Fabian Cancellara riding for team Radioshack-Nissan won today's time trial for the opening day of the 2012 Tour de France
Tour de France 2012 the Prologue
The classic Tour de France kicked off this morning in Liege, Belgium with individual time trials. Nearly 200 from across the world will participate in what is the most prestigious bike race. Before it ends three weeks from now the riders will have travelled from Belgium south through the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees and north to end in glory in Paris, 3 497 kilometres in total. For this grueling competition, bragging rights are awarded to whoever qualifies to enter.
Above all, this is a team sport, so some riders are designated to be support riders for the team leader. If the team leader needs a lead out or an emergency change of bike, the domestique
is there to help. The prize money is earned as a team and shared as such, although in his later years of the Tour, Lance Armstrong was wealthy enough that he donated his share of the prizes to the other team members.
This contest has evolved into a high tech battle as well with cyclists wearing radios for contact with their team car, highly evolved food supplements, superbly engineered bicycles and unfortunately frequent drug testing.
Today’s short sprint(6.8km) is in contrast to tomorrow’s Stage 1 which is a mountain stage of 198 km. Prologue Standings
1. Fabian Cancellara – Radioshack Nissan
2. Bradley Wiggins – Sky
3. Sylvain Chavanel - Omega Pharma Quick Step
4. T J Van Gardern – BMC Racing
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen – Sky
So for Stage 1, Cancellara will be dressed in the yellow jersey of the race leader. The lead will change over the next three weeks as accumulated time determines the ranks.
For minute details of the race the official Tour de France
web page is a gold mine of information.Tags:Tour de France, cycling, competition, Tour de France race, cycling championship, yellow jersey
Colorado is facing a massive wildfire which is threatening homes in the town of Colorado Springs. The fire which has been name the Waldo Canyon Fire has already consumed 346 homes and is threatening 20 000 more. It has burned over 16 700 acres in a week and is only 15% contained despite heroic efforts by firefighters. 32 000 people have had to flee their homes due to the danger.
Today the first fatality has been reported due to the fire. The deceased person was found in a destroyed home. The out of control fire has been declared the worst in Colorado history. The state has been plagued with fires since spring due to a combination of dry weather, high winds and dry lightning strikes.
The US President has declared the area a disaster and has scheduled a visit to Colorado Springs today. When an area is declared a “disaster zone”, it qualifies for federal aid in the form of money, but also provides aid in the housing of evacuees and the cleanup and restoration of public facilities.
While there is a buzz among the news outlets about the Al Qaeda on-line magazine Inspire magazine that has urged individuals to conduct individual acts of terror including settling forest fires not much credence has been given to their exhortations. As one way put it, we have enough loonies, drought, lightning strikes and careless campers that take care of that quite nicely already.
Migrant workers in Guangdong Province in China have clashed with locals. Significant property damage has occurred and there are unsubstantiated reports of deaths. Military forces have moved into the town of Shaxi in an attempt to restore peace.
The trouble began when it is alleged that a student who was from out of town was beaten by locals. To add to the damage, migrant workers accused the police of further hurting the youngster.
Tuesday reports of thousands of workers from Sichuan Province have entered Shaxi to reinforce their fellow migrant workers, adding to the tension. "However, a local resident said the whole area was still under a security lockdown on Wednesday, and repeated online reports that some deaths had occurred during the violence. "Everything has been shut down by the government," the resident said. "They killed a lot of people." Radio Free Asia
While the great leap forward in the Chinese economy that began in the 90’s many people have gotten rich and many more have achieved middle class standard of living. Much of the economic wealth created in recent years has been thanks to the poorly paid migrant workers.
Clashes between locals and migrants in China have occurred in recent years, often sparked by accusations of discrimination against the out of towners.
Heavy rainfall and high winds have been slamming the Canadian west. A heavy snowpack combined with heavy warm rainfall has prompted flooding in the Fraser Valley forcing evacuations. Rainfall warnings cover most of the interior of British Columbia. Roads have been washed out. Slides have threatened property.
Many holiday properties were damaged in flash floods throughout the province. Ground zero for destruction seemed to be the small town of Sicamous. Mud and debris flows have forced evacuations and destroyed homes.
The Trans Canada Highway was cut in several places by mud slides. The slides Saturday night stopped travel until late in the afternoon Monday. I was travelling in the area, but fortunately had hotel reservations and was only delayed a few hours waiting for the road to reopen. Not so lucky were the commercial truckers. Hundreds were stopped. In BC there aren’t easy alternate routes and in this case, many of them were flooded too.
Now the weather systems are hammering Alberta and Saskatchewan. Floods, baseball sized hail and tornado watches are the story of the day.
Climate scientists have warned that global warming may not make every place warmer and drier. They have warned that some areas will experience cooler and wetter conditions.
Sometimes it seems like the whole world is being sucked dry by oil rigs.
Alberta Premier Acknowledges Prevention of Oil Spills Important
Premier Redford of Alberta responded to criticism about the safety of that province’s oil pipelines. She was quoted as saying she “wasn’t opposed” to a change in the response to pipeline safety. In the past month more than a million litres of crude oil have spilled on the land and waters of Alberta.
Crude oil is toxic. Farms, ranches and waterways have been fouled by the sticky substance. It is estimated that there are 377 000 km of pipeline in Alberta transporting oil from extraction sites to refineries. Much of the pipeline is old. The pipe that broke and dirtied the Red River a week ago was installed about 40 years ago. Even if an outside agent like a ground slip doesn’t damage the old pipe, they become corroded over time, partly due to the chemicals needed to make the thick petroleum flow.
Safety records show that overall the number of pipeline spills per 1000 km has dropped. Some estimates put the spill at 1.5 or 2 per 1000 km. That’s a huge number of polluted sites. That figure of 1.5 per doesn’t count spills like that which happened at the Enbridge pumping station because it was contained on the oil transporter’s property.
If they clean it up, do you think that they captured the cancer causing benzene which readily evaporates?
This series of spills comes at a time when the federal government and the Enbridge consortium is pushing hard for approval of a twinned pipeline through some of the most ecologically sensitive land in N. America. The opposition to the Northern Gateway Project has garnered increasing opposition as the people in British Columbia learn of it.
Just released by lawyers for EcoJustice and published in the Calgary Herald
is the news that a government compiled report dating from two years ago pointed out that at least 15 critically endangered species would be at risk if the pipeline were to go ahead. The 15 species at risk did not include data on the inevitable collisions with large vessels because the collisions are self reported. Supertankers which would be plying the coast of BC would probably be so large that they would not feel the impact when they hit a whale(or for that matter an unwary boater).
Canada and Alberta in particular is very rich in black gold. It has made some people very rich. The ability to sell oil to Asia will make more people rich. The question that the feds and oil people don’t seem to want to answer is what is the cost? To people’s lives, to clean water, to the plants and animals that share our world. Can they tell the people of BC what a Kermode Bear’s life is worth, a woodland caribou?
If you build it, it will leak.
Luca Magnotta has been returned to Montreal. He is the chief suspect in the grisly murder of Jun Lin, 33. Not only was the Chinese student murdered brutally and dismembered, body parts mailed around the country but video made of the crime as it happened.
Jun Lin’s grieving family travelled from China to speak with police and collect what they could of their son. His head is still missing.
Magnotta fled to France and then to Germany where facial recognition allowed authorities to arrest him. He was held in a German prison until the formal request for extradition came from Canada. He was flown back to Canada via military plane to ensure a direct flight. It is expected that he will make his first court appearance today.
Jurisdictions in California and Florida are having fresh looks at unsolved murders which resemble that which Magnotta is suspected of.
Visit Your Local Farmers Market for Fresh Food
Farmers’ markets are sprouting like the veggies they offer. They are some of the best places to get fresh, non-sprayed fruits and vegetables. Fresh, because they were picked the night before or early that morning, washed and for sale that day. Many vendors don’t claim organic status but they are happy to tell you about how their produce is grown.
Organic certification is a long process and quite expensive. Organic certification is only as good as the organization that certifies it. The US has a list of agents that participate in the National Organic Program.
They also list agents for countries world wide.
Aside from the high quality of produce offered at these markets, there is value added offerings like hand crafted furniture, soaps, honey and always something quirky. At the Cedar Farmers’ Market this year, the Mermaid Van has reappeared after an absence of several years. Where did it disappear to in the meantime? You’ll have to ask the chief mermaid.
If you live in a large city, shopping at a farmers’ market doesn’t mean you have to drive for an hour to search one out. Simply do a search on line. Seattle has numerous places.
The markets are free; the kids love them; you help keep small farmers in business. When you help support small farms, you get the added benefit of preserving green space.
Canned hunting is the term used to describe the commercial killing of animals in enclosures and cages. The victims are often hand raised and habituated to humans. Suddenly one day instead of a human bringing it food, some fool with a gun is pumping bullets into it.
There is no skill involved here, no bravery, no risk of personal injury. If a person has the money, they are guaranteed a kill no matter how bad a shot they are. If the blood thirsty cowards are really hopeless many “hunting” ranches will tranquilize the target animal.
This is an expanding industry. The two hotspots for this activity are North America and South Africa. The activity is banned in 20 states in the US. Manitoba has recently banned the practise and British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are moving to do so as well.
Some operators are defiant about the social condemnation of their business. “Peter Kalden, who offers canned hunts of fallow deer and wild boar on his farm in Manitoba, told a Western Producer reporter that the legislation will have little effect on him. Instead of calling the practice "hunting," he will call it "harvesting" — clients will buy the animals and then kill them for meat.” Animal Planet
The Humane Society of the US
condemns these “hunting reserves”. That does not deter those eager to make a buck on the backs of the suffering animals. They estimate that Texas hosts at least 500 of these businesses.
South Africa has an expanding captive hunt industry. Captive lions in particular are targeted. A trophy head can cost the shooter $20 000 but no cost in time or personal risk. As tiger bones become scarce in the Asian medicine market, some are substituting lion bones. The bones may bring greater prices than the “trophy”.
I understand hunting. I’ve done a little myself – for food. I don’t fish and release. If I fish, it’s so I can eat the fish. I do not understand canned hunting. Perhaps it only appeals to the dangerously insane.
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The large oil spill (about half a million litres) into the Red River when a pipeline ruptured has local people asking for the unvarnished truth. The fouling of the Red River and about 40 km of shoreline has people asking for answers about the maintenance and safety of the crude oil pipes.
Don Bester, president of the Alberta Surface Rights Federation was quoted in the Globe and Mail.
There's another pipe right next door, just 100 feet away from the one that just got wiped out,” he said.
We’re not talking Epsom salts here. There’s a compound out there known by many names, one of which is Bath Salts that can mess with your brain. “Bath Salts” have been made illegal in Canada, classified as a schedule 1 drug, putting it in the same group as heroin. The US, Ireland and many other countries have outlawed it. Australia classifies it as a poison.
It seems that the Canadian lawmakers took this decision after a widely publicized incident in Florida. A man under the influence of “Bath Salts” aka. MDPV, methylinedioxyprovalerone, Ivory Ware, Vanilla Sky and more, ate most of the face off a homeless man. The attacker was only subdued after police pumped five bullets into him.
It may be illegal, but it is available. A short search on the Net, garnered many willing suppliers along with their competitive price lists. Of course they don’t advertise, “Take this stuff and you may die.” They advertise their products as beauty aids, plant food and for research purposes.
Here are some examples of a quick survey:
This web page advertises their product as plant food. They claim they will deliver in 4 – 10 days. Origin China.
Plant Feed Shop
Complete with price and product list.
Welcome to PLANTFEEDSHOP We are one of international premium providers of 4-MMC/Mephedrone, bk-MDMA/Methylone,MDAI, 4-MEC/Modified mephedrone and MDPV. Please Note
- These products are sold strictly for botanical use and research purposes only, If you suggest that they are for any other use, particularly for human consumption, we will refuse to sell them to you!
Remarks : we can easily send those steriods powders to the usa,canada,aus,NZ,UK,and other countries
I offer the following supply company simply for its coordination of product and company name. Shandong Flying Medical Chemical Compan
Drug enforcement authorities are playing a catch up game trying to control harmful, addictive substances. They have a pretty good handle and definition of those compounds derived from plants – marijuana, cocaine, heroin – but with the rise of the biohackers, it’s akin to the whack a mole game. Discover Magazine ran an article called Dawn of the Biohackers
which illustrates burgeoning do it yourself biohacking. Well educated biochemists can set up an independent lab and slightly tweak a compound which will mimic the action of an illegal compound but be legal because the chemical structure varies by one or two molecules. http://discovermagazine.com/2011/oct/21-dawn-of-the-biohackers/?searchterm=independent%20science%20labs
We may have entered a more dangerous era of synthetic drugs with horrendous side effects. Your brain is a priceless treasure, both to you as an individual and to your culture. Don’t mess it up with poisons sold to you by criminals.
For attainment of euphoria and clarity of mind, take up meditation.