Sunday, January 24, 2016

Women's curling is so good ...

This being a Sunday I got up a bit earlier than normal to head out to the McIntyre Arena in Timmins to take in the Northern championship game for women’s curling, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. I don’t often take advantage of having a media pass, but today I did and I am glad. The curling was just awesome. Now a lot of folks just yawn and look the other way when you talk about curling, but I tell ya, there is so much grace and finesse in this game, it is compelling to watch when excellent teams are on the ice.
In this case the final game was between the Tracy Fleury Rink of Sudbury and the Krista McCarville Rink of Thunder Bay. I had my hopes up for the Sudbury team, but they were defeated by Thunder Bay, which now advances to the Canadian women’s championship.
It was also a chance to experiment a bit with my camera to do some “still blurred motion” shots, which are still shots that depict motion. I think they worked out okay.

The second shot is of the winning skip, Krista McCarville.

Monday, January 18, 2016

You must listen to this CBC story

If you get a chance to listen to CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition news program, I urge you to take in the story about UPEI professor Ron Srigley Ph.D. lamenting the poor teaching and poor education standards in Canadian universities.
Prof. Ron Srigley wrote: "There is no real education anymore, but I still have to create the impression that education is happening. Students will therefore come to class, but they will not learn. Professors will give lectures, but they will not teach. Students will receive grades, but they will not earn them. Awards and degrees will be granted, but they will exist only on paper. Smiling students will be photographed at graduation, but they will not be happy." 
 Interestingly, Srigley’s essay on education was not published in Canada, but it was published in the United States.  Srigley said he is deeply troubled by the education system.
Here is a link to the radio programs. It is important. Give it a listen.

Demise of The Dome

Friday was a sad day in the history of gold mining in Canada. It was announced that the famous Dome Mine, the first major gold mine discovered in Timmins, was going to be closed.  It has been the longest running gold mine in Canada, and when the gate is closed for the last time in July, it will have been in operation for 106 years. The mine was discovered in 1909. It went into production in 1920. In that time the mine has produced 18 million ounces of gold. That is more than the gold that was produced during the height of theKlondike gold rush.  I covered the news conference Friday but didn’t feel good about it. The Dome was the first mine where I went underground for a visit. That was in 1974. Nearly ten years later, I went underground there again when I was in mine rescue training. It really is a special piece of mining history. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hockey weekend.

This was an exceptionally nice weekend because Scott and Jennifer and the boys came to Timmins to take part in a hockey tournament. It meant sitting in cold arenas for the past three days watching hundreds of kids enjoying themselves on the ice. There is a certain sense of being Canadian in that. There were pickup trucks in the parking lot, the smell of hockey equipment in the crowded arena lobby, seeing your breath as you cheered from the stands and the aroma of Timmies was everywhere. There was even a guy with a cowbell! There were teams from all over the North, from Wawa, to Cochrane to Sudbury. What struck me was how many families were together enjoying themselves. Kids, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents. I really enjoyed being a part of it all.  Oh, one other thing; Scott’s team won the tournament as overall champions!