Sunday, October 18, 2020

Nova Scotia Fishery Dispute Explained In A Minute


What is happening in Nova Scotia ? Important for us to know as Canadians.
  1. 21 years ago the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Mi'kmaw nation has a right to earn a "moderate livelihood" from fishing. The court later said the federal government could regulate the Mi'kmaw fishery but must justify any restrictions it placed on it.
  2. Sipekne'katik First Nation launched a "moderate livelihood fishery" last month. Mi'kmaw fishers were storing their catches at their facilities in this fishery.
  3. Many commercial lobster fishermen say they consider the new Sipekne'katik fishery in St. Marys Bay illegal and worry that catching lobster outside the mandated season, particularly during the summer spawning period, will negatively impact stocks.
  4. A "suspicious" fire has now destroyed the lobster facility.
  5. This case has pitted Indigenous and First Nation rights against regulations of fishing abided by others, and has sparked a lot of tension in the community in Nova Scotia.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The French Connection and its Inferiority Complex

 Let us talk about France. This is a country that is at war with its own citizens who are Muslim. Previously, this same "secular" mindset was at war with Christianity, a fact they conveniently ignore.

  1. The French Revolution at the end of the 18th century involved the mass murder of the Christian clergy and the destruction and desecration of tens of thousands of churches. 30,000 Catholic priests were exiled. 17,000 official executions were conducted and hundreds of thousands more killed due to revolts and unrecorded murders. All in the name of "freedom and secularism" that till today continues to be celebrated (Bastille Day).
  2. In1830, France invaded and colonized Algeria. They killed between 500,000 to 1 million Muslims, out of a total population of 3 million. 1 out of 3 Muslims were killed in a deliberate program of extermination that numerous historians have documented.
  3. Today, France continues its war on its own Muslim citizens. I am not even going into the racism (the Hijab laws), the discrimination (in jobs, in residences, in opportunities for advancement) that exists in France. Imagine the PM of the country openly mocking your religion and saying you are a fifth column. A national newspaper making fun of your religion in the name of freedom of speech (that somehow doesn't apply to their own icons).
This is France today. This is where a teacher feels it's perfectly fine to tell a group of children "Here, I am going to show you some cartoons of the person you hold holy".
Yes, I condemn his killing, but I also condemn France in general. And France has the bigger share of the blame.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory and Whirlpool Aero Car

 One of the lesser known attractions of Niagara Falls is the beautiful Butterfly Conservatory, which is pretty close to the Floral Clock and the Aero Car. 

The Butterfly Conservatory is a must-see if you are visiting Niagara Falls. Visitors are instantly transported to a tropical paradise full of lush vegetation, trickling waterfalls and thousands of vibrantly coloured butterflies.

Over 2000 butterflies are there, floating and hovering all around you. If you are lucky, some will even land on your outstretched hands for a quick picture.

I took my trusty DSLR with me. You cannot take some of these pictures with a cellphone camera - at least not that quickly, and not without software assist!

It's a self guided walking tour, and does not take too long. You can budget an hour comfortably for this attraction, and include an extra half an hour in case you really want to take your time. I was pausing and taking pictures all the time, and was part of a big group (all family), and yet the tour was done in an hour.

This butterfly - I don't recall the species - had really big markings of what looked like an 'eye' on its wings. Viewed from afar, I could understand why. It does look like a snake or some other big animal from far (probably keeps away predators).

The patterns on the wings of some of these butterflies was too spectacular. Take a look at this one above - the pattern makes it appear that there's another insect (a bee or a wasp), hovering nearby.

They have feeding stations throughout the place, so you see butterflies coming in for a snack.

No social distancing here at this butterfly "dawat" on this plate! For us humans, the COVID19 rules meant you had to wear a mask at all times, and practice physical distancing.

Once you are done the Butterfly Conservatory, it's a short drive to the Whirlpool Aero Car.

Designed by renowned Spanish engineer, Leonardo Torres Quevedo, the Whirlpool Aero Car has been soaring the Niagara Gorge since 1916. The antique cable car is suspended from six sturdy cables and offers spectacular views of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool and the Class 6 whitewater rapids of the Niagara River.

Another interesting point to note: because of the way the river flows, the Aero Car actually crosses the international border twice, even though both ends of the cable car are connected to Canadian lands. 
In the image below, everything to the left is USA, and to the right (in the shadows) is Canada.

What you are seeing here (image above) is the Whirlpool State Park (USA), as viewed from a cable car in Canada.

This is the whirpool (image above). This is class 6 rapids, and you can actually take a boat tour on it. The way the Whirpool Aero Car manages its loading (following Covid19 restrictions), you get to see both sides (the river and the whirlpool).

So next time you visit Niagara Falls, do take the time to check these sights out. All these close by 5 pm, so be early!

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Bird Kingdom at Niagara Falls

 If you love photography, and taking pictures of nature in particular (especially birds), you will LOVE Bird Kingdom at Niagara Falls. They usually have deals online (either group on, or through your workplace, or even on their site), so check online before visiting. Paid parking is available right under the attraction, and you need at least 2 hours (close to 2.5) for the whole attraction.

They have a small reptile section ahead of the main exhibits. Don't miss this - as some of the iguanas, lizards, and snakes are a sight to see in themselves. Just adjacent to this exhibit is where they have some talking birds.

These talking birds can be a mouthful! They rotate the birds, so you may get a different experience on each visit. The trainers are quite friendly and the birds enjoy a good rapport with the staff. They are not in cages, and fly around occasionally. 

Each of these talking birds have their own personality, and some are more talkative than others.

Usually these Amazon parrots (I am guessing their are parrots) are the loudest, and enjoy performing for the cameras. You can talk to one of the trainers and they are usually happy to put on a small "performance" for you.

For many of us from Bangladesh, it's the closest you can come to some of the exotic birds from back home, including a mynah bird, which can be thousands of dollars here in Canada. 

From this exhibit you proceed to the small birds aviary.

It's fun watching these little birds build nests, eat, fly around (inches over your head at times!) and have a ball.

The large birds aviary is next, and there are lots and lots and lots of big birds, all flying around (and some not flying), eating, relaxing, all within an arm's reach.

Some of these birds allow you to get really close.

Bird Kingdom is a (relatively) cheap fun activity for the whole family at Niagara Falls, sometimes cheaper than many of the quick garish thrills on nearby Clifton Hill. Take your camera with its telezoom lense, and have a blast!