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22 August 2008

14 August 2008 was the 14th day of the second month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

14 August 2008 - University of Toronto to acquire Canada's most powerful supercomputer from IBM (14 August 2008) The University of Toronto's SciNet Consortium, which includes the University of Toronto and associated research hospitals, and IBM announced an agreement to build Canada's most powerful and energy-efficient supercomputer. The globally important research projects it will be used for include ground-breaking research in aerospace, astrophysics, bioinformatics, chemical physics, climate change prediction, medical imaging, and the global ATLAS project, which is investigating the forces that govern the universe. The machine is expected to be among the top 20 fastest supercomputers in the world, capable of performing 360 trillion calculations per second—30 times faster than the peak performance of Canada's current largest research system. It also represents the second largest system ever built on a university campus, and the largest supercomputer outside the United States. 'The University of Toronto has partnered with IBM to become one of the world's premier computational research institutions—a collaboration that will attract researchers from around the world,' said Dr Richard Peltier, Scientific Director of SciNet and Director of the Centre for Global Change Science.

Another area of research for this system will be to explore the scientific mystery of why matter has mass and what constitutes the mass of the universe. Beginning in September, the Large Hadron Collider project based in Geneva, the most powerful particle accelerator ever built, will produce vast quantities of data, which scientists hope will begin to unlock these mysteries. SciNet's computing power and storage capacity will be a significant contributor to the data analysis. 'SciNet will have one of the best facilities in the world that will allow Canadian physicists to participate in the adventure of the Large Hadron Collider,' said Dr Pierre Savard, a member of the Canadian group working at CERN, Geneva. 'This research may change our view of matter and the universe.'

The Canadian Economic Press - Rising gas prices leading Canadians to downsize vehicles and think green (13 August 2008) Scotiabank economist and auto analyst Carlos Gomes says there has been a definite shift in Canada away from light trucks—a category that includes pickups, SUVs, and crossover utility vehicles—and towards smaller cars, where sales have risen about 14% so far this year. And while it may be the cost of gas that is leading consumers to purchase smaller vehicles, there is a beneficial side result, said Pierre Sadik, a senior policy adviser with the David Suzuki foundation. The trend to smaller, more fuel efficient cars is resulting in less damage to the environment, he said. Aside from the shift to smaller cars, people are driving less and taking more public transit. In Canada's largest city, transit use was up substantially in the first six months of 2008. There were more than 239 million trips between January and June, an increase of more than 2 million or 9% compared with the same period last year. Canadian drivers used less gas and diesel fuel in June than they did in the same month last year. Gasoline sales were down 4.5% and diesel sales 3.6%. June marked the second consecutive month of a year-over-year decline in gas and diesel sales.

The Toronto Star - Ontario gets high marks (13 August 2008) In just five years, Ontario has jumped from being a laggard in energy efficiency to being an 'A' student. Ontario and British Columbia have 'made the most progress', according to a report card from the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance. 'Amendments to the Ontario Energy Efficiency Act have established minimum efficiencies in 50 product categories that consume 80 per cent of residential energy consumption and 50 per cent of commercial usage,' the alliance said, adding that the province also set efficiency standards higher by amending the building code. 'But even more encouraging is what is in the pipeline for the future. Ontario appears to be taking energy efficiency very seriously.'

The Canadian Press - Deep Cove land protected from development (13 August 2008) Ottawa and the Nature Conservancy of Canada announced Wednesday that 336 hectares of land in Deep Cove, near Chester, Nova Scotia, will be a protected nature area. The area is home to several rare lichens that grow in Deep Cove's humid and wet coastal environment. A Conservancy spokeswoman says that protecting Deep Cove will help to create a large block of undeveloped land to maintain biodiversity in the region. Federal Environment Minister John Baird was on hand at the announcement in Halifax. The land was acquired through Ottawa's Natural Areas Conservation Program, a C$225 million investment announced last year to protect natural areas.

The Financial Post on electricity made from wood debris in B.C. (14 August 2008) In the forested heart of British Columbia, the largest biomass power plant on the continent produces 66 megawatts of electricity—enough to power 65,000 homes—from a steady stream of chipped wood. Soon, it will be happening elsewhere as the West's biggest forestry companies race to build new facilities that will turn wasted wood into cash. BC Hydro estimates companies could produce 470 megawatts of power this way, or about 10 per cent of the province's annual energy production. Forestry companies say this could be just be the beginning, as BC serves as a model that could be replicated across the country. BC has begun pushing bio-energy as a way to make use of its huge stands of pine beetle-killed timber, and as part of its bid to become energy self-sufficient from carbon-neutral power sources by 2016. This year, BC Hydro collected 20 proposals from firms that together are bidding to produce 4,100 gigawatt-hours of bio-electricity—roughly equivalent to the province's estimated potential—per year. Perhaps most attractive—apart from the green benefits, which environmentalists have lauded—is the prospect of creating treasure from trash. Only 45 per cent of a typical sawlog actually becomes lumber. Much of the rest is used as chips that fuel pulp mills, but a substantial portion of the wood, as much as 20 per cent, is burned off or left to rot.

The Vancouver Sun - A tale of two First Nations (13 August 2008) Oral histories of the Squamish and Lil'wat people of southwest British Columbia, dating back several millennia, tell of their relationship to the land as well as their connection to each other. In fact, they were so interconnected that thousands of years ago they shared a village named Spo7ez (SPO-ez), at the base of Garibaldi Mountain about 16 km south of Whistler. In recent years the two nations have formalized and renewed their historical relationship. In 2001 the Lil'wat and Squamish signed a Protocol Agreement, the only one of its kind in Canada. The agreement affirms the Nations' shared heritage and commits them to identify issues of mutual concern, explore economic opportunities, and consider shared jurisdiction and co-management. One of the most concrete products of this agreement is the C$30 million Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre. Opened last month, it is both a centre of cultural revitalization and a place to share the unique Squamish and Lil'wat cultures with the rest of the world. Squamish displays feature the Salish Eye, a symbol on traditional canoes and masks, which represents the eye of their ancestors leading them in the right direction.

Canwest News Service - Graduate courses to be offered in native languages at York U (13 August 2008) Starting this fall, York University in Toronto will allow all graduate students to write and defend major papers, projects and theses in an aboriginal language rather than English or French. The initiative, which York says is a first in Canada, started with the school's faculty of environmental studies when two graduate students proposed completing projects in their native language, and has now been approved for all graduate students. 'It had a lot to do with the fact that a lot of aboriginal languages are disappearing,' says Barbara Rahder, dean of the faculty of environmental studies. 'Language is so closely tied with knowledge and culture that to lose the language means to lose that culture as well.' Aboriginal languages carry added significance in this country because they are spoken nowhere else, says Paul Chartrand, director of the aboriginal governance programme at the University of Winnipeg. 'Ideas are best expressed in the original language. So an idea, a thought, a view of the world of a people is expressed through its language,' Chartrand says. 'If we lose a language, we lose irretrievably these particular thoughts.'

These are a few of the news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from the growing Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.

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