Thursday File Buzz

News, photos and quotes I have found interesting.

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    Astrotourism skyrockets in Chile
    By Frederick Bernas Elqui Valley, Chile
    After 40 minutes on the dusty road, lined with scrawny bushes, cacti and rocks, the van arrives at Pangue Observatory. Opened in 2008, it is one of about a dozen tourist observatories scattered around Chile’s northern regions, which have some of the clearest skies in the world.
    "I used to go on ‘astronomic safaris’ with my Canadian friends. We would take a telescope, drive into the valley and observe all night long, so I knew foreign visitors were interested," says Cristian Valenzuela, one of Pangue’s two founders.
    Pangue offers stargazing sessions with a $45,000 (£26,750) telescope that range from three hours to a whole night. The largest group size is 15 and programs are designed for enthusiasts who know more than your average tourist.
    Across the valley, hundreds of visitors per night flock to the municipal observatory at Cerro Mamalluca, which opened to the public in November 1998 as the first project of its kind.
    "Back then, it was just an experiment - our first tour had two people," says guide Luis Traslavina, as the observatory’s spherical roof slides open to reveal a vast panorama of planets, constellations, galaxies and the occasional shooting star.
    "I’ve worked here for 16 years, and there’s never been a day when nobody came."
    Although many newer observatories have sprung up, Mamalluca’s popularity is not wavering: Last year, it welcomed more than 45,000 of the region’s 150,000 visitors.
    - Read On

    — 1 hour ago
    #tf Chile  #TF What is up around us  #tf space  #Pangue Observatory  #Cerro Mamalluca 

    Paramedics called to 24 Sussex Drive

    — 2 hours ago
    #TF What is up around us  #tf canada  #tf news video  #CBC 
    Earthquake hits off coast of Port Hardy, B.C.April 24 2014 - by Amy Judd - Global NewsA 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Port Hardy on Vancouver Island Wednesday night.According to the United States Geological Survey, (USGS), it struck at 8:10 p.m. PDT and the epicentre was located about 91 km south, off the coast, at a depth of about 11 km. It was originally recorded as a 6.7 but was downgraded to a 6.6 magnitude quake.Residents in Port Hardy said the ground shook for about 35 to 40 seconds during the preliminary earthquake. Groceries were knocked off the shelves at the local Overwaitea store.People are saying they felt it as far away as Langley and Kelowna.The National Weather Service says there is no risk of a tsunami.However, the USGS says to expect aftershocks. Earthquakes Canada reports there have been three aftershocks – magnitude 5.0, 4.2 and 4.2 struck the same region at about 8:20, 8:41 p.m. and 10:16 p.m. PDT respectively. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the earthquake.Taimi Mulder, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said this area gets hit by a magnitude 6 earthquake every one to two years. “It occurred on the edge of where the Pacific plate touches the North America plate, where it starts to go underneath,” she said. “It’s an area where we do have a history of having earthquakes.”“It [was] right at the boundary where the off-shore Juan de Fuca Plate starts to subduct or go under the edge of the North America Plate.”“It’s part of the normal seismicity that we’ve been getting,” she added, “since we’ve been monitoring very closely over the past 20 years, 30 years.”Watch the videos click here

    Earthquake hits off coast of Port Hardy, B.C.
    April 24 2014 - by Amy Judd - Global News
    A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Port Hardy on Vancouver Island Wednesday night.
    According to the United States Geological Survey, (USGS), it struck at 8:10 p.m. PDT and the epicentre was located about 91 km south, off the coast, at a depth of about 11 km. It was originally recorded as a 6.7 but was downgraded to a 6.6 magnitude quake.
    Residents in Port Hardy said the ground shook for about 35 to 40 seconds during the preliminary earthquake. Groceries were knocked off the shelves at the local Overwaitea store.
    People are saying they felt it as far away as Langley and Kelowna.
    The National Weather Service says there is no risk of a tsunami.
    However, the USGS says to expect aftershocks. Earthquakes Canada reports there have been three aftershocks – magnitude 5.0, 4.2 and 4.2 struck the same region at about 8:20, 8:41 p.m. and 10:16 p.m. PDT respectively. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the earthquake.
    Taimi Mulder, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said this area gets hit by a magnitude 6 earthquake every one to two years. “It occurred on the edge of where the Pacific plate touches the North America plate, where it starts to go underneath,” she said. “It’s an area where we do have a history of having earthquakes.”
    “It [was] right at the boundary where the off-shore Juan de Fuca Plate starts to subduct or go under the edge of the North America Plate.”
    “It’s part of the normal seismicity that we’ve been getting,” she added, “since we’ve been monitoring very closely over the past 20 years, 30 years.”
    Watch the videos click here

    — 2 hours ago
    #TF What is up around us  #tf canada  #TF Earthquake  #Port Hardy  #british columbia 

    Moment in time: April 24, 1942 — Lucy Maud Montgomery dies

    In her 21 books, Lucy Maud Montgomery always provided happy endings. Her feisty heroines - most famously red-haired Anne Shirley - invariably defeated the naysayers who undermine the dreams of the young. A happy ending eluded Montgomery herself. She died at 67 at her Toronto home, officially of coronary thrombosis but more likely of a self-inflicted overdose, a circumstance her descendants revealed only six years ago. A bedside note read: ”May God forgive me. … My position is too awful to endure.” The depression that claimed her sprang from her miserable marriage to a mentally ill clergyman who never read her novels, and from the shame of her elder son’s criminal behaviour. Diagnosed with “neurasthenia,” she was prescribed barbiturates and bromides, whose dangers weren’t understood. Barbiturates are habit forming and bromides, toxic. She is buried in Cavendish, PEI, a place of pilgrimage for her readers from around the world. - Judy Stoffman

    Digital Archives of Lucy Maud Montgomery click here

    — 4 hours ago
    #tf moment in time  #1942  #April 24  #tf Canada  #Lucy Maud Montgomery  #TF Books 
    Add your own caption - #15 ‘The white chicken with a hat’
from TFD 637 - What do you think he is saying or thinking?
Join Thursday File Digest click here

    Add your own caption - #15 ‘The white chicken with a hat’

    from TFD 637 - What do you think he is saying or thinking?

    Join Thursday File Digest click here

    — 21 hours ago with 1 note
    #tf wildlife  #tf add your caption  #chicken 

    Herb Gray (Herbert Eser “Herb” Gray), PC CC QC
    Born: May 25, 1931, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Died: April 21, 2014 (aged 82), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Gray leaves behind wife Sharon Sholzberg, and two children, Jonathan and Elizabeth, and eight grandchildren.
    He was a Canadian Member of Parliament for four decades, and cabinet minister under three prime ministers, who served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1997 to 2002. He was Canada’s first Jewish federal cabinet minister, and is one of only a few Canadians ever granted the honorific The Right Honourable who was not so entitled by virtue of a position held.
    Photo I: Herb Gray // Photo II: Herb Gray - with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on their way to the House of Commons - May, 1972.
    Former deputy prime minister Herb Gray dies at 82
    The Canadian Press - Monday, April 21, 2014 - http://www.ctvnews.ca
    Herb Gray, a former deputy prime minister and one of Canada’s longest-serving parliamentarians, died Monday at the age of 82.
    The federal Liberal party said Gray passed away peacefully at an Ottawa hospital.
    "Beloved by all, Herb devoted a lifetime to his party and his country, in both good times and bad," Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said in a statement.
    "He has left behind an immense legacy unmatched by most in Canadian history."
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper extended his condolences to Gray’s family as news of his death spread.
    "He was an honourable parliamentarian who served his country well," Harper said on Twitter.
    Gray’s career in federal politics spanned nearly four decades, starting in Opposition to John Diefenbaker and sweeping to victory with Jean Chretien’s third Liberal majority government in November 2000.
    Chretien on Tuesday called Gray a great Canadian and a friend. He said Gray was “very competent, and very dedicated to the people of Windsor who had showed confidence in him for so long.”
    Added Chretien: “He had a great political career and should be an example for people who always criticize politicians. There are very good people serving Canada in that profession and the best example is Herb Gray.”

    Join Thursday File Digest click here

    Join Thursday File Digest click here
    Public service is a nobel cause and Gray was a noble man in that profession, said Chretien.
    The man sometimes known as The Gray Fog was a master of deflection in the House of Commons, embodying the place where opposition questions disappeared in a miasma of polite, monotonal verbiage.
    "I remember Herb Gray calmly swatting away our questions in QP when we were in opposition. It was a marvel," tweeted Industry Minister James Moore.
    "He caught every fastball we threw with his bare hand and smiled — first to our frustration, then to our rhetorical astonishment and respect."
    Constituents, however, said Gray was a down-to-earth politician who always looked beyond party lines when it came to their concerns.
    The Windsor lawyer was first elected to the Commons in 1962 at the age of 31.
    He would remain undefeated for 12 successive elections in his Windsor West riding. In the November 2000 election, he captured over 20,000 votes, more than twice that of his nearest competitor.
    Gray became the first Jewish federal cabinet minister in Canadian history, appointed as minister without portfolio by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
    He later held various cabinet portfolios including national revenue, consumer and corporate affairs and industry.
    He took over as deputy prime minister in 1997 from Sheila Copps, who resigned amid a scandal over the Liberals’ unfilled promise to scrap the GST. He left parliament in 2002.
    Copps remembered Gray on Monday as a friend and “a great Canadian.”
    Another former Liberal MP, John Nunziata, said he was “honoured to serve with Herb Gray — a true gentleman with an amazing wit and sense of humour.”
    Former federal Liberal leader Bob Rae added that Gray was a man who “served Canada with such distinction and care.”
    Gray, known for conservative suits and cautious answers, served as Chretien’s point man on many issues, including the APEC controversy and the Shawinigate affair, deflecting opposition questions about a hotel loan in Chretien’s constituency.
    He also headed up the file on residential school abuse, working with aboriginal groups to settle outstanding claims.
    A popular figure on Parliament Hill, he was regularly voted one of its sexiest MPs.
    In his riding, he was affectionately known as “the godfather of politics,” and a coalition of Windsor, Ont., non-profit groups named a building after him.
    When he stepped in as interim Opposition leader in 1990, he was often backed by a chorus of Liberal caucus members chanting “Herb, Herb, Herb.”
    Passionate about politics, he was also known for his love of political satire, and regularly tuned in to CBC’s Radio’s Royal Canadian Air Farce and Double Exposure.
    He never took himself too seriously, said Garry Fortune, a longtime assistant.
    "The two of us have had to practically pull over because of our fits of laughter, especially when they do their imitations of him," he said.
    Gray would often deliver one-liners during meetings that would go over other official’s heads, aides said.
    A classical pianist, Gray also had a love for rock ‘n’ roll, listening to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seeger. He once attended a Boy George concert.
    Gray had battled several health problems in recent years, including a heart condition and a bout with cancer.
    He was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in 1996 but recovered after radiation therapy.
    He also had an operation in 1999 to treat a prostate condition unrelated to the cancer.
    In August 2001, Gray underwent valve replacement surgery to correct a heart condition he had known about for years.
    Prior to that surgery, he gave no hints he would be retiring anytime soon. Rumours also speculated he was a contender for Governor General in 1999 or a senate seat.


    — 21 hours ago with 2 notes
    #tf memories  #herb gray  #tf canada 
    thursdayfilefaces:

Kenneth and Helen Felumlee
Photo: In this September 1941 photo provided by Dick Felumlee, Kenneth and Helen Felumlee pose for a photo nearly three years before their marriage in February 1944. The Felumlees, who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in February, died 15 hours apart from each other last week.Married for 70 years, inseparable couple die 15 hours apartApril 19 2014 — Globe and Mail - Associated PressA couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, Ohio, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.The couple’s eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart, the Zanesville Times Recorder reported.The pair had known each other for several years when they eloped in Newport, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, on Feb. 20, 1944. At two days shy of his 21st birthday, Kenneth — who went by Kenny — was too young to marry in Ohio.Kenneth worked as a railroad car inspector and mechanic before becoming a mail carrier for the Nashport Post Office. Helen stayed at home, not only cooking and cleaning for her own family but also for other families in need in the area. When Kenneth retired in 1983 and the children began to leave the house, the Felumlees began to explore their love of travel, visiting almost all 50 states by bus.

    thursdayfilefaces:

    Kenneth and Helen Felumlee

    Photo: In this September 1941 photo provided by Dick Felumlee, Kenneth and Helen Felumlee pose for a photo nearly three years before their marriage in February 1944. The Felumlees, who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in February, died 15 hours apart from each other last week.
    Married for 70 years, inseparable couple die 15 hours apart
    April 19 2014 — Globe and Mail - Associated Press
    A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.
    Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, Ohio, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.
    The couple’s eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart, the Zanesville Times Recorder reported.
    The pair had known each other for several years when they eloped in Newport, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, on Feb. 20, 1944. At two days shy of his 21st birthday, Kenneth — who went by Kenny — was too young to marry in Ohio.
    Kenneth worked as a railroad car inspector and mechanic before becoming a mail carrier for the Nashport Post Office.
    Helen stayed at home, not only cooking and cleaning for her own family but also for other families in need in the area.
    When Kenneth retired in 1983 and the children began to leave the house, the Felumlees began to explore their love of travel, visiting almost all 50 states by bus.

    — 23 hours ago with 4 notes
    #TF What is up around us  #Kenneth and Helen Felumlee  #tf memories  #tf usa 

    April 22 marks Earth Day

    Drawings by Steve MacDowall June 2013 take a look at all the drawings during June

    All the drawings since January 01 2013 click here

    — 1 day ago with 3 notes
    #tf art  #Steve MacDowall  #drawings  #Earth Day 2014  #April 22 
    Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive?Online dictionaries and smartphones may help with preservation, experts say.by Christine Dell’Amore posted on April 13, 2014 - http://news.nationalgeographic.comOf the 143 native languages in Mexico, 60 are at risk of being silenced forever, linguists say.Photo: Josué Robles Barnett, a member of Mexico’s Seri people, demonstrates a gesture that conveys peace in a photo published in 2012. The indigenous group does not have a handshake or a wave. - by Lynn Johnson, National GeographicOne language, Ayapenaco, is spoken fluently by just two elderly men who aren’t even on speaking terms. Another indigenous language, Kiliwa, is spoken by only 36 people.While 60 of Mexico’s native tongues are at risk, 21 are critically endangered, with only a few elderly speakers left, according to a statement released recently by Mexico’s Centre of Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS). The languages most at risk in Mexico—including the Zapotec, the Chatino, and the Seri tongues—are undergoing “rapid change” for a number of reasons, says Lourdes de León Pasquel, a linguist at CIESAS. Among them are “migration, social instability, [and] economic and ideological factors that push speakers to adopt Spanish.”Mexico isn’t the only country losing its voices: If nothing is done, about half of the 6,000-plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century, according to UNESCO’s Endangered Languages Programme website.It’s vital to save languages because they “are the primary conduit for human culture,” says K. David Harrison, a linguist and co-leader of National Geographic’s Enduring Voices project.Mexico is a good example of that, Harrison said in an email interview: “Each of the Mexican indigenous languages contains millennia of human experience, wisdom, and practical knowledge about the natural environment.”León Pasquel argues that to preserve Mexico’s threatened languages, “there should be an integrated policy to keep them alive: bilingual education [and] design of school curricula and bilingual materials. But more importantly, teacher training is basic to achieve this goal and that is what we lack.”Because Spanish is the dominant language in the workplace and Mexicans are typically taught Spanish in school, many Mexicans may have less interest in their region’s native tongue, she said. But in her view, “Everybody should learn an indigenous language apart from Spanish.”Keeping Voices AliveLosing languages is “neither inevitable nor irreversible,” according to UNESCO’s Endangered Languages website. There are many efforts under way worldwide to boost learning and speaking of languages in decline, especially for younger generations.Read on

    Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive?
    Online dictionaries and smartphones may help with preservation, experts say.
    by Christine Dell’Amore posted on April 13, 2014 - http://news.nationalgeographic.com
    Of the 143 native languages in Mexico, 60 are at risk of being silenced forever, linguists say.
    Photo: Josué Robles Barnett, a member of Mexico’s Seri people, demonstrates a gesture that conveys peace in a photo published in 2012. The indigenous group does not have a handshake or a wave. - by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic
    One language, Ayapenaco, is spoken fluently by just two elderly men who aren’t even on speaking terms. Another indigenous language, Kiliwa, is spoken by only 36 people.
    While 60 of Mexico’s native tongues are at risk, 21 are critically endangered, with only a few elderly speakers left, according to a statement released recently by Mexico’s Centre of Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS).
    The languages most at risk in Mexico—including the Zapotec, the Chatino, and the Seri tongues—are undergoing “rapid change” for a number of reasons, says Lourdes de León Pasquel, a linguist at CIESAS. Among them are “migration, social instability, [and] economic and ideological factors that push speakers to adopt Spanish.”
    Mexico isn’t the only country losing its voices: If nothing is done, about half of the 6,000-plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century, according to UNESCO’s Endangered Languages Programme website.
    It’s vital to save languages because they “are the primary conduit for human culture,” says K. David Harrison, a linguist and co-leader of National Geographic’s Enduring Voices project.
    Mexico is a good example of that, Harrison said in an email interview: “Each of the Mexican indigenous languages contains millennia of human experience, wisdom, and practical knowledge about the natural environment.”
    León Pasquel argues that to preserve Mexico’s threatened languages, “there should be an integrated policy to keep them alive: bilingual education [and] design of school curricula and bilingual materials. But more importantly, teacher training is basic to achieve this goal and that is what we lack.”
    Because Spanish is the dominant language in the workplace and Mexicans are typically taught Spanish in school, many Mexicans may have less interest in their region’s native tongue, she said. But in her view, “Everybody should learn an indigenous language apart from Spanish.”
    Keeping Voices Alive
    Losing languages is “neither inevitable nor irreversible,” according to UNESCO’s Endangered Languages website. There are many efforts under way worldwide to boost learning and speaking of languages in decline, especially for younger generations.
    Read on

    — 2 days ago with 4 notes
    #TF What is up around us  #tf mexico  #tf language  #endangered