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Black Press Media’s Top 25 most-read stories of 2021 – Cranbrook Townsman

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From dancing cops and Golden meteors to floods, fires and COVID, here’s a look at the most popular Black Press articles of 2021.

1. Whales appear during Indigenous ceremony for 215 children in Campbell River

The 7 Generations Steward Society had a surprise during a small ceremony they held to commemorate the 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Residential School.

2. Meteor gives Golden woman late night shock

Golden, B.C. resident Ruth Hamilton awoke to a bang and a rock as big as her fist on her pillow.

3. Video of dancing cops in Vanderhoof goes viral

Vanderhoof RCMP entertained thousands after a video of their coordinated dance moves went viral.

4. Abbotsford farmer among first in B.C. to grow and harvest ‘world’s most expensive spice’

An Abbotsford farm has become the first in the Fraser Valley – and one of a few in Canada – to grow and sell the flower that produces the world’s most expensive spice.

5. Oak Bay resident uses notes to claim street parking

A woman who parks her car on the street near her workplace in south Oak Bay has had about half a dozen notes put on her car from a resident claiming it’s in front of their house.

6. Company has B.C. operating licence suspended after truck caught driving dangerously on Hwy 5A

The company behind the commercial truck caught on camera driving dangerously on Highway 5A last week has had its licence suspended by the B.C. government.

7. Burns Lake man grabs lynx by scruff after chickens attacked

A Burns Lake man is turning heads after taking a lynx by the scruff after it broke in and attacked his chicken coop.

8. 3 separate slides close Coquihalla, Highway 1 and 7

Three separate slides closed the Coquihalla and Hwy. 1 just north east of the Lower Mainland after an unprecedented atmospheric river on Nov. 14.

9. ‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

The RCMP has concluded an almost two-year-long international drug investigation after finding nearly two dozen bricks of cocaine in bananas shipped to Central Okanagan grocers in February 2019.

10. Bikers pay respects at Maple Ridge funeral for Hells Angels chapter president

Riders from motorcycle clubs across Canada attended the Langley service for the president of the Haney chapter of the Hells Angels, Mike Hadden on Saturday, Sept. 4.

11. ‘Bad-ass dude that took on a grizzly bear’ doesn’t let 2019 B.C. attack bring him down

It’s been nearly two years since Colin Dowler freed himself from the claws and teeth of a grizzly bear using a pocket knife.

12. Dash-cam footage captures semi on Highway 1 in Salmon Arm running red light

“We saw him barrelling down the highway and we said, he’s not going to stop. I laid on the horn for a good 10 seconds and he blew right by us,” Salmon Arm resident Phaedra Idzan said.

13. South Surrey senior who went to U.S. to buy gas hit with $5,700 fine

A South Surrey grandmother thought she was doing the right thing by going into the U.S. to buy gasoline after the B.C. government placed a 30-litre limit on the amount of fuel drivers are allowed to purchase at one time.

Instead, Marlane Jones was hit with a $5,700 fine.

14. ‘Tiger Dam’ being built on Highway 1 in Abbotsford to hold back floodwaters

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure built a “Tiger Dam” across Highway 1 on Nov. 28 to try to keep floodwaters in the Sumas River.

15. Illegal pet pig in Chilliwack dies hours after being re-homed

A family who owned a pet pig in downtown Chilliwack received some tragic news after they were forced to re-home him due to a violation of a Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) bylaw.

16. Chilliwack school trustee asked to resign by peers, lights up cigarette in meeting

Chilliwack school board asked Barry Neufeld to resign due to a controversial Facebook post. In the same meeting, Neufeld lit a cigarette, drank wine and appeared to fall asleep.

17. Orca pod returns to the Broughton Archipelago for first time in more than 20 years

After more than 20 years a celebrated orca family has ventured back into an old haunt near the North Island.

18. First Nations teen set to block destructive tourists from Tofino-Ucluelet wilderness area

Frustrated by the amount of destruction and disrespect he’s seen in his First Nation’s territory this summer, Tla-o-qui-aht member Timmy Masso is planning to block tourists from accessing West Main Forest Service Road on Tuesday.

19. 290 homes in Princeton under evacuation as flooding causes chaos

Two hundred and ninety homes were hurriedly placed on evacuation order late Sunday night, Nov. 14.

20. PAW Patrol to the rescue: dollar store helmet saves two-year-old from eagle attack

It was PAW Patrol to the rescue for an adventure-attracting Loon Lake two-year-old and Felix the cat, who presumably only has eight lives left after a potentially nasty eagle encounter was averted by a dollar store helmet.

21. Footage shows homes, buildings up in flames as wildfire races through Lytton

Footage taken through Lytton shows mass destruction in wake of a quick-moving fire that raced through the central B.C. town Wednesday, amid a provincial heat wave that saw national record-breaking temperatures.

22. Well-known Chilliwack homeless man says ‘thank you’ to firefighters for building him a shelter

James has been living on the streets of Chilliwack for years. He has been sleeping on Vedder Road, on the sidewalk outside the BC Liquor Store in Sardis.

But on Thursday (Feb. 11) James had a new place to sleep.

23. Dozens of vehicles burning at RV holding centre in Abbotsford

Hundreds of RVs were on fire at the site near the flooded Highway 1, just east of Whatcom Road. Plumes of thick black toxic smoke could be seen from miles away, with fire crews being hampered from getting closer to the scene due to flooding in the area.

24. Bobcat frozen to train track near Trail rescued by a train conductor

A little bobcat was enjoying his breakfast of duck just outside Trail when he froze to the train track he’d been sitting on. Lucky for the cat, a train crew spotted him and came to the rescue.

25. White Rock Lake wildfire grows to 55,000 hectares

The summer’s massive White Rock Lake wildfire led to the evacuation of entire communities.

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SETI Institute in the News – Media Roundup. December 2021 – SETI Institute

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LaserSETI Expands Its View

The ability to search for laser signals from other civilizations, rather than “traditional” radio signals, has increased significantly with new installations of LaserSETI in Hawai’i.

Each device is equipped with two identical cameras, rotated 90 degrees to one another along the viewing axis. A splitter divides the incoming light into spectra, which the camera records at a rapid rate. The wide-angle commercial lenses used in the LaserSETI devices are capable of imaging around 75 degrees, so only a few are needed to scan the entire night sky. Eliot Gillum, principal investigator for LaserSETI, said it’s “a big step forward in searching for technosignatures,” and that it’s the “first project in either optical or radio astronomy designed to cover the entire sky.”

MarsAnalogs, Lava, Mud, and Salt: Exploring Mars on Earth

In preparation for more missions to the Red Planet, including possible human explorers, scientists use locations on Earth to simulate conditions that may be found on Mars.  Other researchers, including Janice Bishop, examine and recreate the chemistry of Martian soil in the lab.

Dr. [Pascal] Lee runs the Haughton-Mars Project, an analog research facility on Devon Island, an uninhabited, barren Arctic outpost in Nunavut, Canada. “There’s an incredibly wide array of features that are similar to what we see on the moon and on Mars,” he said.

 

DunesDunes Across Many Worlds

Earth isn’t the only place in the Solar System with dunes – planets, moons, and even comets all have shown fields of wind- and/or water-sculpted landscapes. Studies of these features not only expands our understanding of these far-flung worlds, but also of our own planet, as described in this article, co-authored by Lori Fenton.

On Mars, more than 4,000 dune fields displaying a wide variety of dune forms have been mapped. Dunes have been imaged in two fields on Venus. The Rosetta spacecraft observed dunelike features on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko where a tenuous and transient atmosphere—formed by vaporization of ice as the comet passes close to the Sun—may mobilize surface particles. Meanwhile, Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite, has moon-circling longitudinal dunes near its equator; Triton, Neptune’s largest moon, and Io, Jupiter’s volcanically active moon, both have surface features indicating windblown sediment transport in transient atmospheres; and Pluto features dunelike forms on the frozen-nitrogen surface of Sputnik Planitia.

 

James Webb Space TelescopeJames Webb Space Telescope Holds Possibilities for SETI

New astronomical instruments bring unexpected discoveries and answers to old questions, as well as creating new questions to be answered.  Could JWST help answer one of humanity’s oldest questions?

We can’t even begin to imagine how much more we are going to learn,” Bill Diamond, president and CEO of the SETI Institute, told the Washington Examiner in 2018. The “odds of finding extraterrestrial life only get better” with the wider range of technology at scientists’ disposal,” including the James Webb telescope, he added.

BolideBolide Detection Gets a Boost from AI

Bolides – fireballs from exploding meteors – are difficult to study.  With the aid of lightning-spotting satellites and artificial intelligence, scientists now have more data to examine.

When a blazing bright light floods the sky in the Western Hemisphere, data travel from the two lightning mappers on the GOES satellites to NOAA, where they are processed to capture lightning events. Data then branch off and travel to supercomputers at the NASA Ames Research Center to spy the bolide flashes that scientists like [Jeffrey] Smith have trained them to recognize.

CAMSStudent Involvement with SpaceML Extends the Reach of CAMS

Meteor surveillance with the CAMS system of cameras covers much of the world, but is lacking in Asia.  One student in India describes his participation the SpaceML community and working with CAMS.

In the new world order created by the pandemic, SpaceML and my experience with CAMS showcases a model of how people from different parts of the world with different skill sets, can collaborate successfully. It is evidence that geopolitical borders are no boundaries to impactful work.

keplerExoplanets – The Numbers (and Bizarre Types) Are Growing

ExoMiner, a new algorithm, has scanned the Kepler data archive to confirm over 300 new exoplanets.  Meanwhile, scientists describe some of the strangest exoplanets yet found.

Kepler-16b is an extrasolar planet that was detected in the Kepler-16 system during NASA’s Kepler mission led by Laurence Doyle of the SETI Institute back in 2011. The mission’s research team used the data from the Kepler space telescope to search for transiting planets, and noticed “the brightness of this particular system dipped even when the stars were not eclipsing one another, hinting at a third body.”

AAATeachers Explore the Stratosphere on SOFIA

The Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program brings science educators and scientists together on NASA missions aboard SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. The 2021 ambassadors are back on Earth, eager to share their experiences with their students.

Ultimately, the flight invigorated the teachers to continue to educate the minds of their students and hopefully spark an interest in science among them. 
“More than just content, like being able to think critically and examine graphs, being able to work together and communicate, just like the all those people on the plane,” Heflin said. “Being able to work in groups is such a big skill.” 

 

An unusually large asteroid zipped past Earth in early December.  Spoiler alert: it didn’t hit the planet.

In a hint of festive hope, astronomer Dr. Franck Marchis said the rock, known as Nereus, “is not a threat” at this time.
But he added: “Its orbit could be deviated by various things, such as an encounter with another asteroid or a planet like Venus. Any deviation could be a problem. It is as if you have an evil neighbor: you want to know where they are and what they are doing”.

 

Dixie Fire as viewed from the Hatcreek Radio ObservatoryCalifornia Wildfires Again Threatened SETI Antennas

The SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA) was in the path of deadly wildfires for a second time.  While personnel were evacuated as a precaution for the Dixie Fire, the array was unharmed – this time.

It would be an ironic (and very human) twist if the thing that held back the search for life in the cosmos was the terrible effects of climate change on a more telluric scale.

 

The keystone of SETI research turned 60 in 2021. Nadia Drake discusses the Equation with her father, Frank.

Scores of scientists are still guided by the equation today, and the latest discoveries about other planets both within and beyond our solar system are helping researchers to fill in the variables. It’s a remarkable legacy considering he only wrote the thing down in 1961 when he was strapped for time and needed to organise a meeting.

 

Big Picture Science

Join hosts Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley each week as they explore emerging science and technology research.

Skeptic Check: Identifying UAPs
The Pentagon’s report on UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) said nothing about the possibility that some might be alien spacecraft. Nonetheless, the report has generated heightened interest in figuring out what these UAPs are, and that interest extends to some scientists. We talk to two researchers who want an open and strictly scientific investigation of these phenomena. What should they do and what do they expect to find? And finally, will the possibility of alien visitors ever be resolved?
 
With guests Jacob Haqq-Misra, Ravi Kopparapu

Hubble and Beyond
The universe is not just expanding; it’s accelerating. Supermassive black holes are hunkered down at the center of our galaxy and just about every other galaxy, too. We talk about these and other big discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, now in orbit for 30 years.

But two new next-generation telescopes will soon be joining Hubble: the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. Hear what cosmic puzzles they’ll address. Plus, life in a clean room while wearing a coverall “bunny suit”; what it takes to assemble a telescope.
 
With guests Meg Urry, John Grunsfeld, Kenneth Harris

Attack of the Mutants
The omicron variant is surging. More contagious than delta, omicron demonstrates how viruses use mutations to quickly adapt.

Mutations drive evolution, although most don’t do much. But occasionally a mutation improves an organism. Omicron, the latest in a string of variants, is bad for us, but good for the virus.

How mutation of viruses ensures their own survival while threatening ours, and the prospect of a universal vaccine that would protect us against all a viruses’ variants.  

With guests Robert Garry, Kevin Saunders

Mycology Education
Beneath our feet is a living network just as complex and extensive as the root systems in a forest. Fungi, which evolved in the oceans, were among the first to colonize the barren continents more than a half-billion years ago. They paved the way for land plants, animals, and (eventually) you. 

Think beyond penicillin and pizza, and take a moment to consider these amazing organisms. Able to survive every major extinction, essential as Nature’s decomposers, and the basis of both ale and antibiotics, fungi are essential to life. And their behavior is so complex you’ll be wondering if we shouldn’t call them intelligent!

With guest Merlin Sheldrake

More Big Picture Science episodes can be found at http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes.

SETI Live

SETI Institute hosts interview cutting-edge scientists each week on social media. Recent SETI Live episodes include:

Discovering Exoplanets in Another Galaxy
For the first time, scientists may have discovered evidence of a planet in another galaxy. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the possible exoplanet candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 52 (M51), about 28 million light-years away from Earth. Join Franck Marchis in conversation with Rosanne Di Stefano, lead author on the study that found this exciting new planet candidate to learn how they did it and what’s next.

DART: Mission to Move a (Didy)moon
Planetary defense is one of the core concerns of scientists. Our planet is constantly being bombarded by rocks, and so far, none of those rocks have been a serious threat to humanity. However, that could change, and researchers looking to prevent a catastrophe have designed a new mission to test our ability to shift an asteroid in its orbit. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is NASA’s demonstration of kinetic impactor technology, impacting an asteroid to adjust its speed and path. On November 24, 2021, the DART mission was launched and is expected to arrive at its target, asteroid Didymos’ moon Dimorphos (aka Didymoon), in 2022. Joining us to discuss DART’s objectives and science goals are three SETI Institute scientists working on the mission: Michael Busch, Matija Ćuk, and Gal Sarid. Beth Johnson will lead the discussion.

Mars Underground: Preparing Mars for Human Exploration?
The next era of Mars exploration has begun, with current and future missions highlighting the importance of subsurface science for sample return, astrobiology and human exploration. SETI Institute senior planetary astronomer Franck Marchis invited microbiologist Rachel Harris from Harvard University to discuss a session she organized at the AGU Meeting in New Orleans on the study of the interior of Mars with a focus on finding resources or sign of life on the red planet. Since this discussion was recorded from the #AGU21 meeting, we will take questions in the comments below.

SETI: Looking Back, Looking Forward
We’ve almost reached the end of 2021, and it was… a year. While everyone dealt with the pandemic and an uncertain future, we continued our outreach efforts to keep bringing science directly to the public. To close out an amazing calendar of SETI Live events, we are excited to speak with Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research, and Dr. Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, about the advances and progress made on our search for life beyond Earth this past year. They’ll also share their thoughts on what we can look forward to in the upcoming year, both with regards to SETI and space science. Beth Johnson will moderate.

Coming Spon: The Missions and Sights of 2022
Despite 2022 starting as an extension of 2020 and 2021, there are still new missions to be launched, more science to be done, and all the usual sights in the sky to look up at. Join Franck Marchis and Simon Steel as they give you the run down on what’s coming up in space science this year.

Videos of all past Facebook Live events can be found on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SETIInstitute/, or on our YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/SETIInstitute.

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Amazon reveals ‘Lord of the Rings’ subtitle that hints at storyline

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The long-awaited, expensive Middle-earth fantasy series from Amazon.com Inc has a name: “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

Amazon’s Prime Video revealed the full name of the fantasy series on Wednesday ahead of its planned streaming debut of Sept. 2.

The show’s storyline takes place thousands of years before the events in writer J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” books, which are set in the fictional land of Middle-earth and were brought to life in blockbuster movies.

The subtitle foreshadows a story “that welds the major events of Tolkien’s Second Age together: the forging of the iconic rings,” Amazon said in a statement.

Creators J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said the series “unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Numenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.”

“Until now, audiences have only seen on screen the story of the One Ring,” they added. “But before there was one, there were many … and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all.”

Amazon spent about $465 million filming the first season of the show, according to government officials in New Zealand, where the series was filmed. The company is expecting to make five seasons of the show, making it one of the most expensive TV series ever.

The first season will be available in more than 240 nations in multiple languages, Amazon said. New episodes will be released weekly.

 

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Media Advisory: Premier Furey, Minister Osborne, Minister Haggie and Dr. Fitzgerald Available to Media – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education, the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, and Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Chief Medical Officer of Health, will hold a media availability tomorrow (Thursday, January 20) at 2:00 p.m. to discuss COVID-19 and in-person learning for K-12 students. They will be joined by Tony Stack, CEO and Director of Education of the NLESD.

The availability will be live-streamed on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and on YouTube.

The availability will be virtual and all participating media will join by teleconference only. To participate, please RSVP to Jillian Hood (jillianhood@gov.nl.ca) who will provide the required details.

Media planning to participate must join the teleconference at 1:45 p.m. (NST) to be included on the call. For sound quality purposes, media calling in are asked to use a land line if at all possible.

– 30 –

Media contacts
Nancy Hollett
Health and Community Services
709-729-6554, 327-7878
nancyhollett@gov.nl.ca

Tina Coffey
Education
709-729-1906, 687-9903
tcoffey@gov.nl.ca

2022 01 19
11:50 am

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