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Whales will come, but will tourists? Uncertainty in N.L. tourism business grows – CBC.ca

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The whales will make their way to Newfoundland and Labrador waters this summer, that is certain. What’s unknown at this point, because of the coronavirus pandemic, is if tourists will be here to see them breach and flap their tails.

So, if you’re in the business of taking visitors whale watching, this is a stressful period. Shawna Prince and her husband Kris own Sea of Whales tour company in Trinity.

“There’s so many unanswered questions and I’m someone who’s a planner. I like to have a plan. I like to know where I’m going,” said Prince.

Right now they’re not going anywhere near the ocean in Newfoundland. The Princes are in Alberta. They travel there every winter to work; Kris as a welder and Shawna as a teacher.

While they’re living on the other side of the country, they still tune in for the daily medical briefings here in Newfoundland and Labrador to see how the disease is progressing.

Their plan is to drive back in early May. That’s a month when the whale watching business is unpredictable at the best of times depending on whales and icebergs, so Shawna Prince isn’t sure what their business losses will be for that period.

Shawna and Kris Prince operate Sea of Whales whale watching tours in Trinity, Newfoundland. The couple works in Alberta during the winter and returns to N.L. every season to cater to tourists. (Paul Dolk/Submitted)

She does know now that efforts to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 have completely flattened their June profits.

“We do have a lot of cancellations. We’re seeing a lot of cancellations from travel groups, so nobody traveling on buses altogether and things like that,” said Prince. 

Tourists who’ve booked for July and August are, so far, holding out hope, according to Prince.

But she worries about the situation long term. Provincial Health Minister John Haggie has said that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be experiencing this virus for the next 18 months to two years.

“Even if they were to relax travel, I mean, will people feel safe enough to travel? There’s going to be fear and there’s going to be anxiety with respect to those kinds of things and travel for fun,” said Prince. 

Like Sea of Whales, most of the businesses in Trinity, rely on tourism dollars. Prince said the group of owners in the community have been discussing the situation and supporting each other online.

“I think there’s a lot of fear. We worry about our employees for sure. And so, if we’re not able to open, what happens to them?” said Prince.

“It’s really difficult to think that we may not be able to operate at all this season and, well, maybe not next year either.”

Whales and icebergs normally draw thousands of tourists to Newfoundland and Labrador. There is growing uncertainty about how tourism will proceed this year amid the coronavirus. (Kris Prince/Submitted)

Their love of whales is what brought Prince and her husband together and what led them to start a whale watching business together.

Even if tourists don’t come this season, Prince, who is an environmental scientist, said they’ll continue their work on the water tracking whales, photographing their tails and collecting audio of whale communication for Memorial University. 

She admits that getting back to nature in a quieter way might actually be a blessing in all of this uncertainty.

“I have no idea what’s happening or when it’s happening and maybe that’s a life lesson learned right there, that I need to roll more with the punches, I guess.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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SpaceX Sent NASA Astronauts Into Orbit Using Linux – Futurism

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Club Penguin

This past weekend, Elon Musk-led private space company SpaceX made history by launching a pair of NASA astronauts into orbit, an accomplishment that could upset the balance of the international space industry.

According to a terrific breakdown by ZDNet, the historic launch also contributed to a shift in power from proprietary software to open source — by running the Falcon 9 rocket on a version of the open source operating system Linux.

Kernel Space Program

The unspecified version of Linux, according to ZDNet, runs on three dual-core x86 processors — a redundancy system that keeps the astronauts safe by making sure all three units agree before executing each command.

ZDNet also pointed to a 2013 Reddit post in which SpaceX employees confirmed that Dragon and Falcon 9 both on Linux.

Linus Spacevalds

SpaceX isn’t the first group to bring open source software into orbit.

The International Space Station itself, where the NASA astronauts launched by SpaceX are now residing, reportedly switched to Linux from Microsoft’s proprietary Windows operating system in 2013.

READ MORE: From Earth to orbit with Linux and SpaceX [ZDNet]

More on Linux: Linux Creator: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Are “A Disease”

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How to watch the 'strawberry moon' eclipse from anywhere Friday – CNET

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A brilliant full moon rises at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017.


NASA/Kim Shiflett

Get ready to look to the night sky on Friday. A full “strawberry moon” is on the calendar, and it will come with an understated partial eclipse for some parts of the world. While the moon will be at its absolute fullest on Friday around noon PT, you’ll have several opportunities to enjoy the view. The moon will  still look full from early Thursday morning through early Sunday morning, NASA said Monday.

North America will miss the eclipse, but the Virtual Telescope Project will livestream the lunar event from Italy above a view of the Rome skyline. Mark your calendar for noon PT on Friday, June 5, and visit the project’s web TV page to join in.   

A penumbral eclipse is much more subtle than a total eclipse. The moon slips through the Earth’s outer (penumbral) shadow, which can trigger a slight darkening of the moon. If you didn’t know it was happening, you might miss it. A partial penumbral eclipse like the one on Friday makes it even harder to spot a difference.

Denizens of the moon, however, would notice the effects. “For spacecraft at the Moon such as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the reduction in solar power is noticeable,” NASA said.

Unfortunately, the “strawberry” nickname for the June full moon doesn’t refer to a color, but seems to be an old reference to the strawberry harvest season. NASA’s Gordon Johnston rounded up a list of alternative names for this month’s moon, including mead moon, honey moon, hot moon and planting moon.

Even if the eclipse is too faint to detect, you can still take a moment to bask in the light of a lovely full moon this week. 

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What to expect from the ECB today [Video] – FXStreet

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– Overview of market sentiment at the European open (00:00).

– Detailed look at what to expect from the ECB announcement today (2:22).

– Merkel over delivers on the latest German stimulus package (17:40).

– Oil volatility here to stay as OPEC+ meeting looms (19:17).

– UK hits out at China over HK security law as they look for 5G alternatives (26:18).

[embedded content]

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