Unnecessary canals

March 2, 2014

I used an ocean of pixels in attacking Lee Myoung Bak’s plan for a canal from Incheon up the Han River to Gangwondo and across to the Nakdong River (which also starts in Gangwon Province) and south to Busan.  The whole canal idea was ridiculous; the ocean offers a open water route between Incheon or Seoul and Busan and there are never traffic jams or delays for locks to fill and empty.  See here and here if you are interested.

A new canal is in the news, and although not in Korea, it might be similarly redundant.  Nicaragua may soon get a canal to compete with Panama’s.

The environmental impacts could be considerable.

A final route for the canal has not yet been announced, but the proposed routes pass through Lake Nicaragua, which covers about six times the area of Los Angeles and is Central America’s largest lake.

The lake is a major source of drinking water and irrigation, and home to rare freshwater sharks and other fish of commercial and scientific value, Huete-Pérez and Meyer say. The forest around it is home to howler monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, and countless tropical birds–not to mention several groups of indigenous people (some of whom have challenged the project in court, so far to no avail).

I’m a citizen of the world and benefit from international commerce.  I know nothing about the environmental impact of either Central American canal but I know I benefit from the one that currently exists.  It will be interesting to see what arguments are made against the proposed new canal and how the current one succeeds or fails on those aspects.

Ship leaking oil near DaDaePo

February 17, 2014

From Busan Haps:

BUSAN, South Korea —  An accident involving an oil supplier and an 80,000 ton cargo ship has caused a huge quantity of oil to leak into waters about 2.8 miles northwest of Busan Saeng-do, with  237 kiloliters of Bunker C oil has leaked into the sea.

The amount of the leaked oil is one-and-a-half times more than that of the recent Yeosu accident. The oil has spread 4.5 kilometers south from the scene of the accident.

 

There is more at Yonhap. And Daum media.

I have learned elsewhere that the Coast Guard has more than 60 ships onsite.  The Korean Navy, Busan Fire Dept, private environment cleanup groups and other groups also have ships and boats onsite. When the recent Yeosu oil spill first occurred, it was deemed to be easily manageable and only a small fleet was sent to work on it. Then, it was found to be larger than previously reported and more ships and personnel were sent but the oil had had time to spread. This time, the response was much greater. Coast Guard vessels from as far away as Sokcho responded to this spill.

Enjoying a short winter- perhaps only because it is short

January 7, 2014

On January 14, my son and I fly back to South Korea.  In Busan today, the temperature is +6C.

Here in Penetanguishene, schools, roads, well, everything is closed because of the blizzard.  The wind is howling and dumping snow and the temperature is below -15C even before wind chill is taken into account.

My son and had fun today anyway.

Winter started early with a lot of snow in early December.  I seem to remember lasting snow only falling around Christmas (and falling for the next ten days straight, but not until then)  This winter, it has been early and constant.

blizzard jan 7 (1 b)

We had to go out the garage door because the front door is snowed in.blizzard jan 7 (2 b)

Even the back door is blocked up.  The wind has actually pushed snow through the screen door so snow has piled up between the doors.blizzard jan 7 (4 b)

Once outside, we built a quinzee.  Outside, the wind was strong and the temp around -15C.  Inside the snow house, there was no wind and the temp was much closer to 0C.  The main problem was having our glasses fog up in the warmth.in quinzee (1 b)

If we were staying in Ontario for the whole winter, we might soon get sick of the weather.  A short but real winter (again, in Busan it is miserably cool but not cold enough for sledding or making snowmen) is fun and I’m glad to have had the chance to enjoy it.

I sure hope our flight isn’t delayed though.

Except on this blog.

January 2, 2014

Funny that I enjoy these tests now that they mean nothing.  Also funny, how they do not represent my actual use of grammar on this, or other, blogs.

I embedded the second image from the site.  If it does not have a working link, try this.

grammar guru


Click image to open interactive version (via Staples.ca).

Late Fall at the Wye Marsh

November 19, 2013

The school groups aren’t doing much at the Wye Marsh this month.  We were incredibly busy in October but there are only occasional groups coming until, I guess, next year when cross country skiing starts up.  A coworker and I felt the need to canoe and see what the marsh looks like in mid-November.

First, I found this wonderful swan-foot print and needed to compare it to my own hand.  Sure, my foot is longer, but this is huge for a 12 kg animal.

DSC09976 b We were using a smaller canoe so we explored areas we couldn’t earlier in the giant ten person canoes.  Here, the edges of the channel were so narrow, we just pulled our boat through.DSC09971 b Did I say, November?  I meant Movember.  Squint or click on the image to increase the size if you cannot see my luxurious mustache!DSC09971 cWe had passed this beaver den almost every day for around five months.  After three weeks away, we arrived to find a cache of small trees and branches with delicious bark for the beavers to access through the winter in front of the den.
DSC09968 b This kestrel is the Marsh’s newest resident of the Birds of Prey program.DSC09966 c

I guess this back end of a cheetah needs a little explanation.  My son loves cheetahs and this is around half of a Christmas gift I am working on for him.  There is more, and another mustache shot at Creativiti Project.  Midland Wood Carvers is a group of carving hobbyists that I sometimes join to beg for assistance and wisdom.  Their workshop is at the Wye Marsh. DSC09981 b

Cheetahs and other cats of the Toronto Zoo

October 21, 2013

On Saturday, The Little Guy and I went to the Toronto Zoo.  We were there in part to meet an old roommate from  university but we also had a set of animals we had to see.  Those animals were Pandas, cheetahs, Komodo Dragons, and Orangutans.  The other animals were expected to be interesting but not nearly as important to The Little Guy.  In fact, it was only with difficulty that I convinced him to see the pandas.  My tiny knowledge of Hanja allowed me to read one character in each of the pandas names.  Er Shun was ‘2’ Shun and Da Mao was ‘great’ Mao.  My friend and I chuckled that ‘Great Mao’ might have been a dangerous name to have not too long ago.

I gotta say, this is a great time to visit the Zoo.  We were among perhaps fifteen people who entered at the nine AM opening and we didn’t feel crowded at all during the day.

 

The animal that most caught my attention was this feral cat carrying its lunch into a ravine.DSC09822 b The Little Guy and a lion.DSC09785 bTLG and a orangutan statue- the plaque is in honour of a friend of mine.DSC09816 b Three chameleons.*DSC09815 b A resting cheetah.DSC09795 b

The single best part of the trip of TLG’s interactions with one of the cheetahs.  It saw him running along the path and ran to meet him.  Then the two had a few running races.  I wish my camera had a better focus as I think it focused on the fence and not the animal inside but here it is clearly interacting with TLG.

 

 

—-

* I think there is only one chameleon in the picture.  As with Ninjas, one can never be sure.

Hallowe’en at the Library

October 20, 2013

Finally, a Penetanguishene Library event that had good attendance.  My son has had a great time at the Friday evening activities – Lego and chess are his favorites but there is also a Scrabble night and…something else.

Anyway, Hallowe’en came early on Saturday October 19 at the library.

DSC09833DSC09834DSC09829
Mad scientist Mel enthralled the kids…with science!  I don’t know how much the kids absorbed but I want to make a smoke ring cannon now.
DSC09830DSC09832 DSC09831I have tried to avoid children’s faces in the images.  If anyone notices a problem, I will happily edit or remove a photo.

 

Awenda on Thanksgiving Monday

October 14, 2013

We had a picnic at our backyard provincial park today.  Awenda is just 10 km from home and really haven’t gone there as much as we should have.

My son learns to take chances:

awenda thanksgiving (3 b) awenda thanksgiving (3 c)

 

The variety of rock forms is suddenly interesting to me.  I have lived near Georgian Bay for years and never cared about the rocks.  They were mostly good for snorkeling over or diving off of.awenda thanksgiving (24 b)

Methodist Point:awenda thanksgiving (36) Stitch

I have had trouble capturing the vibrancy of the fall colours.  It has something to do with the right distance.  I can get one tree or one leaf but getting the feel of the forest eludes me.

awenda thanksgiving (39 b)

Today was the last day for camping this year.  Awenda Provincial Park is open for day visits until sometime next year

Great Muskoka Paddling Experience 2013

October 13, 2013

The Little Guy and I were fortunate to get to Bracebridge for the first part of the Thanksgiving weekend.  We met friends and did the Family Paddle event in the Great Muskoka Paddling Experience.  On Friday, we borrowed a canoe from some friends and  tried it out on the North Branch of the Muskoka River near Wilson’s Falls.DSC09620 b

Here are the Falls in question.

DSC09615 Stitch b

On Saturday, we went to Annie William’s Park for the paddling.  You can see that it was not just any canoe but a Langford 16′ Cedar Strip, made in Bracebridge, beautiful and a joy to paddle.  Many complemented the boat and I felt compelled to admit that I had only borrowed it.DSC09627 bThe colors were good during the paddle, and the trip in general – but I don’t think they have peaked yet.  This striking tree was opposite the Riverside Inn and where the North and South branches of the Muskoka meet.DSC09630 bI was impressed by the variety of vessels competing.  First up below is what I consider a sprint canoe, a very modern version of what I once competed with for Akomak Sprint Canoe Club.  OUr races were up to 500m and I really can’t imagine going 10 or more kilometers in one.DSC09629 DSC09628 b SUPs were common and another craft I would not want to race long distances in.DSC09626My friend Glen is in this boat and, as of October 13, 2013, the one used in the promotional materials here.DSC09624 b I really can’t say what kind of boat this is.  I am especially intrigued by the high stern seat.DSC09622 A few leading members of the 10km race passing our vantage point.DSC09621

I would never have finished it, but I wish I had seen this race, also on the Muskoka River.


Added later:  Results -for the actual races, not the ‘family paddle’ I was involved in, are now up.

First blood donation in Canada in thirteen years.

October 7, 2013

When I lived in Canada, I tried to donate often.  During my thirteen years in Korea, my rate dropped as it was too much effort to break the language barrier.  See here (for Busan) and here (Gangneung in Gangwondo) for those stories.

 

This will likely be my only donation this year, which is pretty weak.  My grandfather donated around 100 times and that was back when you could only donate two or three times a year.DSC09589 b DSC09588 bThe clinic was at the Best Western at King St and Highway 12.

 Here is where you can make a donation anywhere in Canada.

 


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