The plant draws better than famous composers did:
“I see it many, many times a day. I look out the window, and there it is again,” said DiMaurizio, the vice-president and general manager of the main Canadian tour company, Hornblower Niagara Cruises.
His company’s boats can carry up to 700 people, but Ontario’s strict social distancing rules have only permitted them to carry six passengers at a time.
In contrast, the US-owned Maid of the Mist boats – which can normally hold around 500 people – are operating at 50% capacity.
The stark difference reflect radically different approaches that Canada and the US have taken to tackling the coronavirus pandemic – and their dramatically contrasting outcomes.
The US side of the falls lies within New York state, an area with a population of 19.5 million, and which has seen 414,000 Covid-19 cases and 32,000 deaths. On the Canadian side, Ontario – with a population of nearly 15 million – has seen 38,000 coronavirus cases and 2,755 deaths.
The disparity is a consequence of many factors, including universal healthcare, early travel bans and quarantine rules, mask wearing and physical distancing measures...
“We would really like to be in a position to have that [many customers] but you do have to balance it with supporting the province and their measures for keeping everybody safe. “So, yes, I’d like to be there. But I’m really glad Canada is faring as well as it is.”
Dozens of police officers were called to break up a massive party in Ocean County [New Jersey] with hundreds of people in attendance. The party was advertised on Instagram as a “mansion party” and was held at a home on Mill Pond Road in the Whispering Hills section of Jackson Township Sunday night. The party was reportedly held as a celebration of Liberian Independence Day and featured free food and alcohol and a twerking contest.
Spurred on by a Facebook post Wednesday from the event’s organizer, rodeo fans are planning to show up anyway to protest, asserting their constitutional right to peaceable assembly.
“The North Star Stampede will take place with no spectators,” wrote Cimarron Pitzen, whose family has staged the rodeo since 1955. “If people would like to come and protest against this ridiculous Government Over Reach, feel free to do so, I will not stand in the way of peoples ‘Right to Assemble.’ ”
Within hours of Pitzen’s post, rodeo fans rallied. “I guess if thousands can protest in downtown Minneapolis we can protest in a field!” wrote Mike Milkovich of Hibbing.
“Who says that you can’t be protesting while sitting in the stands … and a rodeo is just happening to be going on,” replied Janet Chartier Bailey of Andover.
Creek has been leading a group of volunteer watchdogs to monitor marine traffic, looking for Washington state boaters who have sneaked across the border into Canadian waters. They then report them to Canadian officials to try to keep them from docking and coming ashore. No hard feelings, he told me cheerily by phone this past week. But every American is seen as a loaded vector of disease.
“You need to get the pandemic under control. You need a rational person to take the helm of your country. Until then, all we’re saying to Americans is: Stay away. When you come against our wishes, pardon the expression, it pisses us off.”..
“Hard pass on opening the border — we’re a healthy nation with big plans, and you’re a failed society,” one Canadian replied to the congressional letter on Twitter.
“That border stays CLOSED,” wrote another. “Canadians may be polite but we aren’t CRAZY!”
And another: “There’s no reason to believe Americans will care about the health of Canadians, given that relatively few seem to care about the health of other Americans.”
The “Million Unmasked March,” which took its name from the social-justice march a quarter-century ago, drew about 250 people.
On May 3, Pavle Jovanovic, a former bobsledder, rigged a chain to a crane he and his brother kept in the shop of their family’s metal works in Toms River, N.J. He tied the loose end around his neck and hanged himself.
Jovanovic, an Olympian, was just 43, but already experiencing the shakes and tremors often associated with Parkinson’s disease. He was also the third elite North American bobsledder to kill himself since 2013...
In recent years, an increasing number of athletes, current and retired, in sliding sports, especially bobsled and skeleton — a sister sport in which competitors slide headfirst on a small sled made of metal and carbon fiber — have said they battle chronic headaches, a heightened sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises, forgetfulness and psychological problems...
Brain experts who have studied these athletes say the symptoms most likely stem, at least in part, from years of enduring the notorious crashes, routine head banging, brain-rattling vibrations and strong gravitational acceleration forces that are common in their sports.
The athletes even have a name for the exhausted fog that even a routine run down the track can leave them in. They call it “sled head,” a term that troubles brain experts because they say it has normalized the classic symptoms associated with concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries familiar to football players and others who participate in high-impact sports.
A 250-foot crater of unknown depth mysteriously appeared in Siberia’s Yamal peninsula, the Siberian Times reports, and scientists today are headed over to investigate. Researchers have already ruled out a meteorite as a potential cause. Same goes, presumably, for UFOs, as some suggested. A more likely explanation, according to Anna Kurchatova, with the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre, could have to do with the thawing of Siberia’s permafrost, a consequence of global warming. The rapid release of gas previously trapped in the ice, she said, could have combined with sand beneath the surface to form an underground explosion...As additional craters developed (or were discovered), the Washington post provided a map of their locations [top]. Since both of those articles cited The Siberian Times, I headed there for followup reports.
University of New South Wales polar scientist Chris Fogwill agrees that global warming is the likely cause. In his opinion, provided by the Sydney Morning Herald, he explained that what we’re looking at might be a collapsed “pingo,” a natural geological phenomenon associated with the melting permafrost.
Leader of the new mission, Vladimir Pushkarev, director of the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, told The Siberian Times: 'We managed to go down into the funnel, all was successful. We used climbing equipment, and it is easier to do this in winter, than in summer, with the ground now hard.Photos and a video at the link.
'We took all the probes we planned, and made measurements. Now scientists need time to process all the data and only then can they draw conclusions.'
The funnel of the crater is about 16.5 metres deep, not including an earthen rampart on the surface, formed in the blowout, of several metres in height.
The main element - and this is our working theory to explain the Yamal crater - was a release of gas hydrates. It turned out that there are gas hydrates both in the deep layer which on peninsula is several hundred metres down, and on the layer close to the surface', said scientist Vladimir Potapov before the latest expedition. 'There might be another factor, or factors, that could have provoked the air clap. Each of the factors added up and gas exploded, leading to appearance of the crater.'They drew comparisons to the Bermuda Triangle:
He stressed: 'The crater is located on the intersection of two tectonic faults. Yamal peninsula is seismically quiet, yet the area of the crater we looked into has quite an active tectonic life. That means that the temperature there was higher than usual.'
The name Yamal means 'the end of the world', which ironically is also a description applied to the Bermuda Triangle for those lost on boats and planes. The areas stretches from the British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean to the Florida coast, to Puerto Rico.And these notes from a December article:
Professor Yeltsov said: 'There is a version that the Bermuda Triangle is a consequence of gas hydrates reactions. They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas. It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas. That makes ocean to heat up and ships sink in its waters mixed with a huge proportion of gas.
About a third of the crater is filled with water because of its melting walls and rain, and it is thought that within three years it will be almost full. Initially it was thought that by 2024 it will be difficult to see the 40 metres wide and 50 metres deep crater at all as it will be completely submerged by a lake.There is still disagreement among the Russian scientists as to whether the heat necessary to intiate this process came from above, via global warming, or from below because of tectonic activity.
But Dr Leibman told the Siberian Times that the crater may already be under water from the melting ice by next year. She said: 'Judging by the pace, by the end of next summer it may turn into a lake.
'I once heard a theory that deep Yamal lakes were mostly the result of emissions of gas. Then I just laughed at it. Now I take back my laughter: I think that a lot of deep lakes on Yamal were formed in this way.'
"On June 8, 1783, Iceland’s Laki volcano began to smoke. The ground wrenched open “like an animal tearing apart its prey” and out spilled a “flood of fire,” according to an eyewitness’s diary. Laki let loose clouds of sulfur, fluorine, and hydrofluoric acid, blanketing Europe with the stench of rotten eggs. The sun disappeared behind a haze so thick that at noon it was too dark to read. (Unlike the cone-shaped stratovolcanoes from third-grade science class, both Deccan and Laki were fissure eruptions, which fracture the Earth’s crust, spewing lava as the ground pulls apart.)
Destruction was immediate. Acid rain burned through leaves, blistered unprotected skin, and poisoned plants. People and animals developed deformed joints, softened bones, cracked gums, and strange growths on their bodies—all symptoms of fluorine poisoning. Mass death began eight days after the eruption. More than 60 percent of Iceland’s livestock died within a year, along with more than 20 percent of its human population. And the misery spread. Benjamin Franklin reported a “constant fog” over “a great part of North America.” Severe droughts plagued India, China, and Egypt. Cold temperatures in Japan ushered in what is remembered as the “year without a summer,” and the nation suffered the worst famine in its history. Throughout Europe, crops turned white and withered, and in June, desiccated leaves covered the ground as though it were October. Europe’s famine lasted three years; historians have blamed Laki for the start of the French Revolution.
“But that’s just a short-term event from a relatively minor eruption, compared with Deccan,” Keller told me. A single Deccan eruption was “thousands of times larger” than Laki, she said. “And then you repeat that over and over again. For basically 350,000 years before the massive die-off.”
Laki released 3.3 cubic miles of lava; Deccan unleashed an estimated 720,000 cubic miles, eventually covering an area three times the size of France. It took us five hours of driving, an hour-and-a-half flight from Hyderabad to Pune, and another three hours in the car to trace the lava flows from some of their farthest, flattest reaches back to some of their highest points, in Mahabaleshwar, a vertiginous town crowded with honeymooners. Mountains of basalt 2.1 miles high—nearly twice as tall as the Grand Canyon is deep—extended as far as I could see. Even the geologists, who had visited the Deccan Traps multiple times before, gaped at the landscape.
“It’s mind-blowing,” Eddy said. “Every time.”The above excerpted from a very interesting 2018 Atlantic article presenting the argument that the extinction of the dinosaurs was not caused by the asteroid impact at Chicxulub, but rather by prolonged volcanic activity. Those interested should visit the link.
The term "trap" has been used in geology since 1785–1795 for such rock formations. It is derived from the Swedish word for stairs ("trappa") and refers to the step-like hills forming the landscape of the region.
The Deccan Traps are a large igneous province of west-central India (17–24°N, 73–74°E). They are one of the largest volcanic features on Earth. They consist of multiple layers of solidified flood basalt that together are more than 2,000 m (6,600 ft) thick.
"The man, Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, N.Y., now faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the falsification attempt. He also still awaits sentencing for pleading guilty previously to possessing a stolen car and attempting to steal a pickup truck...
Around the time officials were sorting out those details, in November, Mr. Berger was having a hard time staying dead: He was arrested in suburban Pennsylvania on charges including providing a false identity to law enforcement..."
In markets, there was a major landmark in the 30-year Treasury bond market. The real yield (accounting for inflation) hit the lowest ever in the period that inflation-protected bonds have been available. They now carry a negative yield that has dropped below its low from the crisis period back in March.
This implies acute problems for anyone trying to manage money for the long term, such as pension fund managers, as the cost of buying a guaranteed income becomes prohibitive. And the fact that people are prepared to lend to the government for such a long period while expecting a negative real return implies great negativity...
It isn’t a V-shaped recovery. Covid has seen to that. The weakening dollar and record low bond yields make life easier for the U.S. and its policymakers, but the risk of a mistake, and of a solvency crisis to hit later, are real. Until these immediate policy issues are resolved, risk aversion will probably stay high, while confidence in the U.S. stays weak.During the very, very early stages of the pandemic (March), I listened to an interview with John Authers, who offered what I view as the most perceptive comment on the economic effects of the pandemic that I have heard yet. During the questioning he was asked "What are we misunderstanding about this virus and the effects on the markets? Are we underestimating the depth of the market drop? Are we underestimating the duration? What are we not seeing?"
"Dandelion wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered." --Ray Bradbury, Dandelion WineFor Ray Bradbury, summer was preserved in dandelion wine. Here in Wisconsin and Minnesota, we preserve summer in freezer corn.
"The Notch Building in Sacramento, California added an audacious feat of mechanical engineering to the mix. Whenever the store opened for business, the corner of the box would break away from the main structure and slide out to reveal an entrance."Other examples at 99%invisible, including the "tilt building":