Canadian troops were on hand April 9 in Vimy, northern France for a ceremony marking the 95th anniversary of the Crete de Vimy battle during World War I. Although the four-day battle of Vimy Ridge was considered a victory for the Canadians as they seized the ridge back from the Germans, a total of 3,598 Canadian soldiers were killed and an additional 7,004 were wounded.
Philippe Huguen / AFP - Getty Images
A young Canadian soldier stands in the rain April 9 in Vimy, northern France, during the commemoration ceremony marking the 95th anniversary of the Crete de Vimy battle during World War I.
Philippe Huguen / AFP - Getty Images
Canadian cadets arrive to participate in a ceremony April 9 to remember soldiers who fought in the World War I battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France.
Philippe Huguen / AFP - Getty Images
Spectators gather near the Canadian National Vimy Memorial which sits on a hill in Northern France and is inscribed with the names of Canadian soldiers listed as missing or presumed dead in France.
These latest videos are notable because they're assembled from still pictures that were taken at a rate of one frame per second, rather than the usual frame every three seconds. As a result, the pace of the videos is more leisurely and a somewhat closer match to the true speed of the space station.
The video above documents a minute of flight heading east from the Pacific over the Canadian West Coast, heading toward southern Alberta near Calgary. I love watching the ripples and flashes of the green aurora over Canada — seasoned with a dash of red from the atomic oxygen that exists at higher altitudes. Why is there red as well as green in the aurora? We've addressed that question before, but this Aurora FAQ from the University of Alaska provides a quick explanation.
This video was taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 29 during a pass from just southwest of Mexico to the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Newfoundland. As the space station travels northeast over the Gulf of Mexico, you can see New Orleans, Mobile, Jacksonville and Atlanta. Continuing up the East Coast, the cities of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City stand out brightly. The northern lights shine in the background as the pass finishes near Newfoundland.
This video was taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 26 during a pass from North Dakota to central Quebec. The northern lights can be seen near the space station, with small patches of the green auroral light dancing around.
If auroras, atmospheric phenomena and solar activity are your thing, you can't do much better than SpaceWeather.com, which is keeping track of lovely aurora pictures like this one from Chad Blakley at Abisko National Park in Sweden. Be sure to check out Blakley's Lights Over Lapland website while you're at it.
Chad Blakley / Lights Over Lapland
Photographer Chad Blakley captured this view of the northern lights over Sweden's Abisko National Park on Feb. 6. "The lights started around 6:00 p.m. and continued into the very early hours of the morning," Blakley told SpaceWeather.com. Check out Blakley's gallery on SpaceWeather.com for still more stunning views.
AuroraMAX / CSA
The rippling northern lights share the skies with a nearly full moon over Yellowknife in Canada's Northern Territories early today, as seen by the Canadian Space Agency's AuroraMAX wide-angle camera. To keep on top of northern Canada's aurora extravaganza, check the AuroraMAX website and Twitpic account.
Update for 3:25 p.m. ET Feb. 8: I originally wrote that the pace of the latest videos from the space station was nearly a true match to the station's orbital speed, but after double-checking with the folks at Johnson Space Center, I'd say it's more accurate to call them a "truer" match than usual. The videos were assembled from still photographs that were captured by a digital camera at the rate of one frame per second, rather than the usual frame every three seconds. That makes for a slower-paced video, but not a real-time speed, because the Web video plays at a rate that's more than one frame per second.
Four-thousand, nine-hundred, eighty-three students, faculty and staff try for the Guinness World Record for the largest dodgeball game at the University of Alberta on Edmonton, Alberta on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012.
Jason Franson / AP
Four-thousand, nine-hundred, eighty-three students, faculty and staff participated game of dodge ball attempting to break the Guinness World Record.
From University of Alberta -- The University of Alberta’s ownership of the Guinness dodgeball record has been much like a yoyo game—now you have it, now you don’t. And so on Feb. 3, U of A students, staff and faculty were back at it for a third attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of players in a game.
After more than an hour-long of pushing, running and throwing by players, the Guinness World Record adjudicator, Philip Robertson, who flew in from New York for the game, took to the stage.
“What can I say,” he says. “I’ve never seen so many people throw dodge balls against each other before. It was tremendous to watch, really good fun. The guidelines were all followed. And with that, I’m happy to announce that University of Alberta, Canada, has a new Guinness World Record.”
The Pacific Newspaper Group reports on its website:
Last year, Pacific Newspaper Group (The Province and The Vancouver Sun) successfully fought a court order to surrender to the Vancouver Police Department all images and video produced by our respective newsrooms on the night of the Stanley Cup riot.
The VPD modified its original application to the court and a new order to surrender images and video was delivered late last year to both newsrooms.
As a result of this decision, The Vancouver Sun and The Province have decided to make all the images we intend to surrender to police available first to our readers. The following images and videos represent the entirety of materials we will deliver, through our lawyer, to the VPD.
Screensnap of the Vancouver Sun website
I remember a day, too long ago, when I was a young photographer at a small daily Wyoming newspaper. I was driving down the road when the police scanner in my jeep went off with a call for backup at a convenience store that was right around the corner. I quickly changed lanes and pulled into the store’s parking lot. I threw the vehicle in park, grabbed my camera and started making pictures. I was young and inexperienced. Nervous excitement got the best of me. My camera settings were all wrong as I made a few bad pictures of two police officers taking down a suspect.
The newspaper ended up not using the pictures, but the next day a police detective showed up in the newsroom asking for copies of the pictures. To my surprise, the managing editor ran the detective off and then sat me down to dispense a little newsroom learnin’. He explained that journalists are not an information gathering arm of law enforcement. He told me that the newspaper would have a very difficult time reporting on drug abuse, police corruption or anything else that might involve the police if we started handing over our unpublished photographs and interview notes to the police.
At the time I felt like I was in a difficult position. I understood the ideals my editor was talking about, but as a photojournalist I needed to have a working relationship with the police. I ran into them every day at crime scenes, traffic accidents, fires and even high school ball games. I also believe that there is a natural desire in law-abiding citizens to help the police.
Mike and Nancy Rogers pose for wedding photographer Nicholas Augustus as White Point Beach Resort's main lodge burns in the background on Saturday Nov. 12, 2011. The couple were set to be married in the lodge but moved the ceremony to another building at the resort. The Firefighters from several detachments in Nova Scotia spent about six hours battling a roaring blaze at a resort on the province's south coast Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nicholas Augustus
There's some dark humor to appreciate in this image as the couple makes the most of an unexpected change of venue. Of course, the loss of a major employer is no laughing matter for people who live in the area:
As the second largest employer in Queens County, the immediate loss of 100 jobs is a blow to economy, Mayor John Leefe said.
"They always say hope for the best and plan for the worst," Leefe said. "White Point is a major employer in the community and this has hit its employees so hard, not just from a work perspective but for those people who work there, this is part of their lives. The emotions of course are running high. They're really grieving over the loss of a place that was very near and dear to so many people's hearts."
A polar bear swims underwater in the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in St-Felicien, Quebec, Canada, on October 31. According to Environment Canada, Canada is home to around 15,000 of the estimated 20,000 polar bears in the world. The U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are the other four countries where polar bears can be found.
By David R Arnott, NBC News
According to a Reuters report on October 28, a Canadian senator has launched a campaign to replace the industrious beaver with the indomitable polar bear as her country's national emblem.
Describing the beaver as "a dentally defective rat," Conservative politician Nicole Eaton told the Senate that beavers wreak havoc on the dock at her waterfront cottage every summer.
"A country's symbols are not constant and can change over time," she said. "The polar bear, with its strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity is perfect for the part."
The polar bears at St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in Quebec certainly seemed to be living up to their billing as they played up for the cameras on Monday.
Mathieu Belanger / Reuters
A polar bear jumps into the water at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo on October 31.
Mathieu Belanger / Reuters
A polar bear shakes off water from its body at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo on October 31.
Debbie Hakkers looks for possessions in the second floor bedroom of her tornado-ravaged house in Goderich, Ontario on Aug. 22, 2011. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said the province will help the town recover from the storm.
GODERICH, Ontario - Cassandra Phillips-Grande, 16, was in a coffee shop in the town square when the wind started to pick up.
"We saw tables and chairs outside of the cafe flying and then saw an SUV roll like a tumbleweed right in front," she said, adding that everyone in the shop moved to the back of the building.
"About two seconds later we heard this really big crash and the roof collapsed in the spot where we had all been," she said. "When we went outside we saw that some apartments had collapsed right in front of the cafe.” Read more…
Geoff Robins / The Canadian Press via AP
The sun sets on Goderich, Ontario after a tornado ripped through downtown on Sunday. Downtown businesses, century old buildings and several churches lost their roofs and upper floors as a powerful storm went through town.
An auroral display dominates the sky over Tibbitt Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories on the night of Aug. 6.
By Alan Boyle, Science Editor, NBC News
Last week's solar storms sparked auroral displays as far south as Colorado and Nebraska over the weekend, but the best viewing was available way up north — for example, Canada's Northwest Territories, where photographer Michael Ericsson captured this amazing picture.
"It's one of the better spots in the world to see the aurora," Ericsson told me over the phone today from Yellowknife. He says you can see the northern lights on pretty much any clear night, "if you're out for enough hours."
Ericsson knew that the weekend would be prime time for aurora-viewing, thanks to a series of solar eruptions that started on Aug. 2. The outbursts didn't cause significant disruptions in satellite operations, communications or power grids, as some had feared, but they put on a heck of a show over Tibbitt Lake, where Ericsson set up his camera equipment. He put together a time-lapse series of the auroral display — shot at three-second intervals with a Nikon D3s at ISO 6400 — to produce this must-see video. (Make sure you're seeing this in PhotoBlog's wide-screen format.)
Ericsson says he's seen brighter auroral displays, particularly during the long northern winter, but this one was special nevertheless. "It's really neat getting a summer aurora, because in Yellowknife we're still not getting complete darkness," he told me, "and that's part of the reason why I didn't see it as the most intense aurora."
He and a couple of friends traveled to Canada's Nunavut territory in April to document the northern lights there and also gather some oral history from the local elders. Here's yet another must-see video that features the sights of the lights and the sounds of Alice Ayalik, telling tales of the aurora in her native tongue:
Ericsson wasn't the only one to catch last weekend's show. Yuichi Takasaka's time-lapse video offers a subtler look at the aurora, punctuated by passing clouds and airplanes. Takasaka specializes in views of the night sky, focusing on the northern lights as well as noctilucent clouds and the International Space Station. This view of the Aug. 5 aurora was captured from Burton Campground in British Columbia:
Yuichi Takasaka captured this time-lapse view of the Aug. 5 aurora from British Columbia's Burton Campground.
SpaceWeather.com offers a whole gallery of photos and videos featuring this month's auroral displays, and the show may not be over just yet: Just today, the most powerful flare in years blasted out from the sun. The flare was not directed toward Earth (which is a good thing), but it still might spark a fresh wave of auroras later this week. To learn more about how auroras arise, and how best to see them, check out this FAQ page from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute.
Sebastien Roubinet of France makes tests with his catamaran-ice boat hybrid capable of sailing on both water and ice in July on the Saint-Louis Lake in Quebec, Canada.
Adrenaline Expedition / AFP - Getty Images
Sebastien Roubinet, along with and Rodolphe Andre will cross the Arctic Ocean as part of the expedition "La voie du Pôle" (The way of the Pole) from Alaska to Spitsbergen, an island north of Norway – a journey of more than 2,000 miles.
Adrenaline Expedition / AFP - Getty Images
When the winds will be favorable, the sails will be able to carry them; otherwise they will need to tow the boat themselves without any external assistance.
By Chris A Wilson
The Frenchmen were scheduled to leave in early-July, and won't reach Spitsbergen until sometime in September.