriate wastewater treatment standards for northern regions…

BREAKING THE ICE17To address this issue, Dalhousie University has collaborated with the Nunavut Research Institute to establish a water quality laboratory in Iqaluit. The lab is equipped to analyze for all primary wastewater parameters, and is also used to provide training to students enrolled in the VThe research conducted to date has produced some very interesting results. The unique summer arctic climate, where some communities receive up to 24 hours of sunlight, can have a number of advantages.

BREAKING THE ICE14CROPPEDFor example, extended daylight can stimulate a tremendous amount of algae growth in sewage treatment lagoons. These algae populations are capable of adding considerable amounts of oxygen to the lagoons through photosynthesis, which helps facilitate biological treatment processes. Trying to understand and harness the natural processes that occur within lagoons and tundra wetlands will be key to predicting and optimizing the performance of these systems.

BREAKING THE ICE16As these types of “open” treatment systems are heavily influenced by environmental factors such as ambient temperature and solar radiation, it will also be important to understand how their performance may be influenced by climate change. Initial findings also indicate that the characteristics of the water bodies which receive the treated effluent must be carefully considered in the establishment of appropriate treatment standards for the Arctic.

Interesting factoid for you all–did  you know Canada is has more kilometers in distance North-South than East-West…..

WORLD WATER DAY 2013 VIDEO – A MUST SEE!

WORLD W DAY 2013

I came across a remarkable video, “World Water Day 2013”, posted by Haruna Akashi to YouTube.  Nako Akashi, a young 15 year old student in Japan produced and narrates the video herself.  I’m so impressed with Nako’s work that I feel her insight on water’s impact on our world, should be shared.

Nako is a junior high school student who enjoys music, painting, designing and photography. The devastation of the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Japan had a profound effect on Nako and she says, ” It’s time for us to help the water. The power of just one person may seem very little, but it all counts – one for all – all for one. I believe this is the international rule for everyone.”

My comments to Nako on her video: ‘Congratulations, Nako, on your remarkable video.  I feel your work is award worthy!!! I’m so impressed that I am going to present your video on my blog to celebrate World Water Day 2013.  Best of luck in all your future endeavours.  You are a wonderful ambassador for Japan as a young person with deep-felt compassion and vision.  You will find my blog on WordPress as Rainsoftottawa.’

Nako’s twitter page ~
href=”https://twitter.com/superduperpuper”>https://twitter.com/superduperpuper

Nako’s website where she has posted her photos ~ http://bitterbutter123.deviantart.com/

THE DEADLY CANADIAN GOLD RUSH!

GOLD RUSH

The following are excerpts taken from the Jan/Feb issue of Water Canada magazine, “How is mining’s legacy affecting water in Canada’s north?” by Mia Bennett

With pickaxes and pans in hand, tens of thousands of people flooded the Yukon in 1896 in search of gold in its snowy creeks.
I’ve included two really great videos on the Alaska (Klondike) gold rush at the end of this blog.
GOLD RUSH DIAMOND YELLOWKNIFE3Three years later, the rush came to an abrupt end as miners left for Alaska. Fast forward to 1991, when diamonds were discovered in the Northwest Territories’ (NWT’s) Slave Geological Province. This discovery set off a mining boom in northern Canada that continues today. According to the Mining Association of Canada, companies are expected to invest $140 billion over the next ten years in search of minerals like diamonds, gold, and iron, primarily in GOLD RUSH7Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, but also in the Yukon. In the barren, remote expanse of Canada’s circumpolar region –
only 100,000 people live across the three territories – oversight and regulation is difficult. This is particularly problematic as climate change renders many current mining standards inadequate. Lakes and streams scattered across the tundra are vulnerable to destruction, leachate, and tailings. As the rush for northern metals and minerals continues, good planning and tough oversight by mining companies, indigenous stakeholders and government are necessary to protect water resources.

Damage done – Mine construction can wreak havoc before the by-products of mining even have a chance to pollute the environment. In 1998, BHP Billiton opened the Ekati Diamond Mine, Canada’s first combined underground and surface diamond mine, in the NWT’s Lac de Gras area. GOLD RUSH DIAMOND MINETo reach the diamond-strewn kimberlite pipes sitting underneath shallow crater lakes, the company dewatered and fully or partially impacted nineteen lakes and additional streams. The company was also permitted to store rocks and manage pit water in Desperation Pond, used by Arctic grayling (a freshwater fish) for spawning, rearing, forage, and overwintering.

CDN FISHERIES AND OCEANSWhile the company paid Fisheries and Oceans Canada $1.5 million to recreate lost lake habitat, the new lakes did not equal the original ones in health and biodiversity. In one artificial habitat, colder stream water and paltrier vegetation resulted in Arctic grayling that had, on average, less than half as much mass as their counterparts in natural streams. Northern fish species reproduce and grow slowly and are especially sensitive to pollutants, making lake destruction even more harmful than in the south. Moreover, many fish stocks provide commercial value to fishermen and nutritional value to indigenous peoples…MINING WATCH CANADARandy Hart, Mining Watch Canada’s program coordinator, suggests that an alternative, though more expensive, way to deal with tailings might be to store them on land in a cement-like, hardened form. “This allows you to have a close to walk-away situation, where you aren’t also destroying a lake ecosystem,” he says.

Changing paradigms – GOLD RUSH DIAMOND MINE LOGO Indigenous pressure has helped enact stricter oversight of mines. During negotiations over Ekati, First Nations organizations got BHP Billiton to agree to fund the creation of an Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency (IEMA) to oversee their management of the surrounding environment. BHP Billiton also developed a Watershed Adaptive Management Plan. When the IEMA discovered that nearby Kodiak Lake had begun eutrophying due to sewage deposition, making oxygen levels dangerously low for fish, the company was asked to aerate the lake. The fish were able to survive another season. When oxygen levels dropped a second time, the company began depositing its sewage elsewhere. While adaptive management requires consistent environmental monitoring, problems can often be stopped before they get out of hand…CAPSTONE MINING Regulations are nothing without enforcement. “Recently, we discovered that Capstone Mining was told by Yukon Government Client Services & Inspections that they were allowed to contravene their water license,” says Karen Baltgailis, executive director of the Yukon YUKON CONSERVATION SOCIETYConservation Society. She doesn’t think that any environmental damage occurred, but still has worries. “The fact that our regulators can’t be depended upon to ensure that mining does not cause impacts to our water is a really big concern.” Hart observes that in Nunavut, while the land claims agreement specifies a regional monitoring program, instead there is what he calls a “hodge-podge of project-specific monitoring that goes on based on company needs as opposed to broader, territory-wide needs.” He adds that the same could be said largely for other regions of the north. Hart believes that if a regional baseline monitoring organization were instituted, that would actually provide a “huge advantage” to companies, which otherwise have to start from scratch each time when considering cumulative impacts and regional issues. While weak enforcement is a harder problem to tackle than the lack of monitoring, even when violations are discovered, the fines are often not very high. FAY LAKEIn 2008, 4.5 million litres of processed kimberlite overflowed a containment wall at Etaki, flooding the nearby tundra and frozen Fay Lake. CBC News reported that BHP Billiton might have to pay “hefty fines of up to $100,000”— pennies compared to the company’s profits…The dangers – Mine drainage –  A bigger hazard to aquatic ecosystems is acid mine drainage, which occurs when water comes into contact with sulphide bearing rocks or tailings. The resulting sulphuric acid oxidizes metals like copper and zinc, rendering the water metal bearing and acidic. Acid mine drainage is especially a problem in underground mines. These are often located below the water table, so water has to be continually pumped out. Once a mine is abandoned, pumping often ceases and allows leachwater to flow out. Pollution of groundwater sources is risky in places like Yukon, where aquifers underlay two-thirds of the territory. Whereas pollution of surface water can sometimes be contained, contaminated groundwater can spread extensively. Fortunately, in many northern underground mines such as Nunavut’s closed Polaris Zinc Mine, permafrost prevents acid mine drainage, as all the surrounding water is frozen in the rocks and soil. But as temperatures climb, intrusion of water into underground mines with sulfuric rocks could become problematic… Threats to oceans  – At the same time as melting permafrost is hindering mining on land, melting sea ice is creating new opportunities – and risks – at sea. MARY RIVEROn Baffin Island, Nunavut, the planned Mary River Iron Ore Mine would use nine ice breaking freighters year-round to transport iron ore through the Northwest Passage, potentially disturbing the shore, icepack, and marine mammals. Hart asserts, “It’s the most significant marine transportation project that’s ever been proposed for the Canadian Arctic, massively increasing shipping traffic. Along with shipping comes chronic low-level pollution from small oil spills and bilge water. We often focus on massive spills and shipwrecks, but from my understanding, a significant amount of oil and contaminants is released into the marine environment on an ongoing basis outside of major catastrophes.”…

After the gold rush – HANDS WITH GOLD NUGGETSLike the gold rush a century ago, the current boom will end one day, too, and proper de-commissioning plans need to be prepared. There are 10,000 abandoned mines across all of Canada in various states of disrepair. The grandiose names of contaminated sites in the north represent ghostly boom towns of decades past: Discovery Mine, Giant Mine, Port Radium Mine. At various sites, mining has left behind a wasteland of radioactive tailings, cyanide-laced water, and sediment plumes…The Canadian Arctic is so sparsely populated and so far from most people’s minds that the adage, “out of sight, out of mind,” too often rings true, especially once a mine is closed. If an operator declares bankruptcy, however, the costs of decommissioning can be passed on to the taxpayers, hitting closer to home…The mining industry has demonstrated a more progressive approach to water management than in the early twentieth century. This is in part thanks to the involvement of indigenous people’s and stronger government regulations. For all its faults, Agnico-Eagle serves as an example of one company that has put forth some efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. Connell notes that all of its operations now require water management strategies…

Harmonizing economy, environment, and technology – Given the region’s low population base and lack of alternative industries like agriculture or manufacturing, mining plays an important role in northern economic development. Profits and water quality, however, do not need to be a zero-sum game. Technology now exists to make operations safer for the environment.

GOLD RUSH LAKESMoreover, in the territories, development has generally proceeded hastily without an eye towards long-term sustainability. It’s easily forgotten that mining is temporary, while both humans and nature will rely on surrounding waters indefinitely. One day, the temperature could rise high enough that even precautions like Meadowbank’s “worst-case scenario” tailings cover are inadequate. But in the near future, if the right balance is struck between conservation and development, we can avoid a legacy of overflowing tailings ponds and acidic rivers and instead enable clean, productive northern waters and fisheries. The consequences of not doing so will far outlast any profits.

1898 Alaska Klondike Gold Rush Story, Dawson City, Yukon River, published on Oct 26, 2012 by Jeffrey Martin ~ Segment of a short 1950s film that was called ‘City of Gold’ about Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Alaska / Yukon Canada area. This is the first half of a prior posted segment that can be used with the Alaska Goldmine ice-breaker class exercise.

The Klondike Gold Rush: Photographs from 1896-98, uploaded on Apr 17, 2008 ~ This spectacular video is based on the best-selling book “The Klondike Gold Rush: Photographs from 1896-1899.” by Graham Wilson. This is the mother lode of the north – a stunning record of the last great gold rush.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY ~ RIVERDANCE

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MICHAEL RIVERDANCERiverdance, the internationally-acclaimed celebration of Irish music, song and dance that has thrilled millions around the world is now in its 15th phenomenal year of touring.
 
MICHAEL FLATLEYFLUTEThere are many Lord of the Dance videos and I think this is one of the best ~  featuring the dancers, the High Priests, and Michael Flatley playing the  flute with orchestra accompaniment.  The music is absolutely captivating ~ hauntingly beautiful!!! (approx. 4:40 into the video).  Michael Flatley is the creator, producer and director of Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames and Celtic Tiger is an amazing dancer, and he is also a phenomenal flutist as well.
   
      
 
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Written, devised, produced and choreographed by Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance premiered at The Point Theatre in Dublin on July 2, 1996, within just eight weeks of its inception. The audience went wild. By the end of the evening, the show had received several standing ovations and such rave reviews that it was to become the most talked about, most written about, and the most critically acclaimed show in musical history.  Lord of the Dance has gone on to receive unparalleled accolades, and to break theatrical records across the globe. Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance not only brought Irish dancing to the world stage; it catapulted  the art of Irish dance to a higher plane, unprecedented worldwide recognition and cove straight into hearts and minds of millions worldwide.

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