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Monday, November 2, 2009

Taking Social Media Rejections To Heart

If you feel the sting of a "defriending" or "unfollowing" you are apparently not alone. In this world of ever expanding online social networks it seems rejection cuts equally as deep as it does in the real world. CNN's Breeanna Hare takes a look at how feelings get hurt in social media circles in this interesting article.

"People tend to think that these relationships are trivial and not very deep, but this is what we're moving towards, having a lot of our communications play out over the Internet," Purdue University social psychologist Kip Williams said. "That's the way it's becoming; this is how we interpret our worth. People care how many [online] friends they have."

To quote Brad Paisley "I'm so much cooler online"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Traveling Novemeber 2nd to 7th

My day job will be taking me to Rankin Inlet in Nunavut the week of November 2nd to 7th. As a result I may not be posting regularly, this is for several reasons:
  • I will be busy with my clients; and
  • Connectivity is a big question mark at the moment.
As I type this the temperature in Rankin Inlet is -24 degrees Celcius a huge change from the +16 we had here in Charlottetown yesterday, though that was higher than we would expect here on Halloween. I am very much looking forward to capturing a few photographs, hopefully the Northern Lights and perhaps some wildlife, and expect that my host accommodations, the Nanuq Lodge will provide a memorable stay.

Their website leads me to believe that there may be some very interesting coversations/stories from the proprietors:

"Your Hosts.
John Makayak Hickes was born at Pistol Bay, near Whale Cove, and lived near Rankin Inlet, beyond where the Con Shed is located. After years in Churchill and Ottawa, John returned home to share his warmhearted hospitality with guests. John grew up on the land and has a deep understanding of Inuit culture and the history of Kivalliq. A co-owner in Sila Lodge, John has a background in hospitality, training, and natural history interpretation. His special joys are his kennel of sled dogs and teaching youth about dog handling.

Page Burt has worked as staff naturalist with Bathurst Inlet Lodge since 1973, and lived in Yellowknife and Rankin Inlet. A biologist, Page divides her time between Outcrop Ltd., and Nanuq Lodge, looking after projects which include vegetation baseline studies, communications,
tourism consulting and bookings and service to the guests of Nanuq Lodge. Page is a specialist in arctic natural history and author of Barrenland Beauties, a colour field guide to arctic plants."

I'll post what I can, when I can. Perhaps some photos or video and some thoughts on this northern community located on Hudson Bay. Here are some interesting facts:

The local wildlife includes:

Polar Bear – Top of the Northern Food Chain. Largest of all bears. Skilled hunters – mainly hunting marine mammals. Sizes range from: males – 350 to over 650 kg and females from 150 to 250 kg. Colour varies from pure white to creamy yellow.

Wolves – Has a complex social hierarchy. Larger than a sled dog. Usually white colour in this area. But closer to the treeline, the colour varies.

Foxes – Arctic Fox can change colours with the seasons, from white or bluish-gray during the winter to yellowish- white & brown in the summer. Foxes usually live a nomad life & travel alone. Foxes home range is 16 to 25 sq. km.
Red Fox or Cross Fox – larger than Arctic Foxes. Has started traveling to the Arctic since the 1940s and has increased steadily ever since. Foxes usually live a nomad life & travel alone.

Wolverine – one of the larger species of the weasel family. The wolverine has a muscular body, strong legs & short bushy tail. The wolverine is widely known to stand up to Polar Bears, to raid traps and raid cached food.

Walrus – marine mammal, lives in packs, has 2 long tusks. The male tusks are larger than the female tusks. Males usually weigh up to 800 kg and females up to 500 kg.

Whales – mostly Beluga Whales in this area, occasional Bowhead whales or Narwhales. Beluga whales migrate from Churchill, MB during the summer, and return there in the fall.

Caribou – Have adapted to the cold. Usually travel in herds. Main source of food for Inuit. Available throughout the year. Main diet: lichen, moss & mushrooms.

Birds – Canada Geese, Snow Geese, Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Gyr Falcon, Raven, Seagull, Owls, Loons, Sandhill Cranes, Swans, Arctic Terns and in recent years Red Robins.

Fish – Arctic Char, Trout, Greyling, and Rock Cod

Siksik – Arctic Ground Squirrel is a social animal that live in colonies. They live in burrows, which have many entrances. These burrows can be hindered by permafrost.

Wish me luck!

NASA Running Tests On Spider Monkeys

For the first time in decades NASA is working with primates as part of the preparation for space missions. This time around spider monkeys are being exposed to radiation similar to that which a human might be exposed to when traveling to Mars.

"We realized there was a need for this kind of work," Jack Bergman, a behavioral pharmacologist at Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital in Boston, told Discovery News.

"There's a long-standing commitment on the part of NASA to deep space travel and with that commitment comes a need for knowing what kinds of adverse effects deep space travel might have, what are the risks to astronauts," Bergman said. "That's not been well assessed."

The animals will not be destroyed after the experiments but will rather be cared for at a veterinary hospital, with no further experiments to be preformed on them.

Chimpanzees were sent into space prior to the first human attempts in order to test the Mercury capsules.

Source: Discovery News.