This week, Terra Informa presented our show live at the Cold & Warmth Winter Salon, hosted by the Latitude 53 art gallery. We’ve got crowds buzzing around like hot molecules, an interview about Edmonton’s Winter City Strategy, and a rap about the most magical temperature of all.
Winter Salon Photo Gallery
The Most Magical Temperature of All
A year ago, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips was driving down an icy freeway with his mom when a dashboard light flashed on. That little light led him down a rabbit hole towards discovering the most important temperature for life on Earth: 4 Degrees Celsius. That’s because we rely on water to do something almost no other chemical can do at 4 degrees. Instead of getting gradually denser as it cools like most other molecules, it gets densest at that temperature, then starts expanding again. Girl Gone Wild wildlife documentary creator Jamie Pratt joins Chris on stage to explain why it does this, and why you’d better not mess with the benthic zone.
Understanding temperature means understanding the movement of molecules. Terra Informer Jessica Kozlowski enlisted Kathryn, Chris, and the crowd to demonstrate what it might sound like when hot fast moving molecules and the cold slow moving molecules in air collide. This formation of average temperature is some seriously above average fun!
Winter City Strategy
The subject of hot and cold is very polarizing. Especially in Edmonton. We call our selves a winter city, and like to boast about how cold it gets here. But are we a winter city, or a whimp-er city? Now that it’s warming up, these pothole streets are a good reminder that we can’t seem to adapt our physical infrastructure to cold. And remember that giant snow storm a few week ago? Could traffic snarls, and damage to people, roads, cars been avoided if people didn’t still feel they have to go out? Maybe our economy is not well adapted to cold either. So what can history teach us about how to adapt to our surroundings? City of Edmonton archivist Elizabeth Walker joined Kathryn Lennon on stage to give us a historical perspective on how people lived with winter in Edmonton.
Cold Frames Workshop in Toronto
In Toronto, learn how to keep your plants warmer longer using the paradoxically named Cold Frames. Evergreen Brick Works presents the first edition of its Urban Agriculture Workshop series. Learn to design and build cold frames and raised beds for your garden. Keep food growing longer into the fall and even through the winter! This takes place Tuesday, April 2nd at Evergreen Brick Works. And they are asking for a 20$ donation.
Summit Series Lecture in Edmonton
In Edmonton, the Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative presents the latest installment of its Summit Series. The lecture will bring together three speakers—each from a different disciplinary home—to share their research on mountain environments and cultures. You’ll hear about invasive plants and their surprising effect on bumble bees in the Colorado Rockies. Learn about your body’s adaptations to high altitude. And explore the poetry and natural history of a Rocky Mountains park. It all happens Friday, April 5th at the University of Alberta.
Over-Wintering Birds Day in Johnson’s Crossing, Yukon
In the Yukon, we’ve got an event about a flock of amazing over-wintering birds. Join Adam Skrutkowski on the banks of the Teslin River where you’ll see the hardy swans that overwinter at Johson’s Crossing. Adam will share his photos taken over the past months, and you’ll learn how these birds survive the cold weather. Bring a picnic lunch—but not for sharing with the birds. That’s happening the morning of Sunday, April 7th in Johnson’s Crossing.
Hey Edmontonians! Come in from the cold and warm up with Terra Informa this Thursday, March 28th. We’re performing live as part of Latitude 53′s Winter Salon series. This third and final Winter Salon for the year will feature performances and art around the ideas of cold and warmth from Terra Informa, Anthony Goertz, Body Habitat (Lily Gael & Lisa Wells), and Anya. You might remember Anthony Goertz from the poem he read on last fall’s CJSR Fundrive show.
Our portion of the evening will include live interviews with Girl Gone Wild‘s Jamie Pratt and Elizabeth Walker, a City Archivist involved in planning Edmonton’s Winter City Strategy. Jamie is another frequent guest on Terra Informa, and a big fan of bison, snails, and sturgeon.
Cold & Warmth
Thursday, 28 March 2013, 7–9 pm
Location: McCauley School – 9538 107 Avenue
Latitude 53 has put up a handy Facebook event if you’re warming up the idea. If you can’t make it out on Thursday, we won’t leave you out in the cold. Next week’s broadcast will feature excerpts from the performance.
This week, we’ve been wondering: how do people decide when an animal is food and when it’s a friend? We will be talking to a wildlife biologist who’s also a hunter, and to two Edmonton-area farmers who raise pigs for very different reasons. And one more tasty morsel for you: George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC’s The Hour, talks about tiny ways Canadians can live a little greener.
When is an animal a friend and when is it food? Kieran O’Donovan straddles an interesting an interesting line that gives him a pretty unique perspective on when an animal is a friend, and when it’s dinner. He’s a wildlife biologist and documentary filmmaker, but when he goes home to the Yukon, he’s also a hunter. Terra Informa’s Natalee Rawat sat down with Kieran to talk about how he sees our relationships with other animals.
Pets vs. Food
Remember Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s Web? He was the runt of the litter, turned pet, threatened to be food, only to be saved by a spider. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talked to Alberta Micro Pigs’ Angela Hardy and Irvings Farm Fresh’s Nicola Irving. The two of them both raise and breed pigs in the Edmonton area, one for food… the other for pets. Throughout the interviews, Nicole noticed strange similarities between both women and the way they viewed the pigs, despite raising, breeding, and feeding them for incredibly different purposes.
More information on this story:
Strombo and One Million Acts of Green
George Stroumboulopoulos, the host of the Hour on CBC, was at Grant MacEwan University here in Edmonton to speak about activism. Kyle Muzyka was at the speech, and in addition to speaking about activism, Stroumboulopoulos also spoke about a program generated to help Canadians become a little more green. As one of the many forces driving the “One Million Acts of Green” program, Strombo talks about how it started as a plan doomed to fail, and became something truly special.
Geological Wonders of British Columbia Lecture in Kamloops, BC
Over in BC, the Kamloops Exploration Group is hosting a talk on Geological Wonders of British Columbia this month. Bruce Madu will be speaking at the TRU Mountain Room as part of the group’s 2013 Lecture Series. Bruce is a geologist and the Director of the British Columbia Mineral Development Office in Vancouver. They provide resources on coal and mineral mining for government and industry, so it should be a fascinating opportunity to get to hear from someone who lives in the mining world, and ask some questions. That’s March 28 in the TRU Mountain Room in Kamloops, at 7 PM, and the talk is free. The lecture series continues April 4, when Ann Cheeptham will be talking about cave microbialites.
Women in Science Lunch in Sydney, Nova Scotia
Over on the east coast, this April 6, Cape Breton University is hosting its Third Annual Women in Science Event. Meet fellow female scientists, learning about careers in science, and pick up some cool swag. They say last year’s Women in Science “Lunch and Learn” brought over 100 young women out from all over Cape Breton Island. This year, they’re hosting another Lunch event and a daylong Women in Science Retreat, filled with activities, giveaways, food, and learning. The event is aimed at young women in junior high, high-school, and just starting out in university. That’s at the Vershuren Centre on Cape Breton University Campus on April 6. It starts at 11 am, with lunch at 12, followed by a full afternoon of events. The cost is $10 per person.
Wolf Skinning Workshop in Whitehorse, Yukon
Since we’ve been talking so much about hunting this week, we figured we’d shoot for a wild event coming up. On April 13th, the Yukon Trappers Association is hosting a Wolf Skinning Workshop at the Beaver Creek Community Club in Whitehorse. They’re a volunteer-run group, and this time they’ve rounded up Robert Stitt to run the workshop. It starts at 9:30 in the morning, and goes until, well, until you’re done. Call 667-7091 or email email@example.com for more info.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Well, while the rest of you folks have been enjoying the reveleries, we’ve been hard at work preparing this week’s show. To celebrate Canada’s greenest holiday, we’ve pulled a story out of the archives that will help you identify the budding greenery in your own backyard. And like a people overcoming adversity, our correspondent shares the story of Slave Lake two years after the devastating wild fire swept through. Finally, they’re no Fighting Irish—but Save The ELA is mounting a vigorous fight to restore funding to Canada’s world famous Experimental Lakes Area by the end of the month. Here’s hoping for a St. Patrick’s Day Miracle, on Terra Informa.
Slave Lake: The Sky Was On Fire
Slave Lake, Alberta. About two and a half hours north of Edmonton. In May of 2011, tragedy struck when a raging inferno rolled through part of the town. Nearly 2 years later, Slave Lake resident Kyle Muzyka shares his story, along with some stories from Len Ramsey’s book, “The Sky was on Fire,” a book about the struggles of the residents of Slave Lake during that time.
Save The Experimental Lakes Area
I bet you don’t know the reason why there aren’t any phosphates in our detergent, do you? Well! It’s all because of a Canadian research facility up in northern Ontario. The Experimental Lakes Area is facing incredible change. Less than a year ago, the government announced it was cutting funding to this internationally recognized research centre on March 31 of 2013. If there’s no money, there’s no research. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart spoke with Britt Hall from the Save ELA coalition to find out more.
For more information on what you can do to help keep this world-renowned site running:
ID Cards for Plants
- Have you ever wondered about which plants are indigenous to the area you are living in?
- What are the different uses for the plant and what are the plant’s names?
- What has contributed to the dwindling of indigenous species of plants in some areas and what are the impacts?
In this conversation, John Bradley Williams and Jennifer McMullen tell Terra Informa about a set of Indigenous plant identification cards that they have both taken part in creating. The cards identify a number of plants on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of Vancouver Island. From our archives, Annie Banks asked John Bradley and Jen to describe the cards and the ideas behind their creation.
Join Terra Informa at Latitude 53‘s third Winter Salon. We will present stories on the theme of “Cold/Warmth” alongside Anthony Goertz, Body Habitat (Lily Gael & Lisa Wells), and Anya. Thursday, March 28th at 7pm (McCauley School – 9538 107 Avenue).
Cold Recall: Roald Amundsen’s Reflections from the Northwest Passage. Running at the Royal Alberta Museum until April 28, 2013.
David Janzen’s Transfer Station. Running at the Art Gallery of Alberta until June 16, 2013.
This week, stories about people breathing new life into rivers, cities, and the way we see the universe. We’ve got a story from the streets of Seoul, about the centuries of history that flowed by before one of its dirtiest waterways became a tourist destination. Then, we’ll see how the revitalization of Montreal’s Lachine Canal has changed the lives of the nearby residents. Finally, we’ll hear a model of what planets, stars, and life itself might sound like. Before we go, we’ll brief you on the week’s environmental events.
New Life for Seoul Stream
A lot of us have had this experience of getting to know a place when we’re young, and seeing it get choked with litter or polluted over the years. Every once in awhile, we get to watch things turn around. A big cleanup project, or a revitalization. About a decade ago, the city of Seoul spent hundreds of millions of dollars to give one ancient stream a makeover. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips was in South Korea, curious about why it was singled out. What makes some places so special that cleaning them up can catapult a mayor into the presidency? And how do we decide when it’s time? This is the story of how a stream called Cheonggyecheon was given new life.
- Cheonggyecheon: An Urban Renewal (Delta Sky Mag photo gallery)
- Cheonggyecheon (Critical Design Review)
- Seoul City Walking Tours (Visit Seoul)
Lachine Canal Carnivale
Chris showed us how one stream became the focal point for upscale urban renewal in Korea, but Canada has its own share of once poor neighbourhoods that are now trendy urban playgrounds. One such place is the neighbourhood of St. Henri in Montreal. It’s a working class part of town, but since the early 2000s, the area has seen an explosion of condo redevelopment. It all began with the clean up and re-opening of the Lachine Canal.
The Sound of Science: What the Universe Sounds Like
Alyssa Hindle and Matt Hirji interviewed Dr. Abram Hindle, a local computing science professor and Noise musician. Alyssa’s brother Abram uses his programming background with inspirations from nature and physics to create unique, and very technically based, sounds. Alyssa Hindle and Matt Hirji spoke with Abram Hindle about his Noise performances and music production.
Tzeporah Berman talk at University of Victoria
Tzeporah Berman has been fighting Canadian politicians for 20 years to protect millions of acres of endangered Canadian forests. That being only one of the many fights she has taken on as an activist and author. Berman has been featured on CBC’s The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos and in the global warming documentary film, The 11th Hour that was narrated by actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. Tzeporah Berman will be speaking on Thursday, March 14th at 7pm at the David Lam Auditorium located on campus at the University of Victoria. The event is free and for more information you can visit their website.
George Stroumbouloupoulos at MacEwan University
George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC’s The Hour has been an advocate of sustainable living himself. He will be speaking at the Students Association of McEwan University’s Speaker Series, for their sustainability week called COMMON GROUND on March 15th at 5pm. Tickets are on sale online. For more information on the series visit the Students Association website.
Thunder Bay Environmental Film Festival
Thunder Bay, Ontario’s Environmental Film Festival opens on March 20th at 7pm and runs until March 24th. It is a free festival that is run by the Thunder Bay Environmental Film Network or EFN. EFN is a volunteer organisation and will be screening films based on environmental and social issues along with an Opening Night Gala, post-film screening discussions and guest speakers. Donations are encouraged and volunteers are welcomed. Read more.
As Terra Informa goes to air this week, we are only a fortnight away from the annual World Water Day. To get you in the mood for the festivities of March 22, we’re presenting two stories that investigate Albertans’ relationship to water.
Alberta’s Water Conversation
How often do you get a say in the things that really matter? Water is one of those few resources that we literally cannot live without. And in the province of Alberta, the government is giving its citizens a rare opportunity to tell them how this precious resource should be managed. They’re calling it Alberta’s Water Conversation, and from mid-February to mid-March they will be criss-crossing the province holding public hearings. When the Water Conversation rolled into Edmonton last week, Trevor Chow-Fraser decided to head down and check it out.
Eco-Poetry With Gary Lee
Long-time poet and social worker Gary Lee lives in Edmonton, but he grew up in Saskatchewan. In this interview and poetry reading captured by Morgana Folkmann, Gary Lee revisits the body of water that so shaped him as a young person—the Red Deer River.
One of the regular segments on Terra Informa is Ecobabble, where we try to undress environmental jargon, and figure out what it really means. One term Chris Chang-Yen Phillips was curious about was “weeds.” What does in mean in our yard, and what does it mean to an ecologist? He spoke to former University of Alberta Plant Sciences professor Dr. William Vanden Born, and one special five-year old, to find out.
- History of the Canadian Weed Science Society
- Featured music: Another Girl (instrumental) by duckett.
With Edmonton’s downtown Transcend café location closing, it’s important to take time to remember the importance of fair trade and ethical practice in the coffee industry. Two Transcend locations remain in Edmonton; The Argyll café located at 9869-62 avenue and the Garneau café at 8707-109 street. To learn more about quality, ethically-sourced coffee, you can sign up for their next Coffee Tasting and Appreciation course on March 23, 2013 at the Garneau location. Tickets are $49 per person or $89 for a couple.
Residents of Victoria, BC and surround area, it’s that time of year again for The Pacific Rim Whale Festival! Join fellow Whale lovers at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve from March 12 to the 24th to open this season’s whale watching officially. This time of year marks the migration of over 20,000 Grey Whales up the coast and into the Bering Sea 13,000 km from their starting point off Mexico’s west coast.
Residents of Lethbridge, the Galt Museum and Archives will be showcasing “Alberta’s Last Sea Dragon: The Lethbridge/Korite Elasmosaur” on Thursday March 14. Come out to the Galt Museum from 7 to 8pm to learn about this long-necked plesiosaur, a very rare ancient marine reptile, determined by the Royal Tyrrell Museum to be new to Science! The ancient bones dug up by miners in 2007 at the Korite international mine south of Lethbridge tell an intriguing story about who use to roam Albertan land and what the landscape may have looked like millions of years ago!
Some things in our world happen consistently, but so infrequently, that we call them “once in a lifetime events.” It might be the rare Category 5 hurricane that makes landfall, causing untold destruction. It might be more personal—like the Californian hiker who is attacked by a cougar only to be saved by a bear. Or it might be a 7,000 ton meteor strike in Western Siberia exploding into the earth’s atmosphere, causing us all to count our blessings.
This week on Terra Informa, we’ll explore a “once in a lifetime events,” including a personal account of Mumbai’s worst flood on record. We’ll discuss extreme weather more generally, diving into the science and mining stories out of our own experiences. And we’ll start with a story that tries to tease out the pros and cons of once in a lifetime events, by examining the remarkable life cycle of the agave plant. It’s all right here on Terra Informa’s Once In A Lifetime! Theme Show.
Once In A Lifetime Blooms
Once In A Lifetime Weather
It used to be that we could talk about the Storm of the Century. But these days, it seems more like “Storm of the Half-Decade.” Our increasingly extreme climate is breaking weather records left and right. Terra Informer Jessica Kozlowski breaks down the science of extreme weather in this Science Babble segment.
Once In A Lifetime Floods
Speaking of extreme weather, at least one Terra Informer has indeed experience a Flood of the Century and lived to tell the tale. In 2005, almost 1 meter of rain fell on the Indian state of Maharashtra on a single summer day. The city shut down completely, and the deluge caused at least 5,000 deaths, and cost 100 million USD. In her own words, and interviewed by Ali Sultani, here is our own Natalee Rawat recalling the events of July 26, 2005.
Why, it’s Freedom to Read Week! February 27th to March 3
This week’s show was too long for a What’s Happening segment. But we did want to highlight some events that will mark the 2013 version of Freedom To Read Week.
Lethbridge’s Wild in the Wind Speaker Series has two more events for this year. The series focuses on fish and wildlife research, conservation issues and the ecology of southern Alberta and is hosted by the Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society (ACTWS). March 5 is a talk on Lethbridge coulees: Urban Parks and Wildlife Corridors. April 2nd is Backs Against the Fence: Using Citizen Science to Keep Pronghorn Antelope Moving. Both events will take place from noon to 1 in the Lethbridge public library community room.
The Millennium library in Winnipeg is hosting a Skywalk lecture entitled Nutrients and Toxic Algae, the Battle for Lake Winnipeg. Eva Pip of the University of Winnipeg’s Biology department will be speaking. She is an expert in a variety of topics including Lake Winnipeg Ecosystem health, algae, and water quality, and is a passionate environmentalist. The lecture will take place Feb 27.
The lecture starts at 12:10 pm in the Carol Shield’s Auditorium.