Friday, December 28, 2012

Spirit Bears, A Rainforest and 1st Nation Protests

A species is threatened, an environmentally sensitive area is in jeopardy, and the Canadian First Nations people are voicing concerns.  Is there a connection between these three items?

Seals in Coal Harbour, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

Spirit Bears

A recent research study of the impacts of tanker traffic on the habitat of the British Columbia's white Spirit bear indicates Gribbell Island, south of Kitimat, would be in direct line of the tanker route and any subsequent spills that could occur.  The route also passes by the Great Bear Rainforest.

A current population on Gribbell Island of 100 -150 Kermode Bears contains 40 percent white spirit bears.  That rate drops in other Kermode bear habitats.  These bears would be at risk through their contaminated food (fish, seabirds) as well as the toxicological impacts (soiled fur, organ failure) to their own bodies.

The white Spirit Bear became an official symbol of B.C. in 2006, designated by the Lieutenant-Governor.  Spirit bears are prominent in oral stories of the Canadian First Nations and American Indian populations. Native groups oppose the pipeline and the danger it poses to the survival of the Kermode white spirit bears. 

What takes precedence when business and environmental concerns don't agree?


Newspaper reference - The Vancouver Sun, Dec3/12, Breaking News. 'White spirit bear's habitat in danger, biologist says', by Larry Pynn.  Kermode bears


The Great Bear Rainforest

Also known as the Canadian Central and North Coast forest, or simply the Central and North coast, the Great Bear Rainforest is part of the Pacific temperate rain forest eco-region.  That translates into towering evergreens, heavy rainfall, and abundant salmon runs.  This the largest remaining intact coast temperate rainforest in the world, and it extends to the areas around Kitimat, B.C.

The proposed Northern Gateway project will travel through this region.  Accidents, spills, and leakages in the ocean could impact the forest, the coast and the islands along the route.  Winter storms, and other inclement weather could affect the ability of the tankers to safely navigate.  Consider this:  a salmon from the ocean travels up the rivers providing food for people and animals.  If that salmon dies in the ocean, and doesn't go up the river, many species who rely on this food will suffer (human, animal, and birds of prey).


Newspaper reference - Vancouver Sun, Dec 2012, Commentary section, Enbridge cannot deny islands, Great Bear Rainforest, by Art Sterritt, Coastal First Nations executive director. - Great Bear Rainforest


Detail on Totems in Stanley Park, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

1st Nations Protest - Native rallies and a grass-roots campaign

Across Canada, 18 -Idle No More- native rallies sent a message.  Aboriginal sovereignty is an issue, as well as environmental concerns about our oceans and our rivers. New laws outlined in the budget bill remove environmental regulations from thousands of lakes and streams in Canada.

Why remove these restrictions?  Who will benefit?  Is this in the interest of protecting our resources?


Newspaper reference - The Vancouver Sun, First Nations Protest, We have to march until we see change, and Idle No More, T. Kappo.


What do you think?  Are resources worth protecting (in any country)?  Or, is it too early to be asking such a tough question?  Do you read newspapers anymore? (online or tangible?)  Please share in the comments and thanks for dropping by!

Best wishes for 2013 and thanks for visiting and commenting in 2012!



A Lakota story about a bear: The Bear with Two Shadows, by Roland Yoemans, author, at his Writing in the Crosshairs blog.

Previous post on Spirit Bears:


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Juliette Gréco and Fifties France

A singer in tune with the times, she never lost her bohemian edge. . . 

Juliette Gréco, a French singer and actress born February 7, 1927, started her career as a chanson singer in 1949.  Jean Cocteau, a writer-director who also met Juliette during this time, offered her a part in a movie, Orphée.  It was the first of several movies in the fifties and sixties. 

During her childhood, her maternal grandparents cared for her in the south of France, as her parents worked for the Resistance during the Occupation.  She moved to the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area in the Latin Quarter of Paris in 1946, after her mother left France for Indochina. 


In the Latin Quarter, a church from 542 A.D., towers over the square. . .

Saint-Germain-des-Prés, by Green Eye

Emerging on the Paris scene in the years following the Occupation, Juliette became part of the café society regulars in the Latin Quarter.  Many artists and intellectuals were infatuated with Gréco's dark looks, long hair, black attire and intellect. Her sultry singing voice and acting ability didn't hurt her chances, either. She was part of the  existential group which included Jean-Paul Sartre and Simon de Beauvoir.

Gréco spent the post-liberation years at the St. Germaine cafés immersing herself in the bohemian culture and its philosophy.  As a regular at these venues, she met many of the musicians, including Miles Davis. They had a bittersweet relationship, thwarted by the mores of the decade.

Home to Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore  (shown below), the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area was the epicenter of the existentialist movement.

Cafe de Flore, Latin Quarter, Paris, by DG Hudson


In the late 1960s, Juliette was cast in the tv serial, Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre.  She was also in the cast of the French fantasy film of the same name produced in 2001.  The film, Phantom of the Louvre, was the first feature film to be shot inside the famous museum.  Other movies:  Bonjour Tristesse, and The Night of the Generals.

To see Juliette Gréco in her early years, click the link below: - early film clips, no soundtrack

Have you heard of Juliette Gréco, the French actress and singer?   She inspired many artists, musicians, and writers. Sometimes, the timing is perfect.

If you have time, check out the Christmas Scenes post on my 21st Century Blog.  You can also click on the top photo in the right sidebar.

Best Wishes for the Holidays and 2013 !

References: Juliette Gréco classic, Sous ciel de Paris, Youtube. Movies with Juliette Gréco An interview with Juliette Gréco, including her relationship with Miles Davis.  The Guardian, Thursday, May 25, 2006.   

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cheers! Cavanaugh Blogfest - Dec 10 - 12


Welcome to an alternate universe of Alex J. Cavanaugh, where anything is possible. . .

Flash fiction:  Trouble at the Black Hole Cafe

Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Ninja starship pilot, hung his Gibson guitar in the locker of the silver Cosbolt, before strapping himself in the First Pilot position. After the IWSG meeting, he borrowed the flyer to teleport to The Black Hole Café. I’ll be on time, no problem. Byron trained me to do this jump.

At The Black Hole, a little-known literary café in the Carolinas, characters and authors rendez-vous in an Overlap Gap, but their time is limited. Athee said she would be there, she wanted to talk to Alex about Byron. It’s going to be strange meeting her, she looks like my wife.
To be cont. . .


Alex called this, "The Day the Ninja Died blogfest", but I think not. He'll enjoy the various ways we imagine Alex J. Cavanaugh, and learn how much we appreciate his support. Cheers!

FOUR Hosts:

These are the minds that came up with the toast/roast for Capt'n Alex: Mark “The Madman” Koopman, ”Marvelous” Morgan Shamy, Stephen “Breakthrough” Tremp, David “Kingpin” Powers King. The originators of this blogfest want to know how many variations we can offer for the following questions. Don't miss the BONUS points for a comment to Mrs. Cavanaugh.

Questions: (I did this part interview style)

1) What does Alex look like?

DG: Alex looks like Byron in Cassastar. A 40-something male humanoid, with dark hair, clean shaven. He may wear glasses.

2) Who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)

DG: Tom Cruise, or maybe Kevin Bacon. Depends on hair colour.

3) Who does Alex remind you of?

DG: Data. (Next Generation?). Hence, the ability to reach massive numbers of bloggers and comment on their posts, a feat few accomplish.


To: Mrs. Cavanaugh

We’ve heard hints about you, the woman behind the man, an enigma like Alex. Now, after reading book 2, I wonder if Athee’s attributes reflect those of a beloved wife. BTW, we're glad you're understanding.


Visit as many participants as you can from the linky list, but first:

How long have you known Alex? If he's new to you, be sure to check out the Captain's blog.
Please leave a comment here to mention the blogfest, so I can visit back. Thanks for stopping by.


Alex's post re the blogfest (aka, the Day the Ninja Died)

Sorry if the font shows incorrectly, let me know.  Thanks.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Wilde Book Review - The Picture of Dorian Gray

For a literary look at Victorian life, try reading The Picture of Dorian Gray.  This is the era of British history between 1837 and 1901, paralleling the reign of Queen Victoria. 

The author . . .Oscar Wilde


The Story. . .

The time was the turning of the nineteenth century into the twentieth, when new ideas about science and society were becoming popular. Knowledge was more accessible.  More people were reading.  Dorian Gray, a playboy by today's standards, was idolized by the young men in Victorian London as the epitome of sophistication and style.  (Photo Credit for photo of Oscar Wilde at end of post).

In the beginning of The Picture of Dorian Gray, when Lord Henry Wotton and Dorian Gray meet, the painting has just been completed. The artist, Basil Hallward, claims it as his best work. Dorian curses himself and the painting when he sees its beauty, his reactions evolving from self-love to self-pity. So begins his downward slide from society's parties into the world of illicit pleasures. Familiar Oscar Wilde quotes are found throughout the dialogue. I enjoyed this story of a man who found a high-cost way to stave off aging. It worked for a while.


BONUS short story review:

Included at the end of the novel above, was a short story by Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, about pre-ordained destinies and how knowledge of that information can affect the recipient's life.

One of the characters is a cheiromantist, similar to a psychic. What this man tells Lord Arthur changes his outlook on his happiness. This is London in the time of Sherlock Holmes.  The term, cheiromantist, may have gone out of use, but it generally means a 'seer who reads hands'. It's the first time I've come across the term.


Have you read the book or seen the movie of The Picture of Dorian Gray?  Have you ever had your fortune told?  Do we really want to know?  What do you think?  Please share in the comments?



Book Credits: Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish poet, dramatist and author.

Signet Classics, March 2007, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891.


W=Wilde Thing, (Oscar), A to Z Blog Challenge 2012


*IMAGE CREDIT: Oscar Wilde, by Napoleon Sarony, (Wikipedia, PD-Art)

This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. PD=public domain.