Nova Scotia from space

A view of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and parts of Maine and Quebec, taken from the International Space Station. Click the image for a larger version.

The bright spot at the left side is Montreal Quebec City;* that on the middle right is Halifax. Other bright spots include (left to right) Bangor, Saint John, Moncton, and Charlottetown. Close inspection reveals Truro, New Glasgow, Antigonish, Port Hawkesbury, and Sydney. The St. Lawrence River appears as a string of lights heading northeast from Montreal, and the Gaspe Peninsula is outlined in light. I believe the aurora borealis accounts for the greenish hue on the horizon.

A Contrarian reader supplied the image without identifying information, and I’ve been unable to pin down its source precisely. Based on a similar image taken a few hundred miles to the southwest however, I believe it was taken on January 29 by Expedition 30, the current crew of the International Space Station.

H/T: Shine boy.

*[Correction] Contrarian reader Bill Swan thinks the light blob on the left is Quebec City, not Montreal. He’s probably right.

A Halifax resident writes her councillor

JerryBlumenthal-150CContrarian has previously voiced astonishment that environmentalists — more accurately crackpots posing as environmentalists — would oppose a recycling project that transforms harmful municipal waste into a valuable organic fertilizer here and here. We’re also chagrinned the Halifax media’s gullibility and lack of interest in actual scientific information about the topic. Now, a North End resident has voiced similar incredulity in a letter to District 11 councillor Jerry Blumenthal:

Dear Mr. Blumenthal,

For a long time, I couldn’t understand why Haligonians keep comparing their city to tiny Moncton, but now I’m beginning to get it. And I’m not referring to Moncton’s apparently inexplicable ability to host major concerts.

Halifax has set aside $100,000 to study whether its own biosolids, produced according to a plan established at least five years ago, are safe. All of the hundreds of similar studies done in the past 80 or more years are evidently insufficient, no doubt because they didn’t benefit from the special scienctific perspective available only in HRM. And it seems there is no obligation for opponents to biosolids to produce any reputable science supporting their position. All this because staff made the mistake of mixing the material with wet compost and causing a stink in Clayton Park. We’re spending $100,000 to investigate a bad smell in Clayton Park that has come and gone.

Meanwhile, Moncton is selling its biosolids by the bag back to the citizens who generated it in the first place as a fertilizer branded “Gardner’s Gold.” Even better, they’re getting the equivalent of $40 a tonne for it, roughly four times what HRM gets from farmers still brave enough to buy its material.

At this point, convention requires me to make a bitter reference to the Great Cat Bylaw Debate, or HRM’s inability to join the rest of the province in mandating clear garbage bags, but I’m just too tired.

Lindsay Brown

CBC Radio’s iPhone app finds Nova Scotia (pretty soon)

CBC Radio Ap-sCBC is awaiting approval from Apple for an update to the terrific CBC Radio iPhone app. The updated version, which should appear on  iTunes soon, will include live streams of CBC stations Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Grand Falls, Moncton, Ottawa, Regina, Saint John, St John’s, Thunder Bay, Windsor, and Winnipeg. (Can Sydney be far behind?)

The original app (free download here) did not include any streams from the Mountain, Central, or Newfoundland time zones, and only Goose Bay in the Atlantic zone. Stations in the missing locations streamed in Windows Media format, which the app could not handle. As stations switch to MP3 streaming, they can be added to the app via updates like the one that’s pending.

In areas with marginal radio reception, but good WiFi or cell signals, the app beats the hell out of radio. You can time-shift effortlessly to catch an interview you missed, and you can hear many CBC programs on demand. You can do this on your computer as well, though less easily, but not in a car or out walking.