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Time once more for a look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today's photos include Iranian dog owners under pressure, a bloom of mayflies, Kim Jong-un visiting Breeding Station No. 621, animals fleeing recent fires and floods, and a dachshund receiving acupuncture therapy. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [38 photos]

James Hyslop, a Scientific Specialist at Christie's auction house holds a complete sub-fossilised elephant bird egg on March 27, 2013 in London, England. The massive egg, from the now-extinct elephant bird sold for $101,813 at Christie's "Travel, Science and Natural History" sale, on April 24, 2013 in London. Elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago. The egg, laid on the island of Madagascar, is believed to date back before the 17th century. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)     

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The 25th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is under way, and entries will be accepted for another six weeks, until June 30, 2013. First prize winner will receive a 10-day Galapagos expedition for two. National Geographic was once more kind enough to allow me to share some of the early entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Photos and captions by the photographers. [42 photos]

A fennec fox walks against the wind in Morocco. The fennec, or desert fox, is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara Desert in North Africa. (© Francisco Mingorance/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)    

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Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Fort McKay: Sleeping With The Devil

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For thousands of years the Cree and Dene people of the Athabasca River in Northern Alberta have watched, as the tarry sands along their banks oozed into the river and stuck to their feet.

In the 1950s Premier Earnest Manning was devising a plan to detonate an atomic bomb underground, in an attempt to extract these difficult deposits of oil. At that time the Reserve of Fort McKay, situated 63 km North of Fort McMurray, had no roads connecting it to the rest of Canada. They lived from a traditional lifestyle of hunting and trapping, but as 83-year-old elder Zackary Powder says, it’s not like it used to be, everything has changed.

Today the worlds largest and most environmentally destructive oil extraction project, the Alberta Oil Sands, surround them. Where trappers cabins once stood are now toxic lakes of mine tailings, and endless moonscapes that have been stripped of their bitumen-laced sand with electric shovels five stories high.

Aware to the futility of resistance, the people of Fort McKay decided to partner with industry in 1986. Entrepreneurial endeavors, employment and industry compensations have provided economic prosperity the likes of which few Canadian First Nations have experienced. It is said to be the richest reserve in Canada, but the people here know their prosperity is not without consequence. As elder and former Syncrude electrician Norman Simpson says, sometimes you have to sleep with the Devil.

Stories of moose hunts and life in the bush are told with enthusiasm and pride, but, as industry grows, the land succumbs. The rivers and fish are poisoned, their tap water is no longer potable, the animals are keeping their distance, and the quality of wild meat is in question. Cancer, respiratory disease, drug addiction and other illnesses plague the community. In a country where the norm for reserves is high poverty, unemployment and dismal housing, Fort McKay is marketed as a success story, but the people here know the truth is much more complicated.

 

Bio

Aaron Vincent Elkaim (b.1981) is a documentary photographer, whose work has earned international recognition.

Aaron received a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Film Studies in his hometown of Winnipeg, Canada, before he found photography.

Currently based in Toronto, Aaron approaches his subjects through an anthropological lens with a focus on cultural and historical narratives that reflect and inform his own sense of the world. Though born of individual experience, Aaron’s work seeks to provide its audience with new and varied perspectives on the complexities of humanity and its environment.

His work has been exhibited at Fotographia International Photography Festival in Rome, Voices Off Rencontres d’Arles, the NY Photo Festival, and the Reportage Photography Festival in Australia. His Clients include the Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, and the Wall Street Journal.

Aaron is a founding member of the Boreal Collective.

 

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Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Boreal Collective

 

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Can an adult learn to speak a second language with the accent of a native? Not likely, but new research suggests that we would make better progress, and be understood more easily by our conversational partners, if we abandoned a perfect accent as our goal in the language learning process. For decades, traditional language instruction [...]

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TEDxEdmonton - Jessie Radies - How Local Transforms Communities

As the founder of Live Local Alberta, Jessie has a vision for Alberta as a diverse, vibrant and sustainable region. Live Local Alberta is dedicated to educating consumers on the benefit of shopping, eating and living locally and to giving small business owners strength in numbers. Growing up on a farm has instilled in Jessie a fierce passion for community. Jessie believes strong, sustainable communities are the direct result of citizen participation and has worked to educate our citizens on the importance of the local economy, its relation to their community, and the power they hold to change it. Jessie believes we should consider their role as citizens a priority, and participate in the democratic process. This small shift from 'consumers' to 'citizens' would radically affect the regions economic outlook and sustainability. A self-proclaimed Foodie, Jessie, with chef husband Darcy, own The Blue Pear restaurant in Edmonton. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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TEDxEdmonton - Vik Maraj - Unstoppable Conversations

Vik Maraj is the co-creator of Unstoppable Conversations which deals with people's invisible patterns of thinking that limit innovation and fulfillment. Vik's explosive results in organizations derive from revealing the hidden constraint that past successes and failures have placed on the future. Vik has permanently dismantled the proverbial "box" and unleashed unimaginable performance for countless people in the realms of business, government, family, and personal accomplishment. Vik is a Dean's List graduate and holds a Masters in Science from the University of Alberta. He is co-founder of the multi-million dollar Castle Rock Research Corp, is a high-stakes conflict resolution specialist, and has trained as a Seminar Leader for Landmark Education. The clients with whom he has made a lasting difference include National and International Governments, Multinational Corporations, Universities, the UN, National Not-For-Profits, School Boards, and Communities. He has facilitated world congresses, instigated dramatic shifts in corporate cultures, and unlocked historically intractable relationships with billions of dollars and lives at stake. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently <b>...</b>
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TEDxVancouver - Aaron Coret & Stephen Slen - Finding your Passion

Stephen Slen is a director at Katal Innovations Inc. and co-inventor of the Landing Pad. Stephen graduated from UBC with a Bachelors of Applied Science degree in Integrated Engineering. Stephen grew up in Calgary, Alberta. Katal came to fruition as a means to pursue Slen and Coret's shared ambition to help foster the progression of freestyle skiing and snowboarding. Aaron Coret, is a Director at Katal Innovations and co-inventor of the Landing Pad. Aaron recently graduated with a Bachelors of Applied Science degree In Integrated Engineering and a minor in Commerce from UBC. The inspiration for the Katal Landing Pad was a direct result of his tragic snowboarding accident that left him a quadriplegic in 2005. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Charlotte Tanguy

NYX

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In St-Petersburg, pollen comes out of poplars that were massively planted there after the second World War, in order to fill the holes in the city. Because so many of them were planted, and the pollen started to pollute the city, people became allergic to these pollen.

In St-Petersburg, I met Lielia during these so-called “white nights”, 21st of June 2010. I saw her walking through a cloud of white dots, pollen. She refused to be photographed, but took me to her home anyway. She showed me a cut out photograph of her son Anton, a journalist who got killed in St-Petersburg in 2000.

Her dog, a dalmatian, was jumping on me.

This project is about hopelessly trying to own absence… a walk with no beginning and no end through St-Petersburg, haunted by Anton’s photograph.

I came back to see Lielia in St-Petersburg in February, and will go there next time in June.

 

Bio

Born in 1979 in Lyon, France. Based in Paris.
Graduated from Ecole Nationale des Arts decoratifs de Paris (ENSAD) in 2004, started photography in 2008, and joined Agence Vu’ in January 2011.

 

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Charlotte Tanguy

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