Monthly Archives: March 2019

Breaking Up Ice With A Hovercraft.

Canada has two 70 tonne, 4,000 horsepower hovercraft in Trois Rivieres ,doing donuts on the St. Lawrence River. The Captain Dany Boudreault  of the ship, Sipu Muin, calls this movement “la drift”.

La Drift is done to whip up waves that will push up and under the ice sheets, fracturing them, breaking the ice into smaller chunks that will float harmlessly away.

The Sipu Muin is Mi’kmaq means “River Bear”, and this Bear is one two hovercraft charges with breaking up the ice without touching it. Every spring as the ice and snow melt, water comes rushing downstream. If the mouths of the waterways get jammed with ice, nearby towns and farmland will get flooded. The Coast guards hovercraft have a job to keep the waters flowing.

Check out the video and see them at work.



Hydrate Right , Your Kidneys Will Thank you.

Drinking the wrong type of drink when you exercise could put you at risk of kidney disease , a new study warns.

When you are exercising in a hot environment drinking caffeinated, sugary could be unhealthy.

A small study of 12 healthy adults. who rigorously exercised in a laboratory setting that simulated a 95 degree day drank sugary. caffeinated  soft drinks were compared to a group that just drank water.

After their work out in which soft drinks were handed out to the 12 it was found that the soft drink people had higher levels of creatine in their blood , and a lower glomecular filtration rate….both are markers of kidney damage.

These signs of kidney injury were not seen in the twelve that drank only water.

It was also found that during and after drinking the soft drinks , participants had higher blood pressure and were mildly dehydrated. The consumption of soft drinks during or after exercise in the heat does not hydrate.

More study will need to be done to fully understand the long terms effects of soft drinks and exercise. The smart move might be to just stick with water.

Converting Algae to Biocrude Quickly.

Biofuel experts have long sought a better way to turn algae into biocrude oil to power vehicles , ships , and jets. University of Utah researchers believe they have developed a method than has turned the process from a long and unprofitable way, into a quick method that is cost-effective. They have built a specially designed jet mixer could well revolutionize the process.

Packed inside the microorganisms growing in ponds , lakes, and rivers are lipids(fatty acid molecules that contain oil). When these lipids are removed from the algae they are called biocrude. What we have here is a sustainable fuel source.

The problem has always been that it takes  as much energy to release the lipids than what you get back. The whole process would not be economical.

The jet mixer releases the lipids with much less energy and in much quicker time. More work needs to be done , but a significant developement barrier has been breached .

Public Flood Data Access Difficult for Home Insurance Buyers.

Canadian Homes owners do not have the information needed to know if they should buy flood insurance, leaving them exposed to financial risk.

A recent study found flood mapping in Canada was not sufficient, incomplete, difficult to locate, and varies from province to province.

governments are starting to step back from flood recovery assistance in favour of home owners purchasing private insurance. Yet home owners lack the access to quality information as to if they require flood insurance.

Considering the level of household debt likely hurting a homeowners ability to pay tens of thousands of dollars often associated with an average flood. Canada needs to make better information available  so homeowners can determine if their homes are at risk.

The study from the UWO looked at the available online information from 300 Canadian communities that are classified as high risk of flooding. it became obvious fairly quickly that mapping resources are largely outdated or just plain hard to find.

If the government wants out of the assistance end and make it more home insurance recovery program then ours maps and their availability need to improve.

The World’s Best Beaches…

Trip Advisor has announced its best beaches in the world, 2019 version.

Ranked by traveler reviews and ratings,  25 fabulous beaches from Aruba, Cuba, Spain , and more.

Top ranked is a secluded beach  off the coast of Brazil that comes out on top. The picture perfect Baia do Sancho gets the crown. Check it out and the others on the following video.