Following the Oil Trail: From Alberta to British Columbia

The first oil well in Western Canada. Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.
The first oil well in Western Canada. Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. Photo: Ann Chen

VANCOUVER, BC – It’s nearing the end of January, and I am close to four months into my storytelling project, documenting the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline that will carry oil from the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta to the British Columbia coast. From the oil boom town of Fort McMurray, where the oil is mined to the unpopulated edge of the industrial city of Fort Saskatchewan where the pipeline will begin, I spent my first three months in Alberta tracing the path of the pipeline as well as researching the presence and significance of oil in the province. Where the oil is being extracted is as significant to this story as where it will be transported.

I’ve been in Vancouver since the beginning of January and will spend the next four and half months in British Columbia. This time, I will follow the pipeline route in reverse, starting with the oil tanker routes through the Hecate Strait between the the Haida Gwaii and the mainland coast back towards the port city of Kitimat, also the end terminal for the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Traveling via —> Read More Here

All Around The World, Girls Are Doing Much Better Than Boys Academically

Girls are academically outperforming boys in many countries around the world — even in places where women face political, economic or social inequalities.

A new report from Dr. Gijsbert Stoet of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and David C. Geary of the University of Missouri found that in 2009, high school girls performed significantly better on an international standardized test in 52 out of 74 studied countries.

The researchers set out to explore the connection between academic achievement and a country’s levels of gender inequality, speculating that girls might do worse on the Programme for International Student Assessment in countries where they are typically treated unfairly. On the contrary, researchers found that girls have been consistently outperforming boys for the last decade, regardless of countries’ treatment of women.

“In a lot of these countries women are not allowed to do a lot of things, but what’s interesting is even in these countries girls are doing better in school,” Geary told The Huffington Post over the phone. The study notes the results extend to strict Muslim countries where there tends to be a “lack of opportunities for girls and women.”

PISA is —> Read More Here

NASA, Boeing and SpaceX to Launch 1st Commercial Crew Ships to Space Station in 2017

Boeing and SpaceX are building private spaceships to resume launching US astronauts from US soil to the International Space Station in 2017. Credit: NASA

Boeing and SpaceX are building private spaceships to resume launching US astronauts from US soil to the International Space Station in 2017. Credit: NASA

After a hiatus of six long years, US astronauts will finally launch to space in a revolutionary new pair of private crew capsules under development by Boeing and SpaceX, starting in 2017, that will end our sole source reliance on the Russians for launching our astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).(…)
Read the rest of NASA, Boeing and SpaceX to Launch 1st Commercial Crew Ships to Space Station in 2017 (708 words)


© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2015. |
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Cassini catches Saturn’s moon Titan naked in the solar wind

Researchers studying data from NASA’s Cassini mission have observed that Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, behaves much like Venus, Mars or a comet when exposed to the raw power of the solar wind. The observations suggest that unmagnetized bodies like Titan might interact with the solar wind in the same basic ways, regardless of their nature or distance from the sun. —> Read More Here

Building a better weather forecast? SMAP may help

If you were trying to forecast tomorrow’s weather, you would probably look up at the sky rather than down at the ground. But if you live in the U.S. Midwest or someplace with a similar climate, one key to a better weather forecast may lie beneath your feet. Better soil moisture observations are just what the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will provide. Scheduled for launch on Jan. 29, SMAP will collect the most accurate and highest-resolution soil moisture measurements ever made from a satellite SMAP will cover the entire globe in two to three days. —> Read More Here

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