The birds were enjoying the little ‘islands’ of ice that remain on the lake. They seemed to be using them as resting points in between diving for food.
I especially like how the sign says it is “unsafe” for swimming.
My class is participating in this — fun times!!
The Great Canadian Surreal Beaver Ball
Refuse Locale: An Evening of Surrealism in St. Catharines
Join us on Wed., Mar. 5, 2008, for a very special evening celebrating the ongoing legacy of surrealism in Canada at the Niagara Artists’ Centre at 7 p.m.
The Department of English features readings by contemporary surrealist poets Stuart Ross and Beatriz Hausner, and acclaimed Automatist scholar Ray Ellenwood reading from his recent translation of Thérèse Renaud’s /The Sands of Dream/ (the first book of Canadian surrealist poetry), the evening will also include surrealist games, films, art, and activities.
From the Department of Visual Arts, the evening will see the launch of the Great Canadian Beaver Balls Multiples installation. Great Canadian Beaver Balls is an exhibition of 1600 artist multiples created by 120 Brock University students from five different classes, representing three disciplines in the Humanities department: English, Art History and Studio Art. Encapsulated in plastic balls and sold from a classic Northern Beaver Vending machine, artworks include: miniature bookworks, temporary tattoos of concrete poetry and sculptural explorations in a wide range of media. Beaver Balls will be available from vending machines for $2 each during gallery hours. The Multiples exhibit will run at the NAC until Mar. 15, 2008. Visit NAC’s website for gallery hours.
To cap off the evening, theatre company Suitcase in Point, will stage an original theatrical production of Claude Gauvreau’s remarkable “In the Heart of the Bulrushes.”
Join us for an evening of Canadian Surrealism on Wed., Mar. 5, 2008 at 7 p.m. at the Niagara Artists’ Centre, 354 St. Paul St., St. Catharines, ON. Tickets available at the door: $8 adults | $5 students/seniors/artists.
Feb. 12th is Darwin Day, and all over the world people are celebrating the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth (Feb. 12, 1809) and his contributions to science and modern life. Click here for more info on the many Darwin Day celebrations going on.
Image Source: Charles Darwin has a Posse
I spent the weekend in the lovely, wonderful city where I did my graduate degrees. I’m sure that when I was living there I probably had my share of grumbles, but I have quite a fond opinion of the city and am rather nostalgic for the time I spent there.
I found some time to stop in at my favourite café and, as usual, the place was buzzing. I love the delicious food and fair trade coffee you can get here, but I think my favourite part about this place is the atmosphere. Snippets of conversations about art, politics, books, and academic life mix with eclectic music, and even though it is often busy there is still a serene quality about the place that makes it a wonderful spot to read, write and think. In the summer when the front doors are wide open, it is a brilliant place from which to watch the world go by.
It was a cold weekend, but I still managed a (very quick!!) visit down to the waterfront to take a few pictures. I think I’ve been along this waterfront trail in just about every weather condition known to Southern Ontario!
When I was writing my comprehensive exams we lived in an apartment just around the corner from where this photo was taken. That summer I would often bring my books down to one of the benches or picnic tables along the water in order to catch a bit of breeze off the lake while I read. However, this weekend, as the winter wind whipped my hair into knots and chilled me to the bone, I found it hard to believe that those humid, lazy summer days I spent reading in this park could have ever existed!
I just wanted to quickly highlight two new additions to the “art and science links” section of this blog:
echo is a portal featuring links to many different websites and online research resources relating to the history of science and technology. There is so much good stuff here, and I love how you can browse the site by category, by time period, or by type of media.
smARThistory is one of the coolest innovations in teaching I’ve seen in ages. I met Beth Harris, one of the creators of smARThistory, while at an ARTstor faculty workshop in New York last month. Each of the participants talked about how they used digital images in the classroom, and Beth’s presentation included a demo of the smARThistory project. Very impressive! I’d love to develop something similar to teach our art history and visual culture courses at Brock, so this gave me a lot to think about.
I was sent the following article on one of the email lists I subscribe to (it was originally published in The Winnipeg Free Press). What is being reported here is very disturbing!
Environment Canada muzzles top scientists
Experts must stick to ‘approved lines,’ says Ottawa
Fri Feb 1 2008
By Margaret Munro
ENVIRONMENT Canada has “muzzled” its scientists, ordering them to refer all media queries to Ottawa where communications officers will help them respond with “approved lines.”
The new policy, which went into force in recent weeks and sent a chill through the department research divisions, is designed to control the department’s media message and ensure there are no “surprises” for Environment Minister John Baird and senior management when they open the newspaper or turn on the television, according to documents obtained by Canwest News Service.
“Just as we have ‘one department, one website” we should have ‘one department, one voice’,” says a PowerPoint presentation from Environment Canada’s executive management committee that’s been sent to department staff.
It laments that there has been “limited co-ordination of messages across the country” and how “interviews sometimes result in surprises to minister and senior management.”
Environment Canada scientists, many of them world leaders in their fields, have long been encouraged to discuss their work on everything from migratory birds to melting Arctic ice with the media and public. Several of them were co-authors of the United Nations report on climate change that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
“It’s insulting,” says one senior staff member, who asked not to be named. She says researchers can no longer even discuss or confirm science facts without approval from the “highest level.”
Until now, Environment Canada has been one of most open and accessible departments in the federal government, which the executive committee says is a problem that needs to be remedied.
It says all media queries must now be routed through Ottawa where “media relations will work with individual staff to decide how to best handle the call; this could include: Asking the program expert to respond with approved lines; having media relations respond; referring the call to the minister’s office; referring the call to another department,” the presentation says.
Gregory Jack, acting director of Environment Canada’s ministerial and executive services, says scientists and “subject matter experts” will still be made available to speak to the media “on complex and technical issues.” He would not explain how “approved lines” are being written and who is approving them.
Jack said the policy is meant to bring Environment Canada in line with other federal departments, but insists “there is no change in the access in terms of scientists being able to talk.”
He says the intent of the new policy is to respond in a “quick, accurate way that is consistent across Canada.”
The reality, says insiders, is the policy is blocking communication and infuriating scientists. Researchers have been told to refer all media queries to Ottawa. The media office then asks reporters to submit their questions in writing. Sources say researchers are then asked to respond in writing to the media office, which then sends the answers to senior management for approval. If a researcher is eventually cleared to do an interview, he or she is instructed to stick to the “approved lines.”
Climatologist Andrew Weaver, of the University of Victoria, works closely with several Environment Canada scientists. He says the policy points to the Conservative government’s fixation with “micro-management” and message control.
“They’ve been muzzled,” says Weaver of the federal researchers. “The concept of free speech is non-existent at Environment Canada. They are manufacturing the message of science.”
“They can’t even now comment on why a storm hit the area without going through head office,” says Weaver, who’s been fielding calls from frustrated media who can no longer get through to federal experts scientists who once spoke freely about their fields of work, be it atmospheric winds affecting airliners or disease outbreaks at bird colonies.
The weather service has been exempted from having to go through head office.
– Canwest News Service