A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘arctic canada

[NEWS] Five First Nations links: Louis Kamookak, Mohawk, Taushiro, jewelry, Elizabeth Warren

  • Inuit oral historian Louie Kamookak gathered vital information in the recent recovery of the ships of the Franklin expedition in the Arctic. The National Post reports.
  • A journalism class at Corcordia University is assembling a multimedia project to try to help the Mohawk language. Global News reports.
  • The older article from the New York Times tracing the sad life of the last speaker of the Taushiro language, from the Peruvian Amazon, is tragic. The article is here.
  • Jezebel notes that many recent migrants to New Mexico have, in their production of jewelry incorporating indigenous themes and materials like turquoise, harmed indigenous jewelers.
  • I have to agree that the continued insistence of Elizabeth Warren that, contrary to all manner of genealogical proofs, she can lay claim to a Cherokee ancestor speaks poorly of her. If she has problems with facts as applied to her family … Jerry Adler writes here.
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[NEWS] Three notes about the past and the future of Nunavut

  • CBC notes how 17 Inuit have been hired by Parks Canada to guard the site of the wrecks of Franklin’s ships.
  • That the Inuit who pointed the world to Franklin’s ships also knows of Franklin’s burial cairn does not surprise me.
  • Nunavut’s communities are set to have much faster Internet through new satellite connections.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm

[NEWS] Five links about Amazon: HQ2 in Canada, US cities, Amazon Prime, monopolies, CamperForce

  • Canadian cities could host Amazon’s HQ2, but at considerable cost. Affordable housing, say, would be an issue.
  • Conor Sen argues that Amazon’s HQ2 augurs an age of corporate diffusion beyond the largest centres.
  • Amazon Prime, Kaleigh Rogers notes, is hugely important for remote communities like those in the North. If it goes …
  • Stacy Mitchell notes how, after Whole Foods, Amazon seems set to monopolize the whole infrastructure of commerce.
  • Is Jessica Bruder’s story of CamperForce, Amazon’s RV-living army of elderly workers, a cheering story of triumph over adversity or a scary take on the future of work? I’m not sure.

[NEWS] Four links on Canada, from economics to language to poverty to greenhouses

  • Bloomberg reports on how Canada-Mexico relations will be tested by NAFTA and Trump.
  • Canada, the 2016 Census reported, is marked by noteworthy linguistic diversity (Tagalog does particularly well.)
  • Vice notes how Galen Weston’s opposition to the minimum wage increase for workers at Loblaws is not in his self-interest.
  • Vice’s Motherboard looks at how greenhouse agriculture in Nunavut could help drastically reduce food insecurity in that territory.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • io9 notes that Livejournal’s mascot Frank the Goat has made one last appearance, thanks to his creator.
  • James Bow announces that, after a month of writing and family, he’s back to his blog.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the far-right AfD in Germany is trying to stop marriage equality.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money rightly does not understand what people mean by talking of a Trump administration “failing”. It can still wreak terrible damage.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a lovely map of the Arctic circumpolar region of the Earth.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that tourism has become the dominant growth sector of the Greek economy.
  • Savage Minds shares Taylor R. Genovese essay invoking and exploring the magic and ritual of human spaceflight. (More to come.)
  • Understanding Society considers and approves of the idea of a guaranteed minimum income, necessary supplement in a time of scarce good jobs.
  • Unicorn Booty notes the many ways in which Trumpcare will leave queer LGBTQ people worse off.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Dale Carpenter again engages, after Texas’ ruling, with the idea of equality for all married couples.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that only a small fraction of Russia’s planned spending on the Arctic has actually materialized.

[LINK] Three notes about the problems of life in the Canadian North

  • CBC noted how poverty and climate change is leading to food shortages in the north of Labrador.
  • Also from Labrador, CBC noted the negative effect of climate change on the mental health of indigenous peoples.
  • The whole Inuit lifestyle, CBC notes, is being undermined by climate change.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

[LINK] “Get ready for a Canadian Arctic research boom”

Meagan Campbell of MacLean’s examines how the Canadian Arctic is on the verge of a boom in scientific exploration.

“The first moment, you don’t even believe it.” Jonathan O’Neil, a geologist at the University of Ottawa, is referring to his research team’s recent discovery of evidence that the oldest known life on Earth may, in fact, be embedded in rocks in Quebec’s far north. “You say, ‘That can’t be.’ So you reanalyze it, and you get the same result. You redo it again, again, again, and you come back with the same results, and you start to believe it.”

The breakthrough, which gained international attention when it was published in the journal Nature in early March, could be one of many discoveries soon to come from the Canadian Arctic. Opening this summer in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, is the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), a Plexiglas, quarter-billion-dollar wonder of the northern world. Firs announced in 2007 under Stephen Harper, the station has so far attracted 200 research applicants from countries as far afield as Argentina, South Korea and Australia, all hoping to explore what lies beneath the tundra.

“They’re lining up at the door,” says David Scott, president of Polar Knowledge Canada, the government agency overseeing the project. “Growth chambers” for cultivating specimens, wet labs with cranes for lifting mammals, a dive centre for filling scuba tanks, triplexes for housing researchers—the station cost eight times more to erect than the Perimeter Institute, a science hub in Waterloo, Ont. One popular research area will be geology, as the Arctic holds rock formations rich with information about climate change and, in the case of the Hudson Bay area where O’Neil did his research, the history of life on Earth. O’Neil dated the fossils of ancient bacteria at 4.3 billion years old (although skeptics say they don’t look a day over three billion), suggesting that life existed before the planet had oxygen or oceans, and that life could just as easily have started in other barren parts of the universe.

Aside from prompting research, CHARS is a chance for Canada to stake its claim to the Arctic. The station is opening in a year when the Arctic Council, which negotiates land rights between eight Arctic countries, is looking for a new chair—the United States will step down in May after holding the position for two years. It also comes just before Canada submits a claim for the Arctic continental shelf in 2018 (competing with Russian and Danish claims). While the Canadian Forces have already boosted their presence with exercises in Nunavut including at Alert, the government will emphasize that “We the North” by opening the all-inclusive station for nerds.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 5, 2017 at 9:00 pm