gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for March 2010

The first strip is always free

March 29, 2010 @ 18:16 By: gordon Category: Health, Seen on the 'net

bacon5 “Mmmm … bacon.”

Though apparently never actually uttered by Homer Simpson according to The Simpsons Archive (he did say “mmmm … unexplained bacon” in one of the Hallowe’en episodes) I know many people who feel this way when it comes to bacon.

According to a story in Sunday’s National Post, bacon and cheesecake have the same effect on your brain as heroin and cocaine. When rats that were raised on regular, healthy rat food were given unfettered access to high-fat foods, they became so addicted that even mild foot shocks weren’t enough to convince them to stop eating to excess. The changes in the rats’ brain chemistry noticed by the researchers were the same ones noticed in cases of additions to heroin and cocaine.

To break the addiction, they had to use a special virus that sort of “reset” their dopamine receptors so they would start eating healthy food again because after two weeks of being forced to go “cold turkey” (so to speak) the rats had not returned to their healthy diet. It seems they would rather stave than eat healthy.

This explains much.

Something I’d like to do

March 25, 2010 @ 16:58 By: gordon Category: General, Travelling

I’ve been fighting The Cold That Won’t Die this week, which has consisted mainly of sitting at home coughing and sneezing, interspersed by the occasional bout of dizziness, and all accompanied by a malaise. (Actually, I did go to work for part of the day yesterday, but the experiment was not a great success and it ended with a strong suggestion that I should go home.)

Anyway, to pass the time I’ve been thinking about something I’d like to do this summer. Coincidentally, the other day my friend Rob wrote about a couple of things he’d like to do this summer  and I was surprised to see that it’s really not that different from something I’ve been thinking about for the last year or so: namely, walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall.


A closer look at geocaching and the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan

March 24, 2010 @ 15:41 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Environment, Geocaching, In the news

GatineauParkEcosystemConservationMapwithGeocaches-reduced John Goatcher, a local geocacher, sent me a map that overlays geocaches in and around Gatineau Park on top of the map found on page 39 of the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan (GPECP). As he commented in my earlier post on geocaching and the GPECP, it’s surprising that more geocaches aren’t in the “integral conservation zone” (the dark olive area in the maps), given that it covers roughly half of the total area of Gatineau Park. As you’ll recall from my previous post, geocaches in the ICZ “will be relocated in areas that are less sensitive before the end of summer 2010”.


Enforcement statistics for the first two years of Ottawa’s Idling Control by-law

March 24, 2010 @ 12:44 By: gordon Category: Environment, Statistics

My recent entry reminding people that the temperature during the days lately have been such that the Idling Control by-law (Bylaw #2007-266) got me wondering about how often people have been ticketed for violating it, so I asked the City of Ottawa for the statistics.


Geocaching and the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan

March 23, 2010 @ 20:52 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Environment, Geocaching, In the news

The National Capital Commission has released some additional information about the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan on their website. Specifically, they have released a Fact Sheet, the Priority Initiatives and a document about the species at risk. The full 120+ page report has yet to be made available in electronic form, but I think that you can view it at the NCC Library.

In the Priority Initiatives document are the various activities that will be affected by the GPECP. Besides basically saying ice climbing is pretty much banned from the Eardley Escarpment because it may interfere with deer in the winter (even though other parts of the plan suggest that there are too many deer in the park and the law being used as the justification is a provincial law and not a federal law), it also mentions geocaching.


Conservation versus Recreation: The Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan

March 22, 2010 @ 18:49 By: gordon Category: Climbing, Current affairs, Environment, In the news

Climbing at Luskville 044 The National Capital Commission released the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan (PDF version) last week, which they’re calling “an essential reference document for Gatineau Park through 2035”. Basically, the GPECP is a long-term plan for the management of the various ecosystems in Gatineau Park. It describes the current state of and threats to the ecosystems and the steps that they believe must be followed to in order to protect and restore them.

Included in the GPECP are key actions on how they’re going to deal with various issues, including some that directly impact the rock climbing on the Eardley Escarpment. Specifically, they seek to “[c]onfine rock climbing to the two or three most damaged rock walls, where rehabilitation work will not be effective.”

They plan on achieving this by…

  • Identifying two or three walls on which rock climbing could take place, based on their impact on the Eardley Escarpment ecosystem, their current level of damage and their popularity (also applies to Eardley Escarpment).
  • Changing the boundaries of the integral conservation zone, as set out in the Gatineau Park Master Plan, to accommodate these walls.
  • Restoring the environment of former climbing sites that are not selected, including any access trails.

Effectively, this means that the number of routes available to rocks climbers will drop from an estimated 500 route to as few as 40. In other words, a 90% reduction in the number of available routes.


Spring 2010

March 20, 2010 @ 13:32 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, Weather

So, it’s now officially Spring. March came in like a lamb and the first day of Spring has turned out to be quite a nice day. Hopefully, this is a preview of the next few months until summer arrives.