Tag Archives: current events

Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin Dead at 27

An unfortunate accident in his own driveway caused the death of Anton Yelchin. He was hit by his own Jeep, which was in neutral, and it pinned and crushed him when it rolled back toward him. I hate hearing news like this. Far too young.

Zachary Quinto had this to say on Instagram:

Condolences to his family and friends. The Daily Mail has a fairly detailed story with pictures.

Don’t Get Too Close to a Goose

You know all those videos of people who get too close to a goose or swan, and then get chased? Well, I got pretty close to a goose. Watch.

Thankfully, the goose was fairly comfortable with people around, since this is a public park. I don’t recommend doing this, especially if you have poor reflexes or bad judgment. I approached it very slowly and never intended on touching it. I’m not that crazy!

With the recent news about the people in Yellowstone who approached a bison calf that had to be euthanised, it’s very important to tell people not to touch or approach wild animals. The goose I approached is around people all the time, and it was very unlikely I was in any danger. And I would never try to touch a wild bird.

Do you have any funny stories involving wild animals? Let me know in the comments below.

Fort McMurray Evacuation Plans in Edmonton

The evacuation of Fort McMurray continues, but it’s not easy. There are a lot of people who can’t make it because of a lack of gas and the traffic is moving very slowly. Here’s a video with Courtney Theriault of City TV (he’s actually a former co-worker of mine) reporting before heading up to Fort McMurray himself.

People are coming forward to invite evacuees into their homes. Unfortunately, space is limited with such short notice.

Also unfortunately, I’m seeing some politically motivated comments about this. This is not political, so please leave it out. People are losing their homes.

Fort McMurray Evacuation Mandatory

The municipality of Fort McMurray in northeastern Alberta is now under mandatory evacuation. With a population of 60,000 people, this is the largest evacuation due to a forest fire in Alberta’s history. This is the evacuation notice:

fortmcmurrayevacuationThe entire city is at risk. Several neighbourhoods are already being affected. There are several news stories about this, such as this one, which is from Calgary’s Metro. Or this one from CBC.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your home threatened like this. But an entire city is threatened. And Tracey, I’m glad you’re not there at the moment.

If any of you are in the area, stay safe. But you probably aren’t reading this, you’re probably evacuating.

Is there a Useless Language?

Recently, Jeremy Paxman, said something controversial. He said that French is a useless language. He went on to say that English is the only language we need.

How arrogant. There are about eighty million native speakers of French, and it’s an official language of twenty-nine countries. Certainly not useless to those people. And if you travel to those countries, French is incredibly useful. It’s useful as a second language, as well.

I enjoy studying languages. French is my main target language, other than Japanese. I live in Canada now, and French is useful if you want to have a job with the government or tourism. And if you want to visit Quebec, it’s extremely useful.

Without French, English wouldn’t be the way it is today. There are a lot of words of French origin in the English language. And to be honest, English is one of the most ridiculously illogical languages in the world. It’s the Frankenstein’s monster of languages. It’s adopted words from so many languages that the spelling and pronunciation rules often don’t even apply. That’s one of the things that makes it more difficult to learn than many other languages. At least French has rules that are followed.

But it brings me to this question: Is there a useless language? I don’t think there is a useless language. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

From School to an Accident Scene

It was an interesting night. Tonight was the night that we went to the parent orientation night at my daughter’s school. That was fine, and I learned a lot about what’s going to happen. However, there was something that happened that left a far bigger impression on my mind.

As we were walking to the school, we saw a police car going past with its lights on. No siren, though. We were wondering what happened. After the orientation, we were walking home when we saw the police were up the street. It was more than an hour after we saw the police, so something must have happened. We walked in that direction, and saw that the street had been blocked off. Six police cars. We continued walking, going to the supermarket. We also saw a motorcycle, a couple of cars, and something that looked like a bag.

On our way back home, we walked past the police again. There was a fire truck. But we didn’t know what had happened yet. So, I did a search online. What I found was a police report about the incident.

There was an accident. A dirt bike crashed into a fence, and the rider, a forty-year-old man died. Well then, that was unexpected. I wonder why he crashed into the fence.

Kumamoto Earthquake, Something I Left Behind

When I lived in Japan, I experienced earthquakes frequently. I went through the big one on March 11th, 2011. But on April 14th, Kumamoto went through its own big earthquake.

Nine people are dead, mainly because of collapsed houses. It’s really strange reading all the comments on Facebook and reading the news articles. I used to be the one to write those comments about earthquakes, but now I don’t feel them. There are no earthquakes here. It really is strange not going through them anymore.

In a way, I miss earthquakes. Does that sound strange? What do you think?

Life Is a Story

After reading so much or watching so many movies or TV series, real life often seems ordinary and routine. But if you think about it, isn’t life like a story?

When I read, I’m always anticipating what’s going to happen next. I want to keep turning the pages and see what awaits me. I find it’s similar with world events. I’m waiting to see how things unfold, if they’ll get better or worse. Each of these is a story that gets intertwined with other stories making history just one giant story with an immense amount of subplots and story threads that look like an impossible tangle. It’s incredibly complex.

But what about our own personal lives? Everyone has their own stories, and while they usually don’t have an overall plot, there are hundreds or thousands of subplots. Everyone has multiple story arcs.

Do you ever think that way about the world or your own life?

Good News and Bad News from Science

Plenty of science news lately. Interesting stuff going on right now, but not all of it is good.

New Horizons is approaching Pluto, and we now have colour movies! This is good news.

The sixth mass extinction has begun, scientists say. This is bad news.

The bright spots on Ceres continue to puzzle scientists, and a surprising mountain has been found there, too. This is good news.

One third of the world’s groundwater is in trouble. This is bad news.

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop will have a test track built by SpaceX, and there’s even going to be a design competition. This is good news.

Have any good or bad science news to share?