Saturday, June 21, 2008

Google launches new space race to the moon!

Google announces the Google Lunar X Prize, which will put $20 million into the hands of the first privately funded team that can land a rover on the moon, have it travel on the surface for 500 meters or more, send back data, photos and video, and do it all by December 31, 2012.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

US Government wants to control water, but is it theirs to begin with?

I keep saying that soon clean drinkable water will soon be one of the most sought after commodities competing with oil in value. There are companies all over the world already selling water, both in bottles and for water piped into your home. Now the US Government is working on the Water Restoration Act of 2007. This would give the US Federal Government control over all water in the US. The idea is that this would give the US Government control over water so that it can be protected. It seems water may be a potential terrorist target and they also want to be able to have control over the pollution and said clean up of polluted water to insure the US has safe water to drink.

The problem is that it also opens the door to privatization of the water supply. If there is money to make someone will and controlling water is a sure way to make some. I don’t think that it would be a good idea to give control over our water to someone looking to sell it back to us. It is one thing to pay for water usage in our homes to cover the cost of piping, pumps, maintains and cleaning the water. It is another thing completely to have to pay for the actual water. Right now I can buy a bottle of water if I want to, which is fine because I am not forced to buy the water I can choose to. I already know that it is going to be the poor that suffers if suddenly you have to buy water.

Once you have control over the water you have control over the people. We cannot live with out it. I do agree that pollution must be reduced or stopped and cleaned up. There is less and less clean water everyday. It is a valuable commodity that is used in just about everything from drinking water, production and manufacturing. Do I want the same type of people in charge of water, as we have in charge of oil and gas, no way! I do not want to have price hikes on every Friday or to be denied water because I am poor. Once someone has control over the water they can decide who gets it and trust me it will be the people, county, city or state that can pay the most for it.

I can also see this causing an international issue. The great lakes are not 100% US though at times they seem to believe that they are. The water is not just for them. I live in Canada, on the edge of one of the lakes. We use it for our water, and trust me it needs to be cleaned up. However if a company in the US is given the right to sell the water from the Great Lakes we are going to have a problem.

First all the water there is not theirs to buy or sell. Second with the potential for abuse, already seen in the fishing industry, how much water would they remove from the lakes to supply people? Canada and the US would soon have very strong words over the control of the water. And let me tell you Canada and Canadians are not going to sit idly by as some company sells off our water. This is not just a US issue, with US rights and laws. Just because the US decides this is the way it is going to be does not make it so. Canada has some say over what happens with the water and who gets what.

To find out more about this Water Restoration Act of 2007 please check out this article Water Restoration Act May Lead to Privatization of Water Supply.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jellyfish Outbreaks a Sign of Nature Out of Sync

I knew that we were in trouble when fish prices started going up years ago, and we had to start making fish farms to try and repopulate Salmon and other fish. Now almost 20 years latter the jellyfish are letting us know that there is a real problem not just in Canada but world wide. Over fishing has changed the population of the seas and now jellyfish are taking over. This is not a good thing. I don't know what we are going to be able to do, it is not like we can even replace the number of fish we are already taking out and we are still fishing.

The dramatic proliferation of jellyfish in oceans around the world, driven by overfishing and climate change, is a sure sign of ecosystems out of kilter, warn experts. There is a very good article on this called Jellyfish Outbreaks a Sign of Nature Out of Sync.

For years over fishing has been causing problems in the ecosystem but now that the jellyfish are moving in and causing problems for tourism suddenly we notice.

Rare albino crows spotted in East Vancouver

It is a baby white albino crow. Very odd. Strange things are going on when crows are pure white. There are two baby crows that appear to have a rare genetic mutation that makes them albino. I found the story on the two crows on CBC web site. I guess it is not just wales showing up as albinos these days. I wonder if this is normal or if we have messed up the ecosystem up so badly things are just going haywire?

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Mysterious Rings Found In Canadian Forests

Only seen from the sky, hug rings or circles in the trees. Thousands of large, perfectly round circles. Space ships landed here or are these the same as crop circles only in trees?

No it is believed that the strange circles are being caused by "giant, natural electrochemical cells — big centres of negative charges called reduced chimneys — that are frequently situated over metal or mineral deposits, or methane." It seems finding the circles gives clues that there something worth digging for, possible metal, minerals or more important alternative fuel in the form of methane. With the cost of oil going up alternative fuels are going to be even more valuable resources so I guess it is a good thing someone figured out that the rings may mean dig here. I found the article on the Mysterious Rings Found In Canadian Forests on the CBC web site. It is interesting but I pulled some of the pictures and info for a quick overview. The article is still worth reading though.

An Ontario Geological Survey map of documented forest rings in Northern Ontario. Note that the size of the rings on the map is to show the distribution of different-sized rings, they are not proportional to the map scale. (Courtesy Ontario Geological Survey)

Rings in farmer's fields in Southern Ontario's Essex County, a few kilometres from the Michigan border, formed by oil deposits. (Courtesy Ontario MNR)

The Cheecka Ring is a ring measuring about 1 kilometre in diameter, located 20 km east of Hearst, Ont. Scientists believe it was formed by a natural gas deposit. (Courtesy S. Hamilton, OGS)

The R2 Ring is a 300-metre wide ring located about 40 kilometres south of Hearst, Ont. The geological source of the ring is unknown, but its shape can be clearly seen in this aerial photograph of the forest. (Courtesy S. Hamilton, OGS)